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Books on this site range from historical romance and westerns to romantic suspense, thrillers, inspirational, paranormal, sweet contemporary, and cozy mystery. We like all kinds!

The Quill Blog

Our schedule is subject to change on a whim because we're writers and sometimes lose track of the days. We wouldn't have it any other way.

The Puzzling Life of a Writer


Sometimes the missing piece simply means changing one's perspective.


Recently, I learned how similar writing is to putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together when an author friend and I were attempting to assemble this one.


We were making fine progress, whole sections fitting together. As is my habit, I worked on the border first, but more pieces piled up that didn't match anything on the covering photo border.

"I found a piece that looks like a dog head?" I said.

"There are more red pieces than I can find in the photo," she said.

With a burst of laughter, I picked up the box and showed my friend the picture on the side.


The full picture is more beautiful than the snapshot.

For two writers, the metaphor was a moment of high irony. There are no extraneous pieces. Each one has a purpose in the bigger picture. And there it was, cardboard proof on the dining room table.

Often, we need each other to see the the full picture. I've needed my friends' eyes to point out missing pieces in my plotting. Most writers I know will agree that we need multiple pairs of eyes to look for the flaws in our manuscripts or to point us to a straight path of storytelling rather than the twisted one we may have chosen. That's why we love and need Beta Readers and good friends who will provide much needed feedback. I've been blessed to have both.

As I’ve been writing my recent mystery novel, I've struggled to present the puzzle pieces to my reader without revealing 'who-done-it' too soon. I want to encourage them to puzzle through the story without frustration. It should be a satisfying journey, one that allows the reader to pick up the clues along the way. If we've done our writing job correctly, the reader will solve the puzzle just before the author writes the final revealing scene. Beta Readers let us know if the plot works.

Friends are like puzzle pieces. We need them to complete the fuller, richer picture of ourselves. I’m grateful to those friends who bring color to my life puzzle and who help me find the pieces that slipped beneath the rug (or, perhaps, were eaten by the cat).

What metaphors have you found in jigsaw puzzles?

Meet the Author


Book Spotlight


This is my first offering for the Whitcomb Springs Short Story Series.

I hope you'll like it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I love to hear from readers.

"Healing Fire" by Samantha St. Claire

Genre: western historical fiction

Type: Novelette

Heat Level: 1

Language Level: 1

Violence Level: 1

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