Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drama in a Small Town: SHORT STORY "INVESTMENTS"

Drama in a Small Town: SHORT STORY "INVESTMENTS": INVESTMENTS “Do you want Italian or Chinese?” “Oh, let’s have Chinese,” Harry said. I pulled the menu from the drawer and sat o...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

SHORT STORY "INVESTMENTS"

INVESTMENTS

“Do you want Italian or Chinese?”

“Oh, let’s have Chinese,” Harry said.

I pulled the menu from the drawer and sat on the edge of the sofa. I read off the selections.

“Number five,” he said. “I liked that the last time you ordered it.”

“You want soup with that?”

“No. Just number five.”

I scanned the menu, decided on my selection, and phoned in the order.

“Are you going to be okay while I pick up our dinner?”

“Yeah, fine. I’ll lean back and turn on the vibrator.”

I smiled as I went to the car. Harry loved that vibrating chair. It’s the first thing we purchased when we moved into our apartment. Harry, twenty-seven years my senior, and I entered a platonic marriage two years ago. I agreed to take care of him and if he died, I was the sole heir to his estate. It worked out for both of us since I was left with no job skills after twenty-two years of marriage to a man who cheated, left me homeless, and with little options. I took a housekeeping job at the home for minimum wage and lived in a rented a room. My future looked bleak until I met Harry.
His kids stuck him in the home because none of them wanted to care for him. While he was mobile, he couldn’t do household chores. We hit it off right away. He liked to play chess, rummy, and any other game I chose. I read to him, we watched news on TV, and I helped him track his investments on the computer.

When I returned with our order, I called his name. Harry didn’t answer. I sat the bags on the kitchen table and went to check on him. The chair was still vibrating, but Harry was pasty white. I shook him lightly. His head fell to the side. Harry was dead.
Harry made arrangements to be cremated, and the burial company left instructions to call them first. They would send their ambulance to pick up the body, therefore avoiding the hubbub of EMT’s, hospitals, etc.

I was in shock. We had taken a trip to the park earlier and Harry seemed fine.
My neighbor, Ellen, came over and sat with me that evening. We shared the Chinese dinners and talked about the future.

“First I’ll call his kids and then his lawyer,” I stammered.

Ellen took my hand. “I’d reverse that if I were you. The entire two years you and Harry lived next to me, I never heard you mention that his children visited.”

I nodded. “None of them have been here. While they didn’t approve of me, they were relieved that they didn’t have to care for their father. Harry always sent them money for their birthdays and holidays.”

“That is so sad,” she said.

“It will be even sadder when the children learn of Harry’s net worth. He made good investments and I’ll never have to work another day of my life.
    


Monday, April 24, 2017

THE HIDDEN JOURNAL REVIEW

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Drama in a Small Town: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL

Drama in a Small Town: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is packed with surprises. Jenna relocates from Chicago to Kentucky to escape from her past. All she is looking for is a ...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Drama in a Small Town: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL

Drama in a Small Town: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL: THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is packed with surprises. Jenna relocates from Chicago to Kentucky to escape from her past. All she is looking for is a ...

THE HIDDEN JOURNAL

THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is packed with surprises. Jenna relocates from Chicago to Kentucky to escape from her past. All she is looking for is a place where she can work at her home business in peace.
Life happens.
She is blessed with busy neighbors, an intruder who turns out to have lived in her cottage in the past, and a community that is slow to accept a stranger.
When her home business collapses, she has the opportunity to work in and later purchase an antique store. When she discovers a journal crammed in an old Doctor's desk. The secrets of the town's residents explode off the pages. Jenna never wanted anyone to see what she read, but an emergency caused her to leave the cottage in a hurry and leave the open book in her office. She never expected her new love to find the old journal, and to discover unknown information about his own family.
I've probably given you too much information, but I loved writing this book. I lived in Kentucky and added bits and pieces of my life there. I named the towns in the area and some of the old roads I used to drive on.
Kentucky is a beautiful state, filled with green grasses, horse farms, Fort Knox, small communities, and areas that are far removed from the nearest towns. My father was born in Kentucky, but never lived there as his family moved to Ohio. When I was doing research, I stumbled upon familiar family names.
THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is available on amazon.com http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+Hidden+Journal+by+Joyce
If you like romance with a real story, you'll love the twists and adventure I wrote in this novel. Read the first two chapters and the reviews on amazon.com

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

JOYCE BRENNAN

I love chocolate, puppies, and writing Romantic Suspense novels. I’m an avid reader and I am obsessed with watching crime stories on TV.

