April’s a Wrap

Now that we’re finished organizing and spring-cleaning our homes, and our manuscripts…

Time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

Another month has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed our posts about cleaning. If I said my house is now clean and well-organized, I’d be writing fiction, or possibly fantasy. But I did just finish spiffing up a manuscript. I have another book releasing in June. There’s a lot of background work involved in any book release.

I hope you’ll join us next month as we discuss Families and Children, which makes me think of mothering and Mother’s Day. Can’t wait.

Speaking of not being able to wait–some of you may be on tenterhooks–waiting to hear who won our 3-word story prompt contest. We’ll be making a decision about that in the very near future, so watch for an announcement. Oh, and I’ll give you one more chance to enter–

3-Word Prompt:  A door opened…

Remember, finish my 3 words with 3 more words of your own, to complete a 6-word story. Have fun!

 

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A Clean Schedule

by Betty Owens

A clean house. It’s what we all want, right? How many of you have trouble achieving it? (My hand is in the air). You work full or part-time, you have children, you’re a writer on a deadline–you barely manage to keep up with the day-to-day. Your biggest fear: unexpected company. How do you cope?

I love a clean, uncluttered house. I can’t relax if there’s dust on the furniture, fingerprints on the wall, toddler nose prints on the window. But sometimes those things have to wait their turn. So I’ve found a way to get through. I have a schedule.

Laundry happens on Mondays and Thursdays. Even though there are only two of us here, it is simply amazing how many clothes we go through. Mostly the guy who takes two showers a day, of course!

I change the sheets on the same day every week, and vacuum the whole house on Fridays. We have a walk-in shower that takes about an hour to clean, so that gets done on the same day I change the sheets. Having a schedule helps me accomplish these chores. It’s not set in stone. Sometimes I miss a day and have to catch up. Every once in a while, I miss a week altogether. But sooner or later, it gets done, because I’m really not comfortable otherwise.

When I tackle window-washing, I wash a couple of windows at a time (inside and out). Most of our windows are floor-to-ceiling, so it takes a little longer. I schedule the job over three or four days. I do the same thing with the kitchen cabinets. Time is not the only reason I break these jobs into sections. Stamina definitely plays a part. While I used to be able to stay at it for an entire day, now I run out of energy! And right in the middle of a job like that–inspiration seems to hit! I have the idea I need to finish a scene or a story. I have to stop, right?

Absolutely. Right now, my bookshelves are calling me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I unloaded them and cleaned. But it has to be done, so one of these mornings, it’s going to happen. I’d better put them on the schedule.

Click to tweet: A clean house. It’s what we all want, right?

How do you get these big jobs done, if hiring help is not a possibility? Are you a stay-at-it-till-it’s-done person? Or an “it’ll be there when I get to it type?”

Three-word prompt: Through clean windows …

Remember–finish the three-word prompt with three words of your own to complete a six-word short story. It should express a complete thought. Submit in the comment section below.

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Indelible Words

by Betty Thomason Owens

What a month it’s been here at the Writing Prompts blog. I enjoyed reading about everyone’s favorite modern author, and I learned we’re a rather eclectic bunch. We like everything from classic reads to childhood favorites, and meaningful, spiritually-uplifting works.

Today’s society, whether they realize it or not–is rich. They have extensive, extravagant libraries available to them, which are growing and expanding every day. If you have a question, you can find hundreds of authors expounding on the answer. There’s a voice out there for you. One or several of those authors will have the words that will speak directly to your mind and heart.

I hate to see the month of March leave, because I’ve so enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. As writers, books hold our hearts and nourish our dreams. They inspire us. We hope our words will someday touch hearts just like that one touched ours.

Thank you, Writing Prompts crew and guests for sharing a bit of your hearts with us.  And thank you, dear readers, for taking time out of your day to read and comment on our heartfelt posts.

We have a bit of excitement in store for April, so don’t miss Monday’s introductory blog post.
Click to tweet: As writers, books hold our hearts and nourish our dreams.

