Cover Reveal: The Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Author Bio:

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



When It’s Okay to Not Write

Every writer has hit some sort of a writing slump. Maybe you’ve lost your momentum, your excitement for a project, or maybe you just don’t know how to progress or where your story is going.

There is no limit to the number of tips and articles to help you get past a period of writer’s block. While many of them are very helpful there is also something to be said for putting your project aside for a while.

On each of my novels (including my current WIP) I’ve gone through a period when I’ve put the project aside for several weeks to several months. Sometimes I began another project or worked on editing another. Most of the time though, I used those breaks to really think about my novel. I reviewed my character’s background stories, motivations, I imagine interactions they might have with each other and with strangers. Sometimes I let dialogues be carried out in my head. I even planned a birthday party for a character during one of my writing breaks.

But as “unproductive” as each of those breaks has been something miraculous happened during each one: I discovered a mind-blowing plot twist or element that I hadn’t considered before. And each one of those revelations led me to a renewed and productive writing period.

For my YA medieval I discovered that an integral character would die (okay…there were two beloved characters who died and both came from a similar non-writing period). I also realized that a minor character, one who seemed to have pulled along by the devious plot of another, is actually quite strong and manipulative in her own right. She’s actually been the driving force of a major plot and is about to become the main character’s most formidable opponent. Until I set aside my writing I’d only ever recognized her as a mousy, subservient pawn in the game that was being played.

For my YA bootleggers story I solved two problems through a writing sabbatical: how to bring my character’s best friend back into the story line and whether a main character was going to die (yes, I do spend a lot of my non-writing time determining the death toll of my books).

My current WIP (a YA martial arts fantasy) is still very much in the early stages, but I’ve already taken a break from it to discover that someone I least expected is going to become the new Oracle. There is one potential death pending, but I haven’t gotten a divine answer on that one yet.

I’m not suggesting it’s ideal to stop writing entirely. Sometimes working on another project can push your current one from your mind, making it more difficult to resolve that which was preventing your progress. Taking a break and using the down time to ruminate on your project (or obsess without writing) can open up answers that you’d never imagine when sitting at the keyboard forcing the story onto the page.

Book Review: ARES ROAD by James L. Weaver

It is rare that I read (and review!) a book so soon after it’s released. However…I had just finished book 1 in the series and I was on a mob/crime book roll. Also, this is a pretty catchy series, I am definitely a fan of Jake Caldwell books now. So here it is…








Publisher:Lakewater Press

Publication date:03/02/2017

Series:Jake Caldwell, #2




“A teenaged girl screaming down a dead man’s cell…it’s Monday for Jake Caldwell.”

I mentioned when I reviewed POOR BOY ROAD (book 1 in this series) that I have a life-long obsession with all things mob related & am frequently disappointed in crime related books. That is even more often the case where sequels are involved. ARES ROAD, however did NOT let me down.
Jake Caldwell (former mob enforcer) is now trying to make his way on the right side of the law. He’s learning the PI business with the help of ex-cop Logan and they are hunting down a stolen briefcase. But that search has turned up a dead man and a girl screaming on the end of his cell phone. Jake is pulled into a deadly ring of bad dudes (Russian & Middle Eastern mob-types), crooked politicians, an FBI agent with her own secrets and crooked cops. And behind it all, his former mob boss still lingers.


ARES ROAD is another fast-paced thriller that was just as exciting as its predecessor. And now I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

You can purchase ARES ROAD at the following places: Barnes & Noble


Book Blitz: ARES ROAD by James L.

Ares Road
James L. Weaver
(Jake Caldwell, #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 2nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller

With his days as a mob enforcer behind him, Jake Caldwell’s trying to go straight.

But it seems his past won’t let him go.

His first job working as a private investigator turns up a teenage girl screaming down a dead man’s cell phone, and Logan, his mentor and the only man with answers, beaten into a coma.

Now Jake’s taking it personally.

The only clues Jake has to unravel the mystery are a Russian with a stolen, silver briefcase and three names: Snell, Parley and Ares. Teaming up with his best friend Bear, the Sheriff of his home town, and an attractive FBI agent, Jake quickly discovers they’re not the only ones looking for the briefcase and its deadly contents.

