Hunkering Down to Write

I am slowly creeping back up to speed on the writing after the busy summer. I have the items gathered around me that I need to maneuver Hawke around the Hells Canyon area in Idaho. And as this story is progressing, the person(s) he’s following may just cross the river into Oregon.

The idea to have the murderer slip across the river and into the area where the woman Hawke is soft on, keeps knocking at my brain. I’m not ready to have him make any drastic changes in his lifestyle and I like keeping the readers guessing about the outcome of Hawke and Dani, but putting her in danger ups the need for Hawke to stop the person he’s tracking.

If you really want to know what goes on inside my head as I’m “stewing and brewing” a new project, leave a comment below saying you would like to know, and I’ll put some of my wandering thoughts up here on the next Shandra book as I start stewing and brewing it.

Right now I’m all in on Chattering Blue Jay the next Hawke book. I’m trying to find photos I took while jet boating the Snake to use for the cover. It has to be one that we can put a Blue Jay on and make it look natural. That could be a feat I hope my cover designer can tackle.

Up above I have a photo of some of the items I’m using to “map” out this book and Hawke’s trek through the Hells Canyon. I would be lost without good resources to “see” where my character is going and discovering obstacles in their way.

Snake River

I love Google Earth for seeing areas up close. It helps a lot to decide which direction the characters are going to head and what they will encounter. I brought a lodge that is along the river into one scene. I didn’t know it was there until I used Google Earth and spotted it. Then I looked up and they had a website. This provided me with photos to see the area better and decide how to proceed with this discovery.

That’s the best part about writing. Not always having a blueprint and going with the things I come up against and figuring out how they can be used in the story and how the characters will react to them.

Vacations Turn into Books

 In January my husband and I took a trip to Reno, Nevada. I had the highest bid for a two-night stay at the Peppermill in a silent auction the year before.

I set it up, knowing we also had an amount we could spend at the spa. All the way there I all I could think of was a nice body massage and one for hubby. We went into the spa and discovered we didn’t have enough to cover two massages. I said we could still get two but frugal hubby said, no. I signed up for a massage and my husband had a gentlemen’s pedicure.

This was a fancy spa. I entered an area just for women to change and then I could join my husband in a co-ed area with a hot tub, sauna, and a quiet lounge where we waited for our treatments. I had expected my husband to join me in the lounge, but he didn’t arrive before they called me back to the room for my massage. It turned out he’d been taking a tour of the three floors that made up the spa.

I was taken to a room and asked to slip under the sheet on the massage table. I did as I was asked. As I laid there face down, staring at the floor waiting for the masseuse to come back, my mind wandered in the direction it seems to go more and more these days. I thought, “I could be a dead body and no one would notice.” That, of course had my mind flying to all sorts of scenarios. The masseuse came in and started my massage. The whole time I was still figuring out how I could have a murder in a spa like the one I was at, and how to involved Shandra Higheagle the main character in my mystery series.

By the time my massage was over, I had the story starting in my head. After dressing, I went out and started asking the people at the sign-in desk a bunch of questions about how a spa that size was run, while I waited for my husband to come out of the men’s side.

Back home, I started coming up with a method of murder that would be plausible and started the book Toxic Trigger-point. The book opens with Shandra opening a door to a massage room and seeing someone face down on the table. She thinks she’s got the wrong room and waits in the hall. She and the masseuse discover the woman on the table is dead.

I love when I can work something I’ve experienced into a book. I’ll be taking a jet boat ride in a couple of weeks to learn more about the Hells Canyon area to set a Gabriel Hawke book there. My need to know the settings for my books will also take me to Iceland this month. My goal is to have Hawke go there to teach or learn more about tracking on cold conditions. (watch for blogs and photos about both trips)

Another great thing about traveling, our 40th anniversary trip will be to Hawaii, where I hope to send Shandra for book #14.

Seeing the places I use as settings in books helps me to experience it not only through me but through my characters.

Life Cycles by Paty Jager

As with all things in life there needs to be change. And when change is a positive thing, then all is good.

I feel the change I am making in my writing life is going to make a happier me. We all know that being happy is the center of everything in a person’s life.

For those who haven’t followed my writing story, the first 2 novels I wrote were mysteries. I had been an avid reader of mystery novels and a passive reader of romance. But when I couldn’t find help perfecting the craft of writing mysteries, I turned to Romance Writers of America to learn writing craft and the business side of writing. I published 15 romance novels before I ventured into writing what I call Action Adventure or Romantic Suspense. I had such a fun time writing the three Isabella Mumphrey books that I had a hard time going back to writing westerns.

