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

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

 

 

 

 

HOW TO FIND TIME FOR YOUR PASSION

Life is chaotic and busy. If you daily trudge to a full-time job and spend hours in traffic, you can add two to three hours to your eight hour work day. I live near the Seattle area where workers have gradually started their commute earlier and earlier to beat the congestion. Unfortunately, many others had the same idea, and now there are miles-long traffic jams at four am.  I used to make that trek and eventually caved to the idea of public transportation. So I’d ride the bus to downtown Seattle and walk several blocks from the bus tunnel to work. It meant rising much earlier than my body wanted to. On the way home, this weary commuter snoozed until I arrived at the Park-and-Ride. I’m much luckier now. In the morning, my commute is a mere forty-five minutes from my home in the South Puget Sound.

commuter traffic for blog

I’m a novelist, and regardless of the shorter commute, I still struggle to find time to write Monday through Friday. In addition to writing, I work a full-time job and am raising a teenage boy. Couple that with ordinary life like commitments at church, paying bills, cleaning house, laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning the dreaded cat pan. I feel like I’m putting what I really loved to do on hold far too often. Guilt beats me up when a fellow blogger or fan asks me, “When is your new novel going to be published?” I have become an artful liar. “By summer’s end, the raw draft should be ready for an editor.”

I think I have found a solution though. My body rises at an ungodly early hour even on weekends. If I get at least a half a cup of coffee in me, don’t bother to dress, or turn on the TV, I’ve got a chance to get some serious writing done. Like a child with ADHD, if I get distracted by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Gmail, I’m a goner. Before I know it, two hours have passed, and by then the animals are circling my feet for breakfast, and my grandson has stumbled upstairs for cereal.  I wish the pharmaceutical companies had a pill for self-discipline.

That’s what it takes to complete a goal. Self-discipline.  Sometimes, mine is in short supply. In the last ten years, I’ve written five novels. I want to make room for the sixth novel on my website header below. cropped-fb-kelly-2017-blog.jpg

I faithfully read fellow author Kristin Lamb’s blog:https://authorkristenlamb.com/ Her advice? Just do it. She even emails me and other followers at random hours to join her for writing sprints. Maybe it’s a half-hour or an hour. She emails, “Hello from the I-nag.” It’s a call to action to hyper-focus and a reminder that even fifteen minutes or a half-hour can inch me towards my goal.

My writing matters…A LOT. But so does life. I have some dear family members who are facing serious health issues. That’s a sharp reminder to me that in the whole scheme of things, they are more important than a completed novel.  I continue to keep my eye on the target, but precious time with loved ones is the greater goal.

Til next time, dear friends.

Kelly

FREE

We all love the word free. I do. Whenever I see it, my eyes race across the page to see if this free product is something I am willing to jump through hoops for. There’s usually a catch. Not here. I am giving away three copies of Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die.

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You can sign up June 10th through the 24th. Just click the link and it will take you to the right place. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/236973-kiss-the-girls-and-make-them-die

No worries, I’m not going to keep your email address. If you trust me and want to connect through email, here’s a simple contact form:  http://www.kellymarshallbooks.com/

In KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE, Seattle homicide detectives, Nick Winston and Pat Strom, search out crime in the underbelly of the Emerald City. This time, a serial killer is murdering lesbians in the Northwest’s most gay-friendly city. They are called to the apartment of a University of Washington student, Kylee Harris. The provocative young woman is slaughtered in her bed and the killer leaves behind a grisly clue that shocks even the most cynical detectives.

In Bellevue, an upscale community east of Seattle, Winston and Strom discover an exclusive club for lesbians where decadent parties are a monthly event. The revelries are catered affairs with soft chamber music, gourmet food, hot tubs, and many bedrooms. The elite meet to hook up, confident their dalliances will not end up in the society section of the Seattle Times. But when the assistant to Seattle Mayor Brody is brutally mutilated, Police Chief Irwin turns up the heat to find the murderer and to quiet whispers of a serial killer.

Two more ghastly murders in the gay community throw the Seattle Police and surrounding jurisdictions into chaos as they frantically search for the person responsible for the deaths. Memories of the protracted search for the Green River Killer haunt law enforcement. Winston and Strom are at the epicenter of the investigation when, suddenly, the case becomes terrifyingly real for Detective Pat Strom.

If the story intrigues you, enter here to win your free copy.  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/236973-kiss-the-girls-and-make-them-die

 

The plot of my next book is already bubbling in my brain. From Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned.

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 Huddled in a pew outside the confessional, Cecilia Armstrong fingered her blue rosary beads as her lips whispered the well-known words, “Hail Mary, full of grace…” She completed the rosary and looked up. Whatever was taking Father Patrick so long with the last penitent? She tried not to judge, but surely someone had confessed mortal sins. Otherwise, why would the priest have to counsel them for almost an hour? Had the penitent left through the door on the other side of the confessional? She looked up to see the light still glowing red indicating Father was still in the room. She reached down to gather her purse from the floor and noticed a creeping stream of red flowing from beneath the confessional door.

 

 

No More “Happy Ever After”

How many times have you heard people say, “I’m going to write a book one day?” I muttered that phrase to myself many times. I’d sit down with a legal pad in hand and start writing about love gone wrong because as a teenager that’s usually the case. Later in my thirties when I  was a bit more serious about actually finishing a project, I took a seminar sponsored by Harlequin Books and wrote copious notes about “the formula.” All romance books have guidelines about when the lovers meet, how quickly they fall in love, what obstacles they face in their relationship, and how the book should end. I tried. I really did.  Continue reading

KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE

A writer spends many lonely hours hunched over a computer weaving dark tales of murder and mystery. For the past year-and-a-half, I have been writing another story about my two favorite characters, Nick Winston and Pat Strom. The Seattle homicide detectives search out crime in the underbelly of the Emerald City. This time, a serial killer is murdering lesbians in the Northwest’s most gay-friendly city. They are called to the apartment of a University of Washington student, Kylee Harris. The provocative young woman is slaughtered in her bed and the killer leaves behind a grisly clue that shocks even the most cynical detectives.

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In Bellevue, an upscale community east of Seattle, Winston and Strom discover an exclusive club for lesbians where decadent parties are a monthly event. The revelries are catered affairs with soft chamber music, gourmet food,  hot tubs, and many bedrooms. The elite meet to hook up, confident their dalliances will not end up in the society section of the Seattle Times. But when the assistant to Seattle Mayor Brody is brutally mutilated, Police Chief Irwin turns up the heat to find the murderer and to quiet whispers of a serial killer.

Two more ghastly murders in the gay community throw the Seattle Police Department and surrounding jurisdictions into chaos as they frantically search for the person responsible for the deaths. Memories of the protracted search for the Green River Killer haunt law enforcement. Winston and Strom are at the epicenter of the investigation when, suddenly, the case becomes terrifyingly real for Detective Pat Strom.

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die coming soon from WhiteBird Publications.