New E Book Release. Found Innocent by Carolyn Arnold. From The Madison Knight Series.

If you haven’t already, meet Madison Knight, the chocolate-loving detective, who is determined to solve murder and find justice for the victims—even if that means coming into contact with the sight of blood.
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However, in Found Innocent, the latest release in the series (releasing October 16th!), she doesn’t have to face too messy of a crime scene, at least in one sense. What she does have to deal with is whether or not she’s willing to jeopardize departmental relationships and cross the wall of blue.
Here, this is what it’s about:
There’s one code when it comes to the wall of blue…and Madison Knight may have to cross it.
Any good cop knows you never report a brother for mishandling a case or accuse him of misconduct, but in order to find justice, Madison may not have a choice.
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Lacy Rose had one goal for her twentieth birthday—to be found innocent of past sins—but her life is cut short.
When Lacy’s remains are found in a garden and the investigation becomes connected to a closed case, Madison must face her past. The lead detective on that case was Madison’s ex-fiancé. At the risk of jeopardizing departmental relationships, and churning up the attention of an old flame at the same time, Madison must push hard before the guilty are found innocent.

Excerpt from Chapter 40:
Stiles Steakhouse was located on the main street. It had a sidewalk patio, which was open and full of patrons on any given summer evening. Tonight, however, the spring air was chilly and damp, possessing the ability to seep its way, through clothing and skin, to the bones. The patio would have another couple months to go before it saw the checkered tablecloths and pitchers of beer.
Cynthia met up with Madison at her apartment and they took a cab to the restaurant. Cynthia lived on the outskirts of Stiles, while Madison lived a little closer to the action—not that there was usually much action in Stiles.
“Guess we’re going all out tonight.” Cynthia smiled at her as she got out of the cab.
“Dang right. It’s been a long week.”
“It’s been a long few, if you ask me.”
Both women shared a laugh and made their way inside. Normally, they’d meet up for drinks at one of their places, preferring the solitude and privacy that came with it. There were times they’d go out on Friday night for two-dollar martinis at a bar called TJ’s, but it had been months since they had done that.
“Yeah, we deserve this.” Madison placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder.
The restaurant hostess was slender with petite wrists and long fingers. They wrapped around the wax pencil she held for marking patrons on the seating chart, which sat beneath a pane of glass.
“Welcome to Stiles Steakhouse.” She offered a sincere smile, passing a glance at both of them. “A table for two?”
“Yes, please,” Cynthia said. She turned to Madison. “And tonight’s going to be about fun, okay, not work. Can you promise me that?”
Madison hesitated. Why make a promise she knew she couldn’t keep?
“Huh. I should have known.” Cynthia smiled. “I guess if you left the job completely behind I wouldn’t know I was with Maddy.”
“I suppose I can drop talk about work, but can you go without a cigarette?” Madison laughed.
A waitress came and spoke to the hostess for a few minutes before directing them to follow her. She sat them in a booth large enough to comfortably sit four and handed them each a menu. “Your server will be with you shortly.”
The tablecloth was red-and-white checkered and covered by a piece of brown craft paper. A small plastic cup held colored crayons. Madison reached for the red one.
“Seriously?” Cynthia laughed.
“You said it was about fun tonight.” Madison took the crayon and scrawled an X.
“X marks the spot?”
Madison laughed. “It’s the first thing that came to mind.”
“You really have to learn to let go sometimes.” Cynthia reached for the green one and drew short lines. She then reached for the brown one and drew a simplistic house made of a square and a triangle top.
“My name is Paul and I’ll be your server this evening.”
Both women looked up at the same time. Both of them laughed.
Paul was in his mid-twenties and had green eyes that seemed to see through to the mind. His blond hair was layered with his bangs slightly longer and curled over his brow. His cologne held woody overtures and made Madison think of Old Spice.
“We’re just fooling around.” Cynthia offered an explanation but didn’t make a movement to put the crayon back.
Madison withdrew her hand that held the red one, and put her arm under the table.
“That’s what they’re here for. May I bring you a drink while you look at the menu?”
Neither woman took their eyes off the server.
“Glass of red, Cyn?” Madison asked.
“Bottle.”
Madison glanced at her friend, confirming the smile she had heard in her voice. She looked back to the server. “A bottle.”
He smiled at her and she felt her heart tap.
Curse men. Curse good-looking men who smelled like that!
“Which one?” He opened a menu that sat on the edge of the table. “We have several reds. There.” He pointed to the wine list, and Madison made the executive decision. But instead of verbalizing the choice, she pointed. Her finger brushed his.
“All right. It’s coming right up, ladies.”
With him out of earshot, Cynthia said, “What was that?”
“What was what?” Madison drew another X.
“That.”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Like hell you don’t.”
“It’s nothing.”
“Maddy, it’s me.”
“Fine, so he’s fine. Big deal. Let’s move on.”
“When was the last time you got—”
“You say that word, I will slap you here.” Madison laughed and looked up from her drawing.
“He is good looking, and he smells good too.” Cynthia adjusted her black-framed glasses.
“Yeah, he does.”
“Huh.” Cynthia pointed a finger at Madison.
“Hey, I’m not blind or dull of senses.” She dropped the crayon in the plastic cup and pulled the menu over hoping to instigate a subject switch. “I already know what I have in mind anyhow.”
“Oh, yeah, beef.” Cynthia winked and then bobbed her eyebrows.
Madison didn’t say anything.
“What? What did I do now?” Cynthia splayed a hand on her chest. “Would I imply anything improper?”
“Yes, you would.”
“So.”
“So, that’s why I luv ya, but if you tell anyone—”
“I know. You’ll kill me.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Madison smiled.
“He is really good looking though, don’t you think?”
Madison shoved her foot against Cynthia’s leg.
Cynthia put her hands up. “Fine.”

