Meet Judy Moore

I need to be up front with this post: I’m biased! Judy Moore is a friend of mine and a fellow Sister In Crime member. We have spent hours chatting about books and writing. Even better, we live close to each other, so grabbing a cup of coffee and talking books is super easy.

61Eq65XWpRL._US230_   Meet Judy…

Judy writes wonderful thriller and suspense novels, but I’ve been trying to convince her how great the world of cozies can be. I’m tickled to death that she has written her first cozy mystery. I’ve read it, of course, and Judy nailed it! Her books are on Amazon and part of KU. You can also find her books on Goodreads.

Judy has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine feature writer, and publications editor for several years. A former tennis pro, Ms. Moore’s writing background also includes sports writing, and athletes from various sports are sprinkled throughout some of her novels. A lifelong resident of Florida, she currently resides in Vero Beach.

51FEqXzaumL   A Book Signing To Die For

When did you start writing?
As a child, I read all the time and was obsessed with fairy tales, the Dana Girls, and later Agatha Christie. But I was a math major and never thought seriously about writing until I took journalism my junior year in college and then changed my major from math. Once I started writing news and features, it came very naturally, and I knew it was the job for me. I became a newspaper reporter, a magazine feature writer, and a publications editor. When I took an early retirement from my full-time editing job, I decided it was time to start writing mysteries myself. I’m glad I’m at the point in my life that I can afford to write what I really want to write. I love coming up with oddball characters and writing books where the unexpected happens. I can’t stand formula stories. Sometimes, the bad guy might get away with it.

What is your approach to writing?
I write in a simple journalistic style. Grab the reader’s attention and hold on to it. The first page is essential. If readers aren’t drawn in immediately, they’ll probably put down the book. It’s important to use quotes effectively and succinctly. They have to be natural. I put myself in the character’s head and ask myself, “What would this person really say?” The quotes have to reflect the character’s personality. Above all, don’t let the reader get bored. Keep the story interesting and keep it moving! The biggest challenge in writing mysteries is to give the readers enough clues without giving away the killer.

Have you ever been on any sports teams? If so, what sport?
I grew up playing competitive tennis in Miami, played college tennis at Florida State University, and played on the European circuit. I later became a teaching pro and high school coach. I also played paddle tennis competitively, and my partner and I won the national beach paddle tennis championships three times. Won some table tennis tournaments as well. Because of my tennis background, I also wrote a tennis column for the newspaper for several years and covered many major events.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Having been a journalist, I write quickly. I can write a book in six weeks, and a novella in two weeks. I don’t have a set writing schedule, but just go at it until I’m finished. I might write two hours a day, or I might write ten hours. I can’t really rest until I’ve finished the book. Then, I might take a few weeks, or a few months break, depending on what else is going on in my life at the time.

Who is your favorite character?
I have two favorite characters. One is Scratchoff McLean, a homeless man with a big heart who is obsessed with scratch-off lottery tickets. He appears in two of my novels, Somebody in the Neighborhood and my new cozy mystery A Book Signing To Die For. The other is 11-year-old Lily, a manic matchmaker in my Christmas novella Airport Christmas. I truly love oddball characters and try to include at least one in every book I write.

8125h6jH90L.SR160,240_BG243,243,243   Somebody in the Neighborhood 

I hope you have enjoying meeting Judy. She’s a wonderful person as well as a excellent writer. I’m lucky to have her as a friend.  In my next post, look for an sneak-peek at my newest Book Mist Across The Waves, launching on June 3rd. Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend. And say a pray of thanks for all who have given something precious for our freedoms.

 

A Look Behind the Story…

Tomorrow is a big day! Book 1, Mist at the Beach House, in the Beach House Mysteries is being launched.  You can still preorder today. I am in love with this new series and I can’t wait to share it with you. 

But before the mysteries and murders begin I thought you might want to explore the legend behind Pearl Island and the Seaver Family.  

