Tips for Print Formatting — 4

There’s still time to leave a com­ment on Monday’s post to win a prize in my Deadly Puz­zles Release party. I’ve still got prizes. Join in!

One thing I only touched upon in my posts of for­mat­ting for print books was that in most tra­di­tion­ally pub­lished books, in addi­tion to there being no head­ers or page num­bers on the first page of a chap­ter, the first para­graph is not indented. Like­wise for the first para­graph after a scene break.

You’ll want to select those first para­graphs, then go to the Para­graph menu on the Home tab. Your default would show you’ve got a 0.3″ indent (at least that’s what I’ve found looks good on my size print book tem­plate) for para­graphs. (All images should enlarge if you click them)

paragraph indents

Con­tinue read­ing

What’s Cooking Wednesday — Crockpot Chicken Tikki Masala

I mod­i­fied the orig­i­nal, which was in the Food Net­work Mag­a­zine. Easy and yummy

Crock­pot Chicken Tikki Masala

Crockpot Chicken Tikki Masala Ingredients: 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces S&P 4 cloves garlic, minced fine 2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated (Note: I keep mine in the freezer and use a microplane to grate it; no peeling required) 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 1 T paprika 2 t ground corander 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes ½ c heavy cream (I used chicken broth instead) 1 c frozen peas Instructions: Season chicken with 1 t salt and ¼ t pepper. Whisk the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, paprika, coriander, tomatoes, cream (or broth) and ½ t salt in a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add the chicken and stir to coat Cover and cook on high 4 hours, adding the frozen peas during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro (or whatever you like—I'm a cilantro hater, so I avoid it)

2 lb. bone­less, skin­less chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves gar­lic, minced fine
2 inch piece of gin­ger, finely grated (Note: I keep mine in the freezer and use a microplane to grate it; no peel­ing required)
1 jalapeno pep­per, seeded and diced
1 T paprika
2 t ground coran­der
1 15 oz can crushed toma­toes
½ c heavy cream (I used chicken broth instead)
1 c frozen peas

Sea­son chicken with 1 t salt and ¼ t pep­per.
Whisk the gar­lic, gin­ger, jalapeno, paprika, corian­der, toma­toes, cream (or broth) and ½ t salt in a 4–6 quart slow cooker.
Add the chicken and stir to coat
Cover and cook on high 4 hours, adding the frozen peas dur­ing the last 15 min­utes of cook­ing.
Serve over rice. Gar­nish with cilantro (or what­ever you like—I’m a cilantro hater, so I avoid it)

In The Interview Room — Susan Oleksiw

Susan OleksiwToday I wel­come Susan Olek­siw to Terry’s Place. But before I turn things over to her, a quick reminder that my Release “Day” Party will go on all week, so scroll to yesterday’s post and join in for a chance to win some great prizes.

Plot­ter or Pantser?
Pantser, def­i­nitely. This means that after I get the first draft down on paper, I invari­ably have to fig­ure out how to make it work with more clues. These usu­ally come to me as I’m work­ing and I jot them down and try to make sure to get them in where they belong. For me writ­ing is a process of dis­cov­ery. I can­not work out the story beforehand.

Set­ting: real, totally made up, or based on a real place?
In the Anita Ray series, I use a real place that I know well, but I mod­ify it as nec­es­sary for the story. I keep the streets, lanes and alleys as they really exist, but I move busi­nesses around. In Under the Eye of Kali, for exam­ple, the first Anita Ray, I altered a cliff falling to the sea, mak­ing is steeper and more dan­ger­ous. With cli­mate change, the cliff could soon mimic my descrip­tion in the book. In the Melling­ham series I use a map of a real place, but add addi­tional streets and build­ings as I need them. The fic­ti­tious town has places that dis­ap­peared in the 1950s, some changes that I think would improve the land­scape tremen­dously, and a remark­ably diverse busi­ness envi­ron­ment. No small New Eng­land town could pos­si­bly match it.

What’s on your desk?
Beneath all the paper are books, espe­cially a large dic­tio­nary; note­cards (things to do, things to include in the story, notes on books, etc.); a bas­ket of pens, pen­cils, booknotes, mail to be answered in the next cen­tury; the mss I’m work­ing on, now in three piles (read and edited, in process, next in line); review mag­a­zines; my cal­en­dar; a folder for my cur­rent WIP, the fourth Anita Ray; my com­puter, a lamp, a file box the size of a shoe box, with notes on pre­vi­ous Anita Ray and Melling­ham books; a straw coaster for the ever-present cup of caf­feine, usu­ally black cof­fee; a list of email addresses col­lected at a recent event; mis­cel­la­neous note­cards with reminders of things to do; and a paper nap­kin because I’m very fas­tid­i­ous when it comes to putting food on my desk.

Con­tinue read­ing

It’s Release Day for Deadly Puzzles

balloons and confetti

 New Prize, New Ques­tion added 4:15 PM Thursday.

