Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Special: Mystery Book Bundle, Mystery Author Blog Hop

Sirens on Death Starke Boulevard Mystery Book Bundle 
Black Friday Special and through Dec. 2: $1.99 Four fascinating mysteries bundled together. Stories by authors Conda Douglas, Heather Fraser Brainerd, David Fraser, and Sara Jayne Townsend, and myself, J.Q. Rose, in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. 


Four mysteries by five prolific authors, all packaged in 749 pages of suspense:

Starke Naked Dead by Conda V. Douglas

Jeweler Dora must become a sleuth to solve a murder in the first of the Starke Dead cozy mysteries series.

Death Scene by Sara-Jayne Townsend

Poking around in family closets produces skeletons.

Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Mysterious deaths upset the Florida retirement community interfering with their seasonal activities and turning up more than dead bodies.

The Sound of Sirens by Heather Fraser-Brainerd and David Fraser

Thanksgiving dinner with the family can be murder. Especially when someone is actually trying to kill you.

You can order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go to MuseItUp Publishing. 

Also available at amazon and major online booksellers.

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I am thrilled to have Sunshine Boulevard included in this bundle of suspense, mystery, and mayhem filled with twists and humor.

Today the "bundlees", authors in the book bundle, are getting together to talk about our books. Please hop on over to their blogs to meet all the authors and discover their books.

What Inspired Sunshine Boulevard by J.Q. Rose

Sunshine Boulevard is a fun mystery with some quirky characters and situations. Readers ask me what inspired this story.

 The inspiration for writing Sunshine Boulevard comes directly from living life as a retiree in that beautiful state. When we were in the floral business, January was a slow time in the greenhouse and floral shop, so we took our two daughters to Florida to enjoy the tropical flowers and foliage, the beaches, and warm breezes. We gloried in the sunny skies after experiencing the gray, dark Michigan winters. We grew to love the people and places in Florida. 

After selling our flower shop and becoming empty nesters, we set off on an adventure traveling in our RV as full-timers. We spent our winters in campgrounds all around Florida.
After eight years in our fifth wheel, we settled in a retirement community and enjoyed the life of snowbirds living in Florida in the winter and spending summers up North.

We have met some real characters in our travels. So it was only natural to combine those personalities and place them in Florida, famous for its quirky crime and unbelievable events. 

You may not think a retirement community could have much excitement or action for a story. But, you are so wrong!  You'll have to read this mystery with elements of suspense, horror, and humor to discover what I mean.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Please leave a comment below and tell us if you are a mystery lover. Thank you!

Please hop on over to my fellow authors in crime--

Author's Blog Links:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Video from YouTube 

Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

Wishing you a blessed day.
Happy Thanksgiving from J.Q. Rose

Monday, November 24, 2014

Say Thank You, Book Marketing, PowerPoint Presentations, Marla and Carla Show, YouTube

Thanksgiving Time
Photo by J.Q. Rose

Thanksgiving week, meal preparation, cleaning, Black Friday sales, friends and family. This frenzy of responsibilities may get in the way of the true spirit of Thanksgiving. So right this minute, please take a deep breath and spend a few minutes reflecting on all the blessings you enjoy. Be positive. We are enriched by big things and little things woven together in our life's tapestry. Whisper a thank you for each one of yours.
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If you've been reading my blog since this past summer, you probably get it that I am on a crusade to figure out the secret to book marketing. I am determined to be ready to launch my next book(s) with a flourish and continue to sell them.  I have the first draft of my mystery completed and I have chosen a name. You know how titles go. Very fluid. At this moment it is Deadly Undertaking: A Funeral Home Mystery. Not sure if I like the sub-title. I need something catchier. The mystery takes place in a funeral home, so I want to let readers giggle at the play on words.

I  am compiling the writing tips series into an e-book for publication this winter, and I am going to work on Gardener Ted (myDH) to see if he will help me with a series on gardening. I know there are tons of mysteries, books for writers, and gardening books. That's why I have to figure out how to make these standout.

D'vorah Lansky's Book Marketing Challenge opened my eyes to all the possibilities for book marketing. So little by little I am trying to learn a few tricks to get readers' attention. At this point I am learning how to make a PowerPoint presentation into a webinar. 

