Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog. Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Down the Conference Road by Suzanne Rossi

Hi everyone! Nice to be back.

Today I'd like to talk about conferences. Writers' conferences are a wonderful way to keep up with the latest trends in publishing and to network with other authors. I've always learned something from every one I've attended. And a great place to network is in the bar. Sometimes that's where the best discussions take place. Personally, I like to find a group of writers I don't know, ask if I can join them, and then just talk--about the industry, specific books/authors, or anything that comes to mind. Same with conference luncheons and dinners. I choose a table, sit, and let the good times roll.

I had a wonderful interaction with a publisher at my first conference this way. I later pitched to her. She requested the first three chapters and a synopsis. I was thrilled. She later sent it back, but instead of the usual rejection, she told me what to do to make it better. No one had ever taken the time to do that before. I made the changes to the best of my ability at that time and resubmitted as requested. It was still rejected, but I will forever be grateful to Helen Rich of Medallion Press.

The hardest part about conferences is choosing which one to attend. I try to get to one a year or however many my budget will allow. Conferences are expensive to put on and to attend. Since I live in South Florida, I usually fly. Hotel rooms are discounted, but conference fees are going up. And of course, any food outside of the conference is extra. So, I've put together a list of conferences I think are worth the time and money to attend.

First up is the Georgia Romance Writers, Moonlight and Magnolias, held every year in Atlanta. This is a large conference--usually around two hundred to two hundred-fifty attendees. I'll be honest, I love going to this one. The people are warm and friendly and the conference is run like a well-oiled machine. The workshops have something for everyone. Those new to writing can find seminars to help with characters, plot, and writing in general, while the published author can home in on marketing and promotion suggestions. I'm going this year at the end of September.

Next is Florida Romance Writers, Fun in the Sun--Cruise with Your Muse, conference. It's held once every two years and yes, it does take place on a cruise ship! Now before you cringe at the thought of how much it will cost, remember that all meals are included, and the cruise line will offer discounts on several types of cabins. Also, the fee for this one is more than reasonable. Just imagine four days in the Caribbean with a destination of Cozumel as the highlight of your trip--not to mention all those workshops. Certainly something to think about.

I'm adding Sleuthfest to my list, too. It's run by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and takes place every year in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. If you write romantic suspense, this might be a good alternative to the usual romance oriented conferences. It's big--anywhere from two hundred-fifty to three hundred attendees, but it's well organized and their speakers are often headlining the NYT bestseller list. Once again, workshops take in the range of all levels of experience and the extra-curricular activities are so much fun!

Romance Writers of America sponsors a yearly get-together, too. It's simply called Nationals and is held in different regions of the country. I believe this year it's in San Diego in July. This conference is huge--the numbers can run into the thousands, but it's an experience every author should have before they hang up the old pen. Where else would you get the change to rub shoulders with the likes of Nora Roberts or Heather Graham?

Hey, wait a minute, you say. I don't write, I just love to read. Well, I've got a couple of conferences for you, too.

For starters, there's Romantic Times Booklovers Convention, also known as RT. It is a huge conference dedicated to letting the readers interact with their favorite authors. A few workshops are thrown in, but by and large, this is one massive party lasting almost a week. I'm not sure where the 2017 affair will be held, but RT just concluded the 2016 conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

And speaking of Las Vegas, how about the Hot Mojave Knights conference held in that city every year? It's RT on a much smaller scale. I attended in it's inaugural year and had a blast, but then who doesn't have a blast in Vegas? My former editor is highly involved with this one and I'm ashamed to say the timing hasn't been right for me to get back. But I'm definitely working on it.

For more information concerning dates, fees, and hotel accommodations for these and other conferences, Google the sites.

If any of you decide to attend, let me know and we can meet in the bar! LOL.

Have a great day.

Suzanne Rossi

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Muskrat Love

Kind of a belated Earth Day post. My beautiful Shenandoah Valley has been threatened lately by a big bad forest fire. We are deeply grateful for the diligent firefighters who are getting on top of the blaze. Thank heavens, some much needed rain is moving into our area. Finally. We didn't get those April showers you hear songs about.

I've had to drag the long hose around the garden every darn day to water the many wildflower seeds I've sown, and my salad patch. The seedlings are at the newly emerged stage when moisture is essential. I didn't have to go around with the hose yesterday or today and am praying for more rain. When you're a gardener and a farmer--I'm both--you rely heavily on Mother Nature.

