What a crazy week!

Prez at Fort MeadeThis has been one of the craziest weeks I’ve ever had. So many notable things happened.

First, when I released The Limited Partnerships series a few years ago, I was never crazy about the covers. They just didn’t seem to fit the stories and, since it was a new genre for me, I didn’t want to invest too much into them. I tried making the covers myself but, if you know me at all, you know I have zero skill with graphics. Continue reading

The Bonding Spell is almost ready

CoverFinal-TheBondingSpellLike children, every book gets the loving care and attention they require, but try as you might, sometimes you can’t help but have favorites. Maybe it’s because some are easier to deliver than others, or maybe, with each birth, your latest becomes the favorite.

Whatever. I’ve never had children so I have no idea what I’m talking about!

What I can say is, I love The Bonding Spell.

I love all of my other books, but this one … well, there’s something about it that makes me feel some extra pride. I love the world, I love the characters and I love the potential for this series. There are so many places this storyline could go I’m having a hard time deciding where to take it next. I’m sure wherever it goes will be just as interesting as this first one.

Yes, I plan to write another Master Sergeant Harper story, but right now, Hester Trueblood and her friends are occupying a big chunk of my heart and it may be some time before I have room for much more. This is my first crack at the urban fantasy genre and like everything I write, there are some heavy romantic elements as well as a juicy mystery. I feel as if everything I’ve written before has led me to this.

I’ll be bringing the very first copies of The Bonding Spell with me when I go to the Twin Cities Book Festival this year, Saturday, October 17 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’m looking forward to linking up with family and friends and getting The Bonding Spell into the hands of my faithful readers. I cannot wait to hear what you think of it.

In the meantime, you can read a large excerpt here. You can also give me a big hand by nominating The Bonding Spell for publication. I’ve “entered” it in Amazon’s new Kindle Scout program. If enough readers show interest in the story, Amazon may decide to publish it for me. All you have to do is read the excerpt posted on the site, and if you think it’s any good, nominate it and we’ll see what happens.

Amazon publishing contract or not, I’m still polishing this shiny new story and look forward to releasing her to the world soon. I can only hope you love it half as much as I do.



Every book, every emotion

NH Cabin rewritesEvery book I’ve written has had its own set of ups and downs. The initial idea, the first attempt at getting it on paper, the hair-pulling brain obstructions that seem to stretch to infinity, the first reaction from readers, the close editing and rewrites and the horrifying look of cover designs that eventually turn into something that will reflect the pages inside. At some point you smack an ISBN and other book matter on it and after checking off a bazillion more items off the task list (like a marketing plan, mustn’t forget a marketing plan) you hold your breath, cross your fingers and hit publish. At each stage, you can’t help but feel a jumble of emotions that tumble like balls in a bingo drum. Continue reading

Lucas Kana – Princess Eyes

PrincessLucas Kana hoped to be part of the first group of Lei Crime KW authors who launched their books last April. Unfortunately, Lucas couldn’t make the deadline so his book had to be put on hold for release. Seems he thought getting married was more important than finishing his novella on time. You gotta love a guy who has his priorities straight!

The good news about the missed deadline is, now that he’s released his story, he’s done it in two parts, Princess Eyes I and Princess Eyes II, giving us lots of material to sink into. Somehow he found some time between getting the book done, getting married and going on a whirlwind honeymoon to far flung reaches of the world, to answer a few questions about the Lei Crime experience.

Here is the blub for his Lei Crime novella Princess Eyes I:

Geeky Honolulu Lieutenant, Michael Stevens, teams up to investigate a series of homicides with Jenna Brooke, a streetwise psychologist for the FBI, which leads to the mysterious disappearance of a local beauty queen known as ‘Princess Eyes.’ 

Timeline: 10 years before Blood Orchids in a semi-alternate universe where Stevens starts out as a nerd.  Continue reading

An interview with author AJ Llewellyn

coffee and kalua nutsI haven’t read AJ Llewellyn’s latest Lei Crime KW novella yet, but I’ll tell you why I’m looking forward to it. My first Lei Crime KW story, Hidden Poppies, was about Ken Yamada, one of Toby Neal’s characters in the Lei Crime world. Ken Yamada, is an FBI Special Agent, a former partner to the series main character, Lei Texeira. Ken Yamada is also gay.

In my story, I link Ken up with someone he knew and loved from years past – a soldier, Major Charles Mathews, who because of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, could have been discharged from the service if anyone found out that he was carrying on a homosexual affair.

