Friday, January 31, 2020

New Release: BLIND SIDE (Dangerous Ground 6)

cover by Ron Perry
Yes. FINALLY. The last chapter in the Dangerous Ground series is out!

As I posted elsewhere, winding up a series is kind of a mixed bag. In this case, there's a considerable sigh of relief. I DID IT! But it's also bittersweet because I love Will and Taylor and because Dangerous Ground was/is my second oldest series. The first book came out in 2008 through Loose Id. (Remember that one -- I think it was the first time we--YOU--crashed the LI site) :-D

There's also a fair bit of pressure in winding up a series. Especially such an old series where readers have had way too much time to think about the various final scenarios they want. Main plot lines have to be wound up, but yet there has to be a sense that life goes on for these people. You don't want that feeling of fictional characters who end when the final page of a book is turned. Even though, ahem, these are fictional characters who...well, I won't say end, but who are marking time until the next Christmas coda.

**NOTE: If you purchased through Amazon, but haven't authorized your account to automatically update, there's a possibility you don't have the latest updated version. The final version of the novella has an epilogue. So if you don't have an epilogue, you'll want to go into your kindle account and click the update button. 


It’s a good problem to have: more business than they can comfortably handle on their own.
But with resources already overstretched, the last thing former DSS agents and newbie security consultants Will Brandt and Taylor MacAllister need is another client—and the last thing Will needs is for that client to turn out to be an old boyfriend of Taylor’s.

Sure, Will has always known Taylor had a wild past, but he was kind of hoping he’d never have to sit down and have a beer with it. But golden boy Ashe Dekker believes someone is trying to kill him, and Taylor is determined to help, no matter the cost.

It’s a bit of a jolt to have Taylor for once totally disregard his feelings, but Will is equally determined that “the cost” won’t be their relationship—or Taylor’s life.


They went through the reception area door, crossed the hall, navigating ladders and cans of paint, and stepped into the boudoir-pink room that would ultimately be Will’s office. Their building space had previously belonged to a bridal shop, and the walls were painted in delicate shades of peach and pink. Pastel wallpaper borders featured parasols (why parasols?) and wedding cakes and lovebirds nibbling gold bands. None of which projected the appropriate YOUR SAFETY IS IN OUR HANDS! vibe—or even, in Will’s view, a reassuring preview of marriage.

They were hoping to have the renovations finished before the end of the year, but the holidays turned out to be an unexpectedly busy time for contractors. Most of the work at American Eagle was having to be done after-hours—and at a premium price.

Will closed the door to his office. He kept his voice low. “Okay, listen. Dekker is a friend, and I understand that you want to help him, but this is clearly a case for the sheriffs.”

“Sure,” Taylor replied. “That doesn’t mean we can’t take a look around, ask a few questions.”

Will didn’t trust that reasonable tone. “Yes. If that’s all you’re talking about. Because we’ve got to be realistic. You know as well as I do, we’re not in a position to take on another client.”

Taylor shrugged dismissively. “If you don’t want to take Ashe on as a client, that’s okay with me. I wasn’t planning on billing him. I’ll handle this as a favor. In my spare time.”

This was exactly what Will had feared. Taylor had not only already made his mind up, he was busily working out the details before they could even finish identifying what those details might be.

He tried very hard to keep his exasperation from showing. “What spare time? You don’t have spare time. Neither of us do.”

“What’s your point, Will?” Taylor rested his hand on his canted hip, and studied him with cool, green eyes.

That—in fairness, unconsciously—cocky posture, that skeptical really? stare, were the reason so many people longed to punch Taylor five seconds after meeting him. It wasn’t really who Taylor was. Or rather, yeah, the confidence, the cynicism, were facets of his personality, but not the main facets, and not traits he typically turned on Will.

Obviously, this was a unique case, and Will needed to respect that. Which he was trying to do.
He said, “All I’m saying is, doesn’t it make more sense—isn’t it better for all of us—if we direct Dekker back to the sheriff’s department? And if you don’t feel like that’s enough, we can refer him to another—”

Taylor cut him off. “Uh-uh. We’re not referring him anywhere. Ashe came to me.”

