#1 in Contemporary Fiction Romantic Suspense $.99 cents

TARGET IN THE SUN’, a moving, high anxiety romance thriller, takes place on a perilous journey through the explosive dark underworld of organized drug trafficking and the complex, destructive human perils of use, abuse and the carnage it leaves in its unstoppable wake. Caught up in the onslaught is the powerfully engaging nurture of two lovers, Carlos and Mia, discovering and reaching out in a world that could ultimately tear them apart. 

Kindle Deal now: $.99 cents!

What do the readers say?


“a love story like no other.” Amazon Customer

“an exciting romance thriller” Amazon Customer


“Could not put it down and loved this unique and brilliant approach to letting each character tell the story through their own narrative.” Amazon Customer

Gripping and suspenseful, clever and sharp, Target in the Sun is a romance thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the format, telling parts of the story through letters. I also enjoyed how smoothly it read, the type of book that sucks you in. Highly recommended.” Jane H.

I won’t give away the plot, but trust me, it’s a great and very important read.” Vine Voice

“An unconventional love story.” A.A.

“This book is flowing, sensual, and exciting in its tragic and heartbreaking travels through two lives, as viewed by the agent. Well written with gorgeous details and descriptions.” S J

“This was a great read, with plenty of action and interesting characters. I would recommend this book.” Rea

“I’ll admit, it took me a few chapters in the first book, ‘Target in the Sun’ to get comfortable with the characters, the back-and-forth, the now-and-then, but, WOW, what a journey! I couldn’t wait to continue with the second, ‘Vanished in the Sun’. I read both in 2 days, and I’m totally exhausted now with all the action in the fight against the drug cartels, love, Mexican cultural knowledge and the beautifully descriptive word paintings of Western Mexico, especially the amazing sunsets! The super-secret off-the-grid organization keeping watch over these characters is genius! Very intriguing! Can’t wait for #3!” Bonnie T.

Highly recommend to fans of suspense, thriller, romance or anyone just looking for an interesting and different read xx Kirsty W.

“All in all I highly recommend this book for originality, vibrancy of the characters, and the solid story line that catches the reader from the first chapter.” Elizabeth Horton-Newton Author

.99 cents on Amazon deal right now. Thanks for your support.

Last day!

Gift to a friend.

Never underestimate a mother’s rage!

Code Raven 2 is FREE for one more day.


ABDUCTED is a gripping suspense thriller, a roller coaster ride of cartel drug and human trafficking across tempestuous high seas off the coast of Mexico.
A ruthless Mexican drug cartel, notorious for their involvement in a world of illicit drug and human trafficking, is at the center of this action-packed drama where power, greed, and immorality are the cornerstones of their global operations. In this fast-paced high-stakes thriller, there is a rash of abductions involving young female captives who are ‘sold’ for extraordinary sums of money. Two of these captives have become the victims of extortion and manipulative leveraging in the pursuit of substantial financial gains and provide a frightening opportunity for revenge.
“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILD, and DAVID BALDACCI.” N. Huff, Indiana, USA.

What are the readers saying?

Non stop page turner ” Mr. P

“ABDUCTED: Code Raven 2 by Lynda Filler was a gut wrenching, action packed, heart pounding read that had me on the edge of my seat.. I nearly died at the end cause damn..Lynda Filler don’t mess with my heart like that.” E. Walsh

I never want to be rescued from these books!! Noble Household

“A very awesome book cover, & great font/writing style. A very well written suspense thriller book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great action movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.” Tony Parsons

“I enjoyed reading about the characters that have been brought forward from the previous books. They banter and interact with each other. There is tension and emotions run high. Another amazing story that you don’t want to miss. I can’t wait to find out what is in store next for the Raven Group.” Laura Furuta

“This is a fast-paced high-stakes thriller, a rash of abductions involving young female captives are ‘sold’ for extraordinary sums of money. They become the victims of extortion and manipulative leveraging in the pursuit of huge financial gains and unforeseen opportunity for revenge.
I simply love this series.” Tracy

“Filler is very gifted at weaving a suspenseful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you are reading. I love that about her writing style and it keeps me coming back again and again for more.” Liz Vrchota

“Get ready to go on a quick, emotional roller coaster that will have your heart racing the entire time. You will be one clicking Ultimatum before you finish!” Mom & Guilty Pleasures

I hope you become as addicted to reading the Code Raven series as I am to writing it! Thanks for your support!

