Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge – The History Of Evidence

Photo by dimitri c

Photo by dimitri c

Hi, Super Sleuths! Before we do our Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge, we must start by recognizing last month’s Super Sleuth of the month. This super sleuth answered our challenges 100% correct last month!

And the Super Sleuth of the month is...

 Jessica Patch

Want to learn more about our super sleuth of the month? Check out her blog at: http://www.jessicarpatch.com/

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Our Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge this week will count towards our August sleuth of the month. The person with the most correct answers this month will be sent the following gifts:

*A $10 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris:

Years ago it was much more common for individuals to be convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, or no perpetrator to be caught at all. Now, we have a wide range of forensic processes that focus on catching the right criminals as quickly as possible. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like all of those years ago before science played a role in crime stopping.

Forensics have come a long way throughout the history of crime solving and criminal trials. Just how much do you know about the history of forensics? How long have experts been solving crime with our current day methods? And where did they come up with these ideas to start with?

Let’s take a look back at the history books and see where it all began.

Which of the following forensic methods do you think was used first in an official manner?

A. Autopsies used to determine cause of death

B. Dental analysis and bite patterns used to identify a victim

C. Fingerprinting used as evidence in a crime

D. Footwear evidence used to identify the perpetrator

E. Handwriting Analysis

What is your answer? What forensic science do you find the most interesting?

3 Tips To Add Humor To Your Novel From The TV Show “Leverage”

Photo by andrewatla

Photo by andrewatla

Humor adds richness to our favorite novels and movies.

Some of the best moments of humor catch us unexpectedly. For this very reason we love characters with dry humor because we often don’t see it coming.

Think of some of your favorite humor clips of all time. To discover the secrets of humor let’s analyze an example in action.

The following clip is from the television show Leverage. Parker is the female character that plays the flight attendant in the following clip. She struggles to connect with people and often is a bit cold, but this particular episode required her to stretch herself and here is the outcome.

3 Tips To Add Humor To Your Novel From The TV Show “Leverage”:

*Select an unexpected source. Parker is the deadpan, antisocial character of this series. This is the humor everyone except the character delivering the punch lines recognizes. Parker appears non-pulsed. The other flight attendant is trying to keep the shock off of her face. The passengers are even more afraid that someone knows their greatest fears and is reiterating the possibility of them coming true.

*Cast a character in a role opposite of their personality. Parker is not the one you would usually look to for humor, but in showcasing this character in a role her personality would rarely play, you get humor. Parker would never take a job working with people. When we cast her in the role of flight attendant, her unusual dialogue seems in character.

*State the obviously neurotic. The humor in this segment is brought out by stating what everyone is really thinking, or at least someone who is terrified of flying is thinking. It sounds neurotic, but said in Parker’s flat tone of voice it makes us laugh.

What are your favorite humor lines or shows of all time?

Monday Music For Reading And Writing – Setting Location Personality Tunes

Photo by badpoint

Photo by badpoint

Writing or reading to the sound of the location your story takes place adds a bit of flare to your experience. It has a way of making you feel as if you are sitting right on the front porch swing, watching your character’s world pass by.

Here are a few selections to take you into their world. Enjoy!

Oldies Instrumental Music:

Country Instrumental Music:

Rap Instrumental Music:

Pop Instrumental Music:

Jazz Instrumental Music:

Which of these clips are you most likely to write or read to?

 

How A Character’s Journey Can Change Our Hearts As Writers

Photo by jan-willem

Photo by jan-willem

Starting a new book often brings me face to face with my own faith challenges. It seems like God uses my characters’ journeys to encourage me to dig deeper into an area of my faith that too happily skims the surface.

This new book is no exception.

Enter stage left my character, Paisley. Paisley is a cancer survivor who hasn’t exactly had a fair shake in life. Many people in her life have told her all of the reasons why her struggles are her own fault.

Paisley doesn’t believe it for a minute. She believes that life brings difficulty to both the good and evil (Matthew 5:45). Still, it is hard to accept that she continues to face one difficulty after another.

Her struggle reminds me a bit of a quote from the heroine in the movie Twister who lost her father to a tornado when she is just a girl. Here is what Jo says, “You’ve never seen it miss this house, and miss that house, and come after you!”

Paisley feels just like Jo. She knows that bad things can happen to everyone, but it didn’t happen to everyone else. It happened to her. Her cancer is at last in remission, but life isn’t done throwing challenges her way.

Paisley is left to ask a Job type question. Will it ever stop? Will God draw the line when she reaches the breaking point, or will she be crushed?

“Will You torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff?” ~Job 13:25

I have asked this same question many times. Have you?

Paisley demands an answer, of course. She sent me on a quest to reread all of the book of Job and God spoke to my heart through the heartache of Job.

Paisley’s question, Job’s question, my question are much the same. We may have all faced different heartaches, but it is human nature to want to find meaning in our struggles.

There are so many layers to Paisley’s answers that I could never include them all in one blog, but one verse stands out.

