The Dreaded Synopsis


At the next Novel Writers Workshop scheduled this Thursday, we’ll tackle the synopsis. By following some basic suggestions, each writer will compose a one-pager and the rest of us will critique and offer our own suggestions. The goal? To produce one to entice an editor/publisher to read the manuscript instead of putting them to sleep.

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July 20, 2014 · 5:53 pm

Age of Electronics?

Today started out cool and cloudy, a perfect day for shopping, so I tore myself away from the computer and ran some errands. I even had lunch with a couple of friends and spent too much money, but oh, it was fun. It’s amazing how the world revolves while I’m nose to computer, working out plots, gathering material for the next novel writers workshop. I love all the new equipment on the market today, altho I have no clue how to work most of it. Makes me feel ancient when I see fingers of grade-school kids flying over everything as if they were born knowing how to operate all the gadgets.

But I’m continually amazed at our civilization. Everyone seems to be able to operate complicated electronics, but evidently few people know how to flush. This is a far-reaching problem, from the local bookstore to a major department store. And it’s getting worse.

I don’t know if it’s a brain blockage or something in Southern California’s water that causes this deficiency. I just hope I don’t catch it. RGB

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July 19, 2014 · 6:22 am


To my amazement and shame, I realized it had been months since my last post. Oh, I have some great excuses: a recent major household move which involved looking at properties, finding one, contract negotiation, the waiting to hear, acceptance, the actual move, unpacking, and getting back to business.  For a writer, getting back to business means getting back to writing. And that’s where I’ve floundered. I’ve suffered from that  horrible affliction  - procrastination. 

lazy kitten200

Know what that means to a writer? Oh, I know how the dictionary defines it: ‘to put off intentionally and habitually,’ and that’s very true. But for a writer, it’s a double-whammy – losing days, weeks, months of valuable writing time, and losing touch with other writers and readers.

I’ve also been undecided about WHAT to write. I’ve received requests to write sequels, especially for With Full Malice and The House on Serpent Lake. But while the ideas are appealing, I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for either, and a writer has to love an idea in order to work on it day after day, week after week, month after month.

So again, procrastination.

But thanks to a friend who bounced ideas with me,  I’ve started another novel. And I’m excited about it. I won’t say anything else at this point, only that it’s a paranormal. Or perhaps supernatural. And it has to do with changing shapes.

I hope none of you have suffered from my affliction, altho I’ve heard it has the ability to spread fast. Especially during warm summer days. And winter. Ok, spring and fall too. Guess we really have to have diligence to survive it.

Till next time, thanks, y’all.


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July 2, 2014 · 7:13 pm

Novel Writers Workshop

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The workshop on SCENE & SEQUEL The Building Blocks of your Novel, was excellent. We had a good turnout, the bookstore was quiet so we could interact without interruption, and we met a couple of new members. One woman even traveled from Apple Valley, so I thought that was great.

For the first section, SCENE, I explained how to construct one, what it should include and what NOT to include and passed out templates I use when writing my novels. I asked the members to fill in the blank spaces with information from their own novels so they could see more clearly the issues of their own scenes, what’s important and what is not. Each member read their sections, and we, as a group, offered suggestions on how to make their scenes more dynamic.

For the next workshop, we’ll talk about the SEQUEL, and again I’ll hand out templates so they can identify more clearly what should be included.

I’m very proud of our members, which includes a husband & wife team who writes historical romance, and their first novel was recently published; a woman who has published through a Christian novel publisher; and we have newbies – writers who are just beginning their journeys. It’s exciting to watch them understand the technique they have heard about but may not have understood its use. I’m happy to help them along the way.

Novel Writers Workshop, Redlands, CA

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December 18, 2013 · 3:53 pm

The Sketchpad

I’ve been wavering between writing another paranormal or going back to the mystery/thriller genre and I’ve finally decided—rather a certain character has me more intrigued right now, so, I’ve begun a new mystery/thriller with a touch of the paranormal:


After a near-fatal accident down a Colorado mountainside, a police sketch artist awakens from a coma with visions of murder, compelling her to join the search for a serial rapist who’s escalated to murder. Coming to terms with her new ability taxes her marriage, threatens her sanity, and finally, her life.

Hope you’ll like it!

Brenda Hill 



Filed under Craft of Writing, My Blog

Black Friday deal on a Wednesday?


For yourself or as a gift for the thriller reader:

And Justice for Her, a boxed set of my 3 mystery/suspense Kindle thrillers, priced right for the season.

Only $.99

And Justice for Her – Amazon Kindle

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November 27, 2013 · 9:04 pm

Audio Version

Serpent Lake finalcover300It’s available! The audio version of The House on Serpent Lake is now available, perfect for that special someone who loves books, but has little time to read.

I’ve listened to the narrator and think she did a fantastic job. What do you think? Under the cover, click on Listen to the Sample:



November 16, 2013 · 6:22 pm

Exciting News about With Full Malice!

WithFullMaliceFront4Website200Harlequin’s WorldWide Mystery Division just offered a contract for the paperback rights to With Full Malice. Hooray! Since the book has already been released in hardback from my current publisher, Gale/Cengage, the mystery/thriller will  be reprinted in paperback and offered to Harlequin’s mystery subscribers.

But don’t hold your breath. It took about a year after signing the contract with Gale/Cengage for the book’s actual release. With as many lines–categories & sub-categories under the Harlequin umbrella, and most featuring new books each month–it’ll probably be a year or more before the paperback is ready to go. But since Harlequin is such a huge publisher, it’s still exciting news to me.

In the meantime, if you’d like to read it now, it’s currently available in hardcover & on Kindle:

Amazon Kindle:


Some reviews:

“A likable heroine, a deadly conspiracy, a white-knuckle climax – Brenda Hill’s With Full Malice has it all!”
Michael Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of Stealing Faces
“The premise of Hill’s third is certainly arresting, and the story holds your interest.”
Kirkus Reviews

“From its opening chapter to its stunning conclusion, WITH FULL MALICE is a thought-provoking, first-rate novel.”
The Big Thrill
International Thriller Writers

4 Stars – Compelling Page-Turner
“Hill draws the reader into a chilling tale of suspense.”
RT Book Review Magazine

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November 3, 2013 · 4:23 pm

New Novel Writers Group

images for 2012 invitation

Need to learn or brush up on the craft of writing? Join my novel writers group in Redlands, CA. At our next meeting we’ll critique opening pages, so critical to a writer’s success – or failure. If you’re writing a novel, published or aspiring, feel free to join us for sessions on the different techniques:


October 29, 2013 · 6:15 pm

Ten Times Guilty, FREE on Smashwords!

Ittg150f anyone would like to read my first novel, Ten Times Guilty, it’s FREE on Smashwords!

Single mother Tracy Michaels struggles to support her nine-month-old son as a tour guide in a Denver Victorian museum. Hoping for a better life, she changes hours to allow for classes at a tech school. Hurrying home after a late shift, she’s attacked, beaten and raped. She survives, but he’s watching her, threatening her baby’s life if she talks.

In the hospital, Tracy panics when when police show up in her room. What if he’s watching? She tries desperately to get rid of them, but Sergeant Reese Sanders is convinced she holds the key to a serial rapist that led to his sister’s death the year before.

Forced to run, Tracy seeks shelter in a safe house. With her counselor’s guidance, she discovers inner strength and courage, qualities she must test when her assailant finds her and demands she meet him.


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October 12, 2013 · 6:38 pm