Finishing Lily’s Story

It’s hard to believe it has been so long since I’ve posted anything in here. Life has been crazy busy and I need to devote more time to my writing and myself. This new job I started back in October is extremely demanding and I am usually mentally drained by the time the weekend comes, but I really want to get this final book in my series finished. Lily’s story needs to be wrapped up, you all have waited long enough. 

Some of you will love how the story goes in this last book and some will hate it. I hope in the end, you will all love how her story ends. Let’s just say, what you expect to be isn’t necessarily going to be.

My really hope to have this book finished out by the end of April, I have probably 3 chapters left to write. After it is finished, I have plans for a new character, a new story, and all will be told in just one novel for her. It will not be anything like Lily’s story, but I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

For now, I leave you with that because the final chapters are not going to get finished unless I’m writing them. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy spring!

Update on Book Three

Good morning and happy Friday! I hope you are doing well today. We have sunshine and blue skies with perfect temps at the moment. We are still tracking Irma as it could have an impact on us or it could miss us completely, just depends on how she goes. Fingers crossed she continues to weaken and there’s minimal damage for those in her path.

I am starting chapter four of my final book in my Crimes in the Bayou series. I have decided to make this a trilogy instead of four books as I had originally planned. Trilogies seem to be very popular and with them being shorter books, it will be easy for people to read one or all three fairly quick. I also made some changes that made a trilogy a better choice for this series.

I love that I am adding some new story line to this final book, giving my readers a little dialog from both the criminal side as well as the investigation. I kept the first two more from my main character, Lily’s point of view. I wanted to add more to this final book.

Since this is my first series, I am still learning my style and will continue to change and evolve in my writing. I really enjoy what I am doing and I really hope that my readers continue to enjoy it as well.

You can pick up the first two books on Amazon and the third will be available as soon as I am finished. Thank you for all your support and have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Motivation

I have to say, this week has been a difficult one for me. I sat down Wednesday to start the third book in my series and got my first chapter with a little over 2,000 words down, that is far less than I normally achieve in a day. I took yesterday off as I had other priorities with my husband home working locally we had a few things that needed to be taken care of. Today I sat down to write and maybe got 1,500 words down. I just don’t feel motivated. Do any of my fellow writers relate to this? Some days flow easily and it’s hard to stop for the day, other days it’s a struggle to get any words on the paper.

I have the book planned out in my head, I’ve done the research, and even had a few pages of notes before I ever started typing. I should be able to put so much more down in a day, but I am just struggling with the words and the flow of the story. I find that when I take a day or two off from writing, it’s harder to get back in the swing of things. Anyone else have this issue? What steals your motivation? What do you find helps?

I would love to know what you all struggle with when you write and what works best for you. Do you work towards a certain number of words per day or what do you make your goal for the day? I don’t usually look at words necessarily, I usually try to write about two chapters a day, this week I have only managed one and half. Do you have a quiet place you can get away to write? Or do you like some noise? Music maybe? I have an office set up and my writing area faces the window which usually helps me think, but I can hear the TV and phone calls in the rest of the house, which I think definitely distracts me. I like it completely quiet when I write and it just hasn’t been this week. What kind of atmosphere do you work best in?

I am hoping my motivation returns tomorrow and I am able to get a few chapters in over the next couple of days. I truly hope you all have a productive and enjoyable weekend and I look forward to seeing your comments!

Secrets On Bourbon Street – Sneak Peek

Secrets on Bourbon Street cover for paperback-frontGet your copy on Amazon Kindle here!

My alarm goes off, I jump in the shower and throw my robe on. I need a cup of coffee for sure this morning. I tossed and turned until about midnight. Not good. I picked out a black pant suite with a white sleeveless blouse and low healed black wedges. I know I will probably be on my feet a lot today and I want dressy but comfortable shoes on. I think I have everything I need. I’m about a 30-minute drive to the field office if traffic is normal.

I get to the office and check in; Special Agent Barry Fields meets me in the lobby of the building and escorts me up to his office. “Good morning, I’m Special Agent Barry Fields, I’m the guy you report to.”

We get to Barry’s office and Corbin is there waiting. “You remember Special Agent Corbin Dubois from your last case in Dax, he will be your new partner. Today he will be showing you around, you have some paperwork and some other details to go through this morning, but later this afternoon, we will be bringing you up to speed on the newest case you have been assigned. Any questions Special Agent Martin?”

“No, I don’t believe I do, thank you Special Agent Fields.”

“Great, and you can call me Barry. We prefer first names around here, no need to be formal unless the situation requires it.