My husband and our family have traveled and lived in eight cities during his career. I spent those years raising our children and volunteering for dozens of different charities. When we settled in Las Vegas, I began writing seriously. I started with short stories and that eventually turned into romance novels. I found my past journeys gave me numerous plots for my fiction.

I belong to three writing clubs, led critique groups, and have given many presentations on writing. I also write articles for the community newspaper, and write two blogs.

I write for Tirgearr Publishing and have four Romantic Suspense Novels on their site and on amazon.com/

THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is a sweet roomance with a zest, and a surprise twist.

MISPLACED, is definitely a Romantic Suspense novel. I know it will keep the readers on the edge of their seats.

OLIVIA, is the first of a series but also a stand-alone book. Olivia is in for many surprises when she relocates from the city to a small town. I created this character so readers will easily identify with her.

VICTORIA, is the second of the series, but also a stand-alone novel. Wherever Victoria goes, trouble is sure to follow, and her curiosity almost leads to murder.

All of my novels are set in small towns, where gossip and rumors rule the day.

Joyce lives in Las Vegas with her husband, Tom, and Pup, their long-haired Chihuahua.     

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Drama in a Small Town: WHY I WRITE.

Drama in a Small Town: WHY I WRITE.: Recently, I spoke to a group of readers and was asked, "Why do you write?" I had to think about it before I answered. I seem to...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WHY I WRITE.

Recently, I spoke to a group of readers and was asked, "Why do you write?"
I had to think about it before I answered. I seem to have to write. Stories whiz through my brain and I must put it down on paper.
Another question: "Where do you get your ideas?" 
When I wrote BROKEN PROMISES, I read a newspaper article about an older woman being bilked by her much younger fiance. I asked myself, what if this was a younger woman who had her hopes and dreams shattered by a boyfriend who emptied their joint bank account and absconded with the funds. What if she also lost her job due to downsizing and found herself near becoming homeless? Would she sit back and moan and groan or would she take action to find the thief. How would she go about finding him? Who would help her? I immediately had a story line and couldn't wait to include twists and turns in the plot.
I like to write stories about women who find their strength after being in a unusual situation. MISPLACED tells the story of a young woman who has everything going for her until she walks in on her parents murder. The assassin, a mobster, also shoots her and leaves her for dead. Once she recovers, she is placed in the Witness Protection Program and is constantly looking over her shoulder. Who will save her?
How do you come up with a title?
This is a difficult one. Sometimes I make lists of titles and brainstorm with my critique group. MISPLACED was originally titled Shattered Life. I didn't have problems with BROKEN PROMISES, because that was exactly the essence of the book. THE HIDDEN JOURNAL is a book about my heroine discovering a journal written by the small town's country Doctor that cited all the secrets families kept hid for years. OLIVIA, and VICTORIA, was part of the WOMEN OF REXFORD series. Looking back, I might have added something to their names. DON'T DANCE ON MY HEART, came from a statement in the book.
Do I plot my story in advance?
Somewhat. I have an idea, decide on the location, develop a confrontation, and then let the story tell itself. I'm not always sure on the exact ending, but because I write Romance, I always write a happy or satisfactory ending. 
Where and how do you write?
I have an office with two computers, a TV, and a stereo. I like noise in the background. When I'm in the midst of writing, I turn on Country Music. I keep notes on each chapter so I can revisit if I have a time-line problem.
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
Editing. When I first began to write, I told everything about everyone. I found myself writing 150,00 words, and half of them didn't push the story forward. A dear friend pointed that out to me when he told me I wrote three stories in one book. Since then, I've tried to keep to a few points of view, and center the story around the hero and heroine. It's difficult.
Where can we find your books?
My favorite question. All of my books are listed on amazon.com/books  You can read two chapters of each book and order them on line. All but DON'T DANCE ON MY HEART are available as an ebook. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Drama in a Small Town: MY INTERVIEW WITH SCOT MULLINS

Drama in a Small Town: MY INTERVIEW WITH SCOT MULLINS: Hi! I’m  Joyce Brennan . I write Romantic Suspense, Romance, and Cozy Mysteries. My ebooks,  THE HIDDEN JOURNAL ,  MISPLACED ,  OLIVIA ,...

