Thursday, April 16, 2015

Research is Fun! #writinglife #research

Train depot at Umatilla Historical Museum
I spent the first of the week researching for the current work in progress, the third book of the Halsey Homecoming series. The plan was to re-visit the underground tunnels in Pendleton, Oregon. The tours were closed on Tuesday, the day I was in town.

That didn't bother me too much. I had been on the tour before. But I still had questions that needed answered about the town in 1900.  I went to the Umatilla Historical Museum which was open and found out a bit more about the town and picked up a book on Pendleton.

Cabin at Umatilla Historical Museum
I also visited the local book store looking for research material and just happened to stumble into a store that had old-fashioned candy, antiques, and books. Walking in the gentleman clerk was talking with a customer. They were talking history of the town and the man said he knew so much because his grandmothers always talked about the history and dragged him to see this and that. The customer left and he asked if he could help me with anything.

Part of the Tour.
 This was my opening. "Yes, I heard you know the history around here." He pointed to the book in my hand that I'd purchased at the museum. "I wrote that book," he said.

I started asking my questions. He answered and showed me maps in the book and described some great scenarios that while they happened a few years before my story, I'm going to take creative license and use them in my story.  He answered most of my questions and helped me get a better feel for the time period and the actions and reactions of the people in 1900 in Pendleton.

This is what I always love when doing research. Books are good, museums are good, but when you can get a person who knows the history of an area to visit with you, they always have some little tidbit that makes a light bulb go off in my head and inspires great scenes.

Monday, April 06, 2015

JoAnne Myers, Writing Paranormal, and Wicked Intentions

                                    WRITING PARANORMAL-by JoAnne Myers

When it comes to fiction writing, almost anything goes. That is why I love writing paranormal and fantasy stories. The author can go completely over the edge and make something unbelievable seem believable. When it comes to ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own either. I watch television programs that partake of the supernatural and paranormal flare. Programs from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.

For my ghost stories, I get a lot of my inspiration from real life experiences. Not necessarily my own, either. I watch television programs with the supernatural and paranormal flare; documentaries from ordinary people who claim they experienced either an afterlife experience, or a haunting.

Some of the stories from my anthology, Wicked Intentions, are based on actual hauntings. In The Legend of Lake Manor, I placed my young psychic, Cassandra Lopez, in a haunted mansion I fashioned on my knowledge of a three-story mansion in my hometown and information from television about a restaurant/bar in Ohio, supposedly ruled by demons so violent that the local police are constantly closing it down.

A television documentary about a young mother plagued by ghost sightings since childhood, inspired The Haunting of Barb Marie and her gift/curse.

And The Apartment, in which my newlyweds, Bill and Gayle, are plagued by sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and theirs lives, originated from a real apartment haunted by the ghosts of two homosexual lovers who died violently. The legend says no tenant is able to stay there until the spirits are chased off by a paranormal investigation team.

On the Discovery Channel, is where I got the idea for Summer Wind. I learned of the colonial explorer Jonathon Carver who lived during the 1700s and whose ghost is believed to be haunting the Summerwind estate, built in the early 20th century. Carver’s ghost is, supposedly, searching the house’s foundations for deeds to a vast tract of land (10,000 square miles) given to him by Sioux Indian chiefs as a reward for the peace treaty he created between two warring tribes. In my Summer Wind, 29 year-old Ginger is mysteriously drawn to the old mansion, and like the many owners of the real mansion, the haunting had a negative and profound effect on Ginger and her family.

Another investigative program concerned one sister’s psychic premonitions about her twin’s murder. This led to my story, Blood Ties, and my heroine, Audra Roper’s dark, disturbing visions of her sister’s disappearance and the roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue that followed.