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The Legend of the Mist
(The story for the Beach House Mystery Series)
By Victoria LK Williams

Long ago, when the sea and the shore were more connected, there were two beautiful women. They were of the same family, cousins, in fact. But they were as different as night and day. Their mothers were the opposite. They had been so closer than most sisters of the sea or earth, and it saddened both of them to see their daughters not get along as they wished. No matter what the mothers did, no matter how hard they tried, there was a rift between the cousins.
But there was one thing the cousins had in common; the love for anything human. One was obsessed about it the other merely fascinated. As children, they played on the shores with the human children, disappearing into the sea when it was time for them to return to their home. As mermaid children, they could only stay for short periods on the shores, but as they grew older, they could stay longer. But eventually their allotted time on the surface would end, and they would have to return to the sea.
Kenya was easy-going, fascinated by earthly things but never losing her love of sea life. She would happily play with the dolphins or collect shells with human children. She had no desire to control above or below the sea, content to be friends and get along with those around her from both worlds.
But Cora Lee was not so content in life. She was resentful of the fact that Kenya’s father was in control of the sea. Cora Lee would never hold the same power that Kenya would as an adult, and it turned her bitter and devious.  Cora Lee longed to rule over anything. Since she couldn’t have the sea, she would take second best, and she set her sights on the island where they played as children. Her mother tried to tell her that that was not the way things worked, but her daughter wanted to hear nothing of it. As the two mermaids grew older, they became more distant, and when they got together, there was constant friction between them.
The day finally came when the mermaids became adults, and there was a grand celebration for the two girls shared the same birthday. Cora Lee was even resentful of having to share her birthday with Kenya. On this birthday she decided that she would take over anything and everything the Kenyan loved. And she would start with her love of humans.
   Both women would spend many days in their human form walking the shores. Kenya was content to observe humans. Because she was shy, Kenya would often use the mist as a buffer to hide from sight. She would make the mist dance around her, sometimes thick and concealing, other times wispy and playful. But that all changed on the day she saw the young sailor, John Seaver.
   The young man was home between voyages, visiting his family, and he was wandering the shore enjoying all the beauty it offered. He came across Kenya sitting on a large rock outcropping along the shoreline; the mist swirling around her feet. He was stunned with her beauty. She was in her human form at that point, and her shyness bewitched him. Over time, he got to know Kenya and grew to love her. She always seems to disappear just when he was ready to go to sea on the next voyage, but she was always there at the rock outcropping when he returned. What he didn’t know was she followed his ship to make sure he was safe, always watching out for him, falling in love with him.
The two became best friends, inseparable when they were together. The kind of friends that finished each other’s sentences, enjoy the same things and appreciated the simple things life offered. They would spend their days talking and singing, often joined by the man’s best friend who would accompany them with musical instruments. They were becoming an intricate part of the island life, and John’s family and friends accepted Kenya.
Finally, there came a day when Kenya knew she had to tell the man her secret, and she was fearful she would lose him forever. But John Seaver was made of sterner stuff than she thought. He’d always known there was something mystical about her, something otherworldly and it delighted him when he found out she had a calling for the sea.
Their friendship and love drew the attention of Cora Lee, and she was overcome with jealousy. Once again, Kenya was getting something that she wanted. But Cora Lee didn’t want John because she loved him. She wanted John because he loved Kenya, and she wanted to control him. She wanted to possess him.
Cora Lee began to plot how she could take John away from Kenya. She used the power she had as part siren and tried to entice the young man away from his true love. But their love was stronger than anything Cora Lee had encountered before, and she failed.       Now Cora Lee was angrier than she’d ever been, and she plotted revenge against her cousin for something the other girl had not even done. But this didn’t matter to Cora Lee, she had found a way to hurt her cousin and take something from her she truly treasured.
Cora Lee began to intercept John whenever she could, trying to bewitch him with her powers. The poor man was fighting her hold constantly, but his love for Kenya was stronger than any power the other mermaid held. Time after time she watched John Seaver walk away from her; Cora Lee knew she had failed to win John over.
Then she found the weakness the young man had. John loved Kenya with all his heart, but he also loved his family and would do about anything to protect them. Cora Lee knew she could use this against him.
One stormy night John was to meet Kenya along the shore. But Cora Lee also showed up. And with her, she had John’s young cousin. John also had a companion; a friend of both his and Kenya, who knew of their secret love and had helped to clear the path for the two of them to be together.
That stormy night there was a standoff on the shore. On one side stood John and his friend, David Holleran, on the other side was Cora Lee and her hostage, the young Sadie Colbright. Between the two stood Kenya.
Cora Lee gave Kenya a choice. The young child could die, or she would give up her love.  The two lovers had a decision to make, and it was a clear choice, even though it meant the destruction of their future together. Kenya walked into the sea, turning back into the mermaid she was. Cora Lee, laughing hysterically, push the young girl she had in her arms to the shore and dove into the white waves swimming out past her cousin, rising on the next wave laughing because she had won.
But Kenya had no intention of giving up. Her love for John was too strong. With tears forming in her eyes, she turned to the two other humans casting their destiny.
“You, Sadie Colbright, you and your families will forever hold and record the history of this island and all that happened here. This will be your destiny. Do not let anyone forget the love I have for John or the love that he has for me. Always remember what we have given up to protect you.”
Then she turned to John’s friend and with a sad smile continued.
“And you, David Holleran, you and your family will forever protect John’s family. The Seaver family will always have someone looking out for them. You will be my connection to the generations that come after you.”
Then the tears came harder, and Kenya rubbed one from her eyes, watching it form into a magnificent pearl. By now, John had taken the first step into the ocean to join her. But Kenya stopped him; coming forward, meeting him halfway. As she floated in front of him, she pressed the pearl into his hands. Giving him a tearful kiss, she promised him the pearl would always protect him and his family. Then she started to leave, but before she did, she turned back to her love.
“One day, we will reunite. But until then, Cora Lee will try to destroy your family. And all the island. It will be your destiny to protect the island, you will look out for those that live on the island, keeping them safe from Cora Lee’s wrath. Someday there will be a Seaver strong enough to fight Cora Lee and win. But it will take more than your descendant, my love. It will take all of us.”
   Cora Lee was ready to attack the humans on the shore. But Kenya blew softly against the sea and in the mist began to form. Then she kissed her love, letting the mist still in her mouth engulf him. As the mermaid pulled away, she whispered to him, promising him her ending love. Before she dove back into the sea, she called out to John.
   “I’ve given you the power of the mist. As long as you or your descendants are on the island, the mist will protect you.”
But Cora Lee wasn’t finished, she wanted to destroy her cousin. Kenya had outsmarted her, causing her to lose her control over the humans. With all of her powers, she raised the surrounding waves, causing them to crash on the shore, pushing the humans back far up to the dunes while they watched in horror at the fight going on offshore. Wave after wave descended fiercely on Kenya until finally, she was nowhere to be seen. Cora Lee laughed evilly; she had destroyed her cousin. Yet she also knew she could not take away the protection her cousin had given the Seaver family and the island occupants. Cora Lee not going to be outdone, she would have the last word. Anger and hatred filled her voice as she called up to the humans standing at the dune.
“Kenya’s words may protect you and your descendants while you’re on the island. But you won’t go unscathed. And you may wander, but you will always return to the island. My descendants will continue what I have started. And there will come a day when our descendants will meet again here on this beach, and everyone’s destiny will be determined.”
With one final overpowering wave, Cora Lee disappeared. The wave was powerful enough that it should have destroyed much of the coastline. But the two mothers had watched the fight between their daughters and they quickly intervened. Working together they cast a spell protecting the shoreline and the island. Their protection was strong and encompassed the entire island, protecting it from weather and waves for as long as their descendants returned to the island.
Now the hands of time moved slowly as each generation repeats the curses and the blessings that came from two mermaids who fought over one man…

