Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Facebook LIVE Challenge, Back-to-School, Happy Labor Day Weekend!


Call me crazy! On a whim, I signed up for the Facebook LIVE 5 Day Challenge, the course designed by Georgia Lee London. Click here for the link to the Group Page if you want to join in on the fun!

You know video is the new popular marketing tool in every industry. People will watch a video rather than read an entire page on your website.
J.Q.Rose Facebook Page

Facebook LIVE goes one step further though by having the opportunity to interact with viewers IF you schedule the time you will be live. I haven't tried announcing the date and time...yet.

I must tell you, it's pretty simple to do once your nerves settle down and just do it. I'm having a problem with lighting, location, sound, but I hope this course will help me iron out those hiccups. And since Georgia requires participants to post a FB LIVE every day, it means I have to put on make up and do my hair every day! Now that's going above and beyond for me.

I just posted my video trying to up my performance from yesterday's fail. Although, I did get yesterday's posted, but it was pretty pitiful. Today we had to post in our own FB page, not in the safety of the group's closed page. I wasn't quite ready to go public with this experiment, but, hey, I can only get better, I think.

You can find my FB LIVE video on my J.Q. Rose author page. But I am experimenting with my blog to see if I can actually post it here too--trying to re-purpose this one attempt. So take a peek at it here on the blog and then the next 3 posts will be on my FB author page. Don't let this one scare you away!!

FB LIVE Video--Day 2 Finding Word
Copy and paste the link in your browser window if it doesn't work when you click on it. Thanks.

https://www.facebook.com/jqroseauthor/videos/260538017925602/

Hmm, I guess just the link will show and you'll have to click on it to see this dynamic attempt!

Click here to go to my Facebook page and if you haven't already, please like my page. I'm trying to make it to 500 likes! Thanks.

Leave me some feedback in the comment section please. Thanks.
* * *

Back to School

Like I say in the video--Hope you have a FANTASTIC School Year 
and/or a Successful year of writing!!


Happy Labor Day 2018!
Wishing you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend
 celebrating and appreciating talented, hard-working Americans!
Happy Labor Day 2018!
Wishing you a safe and happy Labor Day
 celebrating and appreciating talented and hard-working Americans!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Five W's: Diane Burton's Numbers Never Lie, Giveaway



The Five W's of Stories
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. This week fellow West Michigander author and friend, Diane Burton, shares the 5 W's--who, what, where, when and why--in her brand new release, Numbers Never Lie. I'm thrilled to help her get the word out about her latest romantic suspense. It just happens I love reading and writing romantic suspense, and this book, which takes place in West Michigan, is waitng for me on my Kindle. Sounds like the perfect way to wind up my summer fun.

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win Numbers Never Lie or your choice of Diane's books. Deadline for entry is Sunday, August 26, 10:00 pm ET.
Numbers Never Lie by Diane Burton
Romantic suspense
The 5 Ws for Numbers Never Lie by Diane Burton

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Janet. I love this concept of the 5 Ws. That’s the essentials of a good newspaper story. In fact, I just used that comment in my work-in-progress, a science fiction romance. But today, we’re going to concentrate on my newest release, NUMBERS NEVER LIE, a Romantic Suspense.

WHO
The story has three main characters: Jack, his sister Maggie, and his best friend Drew. The three were childhood friends. Jack only appears in the first chapter, but he’s the impetus for the rest of the story. In her teens, Maggie had a crush on Drew. Because of his friendship with Jack, Drew never followed through on his own desires—hands off his best friend’s baby sister. Both have been married in between. Drew’s ended in the death of his wife, Maggie’s in divorce. Now, they have a second chance at happiness. Their reunion, so to speak, came at the hands of his fourteen-year-old daughter. She begged him to help Maggie chaperone her group of friends on a weekend camping trip. Because he’d been concentrating on work, he thought she meant a little hike in the woods. Wrong. For a man who hates being dirty and sweaty, Drew was in for a big surprise.

WHAT
Jack’s car crash. The sheriff claims nighttime fog coupled with speed, Jack not wearing his seatbelt plus the lack of airbags led to his death. Maggie is certain the crash was no accident. Because Drew is with her when she got the news, and he sees how determined she is to discover what really happened, he’s reluctantly drawn into her quest. More clues that it wasn’t an accident plague Maggie. Break-ins indicate someone is looking for something. The more Maggie digs into Jack’s crash the more someone is determined to stop her. Drew is equally determined to help and protect her.
Lake Michigan
WHERE
West Michigan, from Muskegon to Grand Rapids. Since I live in west Michigan, and have written other stories set in the area, I chose to set this story here, too. Lake Michigan has a powerful influence on the weather. Fog in the summertime is common. I’ve woken up to fog so thick I couldn’t see the neighboring houses. So, fog contributing to Jack’s crash is believable.

