Thursday, December 27, 2018

Looking Back on a Wonderful Year

I don't think I knew it while I was in it, but this has been a pretty good year for me.

I took a look back on my calendar and was very surprised to see how much I've gotten done. Part of that is probably because I've been very healthy this year. You can't believe the difference in your energy level when you are healthy.

I released 4 books this year. That amazes me. I planned it, stuck to my schedule and got them out on time. And a lot of that happened because I stopped buzzing around the forums trying to figure out what I should be doing. I put my head down and got to work. And that turned out to be easier and more enjoyable than debating the next steps an author should take.

Lessons Learned, book 4 of A Changed World post-apocalyptic series came out in January. High Barrens, the first book of the Tales of Haroon fantasy series came out in March. Blood Relations, the third book of the Asher Blaine Mysteries series came out in August, and Desperate Measures, book 5 of A Changed World came out in December. I don't know if I will be as prolific next year, but I am sure going to try.

Through trial and error, I sort of got a handle on the art of marketing. Then in June, I got the golden ticket - a Bookbub. Books flew off the shelf for a week, then marched, then strolled and it slowly worked its way down to a number of sales much higher than all the previous months. I made a lot of money and that feels amazing, too.

I cracked 10,000 sales. Lethal Seasons has over 100 reviews. I took my books wide and starting selling them in new markets like Kobo, Google Play and Apple.

And I still managed to do a little traveling, visit with family, work in the garden and start on a family history that I've been thinking about.

In the fall, we started work on turning a shed into an office for me. It took a little longer than expected, but the outcome is fabulous. I have all my things in one place. There are big windows to let in natural light and a ton of storage space for all my odds and ends.

This has been a wonderful year, and I hope you've had a good one, too.

Here's hoping for a great 2019 for everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Desperate Measures Now Out

A Changed World Book 5 is out!

I had a plan to set this all up for preorders and a cover reveal. Then it occurred to me that I should just push it out the door. That plan didn't work very well the last time around, so I'm pitching it.

Click HERE to grab a copy. Desperate Measures is $2.99 right now.

I love this cover. I think Alex did a super job with this one.

To celebrate the release of the fifth book, the first book, Lethal Seasons, will be 99c through December 15th. Click HERE to grab a copy of that.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

It's All Coming Together

I'm always a little surprised when I hit my deadlines. I have learned to add in plenty of wiggle room for whatever life throws at me. And it's working!

Desperate Measures is right on track. I even managed to get out to the map and update it with a little more information.

There are now a series of Posts for the Sentinels and Stations for the Rovers.

Alex has done a really fabulous cover for this one. My favorite so far, but I think I say that every time. I will be doing a cover reveal next week when the book will be ready for preorder. I can't wait to show you.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

And Now... A Blog Off Sale!

Some of the authors in the 2018 Self Published Fantasy Blog Off have come together for a sale. Click HERE to go see the books.

All ebooks are 99c (or the equivalent per country) from Nov 15th - 19th.

Check them out! You can load up on some great Fantasy ebooks for the holidays.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Blog Off and a Sale

The Self Published Fantasy Blog off is heating up. The reviewers have dropped a lot more titles. I haven't been reviewed yet, so I'm still in there for now. If you want to catch up here's the link. You need to scroll about halfway down the page to see the books.

Kobo is having a 99c sale on ebooks. Click HERE to check out the books. Both White Lies and Lethal Seasons are in that promotion.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Time for a Little Break

I've sent the first draft of A Changed World book 5 to my first reader. The working title right now is Desperate Measures. I think it's in pretty good shape, so there shouldn't be too much of a rewrite on it. Which means it is still on schedule for a December 13th release. I actually started planning out the promotions for a discount on Lethal Seasons (book 1) in the run up to the release. I might just be getting the hang of it all. (Fingers crossed!)

As mentioned in my last blog, I was creeping up on having sold 10,000 books this year. I passed that milestone this week. Woo hoo!

My new office is finished and I'm in the process of moving in. Another big Woo Hoo there! It's great to get all of my stuff in one place...but there is a lot of it. There will be sorting and purging for some time to come.

Next week I will have a house full of relatives and a busy schedule of visiting and playtime. Can't wait. But a week off always comes with it's own repercussions. I'm sure I will need a whole 'nother week to catch up with myself. So I might not be back to the blog for a couple weeks.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Whole Lotta Books!

I was trying to work out the read-thru rate on one of my series when something occurred to me. Thanks to the Bookbub, I was going to break 10,000 sales very soon. For the year! Wow.

Let me put this in perspective. I started publishing in 2012 and I sold a whopping 33 books that year. It wasn't until 2016, when I finally had a few books under my belt, that I even broke 1,000. Last year I sold 1241 books. That includes ebooks, paperbacks and the occasional audiobook. A step up the ladder, but not by much.

Year to date for 2018, I am at 9866 books sold. That means I need 134 sales to hit 10,000. Last month I sold over 300 books so that is very doable. I am in shock. It totally snuck up on me. I was so immersed in sorting the numbers and resetting goals, that I didn't realize how much I had actually achieved.

This definitely calls for a dinner out.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Naming Characters

Names are so important. The difference between naming a hero Timmy or Lance changes how the reader perceives him. Which one do you see with a broadsword?

I've got some very important characters coming up in my latest book and their names are giving me fits. How symbolic should they be? And should the symbolism be obvious or subtle?

Sometimes when I'm reading a book and I come across an unusual name, I wonder if I'm missing the significance. Is that a Greek god or Scandinavian? Is it a reference to a Native American origin story? And then I'm totally thrown out of the flow of the story because I'm thinking too hard about the name.

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time in the thesaurus. I'll pull up a word and click through to various synonyms looking for exactly the right feeling. I spent half a day looking things up. That really cuts down on the word count.

I spent another afternoon lost in baby name sites. There are a lot of derivations of names. Changing the spelling on something simple isn't going to work in this instance.

And I've been warned not to use too many names that start with the same letter. In one rough draft, I once had five people talking together and all of their names started with the letter L. They were all very distinct in my head, but my beta reader was very confused. I try to be more careful now.

Changing the name of an already established character can be very hard. So I've got to get these right or my readers will definitely call me on it.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Readers Block Again

I haven't been able to read lately. I could blame it on stress and insomnia, but I'm not sure if they are the actual culprits.

Nothing appeals. All my favorites are no longer enticing. I've been loading the Kindle up but not reading anything. I've started a couple but lost interest. I can't decide if the books need work or it's just my brain right now.

I have always been a voracious reader. We hit the library on a regular basis in my childhood. I would take out the max - 6 books, I think - every visit. Getting a library card was one of the first things I did whenever I moved. Now with cheap and free ebooks, I download a lot on to my Kindle. But I just haven't been reading.

My tastes have changed, but there are plenty of books out there in every genre and subgenre imaginable. And I have been happily sampling a handful of them, but nothing is really sucking me in right now.

Too many distractions lately I think. The work on the office has finally begun. I am so excited about that! My own work space! Woo hoo. I am finally going to get all of my junk into one place. I will be so organized. I hope. But the extra people in the house and power tools are not helping my ability to focus.

And the yard needs a ton of work. And I've had a bunch of small chores on my to-do list for months. And then there's that hurricane headed my way. Maybe while being stuck inside the for 4 days of torrential rain I'll pick up a book and find my way back.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Blood Relations in Print


Sheesh. I have been tinkering back and forth with this for too long. The print version of Blood Relations should be hitting the retailers soon. I just approved the final proof on CreateSpace which is a bit tricky.

Apparently Amazon is closing down CreateSpace. They are doing a rolling migration of the authors over to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I haven't gotten the magic migration button yet. And that was a big relief because I still had a book under review and was worried what-all might happen.

So there is a possibility that some books might disappear. Since I don't sell a lot of paperbacks, I wasn't too concerned, but it wouldn't be fun. I have heard stories of people losing books, covers, jumbled insides and a gamut of other problems. There's always issues when you change over to a new system. Fingers crossed that I get to be one of the lucky ones without any problems.

It will be interesting to do the next book on a new site. It will be book 5 for A Changed World. I hope it is as easy as CreateSpace was.

But first I need to get that book written. Tillie's raising a ruckus and Wisp has left town with Nick to go find...well, I'm not ready to share that yet. Partly because I'm not sure how it's going to come out. Lots more complication will ensue!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Time for Kitties

I needed a little break so I thought I'd let the kitties take over. They helped me choose their favorite pictures.

Here's Bertie with her favorite toy. Sometimes she wants me to throw the mouse and she'll run after it and bring it back, until she gets distracted and forgets about me.

Here's Mallory lying in wait for an unsuspecting victim. Or maybe it's a kitty time-out.

And Rascal needed to get up close and personal for an unknown reason. (Probably involved cheese.)

And now they're back to work at a busy day of napping, eating, sniffing doorjambs and lying in the middle of the hallway.

And if you missed my Facebook post - my interview with Thrills and Mystery Podcast is up. Click HERE to check it out.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Blood Relations Now Available

Book 3 in the Asher Blaine Mystery series is now available at all retailers. You can buy yours HERE for just $2.99. Reviews would be greatly appreciated.

Book 1, White Lies, is still discounted to 99c through Tuesday. Click HERE to grab a copy. It is available in ebook, print and audio.

The print version of Blood Relations is still giving me some grief, but I hope to have it ready by next week. I will post here when that version is available.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cover Reveal and 99c Sale

Here it is! The fabulous cover for the latest book in the Asher Blaine Mysteries series.

Blood Relations is available as a pre-order on various retailers. Click HERE to reserve a copy. Release date is just one week away on August 23rd.

99c Sale!
White Lies, the first book in the series, will be on sale for 99c on all retailers through August 28th. Click HERE to grab a copy.

Asher is one of my most favorite characters. I hope you enjoy his latest adventures.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


I have three different interviews coming up. One is a podcast for the new Asher Blaine book, Blood Relations, and the other two are involved in the SPFBO and will be about High Barrens.

As soon as they are up, I will add links here and on my website.

Interviews aren't very easy for me. I am especially concerned about the podcast. I've never been interviewed live before. Usually someone emails me a list of questions and I have plenty of time to think about my answer, write it out and edit it. This time, anything that comes out of my mouth will be out there for people to hear. That's a little intimidating.

And I worry about the cats. They all object when I use my cell phone. They sit at my feet meowing. Sometimes they jump up on the desk to make sure I am aware of their disapproval. I have no idea what their reaction to a Skype call will be. So there's a good chance that I won't be the only one on that podcast. I hope the interviewer likes cats!

Next week White Lies, book 1 of the Asher Blaine Mysteries, will be on discount in the run up to the release of book 3 on August 23rd. And I will reveal the fabulous new cover for Blood Relations here on the blog. Alex has done another wonderful job.

Now back to work on the rough draft for the next book in A Changed World series.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Fantasy for 99c

Some of the authors involved in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off have put together a 99c promotion for the first 5 days of August.

If you're looking for a new read, please check this out. All the sub-genres are covered. Click HERE to see over 100 books at 99c.

High Barrens is in there, if you haven't gotten your copy,yet!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

High Barrens in the 2018 SPFBO

The Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off was created by Mark Lawrence to help readers cull through the tsunami of self-published fantasy books. Only 300 books are accepted each year.

The judges are well known fantasy book review bloggers.The books are distributed to 10 bloggers who each choose a favorite from the 30 books they are assigned. Then the 10 finalists are read by all of the judges and a single winner is chosen.

Here's a link to Mark's blog where he explains the process.

A couple of previous winners have gotten traditional publishing contracts. And a couple were listed by Barnes and Noble as top reads. It's all about exposure.

I submitted High Barrens. It has been assigned to Lynn's Book Blog. She sounds like an excellent reviewer and I look forward to her comments on my book.

If you are looking for some new fantasy reads, check out the list on Mark's blog. Or you can meet some of the other authors on the official Facebook page HERE.

And so the adventure begins!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thank You!

A great big thank you to everyone who took a chance on Lethal Seasons. This is now the most successful month ever, for me as an author. I am beside myself giddy about it.

A few new reviews have trickled in that show that you are enjoying the journey with Nick, Wisp, Angus, Tillie and and all the others at High Meadow. Thanks for taking the time to post a review. It really helps.

The read through shows me that a lot more of you are engaged also. Sales of the other books in the series are continuing nicely. That's a big Whew! for me. It means that I got it right in the rest of the books too.

And a nice little side effect is that a few people are reading some of my other series. So thanks for taking a chance on them, too!

You guys are the best!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

I Got a BookBub!

In case you don't know what that means - BookBub is the cat's pajamas when it comes to selling books.

I've been quiet about this because I sort of couldn't believe it myself. Every author wants to be featured in their newsletter. When I was accepted, I was skeptical. Did they realize it was little old me? Me, the prawn? Really?

And then I thought, okay, like most of the "Do this and it will work beyond your wildest dreams" advice, I had doubts. It's expensive. Would it really work for me? My books are a niche inside a niche. Would the wide world really care about them?

But I took the plunge! I spent the big money and oh my gosh it's working!

It's running today and the books are selling like hotcakes. If it continues at this rate, I will make back my investment on just the sales of the 1st book in the series. Whoa. That means if anyone reads book 2 it's all gravy. (Well sorta...I do have other costs to recoup.)

As of the writing of this blog I have sold over 1400 copies of Lethal Seasons TODAY. Wow. Just Wow. That's more copies than I have ever sold of that book. Or any book...

So I'm a little stunned. And,

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Post-apocalyptic Rebuilding only 99c

Book 1 of A Changed World series will be only 99c through June 23rd. Grab a copy at your favorite retailer by clicking HERE.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bits and Bobs

The corrected print version of Lessons Learned is now available. My apologies to anyone who received a bad copy.

The third book of the Asher Blaine Mysteries has a name now - Blood Relations. It's in rewrite and still on track for an August release. I have contacted Alex to work his magic on a cover for me.

The next book for A Changed World is in the brainstorming stage. I've doodled out a few possible scenes. That will be the next endeavor once Blood Relations is out the door.

Lethal Seasons is being discounted for the next couple of weeks. Now's the time to grab your copy for just 99c. Tell all your friends!

It's garden season and I am slowly winning the war against weeds. I don't have a lot of time to play in the dirt every day, but I've got a good plan this year. And I have been pretty healthy, so that helps my energy level. As I often say - the more you do, the more you can do - and that is especially true with physical tasks. Five minutes of weeding turns to ten then twenty, increasing as you build stamina. And the more I can do, the more that gets done.

Get outside and play today. It's good for you.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lessons Learned Print Error

If you were thinking about buying the print version of Lessons Learned - wait a week.

I learned my own lesson about trusting the online viewer. Apparently I missed a doozy. Page 15, the first page of chapter 4, is cut in half. Not sure how that happens when I uploaded a doc. How did one page just not transfer over? Weird.

The corrections have been made and I am just waiting on the press proof before releasing it. I want to inspect this one more closely. I already looked at every page on the online version, so it should be fine, but...

And I will toss out a sincere thank you to the person who noted the error in their review on Amazon. If I hadn't seen that, I would never have realized the mistake. Thanks!

If you have purchased a bad copy, you should be able to return it for a corrected one in about a week. I'll make an announcement here and on my FB page. If that doesn't work shoot me an email.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Change in Plans

In January, I wrote out my plan for what I would be writing this year. It seemed quite logical. I know how long it should take me to write a book. I added in some wiggle room and an Oops! week or two and was quite proud of myself.

The first book, High Barrens, meandered a little but came out just about when I had planned it. The second one will be the latest Asher Blaine Mystery and despite some left turns, that is looking right on track also. It was pretty easy to get back into that world. I've got a working title of Blood Relations.I sent it off to my first reader last week and got ready to start drafting the next book. And hit a road block.

The next book is supposed to be in the Transmutation series. But I didn't want to write it. Characters from A Changed World were whispering in my ear. There were things brewing at High Meadow that needed my attention.

So I have changed my schedule. The next work in progress will be book 5 for A Changed World. If I can keep to schedule on that one, it should be out by the end of the year. I'll have a better feeling for the pub date after I get Blood Relations out the door. Right now I have a release date on that for August.

Fingers crossed I can stay on target!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

High Barrens only 99c until Sunday

If you haven't had a chance to pick up my latest book - now's the time to grab the ebook.

High Barrens - a stand-alone, high fantasy, coming of age is on sale for 99c through Sunday, May 13. After that it will go back to $2.99

Click HERE to pick your favorite retailer.

Click HERE to see a preview on my website.

I just got my first review and it was a 5 star. Woohoo!
"Well written book that grabbed early and kept you interested and reading straight through."

It's always a boost to see that people are enjoying my stories. While I'm busy writing, I don't think about how people will react to what I'm putting on paper. At that time, I'm too busy working my characters through their world. It isn't until I push the Publish button that I start to worry about my audience. And until the first review shows up, I'm constantly second guessing it. Reviews like that say I probably got it right. Yay.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


Is it allergies, insomnia or something else all together?

This year as allergy season hit me, I am in the best shape I have been for years, and still I can't seem to get ahead of the occasional bout of brain-fog. Last year I forced myself to push through it and keep writing. That was a big mistake.

Most of what I wrote had to be thrown out or heavily rewritten. When I don't feel well, I default to feeding my characters and sending them to bed. And that doesn't make for a very interesting story.

So this year I am trying to be more careful. When I find myself dreading my allotted writing time, I'm trying to change it up. I do some yard work, plotting, marketing, or if it's really bad - read a book.

Reading is a type of research. When I finish a book, I reflect on how I liked the story and what I might do differently. If there are glaring errors, it helps me find them in my own work. And of course, it's fun and relaxing.

I built lots of oops-time into my schedule this year. That was a lesson I learned the hard way. Missing my personal deadlines stresses me out. So I added a little padding here and there and it's paying off. I'm less stressed and more on target.

And now it's time to get back to it.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

High Barrens in Print

The print version has been approved and should be in the stores in a week or so. I had to mess around with the color maps because the book is in black and white. The first version was a dark blur. I sell so few paperbacks that I was going to leave it with a note to visit my website. But that's just the lazy me speaking.

There's so many different parts to getting a book published that sometime I really want to skip a thing or two. Then after a good night's sleep, I realize I need to put out my best product. So I tick all the boxes and cross all my 't's. Give a great, gusty sigh and send it on its way.

It's selling slowly but surely. There aren't any reviews on Amazon as yet, but I did see a 5 star over on Goodreads! Yay.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

I'm in a New Anthology

Blank Tapes Volume 2: more weird and dangerous tales by [Huxley, Paul, Jelfs, Dermot, Ruth, Georgia, Sabo, Alice, Winters, Rosaline, Wenner, Jody, Moritz, Shane, Clark, Tim, Brown, Jacob, Keith, R.]

Blank Tapes is a collection of 17 odd, dark or quirky short stories that don't quite fit in anywhere. It is available for preorder now - click here - only $2.99.  It will be released on April 9th.

In other news...
High Barrens, the print version, has been held up while I mess around with the maps. They came out as small smudgy squares in the front of the book, so I've obviously done something wrong. 

The 3rd book in the Asher Blaine series is coming along. I was a bit baffled as to why the murder occurred, but luckily I've figured that out.

And speaking of that, time to get back to writing.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

High Barrens Release!

High Barrens is now available all over!

Click here to choose your favorite ebook retailer.
Print is in the works. Should be available in early April.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cover Reveal - High Barrens

Now available for preorder! Click HERE for your favorite retailer.

I think Alex did a super job on this one. It really holds the flavor of the story. I'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

High Barrens Excerpt

Here is Chapter 1 from High Barrens which will be up for presale next week.

     Flint came home from the graveyard knowing that her life was finally going to change. Her father’s death set things in motion that had been stagnant for far too long. The house was somber with the whispered condolences of her neighbors. She laid out a meal for them taken from the winter stores that she had spent the summer putting up. She could be generous because she knew she wouldn’t need them. There was no reason to stay here anymore.
     Only four of her six brothers were present. Steel, the oldest, was a soldier for the King and too far away to return for something as paltry as the death of a father who had disowned him. Flint had sent Steel a warning as soon as she saw her father’s spirit fire dim. Her brother understood what was about to happen. A few weeks later, a bundle of sturdy woolen cloth arrived for her with a handful of silvers hidden inside. She hadn’t seen Steel in years. It was more than she’d expected and a kindness that lightened her burdens.
     Granite, the other missing brother, was in the lockup again, probably for another bar fight. He’d been given that name in the hopes that he would be persistent. Instead, he was stubborn and blockheaded. She knew he cared even less than Steel about their father, but she’d have to find him.
     “I’m sorry to intrude at a time like this,” said a stocky man in threadbare clothes.
Flint knew he wasn’t the least bit sorry and wondered if he’d had to borrow those clothes to present such an impoverished aspect. “Good day, Mortar,” she said civilly.
     “I’m wondering about the bills.”
She knew this was coming. Her father owned money to a lot of people. “I promised you’d be paid. It’ll take a bit of time to sort it all out, but everyone will be paid.”
     He scrutinized her with a sour look. She held her head high. There was nothing for her to be ashamed of. The debts weren’t hers. But she had promised everyone in town that they would be paid. Mortar finally came to the conclusion that pestering wouldn’t advance his cause and slunk away. She let out a soft breath of relief.
     Her other brothers stood awkwardly by the hearth, heads hanging, brows furrowed. Not a one of them mourned. Their father had been a hard man, unfair and selfish. It was a relief that he had finally passed, and yet it was still hard to lose a parent. He had been a larger than life figure, ordering her about for her entire life. She would miss him in a fashion, but she didn’t mourn him either.
     Coal glanced at her. She knew he’d be the first to speak. “What do you need?” he asked. Second oldest son and seventeen years her elder. He still treated her like a child when she’d already passed marrying age, but she knew it was out of love and forgave him.
     “Can you handle the sale of the farm?” she asked, knowing it was a burden. Coal was a blacksmith in a town on the western edge of the barrens. It was a good three-day ride to come back here.
     Coal shrugged. “You think he’ll sell it?”
     In a fit of pique, their father had disowned Clay, the oldest, and left everything to Granite, his fifth son. Flint thought it was because with his drinking and fighting, that was the son most like their father. “He’ll want the coin more than the land.” She knew in her heart that he would never come back here. Granite wouldn’t know what to do with the land. The house would fall down and the fields go to weeds unless someone else made things happen.
     Her brawny brother fidgeted, dropping his eyes away from her. “Who will ask him?”
     “I will.” Flint was the only family member that could talk to Granite without putting him into a fury. She’d been thinking about the proper phrasing since the moment her father’s health had started to fail. She’d asked around and found a buyer for the land. When her father became bedridden, she’d sent the livestock to her brothers Clay and Basalt. They had a farm of their own up north near the Icy River. None of her neighbors questioned it. A sick man couldn’t take care of his animals. She still had her brother Marl at home, but his heart wasn’t in it. He was another one that shouldn’t be forced to work the land. He was across the room speaking with the Servants of the Lady of Shadows. She knew that when they left, Marl would go with them.
     “I don’t need any of it,” Coal said, bringing her back to the issue at hand.
     “Nor do we,” Clay said, joining the conversation.
     Basalt made a face. He never could keep his emotions hidden. “You gave us the animals, I guess that’s fair.”
     “It’s more than fair,” Clay snapped at him. “How much do you think someone would pay for this place?”
     Flint stepped between them. “Most of it’ll go to pay Pa’s debts.”
     Basalt grunted his understanding. He was almost as hard-headed as Granite but had a much sweeter nature. Flint knew that he was thinking of his betrothed and the house that they were building.
     As soon as the conversation had started, the rest of the neighbors had slipped away. It was just family now. Flint sent her brothers to the table while she fetched the parcels she’d made up. They were quiet as she handed them out. For Marl, youngest son but still six years older than she, a warm shirt she’d sown from the fabric Steel had sent. She gave him the things he might need while in service and sent him off to find the Servants.
     “Soft-hearted boy,” Basalt grumbled fondly.
     “It’s where he belongs,” Flint said. She wasn’t sure when she had become the de facto head of this family. It had come about like an icicle forming from a single drop of water. The day her mother died, that drop had started and even though she was the youngest, she’d taken it all on.
     “Not a calling I’d choose for anyone,” Coal mumbled.
     “He’s kind and honest,” Flint said. “That’s who I want to hold my hand when I’m dying.”
     Her brothers grumbled their agreement uneasily. She wasn’t sure if it was the topic of death in general or her death that had them so discomfited. She knew that she was the only thread left that kept them a family. If she raveled away, they would all trundle along in their separate lives without expending the energy to stay connected.
     She gave Coal a shirt also. This one she’d spent a lot of time thinking about. Coal didn’t need money. He was a skilled blacksmith and had built a good business for himself. What he needed was a woman in his life. So she’d made a shirt that showed off his broad shoulders and deep chest. She’d done some fine handwork on the collar and cuffs. The buttons were shiny brass from their father’s old uniform.
     Coal recognized them. She could tell by the way his eyes got misty. He was old enough to remember how their father was before the drink turned him dark. Something she’d only heard about, but never experienced for herself.
     “Thank you. This is a fine shirt,” Coal said
     For Basalt and Clay, she gave them the few useful items from the house and all the tools from the shed. “But what about you?” Clay asked. “Don’t you need…,” He waved at the yard unable to finish the sentence.
     “I’m leaving,” Flint said.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

High Barrens Map Reveal!

My first attempts at map making. This is probably the 3rd or 4th version.

This is the map of High Barrens in the world of Haroon. This covers most of the journey in the book.


Here's a look at the other countries where a bit of the action takes place. I will be adding these to the website soon.

High Barrens is on track for release on March 29th. It will probably go up for preorder the week before.

As usual, Alex has made a gorgeous cover for it. I'll be doing a cover reveal soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Lots of Irons in the Fire!

The fantasy book that gave me fits has finally been finished. Whew. This whole thing has been a lot more complicated than I expected. It will be a stand-alone in a shared world with other books. I will have characters visit from one book to another, but each book with have a complete story.

The world is the Lands of Haroon. The book is High Barrens. It is on track to come out on March 29th. I am waiting to see what Alex comes up with for this cover. I'm sure he'll give me something great again. The final read thru is going pretty smoothly then off to the final edit for grammar and punctuation.

While High Barrens was out to my second-round reader, I started work on another Asher Blaine mystery. It was a lot of fun to get back into his world. I'm still sorting out the murder and perpetrator, a couple of red herrings and various backstories, but it's going pretty well. This one will be in a corn field in Kansas.

And even while I've got two books in flux, I kept getting ideas for the next adventure with Tillie and Angus. Although I had planned to get back to Hunter and Trash before that. Fingers crossed that allergy season doesn't take took great a toll this year!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Spring! (Not Really)

It's one of those days where the sun is shining and I want to go play in the dirt.

