Crime Fiction, Real-Life Miracle Story!
¡También en español!
Recently, I began a new series of Crime Fiction Mysteries about the detectives from An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force. The series follows the complicated cases the officers solve and the challenges of pursuing a personal life as a cop. As many authors, I wanted to write a holiday story in the collection, but I wanted it to be a realistic Christmas Miracle story.
Lost Girl features Detective Finola “Finn” McGregor, a young idealist policewoman who becomes part of a team in charge with saving children from a human trafficking ring.
The idea of the story came to me while reading a true-crime article about several Roma children who were sold to human traffickers. The reality that modern slavery exists is horrifying, and I understand that most of us prefer pretending this crime doesn’t exist.
I decided to tackle this sensitive subject by writing an Oliver Twist kind of story where the protagonist is a young girl whose Christmas wish is to have a family. Lost Girl is a heartwarming, heart-wrenching story, which reminds the reader that Christmas miracles can still happen because wonderful people, who are willing to risk their lives for others, still exist. It’s a story about human nature, hope and courage and, most of all, it’s a tale of love and healing.
Learn more HERE, and remember that, even though there are people who want to hurt others, there are angels like Finn McGregor, who are trying to make the world a better place!
Lost Girl is available at all major eBook Retailers for a Limited Time!
I always say “Keep a little Romance in your life.” Well, I got a kiss by a camel. That’s Romance! Laffin'!
If you prefer human kisses, check out one of my favorite Christmas stories...fun to read any time of the year!
As always, it's priced less than a fancy latte at Starbucks! 😘
What readers are saying about Jackie’s books:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Ms. Weger’s writing style is honest and down-to-earth. Her characters are well developed, realistic, and draw you in quickly.” — Big Al’s Books and Pals Reviewer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Jackie Weger writes fluently, understandably, makes it flow with pitch and power.” — Read Along with Sue
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Jackie Weger is a gem. I found her writing very unique and comfortable and so annoyingly beautiful.” — Coffeeholic Bookworm
Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Suspense, Myths & Legends
Romantic Women's Fiction, Multicultural Romance
Romantic Suspense, SEAL Team
Crime Fiction, International Crime, Romantic Suspense
For More Books by Our Authors, visit their Author Pages!
Based on Real Events! An inspiring account of a man exploring an exotic culture… Perfect for lovers of adventure and historical fiction.
What would drive a man to leave civilization behind and live out his life among cannibals?
In l847, John Rumell jumps ship, ending up on a Marquesas island inhabited by cannibals. There, he becomes infatuated with the chief’s daughter and submits to tribal tattooing.
Soon after, the temptress rejects him. Broken and permanently branded, which prohibit him from returning to civilization, Rumell leaves the tribe, wandering aimlessly about the island. . . READ MORE
AUTHENTICITY IN CRIME FICTION: "A PLOT DOESN’T NEED TO BE POSSIBLE; IT NEEDS TO BE PLAUSIBLE." MELINDA COLT
Most of us read fiction books to escape into new and exciting worlds from the comfort of our own homes. We love following great detectives or private eyes as they connect clues, and we love to hate most of the villains that skilled writers portray in their books. Being part of the chase and trying to figure out the whodunnit is a delight to the mystery reader, just as the thriller reader loves to be completely enthralled in the heads of the characters and living vicariously in their fictional worlds.
But even when it comes to fiction, authors need to keep a degree of accuracy, especially if we’re talking about crime fiction. My mantra as a fiction writer: “A plot doesn’t need to be possible; it needs to be plausible.” It works, up to a point, and as a young reader, I enjoyed many books that were extremely entertaining and well written. However, now I find flaws in many of them. Why? Because back then, I used to read any genre. Now, as a crime fiction reader and writer, I analyze every detail in a story.
As for my books, I work diligently to offer my readers the best possible experience in my detective mysteries, The Irish Garda Squad. I can honestly say that researching these books has taken longer than writing them, and before I started writing Dare Game, the book that starts the series, the first thing I did was contact An Garda Síochána – Ireland’s police force – and ask them to assist me with my research. The sergeant I spoke with was quite helpful, and even though it was impossible to answer all of my questions and scenarios (I hadn’t even plotted book one yet), I got the basic information that I requested.
