Friday, May 29, 2015

Researching the Thriller

I get asked quite a bit about what it's like to write a thriller, or how do I write a thriller.'s a good question.  Out of all the genres that I do write in, I really enjoy writing a dark thriller the best. Not sure what that says about me, but it's true. I totally love 48 Hour Mysteries, Dateline, anything that involves a dark mystery.

When I sit down to write a thriller, just like anything that I write, I always start with the what if... Once I have that initial what if down, I create characters and a plot around the question. Creating a killer is daunting. Let's face it...murderers are really, really bad, heinous individuals--especially the ones that I write, and they can be exhausting to write. When I have a character semi-developed and a plot line moving along, that's when I bring in the experts. Let me just say that it is true that fact is stranger than fiction. While working on my new thriller The Preference, which is a part of the Holly Jennings series, I'm having the privilege of working with two experts. One of them is a homicide detective and I'm terribly afraid that he thinks I'm really disturbed, but every time I send him a scenario, he says, "Wow! Cool!" Okay, I'm good with that. He then challenges me as far as with questions I never thought to ask, or answers I need to really think on--things like considering blood splatter, DNA testing, how long it takes for lab tests to come back, toxicology reports, etc. I mean, sure I knew that in some ways. I couldn't have written the thrillers I currently have out there, but I want to go that extra mile with this book, and having a real homicide detective to work with is helping me make it that much more legit. Of course, it is fiction so it can't come close to fact. ;) However, the way the investigation is conducted can be as close to fact as I can possibly achieve--thus going to the experts!

I'm also working with a criminal psychologist on this book. Again--there's some really weird stuff going on out there. I mean, I thought I wrote real bad guys, but there is some evil out there that the doctor has told me about that has made me squeamish (I don't do squeamish typically) and even may have caused me to have a nightmare or two recently. Like working with the detective, the psychologist helps me see angles that I may not normally see. Killers have real patterns and reasons as to why they do what they do. She has helped me find the reason and the pattern of my current villain.

So...if you are looking to write a thriller, I strongly suggest doing the homework. Talk to the experts and make your novel the best possible book that it can be!

Look for The Preference this July! Available for pre-order now!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It's Been Awhile....

Wow! So, I haven't blogged here since 2012! A lot has happened in three years! If you know me, then you know that. I am no longer a full time writer. The passing of my Dad in June 2012 prompted me to go back to work at our family business--Professional's Choice.

However, that has not meant that I've given up writing. In fact, I am still putting out two to three books a year, have worked with some co-authors including the great JR Rain, and try very hard to keep myself entrenched in the writing community.

I'm currently working on the third novel in the Holly Jennings series. It's titled The Preference and in a few days, I will be posting the first chapter here. The book will be out in July! Here is the cover, which I love.
For those of you who have not been in Holly's world at all, I'm going to share a little bit here. My international bestselling thriller DADDY'S HOME is where it all started, so for today, I'd like to give you a tidbit from that book. Here is the first chapter and I hope you enjoy it!

Holly Jennings wanted to get this son of a bitch. She needed to see him stretched out, strapped down on a gurney. She yearned to watch the hypo hooked up to his veins, releasing the venomous fluid that would flow through his body, causing it to gradually shut down. Better yet, Holly wanted to take her nine-millimeter Glock, put it to his temple, and pull the trigger.

Blow the monster’s brains out.

She slid down the steep incline, brushing off the leaves as she got to her feet, and took a pair of Latex gloves from her black bag, smoothing them over her hands. Even after four years of working the Crime Scene unit for the San Diego P.D., Holly still hadn’t gotten used to that acrid rubber smell and the puff of powder that flared out as the gloves snapped into place. It was like a wake-up call to her body.

Here we go again, Holly, grit your teeth. Even her years of experience with death scenes never made the next scene easier. No matter how many times she had faced smells so foreign to the average nose—even those not so average, like Holly’s—the vile aroma always hit her hard. That first breath in ignited visuals of violence—visuals so completely opposite of anything normal, like a plunge into the depths of Hell. Then, too, there was always something about each victim, each situation, that caught a detective, or herself anyway, off guard. Each victim had been a real person with a real life, and within a matter of days, hours—or hopefully for their sakes, seconds—they became a statistic.

Sickening. Yet, in spite of the shattered bodies and the putrid odors, Holly had to admit it was a job she almost relished.

