“Till Death Do Us Part”

November 10, 2016

Melissa Ohnoutka is an author of romantic suspense and a close friend and writing buddy of MuseTracks. In honor of her latest release Sinful Secrets, we’ve asked her to be our guest. Because she scares us. And we love her. Take it away, Melissa!

“Til Death Do Us Part”

What a wonderful vow between two lovebirds on their wedding day. A promise to spend the rest of their lives together, giving and sharing all they have till the end.

That is unless you’re male, and about to marry a Black Widow.


I had no idea how far back cases of women serial killers went until working on my latest book, Sinful Secrets. For example, Belle Gunness from the early 1900’s was a real piece of work. Mysterious infant deaths. Heart attacks. Meat grinder accident in the kitchen. Weird disappearances. Yeah, she had issues all right. This six-foot, two hundred eight pound woman is suspected of murdering 25 to 49 people on her farm in La Porte, Indiana. The bodies, along with bones and personal items were unearthed on the farm after a fire. A fire? Really? Something sounds fishy here to me. LOL Wonder who collected the insurance on that one.

Women who kill for the sole purpose of financial gain, or even sympathy from others, are scary on so many levels. Think about it. They could be your neighbor, the sweet little lady down the street that makes cookies for all the kids after school. Or how about that new girlfriend someone you know, or love, just started dating. Talk about make you paranoid! And these Black Widows don’t just limit themselves to killing their husbands either. Oh, no. Their victims included children, the elderly, anybody who got in their way. Geesh… No one is safe.

So why do they kill? After scouring the internet for character traits to use with my female villain, I discovered women serial killers rarely kill for power, or the mere sick thrill of the kill. There were a few, but most have a more sensible approach to their madness.

Sympathy—the need to feel loved and accepted.

Money— a huge temptation too great to ignore.

Or revenge—never piss a woman off. LOL

Links in case you’d like to do your own research:




Boy, this research has given me such great material for future book villains. But today I’d like to share my newest release with you. A big thank you to the ladies of Musetracks for letting me visit!





Everyone has secrets. Some are deadly.

Event planner Joanna McNamee is scrambling to ensure her father’s company Christmas party goes smoothly, but one disaster after another has her convinced someone is trying to sabotage her career. With the help of a man from her past who she’s still not sure she can trust, she puts the pieces together and realizes her business is the least of her problems—a cold-blooded killer is out to destroy her father and take her as his prized possession.


The last thing Deputy Ryker Kane expects is for a simple truck hijacking to throw him back into the middle of the Black Widow case he’d been forced to abandon, not to mention right into the arms of the sweet woman he’d let walk away ten years earlier. When he finds Jo Jo kidnapped and drugged, he has to use all his wits and skills honed from years as a detective to save them both. Despite the secrets between them, Ryker’s bound and determined to give them a second chance at love.



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Friday Fun Facts- Lady Liberty!

November 4, 2016

She is a piece of art. She was a gift. She means so much more.hsc-homepageimage

See if you knew these facts-

  1. She is hit by lightning over 600 times per year.statue-of-liberty-being-struck-by-lightning-wallpaper-4
  2. Her torch was refurbished in 1984 with a new copper base and then overlaid in 24 carat gold leaf.
  3. The 7 spikes on her crown represent the 7 continents and 7 oceans of the world. Peace is a global desire that knows no boundaries.
  4. The statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening The World.
  5. Lady Liberty has a size 879 shoe and a 35 foot waistline.
  6. The face was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s mother, Charlotte.
  7. Her feet are not easy to see but she is, in fact, standing among a broken shackle and chains. Her right foot is raised like she’s walking away from slavery and oppression.
  8. In 1984 she was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.lady-liberty
  9. Two people have committed suicide by jumping of the statue. The first was in 1929 and the other in 1932. (I wonder if it had anything to do with the economic crash.) Many others have jumped and survived!
  10. Andy Warhol painted this great lady as part of his “Pop Art” series in the 1960s. The painting is said to be worth more than 35 million dollars today!!statue-of-liberty2
  11. **I never knew this!** In 1916, the statue sustained damage when Germans saboteurs set off an explosion during World War I. The torch-bearing arm sustained the most damage with $100,000 in repairs! (That was a HUGE amount of money back in 1916) The stairs in the torch were closed for safety and has never been re-opened.
  12. During a storm, once winds reach 50 mph, the statue can sway up to 3 inches while the torch can dance around up to 5 inches.
  13. The most famous movie going shot of the statue was in Planet of the Apes. She’s broken and all we see is her head buried on the beach. Chilling moment.pota-statue-of-liberty-2
  14. In 1944, the lights in her crown signaled dot-dot-dot-dash. That’s Morse code  for V, Victory in Europe!war-pat-canada-1
  15. For many years she also served as a lighthouse with lights that could be seen for 24 miles.
  16. She is 130 yrs. old this year.
  17. If the statue were to be built today, it would cost over 10 million dollars. (Yet, a painting of it costs over 35 million??)
  18. The statue was inspired by the pagan Roman goddess, Libertas.