It’s no longer about seeking revenge.

The thrilling second book in the Jake Caldwell series is a heart-stopping ride that won’t disappoint fans.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


“How do you know, Mr. Logan?” a uniformed cop named Murphy asked Jake while a couple of young paramedics tended to Logan. Murphy had a low forehead and wide-set eyes, and spoke like he’d been dropped on his head multiple times as a child.

“We work together.”

“You a PI, too?”

“Sort of. I was learning the ropes from Jack. Don’t have a license yet.”

Murphy jotted in a notebook. Paramedics wheeled Logan out of the office on a stretcher, and Jake wondered how they would get him down those three flights of narrow stairs. A rail-thin, black detective with a shaved head and a cheap, tan suit slipped into the room. His polar opposite partner squeezed through the door, red faced with beads of sweat rolling down his jowls from the three-flight climb. The fat one was as tall as he was wide and waddled into Logan’s office. The bald one talked to Murphy, took some notes, and turned to Jake.

“I’m Detective Ogio. You know Jack Logan long, Mr. Caldwell?”

“Three years,” Jake answered. “We were supposed to meet tonight.”

“To do what?”

The detective waited with raised eyebrows for an answer. Ogio’s acorn eyes were hooded, giving him a sleepy look, but there was light there. The guy wasn’t stupid. He was suspicious of Jake, which pissed him off because he’d given them no reason to be suspicious. Plus, Jake couldn’t tell the cop the truth because it would start a whole line of questions he didn’t want to answer. He had to stonewall them.

“We were going out to dinner,” Jake lied.


“Does it matter?”

“It does if I’m asking the question.”

“I didn’t do this,” Jake said.

“I didn’t say you did. You’re a big guy, though. Six two and what…two hundred twenty pounds?”

“Six three, two thirty. Like that matters. Why would I beat the shit out of him and then call you guys?”

“Like I said, I didn’t say you did. Why are you getting defensive?”

“You think I’m being defensive?” Jake asked.

Ogio’s head ticked to the side. “A little.”

“I’m worried, that’s all. My buddy just got his ass kicked.”

“What were you guys working on?”

Jake shifted, tired of answering these banal questions.

“We were between jobs.”

“Must make it tough to learn the ropes.”

“What ropes?”

Ogio’s thin lips pressed together. “The ones Officer Murphy said you were learning from Mr. Logan.”

“A bit. We done here? I want to go to the hospital.”

“Why do you think Mr. Logan’s office was trashed?”

“Somebody was looking for something.” Jake hoped the detective caught his sarcasm. He laid it on pretty thick.

“You think? Maybe you should be a detective.”

“Maybe you should too.”

Ogio grinned. He clearly had a good nature. “He say anything to you about anyone being after him?”

“He said he did a lot of divorce cases. Maybe someone looked for photos of their cheating wife.”

“Always possible,” the detective said. He handed Jake his card—Thomas Ogio.

“Where are they taking Logan?”

“Truman Medical Center,” Ogio answered, flipping his notebook shut. “You got my number. Call me if you think of anything else. Stay reachable.”

Ogio headed toward Logan’s office to join his partner. Jake strode out the door, down the steps, and out into the early March evening. He stood on the sidewalk wondering what to do. Did Logan meet with his contact that would lead them to Voleski? Did the contact do this to him? Was this about another case? Somebody wanted something up there and it wasn’t divorce photos. What did Logan say? The less you know on this one, the better.

Jake rubbed his hand over the day’s growth on his face. The one person who could answer his questions and give him a direction to go was Logan. Jake jumped in his truck and headed toward Truman Medical Center.


Author Bio:

James L Weaver is the Kansas City author of the Jake Caldwell series featuring IAN Thriller of the Year finalist Poor Boy Road and soon to be released Ares Road from Lakewater Press. He makes his home in Olathe, Kansas with his wife of 19 years and two children. His previous publishing credits include a six part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane which is available on Author note: a handful of the raters are actually not related to him.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



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Book Review: POOR BOY ROAD (Jake Caldwell Book 1)


I have a life-long obsession with all things mob related and am often disappointed with the books that purport to have mob-related characters or story lines. POOR BOY ROAD was not a disappointment. I was hooked from the first paragraph.