6 Tips that will change the way you write

What is your Best Unconventional Writing Advice?

It has nothing to do with grammar, or the English language, or what sells or doesn’t sell. I follow a few simple rules.

  1. I think I read this in Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott) “You have to stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!” I paraphrased, but you get the idea. Tell it like you see it and feel it. Be true to your thoughts, heart, and feelings.
  2. Develop a thick skin—armor. You’re going to need it. Bite your tongue at the critics. Remember if everyone loved the same things, there’d be no fashion industry or book genres, or millions of songs on the market. We are all different. Your readers will be from different walks of life and you will get reviews that hurt. Forget about them. Focus on the ones that think your work is great.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about your writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after agonizing over a novel you can’t seem to get it finished. It’s three years and still, it’s incomplete. It’s not from lack of time, writing might not be for you. If it’s not, let it go. When I was younger I took ballet. I loved it, but I couldn’t follow the line. I’m a good actress, I love to perform. But I can’t memorize a sentence! Hah, I could never make a career of acting! Let the dream go and enjoy reading instead.
  4. Editors and first readers will want you to write a certain way. One of my best friends enjoys giving me plot ideas. Recently I went crazy for about 6 weeks, trying to work with a plot idea that wasn’t right for me. You have to let that stuff go. It’s your story, book, novel, blog, whatever. It’s yours to write any way you want. I struggled to read my first Bukowski book last summer—Women. It was horrendous. Yes, he’s brilliant. But the plot was about an alcoholic loser writer and all the women he used and threw away. Really? And yet he’s considered a great author. I finished the book… I don’t know if I bothered to review it.
  5. Sometimes you have to turn off Grammerly or whatever editing program you are using. You will have a style. Not everyone will like it. Get over yourself. Think about it this way: Some will, some won’t. Next reader coming right up.
  6. Last, as an author if you are looking for someone to motivate you, forget it. Writing is a solitary career. You literally turn off the outside world and go into the one you have created in your mind. You’re the only one who sees the pictures you have created. And you are the only one who can pull those ideas away from the invisible muse and get them down on paper. You are unique. And you have to find that voice inside of you and believe that you can do this. You have to become your very own cheerleader.

Now stop hanging out on Quora (Lynda) and get working on book 7 in the Code Raven Series!

Reprinted from Author Lynda Filler on Quora

BY THE WAY, I almost forgot!! Book 2 in the Code Raven Series, ABDUCTED IS FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!

Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


How to be unforgettable

How did Toni Morrison influence your life?

At this time in my life as I’ve allowed myself to fall in love againI would say her words on love touch my soul in profound ways.

Every great author and some who never achieve world-wide acclaim has affected our lives in a multitude of ways. Toni Morrison’s work is in a class by itself. Maybe right up there with Maya Angelou.

I will let her words speak to you in honor of her memory.

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

“Something that is loved is never lost.”

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose, not to need permission for desire, well now that was freedom.”

“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”

It is the courage of authors like Toni that have opened their hearts and bared their souls, that gave me the guts to write the stories that I write. My memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On is so personal and revealing it took me years before I would publish it.

“Make up a story. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” Toni Morrison

So I went on and wrote about a 50 year-old-woman and her 20-year-old lover in Target in the Sun. And then I exposed the lives of several male prostitutes in Mexico writing in the first person as Layla, in Lie To Me, again opening myself to major criticism, but also an award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues.

