Sunday, August 12, 2018

Small town, undercover hero who's not so undercover, and a savvy Mom


Once again, one of my favorite books. This was from early in my career and it was so much fun to write. It combined my love of computers, small towns, and sexy FBI agents who are facing issues in their lives.

Nick Baxter goes "undercover" in a small Iowa town. The thing is, everybody in town knows who he is. And the woman he's supposed to be watching knows exactly who he is because she's a computer hacker plus her father is ex-CIA.


This has a marvelous cast of characters who went on to star in books of their own. But this is the one that started it -- Brilliant Disguise

Monday, August 6, 2018

Middle book, awesome hero

This is the 2nd in my New Human series. I started the series with Human Touch, in which I introduced these characters. The two main characters in HT are secondary characters here. I continue their story but other characters step in.

This entire 3-book series is the finale of my "Endless American Dream" series, which I am currently writing. These are the descendants of my characters in the Dream books and I had fun figuring out ways to distort their view of "history" -- the history I am currently writing.

Living Proof also introduces Jak Exo, one of the most interesting heroes I've ever written. He's a man with many facets, some of which aren't revealed until the final book, Leap of Faith. I had to be careful what to reveal and what to hide as I wrote this.

Oh, and this book was one of mine that got an RT Book Review (back in the day) and a four-star review. I was pretty happy with that ...

Friday, August 3, 2018

My first book ... revisited

This was one of my first books published -- under a different title.

This started as "Your Saving Grace" and it had the world's worst cover. I mean, it was SO bad. I begged for a different cover and was told "covers don't sell books, the content does" or something to that effect.

I hated trying to pitch this book at conferences. I was so embarrassed by it. In the end, the publisher folded and I got the rights back. I edited it a bit to update the technology used and to remove the scenes the editor wanted me to include.

AND I FINALLY GOT A COVER I LOVE! I am no longer ashamed to be seen with this book at a book signing.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

John Dillinger slept here

Compassion is a re-issue of the third book in my Reincarnation Romance series. The books are standalone, so you don't have to read the others to read this one.

This one is set during the Great Depression. I had a lot of fun writing this because it gave me a chance to chat with my mother about her memories of the Depression and how things were back then.

I tussled with my initial editor on this one a LOT. She questioned every bit of historical fact in here ("they didn't have refrigerators like that then"; "Nylons were too expensive"). It took a great deal of patience for me to go through edit after edit after edit.

Then the company folded and I got the rights back, and BINGO, it was easy to edit!

An odd fact about this book: the main character, Will Taupert, was the main character in one of the first books I wrote. It was pretty awful, a mishmash of the plot, but I took him out of that book and plunked him in this book. And I took bits and pieces of his personality and made L.J. Remarchik, the hero in the Fatal Writer's Conference series.

I guess nothing ever really gets deleted...

Friday, June 29, 2018

Northern Minnesota murder ... very cold

Nathan eyed the Possum Bottom Bowling Alley and Lanes ’O Fun warily. This trip was shaping up to be more interesting than he’d anticipated, although his plans had been pretty damn interesting to start with. They were supposed to be on a trip to the Bahamas where he had hoped to pop the Big Question while he and Margaret were lounging on the beach. His daydreams about his vacation hadn’t included a foray to western Minnesota through sub-zero temperatures in order to talk to a small town lawyer about a deceased uncle’s estate on an Indian reservation.

And so begins an adventure for Nathan Stokes and Margaret Dalton. We first met them in Brilliant Disguise, when Nathan helped Nick Baxter in small town Iowa. Now Nathan and Margaret are in Minnesota, where they find a lawyer dead, frozen to the ground.

Yep, that's really happened. I read about it in a newspaper and thought, "Now, I can use that in a book."

This book is one in which my critique friends helped me test a theory about how easy it would be to kill someone in a crowded casino with a skewer from the shrimp at the buffet.

Shadow of Doubt also introduces Grace Jamison, who is the star of Lie to Me (mentioned in February). This book somewhat sets up Grace's story, or at least provides some context for it.

But really, it's all about Nathan and Margaret -- he's so in love with her, she's so in love with him, and they're so different from each other. I love their dialogue, I love the way they interact, and I love the way they protect each other.

Maybe I should bring them back in another book .... hmm.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The one that started it all

My first book published!!!

Oh, those were the days of heady excitement, endless attempts at promotion, waiting for bated breath for reviews ...

I think it's stood the test of time (it's 11 years old now. Really? How did that happen?) This is the one where there's a potluck at work and someone dies after eating the heroine's brownies.

As always, I got the idea for this at a, you guessed it, company potluck. How easy would it be to poison something and just wait for it take effect?

Well, it's not as easy as you think; I mean, the police are pretty good at detecting this kind of stuff. But I still had a lot of fun with the idea.

This is the book that kicked it off -- and here I am, still plotting and still thinking, "I wonder how I could kill someone here and get away with it ..."