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Distant Relations: A Finn O’Brien Crime Thriller Reviewed by Veronica Jorge

August 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

A Finn O’Brien Crime Thriller
Book 5


August 2022   


ISBN:  978-1005643881

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It started out as just another day. Finn O’Brien waited at the airport to greet his uncle. What he saw was the plane exploding, bursting into flames, and taking his uncle and the other passengers with him.

Fans of the Finn O’Brien series know that nothing’s ever ordinary in the life of this detective. Forced to kill a fellow officer who had been trying to kill him, he had been vilified in the press and ostracized by his peers. Personally, it gnawed at him that he had never been able to solve his younger brother’s murder. And his wife’s divorce still tortured him. A man of purpose and faith, he had endured it all, and then some.

Finding the airline uncooperative as he tries to get answers, and stonewalled by the investigative agents gets Finn’s Irish up. His gut tells him that this explosion was no accident. What are they trying to cover up?

With no help or back-up from his department, it’s up to Finn and his faithful partner Cori to follow the money trail and challenge the powers in charge in order to discover the truth and hopefully prevent more deaths.

Mystery, murder, danger, suspense, and a hint of romance, Distant Relations has it all. Readers of Finn O’Brien will fall in love with him all over again.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on September 22nd!

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A ‘Wrich” Experience

June 15, 2022 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster tagged as , , ,


The first time my parents piled all of my siblings and me into an old station wagon without air conditioning and drove us to the desert for and August ‘vacation’, I was hooked on travel. It didn’t matter that it was 120 degrees in the shade, that the hotel was cheap, and that only one coffee shop remained open in the days before universal air conditioning. At nine years old, that humble vacation embedded itself in my brain and made me a traveler and a storyteller. I remember the heat from my burned skin (before sunscreen). I remember having ‘peeling’ contests with my brothers. My yellow swimsuit had white flowers on it. The sun went through the white leaving my torso stamped with brown patches. I was sure I was dying. It took my mother an hour to convince me I was simply tanned.

On the way home, we saw three giant, realistic dinosaur structures looming in the middle of the desert, each many stories high. Intrigued, we convinced my father to stop.  There was a small door in the leg of the Tyrannosaurs Rex that opened onto a dark, narrow stairway leading to the belly of the beast. An old man lived inside the dinosaur. He waited patiently for people to stop. When they did he sold them shark’s teeth and turquoise. I loved the idea of a man living in a dinosaur.

I came home from that trip with the sights and sounds, the tastes and smells, the memories of the people I met embedded in my bones. Every travel experience is like that for me, and all these things eventually show up in a book.


That brings me to the here and now. A month ago, I went to Sedona, Arizona, a place of stunning views, breathtaking nature hikes, and magical Vortices. It is also where a frustrated psychic healer once told me that he couldn’t tell my future because I had a bad aura. He gave me my money back. I was bummed.

However, my future turned out okay. I returned home with some lovely memories and a new friend. Her name is Renae Wrich. I was walking around the pool —heaven forbid I actually swim and exercise—wearing my favorite baseball cap. I forget that it is emblazoned with the word ‘WRITER’. Renae waded through the water to ask if I wrote. Once we determined we were both writers, the conversation marathon began. We talked about writing and publishing, managing a family and juggling work while we pursue our passion.


When I knew that I would be stepping down from my monthly Slice of Orange post (yes, I’ll be on an extended trip), I asked if I could replace myself. Renae was my first choice. She had just published Mac and Cheese Please, Please,Please, a children’s book and is setting her sights on romance. I envy her the journey in this brave new world of words and technology. I can’t wait to read her thoughts on writing as she builds her career works and raises her children. 

So, I have had the honor of enjoying my Renae Wrich experience standing in a pool in Sedona, Arizona. I know you’ll love getting to know her too. Welcome Renae! Thank you for accepting the baton. Until our paths cross again, I’ll be following along with all your new Slice of Orange fans.

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Cover Make-over: DIY or Not?