Even during a drought/forest fire, I've noted forecasters would rather cut off their arm than promise us anything but fair weather over the sacred weekends. Get in touch with nature, people.

(Image above of the valley in spring taken several years ago by my mom.)

Meanwhile, life on our farm pond goes on. Meadow larks trill from the grass. Geese, ducks, swans, and now muskrats are all busy with their spring rituals. This generally involves egg laying and peeping offspring. I've spotted goslings. Ducklings appear a little later. No baby muskrats yet, but the adults are nesting. The swans come and go, so we don't think they have a nest. They are new arrivals on our pond this spring. Refugees, actually. Believe it or not, swan are under attack in Virginia for being too aggressive when nesting. So are geese. We just give them a wide berth.

(Look closely for the muskrat.)

(Swan with ducklings. My DH took these pics.)


(Daughter Elise got this shot of the goslings)

I find abundant inspiration in nature, and set many of my stories in our misty mountains. My new YA series, The Secret Warrior, is set there. On a clear day, I can see the Alleghenies from our farm. The ridges roll endlessly to the west. We're only miles from the foothills. Hop in the car, and we're there. The Blue Ridge are a little farther to the east. From the tall hill where some friends live, the mountain ranges surrounding our lovely valley are visible in every direction. A spectacular panoramic view.

Without the abundant life around me, I don't know what I'd write. I'm a gardener/nature lover and an author. The two hold hands.

Hubby took a video of the muskrat and other wildlife on our pond. A morning radio program is going in the background, but you can still hear geese and bird calls. I tried and tried to get the video to load here but it refused. I put it on FB: Author Beth Trissel.

Go out and plant something, or put in a water garden, bird feeder, or whatever brings more life to your bit of earth.


Breaking news! After about six hours I got the video on YouTube.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Time to Plant Flowers by Vonnie Davis

Finally, the manuscript for book two of my "Black Eagle Ops" series has been emailed to my editor. I was only 6 days past my deadline and--cough--19,000 words over what they'd asked for in the contract. But, really, who wants to read a piddling 70,000 word book? Besides, I'm a writer, not a mathematician.

Or so I'll tell Sue when she returns the manuscript and tells me to cut chapter 9 and eliminate a character or two because this mess is wa-a-a-y too long.

She sent me 3 pictures of men today to use as models for the cover of the book. The graphic department at Loveswept is working on the book now, even though it won't release until Thanksgiving week. I have to admit they were all handsome looking devils. Each swoon-worthy in his own way. The only problem being they all had two arms and my hero, a former SEAL, lost most of his arm in Syria. Calvin and I studied them and both agreed number 2 was the best, tattoos and all. Would a prosthesis have a tat, I wondered? Still, it's too early in that process to get up-tight. I might end up with a completely different male. Who knows.

Meanwhile, it's time to plant flowers!

Yay me, I love to play in the dirt. There aren't just newly bought flats of annuals sitting outside the garage and hanging pots from the roof of the front porch, but there are also 5 new indoor plants to replace the ones that had the audacity to wither and die while I wrote like a mad woman.

Seriously, just because I forgot to water them for a few little ol' months. Can you imagine? Where was their loyalty. Hadn't I talked to them? Sung to them? Gee, you don't think my singing was what killed them, do you? After all, what do plants know about hitting the right notes?

I really miss the six-foot palm I'd nursed from an eight-inch plant in a basket assortment given to me after I'd been in a car accident back in 2000. The palm had survived my moving from Pennsylvania to Maryland when Calvin and I got married. I'd lovingly set it on the floor of the car when we moved from Maryland to Virginia in 2005. It looked fabulous in the corner of our living room when I started writing HERS TO HEAL. Maybe the book's title should have been A PLANT TO KILL.

Read more about my books at www.vonniedavis.com


Sunday, April 24, 2016

DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!

How do you keep a story interesting? Historical fiction is pretty straight forward. There might be a villain or a struggle to survive in a hostile environment. Science Fiction tends to be similar to a space western. Someone is always conquering galaxies. Then there is straight suspense. Murder, theft, mayhem. Seems like a lot to work with, but you have to keep your readers guessing.

