A CREATOR OF EXCELLENCE

I’ve never met the man, but I feel like I know him just by reading his books. Caleb Pirtle III and I have been housed with two different publishing companies through the years and have become friends and supportive authors. I am now a member of a marketing support group for authors that Caleb and his wife Linda initiated and manage. I am thrilled to be working with both of them. They have years of expertise and knowledge that they readily share.

Add to Caleb’s resume three teleplays: Gambler V: Playing for Keeps, a mini-series for CBS television starring Kenny Rogers, Loni Anderson, Dixie Carter, and Mariska Hargitay, Wildcat: The Story of Sarah Delaney and the Doodlebug Man, a CBS made-for-television movie, and The Texas Rangers, for John Milius and TNT television.

While I am working with Caleb on a professional basis, I am also a rabid fan of his books. I’d like to share some of them with you. Caleb is a prolific writer that can whip out an excellent novel in a matter of month and to date has written in the neighborhood of ninety novels. He does it with such ease and speed that it boggles my mind. It takes me a year and then some to get a novel to market. He loves suspense with an eye on history, including four noir thrillers in the Ambrose Lincoln series: Secrets of the DeadConspiracy of Lies, and Night Side of Dark, and Place of Skulls. 

Ambrose Lincoln is a trained assassin who the government uses to eliminate those who pose a threat to them. They erase his memory after every assignment using mind control and shock treatments. He becomes a man with no memory, no family, no feeling. He is the walking dead.

Caleb’s new writing project is called the Boom Town Saga Series. Eudora Durant is a formidable woman who just might have ensured her status as a widow with the help of a 22-caliber coon rife. She’d had enough of the drunken reprobate known as Washburn Durant. He disappeared and there were whispers that she shot him. She kept the secret close to her heart, and only Doc knew the truth. Doc Bannister had been a con most of his life, selling things he called doodlebugs to unsuspecting farmers. When the farmers discovered the doodlebugs were useless hunks of junk, Doc was already on the road planning his next con. His path crossed Eudora’s in the small wasted town of Ashland Texas. He smooth-talked her into drilling for oil on her land. Oil sprouted into the hot Texas sky, making Eudora one wealthy woman. He’s still a con but she loves him and forgives his occasional disappearances when a hot poker game calls his name.

The third book in the series is called Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon, Eudora is waiting for Doc at the Ashland train station when a pale, green-eyed boy steps off the train with a tattered piece of paper pinned to his coat. My name is Ollie Porter. My daddy is Oliver Porter. He works in the oilfields. Does anyone know where he is? Dad is nowhere in sight. Eudora tucks the boy under her wing and the stage is set for another spell-binder from Caleb Pirtle III. Here’s the Amazon link to Lost Side of an Orphan’s Moon. https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Side-Orphans-Moon-Boom-ebook/dp/B088KV1VFK/

LOVE’S ENIGMA

Charles Breakfield and Rox Burkey are coauthors of the award-winning Enigma Books series. The books are steeped in the complexity of the tech world while intrigue and devious plots swirl around the main characters.

Charles Breakfield calls technology the new weapon of choice. You only have to look at today’s headlines to see that China and Russia are stealing our information through hacking of secure government websites to interfering with our election process. I was a personal victim of the Chinese-sponsored hacking of the Office Of Personnel Management in April of 2015. I still work for the federal government and foreign thieves stole money from my PayPal account while my KellyMarshallBooks.com website was also compromised. Hundreds of bogus emails were sent out allegedly from me. Godaddy helped to staunch the bleeding, but I certainly felt violated. An identity protection company warned me that my personal information was now on the “dark web” and that I will always be vulnerable. So Charles Breakfield is correct. Whether you are the President or a pauper, our personal information is under attack by villians from around the world.

Breakfield and Burkey are fellow authors and I was invited to read a short story they had written-also in the Enigma Series called Love’s Enigma. The main characters are Buzz and Zara, talented and capable computer programmers who work closely together and fall deeply in love. Buzz is committed and wants more, but Zara is evasive. She is a passionate beautiful Russian who loves where they are in their relationship, but she is eternally resistant to permanence.  She alludes to a deep, dark secret she dare not reveal.The couple relocate to the Caribbean to teach their programming expertise to students who will follow in their footsteps. Buzz is hoping the romantic locale will nudge Zara in the right direction. Since it is a short story, I will say no more, except to say buy the story to find out the dramatic ending.