Holly stepped along the perimeter of the taped-off crime scene, walking in line and with trepidation, hands behind her back—not an easy task while also carrying her bag, but a necessary one. Holly played by the rules. Keep the crime scene intact, and don’t fall on your ass. The boys are watching. She glanced back and saw both her partner, Chad Euwing—who she could screw up in front of and laugh about it over a shot of tequila—and Robb Carpenter—who she wouldn’t even think about messing up in front of; he’d run straight to the higher ups, who would love to demote a skirt if given a chance. So much for equality.

Robb was full of stupid one-liners like, “Didn’t you miss your nail appointment?” Or maybe, “We’re a little hormonal today?” Asshole extraordinaire.

Holly reached the little girl first. She knelt down, and the natural instinct to touch her gave Holly an intense head rush. Shut down the emotions. Do your job. What kind of freak would do this to an innocent child? Only two weeks earlier she’d been in this exact position where a child and his mother had been violently slain. Was she dealing with the same killer here? Focus. Think. Work. Examine. It was again time to examine the UNSUB’s heinous work. The Unknown Subject of an Investigation. The killer. The savage. She pulled out a small recorder from her coat pocket and pressed the record button. “Time of day: ten hundred. Tuesday. Approximately fifty-five to sixty degrees, clear weather, post rain. Victim 1: Female Child. Approximately age four. Blonde hair. Eyes closed. Wrapped in cellophane. Starburst wound at base of left temple. Entry: UNSUB is left handed. Looks like someone braided her hair, put ribbons in it—UNSUB?”

She leaned in closely. The smell of decay and death wafted past, nauseating her. It always did—another thing she knew that she’d never get used to. Hold on. What was this? She pocketed the recorder and took her magnifier from her bag. Gold links. He took a necklace from you, didn’t he, sweet girl? She scanned the wrapped body and face closely. There was a smudge of brown next to her lips. Not blood. What is that?

“He’s a collector,” she yelled up to Chad. “Did we find anything missing on the Collins’ little boy or his mom? You talked to the grandparents about jewelry?”

“Yeah. No one said anything about any jewelry being gone,” Chad shouted back. “We know what he took at that scene.” The grave tone in Chad’s voice didn’t go unnoticed.

“This one took something from the kid, too. Got your camera?”

“Right here.” Chad held up his 35-millimeter.

“Then come on down. Let’s get some pictures.”

Holly looked back at the child, whose facial color held a greenish-purple tinge. She’d been out here for at least forty-eight hours. Luckily, it had been cold and rainy, preserving the body far better than if this had been a typical Southern California week.
Looking again through the magnifier, she noted that both maggots and beetles were prevalent. You certainly took some care here, didn’t you? You wrapped her up nice and tight. The time and obvious care the UNSUB had taken, wrapping up the child in the plastic wrap, had also helped to keep her body intact. Maybe you’re still on her. Your cologne. Your hair. Something you wore. I’ll find it, you bastard. If you left something, anything, I will find it.

The sound of crunching leaves underfoot, as well as Chad’s humming of “Sunshiny Day,” announced his arrival. She used to hate it when he did that. But humming helped Chad to get through the scene. Every investigator had a tactic. Hers was to get as deeply into the killer’s head as possible when confronted with a victim. She had to detach herself in order to solve the crime. Later, she could think about the victims as they once were—living, breathing human beings.

“The gunshot to the head was at close range. At least she didn’t suffer.” Holly shuddered. “Well, let me rephrase. I don’t think she suffered at the moment of death. Who knows what occurred beforehand. Look here.” Chad bent down next to her. “Soot around the wound.”

“He didn’t wipe her clean?” Chad brought the camera up to his eye, focused, and started snapping close-ups.


“Like the last kid.” Chad lowered his camera.

“Exactly like the Collins boy. And I don’t think this is about him being in a hurry. There’s more to it. He feels responsible somehow. In his sick way, empathetic. The gunshot wound offends him. I’ll head over to Psych later and see if we can’t get some help with the profile. My initial impression is that he doesn’t like killing the kids.”

“Then why bother with the kid? Why not find a single female vic? What is it with the kids?”

“Well, assuming that we’re dealing with the same UNSUB, I don’t know. We could be dealing with someone totally different from the last scene. We’ll know soon enough when we check out the mom.” Chad gave Holly a knowing look. “Here, get a snap of her neck. See that?” Holly pointed to the few lengths of chain around her tiny neck.

“She wore a necklace?”