“Corbin, start by giving her a tour of the place, explain how things are done around here and then show her to her office. Everything you need for this morning is on your desk. And welcome to the FBI Lily.”

“Thank you.” I reply as Corbin motions me to follow him.

“Well, what do you think so far Lily?” Corbin asks as we continue our tour. The building is a few stories high, rather large. It’s a good thing we aren’t touring the entire building, just the areas I will need to know. To tour the entire building would take all day.

“I think it will take a bit to remember where everything is, I have to admit, I was really nervous driving in this morning, but I am feeling a bit more relaxed now that I’m here.”

“Good, I know you will be an excellent agent, you finished the top of your class at Quantico so the sky’s the limit for you Lily. I’m sure some wondered why you didn’t choose one of the East Coast Field Offices. You could have gone to any of the top offices, but you still came here, I’m glad you didn’t change your mind.”

“Well, honestly, it had a lot to do with Dad being the closest to this office. That was the biggest factor, but yes, I felt I had an obligation to New Orleans, and you. I had given up any ideas I had about joining the FBI until you showed up in Dax to help with that case, so I feel I owe you.”

“I’m glad you’re here, you’re a great addition. So now that we are done with the tour, this is your office. Mine is right next door. If you have any questions my office line is already programmed into your phone as is Barry’s, but you can always pop by if you need anything. I will leave you to it. After lunch, we will meet back at Barry’s office. Meet me in my office at noon and we can go to the cafeteria together.”

“Ok, great, thank you Corbin. I better get started on this paperwork and getting settled in a bit.”

***

I knock on Corbin’s office door, he motions me in, he’s just hanging up the phone. “You ready for lunch?”

“I am, did you get everything finished?”

“I did. Now I’m starving. Tell me they have good food down there.”

“They do, I think today is soup and sandwich with a drink for $5. Pretty good deal if you ask me.”

“That is considering what drive-thru is anymore.” We get to the cafeteria and there are so many people, it’s almost overwhelming. “Does everyone take their lunch at the same time around here?”

“No, this is the busiest time though, they are open for breakfast at 7am and stay open for lunch until 2:30. People come and go throughout those hours. There is coffee and drinks over there, the coffee, tea, and water are available all day and free of charge. They charge for soft drinks so those are locked after 2:30. You have your different counters with different food options and some pre-packaged items for people in a hurry in that cooler there. I will meet you at the end of the counter over there and we can find a seat.”

“Ok that works, which way to the soup and sandwich?” I walk to the end of the line and Corbin heads to another counter.

We meet up after we get our trays and head to a table near a window.

“We will head over to Barry’s office after lunch. I know he is eager to catch you up to speed on this case we have been working on.”

“Great, I am ready to get back to working real cases again. I learned so much at Quantico and I am ready to use what I learned in the field.” I really have missed real detective work.

“Speaking of Quantico, what did you do on your two weeks after graduation?”

“I spent a week in New York with my boyfriend, James, flew into New Orleans to find an apartment and then drove home to spend time with my dad and pack the rest of my stuff. My apartment wasn’t available until Friday so I spent all day Friday and Saturday unpacking and getting settled. Saturday night a bunch of us met up for a night out since I have no idea when I will get another one.”

“Sounds like a busy but fun couple of weeks. A new boyfriend huh? Was he at Quantico?”

“Yea, he was in the same class, he is in D.C. which makes things a little more difficult, but I think he’s planning to come down on Friday.”

“My experience with long distance relationships is they are difficult, especially when we work in our line of work, but I hope the best for you. Do you like your new place?”

“I love it. I have open ceilings and hard wood floors. I got a top floor unit with an amazing view off the balcony. And it’s a straight shot to work.”

“Sounds great, my place does have hard wood floors, but no great view. I live downtown in an older loft apartment. I’m not home much so it’s alright. Plus, I did get a great deal on the rent when I moved in a couple years ago and so far, they haven’t raised it on me. That’s a plus. You ready to go?” Corbin pushes his chair out and we both take our trays to the garbage container, stack our trays and head to Barry’s office.

The Pains of Self-Publishing

This week has been a rough one. We said goodbye to our eleven year old Lab, Shadow on Wednesday. He finally just gave up and told us it was time. None of us were ready of course, but it was the best for him. Our other fur-babies have also been missing him.

Even with the stress and pain of the week, I was able to finish the second book in my series. I am waiting on editing now and have spent the past two days creating the cover. Has anyone else found this to sometimes be the most difficult process? I am just thankful for having a photography background and experience with editing software. I really feel for those who don’t have that or have to pay extra for someone else to do it for them. The hardest part for those of us self-publishing, is not earning as much as we would like when we first get started and yet paying out money for services we can’t do ourselves. I am so thankful for what I am able to do myself, but look forward to the day when I can pay someone else to do the tedious tasks so I can stay focused on the writing.

