Friday, April 5, 2013

Reader Friday: Toot Your Horn!

Tell us about the project you're currently working on, and what inspired you to write it. Go ahead, today we want you to toot your own horn!

51 comments:

  1. A young man who thinks he's "street smart" agrees to deliver a package to a coastal Maine village in the dead of winter. Once he arrives, he's drawn into a web of drug violence and small-town intrigue that shatters his illusions and exposes the man he really is.

    What inspired me: I wanted to write something set in a remote corner of New England during winter, where the bitter weather itself is an adversary. I also wanted to play with that old thriller trope of "the bad guys have the cops in their pocket." That never struck me as plausible - unless the town were small enough and the stakes were high enough that literally every official, every deputy, and every business owner could be paid off. Who would have that kind of money, and why would they be going to Maine?

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    1. Great setting, John. Sounds very intriguing. Brrrrrr.

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  2. Indal, chronomancer werewolf, goes out for a midnight run and happens across a murdered angelus. Seeing as angeli are extremely magical and hard to kill, the authorities blame him. Now he has to race to find the real killer before the other mages drag him to trial, where odds of his being acquitted are slim.

    I love mysteries, especially supernatural mysteries, and I'm trying to write them. This is my project for Camp Nanowrimo. I adore urban fantasy, where people walk around with all kinds of magic and keep it hidden from the Real World. Also Phoenix, Arizona is an underused location in paranormal. :-)

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    1. I'll be out there in the Fall to do research for one of my paranormals with the vortexes in Sedona and such.

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  4. Julianna is tired of cleaning up messes for the giga-buck clients of the family's Dallas law firm. However, before she can quit, the feds swoop in and arrest her father. She escapes the dragnet and hits the road to hide out. Her plans change when she learns that her uncle has died. His "estate" turns out to be a beat-up motorhome and a Chihuahua named Simon. What better place to chill than a trailer park in south Texas?

    She enjoys the quirky backwater until she opens her door to a Texas Ranger and an FBI agent. The offer is simple - a reduced sentence for her dad and amnesty for herself in exchange for setting up one of the firm's clients who likes to dabble in smuggling guns in exchange Congo conflict minerals, and for exposing the African connection hiding out in Austin's refugee population.

    Sounds like another day at the office - cleaning up yet another legal mess so she agrees.

    Mayhem ensues . . .

    This came out of a bar chat at a writers' conference with an agent. I had driven my own rattletrap motorhome and was stealth camping in the ritzy hotel parking lot. As the jokes were exchanged, she said something to the effect that a girl attorney roaming around in a motorhome was an interesting twist on the Jack Reacher trope and on my drive home (including getting caught in a drug interdiction sweep based on a vehicle profile) the pieces started to fall into place.

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    1. I'd read this! Love quirky mysteries! Keep us posted and if you need a beta, let me know!

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    2. Well, I'm really waiting for your book to come out. I hope you "reaaly" let'er rip. Hit me up for a beta, too.

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    3. Thanks everyone! I have been travelling a lot the last few weeks (work, in a respectable SUV, not my RV) and worked out the ending today. Just firming up the accuracy in Act II and making sure it flows.

      And I totally appreciate the beta offers. It will need fresh eyes when it is done!

      Terri

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  5. War sucks...especially when it's in your neighborhood. North America is invaded by multiple enemies and is quickly overwhelmed. The Alaskan backwoods will not provide the heroes needed to free the continent, but they will make a difference for their neighbors at least. Alaska has the highest ratio of combat veterans to general population in all of North America...and it shows.

    Red Dawn, in the arctic...with bigger guns and more professional expertise.

    Ice Hammer... coming fall 2014...beware ... be very ware.

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    1. Your idea sounds awesome, Basil. I'd read that.

      All those combat vets called back to active duty to plow through the bad guys - look out creeps!

      Brilliant use of natural resources.

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  6. Oh...and what inspired the story?

    A dream...literally. A dream of fire that would not go out in spite of rain. I dreamed of vengeance that would not calm regardless of those things that would temper it. It only grew deeper. And then the heart of a man beating the tempo of vegeance amidst the storm. And thus...Arctic Hammer.

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    1. and when I was a kid I wanted to be Spock and had a thing for Uhura...does that inform my writing 40 years later?

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  7. Romantic Suspense: When everything hit-man Tony Aiello loves is targeted by an escaped felon will he team up with FBI agent Janet Peirce to stop the madness?

    Fantasy Romance: Elf Prince Kort Elias pursues a mercenary who stole a royal dragon egg. When Kort discovers the dragonlet has hatched, leading him to the lost princess of his realm, can he convince Mia to help him use the power of the Dragonstone to return the priceless dragon child home to their people?