“Yep, and he took it. He carried her down here. Then yanked off the necklace. Any footprints?” Holly asked.

“With the rains we’ve had over the last couple of days? No.” Chad shook his head, and started clicking the camera again. “What’s that caked on the side of her face?”

“I don’t know.” But the word cake did ring true—chocolate maybe. Mark Collins had had peanut butter cookies in his stomach contents. “Maybe this bastard gives them goodies first. A real compassionate type, huh?”

“Twisted, Holly. This is one of the more bizarre cases I’ve seen. ‘Here kiddo, let’s have cake and ice cream before I murder you and your mom.’”

“We’re not dealing with your average psycho here.” After Chad was finished snapping away, Holly bagged the bit of chain. “Let’s check out Mom.”

They walked another five feet down and to the right before reaching the woman’s naked body, face down, a blue tarp tattered but still taped to her. “He didn’t take any time here,” Chad noted. “Looks like he basically dumped her and got the hell out of here.”

“I think you’re right. My bet is he was extremely angry with her, or whomever she represents to him. He doesn’t care about her. He’s pissed off, and she’s the root of his anger. He didn’t bother carrying her down. He tossed her like a bag of trash.”

Chad snapped several photos of the body in that position. He then rolled her over with his gloved hands. “It’s possible she’s a mother figure to him.”

“That’s one train of thought. Or a wife, girlfriend, even a sister. Someone else besides a mother may have raised him. Could be a grandmother. I don’t know. But his hate is deep-seated, and it’s directed at the women. This isn’t really about the children, by what I’ve seen so far. That is, if he is the same killer who murdered Patricia and Mark Collins.” Holly shook her head. She was frustrated at the dead end that particular murder investigation had led her to. The killer on that case was meticulous and left nothing at the scene. The similarities, however, were frightening.

The Collins case was another single mother and child pair. They’d been taken late at night from their Hillcrest home. No one had seen a damn thing. Patricia Collins was the quiet type, not very social, and a dedicated mother. The only lead they’d had was that she had belonged to both the local gym and a dating service, neither of which had turned up anything.

Patricia had only had one date through the service, and the man had checked out completely clean. Holly had the police chief breathing down her neck, and these new murders, if they linked up to the other family, would have him in even more of a tizzy. Holly didn’t like dealing with Tom Greenfield in a tizzy.

Holly nodded at Chad who pulled back the blue tarp covering the mother. “Oh my God!” Holly gasped, bringing her free hand up to her mouth. She had to look away momentarily. Her heart pounded hard against her ribs.

“Yeah. I guess you could say he was pissed,” Chad muttered before firing off shot after shot of film.

The woman looked to be in her early thirties. Presumably the child’s mother, she had been badly mutilated. Anguish and fright splashed across her face, her eyes frozen wide open. Holly’s gut said the killer had done the mutilating before he killed her. The woman had suffered quite a bit, whereas he had killed the child quickly. Oh, God. Had she witnessed the brutality her mother had endured?
“Why would he cut off her breasts?” Chad asked. The tarp was torn open enough to see the horrid wounds the killer had inflicted upon the woman. Holly shook her head. Stay in his head. What are you so angry about? Why her? Holly sighed. “Anger combined with wanting to either strip her of her womanhood or of her motherhood. I don’t know. He’s one sick fuck.”

“So what do you think? Is he the same one who murdered the Collins boy?” Chad asked.

“He didn’t mutilate Patricia, except for the finger.” Holly stared blankly at the missing ring finger on this victim’s hand. “And, uh, yeah. He’s saved himself another ring finger. I’d say he’s the same killer. It adds up. Both kids shot in the head at close range. The medical examiner and ballistics will give us a better idea. The difference is in the mutilation here. Our other gal cooperated with him, maybe thought she would get out of it alive. He only severed her ring finger, and the M.E. believes that was done post mortem. I don’t think he did this after he killed this one, though. I think he tortured her.” Holly bent down next to the woman and picked up the woman’s stiff hand. “She fought back, though, before he cut it off. See the blood and skin on the other fingers and nail beds?”

Chad bent down and took Holly’s magnifier from her. “We’re gonna get DNA off this. Let’s hope he has a prior.”

Holly knew that was slim. Serial killers were usually very careful. You fought him, didn’t you? “You did good. We’ll get him, I promise you. I’m gonna find him for you,” she said in a barely audible whisper. She glanced back over at the body of the child. “Carpenter!” she hollered up to Robb. “Get down here. What the hell are you doing? We might have some fibers. Bring your kit, and let’s get some measurements and sketches drawn up. This scene isn’t going to stay preserved forever.”