Then a mystery idea struck. Shandra Higheagle kept knocking on my brain and asking when I’d write her mystery series. 2014 I wrote the first three books in that series and published them in 2015. They were so well received that I kept right on writing them- I’m now at book #13 and I’ve started a second mystery series, the Gabriel Hawke Novels. These have been getting wonderful reviews and selling like I’ve never sold books before!

Because of the wonderful sales of the mystery series and the fact they have from the beginning been my favorite to read and write, I am going to only write the mystery books until, I either no longer want to write mystery or the sale of this genre takes a dive. At which time, I will pick back up writing the two western romance series I started- Silver Dollar Saloon and Tumbling Creek Ranch.

If you are one of my western romance readers, you might try my Shandra Higheagle mystery series. These are like a contemporary western romance only the romance is the second or third plot in the story. The main plot is the mystery.

Having told several friends of this and now you, my readers, I feel a huge boulder has been lifted from my shoulders and I am ready to take on these two mystery series with all my imagination and writing prowess.

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Imagination by Paty Jager

Photo taken in the evening

Everyone has an imagination, whether it’s wondering what an interesting person does for a living or how they live or looking at a cloud and seeing a dog, or face.

Imagination is a powerful thing. It can make a stormy night feel as if the roof will collapse or a dark, silent night think something is sneaking up on you. Or it can imagine you having a happy life with a person your are attracted to.

Some might say that the later is more like dreaming, but it is still imagination. Imagination can take you far if you allow it to grow from imagination into goals and goals into putting forth the effort to make it come true.

I have always had a vivid imagination. Until I started writing, I could envision horrible things happening to my husband when he was gone for days trucking or if someone coming to visit us was late, my mind would start conjuring up all kinds of catastrophes.

Once I let my imagination run rampant in a book, those “daydreams” of horror left me. I rarely think something bad has happened to any of my family because I put all that angst and worry into the characters in the books I write. 😉 I always new writing was therapy!

Right now my imagination is having a wonderful time plotting out several more Shandra Higheagle and Gabriel Hawke mysteries. I really believe mystery is my niche and I am enjoying the heck out of writing these books and having readers ask for more.

And now my imagination is placing my Gabriel Hawke books in a top list of police procedural books. We’ll see if I can make this imagination into a goal and a reality. If you’re read the books, please leave a review. The more reviews a book has the more visibility it gets when someone googles police procedural.

Murder of Ravens

Mouse Trail Ends

Rattlesnake Brother

The Hawke Soars Again by Paty Jager

Book 3 in the Gabriel Hawke Series is now available. Rattlesnake Brother was as hard to write as it was fun to write. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I’ve always loved reading and researching and this book gave me lots to research.

I had to learn more about hunting laws and regulations- specifically what happens when people don’t follow the laws. Then my niece who works in the realm of the law helped me with laws and lawyers and district attorney information.

I’m excited to have three more ideas for more Hawke books and the anticipation of writing them is what is driving me to get other books finished so I can write the next one.

Here is the information about Rattlesnake Brother:

Corrupt officials.

Illegal hunters.

Death to those who dare complain.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke encounters a hunter with an illegal tag. The name on the tag belongs to the Wallowa County District Attorney and the man holding the tag isn’t the public defender. 

As Hawke digs to find out if the DA is corrupt, the hunter’s body is found. Zeroing in on the DA, Hawke finds he has more suspects than the DA and more deaths than the hunter.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3JyooJ

So Much Going On! by Paty Jager

I found buttercup!

The winter seemed to lag and while I was busy writing and doing some kid sitting and book signings, it is now spring and I’m looking forward to late spring and early summer. I have some great opportunities for me as a write, you as a reader,and you as a writer. (I know I have people who are one or two or all three of these following my blog. 😉 )

First! Book 3 of the Gabriel Hawke series is releasing this week. I’ll put up the info here when it is live. This book while fun to write took a lot of brain power to keep in tradition with my twists in a mystery and to make it work with the title I’d already given the book. I usually wait until I have written part of a book before I title it but for some reason, with the Hawke books, I feel compelled to have the title and then make the book conform to the title. Weird- but it’s working. LOL

I’m excited to be a guest at a book club the end of April. It’s two hours from where I live. They picked Spirit of the Mountain as the book they are reading. There will be so many things I can talk about when I’m there not only about the book but other books they might like if they liked Wren and Himiin’s story.