January 15, 2022 by in category The Write Life by Rebecca Forster, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Like so many people, I told myself ‘when Covid ends I’ll finish (fill in your WIP)’. As Covid dragged on, I became sluggish and uninspired when it came to writing, so I decided to give my most popular series, The Josie Bates Thrillers, a cover make-over.

I was going to have my wonderful graphic designer tackle the project, but found myself indecisive regarding the direction I wanted take. Without constructive input, her job would be impossible, so I decided to do a few rough drafts to clarify my thinking. Instead, I became obsessed with the process of redefining my work. This is what I learned when I went all in on DIY cover design.


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The Extra Squeeze Team: February Featured Author

February 7, 2021 by in category Featured Author of the Month, The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team tagged as , , , , , , ,

Each week in February we’ll be featuring The Extra Squeeze Team.

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.


Have you a question for The Extra Squeeze Team? Send them to us by using this handy link.

Do I have to write in the same genre? | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Dear Extra Squeeze Team: Do I HAVE to Keep Writing in the Same Genre?

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

Switching genres is not a black and white issue but a function of the writer’s objective.


Writers by nature are a curious, opinionated and creative bunch. That means there is a tendency to write about whatever inspired them. Sadly this impulsive creativity wars with, and can undermine, the business of being creative.


So, if you are a writer whose primary concern is to explore all levels of your craft, writing in many different genres will be fulfilling. But if your primary concern were to use your writing to build a creative business, it would be wise to stick to one genre. Here is why:


1) Concentrating on one genre creates a dedicated fan base.

2) One genre allows the author to create a cohesive personal brand

3) Readers will know where to find you on the bookshelf whether it is in a brick and mortar or a digital bookstore.

4) Writers usually excel in one genre. To write in a completely different genre that is not as strong as your primary one only serves to dilute your brand.


This is not to say you can’t have diversity in your writing career. If you’re a thriller writer, it can take months to craft a 100,000-word novel. Writing shorter genre romantic suspense might satisfy your desire to write in a separate genre, allow you to bring out more books each year, and your output will still appeal to your fan base while growing a cross-over fan base in romantic suspense. Do you write fantasy? Then try magical realism. Do you write romance? Cross over to women’s fiction or sagas. Just remember to make your secondary market tangential to your primary.


New writers may want to try on different genres for size to find out where their strengths lie. Established authors who want to try a completely different genre may want to consider a pseudonym. Either way, the first thing to do is decide what your career objective is and then make a genre plan to meet it.


[tweetshare tweet=”Dear Extra Squeeze Team: Do I HAVE to keep writing in the same genre?” username=”@A_SliceofOrange”]

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

No, of course not. You can write in any genre you desire. The outcome of that would depend on how much weight you place on each side of art vs business of writing equation.


If you weigh in about equal between writing as your expressive art and the business of making that art pay (either recognition or income) you’re well aware of the importance of branding your work for a particular audience. You know the effort involved in creating an online author presence, beginning with a body of solid work, which is publicized and supported by blogs, reviews, interviews, twitter, newsletters, Face Book etc.  It takes time and consistent work to build an author platform and a fan base. Your fans find you and stick with you because they want to read the genre you’re writing in, they expect to read that genre and because you are good enough at that genre to either be building, or have built, a solid following.


Traditional publishers shy away from letting an author branch out into a different genre. They don’t want to upset an established cash cow. In that respect the traditional marketing model is similar to the Indie model. Poor A. A. Milne — he really wanted to write murder mysteries (he published one: The Red House Mystery) but his publisher would never let him taint the image of Christopher and friends.  There are major exceptions; J. K. Rowling and Anne Rice are two. Both of these fabulous authors had a huge, loyal fan base before they made the genre jump. When you write that well most of us will follow blindly! I know I do and I’ve not been disappointed.


If you know you have great stories in you that cross genre typing you can always publish one genre under a nom de plume. That’s very common. Eventually a well-known writer gets outed as the person behind the false moniker but by that time she’s hooked a whole new audience so everyone is happy.