“You okay?” Chad asked.

“I can’t stand that asshole. And you know he can’t stand me, especially if I’m running the scene. He’s still bent that he didn’t get promoted to my position.”

“You earned it. Ignore him. That really gets under his skin.” He winked at her. Holly was fully aware of her title as Ice Princess around the department. She’d even caught a whiff of rumor about bets being placed as to who could get her in the sack.

She looked at her watch. It was almost lunch hour, and she had a forty-minute drive to make it to Chloe’s school. Her daughter’s second-grade class had plans for their Thanksgiving festivities. Damn. She had promised her that she would be there. She had already missed one dance recital and a school play this year. “Can you handle this from here? I promised Chloe I’d make it to her school assembly and Thanksgiving feast. Make sure Carpenter and the boys stay in line. I don’t want any mistakes. Our perp is good and careful, but he’ll screw up somewhere along the line. When he does, I want him behind bars until they’ve got him strapped to that gurney. I don’t want him out on a technicality because of something we got careless about.”

“Count on me.”

“Thanks. I know I can. I’d stay and hold the fort, but Chloe . . .”

“Go, for God’s sake. I can handle this.”

“Call me if you get anything new. I planned to take the rest of the afternoon off and spend it with her. This morning she sent a big guilty arrow through my heart about how I’m always working. I know I shouldn’t take off, and Greenfield would skin me alive if he knew, but that might hurt less than my seven-year-old’s therapy payments down the line.”

“No problem. Family first. You do what you need to, and I’ll plan to meet you at the medical examiner’s office in the morning.”

Robb Carpenter passed her. “What’s the matter, Holly? Your thong up your ass today?”

She kept walking. She heard Chad tell Robb to go fuck himself. Good friend. Behind the wheel of her Jeep, she pulled down the mirror and applied her tawny-colored lipstick, hoping to look more like a mother than a cop. She also put on some mascara, bringing her hazel eyes to life, and quickly brushed her short auburn hair back behind her ears. A little better.

Holly quickly got onto the freeway and sped down the I-8, heading west, noticing the whites of her knuckles as she gripped the wheel tightly. She hated admitting that she had wanted to leave the scene. It wasn’t something she would typically do, although today she did have a good excuse.

That poor woman, what she must have suffered . . . Her breasts. My God! She put a hand up to her breasts. He studies his victims, knows them or at least of them and their situation. What’s his motive? Why is he doing this?

He wasn’t some recluse, killing randomly. He had specific reasons for the women he chose. He carved up women just like her—young, single, and with a child. It was now up to Holly to track him down before he savagely butchered another family.

Interested in reading more? Stay tuned, I'll put up another chapter in a couple of days. If you don't want to wait, here is the link to Amazon. Tomorrow, I'll be posting about what it's like to jump back into Holly's world as a homicide detective. I'm currently working with a homicide detective and a criminal psychologist on the new book. It's fascinating an I'll share about it tomorrow. have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

For all of you who loved The Grey Tier, and are anxiously awaiting the sequel, I  assure you that I am working on it. In gratitude and in celebration of the holidays, I am running a giveaway for a Kindle Fire HD. Please follow the directions and enter to win. Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I know that today is cyber Monday, and although there is nothing terribly techy about THE GREY TIER, I figured a little paranormal sort of fits the bill. That said, for TODAY ONLY (Monday Nov. 26, 2012) I am gifting free e-reads of THE GREY TIER to anyone who e-mails me at All you need to do is type in THE GREY TIER in the subject line and be sure that you let me know the e-mail address you want it sent to. When you receive the gift, all you have to do is accept it. I will not use your e-mails for anything else other than for today's giveaway. You will receive your gift by midnight tonight! Enjoy.

Here is a the back copy and a couple of reviews from THE GREY TIER!


"Skirting the edge of gritty and glossy Los Angeles, Michele Scott takes paranormal mystery in a new direction with romance, humor, intrigue, and a fantastic leading lady. I can’t wait to read the next in the series." -Elizabeth Hunter, best-selling author of the Elemental Mysteries.

