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November News 2014

What happened?

I’ve been somewhat absent from my newsletter/blog for a month. Writing a new novel takes a lot of butt-in-chair time.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the "timeline" on the cork board.

The Work-in-Progress. You can see the “timeline” on the cork board.

I’ve heard of National Novel Writing Month for as long as it’s been around. I never thought I would actually do it. I did this time. NaNoWriMo was the impetus I needed to finally write a solid first draft of Token, that YA (Young Adult) work-in-progress that I’ve been telling you about for the last year. I went into the month with four chapters that were not good. I spent some time improving those. I had close to seven thousand words to start. I needed 50,000 words to win (or complete) NaNoWriMo. You see, it’s a national challenge. I probably should point out that now NaNoWriMo is an international challenge. Many people win. I’m not the only one. I have 53,000 words today. There will be more by December 1. I’m officially going to the big TGIF (thank God it’s finished) party at River Oaks Book Store. Yay!!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!

This is the end of the receipt from a Barnes & Noble in Pasadena. Do you see Deadly Thyme down at the bottom? Whoo! Hoo!

 

Now, the News:

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

Denise, Fern, Sarah, Me

November 8 was the Houston Writer’s Guild’s first mini-conference under the new leadership team. The team consists of Denise, Fern, and myself. Denise and Fern are the new owners of the Guild. I am honored they picked me to help them steer the course. Our mini-conference was a rocking success with a good showing of members and new folks anxious to learn the craft of writing. Sarah Cortez an esteemed speaker and winner of many writing awards for her poetry books, was our speaker. People said that the day went by so fast they couldn’t believe it. There was also lots of food with breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack.

Now for the News You Can Use:

SAM_1233_edited-1March 28 of 2015 we will hold a one day pitch practice conference to help members of HWG get their pitches and presentations ready for the BIG CONFERENCE. At the pre-conference we will have actual agents for members to pitch their novels, and screenplays to. More details to come.

The next big thing is the Amazing 2015 HWG conference. There will be several agents from NYC there. We will have some Texas agents and editors and publishers there. Friends, this is Big Time! There will be agents looking for folks they want to represent to the big six publishers in NYC. There will also be a lot of break-out sessions about how to self-publish, the art of craft, the business of doing it, the “how to” market it. More details to come.

Down on The Farm

One of the things I did do this month besides have some amazing books signings around town was that I took Cora to visit my brother on his farm. We picked vegetables, Jon took us to visit the menagerie, we petted his AKC Siberians, and Jon gave us some eggs (nicer than any from the store). I want to show you some pictures from that day.SAM_1240

And I wanted to show you some artwork that my amazing sis-in-law did. She drew this from composite photos of her trips to Egypt. She painted it with coffee. Okay, you can say “wow” too.SAM_1243

Happy Thanksgiving!

SAM_1264It’s the end of the month and I want to thank you for sticking with me in reading my blog, especially when there are weeks between offerings. I appreciate every one of you. May God richly bless you in this holiday season.

I thank the Lord for His loving kindness, and mercy in keeping our family safe and well.

Don’t eat too much and watch out for the crazy drivers.

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Saving Grace (Katie & Annalise #1)

Saving Grace (Katie & Annalise #1) - Pamela Fagan Hutchins Want a little suspense, mystery, and Caribbean island yore mixed with that Bloody Mary? In Saving Grace, Katie Connel is a successful lawyer dancing daily with alcohol until she realizes that her one true love Nic doesn’t find her inebriated state very sexy. When she realizes that she has lost his respect and possibly any hope of snagging him, she does the only thing a girl in her situation can do. Get sober. Even if she isn’t an alcoholic. And how will she do that? On a Caribbean vacation of course. Except anyone who has ever been to the Caribbean knows that everyone on the islands drink – morning, noon, and night. But she is on a serious mission. She must find out why her parents went to the island on vacation the year before and while there, drove over a cliff and died. Her investigation proves only one thing, nothing is as it seems. But she does feel herself recovering from the alcohol (though she isn’t an alcoholic), and from Nic only to find herself head over heels for an abandoned shell of a mansion in the middle of nowhere. And possibly the house is occupied by a “jumbie”. The suspense keeps the pages turning with unanswered questions such as “Who is the P.I. she hires talking to and why does he keep denying it? Why was her non-drinking father drinking when he died? The novel is well paced, the action moving me forward through the story. I did question why a mysterious woman is seen at the mansion on p.61 but not mentioned again for some time later, the bee incident isn’t clear until afterward, and the finding of the ring is a little too coincidental but overall I was really wowed by the book. The action-packed, lean-forward-in-your-seat ending left me wanting a drink. Although I’m not an alcoholic. Buy the book!