WHEN
Current day. I’ve set books in the future. Science fiction romances, always with a mystery and a relationship, are so much fun. And I’ve written a series of cozy mysteries also set in current day (and along the Lake Michigan shore). Although I enjoy reading some stories set in the past, I’ve never had the inclination to set my stories then. The components of NUMBERS NEVER LIE make it a story set in present day.

WHY
At first, I thought the “why” should be the characters’ motivation in the story. But I already answered that above. Then, I thought maybe readers might like to know why I wrote this story. I started writing it over fifteen years ago. Life intruded (as Life does), and I set the story aside. Thinking the story was almost finished, I picked it up this winter. It wasn’t, and it took longer than expected to complete. NUMBERS NEVER LIE (the third or fourth but final title) was originally about the camping trip. I’d been a volunteer with Girl Scouts for many years, so knew about the outdoors. I’ve never been fond of camping, though, so I could empathize with Drew. As I got back into the story, it became obvious that Jack’s car crash was most important. Fifteen years ago, I worked as an administrative assistant and had a lot of contact with accountants. One in particular was of immense help with my learning Excel. He’s the reason I made Jack an accountant. Of course, he wasn’t too happy when I told him the accountant dies in the first chapter.

Janet, thank you again for inviting me to your blog. I enjoyed sharing my story with your readers.
Photos courtesy of Diane Burton.
# # #
UPDATE September 29,2018--MY REVIEW of Numbers Never Lie

Diane Burton's romantic suspense novel, Numbers Never Lie, has just the right mix of romance, mystery, and humor for me. As I looked back on the story, I saw where she foreshadowed the ending and added red herrings. Truly a great storyteller's technique. Loved her depiction of Maggie as a mom dealing with a 14-year-old and as a sister mourning the loss of her brother. I live in the area where the story took place, so it was fun and easy for me to picture the locations because Ms. Burton painted the scenes so well. If you're looking for a great read this fall when you are wrapped up in your afghan with a cup of hot chocolate, choose this cozy mystery. J.Q. Rose

NUMBERS NEVER LIE
A Romantic Suspense
By Diane Burton
Release Date:  July 9, 2018
Length: approx. 80,000 words
Click Amazon to download a sample or order Numbers Never Lie.
Free with Kindle Unlimited

Back of the Book

A shocking secret brings danger to Jack Sinclair and his sister Maggie.

As kids, they were the fearless threesome. As adults, Jack's an accountant; Drew, a lawyer; Maggie, a teacher and camping troop leader. Upon returning from a weekend camping trip, Maggie receives horrifying news. She refuses to believe her brother Jack’s fatal car crash was an accident. If the police won’t investigate, she’ll do it herself. Convincing Drew Campbell to help is her only recourse.

Drew Campbell was too busy to return his best friend’s phone call. Too busy to attend a camping meeting important to his teen daughter. Too busy to stay in touch with Jack. Logic and reason indicate Jack’s accident was just that--an accident caused by fatigue and fog. Prodded by guilt, he’ll help Maggie even if he thinks she’s wrong.

A break-in at Jack’s condo convinces Maggie she’s right. Then her home is searched. What did Jack do that puts Maggie in danger?

Excerpt:

