Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Monday, February 26, 2018

By the Book - Protection Detail

Welcome back!

            This month’s book review is another foray into the romance genre. I was never a big fan of love stories, so I decided to make the experience less jarring by finding a novel that had something I could relate to. Being a dog owner, I was attracted to the following novel; Protection Detail by Shirley McCoy.

This book actually came into my possession after returning a bunch of old novels to the local used bookstore. Nothing interesting was standing out for me, so I decided to pick something thematic for my next February book review.

           The story follows an investigation into the murder of a senator's son conducted by Gavin McCord, a K-9 unit Captain. Cassie Danver, a woman who works in a foster home, is in charge of a dozen children. One of the foster kids end up being key witnesses in the murder, forcing Gavin and Cassie to join forces to protect the children while the killer is apprehended.  True to any romance novel, the two protagonists develop feelings for each other despite being in constant danger.

Image result for protection detail shirlee mccoy

Back of the Book:

After a prominent senator's son is murdered, Capitol K-9 Unit captain Gavin McCord wants answers. The senator was a mentor to Gavin and he'll stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice. With his team of elite K-9 cops and his loyal dog, Glory, at his side, Gavin discovers that a child of Cassie Danvers's nearby foster home may have witnessed the murder. He's drawn to the determined and beautiful woman but she doesn't want him interviewing her traumatized charges. Yet trusting Gavin is the only way to stay one step ahead of the deadly gunman when Cassie become a target.

From the book: Protection Detail
By: Shirlee McCoy
Imprint and Series: Steeple Hill
Publication Date: 03/2015
ISBN-13: 9780373446544
Copyright © 2015
By: Shirlee McCoy
® and TM trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

What I learned from this book
  • The Build up/Payout ratio: This book made me realise that if you build up to an event, you need to deliver on the pay out. Throughout the entire story, multiple attempts are made to progress the investigation, but sadly the book ends and the culprit is left unfound. After commiting to a story for 200 plus pages, I can tell you this left me feeling cheated.
  • Chekhov's gun: “Chekhov’s gun” is a dramatic principle that states every element mentioned in a story must be necessary and serve a purpose, and that extraneous details must be removed. Giving an object attention should be considered a signal to the readers that it has some importance to the story. This story made mention of several key elements however, that played no real role in the story. The victims wife, for example, is mentioned several times for being a potential witness, but is never found throughout the story. So we don't know if she was the killer, a witness, or dead. I found this lack of information annoying.
  • Romance: How the author built the relationship between Gavin and Cassie was rather interesting. Both had troubled backgrounds, but we saw how their emotional barriers came down little by little, using a combination of simple, causal actions (such as longing stares, honest conversation, etc) and a dramatic situation (in this case, being pursued by killers).

Shirlee McCoy is a New York Times best-selling author, whose first book was published in 2004. She's written more than 45 novels, which have appeared on the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, and USA Today bestsellers lists.

When she's not writing, she's homeschooling her two youngest children and spending time with loved ones. Her books are a reflection of her passion for relationships and community  that explore the dynamics between siblings, parents, children, and friends.  

For those interested in reading more books from Shirlee McCoy, please check out these websites:

In closing, I would like to thank you all for dropping by and following my blog. Your patronage and encouragement is truly appreciated.

Until next time!


Patrick Osborne

Friday, February 16, 2018

Interview - Hope White

Welcome back!


Today we have something special; an interview with published writer, the lovely Hope White. This is the first time I have had the opportunity to interview an author who I’ve had the joy of reading.


I approached Ms. White back in December, shortly after having read her book, Covert Christmas. While working on the book review article, I discovered her website, and found her email address. I decided to take a chance and contact her. To my surprise, she contacted me back a few short days later! I’m super excited to have her with us today!


On to the interview!




Short Bio: With a degree in journalism, Hope White started her career as a reporter for a small town newspaper.  Years later she decided she wanted to do more than report the facts – she wanted to take readers on a suspenseful and thrilling adventure.  Hope has published 11 romantic suspense novels with Steeple Hill including her popular Echo Mountain Search and Rescue series. When not at her computer, Hope can be found hiking a mountain trail to stimulate ideas for her next book.

Published Works:


Search and Rescue series

Mountain Rescue, Payback, Covert Christmas, Witness Pursuit, Christmas Undercover, Mountain Ambush


Stand alone books: Safe Harbor, Hidden in Shadows


Port Whisper Series

Witness on the Run, Christmas Haven, Small Town Protector


Coming Soon:

Lost and Found Baby, Jan. 2018 EHarlequin Short story

Baby on the Run, February 2018 (The Baby Protectors)


Current Projects: (if any)

Bodyguard Series for Love Inspired Suspense


Website/social media:



When did you begin writing?   