Jake Caldwell is an enforcer for the mob. Now he’s heading home where the abusive father he escaped from years ago is dying. He is also on deadline, his boss has given him a way out of the “business” only it involves taking his bone-breaking work to the next level: murder.

Jake’s new life and the old collide as he faces family obligations, old friends, a rekindled love, and the ticking clock of a murderous and unforgiving boss.

POOR BOY ROAD is a fast-paced thriller that was hard to put down. It is well written with realistic characters and dialogue. My interest never waned and I really cared about the characters. This is a story that could be happening in any town right now, which makes it even more realistic. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 21st 2016 by Lakewater Press
Edition Language

Online Writing Contests: To Join or Not to Join?

There are no limits to the number and types of writing competitions you can join online. You can submit a 35-word pitch or submit a longer manuscript for a more in-depth contest. The goal of the contests is the same: to get your manuscript before an agent/publisher who will (fingers crossed!) love it.

In the past several years I’ve taken part in my fair share of writing contests. My contest experiences have been varied as my results. While I’ve heard of a number of authors finding their agent/publisher through contests I haven’t been so lucky (…yet!). I have entered pitch contests and more involved ones with varying results. I’ve had my manuscripts selected to go on to the agent round, I’ve been selected as a team member, an alternate and I’ve also been completely left out of the running. I’ve had several partial requests, some full requests and (*gulp*) zero responses during the agent/editor/publisher rounds.

While the constant highs and lows of entering contests can sometimes make you doubt yourself and your work it’s important to realize what you are winning with every entry.

First–and most important in my humble opinion–is the support structure that you’re establishing each time you enter an online writing contest. You aren’t alone in your endeavors and dreams. A simple Twitter search for any contest will show you the number of people who are in the same position as you. The conversations that take place, messages of hope, support, guidance and empathy go on all day long. The writers who enter will often follow each other and end up with enduring online support systems. There are a  number of people who I’m still in contact with that I met because we’d all entered the same contest (or contests!) and struck up conversations. We continue to beta-read for each other, offer query critiques, pitch critiques, and even opening critiques. Most important we are there for each other when one is feeling frustrated or when someone has exciting news to share. I’ve also made some lasting connections with people who have mentored me and my novel during contests.

Second, the feedback and help that you get is amazing. There are a number of “pop-up” pitch workshops in which contestants–and writers who just want to help–review each others pitches to make them stronger. There’s no shortage in the number of people who will put out an offer to help by reviewing your pitch, opening lines, query letter, etc. The online writing community is such a supportive one and those who have been helped often give back by helping others.As an alternate for one contest I was given a ridiculous amount of editing feedback/guidance. There is no way my manuscript would be as strong as it is now without that help.

Finally, you get an idea of your own determination and how much you can endure in order to meet your goal. Can you accept rejection, and use it to better your craft or fuel you further, so that you can continue this journey?

I’m not saying you should enter every contest. There are times when you’re not in a good emotional or creative place because of the number of disappointments we face as writers. Those are the times when you should sit out and tend to your creative/emotional self. But do keep in mind all the ways that you can “win” even if you don’t win a contest.

Book Review: ALL THAT GLITTERS by Sherry Ficklin

“A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper.”

ALL THAT GLITTERS is the second novelette in the Canary Club series. This time we are introduced to June, JDs gal and Maisie’s friend. 

I’ve been dying to know more about June since I first read about her in Maisie’s story (GILDED CAGE). She’s confident, sassy, and everything I’ve imagined the best flappers to be. But June has secret’s too. And one of those secrets may just cause her to lose the love–and the life–she was on the verge of finally realizing. 

ALL THAT GLITTERS is just as fun and flashy as the previous book. I just loved June’s story, I had never even imagined the depth of this character. She is well-developed and her back story is beautiful. I love her even more than I thought I did. The details are rich, vibrant and Sherry Ficklin has once again brought the 20’s to life. I am biting my nails & anxiously waiting for the next book in this series.

