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Why Our Characters Must Fail

Why Our Characters Must Fail By Jill Kemerer

This post was originally published on November 28, 2011 at https://jillkemerer.blogspot.com/.

I recently read a novel but struggled to get into the story. Each time I put it down, I had no desire to pick it back up. Tempted to stop reading, I decided to forge ahead and figure out why it wasn’t grabbing me. I made a list of its strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

– Excellent writing. The author balances dialogue, thoughts, action, and narrative with ease.
– Modern, relatable characters. The hero and heroine (it’s a contemporary romance) are realistic and have believable conflicts and goals. Plus, I liked both of them.
– Logical progression of plot. The story arc made sense and proceeded in a way I would expect.

Weaknesses:

– Too many characters introduced in first chapters. This book is the second or third in a series, so extra characters should be involved, but too many too soon only confuses the reader.
– Sunday drive pacing. While the plot progresses logically, it does not progress quickly. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency.
– The hero and heroine do not share enough scenes in the first half. They are in scenes together, but they rarely interact. How are they supposed to fall in love if they don’t talk to each other?

Not every book is perfect, and the strengths in this one more than offset the weaknesses. However, I pinpointed one major area that needed work.

Each scene had a point, but the stakes were never high enough for me to want to read the next scene. 

Jack M. Bickham discusses what an effective scene accomplishes in his excellent book, Scene & Structure. I’m paraphrasing here, but basically each scene should be told from one character’s viewpoint, and the character must have a clear goal, which is obvious from the beginning of the scene. The character will then experience conflict in reaching that goal until the scene ends with the characterfailing to meet the goal.

Summary of Scene Essentials:
1. Introduction of the viewpoint character’s scene goal.
2. Conflict threatening the character’s ability to reach goal.
3. Failure of character to meet goal.

But…the character has to win sometimes, right? Yes. This is why it’s important to be clear about the character’s scene goal. If the book requires your heroine to convince her coworker to attend a wedding with her, you might choose to split the section into two scenes. The first scene will be told from her viewpoint. She gets the courage to ask him, he puts up a fight, and the scene ends with him refusing.

1. She asks coworker to be her date for wedding. (Goal)
2. He gives lame excuses. (Conflict)
3. He refuses. (Failure)

But…he has to agree. It’s a vital plot point. Okay, no problem. The next scene will be in his point of view, and his scene goal will be to get out of the wedding invitation. But the heroine is very convincing, and he finds himself saying yes when he wants to say no.

1. He must not agree to this wedding invitation. (Goal)
2. She has lawyer-like convincing skills. (Conflict)
3. He accepts. (Failure)
If we ignore the scene essential of the character failing, we waste an opportunity to keep the reader on edge. We could have written the previous scene in the heroine’s point of view and had her ask the hero to the wedding. He could still put up a fight, but in the end he agrees. The problem with this is that the heroine wins. 

As readers, we like to watch our heroes and heroines suffer. We love that gnawing feeling in our gut when things go wrong. We need the hero and heroine to fail repeatedly for us to keep turning the pages. If they only win, what’s the point of reading more? Our goal as writers should be to provide a sense of urgency–regardless what genre we write–and have the reader constantly ask, what comes next? How is the main character going to handle this? I’ve got to find out more!

How do you keep readers on edge? Share your tips!

Encouragement from the Blogosphere

Encouragement From The Blogosphere, Jill Kemerer Blog

My brain is covered in a thick fog as I do the final polish of my manuscript. I apologize to everyone in my life. I’m scattered and self-absorbed. I will be myself again soon–I promise!

Writers, you know what I’m talking about. It’s very difficult to turn off the world we’ve spent months building. As my deadline looms, I worry I’ve missed key themes the book needs. Little things ping me.

Did I overstate his conflict? Is hers clear? What word/phrase did I overuse but have no clue I did?

Anyway, I scrolled through blogs on Feedly this evening, and my breathing slowed. My heart stopped racing. My brain relaxed.

I was encouraged.

