Sunday, April 13, 2014

Risk of Love and Magic

Just reminding you that new books are in the works! Next up in July, the third California Malcolm book--the story of Magnus and the Librarian. Didn't Kim Killion do a fabulous job with the cover?  TROUBLE WITH AIR AND MAGIC, Conan's book, is still available in print and digital.

I've finally finished the draft of the next Rebellious Son book, currently being called A FORMIDABLE LORD QUENTIN. It needs work but the release date isn't until 2015. Sorry I'm so slow but I'm trying!

And I've sent the third Jamie Quaid book to my editors! It was supposed to come out last year but I added this whole Christmas theme that simply demanded a fall release. So we're now scheduled for October.

We're plotting a new website but life has a way of interfering, especially when so many people are involved in the construction. So until I get my act together, this blog and Facebook have to be my window on the world. Stop by anytime and say hi. I usually check in at least once a day--or more while I'm plotting the next book.

And a reminder that MYSTIC ISLE, the novella is still 99 cents for a little while longer. And if you keep an eye on Kobo, UNDERCOVER GENIUS will be on sale starting 4/17.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Value of Editing

I'm adding the image because it's pretty and sunny and the novella is still only 99c in case you missed all the announcements--

But my real reason for blogging is that I've just gone to B&N to read excerpts on three books I saw advertised today that looked interesting. The  concepts were strong, they had a few good reviews, the covers were nice, the prices were right...and they needed major editing.

These weren't just self-pubbed books, I'm afraid. One was from an e-pub only house and another was a major publisher's e-pub branch. Editing certainly should have been involved.

Perhaps I'm becoming overcritical with age and experience. Would you read a book that started with dialogue only, not explaining who the people were who were talking, not knowing where they are, or who or what they were talking about?  I really didn't understand the first line and by the third paragraph, I quit. How can I care about people who are nothing but quote marks?

The next one started out presumably in the protagonist's point of view, except she was thinking about her pretty blue eyes and long chestnut curls. Yup, I always sit around thinking about my pretty eyes when I'm criticizing someone else. Uh huh. When the next paragraph continued in the point of view of the person being criticized and in the third paragraph switched to some kind of weird author omniscient that covered half the audience, I gave up, again.

 The third book...maybe it's just my taste to blame. The craft was fine. But after three pages of describing a computer, a library, and the hunk working in it and getting no further than the heroine's bad luck, I decided the only plot was getting into the hunk's bed. Not my cuppa. Sure, she was working for a goal and I knew I ought to sympathize with it, but not while she's drooling. So, yeah, that one could just be me.

What makes you give up on a book in the opening pages?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mystic Isle--new novella!

Really, I'm just posting about my new novella so I can show off Kim Killion's hot new covers for my Mystic trilogy!  I can't decide whether to blast them all out at once or let them trickle out over the next month before their release. Or make everyone wait until release date!

Mystic Isle gives new meaning to the concept of "prequel." The Mystic trilogy is sent during the French revolutionary period. Isle is set in ancient Greece. But it shows how the Mystic Isle came to be, something I've always wanted to do.

Here's the official blurb, but you can't buy it until March 11:

Newly appointed priestess to the Temple of Aelynn, Tasia Olympus is burdened with the greatest task to face any leader—saving her acolytes from a tsunami and finding them a new home. Her ability to communicate with the goddess cannot tell her how to protect three dozen virgins and an equal number of soldiers and sailors as they flee their doomed island.
Experienced captain, Nautilus the Navigator can tackle storms and sea, but obeying a young  Seer who tells him to sail impossible shoals requires a level of belief that he doesn’t possess. Giving up his future for a priestess who must remain untouched was not the payment he’d expected for his years of service.
Together, they must build a new home and sanctuary out of a volcanic island that promises plenty to those willing to sacrifice all they know for a future they can’t predict.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Book Alert!

Just thought I'd waft a few ocean breezes to enhance your midwinter dreams... This is from the bluff overlooking Laguna Beach, right down the coast from us. You do not want to hear how much I'm loving California and not missing the snowy midwest!

