World Building: Bakery Names

Every fictional town needs a bakery! Where else can your characters stop for a Danish when they’re feeling sad pick up a box of doughnuts for the office? It might also be a great place for a breakup, an important clue, or even just a storefront that your character walks past on their way to something more important.

Of course, you’ve got to name that bakery! Here are a few that I’ve come up with in my writing exercises as I’m world building. I can’t guarantee that they haven’t been used anywhere before, but perhaps they’ll be enough to inspire you.

  • For Cake’s Sake
  • The Sugar Shack
  • Sprinkled with Fun
  • The Frosting Factory
  • Buttercream Dreams
  • Flour Power
  • The Cookie Cutter
  • Babycakes
  • Upper Crust
  • Buns in the Oven (could be particularly cute if the owner has a lot of kids!)
  • Rise to the Occasion
  • The Cakewalk
  • Cookie Crumbles
  • Sugar Shop
  • Loafing Around
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Icing on the Cake
  • You Take the Cake
  • Patty’s Cakes
  • A Slice of the Pie
  • Breaking Bread

What would you add to this list? I’d love to know! I’m sure I’ll be adding more myself, so be sure to check back. Don’t forget to take a peek at my Writers’ Resources page for more inspiration!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under cozy mystery, worldbuilding, writers resources

Tarot Tuesday GIVEAWAY!

Hey everybody! It’s been a really long couple of years. You know what we all deserve? Some freebs! I’m going to start off by giving away a brand new copy of an oracle deck I’ve really come to love: Dragon Oracle by Diana Cooper. If you’ve paid any attention at all, you know I love oracle/tarot cards AND dragons, so this just makes sense!

I’m keeping this as simple as possible! All you have to do to enter the drawing is to leave me a comment with your favorite fictional character. It can be a dragon if you’d like, but it doesn’t have to be! I’ll be running this contest on my Facebook page as well, and you can get a double entry by leaving a comment both here and on that post! (Psst…you can get an extra extra entry by signing up for my mailing list!)

This contest will be open through Sunday December 5th. Be sure to look out for another giveaway coming soon!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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A Class Coveted is now Available!

Have you been anxiously waiting for the fourth installment of Susie Murphy‘s A Matter of Class series like I have? Well, today is your lucky day! This series has been one of my absolute favorite historical fiction reads. Romance, action, and such amazing detail that you’d think you bought a time machine instead of a book!

A Class Coveted is now available on Amazon! It’s a great way to wrap up your Cyber Monday shopping (along with the other books in the series if you haven’t already read them, available in a boxed set here). Keep an eye on my blog for the official review of A Class Coveted, coming soon!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please consider using my links to do your shopping and help me out at no extra cost to you!

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Cozy Mysteries: The Usual Suspects

It’s time for another post about cozies! This is one of my favorite genres. They’re light, suspenseful, and fun. You have a cute small town, quirky characters, and all sorts of crimes to solve. But before you can write that cozy, you’ve got to figure out whodunnit first!

If you’re plotting out some villains, here are a few ideas:

  • a spouse
  • a sibling (sibling rivalry at its worst!)
  • a boss or an employee
  • a coworker
  • an ex-lover
  • a former business partner
  • a competitor in business
  • someone who’s been blackmailed and wants revenged
  • a mentor who’s jealous of how well their pupil has done
  • a simple thief
  • someone who will inherit a lot of money after the crime
  • an individual the victim refused to help, even though they had the means
  • a person who was tired of the victim’s poor decisions and how they treated people
  • someone who wanted to teach others a lesson
  • a celebrity who will gain in sales/followers
  • a stalker
  • a former roommate
  • a teacher
  • a hairdress
  • a corporate buyer
  • someone who wanted control over a situation
  • an accountant

As you can see, some of these have more to do with motive than with who they are. I think the two parts of a mystery go hand-in-hand. What would you add to this list? I’m sure I’ll be adding more in the future, so be sure to check back!

This is just a brief list, but hopefully it’s enough to inspire you. If you’re looking for more inspiration, be sure to take a peek at my Writers’ Resources page. Looking for some clues for your mystery? Try this post. Thanks!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under cozy mystery, Fiction, worldbuilding, writers resources

Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card from The Good Tarot

It’s time once again for Tarot Tuesday to see what the rest of the week holds for us!

This week’s pull is from The Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid. These cards are just gorgeous and have so much energy when I’m working with them!

