Category Archives: New Release!

#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.

Science Fiction’s Answer to “Are you my daddy?” for #MondayBlogs

First the shameless promotion: This post is brought to you by the letter “U” for Unfortunate. Read about what happened to Daggart Bartlett after Undeniable over at Amazon.

On to the content. Let’s get comfy for a moment and talk science fiction and space aliens. I’m always thinking up new plots, always reading the science websites for the latest in knowledge. The recent discoveries of Earth-like planets always get a flurry of questions about humans someday living there and life on other planets.

Which got me to thinking. A lot of the current science fiction offerings have most of the  aliens encountered depicted as either a father figure or a buffoon. It seems our deepest desires are to find a solution to our problems via a superior being handing over their advanced technology to us, no questions asked. Failing that, we want comedic relief.  We also seem to have a need for superiority over them while at the same time wanting their protection. Even when an alien race is somewhat equal, like Star Trek’s Vulcans, they’re still set aside as not human with implied condescension.

So even in the fictional future and with fantastical technology, we want both someone to help us as needed while still making us feel superior. I know this is just one aspect of the human-space alien relationship popularized in fiction. What others are there that YOU see? Comment below because this would be a fun discussion to have.

I can already think of two exceptions, Skyline and Independence Day, where the aliens are scraping humans off the planet because they want Earth. No discussion, no attempt to communicate, just extermination. Even the Daleks in Doctor Who laid out their plans for us and our eradication. The exceptions listed above? They don’t tell us because they don’t care. Which is why those movies are such thrillers, I think. They kick us in the “Humans are Awesome” crotch and it hurts.

So again, tell me what you think about how other life forms are depicted in science fiction in general. I really want to know! Serious accepted, silly even more so!

Rosemary Rey’s Sexy Novels! Must see for #MondayBlogs.

Today’s Monday Blog Post is brought to you by Rosemary Rey! They sound like fascinating stories and I’m betting they’re steamier than what I write. So if you’re in the mood for something hot, I think Ms. Rey has just the thing!

The Pentagon Group series is a three part series of contemporary romance/erotica novels with suspense. Rebound is the first book and is followed by Unbound, which have been in circulation since April and September of 2014. Both books are being re-released today, March 30, 2015, exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Rebound, The Pentagon Group, Book One, is available for 99 cents: A year after Perla Mercurio divorced her first lover in a contentious divorce, she resigned herself to being single. After a doctor’s visit, she meets Dr. Mathias Keene, and her attraction to him sparks her sexual desires. When Perla and Matt dance at a club, their chemistry is undeniable. Immediately, they undertake a whirlwind romance. Perla falls head over heels in love with the dashing doctor, but is he all that he seems?

 

Unbound, The Pentagon Group, Book Two, is available for $2.99: Perla Mercurio discovers that the man she fell in love with, Dr. Mathias Keene, wooed her under false pretenses. Upon her discovery of the truth, she tries to mend her broken heart, leaving the handsome doctor in her past. However, Matt is not so easy to shake off. In an effort to win back the love of his life, he makes Perla an offer she cannot refuse. To move forward with her life, Perla must make the hardest decision she’s even encountered. Will she be able to move on from Matt and the men of The Pentagon Group?

 

Bound, The Pentagon Group, Book Three will be published in April of 2015. Cover reveal for Bound will be available before publication and will be found exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

If you’ve read one or both books in the series and haven’t left a rating or review, please consider helping this Indie Author out and write a review.

Book Covers Before and After

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you likely know about my Very Manly series of books. All two of them. There’s four in the entire series, but the last two won’t see the light of day if the sales for the first two don’t pick up. I’m an artist and a business owner. Do I want to spend my time writing and then spend the money on editing and book covers to do so at a loss? No.

Here are the two covers for the series, before. Notice how the photography is professional, the fonts clear? There’s some color and detail but not so much it’s overwhelming or difficult to see as a thumbnail. You can also see them in their natural habitat over at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and everywhere else.

 

In progress!

In stores now!

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Nice, right? Not huge eye catching best sellers in the contemporary romance department, either. And by ‘not huge’ I mean sad, very very sad.

So what to do? To take my editor’s sage advice and give them a professional makeover. I hired someone to help me ratchet up the sex, which I did by having Carrie at Cheeky Covers help me out. I’d admired her work done for a friend of mine, Ava Branson, and needed her expertise.

This is what she came up with.

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Nice, right? It’s way too soon to tell if the covers affect sales. Probably in six weeks, if nothing has seen a bump in downloads, I’ll have my answer. The stories are solid and professionally edited, so I know they’re good. Every time I go over a proof, I love what I read so if nothing else, there’s one person who loves these books. I’m not sure if that’s enough to write The Very Rich Man and The Very Poor Man, but I have those stories and covers planned just in case.

So. What do YOU think? Enticing or meh?

A Lost Week

From last Monday to this, I’ve been way under the weather. It’s been a long week of cough, edit, try to sleep, stuck on repeat. I am not a person who gets sick at all and thus, am a lousy patient.

So what have I accomplished? Spiffing up previously released, soon to be released, and released for preorder works. The Oregon Trail series is very close to being done. Depending on how my “Men” go over with the romance crowd, I’ll either call them done at the Best and Worst, or add in The Very Rich Man and Very Poor Man books as well.