Writing in different genres is, I think, an excellent way to exercise and grow your writing skills. Just the difference in voice between the lady of an Edwardian romance and the female warrior of a dungeons and dragons fantasy would require a major stretch of skills. Add plot mechanics, atmosphere and secondary characters and you’re running a writing marathon. That’s the kind of practice that really sharpens a writer’s eye. I’d never discourage that.


The important thing to remember if you want to successfully write in more than one genre is to be sure you can excel in one of them first.

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

No, you don’t have to keep writing in the same genre. But, why would you leave?


Over the years, authors have privately shared many reasons for making big shifts in their writing careers.


  • Sometimes you start out in the wrong place, and your efforts just aren’t working.
  • Sometimes you change so much as you grow professionally that your story interests carry you to a new genre.
  • Sometimes the original genre changes and you no longer feel at home creating the types of stories you once enjoyed.


As a writer, you are a talent-driven brand, and talent-driven brands are fueled by passion.  So, it always makes sense to follow your passion.  However, passion can sometimes be mistaken for a whim.  So, think hard about the shift you are contemplating.  Prepare for what could be ahead.


From a PR, Marketing, and Sales perspective think about desired outcomes before you decide to leave your readers and move.


  • Consider the risks and the benefits to the business side of your creativity.
  • Take a critical look at what you are building—there is more than your written work at stake.
  • In addition to the books you are creating, you are also steadily building a community of readers.  Jumping ship to another genre will be like moving from your beloved neighborhood to a new community.  The readers you got to know over here may not go with you over there when you leave.  They may like you enough to come visit, but it is likely that they won’t come by often.

PR-wise, you are starting over when you begin to write in a new genre.  Even if you keep writing for your original genre, you will still be starting over reader-wise with your new work. Still, just like in the real world with an apartment or a starter home, a simple move can be just what you needed to live happily ever after.

H. O. Charles | A Slice of Orange

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array


When you find out, please let me know because I am about to publish a(n) historical fiction novel (after years of writing in fantasy!).


There’s no reason why an author wouldn’t have the *ability* to write in another genre, as long as the enthusiasm and skill for it is there. The main thing that I’d be concerned about is audience. The audience you build up whilst writing for one genre may not enjoy your new genre, and it may be that only die-hard fans will want to make the crossing, so to speak. And if they did, the resulting reviews and sales could go either way. Essentially you’d be back at square 1, or perhaps square 1.43, in building a readership for your books.


I wonder if JK Rowling’s endeavour with crime fiction (Robert Galbraith) might serve as a useful source of information. The books were released under a different pseudonym (just as Nora Roberts’ publisher insisted), although this was at JK’s behest since she wanted to “go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback.”


On one hand, she received positive reviews as a ‘debut author’, but only sold 1,500 copies in the three months before her true identity was revealed (I say only – that’s not bad going for many authors out there!).


When it was revealed that Galbraith was Rowling, sales shot through the roof, but still only half as many people have written reviews for those books as have done so for the Potter series. From that, I would suggest that if your performance in your first genre is good, then it can only help build a readership for your new genre, but don’t expect sales to match those of your first genre. However, if your foray into your new genre is flawed for any reason, I suppose *potentially* it could negatively affect your existing reputation.


Without having published my non-fantasy book yet, I say go for it. It’s a great way to learn and explore new techniques, approaches, worlds and really grow as an author. I’m really enjoying doing something different.

The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

Send them your writing and publishing questions 

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Read Rebecca Forster September Featured Author

September 21, 2020 by in category Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,
Picture of a woman reading a book by a body of water.

Read Rebecca Forster!

On September 15th, Rebecca announced she signed with Wolfpack Publishing. (Read about it here.) Good news for Rebecca, and good news for readers. Until September 30, 2020 Rebecca is have a sale on select titles.

On Sale Until September 30th: The Finn O’Brien Thriller Series


Buy now!


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Also on Sale are Rebecca’s Single Title Thrillers


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Buy now!

Rebecca marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then she wrote her first book and found her passion.

Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.

Remember the books are only on sale until September 30, 2020

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