A television series may keep the fans on edge by killing off favorite characters. Think Game of Thrones. I'm still upset over Ned Stark's violent demise. No, I didn't read the books. I tried but they are huge and the paperbacks have tiny, tiny print.

Unless you're actually writing a series of book, you don't have the time to develop beloved characters. I remember a well known romantic suspense author saying she upset some of her readers when a dog was badly injured.  No one gave her grief about the kid in danger, but don't hurt the dog.


An author walks a tight line by endangering a well known character. I suppose an author of a long running series might get tired of a character. Even Agatha Christie didn't care for Poirot. She was quoted as wondering why she ever "invented this detestable, bombastic, tiresome little creature?"
Ms. Christie did kill him off  eventually and an obituary was even printed in the New York Times. Since this was in 1974, I have no idea how her fans received this turn of events.

It's scary. You risk losing a reader if you've developed a fictional character and suddenly they are gone. Does this development make sense? Is it really necessary?  Does it take the protagonists in a different direction? Be ready to answer these questions and convince your readers you haven't lost your mind.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Creating a title



Writers know how important a title can be to getting attention for their book. The title draws the reader to the blurb and sample. Blah or misleading titles doom sales or lead to unhappy readers.
 
With writing as many titles as I have with 25 books and hundreds of blogs, I should be used to coming up with names. I found with this new 5 book series, I was not so. The series began with a neighborhood in Tucson. Such a cool place and I love its name. I felt though that using it in a title might mislead readers into thinking the book is ethnic. It’s not. 

Moving into a new genre complicated it for me. What would readers of urban fantasies be expecting in a title? How would I let them know that the books were also romances?

For those who may not be into them, urban fantasies are where you have ordinary folks going about their business, with no clue that alongside them are diviners, shapeshifters, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, warlocks, shamans, conjurers, elves, trolls, and so forth. The fey try to keep the un-fey from knowing they are around—unless they threaten them or see them as prey.   

One thing that helped, on the otherworldly end, is that I had done research on it for two earlier paranormals. So, I put together my timelines, got a feel for the setting, photos for characters for the books and trailers. I came up with five general plots. Five potential covers... but still didn't have titles.

Some writers get the titles while writing the books. I have often done that, but this time, this was a series. I wanted the titles to go together and wanted all five before I began the first book. 

Often to get titles, I scribble down inspirations based on aspects to the books. Nothing though worked for me. Finally, I resorted to looking online for title creating tips. I found some good ones. Using them, I came up with keywords, and finally my needed titles began to flow—more scribbling but with purpose. 

A few titles, that I had liked, ran into roadblocks—already in use. One of my favorites was used by a famous author in a series nothing like mine but still it didn't seem it'd be smart to use it. I am not averse to using a title that is out there but not by a well-known author and not in the same genre I am writing. 

Finally, I found five where no one has them—yet. Since it’ll be months before they are all out, that could change. Unfortunately, there is no copyrighting a title—if there was, I’d do it as I put a lot of time into these.

Here are the title creating tips I found helpful:
    1. Have the title make a promise that the reader will find appealing
    2. The title should be attention grabbing.
    3. Memorable so the reader won’t forget if they didn’t buy it that day.
    4. Informative as to what is in the book.
    5. Easy to say.
 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are We There Yet? Self-Publishing... Or Not

By Sandra Nachlinger

Everyone has heard, “Are we there yet?” from a child on a long road trip or perhaps said those words themselves. Several months ago I wondered if I’d ever get to my destination—the re-release of my second book Bluebonnets for Elly.

About a year ago, Bluebonnets for Elly was picked up by a small publisher, released in paperback, and also offered as an ebook. I was ecstatic! But a few months later, the company unfortunately had to close its doors. The publisher graciously returned all rights to the books written by her authors, but … what to do? Send the manuscript out to agents or publishers? Re-release the book myself? I decided the best decision for me was to self-publish the novel. That’s when the journey began.

Here’s an overview of what is involved in self-publishing a book:


  • EDIT. The initial publisher had already assigned an editor for the book, but there’s always something to tweak – a better word, a more complete description, extraneous phrases to cut. After reading through the manuscript again and making changes, I asked a couple of fellow writers to read the book and give me feedback. Their input was extremely valuable. Professional editing services can also be used (for a fee, of course); however, my friends are knowledgeable writers and I trust their judgment.
  • READ through the book one more time to decide which changes I want to make, as suggested by my friends. After all, it’s my book and the final responsibility for its contents is mine.
  • CHANGE the contents and make sure that a revision on Page 5 doesn’t affect something that happens on Page 90.
  • FINALIZE a copyright page, bio, dedication, and any other pages I want to include in addition to the story itself.
  • FORMAT the manuscript for paperback and ebook publication. Smashwords has a nifty “nuclear” protocol, but it’s incredibly detailed and time-consuming. Professionals can be hired to format the book.
  • REVIEW the book online to make sure the margins, page headers, page numbers, page breaks, etc., are correct.
  • CREATE a cover. Purchase a photograph, create text for the front and back covers, decide on a glossy versus matte finish. I used Photoshop and spent many hours fiddling with different photos, fonts, and layout. You can pay someone to create a cover for you. CreateSpace offers that service for a fee, too.
  • SUBMIT the interior and cover files to Amazon and CreateSpace (and possibly elsewhere).
  • TWEAK the cover so that it complies with Amazon and CreateSpace’s requirements. The text on the spine of my book was too large initially.
  • PROOF. Once the book layout is approved, order a proof copy and read through the manuscript again, checking for mechanical problems (spacing, indents, italics, etc.), as well as missing words or grammatical mistakes that might not have been caught earlier. I found one missing word (“the”) and had to resubmit the book’s interior.
  • PRICING. Decide on what you’ll charge for both the paperback and ebook versions.
  • PUBLISH. Decide if you will offer the book in other outlets: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, etc. Decide if the book will be offered to Amazon’s overseas markets and if you will participate in Kindle Unlimited or other programs. Decide if you want to offer the book for pre-order.
  • PROMOTE the book’s release (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) Actually, this should start in advance of the release date.
  • WRITE. Start writing the next book.

I’m sure I left out some of the steps in the process, and the sequence of events may be different for different writers. For example, some writers have an idea for the book’s cover before they even start writing the story. Add your experiences and thoughts in a comment, please! But this is basically what I experienced in republishing BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY. 

I’m happy that the answer to “Are we there yet?” is finally YES!  





You can find the new and improved BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY here:
ELLY on Amazon

Monday, April 18, 2016

LAS VEGAS, BABY AND ROMANTIC TIMES





 




I've just spent the last few days having fun in Las Vegas, Nevada. My daughter, Amye, traveled with me to keep me company, to perform Sherpa duties, and to show me the ropes and a good time( aka: keep me out of trouble. Lol).  Eight years ago, I went there with her and her husband and really did the town (I was much younger) up right. This time we stayed close to our own hotel, Harrah's, and the Rio, where the convention was held.

Image result for Rio Hotel



























Romantic Times Booklovers Convention was held there in all its glam and glory. If you've never been, Kathryn Falk and her staff always manage to out-do themselves from the year before. There are authors, cover models and wonderful readers.




The halls and elevators are decorated with author pics and their covers. Enthusiastic attendees dress up in costume, to meet their favorite author and join in the fanfare. There is a huge book signing held both Saturday and Sunday giving fans the opportunity to meet authors and cover models. Did I say HUGE?







The most fun I had this year was an event I attended with many of my friends. We belong to an awesome Facebook group of authors and readers of Western Historical Romance, called Pioneer Hearts. It is a place to find out about favorite authors latest releases, discuss favorite books and join exclusive contests, but it is so much more. The people are warm, loving, giving, readers and authors alike, and it feels like home! We held a readers event, Pioneer Hearts Hoedown to meet and greet our friends. There were contests, giveaways, and author swag.



 Here are some pics from a wonderful time.






Meeting my cover artist, Charlene Raddon
Me with a fan talking about Pioneer Hearts
















If you'd like to belong to a fantastic group of readers and writers of Western Historical Romance, please check out the Pioneer Hearts Group, You'll be glad you did!

Next year's Romantic Times Convention will be held in Atlanta. I'll be there again for a wonderful time and I'll be looking for you!.

Hugs to all,
Carra

Carra's Amazon Author Page



Saturday, April 16, 2016

April Fools Shout May Day by Joan Reeves

I owe how much?
I was bemoaning how much I pay in taxes when I came across a quotation about those dreaded income taxes.