Encouragement from the Blogosphere, Jill Kemerer blog
  1. “A Letter for D” by Wendy Paine Miller. I love this beautiful post. Wendy and I have been friends for years. She’s an amazing person, a brilliant writer, and her words always ring true.
  2. “The Importance of Alone Time” by Mary Manners via Seriously Write. Mary acknowledges the time-consuming aspects of the writing life that aren’t actual writing, and she makes no apologies for shutting the office door and getting things done. Love that attitude!
  3. “My Book is Being Made into a Movie!” by Belle Calhoune via Love Inspired: A Story for Every Reader. Have you read Belle’s Love Inspired novels? They are brimming with romantic optimism! One of her books, An Alaskan Christmas, is being made into a movie! Congratulations, Belle!
  4. “It’s Monday. What are You Reading?” by Cheryl C. Malandrinos via The Book Connection. Recommendations? Lists? Covers? YES! I’m always encouraged when I see what other people are reading.

Blogs make me feel connected in a way social media sites don’t. I think it’s a combination of focusing on one thing at a time and knowing the title of the post before I read it–I know what I’m getting.

As soon as this book is turned in, I’m treating myself to a long library visit where I’ll check out a towering stack of books. Oh yes…I’m ready!

What has encouraged you this week?

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RESORT TO ROMANCE WEEK 2!

A Messed-Up Match by Jessica R. Patch released yesterday! It’s the second installment of the Resort to Romance Series. It will be only $0.99 until next Monday–then the price goes up!

You can pre-order weeks 3-10 of the series for $0.99 each–click RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES for all the links!

If you missed the first release, my novella, A Meddled Match, is $2.99!

Have you entered our mega-giveaway? Go to my HOMEPAGE and scroll down for the entry options!

Enjoy your week!

Writing Slow and Not Loving It

Writing Slow And Not Loving It. Jill Kemerer

I’m writing a first draft right now. I’m excited about the story. I know the main characters, know the main plot points. Usually, I can estimate a word count goal for the day (depending on what I have going on) and meet it in a set amount of time. Not this time, my friends.

I’m writing slow. I’m talking S-L-O-W.

It’s frustrating.

Yesterday, I didn’t even hit my word count goal, and I worked past six pm. Today, I did hit my word count goal, but it took seven hours to do it.

I want to write faster! What’s going on?

Right now I’m chowing down on a creamy caramel and trying to figure out why I’m struggling to get the words on the page. My thoughts:

  1. It’s January. I live in northern Ohio, and we had a severe winter storm this weekend. Yesterday it was below zero. Today wasn’t much better. I can’t blame everything on the weather, but being cooped up inside with gray skies does affect me.
  2. This is the first book in a new series. I’m still getting to know the secondary characters. I’m creating the town and the feel of the community. Plus, there’s a lot of plot to pack into this story.
  3. I’m in the middle scenes. My mind can’t always keep track of the various plot threads in this phase. I drop things–the faith thread, the romantic tension, the conflicts and goals. And it slows me down because I know I’m not getting it all but I don’t know what I’m dropping. At night, I usually get lightbulb moments–hmm…I forgot to address the emotional fallout from the previous scene. Or this IS a romance, right? Shouldn’t the MCs be getting butterflies?

That’s all I’ve got. Tomorrow I’ll force myself to sit in my office and tap out words until another scene takes shape. Then another. And at some point I will walk away from my laptop–with or without having met my word goal for the day. And I’ll repeat this until the book is finished.

Then I’ll find all the threads I dropped and all the areas I know are flat, and I’ll revise the book to make it shine.

In the meantime, I’ll have another caramel and try not to overthink it.

Writers, what slows your writing down? How do you get through it?

Thank you to everyone who entered The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby (by Jill Lynn) giveaway! The winner is Lori R.! Congratulations, Lori, check your email for further instructions!

What’s on Your Writer’s Wish List?

What's On Your Writer's Wish List? Jill Kemerer Blog

Are you making your list and checking it twice? No, I’m not talking about your Christmas list–I’m talking about your writer’s wish list! And you can make one whether you’re naughty or nice. *wink*

As we reach the end of another year, I like to take inventory of the practical (and a few impractical!) items I use on a regular basis. I also weigh in on if it’s time to try something new, upgrade existing equipment, or switch services. Sure, I replenish necessary supplies as needed throughout the year, but the once-a-year wish list gives me a valid excuse to spend a few hours thinking about how to improve my productivity.

Here are some of the items on my writer’s wish list, and, yes, I have categories!

Office Supplies

  1. Pentel EnerGel pens with purple ink. What can I say? I’m a pen nerd. I’m down to two pens, and that’s not going to cut it, my friends.
  2. Black and red Pilot G2 pens. See above–I’m picky about pens, and I like to have a variety of colors. I tend to blow through these G2s like they’re toilet paper. I should buy a fifty pack and call it good.
  3. Copy paper for printing. I buy a case at a time when it’s on sale, and, oh look! I’m down to only one full package left.
  4. A new office chair. The left arm of my current chair has lost its padding and the finish on it is crumbling. I lean on it a lot. The right arm seems fine. Sadly, this means I have the worst posture on the planet. I’m working on correcting how I sit. But in the meantime, a new chair has been added to the list.
  5. The PERFECT day planner. I have yet to find it, but the hunt is on and, my friends, the quest is real.

Last year, I stocked up on tape, staples, index cards, paperclips, mailing supplies, and manila folders, so I’m set on those for a while.

Computer Equipment/Software

Believe it or not, I have nothing on this list at the moment. I know, it’s shocking.

I bought a new laptop last year. My black-and-white laser printer is only a few years old. Last year I paid for plugin I’d been wanting for my website, and I hated it, so, thankfully, I have no stars in my eyes for other plugins at this point. I switched newsletter services a few years ago and am very happy with my current provider. So…I’m good. For now. Check back with me next year–this list will likely have something on it.

Oops, spoke too soon. Our internet provider is on my list to deal with. Our rates keep going up, but we have dead spots in our house and a lot of slow internet times. Guess I’ll be making a call soon. *sigh*

Creativity Helpers

  1. Gift cards for coffee shops. When I see a deal on them, I snatch them up. I love getting away for a few hours to explore ideas, and it’s less painful on the wallet when I can use a gift card.
  2. Pretty notebooks. I can never have enough.
  3. A super comfortable chair with an ottoman for my office. This is a long-term goal. I would love a comfy chair in my office to red-line my drafts, research, and dream. Someday…

Personal Items

  1. Hand lotion. Winters are dry where I live, and I keep a tube of thick hand cream on my desk. My hands thank me for it.
  2. Cardigans. I love cardigans or any garment that will keep me warm while I’m working. I bought a cape this fall to keep in my office. It’s easy to throw over my shoulders and it keeps my hands free to type.
  3. Candles. Lighting a candle makes the room pretty and it smells good.
  4. Candy. I can’t help it. Afternoons make me crave caramels. One or two can’t hurt, can they? Don’t answer that!

Research

  1. Books on the writing craft. There are always books to be purchased!
  2. Online classes. I recently found Udemy. Thanks, Kristina Knight and Tina Radcliffe, for sharing it with me! You can find tons of classes on a variety of subjects. The one I’m taking isn’t graded, and I can work on it at my own pace. It suits my needs perfectly.
  3. Magazines. I enjoy buying a variety of magazines throughout the year. They always give me ideas, inspiration, or motivation.

I’m sure there are tons of other things I could add to my list, and I’ll be jotting them down as I get more ideas.

What’s on your writer’s wish list? I love hearing about your ideas and favorite items!

Have a terrific day!

An Hour with a Blank Notebook #WW

An Hour With A Blank Notebook #ww Jillkemerer.com

How often do you find a quiet spot and let your imagination play?

Part of the writer’s life is exploring ideas. For a long time, I neglected carving out an hour to sit with a notebook and just explore. But I overhauled my approach to my workweek and now have dedicated time every week to do this.

I usually don’t stay at home for this creative session. I like to go to a local park or, if the weather’s bad, I’ll head to a coffee shop. I bring my idea notebook and a black Pilot G-2 pen. Sometimes I have an agenda–a plot that isn’t cooperating, a short story starter, a future workshop brewing in my head–but other times I just sit and let my mind wander.

I’m finding that an hour with a blank notebook:

  • is relaxing.
  • untangles the stories jumbling up in my head.
  • provides clarity about my current work-in-progress.
  • reminds me of being a kid.
  • helps me prioritize.
  • makes me laugh when a weird idea jumps on the page.
  • goes by quickly.
  • but also goes by so slow–a good slow.
  • makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself.
  • is necessary. Absolutely necessary.

