Tag Archives: Deborah J Ledford

The Next Big Thing: CRESCENDO

I’ve been invited to participate in the Next Big Thing blog series, in which authors get to describe what they are working on right now. I was invited to participate by my fellow Sister in Crime member, Donis Casey, who posted her own Next Big Thing last week at http://www.doniscasey.com/?p=690.

At the end of this blog you will see other writer friends of mine who will tell you about their Next Big Thing next week. Each of us will answer the same ten questions about our upcoming books or projects. Here they are:

What is your working title of your book?
CRESCENDO is book three of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela trilogy, scheduled for release February 19, 2013.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
Actually the first climactic scene came to me in a dream. A woman clutching a small duffel bag, her hand pulling out a fistful of money, wind whipping the bills into the air, her screaming, “Where is my son?” The visual kept haunting me until I figured out a way to work the scene into the main plot of the novel.

What genre does your book fall under?
As with all of my novels and many short stories I’ve written: Psychological Suspense

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Angelina Jolie would be the dream Inola Walela. I’ve always envisioned Henry Simmons as Steven Hawk. Tantoo Cardinal would be fantastic as Inola’s grandmother, Elisi…but Cher would be a blast!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Native American female cop risks everything to keep a boy safe.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The entire series is presented by Second Wind Publishing, an independent publisher just outside Winston-Salem, NM

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About one month. I do my best to write 2,000 words per day when I’m working through the first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is always a difficult question as I strive to create books and stories that are truly original. I suppose Lisa Gardner’s Gone.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
No real inspiration, except that I knew I wanted to feature a strong Native American woman. I enjoyed writing the Inola scenes with her grandmother most. Thinking I may write a novella or two featuring these two characters.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Along with this being a suspense novel, featuring the granddaughter/grandmother relationship, NA elements, probably the location of the Great Smoky Mountains of North   Carolina. It has been a pleasure sharing what I know and what I’ve discovered during my research of this breathtaking region of the nation.

Crescendo-DJLedford- Front Cover

Thanks so much for the opportunity to give you a little teaser about CRESCENDO. Here’s a bit more of a synopsis: One murdered woman. A missing child. The diabolic father who will do anything to get his son back. The female cop who risks everything to keep the boy safe.

And now, here are the links to other excellent writers who will be telling you about their own Next Big Thing during the week of December 10th.

Fellow Second Wind Publishing author, Christine Husom – www.christinehusom.webs.com
Aaron Paul Lazar – http://aaronlazar.blogspot.com/
Connie Flynn – http://imaginationgonewild322.blogspot.com/
Clark Lohr – clarklohr.com

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense novel SNARE, the New Mexico Book Award Finalist, and The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her homepage at the Second Wind Publishing website and her personal website.

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CRESCENDO Cover Sneak Peek – by Deborah J Ledford

I am thrilled to announce that Book Three of the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela series is scheduled for release February 19, 2013. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover:

As with SNARE and STACCATO, CRESCENDO features the same law enforcement characters, however the novel is a standalone—this time with Inola Walela playing the lead roll. All of these novels are presented by Second Wind Publishing.

Big thanks to Eric Beetner for suggesting CRESCENDO as the title—absolutely perfect for the final book of the suspense series.

Looking forward to sharing more highlights about this upcoming suspense novel with you in the coming months.

So, what do you think? Thumbs up, or down, for the cover?

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense novel SNARE, the New Mexico Book Award Finalist, and The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her homepage at the Second Wind Publishing website and her personal website.

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SNARE Award Finalist – by Deborah J Ledford

I received word last week that my latest release, SNARE, is a Finalist at the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the Mystery/Suspense category. I am honored beyond words to be on the list of other nominees.

Although SNARE was released December, 2011, the New Mexico Book Awards are held every two years, therefore the book qualified for consideration. These awards are sponsored by the New Mexico Book Co-op, headed by the fabulous Paul Rhetts. He and his team received Southwest location/themed submission from all over the country, 45 categories in all. No doubt, a daunting task.

One of the main locations for SNARE is the ominous and intriguing Taos Pueblo Indian Reservation, which is the main reason the book qualified for this book award.

The complete list of Finalists can be found HERE. The awards ceremony will take place November 16th in Albuquerque, NM.

Congratulations not only go to me as the author of SNARE, but also to Second Wind Publishing for presenting these words in print and for e-readers. Huge thanks to publisher Mike Simpson, Pat Bertram and Tracy Beltran.

This validation could not come at a better time! I’m polishing the third book in the Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series, Crescendo, which will be released by Second Wind Publishing mid-February, 2013.

Big thanks to everyone out there who took the time to read, review, and promote the book. Your support means more than you could possibly know. I will be most grateful for you all to continue spreading the news about SNARE.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense novel SNARE, the New Mexico Book Award Finalist, and The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her homepage at the Second Wind Publishing website and her personal website.

