Opera House Ops – Saga Complete!

After 10 weeks, the final episode of the serial cozy mystery, Opera House Ops was released today at Amazon for the Kindle and via Kindle Unlimited. It’s been a crazy ride as an author getting to the end of an endeavor like this. I hope you enjoy how it all works out.

Here’s the final episode cover and blurb:

Opera House Ops - Episode 10A Morelville Cozies Serial Mystery: Episode 10 – Trespasses

A lost lamb returns to the fold with his tail between his legs. When he tells his side of his tale, Sheriff Mel is skeptical but Faye’s pretty sure he’s telling the truth. If he is though, who’s responsible for the death and destruction that came before his fall?

Let me know what you think.

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Episode 9 and Problem Solved

Kudo’s to the tech wizards at Amazon. They figured out how to get my serial listed so it shows as a series after all the problems surrounding that whole mess. Episodes 1-8 now show up together and Episode 9, Twofer, released last night as a pre-order. It will be available late Thursday night or very early Friday morning for the Kindle and via Kindle unlimited.

Hopefully, now that it’s set up correctly, Episode 9 and the final episode (10, of course), will be attached to the series listings for books 1-8 with no more intervention from either me or Amazon. That would be amazing! It was fun to write in serial form but there are lots of other considerations that only came to light through lots of trial and error. I initially thought I might do this again. Now, I think if I do, It will be in a more hybrid form like, say, a series of completely self contained short stories…

Opera House Ops Episode 9Here’s the lowdown on the latest installment: A Morelville Cozies Serial Mystery: Episode 9 – Twofer

A diva spins a tale that sends a shocked community into a tailspin. Faye and Chloe try to make heads or tails of what they’ve heard but a few things still just don’t make any sense. Can they figure it all out before something else horrible happens?

I’ve already said that this winds up at ten episodes so we’re climbing the last long hill to the end here. I appreciate you sticking with it this far and I certainly hope it’s been entertaining.

In other news, I’m quite far behind on getting my lesfic romance, Healing Embrace, released. I had hoped to have it out in late September or early this month. I’ll be lucky if it’s out by the end of the month and I do apologize for that. Life just got in the way what with health problems for my wife and the need for me to really step it up to help with the haunted house more, as a result. Look for that in early November, most likely. Meanwhile, the next Morelville Mystery is in the late planning stages. I’d hoped to have that out by Thanksgiving but now I’m shooting for Christmas or very shortly afterward. Cross your fingers! Episode 9 and Problem Solved

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I Lied and a Video

My last post was a lie. My issue with the Opera House Ops cozy mystery showing as a serial at Amazon isn’t fixed. Not even close. Though I’m working with someone at Amazon to right the issue, it’s proving difficult.

Most books in a series have a title that comes first and then a subtitle that’s actually the series title. Serials have three titles; the individual episode title such as, Breaking In – Episode 1,  the overall book title such as Opera House Ops (think of that like a season of a television series that builds from show to show) and the the series title such as The Morelville Cozies. The typical 2-part Title/Subtitle format does not work for these books, no matter how you work them…sigh.

Anyway, Episode 8 – Gone Guy is due out late this week. You can look for it late night Thursday night or early Friday morning. In the meantime, here’s they synopsis for the episode:

Opera House Ops - Episode 8 CoverA man vanishes without a trace with nothing but his wallet, his car and the clothes on his back. No one has a clue why he left or where he’s gone. A diva returns to the village though and she may have all the answers.

Things are really starting to boil over!

In other news, the ramp up to our haunted house opening and all of the anguish and stress that goes along with it is finally over. Our grand opening for 2016 was Saturday night. It was cold but otherwise the weather semi-cooperated. Multiple other forces (in the form of local and county wide events) conspired against us to keep the crowd numbers low but we beat our 2015 opening night and, weather aside, things should improve as October progresses. We’re not discouraged!

A friend, neighbor and actor in the haunt put a great video together for us using some of her own creativity, some pictures from last year and some pictures I took as we built this year. You can check it out below (it’s not gory at all). I’m hoping now that we’ve got some pics of the finished product for this year and some action shots from last night, we can convince her to do another!

By the way, the ‘Uncle Fester’ looking character in one of the shots is my wife, made up and ready to roll one night last year. Didn’t she look great?


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Opera House Ops Series Issue Fixed

I goofed, again. What else is new, right?

I was uploading the 7th episode of Opera House Ops all of 10 minutes before I started writing this (it releases Friday, the 30th) and feeling frustrated because Amazon isn’t showing the serial in series order or even in ‘People who bought this also bought…’. People are having to search to see if the next episode is posted.

Before I fired off a polite ‘nastygram’ to Amazon, I took a look at my listings for the books. I wasn’t setting them up quite right and I think that’s was the problem Amazon has. The algorithms can’t recognize what they don’t even see. I did a little rework to them and, hopefully, that fixes the problem. I’ll be emailing them as well, just to be sure but no nastygram since it was my fault, to start with.

Opera House Ops - Episode 7 CoverEpisode 7 is titled ‘Cole’s Conundrum‘. Here’s the quickie synopsis:

A shaken Cole turns to someone for support. What he gets isn’t quite what he expected and then the unexpected happens throwing the village into a whirl.

The saga has passed the halfway point and it’s building toward an ending  in Episode 10 that you won’t see coming, I promise you. Stay tuned!

I’m posting this early this week because, by the end of the week, we’ll be in full haunted house mode around here. Our haunt, Hagan’s House of Horrors, opens on Saturday, October 1st and runs every Friday and Saturday night during October.

Hagans House of Horrors Banner

If you’re in the central Ohio area, why don’t you take a little fall foliage road trip out to see us? You’ll pass through some beautiful countryside, we’ll give you a good scare and then you can go across the street and get a great pizza from a local shop  (Shellie’s Shack) that does them right or out to the Indian Bear Winery for a delicious meal and a glass of the good stuff they make while you take in a local band. After all of that, you can lay your head down in one of the cabins at Indian Bear Lodge (reservations required) or head on home having had a full day and frighting turned relaxing evening.


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A Gift Because I Was Tired

It was a very long weekend…very long and tiring. We’re near completion on our haunted house and that’s a good thing because we open in less than two weeks (October 1st).

Because I worked a lot of extra hours last week at my day job to help and compensate for a loss due to a retirement and because we put in long hours over the weekend, I entered Monday morning exhausted and rushing to do things I would normally do over the weekend or first thing on Monday. One of those things is to upload the next episode of my cozy mystery serial Opera House Ops for a Friday release.

op-ops-e6I got Episode 6 – Divided of the cozy mystery serial uploaded just fine. In my zombie-like state though, I forgot to set it as a pre-release item. Once Amazon approved it a few hours later, it went live. So, Episode 6 is up a few days early. Enjoy Episode 5 – that was just released on Friday on the normal schedule – and then Episode 6 now. Look for Episode 7 to be out when it’s supposed to be on Friday, September 30th.

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The Horrors of Haunting and Other Fine Messes

So, by the end of July, I had a writing schedule through the end of the year all planned out. I had my episodic cozy series book to finish (Opera House Ops), a romance to write that was already plotted out (and with a very rough first draft completed) and a new Morelville mystery to write that was mostly plotted out except for the final reveal. Beyond those things, I had a couple of short stories I had ideas for and a lesfic YA novella that I had a plot for that I also hoped to get to. I was hitting a daily word count easily to work the first three projects simultaneously. Cake!


Life so gets in the way even when the best laid plans are in place and we think we’re ready to fly. Things changed drastically at my day job requiring lots more hours from me for the next couple of months at a minimum. My wife is experiencing a minor but ongoing medical issue which is both frustrating and slightly debilitating for her at times, making her less able to cope with the needs of managing the build out of our haunted house. And, well other things and other people just don’t always do what they say they will or what you hoped they would.

LogoOh, for those of you that are new around here, we own a haunted house…yes, you read that right. It’s Hagan’s House of Horrors, a commercial, for profit entertainment attraction and, for this year, it’s all new and right in our back yard. We don’t have far to go to work on stuff which is both a positive and, sometimes, a negative. On top of my marketing, financing and other duties for that, I’m also often out there ‘decorating’ or painting or doing other such things to help get us ready for our October 1st season open given the previously mentioned health problems and other issues that are beyond our ability to control.

Opera House Ops: The Morelville Cozies – Book 2 is releasing. That’s the good news. It’s coming out as an episode a week for 10 weeks. Episode 5: Pants on Fire, released late last night. Here’s the brief synopsis for the episode: op-ops-e5

Something’s burning! Is it arson or just an unfortunate coincidence?

They are coming out on schedule, every Friday (mostly – last week I didn’t get it loaded until Tuesday so it came out Saturday). The first five episodes are available in electronic form exclusively for the Kindle and free via Kindle Unlimited. The link and the cover picture will take you right to Episode 5 at Amazon. If you missed the first four, check out the Opera House Ops page here for more details.

That was the good news…

Everyone is waiting for ‘Healing Embrace‘, the sequel to Broken Women, I know, I know. It’s supposed to be out by the end of this month. I’m sorry to say, it won’t be. The first draft is done and I’m about a third of the way through the second draft. If I get back to normal writing time after this big push weekend, this weekend to finish the haunt build – fingers crossed – it could be proofed and released in mid to late October. That, of course, pushes back the release of the next Morelville Mystery tentatively titled, The Turkey Tussle. The intent was to have that out by Thanksgiving. That might be a stretch since it’s only plotted. Sorry!

I’m still getting writing time every day but it’s 1,000 words or so worth instead of the 3,500+ I needed to stay on track. Oh well… At least I can hope for a great haunt season, right? We’ve worked really hard and spent a ton on advertising. We’re hoping to see several thousand guests go through and get the wits scared out of them. Bwaa ha ha ha ha!




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Episode 4 and an Apology

The haunt is on! Hagan’s House of Horrors opens in about 3 weeks. And, because the haunt is on, that means it was a crazy Labor Day weekend around here working 12-14 hour days on the sets. I’m a little behind on multiple writing projects, as a result, and I also didn’t get a chance to sit down Monday for the five minutes it would have taken to create the Amazon listing for Episode 4 in the Opera House Ops cozy serial.

I finally got around to setting up the Episode yesterday but, because I’ve gotten into a sort of pre-release mode with the series and Amazon runs on a minimum four day schedule for that, it won’t release until late Friday night or early Saturday morning instead of late Thursday/early Friday. Oh, I suppose I could have waited until Thursday and loaded it normally so it would be out late Thursday or some time Friday, but I didn’t want to risk of there being an issue and it not posting.

So here’s the scoop on the latest installment:

Opera House Ops: Episode 4 CoverA Morelville Cozies Serial Mystery: Episode 4 – Eagle Scout

 Will Cole’s Eagle Scout project redeem his prior misdeeds in the eyes of his Troop and his family or will it be the downfall of a local institution?

You’ll just have to tune in and see. The episode is available for $.99 to purchase or free to read via Kindle Unlimited.

And now, quite frankly, I need to offer up an apology. I’ve given away and/or made available multiple copies of The Passed Prop, the first book in the Cozy series, recently. It, and this serial second book, are spin offs of the Morelville Mysteries series. I tried hard when I wrote The Passed Prop to make it easy for readers who hadn’t read the lesfic themed Morelville mystery series to follow who was who in the story but I apparently failed as multiple readers have pointed out having difficulty with it from that standpoint. I apologize to those readers.

I’ve taken that to heart with Opera House Ops and I’ve worked the story so the family relationships are more clear. As time permits, I’ll go back and redo The Passed Prop too. That’s the beauty of writing eBooks and self publishing them. There ARE do-overs. Mea Culpa…please forgive me.


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Healing Embrace Cover Reveal

It’s been a weird, crazy week. I wish I could say TGIF and have it mean something but things are about to get a whole lot busier and a whole lot weirder.

At my day job, a guy retired at the office that’s over me. The boss there was about to announce the job to look for his replacement (I don’t want the job). She asked me if I’d come in as needed in the afternoons, after I close my half day location, until she can get someone hired. I said ‘Sure, no problem.’

BIG PROBLEM! The government, in its infinite wisdom, is attempting to force me to take the job I don’t want and have her announce my position as the open one instead. I took this position, part time, 305 feet from my house for a reason – because it was part time, paid well, gave me plenty of writing time before and after work that didn’t interfere with family time and because it was 305 FREAKIN’ FEET FROM MY HOUSE. Yes, I’m shouting because I’m hopping mad.

The way around this whole mess? Resign and reapply for my own job at the same time. Does that make any sense to anyone? Nope? I didn’t think so.