I am hoping to have this new book on Kindle by the end of this coming week. We will see how much editing needs to be done before I will have a definite date though. Keep watch here, I will be posting the announcement with the links here in my blog!

In the meantime, here’s a few photos of our sweet Shadow. We miss him so much!

Why I Write

I started writing some poetry in high school and always kept a journal or diary, but I really started writing regularly during a dark time in my life. My mother was killed in a car accident in 1992 when I was expecting my first son. I first started writing letters to her and writing in my journal about her and my pain. Then in 1996 I turned to poetry.

I believe writing saved my life. Between the depression of losing my mom and having horrible postpartum depression, I destroyed my life, my marriage and hurt those I loved the most over a course of only a few years. Writing was my only outlet for my feelings. I felt no one heard me, no one understood my pain, how could they, I didn’t understand it.

I would like to think I inherited my passion for writing from my mom. She had been a writer and wrote beautiful poetry and short stories. She made a book for her dad and now I have it. She never published any of her work, but our family knew how good she was. I only wish she would have shared her work with the world.

My first published poem was about her, the loss and pain I felt every day. I received the Editor’s Choice Award for that poem and I keep that book on my bookshelf as a reminder that even in my darkest times, I did something good. My second poem published was about my first son, the struggles I felt as I went through divorce and the pain I felt watching his confusion and not knowing why mommy was so sad all the time.

Those were dark days and writing got me through several years of pain. I haven’t written much poetry the past several years, but I have started to again in the past few months. My dream has always been to write books and poetry, but it just never seemed to happen. My husband has helped support that dream and pushed me to make it happen. I’m so thankful that he did.

My days are much brighter now then they were in the early ’90’s and I have so many beautiful things to be thankful for and to write about. I hope to share a book of all my poetry with the world one day.

For now, I am mostly focused on my current book series about a girl named Lily and the crimes she is solving. I hope you check them out. Look for my second book in the series to be released soon on Amazon Kindle.

Writing Crime Fiction and the FBI

My first book came to me pretty easily, being a Forensic Science major in College, I knew writing crime fiction was never a question for me. Deciding on the crimes to write about, that took a little thinking. I have decided this series is going to focus on real life crime that is being fought not only in this country, but around the world.

Even though my books are fiction, there are some facts thrown in as well. I may use real places or make them up, I tend to use as close to fact as possible on the procedures being used to solve the crime, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the case. I also try to stay realistic in the crimes themselves. I research a lot online, but I also have a husband that supports me completely and helps me with ideas. He travels a lot and that helps provide ideas and facts for my projects. He is also my editor and is great at finding consistency and flow in the story. Yes, I’m pretty lucky to have him.

My first book was a very short novel, it flowed easily. I didn’t put near the little details in it that I am with the second one. We always learn as we go and I decided even though I am happy with my first publication, it could have been better. I definitely want to give more to my readers in my future books, more characters, more twists, more everything.

The first book was a cartel case, the interesting thing about it is, I had it half way done when my husband had to go to Mexico for business. When he came back, he had so much more helpful information for me to make my story more believable. This definitely improved my book, but it did make for more work. I had to go back through the entire book and make some major changes. Don’t get me wrong, what I had worked, but why make something just work when you can make it so much better? So, it was worth the extra time and effort to deliver a better story.

The book I’m working on now is an FBI investigation with a case involving Human Trafficking. This is an ongoing and growing issue for everyone. Children and young adults disappear daily and much of it could be prevented if awareness is brought to the public. If you’re on Facebook or any social media site, you will see posts and articles on a regular basis regarding this very subject. I add little things in my book regarding how they were taken or lured away, those are facts, they happen. The sad fact is,  only 2% of the victims are ever recovered that disappear. That is a very low percentage and sadly I think they mean just that, recovered, I believe most are not found safe.

I love that the FBI has a lot of information online that help writers and producers with their stories and they will even sit down with people if they want the extra help. I also love that they have no opinion on how true to life or completely out there someone makes their story when writing about FBI cases, but they will openly help someone if they want it more true to life.

One misconception about the FBI that a lot of people have is that they do not take over local cases or push local law enforcement out of the case. The exact opposite is true. The FBI works with many levels of law enforcement on state and local levels to solve cases. They assist and work side by side with other law enforcement agencies all the time. Their goal is to solve the case and that requires team work from all levels.

I really enjoy writing and I hope that my readers do as well. My second book will be published soon and then it’s on to the third. I am looking at a four-five book series at this time, but you never know what might change or what will come after.