So I checked out how to work with this amazing program and discovered all kinds of videos about it. If you're interested in the video, here's the link:

Do you have any idea how much information is on YouTube? If you think of a topic, I bet there will be a video about it.

I have also discovered the Carla and Marla Show on YouTube. I have to clue you in on this show. Carla King, the queen of teaching indie authors with her Self-Publishing Boot Camp, and Marla Miller, a traditionally published veteran author, team up to offer tips and insight on writing and publishing. They are ordinary women who do not put on airs. They present their show on Google+ Hangouts on Air as if they are just conversing at their kitchen table together over coffee. Delightful and real. Take a break and watch some of their shows.

Here's one of their shows with the topic of Book Marketing--

The Marla and Carla Show Episode #5 Book Marketing: 

Find & Engage Your Audience

More Videos: The Marla and Carla Show
Website: Carla King 
Video: Marla Miller Literary Salon: Learning Prose from the PROS 

No Guest Post on Thanksgiving Day.
Come back next Thursday, December 4, when author Marsha R. West shares her writing tips.
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 Mysteries bundled together with authors Conda Douglas, Heather Fraser Brainerd, David Fraser, and Sara Jayne Townsend, and myself in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. 

You can pre-order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go toMuseItUp Publishing. 

Also available at amazon and major online booksellers.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Conda Douglas on Marketing Made Easy, Giveaways

Hello and welcome to this Thursday's writing tips in the Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing series. Humorous author Conda Douglas is our tipster with her own writing tips on Marketing. AND Conda has brought along an e-book copy of her award-winning mystery, Starke Naked Dead. Congratulations on winning third place in the mystery category in the Idaho Author Awards! 
Please leave a comment to be eligible to win the drawing for this entertaining mystery. Winner announced after 9 pm on Sunday evening. 
PLUS today, Conda has a FREE gift for you, a cookbook filled with Conda's tried and true recipes. Just in time for the holidays!
Click here to order
Conda, you maintain an author can actually enjoy marketing. Say what? Please tell us how.

by Conda Douglas

Once upon the time before eBooks, marketing and promotion were straightforward, they followed a laid out process that everyone accepted as protocol. Now, authors, whether traditionally published, self-published or hybrid, are expected to promote their own works and author brand. Add to this that no one knows what works in social media, except that it does appear to add sales. Add to this that all social media is continuously changing and many authors throw up, uh, their hands and maybe their breakfast too.

Breathe, relax, and unclench those fists. Here are a few tips that will have you enjoying, yes, enjoying, marketing.

There are myriad ways to promote on the Internet, enough to find your own way. If you choose social media that you enjoy, you're more likely to visit, post, comment, whatever, more often and get more followers, views, whatever. I adore Pinterest so visit it and pin often (it's like having hundreds of great teapots, all free and none that need washed!). Because of my activity, I have many followers.

Provide content pertinent to your interests (see teapots above). I have writing boards on Pinterest, but most of my boards are about my interests, jewelry and jewelry making, recipes, fitness and of course teapots, some tangential to my novels. One of my main characters is a jeweler, for example. People will discover you as an author instead of being annoyed by endless pitching.
Note: An easy way for more promotion is to link your social media accounts, Pinterest to Twitter to Facebook, etc. Then when you post to one it posts to the other sites as well.

Think outside the promo box. Because I love writing reviews on TripAdvisor I have over 100 reviews with 41,000+ people plus having read them. The cover of my novel The Mall Fairies: Exile is my bio pic. If only a tiny portion of readers see and my name and cover...

Use cross marketing. Get into groups of authors and bloghop, tweet each other's tweets, promote each other's books for content, etc. Authors adore helping other authors!  
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The gossiping women of the Widows Brigade in the new ski resort of Starke, Idaho love a good scandal—this time it’s a murder mystery, and a stark naked corpse!

BUY LINK  for Starke Naked Dead 
by Conda Douglas

About Conda:
Award winning Conda grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho. Her childhood was filled with authors and artists and other creative types. She grew up with goats in the kitchen, buffalo bones in the living room and rocks in the bathtub. Now her life is filled with her cat and dog and permanent boyfriend and writing.

She's traveled the world from Singapore to Russia (in winter!) and her own tiny office, writing all the while. She delights in writing her cozy Starke Dead mystery series with amateur detective jeweler Dora Starke. The more Dora discovers cursed jewelry, her aunt digging graves, and a rampant poisoner, the more fun Conda has--although sometimes Dora complains about her plight! 

When she's not writing Dora into her quirky and quixotic mysteries, Conda writes the popular tween fantasy Mall Fairies series. The fairy inspiration for her Mall Fairies came from the sparrows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall in Boise, Idaho. Conda works hard to rescue the fairies from humans, cats, pixies and themselves.

Find out more about Conda at  Conda's Creative Center 

I am thrilled to announce that Conda Douglas and I are bundled together with Heather Fraser Brainerd, David Fraser, and Sara Jayne Townsend in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. 

You can pre-order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go to MuseItUp Publishing. Also available at amazon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Have You Scouted Out Kindle Scout? This Week, Book Bundle, Giveaway

 Have You Scouted Out kindlescout? by J.Q. Rose
Working on my new manuscript--paranormal, romance, mystery. 
A photo of my work space at my dining room table. 
My theory is to change places where I write, edit, and daydream to spark new ideas.
 Try taking a "vacation" from your desk 
(or usual work space) to inspire brilliant writing!

While working on writing my mystery/romance, I imagine where my story-in-progress will be published. Nowadays writers have so many options to get their stories into the hands of readers--traditional, indie, hybrid, audio, video, and now amazon's new program--kindlescout. (evidently amazon does not like using CAPS in their logo designs)

 According to the amazon site--"Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing."

 Does that get your attention? The program attracted the attention of the writing team of HL Carpenter who shared with me their experience so far with kindlescout. Because their just completed 
cozy mystery, A Cause for Murder, fits kindlescout's three categories of mystery, thriller and suspense, they wanted to learn more about it. And like all professional authors and business people, they did their research and studied all the information. Then they read the contract. 

Cozy mystery in kindlescout campaign
Carpenter said, "We're not lawyers, but our conclusion was the terms are slanted to Amazon's advantage just like contracts with the old-school publishing houses. That means each author will have to read and decide for themselves, weighing the benefits against the drawbacks--and there are both. For example, the Scout program is more stingy with rights and royalties than when an author goes indie with Amazon. An offset is the potential for marketing as Amazon pushes the Scout program out.

We chose to submit A Cause for Murder because we felt the possibility for getting noticed in a crowded marketplace was worth the potential drawback of the exclusivity issue. We like to experiment with various ways of reaching readers, and this is simply one more avenue. If it doesn't work out, we'll figure we gave it a shot and we'll move on. Such is the entrepreneurial writer's life, right?"

The good news was the manuscript was accepted. At this writing, A Cause for Murder is in the 30-day nomination period called a campaign. That wraps up on November 23rd, after which Carpenter will find out whether they'll be published under the program. You can check out their submission and nominate them at

Approximately the first 5000 words of the required 50,000 plus word manuscript (ms) is displayed on the kindlescout site. If the reader likes the story, she can nominate the ms for publication by the Kindle Press. (This makes me wonder if the author with the most friends will win a contract on popularity alone or if the storytelling will really win the prize.) 

I should add there are other criteria for mss to be chosen, but we are not privy to that information. One blogger surmised one of the amazon secret algorithms will be used to determine a winner.

At the end of the kindlescout campaign, an email will be sent to let the author know if the book has been selected for publication. If published, everyone who nominated the book will receive an early, free copy and be invited to leave reviews.

Amazon is a clever marketer. Before the book is published, there is a group of readers ready to read the book and spread the word by writing reviews on the newly pubbed book. Granted the author loses sales to the folks who nominated the book for publication, but word-of-mouth by these readers is a very effective sales tool.

There are so many pros and cons to this program,I can't possibly cover them all, but I do have links to blogs which could answer your questions.Take a look at them if you are interested. Please leave a comment with your thoughts about kindlescout

Links to blogs about kindlescout:

Victoria Strauss Pros and Cons of the kindlescout Program
Digital Reader  Is kindlescout worth it? Yes
Jim Chimes Kindle Scout
        Adventure in Text  Amazon vs Big Publishing: Kindle Scout Motives Revealed  
        Crime Fiction   My Kindle Campaign: First Impressions

Watch for updates on the results for HL Carpenter's A Cause for Murder.