Another stroke of luck was meeting detective Simon McLean — retired cop, author, and active member of LEAP Scotland, who was extremely patient while answering all my questions. Being a civilian with no crime-fighting background whatsoever, I can assure you some of my questions were pretty dumb.
My publisher, my editor, and my husband, aka Mr. Walking Encyclopedia, were incredibly helpful, as were the Cops and Writers Facebook group led by Patrick O’Donnell. All of these constitute a treasure of knowledge, and judging by the reviews, led to an authentic experience for my readers.
As I prepare to release the next book in the series, Silent Strike, I am confident that I’ve done my homework, and I’ll deliver a story my readers will love!
If you haven’t started the series, find the first book, Dare Game, at your favorite retailer!
Kindle ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo
This was a "Wow, what an amazing world we live in!" moment, standing on Doe Mountain after a long hike up...
It was hard to put myself into a thriller mindset, wondering what I'd do if I were living out here and saw a plane go down. Imagining myself doing a good thing and finding myself in a life-and-death situation with a sexy, mysterious guy I wasn't sure I could trust...but the other guys were pretty darn clear about trying to kill us both.
Ever slept outside in the desert?
I have! Well, I cheated. I rented a little guest cottage out in the boonies and enjoyed some creative time, some quiet time, and the experience of being out in the wild, so to speak. I wanted to get a taste of what Claire and Quade felt and saw and smelled while having to spend the night in the wilderness. I heard animals rustling and saw so many stars it was if I were looking at a different sky. Thankfully, I wasn't hiding from bad guys who were out to kill me, so there's that!
I absolutely believe that our souls are infinite, and that our experience here in this life is because our souls long to feel everything: love, joy, and yes, even grief and pain. My new romantic bestseller ONE LAST PROMISE explores all of these, and especially hope.
ONE LAST PROMISE is a book of my heart, with action and a gut-wrenching love story...and an HEA that my peeps have to work hard for. And this week only it's on sale for the first time ever!
One Last Promise is a Stand-Alone Story - No Cliffhanger!
Romantic Thriller - Supernatural Suspense
It’s a crazy statement, I know. But all authors have an element of crazy in them somewhere — at least I don’t think I’m the only one. How can we not? We have to balance our lives, family, and day-to-day responsibilities with the art of storytelling. We create lives, personalities, likes, and dislikes. It’s like giving birth without the added weight gain and late-night bottle feedings.
Or is it?
If we’re not careful, we drink too much coffee, eat too many snacks — instead of real food — and position ourselves in front of our computer screens for hours on end. Thus, weight gain. Late-night bottle feedings come in the form of waking up in the wee hours of the night, jotting down notes or a scene that’s been plaguing us all day.
How do we stay sane? Where do these fictional people come from? Why are we not wearing straitjackets?
My best guess is because we’ve learned to blend in with the rest of society. Thankfully, readers are intrigued by our stories, which helps me to keep the purple straitjacket tucked away.
All jokes aside, it is my opinion that writing is the truest form of self-expression, healing, and finding a way to cope with whatever ails you. Whether you journal, blog, write a memoir, or take your life experiences or pull from those around you and write a book. No matter what avenue you take, writing is therapeutic.
I love to create the characters in my stories. As an only child, I spent a lot of time alone, playing with my baby dolls, stuffed animals, and Barbies. Each had a name and a voice of their own. I spent hour after hour making up stories and creating adventures to entertain myself. Each story had a Happily Ever After. From time to time, I would get the tape recorder (remember that old-fashioned form of electronics?) and make cassette tapes of my little adventures to share with my parents. They, of course, thought my tales were funny. Little did I know that form of storytelling would eventually lead to a writing career.
I still use a recorder — digital now — to record my ideas for my books. No dolls allowed; I leave that to my daughter. The tales are no longer about a princess riding horses and marrying a prince. Now the stories deal with real-life experiences. Not all are my own, but they are real, they do happen, and there is heartbreak and pain. But through it all, there is happiness and love.
