the rough blurb and a scene #amwriting

Lately, I’ve not shared much of my own writing here at Celtic Connexions. I’ve been busy sharing and helping others promote their books and book-related ventures. Today, you’re in for a treat … or not. It depends entirely on your perspective. The good thing is I #amwriting. I’ve experienced a drought, but the thoughts are percolating once again. During my dry spell, I researched the plot thread that runs through this next project, and that’s the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and the animals left behind. I know, pretty heavy subject matter. So without any further ramblings, here is the rough blurb and a scene.

The rough blurb …

Christopher Scott works in the oil sands at Fort McMurray and has to leave the care of his great Dane to his friend and neighbour when he’s away on the job. Unfortunately, while he’s at work, the nightmare of the wildfire becomes a reality and sadly, during the mandatory evacuation, his dog bolts and runs off.

A victim of childhood sex abuse, Lori Brownlee, has relocated to Calgary trying to put the sordid past and its unpleasant memories behind her. It’s been years, but she’s still plagued by the nightmares of those events from long ago.

Lori, an animal lover, joins forces with the volunteers risking their lives to save the pets left behind. She finds a great Dane and is able to persuade the dog to come with her.

Through social media posts about his missing pet, she and Christopher connect, and he heads for Lake Louise, where she is.

Is the great Dane Christopher’s missing pet? Will Lori’s past come back to haunt her?

and a scene (which could or could not hit the cutting room floor) …

Christopher Scott paused in front of the flatscreen TV mounted to the Millennium Lodge’s recreation room wall. News of the wildfire burning to the southwest filled the screen.

Earlier in the day, the sky was blue, as if no fire burned. A something inversion, they called it. Temperature possibly. The clear cerulean from before now replaced with brown, orange, and red closer to the horizon. Plumes of smoke rose from the ground as the fire ravaged everything in its path.

He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and took it out of silent mode. Missed calls. Lots of them. Checking the callers’ list, he discovered most were from his mother. The other came from his neighbour Frank Connolly. 

Frank moved in a couple of years prior while Chris was on his two weeks off. They worked opposite shifts to one another. Unless one or the other took vacation time, they didn’t see each other. Wolfgang, Chris’s Great Dane, needed ‘doggie daycare’ and more while Chris worked. When the dog was a puppy, he took him to work with him. The women employed at the lodge looked after him while he worked. That arrangement worked well until Wolfgang got too big for his crate. Frank’s two daughters loved the big lummox. 

Pressing the screen on a call from his mother, Chris dialled. “Hi, ma. What’s up? You’ve only called me like a dozen times today.”

“I’m worried sick about you., and you not taking my calls hasn’t helped.”

“Sorry, but you know I can’t be on the phone when I’m working. There’s nothing wrong with any of the family, is there? You’re okay?”

“We’re all fine, but haven’t you heard?”

“What?” Chris paced back and forth in front of the television.

“Mandatory evacuation. Everyone. Especially in your neighbourhood.”

He pressed his thumb and fingers against his forehead. “Calm down, ma. I’m sure it’s just a precaution. It’ll be fine.”

But would it? Was that the reason for Frank’s call? Except for pictures of Wolfgang with the children, accompanied by a quick update, communication was usually minimal.

“I missed a call from Frank. Let me return it, and I’ll phone you back. Won’t take long. Love you. Bye, ma.” Christopher ended the conversation with his mother and immediately rang his neighbour. “Hey, Frank, what’s this about an evacuation?”

“You heard right. The authorities gave us fifteen minutes to get our stuff together and leave. We planned to take Wolfie with us, but he bolted, and we couldn’t find him anywhere. I’m sorry. We had to go.”

Christopher swallowed hard. The thought of Wolfgang, alone and scared, roaming the streets during a wildfire terrified him. He understood Frank’s position. If only his dog weren’t so strong-minded. His friend referring to the dog by his nickname brought back the memory of when he first met the Connollys. Becky, the youngest, wasn’t quite three years old yet, and she couldn’t pronounce Wolfgang or Wolfie. So when she said it, it always came out Woofie.

Rest assured, nothing happens to Wolfgang. I know better than to kill an animal in a book. That’s a sure-fired death knell for an author.

And here’s a picture of the big, lovable guy. Isn’t he cute?

blurb and scene
Wolfgang

 

What do you think of the rough blurb and a scene? I know it’s not much so far, but even the largest oak tree came from a little acorn.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to read them.

Do you want to know more about my It Happened series? You can read about it here.

The Conflict Thesaurus Is Here!

I don’t know about you, but I get a little excited when a new writing guide comes along. Today I get to spill the news that The Conflict Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles (Vol. 1) has hit the shelves.

conflict thesaurus

This guide is about that killer ingredient our stories need: Conflict. It shows you exactly how to use conflict to raise tension, create a fresh story premise, and pull readers in. The guide also dives into over 100 conflict scenarios and how each can be endlessly adapted to challenge a character inside and out. Problems, Moral Dilemmas, Ticking Clocks, Obstacles, No-Win Scenarios…this book is plot brainstorming in overdrive!

I’m part of Angela & Becca’s Street Team for this release, and we have an important question to ask you:

Can You Survive Danger as Well as Your Favorite Protagonist?