It’s not easy to reveal yourself because that’s what I do when I write. Yes, my books are “fiction” but as in the current Daniel Silva book The New Girl, our stories are often based on fact. Some hide it better than others.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Toni Morrison

This sums it up for me:

Lynda Filler photographer

Answered on Quora

Yes, FREE to read!

Have you heard about Kindle Unlimited?

If you’re a reader you want to have a Kindle Unlimited Membership. For $9.99 per month you’ve got over a million titles to choose from.

Currently, all my titles are free to read in Kindle Unlimited. If you love mystery/suspense/spies/female heroines & a genius billionaire, the Code Raven Series is for you. Here’s what fans are saying:XPOSED

“What a mind Ms. Filler has as the Raven Group takes on a new ‘associate’ in the form of Samaar, code name Luci. Badass lady all around! In this first adventure the VERY high tech Raven team have just rescued Luci and her 4 YO daughter, Alice, from sure death by a South American Cartel. She, along with several others of the team, are thrust into Paris, to Shanghai and a quick stop in Sedona, AZ. Top secret vehicles on land, sea and in the air. WHOO HOO! What a ride!”ABDUCTED  *Drum roll for immense enthusiasm!

August 30, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
ABDUCTED: Code Raven 2
By Lynda Filler
5 Stars

ABDUCTED. Doesn’t that just set the theme? I mean for me it meant action, suspense, and an all-out thrill to read. And once again Ms. Filler delivers. How she is able to pack SO MUCH into these books is a wonder but she does it. And does it WELL.

Book 2 (if you don’t count the pre-quell) continues along with the illustrious Luke Raven and his band of merry men (& women but you get the picture). This time around the Raven group is working on a trafficking case, both human and drugs. But don’t think Ms. Filler is going to leave it cut and dried with just the case. Nope, she throws in twists and turns that will have you gasping.

The characters Ms. Filler has brought to life for us with this series keep getting better and better. The world building and suspense ratchet each book up another level. You will invest your time and emotions in these books and you will come out the other side emotionally spent. But it will be worth it. OH, SO WORTH IT. I chomp at the bit to read these books and can assure you. Ms. Filler is the REAL DEAL. Action, romance, suspense…Ms. Filler delivers it ALL!! These books need to be a MUST READ on everybody’s list. So, get it NOW!!

 ULTIMATUM

“Wow! Just wow! Luci and the Raven Group just get better and better! Action and intrigue continue in this third installment. Cyber war, ISIS, the US and Chinese government. More high tech gadgets abound. We go to Singapore, Washington, D. C., and (whoopee!), Las Vegas in this one. (I love to travel!) As usual, it’s hard to figure out who’s working for who. Great action, Lynda!”DISPLACED

April 22, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
 
 October 19, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
5 Stars

“What do you know about the Silk Road?”
“Are you referring to the old Silk Road trading routes? If you are, the Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes connecting the East and West which for centuries was central to the cultural interaction between them. The Silk Road also refers to both the terrestrial and the maritime routes connecting Asia with the Middle East and southern Europe. Today, of course, it’s the new China Railway Corp route to England. It will cut ground shipping to half the time of the maritime routes. The cost of shipping goods into Europe will fall considerably making Chinese exports/imports even more viable to its trading partners in Russia and Europe.”
“Hmmm.”
“Why do you ask?”
“I heard Ivanov’s men talking about the Silk Road. I’m not sure of the significance, but it’s too much of a coincidence to ignore. Let me search around and see what I come up with.”