After creating the heroines in my books, I realized something. In each character — as different as they are — there is an element of me. The woman I once was, the woman I am, the woman I secretly wish I could be, and the woman I aspire to become. Multiple Personality Disorder at its best. By telling their stories, I’ve found a way to work through the pain I've experienced to find happiness in my family and the ones I hold dear.
Along the way, I’ve made friends I never would have known and gained knowledge I never would have attained. In short, I’ve not only learned how to become a better writer, but I’ve also learned more about myself. Writing has allowed me to make a mark of my own outside of being a wife and a mother. I have discovered something I love, something I’m good at, and something that unless I actually lose my mind, no one can ever take away from me.
There’s not a morning I don’t get up with an idea that I’m anxious to put on paper. Seeing the Butterfly Memoirs go through several different stages of evolution over several years taught me so much. Adding to the story, taking away, fine tuning, and finessing … it’s all the part of telling a story — with heart, care, and attention to detail.
If you’re thinking about writing a book, watch out for those doctors with those special white coats!
By the way, my straight jacket also has butterflies! LOL!
Great news! If you’d like to learn more about my characters, my first book, a romantic women’s fiction with heart and soul, is absolutely FREE for a limited time!
Hope you enjoyed this insight into my writing world!
Kindle ● Series ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo ● Audible
To be notified of M.J.'s Deals & New Releases, subscribe to her Newsletter or BookBub!
Carmen DeSousa: I had to stop writing when I broke down over a character dying, and I’m the psycho who killed him.
When I sit down to write a novel, I generally have no idea where I’m going. My typical start of a story is usually the main character—whether it’s the male protagonist or the female protagonist—and whatever issue they are facing.
From there, I just ask myself questions:
The great thing is, just like the reader, I never know exactly what my characters will do. Sure, I know I want a happily ever after, but I also know that not every character will get a happily ever after. And the detours they make along the way sometimes even surprise me. Why? Because I allow my story to progress naturally.
I typically write two thousand words a day, and then every night I read the last few chapters to make sure the story flows, marking any areas that need addressing, and then go to sleep, allowing the characters to come alive in my dreams. And ohhh how they do. It’s not unusual for hubby to see me typing on my iPhone’s notepad in the middle of the night. Often it’ll just be a great line or a missing link I was in search of.
When I finally finish the novel, I take an entire day and read from beginning to end, making sure the story flows and that there are no holes or contradictions.
I’ve read this story almost thirty times at this juncture. How can it surprise me, how can it make me cry? And yet, here I am, sitting on the sofa, my afghan curled around me, and I’m bawling over something that happened.
Hubby, who has been sitting quietly by his computer—because he knows it’s read-through day—whips his chair around to face me and asks, “Are you okay?”
I swipe away my tears and answer, “Yes, I just can’t believe that happened.”
“Wait. I thought you were reading your book?” he asks.
“I am,” I answer. “But it still makes me cry.”
He shakes his head and goes back to typing his nonfiction.
One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Frost: “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
Well, I’m always surprised, and I always cry when something happens to my characters, so I hope when you read my books you will, too!
If you enjoy stories that blend happy and sad, romantic and suspenseful, click the link for your favorite retailer below and grab one of my free books. If you’ve read all my books, make sure you pre-order my new release, Erik’s Revelation, at the $0.99 introductory price, so you’ll know why I was crying!
Until next time, happy reading!
Learn more about Carmen: www.WrittenMusings.com/CarmenDeSousa
Or visit one of her author pages to grab one of her bestsellers!
Kindle ● Play ● iBooks ● Nook ● Kobo ● Audible
Fans have asked dozens of questions about the ghost who took over The House on Persimmon Road with her witty and old-fashioned ways. So Jackie decided to drop in, not as a writer, but as a guest to have a chat with Lottie.
If you've already read this Southern-Style Chick Lit with just a Smidgen of Romance and a Hint of Paranormal, continue to the interview now!
Wearing an apron, the bib straight-pinned to her cotton house dress, Lottie welcomed me into the house with a pleasant expression. The grand hall seemed larger than I recalled. The old floors gleamed, the walls painted a rich cream. I asked what changes Tucker and Justine had made. Lottie opened a door on the south wall. "This was my linen room. Now it's an indoor bathroom. Can't even hang my herbs to dry in season. Used to have lavender, mint, sage, marigold and such..."
