Friday, May 24, 2019

FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK Playlist


I love playlists. I love to listen to them and I love to create them.

It's interesting when you're listening to someone else's playlist and you immediately get a very strong feeling for the emotional core of their book. It's even more interesting when you listen and just can't figure out what they heard that you don't. :-D  I don't think there's anything more subjective than musical taste.

The exercise of choosing songs for a playlist helps me refine the emotional arc of the book I'm working on. That said, there's always one or two songs that just really seem to capture that book for me and those I'll listen to over and over and over. And afterwards, any time I hear that song, I remember writing that particular story.

Anyway, I asked each of the authors in the FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK anthology to choose a song that seemed to capture the mood or theme or message of their story (or that they just couldn't stop listening to while writing) and the end result is this very eclectic and listenable playlist.

I hope you enjoy it--and I hope it whets your appetite for the book!

FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK Playlist


Entrée to Murder by Nicole Kimberling


Twelve Seconds by Meg Perry


Reality Bites by S.C. Wynne


Blind Man’s Buff by L.B. Gregg


A Country for Old Men by Dal MacLean
TAKE ME TO CHURCH (Hozier)





Pepper the Crime Lab by Z.A. Maxfield


Lights, Camera, Murder by C.S. Poe



Stranger in the House by Josh Lanyon
ET L'ON N'Y PEUT RIEN (Jean Jacques Goldman)


Friday, May 17, 2019

And so on and so on and so on...

I've been really focused on writing lately, and haven't had much time to spend at Patreon, let alone blogging, let alone sending out my newsletter. 

The good news is I am really loving the work again (something I attribute to Patreon, as I've mentioned before) and I'm going through an extremely productive period.

The bad news...well, there isn't any bad news. I'm not even behind on my writing projects!

Some of the other stuff, yes. It's taking longer than I'd wanted to take my audio backlist wide. The same with my print backlist. The same with getting stuff onto Google Play. Getting everything listed and uploaded is hugely time-consuming. I've made some in-roads, but there's still a lot of work to do.

Also time-consuming is working on the Choose Your Moments Game.  I've never done anything like this before--well, wait. Actually, yes, I have. Stranger Things Have Happened is a lot like this (it's even based on the same book), but in that case I chose all the scenarios and paths and in this case, I'm just trying to do what the editor is requesting.

Basically I work on the game at night and during the day I write my own stuff.

Slay Ride came out last month. That had been promised for so long that it was a huge relief to finally deliver it. It was only supposed to be a short story, but I loved the characters and the mood of it so much that it ended up being a novella.

I've just wrapped up Stranger in the House, which is my contribution to the Footsteps in the Dark anthology. That goes live on the 31st of this month. It's such a great line-up of authors and such a variety of stories. I'm really excited about it. Plus I loved revisiting Montreal, even if it was only in my imagination.

At the end of June--next month!--comes The Monuments Men Murders which is the fourth Art of Murder book. It's up for preorders now. I'm looking forward to spending time with Jason West and Sam Kennedy--I'll start listening to the audio books next week to prep. With only two books left in the series, it's time to start figuring out the dismount--and at the same time that's the last thing I want to think about because I really love this series.

Then July and Mainly by Moonlight, first in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy. I LOVE THIS BOOK. I've been working on it steadily in between everything else because it's just so much fun. It's a lot more romance-focused than some of my stuff. Or is it? I'm not sure. Maybe it's because the romance is such a different kind of romance? Is it? I don't know! I just know it's really fun to write. Oh, and it's available for preorders too.

Then after July I have a tiny bit of a breather while I work on that long-delayed non-fiction project Mr. and Mrs. Murder AND put together a proposal--another trilogy--for Carina Press. This one is a mix of archaeology and FBI...but I don't want to talk too much about it. It's a bit different from my other FBI ones, that's all I'll say.

So there will probably be a couple of months with no new release, though I hope to have more audio out by then.

And then we hit the fall. First is I Buried a Witch, the second book in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy. I'm not sure if I'll do this one for Patreon or not. I mean, I'll share it with Patreon, obviously, but I'm not sure it will be a Patreon book since that should probably be another exclusive story. 

Then Haunted Heart: Spring. Originally I had intended a quartet, but I think I probably waited too long. So unless I really have a great time writing HHS and readers really, really take to it, that will probably wind up right there.

