Friday, June 28, 2019


The Monuments Men Murders goes live tomorrow!

It's coming soon in print and audio (Kale Williams returns once again to give voice to Sam and Jason) but right now it's digital only.

This is the next to last book in the series, so no, everything is not wrapped up in this one--just be grateful I resisted the tremendous urge to end it on a cliffhanger.

This one is a bit different--well, maybe better to just people read and enjoy. It's fast-paced and emotional. I'll just leave it there.


Someone is watching. Someone is waiting.

Despite having attracted the attention of a dangerous stalker, Special Agent Jason West is doing his best to keep his mind on his job and off his own troubles.

But his latest case implicates one of the original Monuments Men in the theft and perhaps destruction of part of the world’s cultural heritage—a lost painting by Vermeer. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander Emerson Harley wasn’t just a World War II hero, he was the grandfather Jason grew up idolizing. In fact, Grandpa Harley was a large part of what inspired Jason to join the FBI’s Art Crime Team.

Learning that his legendary grandfather might have turned a blind eye to American GIs “liberating” priceless art treasures at the end of the war is more than disturbing. It’s devastating.

Jason is determined to clear his grandfather’s name, even if that means breaking a few rules and regulations himself—putting him on a collision course with romantic partner BAU Chief Sam Kennedy.

Meanwhile, someone in the shadows is biding his time…


He knocked softly on the door.

“Come.” Sam’s voice was crisp.

Jason opened the door.

Sam looked up.

He did not seem surprised to see Jason. He did not seem much of anything. There was no smile, no welcome in his eyes.

It was painful for Jason to realize how much he had come to take for granted—to rely on—the welcome in Sam’s eyes.

“Can we talk?”

Sam’s head bent in silent, unsmiling assent.

Okay, J.J. had been right about two things. Sam did look haggard. There were lines in his face that hadn’t been there yesterday and shadows beneath his eyes.

Jason closed the door and leaned against it. He did not want anyone walking in on this conversation; also, he did not miss the fact that he was not being invited to sit.

“It…hurts that you think I would try to bury the truth or—or manipulate the facts to suit myself or my family. I wouldn’t do that. I would never do that.”

Sam said—and he sounded tired, “People find good reasons for doing the wrong things. You’re not the first. You won’t be the last.”

“I wanted to know the truth. That’s all. And I felt like I was the best person to discover what that is because I am biased.”

Sam’s mouth curved, but it was not a friendly smile.

Jason pushed on. That’s what it felt like: trying to push a boulder up a hill. “I know how this looks on the surface, but I also know the kind of man my grandfather was. He dedicated his life to the preservation of art. He was willing to risk his life. He didn’t have to go overseas. He wasn’t drafted. He was forty-six and a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve. He requested active duty, but because of his art-conservation background, he agreed to join the newly formed Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program.”

Sam said, “I know all this. I know how much you admired and loved your grandfather. I know that his work with the Monuments Men inspired your own decision to dedicate your life to the protection and preservation of art. I understand—more than you realize—that this is not easy for you, which is why you needed to hand if off to an agent who did not have a personal stake in the outcome.”

Jason started to speak, but Sam cut across. “Do you not understand that because you are ethically compromised, your investigation is compromised? Even if you do find that your grandfather had no involvement whatsoever in the theft of these items, your personal bias makes your findings dubious at best.”

“I know that’s a risk, but—”

“It’s not a risk. It’s a fact.”

“Which is why it was my intention to find irrefutable proof that my grandfather was not involved.”

“Okay, and do you understand that comment is not remotely reassuring?”

“You know what I mean.”

“You know what I know? Your good intentions are irrelevant. What is relevant is you’ve knowingly, deliberately, violated ethics regulations. You’re throwing your career away—and for what?”

Jason was silent. He had hoped that with a bit of time to cool down and process, Sam’s hard-line view of the situation might soften. But if anything, his perspective had solidified, hardened. He was no longer angry. This cold conviction was worse than that.

He said finally, bitterly, “I see. So where does that leave us?”

Sam did not answer.

If you haven't already preordered, all the purchase links are conveniently located right here...

Friday, June 7, 2019

Winter is Coming (Again)

Whoah. Halfway through the year! Which means, yikes, Christmas and the winter holidays are right around the corner.

Time to start thinking of Ye Olde Advent Calendar.

