Wednesday morning, while trying to figure out what to write for this blog, I played on Facebook and did a bit of work with our Word By Word Blog that has undergone a re-do. I may write about that next week. But when I stared at the blank page, I realized I should bring you up to date on my Work in Progress, otherwise known as WIP.

To begin with the title has undergone several name changes. It started off as SANTA AND THE BALLOT BOX. The book is set in New Hampshire, but when I did some research I discovered the election to the Board of Selectmen has to happen in November and not December when I originally wanted it. I should’ve realized that to begin with, but oh, well. Since last fall when I began this book, it’s been under the SANTA AND THE BALLOT BOX TITLE. That’s how it’s saved on my computer.

Toward the end of the first rough draft a couple of months ago, I realized there was a whole bunch in this story about compromising. So I settled on THE COMPROMISE.

I lived with that for a bit as I started doing my word search where I go through the whole book 75 different times looking for my favorite overused words and phrases. For instance, the word “so.” I’d used it 197 times in an almost 70 K book. By the time I went through looking for that highlighted word, I eliminated and changed words to end up using it only 56 times. It’s all those times we say, “I’m so hungry.” That “so” is not needed. The ones I left were in situations like: “So what did you decide to do?” or “So not okay to go there.” Using so this way is also okay. “I’d like to take you for a cup of coffee or tea so we can discuss our different perspectives.” You get the idea.

Anyway it was while going through that tedious, but necessary process which I’ve only begun, when I realized I didn’t have just one compromise, but a number of them. So now. Drum Roll, please…..The title is:


Unless I change it to Saving the Green. And I probably need a secondary title. ??? BTW here’s the blurb, which I just wrote. Did things totally out of order on this book. 🙂 Feedback would be appreciated.

Widowed, shop keeper, and transplanted Texan Jessica Allen fights to protect the green in the New Hampshire town of Tidbury, settled by her husband’s family.  She’s angry to learn the developers plan to use Worley Construction, a company she holds responsible for her husband’s death. When a member of the board of selectmen is murdered, family and friends encourage Jessica to run for the seat. Will threats force her to compromise her principles?
          Developer Jeff Hudson wants to build a retirement center on the village green despite Jessica’s opposition. He believes he can convince her there’s room for the center and all the town’s activities. But has he partnered with an unsafe builder? How much money will he lose if he breaks the contract to please Jessica? Will Jessica’s position on the board of selectmen cause a conflict of interest and keep them apart? Is it too late for Jeff and Jessica to find love the second time around? And will more people have to die?

I will spend the rest of this month and maybe next going over this long list and rewording. It’s painful but has to be done. LOL I’ve also got several pages that have to either be removed or majorly rewritten because after setting up a situation, I ended up not writing the following scenes that way. You know I’ve said I “pantsed” this book more than any other. And so sometimes, the words just flow and then they don’t match up. LOL I actually started checking the words and phrases because I dread so much trying to fix this glitch.

Now, I’m also going to be looking for a new way to do my covers. My wonderful Cover Artist, Charlotte Volnek who has done all my books, but she has gone out of the cover business as her regular day job now takes up all her time. I’m so sorry, but grateful for being able to work with her since 2013 when Muse It Up Publishing released my first book VERMONT ESCAPE. Charlie was super to work with, and I love her covers. Thank you, Charlie. But now I’m looking for what/who do work with next.

100 Covers is a group I’ve discovered. A bit more than I’ve paid for in the past, but I like their work and recognize other authors who they’ve done covers for. They’ll do the e-cover, and the print cover, and give me a couple of things I can use in PR. I need to get started on this, too. Here’s what I played around with on Canva using the old title. But the cover is so important, I don’t need to do this myself.

Thanks to my friend and author Susan H. Vaughan for the wonderful winter pic which is perfect for one of the scenes in my book.

Overall, I’m shifting the focus from Romantic Suspense (which I never really wrote in the standard way, but I didn’t know what to call what I write. LOL) Now I say I write Seasoned Romance with Suspenseful threads, events, happenings, motifs ??? I don’t have the right wording yet. Perhaps those of you who’ve read my books, can suggest a better wording.

