Thursday, November 7, 2019

Those Dang Deadlines

I was stressing out about my self-imposed deadlines looming closer and got belligerent with myself. The book I was writing had stalled and I couldn't figure out the next step. So I took a little time out to play.

Relaxing and getting my mind into something totally different seems to have done the trick. I came up with the exact thing I needed to tie together the disparate themes that were emerging. Whew.

However, as the book release creeps closer to the holidays, I am facing a different problem. If I release in December, will it drown in all the holiday hype? Will anyone care because it isn't holiday themed? Or does any of that matter? Hard to know.

I think for now I will stay in the head-down-and writing mode. Adding more books to the inventory can't hurt. Plus the old 'make a splash or die' technique doesn't hold true anymore. Ebooks are always there. And with print on demand, physical books can be, too. I'll get the book out when it's ready and run a promo after the holidays.

Plans change, life can throw you a curve. Stay tuned for further updates.



Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kitty Time

Bertie was having a good old time trying to catch the birds that were landing in the stick-on feeder.

Rascal prefers to hang out in the new box fort and watch the birds from a height.


That is when she isn't stretched out in a different kitty space, lazily watching the local wildlife.


We have some very brazen wildlife.


And that is a shared kitty space that goes in and out of fashion.

You must always make some kitty-space or they will make it themselves and that is often a problem. I have a box by my desk where Rascal sleeps most of the morning. Bertie prefers the basket on the shelf, or sometimes the guest chair in my office. There are favorite spaces in every room and almost every week there is a new favorite place that was an old favorite place a while ago. Or maybe the new favorite place was the other's chosen place... It's best not to get involved in kitty-games.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lethal Seasons Ebook Only 99c

I'm running another promotion for Lethal Seasons, book 1 in A Changed World. The ebook will be 99c for a limited time.

It doesn't officially start until Sunday but some of the retailers need a few days to do a price change. So I dropped the price early and they are rolling out slowly.

As of this afternoon, I know it has dropped at Amazon but not at Barnes and Noble.

Click HERE if you would like to check your favorite retailer for the discounted price.

Draft 2 Digital has given us a neat little tool to collect all of the retailer links in one place. Today they started allowing audiobook links! Very cool. So I spent a little time loading them in today.

Scattered Seeds audiobook is still in the works. It got a little delayed. I think it will be available at the beginning of November.

That's all for now.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

A New Banner

As you can see, I made a new banner for the blog with the first book in each series. It's really amazing the tools that are available for the technologically challenged!

The release date for the next book is shifting again. Life has gotten in the way and I need a little more time. I've decided to accept the fact that I can't write as fast as I'd like to. At least not this year. Maybe next year I will have a better handle on my time-management and stress.

Scattered Seeds audio is in the works. Still looking at late October, early November for that to come out. And then we'll start on Gleanings. There was a lovely review of Lethal Seasons audio book on Audible that confirmed what I already knew - they said Derek did a great job. But even though I was sure he did a wonderful job with reading my story, it was very nice to have a stranger say so.

I'm planning a promo for Lethal Season at the end of the month to drum up a little more interest. I'll post here when it goes on sale.

Fall has finally arrived in my neck of the woods. Temperatures dropped about 20 degrees overnight. I had that odd laundry basket with shorts and sweatpants, summer shirts and hoodies. The leaves are dropping but not many of them have changed. It's a strange autumn so far.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bits and Bobs

I have a lot of snippets for this post.

Lethal Seasons Audiobook is now at Nook.

Scattered Seeds Audiobook is in the works. I'm thinking about a 99c promotion on the Lethal Seasons ebook when the Scattered Seeds audiobook comes out. Some promotion sites allow you to mention audiobooks. By the time Scattered Seeds is out, Gleanings will be in the works.

I sat down today and made a plan for audiobooks of the rest of my novels. It's going to take some time, but I hope to have them all out by the end of 2020.

I also made a plan for large print editions for the rest of my series. That won't take as long, but it will be several months before all of it is released.

Dilemma (Transmutation Book 3) has hit a bit of a snag and I'm pushing the release date to November. Somehow I always think I can write a book faster than I have in the past. Sometimes, when a story is really flowing, it feels like it should finish sooner. But there's a lot of thought and planning that has to go into science fiction and sometimes I need to take writing time to sort things out.

The next story up will be the first book of Children of a Changed World. I've been brainstorming that. One of the main characters will be Willow, Bridget and Wisp's daughter. It will be about 20 years on.

2020 is already looking like a really busy year!


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Lethal Seasons Audiobook is Out!


Hooray! Lethal Seasons audiobook is now available all over. I've been told it might take awhile to roll out to smaller retailers and subscription services, but it's on the way.

Here are some places you can get it right now:

Apple

Audible

Amazon

Google Play

Kobo

It should be arriving at Nook Audiobooks soon.

Book 2, Scattered Seeds is in the works. I expect that to be available around the end of October or the beginning of November. Depending on schedules and technical issues, the rest of the books should be coming out every 6 weeks. Yippee!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Mystery in Large Print


My first large print experiment is complete. I started with a standalone mystery. As I was learning all the requirements, I realized that the book was going to be really big. This is a short novel, so I could keep it as a paperback. It's still pretty big - 629 pages!

If you'd like to grab a copy click HERE. I would appreciate feedback from anyone who uses large print. There are some conflicting requirements out there. I'm surprised that there aren't any set guidelines, but I couldn't find any.

The next in line is another mystery. I want to start work on the Asher Blaine Mystery series. However, that requires another learning curve because those books will be too large for paperback. I haven't looked into hardback books before, so I'm sort of starting from scratch. And I need to talk to Alex about the cover because these books will have a dust jacket. How cool is that?

In other news, the Lethal Seasons audiobook is in review and should be available in another week or two. 

Book 3 for the Transmutation series now has a name - Dilemma. I have to admit that working on the audio and large print has distracted me a little. I'm running a little behind on my writing. I may have to push the release date into early November. But I will try to catch up with myself. I won't have to deal with the audiobook for Scattered Seeds for 3-4 weeks, I think. And the formatting for White Lies for large print is already done.

And that means I really need to get back to work!



Saturday, August 24, 2019

Charade in Print


Book 2 of the Transmutation series is now available in print. Click HERE to grab a copy. Once again Amazon has not linked the ebook to the print, so I need to speak with customer service about that.

I would appreciate reviews on this one. It's been out for awhile and no one has reviewed it. They do help people decide on purchasing, so if you have a minute please leave a line or two.

Book 3 is still in the works with a release date of late October. It's coming along pretty well so I think that might realistic.

In other news - the Lethal Seasons audiobook is almost done. Maybe another week and then it's time for me to proof it. That will probably be out in October also.

That's all the news for now.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Kobo Promo



Right Now On Sale for $1.99!
Click on the image to check it out

Kobo is having a back to school sale. Click HERE to see all the deals. All genre ebooks are discounted.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Ta Da! Facade in Print!


Woo hoo!

If you'd like to grab a copy, click HERE. For some peculiar reason, Amazon has decided that the print version is not related to the digital version. I need to check into that.

It's taken me awhile to get around to putting this series out in print. Charade is in the works and will be coming out soon.

Meanwhile, book 3 is my current work in progress and is coming along nicely. Still hoping for an October release.

Both are available as ebooks. You can click HERE to find your favorite store.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Smashwords Sale and Other Things

Smashwords is having its Summer/Winter sale (depending on your hemisphere). A bunch of ebooks are on discount, including all of mine. Click HERE to see my books, and HERE  for the main page. You need to scroll down to see the discounts.

General Updates

 Cue the trumpets...
Greenvale is now available in print!

And in other news...

The audiobook for Lethal Seasons will get underway in another week or so. I'm very excited about starting that. I'll blog updates as I have them.

Alex is working on a very cool design for the print version of Facade. That will be coming out soon also. And I will do a lovely cover reveal as soon as it's available.

Book 3 of the Transmutation series is coming along well. I have an October release date penciled in. Hopefully, I can keep on track for that. No title as yet. Sometimes titles are easy to come up with and other times it comes right down to the wire. One book I worked on had at least 4 working titles and none of them ended up being the one I finally went with.

And now I need to get back to writing!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Changed World Audiobooks

I have decided to try doing audiobooks again. I put up an audition for Lethal Seasons on ACX and got 12 responses by the end of the day. I have to say that felt good. It was probably due to the fact that I was willing to pay for the narrator and not do a royalty split.

I listened to them all very carefully. At first it seemed like it was going to be a tough call. Then I heard the perfect match. His pauses were in the right place. He emphasized the right words. In essence, he got my writing voice. Yay!

Since he's in the middle of another project, he'll start my book around the end of this month. I think that means that the audiobook might be on the market by mid-September. That seems a long time away, but it's a very time consuming project.

By the time that's out, Scattered Seeds should be in the works. And if that schedule holds, the audiobooks might be coming out once a month through January 2020. But that might be counting chickens before they're hatched. There's a lot of work involved and lots of possibilities for set backs.

So I am off on another adventure.

On the writing front, I am delving into book 3 for the Transmutation series. It's nice to get back into that world for awhile.

And that's it for today.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Greenvale is Out and High Barrens is 99c


Greenvale is now available at most retailers. Click HERE to find your favorite store.

I am having a bit of trouble finding it on Google Play Books, but it should be on there. And this time around, I loaded it into Smashwords also.

Although this book is written as a stand-alone, book 1, High Barrens, will be 99c all over thru June 30. Click HERE to find your favorite store. There is a little bit of crossover, so if you were hoping to see Flint and Catbird again, they do drop in for a few chapters.

Another fabulous cover by Alex Storer! It's always a surprise to see how he interprets my vague ramblings. This one was spot on.

The next book on the drawing board is book 3 in the Transmutation series. No working title as yet. Back to a little space opera for awhile. I am planning an early fall release for this one. Let's see if I can keep to that schedule.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Greenvale is Coming!

I finally have a release date for Greenvale, book 2 in the Tales of Haroon world.

The ebook will be available June 27th at all retailers. I hope to have the print book a couple weeks after that.

Although these books are written as stand-alones, the first book in the series, High Barrens, will be down to 99c from June 23 through June 29.

This series is a little different. It's about people who don't have magic in a magical world. What they do have is an odd little innate ability that isn't good for much. Except, maybe, getting them in trouble.

The first book was about Flint who can see a person's heart-fire. It lets her know a little about them - their health, if they're lying, and it they have any inclination towards one of the many gods that imbue magic.

This book is about Chance. He can sense wrongness in the world. That doesn't give him an explanation or any special knowledge about how to correct it. But he can also sense rightness, and sometimes that is the way to fix the wrongness.

Alex did another fabulous cover for me. I can't wait to share it.

The next book I'll be working on is book 3 for the Transmutation series.





Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Reader Found a Typo, Sort of...

I received an email the other day from a reader who alerted me to the fact that I might have misused a word. I always like to get feedback from my readers. But I was sure I had used the right word. I googled it right away and learned something new.

Cannelloni is a pasta.

Cannellini is a bean.

The reader was right, I had mentioned dried beans, such as cannelloni. It should have been cannellini with an i. That's the sort of thing that drives me crazy when I find them in other people's books, so I appreciate her reaching out to me.

I'm not sure if I ever knew that there was a pasta with such a similar name. Now I do.

The next time I redo the back matter, or make any other adjustments to that book, I will be sure to correct the spelling.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Lethal Seasons for 99c and Book #13

First the fun part.

The first book of A Changed World series - Lethal Seasons - is 99c Now through April 23rd. To grab a copy Click Here.

Now the hard part. Book 13 is being a problem.

I didn't realize it was number thirteen until recently. Maybe that's why it is taking so long. That dreaded number - 13.

I think part of it is new characters that need more introducing. And although it is a world I already introduced, it is a different country and needs a lot of setting.

And this character is a bit odd. I've had him in my head for awhile, but I only figured out his special skill when I started writing the story over the winter. And I have learned a lot about him on the journey. I'm so close to the end, but I just can't see the perfect place to stop.

Another part of it is a bit of fatigue, I think. All last year I pushed myself to write every day. I managed to put out three books. And I was very proud of myself. But I can't seem to stick to that schedule this year. Life, health, relatives, pets...all important things, needed my attention.

So I am giving myself a pass on the year's goals. I had planned to publish this month but I'm still working on the rough draft. It's crazy to push out a badly written book just to reach a self-imposed deadline. It'll come out when it is done and polished and I am proud to put my name on it.

Whew. Now I need to get back to those relatives and cats...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I Got Another Bookbub!

Woohoo! I feel like I won the lottery.

Bookbub is a curated newsletter of free and discounted books separated by genre. It is one of the most powerful selling tools for a writer. However, since it is curated, sometimes it is hard to get a slot.

I applied today and said I would take any date. They came right back with an approval! For April 21st!

I'm doing the Happy Dance all over the house.

This comes at a really good time for me. I'm still working on the book I started months ago, and I was feeling bad about how long this is taking. New releases are important for sales. I was pressuring myself to do some more aggressive marketing. And ugh...I was stressing myself out.

At the same time, sales for Lethal Seasons have coasted downhill. It's still selling, with the occasional spike for no apparent reason, but the general direction is down. It needed a good shove back into the limelight.

And I got it!

Excuse me while I take my Happy Dance out into the yard.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Kitty Time

Two kitties at the windows in the new office. I put a bird feeder outside the window and it keeps the cats busy for hours.

Mallory likes to play whack-a-mole with the birds that come to the window feeder. The birds have learned that she can't get to them.

Watching the squirrel can be so exhausting! Rascal had to lie down, but is keeping an eye on him.

Must be dinner time, because we are all here!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Unintended Consequences only 99c

A serial killer stalks a cat burglar...

If suspense is your cup of tea, give this a try for 99c. Discounted through March 16th.

The Unintended Consequences ebook is available all over. Click HERE to pick a retailer.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

End of the Reading Slump

I finally picked up a book again. I don't know what causes my reading slumps, but they occur from time to time. I don't think I've read a book for months. And I have a pile waiting on the Kindle, so it isn't for a lack of material.

I started with a book that I've been meaning to read for awhile. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. I finished it, mostly just to see where it was going. There wasn't enough conflict. The characters enter difficult situations and the problems unravel much too easily. But I was curious enough about where it was heading, so I got book 2, which was a mistake.

Along with a lack of conflict, book 2 veers off into romance. There was much too much pining for my taste. And a total clash with the straight up epic fantasy of the first book. Needless to say, I will not be reading book 3.

The main problem here is the contradiction of reader expectations. When I pick up a book billed as epic fantasy, I'm looking for certain things like good world building, non-human species, maybe some magic, a journey, possibly a quest. I think most readers would agree that subsequent books in the series should remain consistent in those elements. A little romance thrown in as a subplot is fine as long as it doesn't hijack the story.

Mashing genres together can be fun. I like Alex Bledsoe's Eddie LaCrosse series that is medieval noir. He's a sword-toting gumshoe on horseback. But that's in the blurb and I was ready for it. It also remains consistent book to book.

There's lots of fantasy-romance in all the subgenres. That just isn't my cup of tea. Neither are military sci-fi or zombie books. It's not even apples and oranges, because they're both fruit and really can be substituted one for the other. It's more like apples and octopus. Some people love it, some don't. So don't offer them an apple and then serve up octopus.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

White Lies only 99c

For a limited time, today through Monday, White Lies is on sale for 99c.

If you haven't tried that series, now's a good time to take a chance. It's a traditional murder mystery set in Los Angeles with a down and out actor as the amateur sleuth. Click HERE to choose a retailer.

I have finally finished messing about with the family history and gotten back to proper writing. Even though allergy season is in full swing for me, my brain isn't half as foggy as it has been. I'll credit that to being more careful with my diet. Or maybe it's that fact that it's been raining for two weeks straight...

The next big hurdle for me is getting Lethal Seasons into audio. So many things have changed since I first stuck my toe in the audio book pool. I've been reading up on what I need to do and how much this might ultimately cost me. I want to go into this more knowledgeable than I was with the first two.

I can't blame the lack of audio sales on anyone but myself. Both books, White Lies and Unintended Consequences suffered from my lack of experience in marketing. They stumbled coming out of the gate and haven't really recovered. I'm working on that. As you can see from the sale going on right now. I'm not quite ready to plunge, but pretty soon.




Thursday, January 31, 2019

Time for Kitties

I don't have a lot to say today, so I thought I would share some of the latest kitty photos.

Bertie napping

Rascal and Mallory waiting for a treat

Mallory checking out the new bird feeder outside the office

Rascal wanted to run some numbers

Bertie playing jungle kitty.

Stay warm and play hard!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

That Genealogical Black Hole

It sucked me in again. I unraveled an especially tight knot and couldn't stop digging...sorry for the mixed metaphors. I think I found a crack in my genealogical brick wall. I'm still looking for some kind of corroboration to my theory, but I have high hopes.

I think I have figured out that brain fog makes me lean toward the research. To be honest, a lot of it is insanely tedious. Like plowing through pages of horrible handwritten lists of baptisms from the 1800's. In Latin. With creative spelling. And when my brain isn't firing on all burners, that's something I can do without thinking very hard. (Although it is very hard on the eyes.)

For some reason, I am especially susceptible to sinus infections in the winter. Maybe it's the dry air from the hot-air heat. And as I slowly sink into brain fog, that great time-sink of research drags me back in. I lose hours...sometimes whole days to skimming through newspapers from the 1880's or searching online for an image of a city a hundred years ago. Sigh.

So I'm a bit behind on the writing. And in consolation, I will leave you with a warning...


Don't leave your kitty in the sun too long...they melt.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Planning for 2019

I'm excited about starting a new year. I don't really believe in resolutions, but I do believe in goals. What's the difference? Intent.

In my mind, people set resolutions to try to change some sort of behavior. They resolve to lose weight, get fit, stop drinking, do their chores... Those are all good things, but a resolution feels more like a punishment. I must stop eating chocolate. Like that's ever going to happen.

Goals are something you aim for. A healthier lifestyle is a great goal, but it doesn't include giving up chocolate. My choice is for good quality chocolate in small doses that I can savor. So it's a change. A step in the right direction, but it isn't a punishment.

Staying healthy is a goal I have every year, so that's a given.

Sticking to my writing schedule is a fairly new goal, but one I hope to achieve this year. Even though I'm already a little behind because of a side project.

Now the harder one - learning new things about marketing. I've finally accepted the fact that marketing is required for one's business to succeed. However, I've also realized that my brain doesn't really work that way, so I need to figure out some habits or routines to make that work. I set up a schedule for 2019 and we'll see if sticking to it actually works. The industry is constantly changing, so I need to stay flexible.

I might even try poking around in social media again. The first time I did it, my attempts were luke warm and scattershot. I know I need a plan, so that will need to come before I start wildly posting cat photos across the internet again.

So that's my plan. We'll see how it goes.