Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Hello Dear Readers,

I owe you a massive apology. I can’t believe I haven’t been back here in eighteen days! There’s (almost) no excuse for that, but I have been really busy making sure I hit my rewrite deadline at the end of this month. I’ve also been swamped with freelance work in my (ha ha) spare time, as well as working on an exciting project that I hope I’ll be able to tell you about soon.

In the meantime, the lovely aspiring author A.M. Swan tagged me to participate in the Lucky 7 meme, which is forcing me (gasp!) to unveil part of my manuscript a little early. I’m supposed to post seven lines from page 77, so here goes:

This chapter finds my protagonist struggling to find both rational and not-so-rational explanations for what is happening to her. At this point, she’ll try just about anything. The following seven lines are a portion of a conversation between Jo and a medium who is doing a smoke reading for her.

excerpt from Dragonfly Summer

A fire, however small, would push my landlord’s already frazzled patience to the limit. I reached for my coffee, just in case I needed to dowse it, but then the flame settled down. It burned brightly, casting a warm yellow glow upon the room.

Agnes handed me the square of paper. “I need you to think about what’s been happening here in this house. Any questions you have, hold them in your mind as you run the paper over the flame.”

“What?” My poker face vanished at the suggestion of deliberately starting a blaze.

“Don’t worry. It won’t burn. And the smoke reading will tell us what we want to know. Try to make figure eights over the flame, and move quickly. If you hold it still, it might catch fire.”

Now for the basic rules of this meme:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.

4. Tag 7 authors

5. Let them know

So, now I have to tag seven more people. And here they are:

1) Ev Bishop

2) Laura Best

3) Kim Mitchell

4) Mystic Mom

5) Susie Moloney

6) Lisa S.

7) Michelle Davidson Argyle

Have fun! I hope this early spring is treating you well. (And if you don’t have an early spring in your part of the world, my apologies.)

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Mystic_Mom

    Okay, now I need to find seven others to tag! That could be the tricky part…Thanks for including me!

  2. Story Teller

    You’re very welcome, Shanyn! The tricky part for me was deciding which one of your dozen blogs to link to. 😉

  3. laura best

    This sounds like fun.I’m game. I say that not knowing what awaiting me on page 77…lol

  4. Story Teller

    Great, Laura! So many bloggers hate doing these things, so I purposely selected people who aren’t jaded.

  5. A.M. Swan

    Awesome. Great excerpt. Definitely makes me want to read more!

  6. Story Teller

    Thanks, A.M. I still have to leave my comment on your blog, but I enjoyed yours as well. Very interesting premise that is definitely up my alley!

  7. Ev Bishop

    Oh yay, Holli! I’ll definitely play. Thanks for tagging me. (I just didn’t see it earlier, because I had my daughter up visiting and I was offline for–gasp!–a whole week.)

    Great excerpt, btw. Very grabbing!

    And I can’t wait to get a sneak preview of what Susie Moloney’s working on. I will definitely be traipsing over to her blog.

  8. Story Teller

    Thanks, Ev. I tried to let you know, but WordPress isn’t letting me comment on any of its blogs these days.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your excerpt, but as for Susie…unfortunately, I don’t know if she’ll participate. She’s very busy these days. 🙂


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