It’s offi­cially release day for Deadly Puz­zles. To see more about the book, includ­ing an excerpt, a link to the first chap­ter, and some advance buzz from readers,check it out on my web­site

I’ll choose win­ners all week. Tell your friends to stop by. Also, I’m adding prizes and ques­tions, so check back!


It’s avail­able in print from Cre­ate­Space
For dig­i­tal ver­sions, you can find it at
Barnes & Noble.

Deadly Puzzles by author Terry Odell Deadly Puzzles by mystery author Terry Odell











And what fun is release day with­out some prizes?

Still avail­able:

Name a char­ac­ter in my next book.

Ear­rings like the ones Gor­don wanted to give Angie for Valentine’s Day in Deadly Puzzles.

lapis earrings

Already won:
Books from my over­flow­ing shelves (new or gen­tly read — my choice). At least 3.

Overflowing bookshelf

Won by Carol Smith

A down­load of Deadly Secrets, Maple­ton Mys­tery Book 1

Deadly Secrets, by mystery author Terry Odell

Won by Brooke Bumgardner

Never Tell Me the Odds T-shirt
(If you’ve read Dan­ger­ous Con­nec­tions, you’ll get the “con­nec­tion”!)
BONUS Added Wednes­day, 7:00 AM: a copy of Dan­ger­ous Con­nec­tions to go with the shirt — a two-fer!

Never Tell Me The Odds

Won by Karin Tillotson

A neck­lace like the one Gor­don gave Angie in Deadly Bones

lapis pendant

Won by Irene Ben­nett Brown

And I’ve got a $15 Olive Gar­den gift card, just because.

olive garden gift card

Won by Sandy Giden

How can you win? I’ll ask some ques­tions. You answer in the com­ments. I’ll add more ques­tions and pick win­ners through­out the day. Here are a cou­ple of ques­tions to get things started.

First ques­tion: Where (which state) is Mapleton?

Another ques­tion: In Deadly Puz­zles, Gor­don goes snow­shoe­ing (although not for fun). What sports do you enjoy?

Here’s a new ques­tion: Gor­don chooses a remote Bed and Break­fast for his get­away. What’s your favorite kind of vacation?

Another new ques­tion: Gor­don gives Angie ear­rings for Valentine’s Day. What’s the best Valen­tine you ever got?

One more ques­tion tonight: In Deadly Puz­zles, Mrs. Yardu­mian makes her lazy day crock pot ribs. What’s your favorite lazy day meal (not count­ing going out!)

Another ques­tion: Have you liked my Face­book Author Page?  What about my Ama­zon Author Page?

Friday Field Trip — Las Vegas, Jason-Style

Jason just got back from a photo trip, and he’s shar­ing some great shots. Here’s what he had to say:

Here are pho­tos from my most recent photo work­shop, this time in Las Vegas, Nevada. Deb­o­rah San­didge and I took a small group of pho­tog­ra­phers to pho­to­graph the sights and lights of Las Vegas and the sur­round­ing areas. Our trip took us to some famil­iar stops on the Las Vegas strip & Fre­mont Street, but also to some lesser-known loca­tions. We shot at a ghost town in Nel­son, Nevada, and had a pri­vate ses­sion at the famous Neon Museum “bone­yard,” where the old casino and hotel signs are laid to rest and be restored.
photo courtesy of Jason Odell
photo by Jason Odell

Artichokes, Characters, and Helping Authors

red pencil

I’m talk­ing about arti­chokes and char­ac­ters at The Blood-Red Pen­cil today. Hop on over and say hi.

Booklover's Bench

WIAN_print6Also, there’s only one more day to enter the Booklover’s Bench April con­test. Don’t miss out on a chance to win either a $25 gift card or a choice of some great books (yes, I’ve got one in the hat–a print copy of What’s in a Name?)


Deadly Puzzles by author Terry OdellI’d also like to point out that there are only a few days left to pre-order Deadly Puz­zles at the spe­cial price of $0.99. It’s avail­able at the Kobo store and at iTunes.

But I don’t have a Kobo, you say. Or an iPad. Guess what. Nei­ther do I. How­ever, the Kobo app is free and it works on all sorts of devices. (I have it on my Nook tablet).  It even works on an iPad. Click here to see where you can use it.

I wish I could get that “pre-order” but­ton every­where else, but the truth is, Kobo and Apple are the only two places I can set it up that way. So, although Kobo and Apple are the “under­dogs” rel­a­tive to Ama­zon and Barnes & Noble, I want to reward my read­ers who are likely to have to take that extra step by giv­ing them that low price.

What’s the advan­tage of hav­ing pre-orders? The way it works is that any pre-order sales are “stock­piled” in the e-bookstore’s data­base. Then, on release day, they’re all counted as that day’s sales. Thus, your book debuts much higher in the rank­ings than if it had to start at ground zero. The algo­rithms then see that nice (I hope) num­ber of sales, and pick it up, per­haps even dis­play­ing it on the web­site, or show­ing it as a top seller, or email­ing device own­ers that there’s a hot new book out there.