In lieu of a writing prompt, I’d like to ask you a question. If you’re a reader, which modern author has touched your heart? Changed your life? Made you think? Whether it’s teaching, developmental, devotional, or a work of fiction–this author’s words made a lasting (indelible) impression on you.

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March of Modern Authors

by Betty Thomason Owens

You step through the front door of a bookstore or library, and then what? Where do you head first? What name draws you? Are you a browser, looking for something interesting, or do you make a beeline for a certain shelf?

book-112117_1280While raising my family, I made bimonthly trips to the local library. I was a classic reader. I started with the “A” shelf and read my way through. It took me a while to get past the first column with all the Alcott, Austen, Brontes, Dickens. . . well, you get the picture. I read a number of Miss Read books and du Maurier mysteries.

But to pick one author out of the many, especially when you have numerous friends who are excellent authors–not sure I wanna go there.  I might just take the easy way out and name a few neighbors. Kentucky is proud home to many wonderful writers. If I start naming them though, I’d get myself into trouble for sure. It’s like choosing a favorite child–in front of the others. Can’t be done.

Throughout the month of March, our crew (and a guest or two) will talk about the writers who have left a lasting impression on their lives. Gifted storytellers. Books that resonate with their readers.

  • What’s your favorite?
  • Can you name a few?
  • Do you read fiction, or nonfiction?

bird-2047081_1280I shall never forget the magic of those first few lines of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

“When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable looking child ever seen.”

fog-258244_1280By the time Mary found the secret garden, the little flower-lover in me was totally hooked. I was in third grade, and I think it may have been my first “chapter book”.

It held first place in my heart till I picked up Jane Eyre. That book, with it’s foggy, craggy moors and rough-edged characters still draws me. I reread it every once in a while.

So, while the March winds blow, and Old Man Winter gives way to Spring, join us for a look at our favorite authors.

Right now, I’m going to toss another log on the fire and curl up with a good book. One from a well known Kentucky writer. She’s writing cozy mysteries these days. Wonder if you can guess who that might be? 🙂

(Click to tweet) You step through the front door of a bookstore or library and then what?

Writing Prompt: This photo immediately reminded me of the movie, Ever After. Who would live in such a place? Can you begin or end a story here?castle-1975928_1280

 

3 Questions Wednesday with Nike Chillemi

Nike Chillemi 2017

Nike Chillemi

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Nike Chillemi.

I met Nike Chillemi several years ago, through an ACFW critique loop. Since that time, I’ve been privileged to work with her on some of her latest releases. So, I’m excited to have Nike here today. She writes mysteries and romantic suspense. Check out her bio (below) for more about her writing life and why she’s called the “crime fictionista.” You can leave a comment for a chance to win Harmful Intent, the first book in her latest suspense-filled series. She recently released Blood Speaks, the third and final book in the trilogy. But I’ve heard a rumor, we haven’t heard the last of Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels and Dawson Hughes!

Nike, I have to ask (because it’s our first question):

What inspires you?

Nike:  Good question, and I have to think about this. I actually got up and walked away from my laptop to make a cup of tea. I guess I felt I was supposed to come up with something pithy and significant. I mean, I fashion myself a fairly deep writer. Buried within my action-packed detective stories are hopefully “meaningful” subthemes. But the truth is little, many times off-hand things inspire both my novel and blog writing. Several years ago I was totally taken by a pair of cardinals who were flying north for the summer and how they related to each other for the two days they came to my backyard. I’ve put a red cardinal and his mate in two of my novels as a symbol of love between spouses.

I love that. I’m a big fan of cardinals, and where I live, you have to be careful where you say that (really big basketball rivalry in Kentucky). We have a couple of the birds living in our backyard. Of course, in our mild climate, they don’t go anywhere for the winter, so we have them throughout the year. They seem very dedicated to each other. Funny how the simple things in life touch us so deeply at times.