Now that I have been introduced to this award-winning duo of techno-thrillers, I am going to dive further into their Enigma Series. If I’ve intrigued you enough, here’s a link to their website on all things Enigma: https://www.enigmanbookseries.com

Soon, I will introduce you to LOST SIDE OF AN ORPHAN’S MOON by one of my all-time favorite authors, Caleb Pirtle III. An author of 80 plus books, he a master of thriller fiction and will keep you reading deep into the night.

Happy reading!

JUST A TASTE

I love writing, but I must admit the process of writing and traditional publication had become stale for me. I wanted something new and fresh to invigorate my writing. It was at the prompting of several friends that I decided to write my next book by podcast. It’s not quite an audio book, but you get the flavor of one without me reading my book to you. So I invited a fellow radio broadcaster, Larry Hinze, to put on his theatrical mask and become homicide detective Nick Winston. I have become his partner in policing, Pat Strom. If you haven’t had the opportunity to tune into my new book Podcast, Deadly Match, I’d like to give you samples of my episodes. Hopefully, I’ll intrigue you enough that you’ll tune in every other Sunday for a new episode.

Episode One finds Seattle Homicide Detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom called to a late night murder scene at the Nickerson Street Saloon in Seattle. Pat finds Nick near a dumpster where a homeless person had been dumpster diving and instead of dinner, he found the severed head of a once beautiful woman. If this is your first visit, you can listen to the entire episode here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpQYvDDQiUo&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ

In Episode Two, Nick peruses online dating sites and discovers revealing pictures of a woman who looks suspiciously like the victim he and his partner had discovered the night before. The provocative site is called Meet Your Match and the woman’s user name was Spanish Eyes 69. Listen here for Episode Two. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RMfHMt1hUQ&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=2

Episode Three finds the two detectives scrambling to discover the identity of the Spanish Eyes 69. Their supervisor, Captain Martin, decides to make a public plea and engages the help of a forensic artist to draw the image of the severed head. A frantic call to the Seattle Police Department leads to success for the department, but marks a tragedy for a family desperately hoping to find their loved one. Here’s the link for Episode Three. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztMfuFeV_CY&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=3

Episode Four: Nick and Strom visit the home of Valentina Colon’s family. The victim’s mother is now the custodian of the dead woman’s three young children. Nick is captivated by three-year-old heartbreaker Mateo Colon. Later, Nick makes Tandy an offer she can’t refuse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVFdVw9u544

Episode Five Nick and Pat learn another body part has been found in trash bin behind a Mexican Restaurant just south of Seattle. Their goal is to find the killer who has murdered and dismembered Valentina Colon. The detectives hope more of her body can be recovered for a more thorough autopsy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag48l-u1iU0&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=6

Episode Six :A shocking new development in the case of the murdered young mother, Valentina Colon. Winston and Pat Strom are stunned by the new information that changes the whole thrust of the investigation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnU2bxt1J3A&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=8

Episode Seven: Our two homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom, are increasingly convinced that another serial killer has emerged in the Pacific Northwest. Camila Vasquez, the mother of Valentina Colon, is instrumental in providing invaluable evidence in the hunt for the madman murdering and mutilating area women. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0gI0cTqivg&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=9

Episode Eight: Seattle Detectives Nick Winston and Pat Strom have been desperate to find the phone of murder victim Valentina Colon. They believe the cell phone will identify who was the last person to see Valentina alive. The detectives rush to a remote area on Cougar Mountain where her car is finally discovered. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqf23RrD_Xg&list=PL1YyuYedCtU79EsXf1SdUQQLoREFI5RBJ&index=4

Episode Nine: is produced and set for publication. At last, Winston and Strom have the name of the man who perhaps was the last person to see their victim alive. The detectives locate Handsome Harry. Join me for the next exciting episode of DEADLY MATCH at KellyMarshallBooks.com/on-the-air.

Do You Read Anymore?

It’s a valid question. I’m a writer and I want people to read my books. Writing is hard. There are so many steps between an idea in my brain to holding the finished book in my hands. It’s a long, tedious, exacting process that can be exhausting and expensive.

But if I am to be completely honest with you, when I’m lying in bed at night, Kindle in my hands, I will peruse through the many books I have downloaded, and quite often, I will opt for a video instead. What? A writer choosing a video over a book! I feel like a traitor to my fans and fellow writers. When I analyze myself honestly, I chalk it up to laziness. When I’m tired and just want to be entertained, I choose a movie. My brain isn’t necessarily engaged. I am just passively watching the story unfold in front of me. When I read, I want to be totally engrossed, transforming the words I am reading into images in my head. It’s a different process where I am more present, more committed.