Dark Visions came from reading a newspaper story while sitting in a diner. A young woman began having visions of her father's disappearance that was actually his murder from years earlier. So, my Carrie Reynolds starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday and believes these ‘dark visions’ can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

I set my murder mystery, The Truth Behind the Lies, on Norfolk Island after following a three year long murder investigation on that island from 2003. In my story, Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian faces attacks, more murders and ghostly occurrences, and the killer is closer than anyone realizes.

So, the next time you get Writer’s Block, or need a new idea, try switching on the television, open a newspaper, delve into history or simply look and listen. You will find something to stimulate your muse.

Blurbs for “Wicked Intentions” 7 bone chilling paranormal tales


          After the mysterious disappearance of twenty-six year old wife and mother Lisa Smalley, her twin,  Audra Roper, begins having dark and disturbing visions of Lisa’s disappearance.  Trying to survive while looking for Lisa, Audra’s life becomes a roller coaster of risks, heartbreak, and intrigue.


          Even as a child, Barb Marie saw dead people. This took an unhealthy toil on her throughout her childhood and young adulthood.


          When twenty-nine year old Ginger discovers the old mansion Summer Wind, she is mysteriously drawn to it. . Immediately, the haunting’s have a negative and profound effect on the family. 

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LIES-laying the Norfolk ghost to rest

          Solving the brutal murder of American born Ruthie Geil becomes a gauntlet of attacks and more murders for Federal Police Inspector Ian Christian. Between the victims family, ex-lovers, and ghostly occurrences on Norfolk Island, the killer is closer than anyone realizes.


          For the young psychic Cassandra Lopez, coming to the infamous and haunted mansion Lake Manor, was more like a mission. 


          When young newlyweds Bill and Gayle move into their new apartment, their lives are plagued with sightings of evil ghosts that threaten their marriage and lives. 


          When Carrie Reynold’s starts having nightmares on her twenty-sixth birthday, she believes her “dark visions” can solve the twenty year disappearance of her father.

Excerpt from “Dark Visions”

Mark was gone from Carrie’s bed when she awoke. In his place lay a
hand-written love note decorated with flowers and hearts. “Mark, you’re quite the artist,” she said to the note with a deep satisfied smile. Checking the clock she found she had less than thirty minutes to shower, dress and get to
church…and be there on time. Anyone arriving late had to sit in back of the
church, and Carrie was expected to sit with her mother.

She made it to the church with one minute to spare and dutifully kissing
her mother’s cheek, sat with her in the fourth row. “I didn’t think you’d make
it,” whispered Myra, noticing her daughter’s glowing appearance as did others, as evidenced by smiles and wiggling eyebrows. “So, when’s the wedding?”

Carrie stopped her last minute primping and whispered. “Does it show?”

“You got ‘I had sex last night’ written all over your pretty face.”

“He’s the one, Mother. I know it.”

“That’s what I said when I met your daddy…and we know how that

“Father was morally and emotionally weak. Mark is not.”

“I may not know everything about men, but one thing I do know is this, ‘If
a man can get the milk for free, why buy the cow?’”

“That’s a horrible presumption to make about Mark.”

“So…when’s the wedding?”

Carrie started to answer, but the organist’s Prelude interrupted. Angry with
her mom and her attitude toward men in general and Mark in particular, she
made a quick exit. Once outside the church, she raced sobbing to her car and
peeled out of the parking lot. She immediately called Mark.

Reviews for Wicked Intentions

1st Review

5***** on May 2014 by Linda Tonis Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Review:  “This was a very interesting collection of short stories and all had a touch of the paranormal. Overall, this is a book well worth reading.”

2nd Review

4**** by Tenaya Jacob 2015

Review: “Good ghoulish bedtime stories. Wicked Intentions is a collection of short mysterious tales about love gone wrong and restless souls of the spirit world trespassing in the land of the living. Interesting stories to keep you up at night reading.”

