Tag Archives: mystery

I Don’t Want to be One of Those!

VISIONS book two of THE NIGHTMARES SERIES  Emily must help a murdered child find closure and stop a vengeful ghost from possessing and destroying innocent lives.

VISIONS book two of THE NIGHTMARES SERIES
Emily must help a murdered child find closure and stop a vengeful ghost from possessing and destroying innocent lives.

The second book in The Nightmares Series, Visions, is now available on MuseItUp Publishing’s and Amazon’s websites and also many other places where e-books can be found, but that’s not what this post is about.

I feel as though I’ve neglected my blog the last couple of weeks months okay! Years! I’m a terrible blogger. I admit it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy blogging, because I do. It’s really because I want to talk about my books and seriously, it’s not that I expect anyone to read them. I just like mentioning their titles, Nightmares, Visions and next year, The Rose Stalker and if that should happen to inspire someone to buy, well then that’s great. I’m not trying to force anyone into reading them, I just like telling people what they’re about.

Book One of The Nightmares Series: Emily must regain her memory of the past before a psychopath kills her and those she loves.

Book One of The Nightmares Series: Emily must regain her memory of the past before a psychopath kills her and those she loves.

Take Nightmares for example: It’s a paranormal/mystery about Emily. She’s eighteen and getting ready to graduate high school when a mysterious voice tells her she must remember her past and accept her gift of clairvoyance  in order to prevent her own demise and others.

The really exciting news, Nightmares will be published sometime between now and Christmas as a paperback. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands!

I was talking the other day to another author who agrees with me, that people get tired of always having someone trying to sell them their books. It gets really annoying when that’s all they talk about.

Everywhere you go, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, it doesn’t matter, there are ads at every click of the mouse. Buy My Book! And whatever you do, don’t give them your email address or you’ll come home to find hundreds of “Buy My Book” emails.

I don’t want to be one of those people. If I can’t think of something else to write about…well then, I’m just not going to blog, and I thought I should explain my reasons.

Say! Did I mention that The Rose Stalker will be released sometime in the spring/summer of 2015? Isn’t that exciting? I don’t have a cover for it yet, but I’ll share it when I do. But don’t worry, I won’t mention “buy my book” even once.

Please leave a comment and make some suggestions about what you would like me to write about. I can use all the help anyone can provide.

 

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COMING NOVEMBER 1, 2013 A GIVEAWAY!

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

When a mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

My friend and fellow writer and blogger, Lorraine Ruguly and I are preparing for a free giveaway of two copies of my book “Nightmares” beginning November 1, 2013 and ending November 29, 2013.

This means, for any of you procrastinators out there, you’ll have three weeks, beginning Friday, November 1, 2013, all the way to Friday November 29, 2013, to follow the instructions and possibly win a free copy of “Nightmares“.

So be sure to keep watching for the new posting on my blog on October 31, 2013. It will contain all the information you’ll need to win! And I promise, it will be fun and will not involve any blood or body parts!

Happy Halloween!!!

I’ll be seeing you again on Halloween, October 31, 2013 with the information to win a free copy of “Nightmares”!!!

My short story “Trapped” is included in an anthology, Mystery Times Nine 2012 and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing on December 6, 2012 and can be found on Amazon. I have had short stories published online at knowonder! your bedtime story and story time resource – a story a day awaitsStories That LiftNew Bumples Interactive Magazine, Online Magazine for Children.The Pink Chameleon and Page & Spine: fiction showcase – The Front Page.

Follow me on my blog: https://donnajeanmcdunn.wordpress.com/  Like my Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn Friend me on my Facebook profile page: http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean.

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So what are your thoughts on a FREE giveaway? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Review of Sb Knights “Born of Blood”

The Trilogy is now available!

The Trilogy is now available!

I finished reading “Born of Blood” by Sb Knight last week. It’s the first book in The Blood Chronicles Trilogy. It’s called a dark fantasy and horror fiction. If this is your genre then you’ll love this book. Mr. Knight delivers it well.

The book is not intended for anyone under the age of 18. This book my not be for you if you are squeamish and brutal acts of blood lust and rape upset you. Reader beware: The title of the book, “Born of Blood” is the perfect description of the contents.