Silk Road is the sixth book in the Code Raven series by Lynda Filler. As we have discovered in the previous book/s, this series centres around the Raven Group, which is a top-secret, special ops team who help to keep the world a safer place- and the series chronicles the action-packed missions they embark on. This latest mission may just be the most challenging one yet.
The story starts with Luke whisking Samaar(Luci) away to the Maldives for a much-needed break and Zach headed to Washington DC after a call from his friend Mike, a former Navy SEAL buddy, who needs his help. Himanish is in Geneva doing what he does best, keeping tabs on everything, and starts to put some worrying pieces together. Children are going missing from all around the world, mostly from remote areas, leaving their families devastated. So, when these abductions hit closer to home for members of the team- Luke Raven will do everything in his power to get to the bottom of it all and return the children to their families. This truly is an international mission, taking the team from Canada to Paris, The Maldives, Geneva, Washington DC, China, Tel Aviv, London, and even to Kyrgyzstan in central Asia as they try to uncover who’s been behind a wave of human kidnapping. The team pulls together, digging deep, using all their skills, contacts and networks to follow the trail- as the case becomes more complicated than they ever imagined.
We catch up with characters we know and love, as well as meeting some new ones. I love that each book in this series allows me to get to know the (recurring) characters a little bit better each time. I love watching the relationship between Luke and Samaar/Luci (and adorable Alice) develop more in this book. The little bit of romance and some touching and tender moments helped to lighten the darker topics covered in the storyline.
This is definitely one of my favourites of the series, so far. The story was an action-packed adventure, with dramatic developments, danger, abduction, intrigue, suspense, human trafficking, drug cartels, life and death situations, high stakes risk, covert ops, high-tech gadgets, social and political issues, camaraderie, friendship, bonds, romance, depravity, heart-aching situations, and so much more
I am really enjoying this series, which just seems to get better and better with each new instalment! I am really looking forward to my next adventure with the Raven Group!

Thank you, Ms. Filler!
  AND I mustn’t leave out the PREQUEL Code Raven, where it all started! July 31, 2018
Lynda Filler kicked me in the feels with this enthralling prequel to the Code Raven series. For being a short read, at 56 pages, it really gives you a lot. We discover who the series will be around, Raven, well Luke Raven. The background info really sets you up to fall in love with Raven and the supporting characters that are also introduced. I could tell this definitely a stepping stone to what is to come. Mystery and suspense has me wanting to go on to the next in the series right away. I need to know what will come next and where Lynda plans to take us on this journey with Raven.

Lynda Filler was new to me when I picked up her other title, Lie to Me. I was really impressed with her writing skills in that one and have been hooked on her since. She really builds her characters, sets up her plots, and then weaves it into a gripping storyline that will have you hooked from beginning to end. I can’t wait to devour the rest of this series.
 
 By the way, they can be read in any order as they are all standalone adventures of the Raven Group! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more stories in this series! I have as much fun writing them as you seem to have reading them! 

https://amzn.to/2RpOFd0

Does Happily Ever After Exist?

It’s been a while since I worked on a novel. I have four storylines that are competing for my attention, and I can’t seem to focus in on one over the other. So I get my dose of daily writing when I hang out on Quora for a bit. I thought you might enjoy my answer to a rather shallow question. It might be TMI, but then, those of you who know me understand that I’m an open book, a work in progress, and a constantly evolving woman.

This month I’m packing up my life. I’ve sold everything and will begin a journey to places I’ve never been. I have a set departure and a few locations in France, India, Turkey, and Israel that are booked. But once I arrive in Bangkok, I will be free-falling… I have no set date of return to Mexico, although my friends who’ve become a family, believe I will return. I’m not sure.

This is going to be an interesting time. I will blog, post photos here and on IG, FB, Twitter. And I’ll do live videos on FB and my YouTube channel. I promise it will be fun, and a bit crazy. I see the world in strange and wondrous ways.

Back to Quora and the question I couldn’t resist answering: Am I shallow to want to date a woman with a fuller figure?

We all have our preferences. Some of us take a lifetime to truly understand what we like. I’m attracted to eyes. They mirror not only the soul but kindness and mischief. When a man looks at me with ‘those eyes’ I’m in trouble! And a very good kind of trouble it is!

So first it’s eyes, then it’s soul, then it’s brains—I love smart men. They’re usually cocky and annoying and can make you feel inadequate in a way that’s rather adorable. They are adult men with this immense sense of wonder about the subjects that fascinate them. And even though the subjects may be way out of reach for me, I’m wildly attracted to the light, that almost childish sense of wonder as they work through their discoveries, day after day.