Hidden Poppies was the first book I’d ever written that explored a gay love story and I frankly fell in love with Ken and Chuck’s relationship because they are both such interesting men and deserve the love they share. My next Lei Crime story … right now with the working title UNDERTOW, I hope to have out in October and it will feature Ken and Chuck again. Continue reading

An interview with author of The Remaining, DJ Molles

ExtinctionI first posted this interview on September 25, 2013. I’d just finished reading the first four books in The Remaining series and I couldn’t get them out of my head. In my opinion, they are the best zombie books ever written and a perfect example of how exciting it is when you find an indie published author who does amazing work.
At least, he was indie when I talked to him.I wasn’t the first person to read the series and get hooked. Thousands of other readers already knew D. J. Molles was the real thing. After a few emails back and forth, I couldn’t believe how laid back he was and I loved how surprised he seemed that so many people wanted to read every word he wrote. The guy doesn’t even have his own website!
Still, by the time I talked with him, several publishers had already been knocking at his door, and when we did this interview, Molles had finally decided to sign with one. I just happened to be the lucky person to help him announce it.
Since we talked, Molles and his publisher Orbit , re-released the entire series again along with two novellas, The Remaining: Trust, and The Remaining: Faith. He also released the fifth book in the series, The Remaining: Allegiance. 

Continue reading

Christine Nolfi does it again

Seeker w KW logoSince the Lei Crime Kindle World launch in April, Christine Nolfi’s, The Shell Keeper has spent much of that time in the number one spot of the Kindle World Contemporary category. The only book that has moved The Shell Keeper from that top spot, (which is on sale right now for less than a dollar!) is her second Lei Crime Kindle World novella, The Shell Seeker.

There’s a good reason Christine’s work has been hugging the top of the charts. Great settings, rich and lovely characters and an intriguingly magical story that takes Toby Neal’s vibrant character, Lei Texeira, to places Lei has never been. Here’s a description of The Shell Seeker.

In South Carolina, there’s more than magic in the air. Now policewoman Lei Texeira must solve the case of the Pirate Necklace.

 The famed emeralds, spirited in the 1700s from the pirate Blackbeard’s ship, have been snatched once again. This time, the bling was taken from Marie-Therese Belvedere, a woman whose cruelty is only topped by her arrogance.

 Lei doesn’t care for the icy socialite, but she feels an instant connection with the woman’s stepdaughter. An unlucky star has followed Sydney Belvedere her entire life. If the necklace isn’t found, she’ll lose a treasure more dear than the finest gem.

 Only the magic of Lei’s intuition stands between Sydney and unspeakable loss.

Sounds great doesn’t it? I had to quiz Christine about her experience and get some insight into what drove her to keep writing in Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Kindle World. Continue reading

Coming soon! – Seal of a Monk

SealofaMonkI’m excited for some of my author friends who are collectively putting out six more novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle World. Sadly, I won’t be contributing this time since I’m hard at work on a novel I hope to have done this fall. That said, I can still make sure folks hear about these fantastic and diverse stories.

Eden Baylee’s Seal of a Monk, is the first of the batch I’ll talk about here. She has another fantastic cover for the story she describes this way:

Seal of a Monk, By Eden Baylee

The ancient jungles of Kauai provide the perfect setting for self-discovery.

Despite the terror she experienced on her last trip, Lainey Lee returns to Hawaii to manage a silent meditation course on the Coconut Coast. Twenty-five women are under her care for ten days in a beautiful and remote location. Lainey expects to find inner peace, but four days into the course, one of the meditators disappears without a trace.

Did the girl leave of her own free will, or was she lured away by a strange cult? Lainey is frantic to answer these questions. As her desperation grows, she finds help from an unexpected source—a retired Navy SEAL named Maxamillian Scott.

Now, Lainey has two mysteries to solve: what happened to the missing girl and the case of her own heart. Can she ever trust a man again?

Sounds really good doesn’t it? I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, Eden took the time to fill me in on how this project went for her.

Continue reading

Amazon’s review dilemma

deleteAmazon has decided to start deleting reviews they consider fake. What possible criteria could they use to do this?

Like many independently published authors, when I finish a writing a book, I send it to a group of beta readers to get their feedback. Once the book is published, after several rewrites and line edits and the like, I’ll send it to several more people to request honest feedback and an honest review. I’ve never paid anyone a single penny for a review. At most, like giving a gift to a friend, I’ve given titles away.

I have gifted books to people and received no reviews in exchange. I can only assume those folks either didn’t think the book was worth a review or simply didn’t like it. Rather than give me a bad review, they didn’t review it at all. Continue reading

Speaking of NAACP

Me Red carpet smallAll this talk of the NAACP (I know…stretch, but I’m trying to lean toward the positive here), reminded me of a few years ago when the book I wrote along with Shoshana Johnson, was
nominated for an NAACP Image Award. I’m Still Standing, didn’t win, but it was so memorable to go to L.A., be on a red carpet, meet so many famous people and watch people like Prince and Halle Barry present awards. I’ll never forget it and will always appreciate being able to share it with Shoshana.

When I came back, I did this interview with Army Today. Turned out it was the first on-camera interview for the young Soldier. He did a pretty good job I think! He even remembered the most important question … is there anything else you’d like to add?!