But as mentioned above if this is your genre, you won’t be disappointed. I’m not really into a lot of blood and gore. I like scary and tremble in the dark kind of books. “Born of Blood” delivers the best of both the blood and gore and the tremble in the dark scary. So much so, it actually gave me nightmares, but I had to keep reading to the end and I plan on starting the second book of the trilogy, “Drago’s Revenge” soon. (I had to take a break from all the blood and violence, so I’m reading a romance right now.)

“Born of Blood” begins with Jesse (Jocelyn). She’s young and single, but wants a relationship with a good man. She meets Drake through a dating service and really likes him, but she soon discovers he’s not what he seems.

Her next-door neighbor, Sam is a shy, inexperienced young man, who is too afraid of rejection to approach his beautiful neighbor. He watches her (not in a creepy way) and comes to her aid whenever she needs any help and lives in hope that she may someday notice him.

When a friend of Sam’s goes missing and some of the circumstances point toward Jesse’s new friend, Sam begins to research Drake and his family. What he finds is terrifying and the results puts Sam on a violent road of trying to stay alive long enough to somehow save Jesse from a vicious vampire.

My favorite characters, other than Jesse and Sam are Reba and Charles. Charles is an immortal and Drake brings red headed Reba home as a “pet” for Charles. Reba is an outspoken barmaid with empathy and guts and somehow she cracks Charles’ stone cold demeanor.

The one thing that troubled me about this book was how some of the characters reacted to bad situations. Instead of getting the “heck” out of there, they would dawdle around. I’m sure it was to build tension, sort of like the movie’s where the audience is screaming: “Don’t open that door” or “Run you idiot, run!) but it just didn’t seem realistic to me because if I had been in the same situation, I would have been running. A minor quibble I know and it’s probably just me.

Over all I would give “Born of Blood” by Sb Knight four bloody  stars ****.

Here’s a link to Mr. Knight’s website where you can find the book and much more.

What do you think? Does Sb Knight’s book appeal to you? Do you know anyone who enjoys dark fantasy and horror? Sb was kind enough to offer a PDF file of the first three chapters of each of his books. If anyone is interested or just curious, please leave a message stating that fact and how I may contact you to deliver the file.  No strings attached and no jumping through hoops or entering a contest to receive them. Everyone who requests copies will get one, all you have to do is let me know how to get it to you.

Don’t forget! My book NIGHTMARES is now available and also my short story TRAPPED is included in the anthology MYSTERY TIMES NINE 2012

Also NIGHTMARES is available for the Nook at Barnes and Nobel

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

A mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger and must remember her past. She believes she’s losing her mind!

I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads and LinkedIn.

RAINBOWS AND DREAMS

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Is it a promise of a better tomorrow or pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? There’s two of them, so maybe it’s both!

My husband and I were driving home from Omaha a few weeks ago. It had been storming and the weather had been quite scary. Ever since the experience with the lightning strike, I get really nervous when it clouds up. On this particular day, we were driving on Interstate 680 and would soon be crossing the Missouri River and heading home into Iowa and traveling north on Interstate 29. We had another 30 miles to drive to get home.

It was raining, the wind was blowing, the tornado sirens in Omaha were sounding,  and then in the middle of all that, the sun suddenly came out. As soon as I realized why it had gotten so bright, I looked around for the the rainbow. I was surprised how close they seemed and how bright the colors, it was beautiful and I know this is silly, but it filled me with hope.

I brought out my new cell phone (the one I couldn’t remember how to use when I needed to call 911 after the lightning strike). I know how to use it now, well the camera anyway and I took the picture above through the car’s window. It turned out pretty good for an amateur, don’t you think?

A few minutes later and we were now on The Mormon Trail Bridge crossing the Missouri River driving East into Iowa when these rainbows appeared.

Rainbow in the southern sky over the Missouri River on May 30th, 2013.

Rainbows in the southern sky over the Missouri River on May 30th, 2013.

I took pictures of rainbows almost all the way home, but these two were by far the best. Each time I saw a rainbow that night, it reaffirmed my belief that rainbows are a promise that dreams come true. What isn’t promised is that it will happen tomorrow, or next week or even next year or even in our lifetime. Does that mean we’ve failed?

