My Books

Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1
Sea-Devil: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 1

You never get over your first love...how about your first murder? When a man is murdered in her bookstore the night before her grand opening, island newcomer, Delilah Duffy, makes a name for herself as prime suspect. If Delilah Duffy hopes to create a life on the island, she must navigate through a vicious family feud, shoddy police work and the mistakes of her past. Will Delilah uncover the truth before her past and her present destroy her?

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Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2
Luna-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 2

We're all just one pain away from lunacy. A seaside inn. An elegant party. A black dress. What could go wrong? For Delilah Duffy, just about anything. With her bookstore failing, the last thing she needs is a party or another mystery to solve. With nightmares, anxiety, and panic intensifying, Delilah doesn’t know what’s real and what’s in her head. With everything at risk, Delilah discovers what’s worse… becoming a lunatic or facing one.

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Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3
Sea-Crossed: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 3

Some secrets are kept to be kind. Torture, pain, misery - that’s all someone else wants for her. When a dinner party turns deadly, Sam goes missing, and Delilah realizes she's being watched, the “book queen with a thing for crime scenes” must battle to get her life and love back. Can love and determination save them or will dark secrets ruin her chances for a normal life? With mysterious messages taunting her and a killer eluding her, what lines will she cross to get to the truth?

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Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4
Pyra-Sea: A Delilah Duffy Mystery Book 4

Everything can change in seconds. Bookstore manager and crime-solver, Delilah Duffy knows that better than anyone. When her Happily Ever After Valentine’s Day Bash ends in fiery destruction, everything she’s worked for burns with it. Pregnant and brokenhearted, Delilah fans the flames of her anger toward what she’s good at: solving crimes. Hot on the trail of an arsonist while her nemesis is on hers, Delilah fights to get her life back. Will she turn ash to treasure before the pyromaniac strikes

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My Vella Story

Water World
Water World

After a tough move with his Mom and sister from his beloved country home, Ethan isn't adjusting well to city life. In trying to escape his problems in this world, he opens another, dropping him and his sister, Abby, into Water World. This trip is no vacation, not with legendary monsters and deadly sea creatures to battle. But teaming up to help the merpeople through their home-related crisis might help Ethan and Abby navigate theirs, if they survive long enough to make it home.

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  • Jessica Sherry

25+ Story Writing Prompts on being a Control Freak

What does your main character desperately want to control, but can't?


Answering this question not only gives your character juicy, perhaps oiniony layers, yum, but also pushes your plot forward because knowing the way your character tick-tocks is a huge win in the novel-writing battle.

Don't know the answer yet? Well, peek inside your inner fathoms. Lately, I've been laid up from surgery, so my inner control freak has been screaming bloody murder inside my already-excitable brain because my dear, sweet husband doesn't do things quite the way I do. The laundry sits in the dryer, getting wrinkled by the second. Sometimes crumbs are left on the kitchen counter. And often, there's no plan for dinner. Though he's taking excellent care of me, my control-freak side wants to take over. Yikes, help!


Of course, that's a light example, but what if it's a BIGGER issue?

  • Like a character who uses his or her position to control and manipulate people? Think anyone in a power position as well as anyone with charisma--cult leaders, con-artists, charmers.

  • Or a spouse who controls and manipulates his or her significant other? A La, Sleeping with the Enemy--an old, but excellent example. I always think of the cans facing the right way in the cabinet and the towels being even when I consider a controlling character.

  • Or a parent who micromanages a child?

  • Or an elderly parent struggling to remain independent while his children fear for his wellbeing (another one that hits home for me right now)?

Knowing what your character wishes to control, but can't gives insight into who he is and what will happen with your story.


Things out of our control... The answer is EVERYTHING, but I'm giving this list a shot anyway to help spark ideas.


THINGS YOUR CHARACTER MAY WISH TO CONTROL, BUT CAN'T:

  1. Weather. What if your character's life is detoured thanks to mother nature?

  2. Illness and disease. What if someone's diagnoses changes your character's life forever?

  3. Dreams. What happens when your character sleeps?

  4. Basic needs. What must your character do to survive?

  5. Other people--at least not longterm or completely

  6. Anything accidental, even if we're the ones doing it. Tripping, car accidents, dropping something, forgetting something.

  7. Time. How does your main character manage it?

  8. Your embarrassing cousins, uncles, siblings, or grandparents OR how drunk they might become at a holiday dinner

  9. Death

  10. Malfunctions or defects; even the most reliable things will eventually break. How might a sudden inconvenience deter your character?

  11. Seasons

  12. Your lack of superpowers. If your main character could have one, what would it be?

  13. School/work demands, due dates. How does your character deal with pressure?

  14. Someone else's perspective

  15. Making mistakes. Everyone makes them. What about your main character?

  16. Scientific truths... and well, any other truths, too. Consider your main character's belief systems.

  17. Taxes, terrible ideas, traumas, or taco Tuesdays (and why would you?)

  18. Sneezing, blinking, and other bodily functions

  19. Meteors, volcanoes, tidal waves, avalanches, sink holes, climate change or any natural event

  20. How some people are given the title of "celebrity"

  21. Where you were born, the life unto which you were born into, and your parents. Give your character a detailed backstory.

  22. Traffic, damn it.

  23. And, on the same line of thinking, assholes.

  24. To a certain extent... winning and losing; success and failure. People love to say that failure isn't an option, but let me tell you something (Preach!) FAILURE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION, even for people who work the hardest and deserve success most. What if your character fails?

  25. Finding love. Sure, you can help it along, but it's never guaranteed.

  26. THE SYSTEM, to some degree, whether it's political, governmental, corporate, societal, spiritual, or familial. Of course, many a great story has been about beating THE SYSTEM, whatever it is, but you must first understand the helplessness of being in THE SYSTEM in order to fight against it.

  27. That people will read, click on, comment, share or like your blog (hint, hint)

I'm actually pretty happy with that list as a springboard into what might be out-of-control in your MC's life. Even the most laid back character wants control over something. What is it for your character? How does he attempt to control it? What happens when he fails?


P.S. This is a message to all my writer friends with control freak tendencies... Waiting for the perfect time to get your book finished is procrastination in disguise. The only perfect time to write is, well, now.


Share your ideas below! Visit www.coffeebrained.com for more ideas to help you brainstorm. Happy character and plot developing!

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