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post or come visit me on eBay.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – 4 of Water: Things are stable right now, and perhaps they’re stable to the point of stagnation. Are you feeling like your relationship isn’t making progress? Or your creative endeavors just aren’t going anywhere? Allow your disappointment to wash through you so you can move past it. The universe has a plan for you, but it’s not always given to you in the way you expect.

#2 – Four of Fire: Take pleasure in your relationships and friendships. Things are solid and steady, which means it’s the perfect time to celebrate! Others are in sync with you right now, so enjoy all that you can create together.

#3 – 8 of Fire: You have been or are about to be traveling to new places, either spiritual or physical. Things are moving swiftly, so let that momentum energize you.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com or visit me on eBay (see link below) and we can get it arranged easily. Thank you!

$10.00

Come visit me on eBay!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Crime Scene Clues for Cozy Mysteries

I don’t know about you, but I love cozy mysteries. Actually, I’m guessing you must like them at least a little bit if you’re here, because this post is about writing them. As a ghostwriter, I’ve written a ridiculous amount of them. (I do plan to do some other posts about cozies, so stay tuned!) One of the interesting challenges is coming up with various clues that will lead the main character (as well as the reader, of course) to the actual killer. You’ve gotta have a few red herrings in there as well, so that means more clues!

The problem is that most cozy mysteries aren’t about actual detectives or crime scene investigators. We’re talking about small town people with normal jobs and hobbies. Your ‘detective’ might be someone whose specialty is chasing strays at an animal shelter instead of chasing down killers. This means that most of your crime scene clues can’t require a forensic lab to be followed. Sure, you might have a police officer who fills in a detail here and there, but otherwise you need hints that the everyday layperson can follow.

Here are a few to consider:

  • a single earring
  • a receipt
  • part of a label from a prescription bottle
  • a fast food wrapper
  • a key (there are lots of opportunities for where the key might go)
  • a shopping list (is the handwriting important? or the contents?)
  • paint
  • ink
  • a distinctive item of clothing
  • a strand of hair
  • the imprint of a ring, or the bruise left by one
  • a broken shard from a piece of pottery or a vase
  • a puzzle piece that doesn’t match a puzzle
  • dirt or mud from someone’s shoes
  • part of a costume (feathers, glitter, etc)
  • a charm from a charm bracelet
  • something written on a person’s hand
  • a thread from a garment
  • a book left behind on a bench
  • beads from a dress
  • a notepad with the imprint of what was written on the previous sheet (revealed by rubbing a crayon or pencil on a seemingly blank page)
  • a secret drawer in a dresser or des

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are also plenty of clues that might not be physical at all, like when your character witnesses and argument between two people or one side of a phone call. What clues would you add to this list?

Be sure to check out my Writers’ Resources page for more posts like this. Thanks!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under cozy mystery, worldbuilding, writers resources, Writing Exercises

Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card from The Spirit Animal Oracle

It’s time once again for Tarot Tuesday to see what the rest of the week holds for us!

This week’s pull is from The Spirit Animal Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid. I love the beautiful, misty artwork on these cards. And of course I always love anything that has to do with animals!

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post or visit me on eBay.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – Butterfly Spirit: Change isn’t always easy, but the Butterfly Spirit knows that wonderful things are waiting on the other side. You may be looking at a job or location change, or experiencing a transition in your relationship. Don’t get wrapped up in all the what-if’s and try to make the most of these new transformations.

#2 – Deer Spirit: Deer Spirit reminds us that it’s possible to be both confident and accommodating as we work toward our goals. You may find that you need to negotiate with others, but you’re more than capable. Walk slowly and steadily in the direction you need to go. This is a time when thinking of others first could be very beneficial for you.

#3 – Antelope Spirit: It’s time to get moving! If things feel a bit intense, take advantage of that as you move swiftly toward your goals. Even if the pace your life is taking feels a bit dizzy, try to relax and enjoy the ride.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com or visit me on eBay (see link below) and we can get it arranged easily. Thank you!

$10.00

Come visit me on eBay!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards

World Building: Bookstore Names

Creating a believable fictional world is just as important as creating your characters and plot. I personally love to sit down and map out my make-believe town so that my characters can walk through it consistently. Part of this process, though, is creating names for every one of the businesses your character encounters! I don’t think any small town is complete with a bookstore, whether it’s new and vibrant, old and dusty, or somewhere in between.

