12 Lucky Holiday Winners

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Historical Accuracy

This method might be of interest to readers and writers.

I've reached a complicated chapter in my novel in which I need the geographical features, proposed plans and timeline to be correct. I read the relevant parts of five historical non-fiction books and made notes, but I still didn't have a clear picture in my head. So, after considerable thought, I wrote chapter headings and typed up the relevant information under each titl3. Next I made a list of things my protagonists would do, and their reactions to events as they occurred in sequence, in each chapter and finished by typing up a few quotes from historical personages.

For the last three days I've been working on Chapter Thirty-One. Thanks to my notes everything, as the saying goes, has fallen into place.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Musings: November 23 2014

Miss One Sunday and Pepper-kitten takes over

Hey, hey, there Muser Friends and Family!

Sorry for missing you last week, but the bronchitis plague hit my household and knocked all three adults out for the count. Yup, flat out on our butts with only the tween healthy and active. Can't say we're all bouncing back in perfect health, but at least I can see straight again.

So, last week's musings is this week's musings and next will be this...uhm, yeah, let's just forget all that and go for this writing exercise:

Describe a non-descript street, building, person, or meal.

We'll title this one...make the boring worth reading

On your mark, get set, go.............

The stone buildings, grayed with the grime of fifty years, hung over the narrow sidewalk. The sky held the last of the light as a stray ray of sunshine slanted through a gap in the wall of buildings. Through the opening, Lydia spied a courtyard. She stopped to stare at the bright red and blue striped umbrella which shaded a redwood picnic table flanked by two benches.

What was it doing here? Yesterday when she'd passed by on her way home from work the courtyard had been empty. She move closer to get a better view. On the ground, a heap of broken dishes and the remains of several sandwiches already being fought over by a flock of pigeons.

And a body. If Lydia wasn't mistaken, a dead body. What should she do now?

DAWN KNOX, author

Swirls of yellow grease trailed behind Jenny’s spoon as she trawled through the lamb stew, searching for something that looked vaguely edible.

“Stop playing with your food, Child!” snapped Aunt Sophie, “hasn’t your mother ever told you it’s bad manners?”

“Sorry, Aunt. I’m not feeling too well…” said Jenny, hopeful that she’d be excused.

“Well, eat up. There’s nothing of you, Child. No wonder you’re so peaky.”

Jenny sighed. There would be no escape from the lamb stew.

Lamb spew, she thought with disgust.

When Mother had delivered her at Aunt Sophie’s an hour ago, the house was redolent with the smell of cooking. Not like the delicious aromas that filled Mother’s kitchen. No, this was the stink of cheap ingredients being boiled to oblivion - and beyond.

“I’ll be as fast as I can,” Mother had whispered when she kissed Jenny goodbye.

Hurry up, please! thought Jenny.

A piece of potato stood above the gravy, like a volcano rising out of the sea. She couldn’t imagine how it had retained its shape after being stewed to submission. Certainly most of the other vegetables had turned to an unrecognisable mush - their colour and consistency having leached away. Jenny fished out the potato lump and held it against the side of the bowl to allow the grease to slide back into the gravy. She placed it gingerly in her mouth where it spontaneously collapsed to an oily, texture-less sludge and she swallowed quickly, fighting the urge to gag.

The more she moved her spoon through the gravy, the more the vegetables disintegrated into an amorphous, grey slop. She hadn’t considered the similarity between the two words ‘Grey’ and ‘Gravy’ before, but now, she stared into the ‘Grey-vy’, wondering how much longer she could just move it about before Aunt Sophie got cross.

A piece of meat bobbed to the surface and Jenny scooped it up in her spoon. Like the gravy, it too, was grey, with a knobbly vein of gristle running through it and she buried it quickly beneath the sludge.

“Come on, Child. What is the matter with you? There’ll be no dessert unless you eat up every scrap of your lunch.”

Well, there was a silver lining, Jenny decided. At least she wouldn’t have to eat the glutinous, frog spawn-like tapioca pudding she spotted earlier in the kitchen.

It was a miserable day for dog-walkers. The sky was a massive stretch of motionless grey clouds. The fall leaves were dull yellow and splotched with black. The sidewalk and the sky might have been one and the same, and the only vibrancy was the contrast that a brick wall made with the drab world surrounding it. There was no wind, no motion, and the world might well have been a sigh frozen in space.

No one was out, that is, except for Henry. Henry, the dog who walked alone.

