Book Giveaway to Celebrate Mystery Week

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of North of the Killing Hand as part of the #MysteryWeek celebration on Goodreads. Other mystery, suspense, and thriller authors participating in giveaways are Lee Child, Scott Turow, John Grisham, Lisa Jackson, Joseph Finder, Angie Fox, Laura Griffin, and more. Goodreads has giveaways in many genres. If you’re a reader, join the free website for readers– I use it to stay in touch with readers, find new books, and keep track of what I’ve read.

“North of the Killing Hand is another brilliant entry in the Compass Crimes Series by Joni M Fisher, a compelling and intricately woven story for fans of crime fiction…The international setting is equally fascinating and readers will enjoy the way the author establishes the contrast between two worlds, building a powerful conflict around it as the protagonist adjusts and evolves. The themes are well explored, including crime, love and devotion, the sense of justice and revenge. North of the Killing Hand is a beautifully paced, absorbing story that keeps readers’ eyes on its pages.” —Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite 5-stars


“Reading North of the Killing Hand means you are in for some suspenseful and gripping story telling.” —

Goodreads Book Giveaway

North of the Killing Hand by Joni M. Fisher

North of the Killing Hand

by Joni M. Fisher

Giveaway ends May 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Writer’s Den Interview

Jane Waters Thomas interviews authors in her series The Writer’s Den. In the March 1, 2017 telecast, Jane interviewed me about the writing process used in developing the Compass Crimes Series. The first book, South of Justice, came out in May 2016. North of the Killing Hand came out in October 2016. The “West” book is scheduled for release in October 2017. A link to the video appears near the end of this blog.


I am a plotter, that is I plot out the entire story before I write to target research on particular topics and to prevent wasting time writing scenes that don’t move the story along. Pantsers, that is those who write by the seat of their pants, tend to think about a story and plot in their minds and then write in bursts of time. The process of transforming a story concept into published form takes years of practice and study of the craft of storytelling. No matter which process the author uses, the reader sees only the result.


Man, oh man, the internet can connect me to experts and data in seconds! I enjoy the field-research phase of the writing process best because I meet wonderful experts and get to try new things–like field-stripping an M-16, visiting foreign countries, and living on a trawler for a while. What’s not to love when work is such fun?


Technology has vastly improved the writing process. I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude to type and retype a ninety-four-thousand word manuscript with each revision on a manual typewriter. Today, a writer can use computerized document software like Microsoft Word, or Scrivener to create novel-length manuscripts. Changes, additions, revisions are simply keystrokes. Move a word. Move a sentence. Move a paragraph. Move a chapter. Easy peasy. Writers today don’t even have to be proficient at typing. I use Dragon Naturally Speaking software to dictate my first draft. Sure, it tosses in a completely inappropriate homonym occasionally, but I can dictate faster than I type, so my productivity improves with technology.


To quote Author and Pilot Jamie Beckett, “Writing is an art. Publishing is a business.”

Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most influential painters in the world, did not earn a living a a painter. He lived and died poor. He was unable to sell his work. Don’t be the starving artist. Learn the industry. Learn the market for your work. Learn about marketing principles for authors. Find social media sites for readers, like Goodreads, and connect with readers.

Authors today are expected to manage both the art and the business elements to build a career. Gone are the days when the author drops off a manuscript at the publisher’s then deposits the advance check and tromps back home to start the next book, leaving all the editing, proofreading, formatting, cover art selection, copyright, typesetting, layout, printing, binding, distribution, and marketing for the publisher to handle.

Authors are expected to participate in marketing through book signings, social media, and more. Building a readership takes time. Tom Clancy didn’t quit his insurance job the day his first or second book was published. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, had a tough time convincing a publisher to contract her books. Her stories combined historical settings, war, romance, time travel, suspense, and mystery. Publishers didn’t know where to shelve her books in bookstores, so they didn’t know how to place her books where her readers could find them. In time, readers found her stories and today the Outlander series has been made into an amazing televised mini-series.

Click on the picture to view the interview.

Jane Waters Thomas interview for the Writer’s Den.


My readers, God bless them all, have encouraged me in this long process. They show up at book signings from New Mexico to Florida. They buy my ebooks in the U.S., England, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Thank you, readers, for your purchases, your reviews, and for recommending my books to your friends. So on I go, writing the next one.

Reader’s Favorite Review and Research

5-Star Reader’s Favorite Rating

North of the Killing Hand is another brilliant entry in the Compass Crimes Series by Joni M Fisher, a compelling and intricately woven story for fans of crime fiction. The plot centers on Nefi Jenkins, whose experience of murder will shape her future in unimaginable ways. She is just fourteen when she witnesses the murder of her parents. Rescued from Brazil and brought to the US, she learns a new way of life, and connects deeply with those who have stood by her. As she grows up, the desire to join the law enforcement service becomes an obsession for her. But is it for the sheer desire to serve her new country or the thirst for revenge? The answer will surprise readers and it’s worth finding out. Joni M Fisher’s work reminded me powerfully of the movie Colombiana, but there is nothing that makes the 2011 film close to this well-imagined and masterfully executed story. Witnessing one’s parents being murdered is a powerful premise for a psychologically absorbing story and the author has used this premise as a springboard to create a character that is rock-solid and with great psychological depth. The international setting is equally fascinating and readers will enjoy the way the author establishes the contrast between two worlds, building a powerful conflict around it as the protagonist adjusts and evolves. The themes are well explored, including crime, love and devotion, the sense of justice and revenge. North of the Killing Hand is a beautifully paced, absorbing story that keeps readers’ eyes on its pages.” —Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite 5-stars

Many thanks to the reviewer for this wonderful review! Thank you to all my readers for your support.