Rob Knauerhase said: "Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day and ends with cries of May Day!?"

Eureka! I had the inspiration and title for this post. After all yesterday was April 15, usually the annual pay-up and gripe day if you live in the U.S.

For those of you who live outside the U.S., that's the day our annual tax returns are due. The IRS has grown more understanding over the years and now gives a couple of days grace period if the due date falls on Friday or a weekend.

I always think it's better to laugh than cry so here are a dozen quotations that show taxpayers all have one thing in common regardless of political party affiliation: hatred of income tax and those complicated forms, schedules, and instructions.

Funny Quotes About Income Tax

"The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government." ~ Barry Goldwater, Politician

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss." ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Author of Science Fiction

"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has." ~ Will Rogers, Humorist

"Look at it this way: If you don’t spend your dollars on the IRS, you’d probably just squander it on foolish things, like food, rent." ~ Cindy Adams, NY Post Journalist

"The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin." ~ Mark Twain, Author

"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money." ~ Arthur Godfrey, Humorist

"There’s nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won’t cure." ~ Dan Bennett, Comedian

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax." ~ Albert Einstein, Genius

"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages." ~ H. L. Mencken, Author

"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." ~ Herman Wouk, Author

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." ~ Will Rogers, Humorist

And, last, but not least, let's hear from an IRS professional who was quoted as saying: "The trick is to stop thinking of it as your money." ~ IRS Auditor

Need More Laughter?

May I suggest my romantic comedy APRIL FOOL BRIDE which is on sale for only 99cents--no April Fool joke!

Oil heiress Madeline Quinn needs a husband by the time she turns twenty-five in order to claim her full inheritance. Mad Maddie, as the tabloids christened her, has learned the hard way that men only see dollar signs when they look at her.

Maddie decides a marriage of convenience is the only answer. She turns to the one man in the world she can trust, her housekeeper’s son who always treated her like a little sister when they were kids growing up together.

Jake Becker hasn’t seen Maddie since the night she tried to seduce him. Why should he help the woman who changed the course of his life? Simple. Revenge.

Or is it something else? Something hot and smouldering that will not be denied?


Post Script

I’d be delighted if you’d follow me on 1 or all of these: Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Triple delighted if you sign up for WordPlay, my email list/newsletter for readers so I can give you a free book.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO WITH JASON BACA

By Anna Jeffery

Check out this video! 


The model in the video, Jason Baca, is one of Kim Killion's models and he's on the cover of my book "Sweet Water." In the book, he's Terry Ledger, the hero. It's so cool to see one of my book covers in this video and to hear him say he actually reads all of the books he poses for. I rarely get this kind of publicity.  



Most people agree that a striking book cover is the number one factor that drives book sales. Blurbs are great, as are reviews, but a great cover is the best thing. When I was contracted by a New York publisher, I had no control of my book covers. They never asked for my input, although sometimes they would ask me if I liked what they came up with. But they didn't really care if I did or not. By the time it was presented to me, their people had already discussed and decided. 
Now that I'm self-publishing my books, I make these decisions myself and it feels good to do it. I do it, of course, through Kim Killion who is a wonderful graphic designer. If she ever quits this business, I'll be hardpressed to find someone equal to her. She has designed every one of my covers.  

***
 On a different note, YOU CAN HAVE MY HEART, BUT DON'T TOUCH MY DOG by DIXIE CASH was released on April 5th. So far, it has gotten mostly 5-star reviews, which is good news.  The book is available at all of the major online sites as an e-book. Eventually, there will be print copies. The blurb is below.



After two divorces, Sandi Walker, entrepreneur extraordinaire, is on her own and loving it. As a devout animal lover, she has made a success of the only gourmet pet food bakery in Midland, Texas. She’s also a pet foster parent and has fifteen assorted abused and unwanted animals at home. When a golden-colored stray dog with an abundance of personality appears at her door, she can’t refuse him and she can’t keep from falling in love with him. She names him Waffle and gives him a permanent home.

