Friday, September 13, 2019

Kindle Unlimited Take 3

Like a lot of authors I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. I admire their innovation imagination--and ruthless efficiency--but I also deplore their greed, their inflexibility, their indifference to the publishing ecosystem as a whole--and that same previously mentioned ruthless efficiency.

One of the things I've struggled the most with is Kindle Unlimited. The prevalent idea is you can only make money on Amazon through Kindle Unlimited, and that is simply not the case. You can earn six figures and NOT be in Kindle Unlimited. Granted, it does take one hell of a lot of effort and ingenuity (says the girl with the Patreon account and currently writing porn for a Chinese mobile game company).

I think writers putting all their eggs in one basket is a horrible idea, whether that basket is publishing with one legacy publisher or one indie publisher OR putting everything into Kindle Unlimited. I've been in publishing a long time, and I have seen the painful proof of that too many times to count. But people gonna do what people gonna do.

However you feel about Kindle Unlimited, (and hey, yes, I have a kindle and a KU account) it's pretty clear that right now KU dominates the publishing landscape--and that isn't going to change any time soon.

So how best to take advantage of that without handing my entire fate over to Jeff Bezos? To refuse to play ball at all is pretty much the equivalent of cutting my nose off to spite my face. But going all in on KU is not an option. I can't do it. And I don't need to do it. So what's the compromise for an author like me? I've got a largish and loyal readership, but now days I have trouble with discoverability and with sticking my landings on those best-selling lists which--it's no secret--are now dominated by KU titles?

If your readership isn't growing, it's shrinking. That's the way it works.

So what to do, what to do?

For now, I've decided to put a few titles at a time into KU and then rotate them out again. Some of the titles still sell pretty well wide, some don't. So far, I don't plan on putting anything new into KU, although I have an idea about that too (but not for this year).

Here are the titles currently in Kindle Unlimited:

Mummy Dearest 

The entire up-to-now Holmes & Moriarity series (gulp)

Winter Kill

Murder in Pastel

The entire up-to-now Dangerous Ground series (including the Point Blank box set)

The Partners in Crime box set

The I Spy books (including the box set)

Some of them return to wide in November and the rest go back up in December.

This hopefully introduces me to some new readers. Yes, some KU readers are solely price-point based, but the majority are actually readers like me. We use KU for discoverability; the books we know we want, we buy outright. (There's loads of data to confirm that this is how it works.)

Better yet, this gives me a chance to reformat and repackage these older titles as they come off KU, without trying to tackle everything at once. I can reconsider price points, update back matter, update bonus materials, look at box sets, etc.

So we'll see how this goes. As per usual, I'll keep you updated. If it's a success, terrific! But if it's not, that can be useful to know.







Friday, September 6, 2019

AUDIO RELEASE - The Monuments Men Murders

The Monuments Men Murders is now available in audio!

(Which means--oops! just remembered--I need to update my website!)

Once again, Kale Williams is narrating the latest installment of Sam and Jason's adventures. And once again, Kale does a terrific job.

Four books in it's reached the point where, when I sit down to write Sam and Jason, I hear Kale's voice. ;-D

You can purchase through Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

Speaking of Kale, I just finished listening to Mainly by Moonlight (what can I say? I LOVE his narration). It's fun but also fascinating to see how he changes things up to capture Cosmo and John. Anyway, I can't wait for that one to go live.

And any day now I'll have the files for Slay Ride narrated by Alexander Masters (who I also adore--and my gosh what a feel for historical he has) and then in October comes Haunted Heart: Spring likely narrated by Graham Halstead (I sold audio rights to Tantor on this one, so I can't completely control things but they've been terrific to work with so far) OH. And Tantor is also putting out Footsteps in the Dark (Joel Leslie is doing Stranger in the House). 

So there is quite a bit more coming in audio this year than last--and I'll try to keep you posted.


Friday, August 16, 2019

I BURIED A WITCH Playlist

I've started work on I Buried a Witch so I can hit that Halloween release date, so I thought I'd share the playlist. Or at least the part of the Bedknobs and Broomsticks master list that's got the right emotional vibe for the second book.

