Saturday, November 23, 2013


Let's have a celebration!

Join me to celebrate the release of Fragmented, Book One Boston's Crimes of Passion Series. Fragmented is scheduled to be released Monday, December 2. I'm going to be launching the release the next Monday, December 9th!
I will be hosting all sorts of giveaways— Books, Gifts, Gift Certificates! I'm so excited! Would love for you to join me.
I'm not done. Over on Romance in Books, Romantic Picks Just For You, I'm having a Christmas Book Blast! Some of the authors I promote during the year are donating books for the event! The details will follow.
Going to be a great holiday season! Of course, my books will be among those donated, including Broken Legacy, former #1 Amazon Historical Romance.
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Writing From the Heart

I think with my heart. So, I guess its natural that I would write from my heart as well.
I have a new release coming in December...December 2. Fragmented is the first book in my new series, Boston's Crimes of Passion. Its my first contemporary murder/thriller book. I'm excited about Fragmented for a couple of reasons. 

I love murder mysteries. I don't know what it is that attracts me to a good murder. Maybe because I love to solve puzzles. Solving a murder case in a book is kinda like a puzzle. Isn't it? I get engrossed into the story. I love the ones where I can't figure out who did it until the end. But...big all has to make sense. It can't be someone just pulled out of a hat. I'll give you example of what I love. One of my favorite thrillers is Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.

Presumed Innocent built until the climax, when the verdict was read. But it wasn't until the end when it was revealed who the true killer was and what a reveal! I absolutely loved the way the plot evolved. It had me wondering and trying to figure out whodunit. When I first read the book, I'll admit I didn't guess who it was, but when I went back and reread it, the story made sense. Subtle clues were left through out the book.  Mr. Turow did an excellent job. 

Fragmented was born out of my love for mystery. It was also born out of my love for my community. Fragmented is set in Boston. Boston is my adopted home. I moved up here from the deep South back in 1985. Back before the Red Sox had won a World Series. Back when the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl only to be embarassed by the Chicago Bears. Back when the Celtics had Larry Bird. I moved for one reason—my husband.

My husband was born and raised in Boston. He is a typical Irish Catholic native. One of six children. He is what they call up here an Irish twin. Our wedding, though, was held in Mississippi. I realize that most married couples hold dear their vows, but mine was especially poignant to me. We didn't write our wedding vows, but the preacher who married us added a little something. It came from the book of Ruth in the Bible.
 "for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."
I didn't realize it at the time how true those words would become. Boston is a different world than the one I grew up in. From the foothills of north Mississippi where I was raised on a 250 acre farm to the metropolis of Boston. I grew up in a small community where everyone knew each other and, for that matter, they knew each others business as well...where if anything happened to someone, neighbors would rally around one in need.

When I moved to Boston, I was thrown into a world where people didn't look at each other walking down the street. I always had greeted people while I walked. Here in Boston, I think everyone thought me strange for saying 'hi'. If you're thinking wide-eyed country bumpkin, you would be right. That would have been me. Still am to a certain extent. Oh...almost forgot —the weather! I have never thought my first winter up here in Boston would ever end.

But despite the differences between the two cultures, there are undeniable similarities. Loyalty. Stubbornness. Don't forget an accent. Both Southerners and Bostonians are unquestionably loyal. They are also unquestionably stubborn. Just ask someone their opinion on a subject. First, you need to understand they're right. Each may be arguing different sides, but I can assure you they won't be swayed. And there is no denying where you're from when you speak—whether you're a Bostonian or a Southerner.

Up until April of this year, I thought of myself as a Southerner. I still do, but I came to realize that I have become a Bostonian. Where I first moved here, I was a Baltimore Orioles fan. It didn't take long to be converted to a Red Sox fan. Going to over thirty home games the first year did it to me. It was back when bleacher tickets were 5 dollars. I used to met my husband down at Fenway after work. It was one of the advantages of working in the Longwood medical area. 

Up until April, I would never have acknowledged I had become a Bostonian...even after living here all these years. There was something in me that didn't want to admit that this place was my home.
After April, I was no longer denying I'm a Bostonian.

Fragmented is dedicated to the people of my adopted home. In a crisis, I have never been more proud of the place I call home. I remember exactly where I was when we heard about the marathon bombing. It was after watching the Red Sox's game on TV. Hubbie was home because Patriot's Day is considered a holiday in Boston. It was a beautiful day. We were going to do some lawn work and had just pulled into Lowe's parking lot when my mom called. She wanted to know if my kids were okay. I didn't even know anything had happened.
First, if you're not from Boston, you might not realize what the Boston Marathon is to Boston. It's huge. Thankfully, my kids weren't at the marathon. Two were in college in other states and the other was at his work. But we had family down at the marathon. My husband immediately called his brother who was at the finish line. Before his call was cut short, his brother was able to tell him that his family was okay.