Monday, January 16, 2017

MY INTERVIEW WITH SCOT MULLINS


Hi! I’m Joyce Brennan. I write Romantic Suspense, Romance, and Cozy Mysteries.

My ebooks, THE HIDDEN JOURNALMISPLACEDOLIVIA, and VICTORIA are available on amazon.com
I’m originally from a small town, but during my marriage, we have moved eight times. Each location provided information to enhance my writing.  

When and why did you start writing?

I began writing skits in grade school and years later, I became the Editor of a business newsletter. Because my husband’s transfers, I concentrated on raising our children and volunteering at the different locations where we lived. After retirement, I began to write full-time.

What inspires your writing?

I get many ideas from the newspaper and the media. Fact is stranger than fiction and the local paper is full of unusual plots. I ask, “What if my characters were involved in these situations? How would they react?” 

How would you define creativity?

Creativity is turning these stories into fiction.

Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?

I love to listen to Country music when I write. I like to hear the beat in the background. I also dictate the first drafts on Dragon. It makes it easier to put everything I want the reader to know about my characters on paper, then I edit, edit, edit.

If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?

As I look back, I wish I would have kept journals about some of the events in my life, especially my volunteering experiences. I recommend new writers take up that habit.

What do you believe make for great writing?

I write stories for the reader’s pleasure. I stay away from politics, religion, and explicit sex. I want my readers to have an ahhh moment when they finish the book.

Which writers have influenced your writing?

I am a fan of Debbie Macomber, and the late Maeve Binchy. I love the way they bring minor characters into the story, while still focusing on the main characters. I admire the way they dribble in descriptions and back-story throughout their books.

How do you measure success as a writer?

I measure success when a reader tells me they really enjoyed my book, or that they couldn’t put it down. I’m excited when someone takes the time to write a review.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

For years, I belonged to a writers group and wrote a short story every other week. As I go back and read them, some were really good, but a few were so bad that I can’t believe I wrote them. Writing short stories is a good exercise for writers. It keeps you sharp.

What’s your biggest fear as a writer?

Missing typos is a fear I harbor. You can read a manuscript many times and still something might slip by you or your editor.

What traits do you feel make a great writer?

My imagination is my best asset as a writer. I keep a recorder beside my bed for plot ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night.

Describe your latest book to our readers

The book I’m promoting is: MISPLACED. It has romance, suspense, disappointment, and of course, a happy ending. All of the events take place in a small town. I’ve added many twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages. I loved writing this book.
‘Gilda Scarlotta is a sophisticated young woman who has been provided with the best life has to offer. She has no idea her parents are involved in money laundering for the mob. When she comes home from college for a surprise visit, she walks in on their murders. She is shot and left for dead, but she recognizes the assassin. The story revolves around Gilda’s new life after she is placed in the witness protection program. She must change her name, leave everything behind, and start a new existence as a small-town teacher. Will she find love? Will she ever be safe?’

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

I hope readers notice how my characters change. I want them to place themselves in the main characters mind and the setting.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

My tips for young writers are: Write, write, write. Do a character interview so you know exactly how you character acts, thinks, and what they like or dislike. The smallest trait may change the theme of your book. Use strong verbs and lose the adjectives. No head-hopping and write deep point of view.

Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?

My favorite writing prompt is to take any topic; decide on a location, and a plot. What will your character do in the situation? What keeps him/her from reaching their goal? Who or what is standing in the way? How will they prevail? It works with any genre. Minor characters play a role, but don’t allow them to take over the story. Don’t tell your character’s life story in the first chapter. Slowly drop hints throughout the book. Most of all, don’t be discouraged.  Join critique and writing groups.

What’s next for you?

OLIVIA, and VICTORIA, are stand-alone books, but also part of The Women of Rexford series. I’ve written the next two books and plotted out the fifth.
Your readers can reach me through my blog. www.joycebrennan.blogspot.com and my author page https://www.facebook.com/joycewritesromance  where I’m always available to answer questions about writing.  I’m on twitter.com @brennanwrites, and excerpts of my books are available at www.tirgearrpubishing.com I also belong to three writing groups.
I hope to cross blog with other authors.