There is a certain amount of shame in my confession, but I don’t think I am alone in the process. Netflix, Hulu, Prime Movies. Roku TV, VUDU, tubi are all doing quite well. It used to be after a long hard day at work, after dinner, after the dishes were done, it was common for me to pull out a J.A. Jance mystery and read until bedtime. I’ve been a life-long reader, but not anymore. Instead, I’m mad for Starz and the latest Outlander episode. I frankly, can’t get enough of that Jamie. God bless author Diana Gabaldon for writing such an endearing character. I recently read her book, I Give You My Body (How I Write Sex Scenes.) I learned a lot from that book! Continue reading

Ch-Ch-Changes

Hello friends,

I owe you an apology. I committed the cardinal sin of being inconsistent with my blog. I promised monthly conversations, but that didn’t happen. I admit last year, I was floundering with the direction of my writing career.

Part of me had always wanted a publisher. There was something credible about having a publisher’s logo on the spine of my books. I’ve had two publishers, one was successful, the other, well not so much. A few years ago, California Times Publishing, an Internet publishing website, contacted me and requested to represent me.  I admit to being flattered. I had not sought their support; Jeff Napolitano of California Times Publishing had found me. It was like being invited to the prom. I said yes. Continue reading

SOON…VERY SOON

One of the biggest highlights for an author is when she can write THE END at the bottom of the last page. Friday night, I did just that. It’s like having a baby only your friends don’t give you showers.

BookdesignBetiBup33_4554A charismatic and popular priest, Father Michael Dunne is brutally stabbed to death in the confessional. The Seattle Catholic Community is stunned and in mourning for a cleric who served not only the people in his parish but many in the Northwest’s burgeoning homeless and drug-addicted communities. Continue reading

You Too Can Be A Media Darling

IMG_2282 (2)

Joanne McCall and I have been friends since the mid-eighties. We were broadcasters on sister stations in Portland, Oregon all those years ago. Because we were a minority, we banded together in a social organization we formed called Broads in Broadcasting. It was a way for us to network and support each other. But mostly, we just had a ton of fun.

We took diverse roads after broadcasting. I split my time between a job with the government and pursued my real love-writing dark murder mysteries in my free time. Joanne became a publicist and started her own company called McCall Media Group. 

I asked Joanne about her evolution from broadcasting to public relations. “That transition began in 1994 when I left broadcasting and went to work for a conference and retreat center as their PR director and special events manager. After I was there about a year, during which I was handling PR events and local media book tours for the likes of Kenny Loggins, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, and others, the CEO landed a book deal with a major publisher, Bantam Double Day Dell. They asked if I would like to head up the 25-city book tour and work with the publisher to do so, and I very excitedly said, “Yes! of course!”

The word publicist conjures up a number of images for me. What exactly do you do for authors who are interested in your services? “I work as a media trainer and publicist for nonfiction authors who specialize in business,
health, and some mindful/spirituality topics. I also work with fiction authors, business owners and others who want help positioning their work and delivering their messages in a compelling way. This is in the form of strategy sessions and media training. We discuss their goals, objectives, dreams, and desires, and then go about figuring the strategies that are the best way to make them happen.”Headshot, formal

For me, the hardest part of the publishing business is marketing. Any suggestions? “I have a couple of handouts I can share with anyone interested. One is a Publicity Cheat Sheet and the other is How to Become a Media Darling.”

I know that you have a program to help authors get ready for media interviews. Would you tell us about the program and what advice you give authors to get ready for radio and television interviews?
“I am launching a new beta program and event called McCalls
Media Finishing School this fall. We will do a full launch in the
spring of 2020. In addition to learning how to position your book or business, it also teaches you how to create sound bites, media training, and adding creative visualization and NLP to the mix.”

How does someone prepare for radio and television interviews? You and I had plenty of practice as broadcasters, but most authors don’t. How can they get prepared? Listen and watch other interviews. Who does it well and who doesn’t? The secret is to learn why and then do better. Make sure you create a list of key messages about your book. 8 to 15 will be enough. Key messages are those points that you will get across in any interview you do. It helps you to keep on track. Then create a list of interview questions. Have someone help you and do some mock interviews. Invite them to ask the questions and you practice answering.”

Just one final question. How do my readers get in touch with you? “They can
email me at joanne@joannemccall.com or they can go to joannemccall.com and fill out a form that comes right to me. Thanks, Kelly for all these fabulous questions. It’s really delightful and I hope your audience has found some of this helpful.” 

