What’s On Your List?

I have a shopping list on the side of my fridge. It helps me remember what to buy when I go to the grocery store.

I have a list of errands to run. I use it to create my route, saving as much gas and time as I can, and still get everything done.

When I was on a dating site, they have you create a list of what you’re looking for in a partner: fit and trim, non-smoker, age range, geographical area, successful, likes movies and travel, that list can go on and on.

A friend of mine gave me a gratitude journal to write down the things I was grateful for each day. Besides the obvious, I wrote things like a summer rain storm, chai latte in the morning, the ceramic kitty that sits on my desk at work. These lists are very important, they remind us to keep a proper, and positive perspective.

As a writer, I always keep lists of unique names, character traits, places, and dialogue I can incorporate into my stories.

Lists are more than just a collection of words. They can be liberating. They can provide direction and clarity, organization and insight. What’s important? What’s not?

What’s on your list?

Forgotten Lives: Where Evil Lurks

The first book in the Ninth Miracle trilogy has done very well. For all the fans of this book, the second book will be out in just a couple of months.  Shattered Souls: When Angels and Demons Collide is almost ready for you.

In book one Forgotten Lives, you met Maya, Isabella, and Raye. In the next book, you’ll meet Adriana, Chantelle, and Leila. I know you’re going to love reading their spell-binding, nail-biting stories as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Stay tuned for more!


Julie Howard, Mystery Author

I always enjoy getting to know other mystery authors, and sharing them with you. This month we meet Julie Howard, author of the Wild Crime series.

Julie has published a number of short stories, and edited and co-produced a memoir by former Hewlett-Packard executive, Ray Smelek. Before settling down into writing fiction, she used to be a reporter for The Sacramento Bee, Las Vegas Review-Journal, and a national news service.

Julie Howard

Today Julie writes fiction similar to her taste in reading: mystery/suspense, and historical and literary fiction. Her current series was born when she was a newcomer to Idaho, feeling overwhelmed by the wide-open spaces and curious about the isolated locations where people live. She found it a great setting for mystery and suspense. And though not planned, her trilogy came to her all at once.

Crime and Paradise, her most recent book was released August of 2017, and is the first in her Wild Crime trilogy. It’s a story about Meredith, a young woman who moves to a remote location in Idaho, and who believes the only way out of her abusive marriage is to kill her husband. When he ends up murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. Despite all the evidence pointing to her, Meredith finds an unlikely supporter and friend in the county sheriff. Together, they uncover some ugly truths about her husband and their small, isolated town.

Crime Times Two, the second in the Wild Crime trilogy, is currently with the publisher and will be released in summer of 2018. In book two Meredith becomes wrapped up in a series of mysterious deaths in a nearby mountain town. At the crux of the story is the theme of belonging, and the ambiguities that exist along the borders of guild and innocence. Julie is currently writing the third book in the trilogy,

Download a free short story, Three Ghosts, from her website: www.juliemhoward.com.

Julie Weston, Author Interview

Julie Weston grew up in Idaho and practiced law for many years in Seattle, Washington. Her debut fiction, Moonshadows, A Nellie Burns and Moonshine Mystery, was published in 2015, and was a finalist in the May Sarton Literary Award. This book was followed by Basque Moon in 2016, which recently won a WILLA Literary Award in historical fiction.

Julie Weston

Why she writes: Weston’s first book, The Good Times Are All Gone Now, was a memoir of place about a mining town and her childhood years in the 1950’s and ’60’s. For a long time, she had fooled around with a mystery and decided to try her hand at it-in part because she had read and still reads lots of mysteries. When a full moon in snowy Idaho presented a unique photo to her photographer husband, it also presented in her mind a mystery plot tied to an old cabin in the snow, and Moonshadows was born.

Weston’s most recent release, Basque Moon, A Nellie Burns and Moonshine Mystery, is the second in the series. Both mysteries are set in Idaho. The second book is set in the Stanley Basin, an area surrounded by the Sawtooth mountains and the White Cloud mountains, and features sheepherders, cowboys, moonshiners, and Nellie and Moonshine. 

She is in the process of completing the third book in the series with Nellie Burns and Moonshine. This one is set in Craters of the Moon, which is also in Idaho. This book should be out summer of 2018.

Check out her website at www.julieweston.com, and Like her on her Facebook page. Her books are available at most independent bookstores, including Rediscovered Books in Boise, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

The Writer In Film

There are a ton of movies about writers. Here are some of my favorites. I hope you’ll add to the list though. What are your favorite movies about writers?

Sunset Boulevard (1950) Directed by Billy Wilder, starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson

The Shining (1980) Jack Nicholson

Throw Mama From The Train (1987) Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito

Funny Farm (1988) Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith

Her Alibi (1989) Tom Selleck and Paulina Prizkova

Misery (1990) Starring James Caan and Kathy Bates

As Good As It Gets (1997) another Jack Nicholson feature

Finding Forrester (2000) Sean Connery

Adaptation (2002) Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep

Stranger Than Fiction (2006) Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Queen Latifah

Julie and Julia (2009) Amy Adams and Meryl Streep

The Ghost Writer (2010) Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Tom Hanks

This Beautiful Fantastic (2016) Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, and Tom Wilkinson

Author Spotlight – Chuck Ambrose

Marc Rainer is the pen name for Charles “Chuck” Ambrose, Jr.

A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Chuck is a former Air Force JAG Circuit Prosecutor and former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., and in Kansas City, MO.

In his more than thirty years of experience, he has tried hundreds of both military and federal (civilian) major cases, including prosecutions of homicide cases, federal conspiracy trials, and mafia and other organized crime prosecutions.

Weaving scenes from his investigative and trial experiences into the plot lines of his novels, Chuck’s writing has been hailed by those in the criminal justice fields for their realism.

Chuck tries to make the books as realistic as possible, using actual criminal organizations and cases in the plot lines, and even use real transcripts from his trials.

He has co-authored a manual on how to try murder cases, which was published by the American Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section.  Chuck lives in a suburb of a major northwestern city with his wife, retired Special Agent of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), and their three rescue mutts.

Find him on his website at www.marcrainer.com.

A self-published author who has sold over 40,000 books to date, Chuck has four novels out and is working on his fifth. His latest release is A Winter of Wolves, which concerns the Islamic Terrorist threat to the U.S.

Goodreads describes the book as:

‘Federal prosecutor Jeff Trask is summoned to a murder scene. A Park Police officer has been brutally murdered at the Lincoln Memorial. As Trask and a team of local and federal investigators try to find the killer, more police officers are murdered. While attending the funeral for one of these victims, Trask and his team find themselves in a firefight with a cell of radical Islamic terrorists. Disqualified because of his involvement at the scene at Arlington National Cemetery, Trask is reassigned to Washington D.C.’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, where he discovers that the firefight at Arlington was only part of a bigger and much more sinister plot to bomb that threatens the entire east seaboard.’

I’m so excited to read this series of crime mysteries, and I hope you’ll join me.

Be sure to check in for next month’s mystery/suspense writer spotlight!


Idaho Indie Author Day – Boise Public Library!

The main branch of the Boise Public Library! is sponsoring a variety of events on Indie Author DayOctober 14, 2017.

The fun starts on the third floor at 10 am, and goes to 4:45 pm.

Meet local indie authors, including myself, and buy autographed books. Sit in on panels to learn about such things as writing craft, marketing your business, and much more.

Great conversations to be had, friends to be made, and books to read. Don’t miss out!

A portion of all books sales that day go to the Library! Come down and support your local library.

Author, speaker