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Sunday, July 10, 2016


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Discovering My Story, Rooftop Angels

I never know where my next story will originate. I believe world geography connects everything around us. I was a geo-teacher for National Geographic where we taught students 5 very important themes: Location, Place, Human Environmental Interaction, Movement and Region. This training brought such a love for the world community to my life that I tied it to everything I taught, wrote and read. In my mind’s eye the earth became a series of dominoes, balancing precariously on a shaky table where every action forced a reaction.

So when my father gave me one of his National Geographic magazines I found an article about the Wakhan Valley in Northern Afghanistan. As of today I think I’ve read it some fifteen times, and each time I’m captivated. After reading everything I could find plus watching numerous YouTube videos about this amazing culture I just had to include them in my Enigma Series. The things I learned about Afghanistan cemented my love of Central Asia. Its raw beauty and ability to survive wave after of invasion convinced me to put it on my bucket list. Rooftop Angels was born from a need to create a journey others could share and maybe begin to investigate for themselves, what is Afghanistan. Want to see more? Check out my blog http://www.tierneyjames.com/blog where I investigate the amazing land nobody knows.


When Tessa Scott wakes with blood on her hands in a rat infested shack in Afghanistan, she discovers six orphan girls and the Undersecretary of State counting on her for protection. Confused at how she got there or why a smoldering Black Hawk helicopter has crashed outside the village, forces her into yet another adventure of cat and mouse with the Taliban who intend to kidnap them. With the help of a Kyrgyz tribesman and his men, they elude the danger only to discover their protection comes at a price which involves marriage to the leader. An unexpected chance at new love outweighs the secret Tessa must now carry forever. Meanwhile Captain Hunter, an Enigma agent, desperately searches for her before she disappears on the rooftop of the world. A race against time and ruthless drug lords, who work with the U.S. government, create obstacles which change Tessa’s life in a way she never expected.

Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is now working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him.

Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller novel, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating. 

Twitter: TierneyJames1

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

2nd Quarter Contest Photo

This is for members of Sleuths' Ink only. Our 2nd quarterly contest will be to write a story of 750 words - 1000 words from this picture.  Remember, the story MUST INCLUDE A CRIME.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

April 9th Speaker - CARA BRISTOL

USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has published more than twenty-five erotic romance titles. Her most recent book is Captured by the Cyborg, which has hit the top 100 list for science fiction romance on Amazon. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Carabristol.com.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Almost Over


JANO 2016 is almost over. Thirty-one days go by so fast. Some of our participants made the goal of 50,000 words. They have a novel under their belt. Not a polished, ready to publish novel, but a great start. Others are still typing their fingers to the bone trying to reach the end. And still others have thrown in the towel.

But, no matter where they ended up this month, they are all winners. They took the challenge to write a novel. Lot's of people say they want to write a novel, but never do. 

As chairperson, I want to thank you for signing up and writing your stories. I also want to thank the volunteers who set up virtual write-ins and donated prizes (see our donor list to the right). It takes a village. 

Don't stop here. If you are done with your novel, put it away for a few weeks, then pull it out and start polishing it. Fill in those plot holes, take out those repetitive words, add description. Repeat. Then, don't let it sit in a drawer. Submit it. Yes, you'll probably get some rejections - we all do. But, who knows, you could be the next J.K. Rowling. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

JANO 2016
About JANO
During January, 2010, Sleuths’ Ink held it’s first-ever JANO challenge. Modeled after the popular National Novel Writing Month in November, JANO begins in, you guessed it, January.
Participants are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel during January. Join us and kick off the new year with a novel in progress! 

Two good reasons we picked January: 

1) You get an extra day to write. To complete 50,000 words during January, you only need to write 1,613 words a day.

2) The holidays are over. Winter has set in. What better way to spend a long, dreary month than writing a novel?

Over the past few years, participants from across the nation entered our challenge. Many of them reached their 50,000 goal, with a few actually receiving a contract for their completed JANO project.


Sleuths' Ink will hold its Seventh Annual JANO beginning January 1, 2016. Please join us and kick off the new year by writing a new novel or adding new words to a work in progress. And it's free! 

Rules: There may be no actual writing on your new JANO novel until January 1. If you are going to  add words to a work in progress, we can only count the words added after January 1. It is up to you to keep those word counts separate. You may plot your novel and create character sketches before January 1, 2016. On that date, write like mad (no editing) the entire month in order to reach the 50,000-word goal.  

To celebrate JANO members’ successes, Sleuths’ Ink will sponsor a party February 5, 2016. Details are forthcoming. As always, during the party, prizes will be awarded to our JANO 2016 participants.  See categories below.  In addition, we're giving away a $100 grand prize to one lucky JANO participant at our annual December holiday party.  The winner of this grand prize must be a Sleuths’ Ink member in good standing as of February 1, 2016 and must have written a minimum of 25,000 words in 2016.


