Wednesday, January 16, 2019

#BookQW word is SURPRISE. Would you be interested in reading an excerpt from Unholy Alliance using this word? #Tirgearr #RomanticSuspense

Do you enjoy excerpts on Book Quote Wednesday? This event centers on finding the word, and in this case, SURPRISE, from one of our books or work-in-progress. The excerpt below is from Unholy Alliance, book 2 in the Donahue Cousins Series from Tirgearr Publishing.



Grady’s experience with appeals was going on two years, and the details of each stood sharp in his mind. Nothing blurred into another. He slowed and checked his wristwatch. Nine o’clock, but a half hour early wasn’t early enough to beat the crowd. He tried to steady his shaking hands as he passed parked cars lining the curb. He looped twice before finding a space big enough. In another time, a throng of citizens would have suggested a terrible event such as the impending execution of a criminal or public whipping. Thanks to news media, this sympathetic crowd celebrated release of a woman who’d served a sentence for a crime she didn’t commit.

Grady stepped out of his Jeep, smoothed down his grey-striped tie and adjusted the cuffs of his white shirt. He let out a breath, spotted Drew Barker of the Los Angeles Globe, and waved to the reporter who was instrumental in sharing his discoveries of fraud and illegal testimony. Other reporters and cameramen shifted and rolled like an ocean of tipsy goodwill. Grady scanned over the waves for Tori Morningstar.

She stood stiff at the high security entrance and hugged a leather moto jacket wrapped over crossed arms. Dressed in her pre-incarceration style, her defined muscles created a perfect fit for her silk blouse, In prison she worked the heavy bag, labored hard so that she could protect herself in the yard.

Grady slipped papers into the hands of a guard. “Good morning, sir,” he said without another word, signed his clipboard, and rushed to her side. “Tori. It’s okay to speak to reporters.” The whoop-whoop of a hovering helicopter drew attention, and cameramen angled their equipment upward.

Beside him she swallowed hard and took a deep breath. “These reporters helped. I’ll answer questions, but the publicity worries me.” She froze where she stood, aware of the potential dangers ahead.

“I know.” Their gazes collided. Her eyes resembled honey-brown gems. Fine cheekbones, a firm chin, and a mouth he found disturbingly inviting. In the sunlight, her dark hair glowed chestnut. She’d skinned her hair back from her face so tightly, it had to hurt.

Drew Barker pushed his way in front of the others. “Victoria Morningstar.” The reporter in his sixties, with a round, open face and wide eyes lent an expression of constant surprise. “Can you tell us what happened the night you were arrested?” He held a microphone close to her face.

“Go ahead. Talk to him, Tori,” Grady whispered.

She stood like a brittle statue. . "My cousin and I were having dinner on the Long Beach waterfront. Rhubarb and Ginger, we went there a lot. Seamus McGinn and Timothy Noonan must have tailed us. They’re from Cobh, County Cork." Her words came out in a robotic rush.

“That’s in Ireland.” Grady chuckled for the camera. "For once Ireland was lucky. Lucky to be rid of them,” He took her ice-cold hand and stepped around Barker, a reporter familiar with McGinn’s government-agro kidnappings. Recovered victims had broken collarbones, fractured limbs, cigarette burns, stab wounds, shattered eye sockets and facial bones, accomplished with a blunt instrument. Casualties had been alive at the time of beatings, with foreign objects jammed down throats. Teeth were found in their stomachs.

“Excuse me.” Another reporter, a tall woman from the Long Beach Beacon, swarmed down on Tori. "So you saw McGinn and Noonan?"

"Correct," Tori lifted her chin, her vibrant eyes filling with the raw memory. “A half-dozen more stormed in. Carried automatics, ripped through the place. Found the owner, Irene Brennan. Dragged her out."

"The owner refused to pay them for protection,” Barker chimed.

Tori nodded, rubbed her forehead. “Same old deal, a mob upping the ante.”
 




Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#TirgearrTuesday #WritingTips for a successful #RomanticSuspense-- how to plot one.