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MIST AT THE BEACH HOUSE VICKI  Mist at the Beach House 

Murder, Mermaid Legends, and a Kitten from the Mist.

Morgan Seaver returns to her family home on Pearl Island, expecting a warm welcome. Instead, she finds her aunt has been murdered, and accusing fingers are pointing her way. 

Soon she finds more than a murder needs to be solved. Her family has a history with the island, one that she is finding brings the legends of mermaids and her ancestors to the present. She must solve the murder to clear herself and come to terms with a past that has a hold of her future.

 

I hope you enjoyed the Seaver Legend. Next blog we will visit with another author and find out more about them.

Victoria LK Williams

Meet Susan Schwartz

Today we meet another wonderful author friend of mine. I hope you will enjoy getting to know a bit more about her, as I have. All of the authors are providing links to both purchase their books and follow them on social media. Take a moment and explore  by signing up on their sites.

LU   meet Susan…

Susan writes in the horror, paranormal, suspense, medical genres. Her books are available in Amazon, Amazon KU and many other sites.
Here are her links:
Website, Schiffer Books, Amazon, Goodreads & Pinterest.

When did you start writing?
I began writing freelance articles for blogs and other websites in 2006. More interested in fiction writing, I started working on two novels – a paranormal romance and a medical thriller.
As to why I began writing, I started journaling after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. My writing led me to the Virginia Writers Club, where I found many mentors and help along the way. I have been a member since 2006 and currently serve as 1st Vice President of the State organization.

Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart?
I love all the nurses in my stories. Being an OR nurse myself, I love to use my experiences in the medical field to twist into something they never saw it coming. The nursing profession is one of honor, and this is my way of giving recognition back to those awesome nurses who work tirelessly each and every day.
I must admit some of my nurse peers, who have read my stories, think I am putting on a good front for being a normal person. They had no idea of my twisted imagination and told me they now know not to upset me in the future. Mw ha ha ha!

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
For Haunted Charlottesville and Surrounding Counties, my current book, the biggest challenge was getting to all of the sites and getting enough research to make an entry. Some didn’t have a lot of backstory, and some didn’t want to participate in the book. This was fine, I used pieces that were already public knowledge so I didn’t step on any toes.
Another challenge was to compile all the information into one book. It took me a while to figure out how to write, denote different chapter headers, caption photographs, assemble an index, and keep track of a large bibliography page. I learned many of these for the first time writing Haunted Charlottesville.
I feel much better having had the experience going forward than not. It has made writing the second book of this genre much easier.

What do you hope readers take away from your books?
For my fiction stories, I hope they share that shock at the end when I twist everything they thought they knew. Maybe they will also get feelings of familiarity with some of them.
For my non-fiction, I want readers to experience my love of travel and seeing new places. I toured Virginia extensively for Haunted Charlottesville and my upcoming book to visit haunted places and learn their history. In two other books, Handbook for the Dead and Paranormal Encounters, I make mention of trips to other counties in Virginia and even other countries. Even if you don’t visit any of the places named, take a ghost tour in whatever city you find yourself visiting. I love learning the history behind the locations and what caused them to be troubled today.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Awesome question.  I have many short stories that are not published with several in the works.
One paranormal romance novel – ½ done
One medical thriller novel – ½ done
One haunted location book – 1 chapter to go as well as compiling all the material and photographs.
I tend to work on several things at once because I get bored quite easily. Hence, this why I have so many still in progress. I will be finished with the haunted book by the end of this month, and that will free me up to work on other projects that are pending. I really want to finish the paranormal romance that has a witch, wizard, and maybe even a vampire that showed up – I am not sure from where yet. He is a charming fellow though.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences or purely all imagination?
Fiction stories –
The Sparkling Floor is based somewhat in reality. What nurse hasn’t dreamed of revenge on a disrespectful surgeon? I just fictionalized it up a bit.
I Thought You Did is based upon all those Rush week antics colleges put the students through to join a fraternity. My son was in college at the time going through rush week, and this story popped into my head thinking about the different ways to initiate a pledge.
Blurred Line is something we have all faced as writers: Writer’s Block. I didn’t plan this one at all, I just wrote as it came out and the story is as you see it. It was nominated for a Bran Stoker Award in 2016. Fun fact: It was the only story I ever wrote that I really didn’t like. Everyone loves this story, but me. Isn’t that weird?
Non-fiction books –These are all real and full of the experiences I had at each location. Through investigating and interviewing, I learned a lot of history and the back story on each place. Some of it was quite fascinating, while some was downright heart-breaking.

Favorite Quote –This one has to be from the great and awesome Yoda:
Do or Do Not. There is no Try.
I do follow this advice daily. I am also convinced of a statement from Jim Rohn:
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you find an excuse.
What this says to me is people who have a goal will not let anything interfere with reaching that accomplishment. Those who don’t will make an excuse as to why they can’t reach it.
CAN’T is the one four letter word that is not in my vocabulary. I will find a way around all obstacles, if necessary.
I want to be a doer, not a tryer. How about you?

A final word from Susan…
Thanks to everyone, especially the readers and to Victoria for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you. I hope you are staying safe during these trying times. What better way is there to pass the time than selecting a great story to lose touch with reality, if only for a while. Enjoy the adventure and getaway, you can go explore new places and meet new people from the comfort of your own favorite reading spot.
Please feel free to contact me  if you have any questions or concerns. I love to hear from my readers. Please take good care in the meantime and Be Well!

I hope you are finding these interviews as much fun as I am. I love finding out more about the authors I read. There are many more great writers to be included in this series, so stick around. And watch for a special treat…A free short story from me about the legend behind my new series that starts April 25th!

Victoria LK Williams

A Special Interview!

THE COVER SELLS THE BOOK!!