The knob rattled, and the hinges squealed when the door was opened, allowing daylight to creep across dusty, worn floorboards. A young couple stood in the doorway, the dust motes dancing in the must air making them sneeze. 

The young man stepped across the room, raised the blinds to let in more light, and the shadows retreated under the shabby couch where they lurked, waiting. To the right was a tiny kitchen and through the door on the left a small bedroom, leading to an even smaller bathroom.
He turned to the girl with hesitation. “What do you think?”
“It’s perfect.” She smiled and linked her fingers through his. “Our first home.”

Thanks for joining us and see you next week!
 If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at MuseChrisChat@gmail.com

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas with the Marquis

Christmas with the Marquis
by Jean Hart Steward
Holiday Historical Romance
Releasing December 12

 When an arrogant Marquis’s seduction fails, he plans a Xmas celebration at his country estate. Inviting the one girl who not only rejects him but seems to hate him is part of his plan to win her. His scheming soon turns to much more than decorating the house for Xmas. Abigail’s beauty incites a plan for revenge on the Marquis by his most depraved enemy, who is bent on kidnapping and raping Abigail. Can the Marquis save her and make this a merry Christmas after all?

Pre-order & save...now ONLY $2.99
Available at:

MuseItUp http://bit.ly/1556WTl
Amazon http://amzn.to/1y2sM4f
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/11IuRpq
Apple http://bit.ly/1vAq1rG
Kobo http://bit.ly/1y2sSZQ

Read the excerpt

Friday, November 21, 2014


The lonely cry of the wolf calls Jack home to hidden dangers lurking in the shadows of the forest. 
Hot off the press!!

It’s autumn, and Jack is on his way home to the reservation he ran away from as a young man. But instead of palettes of coloured leaves drifting lazily to the ground, it’s snowing, cold, and dreary, and mirroring the feelings in his guts.
A yearly summons to join the family hunt camp is tinted with concerns about the health of his beloved grandfather. So Jack must head back, back to his beginnings, and everything he has ever tried to forget.
But this time, something is waiting for him. Something sinister and terrifying is lurking in the woods. This time, will Jack be the hunter—or will he be the prey?

  V. L. Murray is an author, poet, composer and editor. She lives in Surrey, British Columbia. Lynne has spent much of her life living with music and interacting with the spoken and written word. 

The Amazing Worlds of John B. Rosenman...

John B. Rosenman recently retired as an English professor at Norfolk State University where he designed and taught a course in how to write Science fiction and Fantasy.  He is a former Chairman of the Board of the Horror Writers Association and has published approximately 350 stories in places such as Weird Tales, Whitley Strieber's Aliens, Fangoria, Galaxy, The Age of Wonders, and the Hot Blood anthology series.

John's newest release is a 4 in 1 Romance & Sci-Fi Bundle with super savings...

Retails $16.90
but now until December 2nd, 
it's available for ONLY $2.99...

592 pages to fill your ereader with. 

Dark WizardParanormal Romance
Kan not only has complete amnesia but superhuman strength and the ability to bring back the dead. Then a beautiful girl complicates things even more. When Kan learns his identity, he finds he is faced with a deadly evil and a cosmic mission.

The Blue of her Hair, The Gold of her EyesParanormal Fantasy
Rachel's mysterious disease causes everyone, including her husband, to fear and reject her. Then her body starts to change in amazing ways.

Dax Rigby, War CorrespondentSci-Fi Romantic Adventure
War Correspondent Dax Rigby fights to save intelligent aliens and a dying human outpost on Arcadia while WWIII rages back on Earth.

More Stately MansionsSci-Fi
Captain Temple leads an expedition to K22, an exotic, tropical planet, hoping to create a great new market for the Merchants Guild. But why are the beautiful cities empty? Where are the inhabitants, and what terrible secret does this world conceal? 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Historical Novel Society, Historical Novel Review

Today, I received my copy of the Historical Novel Review which gives details of new deals with publishers, contains articles and reviews of historical fiction and non-fiction published on both sides of the Big Pond.

I put my feet up and opened the 'treasure house of information. I read the magazine from cover to cover and made a list of books which I want to read.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meet Josie P. Cates, P.I.

Brainerd & Fraser: With the holidays coming up soon, we wanted to talk to Josie P. Cates, Private Investigator, about the wild Thanksgiving vacation she took to visit her mother, chronicled in the book Jose Picada, P.I.: The Sound of Sirens. She's a little late getting here, though. In the meantime, please join us as we list some of our favorite celebrity perfumes.