Today I’d like to share writing tips for writing a romantic suspense. Readers are said to finish them because they want the crime to be solved as well as the budding love story.
 
Below are the three basic requirements:
1. BOTH storylines have to meld together into one seamless novel.
2. BOTH storylines are equally important.
3. BOTH storylines are impossible to remove without the novel falling apart.

I write two stories, the suspense and the romance, but they fit together. This can be complicated and confusing unless a solid plan is in place.

Tip 1 – Start with the suspense plot
Plotting a suspense novel is intricate and requires planning. Not only do you need a logical timeline in which you slowly reveal the perpetrator’s identity, but you also must introduce red herrings to keep the reader guessing. It’s easier for me if I plan the suspense first.

Tip 2 – Get your couple together as early in the book as possible and keep them together

A suspense plot usually unfolds in a matter of days and weeks not months. For your hero and heroine to fall in love, they need to meet right away and they need to be together a good bit of the time. If not, falling in love won’t seem real to the reader. When choosing a suspense plot, choose something that will force them to be together often and something that they can’t simply chose to walk away from.

Tip 3 – Open the book with a bang
Show present danger to the heroine or hero.  The reader, besides wanting to read a romance, also wants to know something bad could happen to the hero or heroine. They want to turn the pages and see them escape from the danger and along the way, they want to try to figure out the bad guy’s identity.

Tip 4 – The Danger and suspense needs to keep escalating
The stakes for your hero and heroine need to keep getting higher and higher with a palpable pressure building until the suspense element is resolved. Discover your characters greatest fears, then rank them and make them happen in that order until the final showdown has their greatest fear coming true.

Tip 5 – Conflict, conflict, conflict
This is a suspense novel so the characters are always in conflict with the bad guy and your tendency may be to play down the romantic conflict. But the conflict created by the plot is not enough. The romance still must hold all the same conflicts as a traditional romance would include. Your characters need internal obstacles to falling in love or the romance will be flat and uninteresting. As you plan, be sure to include down time in the suspense plot where you can showcase the romantic conflict.
My work-in-progress is the third book in my Donahue Cousins Series.

Friday, January 11, 2019

#Tirgearr author shares #writingtips for a reunion story. #amwriting romantic suspense---what do you need for second chance love?


Today I’d like to share what I believe is necessary for a second chance love story.



In a reunion story, the hero and heroine who have been separated for some time are brought together.  This is  the case in my work-in-progress, Bitter Alliance, book 3 in my Donahue Cousins series. As with classic reunion love stories, their shared past ended on a sour not. They missed each other, but anger and disappointment returns when they see each other again. The appeal to readers of any reunion romance is the opportunity for the hero and heroine have to make things better. They must right the wrongs.  In Bittersweet Alliance the hero was named in a paternity case, and the heroine left so that he could care for the infant and possibly work things out with the baby’s mother.  The heroine is a traditional woman who values families.  He’s angry she pushed him away but is eager for a do-over.  She’s acting like a diva, but this isn’t who she usually is.  At one time or another, haven’t our hurt feelings gotten in the way of mature behavior? Bittersweet Alliance is a romantic suspense, and they work together to solve a case which began at the end of Unholy Alliance. In this book an evil woman got away, and she is the primary villain in Bittersweet Alliance.

Will my hero and heroine be brave enough and trusting enough to start again? She needs to open up all her emotions and be honest instead of acting like a diva. Lightning did strike twice, and their attraction is wonderful but angsty.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

#Tirgearr author shares about SHOWING NOT TELLING--we all need reminding! #amwriting #romanticsuspense -- don't let lazy writing slip in!


How can writers make a reader’s experience authentic? Show not tell, and that works to immerse readers into a fictional world. Make their experience real enough for them to keep turning pages.
 
One technique the writer can make use of to create reality out of fiction is to induce emotion in readers, make them feel something of what the characters are experiencing. Writer and reader know the fictional events aren’t real, but the emotion can be. Readers can fear and feel joy and be excited and know grief. They can laugh and cry, shiver and rage. All from reading your story.

But how can a writer accomplish this? How does a writer make readers feel emotion? The number one way is showing rather than telling. That is, don’t report that a character is afraid or giddy or grieving. Show the results of character emotions through the character’s actions. Show what fear or giddiness or grief does to him. Character action and response is a good place to focus.

This is a major key for rousing reader emotions. No one gets emotional over a report. They do get emotional when they can step into someone’s shoes and experience his or her feelings as if those feelings were churning inside them.

A report: Jolene was afraid to open the door to the basement steps. She stood at the far side of the kitchen, debating what to do.

Showing: Jolene’s hand trembled as she reached for the locked doorknob. Jimmy had warned her not to open the basement door when he wasn’t around, but he was due home soon, so what could happen? She bit her lip and tightened her fingers around the cold knob. A shiver shook her. She inhaled only a shallow breath and then struggled for another.

And nearly shot through the ceiling when the microwave dinged, letting her know her tea was hot.

Isn’t it more fun to write this way—showing and not telling?
At the moment I'm finishing the third book in my Donahue Cousins Series with Tirgearr Publishing. You'd better believe I'll go back and look for lazy telling before submitting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

#BookQW word is drink. What if he doesn't offer one? #Tirgearr Publishing's #romanticsuspense, Deadly Alliance-- read an excerpt for fun.

Are we ready for Book Quote Wednesday? It's lots of fun to find this week's word which happens to be drink that might appear in one of our books.

Excerpt from DEADLY ALLIANCE, book one of the Donahue Cousins Series.
 
Finn Donahue’s break at Burlie’s Jazz Club was about to end. Familiar lyrics from the sultry tune floated through his mind long after the saxophonist stopped playing. Hold on like leaves and fall to what is left. Like the song, Autumn Leaves, he spiraled downward, failed to identify the chicken shit stealing his company’s cash. For three damn years, ten percent of the monthly deposits were sucked into a mysterious thief’s cash cow.

The crowd wandered out. Time for him to return to gloom and doom. He pressed a hand over his throbbing forehead with enough force to leave marks.  Had the thief hired a colleague? The colleague was not a car-stealing, knee-smashing, fire-setting knucklehead.  His mouth went dry at the fuck’s covert method and zest for cheating him. He’d question his snake of a partner, Les Kelly, if he weren’t already dead.

Across the room, a female patron gathered her belongings. As her ankle boots tapped toward him, a pair of shapely legs came into view.

His head snapped up.  Amy Kintyre, the late Les’s girlfriend, in the running for his bookkeeping job, spotted him.

“Finn.” She swerved his way. “What a coincidence!” This chick lacked a pick-me-up line.

“Hello, Amy.” He didn’t offer to buy her a drink of offer her a seat.

She tilted her head to one side, studying the expression on his face. “Are we still on for nine?” She spoke with an annoying squeak.

“We are.” He watched her lips form a tight smile as she fumbled with her little purse. Turning away, she headed for the pink-windowed door to the ladies’ room.

His stomach did a quick, discomforting twist at the thought of working with Les’s former girlfriend. As time went on, karma between the partners slipped. Les held back. Enigmatic people had motive to protect inconsistencies. He assumed Amy hid a few. He sighed and gazed blankly around the club.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

#BookQW word is FAMILIAR-- excerpt from #Tirgearr romantic suspense, Unholy Alliance, now just #99cents with a Holiday Recipe-- crab cakes!


Book Quote Wednesday’s word is FAMILIAR. The excerpt below is from book 2 from the Donahue Cousins series, Unholy Alliance, priced just today at 99 cents/pence on Amazon.  
 
 

The scene below takes place when attorney Grady Fletcher arrives at the prison to release Tori Morningstar who was framed for a murder she didn’t commit.  After the excerpt, you’ll find a holiday recipe for Crab Cakes!