I am thrilled to share with you an interview I did with my cover artist. And she is an artist. I found Karen Kalbacher on Fiverr, as FuzzyM, back in 2013 when I wrote my first book, Now Arriving…Sister Station 1. She has become more than an illustrator, I’m proud to consider her a friend as well. I thought it might be interesting for you to discover what goes on during the creation of a book cover. I hope you will enjoy the interview. I’ve included some samples of her work. I’m sure you’ll agree this woman is loaded with talent!

 

 

 

1. I see you are also a children’s writer and ghostwriter (so many talents!). Which do you enjoy more, the writing or the illustrations?
At heart, I’m a writer. I love seeing a plot come together and creating new and interesting characters and worlds. It comes a bit easier for me, so that helps. That doesn’t mean I don’t love being an artist and creating illustrations, I do. The fun is in the challenge. I like taking another person’s idea or world and bringing it to life for them. It also involves a lot of communication with the client and feels more collaborative. I’ve always had a hard time choosing between them and took several English courses before choosing to major in art. Who knows if I made the right choice?
2. For a new client, what services do you offer when creating a book cover, and how much input do you like from the client?
I create covers based on the client’s needs. I can do photo editing, add titles to an existing image, or I can create an entire design from scratch. I normally design in Illustrator to create vector-based graphics. This has the distinct advantage of being easy to resize while maintaining quality and being editable.
When a client is new, I like a lot of communication. We are both feeling one another out. I can’t see inside the client’s head, so I ask a lot of questions about style, colors, feel, and often ask for images of covers in a similar vein to what they want. I want the author to love their cover. It’s important to me that we both love it at the end of the project. It’s a lot easier for us to get into a grove if the client has ideas. Blank canvases are intimidating. I can work a lot faster if the client hands me something. It can be as simple as a list of wants and a color they hate/adore.
3. What is your favorite genre to create covers for and why?
Wow, I specialize in Cozy Mysteries at the moment. I love them because the settings are always new and intriguing. There are often a lot of elements that have to be balanced like red herrings, Easter eggs, and pets. It makes it like a jigsaw puzzle to assemble and balance. That appeals to my artsy side. My second favorite is children’s books. I love bright colors, the characters are kids or animals and they are deceptively simple. I’d love to break out into more fantasy covers. I don’t get to draw unicorns nearly enough for my taste.

 


4. Give us a glimpse into the process of creating a book cover.
I like to talk to a potential client before we get a gig going. It’s a chance for us to feel each other out and see if we’re a match. So, generally, I will have a short conversation with you about the size of your cover and what your needs are. After that, we set the price based on the amount of work involved. The client will then send me all the pertinent details.
I’ll look at everything sent to me. If there’s a mood board, I will consider what elements are similar in the images the client likes. This could be as simple as colors, shapes, or composition. If there’s no mood board, I will sketch out a thumbnail with the elements the client has requested. This is mainly to see how to balance them on the page and for me to get a feel for the image. Then I’ll sleep on it and let my subconscious work on it. I might also send it to the client if I think it will help them visualize what I’m doing.
After marinating, I’ll take the sketch into Illustrator. I’ll hunt for reference photos to help me create the detailed versions of what I’ve sketched. I tend to start with the backdrop. It’s usually complete so I can move the elements around on it like a stage. I add the main element (body, sleuth, kid, dragon,) and move them around until I like it. Then I detail it. I add bagels to the sleuth’s breakfast plate. I add toys around the dog. I find the light source and shadow everything. I might also add highlights. Finally, I drop the titles on top.
I will send an almost done version to the client to get their input. The client and I normally go back and forth a bit to shape it into their vision. I’m done when the client is happy.

 


