Recent Blog Posts


Cliffhangers Part 2

Cliffhanger 1

For the first article in this series, click here. Cliffhangers do not have to be picked up in the next scene or chapter. Cutting to another POV character’s storyline can add tension and suspense. Especially if the author keeps both characters in tense situations. In my pending publication fantasy series, …

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Cliffhangers Part 1

Cliffhanger 4

What is a cliffhanger? According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, it’s an ending to an episode of a serial drama that leaves the audience in suspense. It comes from the 1930s when film serials were very popular. To keep people coming back episodes ended with characters in desperate situations, including literally …

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The Liberation: A Review

In this sequel to The First Principle, Marissa Shrock writes one of the best Christian speculative novels I’ve read in a long time. Shrock keeps us right with her heroine, Vivica Wilkins, from page one to the climax. We are with Vivica as she enters a new world of being …

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How Much Worse Can it Get?

Today, I’m continuing the series I started on the Write Conversation blog, Plot Problems Solved in Three Questions. Previously, I discussed the question, What Would My Character Naturally Do? Today, let’s explore the question: How can I make it worse? Bring In a Gun  Mickey Spillane is credited with saying, …

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A World Flipped Upside Down

The First Principle A Novel Marissa Shock Vivica Wilkins is sixteen years old, and a bit of a rebel. She has hacked her school’s computer network so her fellow students can exchange messages without the school knowing. For the right price, she can get into the grading system and change …

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The Rising, A Review

The Rising is a contemporary suspense novel by Lynn Chandler Willis Detective Ellie Saunders’ world is flipped on its axis when the homicide victim in her latest case, a six-year-old boy, comes back to life. The case becomes a life-threatening adventure in finding out who the little boy is and who …

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A Novel That Cranks Up the Excitement

This week I want to invite you into the exciting world of Firewall, DiAnn Mills’ latest romantic suspense novel. Taryn Young is super-computer geek, writing programs to strengthen the US economy. As she is about to leave on her honeymoon after a whirlwind courtship of three months, a bomb destroys the airport …

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The Moral Dilemma

I’m often asked what makes a story great. We all have different definitions of greatness in fiction. But if you peel back the layers of the definitions, I think you’ll find emotion at the core. Something in the story grabs our heart and keeps us reading. Even in thrillers and …

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Why Do I Read Fiction?

Rachelle Gardner posed this question back on her blog back in August. Only she called it Fiction Readers Are Better People. When I was young, very young, I read fiction to escape to other worlds. I gobbled up the Hardy Boys and Chip Hilton stories. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke …

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