But I didn't stop in to taunt. I just wanted to tell those of you who haven't already signed up for my new book alert that I'm running a contest for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Anyone--those already signed up and newcomers--on the mailing list as of 2/28 will be eligible.

And a special bonus to those who sign up by 1/31--you'll be receiving advance notice of a pre-release special. So if you'd like to know what books are coming out and when and be the first to know about specials and contests, pop over to and sign in. 

Stay warm--read books!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Undercover Genius

I keep promising myself that I'll blog more frequently but...

writing books comes first
oh, wait, maybe my granddaughter comes first
and then there's all this e-mail
what about promotion! I  can't even get my website updated!
oh, and my newly retired husband really likes our walks on the beach...

The litany of excuses  can go on for as long as I want to sit here typing. So let's just say I'm having a life and while I dearly love my readers, I have not learned to expand my day beyond 24 hours. So I hope y'all will go read my books and not worry too much about how often I post here or elsewhere on the interweb.

So here's the second in my Family Genius mysteries, scheduled for official release on 2/11/14 but sneaking out and about, here and there.
Official blurb:

Complex conspiracies to the right, dastardly deaths to the left, and all Ana wants to do is save her family’s inheritance.

When her half-sister Patra arrives on the Maximillian mansion doorstep with the news that Patra’s father was murdered and the killers are after Patra, Ana is off on another race to protect her eccentric family. Graham, the hunky spy in the attic who holds the mansion ransom, has a stake in this mystery if he wants to prevent Ana and her family from turning his high tech bat cave into Grand Central Station.

While Ana unravels a tangle of gangsters and media moguls, she’s also saving Patra from murderous zombie racers and preventing brother Nick from exacting justice by wrapping their coked-up lawyer in a rug and smuggling him through customs.

Murder in Ana’s world comes accompanied by mayhem and madness...and a sexy glimpse of the man who holds their inheritance hostage.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Craft Blathering

Orange tree!
I haven't stopped by in so long that I'm surprised Blogger remembers me! How is everyone out there? Still writing and reading?

I'm having a great deal of difficulty balancing my new life in California, writing, and keeping up with social media. How can one sit in front of a computer when it's possible to go out and pick oranges off trees? Not that my tree is ready for that quite yet!

But I am working hard. Right now I'm editing a scan of one of my old colonial America books--Rebel Dreams. And I'm completing the final revisions on my next mystery--Undercover Genius. 

 And the reason I popped over here (other than avoiding work) is to mention a technique that everyone else has probably already figured out--using Word's search function to find inconsistencies. It can be used for a lot of other things, but this is how I'm using it this morning--finding swear words!

I have one character who never uses a word stronger than "crap." So I want to make sure she's the only one using that word. And I have a younger character who tends to call people "jerkwads," and I want her to be the only one using it. So Words show me every occurrence of those words and I can snap to the ones that are inappropriate and change them. Magic!

Anyone else have some nifty suggestions for Word search? So many fun distractions when we have technology for playing!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Chicken Ants!

I have decided that we have spontaneously generating chicken ants here in our new SoCal home. I swear, I am not making this up, although I ought to take pictures instead of screaming and swatting.

This isn't my photo but that's what a napkin on my table looked like this morning. We had chicken last night and apparently wiped our fingers and left the napkin sitting out.

When we first moved here, we had ants swarm on our counters. They really like it when we cut up chicken. We can't leave a cutting board unattended for five minutes. We had sugar ants in Missouri and knew not to leave sugar out, but chicken? We've done all the things we were told to do to keep them out, and so far, it's worked. Until this morning.

And the really weird thing is...besides ants that like chicken...there was no trail of ants anywhere. We hunted. No ants marching under the doors or over the windowsill or up the table leg. They just arrived spontaneously, generated from chicken grease apparently. Magic.

And as long as we're wasting time on ants, let me be a little more useful. I have a couple of books as 99c specials over at Book View Cafe. I never do 99c specials, so get them while they're hot. Check out the other specials and Jennifer Stevenson's latest magical erotica while you're there.