I think I’m due for another shot of Nyquil, so I’ll close with this.

Fall in love with the Very Worst Man. Preorder now, release date 2/28/15.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TQJ290K

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-very-worst-man/id969863602?mt=11

There should be a #WackyWednesday!

First of all, I have to admit I’ve been living in a ‘Quil haze this past week.  My usual solid steel immune system has let me down. While my blog has been neglected, nothing else has been. The Very Worst Man is up for preorder with a release date of February 28th. Unfortunate, Daggart’s fate, is at the editor’s, as is Undeniable, getting its makeover in round two of edits. The Very Best Man is getting another polish, too. When writing advice says “Sleep on it,” believe them. You’ll find mistakes from way out in left field.  Also, weigh a good editor, on a scale, and give them that much in gold because they’re worth it. Mine is, and if I earned it, she’d be paid double.

You did catch that The Very Worst Man is up for preorder, right? In case you’re not convinced you NEED this book, here’s a little teaser. Available now at Amazon, everywhere else by the 28th, maybe before then.

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Notice how I’ve not mentioned Uncivilized? Shhhhhh. I’m finishing it in a marathon session as soon as I can quit snorting Benadryl. Kidding about the snorting, but wish I wasn’t. Mass quantities of meds at this point can only help. I’ll look back on this post and think TMI. Or not. I tend to look forward.

Something in the fun and procrastination department is I’ve started a personal Learning from the Masters series where I take a billion selling book and give it my own what if. Like, what if Christian Grey was a dollaraire instead of a billionaire?

Thus, I present, 50 Shades of Gremlin

He rolled up in the Gremlin and my breath caught. Was it his cold steel eyes or the exhaust fumes choking me? I couldn’t tell. All I knew was my heart raced, seeing him get out of his car. Most of the paint still clung to life on the vehicle, discolored to a light grey from what I assumed had been navy blue.

“Miss Steele,” he said, holding open the door. “You’ll have to slide in from the driver’s side, my passenger’s side is broken.
The sexy growl in his voice convinced me as much as his muscles as they flexed under the tattered flannel shirt he wore when he continued, “I’m good at driving backwards through the drive through, since your window rolls down better than mine.”

Freebies and Prequels!

I’m still loving this cover. There’s four paintings around here, one for each book so far.  Considering I have something to paint on the Santa Fe trail, the Pony Express, and the Orphan Train subject… I’m going to need more canvas.dfd51ab2-3820-4ce0-98e1-d1a15c2ca851

 

Unavoidable is one of those projects I found irresistible.  I always knew the story of how Samuel Granville convinced his brother Nicholas to come back home. This is a little snippet of a day in the life that begins a huge change in Nick’s life.  I love how the brothers interact and their sniping has a strong undercurrent of love.  The romance is at the very end, but is a doorway to another, longer book.

Where can you find this particular story? Just pick your favorite and it’s there!

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Next Week: The latest information in Self Publishing as gleaned from a plethora of bloggers.  I have a lot of research to share but still need to write it all.

 

 

#MondayBlogs Post and You Want Me To What??

Howdy #Mondayblogs fans!

 

My book, Undesirable, hit Amazon on the 14th.  Since then no less than four people have asked me what’s next.  Sure, I know what’s next on my plate, but it might be a while.

Secretly?  I like the impatience and curiosity of my friends and family.  It means they like what I do well enough to want more.  That’s never a bad thing and I’m thrilled.  So while I’m writing a prequel to my Oregon Trail series, get started reading Undesirable or maybe Undeniable first if you’ve not read it yet. Out of order is fine, too, and you won’t be lost, it’s just not what I’d prefer.  Meanwhile, I’ll be planning arguments, fights, and love at first sight.  When that’s done and I get to type the last line, my next task is to paint another cover for Unavoidable, the Oregon Trail series prequel.

After that, there’s a lot more down the road. The last book in the series, The Very Worst Man, three more American West novels, some paranormal romances, and some science fiction.  There’s be mysteries, romance, and all sorts of plot twists in these.  I’m so excited at the projects hovering on my horizon and hope my readers are, too!

It’s out!

My new book, Undesirable, has finally hit Amazon!  It’s out for Kindle and will soon be available in paperback.  All my good words went into the novel, I’m finding, and writing anything else right now is tough!

Anyway!  Back to the fun!  You can click on over, read the description for yourself and download a sample.  Here on the blog is where I can tell you this is the least explicit of my novels so far and I did NOT plan it that way.  There’s a cutting room floor of sorts, aka, Undesirable’s Leftovers.doc.  I’d planned on the book being a lot steamier.  All the love scenes my characters weren’t feeling went in there.  Yes, I’m ordered around by the characters and the story.  Yes, I did try just putting in the sex no matter what.  I just couldn’t do it and stay true to the book.  Sexual tension in it is off the charts, though.  I re-read the first kiss scene and got goosebumps!  I know, it’s kind of like laughing at your own jokes, but still.  If I can imagine, write, review and still go ‘oo!’?  It’s good.  Bottom line is I write the romances and other stories I want to read but can’t find.  Undesirable is one of them.  Click the image to visit it at Amazon.

Undesirable, available July 14th!

Undesirable, available July 14th!