So, by pre-ordering, you’re also help­ing the author in more ways than sim­ple roy­al­ties. (Which, on a 99 cent book aren’t going to be much!). Hope you’ll con­sider it and pass the word along.

What’s Cooking Wednesday — Macaroons

It’s Passover. My daugh­ter, Jes­sica, lives in a small town in North­ern Ire­land, where she has as much trou­ble find­ing Passover foods as I do in Divide. How­ever, she’s much more ener­getic than I am, and made her own mac­a­roons. She said she thinks she found this recipe some­where on I found some ready-made ones down near my other daughter’s house when I was help­ing out after her surgery, and I bought them! But here’s what Jes­sica has to say.


5 cups flaked sweet­ened coconut
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup mini choco­late chips or finely chopped chocolate

Pre­heat oven to 325 degrees. Line bak­ing sheets with sil­i­con mats or parch­ment sprayed with cook­ing spray.

Mix all ingre­di­ents together in a large bowl. Scoop out 1 inch mounds, placed about 1 inch apart, on a lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 min­utes, until just turn­ing brown. Cool and store in a sealed con­tainer between sheets of waxed or parch­ment paper.

The mac­a­roons will keep nicely for sev­eral days. Vari­a­tion: Divide the coconut mix­ture in half, and add the chips to one half, leav­ing the other half plain. Adding cocoa pow­der also works, but you’ll have to exper­i­ment with the amount until they’re choco­laty enough!

Jes­sica says to form them into balls with medium pres­sure, instead of just scoops, to help them hold their shape.

Makes about 5 dozen macaroons.

In the Interview Room — Nancy Naigle

Author Nancy NaigleToday I wel­come Nancy Naigle to Terry’s Place. Nancy was born and raised in Vir­ginia Beach. She bal­ances her career in the finan­cial indus­try with a life­long pas­sion for books and sto­ry­telling. When she isn’t writ­ing or being banker girl, she enjoys antiquing, work­ing on any­thing crafty, and tak­ing in the magic of nature on her small farm in Drewryville, Virginia.

Set­ting: real, totally made up, or based on a real place?
I totally make up my towns. It’s more fun for me to take favorite places and mem­o­ries and mish-mash them into a new town all my own. That being said…Adams Grove is a real town in Vir­ginia. It’s right up the street from me. I can’t tell you how many peo­ple write me telling me they almost turned to see that lit­tle town off Route 58. Unfor­tu­nately, all they’d really find, instead of a quaint Main Street, is a Ruri­tan Club and a few churches. ;)

What’s on your desk?
<Gulp> Seri­ously? Always two lap­tops, and yes both are up and run­ning. Desk phone, black­berry and iPhone. Desk lamp (the kind with plugs in it for all my elec­tron­ics) with a cou­ple lucky things hang­ing from it – a spe­cial lucky charm bracelet, a prism in the shape of a heart, and a neck­lace made from a quar­ter. A black cup full of pens. Red sta­pler. 4 thumb dri­ves. A red exter­nal disk. My At-A-Glance cal­en­dar (red leather). 3 sticky pads (assorted size and col­ors) and stacks of papers and reminders. $15 Star­bucks Card. $10 Ama­zon Card. 2-$10 Sta­ples Cards.

Do you read books more than once? If so, name one. What’s spe­cial about it?
I rarely read a book more than once. I’m really not sure why, because I will re-watch movies so many times I know the dialogue.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
I con­tacted the lead gui­tarist of the Bret Michaels band to see if he’d give me inside scoop on the music biz and help me be true to the music scene. I left him a face­book mes­sage when they were in Lynch­burg, VA for a con­cert. It was a long shot at best. But, lucky for me, it worked out. Not only did Pete Evick offer up amaz­ing assis­tance as I wrote Cody Tuggle’s story in Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies, but he and I are col­lab­o­rat­ing on another writ­ing project now.

Con­tinue read­ing

Tips for Print Formatting — 3

What I’m read­ing: For the Love of Par­vati, by Susan Olek­siw; Nightin­gale, by Sharon Ervin; One Day in the Life of Ivan Deniso­vich, by Alexan­der Solzhen­it­syn (book club).

Today it’s more about pret­ty­ing up your man­u­script for print via Cre­ate­Space. I’ve talked about the basic tem­plate set­tings, and how to hyphen­ate using the “optional hyphen.” Today, it’s a few more tips for mak­ing your book look like a “real” book. What do I mean? Right now, stop what you’re doing and go to your book­shelf and grab a few fic­tion books. Open to a ran­dom page. Look at the top of the pages. You’ll see head­ers. Odds are, there’s the author’s name on one side, and the book’s title on the other. They might not be the same; I don’t think there’s a rule that says the author’s name goes on the even pages, or vice-versa. You can decide.

headers on pageWhat about page num­bers? Some­times, they’re in the head­ers, some­times in the foot­ers. Again, it’s per­sonal pref­er­ence. Head­ers and foot­ers aren’t too hard to do in Word. They’re in the “Insert” tab, under header. (Click on any of the images to enlarge)

Insert header

Con­tinue read­ing