Writing a Sequel to Her Deadly Inheritance

pabst-mansion-my-photoMany of you reader fans have blessed me by asking if I’m writing a sequel to Her Deadly Inheritance. The answer is yes!

I’m now polishing this second romantic suspense before I send to my editor at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. If LPC contracts it, they expect to release it next year.

And, yes, in this novel, Jill meets her birth father. She and Clay arrive at her father’s home to spend the Christmas holidays and find him gravely ill. They soon realize someone is trying to kill him, but who? I’ve had fun weaving lots of intriguing complications into this story along with difficult challenges to their growing love. I can hardly wait for you to read my new novel whose working title is Her Father’s Eyes.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a peek at her father’s house where most of the action takes place.You may recall that in Her Deadly Inheritance, I used Mark Twain’s Connecticut house. Well, for this second novel, I borrowed the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee. (Can you tell I love historic houses?)

On our vacations, my husband and I never failed to tour a town’s historic house!

Here is a photo I took on my last senior bus trip to the Pabst Mansion. It’s a fabulous house, and I’ll write more about it and post additional photos in future posts.

Thank you to the staff at the Pabst Mansion who have been most helpful on my two on-site research visits.

Do you love historic homes, too? What are some of your favorites?

What’s So Fun about a Book Club?

pens-fiction-9-2016-pens-of-praise-book-clubWhat’s so fun about a book club? Apparently plenty!

I interviewed two friends about their respective groups. Shelly Zraik’s meets in Michigan. Becky McLafferty’s meets in Wisconsin. (That’s Becky on the left standing next to Susan Marlene Kinney and Kathy Leist.)

So, girls,what do you love about belonging to your book club?
BECKY: We so look forward to our meetings. What can be better than combining godly friends, godly books, and prayer? It just doesn’t get any better!

SHELLY: I love getting together to talk with my book club friends. The books are always interesting, and I hear and gain insights and new perspectives I had not thought about before.

Who started your group? Who leads it?

BECKY: Sue and I co-founded the Pens of Praise Christian Writers Fiction Book Club. We take turns leading, and everyone chimes in.

SHELLY: Amy Corron (an author herself) leads our book club and its discussions. It’s called the Bedford Alliance Church Book Club or BAC Book Club, for short.

How do you decide on the books you want to read and discuss?
BECKY: Often by word-of-mouth suggestions. We read the “blurb” on a novel, and possible author bio or reviews. Did I mention COVERS? Book covers are so important, and yours is fantastic! Then we choose by general consensus. We vary genres so everyone enjoys their favorites.

SHELLY: Amy chooses the book, although she is open to suggestions and usually takes them as long as she feels it would be appropriate. Most often it is a non-fiction book, but she usually chooses something fiction or lighter in subject matter for the summer meeting.

What is your group meeting like?
BECKY: We open the discussion with general questions about “major likes and dislikes.” Our members usually highlight passages or jot notes as they read, and then we comment on things that came to our attention. Usually those were noticed by a number of readers, which is fun! We compare notes and then discuss those questions that catch our attention. In addition to those you provided, we asked what points members really liked or found thought-provoking. We looked quite thoroughly at plotting and characterization, and also what wasn’t liked…in your case, there was absolutely nothing!! We had a lively discussion about the characters in great detail, including depth of character and character traits. We also examined character arcs and story plotting. You generously provided discussion questions for our group, which proved to be a valuable resource.
SHELLY: Amy emails discussion questions ahead of time so we are familiar with them. When available, she uses all or some of the author-provided questions and maybe adds a few of her own. She reads the questions, and we share as we feel led. Oftentimes we go off on a “rabbit trail” and have to re-center. <smiling here> We had such a wonderful discussion about Her Deadly Inheritance. We shared if/how we could relate to the various characters and situations based on our own life experiences, how we might have acted/reacted under the various circumstances, and how we felt about the plot twists and who were the villains, including when we figured it out. Everyone said how much they loved Her Deadly Inheritance and hoped there was another book in the series.
Where do you meet and for how long?
BECKY: Our meetings last about 2 hours, and as much of it goes toward the book discussion/review as naturally occurs. We usually meet at Kathy’s house, and she always provides a scrumptious treat.

SHELLY: We meet in someone’s home, whomever offers to host. Everyone usually bring some sort of snack to share. Discussion is approximately 2 hrs, with fellowship either before or after. Typically we are together for about 2.5 – 3 hrs total.

How often do you meet?
BECKY: About every six weeks, depending on members schedules.

SHELLY: Every other month, the odd numbered ones.

How many participants?
BECKY: It varies, but five regulars and sometimes more.

SHELLY: Participation varies, but typically between 5-10.

As you can see, book club groups are not all the same. If you’re in a book club now, what do you find most fun about it?

“I Don’t Have Diabetes!”

The day after the Write-to-Publish Conference in June, I got the news.

“I don’t have diabetes!” I insisted.

My nurse practitioner grinned at me and my spunky audacity. “So now, you’re the doctor?”

“Well, no,” I said, “but if you and I agree that I don’t have diabetes, then I don’t.”

Charmaine was’t buying it. She packed me off to another nurse who specializes in coaching new diabetics.

My writing life was about to acquire a new distraction. One that would challenge me and gobble a good chunk of time each day while I tried to understand and do what was necessary.

No more grabbing snacks and eating anything I pleased, whenever I pleased. Time to stock lots of fruits and veggies and start making meals again. Oh, byosemite-1646512__180 Yosemite National Park mountainsother!

But I did it.

Time to stop making excuses and start exercising regularly. Good grief!

But I did it.

The good news?

  • When the nurse tested my blood sugar, it was 102 (60-99 is normal). She said I only had to test my blood sugar three times a week when I woke in the morning.
  • Because the wellness tests indicated my A1C was 6.7 (kissing close to 7), no medical bracelet and no medications necessary
  • Colleen told me I could beat this by losing the weight, eating right, and exercising.

She sent me home with a blood glucose monitoring kit and my Healthy Living with Diabetes manual. I enrolled in a six-week hospital course by the same name.

Over the last three months, the confusion lifted, and I learned how to fit this new distraction into my writer’s life. In the meantime, I’m always looking for better ways to manage my blood sugar.

What did you find helpful in controlling blood sugar?

Such Is a Novel Writer’s Life!

Ever wondered what your favorite novel writer’s life is like aside from the actual writing?

hydrangea-1635541__180 blue hydrangeaThe truth is, we’re often involved in mind-boggling tons of promotion. Speaking, answering interview questions, keeping up with our websites, writing guest blogs, posting on Facebook–the list is endless. Such is a novelist’s life. But it’s also fun!

Because those are the ways we get to chat with and to know you, our dear readers. What could be better than that?

So, in case you missed these two behind-the-scenes glimpses into my novel writer’s life, Anne Garboczi Evans and Sandra Ardoin each posted these guest blogs this week:

Did anything in these posts surprise you? If so, what and why? (Please don’t be shy. I’d love to hear what you have to say!)