Hey…

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Nike:  Right away I thought “purple” and I don’t know why. I don’t wear purple, there isn’t any purple in the décor of my home, to speak of. I guess it would be the deep amethyst purple. I do have a couple of earrings in that deep amethyst. In fact the first “good” pair of earrings I ever got were from my mom and they were small amethyst studs set in gold.

I’m not surprised by your choice. Lovers of the color purple tend to be unconventional, unique, different…umm…sound familiar? Purple is also dignified and royal.

I love this last question and can’t wait to hear how you’ll answer–

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Nike: I wanted to be Barbara Walters. I thought she had the most fascinating job, and of course she did. Today, interviewing famous people doesn’t interest me. I sometimes think I’d like to be a producer/interviewer for a cable TV station and go around to different towns and small cities in America and ask folks on the street, who is the most interesting, most respected, and/or most loved person in this town? Then I’d walk into that fascinating person’s hair salon, or restaurant, or catch them as they deliver the mail and interview them about their life in that place. My readers tell me that Bertha is the most loved character in my Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes detective series. And of course she’s a very strong secondary character in the final book of the series, BLOOD SPEAKS.

Barbara Walters! She did have a fascinating job. I think your idea is a good one, though. Sounds like fun–catching someone unaware, in everyday moments of life, then letting your reader see the real person. Bertha is a fine example of a strong secondary character. She’s real, and lovable. The good neighbor or best friend we all desire.  

Thanks Nike, for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions.


Nike Chillemi 2017 Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started at a very young age. Her first major work was a Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned as a little girl (colored might be more accurate) about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.

Nike is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chair, a reader’s choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She has been a judge in the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories; and an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category. Her four novel Sanctuary Point series (out of print), set in the mid-1940s has finaled, won an award, and garnered critical acclaim. The first novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series HARMRUL INTENT won in the Grace Awards 2014 Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Historical Suspense category. She has written book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and John 3:16 Marketing Network.

Nike’s website:  http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/

Readers, Nike is giving away a copy of Harmful Intent, the first book in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series. Just leave a comment in the comments section below to be entered to win the Kindle version of the book.

Here’s more information about the book:

harmful-intentBetrayal runs in private investigator Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels’ family. So, why is she surprised when her husband of one year cheats on her? The real shock is his murder, with the local lawman pegging her as the prime suspect.

Ronnie Ingels is a Brooklyn bred private investigator who travels to west Texas, where her cheating husband is murdered. As she hunts the killer to clear her name, she becomes the hunted.

Deputy Sergeant Dawson Hughes, a former Army Ranger, is a man folks want on their side. Only he’s not so sure at first, he’s on the meddling New York PI’s side. As the evidence points away from her, he realizes the more she butts in, the more danger she attracts to herself.

Sweet, askance romance, warm intimacy, sophisticated themes presented tastefully.

Her latest release is Blood Speaks, Book 3 in the The Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes Trilogy

blood-speaks-coverVeronica “Ronnie” Ingels, Brooklyn gal PI, waited a long time for the solitaire on her finger. When her sometimes boss, a shadowy figure and director of a secret government organization, offers a one-week bridal shopping vacay in Virginia, she jumps at it.

Joined by bridesmaids, Sandra Daube and Bertha Dagney, Ronnie sets off for the village of Heritage Cove on Arrowhead Lake, Virginia. Their joyous stay at the rustic yet luxury Heritage Cove Inn is shattered by a murder with tendrils and a clandestine motive stretching back to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

It doesn’t take long for Ronnie and her gal-pals to become targets of the killer. It goes without saying, Taylor County Deputy Sheriff, Lieutenant Dawson Hughes leaves Texas to protect his bride-to-be. He’s joined by Sandra’s employer, conservative political activist Ben Cohen. Neither hell-nor-high-water can keep Gabby Hayes look-alike Hoot Dagney from the side of Bertha, his new bride.

 

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