    Oh, and I'm writing promo blogs for my new release with Boroughs Publishing Group, Three Wishes, a fairy tale romance set in my hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Three Wishes premiered as one of Borough's Lunchbox Romances.

    Check it out here: www.paulamillhouse.com

    How cool is that?

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    1. I like to read fantasy romance as much as I like to write it. I'm going to check yours out right now.

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    2. Thanks, Nancy. Your series looks good too - it's on my TBR list.

      I just love a good fantasy romance with a Thriller's back-beat (yes, I learned that from TKZ).

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  8. A tragic hit and run incident on a South Carolina county road sets off a chain of events that violently and unexpectedly affect a number of lives.

    Last year while driving to Myrtle Beach we found ourselves on a rural two lane route. We passed a house where a young man sat in a wheelchair by the highway, holding a pinwheel up as cars went by, a wizard with a wand without magic. He was much too close to the road for safety, and I wondered why his parents put him so close (other than for his desire to let the force of the cars going by to power his pinwheel). I wasn't entirely comfortable with all the answers and they've continued to churn in my head until recently, when this story began to unfold.

    Interesting ideas from all so far...John P., let us know when that story is published. Sounds like my kind of book.

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  9. After finishing and publishing the latest Derek Stillwater thriller, Gravedigger, I returned to a project I've been working on for a couple years now, an espionage thriller that primarily takes place in China titled CHINA FIRE. My goal is to finish by June. In it, CIA operative Monaco Grace is sent to Beijing to search for an undercover agent who disappeared. Much mayhem ensues.

    Also, my son and I co-wrote a follow-up to my kids book, Monster Seeker, titled Monster Seeker 2: Rise of the Phoenix King. Having published that only a week ago, we are now working on the third book in the series, tentatively titled Monster Seeker 3: Exiles of the Old World. We're taking a different approach. The first 2 books are all first-person told from Monster Seeker Danny O'Malley's POV. In the third book I'm handling the third-person POVs as the worldwide council of Monster Seekers attempt to get a grip on the rise of the triad of gods and the new evil Dark Seekers, while Ian, my son, writes of Dan O'Malley's journey into the Beyond with his best friend Jessie (a vampire), an untrustworthy queen of the fairies, in search of their banished friend Ike (Dan's academy roommate, who is both a ghost and the fabled God Hunter).

    In addition I've been hired to work on a novel as a ghostwriter revolving around Lee Harvey Oswald, et al. So I'm busy.

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    1. So what are you doing after lunch?

      I'm tired just from reading that!

      Terri

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  10. My co-writer Lynn Sholes and I are working on our seventh thriller called THE SHIELD. It’s a follow-up to our recent release of THE BLADE. Former OSI federal agent and black market expert Maxine Decker is recruited by a blacker than black government operation to track down the theft of alien artifacts originally collected from the 1947 Roswell Incident. The trail leads to a secret group of former USSR military who plan to bring down the governments of the United States and Russia.

    The inspiration came from an April 5th, 1909 article in the Arizona Gazette covering the discovery of mysterious Egyptian-like hieroglyphics on the walls of a cavern in the Grand Canyon.

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    1. New Mexico too. I've been all over Chaco Canyon - I've seen a great "Eye of Horus" there. Fun huh? (Yeah - I'm the southwest/great basin archaeologist in the group here.)

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    2. Any evidence of Norse Mythology in AZ? I'll be there doing research for another book in my Drift Lords series. Sedona's vortexes fit in perfectly to my world building.

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    3. Not Norse, Nancy, but here are a couple of links that might interest you.

      http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/nov2/gcegypt.htm

      http://www.philipcoppens.com/egyptiancanyon.html

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    4. Thanks, Joe, I'll check them out.

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  12. The people of Earth are falling asleep and not waking up. Rumor has it the Sandman has gone missing along with the souls of Earth’s sleeping doomed. Ivy Connor just found out she’s being framed for murder, kidnapping, and mayhem on Earth and in the Fae realms, oh, and she’s not quite human. Can she find the soul-stealing killer and save herself and her fellow Earth dwellers before they’re all lost?

    Sometimes a girl could really use a Fairy Godmother, and then you find out she’s you!


