Bye Bye 2015

I can’t believe I haven’t updated my blog for so long. My excuse is that I went to South Africa to celebrate my amazing mother-in-law’s 96th birthday, and then when I got home the ‘silly season’ was in full swing. 

That’s all in the past now and 2016 looms on the horizon. I’m hoping it’ll be a great year for writers in general. My wish is that you all have something good to celebrate next year.

2015 was a good year for me as a writer. I had two books published and a short story. As always, they include delightful animal characters and romance, plus a message to educate people about the evils of our world.

Sheer Panic is a novella I published myself. It’s my first attempt at a psychological thriller. 

Breanna Barton has no love life until the guy she had a crush on at high school shows up unexpectedly on Facebook and wants to get together. After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But it can’t be him. He lives in another state. 
Her eight-year-old niece, and Panda, the little black and white mutt who belongs to her elderly neighbor rescue Breanna in more ways than one.
Sheer Panic on Amazon

 Virgo’s Vice, the third in my Zodiac Series, was released by Soul Mate Publishing late in the year.

Camera operator Lexie King has a good reason to work out of her comfort zone in Allan Dockery’s new survival-style reality show in Africa. She is determined to overcome her PTSD and make something of herself, but she has no way of knowing he would be there. The monster who molested her repeatedly as a child.
Jake, the producer’s chocolate lab, and sexy cowboy contestant Billy Murphy are her only hope, but can they do enough to save her?  

Virgo’s Vice on Amazon

Lexie’s Story is the prologue to Virgo’s Vice. I self-published this on Smashwords and it can be downloaded totally free in any format.

   Lexie KIng’s childhood sucked. When she wasn’t lying in in her bed at night waiting for ‘the monster’, she was hiding from the bullies at school. It was like she had a sign on her forehead that said “Abuse Me.”
   Lexie’s parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 
   An ugly mutt named Candy — a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle — is Lexie’s only friend in the world.

FREE Download of Lexie’s Story

See you all next year.

Stuck on Please Release me by Rhoda Baxter

It’s all about being stuck… I’m stuck because I don’t have enough time to write all the books stuck in my head just trying to come out. And if I could be stuck somewhere with someone who would it be??? That would depend upon where I was stuck.

Please Release Me

What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you?

Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up.
That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question.
In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.

But Sally was never going to let a little thing like a coma get in the way of her happily ever after …


Buy it here on Amazon

Rhoda’s an incredibly talented romance author, and I’m happy to participate in her blog splash.

Psych Thriller Sheer Panic is Now Available

I’m pleased to announce that my next story is available for download in just about every format you can think of. This is a 120-page novella, and my first psychological thriller.

It will appeal to lovers of suspense and romance.

Breanna Barton has no love life. That’s why she’s staying home and taking care of her eight-year-old niece over spring break.


After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But who? She can think of three men who always seem to be around where ever she goes.

And was someone in her bedroom at night while she was sleeping?

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Lexie’s Story — Free for a limited time.

I am excited  — I published Lexie’s Story today. This is the preview to Virgo’s Vice, the third novel in my Zodiac Series.


It seems to Lexie King that she has a target on her back–or a sign on her forehead that says ‘Abuse Me.’

Lexie’s parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 

An ugly mutt named Candy — a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle — is Lexie’s only friend in the world.

She sometimes thinks about ending her life, but revenge would be so much sweeter.





This short story is totally free. Get yours now.


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Outlines are Essential, Says James Patterson

When I found out that James Patterson, the most prolific and successful author of our time, was holding a writing class, I was all in. 

The outline is the most creative part of writing your novel, and sometimes, James says, he writes several different outlines for the same story before he decides how it will all work out. He can be working on an outline for months before he is happy with it.

Before you start the outline, you need the raw idea. This is a one-paragraph summary of your story, and if your story is to succeed, the idea has to be something more than a little disparate, create tension and conflict, and should grab readers’ attention from the start.

Here’s the idea for my upcoming novel, ‘Virgo’s Variant’:

Cinematographer Lexie King is determined to break free from the drugs, and psychoses that haunt her as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. She signs up as one of the camera operators for a new reality show set in Africa, knowing that it will be totally out of her comfort zone. It is too late for her to quit the assignment when she discovers that one of the contestants is the man who abused her, The producer has dropped her and the other camera operator, with the twelve contestants, in a remote region somewhere in Africa with no means of communication. The producer dies, and the only person who knows where they are is the pilot who dropped them there, who is away on his honeymoon. Rumor has it that all the local inhabitants have abandoned their villages because a monster roams the region. Then the murders start, and the only person Lexie trusts is the cowboy, but could she be wrong? He is certainly physically strong enough to be the murderer.

So my next task is to write an outline. This is a summary of each chapter, with one or two paragraphs per chapter. Every chapter is a new scene, and should contain something that propels the story forward and adds a new twist.

Once the outline is all written up — and typing it out in Word works for me — you can go back over the scenes and experiment. Add new twists, reorganize the order of events, make notes for future reference, add something to create more suspense, and make a note of how the events affect the personal lives of each character.

Here you will edit, edit and edit again before you go any further.

The one thing I did notice about the outline is that, without dialogue or the internal conflict and thoughts of the characters, it’s pretty blah, but that all comes later, and James goes over the do’s and don’ts of dialogue and creating conflict in some detail.

Only when you are completely happy with your outline should you start the novel, which will flow easily now that you know how the story progresses. I used to be a pantser, but now I know better.My greatest problem with this particular novel was that I had already written it before the classes with James, and it was with my publisher, Soul Mate Publishing. I received the first edit from them soon after completing the course. I found that with the outline, I was able to do a lot of editing that I probably wouldn’t have done before. I cut out a lot of unnecessary explanations and changed some of the events. (Show don’t tell). I also ended up with double the number of chapters I originally started with, because short one-scene chapters make the story move at a faster pace, and if your story drags, your readers will lose interest.