December will see the (probably last) of the Dangerous Ground books, Blind Side. That's going to be an emotionally fraught one, but hopefully worth the wait. It's taken me quite a while to get to the point where I felt ready to write this one. I've always known the basic idea, but it just hadn't gelled.

So lots of stories still to come. Lots of things in the works. It's just a really positive and productive period for me. For which I'm truly grateful.


Friday, May 3, 2019

SLAY RIDE SPOILER


THIS IS A SPOILER FOR THE END OF SLAY RIDE, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE STORY STOP HERE.


YOU BEEN WARNED.









It turns out that what I thought was a really clever and artistic way to handle the climax of Slay Ride was a technological fail for some readers, especially those with older reading devices.

Oh no!

Sorry about that. That aspect just never occurred me--and I spent a ton of time trying to figure the damn thing out too!

Anyway, here's the newspaper article (notice the byline? :-D :-D :-D) which reveals what ultimately happened.





Monday, April 29, 2019

New Release - SLAY RIDE

I'd forgotten how time consuming and expensive historical fiction is to write! $20.00 on 1940s road maps. $75.00 on Esquire magazines from the 1940s. Documentary rentals, 1940s movies, books on Montana (which I had never written about before), on and on it goes.

But that time and research is probably one reason I lose myself in the writing of historical fiction in a way I rarely do writing contemporary.

Sadly, historical just doesn't sell like contemporary.  A thousand preorders at Amazon is just kind of...disheartening, frankly, but I know the readers who wanted this book waited very patiently and for a long time, and I'm so glad I was finally able to deliver it! It turned out surprisingly well, I think--quite romantic in a tragic historical happenings and violent Christmas kind of way. :-D

If you preordered through Amazon, make sure you have enabled AUTOMATIC UPDATES because I did go back and tweak the original ms. I mean, it's complete and all, but I started thinking it could be a little more emotionally satisfying and I added a couple thousand words. ;-)

And if you ordered through Smashwords, the book isn't out until the 5th, so if you can't wait, just drop me an email with your order number on it and I'll send you a copy.

Anyway, that's the news!

A wild and dangerous ride takes two lonely men into uncharted territory…


1943 Montana. Returning home to Montana after being wounded in the Pacific, Police Chief Robert Garrett was hoping for a little much needed Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Man. Instead, he finds himself chasing after a cold-blooded killer on Christmas Day, aided—whether he likes it or not—by eager young reporter Jamie Jameson. 


 Jamie has idolized Police Chief Garrett most of his life. Despite a stolen birthday kiss seven years earlier, he knows his feelings are unreturned. Even if Rob felt the same, there’s no room in their world for such feelings between men. But while Jamie can accept Robert not sharing his feelings, he won’t put up with being treated like a troublesome kid brother. He too has a job to do, and he intends on traveling this bloody and twisted road with Robert Garrett—no matter where it leads.



Available thru:









Friday, April 19, 2019

Adrien English Turns 20!

Next year is the 20th Anniversary of the original publication of Fatal Shadows, the first book in the Adrien English series.

It's a milestone for me personally, but it's also a bit of a milestone for M/M Romance.

I want to celebrate that milestone--but in order to do so, I need to start planning now.

I threw the question out to my Facebook friends and they came up with a bunch of great ideas including:

1 - A short ( or very short) story of where & what Jake & Adrien are up to now.

2 - A quarterly Cloak and Dagger Books newsletter from Natalie and Angus telling us what’s up in the AE world. There can be a Q&A section where readers can ask their favorite characters questions. Patreon Exclusive and then wide later. 🤣😳🤪

3 - Maybe you could commission some art? Or do a fun contest? A party where everyone wears shirts that say "uh huh"?! 😂

4 - Why not ask the readers where they see Adrien and Jake now? Their thoughts on the characters-how did they find the series, the impact of Jake and Adrien as a couple and separate. Lord knows you don't have the time to write more

5 - 😀 Some kind of virtual party is certainly in order ... with Tab ... and murder.

6 - This means that Jake would be in his sixties and Adrien in his early fifties? 😳
But I think they‘ll stay forever handsome and sexy. 😊

7 - A dinner in Pasadena. Somewhere old school there.