When I think of all the weeks I let slip by without intentionally tending to my ideas, I get sad. I mean, it’s one hour a week. I can find a measly hour.

It’s skipping one television drama.

Cutting back on social media.

Working smarter to fit my writing in for the day.

Since I made this mandatory–I even gave it a firm day and time–I can’t believe how much simpler other parts of my life have become. Suddenly I have a blog plan for the rest of the year, two short stories ready to be plotted, a deeper conflict for an upcoming book, and a lot of random thoughts that might go nowhere! Who cares? Imaginations are there for a reason. Ideas breed more ideas. What’s not to love about that?

Do you set aside time to just sit and think and let your imagination skip around? If yes, what works for you? If no, why not try it?

A HUGE thank you to everyone who purchased my current release (still in stores!), Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets! It hit #18 on the Publisher’s Weekly mass market paperback bestseller list on October 1! What a dream come true–thank you!!

What Being an Author Really Means

What Does It Really Mean To Be An Author? Jillkemerer.com/blog

How many hours a week do you work?

This is a question I’m asked often. I don’t mind. I’m curious about people’s jobs, too! The person always seems surprised when I tell them I work roughly fifty hours a week. The only conclusion I can come to, based on the frequency of the question and the surprise at the response, is that people assume being an author is not very time-consuming.

Being an author IS time-consuming.

Many writers have full-time jobs in addition to their writing careers. For some authors, writing is one of their part-time jobs. Others are stay-at-home parents fitting writing in around their children’s schedules. I was the latter for years. Trust me, it isn’t easy! For other authors, writing is a full-time job.

I now write full time, and I do not take the blessing of my open schedule for granted.

No matter what your schedule, if you’re an author, you’re sacrificing time and money to pursue this career. You are, essentially, your own boss.

What does being an author really mean?

  • Authors are small-business owners. We keep track of our income and expenses. We buy our supplies. We determine where and when we work. We promote our products. We make decisions–and wonder if we’re making the right decisions–about our books. We plan, we budget, we write.
  • Authors are self-motivated. We don’t have a boss breathing down our necks to get the words written, and we don’t have a weekly paycheck to motivate us, either. Some of the books we write are not contracted, meaning we might never make a dime off them. Retirement plans, 401K, and paid vacations are incentives that keep many employees committed to their jobs, but we don’t have those either. We write because it’s what we do.  We know any retirement plan or vacation will be funded by us and us alone.
  • Authors are marketers. We promote our work and network to get the word out about our books. We have websites and social media accounts, and whether we want to or not, we spend time adding content to keep readers informed and interested.
  • Authors are creative. We find time to explore ideas, and if we don’t? The ideas hijack our showers, our walks, and our going-to-sleep routines. Well, ideas do that no matter what. We can’t really turn off the imagination, and we don’t want to!
  • Authors are vulnerable. We care what readers think of our books. We feel bad when we get rejections. We compare ourselves to other authors and tell ourselves not to, but we can’t help it sometimes. We hit dry creative spells. We worry we’ll never meet our full potential. We fear something will break us, and we’ll quit writing for good. The idea of not writing depresses us more than you could ever know.
  •  Authors are generous. We want to help fellow writers. We love helping new writers. We share our knowledge, volunteer our time and energy and money to help other writers.
  • Authors are hard on themselves. We feel guilty taking time off at Christmas or for a vacation. We always think we should be writing more–more pages, more words, more books. We see other authors and think we should be doing it like them. We wonder why we can’t get it together and write more, promote harder, build the career we want. We struggle to celebrate the process. We lose sight of how far we’ve come in our quest to get where we’re going.
  • Authors are in-tune to the human condition. In order to write characters readers will actually care about, we have to care about what makes life wonderful and tragic and beautiful and ugly. We see the world around us, and we process it through our characters. We learn while we write. We grow with each story.

I love being an author. I’m grateful and humble that I’m blessed with a life that allows me to write full-time (the credit goes to my husband, who has supported me for years). I hope you have as much joy in your work as I do in mine.

What did I miss? What else does it mean to be an author?