Once upon a time I ran the calendar through the entire month of December, but now I only run it up until Christmas Day, so there are less available slots for contributors--but your contributions are still VERY welcome! So I want to extend an early invitation to those of you who would like to join in  with your creative efforts. Pretty much everything is welcome: stories, art, games, contests (giveaways), essays... Basically anything that relates to my characters and worlds and/or the winter holidays are always enormously enjoyed by our readers.

Once again, I'm aiming to do six codas this year. I haven't settled on the character pairings yet, but that's the goal.

Which leaves a LOT of room for reader/fan contributions as well as giveaways and all the usual holly-jolliness.

If you're interested in participating, drop me a line through my website OR through Facebook or Goodreads or Twitter or any of the usual places. 

The more the merrier! 

Friday, May 31, 2019


Well, it's here at last! FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK is live. :-)

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?

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.

(That's over 200K worth of M/M Mystery and Romance for $3.99 -- half-price!)

Available at these fine retailers:


Barnes and Noble




Google Play

What's it all about, Alfie? Read on!

Entrée to Murder. After a steady diet of big city trouble, Chef Drew Allison moved to the island town of Orca’s Slough to get a taste of life in the slow lane. But hometown hospitality goes stale when he finds a dead body in the basement of his own Eelgrass Café.

Twelve Seconds. A mysterious phone call, a missing executive, and an exploding rocket throw space reporter Justin Harris and Air Force Special Agent Greg Marcotte into an investigation that will change their lives…if it doesn’t kill them first.

Reality Bites. Detective Cabot Decker is called to the set of hotshot TV producer Jax Thornburn’s reality-TV show after a contestant is mauled to death by a tiger. Is someone trying to ax Jax’s career—or Jax himself?

Blind Man’s Buff. A game of Capture the Flag turns deadly inside an abandoned shopping mall when Tommy and Jonah stumble into a homicidal maniac’s hunting grounds.

A Country for Old Men. Inspector Calum Macleod has returned to the Western Isles of Scotland to bury a part of himself he can’t accept. But the island has old secrets of its own. When a murderer strikes, Calum finds his past can’t be so easily escaped.

Pepper the Crime Lab. When Lonnie Boudreaux’s neighbor is murdered, he must foster the man’s dog, befriend a mysterious former cop, and stop the killer—or else!

Lights, Camera, Murder. Hired to recover a stolen script, NY PI Rory Byrne must go undercover on the set of the ground-breaking historical drama The Bowery—a job complicated by Rory’s unexpected attraction to handsome, talented, and out-and-proud actor Marion Roosevelt.

Stranger in the House. Miles Tuesday’s memories of Montreal are happy ones, but now that he has inherited the mansion at 13 Place Braeside, everything feels different. Was Madame Martel’s fatal fall really an accident? 

Friday, May 24, 2019


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!


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

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




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.


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 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.

Friday, March 29, 2019

NEW RELEASE - The Ghost Had an Early Check-out in AUDIO

The Ghost Had an Early Check-out is now available in audio!

Michael Pauley did the narration this time around. I did really love Max Miller's work on The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks, but I felt I wanted a different feel, a different take (now there's a useless description to give a narrator!) for the sequel.

Bad stage direction regardless, Michael definitely delivered.

Anyway, the story is available on iTunes, Amazon and Audible. The compromise I've struck is to launch new audio through Audible but then once the titles have earned out, take the books wide. Usually that shouldn't take much more than a year.

That said, the process of moving titles over is slow and laborious. Of the twelve titles I've taken non-exclusive so far, I've only managed to list one on Findaway Voices!

One step at a time...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Kind of a Cool Thing :-)

Fatal Shadows as a mobile game?

Wellllll, I've signed a contract with the company that does the Moments: Choose Your Story games.

We'll see what happens next. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Proceed to the Route

The problem with not listing books for pre-sale is if I don't have an actual official deadline, it's easy to lose a couple of months chasing the delightful fantasy of Being Caught Up.

At this point, I honestly don't even know what Being Caught Up would look like. Presumably I could open a file drawer in my office and find what I'm looking for. Presumably I would have answered all the email sitting in my second inbox (some of it dating back to 10/18). Presumably I would be able to spend most of my days writing.

Who knows?

Anyway, as I always tell everyone else, you can't just hang out on the diving board all day. Eventually, you have to jump.

So bombs away!

(Wait. Hopefully not! :-D)

Anyway, here's what I've settled on for this year's reasonably solid deadlines. I have yet to update my website, so this is pretty much the only place you can find this info for now.