Even after relief flooded us that our family was safe, we were glued to the TV at the unbelievable sight. It's not supposed to happen in our country...our home...our Boston. Besides writing, I work at a major hospital in Boston. Going into work that night was surreal. I have never have entered into my place of work with armed guards and there were armed guards... Honestly, I was glad they were there.

I wasn't in Boston when one of the suspects was killed and the other caught. I had flown out earlier that morning. I went home to Mississippi. My mother was ill. While I was flying down South, the city of Boston was on lock down. I listened to travelers take about Boston and I couldn't have been prouder of the people. The people of Boston did what they needed to do.

After the danger passed, it left the victims to pick up the pieces of their lives. In the immediate, the hearts of everyone opened up and gave. There was funds set up for the victims. There was the American Red Cross. At the time, I pledged a week's royalties and I did donate. I split it between one of the funds and the American Red Cross. But even then I wanted to do more.

I pledged to do more. One of the things I comprehended quickly was how horrific some of the injuries were. It was life changing. Some of the victims have lifetime disabilities. I don't want to forget the victims. My heart goes out to anyone in need whether its here in Boston or anywhere in the world. I can't tell you how horrible I feel for those poor people over in the Philippines at the moment, but most times, I can't always do much more than give a donation to a cause.

But with the Boston Marathon bombing, I wanted...needed to do more. In the community I grew up in, when someone was in need, people gave what they could. Giving is a quality that I was instilled with as a child. It's who I am. I may not can give a million dollars, but I can give what I have. This time I can give my writing.
Fragmented is set in Boston, but the plot has absolutely nothing to do with the bombing. The plot is a murder mystery thriller mingled in with a romance. You know I have to have my romance.

This I pledge to you. I will donate half of my royalties that I get from Fragmented to a charity in Boston. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I can say legally and what I can't say about what I'm giving. But know this pledge comes from my heart.  I wanted to do something that would keep giving. To me, this is not a temporary gift. It is my intention for this to be a permanent arrangement.

I can't say what Fragmented will do when released. I'm hoping it will do well. I have poured my heart into the book, but there are some things I don't have control over.  I have to say thank you to so many people who have helped me over the last few weeks preparing for the release of Fragmented. I appreciated it and won't forget anyone's kindness.

So...what's ahead? I'm going to do my first release launch. I will let you know probably right after Thanksgiving when it will start, but I imagine it should be the first of December. It will run until the week before Christmas. At least, that's what I'm planning.

Please, join me for the launch of Fragmented- coming in a couple of weeks. I hope you get a chance to read it, review it, and let people know if you enjoy it.

Thank you.

From the bottom of my heart,

Colleen Connally

Website- Jerri Hines, Welcome to the World of Romance

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Day of Remembrance- Veteran's Day

by Robert Frost (1917)
They sent him back to her. The letter came
Saying... And she could have him. And before
She could be sure there was no hidden ill
Under the formal writing, he was in her sight,
Living. They gave him back to her alive—
How else? They are not known to send the dead—
And not disfigured visibly. His face?
His hands? She had to look, and ask,
“What was it, dear?” And she had given all
And still she had all—they had—they the lucky!
Wasn’t she glad now? Everything seemed won,
And all the rest for them permissible ease.
She had to ask, “What was it, dear?”                                               
Yet not enough. A bullet through and through,
High in the breast. Nothing but what good care
And medicine and rest, and you a week,
Can cure me of to go again.” The same
Grim giving to do over for them both.
She dared no more than ask him with her eyes
How was it with him for a second trial.
And with his eyes he asked her not to ask.
They had given him back to her, but not to keep.
Today is a day to remember those who have fought for us. I believe all Americans have been touched by a Veteran. Today we need to say thank you.
I don't remember one of my grandfathers. My mother's father, Richard Harvey...but he fought in WWI. I remember his picture, looking so handsome in his uniform standing outside of a tent. So young. So brave. But that picture is so vivid in my memory. He died when I was just a baby. I hated that I never got to know him, but he lived on in the stories my grandmother would tell me.
My father was a Marine. He instilled in me my love of history and the loyalty that there wasn't a better branch of the military than the Marines. Did you grow up knowing the Marine's Hymn....
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli:
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
My nephew, Drew, is going to be graduating next May from the Navy Academy. I'm sure each of us has our own connections and stories to a Veteran.
We have so much to be thankful for in this country, because someone was brave enough to fight for our freedoms. Thank you to all Veterans.
I'm sitting here writing this blog listening to Lee Brice singing 'I'll Drive Your Truck.'
My father taught me so much growing up. He taught me the meaning of patriotism. He taught me to respect those who lay their lives on the line for us. I guess that's why I love history.
Probably the reason I have a total fascination with the American Revolution. My series, Winds of Betrayal, comes from that fascination.
I'm putting together a bundle of the series for Christmas. Coming in 2014, The Heavens Shall Fall will be released. It is the climax of the previous books. I don't think you will be disappointed if you have followed along with the series.
I wanted to have the bundle ready to release today. Unfortunately, I'm having an issue with formatting, but it should be fixed in the coming week.                                                         