“I know that. That’s why I’m saying—”

“I gave Ashe my word that if he ever needed help, I’d be there. I didn’t say, if you ever need help, I can refer you to someone. I promised I’d be there for him.”

“I get that.” Will did. It would be unreasonable to be irritated with Taylor for making those kinds of promises years before they’d ever met. He wasn’t irritated, and he definitely wasn’t jealous—he didn’t think—but Christ, Taylor could be so bullheaded.

“Do you?” There it was. That hint of cynical smile. “Because that’s not what I’m hearing.”

“What you’re hearing is me trying to work out what’s going to be best for all of us. We’re not bodyguards—”

“We’ve handled plenty of protection details, so don’t give me that. What’s your real beef?”

“My real beef is not two hours ago we landed the kind of job we’ve been hunting since we left the DS, and we both know we don’t actually have the manpower to carry it off.”

“So we’re going to be stretched thin. We should be used to that by now.”

So, taking on another job—one that’s liable to be as time-consuming and distracting as this one
original cover by LC Chase
sounds—is not smart.” He shook his head.

“It’ll take a day. Two at most.”

“You’re dreaming.”

“The hell. You think I can’t handle tracking down this Zamarion guy?”

“Of course I don’t think that. But come on, you know what this is going to be. Chasing smoke in the wind.”

“I know.”

“Then you admit it’s not an efficient use of our resources.”

Taylor opened his mouth, and Will added, “And while we’re on the topic of resources, I thought you were frantic to pay Richard back? Just this morning you said again how much you didn’t want to be in debt to him. Which is all the more reason not to take on a pro-bono gig that’s liable to jeopardize the first job we’ve had that might allow us to start paying off that debt.”

Everything Will was saying was true, so it was maddening to have Taylor keep looking at him with that skeptical expression like…what? What did think was really motivating Will?

“I see,” Taylor drawled. “If David Bradley came to us for help, you’d just give him the name of a good local firm and send him on his way?”

You can buy the book:


iBooks (February 8)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Here's What's Coming in 2020!

He's very little and very loud
I'm sort of off my stride after the disconcerting and abrupt end to 2019. I had plans, big plans, and then I got sick and then I got a new puppy and then the puppy ate my homework...

Have you seen my puppy???

Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out what I need to have happen in 2020. I need to be healthier for sure. I need more exercise, I need to eat right, I need to schedule my books more realistically, and I need to take time to rest and relax between projects.


So as I look over my sales for last year--and I think sales (take home pay) is the only real indicator if you're on the right track**--my overall numbers are up. Amazon is up by over 2K, which...I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's reversing a two-year trend of staying flat--and the previous two year trend dipping down (9K in 2015 and another 6K in 2016) Basically I'm earning about 3K more than I did in 2013) which is...probably confusing. I hate math. On the bright side, my wide sales are way up--but a lot of that was based on translations and mobile games and stuff, and those aren't regular or reliable earnings.

Well, in fact, nothing in this game is regular or reliable. ;-)

What I'm trying to say is 2019 was an improvement and I need to do more of whatever I did, which was basically write more books.

My goal is to publish a book a month. Which is fine and dandy, and I hope that happens, but...

Anyway, there are a whole host of books that should be written this year, but because I don't think it's a great idea to start the year out feeling overwhelmed, I'm only looking at the first six months.

So first, Blind Side at the end of January. This novella--they were all novellas, so I don't want to hear bitching about book length--is the final chapter in the series. I love Will and Taylor, and I want to go out on a high note. The books were always fun and action-packed and a little bit of a Very Special Episode feel, and I want to carry that right through to the end.

It's a good problem to have: more business than they can comfortably handle on their own.

But with resources already overstretched, the last thing former DSS Agents and newbie security consultants Will Brandt and Taylor MacAllister need is another client--and the last thing Will needs is for that client to turn out to be an old boyfriend of Taylor's.

Sure, Will has always known Taylor had a wild past, but he was kind of hoping he'd never have to sit down and have a beer with it. But golden boy Ashe Dekker believes someone is trying to kill him, and Taylor is determined to help, no matter what the cost.

It's a little bit of a jolt to have Taylor for once totally disregard his feelings, but Will is equally determined that "the cost" won't be their relationship--or Taylor's life.

I do believe ending the series is the right call because the preorders on this one are lower than any of the other preorders, barring Haunted Heart: Spring. You--me--have to be pragmatic about these things. In other words, in order to earn a living I have to mostly write what people seem most interested in reading.

Oh! Adrian Bisson is back to narrate the audio. :-)

Then in February comes Murder in Pirate's Cove, which is the first book in a new gay cozy mystery series. I come from a mainstream cozy background, so I'm on familiar ground here--but is the m/m audience? That's what's going to be interesting with this experiment. And it is an experiment in that it's the first new release that I'm going to put immediately into Kindle Unlimited.

Please note: if you do not buy through Amazon, preorder this book now. It's listed at a reduced price--which will change once the book goes into Kindle Unlimited, which is going to be within a week of going live. Preorder and you can get it for less and you won't have to be irritated about the fact that the series is not going to be wide for a while.  

In March comes Secret at Skull House, the next book in the Secrets and Scrabble series, and it's the exact same deal. Buy the book now at the reduced price or forever hold your peace.

Also in March, I'll be attending Livre Paris.  That's going to be exciting--I've never been to France! I do have relatives there, but I don't think I'm going to try to look them up. Anyway, if you're going to the "most popular book event in France," I hope you'll drop by to say bonjour!

MEANWHILE in other news, it's the 20th Anniversary of The Adrien English Mysteries and I've put the whole series into Kindle Unlimited.

AND over on Patreon, I've started Hide and Seek, an exclusive-to-Patreon novel.

For museum curator Andrew Allison, the sleepy little village of Safehaven Harbor in Maine has always lived up to its name—until now. Fleeing an abusive relationship, Andy has returned to Safehaven for a few weeks while he figures out the future and helps his elderly Uncle Cuthbert run his antiques shop. But when Andy arrives, he learns Uncle Cuthbert is in the hospital, critically injured, the victim of a late-night break-in.

Worse, the first message on the shop answering machine is from Marcus, Andy's ex, demanding to know Andy's whereabouts.

Nor does the bad news stop there. It seems whoever broke into Second Chance Heirlooms is still looking for that mysterious whatever. Something they didn't find the first time. Something they now believe Andy has.

Something worth killing for?

The good news is former bad boy Quinn Rafferty, Andy's high school crush, is back in town and apparently interested in renewing their acquaintanceship.

Quinn is not a man to run from things that go bump in the night, be they mysterious midnight prowlers or a relationship-shy fish-out-of-water museum curator.

But Quinn has a few secrets of his own…


Then in April comes Bell, Book and Scandal. This book will conclude the original three-book story arc, however, given that there's still so much to explore with these characters and this world--not to mention that this was my best selling series in 2019 (!?!?) I've decided to continue with the characters and their wacky, witchy world.

Also in April, I hope (you can see why I'm starting to get nervous) comes Haunted Heart: Spring. I'm honestly not sure if this book will conclude the storyline or not. I won't know until I'm deep into the writing. 

THEN I'm taking a break and switching over to a long-postponed non-fiction project called Mr. and Mrs. Murder. That's going to take at least a couple of months, so there probably will not be anything out from me...maybe the third book in the Secrets and Scandal series. I'm just not sure.

So that then leaves The Movie-Town Murders (the probably final Art of Murder book) and The 12.2 Percent Solution (the definitely final Holmes & Moriarity). I want those out before the end of the year, but things have a way of changing and right now I just can't seem to see that far ahead. I want to get through these immediate jumps first before I make any other commitments. But yeah, those books are supposed to happen this year, and I assume they will if I can stay healthy and focused.

Anyway, that's the plan for 2020! SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Whew. I think I need to lie down and have a rest now. ;-) 

**Actually, the only REAL indicator of whether you're on the right track is how happy you are. Are you happy most of the time? Then you're successful.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!!!!

Wishing each and every one of you every possible happiness and success in the New Year!