April 29th - Slay Ride

May 1st - My story "Stranger in the House" in the Footsteps in the Dark: An M/M Mystery-Romance Anthology (by the way, Tantor has contracted the audio rights on this one--AND it looks like we're going to put into print after all.)

June 15th - The Monuments Men
(Kale Williams is saving space at the end of the month to work on the audio) :-)

July 26th - Mainly by Moonlight (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1) 
The project I'm probably most excited about. I plan on their being TWO books in the trilogy out this year--do-able only because I'll be writing them for my Patreon group.

Then we have a little bit of space where I try again to catch up on stuff and see where I'm realistically at with the rest of the year's schedule.

If all goes well we'll then have:

October 15th - I Buried a Witch (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 2)

October 31st - Haunted Heart: Spring

And last but not least, sometime in December...Blind Side .

So that's the line up. It's pretty action-packed, so although it all seems doable at the moment, there's always a possibility that life is going to get in the way. Still I did manage to complete all of last year's (revised) schedule, so it could happen!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cover Reveal MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1)

Because this trilogy is different in many ways from other things I've written, I wanted to get a really fresh look for the covers. I went with legendary Reese Dante who delivered in spades. I love. love, love all three covers--although I'm only going to share the first one with you. ;-)

It's not listed for preorders yet because, frankly, I'm running behind on the writing. SAY IT ISN'T SO, JOSH!!! Thank God there's nothing much planned for this month because I need some quality alone time with just me and my laptop. We're probably looking at a June* release, depending on how previously scheduled projects go.

Here's the very cursory blurb (which I may or may not have shared before?)

Though they’ve only known each other a couple of weeks, San Francisco's first openly gay Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith is all set to marry antiques dealer (and, little does John know, witch) Cosmo Saville in a big, society wedding—until Cosmo is arrested for murder after being discovered standing over the body of longtime rival dealer Seamus Reitherman.

*update: JULY is a lot more realistic.

Friday, March 1, 2019

NEW RELEASE Green Glass Beads in Audio

I'd mentioned a while back that Joel Leslie was doing the narration of the Green Glass Beads audio book. OH MY GOSH, HE'S SO GOOD. The book is brilliant.

That wasn't actually my point though. :-D My point is because the novella cannot be tied to an individual work (it's part of the Irregulars anthology) the audio cannot be listed on Audible or Amazon. It's ridiculous, I agree! But I don't have any control over it.

But the audio is available a lot of other places including iTunes and Google Play, so you can still purchase it, and I'll list all those handy-dandy buy links below.

**If you're at the $20.00 and up tier on my Patreon DO NOT BUY THIS AUDIO BOOK. You're going to receive a download code for it shortly. :-)

Everyone else, you can purchase the audio book a whole bunch of places--and, yes, I know it's not as convenient as one-clicking at Amazon or Audible. But preventing a complete monopoly of the audio book market is going to require a little sacrifice from both of us. Choice. Options. Non-exclusivity. These are good things. Good for me and good for you.

Oh, and if you'd like to take a little listen to a sample of the story, you can check it out on my website right here.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Five Things I Love Right Now

These don't really have anything to do with writing--but then again everything has to do with writing when you're a writer. :-)

Anyway, I haven't done one of these posts in a while, so I thought it would make a nice change.

1 - One Kings Lane. I discovered them while researching furniture for Cosmo Saville's (Bedknobs and Broomsticks) apartment, and now I can't go on the internet without being peppered by ads for them. But for once I don't mind because honest-to-God I love practically everything they're shoving under my nose. I can't afford most of it (and don't have room for it, even if I could) but I really do enjoy seeing what they imagine I'll like. They're usually right. Like these amazingly cool prints by Jessica Brilli. I love her retro style especially when it comes to swimming pools

2 - Catalina Island. What better place for the biennial Catalina Meet (AKA Fanyon Retreat).  Yes, it's expensive and kitschy and the Santa Catalina Island Company is doing their best to ruin everything people like me (their real target audience if they only knew it) love about the place, but still. It helps that I'm always there with family or friends. That I'm always on vacation--even when I'm trying to work.

The thing is, the Catalina Meet is such a unique way to get to interact with readers and fellow authors alike. It's truly special. And because it is so special it's going to be tricky to keep it intimate and cozy and yet allow it  room to grow enough to stay fresh and energetic. 

3 - The Cake Bake Shop. Even if I didn't love cake (and I wish I didn't) it would be hard to resist these gorgeous confections. They're just ridiculously beautiful (and delicious). They're like fairy tale cakes. Even the boxes they come in are beautiful.

