Friday, December 12, 2014

The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis: Guest Post with Excerpt



What Do Bloggers Blog About?

Many of my writing colleagues ask me what to blog about. I thought I would share some of my ideas

·        Blog about your books. Ok, this is obvious. When you have reviews of your books or new releases, you need to share the love on your blog. When you are doing blog tours, you need to share where you will be and whom you will be joining.

·        Interviews with other authors. Author interviews are great fun, and readers love to read about authors. They are curious about what inspires writers to write what we write. You can interview authors either solely in your genre or you can branch out and interview those in other genres. I like to do both. That way I satisfy readers who read different things. I suggest you make your interviews as interesting as you can. Either read the author's book ahead of time or tailor your questions to fit that author. You can get lots of information about them on their websites or their author's pages.

·         Tips about writing fiction. Share what you have learned as a writer. What works and what does not work. For example, you might want to talk about how you select a point-of-view character. You might share how you go about plotting your books. How about how you develop your villains or secondary characters? You can talk about the editing process. What is it like working with an editor? How do you feel when your manuscript is rejected? Accepted? Where do you decide to place your manuscript? Your tips for finding an agent and then working with an agent. The list is endless.

·        General tips about using the social media. Post something about using Facebook or Twitter. I recently posted tips about using Pinterest. Most of us writers are not very good about marketing ourselves. You can share your frustrations and what you have enjoyed. One writer told me she loved doing face-to-face talks with readers. But, she had trouble with the online marketing. Other writers tell me they enjoy the anonymity of online marketing and shy away from the face-to-face events. What have your experiences been? By the way, this post fits in this category.

·        Your characters. I've had a good time recently introducing my characters to my blog readers. Some writers even blog from their character's point of view. This keeps your creative juices flowing while you are awaiting edits or a decision on your last submission.

·         Tips for Writing Mystery. Because I write mysteries, I talk about the challenges of mystery writing. If you write science fiction or fantasy or romance, you can do the same thing. The point is to help readers understand what goes on in the mind of the mystery writer.
The Clock Strikes at Midnight

by Joan C. Curtis





The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.


If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.


Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.


Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.





“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.


The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.


“Mama, tell Janie to—”


“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.


“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.


Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.


Then, everything went black.


When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.


“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.


Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.


Marlene stood on the side of the road.


“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.


Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.


“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.


Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.


Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.


“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.


They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.


It was too late for all of them.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Joan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:


           Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004

           A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996

           Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002

           The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997

           A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997,

           My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994


Her first place writing awards include : Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.


Other Books:


Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.


The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA


Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.


Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.


“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”


Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner.  She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.






Prizes for the tour are as follows:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

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