Cloaked in DangerWelcome Jeannie Ruesch to the

Pubbed Margie-Grad Blog! 

Jeannie writes for Carina Press and Cloaked in Danger is her second novel. She knew from the single-digit age that she wanted to be a writer. And she's achieved her goal.

You can find Jeannie at, on Facebook, and Twitter at @jeannieruesch



Cloaked in Danger

Historical Romantic Suspense

 Aria Whitney’s life has taken her from the sands of Egypt to the ballrooms of London, but when her father goes missing, can the handsome earl with a dark secret help her find him, or will a dangerous scandal threaten both their lives?


Hello Blog Guests!

Jeannie Ruesch writes fresh. Enjoy these fresh dialogue cues! 

Dialogue Cues:

1. “I believe you believe that someone is keeping your father from you,” he replied with the calm, pacifying tone that made her want to throw something heavy at him.

2. “I shot a man.” The words were heavy, laden with the guilt he felt for not feeling guilty.

3. His brisk, do-not-argue-with-me tone raised her temper and she stood taller, squared her shoulders.

4. “What I feel...I don’t know what I’m doing.” Her words were choked out, clogged with pain.

5. The words flew out like desperate birds, and Aria clamped her lips shut to keep any more from escaping.

6. His voice had grown thick, a deep caress that sent tingles up her arms. He remembered, too.

7. John’s words were losing form with each syllable, his head sunk further into the pillow propping him up.

8. “Shhh, shhh.” The voice was a low rumble of her childhood, one that used to soothe her.

9. “What I feel...I don’t know what I’m doing.” Her words were choked out, clogged with pain.

10. “Your first husband almost killed you, Blythe.” Adam kept his voice low, but the memory lived like a permanent scar on his heart.


Margie Asks Jeannie: 

How has what you've learned from me impacted your writing?


 Jeannie Responds:  Oh gosh.  Everything. And I know we all gush and talk about how wonderful Margie's teachings are, but it would be hard not to gush.  I recall one of the first Margie workshops I attended—it was a weekend retreat in beautiful Monterey.


During the workshop, I read the examples Margie gave from Lisa Gardner (who I have since grown to idolize), Harlan Coben, Tana French and others.  I reveled at the impact their words had on me, the emotion in their writing. I hoped for the day my writing might be worthy of such good company.  I wanted to infuse my writing with that kind of power. 


 I've learned it's possible.  The love of writing is the part that keeps our butts in our seats, but the craft — learning how to mold it, how to take a sentence and make it sparkle, that's learnable.

Margie Chimes In:  Yes! You learned dozens of deep editing techniques to empower your writing and make it compelling. And you applied what you learned exceptionally well!

Margie's lessons have taught me how to do that with tangible methods.  Rhetorical devices (the names of which I can NEVER remember). Backloading.  The EDITS System. Deep Editing. Body Language. Dialogue Cues. And Cadence...


During Immersion, Margie and I spent time on my current WIP, refining, polishing and making it so the words roll like a drum beat. Margie taught me the TOOLS for writing with power.  That was such a joy-filled revelation for me. 


Margie Chimes In:  Jeannie wrote: ...the words roll like a drum beat. Beautiful!


Margie Asks Jeannie:  

Cloaked in Danger came out in January with Carina Press. That was your first time working with Carina. What was it like?


Jeannie Responds:  My experience with Carina has been tremendous.  

I received "the Call" from Angela James Thanksgiving week in 2012 and it took a year and 2 months to publication. Which seems like a long time, but it didn't feel like it.  There is definitely a difference in writing with deadlines than in writing pre-contract.  It's a bit like yanking the training wheels of the bike. After I received the contract from Harlequin, it truly hit me that this is a business.  We writers are truly small business owners, but it's not often we think of ourselves that way.  Cloaked in Danger wasn't my first published book, but for some reason the lawyerly speak of the contract hit home (and yes, I know that's a cliche! ;))  



Margie Asks Jeannie:

Could you share some examples from before you learned my deep editing systems and techniques and after? 


