Writing Tip: Spotlight (Elmore Leonard)

KaylaAnn Spotlights Elmore Leonard —


“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and the rhythm of the narrative.” – Elmore Leonard

Image result for elmore leonard

Elmore Leonard, the author of this quote, is an American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. His career boomed in the 1950s with his Westerns and continued to grow as he branched out into crime fiction and suspense thrillers. His most well-known pieces are “Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight,” “Hombre,” “3:10 to Yuma,” and “Justified.” Known and commended by critics for his strong dialogue and interesting use of grammar, Leonard never let the mechanics of writing get in his way.

Although Leonard had his degrees in writing and philosophy, his focus on writing was never restricted by composition 101. However, that does not mean that he simply…

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But the Sailors Threw Him Overboard*

From Mystery Writer/Blogger Margot Kinberg —-

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

Most killers don’t want to be caught. So, they do whatever they can to hide the evidence. And that means they often have to do something about the body of the person they’ve killed. After all, with today’s technology, bodies often contain evidence that points to the murderer.

One way to deal with this, if you’re a killer (fictional only, of course!) is to commit the murder on board a boat or ship, so the victim, or at least the victim’s body, can go overboard. Of course, a lot of things have to fall into place for that sort of plan to work. But when it does, the murderer has a solid chance to get away with the crime. So, it’s little wonder that we see this in a lot of crime fiction. Here are just a few examples; I know you’ll think of more than I could.

In Patricia…

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Hold On To A Moment

A beautiful reflection from author Miri Elm —-

A Short Conversation

I hold on to a moment, far longer than I should I know. I hold on to a day, or an hour, where you made the world stop, where we were young and beautiful and in love, where we were untouched by our own shortcomings.

If only for a moment. We were untouched by dissatisfaction, or promises, or priorities. Untouched by all the things we should have done. I hold on to the moment where we were brand new, and there was snow in your hair and you waited for me near the twinkly lights and said my eyes could see right through you.

Being with you is like watching water boil with your hand in the pot, waiting to get burned. Still you envelop me when I try to resist, because you know that if you get close I will breathe you in and my skin will remember and…

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Mystery Mondays: Jennifer Young on Researching Historical Fiction

From Mystery Author/Blogger Kristina Stanley —-


I’m so pleased to have award winning novelist Jennifer Young on Mystery Mondays. She’s here to talk to us about researching historical fiction – something I’m in awe of.

Hot off the press: Cold Crash (eBook Edition) is free today on Amazon. Why not check it out and post a review for Jennifer?

Researching Tips for Historical Fiction

cold crash front cover Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Winner

When I started writing Cold Crash, I looked online for music that came out in early spring 1952. I found ‘Tenderly’ by Rosemary Clooney, and it played on a continual loop as I wrote the first chapters of Max Falkland’s story. It even found its way into what eventually became chapter twelve.

As I researched further though, I found that while ‘Tenderly’ came out in the United States in spring 1952, Rosemary Clooney didn’t release any records until years later in the United Kingdom. Max…

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alphabet-landAlthough I did sign a contract with a new publisher (thanks Down and Out Books for reviving The Rook!), I have been writing a lot of short stories and personal essays in addition to working on my novel.  The stories have been largely autobiographical, just tidbits that stuck with me from childhood. I was fortunate enough to have two pieces published lately, one called “Family History,” which you can read here at gravel, and another entitled “Cool Friend,” which you can read here at The Citron Review

ocdAs for the essays I’ve been writing, those are of the extremely personal variety. For whatever reason, I feel compelled of late to muse (read: obsess) about my three decades long struggle with OCD and Panic Disorder; my loving but complicated relationship with my father; and my attempts to stay sane as a new stay-at-home dad.  As I’ve been writing about my life, I realized something: I’m getting better. Not smarter. Not richer.  Not better looking. Not taller (certainly not taller). I’m getting better.  Example: finally, after more than a quarter of a century, I no longer feel the need to refer to myself as a “neurotic,” an easy and ugly term to hang on one’s self.  Finally, now that I am jobless and in the presence of a hilarious and difficult and intelligent four-year old all day, I no longer feel such extreme anxiety. I feel at ease. I feel calm. I feel capable, which would never have cracked the top 50 adjectives I would’ve used to describe myself even one year ago.  Maybe I was not (or am not) cut out to have a “career,” and without the pressures of a job, I feel lighter. Or maybe I am just getting older and wiser.  I don’t know. I do know that these essays I’ve written  lately have brought up some painful memories–some of them very recent memories–but the pain has been twinged with humor. . .

max picWhich is a long winded way of saying that I sold one of those essays, a piece called “Time to Get Clean” about me doing something extremely gross (and extremely funny) in an effort to not pass on my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to my son.  I’m proud to say that sometime in June my essay will appear in OC87 Recovery Diaries, an excellent publication that focuses on stories of mental health and recovery. If you suffer from some type of mental illness or you know someone who does, I’d encourage you to check out OC87 Recovery Diaries here. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad, all are true and meaningful. 

Blog Tour: Watching Glass Shatter, by James J. Cudney ~ 5.0 Stars

By Hook Or By Book’s Kim reviews WATCHING GLASS SHATTER

By Hook Or By Book

Watching-Glass-Shatter-Promo-Hardback-EreaderThanks to James Cudney for including me in this blog tour and providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Creativia

Release Date: Available Now

278 Pages

Synopsis: The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives an unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds all the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the…

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Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney–Book Review and Author Interview

WATCHING GLASS SHATTER — Interview & Review by Cathleen Townsend

Cathleen Townsend

Watching-Glass-Shatter-Main-FileWatching Glass Shatter is one of the best literary books I’ve read. I often get impatient with lit fic–I typically find it long on character and short on plot. This book fits into that mold, but in this case the characters were compelling enough to hold my interest, and that’s not often the case. If I never read Catcher in the Rye again, it will be too soon.

Specifically, this novel follows the Glass family after the death of its patriarch and the revelation that one of his five sons was secretly adopted into the family. Exposing one secret brings a host of others to life, and each member of the Glass family has to struggle to decide what their future role will be. James Cudney weaves each character’s concerns together skillfully, leaving the reader in a state of high anticipation for the final denouement.

If you are a lover…

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My Special Guest: The Reveal

WATCHING GLASS SHATTER — 360 degree video!

Growing Self

You have been patiently waiting to find out who the man is, behind the mysterious voice…


You have wondered about his highly lovable sidekick…


You might have heard tales of him leaping over city buildings, with a single bound!


Who is My Mighty Special Guest…???

Watch this video clip to unveil his true identity…

Watching Glass Shatter



Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia needs to figure out which boy Ben is referring to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney is searching for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. But when Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her.

Olivia never expected her remaining years would…

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blog tour: “watching glass shatter” by james j. cudney // review & exciting poll

WATCHING GLASS SHATTER — Hollywood Bound? Take the Poll!

coffeeloving bookoholic

hello fellow bookoholics! ❤ sometimes things just happen in your life. for no reason. but then amazing things start to follow. when i started my blog, jay from this is my truth nowwas one of the first people to like my posts. i went to check out his blog and i read about the 365 daily challenge. and suddenly we started talking. i loved the whole idea and it was so much fun talking to jay. he made my day many times. his picked words that often come at the right time and i don’t even want to start with ryder, his beautiful dog. jay was always friendly and we developed a friendship over time which i am very, very happy about. 🙂

when i found out, that jay wrote a book, i was excited. i love his writing on his blog, so of course i wanted to read…

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