3121 by Prince
Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift
Wonderstruck Enchanted by Taylor Swift
Kim Kardashian by Kim Kardashian

Linda Butterworth: Sorry I'm late. Josie had a bit of car trouble and wanted me to fill in for her.

B&F: Oh, okay. Everyone, we now seem to be joined by Linda Butterworth, Channel Seven weatherperson and, can we say voodoo priestess? Is that giving too much away?

Linda: I don't care what you give away.

B&F: Alright. So, um, we were supposed to be talking about The Sound of Sirens, but I don't think you were in that one, were you?

Linda: No, which makes it the worst book in the series.

B&F: So do you have something else you'd like to talk about?

Linda: Absolutely. I'd like to talk about the upcoming book Act of Abduction.

B&F: But we don't even have a release date for that one yet.

Linda: So? It's through the editing phase, yes? Do you want to wait until after it's out before you start promoting it?

B&F: Well, no. Fine. Let's start over. We'll just modify the intro we already wrote. Let’s see… With the holidays coming up soon, we wanted to talk to Channel Seven weatherperson Linda Butterworth about the wild...Lilac Festival...she went to while visiting her...never mind. Ladies and gentlemen, here's Linda.

Linda: Thank you. It's wonderful to be here.

B&F: So you make your return in Jose Picada, P.I.: Act of Abduction after sitting out one book. What made you decide to return to the series?

Linda: Let’s just say…a situation arose and I chose to take advantage of it.

B&F: Okay. So, um, what’s your favorite scene in the upcoming book?

Linda: The one in which Josie P. Cates is in mortal danger. That always warms my heart.

B&F: But don’t you need Josie’s help in Act of Abduction?

Linda: I don’t recall anything of the sort.

B&F: We do. And we should know. We wrote it.

Linda: I’ve no idea what you mean. Josie Cates is nothing but a talentless, scruffy—

Josie P. Cates: Nice one, Linda. What’d you do, put a hex on my car so it wouldn’t start?

Linda: Josie! However did you get here?

Josie: Bobby gave me a ride.

Linda: Ah, yes. That one is always at your beck and call. Though I truly cannot understand what he sees in you.

*Josie lunges for Linda*

B&F: Uh, we seem to have a bit of a situation here. While we sort these two out, why not take a look at their books? The links and stuff are listed below.

New detective Josie Cates never thought her first real case would lead to the world of black magic. Available on MuseItUp, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Thanksgiving dinner with the family can be murder. Especially when someone is actually trying to kill you. Available on MuseItUp, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday's Child Final Research

I have a nasty cold so I've been lethargic. However, I completed what I hope is the final research for Monday's Child a traditional Regency novel, which is a follow on story from Sunday's Child. By combining the information in four of my non-fiction books and  photo copies from other  books I am now able to write the next chapter. Phew! Now, where is that box of tissues?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meet Lacey from Coda to Murder

Meet Lacey from Coda to Murder by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the MuseItUp Publising blog. I'm J.Q. Rose, one of the mystery authors in the group. I was planning to be here to tell you about Coda to Murder's "menagerie of characters," as one reviewer put it, but Lacey, the best friend of my main character, volunteered to introduce you to Pastor Christine or as she calls her "Chris."

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring 
for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
# # # #
Hey Lacey, it’s your turn to enlighten the folks about Coda to Murder, a story filled with mystery and romance.

Thanks, J. Q. 
Hello, Everyone. It’s so good to be here to tell you about my best friend, Chris, or Pastor Christine to many folks. We met when she moved to our small town of Fair Lake, Michigan, to be the pastor of Dayspring Church. We have a lot in common such as doing weddings and funerals. You see I’m a florist and always in and out of the church setting up weddings, delivering flowers for the altar, and of course, funeral flowers.

We became friends the first moment we met because we shared so many of the same life experiences. We're nearly the same age, both single, both uncommitted, and both had marriages that ended badly.   

We certainly are not alike in appearance as Chris is tall and slender with dark brown hair. I'm what you might call petite with short, blunt cut strawberry-blonde hair and freckles. Those darn freckles. I thought I would’ve grown out of them by now!

Together Chris and I face some difficult times. You may have heard the Director of Music, William White, was murdered in the church basement. Unfortunately the police assumed the church custodian, Dutch, was the killer because he discovered William's body. They also suspected Chris could have reason to murder him too. Isn’t that absolutely ridiculous? My kind and loving friend who is such a wonderful example of being a Christian is a “person of interest” according to Detective Cole Stephens. He’s relentless in his interrogations and methods for discovering the killer.