Grady slipped papers into the hands of a guard. “Good morning, sir,” he said without another word, signed his clipboard, and rushed to her side. “Tori. It’s okay to speak to reporters.” The whoop-whoop of a hovering helicopter drew attention, and cameramen angled their equipment upward.

Beside him she swallowed hard and took a deep breath. “These reporters helped. I’ll answer questions, but the publicity worries me.” She froze where she stood, aware of the potential dangers ahead.

“I know.” Their gazes collided. Her eyes resembled honey-brown gems. Fine cheekbones, a firm chin, and a mouth he found disturbingly inviting. In the sunlight, her dark hair glowed chestnut. She’d skinned her hair back from her face so tightly, it had to hurt.

Drew Barker pushed his way in front of the others. “Victoria Morningstar.” The reporter in his sixties, with a round, open face and wide eyes lent an expression of constant surprise. “Can you tell us what happened the night you were arrested?” He held a microphone close to her face.

“Go ahead. Talk to him, Tori,” Grady whispered.

She stood like a brittle statue. . "My cousin and I were having dinner on the Long Beach waterfront. Rhubarb and Ginger, we went there a lot. Seamus McGinn and Timothy Noonan must have tailed us. They’re from Cobh, County Cork." Her words came out in a robotic rush.

“That’s in Ireland.” Grady chuckled for the camera. "For once Ireland was lucky. Lucky to be rid of them,” He took her ice-cold hand and stepped around Barker, a reporter familiar with McGinn’s government-agro kidnappings. Recovered victims had broken collarbones, fractured limbs, cigarette burns, stab wounds, shattered eye sockets and facial bones, accomplished with a blunt instrument. Casualties had been alive at the time of beatings, with foreign objects jammed down throats. Teeth were found in their stomachs.

“Excuse me.” Another reporter, a tall woman from the Long Beach Beacon, swarmed down on Tori. "So you saw McGinn and Noonan?"

"Correct," Tori lifted her chin, her vibrant eyes filling with the raw memory. “A half-dozen more stormed in. Carried automatics, ripped through the place. Found the owner, Irene Brennan. Dragged her out."

"The owner refused to pay them for protection,” Barker chimed.

Tori nodded, rubbed her forehead. “Same old deal, a mob upping the ante.”

And then what?" The earnest reporter from the Beacon leaned forward.

"My cousin Viv ran out the back. I was arrested."

“Make room, everybody.” Grady headed for his car, dragging Tori behind him.

Tori shuffled in slow, measured movements as if shackled.

“One last question, Tori,” Barker called from behind. “You tried to leave the mob. What did they want you to do?"

Tori turned halfway around. "Act as a lure. I refused." She shrugged. “I paid for that decision.”

As promised, here is a holiday recipe for delicious Crab Cakes:
 

 

1 pound
crabmeat (I used 8oz backfin & 8oz claw)
⅓ cup
crackers (crushed, I used ritz)
3
green onions (finely chopped)
½ cup
red bell pepper (finely chopped next time i will use less)
¼ cup
mayonnaise (I used the brand that is made with olive oil)
1
egg
1 teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon
dry mustard
½
lemon (juiced)
¼ teaspoon
garlic powder
1 teaspoon
salt
1 large pinch
cayenne pepper (I used)
add
flour (sifted for dusting)

Dice vegetables small and add all ingredients together. Chill them for a least a few hours so they will hold together better. as always add to your liking you might consider onion powder or Old Bay about 1-1 1/2 Tbsp. or maybe go Cajun.

Crab meat has a lot of liquid in the container so I did let it drain out, I did not want to add an extra egg or more crackers or bread crumbs or even panko if that is what you have on hand.

If you don’t like to fry, bake them in 375 oven turn them after 20 minutes bake another 20 or 25 minutes approx. make sure you spray or wipe some oil on whatever pan or foil you are using.

Tartar sauce is an easy topping or just lemon wedges.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

#TirgearrTuesday #99cents --Romantic Suspense Unholy Alliance with an excerpt and #holidayrecipe-- what crowd doesn't love a corn dog? Meet Tori and her food truck.

