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IWSG: New Christmas novella released

To paraphrase Poltergeist, “I’m ba-ack.” At least for now.

When Alex Cavanaugh, the great leader of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, suggested I make my monthly newsletter post an IWSG one so I didn’t have to leave the group, I thought it was a great idea. So here I am, with a whack load of writing news.

Carol of Ghosts Christmas ghost novella

Carol of Ghosts, the sixth book in my award-winning GhostWriters series, is now available in ebook and paperback. Like all of the books in the series, it can be read on its own. Here’s the blurb:

All is calm, all is bright? Not in the little house in Nightridge, Vermont.

Jackson’s plans for a quiet, uneventful Christmas with Kate are dashed when three spirits decide they have important messages for him—messages that unfortunately can’t wait.

As he learns crucial lessons from his past and present, the spirit of his future has a bigger bombshell in store: the fate of the entire world may rest upon Jackson’s reluctant shoulders.

Will he be able to accept that his fantasies of a quiet life are just that—fantasies—and that the ghosts are here to stay? Is he up for the challenge his future holds, or is the world as we know it doomed to die?

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I’m also teaching three new writing classes for McNally Robinson Booksellers in the New Year. Since these will be taught on Zoom, anyone in the world can join us. The prices are in Canadian dollars, which means a huge discount for anyone in the US or UK. All class times are 7 to 9 p.m. CST.

To find my classes, you need to scroll to the bottom of the McNally site page once you’ve clicked on the links below.

Finding Joy in Writing: Techniques for Writers of All Levels (Jan 18, 25, Feb 1, 8, 22, March 1)

The rewards of writing are many: it’s a stress release, a creative outlet, a much-needed escape, and self-guided therapy. Join award-winning author J.H. Moncrieff as she helps you discover the essential building blocks of a great story, including voice, character, setting, point of view, creating suspense, and more. The class will be customized to the needs of the students. Students can submit a sample of their writing for detailed feedback.

Beating the (Writers’) Block (March 10, 17, 24, 31)

To be successful, a writer must vanquish many foes, including time constraints, negative self-talk, endless distractions, and a lack of inspiration. Award-winning suspense author J.H. Moncrieff will teach you a variety of techniques and tricks to jumpstart your writing muse, conquer self-doubt and fear of failure, and carve out time to write from an overwhelming schedule.

Writing a Page Turner (April 12, 19, 26, May 3)

Want to write a book that will keep your readers on the edge of their seat? There’s an art form to building and maintaining suspense. Award-winning suspense novelist J.H. Moncrieff will take you through the techniques you need to master in order to create a page-turning novel or story, including voice, beginnings and endings, and character development. This course is suitable for every genre, as no one wants to write a book that’s easy to put down. Come prepared to write!

I’m so happy to say my first Winning NaNoWriMo class went incredibly well. Three of my students won NaNoWriMo early, even though they’d never written a novel before, one is 75% finished her first draft, and the others wrote more than they have in a long time. It was so rewarding to watch them succeed. The class worked so well that everyone wants to keep meeting once a month!

How’d NaNoWriMo go for you this year? Any takers?

Happy holidays to you! I hope everyone had a great month, and have some lovely celebrations to look forward to this month, even though the holidays will probably be very different for most of us this year.

The purpose of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThose who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.

1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.

34 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Yay! Welcome back, and congrats on the new work!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Randee!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Read it, loved it, more please!!!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Jim! I’m working on it. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    Congratulations on the release! That is such a detailed cover.
    Glad you will stick with us.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thank you, Alex, and thanks for making the suggestion. I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    Glad you are sticking with us! Congrats on the new release… sounds very appropriate to these times!

    Reply
    • JH

      Me too, Rebecca! Thank you. I think it is–I really released some things that have been on my mind these days in that book.

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    Gorgeous cover art.

    I’m hoping to being back doing my sessions in person next summer.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Diane. While I prefer teaching in person, I’m in no hurry. It’s going to be so hard to go back to wearing real pants! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I intended to do NaNo but really only made a token effort. I suppose that’s better than nothing though.

    Reply
    • JH

      It definitely is better than nothing. There were moments last year when I really wanted to quit, but teaching a course in how to “win” NaNo at the same time certainly kept me committed. I had to show my students it wasn’t that hard to do.

      Reply
  7. Avatar

    The Christmas kitty just makes me smile. Carol of Ghosts is on my kindle. I’ve loved every single GhostWriters book! I’m so glad you found a way to stay with IWSG!

    Reply
    • JH

      Oh, thanks so much, Lee! I hope you enjoy it. It’s a bit of a departure from the others, but if you can’t have some fun at Christmas, when can you?

      I had no idea you’d read my series. This means so much to me!

      Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Samantha. It really was fun. I didn’t want to go quite so dark for a change. Not everyone was happy about that, but I had fun.

      Reply
  8. Avatar

    Congrats on the new story. I’m never organized enough to have a holiday themed story ready in time for the holidays.

    Reply
    • JH

      I’ve never been, either! This has been on my “to write” list for at least three years, but I finally did it.

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    Congrats with the new release, J.H.! Love the cover and the title. Did you know I used your cover artist for Plunge? 🙂 You have been busy as always, but it seems pretty rewarding, especially the classes – and more to come. I think it’s a fantastic idea to keep blogging once a month during IWSG. Happy Holidays!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Liesbet. No, I didn’t know! I wouldn’t have known that was Kelly’s work, but I don’t think I’ve seen her do another memoir cover. I hope you had a great holiday!

      Reply
  10. Avatar

    Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!

    I’m a little behind on my NaNoWriMo goal. Stretching my NaNoWrimo into December. So I’m currently at the halfway point. Hoping to finish my writing my story by the end of 2020. Ending the year on a good note.

    Congrats on the release!

    Reply
    • JH

      That’s still amazing, Lidy. I really hope you reached your goal.

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Reply
  11. Avatar

    Looks like some good classes. I love the Santa cat image!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks! I have a lot of teaching and writing experience, so it was a good fit to teach at McNally. 🙂

      Reply
  12. Avatar

    I’m glad you’re continuing your newsletter with the IWSG post. Your posts are always filled with helpful information and inspiration. I’ll be reading your Carol of Ghosts this weekend. All Best!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Mary. You’re always so kind. And thanks for the amazing review!

      Reply
  13. Avatar

    Congratulations on the new release and you successful NaNo class!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Shannon! It was a blast. We all met a month later, and everyone showed up. I was super impressed!

      Reply
  14. Avatar

    Glad you’re still with us. Congrats on your new release. Hope to hear from you next month.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Diane. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Avatar

    So glad Alex convinced you to stick around. Even though I’ve been in a reading slump, I was happy to pick up your holiday release. Too bad I work evenings, even with the time difference, I’d miss these cool classes. Glad you’re still teaching and enjoying it. Happy Holidays.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Toi. Your support and encouragement has always meant so much to me. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

      Reply
  16. Avatar

    So from now on you’re going to do monthly posts? That is actually better than many other writers do.

    Reply
    • JH

      Yes, that’s the idea. At least until I’m able to focus on fiction full time. I don’t know if I’ll be able to write those long posts about unsolved cases, etc. anymore. Guess we’ll see where it goes.

      Reply

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