Friday Fun Facts-Our First President!

October 28, 2016

George Washington was the father of our country. The first President. What do you know about him beyond cutting down his dad’s cherry tree? (Which wasn’t true- it came from a poem written after he had died.) Let’s find out…d90801252c240db0782cf7402b590df4

  1. He was unanimously voted in as our first president with all 69 members of Congress casting their ballots for him. No popular vote existed.
  2. He was one of the largest presidents we’ve had. He stood at 6’2″ and weighed 200 lbs.
  3. His favorite foods were peanut soup, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, and string beans with mushrooms.
  4. He had no children but had hound dogs that were treated like family.
  5. He only attended school from the age of 6 to 15. He then became a surveyor because his mother couldn’t afford to send him to college.
  6. He had chronic toothaches until at 57, he had all of his teeth pulled. He wore a set of dentures carved from Ivory and set on a silver plate.aca-teeth
  7. President Washington may have owned one of the first goldfish in America! They were a gift from a naval officer.dc-goldfish-gw
  8. He was the richest president. Ever. His assets today would have been valued over $500 million.
  9. He had 2 stepchildren, but the girl died at 16 due to a seizure, and the boy died when he contracted a disease at a military encampment.download
  10. Washington was a military hero by the time he was 22.
  11. He was also a distiller of whiskey and produced 11,000 gallons in one year.
  12. Before fighting against the British, he actually fought for the British.
  13. At 67 he came down with a bad cold and was dead within 48 hours. Researchers now say, he died of medical malpractice. He was subjected to 4 rounds of bloodletting.
  14. It is said that he introduced mules to America. He received donkeys from the King of Spain and bred them to his horses.
  15. He didn’t wear a wig! That hair we see in pictures is all his!!georgewashington

Link Of The Week-Throw Downs!

October 18, 2016

There was no one quite like the Bard himself to throw down the best insults ever. No matter what you write, this is a great place to get unique ideas about insulting someone.


“Thou puking pottle-deep coxcomb!”

“If you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.”


Friday Fun Facts- Hurricanes Again

October 7, 2016

I know we had facts on these mammoth storms once before, but in light of Michael, I thought it’d be good to learn some more tidbits for interest and special knowledge for your next book.

  1. A Category 5 hurricane has sustained winds of higher than 155 mph. There is talk among scientist that we will soon need a Category 6 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
  2. Category 3 is where they describe “devastating damage”.saffir-simpson_hurricane_wind_scale_2014
  3. Category 5 is catastrophic and power would be out for weeks, maybe months. And they think we need a 6?
  4. They can unleash 2.4 trillion gallons of water per day!
  5. In 1900 a Category 4 hurricane slammed into Galveston. Over 8000 people lost their lives…it’s a Category 4 that just devastated Haiti and is now pounding Florida.hurricanes-17-728
  6. Remember: Run from water, hide from wind. (Can you hide from 155 mph winds??)
  7. 40% of all hurricanes that hit the United States go to Florida.
  8. Hurricane Katrina cost us $108 Billion.
  9. The Hurricane Hunters fly directly into cyclonic storms to gather data and study these huge weather beasts.hurricane_hunters
  10. They are from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron of the US Air Force Reserves.
  11. They are based out of MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida.


    Inside the eye of a hurricane. Can you imagine being in the clouds with this storm swirling around you?

  12. Great story: During WWII, a group of British pilots were training in the US. There was a surprise Hurricane, dubbed so because there was limited information distributed due to the war and it was a surprise to most, and the Brits were shocked that the planes were evacuating their planes. Some smack talk later and the leader of the US squadron took the trainer plane and flew it directly into the hurricane. He survived and came home, only to switch places with his navigator and fly right back out into the storm again. This showed that hurricane reconnaissance was possible and a few more flights occurred until someone gave them the name Hurricane Hunters.

Friday Fun Facts- Wet Your Whistle With Water

September 23, 2016

Have you ever thought about water? No?