Unholy Alliance is priced at 99cents/99pence for just two days on all Amazons.



Below is an excerpt when attorney Grady Fletcher visits Tori Morningstar's food truck.  He needs her help to solve a case. A holiday recipe-- homemade corn dogs-- is included.

Excerpt:

Grady double-arm waved at her. It was as if he were a two-dimensional character in a dream. Handsome. As upstanding as any man could be. Her legs gave way. The figure in the distance did that, and she grabbed the counter. Dizzy and short of breath, she chastised herself for holding on to the romantic notions she fantasized about a hundred times a day. She stuck her head out the window. “I’m coming out.”

Grady met her on the stairs and offered a hand. The closer he got, the harder it was to concentrate on stepping down. His killer smile showed off two sexy dimples when he said, “It’s noon.”

“Good noon to you.” She gulped. Readying herself for conversation, she took his hand, rose on her toes, and sniffed. “Hmmm, what is that? Shaving lotion? Man perfume?”

He chuckled, and a weird electric awareness went off in her chest. In slow motion, it cracked open slowly, sent out sparkly runners to forgotten girl parts, and pulsed there.

She pulled her shoulders back and lifted her chin. Their gazes locked. Her hair loosened from her bandana. “Drat, I’m a chef. Hair is supposed to stay put.” She took it off, placed the center of the bandana on the nape of her neck and tied a knot on the top of her head.

He reached to help tuck the ends under. “You’re so darn cute.”

“Oooo, that scent. Are you going to tell me what it is?”

Eau des Baux Eau.” The warm, deep sound of his voice sent more sensations of want right through her. Behind him, the sun stretched a bit higher and seemed to shine just on him. “You like it?”

“I sure do. Vanilla. You smell like a cookie.” Her heart thudded harder than it should.

“Do you like cookies?” He bent his head for a kiss.

She kissed Mr. Good Noon with the wavy reddish-brown hair and body made to lose sleep over. Her breath hitched, and she took a step back from heartbreak. No reason to set sights on a man way out of her league. The glow dimmed, and the warmth backed off. “Care to look at my menu?” She stepped closer to the blackboard.

“Now you’re speaking my language. I’m starving.” He raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth lifted. “Pimento cheeseburger corn dog.”

“That’s my great food mash-up.”

“I can see why. It blends two favorites, the cheeseburger, and the corn dog.
***
Recipe for just the corn dog-- the mashup is a bit much for most people.


Ingredients for Homemade Corndogs


·    3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

·    3/4 cup flour

·    1.5 tsp baking powder

·    1/2 tsp baking soda

·    1 tsp sugar

·    1/2 tsp salt

·    1/8 tsp nutmeg

·    3/4 cup buttermilk

·    2 eggs

·    4 hot dogs

·    flour for rolling

·    vegetable or peanut oil for frying

Instructions


1.                 Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees F.

2.                 To make the batter, whisk to combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.

3.                 In another small bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk and eggs, and mix this into the dry ingredients until there are no more streaks of flour, but be sure to leave lumps in the batter (do not stir those out, as you may overmix). Transfer the batter to a tall glass.

4.                 Skewer the hot dogs onto wooden sticks and roll the hot dogs in enough flour to coat, then shake the excess off.

5.                 Dip the floured hot dogs into the tall cup of batter and put them straight into the fryer for about 3 minutes. Do not overcrowd your fryer. Depending on size, you might need to make two or three batches. The corn dogs are ready when the exterior is golden brown.

6.                 Serve the corn dogs with ketchup and mustard-- Enjoy!
Why do birds want to repeat everything-- "99 cents, and happy holidays"
 

#BookQW word is SURPRISE. Would you be interested in reading an excerpt from Unholy Alliance using this word? #Tirgearr #RomanticSuspense

Do you enjoy excerpts on Book Quote Wednesday? This event centers on finding the word, and in this case, SURPRISE, from one of our books or ...