If you are interested in taking the class, here is a link: James Patterson Teaches Writing


Goodreads Giveaway — Capricorn Cravings

Capricorn Cravings was published in print format 10 months after it first hit the Kindle market, and with two new books being released over the holiday season I am only just now scheduling a giveaway.

Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can…

Here are the details of the Giveaway:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Capricorn Cravings by Trish Jackson

Capricorn Cravings

by Trish Jackson

Giveaway ends March 20, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/127467

Aquarius Addiction

Woohoo! My newest romantic suspense thriller, Aquarius Addiction has been released!

Anyone who thinks God doesn’t have a macabre sense of humor answer this—why did he bring Andre Rossouw into Arlette’s life on the same day her doctor told her she was about to die?
Attractive FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander displays all the character traits of her star sign, Aquarius, being feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. She may be only five feet tall, but she epitomizes the old adage that dynamite comes in small packages.
Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease.  When hunky Andre Rossouw asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease and find a cure, and to have wild and passionate sex with him.

Then she finds out he has a fiancée.

Arlette’s country home on the banks of Bayou LeGue was left to her by her mysterious aunt Lucie, whom she never met, and whom her dysfunctional parents have never been willing to discuss. She often wakes in the dark hours of the night to hear ghostly voices downstairs, and wishes she could find out who they are and what they want.

A mysterious letter arrives from her aunt, hinting at a secret in the house, and her friend, Reay, agrees to research her home’s recorded archives, while Arlette plans to dig into her family history. She starts by visiting her aunt’s grave, where she finds a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak, who leaves in a hurry.  Arlette’s instincts tell her the woman holds the answers to all her questions, but how can she find her?

Click here to buy it now

Review — Letting Evil In by Ellie Eden

Kristin, wife and mother of three, tries to be understanding when her husband, Michael decides to travel to Rio de Janeiro on his own. He hasn’t been himself since his accident.

The problems start when he disappears. Kristi and her teenage son, Josh, travel to Rio to try to find him, and against all advice, they head into the crime-ridden slums or favelos.  After some very harrowing experiences, Kristi finds solace and a broad shoulder to lean on in Brazilian Federal Agent, Tony Lamazzo. But is he really to be trusted, or is he on the payroll of the cruel and malicious drug lord O Dentista?

The author has done a wonderful job of describing life and death in Rio’s underworld, and she ratchets up the tension to a terrifying climax. It was hard to put the book down.

Being an animal advocate, I was happy when the homeless kid’s dog found a happy ending.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

You can buy the book here.

Follow her bog here

Paper or Plastic? Capricorn Cravings in Print

I’m very pleased to say romance thriller Capricorn Cravings is now in print. It was released by Soul Mate Publishing in February for Kindle, and now it is also in print.

Riley Shaughnessy has the perfect life. Her veterinary practice is thriving, and she loves living in the small town in the Colorado mountains, where no one knows the shocking secret of her past. She loves to gallop her palomino mare across the vast expanse of public land bordering the town, and after a long period of self-denial, she has even committed to a date with handsome horse wrangler, Randy Hansen. But now, she knows her assistant, Jamie, would never willingly abandon her child, so why has she disappeared? Something dark and sinister is taking place, and it all started on the day hunky Powell Stewart, with the piercing blue eyes, came into her life in a strange and unexpected way. 
Her inner voice tells her to stay as far away from him as she can, but his magnetism drags her toward him and she cannot find the power to resist. 

Click Here for Details

You can also download Riley’s Story FREE from my website Here

Amazon Puts the Power in Readers’ Hands

Amazon’s new Kindle Scout Program has effectively taken the power away from the publishers and placed it squarely in the hands of the readers.

Here’s a summary of how it works:

Authors are invited to submit a full length fiction manuscript plus book cover and blurbs.  Amazon’s reviewers read the manuscript and if it meets their standards, they create a ‘campaign’ for the book. This is made up of the cover, a one-line description and a longer blurb about the story, plus the first 5,000 words. 

Anyone with an Amazon account can login, read what has been posted, and nominate the book, assuming they like it. 

Each reader can nominate only three books. If they have already nominated three and then find one they like better, they can drop one of their previously nominated books and nominate the new one instead.

At the end of the 30-day campaign, the book with the highest number of nominations wins a publishing contract with Amazon for it’s author, with a $1,500 royalty advance.

Readers who nominated a winning book get a free copy and are asked to provide a review.

Campaigns are ongoing and any author can submit their book (but only one book per author) any day of the year.

This program is brilliant because it puts the readers (who are the customers) in charge. They collectively and democratically choose the best stories, and help weed out the mediocre, the bad and the unfinished stories. The author has no way of knowing who has voted or canceled their vote, and readers cannot collaborate online.

It also takes the power away from the publishers. Twenty years ago, publishing houses and their editors were like Gods. Writers submitted their work and were told to expect rejection. A handful of  professional ‘readers’ had the power to accept or reject every manuscript they reviewed. 

Then came POD or Print On Demand, and the selection process became a lot less stringent. 

When self-publishing became a reality, it brought out a lot of talented authors who would never have been published in the past, but it also brought a horde of books that should never have seen the light of day.

My hope is that Kindle Scout will even the playing field for authors and readers.

Here is my campaign:

VIRGO’S VARIANT is a romance thriller or suspense thriller with romantic elements.The first 5,000 words are on the site at Kindle Scout for people to read. (No Kindle is required). If you like what you see, you can nominate the book.

Here is the link to my book. 

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1JKUU4V1XP5OL

I would LOVE to have your vote and I thank you very much.
Please share with any other readers you know.