And then there is sexy. That comes in all shapes and sizes but I definitely have a type in that area too. I won’t reveal myself because then I’d be at a disadvantage. I get a reaction, an immediate jolt when I find someone attractive. It’s generally mutual. If it’s not, I ignore the feelings and move on.

Am I shallow? Yes. In some ways that I won’t go into here. I have definite physical things that work for me and I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t fit into my likes. Maybe I will one day…

I’m still looking for ‘the one’ who makes my heart sing, speaks to my soul, who will love me and show me that happily ever after truly exists.

If you buy only one book this year, this is the one!

Alex Banayan and Larry King

Life, business, success . . . it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in.

I cannot begin to explain my excitement in discovering this book.

Meet Alex Banayan with Larry King.

He dropped out of Med School when he was 19. He decided that he was dying in Biology classes following a pre-ordained path set by his Iranian Immigrant parents who expected him to be a doctor. He woke up one morning and knew he didn’t want to be a doctor. The disappointment and consequent heartbreak due to his parent’s sacrifice for his education will sound familiar to many. And he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, but he was passionate about finding out how the great ones started–not what made them successful, there’s a lot written about that. But how did super successful get that first break? 

My enthusiasm for this book and the interviews I’ve listened to have brought both tears and tons of inspiration, into my life. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in, what age, or what career choice you’ve made, this story is for you. And if you have children or partners struggling with life decisions, buy this book for them too. 

I can’t wait to hear what you think.

There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always . . . the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen–there’s always a way.  

Action/mystery FREE download!

Welcome to my tribe!

I have so many new followers on social networks that I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you and tell you how grateful I am to have you taking time to drop by.

As you already know, I’m an author. And also a poet, memoirist, freelance writer and photographer. If it’s creative, I’m curious and interested.

A friend asked me what exactly is my blog space about. I responded that it’s whatever I feel I want to share with my readers in the moment. Sometimes that’s my thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. It could be motivation, inspiration or a blog that caught my attention.

Also you find books, because as long as I can remember, I’ve been a massive reader. It used to be paperbacks before Kindle. Now it’s iPad and downloads to my Kindle ap. That makes my  library portable, so I can read anywhere, anytime. Books are such an important component of my life. So it was a natural progression from childhood to be a writer. And many of you who follow have similar aspirations so I share my journey with you.

Today I want to say thanks in the best way I know how: For the next 48 hours you can receive Code Raven, the sequel to my Raven Group series FREE. If you are on my news letter list you will also receive early notification of not only my free books, but also those of fellow authors that I know you will enjoy. I routinely send out News Letters with information about freebies, new releases, best sellers, and genre’s that I feel you will like.

So jump right in and download Code Raven.

Here’s a quick look at what readers are saying:

“This is definitely the Prequel to an unforgettable action packed adventure.
Luke Raven was happily married, until the day his wife and young daughter was murdered.
When Luke shows back up, he shakes things up. Starting Code Raven will only be the start. Not only does he have the money he needs to run this company. He has the brain and muscle needed to back him up.
I read it so fast, I’m excited to read the rest of the series. This series will be a real page turner. I love her characters and can’t wait to see where she takes them.
Bring on the adventure Lynda Filler! I await you, along with many others.” Cinful
“This book introduces us to Luke Raven, the head of the Raven Group- a top secret special ops corps. He is a brilliant man; whose accomplishments and talents seem to be limitless, but who has also experience great personal heartache. We really get to know him and the other members of his team. I enjoyed finding out about him and meeting the others- Luci, Alice, Zach, RB, Maggs- and discovering how the Raven Group came to be.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series- it looks set to be a thrilling ride.” A. Hayes
CODE RAVEN-2

 

 

And if you’re an avid reader like me, why not join  Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan? Click on the link and see how it works in your country. For a set amount of money each month, you download your books for free!

I love the idea, and don’t worry, authors still get paid while you read for free! It’s a win-win for all of us!