5. What has been your most challenging cover/client to do and why?
Every cover is challenging, that’s why I enjoy doing them. Sometimes you and the client can’t see eye to eye and that’s frustrating for both. I used to ghostwrite for a client. When she asked me to also create the cover, I was excited. But it just didn’t work. We couldn’t get on the same page. I would send what I thought she wanted. She wouldn’t like it. She would try to describe it better. I would try again. We just ended up aggravated. She wasn’t a bad client. She was a good person. She had just chosen the wrong artist for her vision. We weren’t a match. We went on to ghostwrite together for a while after that. I think an artist is like a psychiatrist, you need to shop around for the one that really gets you.
6. Describe for us the perfect client.
Most clients are perfect clients for me. It’s not hard. They need to have a vision even if it is stick figures on a piece of paper. Anything to work with is better than nothing. They need to communicate with me. I’m friendly, I promise! Most importantly, they need to respect me. I will make a zillion changes for a good client. A rude client gets whatever is stated in the deal. They should be enjoying the process. We should have fun together.
7. Life can’t be all about books; what other interest do you have. Did I read something about knitting doll?
Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? I’m kidding! I love walking. I’m lucky in that I live near a little park and within easy driving distance of a dozen more. I am a knitter! A corner of my living room had a laundry basket overflowing with yarn. I have created doll patterns from scratch and I do a lot of fingerless gloves, scarves, hats, and the occasional baby blanket. I have a podcast called Eh, it’s Something to Do that I record on Wednesdays with Rick Connor. I’m also an avid reader. My apartment is brimming with books and art supplies. It’s a bit chaotic.
8. What is on the horizon for your business?
Right now, I am looking to expand my client base. I would like to expand into pet portraits, do a few more children’s books and possibly start publishing my own line of books. I would like to do more writing gigs for individuals or businesses. I would like to branch out and so a horror story cover or fantasy. On the practical front, I am constantly learning new Illustrator tricks to improve the quality of my work.
9. Give us a few samples of your work.

 


10. How can you be reached? Share your links below.
Find me on Twitter: @1fuzzymonster
Find me on Instagram: @1fuzzymonster_Karen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1FuzzyMonster/
Blog: https://karenkalbacher.com/
Direct link to my portfolio: https://1fuzzymonster.wordpress.com/portfolio/
11. Any final words for us?
Choosing someone to flesh out your vision is an important decision. A good artist/writer will take the time to get to know you. They’ll be enthusiastic about your project. I love my clients. I consider them friends. I look forward to working with them on multiple projects. It’s very rewarding.

Be sure to check out the above sites and see for yourself just how talented Karen is! I know my readers love her covers.

Killer Focus ( A Mrs. Avery’s Adventure, #1)

The first book in my new series will be available on 6/27/19!

Mrs. Avery’s Adventures
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A pink slip, a birthday card, new neighbors…Piper Avery thought her week was bad-then she found the body on the beach!

Preorder your copy and save!

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Below is a review from the blog the Owl’s Book Nest

via Killer Focus ( A Mrs. Avery’s Adventure, #1)

It is also available in both Print and Large Print

Victoria LK Williams

Dance and Sing for Books!

Well, I hope you all had a chance to revisit your childhood over the holidays. I’m talking about the release of the new movie Mary Poppins Returns. Now I don’t usually post my thoughts about movies on my blog, but this one deserves some attention
I have to admit I was skeptical there was no way they could outdo the first. There is no way that someone else would play the role of the ultimate nanny and carry it off the way Julie Andrews did.original_1099048853
But boy was I wrong! I’m in love with the new movie it was everything I hoped for and more. The return of old characters, new characters, song, dance and Disney the way it used to be!
It felt like the movie was made just for me; the writer, the reader, the adventurer.

Big, big, big spoiler alert here!! If you haven’t seen, the movie, you may not want to read the rest of my blog. Or you can go ahead and read, I promise not to give too much away.
The original Mary Poppins had this beautiful scene where Bert and Mary took the kids on an adventure through pictures. They jumped into the paintings on the sidewalk, and the fun begins. Everything that you remember from that scene in the original Mary Poppins– keep that in the back of your head. Because in Mary Poppins Returns they took the same concept, but instead of jumping into pictures they made the emphasis on books.

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Books, books, books! There is a fantastic song, & dance number called ‘The Cover Is Not the Book’ and the song stuck in my head for most of the movie. You can even play it on iTunes.
I think for me as a reader and a writer it felt like the movie was calling out because of the accent on books. It is all about judging a book by its cover, and the lessons that it taught the Banks children through song and dance are excellent.
Now as a writer we know you can and should judge a book by its cover– because the cover is what sells your book. So don’t lose heart to that concept.
The movie was taking an old saying and giving it a new song and a fun visual concept. One that I hope will resonate with every child. Teaching our children to remember that each person is an individual and has their own redeeming qualities. Qualities that you can’t see by looking at a person until you get to know them.
So, thank you to the Disney Company, and the creators and writers of Mary Poppins Returns. You touched my heart and my soul, especially with that song and dance routine.

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PS  I have the soundtrack playing as I’m writing this, and I can’t stop grinning!

Victoria LK Williams

New Release!

Just a quick note to let you know that book 3 in the Storm Voices series is now available.

I so enjoyed writing this book! Not only is it a cozy mystery, but it takes place at my favorite time of the year: the Christmas holidays.