Many painters, authors, musicians and sculptors from the past are remembered today for their art, but many of them also died paupers and were never even recognized for their talents until after their deaths. Does that mean they failed?

Of course not, it means that they worked diligently to achieve a dream and in the end, they did! Nothing in this life is a guarantee except life and death and (according to my husband the cynic) paying taxes.

So what about us? Have we failed or are we working diligently to achieve a dream? What is your dream?

I think those artists of old had it easy compared to today’s crazy busy world. They didn’t have to promote their work. All they had to do was create it.

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

A mysterious “voice” warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

Nightmares, my debut young adult, paranormal/mystery novel can be found on my publisher’s website, MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Check out my short story “Trapped”. It can be found in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 also on Amazon and published by Buddhapuss Ink Publishing.

Friend me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Join me on LinkedIn

NIGHTMARES EXCERPT

A mysterious "voice" warns Emily that she is in danger. She believes she's losing her mind!

Emily’s visions are a warning that she is in danger. She believes she’s losing her mind!

I promised an excerpt of my debut YA paranormal novel Nightmares, which will be released in May 2013 and here it is, but first I want to mention the interview I just completed. The interview is up and running at this very moment on Natter and Review. I would so appreciate it if anyone has a few free moments to take a look and learn about me and what inspired the idea for my book. Feel free to share this link and any of the others, with any or all of your friends. Here is the link to the interview: http://tinyurl.com/caodcxk

This short excerpt is from chapter five. It is rather short, but gives a vivid picture of why Emily believes she’s going crazy and just so you know where it is taking place, she is alone inside her boyfriend’s car.

And now for the excerpt:

She knew it was too soon to expect Tony’s return, but peered into the darkness anyway. She saw her own distorted reflection in the glass. The images shifted and changed as she watched. She felt herself being drawn into the shadows until they completely dissolved. She saw the child from her nightmares lying in a bed asleep, while a terrible thunderstorm raged outside.

Lightning flashed around the room and a crack of thunder rattled the windows.. The child sat up and for the first time Emily could see her face and blond hair.. The girl’s eyes widened with fear when a dog howled. She scooted off the bed.

Her heart hammered inside her own chest to the same rhythm as the child’s. Emily wanted to warn the little girl to lie down and stay where she’d be safe. She wanted to tell her it was too late, she’d already run out of time.

“No!” Emily screamed when the child ran toward the window. “Don’t look.”

The website where "Nightmares" can be found.

The website where “Nightmares” can be found.

So there you have the short excerpt. Does it excite your interest? I’d really enjoy reading your honest, but kind, opinion so please leave a comment.

If you are interested in viewing Nightmares on MuseItUp’s website, click on the title/link where you can pre-order it at a discounted cost and save 20%: Nightmares  

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 has been released on Amazon.

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page 
Facebook Profile Page 
LinkedIn

MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter. @02DMcDunn

Click on the title/links below to view sites where my short stories can be found:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie 
Pack Leader 
The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

Two Little Girls – An Essay

TWO LITTLE GIRLS – Another Essay

By Donna Jean McDunn Author

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mine was great. All three of our daughters and their families came, so it was a busy four-day weekend. Our oldest grandson celebrated his 13th birthday on November 7th. (That gives us three teenage grandkids with five more to go.) He lives to far away so we weren’t able to celebrate with him on that day and while they were visiting, he enjoyed another birthday party with us.

We also attended a party for my husband’s brother’s 70th birthday and a surprise birthday party our son-in-law planned for our youngest daughter. By the time the weekend ended, I needed another four days to recuperate.

I’m sorry I haven’t posted since November. I’ve been busy editing my novel Nightmares. As soon as all the editing is done, I will share an excerpt of the story here. I just finished working with the content editor who suggested I consider turning the book into a series based on the characters in the book, so I have begun a new story I have tentatively named Visions. I’m still waiting to hear from the line editor and get her opinion of the idea.