“A sexy irresistible supernatural mystery, mixed with a big cast of colorful characters. A fun, twisting plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock that had me guessing until the very end (and guessing wrong I might add!). Michele Scott is a tremendous talent and The Grey Tier is a helluva lot of fun to read."
--J.R. Rain, bestselling author of Moon Dance and Vampire Games.

What happens when a small town girl moves to Hollywood to pursue her dreams and winds up smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation, haunted by famous dead celebs, and working for the biggest pop star in the music industry?

Introducing Evie Preston: Small-town girl and under-the-radar healer, currently trapped in a po-dunk Texas town but yearning for something more. When fate gives her the opportunity to move to Hollywood to follow her dreams, Evie finds herself navigating through the land of glitz and glamour, and the realm of (dead) celebrities…

Raised in Brady, Texas by her minister father and her beauty shop-owner mother, Evie has been trying to get out of town for years. When an old family friend gives her an unexpected gift on her birthday, Evie finally gets the chance to start fresh out west. Against her father’s wishes, she packs up her guitar, her dog, Mama Cass, and heads for California.

Once in L.A., Evie finds a singing gig at a local dive bar where she meets a slew of interesting characters including the owner himself, a former child star with a hidden past. She also scores a day job doing make-up for a famous and foul-mouthed pop diva. One of the job perks includes house sitting at a Hollywood Hills mansion. But what Evie doesn’t know is the house is also home to some famous celebrity spirits, including the essence of former Grunge rocker, Lucas Minx.

As if things weren’t complicated enough, Evie finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery and discovers she’s being targeted by some nasty spirits. And to top things off, she’s developed a Texas-sized crush on her hot, but very dead, roommate, Lucas.

Maybe her dad was right and the City of Angels really is the City of Devils—all of them after her.

WARNING: Strong language, sexual content, and mild violence.

Check out the book trailer!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Hot Mess!

I am pleased to host my good friend Gayle Carline on adventuresnwriting. Gayle is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is funny, smart, sweet, and kind. Plus, she is a horse chick! I love her and I love her writing! She is running an awesome contest right now! Read Gayle's books and enter the contest!!!

 I’d like to thank my good buddy Michele for giving me a little space on her blog to run a contest for my new book, THE HOT MESS. If you’ve been following the other blogs in the contest, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s the third book in my Peri Minneopa Mystery series. Peri is a housecleaner-turned-detective, who traded in her dustmop for a PI license. Surveillance and background checks are easy money, unless you’re getting chased, beaten, or shot—which seems to happen to her on occasion.
In THE HOT MESS, Peri is asked to investigate a case of arson and murder. It’s not exactly on her menu of services, but she agrees to help her friend. What she uncovers are family secrets… and danger.
Here are the rules: There are excerpts from the book on this and four other blogs (see below). Visit my blog on Monday, November 26th, and I’ll ask five questions, the answers to which can be found in these five excerpts. The first person who answers all five correctly gets a free copy of THE HOT MESS, either e-book or paperback. I’m feeling so good about everything right now, I might even give out more free copies.