Slinging the laptop case/briefcase over his shoulder, Jack checked the room assigned to him for the audit to make sure he hadn’t left anything out. He shut off the lights and locked the door behind him. He still had much to do. Sure, Ben said he would finish the audit. That wasn’t the way Jack worked. When he started something, he always finished.
“Working kinda late, arncha, Mr. Sinclair?”
Startled, Jack looked over his shoulder.
The janitor leaned on his mop. “It’s after midnight.”
“No rest for the weary, Max.” Jack pocketed his keys.
“You be careful going home, Mr. Sinclair. Fog was rollin’ in off the lake when me and the missus drove in to work.”
“Thanks for the heads-up.” Jack saluted the affable worker and headed down the hall. The doors to the other offices were closed. Only the cleaning crew remained.
Hazel, Max’s wife, stopped dusting the receptionist’s desk. “’Night, Mr. Sinclair. You best be careful. Noticed you parked all the way down at the end of the parking lot. The light there is out. Saw that when we came in. The company that takes care of our lights won’t come out ‘til Monday. You want Max to get a flashlight and walk out with you so’s you can find your car? What with the fog and all?”
Jack forced himself to smile. In the five days he’d been auditing the books at the plant near Muskegon, he often worked so late that he ran into the older couple. “I’ll be fine.”
“’Night, then. You be careful, now. Ya hear?”
Even before he pushed open the heavy glass door, he saw that Max and Hazel were right. The solitary light at this end of the parking lot barely penetrated the fog. Maybe he should have taken Hazel up on the offer of a flashlight. He wasn’t worried about finding the Blazer in this pea soup. It would be a wonder he didn’t trip on the curbs.
The flashlight on his cell phone. Duh. He should’ve thought of that. Jack clicked it on, but it only shone a foot or so in front of him.
He heard a soft skitter near the dumpster. Rats? He shuddered and clicked his remote. From fifteen feet away, his head- and taillights barely penetrated the mist.
It would be a slow drive back to Grand Rapids. He should get a motel room for the night. Finding a vacancy anywhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline would be next to impossible in the summer and even more so late on a Friday night.
Weary beyond belief, he dragged himself to his car. He needed to return tomorrow—make that later today. He had to do more digging in the company’s files. He couldn’t believe what he’d discovered so far. This went way beyond anything he imagined. The implications—
“Jack.”
Startled by the familiar voice, he dropped the keys. His phone slipped out of his fingers and skidded away. The fog gobbled up the light, and he lost sight of it. He peered in the direction of the sound. The figure stepped away from the dumpster’s hulking shape.
“We need to talk.”

Numbers Never Lie is available at Amazon.

Giveaway:
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win Numbers Never Lie or your choice of Diane's books. Deadline for entry is Sunday, August 26, 10:00 pm ET.


About Diane:

For more info and excerpts from her books, 
click here to visit Diane’s website: 

Connect with Diane Burton online

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf




Coming Up:
Click here now to go to the Books We Love Insiders Blog to discover the "stoopid" thing I did.--a cautionary tale. 
September 1-3--Labor Day Weekend in the USA
Wednesday, September 5--Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

The 5 W's of Story
Wednesday, September 12--Guest author C. Lee Mackenzie


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Travelogue: Trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables Park

Travelogue Time
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. Today I'm sharing the second part of our Nova Scotia Adventure which I originally published in July 2015. Part One covered the south shore of Nova Scotia. We had such a great trip that summer in June-July 2015, I decided to re-post the video, in case you missed it. I hope you enjoy tagging along with us in Part Two. If you 'd like to watch Part One about the Southern Shore of Nova Scotia, click here.

In this episode of the travelogue, we continue driving through the Pudnico area to visit a turn-of-the-century Acadian Village, up into Prince Edward Island to see the *actual house with green gables made famous world-wide by Lucy Montgomery's series, Anne of Green Gables, and a drive along the PEI National Park shoreline. Gardener Ted and I are anxious to get  the tour started. Let's go!

Video:





* To see more photos we took at Green Gables, please visit my earlier travelogue on the Green Gables Park on the J.Q. Rose blog. 


Thank you for stopping in. Please leave a comment below about a road trip you've taken. Sign up to follow this blog so you don't miss out on more travelogues coming up in August!


Update August 15,2018: I plan to share our June 2018 trip to England and Amsterdam with you. I'm working on figuring out what pictures to choose for the presentation. Stay tuned!

Connect online with J. Q. Rose









Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Five W's in Dr. Bob Rich's Hit and Run, Win a FREE eBook, FREE Book Edit Contest

The 5 W's of Stories
Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story blog. We continue with the guest author series, The 5 W's--who, what, where, when and why. I'm thrilled to have Australian author Dr. Bob Rich visiting this week. He shares about his latest release, Hit and Run. (I must add, as per usual, Bob is not following the rules.)

At the end of the blog post, be sure to check out all the prizes Bob is generously offering. 


Hit and Run by Dr. Bob Rich

My Review of Hit and Run by Dr. Bob Rich

I was privileged to receive an advance copy of Bob's book, so I thought I'd share the review with you.