Dealing With Rejection

Writer’s are dreamers. Not only do we dream the stories that are bursting from our souls, demanding to be told, but we have more personal dreams. We want to share those stories with the world. In order to achieve that goal there are two things that we search for: an agent and a publisher (admittedly you can also self-publish, but for today I am imagining the traditional route to publishing).

Every writer knows that rejection is part of the dream. You can’t reach your goal if you don’t first write the books. You infuse every word and sentence structure with the very essence of your being. Then you meticulously research agents and publishers, sending your craft out to only those who have passed the most detailed research and with whom you feel you can trust to assume care of your blessed manuscript. And then you get the response: “…not right for my list.” The first rejection is fine. You expected it, right? You knew this was part of the journey, which is why you sent out several queries at once. But the next day you get another rejection. Followed–maybe only hours later–by another. And then another.

So, yes, we know that rejection is part of the journey. But some days those rejections start to sting. Some days “I just didn’t connect with it the way I’d hoped” begins to sound like, “I read it and…meh!” You’ll get frustrated. You might doubt yourself. You might doubt your novel. You may even cry (or just get something in your eyes/have allergies). It is important to remember that rejections really aren’t personal. Take some time out. Step away from the email for a few days. Refocus your energies until the sting dissipates and you are ready to get back to it. When your thoughts are clear consider a few things:

  • How many rejections have you really had? Enough to consider that there might be something that needs more work in your manuscript? Or are you still quite early in your submission process?
  • Is your manuscript really in good enough shape to be submitted?
  • Are you properly targeting your submissions? Have you researched the agents/publishers that you’ve submitted to and assured they are the best recipient of your query?

Sometimes you just have to swallow the bitter taste of rejection and keep at it. So far this year (28 days into January!) I have seven rejections (three came in one really horrible afternoon!) and have closed out three queries for no response. So, I do feel your pain. But I stepped away for a week, ate some ice cream, and now I’m moving on. Three more queries sent out. Push on, my writing friends…always push on.


Dear 2016, I Hate You. 

Dear 2016,   I was saddened, but not terribly surprised when you took Muhammad Ali, John Glenn, David Bowie, Antonin Scalia and Harper Lee. 

   If you’ll recall we had words when you took Abe Vigoda (not Tessio!!!!), Prince, Glen Frey and Anton Yelchin (who was just far, far too young). 

   I had stronger words when you took Alan Rickman. 

   But what you’ve done with Carrie Fisher is unforgivable. You dangled her right on the edge, taunted us and gave us hope before you ripped her away. And for that you will always be remembered as a cold, heartless bastard and I want you to know: your days are numbered, buddy!!!! And I will not recall you fondly. 

Aspiring Writers: Throwing in the Towel…Or Not

You’re having a great day, and then ding, your email alerts you to a new message. Another rejection!

You’re enthusiastic about a new contest. You’ve gotten a partial request followed by a full and have had some delightful email exchanges with one or more mentors. You can feel in your soul that you’ll be chosen; this was meant to be. You scan the list and…your name isn’t there.

The life of an aspiring writer is one that runs deep with disappointment and rejection. We go into it knowing this to be true. At some point we’ve decided that the risk of rejection is worth the joy of being able to pursue our passion. But some days the disappointment starts to sting. Some days the rejection hurts so deep that you might actually consider giving up writing all together.

It isn’t easy to get through the disappointing days–the truly painful days. But don’t be so quick to throw in the towel. Take a few days to deal with the emotions that you’re experiencing. You’re sad, or mad, and those feelings are completely valid. Let yourself feel them. Refocus your energies for a few days: read, binge on Netflix, eat unbearable amounts of ice cream.

Once the initial feelings have dulled take some time to really think about what your next step will be. After an honest evaluation of your manuscript, does it need more work? It’s important that you are sending out the best manuscript possible. If you haven’t already, send your manuscript out to some beta readers–not just friends and family, but other writers who will give you an honest assessment.