I’m also working on another story I began for a writing course a few months ago. The course has ended, but the writing goes on and I really want to finish it. It is tentatively named The Rose Stalker. It is geared to a much older reader than my Nightmares books and is a romance/mystery about a stalker who leaves roses.

Now I would like to share with you an essay I wrote in 2008. It’s not very long, just under 650 words. It’s about something that happened in my childhood that has always bothered me. It still does whenever I think about it and that year, I thought about it a lot, just as I have during this one. Some of the words I used for descriptions may not be politically correct today and I don’t wish to offend anyone, but in the 1950’s these terms were accurate. It’s called:

TWO LITTLE GIRLS

I grew up in a small town in Iowa during the 1950’s. During those early years of my life, I remember seeing only two people of African American decent at my school. It happened when I was in the third grade.

The teacher had just let us outside for recess. It was early spring and I had on my blue winter coat I’d gotten for Christmas. The day had turned out so sunny and warm; I felt I no longer needed it. So, like several other kids, I took my coat off and threw it on top of a pile of coats already lying on the ground.

My friends and I ran to the jungle gym to play. When I happened to look in the direction of my coat, I saw two African American girls. I naturally assumed they were sisters and the older one was holding my blue coat.

“Hey, this can’t be mine,” I heard the girl say to the younger one as she slipped it on. She held her arms out in front of her. “Look, it’s to small.”

Concerned I was about to lose my coat to a stranger, I jumped off the jungle gym and ran to her. “I think that’s my coat.”

Looking down at the pile still on the ground, I could see the arm of a blue coat just like mine. I pulled it out and slipped it on. The sleeves hung down past my fingertips. “Maybe this one is yours.”

We exchanged coats, giggling about the mix up, until her younger sister poked her in the ribs. “Come on. We’re going to get into trouble.”

“Thanks,” the older one said to me and the two girls ran toward the school.

I wanted to talk to them and find out if they were sisters, where they came from and why I hadn’t I seen them before. I didn’t even know their names. Why did they leave in such a hurry?

I watched as they ran to a door, the rest of us weren’t supposed to use, but before going inside, the older girl turned and smiled in my direction.

I wondered where they were going. Recess had just started.

I rejoined my friends on the jungle gym. “Who are those girls,” I asked my friend, Mary. “I’ve never seen them before.”

“I don’t know their names,” she said. “I heard they go to school upstairs.”

I couldn’t believe it. “Upstairs? Why?”

She stared at me like I must be really dumb. “Because they’re Negro.”

I was eight years old at the time, but even I could see sending those two girls upstairs was wrong.  I knew about prejudice and the riots happening in other parts of the country. I just never expected to see it in my town.

Several years ago, the upstairs in the school had been condemned and considered unsafe for anyone. I had heard rumors that there were bats up there, too. If it was unsafe for us, how could anyone make two little girls use it as a classroom? Did they even have a teacher?

I never saw either of the girls after that day, not in the hallways or during recess or even after school. I asked about them everyday for a long time, but no one seemed to know if they moved away or what happened to them.

I’d like to think situations like that don’t happen in this country today, but I know I’d only be deceiving myself. Even so I still have hope for us and I pray the girls are still alive and well and see how things have changed. It only took forty-nine years! The sad part is we have only just begun to make real progress.

As always, I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts, so please leave a comment.

My short story Trapped, included in the anthology Mystery Times Nine 2012 will be released, according to the Amazon site, on December 7, 2012. The book went to press November 29th. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon now. The publisher, Buddhapuss Ink is located in New Jersey and there was a delay thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

My young adult paranormal/mystery will be released in May 2013, but can be viewed on MuseItUp Publishing’s website: Nightmares

Other places I can be found:

Facebook Author Page 
Facebook Profile Page 
LinkedIn

MusePub_Readers : MuseItUp Publishing Readers Group

I’m also on Twitter.

Other Places to view my short stories:

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

A Reason To Live

Saving Katie

Pack Leader

The Golden Stallion

Gus’ Big Adventure

 

 

The Best or The Worst Critique; What Was Yours?

The Best or The Worst Critique; What Was Yours?

By Author Donna Jean McDunn

When I started writing at a very young age, I did it for myself because I had something I wanted to say. I never thought about getting published or who might want to read my stories. I just knew I loved to write.