The dining room was still converted into an office. I glanced in as we passed the open door. The room was modernized with state of the art computers and all sorts of electronic gadgets. In the kitchen the old farm sink was filled with green tomatoes. A hand-turned grinder stood on the counter along with dozens of canning jars, a gallon of vinegar and a bowl of salt. Lottie poured me a huge glass of sweetened iced tea. "You can sit, but I got to keep at it. I'm canning pickle relish."
"It's quiet," I noted. "Where is everybody?"
"Justine and Agnes are at a Girl Scout camp with Judy Ann. An overnight. Tucker, Wheeler and Pip are fishing up on Dog River. Pauline is off with her high-falutin' friends on ghost tours in Savannah and Charleston. As if there is any such thing. What questions do you have? I already explained all I know about being betwixt and between."
"You may not believe it, but most of your fans want to know how to dobe a roast."
"Law! You're trickin' me. Every woman ever lifted a fork knows how to dobe a roast."
"Not in the Twenty-first Century, they don't. Or how to make pickle relish out of green tomatoes, either."
Lottie put the first batch of ground tomatoes in a huge bowl, stirred in two tablespoons of mustard seeds, sprinkled the lot with a half-cup of salt, then wiped her hands on her apron. "I best have a glass of tea myself," she said and sat across from me, her brow wrinkled in angst. "You puttin' how to dobe a roast in another book?"
"No, I'm just going to write an article about it."
"Well...back in the early days, we didn't have store bought beef or pork. We butchered those animals ourselves. Or a neighbor did and you traded for a haunch. You wash that roast good and dry it. If it was wild game like a turkey hen, wild boar, or venison, you ground up mustard seeds and rubbed it all over. I allus poked a few cloves in my wild game. Next you take a good quality lard and rub it all over the meat and let it set for an hour. Then you dobe it with flour. That means you roll the roast in it. Wheat flour is best, but a fine ground corn meal will do. Next you brown the roast all over in a good hot pan of lard. I allus baked my roasts in a clay baking brick. Henry Watson made the best brick oven dish. I don't know where mine got to. Probab'ly stolen during The WAR right along with my pigs. That's how you dobe a roast.
"Nowadays, you can use mustard right out of a jar and Justine swears by olive oil. But when I put up a fuss, she'll buy a pound of lard at the Publix. Hog lard makes the best biscuits. Anything else? I got to get my canning done."
"One more question, if you don't mind. How did you keep up with War news?"
"Why, the Mobile Register. Came up on the mail boat. Listed all our men folks kilt. That's how I found out Elmer was gone over to the Red River Campaign in Louisiana. We didn't have roads or mail delivery like today. Mail boat brought the newspaper, ice blocks in sawdust, spices and sometimes the scissors and notion man. Elmer kept our knives sharp, but he was fair mess when it came to my scissors. Captain would sound the horn when he was coming up river and folks just go down to our docks up and down the river. 'Course after the Union blowed up Fort Morgan, that was the end of any fair-sized boat slipping up river." Lottie moved back to the sink and started grinding more green tomatoes. I took the hint.
"Thank you for having me. I appreciate it." I still had a bevy of questions, but thought it best not to push my luck. "If I get any more questions from your fans and readers, would you mind if I came back?"
"I might. How nosy are those folkses?"
"They're just curious. But mostly they're eager to learn how people lived in those early days. What they wore for everyday clothes, how they shopped and what was essential for every day living. Maybe you could talk about a day in the life of Lottie Mae Roberts. Or how you and Elmer spent time in the days before the War."
"I best give it some thought and talk to Justine, too. "
"I'll email her in a few days." Lottie saw me to the front door and once I was on the porch, latched the screen.
"Don't knock over the mailbox backing out," she called.
Oh, that poor mailbox. Both Agnes and Pauline had run over the thing while learning to drive. I hope my next visit I will see the rest of the family and learn how each is doing. Today was a good start.