Friday, May 14, 2021

BELL, BOOK AND SCANDAL now in audio!

 New on Audible! 


Black Cats. Black Arts. Black. Mail.

 

Must a witch break one set of vows to keep another?

 

Cosmo Saville has never been happier. His adored police commissioner husband has finally—mostly— accepted his witchy ways. And in return, Cosmo has promised to stay out of police business. It seems their Happily Ever After has come at last, until Cos discovers John’s sister might be a pawn in a dangerous game of blackmail…

Commissioner Galbraith is relieved the lies and secrets are over and his marriage is back on track. Especially since he has his hands full with a high-profile suicide and rumors of a citywide extortion ring. So when John realizes his own slightly wicked witch is using magic to play sleuth, all his old fears and doubts return to haunt him.

With the commissioner’s badge and family in jeopardy, Cosmo feels he has no choice but to use every power in…his power. Even if that dark decision costs him everything he cares about most.


Narrated by my ever-favorite super-talented narrator Kale Williams! 



click to buy

Friday, May 7, 2021

Life is What Happens...


 I got my second shot of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, which was--again--weirdly and embarrassingly moving. 

I can't even explain it. But something about looking around that GIGANTIC barn (literally--it was at our local fairground) and seeing my fellow Americans--the reassuring diversity of old/young, male/female, white/people of color... I felt like crying.

A good crying though. A feeling of THANK YOU FOR BEING SANE, I guess.

But here's the thing. Beyond unexpected fatigue, I had no real after-effects following the first vaccine. The second vaccine? Holy moly. At first, nothing. I went home and worked for about six hours. And then... 

Chills, fever, nausea, headache, aches in every joint...even my skin hurt. 

It lasted roughly two days. So not nearly the length of the flu, and certainly not the length of COVID19. I'm not suggesting it wasn't worth it--because that should be a no-brainer--I'm saying I wasn't expecting it.

So...surprise! 

In another week, I'll have 95% immunity, and I can't begin to tell you what a relief that is. 

But I've lost a couple of days of work, and between some family things (HELLO, MOTHER'S DAY, WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?) online conferences and doctor appointments, I'm looking at my schedule and thinking I might have to shift some things again. I dread the very idea, after finally getting back on track, but sometimes there's no getting around things. The truth is, I'm still working around a schedule I created last year, when I was definitely in denial about how much I could do within a day/week/month/year. 

Anyway...

Scandal at the Salty Dog (Secrets and Scrabble 4) is maybe...probably going to get pushed back to the end of May. We're only talking a couple of weeks difference. 

Body at Buccaneer Bay (Secrets and Scrabble 5) will hopefully not see any changes. I don't want to shift anything more than I have to. At the most, we'd be looking at a week or so.

The 12.2-Per-Cent Solution (Holmes and Moriarity 5) will almost certainly be pushed back to mid-July. It's the final book of the series. I don't want to have to rush it. So maybe a month's delay there. I've been saying I might have to do this for a couple of months, so this one shouldn't come as a surprise.

(ugh) Murder is Served (2 Novellas) is kind of iffy right now. It has less than 1K preorders, so the enthusiasm is not enormous. I'm already doing seven novels this year (including Hide and Seek for Patreon) so this project might just be a bridge too far. I haven't made a decision, but this is where my thoughts are headed. It would take some of the pressure off and give me more time to concentrate on The Movie-Town Murders, which is good, given the research involved in the Art of Murder series. Also I'm probably going to need that time to finish Hide and Seek

I'm not saying I'd completely cancel. I haven't made up my mind what I might do.

So that's kind of what I'm looking at. I didn't want to have to adjust anything, and I'm still hoping I won't, but every day there seems to be something new and urgent added to my calendar. How I wish I could have taken advantage of all that free time last year. 

 Anyway. Next year, I'll be starting completely fresh. The only thing scheduled is in April. I fully intend to put together a realistic work schedule that reflects how I work now versus a decade ago. 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

"O where ha you been, Lord Randal, my son?"

 

Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.



Ranald. Ronald. Whoever.

YOU ARE HERE.

AND YOU NEED TO BE THERE.

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? WHY IS IT NOT THAT SIMPLE? 

Anyway, that's where I am right now--riding madly off in all directions. But they're all creative directions, so that's the good news. I'm organizing more audio, more translations, looking into web publishing, setting up a summer...seminar? (not sure what to call it) on writing M/M Mystery. 

And, of course, I'm writing.

Writing. Writing. Writing.

The writing is going well, which means everything is going well. In this case, no news is good news. ;-) 

So... Next book up is Scandal at the Salty Dog. Available for preorder (though no longer at the preorder price). That's coming out mid-ish May. I will keep you posted! 





Sunday, April 18, 2021

What Readers Want

 


What do readers really want?

This was the question I threw out during a online event on the Grinders FaceBook page. I received a lot of wonderful, thoughtful, and yes, frankly, expected answers. And then my reader friend Karan Kapszukiewicz (you might recognize her from the Art of Murder series! :-D) posted this--and because it resonated so much, and I don't want to forget it--because this is exactly what I look for too!-- I'm posting it here.


I read your question yesterday, but really had to think about the answer. I think I know what I want more than what I don't want. As crazy as this sounds, I think I want more coda-like moments within a story. 😃


When I think back to the scenes that stick with me...scenes I can play through in my mind, sometimes years later, they had little to do, specifically, with sex...or murder, or even the clever plot twists. What I'm looking for are moments in the life of a character that make them come alive to me. In, So This Is Christmas, for instance, when thinking of memorable scenes, I picture Adrien, kneeling in the snow next to a dying man, trying to convince him to hang on just a little longer, and Adrien bonding with Jake's dad over Peggy Lee. I think of Jake trying to get the whole, 'ring thing,' right. I think of Max tracing Sebastian’s back where, 'his wings used to be,' in Come Unto These Yellow Sands. Those scenes didn't necessarily move the story along or drop clues or solve any mysteries. They just gave me a glimpse of the human being behind the story. That's what I need in a good book. That connection makes the sex scenes...any sex scenes... work for me. It makes me take one more leap of faith to follow the plot, no matter how winding it might become. 


I'm invested. I care because these characters are real to me.