My Wyoming Christmas Quadruplets giveaway is still going on! Click HERE and scroll down for the easy entry options (US residents, 18+ only)!

Thank you for stopping by!

Move More; Write More

Move More, Write More. Jillkemerer.com. Blog

For two months I’ve been letting my exercise goals slide. I haven’t given up on them completely, but the 5-6 days a week turned into 2-3 days a week.

I noticed other goals of mine flitting away as well. My side writing goals are not getting met, and you know why? Because when one area of my life is off balance, the whole thing gets tipsy.

I’m convinced consistency is the key to success.

When I move more, I write more.

When I write more, I feel good about myself. When I feel good about myself, I eat healthier.  These successes give me a mental boost to do other things like reading a novel instead of scrolling Facebook.

It’s all connected.

Mind. Body. Spirit.

I always begin my day with coffee, a few chapters of the Bible and prayer. Exercising is scheduled next, before I  tackle my work. This is where I’ve tripped up. Instead of faithfully working out in the morning, I’ve been telling myself I’ll work out in the afternoon. Guess what? I’m tired in the afternoon. And I don’t want to work out, so I don’t.

The good thing, though, is that this cycle can be broken. I am determined to break it. I’ve written my exercise plan into my day planner, AND I scheduled when I will work on my side projects (this week will be one hour per day from Tuesday through Friday). I’ll let you know in my April goal post how I’m doing.

For me, following through with my morning exercise routine leads me to meet or exceed my writing goals for the day. It’s a motivation/mental thing.

If you’re having trouble in one area of your life, it tends to have a ripple effect on other parts. Whatever you’re struggling with goal-wise, work on making it a habit. Your writing output will thank you!

Do you write more when you move more? Or does something else trigger you to write more? I’m curious!

 

8 Years of Blogging!

8 Years Of Blogging!

I have been blogging for eight years! Can you believe it? I can’t!

Last night I was browsing Feedly, my preferred reader, to catch up on blogs. I came across Elizabeth Spann Craig’s, Long-Term Blogging, Part 1, and I realized she and I began blogging around the same time. I decided to check the date of my very first post, back when I used Blogger, and yep, there it was. August 7, 2008!

For giggles, I’m linking my second post, “If Romance Writing Were an Olympic Sport.”

 

8 Years of Blogging!

I added up all the posts from my Blogger site and from this blog, and I’ve written 1020 posts.That doesn’t include all the ones I’ve written as a guest or for my group blogs. Wow!

Way back when I wrote my first post, I had no idea if I would blog more than a year. Finding an audience took time, and it seemed as though every other blogger had a much bigger following than I did. But I decided I didn’t care, and I forged ahead.

A few bloggers helped me by sharing advice. “Add a Followers button so people can get your new posts.” “Put share buttons in your sidebar.” “Decide on a posting schedule.” And I learned from other bloggers, Jody Hedlund in particular. Within a short amount of time, I’d made online writer friends, some of whom would become my critique partners, and many would remain good friends.

Announcements were made in those years. I cheered as my friends got agents and contracts. But I also fought sadness as my day never came. But I pressed on. And on. And my knowledge grew. I understood about building a platform and was happy to share what I learned. My writing grew as I studied the craft and continued to write book after book.

And then one day it happened. I finally had good news to share. I’d landed an agent! And more years would go by before that wonderful first contract offer. Still, I kept blogging.

But then something happened. A lot of blogs disappeared.

Oh, the blogs were still there out in cyberspace, but new posts? Nope. Many bloggers who I connected with in those early years quit posting for various reasons. I wondered if it was worth it to continue. My comments dwindled, but each post still had plenty of hits. Obviously, people were reading it, so why wouldn’t I keep writing posts?

I love blogging. I haven’t been as consistent this year–sometimes I skip Fridays!–but I still love it.

Here’s to eight years of blogging! Thank you for being a part of it!!

What draws you to a blog? What keeps you coming back?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

What Happens The Day After I Meet a Deadline?

Do you see me smiling? I turned in my fifth Love Inspired this week! YAY!!!

This year has been crazy. I’ve let so many things slide for months. But now that my son has been confirmed, my daughter has graduated from high school and already attended college orientation, and my book is turned in, I can resume normal life! (For a few days, at least!)