In some cases–especially with your first or second novel–a manuscript just isn’t ready, or right, for publication. Consider putting that novel away and starting a new project. With each novel you become more skilled and can incorporate new things that you’ve learned about the art of writing, story structure, plot and dialogue. Each successive novel will be stronger than your previous. Starting a new project can also kickstart your creative juices and reignite your passion for the craft.

Once the disappointment and doubt have faded you may find that you’re eager to get back into the trenches and start submitting again–maybe after another round of revisions. You may decide that submitting isn’t for you. Some people write simply for the joy that it brings them and never submit their work for publication. Whatever you decide remember that there is a passion inside you that drives you to write. Don’t let that passion be extinguished.

NaNoWriMo Day 30: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

This is it! Day 30. You may have noticed that I disappeared for several days. Between work, Thanksgiving, a business trip and having some fun with my husband for his birthday I missed several NaNoWriMo days. So now I find myself in the same position as a lot of my fellow NaNo’ers: trying desperately to hit 5oK before the end of the day.

So, my tip of the day is: WE CAN DO THIS!!!!! Keep at it. We have the rest of the day, don’t give up. Push yourself and get as far as you can. You’ve already written more than did last month, right? This is not the time to give up. Write away, my friends, we can do this.

NaNoWriMo Day 21: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

We’ve reached day 21. Congratulation. Whether you’re right on track, way ahead, or struggling to catch up the fact is that you’ve been doing an amazing thing. You’ve been writing your ass off for 21 days!

If it hasn’t happened already you might find that your story is veering off course from where you thought it was heading. Maybe your characters are proving to have different personalities than you thought. Todays tip is: follow your character’s lead.

You may have reached that point where your unconscious–and very creative–mind has kicked in and recognizes things that you had never anticipated about your project. As you’ve been writing you’ve also become more familiar with your characters and setting. As a result of your increased awareness and familiarity more options have opened up and there might be something better for your novel. Feel free to let go of your outline–or veer slightly off course for a short period–and see where you end up. You might just be surprised at the result.

NaNoWriMo Day 20: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

You’ve done it! Day 20! There are only ten days to go. I have to admit it, my brain is tired! I’ve just passed 40k words and I’m exhausted. My tip for the day is simple. No matter how many words you have right now: keep going! It’s hard, it’s exhausting, but it’s such an awesome accomplishment. Don’t give up now.


NaNoWriMo Day 19: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

We are getting to the end of that rough third week. Here’s what is happening to a lot of people: work demands are increasing; you’re getting tired & making excuses to not write; Thanksgiving planning/preparations are becoming more urgent; and you’re just not writing like you’d planned.

You’re so close to the end. This is the time you need to push through. Determine how you can best schedule time to write.

  • Some people do better when they block off a dedicated writing time. Allow yourself 1-2 hours daily (for minimum 1667 words, plus this allows you some room for a buffer or bonus word count in case you fall short one day)
  • Some people do better if they can write, in sprint format, for several shorter periods every day. Depending on your typing speed you can get 400-600 words in a 15 minute period. In four fifteen minute sprints per day (morning, afternoon, dinner time and before bed, perhaps?) you should be able to meet, and even exceed your 1667 word per day goal.

However you do it, rededicate yourself to meeting the goal. There are only 11 days left. You can do it!

NaNoWriMo Day 18: Survival Tip of the Day

(It’s painfully apparent that I forgot to push this out on schedule yesterday, but I am doing so now because I am a strong supporter of the topic)

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

The Day 18 tip of the day is: reward yourself! Whether you reward yourself for a job already well done (for instance, you’re probably hovering around the 30K word mark this week) or if you rely on rewards to keep pushing on, rewards can be important.

I personally set small goals: 1500 words, pushing past 20k, for every 5,ooo words. There’s some sort of reward that keeps me going and keeps me honest. Maybe I can go to dinner & a movie with my family when I pass the 35,ooo word mark. I’d like another cup of tea, but I can’t get up to get that until I’ve gotten another 1,000 words. I’ll write for three hours then take a break to watch a show I’ve recorded, then come back to writing. Pick some form of reward, no matter how small, and treat yourself throughout this experience. Don’t wait until the very end to reward yourself. NaNoWriMo is a major undertaking and you deserve to pat yourself on the back for sticking to it, so give yourself a kiss (Hershey’s, of course, and only after you’ve written 750 words!)



