Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wow -- Look What My Publisher is Doing!

Amber Quill Press understands that in these days of economic instability, many consumers are attempting to make every penny count, especially when it comes to their entertainment needs. Therefore, with this in mind, AQP is pleased to provide a new feature at our website...


What is a Daily Deal? Simply put, every day, a different e-book from each of our three imprints (Amber Quill Press, Amber Heat, and Amber Allure) will be offered at a 75% discount! Yes, you read that correctly--a 75% discount! Now you can stock up on even more books--up to 21 different titles each and every week--at substantial savings!

How can you find the various Daily Deals on our website? Just look in the right-hand column of your screen for the book marked "Today's Daily Deal," click on the cover, and you'll be taken to a page where you can purchase the discounted book(s). It's that simple!

So look for a new Daily Deal every day, and don't forget, there's a different Daily Deal for each of our three imprints.

* * * * *

Please note: E-books downloaded at the Daily Deal discount do not earn points in our Rewards program.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


How many of us read both mysteries and thrillers with equal enjoyment? What’s the difference? Well, according to International Thriller Writers, a thriller is characterized by "the sudden rush of emotions, the excitement, sense of suspense, apprehension, and exhilaration that drive the narrative, sometimes subtly with peaks and lulls, sometimes at a constant, breakneck pace."

From www.who-dunnit.com a mystery, in books, is defined as “mysterious, unresolved and unexplainable circumstances with which the hero or heroine comes in contact. This can be anything from the occult realms, strange disappearances, unexplainable sudden affluence or sudden monetary loss, psychological distortions, property destroyed or desecrated without known reason, suicide when no suicide seemed feasible, and of course, murder.”

Those may, at first, seem very disparate, but any of the circumstances in a mystery can result in a thriller’s “sudden rush of emotions” and, while some cozy mysteries may not proceed at a “constant, breakneck pace,” most mysteries have a sense of apprehension and suspense. Without it, why would we worry about who dunnit?
Who are your favourite mystery and thriller writers – and who would you consider a crossover author?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ramping Up the Conflict

There is an essential need to up the ante in a mystery – your reader expects it. It's part of what you've promised as a writer of a mystery. If there’s a murder, is there the threat of a second or a third? Could the investigator be at risk? Someone near and dear to him or her? If there isn’t the threat of a murder, could it be that the villain will “get away” with his or her plan? What effect will that have on the hero, the investigator or innocent bystanders? You want your readers to keep turning the pages, wanting to know what's going to happen next…and you want them to really be cheering on the hero/heroine. 

The author must increase the conflict and tension to have a satisfying denouement that the reader can believe in and be happy about. We can have conflict between characters if the investigator and the villain come face-to-face. Or the villain and another victim. Or the investigator and authorities, if the detective isn’t law enforcement.

How dark are the woods?
Writers can also increase the tension in a story with setting and atmosphere. A dark, deserted urban setting is much more intimidating than a peaceful country trail on a sunny day with dozens of hikers around. A dwelling with no power versus a homey bed & breakfast with a grandmotherly owner. A storm (whether wind, rain or snow) versus the perfect sunny day with puffy clouds. A cute cuddly kitten is much less tension-inducing than a hungry lion or tiger.

I find it a “fun” part of the process to increase the tension and conflict – maybe because there are so many options.

What makes you keep reading a mystery title?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Clean Up Time for Writers

It’s the time of year everyone gets the itch to get outside, clean up all the sticks and leaves in the yard, look at what’s popping up in the garden, sneak in that first sit on the deck or in the yard with the warm spring sunshine on your back. You might even be moved to clean some windows, wash the car or sort through what’s accumulated in the garage over the winter. It’s spring, at least on the calendar and it’s the time of year that burst of energy called spring fever hits!

For writers, this is a good time of year to spring clean as well. Take a look at the project ideas you’ve been stockpiling in a file cabinet or on your hard drive. Pull out those index cards with character outlines. Do you have a notebook with plot sketches, timelines, lists of red herrings or clues? What about that storyboard you started a couple of years ago?

This is a great time to sift through those – you could find a gem that gets your mind working on your next mystery, or find a great twist for the current manuscript. You could discover the perfect villain for the story you’re outlining. Or you could even discover a series in what someone else might call clutter, but we all know is research and planning!

Take some time to let the sun shine on some of your ideas, plots, characters and outlines and discover what great material you’ve had hibernating over the winter.
Let me know – what did you discover during your writer’s spring cleaning?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Welcome Spring Scavenger Hunt

YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS! In celebration of the grand opening of the new Books We Love Reader's Group at yahoo, BWL_Readers@yahoogroups.com, we're asking you to get acquainted with some of our authors by participating in a fun scavenger hunt. We promise it isn't hard. You just have to follow the provided links listed on the loop the morning of March 20th and answer some really easy questions. The answers are all there...you just have to find and collect them all to be entered into a drawing for one of eighteen books. Some will even be personally autographed. You'll have two days, with the contest ending Saturday at midnight. All entries must be received by Ginger Simpson at mizging@gmail.com by noon on Sunday, 3/22. Winners will be announced shortly after.

Whether you come to play or not, we hope you will join us in celebrating the beginning of what we hope will be a stimulating and pleasant group experience. If you aren't familiar with us, please visit http://www.bookswelove.net and get an idea of who we are and what we're about. I'm sure you may have already played in a contest or two there. Jude Pittman has assembled a wonderful group of talent, but without readers, we don't have much purpose. Come join us, won't you. Remember, Saturday, March 20th.

Join us in welcoming Spring!

Monday, February 2, 2009



I know it’s just there waiting
Hidden deep beneath the snow.
But the roses of the summer
Will soon begin to grow.
Their fragrance will fill the air
Their colors a gorgeous show.
I can hardly wait to see them start
A blush of green…and spring’s a go.

So winter winds may howl and whine
Though I want to see them fade.
I look to see the sprouts of spring
Leap up and start the parade.
The color, the warmth, the sunshine soft
The fresh green of every blade
To make me smile, to make me laugh
Spring – the season I’d never trade.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter People

Despite the cold, there are people for whom this is the best time of the year. I'm not one of them, but those who are winter people, must be loving 2009 so far. The below average temperatures and lots of precipitation have meant there's lots of snow for schlussing down steep hills, driving snow machines along forest trails and feeling that first nibble on a line in an ice fishing shack.

I can't begrudge them their fun, despite the fact I'd rather be inside than outside when it's as cold as it's been! They've waited eight or nine months to get to their favorite time of the year, so it's only fair they enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to warmer weather -- time to ride the horses again, watch the veggies and herbs grow, paddle in the swimming pool.

But for those who love winter....enjoy! I'll watch you through the window, then sit by the fireplace with a nice cuppa and wait for spring.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cool Beans

Jean Henry Mead invited me to be interviewed on her terrific blog, Mysterious People, and the interview is now up at www.mysteriouspeople.blogspot.com so drop by and check it out when you have a moment. It was fun to answer her questions -- they made me stop and think, that's for sure!