Once again, Mac is hearing a strange voice. But now there are two. And one belongs to a missing child. Friends and family are all looking for Tommy, and Mac is working along with the police. No one knows she can hear the voices except her closest loved ones, and she must work fast to find the boy before it’s too late. Nature seems to lead her to all the clues, is it possible that a more mystical element is involved?
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Grab your copy, or if you haven’t read the others in the series, now is a perfect time to download your weekend reading.  You can get links to all the major book outlets on my website VictoriaLKWilliams.com

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A Cozy Mystery Treat!

The reading and writing community is unique to any other industry.
And I think that’s because readers and writers genuinely care about your success.
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That’s not to say that we don’t occasionally feel a tinge of envy when we find a writer getting hundreds upon thousands of downloads, making six figures doing what they love. But it’s a tinge of envy, not the green-eyed monster that makes you want to tear their eyes out in sheer frustration. I believe it’s the type of envy which makes you work a little harder to achieve goals and success like the writers before you.
And what’s even more amazing is many of those writers are willing to be mentors to young writers starting out. No strings attached just a true desire to help another writer.
The writing community as a whole is willing to share and help wherever they can. Writers share successes and failures. If there’s a scam out their quick to alert other writers so that they don’t get taken in by the scammers. If an advertising platform works their equally willing to share that information so that your books can us achieve success as well.

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As a reader, I love to see an author succeed. That means there are more books for me to read. Usually, I will devour a series by a writer that I know and like. There’s a sense of disappointment when you finish the last book in the series and you have to wait for the next one, but there’s also a sense of anticipation.
Letting readers who have downloaded your book know about other writers in the same genre when they have a new release or a sale is another way writers help each other.
And that’s what I’m doing today, I’m letting readers and writers alike know about the sale by a group of cozy mystery writers. Below the banner, you’ll find a link to go directly to the page where the books are posted. Then, you can click on as many as you like to download to your heart’s content, and indulge in a little bit of $0.99 luxury and then cuddle up with a good mystery for the weekend.
This sale is for November 19th-21st.
And dear reader, after you finished some of these amazing stories, please be sure to leave a review for the book. Reviews are important to writers, not only so they know how they’re doing and that you like the book, but it also gives more opportunities for advertising and ranking. Don’t you want to see your favorite writer become a bestseller? That’s what a review will help do.
So what are you waiting for? Start clicking on those books so that you can relax that good cozy mystery.

 

 

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CLICK HERE TO GET BOOKS!!!

Victoria LK Williams

My Morning Date

I have a morning breakfast date almost every morning.

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It’s new to my schedule, and I have to tell you I’m really enjoying it. And no, I’m not cheating on my husband. Nope, it’s much simpler than that. I’m enjoying my morning time by not having the TV on and instead, going out and sitting on the porch. As I sit and enjoy my coffee, listening to what’s going on around me, I’ve discovered is we have a Falcon who comes every morning to our area.

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The house next door has a dead tree about 30 feet high and that’s with the falcon perches every morning around 6 o’clock.
He’ll sit there for a good half hour, not doing much of anything, just watching the neighborhood. Once in a while, he will let out a call and is a very distinctive call so I know it’s him. When he starts to hear another Falcon in the distance, he begins to get louder and the other birds take notice of him.
It’s like a signal. As soon as he starts crying out louder, the Mockingbirds and the Blue Jays go into protection mode. They’re trying to protect their nest and themselves because whether we like it or not, the Falcon is a predator. As if a signal is given, the birds will start diving down at the Falcon, not coming too close, but enough to annoy. Each pass gets closer, each time loud warning cries filling the air.
The falcon puts up with this for about 10 or 15 minutes and then you can almost see him shake his head. He opens his wings (what a wingspan!) and takes off to another tree. The smaller birds have won for the morning, but he’ll be back tomorrow.
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Watching this day in and day out, I feel compassion for the Falcon. I sometimes wish I could spread my wings and go to a safer spot. Because when it comes to writing that sometimes it seems as if everything is coming at you at once.
Your book ready for publication and you sit back, thinking you can relax a bit. But wait! There are still so many things that have to be done. It can become overwhelming. You may feel like that bird in the tall tree, having the other birds diving down at you. Sometimes you want to just shake your head spread your wings and fly away.
But if you want your book to be published you need to roll up your sleeves and get ready to take care of all those things that fly down at you, needing your attention. Editing, beta readers, proofreading, no holes in your storylines, advertisements, proper keywords, blurbs, author bio… the list goes on and on. And just as soon as you think you’ve got one task finished, you realize there’s three more to do.
And don’t think only indie writers that go through this. Gone are the days when traditional publishers took care of all this for their writer. Authors now have to be their own advertising agent, getting the word out about their books. That’s not to say that all publishers act this way, but I think the large majority of them do.
I was recently asked why I went with indie publishing, instead of trying to do traditional publishing. Probably the biggest reason for me is; if I have to do the work myself, why not do it the way I want it done, in my own time frame.
Like many other writers, I have a job outside of my writing. One that I love, and I’m not ready to give it up. Like most businesses in South Florida, there are seasons in my business. These seasons will allow me to have time for writing and creating, and then other times when I can’t even get to my work in progress. For me to have a deadline from the publisher would be catastrophic. I would be disappointing them and myself.  There’s always something during my busy season that comes up that has to be taken care of, and the writing has to be put on the back burner. If I had a writing deadline, I would be torn in two different directions. By going Indie, I can determine my own timelines, covers, and my own advertising outlets.
It’s a lot of work and sometimes it feels overwhelming.