4 - Rain. I've been talking about the drought in California for so long it's kind of weird to learn that much of the drought has been alleviated by a seriously wet and snowy winter. It wouldn't take much to set us back, but for now... we're actually okay! When was the last time anyone said that? ;-)

5 - Tulips. It feels like spring. I know that technically it's not, but the light has that certain sparkle and the air smells warmer, softer. That could be a unique-to-California thing though, because I know it's still snowing in the hinterlands. Tulips used to be low on my favorite flowers list, but I've come to love the quirky colorfulness of them.  They're jaunty and yet pointed in the way of a young governess's umbrella. ;-)

Do you have a moment? What are five things you love right now?

Friday, February 1, 2019


February. Already February. Yikes!

This year's priority writing project is "Stranger in the House" for the Footsteps in the Dark anthology, but I'm also working on Mainly by Moonlight, the first book in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy.

My plan is to work on the trilogy all year long between other scheduled projects like The Monuments Men Murders, Blind Side, Haunted Heart: Spring. One of the  aspects of Patreon I'm most grateful for is it forces me to be more productive.

Anywhere, I'm listening to this playlist a LOT right now. I hope you enjoy it!

Mainly by Moonlight - Playlist

Friday, January 25, 2019

Happy Anniversary to My Patrons!

January 22nd marked my one year anniversary on Patreon.

I can't believe it's already been a year!

It's been a very interesting experiment so far. Well, I don't know if I can really call it an "experiment" at this point. Overall, I consider it a successful endeavor. Although growth is slower at this point, every month but one has seen a small uptick.

There has been a definite learning curve for me, and back in December I did an extensive overhaul of the tiers and rewards with an eye to making life easier for myself and for making sure patrons at every level got plenty of goodies. 

One of the things I struggle with is finding the right balance of quid quo pro. Patreon is not designed to be a marketplace. I'm not supposed to be running a store. The idea is patrons support the artistic endeavors of chosen creators with donations. It's, well, a form of charity. But of course for a lot of patrons it IS about the rewards at certain tiers, and that is simply the reality. And it's okay! It's a good reality. I want to provide rewards that my patrons enjoy. I want my patrons to feel like they are getting value from their donation. For some, that value is seeing my increased productivity and pleasure in the work. For others, it's access to exclusive content.

Either way, as the recipient of what is, largely, the kindness of strangers, I'm grateful.

There is no wrong way to be a patron (I mean, assuming you're following through on your pledges) and there is no wrong way to be a creator (again, assuming you're following through on your promises).

That said, Patreon is not for everyone. The pressure to provide extra content can be difficult--it's one reason why I changed my tiers so that most of my patrons receive all my regular releases as well as extras. There are some months when all my focus has to be on creating the products that I sell in the broad marketplace. And it's more than possible than some patrons will join expecting a different and more intense kind of personal interaction with me. There are months when I'm more chatty and active on Patreon--and there are months when I only have time to check-in and deliver whatever the rewards will be.

My patrons provide a safety net, but that safety net can't--and in my opinion shouldn't be intended--to take the place of regularly scheduled new releases to the wider marketplace.

I've seen complaints, criticisms of Patreon making the case that a paying model excludes certain readers from taking part. And this is true. In the same way that charging for books--or any art--excludes certain consumers. (My lowest reward tier begins at a dollar.) Critics of Patreon argue that the extras authors create for their patrons should be available to everyone for free.

I think this is missing the twin points of both patronage and what an extra actually is.  Besides which, I still provide extras for my readers who can't or don't want to take part in Patreon. I still blog, I'm still active on social media, I still do giveaways through my Facebook and Goodreads and Newsletter, and I still provide free content--for example the six codas that went into last year's Advent Calendar.

I don't particularly want to release my rough drafts or outlines or research notes into the wide world, but Patreon acts as a natural curator, and I'm comfortable sharing those extras there.

For me, the three greatest benefits of Patreon have been the financial cushion it provides on months I don't have a new release; the creative stimulus of having to come up with fun, new extras that actually serve to make my regular projects better (things like character interviews, for example); and, finally, the opportunity to occasionally brainstorm or just touch base with readers who have the greatest investment in me and my work. 

For patrons, the price of admission varies, but for creators, the end result is often priceless. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

When Words Fade and Things Come Alive

I've been getting questions about why I haven't put anything into audio for a while, so I thought I'd better do a quick update.

