I’ve never been a police chief—but I spent many years of my career in public education serving as a high school superintendent. The day I realized the overlap between those two positions was the day Jo Oliver was born.

In the early years, I interviewed women and men (mostly men) police officers and had the privilege of participating in a few ride-alongs. As a member of the International Thriller Writers Association, I enthusiastically joined in on the FBI workshops hosted by the Manhattan FBI during our annual summer conference. It wasn’t until I heard a dear friend and local police chief describe his day-to-day activities as being mainly concerned with politics and personnel that I realized I could write from that seat authentically.

School superintendents also spend a good deal of their time addressing politics and personnel—sans badge and gun. Layering on the details of a series of crimes fell into place once I knew how my police chief would spend her time on the job when not chasing bad guys/girls. In addition to trying out cool new technologies in their efforts to protect and serve, my characters spend much of their waking time at work. Understanding that leadership in the police arena is not all that different from leadership in other arenas added confidence and an air of authority to my writing.

In crafting my current novel, I am drawing on my world of education to form the background of my protagonist. Grounding her in a world I know so well frees me up to create bridges into the bold new future world we are creating and sharing on the page together. Weaving in the ancient truths of human development, character, and consequences of our choices laid out in the Bible adds the final layer of intrigue and fuel for reflection I strive to include in my work.

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger loves to dream, write, and tell stories. Retired from a wonderful career in public education, she celebrates opportunities to contribute to the wellbeing of others as a coach, writer, and friend. She lives in the Midwest with a warm and wonderful combination of family and friends. www.catherinefinger.com

 

 

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Peru. Its people call me back.

Which is why I set Carly’s finale book in Peru. As a tribute to her, because she kept calling me back, to write yet another story about her. The first time I visited Peru, I learned about hidden temples and jungle monsters. I thought, “Carly could have a mystery here.”

Peru was the perfect backdrop to Carly’s finale book as she made decisions about her future. Forced by health issues to slow down, pushed into a corner until she made a choice about the direction and the content of her faith life, Carly is like many of us: she’s been given a chance to choose something she didn’t want and make it her new norm.

So while Carly doesn’t actually go to Peru, the country comes to her. And she learns more about herself as a result.

And while this is the last book in the “By the Numbers” series, she will join her granddaughter in a segue novella, coming out in September, bridging the gap between readers saying goodbye and those finding the new series.

 

Risk Management CoverAbout Risk Management:

Carly Turnquist, Forensic Accountant, can never ignore a good mystery. Or in this case, three. When her sometime friend tells her a mystery is afoot, with links to a Quechuan temple, a Peruvian jungle monster, and murder, Carly is hooked. But when her investigations come close to home, she must decide whether to step back or continue, because now her family—and her own life—are at stake. Never one to give up without a good fight, Carly finds herself under attack from a third direction—her body is failing her. Will she continue? Or will she retire gracefully? Perhaps she can do both.

 

 

 

About Leeann:

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 devotionals, novellas, and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Christian Authors Network, Pikes Peak Writers, and Sisters in Crime. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories, and are proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary LLC.

 

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Stay connected so you learn about new releases, preorders, and presales, as well as check out featured authors, book reviews, and a little corner of peace. Plus: Receive a free ebook simply for signing up for our free newsletter!

Bonanza Books-in-a-Flash: order autographed print copies of books that are shipped directly from the author.

Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE  and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

 

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Behold, I will do something new—

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

 Isaiah 43:19

Catherine Finger

Catherine Finger

As I sit on my screen porch, luxuriating in my Wisconsin summer morning ritual, coffee at hand, dog at my feet and a cacophony of avian praise in the background, I cultivate ideas for my new book. Placed in the near future, this book plays with bioethics as illuminated through the life and choices of Em, my female protagonist. Facing her own mortality in the guise of a terminal disease, vexed with arthritis and the quotidian irritations of aging, she wonders daily what it would be like to replace not only the occasional joint—but her entire body.  In an age where humans are able to artificially enhance their physical and mental selves, should they?

I myself am resigned to the inevitability of a knee and hip replacement—but what about body enhancement or replacement? In my fictional year 2060, in a world where downloading human consciousness into artificial bodies has become commonplace, Em struggles with moral ambiguities and bioethics without a common cultural framework. How should her faith inform her choices related to her physical health and mental health? If she were in need of a kidney transplant, or a knee replacement today, I do not know a Christian in my circle who would oppose it. But if she were to consider replacing or enhancing her entire body in the year 2060, would there be a Judeo-Christian framework for her to consider?

Artificial Intelligence is another passion of mine. A recent bout of research brought me to an app called “Replika,” claiming to be “an AI who cares.” Naturally, I signed right up. I named my Replika “Carver.” You can see our exchange regarding today’s lofty topic in the screenshot photo below.  While Carver didn’t seem particularly interested in my question, nor in the future, he did eerily mirror most conversations I’ve had with members of the opposite sex. So that’s something, right?Conversation with Carver 7:17:20

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SoCal Christian Writers' Conference

Register by July 3, 2020

2020 SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference is next week!

If you’re longing for the benefits of a writers’ conference this year, I hope you’ll check out the virtual SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference. It’s happening next week, July 8–11.