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July 29th is National Lasagna Day! Second Wind Books and Lasagna: A Perfect Union!

Woo Hoo! July 29th is National Lasagna Day! Lasagna is a thrill! So are these Second Wind Publishing’s mystery novels and we promise there will be no tomato sauce stains 😉

😎

Snare by Deborah J Ledford

One rock star sensation. Two men from her past want her dead. Three others will risk everything to keep her safe. Who will be caught in a trap?
Also by Deborah J Ledford: Staccato

😎

Deadly Traffic by Mickey Hoffman

Standard High faculty member Kendra Desola seems to be the only person to care that girls are disappearing from the worst school in Arbor City, California. As she enters the dark world of human trafficking, danger is all around. Will Kendra escape with her life?
Also by Mickey Hoffman: School of Lies

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com

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July 7th: Happy Chocolate Day from Second Wind Publishing! Chocolate and Romance Reading: The Perfect Combo

July 7th is Chocolate Day – Chocolate is a vegetable from the cacao tree. Hey, if it means you can eat more chocolate with less guilt, go for it. Here’s another guilt-free idea: romance books from Second Wind Publishing

🙂 🙂 🙂

Fate and Destiny by Claire Collins

Destiny. Left for dead and found by Andrew’s dog, she brings mystery, danger and passion into Andrew’s life as he waits out a blizzard in his mountaintop cabin. As Andrew and Destiny ignite each other, Andrew’s fate becomes entwined with Destiny.

Also from Claire Collins: Images of Betrayal

🙂 🙂 🙂

Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes

The Spanish call it “quinceanera” a girl’s 15th birthday.  Gabriella Deza, innocent daughter of a nobleman in 1739 St. Augustine, Florida, finds herself caught up in international intrigue and romance far beyond her years.

Also from Dellani Oakes: Lone Wolf

🙂 🙂 🙂

Backstop: A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings by J. Conrad Guest

Backstop. He’s the catcher you cheer when he delivers and boo when he doesn’t. Follow Backstop as he plays the most important game of his career and fights to win back the heart of the woman he loves more than the game.

Also by J Conrad Guest: January’s Thaw and One Hot January

🙂 🙂 🙂

Hand-Me-Down Bride by Juliet Waldron

Based upon the story of the author’s great grandmother, who was a real life mail-order bride. Sophie agrees to marry a wealthy man she’s never met—but life has other plans.

🙂 🙂 🙂

 

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com

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Sizzling Reads for Summer from Second Wind Publishing

Happy Fourth of July!

SUMMER IS HERE!

It’s too hot to stay outside for long!

Curl up inside with cool air and cool books from

CHECK OUT THESE TITLES:

Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes (Historical Romance)
Grief: The Great Yearning by Pat Bertram (Family and Grief)
False World by J J Dare (Conspiracy Suspense)
Love Notes by Sherrie Hansen Decker (Romance)
Hand-Me-Down Bride by Juliet Waldron (Historical Romance)
The Phantom Lady of Paris by Calvin Davis (Fiction)
An Altar by the River by Christine Husom (Murder Mystery)
She Had to Know by Coco Ihle (Crime Mystery)
Snare by Deborah J Ledford (Crime Mystery)
Backstop: A Baseball Love Story by J Conrad Guest (Baseball Romance)
A Love Out of Time by Mairead Walpole (Time Travel Romance)
Deadly Traffic by Mickey Hoffman (Crime Mystery)
Donations to Clarity by Noah Baird (Fiction)
The Magic Fault by Paul Mohrbacher (Mystery Thriller)
Ghost Mountain by Nichole R Bennett (Crime Mystery)
Vendetta by Nancy Niles (Private Eye Mystery)
Carpet Ride by Norm Brown (Amateur Sleuth Mystery )
Love Trumps Logic by Lucy Balch (Regency Romance)
Tattletale Roadhouse and Social Club by Tony R Lindsay (Fiction)
Fate and Destiny by Clair Collins (Contemporary Romantic Suspense)
Lacey Took a Holiday by Lazarus M Barnhill (Historical Romance)

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Interview with Deborah J Ledford, Author of “Snare”

Part Eastern Band Cherokee, Deborah spent her summers growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina which is the setting for her suspense thriller novels and many of her short stories.

Book two of her Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series, SNARE is The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, nominated as Best Mystery that captures the landscape of the Southwest.

Classical music themed STACCATO is Book One of Deborah’s series. Both books are published by Second Wind Publishing. The “STACCATO Book Trailer” is Now Showing on YouTube.

As well as a suspense thriller novelist, Deborah is also a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Her award-winning short stories appear in numerous print publications as well as literary and mystery anthologies.

What is the main premise of this book?