So that brings you up to speed with the WIP—COMPROMISE. By June or before I should be looking for Beta Readers.

I hope your spring is going well. Do any of you still have snow? We’ve got a 90 degree day forecast for later this week. I’m not kidding, and I’m not looking forward to that. It’s April, for crying out loud, I shouldn’t have to turn on the AC! How many of you have gotten your vaccinations? Isn’t it an incredibly freeing feeling? Be safe and continue to wear your masks. As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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11 responses to “WIP UPDATE

  1. I’m thrilled you’re getting so close to completing your book, Compromise. I like that title. My villain word is just. I just can’t stop using it even if I am aware I overuse it! I didn’t know Charlie had a full time job besides the cover art. Good for her, but sad you have to find another cover designer. Yes, we have our shots and will be returning to Michigan this weekend where the cases are surging. But I am confident we’ll be fine. Not like last year when we made our trip north not knowing if we could get in to the state, whether there would be places open to grab dinnner or even if the rest areas were open. What a year! Stay safe and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, JQ. I remember your trip last year. Had to be harrowing. So much better with shots in the arms! I wish I just had just. LOL I seem to create a new one or two for each book. It’s like I get a handle on a couple and then add a few more. The joys of being an author. 🙂 “So” lucky to get to do this. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in on the title. 🙂


  2. I think you are a wonderful mystery writer. 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed the mystery aspects of your stories. The book sounds interesting. Something I would like to read.

    If/when I finish my next book, I am going to use a photograph that I tweek with filters, like I have my latest covers. The photo you have pictured is nice.

    Good luck on this next book. I’m sure it will be great.

    (It will be in the 40s here next week.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. I know you’ve used some of Ken’s photos with some of your books and take great photos yourself. I think what would mess me up is the whole sizing part of it. I’m thinking you’re getting close to finishing your next book, too. Exciting times. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used two of Ken’s photographs that I then put filters on and filled out for my title, name, etc. The rest of the covers other than Ginseng I took the photos of and then added filters. I’ve been thinking about changing the Ginseng cover. Just thinking, not acting. Best wishes for your upcoming book.


  3. Hi Marsha, I enjoyed reading about your writing process. I relate to the repeated words. I had to go through my latest work and take out the word well, as it was used way too many times. Lol. Love the the title, Compromise and I look forward to reading your book when it is released.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Reggi. Gosh, I’d be happy if it were only “well.” That is one of the words I’ve gotten better about omitting as I write. I mean, it hopes in and then I go oops and delete it. At least most of the time. Though, of course, in real life, we all say, “well” as a filler sometimes while we think. Glad you like the title. I’m thinking the cover may end up black and white. I’ve never had a cover like that before, but the snow seems to lend itself that way. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s nice to see you here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I checked Amazon for the title The Compromise. While I really like that title, there are a ton of books with the word compromise in the title. I love Santa and the Ballot Box. It’s cute, catchy, and easy to remember. Remember that’s just my opinion and we both know that can be out there. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jerrie. I get you, andf thanks for checking. I’ll definitely leave off the “The.” There are several books out there with the Truth Be Told title, too. Santa and the Ballot Box is the book I wanted to write, but then I killed someone off right away. LOL Maybe, next year, I can write a “real” Hallmarkish type book and use that title. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Good to hear from you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the current title, COMPROMISE. Hopefully, it’s a keeper. I’m really looking forward to this book, it’s where I’m going to start with your work. Love the murdering suspense types of reads.


  6. Hi Marsha

    Ugh! I’ll be checking for so now but I’m usually more of a butt girl. I like Santa and the Ballot Box for a cozy, small town feel. That doesn’t go with the picture you’re using though and you know what you’re writing better than any of us. I like seasoned romance and second chances as your tag line. My son has done all my books for me and I think he’s pretty busy with his job so I suspect I’ll need to find a new cover artist myself. But first I really need to finish something!


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