I am hard at work on the next novel which will be the West part of the Compass Crimes Series. Next week, I will be living on a boat named Seeker off the west coast of Florida. My hosts are Paul and my BFF Caryn “Cookie” Frink. This is their boat:


Caryn is an avid reader, one of my BETA readers, and South of Justice is dedicated to her. I am researching a group known as Loopers, who live on their boats and loop the eastern U.S. via rivers, canals, and lakes to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The lively Looper community features a role in the next book. As a pilot, I am well out of my depth on a boat. Still learning my port from my aft. Anchors away!

Book Signing at Winter Haven Library

The Winter Haven Library will host a book signing on Saturday, November 5 from noon to 2 p.m. for Author Joni M. Fisher. Her second book in the Compass Crimes Series is North of the Killing Hand. A prequel of South of Justicethis latest novel reveals Nefi Jenkins’ life in Brazil and the tragedy that ultimately brings her to the United States.

“A gifted storyteller, Joni Fisher writes with energy and passion that comes to life in her characters. North of the Killing Hand is an intricate and suspenseful read that grips the reader from start to finish.” –John Foxjohn, International, USA Today, and New York Times bestselling author

This story won second place in the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards in the unpublished Women’s Fiction category.


North of the Killing Hand wins second place in 2016 RPLA

Book Signings in Florida


On Saturday, November 5 from noon to 2 p.m., the Winter Haven Public Library (Winter Haven, Florida) is hosting a book signing for the second book in the Compass Crimes Series. It debuts on October 16. North of the Killing Hand is a prequel of South of Justice.

cover art

This book is a finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. Winners will be announced at the awards banquet on October 22nd. My friend Author Carol J. Post also has a finalist book. Thankfully we are not competing in the same category–because she’d trounce me. Her book is in the Christian Fiction category. Mine in women’s fiction. All prayers for wins for both of us are greatly appreciated.


Of course there will be books available for sale and signing on November 5th, but for those who want to help boost the rankings of this book–buy a copy online through Amazon and bring it to the signing. Why? I’m glad you asked. Pre-buys accumulate and count as sales on the release date (October 16). Even eBook sales ahead of the release date help raise the book in sales ranking. And higher rankings lead to more sales…you get the picture.


Oh, and puhleeeeze, please post a review online through social media because my books have to compete against so many others and readers are hesitant to buy a book from an unfamiliar author unless a friend recommends it. Amazon is a vast, tough market. It has changing policies about reviews. It can take down, yes, remove reviews if the review seems to be an acquaintance of the author or if it seems the book was given in trade for a review–so if you buy a copy on Amazon and later post a sentence or two reviewing it, then your review will be labeled a VERIFIED review. That means you bought a copy and did not get a copy in trade for a review.

A review simply means clicking on the number of stars you rate the book. You can add a sentence or two. A review isn’t a book report like the kind you dreaded writing in school. Readers tend to skip the long ones and the long ones often reveal plot surprises.

If you are also on Goodreads (a sort of Facebook for readers), then a review there helps also. As a reader, I love Goodreads because it has weekly giveaways of books. Soon it will have eBook giveaways, too!

The book signing in Albuquerque, NM went very well for me and for the many authors involved! I even met Kerry Lonsdale, author of Everything We Keep. She took a selfie of us to post on her social media. If anyone sees it, don’t tell me if I look starstruck. Let me pretend I appeared cool and calm.

South of Justice cover artBOOK SIGNING NEAR ORLANDO

For readers in the Orlando and Altamonte Springs area, I will be signing books at the Altamonte Springs Hilton on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. as part of the Florida Writers Association Conference. I will have copies of South of Justice and North of the Killing Hand. Just look for the grinning woman behind a table of books. Be warned, I’ve been known to hug readers. You are my people.



Cover Art Chosen for North of the Killing Hand

Thank you, thank you. Your votes are in for the cover art for North of the Killing Hand, the second book in the Compass Crimes Series! This book will be released on October 16. Here it is:

cover art for book

The runner up was also beautiful, but would have required much more tweaking to get it aligned with the story of Nefi Jenkins. Somehow the short shorts and leather messenger bag didn’t suit the story. When you read it, you will understand. This story is a prequel to South of Justice.

To readers who are on, there will be a giveaway of 50 signed paperback ARCs of North of the Killing Hand coming up soon. ARC means Advance Reader Copy. More info on that later.

If you are interested in reading deleted scenes from either book, leave a comment. Like other authors, I often have to write background scenes and extra scenes that help me discover more about my characters. These scenes, like deleted scenes in a movie, are not essential to the story.

I could front load the book with history like James A. Michener did in Hawaii, going back to the geologic formation of the islands, but modern readers have too many other things demanding their time. Like hundreds of channels of television to watch. Hobbies. Children. Spouses. You know, life. Michener wrote Hawaii before cable television and the internet, back when people had evenings to spend reading.

Modern readers fight for reading time because it is a luxury. I respect that. I treasure feedback and reviews from readers because writing is a fairly solitary venture. The research and critique-swapping stages involve other people. The majority of work on a book is done alone at a computer facing the blinking cursor.

Book signings, book club appearances, conferences with other writers–these delightful social events keep me going from book to book. Thank you for your votes on the cover art. Watch for the giveaway and the pre-buy links leading up to the October 16th book release.

Oh, and the winners of the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Award will be announced at the Florida Writers Conference in October! All prayers for finalist North of the Killing Hand to win are greatly appreciated. Please also pray for Mistletoe Justice to win in the Inspirational Fiction Category. (That’s my friend Carol J. Post’s book!)