So, first off, I have actually been putting things in audio--In Other Words...Murder narrated by the wonderfully funny Kevin R. Free went into audio in September. (Which, now that I say it aloud, does sound like a while ago.) :-D

A couple of people asked what happened to the Green Glass Beads project. You'll remember I hired the amazingly versatile Joel Leslie Froomkin to narrate the novella. The result was brilliant; the hitch is that because the story is part of the Irregulars anthology, I couldn't really figure a way to get the audio book listed on Amazon or Audible. I ended up listing it last week on Findaway Voices in their Voices Plus program and I'm just waiting for that to be approved. At that point the audiobook will be made available to certain tiers within my Patreon group--and then eventually it will go into wide distribution. I promise you it's worth waiting for!

I also did three short stories in audio for Patreon last year: The Boy Next Door, Night Watch, and Halloween is Murder. All are narrated by the gorgeous voice of Kale Williams, and those can actually be purchased through Payhip on my website. I struggled with how to price them, but since Patreon paid for the productions, I've settled on $5.99. That seems like the going price for audio shorts?

So that's what's already done.

As I discussed last year, I'm focused on going wide with my audio. There's no question that most of the sales come through Audible (which funnels into Amazon and iTunes) but if no one is willing to take the financial hit and put product into wider distribution, there will be no viable competition. Healthy competition helps us all. Certainly it will mean all the difference in the long run. So that's my position and why I'm experimenting with things like Payhip and Findaway Voices, even though some of you might find that kind of inconvenient.

Anyway, coming up in the short term will be Seance on a Summer's Night and The Ghost Had an Early Check-out. Details still need to be ironed out there. I made a tactical mistake and opened both projects up for auditions on ACX, which I haven't done in years. Within two days I had 76 auditions and because I feel absolutely obligated to listen to and personally respond to each one--which (I'd forgotten) is insanely time-consuming--it's taking longer to get this settled than I wanted. AND it's completely unnecessary because Kale had already supplied me with a list of terrific narrators he personally knows. So...I'll keep you posted.

Oh! Also, yes, I'm planning to do the Adrien English books in audio box sets, and yes, per your demand, I did bring Chris Patton back to narrate So This is Christmas for the box set. You can stop asking. :-D It's done. He's already completed the work and I have the files. There are some technical issues though, so there could be a delay on getting those out. But it will happen. Really.

Basically, I plan on pretty much everything I do this year going into audio. And because I'm doing more this year, there should be more audio. Kale will of course be back to narrate The Monuments Men Murders AND  I've already talked to him about doing my new Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy.

In most cases I will always return to my original narrator for sequels and series, but in some cases the narrators have moved on, so it's not going to be possible to get them back. I know you all really, really dislike narrator changes, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

So that's where we are with audio. I'm as much a fan as ever and I plan on providing you with plenty of audio content this year. :-)

And of course, I'm always interested in hearing what's on your audio wishlist!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Here You Come Again

I'm deliberately not setting deadlines right now, despite the fact that I'm currently working two projects. I'm trying to keep everything very creative and loose. Eventually (sooner rather than later) I'll have to impose a couple of deadlines or the books just won't happen, but right now I'm having fun simply working out details.

My story for the Footsteps in the Dark anthology is called "Stranger in the House". I know the basic plot--I've known that much for months (originally, this was a story I was going to write for my Patreon group), but I hadn't fleshed much out beyond the very bare bones of a young American inherits a large and mysterious house in a foreign country and discovers...something alarming. Something that will most likely lead to murder. Or has it already led to murder? Hmm...

So now I'm focused on the characters and their conflicts because a lot--if not most--of the plot will rise from there. (It always makes for a better story when I take the time to do this groundwork ahead of the real writing.)

The story is set in Westmount in Montreal. I liked the look and feel of Westmount when the SO and I were there two years ago. I LOVE Montreal, which feels like Paris for Beginners to me. (I'm only partly kidding.) Anyway, I decided then I wanted to set a story there, so that was easy. And it's always helpful having a live-in expert. ;-)

I didn't want to do yet another writer protagonist--or another cop protagonist. Not that I don't love writing both those--and I'm absolutely going to do them again--but this year I'm trying to forbid myself the comfortable, familiar pathways (except in cases where I'm writing sequels or series; I don't think anyone would appreciate me giving Jason and Sam or Will and Taylor new careers this late in the game). :-D

So I'm looking at an art teacher with an opportunity to try for his dream of being a full-time artist--AND for a romantic foil... The art dealer who discouraged him from trying for that dream in the first place.