Alright I must admit I had to point out to my friend that IF a detective is investigating you for murder, at least it’s pretty cool to have a handsome, broad-shouldered man around instead of a paunchy, cigar-smoking, old codger asking questions. Yeah, she didn’t even have her man radar out when she first met him. Of course, she did have other more important things on her mind like defending Dutch.

Chris was determined to prove she or Dutch did not kill William.  I recall one evening we were enjoying a pizza and beer on her screened-in porch at the parsonage when she decided, or maybe it was me, or both of us, decided to investigate William's murder ourselves. She had access to William’s house key because he wanted her to check his house when he was gone. He also requested her to open the house for choir meetings in case he was tied up. Plus it’s always good to have someone to have access in case of an emergency. I think looking for clues to a killer would constitute an emergency situation, don’t you?

So that evening we did go out to William’s home…I’ll let J.Q. Rose tell about that adventure in an excerpt below.

EXCERPT from Coda to Murder

It was a clear, starry night with a full moon that helped to light the yard.  The spring air had turned cold, but Christine was warm with the anticipation of finding something in the house that would prove she was not a murderer and also clear Dutch from any possible murder charges. 
            “The police have probably padlocked the doors and have cameras watching the house,” Lacey whined.
            The two women crouched as they snuck up to the back porch of the house.  Christine flashed her light on the door.  No padlock in sight.
            “Hmmph,” she said.  “No padlock, so I’m sure there are no cameras here.” She turned and grinned at Lacey. “I just hope William hasn’t moved his keys.”
            She stepped into the landscaped area surrounding the small pool and fountain.  Christine picked up a large paver from those covering the edge of the pool liner and flashed her light over the ground.  “Uh-oh, it isn’t here.  Let me try another one.”  She lifted three more pavers until she pulled up a small coffee can buried in the dirt.  Returning the pavers to their proper position, she brought the container back to Lacey who waited on the sidewalk.
            She handed her flashlight to Lacey and pulled the lid away from the container. “Light up the inside of this can.  I don’t know what may be inside.”
            The light revealed no dirt, bugs, worms, or varmints, so Christine put her hand in to pull out the set of keys.
            “Here’s our ticket into the house.”  She looked through the collection of keys on the key ring and then plugged one into the lock on the door. Trying not to breathe too deeply of the stench emanating from the trash bags on the screened-in porch, she tested another key until it turned making a loud click. The women slipped quietly into the kitchen.
            “Chris.” She felt Lacey’s hand on her shoulder. “I just want to make sure you realize we are breaking and entering.  We could go to jail for this.”
            “Well, this is no time to debate if this is breaking and entering or not. We’re here.  Trust me.” Christine winked. “Come on. I’ll take the bedrooms and bathroom. You search the rest of the house.”
            “What am I looking for?” Lacey held her hands out to her sides and shrugged.
            “Look for notes, books, journals, appointments. Anything that might be out of character for William. I don’t know for sure, Lacey. I’m new at this investigation thingy, too.”
            “Um, okay. Let’s stay together. It’s creepy sneaking around in someone’s home in the dark. Okay?” Lacey put her arm around Christine's shoulders.
            “Okay, we’re in this together.” Christine moved toward the living room to begin the search.
            The women spent over an hour looking through closets, shelves, and drawers. They peeked under the couch cushions and under the beds. After checking out every nook and cranny of the small house, Christine finally sat down on the couch.
            “It looks like William’s sister was very efficient in cleaning out the house,” said Lacey, “and erasing any evidence William ever lived here.” 
            “There’s only one more thing we haven’t checked, Lacey.”
            Their eyes locked, and they both said, “The trash.”
            “Oh, no way.”  Lacey wrinkled up her nose. “I’m not digging through that stinky garbage on the porch.”
            “Aw, come on. You know you’ll love it.” Grinning big, Christine jumped up from the couch and grabbed Lacey’s hand. Tugging her toward the back porch, Christine said, “I owe you big for this.”
            “Oh, yes, you do, and I expect to collect big, too.”
           # # # #

Sorry, readers, to leave you hanging, but I don’t believe J.Q. would want me to tell you what they find in the trash. What fun would that be???

Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer. 

Detective Cole Stephens doesn't want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

Available at MuseItUp Publishing 

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published e-books, Sunshine Boulevard and Coda to Murder released by MuseItUp Publishing. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

Please leave a comment below to let me know if you wish Lacey had revealed what was in the trash or not. Do you hate cliffhangers? Oooh, so delicious and fun! Thanks for stopping in.