Most of us take it for granted. Some of us don’t have access to clean water. And some have very little to survive. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, it is absolutely necessary to exist. Check out what I’ve found out about this liquid.dsc_0208

  1. Water is the second most common molecule in the universe. The first is hydrogen.
  2. There are 1.5 billion cubic metres of water on Earth. WOW! That is equal to 800 TRILLION Olympic swimming pools.
  3. If it was poured out evenly over the surface of Earth, it would be 12139 feet deep. Whoa.
  4. Only 1% of that is fresh water available to us. The rest is either salt water or ice bergs.iceberg
  5. The Antarctic has been covered in ice for 30 million years.
  6. This is for all of our science geeks! Water should be a gas at room temperature. It’s because the molecules are so sticky, it keeps it together as a liquid!
  7. Most people drink around 264 gallons of water every year.
  8. This is sobering. A 5 minute shower uses approximately 53 gallons of water!dripofknowledge_zps18306ad8
  9. Hot water freezes faster than cold water. It is called the Mpemba Effect and no one knows why it’s true.
  10. It takes almost 53 gallons of water to produce enough coffee beans for one cup of coffee.
  11. Water can dissolve more substances than any other liquid including sulfuric acid.
  12. 70% of your brain is water.
  13. 80% of all illness in the developing world is water related.images-1

Link Of The Week-An Easy Book Trailer

September 20, 2016

They claim they are the world’s simplest video maker! I poked around a bit and took a look at some author’s who have used them for their book trailers. Looks pretty good! Check it out and let me know what you think.film



Link Of The Week-Sex

September 13, 2016

Let’s face it, writing good love scenes are hard. Notice I say “GOOD” love scenes. So many of them out there are filled with purple prose and enough cheese to fill Holland. I decided to put together a few sites to help you out!

Echoes of the Heart

This book has a great example of a super hot scene without actually having sex.



Dead Man's Kiss

Great examples of well written love scenes!

500 Great Words for Writing Love Scenes


Friday Fun Facts- Voodoo

September 2, 2016

Ahhhh Hollywood. We have it to thank for voodoo being one of the most misunderstood religions around. It focused on the dark underbelly and mysticism associated with this belief system and messed up what little it did try to portray correctly. That doesn’t mean voodoo isn’t interesting and might not have a few things that will make you shiver.voodoo

  1. There is no single founder of voodoo.
  2. There are 3 main types of voodoo, West African, Louisiana, and Haitian voodoo.
  3. There are strong parallels between it and Christianity. In fact, Pope John II participated in a voodoo ceremony cementing the peaceful coexistence the two churches have.
  4. The dolls are more complicated than what we think. They don’t represent the person they were made for- a picture, a lock of hair, or something personal must be attached to the doll to link it to the person. It was used mostly for good, but like most things, it depends on the darkness of the practitioner with how dark the purpose is.mythos_voodoo_dolls_by_jasonmckittrick-d6a0mmx
  5. Marie Laveau’s name is synonymous with voodoo. But what you might not know is that she worked tirelessly for her community. She gave assistance to the homeless, the hungry and the sick.  In fact, people still leave offerings at her supposed grave asking for help.Mlavaue-211x300
  6. Voodoo priests and priestesses undergo a long period of training before performing any ritual that opens themselves up to spiritual possession. During these rituals, one of the two spirits that inhabit the body—the ti bon ange—leaves the body so the spirit of a loa can possess it. The ti bon ange is the portion of the spirit that contains the individual, and must be protected when the individual is hosting a loa. The other part, the gros bon ange, is a spirit that is shared among all the living.
  7. Animal sacrifice is a part of voodoo. It is not so much about the icky morbid as it is about elevating the life force of the loa spirit. The meat is also then cooked and eaten as part of the celebration.animal-sacrifice-_-Source_-imgkid
  8. There is a voodoo serpent god called Danballa.They believe he is the creator of the world and also carries the souls of the dead to the afterlife. When practitioners are possessed by this god, they don’t talk, they hiss.
  9. There are no distinctions of black and white voodoo. In fact, when an evil spirit is called forth, it is called Red magic because the person’s eyes turn red when they are possessed by evil.
  10. The voodoo pantheon has 3 levels. The highest is a single god, the second is the loa, those that interact with humans, and their ancestors, and finally there is us.
  11. The Kingdom of Oyotunji is a traditional West African voodoo village near Sheldon, South Carolina. It is technically not part of the United States.hqdefault

Link Of The Week-An Editor Extraordinnaire

August 30, 2016

We all know and love Jennifer Bray Weber! She’s a talented author who has won many awards and is multi-published. I’m one of her biggest fans!

But, did you know she’s also an amazing editor? Jennifer has worked with best selling authors and those just beginning. Here’s what one author has to say about her services:

“Jennifer Bray-Weber has an excellent eye for details, story telling and the mechanics of writing. She offers a comprehensive line edit as well as a thorough look into the nitty-gritty details of your story to make sure that it is cohesive. I enjoy her style and approach. Her feedback was spot on and truly helped me enhance my story, drawing out my voice, without losing any of the creativity and uniqueness of the story. Additionally, she helped me immensely with historical wording (etymology). I can’t recommend her enough!”

Eliza Knight, award-winning author.

We all need tools in our belt to produce the manuscripts possible- this is one tool you don’t want to miss!IMG_5556