SNARE is The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist about the journey of a female Native American pop music sensation about to embark on her first personal appearance. An altercation occurs during her concert and peril ensues. Here’s a brief synopsis: One rock star sensation. Two men from her past want her dead. Three others will risk everything to keep her safe. All are in peril. Who will be caught in a trap? SNARE: Revenge with a beat.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Although I love my main character, Deputy Steven Hawk, and rock star Katina Salvo was a blast to write, my favorite character is Katina’s Aunt Sylvie. I’m part Eastern Band Cherokee and the Native American elements in all of my works are very important to me. I spent a lot of time on the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation in New Mexico and the people of the pueblo continue to captivate me.

What projects are you currently working on?

Book three of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series is finished. Fingers are crossed that this novel will be released by year’s end. I’ve started a new multi-cultural thriller series that takes place entirely in Taos, NM. I’m also nearing mid-point on a Young Adult mystery that I’m very excited about.

Do you sleep in or get up early?

My background is in the theatre, so I prefer to stay up very late.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

I only use a laptop. I type quite fast so have worn out a lot of keyboards. My latest is an Acer which I have hooked up to a 22” monitor and full size keyboard. I love the set up!

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

My desk is actually a dining room table. This allows me a lot of space to spread out my research materials and tabletop speakers so I can enjoy great music while I write. I’m also a professional content editor so I work on clients’ manuscripts early in the morning, and catch up on the necessary correspondences and a bit of social networking. I write in the afternoon—ideally after a refreshing nap. I’ve found that my words are best composed while I’m nearly comatose.

What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad?

I’ve been very fortunate that SNARE has received stellar reviews. I’m so grateful for the reviewers who support independently published authors—without them helping to spread the word about our books we would have a very limited readership.

What’s your favorite quote?

“A blank page or canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities.” From the stage play Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim.

List 3 books you’ve just recently read and would recommend?

Iron House by John Hart—his Last Child remains one of my favorite books of all time. You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz. Fallen by Karin Slaughter.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Erin Daniels would be the perfect Katina Salvo—she’s not Native American but she has the “look” I imagined when creating this character. Angie Harmon as Aunt Sylvie—Angie is part Native American and I love her speaking voice. I’ve always envisioned Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue) as my lead character in the series, Deputy Steven Hawk.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

A green derby – What’s not to love about a green hat?

Where can your readers stalk you?

The first chapters of SNARE and STACCATO, as well as a few previously published short stories, are available at:

My website: http://www.deborahjledford.com/
Facebook Personal Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000454722747
Deborah’s Book Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/STACCATO/246707792355
Twitter: @djledford

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Rubicon Ranch Final Touches by Deborah J Ledford

I’ve been performing the final content edits for Rubicon Ranch: Book One Riley’s Story, the collaborative novel I’ve had the opportunity to be part of.

This was the first time I’ve collaborated on a full length novel, and the challenges were quite interesting. In the beginning I had a complete picture of what I wanted my character, retired Lieutenant Colonel Eloy Franklin, to achieve during this journey. And yet with ideas coming from eight other writers I soon realized I needed to go with the flow and not make any final decisions about what I would write until it came time for me to present Eloy’s following chapters. I enjoyed exploring the twists and turns of Eloy’s tortured life—especially the fact that he isn’t anything like the persona he presents to the public. I love this old guy!

This has been a fascinating challenge and I wish to thank my fellow collaborators Lazarus Barnhill, Eric Beetner, Nichole R Bennett, Pat Bertram, JJ Dare, Christine Husom, J B Kohl and Nancy Niles for your extraordinary efforts and talent. It has been an honor working with you.

Pat Bertram has been our fearless leader, keeping the writers on track, alerting us about inconsistencies that need to be fixed, and as all around point woman for the entire project. Thanks, Pat, for wrangling the cats!

If you’re not aware, Second Wind Publishing has been releasing individual chapters of Rubicon Ranch: Book One, Riley’s Story, so if you’re anxious to see what we’ve been working on, here’s the link to what’s available so far. The entire print version of Rubicon Ranch will be available by Second Wind Publishing later this year, so look for announcements about this upcoming release.

And a BIG thank you to our publisher, Mike Simpson, for giving us the opportunity to add another full-length novel to our publishing credits.

Since the first Rubicon Ranch has been such a big hit, Second Wind has given us the opportunity to write a continuation. Four other authors with books published by Second Wind will be added to the mix: Claire Collins, J. Conrad Guest, Mickey Hoffman and Dellani Oakes. I look forward to getting started on Book Two of Rubicon Ranch.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.

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Dream Come True – by Deborah J Ledford

I had the honor to experience one of those weekends I’ll never forget. An absolute literary dream came true for this author Saturday afternoon when I  appeared at the renowned independent bookstore The Poisoned Pen. Sixty people braved the rare rain and extreme cold that usually gives Phoenix folks a great excuse to stay home, including members of the Scottsdale Writers Critique Group, and a large contingent of the Desert Sleuths chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC).