I wonder if this playlist will change as much as Mainly by Moonlight's playlist changed? Too soon to know! It's the first time I've ever jumped immediately into the second book in a series, and it's an interesting experience. It does simplify things, as far as remembering the details of who drives what car, who went to college where, etc. :-D


























Saturday, August 3, 2019

She Went Along, and Went Along, and Went Along...

Remember that fairy tale and that Arthur Rackham illustration?

THAT GIRL IS ME.

And let me tell you, the frozen bare ground hurts your feet in winter. :-D

Ah, but it's summer now and the livin' is... Well, I wouldn't say easy, exactly, but the livin' is warmer and the ground is softer.

It's August, we're more than halfway through the year, and my last check-in was May. It has been a very productive year. But better still, it's been a very creative year.

There is still A LOT to come.

But, in case you missed it all, here's what's already been delivered:

Mainly by Moonlight (Witches Brew) Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1 - That just came out this last Wednesday. The next two installments will be pretty quick--October and February, I'm guessing. The plan was always for rapid release, but now I view it as more mandatory than optional. In the age of binge-consumption, this kind of part-one-of-a-three-part-story drives (some) readers crazy.

The Monuments Men (Art of Murder 4) - only one more installment to go! It's going to be very hard to end this series, so yes, I'm tempted to go for more than five books. But that really goes against my long-held conviction that five is the perfect number for a series.

Moments: Choose Your Story FATAL SHADOWS (mobile game ap)

AUDIO - Seance on a Summer's Night (narrated by Matt Haynes)

AUDIO - The Ghost Had an Early Check-out (narrated by Michael Pauley)

"Stranger in the House" (part of the Footsteps in the Dark anthology) The anthology is coming out in Audio in November (narrated by Kale Williams and Joel Leslie) I. Can't. Wait.

Slay Ride - A little bit grim for Christmas, I'll be the first to admit, so I released it early. It was originally supposed to be a short story. But I loved the characters and the time period and so it turned into a poignant little novella set at Christmas time, but NOT a Christmas story. ;-)

I know that's not a lot given the current publishing paradigm. In fact, in comparison with most of my peers' production schedules, it's not much to show. But for me? This has been a huge year. A hugely productive year. So obviously I'm really happy about that.

Also I've managed to move ahead with my plans for getting some of my audio and print backlist into wide distribution. Is it making me a lot of money? No. But were these very old titles making a lot of money sitting where they were? No. Am I discouraged? No. Am I going to continue in this direction? Yep.

Patreon.

I am so grateful to my patrons. The community is holding steady. It's not enough to live on, but it has saved my ass more than once. Mostly it's allowed me to invest in things like more audio, taking more time with projects, etc. The next serialized novel will remain exclusive to Patreon for at least six months after it's complete. So obviously, it's not going to be I Buried a Witch! ;-)

Here's what's still coming this year that will be made widely available:

AUDIO The Monuments Men (Art of Murder 4) narrated by Kale Williams - probably sometime this month?

AUDIO Mainly by Moonlight (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1) narrated by Kale Williams - probably September or October?

I Buried a Witch (All Hell Breaks Loose) Bedknobs and Broomsticks 2
That's going to be out October 31st. 

Haunted Heart: Spring - That's now scheduled for mid- November (November 22)
Yes, I switched the release date with I Buried a Witch

And then finally, Blind Side (Dangerous Ground 6) - December 31

 I'll probably list for preorders within the next couple of weeks. It's nice not having that pressure right now.

I'm also back to working on Mr. and Mrs. Murder with the SO. Or as the publisher likes to call it: Husband and Wife Sleuths of Crime and Detective Fiction. :-D

And then also I'll be at GRL in October. 


So that's pretty much it for this year's planned projects. Real life happens, so things can change, but that's how things look right now.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

New Release MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT

Mainly by Moonlight goes live tomorrow!

It's coming soon in print and audio (Kale Williams has signed on to voice Cosmo and John) but as of tomorrow morning, the book is digital only.