Until then...

Have a great Veteran's Day!
(I'm not certain who to credit for writing the Marines Hymn. I take it the verses have been changed a few times, but I got the lyics for the Marines Hymn from the USMC webpage.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Expressing Gratitude...A Month of Thanksgiving

The best and most beautiful things in the world
Cannot be seen or even heard,
But must be felt by the heart.
~Helen Keller

It’s November. Time is flying by or maybe I’m just too busy. I need to slow down. It’s important to stop and appreciate everything you have. I’m so thankful. I’m so grateful for my life and the opportunity I have to do what I love.
A few years ago, I would never have had the opportunity to be the writer I am today. Opportunities for writers were limited. I worked hard on my writing for my chance…that one opportunity to become an author. Back then it meant sending query letters and waiting...and waiting... Today, because of the explosion of Indie world, I am an author. For that, I am grateful.
Twenty-eight years ago, I moved up North. I married a Bostonian and now Boston is my home. It took awhile to call Boston home, but it feels that way now. For my husband and home, I am grateful.
I was blessed to have had three beautiful children, numerous nieces and nephews. For the fulfilling feeling encompassing being a mother, I am grateful.

My first grand-nephew! He was going to enjoy the World Series no matter who won!

 Not only do I write, but I work at a job I enjoy and allows me the freedom to do the things I enjoy. I live in a country that gives me the freedom to live my life. I am grateful.
This is the month for thanksgiving. Sometimes in this crazy life, I forget everything I have to be thankful for and why. I do need to slow down and enjoy the simple moments. It was great this year to enjoy the Red Sox again, climaxing with a World Series win. It was awesome. More so, I think, because they worked together as a team. We love our sports in Boston. The Red Sox exemplified the meaning of coming together as a community.  After that dreadful day back in April, the day of the Marathon Bombing, Boston was no more a city, but a community.
It was the first time I realized that Boston was my home. I was so proud of the way the Boston reacted to the horrible, horrible bombing. Everyone...everyone came together for the better of the community. I work at one of the major hospitals in Boston. To get into work, I had to pass through a whole squad of law enforcement officers fully armed. I can honestly say I was happy they were there. It was an uncertain time. You just don't think it will happen to you...but it can. My heart went out to the still does.
Growing up in the South, I was taught you help those in need. I felt the same way about the bombing. When a disaster happens, the spotlight is on that area and people. Help is needed and most of the time, people respond. It is only afterwards that the spotlight fades. Unfortunately, the needs of the victims don't disappear. The injuries of some of these victims of the bombing won't ever vanish. I believe that Boston set up a great fund so the victims won't be forgotten. The people of Boston responded. That's what makes me proud to be a part of this city.
I gave a week's of royalties to a couple of different charities at the time, but I pledged to do more. In December, I'm planning on releasing Fragmented.  I wrote Fragmented with one purpose in mind—giving back. It's something I want to do. I am going to be giving half my royalties to a Boston charity. I have discovered I can't name which charity until I get a co-venture agreement. I will apply for the co-venture after I start donating what I pledge. I just wanted everyone to know I'm keeping my word.

Coming December, 2013
Fragmented is set in Boston and wrote for Boston, but I believe everyone can enjoy the story. It's my first contemporary murder mystery. Who doesn't love a good mystery?
Giving makes me feel me a sense that what I do can make a difference, no matter how small. It makes me feel I'm part of this community. For that, I am grateful.
Give this month. Doesn't have to be much. It can even be a smile. What's the it forward... 

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity,
These are but trifles, to be sure;
But scattered along life’s pathway,
The good they do is inconceivable.
~Joseph Addison