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

Tools for Writers: My Must-Have Favorites

This’ll probably my nerdiest blog yet—fair warning.


Many people really geek-out on their technology. But not me. I love my phone and my computers, yes, of course, but the tech-gods created the term User Friendly for people like me—those who absolutely require things to be simple and obvious.


To put it in perspective…


My favorite phone game is Solitaire, my iMac is eleven years old, and whenever it’s time to upgrade, it’s a tedious battle—me not wanting to let go of my treasured devices and Joe gently convincing me it’s for the best (while probably rolling his eyes). He always wins, in the end. His most recent victory was ordering me a new iMac after months of listening to me huff over my sweet computer’s snail-like loading pace. I’m getting the blue one with added memory. Well-played, Joe.


A good computer is an obvious must-have—that’s where all my stories and quirky characters come to life—but what else does a writer need for optimal story-writing and publishing productivity? Here are my must-have favorites:


6 Best Tools for Writers:



Scrivener.


At only $50, this app makes drafting a novel easy—well, except for the writing part. It doesn't actually write the novel for you (but maybe someday). Scrivener allows writers to make notes, collect research, draft, and format your project in one place. It’s project headquarters.


For me, the best advantage is being able to hop chapter to chapter in a click and having a place to store my “extras” without including them in the actual draft—these are chapters I’ve written and removed but am not ready to delete yet. In some projects, my Research section (or scene playground) contains almost as much material as the first draft. Keeping that old material at hand is much easier than having multiple Word documents to store writing that may or may not make the final cut. When I’m done drafting, I can compile my draft into other formats, like Word.

Scrivener Example

Other fun features: notecards for outlining, spelling and grammar checking, like you get with Word, document search tool, project stats, and autosaving.


Scrivener, by far, is my most used and appreciated app.


Grammarly.


In second place, there’s Grammarly. Anyone who writes anything on their computer should have Grammarly, even if all you do is social media posts and the occasional email. Grammarly will gently point out your goofs and give you the fixes. The basic app is free.


I upgraded to Grammarly Premium where I feed the Grammarly monster large chunks of text. It highlights my mistakes and offers suggestions to improve my writing. $12 per month may seem a bit steep for catching spelling mistakes, but my app earns its keep. There have been times when Grammarly has checked 120,000 words in a single week for me. If paying a professional editor, this task would cost anywhere from $500 to $1500. So, I call it a bargain.


Grammarly Example

Between my English teacher background, Word’s grammar and spelling checks, my manuscript readers, and Grammarly Premium, I don’t need to hire a proofreader or copyeditor. A developmental editor proves more useful—someone who provides feedback on my story, not writing 101. It’s a better use of my writer-budget.

Grammarly Statistics


Notion.


While we’re still on apps, a recent favorite is Notion. Hubs and I were looking for a productivity app to organize book stuff and share our efforts with each other. There are many such tools out there, but going back to my user-friendly caveat, we had trouble finding something that provided a simple interface while still offering everything we needed. Writing and publishing guru, Jane Friedman recommended Notion, and we love it. Bonus, it's free!


For me, Notion’s easier to use than its more popular rivals. I didn’t need to take a masterclass to learn how to use it. Joe and I share an account, so when either of us updates anything, it’s shared instantaneously with the other. We have task lists, sections for research, calendars, and goals. Plus, Notion allows for creativity. We set it up the way we wanted it, and even added creative touches like pics and icons.


And we’re getting our tasks done! At least once a week, Joe and I scrum over our Notion task list (often with beers). It’s kept us on track—exactly what you want from a productivity and planning app.



Don’t worry. It’s not all apps.


iPad Air with Apple Pencil.


For my most expensive splurge, I love my iPad Air WITH APPLE PENCIL! What started as a need to replace my malfunctioning, $35 refurbished Kindle turned into Joe and I handing over $800 for another computer. At the time, I was like “What are we doing?”


Now, I’m like, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”


My writer-senses tingle whenever I take the Apple Pencil in hand to red-pen a manuscript. It’s immensely satisfying. Now that I’ve edited 3+ books this way, I can’t imagine not having it. I believe the Apple Pencil possesses magical powers, drawing out my critique-muse (in the best way). Sitting on the couch with hot tea in one hand and my iPad in the other has become my favorite evening activity. I want to write just so I’ll have more to edit.



Bonus: The iPad’s perfect for reading (no more Kindles for me) and watching Poirot in the bath, too. Wait, is that weird?


Canon Powershot SX530 HS.


Though nonessential to all writers, bloggers require a good camera. I love my Canon Powershot SX530 HS. I’ve owned it for several years now, and I’m no professional photographer. But I love creating fun pics for my blog (and the google-feelers like that sort of thing), and this camera is easy to use. Most cameras are a cinch to operate these days. But for less than $300, I have a camera with a decent 50x zoom, that takes videos, and fits in my purse. Lugging a huge camera around isn’t on my to-do list, even if the pic quality is better. The Powershot is perfect for my purposes while being fun to use.


Bonus, it has a “creative mode.” In that setting, it’ll take one picture three to five different ways. It gives me quirky pics like these:



Rocketbook notebook.


Though not a gadget, another writing tool I’ve come to love is my Rocketbook notebook. I’ve gone through hundreds of notebooks over the years—there’s always something to write down. I have a vast collection of cute, spiral notebooks, Steno Pads, and Moleskins. But after getting a Rocketbook for Christmas a few years ago, it’s become a notetaking go-to. It’s a reusable notebook that allows me to save my notes electronically. So, nothing is ever lost or buried in the land of misfit notes.


Each plastic page washes off with a damp towel. It requires certain Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens or markers, but these are easy to find and not very expensive. Plus, they’re normal pens and markers so they can be used on regular paper as well.


Rocketbook also offers planners, notebooks of various sizes, and index cards. Who doesn’t love techie school supplies?



Whew, we survived my nerdiest blog yet. It was a close one.


Are there any apps or gadgets you’d like to share? We’re always on the hunt for the next great thing that’ll make our writer-lives easier. Give us your nerdiest answers below.


And stay tuned for an upcoming blog on Gifts for Writers… I’m making my wishlist. Joe says he's scared, but it's best keeping him on his toes.


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