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 ..."

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A hero like no other ...

This book kicked off the Fatal Writers' Conference series -- I confess, I was at an RWA National Conference (Romance Writers of America), and I was at their ginormous book-signing.

People were standing in line (a very long line) for a Big Name Author, waiting to get their books autographed. I walked around and thought, "I wonder if I could kill off an author here and nobody would figure out how?"

And lo, a book was born.

Oh, I had fun with this hero and this heroine. I could hear their voices in my head. I could imagine their actions. I loved the secondary characters (on all sides) and loved how they all got into the act, trying to make sure this hero and heroine stayed together.

And I especially loved the book she wrote (the heroine is an author and I lived out my daydreams in her). I could imagine the book she wrote at the end and how hard it would be to write.


I really enjoyed writing this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much ...

Friday, June 1, 2018

Who will she live with, happily ever after? Him or ... him?

This is the final book in the Deadly Landscaping Series. I needed to resolve the central conflicts:

Will the heroine inherit her fortune?

Will she choose her ex-husband or her new love?

What will be her happily ever after?

I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to resolve those questions when I started writing this book. I had no idea how it would turn out for her.

Luckily, the answer presented themselves without much angst.

This wrapped up the DLS. That year I had 8 books release. These 3 were just part of that crazy year. I had the series release in April, May, and June. I was one busy cookie, that's for sure!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The book that started the Remembered Classics

Return with me to Oz, as you've never seen it before ...

This book was the first of the Remembered Classics books. Once I figured out the characters, the book sort of wrote itself. Then I had a terrible thought:

What about copyrights?

You see, Frank Baum wrote 13 Oz books and most of those were out of copyright. But there are other Oz books (yes, there are, like 30 more Oz books), and there's the movie. I was worried I might be stepping on a toe or two.

So I consulted a literary attorney and had her read the manuscript, and also have her approve the other books I wanted to write (Flyer, based on Peter Pan; King Arthur; Robin Hood, and so on). We came up with a game plan -- the book that's here today. For all of my Classics books, I follow the book, not the movies (Peter Pan, for example).

If you check my Character lists, I think you'll see what I mean.

So return with me to an Oz you think you know -- then check my character list and see if you guessed correctly! The Wickeds motorcycle gang, Dorothy, Leo Burt, Drew Strawn and the rest of the people you know and love ...