Skip looked up at the ceiling, watching the lines of water running toward a common bead, forming a ball and falling when they got too heavy. The battalion chief, Cornelius Danes, had warned him not to stay too long in the house. The fire department liked to err on the side of caution when it came to civilians.
“Finish up and let’s get out of here. This might not be the safest place to be.”
Jason nodded his answer. Skip watched him label a final bag, before turning toward the doorway.
“I hate unstable crime scenes,” the CSU said, pointing to the bedroom ceiling. Skip followed his direction and saw the bulge in the drywall. The water was pooling here. It wouldn’t take much to bring the ceiling down and ruin any evidence.
Both men turned and left, moving through the rest of the house at a quick pace. Chief Danes was waiting for them at the doorway.
“Get everything you need?”
Jason held up his camera. “Need a few quick pictures of the rest of the house.” He disappeared down the hall toward the kitchen.
“Almost,” Skip added, and did a quick visual sweep of the room. In the last, untouched corner of one of Benny’s beloved end tables, he saw something he recognized. He pointed to the object. “Chief, can I take this with me? I may need it to help me with the homeowner.”
The chief agreed, so he picked it up. It was the ashtray from the Some Came Running movie set. Skip recognized it because Benny had shown it to him numerous times. There were a few dark smudges, but it had survived the fire without cracking. He carried it outside and waved it at Peri.
“I’m hoping we got enough evidence to figure it all out,” Skip said, stripping off his hazard gear. “We may not be able to get back in there.”
“Wish I could tell you different, but it’ll need a couple of days to dry out before anyone can assess the amount of damage,” Chief Danes told him.
The chief was still in his yellow uniform, carrying his helmet under his arm. His stocky build, along with his six-foot-four frame, made light disappear from doorways when he entered a room. A few gray hairs at his temple teased at his age, although his coffee-colored skin showed no wrinkles.
Skip paused, scratching through his short, peppery hair. “Any obvious cause?”
“There are remnants of cans, looked like paint and turpentine, where the blaze was hottest, so I’m guessing the homeowner was going to do some painting. My gut tells me it’s about the hoarding.” He regarded the house. “Granted, there wasn’t the kind of filth you associate with that kind of thing, but did you see all the furniture in there? All it took was a faulty wire, a can of turpentine and poof, it all goes up.”
“Yeah, Benny’s got a little problem.”
“Well, now it’s a big problem. We try to educate people but no one wants to think it could happen to them. This is gonna be an insurance nightmare.”
Skip thought about Benny’s obsessive need for his things. “I’m guessing the insurance will be the least of Benny’s bad dreams.”
He returned to Peri, who waited on the sidewalk. It amused him to see her attempting to look uninterested in what was happening. Her expression seemed almost indifferent, but her body was tense and restless, her fingers clenching and unclenching. He smiled and stretched his hand out as he approached, offering her the ashtray.
“His favorite ashtray,” Peri said. “Perfect.”
“Time for me to go to work.” He took his notepad out and observed the audience standing at the police barricade. “Think the neighbors might know anything?”
He could see the wheels in her brain grinding as she scanned the crowd. “Are you working on anything right now, Peri?”
“I’ve got a meeting this morning with a potential client. Other than that, just finishing a background check on an employee. Why?”
“Because I wish you were too occupied to want to snoop into this thing.”
She grinned. “Ah, Skipper, when do I snoop? Okay, forget I said that. All I want to know is, do you know who the body belongs to, and was it arson?”
“I don’t know and I don’t know. Chief Danes thinks it was probably faulty wiring and paint cans, compounded by classic hoarder’s neglect. Fire started in the living room, body was in the back bedroom.”
“Benny’s mom used to be in the back bedroom.” Peri frowned. “Paint cans? Why would there be paint cans in the living room?”
“Again, I don’t know. Doesn’t sound like our Benny, to paint anything. Body was a young male. Blanche couldn’t determine cause but time of death is probably about the same time as the fire.”
“This is all sounding weirder and weirder.”
“It’s too early to call anything weird. We on for dinner tonight?”
She ran her hand down his back. “I was thinking take-out and fool around.”
He smiled. “I’m on board with that. Now let me get my work done.”

* * *

The other blog sites are:

Our own adorable Andrew Kaufman,

The lovely and talented Jenny Hilborne,

A sweet cozy writer Teresa Trent,

Mr. All-Things-Dean-Martin,

When you’ve visited them, come on over on Monday and see me at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Belief on The Afterlife

I know Katie Couric posted this morning on her thoughts on an Afterlife. Unlike, Katie, I am absolutely positive there is an Afterlife. I know it in my heart. It is simply a knowing for me. Here are a few brief stories from my life that have allowed me to accept this as a truth for me.

I've had a lot of loss in the past two years. It has not been easy, especially the loss of my Dad. My brother passed shortly after my Dad (actually 2 months to the day that Dad died), and my ex-husband who had still been a friend committed suicide two years ago. In my ex-husband's case I had to witness the loss of innocence within my sons on top of losing their Dad. Not easy, but my faith has gotten me through much of this.

Growing up I lived in a haunted house. I really did. Things would disappear and then show up in very strange places (like under a bed), doors and cupboards would slam in the middle of the night, radios would go off and on, etc. There were countless incidents in that house that caused my Dad who did not believe in such things to do some research on ghosts, spirits, and the property we lived on, which turned out to be former Indian grounds. There was nothing ever harmful that I felt in that house, and I actually did see a little girl spirit one day there. I also had an experience when I was nine-years-old right after my grandfather passed away. I was very close to him and we shared the love of horses with one another. He was a really special person in my life and his death was a very sad experience for me. Until...he visited me one night in my room. He was lit up brightly and wearing the same mechanic jumpsuit he'd worn daily for years. He very clearly told me that I should not be sad or worried because he was happy and safe.