This is the first in the Bedknobs and Broomsticks trilogy (although, given the amount of world-building, I'm not 100% convinced I'm stopping at three books). It's a bit different from, well, pretty much everything I've done in the last few years in that I plan to write it quite quickly (I Buried a Witch comes out in November and Bell, Book and Scandal is *probably* the first book of the new year).

 There are some other differences as well. It's a bit sexier than what I typically write now days, it's more romance-focused, there's a strong fantasy element. But though it definitely has that cozy, witch mystery vibe, it's still very much a Josh Lanyon book as far as characters and themes. 



BLURB


Cosmo Saville guiltily hides a paranormal secret from his soon-to-be husband. Thanks to a powerful love spell, uncertainty threatens his nuptial magic. But when he’s suspected of killing a longtime rival, he could spend his honeymoon behind bars…

Police Commissioner John Joseph Galbraith never believed in Happily Ever After until Cosmo came along. Falling head over heels for the elegant antiques dealer is an enchantment he never wants to break. But when all fingers point to Cosmo’s guilt, John struggles to trust what his heart is telling him.

As Cosmo hunts for the missing grimoire among the arcane aristocracy, John’s doubts grow. With an unseen enemy threatening to expose Cosmo’s true nature, the couple’s blissful future could shatter like a broken charm.

NOTE:
Please note: this is the first book in a three-part trilogy. While the initial and essential questions are answered—Will Cosmo find the grimoire? Will he go to jail for murder? Will he marry John?—by the end of the novel many more complex mysteries have been raised. In other words, this trilogy follows the structure of most fantasy series versus most mystery series—and that is because this trilogy is as much a fantasy series as a mystery series. :-)

EXCERPT

I rose to ask Blanche if she had been in my office, but my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, and my heart bounded awake, all weariness gone.


John.

I clicked, said in a voice I had not expected to sound so unsteady, “Hi.”

“Hey. I’ve only got a minute. What’s going on?” John asked.

I hadn’t expected him to call back. I’m not sure why. For all I knew, Andi hadn’t even removed the spell yet. Even if she had removed the spell, we were still engaged. He would still return my phone calls. It was silly to be flustered, but knowing what I did, I felt…off. Diffident. Like I was talking to a stranger. Because I was. I now knew that everything I had previously believed about him and about our relationship was false, or at least predicated on an illusion.

Worse than that really, because John had inadvertently been wronged through me. He had been forced into emotional intimacy, forced to feel things he had no wish to feel: desire, longing, loyalty, love. And there were practical ramifications too. We were buying a house together. There was already an offer on his old home. He had paid for half of this ridiculously extravagant wedding, and he had paid for our honeymoon: a two-week stay in Scotland.

So his brisk What’s going on? was a question I couldn’t begin to answer.

“Cos? What was that cryptic message about?”

I cleared my throat, said, “Sorry. I just…wanted you to know.”

He gave a funny laugh, a little exasperated, a little not. “Thank you. I do know. I also know you’re worried sick about the investigation, but everything is under control.”

The crazy thing was, after learning about the love spell on John, I hadn’t given the missing grimoire or Seamus’s death another thought until I’d seen the mob of reporters waiting for me.

“Right. Of course.”

He added lightly, “And I love you too.”

I made a sound that hopefully passed for amusement.

“Okay, well, I’ve got to go. Are you at home or at the house?” 


“I’m at the shop.”

What?

“I’m at Blue Moon.”

“I specifically told you to go home.”

“No, you didn’t. You said…” Actually, yes. He had said to go home. Go home and stay there. I hadn’t paid much attention because I never had any intention of going home.

“Yes, I sure as hell did,” John said in a tone I’d never heard from him before. Or rather, I’d never heard directed at me. “I told you to go home. I said don’t speak to anyone until you heard from me. I—”

“I haven’t spoken to anyone,” I cut in. “Not about Seamus. Blanche didn’t even know about it.”

“Goddamn it, Cosmo. Is the press there?”

