The Year of the Rooster by Kait Carson

Some “Cluckin” going on at #MotiveMeansOpportunity

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I love Chinese food, or at least what passes for Chinese food in this country. Never having been to China, I don’t know if what we have here in the States is even close to the real thing. I suspect it may not be. One thing that seems to be a constant in US Chinese restaurants, at least on the East Coast, are placemats. Placemats depicting the symbols of the Chinese zodiac. I’m a dragon. Frankly, that describes me better than my astrological sign of Cancer.

The traits of the Chinese and astrological overlap and braid together to form character. When I sit down to plot a character, I will often take both their birth date and their birth year into consideration and use the information to chart their salient character traits. The information provides a touchstone for me when I face the inevitable question of what will my character…

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Author Appearances by Carl Brookins

Today at #MotiveMeansOpportunity — Books, Beer, and Banter!

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Dark. Night. Moon up there somewhere. Temperature in the low teens and the raw windinsidepassage numbed my nose. We stumbled across an ice-rutted parking area in the industrial heart of a suburb somewhere on the northern fringe of the city. Box trucks, vans. Shiny automobiles. Harsh floods bolted high on the concrete walls of the narrow parking space sent needle-sharp shadows caroming off dingy windshields. Behind me a faulty compressor rattled in its cage against the concrete block wall. The wind moaned low.

I slowed and scanned the area, noting two small huddled clusters of figures. Male or female it was impossible to tell. They were plotting a move or sharing a joint. The lone point of color was a garish red orange sign, OPEN, over a glass door. Behind the door, a raucous crowd sampled beer from Bent Brewstillery, ate Jimmy John sandwiches, told each other jokes and lies.

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The Murderer I Knew, by Ellen Beherns

Today, at #MotiveMeansOpportunity

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 I once knew a man who ended up being a murderer. He took a hammer to his sickly, elderly mother’s head because she refused to give him money. After he killed her he went to the nearest bar, ordered a drink, and confessed.

This was not one of those, “He was such a nice, quiet neighbor” situations. He was a creep by all measures, but no one in my hometown suspected a murderous heart beat within him.

Clyde, Ohio, was then, and is still, a farming and manufacturing community. When my first car needed an oil change, my father suggested that — rather than drive to the dealership in the next town — I should take it two blocks over to the local garage, the one on the backside of the courthouse. He explained how small towns work: everybody shops at the local grocery, gets their hair cut at…

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Seven Deadly Writer Sins by Kait Carson

Today at #MotiveMeansOpportunity — 7 Deadly Writer Sins!

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I may have to borrow from Jimmy Buffett here if I run out of ideas but hey, Jimmy, I remember you at Bubbas, so ‘nuff said. Those of you who did not go to or hang out at the University of Miami in the early 1970s will have to make up your own stories. No, I did not know Jimmy Buffett then, or now, for that matter. But there was that wild night in Sint Maarten when I did tell him not to quit his day job. But that’s not what it sounds like either. And I doubt he’d even remember it. Jimmy, I’m glad you didn’t take my advice, but acapella, you don’t sound like you!

How does that relate to writing? It’s all about the story and not committing the seven deadly writer sins.

#1 Thou shall not head hop.

What is head hopping? Mavis asked herself.

How…

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BEST WRITING ADVICE I’VE EVER HEARD by Jan Christensen

Today at #MotiveMeansOpportunity –Don’t miss these sound tips!

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There is so much fiction writing advice out there, I finally decided to strain it down for myself to what I think are the essentials. See if you agree with me!artie-bundle

  1. Write fiction every day.

This is number one. You make it a habit, you build your writing muscles, and you produce lots of stuff to work with later.

  1. Always be aware of what the villain is doing.

I only heard about this idea a while ago, but it makes so much sense. And it’s fun to imagine what the guy or gal is doing behind the scenes besides rubbing hands together in glee.

  1. Use a professional editor (not your mother, even if she is a professional editor).

Once you have done your very best with the material you wrote, you should have someone go over it, if just a proofreader. If you do that, at least there’s one thing…

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2017 Dorothy Cannell Scholarship Recipient- Micki Browning

Congratulations to Mystery/Crime writer Micki Browning!

Micki Browning

I am honored and humbled to announce that I am the 2017 Dorothy Cannell Scholarship recipient.

dorothy-cannell Dorothy Cannell, Mystery Writer

Here is the press release:

Sisters in Crime (@SinCNational) is pleased to announce the 2017 winner of the Dorothy Cannell “Guppy” Scholarship, Micki Browning.

The FBI National Academy graduate and award-winning author worked in law enforcement for more than two decades and retired as a division commander. Her debut mystery, Adrift, set in the Florida Keys, was published by Alibi-Random House in January 2017. It won both the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award.

Browning resides in Southern Florida with her partner in crime and a vast array of scuba equipment. She’s currently working on Beached, the second in the Mer Cavallo Mysteries. Learn more at http://www.MickiBrowning.com.

The following information is courtesy of the Sisters In Crime website:

To honor one of the most…

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Blowin’ My Horn! (Or, It’s all about Me!)

Today at #MotiveMeansOpportunity

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It’s been a doozy of a week so far. Deadly Spirits, the fourth book in my Mac blast-off-1McClellan Mystery series, has successfully rocketed skyward from Camel Press’ launch pad. The early reviews have been positive. My publisher is excited about the sales prospects, and my dog still loves me. I’ve even generously given myself a little pat on the back.

But please note there is no bragging allowed here, although one world-renown athlete hadbragging-2 this to say on the subject:

And another once uttered these inspiring words:bragging-3

Are exuberance and/or excitement too closely related to the “B” word? I think not. Hey, isn’t a writer allowed to make a little noise in celebration after months of hard work finally pay off and the fruits of his/her labor materialize into a real, live book? Yes, books are alive; no one will ever convince me otherwise. Have you never felt the…

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