All of this comes at a time when we have exactly 28 more days until our haunted house opens up for the 2016 Halloween season. We have a long holiday weekend of detail work to do and a whole crew coming to help and I’ve got to take time out for a 10-12 page application process to reapply for my own job…crazy…

Anyway, enough venting. You all don’t want to hear that stuff. You came here for a cover reveal for the late September release of my newest lesfic romance, Healing Embrace. Here it is:

Healing Embrace CoverThe cover for Broken Women, with Barb standing at the window, looking out as the snow fell, really grabbed me when I first saw the image. It was the easiest cover design for my go-to designer to create, ever. We just had to pick a font!

Following that up for the second (and final) installment in the Barb and Janet saga was a lot more difficult. Their story really ebbs and flows and I wanted the cover to convey that along with the old and the new. I also really liked the window theme and I wanted to stick with that. This is what we chose. How’d we do?

Broken Women is available to order in paperback or via download from all major retailers. Just click the cover or the link for a page with all the retailer links. Look for Healing Embrace late this month in paperback and via Amazon for the Kindle and through Kindle Unlimited exclusively for 90 days after which it will also be available widely in electronic form.

Here’s hoping everyone in the U.S. has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Please pray or send good thoughts my way – whichever you do – that we get done here what we need to do over the long weekend and that my application/employment process goes smoothly. A girl can wish, right?


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Op Ops Episode 2 and a Lesfic Romantic Sequel

Opera House Ops: Episode 2 – Morelville Men’s Club is out as of last night. For those actually buying the episode, it’s been available via pre-order all week.

Opera House Ops - Episode 2 CoverThe synopsis for this episode:

The real culprits of the opera house break-ins get a dose of death to scare them off their game. The question is, who’s the corpse and how did he die?

You can buy it now at Amazon.

In other news, I’ve been hard at work writing a follow up to my lesfic romance novel, Broken Women. For some readers, the ending to the story of Barb and Janet just wasn’t quite as satisfying as they would have liked. Guess what? That wasn’t the end. It was a story that couldn’t be told in one book so it was never my intention to leave anyone hanging. There’s more…lots more!

The sequel is titled, ‘Healing Embrace’. That title comes courtesy of Angela Turnerwray who suggested it in a little challenge I posted to a Facebook group, Angela wins credit in the book for suggesting the title and a copy of it in her choice of format. Look for the book in late September.


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Opera House Ops – Episode 1 Released

At long last, the Morelville Cozies – Book 2 is being published. Oh wait, not quite!

Sorry about the sleight of hand. I’ve been working book to book to book on the Morelville Mysteries series for quite some time now. It stands at 8 books. They were all fun to write in their own ways but I really wanted to change things up a bit and do something a little different after publishing Book 8.

Opera House Ops - Episode 1 CoverThis spring and summer, while I’ve been working on the haunted house project we’ve got going on here and on outlining other Morelville Mysteries story ideas (among ideas for other, unrelated books), I’ve been writing Book 2 of the ‘Cozies’ series, Opera House Ops, in serial form.

6000-8000 word episodes – little bites, I call them – will be released once a week for ten weeks starting with Episode 1 – Breaking In, which released today on Amazon, for the Kindle and for Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s the synopsis for the serial and for this episode:

Sinister goings-on at a vacant 1800’s era opera house in Morelville have the residents of the village all tied up in knots and Faye Crane trying to solve multiple crimes and playing savior to history.

A Morelville Cozies Serial Mystery: Episode 1 – Breaking In

Faye Crane and Chloe Rossi are back in the latest Morelville cozy mystery. Multiple strange occurrences at a Morelville village landmark have them back in crime fighting mode only to find out there’s far more going on with the old ‘opera house’ than first meets the eye.

This serial mystery is great together with Book 1 of The Morelville Cozy series, The Passed Prop, to get all of the Crane and Rossi families back story but it can also be read as a stand-alone mystery.

It’s been great fun to write a story this way and I’ll probably do it again. Each episode of the serial tells it’s own story but each is also part of a larger story that spans the whole series of episodes.

The episodic series and the book that will eventually evolve from it stand alone from Book 1 in the Morelville Cozies mystery series, The Passed Prop, but, of course, they’re better together to get all the Crane and Rossi families story. Chronologically, The Passed Prop does take place first.

I hope you have as much fun following along with Opera House Ops as I had writing it! And, as always, thank you for reading.

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