Tag Archives: feedback

Yeah! The Beta Reads Are All In For Book One In The Naked Eye Series

Belinda Pollard has some great articles on beta readers, what they are, how and when to use them.


I can’t say enough good things about my betas. I was so very glad that I went all out and had a dozen team members take a look. I had readers who focused on the “Big Picture” and readers who focused on the “Little Details”. Getting both of those perspectives contributed immensely to the creation of a better product. A couple weren’t able to read. That my ten readers loved the story and its characters thrills me.

This is not a high-level English literature read, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s an entertaining, fun read with zany, quirky characters, a bit of a romp. So many improvements have been made. There is still work to do. I plan to have the edits completed by November. I’m working through some attribution tag improvements and cutting some fluffy stuff from Chapters Three, Eleven and Twenty-Five to tighten up the read.

It has been a joy to work with so many brilliant minds and their varied talents. I had a wonderful audience well-suited to provide the feedback we needed to move this project forward. I say “we” because this seems a great team effort.

My plan is to park this first book come November, and spend the next year writing books two and three. Then they will go to an editor. I am hoping to have three completed and ready to publish by November of 2016. It may take a bit longer than that, but I am thinking getting into the flow with the series has been accomplished. If it takes another year that will work just as well. I want to publish them at three month intervals.

I’m still thinking a pseudonym of sorts will be best for this change in genre and style. I don’t want readers of one genre confused by the other simply because of author name.

A Great Big Thank You To All Who Were Willing To Help Out!

Your time and effort much appreciated.

You all get free airline and Disney tickets and can stay at my place (I wish).

We’ll have a big party!

Seriously! I am deeply indebted. Let me know if I can ever return the favor somehow.

Have you ever been a beta reader?

Have you used beta readers?

If not, you are missing out on a valuable experience.

Crime Fiction Beta Readers Apply

We have gotten about half-way through with the first beta reads and second edits on Naked Alliances, my first crime novel. Yay! I’ve been told, “It’s one helluva good story to be proud of.” That really boosted my confidence, and I am feeling just about ready to share it with others.

I have two beta readers and they are more than awesome!  I’m really getting excited now. There is absolutely no way I could thank them enough. You totally rock!

I have four more beta readers lined up and I will accept a couple more if you think it’s really something you’d like to read. Just send me a note: sknicholls1@gmail.com  I will tell you now, it may be a couple of years before this story is released to the public, as I have two or three more stories in my head that I want to get down before I publish Book One in The Naked Eye Series.

This story was written as a challenge by my husband, the Rocket Scientist, to write a crime novel. It developed exactly as I expected it would. We are both avid readers of crime fiction. He reads everything, but I mostly read regional authors. I can’t deny being an amateur.

I also can’t deny that it is cliche. My characters are cliche. The story, while serious and fascinating, is somewhat cliche. Not a comedy caper, but it comes off as nearly satirical it’s so cliché, in my opinion. But it is what it is. And I have worked hard on it.

It’s regional southern crime fiction. There are southern colloquialisms that I most likely won’t alter. It is also spiced with contemporary, regional urban slang. (Hopefully, not too much.) Some may be very clear to you and some more obscure, but it’s not hard to pick up on meanings in context. There are accents and some regional dialect, but nothing you have to slog through for any length of time.

If rape, prostitution, porn, nudity, and/or recreational sex are triggers for you, you probably don’t need to read. If you’re put off by the notion of alternate lifestyles, you’re likely not going to enjoy this story. That’s okay, it wasn’t meant for everybody.

Being as cliché as it is there are stereotypes, and they are supposed to be there. There are no patched eyes or limping characters, steampunks, or people with robotic appendages. There is nothing paranormal, magical, or mystical about it.

The book is both murder mystery and crime thriller, but it’s not a cozy mystery and it was a challenge to write both murder mystery and thriller in one book. The murder is more a subplot, so it doesn’t really unfold the way a typical cozy murder mystery would.

Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, when I am ready for more beta readers to take a look, I’ll have most of the editing done. I’m mainly looking for opinions and feedback on the overall flow, the pace, the story-lines, and how you feel about how they unfold. I would also like to know if there are characters that you would like to see come back in future books. The series books will stand alone, but may share common characters.

I am looking for folk who like crime fiction in particular.

 If you think you would be interested, drop me a line.

One of the fictional settings in the book, Leisure Lagoon, was modeled after this place, my family’s nudist resort here in Central Florida, Cypress Cove.

Feedback Needed on Excerpt Dialogue

My protagonist, Richard, the detective, just slammed a suspect down on the ground after a chase through the ghetto. He’s trying to question him. The guy is Jamaican. He speaks primarily patois. What I need to know is whether or not I have Americanized the language enough for the average person to understand enough of what happened without feeling too alienated. I want it to be authentic. It won’t spoil the plot to read it.


“Bumbo! Wah di rass, mon!” the man sputtered, through gasping breaths.

“Don’t give me that patois shit,” Richard panted. “I know you’ve been in this country at least ten years.”

“Yuh got di wrong guy, mon.”

“Now, how do you know that when you haven’t heard what I have to say?” Richard didn’t wait for an answer. “You can start by telling me what you were doin in Melbourne July 4th, 2005. Tropical Border House Inn.”

“Long time ago, too nuff, too nuff.”

“You’re going to think I’m messin in your business if you don’t start talkin.”

“Mi cannot breath, lemme up.”

“Can you stay in one place?”

“I and I done nuh ting wrong.”

“How do you say, ‘badman ting?’”

“No sah, no sah. Ten year ago mi a young man makin love.”

“How’d that go?” Richard asked. He eased up on his back just a bit and released his head roughly, yanking off hair as he did. “Tell me about Maria. You remember her? Latina girl married to former mayor Timothy Morrison? Did she piss you off? Did she dump you? Did she tell you she couldn’t fuck you anymore so you decided to make sure she couldn’t fuck anybody? Did you stab her to death, or did she accidentally fall on your knife?”

The man heaved, “Yuh a chat bagga nonsense. Easy nuh. Lemme up.”

“I’m chill man, you do the talkin.” Richard eased off Jason’s back and released his left arm. They sat up in the midst of the field, knees up, with the sun beating down, wiping away the sweat and the sand and catching their breath.

“Sumady Murda. Yuh no mi sah, no sah. Hol it dung, mon. Mi and mi dupes en gayls meet at Firestone Club, pretty gyals from di Leisure Lagoon, pretty gyals. She give mi di hotel and di day. Mi dunno she married. She wonna mi eat unda sheet. She wanna cock it up pan me. I and I to di hotel on di day. She bring di babies and givem candies. Pum pum tun up. Rude gayl jus wanna have good times. Timothy Morrison, dat one be di ball an chain. And she all broughtupsy. She say big tings a gwaan. No woman, no cry. Put di babies en di car. I and I come home di mornin. See it pan di news, pan di televsion.”

“So you just met and screwed? Consoled her. With the kids there?”

“Awoah! Di lil babe an di boy. Jus di boy watch cartoons, eat di candy. Di babe sleeping, Nuh one hour.”

“You couldn’t come forward, tell what you knew?”

“Look a mi, mon, an sit en di white mon prison? Yuh gotta Jamaican mon, no mi suh. I and I nuh know he di brinks, Morrison, till mi read en di papers. Mi done no ting wrong cept by di mon, nuh by mi.”

“Jason Pauly, you don’t run no more,” Richard said while standing. He stuffed his hand in his pocket and relaxed his fist. “You stay around. If you do nuh ting wrong, you’ll be okay, but don’t run.” He brushed the dirt from his jeans, “I will find you, mother fucka” he added. He walked away leaving the man sitting in the sand.