“Sending you an SOS.”
When psychic Trudy Tucker hears this plaintive cry in her mind and then connects psychically with a little girl’s kidnapper, she is drawn to a small town in Missouri where everyone is suspect – including herself and her lover, celebrated psychic detective Levi Wolfe. As she and Levi work together to sort through whom and what to trust, an innocent life hangs in the balance.
A shudder raced through her and her stomach knotted. Nausea rose up to her throat as darkness descended in her mind.
“I’m sending you an SOS. Sending you an SOS. An SOS.” Can you find me? Can you hear me?
“I hear you,” Trudy whispered, answering the small, trembling voice.
“Did you say something, Rachel? Are you singing something?” This was a different voice in her head. A deep bass, but gentle. Coaxing, cajoling, cunning.
The darkness parted like a curtain in Trudy’s mind and Rachel came into view. She sat in a child’s white rocking chair, her red tennis shoes dangling inches from the floor. A wedge of purple discolored her right cheek. Her lips twitched and her chin quivered.
“Be a good girl and do what you’re told and that won’t happen to you again. No one wants to hurt you. You gotta obey, though. Can’t say ‘no’ to your elders. Your mama should have taught you that.”
“Want me to kiss it and make it well?”
Rachel rounded her shoulders, making herself smaller. “Nuh-uh.”
“Okay then. I could make it stop hurting though . . . I’ll read you a Bible story. How about that? Remember what we talked about? God is way up here . . . then there’s his disciples right here . . . and then your elders . . . and you’re way down below that.”
Glimpses of hands . . . moving up and down, illustrating the levels. Dirty nails, dry skinned knuckles.
“Are you hearing me? This is important.”
“I want to talk to Mommy.”
“She doesn’t want to talk to you! God gave you to us. Your Mommy is busy serving the Lord and now you’re here serving us because it’s been ordained. Quit touching your face! That won’t help it heal. Come sit in my lap while I read. Did you hear me ask nice? You won’t like it if I have to ask twice. That’s my good girl. You act like this all the time and you won’t get any more boo-boos.”
Was he kissing her? Was he licking her?
Book Video: https://youtu.be/7AFG88e98eM
Author of more than 40 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. She worked for a few years as a reporter for newspapers before becoming a freelance writer. Deborah’s first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is widely published in non-fiction and writes and edits for a magazine focused on small businesses. Deborah taught fiction writing for more than 10 years at a community college. She is currently working on a series of novels featuring two psychics who work with police nationwide to identify and track serial murderers. All of her novels are available on Amazon as ebooks
Tips for Novice Writers – and Reviewers!
When I taught writing there was always a student in every class who would approach me after having a few pages edited by me and ask, “Should I just give up writing?” To which I would answer, “If all it takes is for me to tell you to, then by all means, give it up!”
Sure, I knew the student wanted me to stroke and coo and say, “No, you must not quit!” But really? If that’s all it had taken for me to stop writing, I would have thrown away my pen and paper in fifth grade!
If you’re a writer, you write. Doesn’t matter if no one but you reads it. Stories and characters waltz about in your brain and you simply have to allow them to blossom into text. However, once we do allow our works to be seen by people other than those who personally know us, then we have to learn to accept criticism and we must understand when to take advice to heart and when to dismiss it. These are difficult lessons to master.
Here are the top three things I’ve learned from reviewers:
1. Get as many reviews as possible from people you don’t know. Look for similar praise and beefs. If several reviewers praised your snappy dialogue, rejoice and strive to make your dialogue sparkle even more. Conversely, if several reviewers note that your pace is slow or that it was difficult to understand her heroine’s motivation, take a close look at those hiccups. Fix them before you write your next book.
2. When reviewers find typos or bad grammar and punctuation, hire a professional editor and proofreader for your next project. Be aware that editors and proofreaders aren’t the same thing. Editors discuss plotting, characterization, pacing, word choices, and sentence structure. Proofreaders catch typos, incorrect punctuation, misspellings, and continuity mistakes.
3. Be sure that the people who review your books actually like the type of book you’ve written. I’ve had yucky reviews from people who admitted that “I don’t usually read this kind of thing” or “romances aren’t my cup of tea.” I dismiss those. Same goes for the editor you choose. Ask the editor who she/he has read in your genre and what her/his favorite books are in your genre. If she/he hasn’t read any books that have been published in the past two years, then she/he probably isn’t savvy about what’s hot and what’s not in your field.
4. In closing, let me also caution you not to reply to a reviewer or editor until you’ve given yourself a day to think about it. Temper whatever you say or write, understanding that your work was published and people have a right to their opinion. With reviewers, it’s best to thank them, taking them to task only when they get “personal” in their critiques. With editors, it’s best to discuss why and how you can improve what you’ve put on paper. Great editors can make you a great writer, so when you find one, don’t ruin the relationship by being too cantankerous and stubborn.
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