I felt sick at that goddamn. I know it’s different for mortals, but within the Craft, a curse in the name of the Lord or Lady is…not something you would ever direct at someone you love.

“Yes. I didn’t speak to the press. They didn’t see me. I slipped in the back entrance.”

“I don’t understand why you would flout my orders. Do you not understand how serious this situation is?”

That flout my orders put my back up just a little.

“Certainly I understand. But I had to— I couldn’t not show up.”

“That is exactly what you could and should have done. What the hell is so important at the shop, it couldn’t wait a day or two?”

“I thought I’d have a look for Seamus’s note. To prove that he invited me to the Creaky Attic.”

“No one questions he invited you.” John added into my doubtful silence, “It’s immaterial.”

“Why would it be?”

John said curtly, “Reitherman’s after-hours invitation doesn’t address his actual state of mind, nor your state of mind in accepting the invitation. It doesn’t prove the two of you didn’t fall out in the course of your meeting.”

When I didn’t respond, he added, “Which is why you should have gone home as I asked. Blanche seems more than capable of running that place for a few days.”

The word days jarred me. The realization that this investigation might be something that went on and on for days, maybe weeks. It was not what I wanted to hear.

“If it’s going to be for a few days, all the more reason for me to check in with her!”

“There’s this new invention called the phone,” John said. “I bet you could try using that.”

Sarcasm. That was another new one. And although I’m known in my circle for being on the sarcastic side, it hurt.

I protested, “A few days on top of my already taking—”

I stopped, my heart seeming to deflate as I remembered.

“On top of already taking what?” John snapped.

“On top of having to take time off for our…honeymoon.” I added gruffly, “Assuming we’re still getting married.”

A sharp silence followed. John sounded strange as he replied, “Of course we’re getting married. What kind of comment is that?”

“I don’t know. I just… I’m sorry.” I stopped because it felt like I was making it worse with every word. What do they call it? Self-fulfilling prophecy? See, there is magic in the mortal realm.

“Look, Cosmo.” I could hear his struggle for patience. “You’re upset. I understand. Finish up whatever you’re doing and go home. I’ll call you when I can.”

“Yes. All right.” I took a steadying breath. “What about tonight’s rehearsal dinner?”

He was silent. “Damn,” he muttered.

I waited numbly for his decision.


If you haven't already purchased, all the links are conveniently located here on the front page of my website

Friday, July 26, 2019

Interview with Dieter Moitzi

I guess this is cheating a bit, but I'm filling in for the blog I should have written with a two-part interview I did with the charming and thoughtful Dieter Moitzi for his blog livresgay.fr 

The interview also ran on Gay Book Reviews. :-) 

Part One

Part Two

Friday, July 19, 2019

MAINLY BY MOONLIGHT Playlist redux

I've mentioned before how useful I find playlists when I'm working on a book. Part of it, of course, is simply music = emotion, and staying "on key" emotionally for the length of a book can be tricky, especially if the book is long or you're writing in such prolonged stretches that you begin to cue off what you wrote recently versus the beginning of the book.

What's really interesting though, is when the playlist begins to feel out-of-sync with the emotional tone of the book, and that's actually what happened here!

Here's the original playlist for Mainly by Moonlight.

Now, a lot of the songs--"Lift Me Up," "Are You Strong Enough to be My Man"--didn't change. Those still feel perfect for the book. But others--"American Witch," for example--began to feel too dark, too ugly for how I wanted this book to read. The deeper I got into the story, the more playful and whimsical it felt.

And then there were points like...why would I have Bryan Ferry's version of "I Put a Spell on You," when John adores Nina Simone?

Anyway, here's the newly revised playlist :-)

I Put a Spell on You - Nina Simone


Lift Me Up - OneRepublic 


OU LA LA LA (All Eyes On Us) - NVDES 


What if I Told You - Jason Walker


Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered - Ella Fitzgerald 


Are You Strong Enough - Stevie Nicks & Sheryl Crow   


Bewitched - Steve Lawrence 


ME!


