Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Writer's Wednesday: NaNo Update #1


I like to do a weekly update during November when I'm doing NaNoWriMo (it's another way to procrastinate, right?), to say how I'm doing and see how those of you who are swotting along with me are coming along. By the way, if you want to be buddies on NaNo, I do it under my own name :)

So how's my NaNo going, after 12 days?

Stats: 23,922 words as of 7 p.m. last night (really hoping as I write this, at 7 p.m. last night, that I can up that before bed).
Consistency: Yup. Every day.
Average output: around 2000 words, which is my minimum goal (2K/day gets me an 80K draft in 40 days...)
Most words in one day: 2967
Fewest, excluding yesterday because of hopefulness: 1069

Less numerically, I'm in the mid-book doldrums. Like my sleuth, JJ MacGregor, I'm flailing around looking for clues as to where all this is going. So, you ask, what about the extensive notes and outline? Still more or less on, and still helpful, but the holes in it you could drive a train through! Time for a time-honored cure: throw something nasty at poor JJ.

And what else is going on? 

Well, I was up late Monday night finishing the Kindle and paperback MSS of Death By Library. The proof is on it's way to me, so I should be able to get the paperback out at the same time as the ebooks go live, i.e. Dec. 6. The ebook is available for pre-order on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple Books, and Barnes & Noble, and probably some other places I don't know about. Unfortunately, the paperback can't be pre-ordered--except on this blog! Which means that updating that page is another task that needs doing ASAP.

Got the edits back on the special novella, The Christmas Question (Pismawallops PTA #4.5), and I'm working on final tweaks and polish. There's still time to sign up for my newsletter and get a free ebook of it in my December newsletter! Sign up before Dec. 15 to be sure you're there before I hit "send." Right now, it's the only way to get a copy.

Looking at all that, which leaves out the personal stuff (like finally getting to start PT for my plantar fasciitis!), I think I know why I'm busy and tired!

Drop me a note in the comments and tell me how it's going for you!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Cozy Review: Tell Me No Lies

Title: Tell Me No Lies
Author: Shelley Noble
Publication Info: November 5, 2019, Forge Books. 368 pages.
Source: ARC provided through Great Escapes blog tours

Publisher's Blurb:
Rise and shine, Countess, you're about to have a visitor.

Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She's come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement---and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon.

His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond.

With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige.

My Review:  
An intriguing mystery with an marvelous historical setting, Tell Me No Lies combines an American setting with the characters and features of an English country-house mystery. But the Dowager Duchess of Dunbridge is no Miss Marple--she's pretty adventurous, both in her personal life and in pursuit of a perp. I liked the characters from the start--not only Phil, but her servants, Lily and Preswick. The latter is all British butler perfection, but the former is a mystery herself, and one that I hope the author sees fit to unravel eventually, along with that of Phil's mysterious "boss."

I did find that the book started a little slowly, though I couldn't put my finger on anything besides my own mood that made me reluctant to engage. But once well into the story, it definitely took off, and as we neared the end I had to push on to see whodunnit, a solution that I felt I should have seen coming more clearly. The author did a good job with the misdirection on that score.

There were a few too many moments when my attention was distracted by a word used incorrectly or an awkward turn of phrase, but those problems didn't ride to the level of disqualifying the book for a positive review. 

My Recommendation:
I always like to read series in order, but there were no issues with reading this book without its predecessor. I would recommend it for anyone who likes mysteries set in the 1920s, or those who enjoy a peek at high society, complete with some lovely gowns.

Shelley Noble is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction. (Beach Colors, Whisper Beach, Lighthouse Beach.) And the author of the Lady Dunbridge Gilded Age  Manhattan mysteries. Tell Me No Lies is the latest of the series.
She has written eighteen amateur sleuth and historical mystery novels and novellas as Shelley Freydont. (The Sudoku Murders,  Celebration Bay mysteries, The Gilded Age Newport mysteries.
A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses, vintage carousels, and the past.
Author Links
Purchase Links – Amazon – B&N – Kobo


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FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Tell Me No Lies from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

IWSG: Writing and planning

The first Wednesday of every month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting day, where writers can express their 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! Check it out here and join if you want support with your writing. 
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!
November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story? 
The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!
Welcome to another IWSG post! 
I am looking forward to reading about the weird things people have googled! I don't have any very interesting ones--I mean, every mystery writer googles weird poisons, and things like how long it takes for rigor mortis to wear off. I have gone down the rabbit hole a time or two--the biggest one, which might actually be a wormhole, was the fascination with WWI I developed while thinking about a particular story. That long since left the realm of research and became something I do for its own sake. But I'd rather hear about your adventures!

For myself, as I announced last week, I'm juggling a couple of projects (well, okay, three), including being 5 days into NaNo. I'm working from the most thorough plan I've ever had, and have hit 10,000 words, but I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing or exactly where the story is supposed to be right now. So much for detailed plans.

If you want to get in on another of my projects, a 9000-word Christmas novella featuring the characters from Pismawallops Island, just sign up for my newsletter before Dec. 15. I'm giving the story as a Solstice gift to all my newsletter readers (note: if anyone can recommend how to do that, please let me know--I would rather have something direct than give out Smashwords coupons). Here's a sneak peak at the cover:

Enough about me! I'm off to see what others are up to as we move into the craziest time of the year.

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2019
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!