May has two in-person events, I’m doing. On is May 17th in Asotin, WA. For part of a Cowboy Poetry and Country Music event. Four authors who write about the west, (me along with Kathy Moss, Lauralee Northcott, and Carmen Peone will be at the Asotin County Library from 10am – noon with a program tentatively called, Women Writing the West. I’ll have 15 minutes to talk, so I have to come up with something good and brief. 😉

Our usual booth at Sumpter

Later in the month- Memorial weekend to be exact, I’ll be set up at the Sumpter, OR Flea Market with Mary Vine for our usual book selling event. We have a new tent this year to help keep the wind and rain out, should the weather not be hospitable.

June is another busy month! I”ll be giving a workshop and signing books at The Frontier Writers Rendezvous a 2 day event June 7th & 8th in Canyon City, Oregon. There will be writing workshops, readings, and books. You can go to this link: https://oregonguidespublishing.com/fwc/ to see the great workshops and the times and authors who will be reading from their works. The workshops are $20 and the readings are free. I’ll be giving a workshop on Characterization- Making Your Characters Come to Life.

The other thing I am most excited about in June…. I’m going to Iceland!! The Authors Guild I belong to has a 6 day excursion to Iceland. It was a decent price and I could see Hawke going there for an international law enforcement conference and teaching a class on tracking. Not only will I be able to go to all the fabulous places the trip has included, I’ll be scoping out places to have Hawke venture to while ??? That’s what I’ll have to figure out while I’m there. Who dies and how he can use his tracking skills to help.

That’s what I have coming up in the next three months. What are your plans?

Pass It Along Giveaway

To help boost the number of sales for the first book of my new series, I’ve made a contest. All you have to do is share my book through the links below at your favorite social media and you’re name will go into rafflecopter for a chance to win autographed print copies of the first three books in the series and a $50 gift card.

the ancient indian art of tracking is his greatest strength... and also his biggest weakness.

Here are the rules:

Share Murder of Ravens with links below on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Bookbub, and Pinterest. Each time you share your name will go in the Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends on Jan. 31st. The winner will be announced here and contacted on February 5th.

At Goodreads add to TBR list

At Bookbub click and share

At twitter go to my page and share the tweet about the book Murder of Ravens

Go to my pinterest page and pin the book to your pinterest page

Visit my author FaceBook page and share the comment about the new release.

Click below to go to Rafflecopter and the links to get your points!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Gabriel Hawke

Gabriel Hawke LogoFish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke works in Wallowa County. It is in the NE Corner of Oregon and has a population of just over 7,000 people and covers 3,152 square miles

In my books, I use the same geographical area, but I’ve made some of the towns a bit larger than they really are and gave them names from old towns that had once been in the county. I’ve also populated the county with fictional people and businesses. Having grown up in the area, I didn’t want people to think I was writing about them. all of my characters and situations are figments of my imagination.

Hawke, who prefers to be called that rather than Gabriel, was born on the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho. After his parents divorced his mother moved to the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon where her family lived. Hawke is Nez Perce. His father’s people were of the treaty Nez Perce and his mother a descendant of the non-treaty Nez Perce.  Reading this series will teach you the difference and how it has affected Hawke’s way of thinking and life.

When I saw a photo of Adam Beach from the movie  “The Watchman’s Canoe”, I knew this was my prototype for Hawke.  He’s 52 years-old, divorced.  His wife left him when Hawke arrested her brother on drug charges. That’s when he decided living on his own and having no one to be responsible for, was the best option.

After a short stint in the military, Hawke returned and applied for the Oregon State Police Academy. He was accepted and after five years as a patrol trooper, he was able to get on with the Fish and Wildlife State Troopers as a Game Warden in Wallowa County.  Land that has remained dear to the Nez Perce. What propelled him into the Fish and Wildlife division was his master tracking skills that he’d learned from his grandfather.

It is his love of the Wallowa country, his tracking skills, and a keen sense of justice that propels him in the books in the series.

Hawke is introduced to my readers in book 12 of my Shandra Higheagle series, Homicide Hideaway releasing Jan. 4th.

MURDER OF RAVENS

1 GH Murder of Ravens 5x8The ancient Indian art of tracking is his greatest strength…

And also his biggest weakness.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke believes he’s chasing poachers.

However, he comes upon a wildlife biologist standing over a body that is wearing a wolf tracking collar.