Interested in reading more?
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Apple
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The Madison Knight Series is a clean, murder mystery series meaning mild graphic violence and language. Each book is self-contained so you can read any of the books, and out of order, if you wanted to.  Books in the series in released order: Ties that Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Life Sentence (Prequel in which Madison has a cameo role), and Found Innocent.

Carolyn Arnold started to take writing seriously six plus years ago when a co-worker said “tell me a story”. Since then she’s written nine novels and has plans to write many more. She has a love for the canine world and has two beagles that are affectionately named Max and Chelsea. Like her female protagonist Madison Knight, she loves her chocolate and has been known, on occasion, to speak her mind.

Carolyn Author Photo 2013 Color Small[1]Website: www.carolynarnold.net

Blog: http://sassy3421.blogspot.ca/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

Madison Knight is back! Giveaway with @Carolyn_Arnold
In celebration of the release of Found Innocent you can enter for your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. You can enter as many times as you like and various ways. The contest lasts until October 31 2013.
Enter here

Little gem of inspiration.

Today, I was looking for a bite size chunk of reassurance. I found this this little gem of inspiration too good not too share.
This is one part of a beautiful quote from Eileen Caddy’s, Footprints on the Path.
The other two parts are like a comforting blanket, to wrap around you in those moments when you’re not quite sure of the way.

Never be afraid
to tread the path alone.
Know which is your path
and follow it wherever
it may lead you.
Do not feel you have to follow
in someone else’s
footsteps.

My life my way takeaway for Little gem of inspiration: “Note to self. You are on the right pathway. Trust and believe.”

Clear clutter. Make space for you.

Hands up if you regularly hold a pesky conversation inside your head that starts with the well-worn phrase of “if only I had more time…… for me?”

I’m sure that if I could see through the virtual world and into your space many hands would be sheepishly raised. Mine included.

That is until it dawned on me that if I don’t make time for me, who will? If I’m not happy and healthy then how on earth am I going to get through my day? If I’m not feeling good I’m certainly not going to be the best person I can be.

Break the phrase “if only I had more time….for me” into three parts and you end up with three parts of nothing much.

  1. If only
  2. I had more time
  3. For me

With more expected of and from you, more demands on time and with something to do squeezing out almost every single minute of the day it’s a wonder we haven’t all been reduced to a bunch of walking talking jibbering zombies.

With schedules crammed to bursting point some days there’s hardly time to make a bathroom stop and sleep let alone make time for the most important person. You.

I can only speak for myself here, but if I don’t have “me time” my mood takes a quick elevator ride up to the levels of cranky and crankier. Without making time every single day to do something that is important to and, for me, I simply would have a meltdown of epic proportions.

I make it my priority to prioritize me. Make it your priority to prioritize you.

Think about it. If I’m not happy, healthy and generally feeling good about myself then all other aspects of my life will suffer. Neither egotistical or selfish, it makes sense. After all, it’s up to me to get through my day, make the most of my life, make others happy, be a good person, achieve my goals and objectives. The list goes on with the one common factor, it’s all up to me.

To do this and more I need to take care of me first and not make myself the last priority on my to-do-list. Take the time and space that is right for you. Schedule a realistic amount of time that works for you and fits in with the rest of your day.

Whether it’s making time to exercise, go to the gym, read, write, bake, cook, plan, build, create, mediate, do yoga, blob and watch telly or to simply sit in quiet – write it, type it, either way, put it in your schedule and show up like you would for any other appointment.

Not a natural morning person I get up with the birds. As tough as it is to leave the comfort of my beautiful warm bed, I religiously get up an hour earlier for exercise me time. While churning out the running miles or pedaling my way through an RPM Spin cycle class I use this time to think and solve any problems. Often bringing a fresh perspective, stressful situations are eased or sorted. I also plan what to write, market and do that day. Within an hour my mind is clear of clutter and space has been made for the stuff that matters.