About HL Carpenter:
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country,
Mother/Daughter Author Team, HL Carpenter
a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

This Week:
Thursday, November 20:-Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing continues. Delightful author Conda Douglas is our tipster this week with writing tips on Marketing Made Easy. Please join us and win a copy of her e-book, Starke Naked Dead.

Book Bundle through December 2: I am thrilled to announce that Conda Douglas and I are bundled together with Heather Fraser Brainerd,
David Fraser, and Sara-Jayne Townsend in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. You can pre-order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go to MuseItUp Publishing.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Melissa Maygrove Writing Tips on Dialogue and Editing

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. This week our author tipster is Melissa Maygrove.  Melissa says she loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers. She did just that with her book, Come Back, just released last spring. 

You have an opportunity to win  a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed paperback of Come Back (US) or Kindle e-book (US or international). All of this goes to one winner! Thank you, Melissa! Enter at the Rafflecopter at the end of this blog post. 
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Congratulations, Melissa, on the release of this intriguing historical romance, Come Back.

What question do you get all the time from budding authors?
One thing I encounter often with budding writers is the fear of showing their work to others. Some remain closet writers for years. It’s never easy to receive criticism, however constructive, but you must if you want to reach a level of quality worthy of publication. My writing improved greatly once I joined a good critique group.
If you’re serious about making progress, investigate the various critique options and writing groups available to you. (I prefer swapping critiques online, but doing it in person in a local group is fine, too.) When you find a group that you think will be a good fit, give it a try. It might take some trial and error to find compatible online partners or a group that suits you, but don’t give up.

J.Q.-I really like your point on finding a critique group. Because of the the support of my Koffee Kuppe critique partners, I submitted my first e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, and signed a contract for publication. 
What writing tips do you have for us today on dialogue and editing?


Many writers find dialogue difficult to write, and poorly written dialogue can ruin an otherwise good story. It has to sound natural, not stilted. And although it can contain errors (if it fits the speaker) or changes in spelling that show accent or dialect, it can’t be so full of such things that it’s difficult to read.

When writing dialogue:
  • Make it sound natural. Think about how people speak to each other. We often use contractions, and we don’t always speak in complete sentences. 
  • We also don’t tell people things they already know. Don’t use dialogue to info-dump.
  •  Make sure your word choice fits the character (heritage / country of origin, background, educational level) and the time period if you write historical novels. Use an etymology dictionary to check words and phrases if you’re unsure when they were coined.
  •   When writing dialect or accent, less is often more. Add enough to give the reader the flavor of the speech, but don’t go overboard. It’ll make for difficult reading, especially if it’s for a main character who has a lot of lines.
  •   And be consistent. If your character makes particular grammar mistakes in his speech (because he’s uneducated, for example), have him do it consistently in his lines and in his thoughts.
  •   Don’t be afraid to let punctuation work for you. A dash at the end of a line indicates an abrupt interruption, while ellipses indicate a trailing off. Trusting such marks to convey pacing can save you some (unnecessary) action beats and make the reading experience better.
  • When you’re done with a scene, read it aloud to see how it sounds.
1.      EDITING

My best editing tip is: writers—even those who work as editors—cannot edit their own work. You could do a hundred read-throughs of your manuscript and still not catch all the mistakes. At the very least, get your story checked by a competent proofreader before you publish.

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Western Historical Romance
Adult / New Adult

 Sometimes a single choice 
alters the course of a person's life forever.
 Buy Link:  Amazon

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About Melissa:

Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities,
Author Melissa Maygrove
she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Visit Melissa's author site to find out about her and her books. 

Sign up for Melissa's newsletter hereShe doesn’t send them often, only when there is important news, such as a new release.

If you're an author, do you offer a newsletter for readers? If you're a reader, do you like to keep in touch with your favorite writers via newsletters? Please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day USA, Honoring the Women in the US Military, This Week, Giveaway

This U.S.A. flag is made entirely of flower petals and natural elements.
Displayed on a float in the 2014 Rose Parade.
Picture by J.Q. Rose
Veterans Day Honoring Veterans
of the U.S. Military Servces
On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor veterans who served in the U.S. Military. This date also marks the end of World War I when the armistice with Germany was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 
Please remember to say thanks to a vet now and anytime you meet a veteran.

At the Girls Succeed! blog you can well imagine we are honoring all vets, but especially featuring the women who have been a part of the U.S. Military since the American Revolutionary War. Hop on over to the Girls Succeed! blog and discover highlights of the history of the women who have served our country.