Hit And Run by Dr. Bob Rich demonstrates how the world would be a much better place if we could stop the “endless cycle of hate begets hate, vengeance leads to vengeance, and violence feeds on itself.” The premise of the story of 84-year-old Sylvia Kryz helping a troubled 14-year-old boy, Charlie, is a call-out to readers to consider if “love can turn hate into love.” She spearheads a movement to help the boy who intentionally ran over elementary age school children and the crossing guard and killed them, narrowly missing Sylvia, and then drove off.
What a heinous act! Who in the world could ever forgive this malicious behavior? Who could defend Charlie’s wanton destruction of lives?
Sylvia could. Accepting there are people in this world like Sylvia was difficult for me. She took his side once she learned about Charlie’s upbringing and understood the motive for his behavior. I especially enjoyed the paranormal visits to Sylvia by Charlie. Suspend your disbelief and accept it because those scenes really make the story sparkle. The author included a lot of detail in the book about the legal steps needed to defend Charlie and about Sylvia’s family to deepen the reader’s bond with Sylvia. As I read, I questioned if this book was based on a true story. Could there be real people like Sylvia?  Sylvia’s actions inspire readers. But did her heroic efforts prove that love is greater than hate? Not telling. Grab this novel and hang on for an emotional roller-coaster ride through the pages.

The 5 W's in Hit and Run by Dr. Bob Rich

Janet, thank you for the honor of featuring me on your blog. Usually, I find it impossible to fit into other people’s rules, but yours is so sensible that even I can do it. Only, I am mixing up the order.

Why

I’ve recently finished my next book. It’s non-fiction: From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide. One of the chapters is on how to help a loved one who is tortured by depression. Here is a short extract:
When members of my family suffered from some devastating event, all I could do was to give them a loving hug, be there for them, let them tell me anything without judgment or advice, let them say nothing if that was what they needed to do at the time.
Not only could I not do therapy with relatives or even friends, it actually would have been unethical for me to do so. That is termed a “dual relationship,” and is a no-no for a reason. You’re sure to share the emotions of people you care for. You cannot lead someone out of an emotion by joining in.
Here is an example of how I achieved “professional distance” when needed.
I once had a “victim of crime” client: a blind old gentleman whom a bunch of teenagers bashed up. They also hurt his old seeing-eye dog. I visited him at home. When I left, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to work with him, because my sense of outrage got in the way of the professional relationship. So, that evening I started what I thought would become a short story in which a far worse criminal teenager would get just retribution. This is the standard technique of “displacing emotion.” I invented two people: a fourteen year old boy who murdered six little kids and a woman. The second character was an old lady, Sylvia, who was the witness. Only, Sylvia then took charge, and the story became one of the power of compassion. It grew into a novel, Hit and Run, which many of my fans have considered as my best. 

What

The book is a private journal Sylvia decided to keep, of her nine months of contact with the multiple murderer, whose birth certificate named him as Chuck (because his mother had chucked up all through pregnancy). Sylvia insisted on calling him Charlie, because she refused to join into abuse-by-name.
So, it’s a detailed record, kept by an old lady. If I’d written it, it would be quite different in many ways. For example, in her youth, she was firmly trained never to say or write obscenities. Charlie, and everyone from his background, used them with abandon. So, while I’d have let them rip on the page, she felt the need to partly blank them out, as in “f--” Please excuse her for this. I remember reading Angela’s Ashes, which is a great book, but has not a single quotation mark to indicate conversation. This grated for a few pages, then I got used to it.
She also drank lots of tea, which I don’t particularly like. However, her baking was delicious.
Sylvia was an artist, with eidetic imagery, both for vision and sound. That’s highly unusual, but does happen. Her drawings of Charlie enabled the police to catch him. Her memory for words ensured that her record of the many emergencies and challenges they went through was accurate.

Where

I live in Australia, and Sylvia graced this country with her life for almost 85 years.
Australia’s two largest cities are Sydney and Melbourne. Somehow, from the details I got from her journal, I’d best describe the location as Sydbourne. It’s clearly on the eastern seaboard, in a moderate climate with no worse than cold and rain in winter, but she hasn’t given me any further details.
But then, this story is about people, who are much the same everywhere. If Sylvia could turn hate, anger, despair and hopelessness into Love in Sydbourne, you can do the same wherever you live.

When

That’s easy, because two documents within the book are dated. It was in 2014 and 2015.

But what happened?

See? I couldn’t keep with your requirements after all.
Chuck hated everyone, except for his little brother, Tommy. If he could have, he’d have blown up the planet. So, he decided on suicide, by killing as many people as possible. He planned out several possible actions. As the first, he stole an old car, and used it to drive over six little kids and the crossing guard. He missed old Sylvia by inches.
That night, mysteriously, he, his image, his representation, appeared in front of her. All he wanted was to kill her, too, but was unable to move. Despite his fury, foul language and aggressiveness, she treated him with respect, and reacted to him in the way she did to everyone: with empathy and decency.
This contact kept repeating, but it was somehow in his control. She used his love for Tommy as a lever in starting him on the way to positive change.
There was a memorial service for the murder victims. When someone stated a wish for vengeance, she was outraged enough to get up on stage.