Jeannie Responds:  You bet! I had to dig further back into old versions of Cloaked in Danger.  I save versions of my books along the way instead of just rewriting over my words. It can mean I have anywhere from 5 to 10 revision files of the book, but I like to go back and see what progress I've made on my writing.

 Wow! The difference in my writing pre-EDITS and post-EDITS is astonishing.  I'm not afraid to say I've come a long way, and that is due to the editing systems constructed in my brain by Margie.  Which makes her sound a little frightening, and I promise you, she is not. But she does live in my head while I'm writing.


 Margie Chimes In! Jeannie -- So fun that I'm in your head, pushing you to write fresh!



  Elisabeth got the fire stoked and the sharp, woodsy flavor of the fire rose up.

After -- 2 paragraphs:

 Elizabeth got the fire stoked and the sharp, woodsy flavor of the fire rose up. The combination of scents  swirled, formed a wall that closed in on her.

Her heart slammed into her throat, her hands became fists ready to battle the invisible foe, and the feeling of a hand at her throat, pushing, threatening, filled her mind until she nearly blacked out.

Deep Editing Analysis:  In context, you'd know the fire was a huge emotional trigger.

Jeannie added amplified visceral responses. Seven Emotional Hits in one cadence-driven sentence. Well done!


He was not happy to see her, clearly.  And yet she felt this crisp energy flowing through her all of a sudden.


His brisk, do-not-argue-with-me tone raised her temper and she stood taller, squared her shoulders.

Deep Editing Analysis:  Love Jeannie's hyphenated-run-on!  She used his dialogue cue as a stimulus and showed the POV character's I'll-take-him-on response.


The momentary flash of wildness disappeared from his eyes, leaving them cold and flat. “You were never interested in him. His touch meant nothing to you. You belong with me.” He paced in a circle, one hand tapping fiercely against his thigh in a fevered rhythm. 


“You are mine. Every bit o’ you. You’ve always been mine. Do you understand?” His words were feverish, sounding nothing like the smooth tones he spoke so carefully. His speech had slipped, along with his façade.

Deep Editing Analysis: Jeannie contrasted how he sounded now, to how he used to present himself. She ended with a power internalization that carried a punch.


Aria’s limbs shook. Her insides felt full of boiling water as she watched the man who had to be responsible for her father’s disappearance walk away from her. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw stones at him and call him every swear word she’d ever learned. 

 After -- 3 paragraphs:   

Aria’s limbs had frozen.

The man who knew something about her father’s disappearance walked away, and she couldn’t move. She wanted to scream. She wanted to throw stones.

She wanted to kill him.

Deep Editing Analysis: Lots of white space. Four short power-punched sentences. Rhetorical device: anaphora. Makes the piece cadence-driven and compelling.


Margie Asks Jeannie: 

You've taken a variety of my online classes, and attended your first 4 1/2 day Immersion Master Class last year. How would you describe Immersion class? 


 Prose Pros Immersion Class

Immersion Class, April, 2013: Left to Right: Bron Jones (New Zealand), Susan Baker (Texas), Lisa Miller (Texas), Kristin Meachem (Australia), Margie (Colorado), Julie Winterling (Maryland), Jeannie Ruesch (California), and Mary Birk (Colorado). 



Jeannie Responds:  Transformative.  I didn't want to leave Margie's mountain at the end of our class, even though my head felt like an overstuffed pillow with fuzz leaking out of my ears. (And a wave to my fellow Prose Pros!)

There was SO much!  The interaction and daily work with the entire group was invaluable.  Digging in even further to the EDITS system was so helpful, especially when it comes to conflict on the page.  Even with all the workshops I'd attended, that was something I struggled with.  In Immersion, as a group and in one-on-ones with Margie, we dug through some great examples of conflict, talked about how to build it, what it is, and adding the emotion onto each page in different ways.

I left that class with confidence that I finally understood how to recognize conflict on the page.  And more importantly, when it wasn't on the page. 

I loved the one-on-one time every day with Margie.  It gave us the ability to ping ideas back and forth, to really work the words on the page, and pull out the emotion.  All that work went beyond improving the WIP I was writing, it helped me see the page and the words differently. The process with which we improved sentences, thoughts, everything has become a part of my every day writing.

 Jeannie R and Margie at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Jeannie -- I enjoyed getting to know you in Immersion class. And loved our bonus days together!

Jeannie and Margie at Red Rocks Amphitheatre:


Jeannie Ruesch snowshoeing in back yard April 9 2013


Jeannie snowshoeing in Margie's yard.




Jeannie Ruesch bid on the Immersion Package on Brenda Novak's Diabetes Auction. She won!


I donated the same Immersion Package this year:


  1. Registration for an Immersion Master Class, 5 days, 4 nights. Travel is not included.Jeannie R working in Immersion April 2013
  2. All meals.
  3. Lodging in Margie’s guest room.
  4. TWO BONUS DAYS with Margie!      

 The winner stays two additional days. Margie will work with you, deep editing your manuscript, three hours on each bonus day. The winner will stay in Margie’s guest room a total of 6 nights.

  The Diabetes Auction runs May 1 - 31st!


Post a comment on the blog, and you'll be in the drawing for two gifts:

-- Cloaked in Danger!

-- An online class from Margie Lawson!


Check out March classes at Lawson Writer's Academy!
1. Virtues, Vices, and Plots -- Instructor: Sarah Hamer
2. World Genesis: Building a world from the ground up -- Instructor: Suzanne Lazear
3. The Coffee Break Guide to Business Plans for Writers -- Instructor: Amy Denim

  4. What you need to know before you ask for that review -- 2 week class -- Instructor: Heather Lire

  5  Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist -- Instructor: Margie Lawson


We'll have the drawing Tuesday, February 18.  8:00 PM, Mountain Time!

Post a comment on Monday and Tuesday. Jeannie will be here, waving, and answering questions.

Say Hi!   Let me know you're here.  You may be one of our WINNERS!

# Sharon WraySharon Wray 2014-02-17 17:42
Jeannie, your book sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it. I am uber-jealous about the time you spent in the immersion class. I hope one day I'll be able to join you.
Congratulations on your success!
# RE: Sharon WrayMargie Lawson 2014-02-17 20:39
Sharon --

Can't wait to work with you in an Immersion class!

I'm teaching 15 Immersion classes this year. I still have openings in Immersion classes in Denver (late March), St. Louis (mid-April), Atlanta (late April), and Denver in the fall.

Maybe you'll win the Immersion Package with the Bonus Days!
# RE: Sharon WrayJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-17 21:00
Hi Sharon! Thanks so much!

And yes, being on the mountain is incredible. I can't wait until I can go back. And the extra added benefit of winning through Brenda's auction gave me the chance to stay with Margie AND two extra days to focus on improving my work. SO worth it!
# RE: Jeannie RueschLori Freeland 2014-02-17 17:45
Jeannie,it was fun meeting you in Atlanta this year. Love your dialogue cues. I remember taking my first online class with Margie and thinking, "Wow. What a difference this will make." I can see Margie's power in your writing!
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-17 21:02
Hi Lori! It was so fun meeting you, too! I love the get-togethers with Margie grads after the fact, too. It's so fun to talk to others who have worked with her system, seen the difference it makes.

Even now, while I'm writing my first draft of the next book, I keep in mind where I want to go back and create "big gulps" from the initial basic emotional hits. I think the editing of the book is my favorite part of writing now.
# RE: Jeannie RueschRhay 2014-02-17 18:54
Love the sound of your book! And can't wait to snuggle into a comfortable chair for a wonderful read!! Wishing you only wonderful things.
Huge congrats,
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-17 21:03
Hi Rhay,

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the book. :)
# RE: Jeannie RueschTiffany Lawson Inman 2014-02-17 19:39

Congrats on the book!

It sounds like the type of book that has a few action scenes in it, yes? I might have to dig in to a copy and pull out some examples for my next class or blog. If you have been on the mtn with mom, then I'm sure you won't be afraid to let me do a dramatic dissection/anal ysis of some action, right? :lol:

What are you working on now?
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-17 21:07
Hi Tiffany!

You bet. There are definitely action scenes, and I'm not afraid at all for you to dissect away! I'll bet I'll learn more from your classes and blogs, too. Action is tough, and I know I can always use more tools to write it effectively.

When is your next action-oriented class? :)

I'm working on the next story in the series, focused on Adam's sister, Lily. It picks up a few years after Cloaked in Danger ends and Lily's life has not exactly gone as she hoped.
# RE: Jeannie RueschTiffany Lawson Inman 2014-02-18 08:44
Oh good! I like a good butt fictional butt kicking 8)

I'm teaching Action and Fighting in Fiction in March.

Maybe I'll see you there!
# Re: Jeannie RueschSandra Stone 2014-02-17 19:39
Loved that Jeannie's brain was able to grab on to the techniques and infuse her writing with powerful emotion. Another score for hard work and excellent instruction.
# RE: Re: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-17 21:09
Hi Sandra --

Definitely excellent instruction. And I love the concepts live on in my head as I write. And they grow stronger every class I take too. :) I'm looking forward to the next Fab 30!
# FavoritesShanda 2014-02-17 19:46
Congratulations! Love the cover.
January's ECE was my first Margie class, and now I can't imagine not having an LWA class to spur me onwards.
Did you have any other favorites outside of the big three and Immersion?
Best wishes on your continues success.
# RE: FavoritesMargie Lawson 2014-02-17 20:32
Hello Shanda -

Great to see you here. So fun to work with you in class!

Jeannie will be on the blog later this afternoon.

Here's a list of the online class I teach, and when they're taught.

1. Empowering Characters’ Emotions — Taught every January

2. Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More — Taught every February

3. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist — Taught every March

4. A Deep Editing Guide to Make Your Openings Pop! — Taught every May

5. Visceral Rules: Beyond Hammering Hearts — Taught every August

6. Fab 30: Advanced Deep Editing, A Master Class — Taught 3 times a year

Lecture packets are available for the first three courses now.

Lecture packets will be available for MAKE YOUR OPENINGS POP! and VISCERAL RULES next weekend!

Drop by my home page,, click on Lawson Writer’s Academy, and check out the course descriptions.

Thanks for asking about my courses!
# RE: FavoritesJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:01
Hi Shanda!

Thanks - I love the cover, too. I told Carina I loved high contrast colors, and they did a beautiful job.

I don't know that I could pick a favorite outside of Immersion. I've attended Margie's one-day workshops, weekend retreats, online classes -- I really enjoy the Fab 30 classes. Getting back into the swing of things with others who've learned the Margie way is huge.
# Regarding Jeannie RueschPatricia Manns 2014-02-17 22:09
Congratulations ! Your interview was just what I needed to keep pressing through the "Deep Editing" class. I've been stretched, to say the least. I'm writing my first novel. Initially, I thought I had taken the class prematurely. Now I realize I'm getting what I need right now. I'm planning to take other classes. Thanks for sharing your Margie Lawson story!
# RE: Regarding Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:04
Hi Patricia,

So excited to hear that you're starting with Margie! You won't ever regret it, and I think you'll find it makes your writing stronger, no matter where you are in the process. Yes, definitely keep pressing through. In addition to teaching me how to write better, the EDITS system has also helped me figure out my process— how to break down the drafts and what I need to accomplish in each one. The EDITS system is such a great step in the process. Good luck with your novel! Can't wait to see you on this blog in the future. :)
# Love it!Mariah Warren 2014-02-18 00:00
This was a great blog, and so inspiring...spe cifically, it really makes me want to attend an immersion class. Nothing like in-person interaction and editing. What a joyful success story. Thanks for sharing!

# RE: Love it!Jeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:05
Hi Mariah — I envied the Immersion attendees for years. When I saw it on Brenda's auction, I knew I had to try for it. It was one of the best things I've ever done for my career.

And this is off note, but apparently I am CAPTCHA challenged! LOL I can't seem to post a comment without having to refresh the captcha at least once to get it right.
# RE: Jeannie RueschShana Bickford 2014-02-18 01:27
I'm even more inspired and motivated now to take an immersion class. I can't wait for that opportunity to arrive for me. I'm hoping it will be this year! Thank you so much for sharing this brilliant interview with all of us!
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:07
Fingers crossed for you that the opportunity arrives!

And not only the great lessons from Immersions, but the great people who get to spend a week with, too. So much fun!

Thanks for stopping by. :)
# RE: Jeannie RueschSandi Jones 2014-02-18 01:30
I've heard the best things about Margie's courses, and Jeannie's story was the perfect example. I love the fresh dialogue tags. Wow! Thanks for sharing.

# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:14
Thanks, Sandi! You'll find we gush nonstop about Margie after taking her classes because she makes us sound like brilliant writers. :) Thanks for stopping by!
# Jeannie RueschRobin Olson 2014-02-18 01:59
Hey Jeannie, thanks for sharing your experience with us. I love your before and afters. I'm looking forward to my 1st Immersion with Margie in 3 days. Congratulations on your book! Robin
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:15
Immersion in 3 days! I'm jealous! :) You will have SUCH a great, exhausting time. Enjoy!!
# RE: Jeannie RueschBonnie Gill 2014-02-18 02:45
Hi Jeannie,
I loved your dialogue cues and your revised excerpts. They make me want to read your book. Thank you for the interview.
Your interviews are always entertaining and educational. Thanks so much.
I'm re-reading your classes while I'm editing. There is so much packed into them, I pick up something new each time.
# RE: Jeannie RueschJeannie Ruesch 2014-02-18 03:15
Thanks so much, Bonnie!

And I know what you mean about picking up something new -- I do, as well. I love having the lecture packets to reread whenever I need a refresher in my brain.
# RE: Jeannie RueschJulie Glover 2014-02-18 13:58
Love the examples! It really is cool to read the pre- and post-EDITS versions of a passage. The first chapter of my YA contemp novel is like night and day after Margie's Immersion. After she drove me to dig, dig, dig, I powered up that writing and it reads so much better.

Love the book cover and blurb for your new book, Jeannie! Best wishes with it. Thanks for appearing here with Margie.
# RE: Jeannie RueschNikki Weston 2014-02-18 21:40
Hi there Jeannie,

I am delighted to read about your publishing success! I have often seen your awesome design work over the last few years, and the name 'Will Design For Chocolate' still makes me smile. Serious congrats on all your work!

Best for now - Nikki.
# RE: Jeannie RueschCarol Bodensteiner 2014-02-18 23:16
The University of Iowa MFA program operates under the premise that you can't teach writing. Jeannie's examples prove the contrary. I look forward to taking my first class from Margie in March!
# RE: Jeannie RueschMargie Lawson 2014-02-19 03:50

Thank you for celebrating Jeannie Ruesch's fresh writing!

So fun to read all your comments.

I clicked over to, and I have the names of our two WINNERS!

The winner of an online course from me is............. ............SAN DRA STONE!

The winner of CLOAKED IN DANGER is............. .....BONNIE GILL!

CONGRATULATIONS to Sandra Stone and Bonnie Gill!

Sandra -- Please email me through the contact on my home page.

Bonnie -- I have your email address, I'll email you now!

Thanks again to everyone for dropping by the Pubbed Margie Grad blog!

Happy Deep Editing!....... ....Margie
# RE: Jeannie RueschBonnie Gill 2014-02-19 04:03
Thank you. I can't wait to read it.

© 2018 Margie Lawson

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