  1. First to 50,000 words in January
  2. Second to 50,000 words in January
  3. Third to 50,000 words in January
  4. Best Title
  5. Best First Paragraph 
  6. Most Unique Character Name
  7. Best Blurb – 100 words or less  

    KEEP IN MIND: a Blurb is often used in your query letter to sell your story to an editor or what is found on the back of the book to grab your potential reader’s attention.
 Participant MUST have written at least 10,000 words to be eligible for prizes
  • Must be on the janowriters yahoo email loop. (see below)
  • No acceptances after MIDNIGHT January 31, 2016 deadline. NO exceptions!!!
Attendees of the Wrap-Up Party judge the last four categories on February 5th, 2016 and prizes will be awarded accordingly. You do not have to be in attendance to win, but we encourage everyone within driving distance to come join the FUN!
JANO is sponsored by Sleuths’ Ink, a mystery and suspense writers’ non-profit organization in Springfield, Missouri. JANO 2016 Chairperson: Wanda Fittro

Monday, November 30, 2015


Cait London
Please welcome one of our most well known authors, Cait London.
Thank you, Sleuth’s Ink for inviting me. I’m a happy member of this mystery group, which presents unusual, helpful programs and good fellowship. For years, Shirley McCann, V.J. Schultz and others have built and maintained this writer's group. I enjoy it very much.

Tell us about your writing journey.

2016 will be the 30th anniversary of my first published book. I started with an agent, Ray Peekner, and with Berkley Publishers in a category line called Second Chance at Love. From there, I had 4 more agents, including Curtis Brown and Wm Morris. Several historical romances for Berkley and Dell followed. At the same time I wrote category romances for Harlequin.
While still writing for Harlequin, I wrote romantic suspense for HarperCollins. Most of my career has been writing for two traditional publishers at the same time. With copy edits and galleys going back-and-forth, this was not easy. Add in the old-style promotion we used to do, such as traveling to speaking engagements, signing books, etc. and it’s a busy schedule. Some writers are still doing this now, but the Internet has changed that picture dramatically. During this frenzy of writing, publishing, promoting, I was also a single mother raising 3 daughters.

Over the years, I've had best sellers and received awards. Harlequin and HarperCollins are still selling my Cait London books.
Can you tell us a little about what you are doing now?

I am now dealing with my back list and working on new projects. 

Acquiring back list rights is not easy, yet it is like real estate and valuable in different ways. Publishers want to hold rights and so do some agents. This is why I recommend scanning legal agreements for later reference. Moving forward with your back list needs to be considered carefully. Choices have to be made: Do you update older books, spending time and money on them, or leave them and move forward. I love my books and I wanted them out in readers' hands.

I am a DIYer. Learning and doing self publishing took time. I’ve always been regimented, but shifting lanes to Indy publishing hasn’t been easy. Taking on the business end of publishing is a big job; it isn’t for everyone. The learning curve is steep. “Each to his own” rule applies. However, services can be hired. If you do hire, make certain those services are the quality you need and deserve. 
 What has inspired you lately? 
In early October this year, I attended a professional’s only conference, Novelists Inc. {http://ninc.com}This conference is unusual because it’s all leading edge information. It’s mostly Indy geared now, though many members are “Hybrids” writing for traditional/legacy houses and Indy publishing; no agents or traditional publishers are featured.
 NINC impacted my plans for 2016 and forward. Right now I’m listening to Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn {http://TheCreativePenn.com} podcast, and give it high marks. This podcast does not deal with how to write, but how to market and balance your creative times with necessary promotion. There are also interviews with people who are successful in promotion/copy writing (blurbs/ads etc.) One of the sessions dealt with dictating your books. I’ve used Dragon successfully with my PC for articles and blogs. (At one time, I had 3 blogs AND a full blown website.) I’m in a creative/fertile “nesting” period right now, writing away and learning.

What does the future hold for Cait London?

My plans for 2016 include:

  1. Get back into dictation.
  2. Collect all the articles I’ve written in the last 30 years about how to write and stash them in a folder for a potential book. We need more of those, don’t we? (To understand that last question, know that I have won awards for humor.) However: I highly recommend Dwight Swain’s Techniques of Best Selling Writers. Study it, mystery writers.
  3. Complete my book list {http://caitlondon.blogspot.com/p/books.html} up on my website {http://caitlondon.com} and linked. This is challenging.
  4. Switch my full website name domain to something I can manage for now.
  5. Indy publish a new completed book that is currently with my copy editor. Finish the WIP. Write the 3rd/4th Novelette in a series, lift a free short series to Wattpad. (Thank you, Shirley McCann, for pushing me into Shorts.)
  6. Publish more back list. This includes getting ISBN, formatting, and covers.
  7. Covers: More consistent looks. Work with designers (I like artistic filters).
  8. Review of my current published books’ metadata. I just heard this: Constantly review. We learn as we go. Or we should. Makes sense.
  9. Redo my Amazon author profile and link my out of print/reverted rights - traditional/legacy books with my own Indy books.
  10. Do some i-Book coupons, some free books, and some Goodreads giveaways.
  11. Take more online courses, re: marketing on Facebook.
  12. A friend and I are considering meeting for a formal brainstorming session. Each brings to the table 5 things about their WIP for which they need help. Time is equalized. That equal time is an essential agreement, or someone dominates and someone comes away frustrated.
  13. More stepping outside the usual, i.e. attending NINC - testing what works. I might even draft up a business plan. (A little humor, you know.)

Now let me ask you: What are your writing/publishing plans for 2016?

Thanks Cait for sharing some of your insights and knowledge with us.  
Please visit her website {http://caitlondon.com} and join her e-newsletter
{ http://mad.ly/signups/105014/join}. Giveaways and contests, you know, plus what I’m doing—like crocheting and painting, which will turn up in new books/shorts.
Link to her Amazon Author page