Image by JayMantri from Pixabay

Here are some bookstore names I’ve come up with during the process. I can’t guarantee you that any of these haven’t been used before, but they’re a lot of fun!

  • The Bookmark
  • Between the Lines
  • Booktopia
  • Flip the Page
  • Volumes of Books
  • Alexandria’s Books (extra points if you get this one)
  • It’s About Tome
  • Gutenberg’s Dream (more extra points on this one)
  • An Open Book
  • By the Book (or Buy the Book!)
  • A Book by its Cover
  • Read the Room
  • Cover to Cover

As you can tell, I like store names that are a little punny. What would you add to the list? I’d love to know!

If you’re looking for more posts like this, be sure to check out my Writers’ Resources page!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under worldbuilding, writers resources

Tarot Tuesday! Pick Your Card from The Akashic Tarot

Needing a little guidance for the week? Then you’re in luck, because it’s Tarot Tuesday!

This week’s pull is from The Akashic Tarot by Sharon Anne Klingler and Sandra Anne Taylor. If you’re unfamiliar with them, the Akashic Records are fields of energy that contain all knowledge past and present. It’s a complex but fascinating idea. I recommend The Akashic Records Made Easy by Sandra Anne Taylor to explore it further.

If you’re interested in a reading of your own, please see the bottom of this post or come visit me on eBay.

Study the photo below and see which card calls to you (1, 2, or 3). You may want to know what the week holds for you in general, or you may have a specific question in mind. Regardless of what you want to know, let your spirit guide you on your card. You’ll find the cards and their meanings below.

Are you ready? Scroll down to find your card!

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#1 – 6 of Keys: You have all the resources around you to the do the work you need to do. This is a time of balance, and it may seem as if the very stars have aligned to make things easier for you. Take advantage of it, know that things are as they should be, and create away!

#2 – 1 of Keys: The architect begins his work by studying his plans and envisioning the good things that will come. This card could be literal, meaning that you’re getting ready to start building or remodeling a home or other building. It could also be a reminder that you can do great things if you step in and take charge as you’re meant to. You have the necessary skills, so don’t be shy!

This is the card I picked for myself. For me, I believe it’s literal. I need to finish remodeling my bathroom!

#3 – Reflection: You are about to take a trip, but is it a physical or a spiritual one? If you’re planning a vacation, know that this is a good time to go. You may also be thinking a lot about your own psychic power, or you may have new opportunities to consider in that realm. You’re open to learning new things, and this is a good time to learn more.

Which card did you pick? Did it mean anything for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Interested in a reading of your own?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading with a deck that calls to me. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com and we can get it arranged. Thank you!

$10.00

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Please note that I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Please considering doing your shopping using my links to help me earn money at no cost to you.

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Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards

Tarot Tuesday: Pick Your Card from the Animal Tarot!

Time to shake off that case of the Mondays and get ready for Tarot Tuesday! This week’s draw is from the Animal Tarot deck by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine. I love all the beautiful animals in this deck and the way that everything is connected to nature. If you’re interested in a personal reading, please see the bottom of this post or visit me on eBay.

Study the picture below. If you have a question or situation you’re concerned about, hold that in the front of your mind as you choose your card. You can also simply pick the one that calls to you. When you’re ready, scroll down to find the meaning of your card.

Ready?

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#1 – King of Spring: Everyone is looking to you for leadership. That may not always be a comfortable position, but it’s one you’re worthy of having! Your skills inspire others, and you’re in a strong position to achieve your goals. Don’t get bogged down in the details, and focus on the big picture.

#2 – Eight of Spring: You may be feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to do and all the choices that are springing up in front of you. This feels stressful sometimes, but try to remember that all these things in front of you are opportunities! You’re simply receiving many blessings from the universe all at once.

#3 – The Lovers: Your heart rules all right now, and it’s led you to the love of your life! The relationship you’ve been examining and thinking about is a good one. Your thoughts and emotions are balanced right now.

Which card did you pick? What did it mean for you? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

Interested in a tarot reading?

You’ll receive a photo of the actual cards drawn and a thorough explanation of their meaning. The readings are done through email, so please ensure a valid email address is included with your payment! This is for a generalized reading. If you have a specific question or needs, please feel free to email me at ashley@ashleyomelia.com or come visit me on eBay (see link below) and we can arrange it easily. Thank you!

$10.00

Come visit me on eBay!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tarot and Oracle Cards