Like my falcon.

I can spread my wings and leave all the noise behind by going to a quieter spot or time. Or I can do what I love on my own terms. It’s my choice, just like it’s his choice to attack or retreat.

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So as a writer, you need to decide when to attack, when to retreat, and went to push forward with a gentle grace.

Victoria LK Williams

The most important tool a write has.

Sitting at the outside table of the restaurant, I couldn’t help but smile as I looked out the window towards the water. It’s a beautiful day and the river is full of boats. Between the river and where I sat is a wonderful park. There are plenty of slides and swings, but also lots of open grassy area for play. Today the park was full; a group of teenagers had a game of volleyball going, a few couples were walking the pathways. There were kids on the swings and I could hear music from someone’s radio.

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But it was the gleeful laughter coming from a small group of pre-schoolers that had me smiling. They were playing in the same way my son had at their age, and so did I for that matter. It was simple entertainment with one of the oldest toys: a bottle of bubbles. The laughter was contagious and as I watched, a young puppy joined in the fun, making the children laugh harder.
I didn’t see one iPad, laptop or even phone. Even the parents were getting in on the fun. It was a game we all know, and as sophisticated as today’s toys are, it never seems to go out of style. The simple joy of chasing and popping the soapy bubbles seemed to be able to entertain all, with no problems.
I love how the simple old-fashioned toy worked. There was no need for fancy gadgets or accessories. All you needed is a device to hold the soap while you blew into it to create the bubble. The wind would take the bubble up and out of reach and you would try to pop it before it got too far away from you.
I watch for a few moments longer and then looked down at the paper I had jotted down a few ideas on. I was getting anxious to leave, I wanted to get to my laptop and start writing. Without thinking, I wrote a single item on the paper. Words.

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As simple as the bubbles were, they proved over and over that they would last for a long, long time. I didn’t really need my laptop. Nor the programs I have installed on it to help me write most effectively. There were 3 tools I needed to tell my story. They are as old as dirt, and part of my day to day life.

First I need a method to record my ideas. Any old pen will do. Then I must have the means to hold those ideas. A notebook, a piece of paper, even the napkin on my plate. It doesn’t matter, as long I have those two I can begin.
But the most important tool I need is the same, regardless of how they are being recorded.
WORDS.
Words are the glue to our life. They help us communicate with not only those around us, but ourselves (come on, admit it: you talk to yourself too!) Words are used for direction, instructions, and to express our feeling. Words are the ultimate tool of the storyteller. After all, words have been the way we communicate since the caveman.
As the storyteller, it’s our job to pick through the words and pick the ones that help us connect with our readers, create the feeling of the sharing a great story while pulling them into our tale. It’s the words that are the tool of our trade. Not the fancy computer, or the umpteen writing programs we all try.
Just the words!
Our words alone are the tool of the writer that must be constantly sharped and used. It’s up to us to sort through the millions of words and find the ones that convey not only the storyline, but also feel the story is trying to tell. Words are the mightiest tool we have and if we want to be successful, we must use them wisely. Using the right words will set the tone for your story, making it a romance or a thriller; a fantasy or a scary tale of horror. Your words can make your reader laugh out loud, or cry with sadness.

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So remember, all the fun and shiny programs, computers, fancy journals or pretty pens don’t make you a writer—your words do!