Clear clutter. Make space for you.

Put yourself at the top of your list and schedule time for you to do the one thing that will make you feel:

  • you’ve had time for you
  • good about yourself
  • content and satisfied that you’ve had time to do what you enjoy
  • able to give more of you to your family, work and others
  • great about being busy for the remainder of the day
  • less grumpy, dissatisfied, resentful or any other energy zapping negative emotion
  • ready to conquer your day
  • healthy and happy
  • like you matter

Plan to make time for you.

My life my way takeaway for Clear Clutter. Make space for you“Schedule time for you and show up like you would any other appointment.”


Clear Clutter. Make space for you is the title of Chapter 2 of my e-book Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat.

Minnie Moo needed to clear his mind of negative clutter to overcome his fear of hawks and go on his adventure with Mr T.

It resonates with me too. If I don’t make space for me I’m not going to be the best person I can be.

Do a Webinar.

Webinars have helped my ideas to grow. Fact.

Having recently completed my first semester at the E-Book University with the writing and publishing of Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat – it’s time to share the love. Credit needs to be given to the sources who inspired and motivated me into a state of self belief – I too could become a writer and even better, a published author.

Now a fully fledged choir member I’m going to sing the praises of webinars. Costing nothing more than your time, I’ve now done at least ten online web seminars. Every single one of them has provided motivation, inspiration and practical know-how to help me achieve my writing goals.

In this early stage of my life my way, my participation in webinars has been one of the most critical and valuable tools to help me achieve my goals.

The last time I opened my marketing/training/on-going education budget wallet, a cloud of moths flew out. By doing selected and free webinars I have definitely accelerated my writing, content, the importance of marketing planning and how-to education. Not forgetting too, the motivation gained from listening to people share their success stories. Plus, they’ve helped me sort through the clutter of what-to-do breaking down the process into bite size chunks.

Webinars are the one thing I can afford and can’t afford not to do. Sure, some come attached with a sales pitch, others don’t. At the end of the day this doesn’t bother me. It’s up to me as to whether I take up the offer or not.

Rewind back half a year or so I didn’t even know what a webinar was. At that time I was interested in learning more about the world of blogging. A friend recommended Darren Rowse from Problogger and his highly regarded resource –  Build a Better Blog in 31 Days. With my copy downloaded I got to work studying. His practical useful information helped me build an understanding on what it takes to build, maintain and work at having a blog. Along the way I joined his mailing list.

From there I was invited to join a number of webinars. Going beyond blogging his webinars showcased ordinary people turning their ideas and passions into successful online enterprises.

Fascinating and inspirational they all gave me a little more faith and confidence in my own vision.

If they could do it. I could do it too.

Webinars have encouraged and given me practical how-to-do-it tips on writing, e-publishing vs traditional publishing and marketing. Now having completed a few I noticed a thread of common touch points worth sharing. After trawling through my notes and, as a starting point I’ve whittled the pages down to:

Ten common themes from digital marketing/e-book webinars:

  1. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
  2. Build it and they will come. Find your community and influencers
  3. Be authentic. It’s much easier to write something you’re passionate about.
  4. The power of writing a good marketing plan.
  5. Judge content on quality not quality. Engage a great editor.
  6. Measure content by what’s promised in the title.
  7. Think big and go for it. Best Seller Mindset, not mediocre.
  8. Engage reader straight away. Connective writing = emotional connection.
  9. Don’t tell the reader what to think. Let them come to their own conclusions.
  10. Chapters can be great PR hooks. Think twitter 140 characters.

Four Webinar Legends who changed my way of thinking:

Darren Rowse
Brilliant, international, down-to-earth webinars featuring real people achieving extraordinary online success. He’s upfront. If there’s going to be a sales pitch he’ll let you know.

Daniel Hall
His how-to-publish a Kindle e-book webinar was the first to give me a practical step by step guide. After his webinar my mindset changed from maybe to, I’m going to do this. Daniel gives you plenty of warning about his sales pitch.

Steve Harrison
The marketing publicity PR guru of the Best Seller Blue Print fame associated with Chicken Soup for the Soul best selling author, Jack Canfield. His knowledge shared was invaluable. You can’t help but come away feeling like a winner! Leaving his webinar I’m more than convinced I’m on the successful writer with a plan expressway!  Sure there’s a sales pitch. The product is top notch.

Lewis Howes
His social media and digital marketing webinars are educational often featuring people who excel in their chosen area and command the big bucks when presenting at industry related conferences. I always come away from his webinars wearing a different thinking cap. His Facebook marketing webinar was genius. Definitely dynamic he always has a sales pitch.

My Life My Way take away for Do A Webinar “Listen, learn, do and share.”

Click here to view Minnie Moo. Only $US4.99 – available for most e-book formats. Thanks!   Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat