Tuesday’s Teaser with Donna Schlachter

Double Jeopardy

 

Today I have Donna Schlachter talking about her new book, Double Jeopardy Welcome, Donna.

How would you describe your main character(s)?

Becky is naïve about a lot of things, but she loves her daddy. Despite her mother’s warnings, she heads off to Colorado certain she’s going to find what she’s looking for.

Zeke lives, eats, and breathes cattle ranching. He won’t fail his parents, and he won’t lose his legacy. And nobody better get in his way. Not even that pretty girl from New York City.

What is the problem your character(s) face in your book?

Becky wants to keep her father’s dream alive, but she doesn’t have a clue how to go about doing that. She also vows to find her father’s killer, something else she’s ill-equipped for.

Zeke wants to save his ranch, but for that, he needs money. He’s not afraid of hard work, but falling for his friend’s daughter—well, that’s something else. And to make matters worse, she’d make a poor rancher’s wife.

What would you like your readers to know about your character(s)?

They are just like us, full of dreams and ideas about how life should be. And when the truth hits them square in the face, they don’t know where to turn. But God doesn’t let them wallow in their despair. He is ever present, leading them to a good outcome in Him.


Read a free chapter excerpt from Double Jeopardy.

Dead. Dead as her dreams and her hopes.

Dead as a doornail, as her mother would say.

Just thinking about the woman drove a steel rod through Becky Campbell’s slumping back.

Perched on a chair in the sheriff’s office, she drew a deep breath, lifted her shoulders, and raised her chin a notch. She would not be like the woman who birthed her. Pretty and pampered. A silly socialite finding nothing better to do with her days than tea with the mayor’s spinster daughter or bridge with the banker’s wife.

No, she’d much rather be like her father. Adventuresome. Charismatic. Always on the lookout for the next big thing.

Now her breath came in a shudder, and down went her shoulders again. She tied her fingers into knots before looking up at the grizzled lawman across the desk from her. “There’s no chance there’s been a mistake in identification, is there?”

He slid open the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a pocket watch, a lapel pin, and a fountain pen, which he pushed across the desk to her. “He was pretty well-known around here. I’m really sorry, miss.”

Becky picked up the timepiece and flicked open the cover. Inside was a photograph of her family, taken about ten years earlier when she was a mere child of eight and Father stayed around long enough to sit still for the portrait. Her mother, petite and somber, and she, all ringlets and ribbons. She rubbed a finger across the engraving. To R. Love M. Always.

Yes, this was his.

And the lapel pin, a tiny silver basket designed to hold a sprig of baby’s breath or a miniature rosebud—a wedding gift from her mother twenty years before.

She looked up at the sheriff, tears blurring her vision. “And his ring?”

The lawman shook his head. “No ring. Not on his body or in his shack.”

“But he always wore it. Never took it off.”

He shrugged. “Maybe he lost it. Or sold it.”

“I doubt he’d do either. My mother gave it to him when I was born.”

She peered at him. Had he stolen her father’s ring?

Or maybe Sheriff Freemont was correct. Maybe something as important as her birth hadn’t meant much to her father. Maybe she didn’t either. Was that why he left?


Get your copy here:

https://shoplpc.com/double-jeopardy/

https://www.amazon.com/Double-Jeopardy-Donna-Schlachter/dp/1645260836

Monday’s Manuscript with Donna Schlachter

The Opening Line

By Donna Schlachter

Readers are easily bored.

Hopefully that opening line caught your attention and did at least three things. The following can be applied to any

written material, whether fiction or non-fiction, short story, epic novel, or flash fiction.

Introduces the topic: the opening sentence establishes a contract with the reader, lets them know what’s coming, sets the tone, and weeds out those who aren’t really interested in what you have to say. Because this one thing is true–not everybody will be part of your target audience, and the quickest way to lose a reader forever is to promise something you don’t deliver.

Causes questions to arise: if you tell the reader everything they need to know in the opening line, they don’t need to read the next 200 words or 200 pages. Instead, your opening line should cause questions to arise in the reader’s mind. In this case: why are readers easily bored? How can I keep them from getting bored?

Makes the reader want to read more: When readers invest time and energy in your writing, they are less likely to give

up, which offers you the opportunity to demonstrate what an excellent writer you are and what a compelling story you can weave. This, in turn, will transform your readers into fans and influencers for your products.

In Summary: you want your opening line to give a hint of what the story is about; cause the reader to ask at least one question that cannot be answered unless they continue reading. If you’ve accomplished that, you have written a great opening line. You do this by starting with action, identify the main character or situation the character finds herself in, and foreshadow what’s to come.


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About Donna

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.