Category Archives: New Release!

Collaborations and why I’ll never do it again.

October 1st is when the third Hunt anthology is published and we’re all excited. Some of the authors, like me, have been there from the first Hunt, and then Hunt 2. Overall, the three books showcase some of the finest authors in the thriller, paranormal, and mystery genres today. I’m extremely proud to be included with the others. They truly are amazing.

But never again? I don’t like saying never, but after writing my own paranormal, it’s not going to be one of my ongoing genres. The Hunted: Welcome to Whitbridge was such a challenge and one I enjoyed. We were given a world and characters to play with. It’s a lot easier to boss around people in your own mind versus those created by others. Still, while I had a great time playing around in the paranormal world, I feel like my story, Return to Whitebridge is a dead end until finishing a few other book series I have planned.

Collaborations themselves? I happen to love them. The extrovert I am loves interacting with other creatives. There are so many brilliant people out there. I feel fortunate they consider me a friend and someone they want to work with. So if a paranormal group comes knocking, I’ll open the door to reading anything and everything. Writing my own paranormal book or series? Um, outlook not so good.

Treat yourself to an amazing book of quick reads in the link below and don’t be shy about getting a copy of The Hunt and The Hunt 2 from my Amazon page. Sure, I have stories in there, but the other authors are amazing. I love every story.

New and Improved Very Best Man

My entire Very Manly series has been undergoing a huge makeover in the past six months. The whole process turned out to be a lot more work than I’d planned but is also a lot more rewarding. There’s so much to write about the amazing editor who worked with me, my wonderful publicist, and my “Oh no, not again,” digital content manager/husband. Let’s just say I’ve learned setting deadlines for others can be a necessary thing.

How new and improved can this book be? So much so that I’ve added 10,000 words to the original story. Not by appending or inserting new chapters but by adding more drama and more importantly, more feeling. The love scenes are a lot spicier, too.

Now, on to the good stuff. The VERY Best Man releases tomorrow and is available for preorder now.

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Jane Lawson is getting married, so of course her sister Susan will be her maid-of-honor. But when sis skips out on planning the wedding, Jane finds a surprising stand-in… the best man!

Dr. David Wells is more than willing to taste wedding cakes, sample reception menus, and even help the bride in and out of wedding dresses, if it means spending time with her. Soon enough, she’ll be his best friend Alan’s wife… and thus off limits forever.

But when the groom says ‘I don’t’, and runs off with the maid-of-honor, his best man is left to pick up the pieces of the bride’s heart. David is more than willing, and as Jane turns to him for support, their friendship blossoms into something much more.

Until Jane’s old fears get in the way, and David realizes that to keep her, he must fight not only her hostile family, but ghosts from her past.

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

New Book!

Betrayal, A Nova Scotia Murder Mystery

Betrayal, A Nova Scotia Murder Mystery

It’s so pretty! I love this cover and love the story. It’s due everywhere on August 17th, ebook, and print. Now, will it happen then? Fingers crossed because it’s a little like a wedding. No one has fun unless something goes wrong.

I’ve had the best time writing and researching this story. So much so that I’ve fallen in love with Canada and Nova Scotia. It’s a beautiful place and such fun, even in winter.

Readers can pre-order Betrayal, Impatience, and Pleasures ebooks everywhere but Amazon. Don’t worry, Kindle users. Amazon will have these books on the 17, 23, and 30th.

in case anyone is wondering, I still have plans for the American west, one more Man to publish, and a whole world of love planned in Love’s Travels. No one is going to be left out, and I’m adding in science fiction next year. I’m a versatile, multi-faceted author (read: ADD, lol!) I love ALL the genres.

Now, on to finish writing Pleasures. Still not going to panic at its release day of August 30.

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.

#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.

Mutiny of the Genres, guest post by Miranda Nading. #mondayblogs #TheExtinctionSeries

Hey fellow #MondayBloggers! The ever wonderful Miranda Nading has given us a post for this week. In her Mutiny of the Genre, she ruminates on what happens when a writer goes genre hopping. Before you settle in to read, go grab her latest story, Genesis, the first of The Extinction Series. I’ve read and highly recommend it. Doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is,  you’ll love this story.

Are you back? Good, now read what Miranda writes about her experiment with genres.

Most writers embrace the genre they love to read, and why not? They have great taste. With their genre set, they step up to the bridge, grab the wheel, and begin the slow, painful process of crafting their stories and gaining like-minded readers to help them on their way.

Once their ship is crewed with a healthy reader base, anything that jeopardizes the readers faith in their Captain could lead to mutiny; being hung from the yardarm, walking the plank, and otherwise losing those readers until the writer has learned their lesson.

Everything that I am goes into every book I write. Echoes of Harmony held within its fiction the worst memories of my childhood, the surgery I endured before its writing, and my struggle to be a better person. Caliban delved into my fear of another cancer diagnosis and my need to understand the beast. Canyon Echoes touched on emotional isolation and the need for, and fear of, family. The influence of my life, and that of other writers, is not obvious to the casual reader who picks up a novel to escape from the daily grind of their lives, but it is there in every book.

So what happens when the journey changes the writer? When horror and serial killers have been purged from the system and the ship begins to find a new point on the compass? Will we find ourselves in the midst of a mutiny? Hung from that yardarm or walking the plank? Will new readers under a new genre see the books you’ve written in the past and for fear of disappoint, turn to a different Captain? Do you hold your course, or navigate by a new star?

For writers with that precious Constant Reader following we work so hard to achieve, it is, unfortunately, a very real possibility. Readers of Erotica are not likely to enjoy a book devoid of sex or strapping young men and women. Likewise, readers of Westerns are not going to receive an Erotic novel with joyous abandonment. If the essential core of what you write changes, the readers will change with it.

So what is a writer to do when they find their ship adrift with no wind in the sails, caught between one point on their trusted map and the next with the decks empty and awaiting a crew?

This was the biggest concern with the decision to write The Extinction Series. There are no serial killers, no voodoo rituals, no ghosts or beast borne of genetic engineering. There are only people trying desperately to survive. What’s going to get the readers on board? If you assume a nom de plume, you are faced with starting the journey from scratch, having to do all the groundwork of building a reader base all over again.

It’s always an option, but is it necessary? Why did you gain the readers you have? What is it that they love about your work? What do they zero in on when they leave that rare treasure, the review? For me, the answer is the suspense, not know what’s coming at them next. Most of all, it’s the characters.

Those essential elements are part of who I am as a writer. I thrive on adrenaline. I demand a great deal from characters and I insist they change in some fundamental way as they walk through the fires I light in their path. The course may have changed, I may be following a new star on the horizon, but my ship is steady and strong. Every writer’s path is different; the questions they need to ask themselves, before making the course change, are their own. If the core of your writing doesn’t change drastically, use it to bridge the gap. Ease your readers into this new course by using the strengths you’ve honed over the years.

Most of all, be true to the story waiting to be written. It’s crafted the same way you are, with the experiences and choices you make as a person as well as a writer.