 

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Enjoy your weekend my friends!

How do you do that thing you do so well?

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It’s a common question asked by those who want to write a novel. I hear this all the time on Quora. Where do you begin? How? Where do you get your ideas? Do you plot? Do you ‘wing-it?’ How do you do that thing you do–so well?

Let’s talk about my latest release, SILK ROAD Code Raven 6. It’s a great example of my personal writing process and may help you to get started on yours!

It starts with a word. I asked a friend, fellow author, to give me a country. In this case, it was Kyrgyzstan–a country that had no meaning to me. If you’re familiar with the Code Raven Series, you would know that not only do I love my characters and develop them further with each story, but I also love to take them to different countries around the globe to get into–and out of–trouble!

In my research about Kyrgyzstan, I came across the history of how this country was once a part of the Soviet Union. I already had a rough idea of the Russia/Asia part of the world but didn’t know much about the terrain. If you are anything like me, once you go on the world-wide-web, one search turns into another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off on a tangent for no particular reason. In my case, my interest was piqued by the crime lords who moved in to fill the void of a legitimate government. Corruption of all types runs rampant in this predominately Muslim country.

At this point, I became intrigued by the historical implications of this centuries-old area and the original Silk Road–the trading route moving through Asia from the East to the West.

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Without giving away the plot, let’s just say that I became intrigued by the human condition and in particular how turmoil and greed affect women and children around the globe.

HERE’S MY PROCESS:

  1. Out comes the excel spreadsheet. 
  2. Usually, I reprint the Characters names across the top of the sheet so I don’t mix up attributes, history, or activities, timelines, etc. This is important when writing a series. You would work the same way as you introduce new characters in your novel even if it’s a stand-alone book. I also used this process on my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On
  3. Chapters numbers down the left side column.
  4. Next column a key phrase to summarize what will happen in that chapter.
  5. The next column will give more detail, possibly a paragraph of key events.
  6. In the planning stages, I might color code the chapters. If it’s fiction and action, I might color code an action event RED, something that moves the plot along in YELLOW, and a relatively soft aspect, emotional, resting chapter might be soft green. This way you can make sure you don’t lose your reader by dropping the pace. Inevitably all my reviewers say this series is ‘fast-paced.’ You want that when writing a mystery. Otherwise, your fans will get bored and put your book down! We want them to read it in “one sitting!”
  7. The chapters continue down the page until the end.

Why a spreadsheet?

I use this concept if I’m writing Action/Adventure/Mystery or Contemporary Romance or Non-fiction like my memoir. Why?

  1. It’s easy to cut-and-paste therefore changing the sequence of events, or slotting in a new chapter!
  2. You can see the entire story in one place. 
  3. The spreadsheet allows you to edit the events along the way inserting, expanding where you find your plot to be weak.

My process is always fluid. I never set a rigid plot.

Sometimes I start with one idea and watch the following events move down the page. The thoughts, ideas I have may never make it to the final story. But here’s the key: one idea leads to another, and another, and another. And my story starts to take shape from that original one word. Example:

Silk Road. Trade. Smuggling. The new Rail service from the coast of China all the way to London, England! Think about the potential here. Imagine all the events that could happen along the way! And that’s how the story moved along. And then I found activities in the Maldives that I decided to connect. And one of my main characters, Zach was summoned to Washington DC by the frightening pleas from a SEAL friend he served with in his Afghanistan/Bin Laden days.

Here’s a couple of teasers so you get a feel for the final story:

A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”

“They stole my baby Daddy! They’ve got my boy!” Will a team of ex-SEALs break US law to exact revenge?

A teenager is abducted in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.

A new Silk Road train stretches from the eastern shores of Yiwu China to London, England. Its precious cargo is not what’s written on the manifest.

When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.

Are all these horrific events linked?

If I’ve peaked your interest and you want a great read, written in the style of Lee Childs, David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, get your copy on Amazon: Silk Road

 

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