Thank you, my friend, for sharing your PR secrets with us. Loved chatting with you!

A WOMAN OF MANY TALENTS

Like many authors, Sandy Nachlinger has spent years honing her craft. She took numerous college classes, has attended writer’s conferences, and has spent many lonely hours with fingers flying over the keyboard trying to fashion the perfect story. sandy headshot10best3

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Sandra has been writing  stories since childhood. She told me she wrote her first romantic tale in elementary school, in pencil on lined paper. And just like the novels she’d later write as an adult, the heroine got a kiss at the happy ending. Sandy still has diaries from her school days, one of which inspired I.O.U. SEX, her first book co-written with her childhood friend, Sandra Allen. Her second book is BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY. Lately, Sandy has been creating shorter pieces while future novels still simmer in her imagination. Her focus is on contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and personal essays featuring mature women.

Sandy and I met when she first moved to the Pacific Northwest, almost fifteen years ago. We reconnected again at a creative writing class at Pierce County Community College. Once the course ended, several students formed a separate writing group for inspiration and feedback on our stories. That’s when we really got to know each other. The mix of five different women, each writing in a different genre, has been beneficial to us all—and it’s lots of fun.

Sandy is a gifted editor as well. She poo-poos the idea of hanging out a shingle and charging a fee. I’ve encouraged her to do just that though. I never send out any piece of significance without running it by Sandy first. She has an eye like an eagle and can spot a missing comma from miles high. Beyond that she has an uncommon intuitive sense that knows when a story line works and when it doesn’t. I trust her implicitly. I told her she’s going to have to live until she’s one hundred because I plan on writing that long.

sandy at the teahouse. img_4340

It simply isn’t true that writers are introverts who seldom see sunlight and spend most of their waking hours either reading other authors’ novels or penning another tome. When not writing, Sandy likes to hike, make quilts, garden, take photos, lunch with friends, travel, and spend as much time as possible with her granddaughter, Corinna. Here’s Sandy enjoying lunch in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Sandy is also written a number of magazine articles about her various pursuits and adventures.  Rollin’ On The River: http://sasee.com/2018/07/01/rollin-on-the-river/

Happy When I’m Hiking: http://sasee.com/2018/04/01/happy-when-im-hiking/

Sandy’s novels are available on Amazon in ebook and Paperback.

 

iou cover final more pixels

final bread better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.0.U. SEX: http://www.amazon.com/I-O-U-Sex-ebook/dp/B004CFAPA4/

BLUEBONNETS FOR ELLY: https://www.amazon.com/Bluebonnets-Elly-Sandra-Nachlinger-ebook/dp/B01C7KMBN

 

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM

I have numerous friends who love to write. They’re not on the New York Times Best Seller list yet, but they’re working on it. I’d like to share the story of one of my good friends who plows through an impossibly busy life to find time to follow her passion to write.

Kathy MacKenzie is truly a renaissance woman. She is a real estate broker and owner of Mackenzie Realty in California and Texas. She is a social media marketing specialist, a publicist, a web designer, and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Valley Center California Parks and Recreation Department. She is also a member of the Valley Center Planning Group, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Whew! On top of that she gives piano lessons once a week, and participates in a Kiwanis program called Rolling Readers that assists young children at their elementary school who need help with reading. Oh, yeah, she also plays tennis twice a week. In addition to this crazy, busy schedule, she has written two award-winning novels under the pen name of Bonny Brookes: Linked Lives and Darkest Dawn.

The 2014 winner of the Beverly Hills International Book Award in the relationships category, LINKED LIVES details the story of two women who cement a bond early in their childhood and develop a life-long support system for each other through poverty, unemployment, family struggles, betrayals in love, illness and death. Their linked lives created a rock solid friendship and love that spanned decades.

 

In Darkest Dawn Kathy writes about a woman named Linda who is unemployed, alone and facing an unplanned pregnancy. Abortion or adoption? The woman wonders if she can raise the child by herself after the father abandons her. In addition to this heart-wrenching decision, she is attacked by vicious dogs and stunned by a cruel death that leaves her inconsolable. Loving hands reach out to help her out of the depths of despair into peace and joy.

Like Kathy, my life is busier than I’d like. My dream is to retire from my full-time job and write every day, but someone has to pay the mortgage, and that would be me. I am working on my sixth novel, the fourth one in my Winston and Strom murder mystery series. Seattle homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom are called to investigate the murder of Father Michael Dunne who has been tragically stabbed to death in the confessional. Who would want to kill the popular priest? BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED will be published in the Spring of 2019