 

Happy Planner

 

Yesterday, I woke up and brewed a pot of coffee. Luxuriated in the knowledge I wasn’t on deadline and I had free time on my hands. Of course, I still had taxi duty for my son, bills, appointments, etc… But I followed the rhythm of life on MY terms for the first time in a long time.

So what did I do?

  1. Spent a relaxing hour in our living room, reading my Bible, watching the birds, praying and sipping coffee. The best!!
  2. Cleaned the house. Wait, those words don’t come out of my mouth often, but yes, they are true. I cleaned the house. Because I wanted to, not because we had company coming over!
  3. Chatted with a friend on the phone. So good!
  4. Read a few more chapters of my friend’s debut novel coming out in July. You all are in for a treat with that one!
  5. Dropped my son off at a high school baseball tournament. He wasn’t playing. He was helping take care of the fields between games.
  6. Shopped for my husband’s father’s day present. Hit the Bath & Body Works sale for 75% off lotion, and grabbed a Starbucks while browsing magazines at Barnes & Noble. There really isn’t anything better.
  7. Researched day planners. Mine runs out in two weeks, and I am SUPER PICKY about my planner! For years, I’ve been stuck with a planner plus a slim binder because nothing was customizable enough. But several friends clued me in to different options, and I decided to try a discbound system.
  8. Browsed Michael’s website to get a 50% off coupon.
  9. Made hot dogs and mac & cheese for dinner.
  10.  Drove to Michael’s, drooled over all the Happy Planners, texted a friend for moral support, and bought the planner and accessories necessary to make this planner rock!
  11. Rented a video game for my son who was having a friend over.
  12. Put my Happy Planner together. Got WAY too excited about it!
  13. Read several more chapters of the book I mentioned earlier.
  14. Bedtime!

There you have it! That’s what I did the day after I met my deadline. Not exciting to most people, but to me? The BEST!!

What do you do when you feel free?

Have a terrific weekend!!

Writer’s Life: Mary Ellis

Welcome to another edition of Writer’s Life, my interview series with authors of sweet or inspirational romance. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Mary Ellis. I met Mary several years ago at a book signing in Toledo, Ohio. She and Jody Hedlund signed their latest releases, and it was so delightful to spend time with both of them! Mary is so warm and kind. I wish everyone could meet her. I’ve enjoyed watching her career–she is a very prolific and terrific (hey, that rhymes!) author. Her new mystery series, Secrets of the South, kicks off with Midnight on the Mississippi. More details to follow!

Let’s get to it.

1. What about writing makes your heart sing?

When characters take the initiative and change the direction or tone of the story. I love characters that become larger than life for me. It makes the daily word count so much easier.

 

2. What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing right now as a writer?

Stepping back a little and not working such long days. Due to commitments, I had geared up to be uber-productive for the past several years. Now I need to slow myself down and let life return to a more normal pace. My husband insists on this, and I’m more than ready.

 

3. What do you do to fill your creative well?

I work in my yard or take long walks with my dog. It does both of us good! I talk to Miss Chloe about my characters, while she wags her tail in support or sympathy. But the time we get back, I’m ready to tackle my story again and Miss Chloe? She’s ready for yet another nap.

 

4. What are you working on now?

I’m putting the finishing touches on book 2 of the Secrets of the South Mysteries. Set in Memphis, What Happened on Beale Street is about the death of a talented blues musician and a pair of old friends who come to town to solve his murder. It will release in February.

 

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Wow, Mary, your new series looks amazing! I love what you said about letting the characters take over. That’s a great feeling. I’m glad you’re ready to slow down a bit, but I have to say I’m so impressed with how productive you’ve been. You have so many published novels!! Congratulations, and thanks for being my guest!

 

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Midnight on the Mississippi

 

 

What lies beneath the black water of the bayou?

Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day.

 

Interested in buying Midnight on the Mississippi? Click here!

 

 

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Mary Ellis

 

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, Midnight on the Mississippi, first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, is set in New Orleans. The second set in Memphis, What Happened on Beale Street, will release in Feb. 2016. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or Facebook.

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Have you spent time down south? Do you live there? What about it appeals the most to you?

(For me, it’s warm weather. I get tired of winter!!)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

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