He uses master tracker skills taught to him by his Nez Perce grandfather to follow clues on the mountain. Paper trails and the whisper of rumors in the rural community where he works, draws Hawke to a conclusion that he finds bitter.

Arresting his brother-in-law ended his marriage, could solving this murder ruin a friendship?

Universal Buy Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxZwMP

Book 2, Mouse Trail Ends will be on pre-order in January and releases February 20th.

MOUSE TRAIL ENDS

Parents are killed while on a camping trip.

Daughter is missing.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke remembers coming across the missing family in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. When he finds their camp, the parents have been shot. All the clues show the girl is on the run. Using his tracking skills, Hawke gets closer to the girl and discovers someone is also trailing him. Believing it is whoever killed the parents and wants to silence the child, he moves faster to catch up to the wily nine- year-old.

Can he reach the girl without compromising her or will his need to save her put others he knows and cares for in danger?

Book 3 in the Gabriel Hawke series, Rattlesnake Brothers, will release March 20th.

RATTLESNAKE BROTHERS

Corrupt officials.

Death to those who dare complain.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke encounters a hunter with an illegal tag. The name on the tag belongs to the Wallowa County District Attorney and the man holding the tag isn’t the public official.  As Hawke digs to find out if the DA is corrupt the hunter’s body is found.  Zeroing in on the DA, Hawke finds his hands tied by both the county and the State Police.

Being suspended doesn’t stop Hawke from digging deep into the lives of the county officials and dodging a murderer out to stop his investigation.

Murder of Ravens blog tour

tour banner

The next ten days the first book in the Gabriel Hawke Novel series, Murder of Ravens, will be highlighted either in a review or a blog post at the following blogs. At each one you can enter for a chance to win a signed print copy of Murder of Ravens.

MURDER OF RAVENS TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 15 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 17 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

January 17 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

January 18 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 18 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

January 20 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT

January 21 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW

January 22 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW

January 24 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

January 24 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Here’s How It Happened – REVIEW

January 25 – My Reading Journeys – CHARACTER GUEST POST

Homicide Hideaway Release Day!

Today is the release of book 13 in the Shandra Higheagle mystery series, Homicide Hideaway. Wow! I can’t believe I’ve written 13 books in this series and the readers keep asking for more. I’ve loved writing Shandra and Ryan’s journey from him thinking she might have killed a gallery owner to in this book they are on their honeymoon. And oops! They come across a body.

While this book not only solves a murder mystery, it also introduces my readers to a new character who will have his own series debut on the 20th of this month.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke, known as Hawke to everyone, is a Nez Perce/ Cayuse American Indian. As you can see, I am staying with my Native American theme with this series as well. There are so few main characters in books, movies, and TV shows that are American Indian that it feeds my inner need for justice to have such a character.

In Homicide Hideaway, Shandra discovers yet another distant relative and bonds quickly. Perhaps too quickly, since her cousin has a good motive for killing the person.

Love… Marriage… Murder

Less than twelve hours after arriving at a remote hunting lodge for their honeymoon, Shandra Higheagle and Detective Ryan Greer find a body. Shandra’s cousin had quarreled with the man earlier, and the clues point to her as being the murderer.

Fish and Wildlife State Trooper Gabriel Hawke, arrives and immediately takes a dislike to Shandra’s cousin. But he is willing to work with Shandra and Ryan to discover the truth.

For a remote hunting lodge, the place becomes overrun with suspicious guests. Shandra’s dreams and Hawke’s tracking skills soon discover the cause of the drunk’s death.

Universal Buy Link : https://www.books2read.com/u/3nYweo

I’m celebrating this release at Karen’s Killer Fixin’s with a recipe. You can go here and check it out.
 https://wp.me/p4pimt-5gj

And you can now get Book 8, Fatal Fall in audio at most audio book vendors.

Book eight of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series
Avarice…Family…Murder

When the doctor is a no-show for her appointment, Shandra Higheagle becomes wrapped up in another murder. The death of the doctor’s elderly aunt has everyone questioning what happened and who’s to blame. Shandra’s dreams soon tell her she’s on the right path, but also suggests her best friend could be in grave danger.

Detective Ryan Greer knows not even an illness will keep Shandra from sneaking around, and he appreciates that. Her insight is invaluable. When she becomes embroiled deeper in the investigation, he stakes out the crime scene and waits for the murder to make a tell-all mistake. 

But will he be able to act fast enough to keep Shandra or her friend from being the next victim?