As I grew into adulthood, I couldn't help wonder if it was my wild imagination  as a kid was the reality of things. But, then my husband and I moved into an old home in an older area of San Diego. Things happened in that house all the time. When our daughter was born, she had toys that made noises by squeezing them, etc. Those toys would go off at all hours. A friend of mine would come over and refuse to go downstairs because she felt someone was always down there (it was a basement we turned into a family room). My husband didn't believe it was due to a ghost, until one day, he was in the laundry room with no windows opened and the detergent bottle went flying across the room. That was enough to convince him! Then our Ridgeback Java would stare up at the ceiling and bark, his eyes following something. That was definitely a bit disconcerting.

Right before my Grandma passed away a few years ago, I asked her before she died if she could show me a sign after she was gone that I knew she was okay. She passed in July that year and the day we buried her it was excruciatingly hot. There was a drape of pink roses across her casket. My Mom and I each took a rose and when we got home we put them in a vase. Those roses survived for two weeks, and still looked perfect right up until TWO WEEKS! These were roses that had been out of water during the ceremony for a couple of hours. It was a hot July! There is no way unless through something far more powerful than I think I can wrap my brain around that they would have survived. Do I think that was a sign from my Grandma? You bet! So, does my Mom.

A year after my Grandma passed, my best friend Hillary died from breast cancer. The night she passed away I was with her. At one point in the evening, she opened her eyes and said to me, "Why me?!" Then she drifted in and out of consciousness. An hour later she opened her eyes again and said, "I am ready to go home now." Ten minutes later she was gone. That night in bed, thinking of her and all the fun we had together and all that we had shared, I was so sad. I drifted off to sleep and both John and I were woken by our stereo going off playing soft, lovely music--not on a station we would have set. We like classical but it is not our first choice. I knew it was Hillary letting me know she was okay.

I have more stories that involve the passing of pets. I even have a couple of scary stories that I won't talk about.

My last story is the most recent. It involves my Dad. My Dad passed away on June 27th of this year. He was truly a wonderful parent and grandparent--full of love, life, and positivity. Losing him has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through, after witnessing the pain and experience my sons have gone through at the loss of their own Dad.

For the last few months I felt like my Dad hadn't been around, that he wasn't giving me a sign, and it really troubled me.

Then, two weeks ago when I was in New York for some very important meetings, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, wondering what the hell I was doing there. I was filled with doubts, and frustration. I fell back asleep, and the next thing you know, I am with my Dad. It is my young Dad from when I was a kid. I am pushing him in his wheelchair, and he is wearing this gorgeous purple scarf, which he would have never worn when he was here! Everything around us is white and light and beautiful. I can see images going past us and I know they are people, but I can't make them out. In front  of us are a lot of stairs like in a Coliseum that lead down to the shore, and ocean. He tells me, "Why are you worried? You will be great! Just do everything I taught you. You got this!" Then, I began to lose control of the wheelchair and it is heading toward the steep stairs. Suddenly, Dad lifts himself up out of the chair and is floating. He begins to laugh and says, "Don't worry. I don't need that thing anymore! I can't be hurt any longer and I don't hurt any longer. I could have walked with you." I ask him why he didn't walk with me then. He laughs and says, "I thought it would be fun to have you push me around again!" Then, I woke up. My day went beautifully. My meetings were successful, and I had a sense Dad was right there with me all day.

Some might say that was just a dream. I don't think so. So, if you wonder what my view is on an Afterlife? I think it's pretty clear...I have no doubts. What it completely looks like, I have no clear idea. I just know that this place here on Earth is not the end.

I'd love to know your thoughts!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why I Like Book Trailers

A lot of writers wonder if book trailers help sales. I'm not sure if they do or don't.  What I do believe about book sales is that authors want to look at all possibilities that are there to make readers aware of their books.

The reason I really like book trailers is because I am a visual writer. When I write a book, I see it play out like a movie in my head. I do that because it's just how I write, but also because somewhere in the back of my mind (not too far back) I am always hopeful that something I write will be made into a movie, or for TV. I am a big believer in putting out to The Universe things we would like to have happen in our lives. Therefore, the book trailer for me, is a small step toward that ultimate goal. And, it also gives readers an idea of what the book is about. It is a visual back jacket of the book.

I'd love to know what writers and readers think...Do you as a reader enjoy book trailers? If so, what do you like about them, and if not, what don't you like? Do you as a writer think they help you in any way? If so, how?

Thanks for reading!