Friday, November 25, 2016

Carly Got Her Groove Back

Hey Guys, it's actually Carly this week on her own blog! I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family. This was the first one since my dad passed in December. It's been a little rough, but we have to carry on. 

I have been rather neglectful with my writing. This time last year my dad was in and out of the hospital. There was always something happening so there wasn't time to write. I was lucky that I was nearly done with Sasha Bishop: Shifter when all this occurred. I was able to get the book finished and submitted early this year for the June 1st release date.

I had plans for the last book in the Sasha series, the last book in the Forest of the Mist series, and a stand alone book that were bumping around in my head. All of that took a back seat though as family matters took precedence. I would write a sentence or two on one of the books and then set it aside for a couple of weeks. In other words, I was getting nowhere fast. I tried everything to get the storylines to appear. I used music, exercise, binge watched movies and TV series on Netflix. All of these things used to help me get my creative mojo going. Unfortunately, nothing worked. 

More things happened with job difficulties, family, friends, you name it...something was always put ahead of the writing. I would come up with a fabulous plot line and then write myself into a corner. Ugh, it drove me nuts.

Everybody kept telling me that I needed to slow down. I had a rough couple of years and met myself coming and going. Basically, I was tired. I didn't realize how tired I had become. I used to stay up writing at night, but now I could barely function after ten. So, I allowed myself to take a break. It felt wrong, it felt lazy, it felt like I was a slacker. It was the best thing for me. I'm not nearly as cranky as I used to be. I feel better and stronger. My headaches are not as frequent. I'm laughing and having fun again. It's been a slow process, but I am finally coming back around. Recently, I started writing on the WIP's. I'm excited to be back into the storylines that I left dangling months ago. I know my little hiatus has put me behind and will delay the last book of both series, but it was something that had to be done.   

I know I am not the only writer to have suffered the "crash and burn" syndrome. I know everybody has their own way of coping with it. For me, a little mental vacation was needed and worked. For those of you waiting on those last books, I hope to have them written by mid 2017 for a possible end of the year release date. Please be patient and know they are coming.

Thanks to all of you who are a fan. You guys make it all worth while.

Carly :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Book Review of BITTER RETRIBUTION by: Rachel Sharpe

Recently I was provided an ARC copy of Rachel Sharpe's book, BITTER RETRIBUTION.  This is the third book in the Jordan James, P.I. series. The first two books are COLD AMBITION AND LOST DISTINCTION. 

In BITTER RETRIBUTION,  Jordan's boyfriend, Rick, moves to London for a year. Jordan decides she needs a change of scenery herself. Her best friend, Heather, is the head writer for a new television show that is filming in the Rocky Mountains. Even though Thanksgiving is coming up, Jordan, along with her partner, Jon, head for Colorado to relax and have some fun. 

Jordan's vacation comes to a screeching halt when a stunt man from the show is killed on a ski run. Now Jordan and Jon have to figure out who the killer is before Heather loses her job and somebody else loses their life.

I really like the character of Jordan. She doesn't let life's situations get her down. She picks herself up and does what she feels is right. Rachel Sharpe weaves mystery, suspense, and murder into an entertaining and riveting book. 


“What started out as a star-studded vacation has turned into a sensational avalanche . . .” 

When private investigator Jordan James decided to join her best friend on the set of her hit television series in the Rocky Mountains, she had no idea she would become a key player in a murder mystery more suited for the big screen than the slopes. With one actor dead and a killer on the loose, can Jordan uncover the culprit before another victim makes headlines on Hollywood Minute? 


Want to know more about Rachel Sharpe?

Rachel Sharpe is the author of the Jordan James, PI series, including Cold Ambition, Lost Distinction, and Bitter Retribution. Although born and raised in the South, "Yankee" relatives first led Rachel to historic New England, which she has come to consider her second home and is the setting for the series. 

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in English, Rachel began dedicating her free time to her childhood passion, writing, and in the fall of 2013, she signed with Soul Mate Publishing. An active member of Sisters In Crime, Rachel currently resides with her husband and their children in the Greater New Orleans area.

