Sunday, July 31, 2022

Secrets & Scents - Day 4

Counting two days of writing as one.

Started Chapter 7 on Saturday – but had a lot of things going, so only got 300 words in. So today, Sunday after getting home from church, I powered through and completed two more chapters. The novel is now over 12k words and I feel I’m really making progress.

Here’s what’s happening in the story right now.

The ‘Big Mystery Thing’ has made its appearance. Remember, I’ve left the ‘one-and-done’ plotline for a bit to flashback to the how Kelli & Jo decide to open their book and candle shop. We’ll, they’ve rented an old storefront and the building they are in has a mysterious (even spooky or secretive) history.

In the course of their remodel, they discover Big Mystery Thing (BMT) which causes one MC to freak out a bit. Part of this BMT has to do with a prediction or prophecy which is a bit disconcerting. One of the MCs is a skeptic, remember, and so poo-poos the message as a poorly written fortune cookie note.

Now for the story to move forward, I need to downplay that BMT a bit or else the MCs will get stuck worrying about the doom and gloom message and not open their bookstore! Oops, spoiler alert. Okay, so Kelli is a bit worried about the note and Jo is trying to placate her.

That works to a degree, but another character who has a tremendous calming effect on everyone makes an appearance in the story at this point. Fr. Emilio Aguilera. He’s one of my favorite characters and has a strong recurring role in my Ma Tutt books.

Fr. Emilio drops by Kelli & Jo’s house and brings them some cake, a small gift, and assuring words. By the end of Chapter 7, Kelli has been talked down from the edge of the cliff and all’s right with the world. Forward with buying inventory for the store!

The next day, K&J are excited

The scenes in Chapters 7 & 8, by the way, are referenced in Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice. Since the timeline in Secrets & Scents overlaps with Secret Spice (which happen over the 4th of July weekend), I thought it would be cool to provide an extended Easter Egg for readers of both books. This was really run to establish and make sure the details lined up.

I even saved on writing new words a bit by cribbing from Secret Spice! (grin)

So what I have here, if it isn’t clear by now, are two separate series that interlock. Like Connelly’s Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller books. You can read the Bosch books in order, or you can read the Haller books in order. Or you can read the Bosch/Haller books in order. That is, the Haller books will fit within the larger Bosch narrative.

When it comes to my books, here’s the chronological order if you want to follow all the adventures of Sugar Pine Station. That’s probably what I’ll call both series – the Sugar Pine Station Mysteries…

Book 1 – Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut (Ma & Mack #1)

Book 2 – Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice (Ma & Mack #2) [available for pre-order]

Book 3 – Secrets & Scents (Kelli & Jo #1) [currently writing]

Book 4 – (unwritten novel) (Kelli & Jo #2) [on the drawing board]

Book 5 – Ma Tutt’s Christmas Cookies (Ma & Mack #3 / Kelli & Jo #3) [outlined]

Does this make sense? It does in my mind, at least. Now to pull it off by writing all these novels!

Today's Wrting TipLet the characters’ personalities develop and guide the story so that they stay within character (readers’ expectations as to who they should act). If they step out of character, make sure it’s plausible.

Progress: Writing Secrets & Scents... 

Introduction – Part 1: Launching a New Series 
Introduction – Part 2: The Missing Novel 
Day 1 - 3100 (Chps 1 & 2) - Total: 3,100 words 
Day 2 - 3300 (Chps 3 & 4) - Total: 6,400 words
Day 3 - 3150 (Chps 5 & 6) - Total: 9,550 words
Day 4 - 3100 (Chps 7 & 8) - Total: 12,650 words


Here's a placeholder image for Secrets & Scents - A Kelli & Jo Candle Shop Mystery by yours truly. I'll be launching a Kickstarter Campaign in September, 2022, for cozy mystery fans to acquire their exclusive pre-release edition of my latest novel with a brand new, professionally designed cover. Watch for details. 

In the meantime, if you become a Patreon Subscriber, you'll be able to read Secrets & Scents as I write it! New chapters of my WIP every week, plus a backlist novel a month and bonus short stories exclusive to patrons.

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Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)