    A classic tale of pantsing without a belt, boots, and only some really skimpy underwear. I am working on revising my Nano from 5 years back. I had first heard about Nanowrimo two days before it was to start and the idea I came up with was there are times when a girl needs a fairy godmother. What if she was the girl next door and what if you found out that girl was you. In my story the Fairy Godmother isn't a person - it's a job title that one fills. My writing and pantsing while not trying to run from a fire whilst dressing has come a long way in the last few years, but every time I re-read this wreak of craziness I just love it and laugh my butt off, so I decided to polish it (which is the toughest writing job I've ever done)... I would recommend that anyone pantsing over a 1500 foot drop off go back and re-read the many discussions of how to do it right/write - here on TKZ. It is definitely a challenge to fix EVERYTHING in post production. :D

    So I still need a real title (right now I'm just calling it the Fairy Godmother of Grosse Pointe) - and I'm hating my opening (since I changed so much in the middle) and haven't quite resolved my dilemmas yet, but I just can't let this one go. I truly love it!

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  13. I'm working on a future crime novel called SUBSTITUTION. Everson Blake is a new agent in the American Police Department assigned to the a secret department called SubD. He finds that the freedom and equality that the government claims is not exacting true.

    Part political thriller and part science fiction the plot takes Blake on a dangerous trip that could cause a world war or prevent it.

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  14. Working mainly on the 13th Louis Kincaid thriller set in upper UPPER Michigan's desolate cooper country. Abandoned mines, isolated small-town minds with secrets to keep and two tiny skeletons found in a wooden box.

    When the creative river runs dry I work on proofing back list stuff for ebooks.

    And this week, editing the Edgar banquet annual! We have some really terrific essays from some of our profession's best writers about how they use their sense of place...good stuff!)

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    1. Ah...make that COPPER county. God I can't even proof a blog post...geez.

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    2. My dad was born outside Calumet. We used to go "up there" and climb around the defunct mines and get kicked out on a regular basis. I never went "down below" but always wanted to. The fake coal mine at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was pretty good. Now I'm too claustrophobic even for that. Hope you include pasties in your story. Eh?

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    3. Hey, Kristy, I'll be researching copper mines out in AZ. We must be on the same wavelength.

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    4. @Jim: Yup...can't write about Yoopers without pasties. Don't like em myself.

      @Nancy; Ha! None of the Michigan mines still operate but there is a fascinating history there.

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    5. I mean I don't like pasties. Yoopers I DO like.

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  15. I just found this site...nice!
    After ten thrillers and one anthology, I'm finishing up my first mystery, the third book in the Detectives Chen and Castilblanco series. I just released The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan--sci-fi thriller, maybe some mystery and suspense.
    I hope to be a regular visitor....

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  16. I'm planning a research trip for my 12th Bad Hair Day mystery and at the same time I can research the same sites for another Drift Lords story. It's not for the Fall but I'm excited about the cool stuff we're going to see. Both series will take totally different angles so I'll be focusing on copper mines, dude ranch, ghost town for one story and on vortexes and energy fields for the other one.

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  17. A Cuban defector reveals the existence of new and threatening Soviet air defense system deployed during the Ogaden War between Ethiopia and Somalia. A civilian ELINT analyst called on to fly a covert mission in the SR-71 spy plane survives ditching in the Indian Ocean. His discovery precipitates a quest for survival as Soviet backed Cuban operatives pursue him across Kenya.

    Inspiration for the story came while staying in a dollar a night hotel on Lamu Island, Kenya. The Ogaden War was raging just up the coast. I decided to write the action-adventure story I’d always wanted to read. Now, thirty-five years later, retirement has provided the time and motivation to complete the story.

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  18. I've got two projects going. One is a single-title crime fiction about the murder of the socialite girlfriend of a world renowned blind violinist. I takes place in Chicago and there are ties to a private members-only sex club.

    My second project is a proposal my agent is getting out there. It's a near future YA SciFi fantasy techno-thriller mash up about a boy suffering from a brain injury who finds solace in a futuristic 3-D holographic game that could kill him.

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  19. I have 2 projects underway. I'm working on the second draft for the second book in my Sgt. Reid series. Bodies of young girls start being found and Reid is caught between his police career and his marriage. He has to decide what is important before the killer puts his sights on his daughter.

    The second project I am really excited about. A few months ago my wife got a part-time job that involved cleaning out houses that had been forclosed on. The first one we went into looked as if the owners had just disappeared. There were papers and photographs and belongings everywhere. Down in the basement we found a large cinderblock room with the only way to get in was through a trap door on the top...where did the family go? What was in that room?

    On my blog I've been writing about the journey that this story has been taking from idea to actually writing. (today at work the ideas started to flow and I had to stop everything to write a few pages. I would have gladly quit if I was told to get back to work) On my blog the latest post is the first chapter of this story. lorneoliver.blogspot.ca

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  20. I'm working on SOUTH, a near-future thriller.