I’ve always been a storyteller, even as a kid.  I wrote my first book when I was 11 and had a friend illustrate it.  It was a mystery-thriller even back then!


Did you receive any special training or attend a school?  


I have a B.A. in journalism.  After years of newspaper and PR work, I decided it was more fun to make stuff up.  I had to relearn how to tell story in the fictional sense, which was totally different from collecting facts and sharing a non-fiction message with readers.


Where do you get your inspiration from?  


Everywhere!  Other books, movies, newspaper stories, conversations I overhear in the Starbucks line.  Writers are ALWAYS listening.  Sometimes ideas come to me when I’m listening to music or cleaning the house.  Which doesn’t make me want to do more housework unfortunately.  Another great way to develop ideas is to meet with other authors and brainstorm.  One story can be told a dozen different ways.  It’s a fascinating process.


Do you use any special resources when writing? (other books, computer programs, etc)


Blake Snyder’s “Save The Cat” book, plus his Beat Sheet for structure. Character development articles by Michael Hauge.  I hope to outline more, and have heard GREAT things about Scrivener.


What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?

Get out of the way!  It’s important to let your characters develop the way they need to develop and not muddy up the waters by shoving them around.  If you’ve created strong characters, they will drive your plot, which makes for GREAT story.


What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?


Staying focused. I mean once I’m “in story” it’s easy, but getting there can be challenging.  So many diversions – Facebook, Twitter, etc.   The best way to counter this distraction is to set goals and commit to writing for one hour.  That’s it.  Most of the time you’ll find yourself writing longer, but it’s less intimidating to go into the process with a one-hour commitment ahead of you.


Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)  


Not at present.  I have had a few in the past.  I don’t need an agent to negotiate with my current publisher who has a very standard contract.


Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?


I work with an editor at Harlequin AND hire an editor for my self-published projects.


How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).


Most of my books are published through Love Inspired Suspense, aka Harlequin.  My fiction career started when I won a writing contest and the editor judge asked to see the book.  Contests are a great way to get noticed! I self-publish contemporary romance novels as well.


Do you handle your own marketing?  


Yes, and am working to get better at it! I belong to a few self-published author groups to get lots of tips on how to expand one’s audience.  May authors feel that promotion is key when you’re self-published.  I agree.


What is your best marketing tip?


Join an online indie group.  Even if you’re published traditionally, you’ll learn a ton from other writers.  Also, I’ve used Fiverr to promote. Inexpensive and boosted my numbers!


Do you have any advice for other writers?


Sure.  1) Write because you love it!  2) Write the book you want to read.  3) Create a tribe – other writers who can give you feedback and offer support.


In closing, I would like to thank Hope for doing this interview. As someone who is still in the process of finding himself as a writer, I found her energetic personality to be quite motivating. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.


Until Next time,




Patrick Osborne

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Current Projects part 37

Welcome back!

February has arrived and Mother Nature can’t seem to make up her mind; some days the weather is mild and others it is still way below freezing. We have seen everything from rain to snow to ice pellet.

However, this gives us the perfect excuse to stay inside and hide from the cold, snuggling up with a loved one on the couch. This seems appropriate, since St-Valentine's day is just around the corner. In honor of the holiday, I have put together a book review of a romance novel, as well as an interview with a published romance author.

Romance as a theme.

    Before writing this update, I took a look at my progress update from last February, and saw that I ad promise an update on my writing once my home office would be set up. Well, we are a year later, and my office has still not been completed. I’ve run into computer problems which prevent me from accessing the internet and my Google account.

Luckily this has not slowed my normal progress. In fact, after last month’s decision to focus more on my story rather than my blog, I actually managed to get an entire chapter done and submitted for editing. The chapter introduces my three main characters, how they interact with each other, and we gives the reader an initial overview of the setting. It’s a nice way to ease the audience into the story, and came out rather well.

    In terms of art projects, I have started on my first chair ‘revamp’ that I plan on selling. It proved to be a different type of challenge, because not only did I have to be creative style wise, but I had to be creative repair wise, as the chair had a few issues. It is coming along nicely, and I’m looking forward teeing it completed. I seem to be having issues with loading pictures right now, so hopefully I can include some in my next update.

Image result for city of titans

    Though I am no longer working on this project, I am still supporting it, as I did contribute a lot of time and material. Missing Worlds Media has released only one update in the past month. You can read the full article on their kickstarter page:

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I can be reached via the following social media:

Twitter: @OzmosisCoH

Happy St-Valentine's day!
That is all I have to report for this month. Thank you all for dropping by and keeping up with my progress. I would also like to thank you all for taking the time to drop by, and to wish you all a happy St-Valentine day!

Until next time!


Patrick Osborne