But it's way too soon.

It's a cheating kind of day. Makes me feel like I should be putting seed in the ground...which is still partly frozen. And there's a chilly wind that reminds me it is only February.

I poked around the yard. Pruned some roses that had gotten badly overgrown. Pulled a couple of weeds. Everything is too wet to do much work out there. But I had to go out and feel the sun on my face after a week of gray skies and rain.

Found a lot of daffodils poking their green fingers out of the ground. Crocus, too. I want to pull back the leaves to look for more, but it's too soon. Sigh.

Hurry up spring!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lessons Learned in Print

It only took 2 proofs this time around.

Since I only do this a few times a year and several months apart, I am always relearning the process. I was also a little sleep deprived due to another bout of insomnia. So when I realized I'd left a couple pages out, it took me over a day to figure out how to get them back in there. Sigh.

Print copies should be available all over, if not now, then in a day or two.

Sales for the series didn't blast off as they had when Gleanings came out. At first, I was disappointed. Then the trickle of sales continued through the rest of the month, making January the best month ever. Woohoo! I'll take that over a pop and fizzle any day.

Thanks to everyone who has invest in this series. I hope you enjoy book 4!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Back to Asher

When I finished Dark Deeds, I though I was saying good bye to the series. I had left Asher in a good place. It was time to move on to other things. But I forgot how much fun his story is to write.

I'm finally settling into a rhythm of writing, and I've discovered that I like to hop into different series. It helps me change gears and keep everything fresh. Starting in March, I will have four series in rotation now. However, I don't think I can produce four books a year. I'm set up for three this year, if I can learn to write faster, I'll try for four next year.

I struggled with two books last year which completely threw me off my stride. I don't think I scheduled in enough time for life-in-general. This time I have set up a whole year of writing with lots of wiggle room for anything that comes down the pike. And so far, I am a little ahead of myself, which is just amazing.

So Asher is off on another adventure. I'm only a couple thousand words into the draft and already I'm having a blast.

If all goes according to plan, it will be out in August.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Last Chance to Get Lethal Seasons for 99c

Tomorrow Lethal Seasons - book 1 of A Changed World - will go back to normal price. Grab your copy for 99 cents now. Click here for a list of retailers.

Lessons Learned - book 4 of A Changed World - is now available at all retailers. Click here to find your favorite.

The next book coming out will be a high fantasy stand alone. I've got the release planned for late March unless something goes sideways. The toughest part is coming up - writing the blurb. This book was supposed to come out last year, but it had some issues. It's taken me awhile to find the proper ending. Now that I have that, I can push on the the next stage.

While that one is out to readers, I will be drafting the next Asher Blaine mystery. I had actually planned to go back to the Transmutation series, but Asher whispered in my ear that there was another murder about to happen. That book will possibly be out this fall.

Keep an eye on the blog or website for updates.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cover Reveal!

Another wonderful cover from Alex Storer for book 4 of A Changed World.

Lessons Learned is now up for preorder at various retailers. You can check your favorite here. It will be on sale all over on January 18th.

If you haven't started the series yet, book 1 - Lethal Seasons - is only 99c until the 18th. See the list of retailers here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A Changed World - book1 - only 99c

Lethal Seasons is currently on sale for $0.99 on all retailers. Visit my website for a list of them. Click here. It will be discounted thru to the 18th when book 4 comes out. Then it will go back to the regular price.

Book 2, Scattered Seeds, will be loaded into the new retailers today and should be available all over by this weekend. I will load links into the website as soon it goes live on the other sites.

Book 3, Gleanings, will be loaded into the new retailers next week and should be available all over by next weekend.

Book 4, Lessons Learned, will be released on the 18th. It should be available all over at that time. I've got a cover reveal here on the blog on the 11th, and it will be available for pre-sales at that time. So come on back to get a peek at the latest wonderful cover from Alex Storer.