8 - Cake. And champagne. Champagne cake. With raspberries, to make it healthy

9 - Maybe just a re-release with the addition of existing codas and updated cover art? Something simple that will mark the anniversary but not be a time drain for you.

10 -  We need to have virtual parties for sure! And maybe turn Fatal Shadows into graphic novel? :)

11 - I think you should fix yourself a drink and toast to AE and his little bookstore.

12 - WRITE ANOTHER BOOK

13 - Maybe an anniversary coda?

14 - Go Big. 2 Week Online Tribute Show: (Various guest stars talking about the books, you know,) leading up to anniversary reception at some real place...GRL, I guess? Or at least a hotel in the vicinity of GRL. (If you take this idea do this plan, you should totally let me help.)

15 - How about a party in a bookstore...in Florida...okay, it's not close to GRL, but I happen to be part owner of a bookstore in Florida...I'd provide cookies.

16 - A short interlude. Like first day of spring snippet.

17 - To celebrate, I suggest a collection of flashfics, some old and some new, similar to Christmas codas. Little stories with Jake, with their families, friends. Lovely little moments.
It doesn't have to be as challenging as a whole book. Could it work for you?

18 -  A MURDER!
.....or maybe just create a drink named murder....

19 - Mary calmes does a monthly he said he said with Sam Cage and Jory Harcourt it’s great! They’re in her newsletter. It’s framed like an advice column response, but basically ends up being a snippet of their ongoing lives.

20 - I see the Adrien English bookstore mentioned in other author's books. Perhaps you can gather all the mentions into one place. I can't recall even one book where I've read it but I bet the readers of this group could come up with several.

21 - It has to be a real party though. That takes place in a physical space with cake and booze.

:-D :-D :-D

22 - Wow! How about just a teensy story about Jake and Adrien 20 years in?


So those are some possibilities--a LOT of possibilities, in fact!

I'm interested in hearing which ideas people are most interested in--or if there are other possibilities no one has yet thought of.

What do you think? What should I do to mark Adrien's 20th Birthday?



Friday, April 12, 2019

Cover Reveal - FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK: An M/M Mystery-Romance Anthology

The snick of a lock. The squeak of door hinges. The creak of a floorboard...

Nothing is more mysterious than footsteps in the dark. Are those approaching steps that of friend or enemy? Lover or killer?


Coming in May. Authors L.B. Gregg, Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Dal MacLean, Z.A. Maxfield, Meg Perry, C.S. Poe and S.C. Wynne join forces for Footsteps in the Dark, eight sexy and suspenseful novellas of Male/Male Mystery and Romance.

Thank you to Reese Dante for the moody and evocative cover! It perfectly captures the mainstream vibe I was hoping for. :-)


Pre-order now thru Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks (and eventually Amazon).

Friday, April 5, 2019

3 Things I Love About Writing SLAY RIDE


1. 1940s Fiction & Movies

To make sure my writing "voice" is right I always immerse myself in the movies and books of the period I'm writing about. Not fiction set in that period, but the fiction of the period. (Because those tend to be two very different things.)

It's a great way to absorb the mind set. Which, let's be honest, is often unpalatable to the modern reader. But, in my opinion, it's more important to get the details right than offer some reassuring fake picture of how things used to be.

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Etc.

Anyway, it's a great excuse to read books and watch films I naturally love but don't typically have time to indulge in. 


2. Montana. 

Wow. I LOVE Montana. If it just wasn't so far from the beach--and I didn't find real winter intimidating--I would be considering a move. Granted, the Montana of today is not the Montana of 1943, but I love the idea of so few people and so much land. And while it is certainly a red state, it is surprisingly cultured and even kind of artsy in various communities.

And Butte (which serves as the general inspiration for my city of "Bolt") has a fascinating political history especially regarding the labor movement.

Check out the documentary BUTTE AMERICA.





2. Research 
Old Esquire magazines. Road maps from the 1940s. One of the best parts of writing historical fiction is browsing eBay and gathering my research materials. There's a special pleasure in handling the books and maps and magazines of the era I'm writing about--I guess it's partly knowing that the people of that era handled them too.

In this particular case there's the fascination of reading all the accounts of the actual crime that inspired my story.

And the less useful, but endlessly fascinating research rabbit holes I inevitably fall down: sea battles, snow chains and men's fashion for starters.