Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Readers Circle: Run Dog Run by Kathleen Kaska, Giveaway

Welcome to the Readers Circle
 Hello Readers and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. In the Readers Circle today is Kathleen Kaska with the first book in her Animal Rights Mystery Series, Run Dog Run

Kathleen will give away a print copy of Run Dog Run to a name drawn from those who leave comments. Deadline to enter is Monday, April 3 at noon. Thank you Kathleen!

 Read on to find out more about Kathleen and her new release.

Run Dog Run by Kathleen Kaska,
the first book in the Kate Caraway Animal Rights Series

Back of the Book: Run Dog Run by Kathleen Kaska
After five years in Africa, researching the decline of elephant populations, Kate Caraway’s project comes to a screeching halt when she shoots a poacher and is forced to leave the country. Animal rights activist Kate Caraway travels to a friend’s ranch in Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the crime and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now, she’s in a race against time to fine the killer before she becomes the next victim.

From Mystery Trivia to Cozy Mysteries by Kathleeen Kaska

            The road from writing mystery trivia to writing cozy mysteries meandered, hill-climbed, and detoured. Good detours.
            I started writing mystery trivia to learn the craft of mystery writing by dissecting the work of master mystery writers Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and suspense filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. I also wanted to offer something different to catch the eyes of a publisher. The trivia book idea came to me when I read an article in a writers magazine about the popularity of those books. The second Stephen King trivia book had just been published, as well as one on Clint Eastwood and the Seinfeld TV show. Gazing up at my complete collection of Agatha Christie mysteries on my bookshelf, a cerebral light blub went on. Three months later I completed a proposal and two months after that, I had an agent. He sold the Christie trivia book in short order, and it was followed by my Alfred Hitchcock trivia book (The 100th anniversary of Hitch’s birth was right around the corner. Timing is everything.) Later came my Sherlock Holmes trivia book.
The Sherlock Holmes Trivia Book by Kathleen Kaska
             Was I ready to plot my own mystery? I made a list of a few ideas, played around with a few setting, and worked on character development. But I couldn’t seem to create anything that resonated. Although aware of the basic plotting formula, I had a difficult time pulling things together. Outlining a plot resulted in my staring at a blank document or gazing out the window at birds visiting me feeder. What was the problem? I’d written outlines for my trivia books and travel articles, but my first mystery? It wasn’t happening. Then my old “pal” Stephen King came to my rescue again. His “seat of the pants” method of plotting gave me a brand new perspective. Characters seemed to walk into my life and tell me their stories. All I had to do was listen. And write.
Murder at the Arlington by Kathleen Kaska
            Sydney Lockhart introduced herself to me on the long drive from the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas to my then-home in Austin, Texas. By the time I pulled into the driveway, I had gotten to know Sydney very well and had the idea to launch mysteries set in historic hotels. The first one, Murder at the Arlington, was published in 2009. I’m now on book number five, and Sydney hasn’t stopped talking.
            My new mystery, Run Dog Run, the first in the Kate Caraway Animal Rights Series, started forming in my mind when I was a member of Wildlife Rescue, Inc. in Austin, Texas. I helped rehab and raise orphaned wildlife. I wanted to write a series that made readers aware of animal care and animal rights issues. Run Dog Run takes place in the world of greyhound racing and features a character who runs a greyhound adoption facility. Here’s a short excerpt and synopsis. One final note: a portion of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to The Greyhound Project, Inc.
Run Dog Run by Kathleen Kaska
Excerpt from Run Dog Run:

She’d been foolish and gone off alone, 
now she might have to pay the ultimate price…
The rocks along the bottom of the creek bed seemed to disappear. Kate felt the ropy, gnarl of tree roots instead.
The cedar break. She was approaching the road and soon the water would pass through the culvert. She knew that she would not make it through the narrow tunnel alive. Her lungs screamed for air. With one final attempt, she grabbed hold of a long cedar root growing along the side of the creek bank and hung on. Miraculously, it held. She wedged her foot under the tangled growth and anchored herself against the current. Inching her way upward, she thrust her head above water and gulped for air. But debris in the current slapped her in the face, and leaves and twigs filled her mouth, choking her. Dizziness overcame her ability to think—exhaustion prevented her from pulling herself higher.
She must not give in. Fighting unconsciousness, Kate inched her way up a little farther, and at last was able to take a clear breath. Her right arm hung loosely by her side, the back of the shaft had broken off in the tumble through the current, but the arrow was lodged in her arm. Numb from cold water and exhaustion, she lay on the bank as the water swept over her, and then, as quickly as it had arrived, the flow subsided and the current slowed. If she could hang on a few moments longer, survival looked promising. As thoughts of hope entered her mind, Kate feared that her pursuer might not have given up the chase. Perfect, Kate Caraway, just perfect. You screwed up again, she chided herself as the lights went out.

About Kathleen:
If you’d like to read my formal bio, log-on to my website. But here’s a more telling bit about who I am:
Author Kathleen Kaska

I’m a Texas gal. Except for an eighteen-month hiatus when I moved to New York City after college, I lived in Texas continuously for 
fifty years. Since then Texas has been hit and miss—a little hit, but a hell of a lot of miss. There was a time when I thought I would happily die in Austin, Texas. But things and weather—especially weather—changed that. Now I spend most of the year on Fidalgo Island in Washington State with a view of the bay and the mountains. When I get homesick, my husband and I plug in the iPhone to Pandora and select Willie—as in Nelson, (I hope you don’t have to ask). Soon we are dancing the two-step, imagining we are at our favorite honky-tonk in Tokyo, Texas where the mayor is believed to be a dog. Who wouldn’t miss that?
Run Dog Run Kathleen’s her first mystery in the new Kate Caraway animal rights series. 
Be sure to leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a print copy of Run Dog, Run!!

Books are available through Black Opal Books, Kathleen’s website, and Amazon.

THIS WEEK: Dangerous Sanctuary Featured in Author Shout Cover Wars!
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Cover design artist Michelle Lee from Books We Love, Ld. created a spectacular cover for my latest mystery, Dangerous Sanctuary. The cover was chosen to be featured in the Author Shout cover wars. Vote for that cover to win the contest by clicking on the link. You can vote every day until next Sunday at 8 a.m. eastern time. but you must have 24 hours between votes. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What IS a Cozy Mystery?, FREE eBook on Writing

Click here to listen to the recording of today's blog post, What IS a Cozy Mystery.
Welcome, Spring!
"Spring has sprung, the grass is riz.
I wonder where the flowers iz."
My mother used to say this silly poem every spring! 
Hello and welcome to the JQ Rose blog. Thank you for stopping in today.

Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
What IS a Cozy Mystery? by J.Q. Rose

When my romantic suspense novel, Dangerous Sanctuary, was first released, I received this review from Susan B. "It was a delightful cozy, with some romance, some religion, and lots of mystery. This novel has an interesting cast of characters, humorous situations, and was filled with surprises."

As I read the review, I wondered how many readers had heard of a cozy mystery. How many writers? For sure, when I began writing Dangerous Sanctuary, formerly published as Coda to Murder, I wasn't thinking "cozy mystery." I just wanted to write what I like to read. 

I like stories with 
▶ a mystery and some humor, 
▶ a strong female protagonist, 
▶ not a lot of blood and gore, 
▶ and some sweet romance. 

I had to research police procedures for my novel, Dangerous Sanctuary.
I didn't choose a main character who was in law enforcement mainly because I have no experience with police methods.  Because there was a crime committed in my story, I had to research a few procedures. Thank goodness my neighbor was a policeman and a valuable resource.

Until I received Susan's review I never even considered I had written a cozy mystery! I definitely began looking into the elements needed to fit the qualifications for a cozy mystery. Author Kassandra Lamb has lots of mysteries to choose from at amazon. She listed the following points on her Cozy Thrills Facebook page.