I thought of the hell Charlie had lived in, the horrible conditions that had twisted him and sent him over the edge. I knew I had to say something. I struggled to my feet. I walked forward, unsteady because my stick still lay on the floor by my chair. Instantly, Vlad was by my side, and helped me up the steps. I'd never used a microphone before, but had often seen others do it. I simply spoke.
“I was there, within inches of being killed myself, but God has spared me for a purpose, and now I know what that purpose is.
"Mr McRae, you and your wife have suffered a terrible tragedy. Nothing can fill the hole in your lives. And yet, I heard not one word of hate and vengeance in what you said. Why did Chuck Debnall steal a car in order to find someone, anyone, to kill? What drove him to this crazy, cruel act?
"He was hurting, filled with hate. In his fourteen years, he'd known nothing but cruelty, abuse, violence. His very name is an abusive joke against him. So, he struck back in vengeance. Like Catholics and Protestants for hundreds of years in Ireland, like Arabs and Jews in the Middle East, he wanted to repay hurt with hurt. To him, the enemy was all humanity, so he didn't care who his victims would be.
"Mr McRae, Charles has a little brother, only six years old. He speaks with a foul mouth like... a drunken sailor. He can be violent, because it's the only way he's ever seen. In his short life, he has experienced a long succession of drunken, drug-taking men who spent time with his mother, and they're his only model. But inside, he's a sweet little child, like your Katie was. Suppose you were to take him into your hearts? Then he'd have a chance to grow up into a man like you, instead of following the only path he's seen so far--the path of hate and violence that's turned his older brother into a murderer.
"Hate begets hate, vengeance only leads to vengeance, violence feeds on itself. Only love can stop the endless cycle. Only love can turn hate into love.
"Charles has done a terrible thing. He has hurt us. Should we therefore hate him, and wish him harm? Then we act from the same motives that twisted his young soul. Maybe, maybe, we as a community can do something to teach him a better way, a way of decency and kindness and respect. Maybe we can do this for others of his kind.
"The Reverend said, '"Vengeance is mine," said the Lord.' But Jesus said, 'Love thine enemies.' I think that's a better guide."

I won’t tell you more about the story, except that I’ve been told it’s a page-turner. Yes, Sylvia managed to reform Charlie. Yes, she recruited the grieving community to become his support team. Incidentally, both these are based on research. There are many real-life examples of “violent no-hopers” turning into decent people, and of survivors of criminal actions ending up motivated to help lead criminals to a better way of seeing the world. At the end of the book, I very briefly discuss some of this evidence. 

You can read my short story, Armour-coating Our Kids with a similar theme. Click here to read the story on Bob's blog.

Hit and Run by Dr. Bob Rich

Buy Links






About Bob

Dr. Bob Rich has retired so far from five different occupations. Of those remaining, the most important is being a Professional Grandfather. He has beloved genetically related grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also many hundreds of others, all over the planet. Any person under 25 qualifies. They only need to apply.
Dr. Bob Rich

Many do so by sending him an anguished email. His words often make a difference, and some of these contacts last for years.
Because he passionately cares for the welfare of young people, he is a committed environmental and humanitarian campaigner. We live in an insane global culture that encourages and rewards the worst in human nature: greed, aggression, territoriality, fear and hate of “the other,” short-term thinking. 
Everything he has done since the 1970s is aimed at moving culture toward encouraging and rewarding the best in human nature: empathy, compassion, cooperation.
We are now in the 6th extinction event in Earth’s history. When we unravel the web of life, we also fall through the hole. So, live simply, so you may simply live.
If this message resonates with you, click here to visit Bob's blog.

Look around, and if you like what you read, click the Follow button.


Enter for a chance to win! 

1. Bob says, "I am happy to give a free copy of any of my books to each of three commenters, randomly chosen. Winners can pick the book they want at Bob's Writing." Leave a comment below for a chance to win one of Bob's books. Deadline to enter is11:59 pm. ET, Wednesday, August 15.

2. Bob is generously offering a FREE edit of your book. Click here for details on how to enter this contest at his blog.

###
Thanks so much, Bob, for being my guest and for the opportunity to gift a book to three commenters!

Coming Up!!
The 5 W's of Story Guest Authors Event
Thrilled to have more guest authors this month and beyond sharing the Five W's of their stories! Come back and discover authors and great reads to wind up the summer. And You may win a book too!!

AUGUST


22Diane Burton

SEPTEMBER
 5          IWSG Blog Hop
12           C. Lee Mackenzie


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