Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase

To Outline or Not to Outline

There is no wrong way to write a book. If you can imagine it, then you can write it. Just sit down, gather your thoughts, and do it. At least that is how I feel about what it takes to write a novel. There are two types of writers and they are loosely referred to as either an outliner or a pantster. There are varying degrees of both of these types of approaches, and any writer will undoubtedly tell you which one best describes them.

As for me, I’m an outliner. It’s just how I roll. I’m one of those people who have lists and even lists for my other lists. You know the type—being obsessed by organization. I find that having an outline gives me a solid roadmap through my story before I sit down and write it. That doesn’t mean that you cannot change something, go in another direction, or even add or remove a character. When adjusting an outline is what I refer to as taking one of those side roads from your roadmap.


Benefits: It gives a complete overall view to the story before you begin writing. You’ve spent the time to work out any questions, inconsistencies, or lags in the storyline. You can see the entire story play out and can decide if you want to change anything that appears to be a problem. It will shorten the rewrite time later. You will be able to see if you need more research, tweak the storyline, or if a particular character needs more development. One of the most important aspects of outlining is that it will almost guarantee no writer’s blocks or not knowing how to end the story. What a relief!

Drawbacks: It can take more time than expected to work out an outline. The outline may become too detailed and eat up time from your budget process before you ever write your first chapter. It could also cause the story to become stilted—taking away from the more organic flow of writing. You don’t want your crime story to read like a dull police report.


Benefits: Just because you don’t have an official outline doesn’t mean that you don’t have some notes or simple guides as you write. It’s not as if you’re wearing a blindfold sitting in front of your computer and someone yells, “GO!” It just means that you don’t want to take the time to complete a full outline. You would rather have the freedom to create and not be bound by notes and detailed scenes, but to just write. It gives you the opportunity to create in a less stressful manner giving a freer tempo to the story. If you foresee obstacles or a need for more research, you can complete these tasks as you go, or when you’ve completed the first rough draft of your story.

Drawbacks: It can be easy to write yourself into a corner of not knowing how to proceed or when to end the story. It may seem workable in your mind, but in reality, it becomes a stumbling block. Not creating a more detailed outline may cause the first draft to have more rewrites than with a more completed outline.

It’s basically up to the individual’s personality and writing habits to find out if outlining, or not, is the right fit. My advice, try them both and you’ll immediately know which side of the writing fence is the most comfortable. 

File Size: 1041 KB
Publisher: JEC Press
Publication Date: July 2, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Chrime Thriller
Buy: Kindle


What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.


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Excerpt ~

ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.

She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.

Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.

The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.  

The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next. 

Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.

The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.

Was it a ghost?

Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.

She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.

Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.

The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.

She waited for several minutes.

Nothing appeared.

The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.

As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.

Tour Schedule

Monday, September 4

First Chapter Reveal & Tour Kick-Off at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, September 5

Guest Blogging at Blogging Authors

Wednesday, September 6

Book Featured at YouTube

Thursday, September 7

Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC.

Friday, September 8

Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club


Monday, September 11

Book Review at The World As I See It

Tuesday, September 12

Guest Blogging at C.A. Milson’s Author Blog

Wednesday, September 13

Book Featured at Rising Indies United


Monday, September 18

Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Tuesday, September 19

Book Featured at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, September 21

Book Featured at Write and Take Flight


Monday, September 25

Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Wednesday, September 27

Interview at The Dark Phantom

Friday, September 29

Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook


Monday, October 2

Guest Blogging at Dear Reader Love Author

Tuesday, October 3

Interview at Broowaha

Wednesday, October 4

Guest Blogging at Mythical Books

Thursday, October 5

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner


Monday, October 9

First Chapter Feature at Read My First Chapter

Tuesday, October 10

Character Interview at Pimp That Character

Wednesday, October 11

Book Featured at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, October 12

Book Featured at T’s Stuff


Monday, October 16

Book Featured at Book Bloggin’ Princess

Tuesday, October 17

Book Review at Good Family Reads

Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books

Wednesday, October 18

Book Featured at Rainy Day Reviews

Thursday, October 19

Book Featured at Readsalot


Monday, October 23

Book Featured at A Title Wave

Tuesday, October 24

Guest Blogging at StoreyBook Reviews


Monday, October 30

Book Review at Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Tuesday, October 31

Book Review at Books for Books


Wednesday, November 1

Interview at The Writer’s Life

Thursday, November 2

Book Review at fuonlyknew

Friday, November 3

Interview at A Blue Million Books


Monday, November 6

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, November 7

Interview at The Pulp and the Mystery Shelf

Wednesday, November 8

Guest Blogging at YouTube

Thursday, November 9

Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt


Monday, November 13

Interview at The Literary Nook

Tuesday, November 14

Interview at The Book Connection

Wednesday, November 15

Book Featured at Books Can Be Deadly

Thursday, November 16

Book Review at fundinmental


Monday, November 20

Interview at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, November 21

Book Featured at Book Cover Junkie


Monday, November 27

Book Review at That’s What She’s Reading

Tuesday, November 28

Book Feature at Nuttin’ But Books

Thursday, November 30

Book Review at Teatime and Books

Interview at SheWrites








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  1. Thank you for hosting Dead Cold today!

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