Criteria for a Cozy Mystery by Kassandra Lamb
1. Amateur sleuth (although may have significant other who is a P.I. or police officer)
2. Something (setting, main character's vocation, etc.) is different and interesting (think Cabot Cove/Murder She Wrote).
3. Crimes happen, usually murder, but minimal on-screen violence and no gory descriptions
4. Sex is off-screen

5. The community where the story is set is often an integral part of the story.

Click here to read the article, What Makes a Cozy Just That at The Cozy Mystery List website.

You're welcome to add another cozy element to the list by leaving a comment below.
If you enjoy reading cozies, please check out books from my author friends, Susan Bernhardt and Marsha R. West.

Romance and Mystery Authors On Writing
Compiled by J.Q. Rose
If you are a romance or mystery writer, find helpful tips on writing, publishing and marketing from fifteen experienced talented authors, Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. 

Request a FREE e-copy at jqrose02 at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What's in the Future for Planes, Cars, Computers, and Books?

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." This quote is one of my favorites. I discovered it when I was looking for quotes to accompany chapters in my inspirational and empowering book for girls, Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women.
Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose

Looking to the future is not just for girls, but for everyone no matter their age. I'm excited about what's happening in the future. Recently I've come across some interesting ideas that may happen in the days and years ahead.

✤Airplane pilots will fly planes using no joy stick at all. Instead they will use a laser beam reflected in their eyes, so when they read the instruments (screens), their eyes will direct the instructions to the plane. Some day the plane will talk back to the pilot too!

Drivers in the future will not have to drive the roads, but rather just get in the vehicle (who knows what design the cars will have) and give the destination and off they will go. On the ground or in the air. Yes, flying cars are in the works now.
Space flight in the future

Space travel will be as common as taking a train or bus to your desired location, but your view out the window will be the galaxy close-up and personal.

Computers are always changing. Soon the mechanical hard drive will be a dinosaur. The preference now is the Solid State Drive. Looking into the future, however, nitrogen will take over the job of what we know as hard drives. I must confess I googled this idea and articles came up about it, but frankly, I had no interest in figuring out all the computer-speak terminology to explain it. Check out the link below to this article.
Computer hard drive

Since you're on an author's blog, of course we have to look into the future for books. 

According to a Market Watch report entitled Forget e-books, the audiobooks are the future. In fact in an array of genres like romance novels, thrillers, self-help and business books, audio books are out-selling the written word books 4 to 1. The author cites the choice for audiobooks is because readers prefer the audio experience to text. I know when I listened to my first audiobook, it reminded me of the old radio shows people listened to in the heyday of radio like The Green Hornet and Ronald Reagan's General Electric Theater. The experience is like sitting in a seat at a play, but no actors on stage. I especially enjoy imagining the settings and characters like I do when I read a book.

The author pointed out that "text is still king," but in the future?

Remember when Kindle and Nook came out as devices for reading ebooks? They were touted as the future, but now people are reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks on smartphones and tablets. The Nook is practically out of business and amazon is trying to sell Kindle as a tablet style device.
Ebook reading device

Articles also touted a plan similar to Netflix for books. Pay your monthly fee and have unlimited numbers of fictional novels and non-fiction works to read. Going beyond that is the idea of eventually making ebooks available in the cloud storage for anyone to access.

What ideas for the future have you seen either for publishing or for enhancing our lives in the future? It's fun to dream about the possibilities.

Links to articles used in this blog post--
Next Big Future article  --

Grid of nitrogen vacancies created in diamond using femtosecond lasers and grid can make quantum computers or magnetic sensors for imaging magnetic fields  Upgrade to an SSD
IT World Canada Life After the Hard Drive
Buzz Feed Books The Future of the Future of Books
New York Magazine Here's What the Future of Books Looks Like 
Virginia Magazine What's the Future of Books in a Digital World ?
Market Watch Forget e-books 
Thank you for stopping in today. I know there are many demands on your time and choices to be made on how to use it. I cherish spending a few minutes with you every week on the J.Q. Rose blog. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered here, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Thank You, Hip Replacement Surgery, Caregiving

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!

I don't say thank you enough to all of you readers who stop by the blog. I certainly appreciate you stopping in and viewing the pages. I get a kick out of reading the comments. The views validate that I'm not talking to myself!! 

I never want anyone to think I am taking them for granted. That was especially brought home in the last couple of weeks. We all get involved in our lives and mindlessly carry on. Sometimes it's good to be jarred out of the comfort zone to wake us up. My husband's total hip replacement two weeks ago was one of those events that made me stop and take time to reflect on all the things I do take for granted.

Gardener Ted has had a bad hip for years, at least six, but the hip wasn't at the point the doctors wanted to fix it--until now. After surgery, he could walk, but with a walker. When the doc cuts muscles apart to fit in the apparatus to substitute for a hip bone, it makes one pretty helpless.


I discovered how much I'd taken him for granted. Basically I'm a caregiver now. He can walk with a walker, but you know what? He can't carry anything if he's hanging onto a walker. Not even a glass of water. (He sure can't take out the trash or clear off the table!) 

Gardener Ted and Me

I have no confidence in my caregiving. I always feel like I should be doing more for him or look ahead and see what he needs. I'm not a warm, fuzzy person who dotes on my kids/grandkids. (I'm not the kind of grandma who bakes cookies for the grandkids. But I do like hugs.)

I don't want to hover over him and nag him about things like being sure to keep weight on the bad hip  and not limp. Finding a balance between hovering and biting one's tongue is difficult.

Have you had an experience that jarred you out of your comfort zone? One that allows you to realize how much you have taken for granted in your life? Are you a caregiver? Any tips on caregiving?
🔷 🔷 🔷 🔷

Gardener Ted is getting stronger every day. He had the staples holding the incision removed yesterday at the doctor's office. The doc showed us the x-ray of his hips. The new one is in the perfect position and looking good. So, it will take time and a lot of work on Ted's part to be back to walking and enjoying his go-getter lifestyle. But he's well on his way. I'll keep you updated on his progress.

Thanks again for stopping in. 

If you'd like to follow this blog to receive notifications about a new post, please leave your email in the Follow by Email box on the right sidebar. I promise--No Spam!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop: Practice Writing

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. 
Is March coming in as a lion or lamb in your part of the world???
Today is the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.
IWSG Question for the Month
March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
Writing a story.
A really, really, really old story? Yes, I have. Funny how time and experience change the perception of our writing. When I wrote the story, I thought I had done a pretty good job. I especially loved several of the scenes. The brilliance of my writing shone through, or so I thought about twenty years ago. I was wrong
Even if there were some glaring problems with it, I am still proud of finishing it. With that story, I learned a lot about putting words together to make sense to a reader. Afterall, that's the tough part of writing. The reader has to get it. 
Remember learning how to ride a bike???

I bet the first time you got on a bicycle, you didn't ride smoothly. In fact when your dad let you go, you probably crashed--how do you stop this bike??? Writers have to jump on a story and learn how to write. And the more you rode your bike, the smoother you pedaled and the bolder you became--like speeding down the gravel road from the top of the highest hill. So the more you write, the more skilled you become. Practice, practice, practice. 

However, don't keep your writing to yourself if you want to improve your skills. Writers learn by sharing their writing with others. Get feedback and suggestions to improve so your readers will be able to follow the story easily. 

Call me crazy, but I enjoy the editing and revising of my stories. So maybe I should re-visit that really, really, really old story and fix it up. What a challenge!
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Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing
Need some help with your writing?
Fifteen romance and mystery authors share writing tips they have gleaned
from their experiences as “on-the-job” writers.
Available at amazon
REVIEW: Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing
on May 2, 2015
A great little read about creating characters, writing dialogue, 
and editing and marketing tips from established authors 
in the romance and mystery genres. You can enjoy it in one sitting.

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...