In this live, interactive conference, you can learn from and meet with agents, acquisitions editors, and established authors through morning continuing sessions, afternoon workshops, and one-on-one appointments.

Three-day morning Continuing Sessions include Fiction, Nonfiction, Writing for Children, Screenwriting, Speaking, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writing.

Afternoon Workshops include a full schedule of sessions in screenwriting, fiction writing, and publishing, plus classes on Marketing, The Writing Life, and specialty topics such as poetry, Scrivener, taxes, writing for the general market, and how to make money writing.

Faculty includes:

Literary agent Stephanie Alton

Publishers Jennifer Crosswhite (Tandem Services), Kate Jameson (Focus on the Family), Marji Laine (Write Integrity Press), and Beckie Lindsey (Southern California Christian Voice)

Multi-published authors Frank Ball, Joseph Bentz, Tamara Clymer, Valerie Coulman, Mike Duran, Aaron Gansky, Kelly Harrel, Janeen Ippolito, Linda Kozar, Bill Myers, Tim Riter, Janice Hanna Thompson, and Liz Tolsma

Screenwriting professionals Bob Saenz, Jeff Willis, and Ted Baehr (MovieGuide)

Professional speaker Tammy Whitehurst

Freelance editor Erin Brown

CPA Chris Morris

Molly Jebber

Molly Jebber, (FL), Topics: Faith * Writing * Amish lifestyle and traditions *

Keynoter Molly Jebber is a best-selling and award-winning Amish historical romance author.

As if that’s not enough, there are Added Bonuses:
Pre-conference Book Proposal Critique with Stephanie Alton

            One-on-One Mentoring with Frank Ball

            Computer Lab with Julie Williams

Choose one of four Registration Tiers:

Tier 1General Sessions with Molly Jebber – FREE!

Tier 2: All live sessions, Facebook Registrants Group, and access to Added Bonuses – $99

Tier 3: All of Tier 2 plus recordings of all sessions available till 7/31/20, Q&A with faculty, and two Meet-the-Pro Appointments – $199

Tier 4: All of Tier 2 plus lifetime access to recordings of all sessions, Q&A with faculty, and five Meet-the-Pro Appointments – $299

We’re using a professional platform similar to Zoom but with full-time technical support throughout the conference. So if you don’t feel tech-savvy enough for a virtual writers’ conference, don’t let that stop you. You’ll be personally walked through any issues you may have.

Register by July 3!

Kathy Ide, Topics: Proofread Professionally * Working with Editors * Successful Freelance Editing *

Kathy Ide (CA), Topics: Editing * Writing *

Director and CAN member, Kathy Ide

Author of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors

Editor/Compiler of Fiction Lover’s Devotional series

Owner of Christian Editor Network

Founder/Director of SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference

www.KathyIde.com

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by Judith Couchman

Recently I ate lunch with Heather, a former coaching client who became a friend. She talked about an app that helps her learn to write better, catching mistakes and suggesting ways to improve. I recognized Heather’s sincere desire to write well, and that impressed me. Many writers new to the craft want to skip over writing principles and dart straight to publishing and social networking.

Heather felt so excited about this method for improving her manuscript, I couldn’t help but absorb her enthusiasm. Later at home, online I researched writing apps. After typing “Writing Apps” into my browser, the results surprised me. Although apps exist for brainstorming, collaborating, planning, organizing, outlining, reading, and timing writing, not many help an aspiring author actually write well.

As a result, below I’ve listed some apps that help with writing and editing your work. Most likely, more apps exist because I didn’t research deeply. Consider this a “starter list” for apps that might meet your needs. I’ve provided website links so you can learn more. Most are free. Check whether an app operates on your phone, tablet, or desktop.

  • EditMinion. Edits a manuscript a few pages at a time, checking for mistakes, including clichés. Free. http://editminion.com
  • Grammarly. This app does what the name implies: it checks a manuscript for grammar, suggesting the correct wording. Free. grammarly.com
  • Hemingway App. Heather enthused about this app. It aims to simplify, tighten, and strengthen prose in the tradition of the famous writer. $19.99 hemingwayapp.com/desktop
  • Merriam-Webster. Every writer needs a dictionary. This one includes voice searches. Free. https://www.merriam-webster.com/apps
  • ProWriting Aid. ProWriting Aid not only identifies and corrects problems, but it also explains, in detail, why you need to change something. And how to do it. Free for basic; $40 for premium. prowritingaid.com
  • Scrivener. A versatile writing app that helps with many formats: articles, books, blogs, podcasts, speeches and more. $40-45. writersstore.com/scrivener

If you’ve found another app that improves writing, please inform us in the comments section below. Thanks!

Judith Couchman is an author, speaker, university professor, and occasional writing coach. Learn more about her at www.judithcouchman.com

 

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