Joining me on the author’s panel was Award-winning author Kris Neri, also the owner of the Well Red Coyote Bookstore, there to sign her newest release Magical Alienation (Red Coyote Press), and Clark Lohr who is receiving great reviews for his debut mystery Devil’s Kitchen.

Roni Olson, the president of the Arizona chapter of SinC, moderated the panel with grace and insight and her calming presence made my appearance a “dream come true” experience.

That same morning I received a Google alert, notifying me that a review of SNARE was available at the Poisoned Pen Blog. And a great review, I might add. Steven Shadow Schwartz gifted the second novel of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series with a glowing recommendation. Mr. Schwartz’s well-crafted and spot-on observations make him the dream reviewer for authors, and he consistently provides insightful recommendations for the reader.

I continue to be humbled by the gifts offered for my second book. SNARE has proved to be the pinnacle of my literary career so far, but rest assured, I will continue to work hard and keep my fingers crossed that readers, reviewers and nominating committees will continue to enjoy my words. 

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.

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NaNoWrite – Tips to Help You Focus by Deborah J Ledford

Okay, so you’ve made the decision to join thousands of other writers for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2011 project. I thought some tips to help you focus might be helpful.

1) STAY FOCUSED:  Nothing is more frustrating than losing focus and veering from your original story idea. In an effort to eliminate any confusion, write a Logline that merely answers: WHAT IS MY STORY ABOUT? 24-30 words maximum. Think of it as a TV Guide blurb. Print the description out in bold font and keep it close at hand. This description should be fused in your memory so that you may respond to the often dreaded request: “Tell me what your story’s about.” By committing these lines to memory, you fuse their reality and make your works an achievable goal. At the start of each writing day, read the Logline so that you may focus your thoughts on what you originally intended to achieve.

For example, here is the logline for my latest novel SNARE: One rock star sensation. Two men from her past want her dead. Three others will risk everything to keep her safe. Who will be caught in a trap?

This is the logline that kept me focused while writing the first book in my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela series STACCATO: Three world-class pianists. Two possible killers. One dead woman. Who is her murderer? Who will be next?

2) KEEP MOVING:  If you’re stuck on a chapter—move on to the next one. Make notations as to where you are stuck to remind yourself where stumbling blocks raised their wicked head, dismiss them for now and start another chapter. Keep moving!

3) VISUALIZE REAL PEOPLE:  It often helps to visualize performers speaking your lines of dialogue. It will also help you “see” these actors employ mannerisms and quirks which make your characters come to life. www.imdb.com will help you research performers you have in mind. Take a look at their films or TV programs and put them in your scenes.

4) CHARACTER SKETCHES:  Even minor characters should be thought out fully. Create a character breakdown indicating what each character in your piece is about. Quirks, hobbies, downfalls, character flaws, likes/dislikes are all instrumental in creating “real people”.  Create a breakdown of each of your characters. One paragraph is sufficient for minor characters, but major players should be detailed to the extreme. You will find that by writing two pages of text about these people you will know them better and be able to convey their reality to the reader.

5) BRING EACHCHAPTER FULL CIRCLE:  Each chapter should be a short story within itself. Consider if all elements you have included are necessary to advance the plot. Do you really need a flashback within the chapter?  If flashbacks are too long you risk tricking the reader into believing the flashback is playing in real time.  Do you really need to throw in that extra character?  Focus the scene (chapter) where you want to lead the reader.

6) CREATE A HOOK:  One of the most important elements to integrate is a hook at the end of each chapter—no matter the genre. Your main goal is to get the reader to NOT quit reading. If you reveal a cunning chapter end, chances are, they’ll be compelled to turn the page.

7) AVOID EXTRANEOUS TAGS:  If it’s evident who is speaking, cut the HE/SHE SAID tag at end of your sentences. Chances are the reader is going to skip this qualifier anyway.  If you stay true to what your character is saying, their dialogue (in many cases) will reveal their identity. Instead, throw in a bit of action—what he/she is doing or reacting to in order to keep the scene active.

8 ) KEEP A DAILY RECORD OF WHAT YOU HAVE WORKED ON:  Use a Daily Planner to notate word count you have composed at the end of your day’s writing. This is also great to notate details pertinent to your work. Keep this “journal” for your professional output only. Be sure to do a word count when you finish writing and notate this on your planner—think of it as your cookie at the end of the day.

9) TELL PEOPLE YOU’RE “WORKING”, NOT “WRITING”:  Laypeople don’t understand writers or what we actually do. They do however understand “work” and can process this delineation much better. If a family member or friend calls and asks what you’re doing, merely state: “I’m working.” That usually does the trick.

Congratulations on making the commitment to complete an entire manuscript this month.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense thriller novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing.

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