Author Bio:
JoAnne has been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of her life. Besides having several novels under her belt, JoAnne canvas paints. When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, JoAnne spends time with relatives, and volunteers her time within the community. JoAnne is a member of several writing clubs. JoAnne believes in family values and following your dreams. JoAnne’s original canvas paintings, can be found at:

Contact JoAnne:

Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne

JoAnne’s Blogs:

Books and Paintings by JoAnne Blog:

JoAnne’s WordPress Blog:

Jo Anne’s Postings:

Buy Links:

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Paty's Oat Bran Muffin Recipe

Paty's Oat Bran Muffins         
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 1/2 C oat bran cereal
1 1/2 C spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup chilled applesauce (I like them best with homemade chunky applesauce.)
4 Tbsp. olive oil 
1 cup craisins
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners or grease. Blend together dry ingredients and craisins.  Mix eggs, applesauce, and oil, pour into dry ingredients and mix until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 18 muffins. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Things I learned for Book Three #cozymystery

While writing book three of the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series, Deadly Aim, I needed a little bit of help with cop stuff, bullets, and even some medical things. It's nice to have a law enforcement member in the family, a family member who trained to be an EMT, and writerly connections. 

I asked about a county detective using flashing lights on his car.
AnswerThey are only supposed to be used for emergencies, however, if it was a sensitive case and evidence could possibly be destroyed I could see them being used in that case to get people out of their way and make better time to preserve evidence.

My question: If a shot gun with buckshot is shot into the air would it come raining back down and how long before the shot would come back down?
AnswerYes and it would probably be within 20 to 30 seconds max. 

QuestionWhat is the procedure for a county detective to get a warrant?  How long does it take? 
Answer:For a residence we have to have probable cause which is facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable and prudent person to believe that a crime has been or is being committed. Basically it's 51% chance that a person more like you're not did something wrong. To get a warrant, the law-enforcement officer would have to write an affidavit to the court detailing the circumstances of his case and why he believes he has probable cause to search a specific person place or thing. The affidavit would go in front of the District Attorney's Office for review commonly, and then be looked at by a judge who would either sign it or not.

Regards to previous question:  What's the average length of time does it take from the time you write up the affidavit until the warrant is given? 
Answer:As soon as it's written you can get it signed then have up to fives days to execute it. Most warrants take a couple hours to write and get signed. Some longer than others depending on case

Medical question was about using the defibrillator. I had the doctor say stand back. I was informed they are trained to say, "All Clear." I also asked a fellow author who is a doctor is the body really does jerk when the defibrillator is used. Her answer: "Yes." 

I also had a question about a .30-06 hunting rifle. 
QuestionMy murder victim was shot in the heart with a hunting rifle(shooting elk). What would be the caliber? Or what would the forensic call the size etc.  of the bullet. And would it be discernible after animals had eaten on the body?
Answer:A 30-06 is common. Its a 30 caliber diameter hole. Bullets would stay in tact for the most part and could remain in carcasses. They would be identifiable. 

And I asked thisIs there a difference between wildlife cameras and surveillance cameras?
Specifically in how you view the footage.
Answer:If your talking of surveillance cameras for wildlife offenses then yes usually.  Sometimes law enforcement uses fame cameras which anyone can view by looking at the sd card. We also have similar game cameras which also take an sd card but have password protection on the device. These two are the most common.  We also have cameras which are set off by motion sensors, seismic sensors or infrared sensors which are commonly buried or camouflaged as well as the recorder. These cameras save to sd cards as well which can also be viewed in a computer. 

Those questions and answers helped me write Deadly Aim which is now available in ebook. 

Passion… Secrets… Murder...
The dead body of an illicit neighbor and an old necklace send potter Shandra Higheagle on a chase to find a murderer. Visions from her dead grandmother reveals Shandra is on the right path, but the woods are full of obstacles—deadly ones.

Detective Ryan Greer believes Shandra’s dreams will help solve the mystery, but he also knows the curious potter could get herself killed. He’s determined that won’t happen.

Until he’s blind-sided. Are Shandra’s powers strong enough to save them both, or will the murderer strike again?

Buy Links: