Category Archives: For Readers

Pleasures, the third Nova Scotia murder mystery

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4TMA5FWhy is it the smallest books take the longest time to write? I had a lot of fun with the characters and situations in this story. Or as much as a person can when there’s a serial killer on the loose. Want a little taste of the beginning? Sure you do!

Chapter 1

 

“Mandy? I need your help.”

The pain and fear in her brother Marty’s voice scared her. Mandy Hays gripped her cell phone tighter and went over to shut her office door. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Rachel. She’s gone.”

“Oh no, Marts. I’m so sorry.” She eased down to her chair behind the desk. Resisting the urge to tell him what an idiot his girlfriend was for leaving him, she rested an elbow on her desk. The poor guy needed comfort from her instead of an “I told you so.” She enjoyed teasing her younger sibling, not tormenting him. “You know, meeting the parents is a big step for anyone. It sounds like she just wasn’t ready.”

His voice came through the tiny speaker thick with tears. “No, it’s not that. She’s dead.”

The news stunned her for a moment. People their age, mid to late twenties, didn’t die. Not suddenly unless there was a car wreck involved. She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, wanting to know what happened without making things worse for him. Mandy heard him sniff before blowing his nose. As soon as he finished, she asked, “What happened, or can you not talk about it yet?”

“I can, but it’s bad. Really bad.” He cleared his throat. “Someone found her on the beach.”

Living in Nova Scotia meant miles of shoreline. She waited for a moment so he’d continue. The silence stretched between them, and she almost ground her teeth in frustration. Their family had barbecues out near the shore. She didn’t want to skip asking him now and risk suggesting a beach where Rachel had died. “Which one?”

“Martinique. We’d gone for a walk last night after she left work. It was cold, but not as much as usual.”

She could imagine the ocean, sunset, Marty and Rachel holding hands and just being together. The romance of their last evening broke her heart. Mandy couldn’t find words to comfort him. “It sounds like it was a really nice evening. Did you arrive separately?”

“No, I drove us there and back.” Marty coughed. “Her car was there the next morning, parked a little way from where mine had been. Before I can tell you more, I need to know if you’ll go to the police headquarters with me.”

Mandy reached for her mouse and clicked open her schedule. “Of course. When?”

“Can you meet me there now?”

 

Want more? Pick from your favorite vendor.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4TMA5F
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pleasures/id1135220371…
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/1124115809;jsessionid=1D9A8…
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pleasures-2

We have a winner!

Ruth won my contest! She was randomly chosen by Rafflecopter, thank goodness. Otherwise, I’d want to be Oprah and give everyone a $50 gift card. Don’t tell my husband or he’ll pass out. 😉 He has this thing called a “budget” that he won’t let me ignore. I plan on doing more of these contests in 2017 so keep an eye open.

In other news, writing The Very Poor Man (sexy!), giving The Very Best Man a serious rewrite, 15281831_10154114959577338_501215846_n-pngediting Pleasures: a Nova Scotia Murder Mystery, and plotting Surplus from the same series has kept me busy. November got away from me and December is all about helping Christmas Veterans. Our unit adopted three families, so there’s a lot of shopping and coordinating!

Stay tuned for later contests and thank you so much for being a part of my 2016. I hope you’ll hang out with me in 2017.

Christmas contest! #MondayBlogs

First, the normal news:

 

I’ve been so busy with everything but writing that the books are coming along so slowly! But that’s going to change this month. I have nothing to do but typing and helping the Christmas veterans until the end of the year. Okay, and maybe I’m hosting a little bit of a contest for everyone reading this post! Woo!

Need extra spending money for Christmas?

Click *here* to enter in a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway.

The giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

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I’ve been a bad little blogger.

My goal with every blog post is to at least entertain readers when I can’t inform them. So why has it been so dusty around here? Because I’ve ramped up my production schedule and all my entertaining has gone into novels instead of posts. Facebook has been getting some of my love, of course. I have to keep up with friends, family, and potential readers. It’s a must.

What exactly have I been doing? A lot. The first of the year found me wrapping up Uncivilized, a historical western series about the Oregon Trail. What I’d planned on being a 350 page novel ended up as 400 pages. While my editor was cutting through it like a jungle native, I was writing The Very Rich Man, number three in the Very Manly Series. I was Love's Prisonervastly honored by being asked to participate in a box set of historical romances and it gave me the chance to rewrite a story I’d called Love’s Prisoner way back in ’92. My villain’s name was Dirk and little did I know I’d meet a real life Dirk who’s still my hero today. The menus above, the photos, the new Java enabled website I’m migrating to are all due to him. He’s the George to my Liberache, the Theo to my Vincent. I could have done it on my own, but not as fast nor as easy as he’s made it.

I did happen to reedit Love’s Prisoner when I should have rewritten it entirely. Lesson learned, I’ve improved in the past twenty or so years. This story is out today everywhere and is a short read at almost a hundred pages.  Find it here.

Will it be a historical serial with new excitement every quarter or so, or a full on epic series? I haven’t decided, but the next installment is set for November, so I’d better get started.But not yet. Why? ::insert drumroll sound:: Because, AUGUST! Starting August 17th and the next two weeks after that, I’m publishing the first three books in the Nova Scotia Murder Mysteries. What started in Imposter and Holidays continues on in Betrayal, Impatience, and Pleasures. Surplus is slated for November with Rage, Appearances, and Honeymoon following in every quarter after that. This series has been so much fun to write. I love the characters, the setting, the research, it’s all been a blast. Check out the new covers! They’re so pretty!

Escape

Imposter was featured in Thrill of the Hunt, and for Thrill of the Hunt 2? Escape, the first short story for an unnamed science fiction series. I have seven books planned for it with the first five plotted. Escape is written and I think its publication is in October sometime. I know I said never again to the short stories, so this will be both in TOTH2 and as the prologue to Awake, the first sci fi book.

Is that all for 2016? No, afraid not! The Very Poor Man is set TVPM_smfor publication in November as well. It’ll complete that series and while I love all my Men and have a few others who do too, I’m probably going to leave that genre alone for a while. I won’t say never, but it doesn’t get the love my historicals do.

Do I have 2017 plans? Not only yes, but I have 2018-2019 plans as well. Nothing is in stone, yet I have an American West series, the Love’s Travels series, finishing out the science fiction series, and of course continuing the Nova Scotia Murder Mysteries. There’s more, but those ideas are still in the nebulous stage.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you! You’re probably why I publish my work. I can think of no better reason than for you.

New Contest!

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Welcome to the 4th of July Summer of Reading Giveaway!

The authors below are offering up $150 Amazon Gift Card to you can get your read on!

Please check out the books below, some are Free, Free with KU, or Inexpensive.

Young Adult

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New Adult

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Sweet Romance

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Women’s Fiction

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Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

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Want to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the authors in the rafflecopter below for a chance. Open WW 18+ Ends July 20, 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST

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#MondayBlogs and Introducing a New Series

Writer’s Block. Nope. Not around here. This post is all about what’s been going on around here. It’s been really fun. The photos below are scenes from the stories, too.

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I’ve spent the past month writing like a fiend. Actually, it’s been the past two months. The whole process has been super exciting for me and I hope the readers catch that when they begin reading. What’s all the fuss? Here are the first three stories in order and where to find them.

Imposter- A Vancouver, BC doctor learns someone is admitting patients using his credentials. It’s fraud and if someone dies? A homicide. The short story is a thriller and part of the Thrill of the Hunt anthology. You need this anthology and not just for my story but for the other six. They’re super exciting and each one is by different authors. I had a blast writing my part of it and the awesome Miranda Nading edited. See my prior post to read her wonderful writing.

Holidays-I backed off the death and dismemberment for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The characters are in Halifax, Nova Scotia, now, and it’s where the rest of the series is set. This short story is out everywhere, and sets up everything for the reader. The romance, the family, and beginning to heal are all the focus of this story. I loved writing the holiday scenes between the Hays family. A little bit of my own family is in their dialogue. DSCN0253

Betrayal-The first novel in the Nova Scotia Murder Mysteries! Yes, Virginia, there is a death, and while it’s gruesome, I try to keep things on the cozy side. No insect details, or in this case, shrimp and other bottom feeder details. Our characters from Holidays and Imposter link up to figure out what really happened to their friend. This has been one of the most surprising books I’ve ever written. I plot these things out, bit by bit, but Betrayal took detours I didn’t see, but enriched the story. I’ve had so much fun writing this book that I didn’t stop and went on into….

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Impatience-The second novel in the series picked up in the same scene and time Betrayal left us in. When an elderly lady is wheeled into the ER and later dies, it’s easy for everyone to blame old age. Until, one of our characters finds out, this wasn’t due to natural causes. I’m around two hundred words into the story, less than this blog post, so anything could happen.

There you have it! Why my fingers have been keeping the keyboard on fire and why I’ve been MIA just about everywhere except Facebook.

Not Going There On The Oregon Trail for #MondayBlogs

I’m currently elbows deep in the third and final novel of my Oregon Trail series. A lot of writers feel sad when a series ends, but not me. There’s three more series hanging out in my idea folder at the moment and I’m wanting to start all of them right this minute. What are they? A three book set on the American West, a three to six book set on historical romances from around the world, and a six book minimum murder mystery series. I really can’t wait, all of them are going to be fun.

But, let’s get back to the salacious.

Like television most times, none of my books go into the bathroom details of live along the Trail. And you know, I don’t even want to think about it. They didn’t pack toilet paper and finding water was a treat. There’s nothing romantic about chafing due to unclean.

Food. My books has a little of the bland diet, but really? They only had what they could find, carry, or trade for along the way. No refrigeration or even an ice chest. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE my fridge. Ours died a few years ago and it wasn’t pretty. Of course this happened in summer, winter would have been too convenient in the cold department.

Speaking of camping…what if every time you wanted a hot meal you had to build a fire from scratch. Even better? In a place like this:

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Just waiting for that buffalo to poop. Then it’s a wait until the poop dries. It might be a while. Hope you’re not starved. Speaking of buffalo, he’s looking mighty tasty….

 

 

 

 

Water that’s free of bugs, dirt, and amoebas. Cholera and typhoid free too, please. Add dysentery to the mix and it was an ugly death. Specifically death by diarrhea. I left that out, because, romance and all. Nothing kills the mood faster than, well, lots of poop.

Sleeping on the ground is in my books along with the getting the bedding out and putting it away every day. In the beginning, my husband asked about a romance (sex) in the wagon. I said no, too squeaky. Then he said, “Not on the ground!” as if aghast at the idea. I laughed at him, not knowing I’d married such a 5 star hotel kind of guy. But yeah, on the ground, against a tree, behind that bush, and hopefully quiet because who wants to get caught with their pants down or their skirt up?

It’s been somewhat nice for my characters that they’re in a very arid region. Wind and dust are huge problems, but rain isn’t. I’ve put in a skim-the-surface description of the cold at night. Which was fun because my southern editor called me on it. Water doesn’t freeze in August, right? Up in the high desert, it does! Maybe not solid, but it does get that cold. Especially in the 1850’s at the end of the Little Ice Age.

I’m positive there are other gritty details I’m leaving out that were also not included in my series. What do you find that writers tend to leave out of historical romances that would crack you up if they included?  Comment and tell me!