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth judgement.” ~Isaiah 42:3

What other verses do you know that help answer Paisley’s questions? 

Super Sleuth Challenge Answer – Dialing Up Revenge

Photo by gokoroko

Photo by gokoroko

There are just so many times criminals amaze me with their less than brilliant plans. This week’s villain is no exception.

Let’s review:

A Kentucky man was arrested for shoplifting alcohol from a local convenience store. A short time later, he and his friends were discovered drinking it in a public place.

Note: This was not the first time that he had stolen beer from the same convenience store that day.

Even though this individual’s own choice to rob the same store multiple times in one day led to his arrest, of course he blamed the law enforcement official who arrested him.  The criminal decided to get even with the arresting officer.

Which of the following did the criminal do?

A. Use his one phone call to order pizza under the arresting officer’s name to be delivered to the precinct.

B. Steal the officer’s car once he was out on parole.

C. Key the entire length of the arresting officer’s squad car.

D. Have his buddies torch the officer’s mailbox.

E. Smash in the officer’s car windows with a baseball bat.

It takes an awful lot of moxy to dial up revenge, but apparently this criminal cared more about getting even than he did his own freedom.

If you guessed the letter A, you’d be right. The criminal dialed Dominos Pizza to place an order in his arresting officer’s name.

To read more about the story of the pizza revenge click here.

Next week we will be announcing the Super Sleuth of the Month Award for July. Stayed tuned to see if you won. The sleuth with the most correct answers for the month is the winner. If there is a tie, then a drawing will decide the final result.

What is the craziest type of revenge you’ve seen, heard, or read about in fiction or in real life?

Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge – Criminal Revenge

Photo by lckidwell

Photo by lckidwell

Are you ready for our Wednesday Super Sleuth Challenge? Remember, this is the last week in the challenge this month. Next week I will announce the winner to become our next Super Sleuth Challenge of the Month. This month’s prize is:

Book Description:

“After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.” (Amazon Description)

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Photo by nigeldy

Photo by nigeldy

Criminals aren’t always the brightest bulbs, as we’ve shown here on my blog before, at least not the ones who get caught. In fact, today’s culprit put revenge over brilliance.

A Kentucky man was arrested for shoplifting alcohol from a local convenience store. A short time later, he and his friends were discovered drinking it in a public place.

Note: This was not the first time that he had stolen beer from the same convenience store that day.

Even though this individual’s own choice to rob the same store multiple times in one day led to his arrest, of course he blamed the law enforcement official who arrested him.  The criminal decided to get even with the arresting officer.

Which of the following did the criminal do?

A. Use his one phone call to order pizza under the arresting officer’s name to be delivered to the precinct.

B. Steal the officer’s car once he was out on parole.

C. Key the entire length of the arresting officer’s squad car.

D. Have his buddies torch the officer’s mailbox.

E. Smash in the officer’s car windows with a baseball bat.

Guess the correct letter for your chance to win the Super Sleuth of the Month Award.

 

4 Tips To Establishing A Threat To Your Character Hawaii Five-O Style

Photo fcl1971

Photo fcl1971

Whether you write romantic suspense, romance, speculative fiction, young adult, or another genre of fiction, establishing a credible threat to your character is essential to building the conflict in your story.

It may be a conflict as a love triangle is built, another race is threatening to anialate your own, or a villain is threatening to kill the heroine. Regardless of the type of danger you are inflicting on your character, it is important that you establish a strong threat.

The following Hawaii Five-O Clip gives us a few ideas of how this might happen:

 

Four Tips To Establishing A Threat To Your Character Hawaii Five-O Style:

1. Establish Believable Placement of Characters – Notice that Catherine is invited to be logically headed to a place with purpose when she is abducted. Establishing the reason for her placement at the convenient place and time for catastrophe to occur is essential.

2. Establish Credible Threat – The phone call made to Steve from his enemy establishes the threat to his girlfriend. Notice how there are time lines for the threat turning deadly to increase the sense that Catherine could die.

3. Intensify Threat – The villain intensifies the threat by showing just how evil he is when he hits Catherine. If he didn’t do this, his power seems to be less in the scene. Also, note that Steve hears this taking place, making his concern for Catherine’s safety feel even more real.

4. Show Why We Should Care- This component happens a bit earlier in this episode where Steve shows he cares for Catherine. We all want to cheer for love, so we care if something happens to her because it will hurt him as well.

Note: The first three tips build the conflict and the last one develops tension. Susan May Warren helped me understand this difference between conflict and tension. Conflict is what stands in the way of a character reaching their goals and tension is established when we show why the reader should care.

A few of my favorite movies and books for establishing a threat to the victims are:

*”Love Comes Softly” – Marty is left alone without her husband. Each of these steps are here. If you can’t remember, the fourth is showing that she is pregnant which makes the reader care.

*”Star Wars”

*”The Client”

*”Lorenzo’s Oil”

*”The Pelican Brief”

*”Vertical Limit”

What are your favorite books or movies for establishing a threat to the victim?