NaNoWriMo Day 17: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

Todays tip is dedicated toward getting the most words possible in the shortest amount of time: join in some word sprints/challenges. It’s easy to find challenges & sprints online. Check the NaNoWriMo forums, follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, check your local NaNoWriMo group or organize your own among groups of friends who are participating. The idea and rules are simple: Someone declares a word sprint of a certain length to begin at a certain time (ie “15 minute challenge beginning at :15). You simply join in, begin typing like crazy at the designated start time, then count & post the number of words you wrote during that time. A 15-minute challenge is a great way to knock out 400-600 words (depending on how fast you type). If you’re very competitive by nature, you can join in three of the 15-minute challenges & have met your minimum daily word count in 45 minutes!

NaNoWriMo Day 16: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

For those of you who have hung in, congratulations. We have just crossed the midpoint! We are halfway to our 50k/30 day goal. This is a good time to bring up todays tip: think about the middle of your book. This is the paint at which, even during a regular writing schedule, you might find your story lagging.

Some things to keep in mind at this point:

  • This is the point at which something should be happening to change your characters from being reactive to being proactive
  • There should be some sort of big event that drives the story forward and changes your characters outlook. Has there been a death? Has deceit been exposed? Your characters still have so much to overcome.
  • Whatever happens here should be a logical progression of the events that happened in the beginning of the book
  • The tension and/or action should still be increasing. You don’t want the story to slow down.
  • If you’re having trouble with the middle and just can’t seem to get past it, jump to the end. Don’t give up. You can come back and fill in the middle when you have a better idea of what it’s leading to.

Waiting on Wednesday: Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin




Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin

Series: Canary Club

Publication Date: December 1, 2016

Pages:  53

Genre: Teen, Young Adult, YA, Historical, Romance


Summary (from GoodReads):

Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious boot-legger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making. As she watches her world fall apart, Masie must decide whether to take her place in the hierarchy, or spread her wings, leaving the people she loves, and the life she despises, far behind her.

Two worlds collide in Gatsby era New York, in a time of dazzling speakeasies and vicious shoot-outs, of gritty gangsters and iridescent ingénues, where not everything that sparkles is gold.

*This is the first of the Canary Club series and is a short story introduction into the forthcoming novels.

LINKS: Buy on Amazon | Goodreads


Why I’m waiting:  I am absolutely obsessed with anything having to do with gangsters and I adore prohibition era based books.









NaNoWriMo Day 15: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

Today’s tip–and I realize now that I should have mentioned this earlier, like way earlier–is to lock up your internal editor. No matter how hard it is you have to push forward. You cannot make progress and move forward if you keep moving back. All of those misspellings, wrong words, bad punctuation, and really, really inadequate words that you put down will still be there when you go back later. You can fix them during your first round of revisions.

The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get through the first draft, no matter how bad it is. My current project title includes “SFD”, for Shitty First Draft (a la BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott). I label all of my projects with the title and then “SFD”. This is just a starting point, nobody expects it to be perfect, but I’m certain that you want it done. So plug along. Leave the errors. Get to the end. December is the month of spelling corrections and removing errant punctuation.

NaNoWriMo Day 13: Survival Tip of the Day

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, you might be in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!

Today’s tip is try a write-in. Write-ins are great for productivity and support. There are a number of write-ins during NaNoWriMo. You can usually find several options during the week. Check your regional message board for listings. There are established write-ins that occur every week at a particular time and place (frequently in book stores or coffee shops). There are also pop-up write-ins that are planned during the week as people are available.

If you can’t make it in person, try a virtual write-in. You can log onto a chat room with others. There is usually minimal chat during the actual writing time, and usually involving word sprints or challenges which you can participate in if you’re interested and inspired by competition. Familiarize yourself with the NaNoWriMo website so that you can find local/regional events and give it a try. Sometimes it’s just nice to sit in a room of like-minded people whose sole purpose during your time together is to write!