New Website Launch

My new website has launched! Come and take a look:

Header Website

I love the colors, artistry, and layout. It’s SO much better than what I had before. Thanks to Dee Tenorio for her amazing talent and design. I highly recommend her services at Laideebug Digital.

So what do you think? I’ve needed this upgrade for a while, so I am excited to have finally done it. Now you can view my books based on series or genre. It’s so much easier to navigate.

Between my book launch for Peril by Ponytail and getting the website up to speed, I haven’t had much time for blogging. And I’m leaving soon for the New Smyrna Beach Book Festival and Bouchercon, so I’ll be gone for the next few weeks. This means I’ll have lots to talk about when I get home, but you’ll have to wait a bit to hear it. In the meantime, you can follow my tweets and posts on Facebook for when I’m able to go online. This hiatus might last until November unless I can squeeze in a post before my next events in Bradenton, FL. For details on these events, Click Here.

So enjoy the beginning of the Fall season, and I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for your support!

Nancy

Contest Alert–One More Day!

Enter Now to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

 

BOOK LAUNCH PARTY

This is a frenetic week with lots of online visits re blogs and author interviews.  Visit the Science Fiction Romance Brigade TODAY to read excerpts from Silver Serenade and author interview. Leave a comment to enter a drawing for a free pdf copy of my new release. http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.com/
We’re in Orlando helping our son move so I’m using our condo computer. Every now and then, this one makes strange noises. I cringe, because this will probably be the next machine to break down. When we get home, I have to work on my laptop until the new Dell desktop arrives, then hope I can reinstall everything including my email files. We’ll see. This may be the first time I use the restore feature on Mozy online backup. It leaves me unsettled and anxious not to have an office computer up and running. I use an ergonomic keyboard so I miss that as well when I use the laptop. And in another week is the RWA conference so I won’t have time to do much in the interval.
If you’ve sent me important emails recently, please be advised that I am doing my best to print or save them or send them to my alternate email addresses but things may get lost in transit. Resend if you don’t get a response.

Cheryl’s Book Nook Review

Review of Silver Serenade:                                 Silver Serenade

 Cheryl’s Book Nook
 
Silver Malloy works for Earth Centrum Security Integrated Network. Her latest mission involving taking down Tyrone Bluth. Tyrone is the leader of Tyrone’s Marauders. The toughest bandit crew around. Silver almost had Tyrone when she came face to face with another opponent. His name is Jace Vernon.

Jace is also tracking Tyrone but for a different reason. Jace doesn’t really want or planned to team up with Silver but in order to achieve his goal, Jace must work with Silver. Who will win…Silver or Jace?

Silver Serenade by Nancy Cohen is a fun, entertaining, out of this world read! I really liked this book. It was a nice change from Mrs. Cohen’s mystery novels. Though Silver Serenade has all the same great elements that I have come to expect from Mrs. Cohen’s books…great characters, a strong storyline and the need to want to read more. Silver can kick some serious butt. I like that she had a take charge attitude and could hold her own with Jace. Speaking of Jace…can anyone say H-O-T! Jace and Silver were good together. I would recommend Silver Serenade to anyone.

SEQUELS: CHARACTER GRIDS

For the first time in my publishing career, I’m creating a character grid to keep track of my characters. I’m doing this three-quarters of the way through book number two in the series because it’s essential for what comes next.

It wasn’t necessary for my earlier Bad Hair Day mysteries because those stories all featured Marla Shore, hairdresser and amateur sleuth. We, the reader, viewed everything through her eyes.

But the paranormal romance series I’m working on now features warriors from the stars who join forces with a special group of Earth women to prevent a coming cataclysm. Each book involves a different warrior and his destined mate. Book One sets the story into play and creates the world building elements. By Book Two, my characters have scattered and each one has a specific job to accomplish. When all the guys come together at the end of this story, I have to know what each of them has been doing.                                                                  

Have I confused you yet? It’s complicated, especially when you add my two villains into the mix. How are they reacting to the heroes, and what countermeasures are they taking? Figuring out this grid is giving me a headache, even though I have most of these details in my notes.

For those of you who write series with spinoff characters, what methods do you use to keep track of each character’s movements?

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MYSTERY PLOT POINTS

What are the turning points in a mystery? When we plot romances, we have certain emotional plot points, like first kiss and big dark moment. What about the traditional whodunit mystery? For example, is it necessary to have a dead body in chapter one? Does the crime always have to be a murder? How many suspects is too many? How can the sagging middle be avoided?

Each author will have a different answer, and they’re all right. I’ve read mysteries where no one gets killed for the first hundred pages. You can guess who might get the axe and are often right, but everyone you meet until that point becomes a suspect. This works if the sleuth leads such an interesting life that you don’t care about when the body shows up, or the author’s voice is so catchy and engaging that you’ll read along just for pleasure. But for beginning mystery authors, placing the body up front is often the best bet.

After writing ten mysteries in my Bad Hair Day series, I found a pattern that I find comfortable. This isn’t to say I follow it every single time. But my loose structure might help others who are wondering how to plot those turning points. Keep in mind that other writers might reverse the order, jumble it up, or not include these items at all. The crime might be a stolen object of value, a missing person, a kidnap victim. It doesn’t always have to be a murder. But for a mystery in the traditional sense, the story usually involves a murder with an amateur sleuth in a confined setting, which may be a small town that has its own unique flavor. So these are the plot points I might employ:

Dead Body

Introduction of Suspects

Secrets: Every suspect has something to hide

Second dead body

Attempts on sleuth’s life as he/she gets closer to truth

One suspect turns out to be a red herring and has led sleuth down the wrong path

Secrets are exposed and suspects are eliminated

Final clue leading to killer

Through all of this is the personal subplot, often a romance or other relationship, that leads the sleuth to experience a revelation about herself thus providing character growth by the end of the story. This is the hook to make your reader buy your next book. She has to care what happens to your sleuth, and it’s the personal relationships, the sleuth’s quirky outlook on life, and the distinctive setting that will draw readers back for more.

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