Your Hand I Will Never Let it Go


A Sky Full of Stars - Cold Play 


Friday, July 12, 2019

Moments: Choose Your Story FATAL SHADOWS

Adrien English?!
I had mentioned a while back that I had licensed Fatal Shadows to be the first LGBTQ offering for the Moments: Choose Your Story mobile game--which is especially cool, given that we're coming up pretty fast on the 20th anniversary of the Adrien English series.

So anyway, I also ended up writing a lot of the game (yeah, I know what you're thinking!). It was very interesting--even fun--especially once I got the hang of it--I love that kind of creative challenge!

Now, it's definitely an AU version of what could have maybe happened in Fatal Shadows. While it is a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of story, it's not like Stranger Things Have Happened. If you've played the game, you know what I'm talking about. ;-)

There is a lot more romance and sex. Romance and sex with, well, pretty much everyone!


For example:






 Yes. That's right. ANGUS.

I don't know how it plays if you don't already know the characters and the stories. Hopefully, it's entertaining.

You can only play it on your phone (mobile ap) and I believe it can be purchased through Google Play or iTunes.

A very young idealistic Jake Riordan


Friday, July 5, 2019

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS: Mainly by Moonlight (Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1)

One of the questions authors hear most often is Where do you get your ideas? And of course, it's not (usually) always going to be the same answer. It's typically going to depend on the project. But anyway, I thought I'd start sharing the inspiration for my new books here on the blog, lest this devolve into nothing more than a calendar update. ;-)

So here we go, starting with Mainly by Moonlight.

It's probably not a surprise that I have a great fondness for witches and witchcraft. They make the occasional appearance in my stories (Strange Fortune, The Hell You Say, etc.) but for a long time I've wanted to make a witch my actual protagonist.

Like a lot of my readers, I grew up watching Bewitched, but even as a kid I had a couple of problems with it. For one, it was a comedy, and believe it or not, I pretty much hate comedy. I know, right? I mean, obviously humor figures a lot in my books--as well as in my real life interactions--I prefer my characters to have a sense of humor (in fact, keeping their sense of humor toned down is more the issue), there are plenty of comedy movies I love, but TV comedy--sit coms and the like--have never been my thing. I like mysteries, I like murder. That's really pretty much it for me. I like it in my reading and in my viewing.

But the bigger problem with Bewitched is Darrin. Darrin is such a dolt. Now that I'm an adult, I can see he had his good qualities, but yeesh. Why on earth would Sam marry someone like that? Let alone be SO besotted? (an echo of Cosmo's adoration of John perhaps?)  Darrin was such a stick figure that I only noticed a couple of years ago that at some point they changed the original actor out for a clone. (But actually, that's okay--for the record, I much prefer changing an actor to killing a character off.)

Anyway, I've wanted to do a romantic witch mystery (with comedic elements) for some time, but my fantasy and spec fiction don't tend to do as well as my contemporary mystery and crime stuff, so the question was one of timing. When is a good time to write a trilogy (series?) that might be entirely for own amusement?

Well, two things made me feel like now was a good time: the popularity of witches in mainstream mystery (even cozy mystery) AND my need to write something new. Something that didn't involve federal agents (as much as I love federal agents--and, hey, I'll be starting a new FBI trilogy next year!) or cops or writers/artists/teachers/librarians who sideline as amateur sleuths.

But a police commissioner? Yes. A bookseller/antiques dealer who is also a witch AND an amateur sleuth? Completely different. :-D

You see how this works?

The second big influence in the Bedknob and Broomsticks trilogy (series?) is the old 1970s crime drama (crime drama????) McMillan and Wife. Talk about a major influence on my formative years! I loved everything about that show, from Sally's football jersey sleep shirt and vintage car to handsome, solemn Mac's indulgent (occasionally paternalistic) adoration of his way younger wife.

That was probably



Friday, June 28, 2019

New Release THE MONUMENTS MEN MURDERS

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.

BLURB


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…


EXCERPT

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

New Release FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK






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:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords

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

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).