"COLD AMBITION," "LOST DISTINCTION," and "BITTER RETRIBUTION," available now on Amazon from Soul Mate Publishing! 

Follow Rachel on Social Media:


Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Restore a Character’s Edge When the Weather Gets Him Down. By: C.T. Collier

Carly's View welcomes guest blogger and author, C.T. Collier. Ever lose your character's voice? Ever get to that point where no matter what you do the words just will not come? Do you ever wonder if the story in your head will make it onto paper? How many times has this happened? It's happening to me right now and one of the methods I use is music, just as C.T. talks about in her blog below.

Farmers and gardeners in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York had a tough time the summer of 2016 with its endless sunshine and severe drought conditions. As an author I had a different problem with the endless blue skies. My protagonist, Kyle Pennington, is Cornish and he’s got a chilly stormy personality that fits nicely with the lashing rainstorms and fierce winds that buffet the wild Cornish Coast. The weather put him off his game as a murder investigator. It took a while to understand the problem and find a solution.

The Finger Lakes is mild by comparison to Cornwall, but summers typically bring crashing thunderstorms, winds powerful enough to satisfy sailors and windsurfers, and the occasional gloomy stretch of gray rainy days. Very British and definitely sufficient to keep my vision of Kyle alive and well without effort. But there I was in the summer of 2016 having trouble with book two of my mystery series, The Penningtons Investigate. With all that sunshine and stillness and tropical heat, Kyle was out of his element.

He’d lost his edge. We needed a fix. We needed atmosphere. We needed inspiration. Where’s a slam-bang lightning storm when you need one? It came to me one evening at the end of another unproductive day that the solution was simpler and less costly than booking a trip to Cornwall.

For dark and stormy atmosphere, I dusted off my stereo, stacked up a dozen CDs, and queued them to play. Among them were classics inspired by the pounding of the Atlantic against the coast of Great Britain, like the Hebrides Overture, Fingal’s Cave, and Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony. Also in the stack were amateur pianist Kyle’s favorite finger-twisting solo piano pieces by Brahms and Chopin and Beethoven. After a few days of filling the house with music, my protagonist perked up and took renewed interest in tracking down a brazen thief who might also be our murderer.

However, Kyle had been quiet so long, I’d lost his voice. I needed to hear or at least read descriptions of the extraordinary beauty of the Cornish coast that Kyle misses now that he lives here in the Finger Lakes with his beloved wife, a professor at Tompkins College. Who could provide the words and the voice? The inspiration came when a friend sent a link to Irish poet Seamus Heaney’s reading of his visually stimulating poem Postscript. Although I couldn’t very well write while listening to evocative poetry being read aloud, I did stock up on Cornish mysteries by native author Janie Bolitho. Then, just for an hour each evening, I set about reading them in order, savoring the descriptions, phrases, values, lifestyles, and beauty of Cornwall.

One evening as I marked my place, I swear Kyle gave a great shuddery exhale and said in his most charming accent, “Thank you, my love.” The next morning—once again sunny, windless, and warm—my Cornish hero and I got on with the business of murder.


It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there’s a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?

Lyssa sobbed and punched her pillow and finally fell deeply asleep.
Sometime after midnight, a hand rose from the hole in the center of the garden, found her in the guest room, and grabbed her by the throat.
She bolted upright and sucked air with noisy gasps. Stroking her throat, she scanned every corner of the room. She was alone.
White window curtains fluttered as the heat came on. She studied the lacy pattern traced on the linen panels by the streetlamp as it shone through the branches of a tree.
Her breathing eased, and her hand slid instinctively lower, to her breastbone, where she massaged with soothing pressure. Her newfound calm brought awareness. She wasn’t alone.
Death was in the room with her.



C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting, Tompkins Falls, is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY. Entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college.


Facebook: kate.collier.315
Twitter: @TompkinsFalls