Rose parade float honoring the WWII Women Air Force Service Pilots
You can also find more articles on women in the military at these Girls Succeed! links:

This Week: 

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock that includes 
a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Monday (today): Lacey, the florist in my mystery/romance, introduces readers to Pastor Christine, the main character in Coda to Murder. Pop on over to find out about her friend, Chris, at the MuseItUp Publishing blog. All this month authors are sharing their characters with readers. Lots of characters over there and I don't mean just on the blog!! LOL.

Tuesday, November 11--Veterans Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in Canada

Writing tips every Thursday!
Thursday, November 13--Melissa Maygrove is our author tipster on Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing series. She's giving up tips on editing and dialogue AND a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed paperback of Come Back (US) or Kindle e-book (US or international). All of this goes to one winner. 

Did you serve your country by joining the military? Do you have a friend or family member who is a vet or currently serving?Thank you for your service.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Sweet Romance Author Joselyn Vaughn on Dialogue, Characters, and Editing, Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the tips on writing series, Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. Today I'm thrilled to have my friend, critique partner, and talented sweet romance author, Joselyn Vaughn share her tips on writing dialogue, characters, and editing.

This is an especially big week for Joselyn because her eighth book, In for a Pound, was just released from Astraea Press on Tuesday, November 4. I'm doin' a happy dance with her. I was privileged to be "in" on the development of this novel and now so excited to help introduce this touching romance to readers right here on my blog.

Joselyn is giving away the e-book version of one of her books. The winner can choose which e-book. Check out Joselyn's Amazon Author page to see all the possibilities. To be in the drawing, please leave a comment. 

Hi Joselyn,

Before we get to all the great tips you've shared, let me ask you this--What is the question you get all the time from budding or experienced authors and your readers?
People always ask how long it takes to write a book. It takes me about a year. Writing takes time. You have to be willing to eat the elephant bite by bite. If you want to write a book, you will find the minutes or hours in your day to make it happen.

            Dialogue can be broken up using actions, internal thoughts, and emotional responses to the conversation. Instead of scrounging through the thesaurus for alternatives to said, these options will allow you to develop your characters in subtle ways.

            Avoiding stereotypical characters, especially for supporting roles, can be difficult. Sometimes simply changing their gender can add new dimensions to the plot or add a whole new subplot.   


a. When proofreading, read your manuscript out of order. It keeps you from getting caught up in the story and missing typographical mistakes.

b. Find critique partners you can trust. People who will help you make your work better. A good group can help develop and direct ideas as well as evaluate individual scenes for strengths and weaknesses. 

Please share a “light bulb moment” about your writing experience.
I tend to get caught up in marketing and promoting and wondering what works and what doesn’t that I forget how fun creating stories is. Don’t lose the joy in writing. 
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I know this is a whirlwind week for you, and I appreciate you taking time to stop by the blog to share writing tips. Now let's find out about that new book, In for a Pound.

In for a Pound, sweet romance by Joselyn Vaughn

Back of the book:
Joshua Pounds speeds to Pine Bottom to take care of his ailing dad, expecting to spend his time bouncing between doctors’ appointments and cancer treatments. His first task, however, requires a canoe paddle and helping his father’s friend win the honeymoon of her dreams. He doesn’t count on falling in love with an engaged woman.
Sidney Walker had her life all planned: the wedding, the honeymoon, and the dependable husband --until her fiancé crushes her dreams by putting riches above their relationship.
As her engagement crumbles, her heartbreak rocks Joshua’s confirmed bachelor status. He picks up the pieces, but the challenge threatens both of their ideas about love.
Will Joshua’s resolve to keep his heart untouched break Sidney’s?

About Joselyn:
I am a stay at home mom who has walked on the dark side of potty training. When not traversing
that valley of shadow, I write, run, and sew. Sometimes with successful results. For more information, check out Joselyn's blog.

Please leave a comment to enter the drawing for one of Joselyn's e-books. Are you a stay-at-home mom who is writing and potty training your toddler? We'd love to hear from you.

Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream, Happy Mother's Day, Working Moms

YouTube VIDEO: Mother's Day Excerpt from Arranging a Dream Hello and welcome! I wanted to pop in to wish you moms, grandmoms and those w...