I love that kind of dynamic because people occasionally offer generally good advice that turns out to
not be so good in the particular. The advice that a twenty-six year old might offer you could be considerably different from the advice a thirty-six year old might give.  Also, how personally responsible are you if someone takes your best advice, but your best advice turns out to be ill-advised?

Right now I'm testing out names. It's funny how hard it is to begin writing until I've worked out the names of the main characters. They have to feel right in order for me to get the feel of that personality. Jobs are another thing--maybe because, like it or not, our jobs define us to a great extent. And if our jobs don't define us, that's interesting too.

So... Miles... Miles? Myles? Milo? No. Not Milo. Eager to please, according to my Baby Names book. Hmm. And that might work too. Miles. Miles Tuesday. Really? But yeah, I kind of like it. Miles Tuesday...


Linley Palmer. Hmm. Interesting. Not even sure where that one came from. Is that strong enough? It's so...English. So civilized-sounding. But then an art dealer probably is pretty civilized. But should he be French-Canadian? Is there a family connection here? If not, why has Miles inherited this house and all its treasures? Linley Palmer... According to Wikipedia: Palmer is an occupational surname of old English, Norman French, German and Scottish origin. That pretty much covers all the bases. :-D

So that's where I am right now. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 4, 2019

5 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2019

Here we go! It's the first Friday of the New Year--and all of 2019 stretching before us with infinite possibility.

1 - Staying healthy. 2018 was a good year for me as far as eating right and getting exercise AND taking time off. I want to continue that momentum and even build on it. Let's face it, writing is a sedentary profession. Nobody wants to get sick, but when you are the money-making machine in your family, the possibility of being ill or injured is a lot more frightening. I'm intent on making healthy choices all year long so that I can be my creative (and productive) best in 2019. That means come Monday ALL the leftovers go into the trash. ;-)

The fact that I am fighting a sore throat this morning is IRRELEVANT to the conversation.

2 -  New projects. And old projects. Unsurprisingly, I didn't manage to accomplish everything I hoped and planned for 2018. I still have to deliver Blind Side and Haunted Heart: Spring, which I'm aiming to do this year. We also have the fourth Art of Murder Book coming -- that's The Monument Men Murders. And we have the Footsteps in the Dark anthology (I've settled on "Stranger in the House" for my novella) AND the new Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy starts with Mainly by Moonlight. And I'm sure there will be other surprises (for me AND you) along the way.

3 - Learning new things. Last year was the year I stopped fighting the new reality of publishing--namely that there are now two largely distinct publishing worlds. The world of the Kindle Unlimited author and the world of the rest of us (which encompasses traditional publishing as well as wide indie publishing). It's amazing how freeing it is to stop fighting what cannot be changed and to focus on finding your own path. I think letting go of my desire to hang on to The Way Things Used to Be is why last year was both more productive (and, frankly, more happy) for me. My decision to begin a Patreon was part of that. So was my decision to take my audio and print wide. Yes, staying wide is a hell of a lot more work--but it also offers a hell of a lot more in the way of long-term benefits. The artistic life is an insecure one. Keeping your eyes--and mind--open means you're keeping your options open.

4 - Focusing on the Positive. There is plenty to be worried about in the world today, but there is also plenty to be encouraged by and grateful for. Worrying changes nothing. Action is what makes change, so worrying without taking action is pointless--but so is giving into worry and despair once you HAVE taken action. Which is to say, you can only do what you can do--and once you have done those things that are within your power to do, you have to let go and trust.  Making yourself crazy with fear and anxiety solves nothing. I'm going to consciously try to produce the positive action antibody so I can combat the fear and anxiety antigen carried by so many now. ;-D

5 - Getting organized. Jeez Louise. WHY CAN'T I GET MY OFFICE CLEANED UP? I always get to a certain point--the point where I am just about to begin filing--when all hell breaks loose again and my office ends up looking like it was ransacked. I need another filing cabinet, so why the hell do I balk at spending money on that but think $200. worth of doggie toys and treats is a sound investment? (I'm exaggerating and it was Christmas for Marlow the Mutt too. Still.) Nothing gets me derailed faster than not being able to find my notes or a reference book or stamps or that Sephora gift card when I need it. THIS YEAR I GET ORGANIZED AGAIN. FOR REAL. FOR GOOD.

What do you have planned for 2019? Is this the year IT happens? What is your IT?