Looking back at that time, I didn’t have a fear of being laughed at or criticized at least not until someone said, “I thought you had a better imagination than that”. Those words were spoken by my older sister, who is nine years older than I am, after I foolishly let her read a short story I had written. I was fifteen.

I put that short story away and didn’t look at it again for many years, but those words echoed in my brain for a long time whenever I was writing and I’d feel that same squeezing pain in my heart and wonder if I could ever be good enough.

I continued to write back then though, but my readers consisted only of my close friends, who I knew would love my stories, because they usually had the leading roles.

Of course I finally grew up and would write sometimes, but with a husband, three growing daughters, a full time job as a short order cook and livestock and gardening, I didn’t have much time or energy for much writing. But as the saying goes, “Nothing ever stays the same”.

Our daughters grew up too and finally moved out of the house. I still work full time, but now I work in an office that allows me to use my free time for whatever I want. We no longer have livestock, but we do still garden. I just don’t freeze and “can” produce as much as I used to.

By the time 2008 rolled around, we had six grandkids and I began thinking about writing a story for the two oldest granddaughters. They both loved to read, but then while reading a storybook to two of my grandsons, I suddenly saw something in my grandkids I hadn’t seen in anyone in many years; a safe audience. I could count on them to like what I wrote and not criticize.

I pulled out my old stories. I hadn’t read any of them in years and now I could see how lame they were. As for the story I had my sister read, well it wasn’t the gem I had thought it was all those years ago. My reaction wasn’t even as nice as what my sister had said to me. I didn’t know why I felt that way. I just knew they sucked and I needed help.

I decided right then, I had to write a story all the grandkids would love, starring the feral mother of five new kittens we found in the woodpile a few weeks before. I already thought of a title, “Wild and Free”.

But first, I had to take a writing class and boy did it open my eyes. I had the answer to why my sister thought I had no imagination and why I knew all the stories I had written as a kid sucked.

I had made the same mistakes almost all new writers make. I used a lot of dreams and the protagonist’s memories to fill in back story I felt my readers needed to know. But in the story my sister read, I had made the biggest mistake of all, I had my protagonist wake up and realize the entire story had only been a nightmare.

At the time, I thought it was clever and original and maybe it was when the first few hundred writers used a dream to end their stories back when they first invented the alphabet, but even in 1965, an ending like that was pretty lame.

All the new knowledge about “how” to write led me on a new mission. I wanted to fix the mistakes I had made in that short story my sister read. I worked on it for over two years. The story grew from a short story, to a young adult paranormal/mystery novel. The story changed so much it doesn’t resemble the original at all. The title, “Nightmares” and the fact my protagonist has nightmares are the only things I didn’t change. In fact I can guarantee Emily the protagonist, will not wake up and find she’s only had a nightmare.

Muse It Up Publishing will release my book “Nightmares” in May 2013. I’ve started working on the sequel.

I look back now and realize, even though it hurt, my sister did me a huge favor by telling me what she really thought. It was something I needed to hear. It’s true she could have done it in a kinder way. I’m still grateful though because it turned out to be the worst and the best critique ever for me. It sparked the motivation to take those writing classes forty-six years later just so I could finally prove her wrong and write a great story for my grandkids.

 

 My grandkids benefited too. In the picture above, all six of them received the story “Wild and Free” for Christmas that year. It has pictures of the real animals the story is about and there are pictures of them in it too. They loved it or at least that’s what they said. Now I have two more grandkids. I guess it’s time for a new story for them.How about you, what was the best and/or worst thing someone has said about your writing?As always, I love comments and appreciate your opinions or questions. If you leave your blog or website address, I’ll visit and comment. If you’d rather be found on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, I will like, be friends, follow, or Tweet.

My facebook author page is: http://www.facebook.com/donnajeanmcdunn

My facebook profile page is http://www.facebook.com/mcdunndonnajean

Twitter is http://www.linkedin.com/pub/donna-mcdunn/42/819/423

It’s been said that writing is a lonely business and that’s true, but if we writers and readers continue to support one another, then we are no longer alone.