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    Luis Ojeda once was a reverse coyote for the Pacifico Norte drug cartel. He guided into civil war-wracked Mexico hundreds of Muslim Americans escaping from the remote detention camps where many thousands of their relatives and friends have languished since a horrific 2019 terrorist attack in Chicago. He left that world after he was nearly killed crossing the border. Now, two years later in 2032, the Cartel wants Luis back for a special job.

    Nora Khaled is a wife, mother, FBI agent, and Moslem. Her lawyer husband is about to be exiled to a camp, destroying her family, career and freedom. She abandons her comfortable life to spirit her husband and children to Southern California so Luis can lead them south, out of the U.S. to safety.

    Luis and Nora face more threats than scorching deserts and brutal border guards. The Nortes are locked in a death struggle with the fearsome Zetas, and someone on the inside is selling out the Cartel’s members. A dogged Immigration & Customs Enforcement agent has Luis locked firmly in his sights. When Nora is publicly accused of terrorism, Luis learns she’s carrying secrets that will blow apart the 2032 Presidential election by revealing that the nation’s recent history is based on a lie. In an America where government has been starved to irrelevancy and none but the very wealthy few can afford hopes or dreams, Luis and Nora have to learn to trust each other to ensure the survival of the truth, their families, and themselves.

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    I started this in early 2012 as I began to wonder what would happen if the ultraconservative agenda actually came to be fully implemented in the U.S. When it ended up looking like a return to the 1890s mixed with a more tech-enabled security state, I knew I had a setting. The rest followed naturally.

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  21. Awesome thread. This post was an excellent idea!

    Terri

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  22. It's still Friday here, so I'm not too late.

    Basically I'm still pounding away at a pair of web novels. One I call my "better Twilight" which is a reader directed story. I was able to update it weekly when I had my summer off but since getting back to work it's slid back to monthly updates. But I still end every chapter with a vote and then release it to the wild so the readers can pick where Regan goes.

    The other is an end of the world story, Bastion the Last Hope. I've managed to keep up (with one exception) with weekly updates and that includes every other chapter being some kind of multimedia. It's been fun but stressful.

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  23. Dragons' Mate: They had been searching for their mate, but when they find her she is traumatized and scared to be around strange men. They must get her to accept them before they reveal their true natures. Will their love be strong enough to break down her barriers? Could she truly be destined to love two dragons?
    Today Annie’s dragons will shift and fulfill her every desire, which means a fiery threesome—and true love.

    I am currently working on a contemporary military romance, a follow up to the above story, and a Christmas romance.

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  24. Everyone's stories here are simply awesome. Mine is an historical that's set during the Texas Revolution. It has three plot lines that intertwine with each other.

    Before the outbreak of hostilities, a young anglo woman had discovered that the person who raped and killed her older sister is a Mexican soldier. War breaks out and she dresses as a boy a joins the rebels to she can hunt him down.

    Slavery is illegal is Mexican Texas yet for economic reasons the anglos are allowed to continue the practice. One evening a young pacifist negro, slave to an abusive master, tries to help his master but unintentionally and severely injures him. He runs away intending to flee south of the Rio Grande River. War breaks out and he's found by the soldiers and conscripted into their army to fight against the anglo rebels.

    A Tejano man, a Mexican Texan, is against the rebel cause but required to join a Tejano contingent to support them anglos because of a prior oath he made.

    The seed: there is only one man who has the distinction of being the only person who was at nearly every battle (major and minor) of the revolution. He survived the Alamo because he was a courier and not there when it fell. He survived the Goliad Massacre because he was out scouting and not captured with the rest of the men. He was at the Battle of San Jacinto (where Texas received her independence from Mexico) and survived that too. The irony is that five months later he was dead from blood poisoning from a very minor wound received at San Jacinto.

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    1. Sounds awesome. I love big sprawling historicals that weave in real details. And that is an under-examined period in history.

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  25. I've been inspired by a radio show that hosts monthly "conspiracy days" wherein listeners get to call in and describe why they believe in certain conspiracies. Not only do I hope my thriller will show how one or two of the conspiracies could be real, but I hope to show how too much focus on conspiracies can be deterimental and harmful to friends and family (which I was stunned to find happens in many cases by reading Among the Truthers by Jonathan Kay).

    It's the third in my series of thriller/mysteries that have fitness and exercise as a theme, much like Dick Francis with his thrillers that revolve around the world of horse racing or Diane Mott Davidson and her mysteries in the world of a Colorado caterer.

    I'm blog about this novel (in rewrite) and my second novel (about to be released) on my blog www.puborperish.blogspot.com.

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  26. It appears that I am too late to toot.

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