 Sure, it’s easy for you to use conflict to torture your characters and make them struggle, but what if it’s you in the hot seat instead? Will you make good decisions, or bad ones? 

It’s time to find out by taking the Conflict Challenge! I dare you to become the protagonist in a special story Angela & Becca have created. And heads up, if you survive, you win some pretty cool stuff! 

conflict thesaurus

GIVEAWAY ALERT

While you’re at Writers Helping Writers taking the Conflict Challenge, make sure to enter The Conflict Thesaurus celebratory giveaway, too. But hurry – it’s only on for a few days. 

So, take the challenge…if you dare. And don’t forget to come back and let me know how you did against Camp Deadwood! 

Snowflake’s Big Adventure ~ #CoverReveal

Snowflake’s Big Adventure is a fun read for children.
snowflake's

Snowflake's

BLURB

Sometimes going out into the world is scary, but it can also be exciting.

We all worry about our place in the world and Little Snowflake is no different. When the day comes for him to fall to Earth for the very first time, he’s filled with worry and wonder. Guided by Mama Snowflake, Little Snowflake and the others anticipate their destination. He knows the possibilities are endless and wishes he could do them all. There are so many things he could be, but will any of it be meaningful? Will he be satisfied with his destiny?

Snowflake’s Big Adventure is a fun and engaging picture book that helps children grapple with the age-old question: “What is my purpose?” It teaches, them how to overcome anxiety and trust the wisdom of those around them. Combining beautiful pictures with powerful life lessons, this book could be your child’s next lifelong favourite.

About the Author

Snowflake's

Helping kids to love reading one book at a time.  Erin Mackey writes in various children’s genres, including picture books, early readers, chapter books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult fiction.  She has more than 40 completed picture book manuscripts and she continues to develop new story ideas on a regular basis.  So far, Erin has published picture books, middle-grade fiction, and Young Adult books.  She enjoys spending time with her husband, family, friends, church family, and her crazy cats who constantly entertain her and get into trouble.

You can follow Erin at these links:

Website- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com

Blog- https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com/blog/

Facebook- https://facebook.com/ErinMackeyBooks/

Twitter- @erinmackeybooks

Instagram- @erinmackeyauthor

LinkedIn- https://linkedin.com/in/erinmackeyauthor/

Covers by Suzy #customcovers #coverdesign

It’s my pleasure to welcome friend and fellow author, Suzy Turner to Celtic Connexions today. Her latest venture is designing book covers.

Without any further ado, we’ll get right on with it. I’ve had the chance to visit your website and peruse your covers. What made you decide to make the leap into creating covers to sell?

I’d been creating covers for my own books for a few years (as well as for an author friend) and people kept suggesting I should do it for others. But I wasn’t confident enough… until now. I’ve learned so much over the past few years that I finally feel that I can use my knowledge and skills and put them to good use!

You mention the fonts can be changed from the ones used on the display covers. What if an author has a different title in mind for their book? Can the title be changed as well? Is there an extra fee involved?

The titles I use on the pre-made covers are just my titles for the books (to make it easier for me to identify each one and to give the author an idea of what it will look like), and will be changed at no extra cost.

If an author chooses a cover that doesn’t have an additional line of text (ie. USA Today bestselling author, NYT bestselling author, Award-Winning author) can it be added? Is there an extra charge for it?

No, not at all. I’ve used an additional line of text just for example. Authors can choose to have whatever text they like on the covers at no extra charge.

Where do you get your images?

I use my own photography, as well as stock imagery from legitimate sites such as www.depositphotos.com.

What software do you use to create the covers?

I create my book covers using Affinity Photo (very similar to Adobe Photoshop).

So let’s have a look at a few of your covers!

covers

covers

covers

covers

covers

About Suzy


Suzy Turner is a keen reader and writer who has always been obsessed with all things magical and mystical, so it was only natural that she would eventually find herself writing books and creating book covers and photographic art about such mysterious things.

She’s been writing books for over a decade, mostly within the YA urban fantasy and chick-lit genres, and she currently has 13 books available.

Suzy recently started creating pre-made book covers for other authors, after having made her own for years. It’s only since discovering a passion for photography and fine arts that she realised she had something to offer her fellow authors.

Married to her childhood sweetheart, Michael, they live in the Algarve with their three adorable cats and a cheeky little dog. The couple grew up in Portugal, after moving there in 1986 when they were kids.

In January 2021 Suzy launched a brand new 40+ lifestyle blog, The Grey Brunette, where she shares her love of style, beauty, travel, etc.

You can find Suzy at:

Lifestyle Blog: www.thegreybrunette.com

Facebook (book covers): www.facebook.com/coversbysuzy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/suzyturner

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/suzy_turner

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your latest venture with us. Best of luck with your cover design business!

Detective Kate Young series by #CarolWyer

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.

When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.

Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.

With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

And now for the moment you’ve been waiting for. The cover for book 3 in the DI Kate Young series – A Life for A Life.

Detective

Out March 15th Available to pre order now.

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

US: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook

“WOW! Gritty and tense. DI Kate Young is an exciting new lead character I can’t wait to see more of in this compelling series.” —K. L. Slater, bestselling author of Little Whispers and The Apartment