General Manager of the Flying C Ranch, Nick Conway, has searched for months for his lost dog, Buster. Giving up on ever finding him, he looks for a new dog and finds a puppy at a pet grooming shop. While he went to the shop to see a puppy, he also encountered a beautiful redheaded woman he can’t put out of his mind. Little does he know that she found Buster in an alley and has now claimed him as her own. Sparks fly between Sandi and Nick when he steals Buster and sues her in court for custody. It will take a mouthy parrot, a sitting judge, the matchmaking skills of the Domestic Equalizers and Cupid himself to resolve this conflict.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rabbit Holes = Another Story by Paty Jager

My favorite part of writing a book, any book, be it a western, an action adventure, or a mystery is the research.

I can spend hours reading and researching something for a book. For instance, this week I've been watching old movies and reading articles on the process of haying with horses because I have a "city slicker" in my historical western work in progress who has to help with the haying. I not only know how the equipment works, how much muscle it requires to run them, but I've figured out which he'll be good at and which the heroine can show him up with.

Spending all these hours on learning more about this equipment may seem a bit much, I now have information for another book I've been thinking about writing for some time. It also deals with farming in the 1800's and I can use this information for that book as well.

The part about research that I really like is when I stumble over something that won't work for the current book but I have an "aha" moment that starts me writing down a premise for another book.

And the best part about research is meeting people whether in person or online when I need a contact to help me discover the information I need for a book. I've written to historical societies, museums, and bloggers to find out information. For my book Isaac: Letters of Fate, I contacted the Montana Assay office to find out how they marked their gold bricks in 1887. I enjoy the hunt and discovering things that might not be easy to find. The trivia about a place or person that adds a little touch of color to the story.

My newest release, Killer Descent: A Shandra Higheagle Mystery I made the online acquaintance of a female coroner who helped me with the death and wounds on my murder victim. Emailing back and forth with her to get information was fun, and I now have a new friend and person I can email when I need information like this.

Here is a peek at Killer Descent, book five in the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries



Abuse…Power…Murder

Once again Shandra Higheagle finds herself a suspect in a murder investigation when an ex-lover is found murdered on a Huckleberry ski run. A past she’d planned to never divulge now must be shared with the first man she’s trusted, Detective Ryan Greer.

Ryan puts his job in jeopardy when he’s booted from the case and uses all resources plus a few extra to prove Shandra is innocent. The information leads them down a road of blackmail and betrayal of the ugliest kind. 

This is a scene that uses the forensics I discovered from my research.
“Cathleen says this is now a homicide. She just sent me the forensic autopsy.” Ryan went in the other room and came back with his laptop. “It’s easier to read documents on here than my phone,” he said, placing his laptop on the counter.
Keys clicked and his attention was riveted on the computer screen.
Shandra wiggled on her stool, wondering what the report had to say.
Ryan finished reading and turned to her. “It was definitely a homicide. A twenty-two caliber bullet entered his skull, killing him instantly.”
“Twenty-two? I didn’t think a bullet that small could kill someone.” She thought about the rifle she carried when on the mountain. It was a .38. Strong enough to deter any of the large animals on the mountain.
“Used the way this one was, it is deadly. It had to be someone Landers knew. According to the report, the bullet entered through his left temple. The stocking cap he wore must have been frozen over the hole. That’s why we didn’t see it.” Ryan stared out the window. “He was laying on his right side. That’s why we didn’t see any blood. The forensic specialist says the barrel of the weapon was placed against the head and the trigger pulled. The smoke left a dark coloration and the gases from the firing ripped the skin around the wound.”
Shandra shuddered. “How could someone stand next to him and pull the trigger?”
“It was someone who was cold and calculating.” He read a little more then closed his computer. “Do you own a twenty-two?”
She stared at him. “No.”
“Good. That’s the first thing the state police will ask you when they question you.” He sipped his coffee.
“Do you think the gun in Carl’s hand in my dream is the murder weapon?” she asked.
 Ryan turned to her. “The pistol that killed him must have been Landers’. Either he was carrying it and someone took it away from him…”
“Or someone staying with him took it from his possessions and planned to use his own pistol on him,” she finished. Her thoughts went straight to Tabby, who was doing her best to pin the murder on Shandra.
“Finding that weapon is the clue to the killer,” Ryan said.
“If it’s small, it could be anywhere. The killer could have dropped it in a snow drift or tossed it in the garbage at the lodge.” Shandra wasn’t feeling confident they’d find the weapon.
Ryan dug into his food. “The good news is you don’t own a twenty-two.”





You can learn more about Paty at:
blog / websiteFacebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter



  photo purchased from Canstock