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!

NOT!

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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The 153 List is Approaching 300

The The master list of lesfic novelists is growing and evolving. As of this morning, we’re up from 255  the last go around to 284 writers with links to where you can learn more about them and get their books. Even better, I’m now annotating authors who write things other than lesbian romance – the predominate form of lesfic – so readers can get a sense of what else is out there. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with romance; the point is simply to show that lesfic is available in every genre.

The Top 153 Lesfic Authors Still WritingThe annotation process is far from complete as it’s time consuming to research each of these nearly 300 ladies (and a few men) to see everything they’ve written.  Since my primary focus is on mystery, I’m familiar with a lot of the lesfic mystery writers. I started doing the update by noting each of them. There were a couple I realized I missed and they’ve been added to the list. I’m absolutely positive there are writers on the list who write mystery that I didn’t give the (M) designation to. Lovely readers (and authors), please point that out.

As time goes on, I’ll get deeper into all of the other genres and annotate the relevant authors. Authors, if you’re already on the list and you want to drop me a quick line about what exactly you write given the categories I’ve laid out or any that I’ve forgotten, please feel free.

Here’s the link to the list post: The Top 153 Lesfic Writers Alive (and Still Writing) Today. Please feel free to share it far and wide. The more exposure these authors get, the better! 

 

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The Top 255 Lesfic Writers – Huh?

On June 12th I published a blog post, The Top 153 Lesfic Writers Alive (and Still Writing) Today. The post went viral with thousands of views over a few days (and it’s still getting a handful a day). Authors and readers took a look at it and chimed in about it with their thanks, praise, questions and, most importantly, their additions. There were lots of additions. They still come in almost every day via comments on the post, via Facebook, via email…you name it. I appreciate all of it.

I said the list was a living document chronicling authors who write lesbian themed fiction when I created it and I meant that. Today, after moving 6 authors from the ‘Up and Coming’ list to the main list and after adding some more writers after a list search at the Lesbian Authors Guild site (Thanks Becky!), it now stands at 255 authors and still counting.

153 Post Image

I’d caution anyone reading it that it’s not a perfect list. It’s just alphabetical with the best link available in each author’s case to find more information about the author’s books. If she has a working website (because 98% of them are female or identify as such), that’s the link I supplied. If she does not, I used the link to her Goodreads profile. I’m well aware that Goodreads is owned by Amazon and that not every author puts her books on Amazon but, frankly, Goodreads (eventually) catalogs books, including eBooks, across all major retailers and provides a page for each author where you can find all of their work under a given name or a pen name all in one place.

Allow me to digress for a minute:

If you’re an author with published works in any format, whether you self published them, went through a small press or publisher or you were traditionally published, and you haven’t claimed your Goodreads profile, you need to stop what you’re doing, do yourself a favor and do it now. Spend 10-15 minutes sprucing it up. This isn’t me endorsing Goodreads. This is me helping you to help READERS find you

Back on track now…

I haven’t dug through each publisher’s site. There’s just too much duplication out there since authors move from publisher to publisher. Further, the list isn’t broken out by genre. That would be a major undertaking just to research each author and then to determine each category her works fit in. I planned to give it a go but then I decided I need to keep working on my own writing instead. Anyone else want to try and knock that out?

Finally, it doesn’t include poets or non-fiction authors who don’t also write fiction in non-poetic form also. There are thousands of women’s studies and LGBT studies authors out there including a couple of acquaintances of mine who are not on this list. It’s a list based on lesfic novelists.

Please check out the list – go and pick a few authors and give their books a look. If you read and like a book, please leave a review at the site where you got it (Amazon, iBooks, GooglePlay, etc). Authors live off the kindness of their fans (because lesfic doesn’t pay enough for most of us to live off it!). Seriously, check out some authors. You’ll be glad you did!

P.S.: If you’re a lesfic author and you aren’t on this list, comment here with your name and website or Goodreads link, or on the original post or send me the info in an email using the contact link at the top of the page. I’ll get you added within a day or two.

P.P.S.: Please share the list with all your lesfic reading friends! The more exposure these authors get, the better!

 

 

 

 

 

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Eight New Writing Projects

I had a tiny little bit of time over the weekend, in between work on Saturday morning and the charity softball tournament I was committed to score-keeping for, to create a new project list to keep me on track for the rest of 2016 and into 2017. I’ve always got a ‘To Do’ list lying around that I dutifully add and subtract from but this list is a bit different. All other things aside, this represents only the books and stories I want to write and not anything else at all that needs doing.

The Passed Prop Book CoverI have eight items on my list representing 19 publications. One item represents two short stories I had originally planned as novels that just are so much better at short story length – I’m thinking 10,000 – 20,000 words each tops. They’ll be freebies, most likely, for that cozy mystery series, The Morelville Cozies, that I’ve been seriously neglecting since releasing the first one, The Passed Prop, in favor of my lesfic mystery/romance series.

My intent had been to focus on a sequel to my lesbian romance story, Broken Womennow that the latest mystery in the main series is out. Barb and Janet’s story didn’t end satisfyingly (enough) for some readers and I know that. It has always been my intent to show their love affair in two distinct parts. Their story is just so much longer than one novel can handle.

Opera House Ops Book CoverThat was my intent but it’s been pushed to number two on the list as the element that represents 11 actual publications on my eight item list has pushed it’s way to number one, a cozy #2. ‘Opera House Ops’ will be released beginning in late August as a serial mystery, one episode a week for 10 weeks followed a couple of weeks after the last episode release as a complete novel. All of the episodes will be available via Kindle Unlimited as will the full novel, at its eventual release.

As I mentioned, I had two stories for the second cozy in mind but they were too short to be books. I started reading up on serials thinking of using them in that way, but they just didn’t fit the ideal structure of a serial which involves a new complete story with each installment (episode) and an overarching story with each full ‘season’. If the series is to continue in serial mode, the books also follow a theme that pervades all seasons. The whole idea of writing shorter works in this manner was intriguing to me.

The Morelville Mysteries series follows Mel and Dana from book to book. They’re the constants throughout. Each novel offers a different story with maybe one or two subplots/story lines. Writing books that way, especially in series, is the norm, of course. The addition of a complete story in each episode of a serial changes things up quite a bit and that’s what intrigues to me. I’m excited about the idea and raring to give it a go. I’ve already commissioned all of the covers – including the one for the full novel (shown above) – and I have all 10 episodes plotted out and the descriptions all written for Amazon. Now I’m writing and it’s just flowing. It’s so much fun, I’m as far ahead of the game as I’ve ever been.

If you’ve read ‘The Passed Prop‘, you know most of the characters that appear in the Morelville Mysteries series appeared there. The focus just turned from Mel and Dana to their families. This serial will be more of the same with, of course, appearances by the two characters so many of you love. If it’s successful, look for me to write more in serial format.

Meanwhile, watch early this fall for a sequel to ‘Broken Women‘ and late this fall for book nine of the Morelville Mysteries series too. They’re both next on the list!

 

 

 

 

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Google Play and Boxed Sets

There’s a wise old saying that’s been proven true for most people at least once in their lives: Never put all your eggs in one basket. I love Amazon; really do, especially as an author. They’ve provided aspiring authors with an incredible opportunity to self publish and take control of their own works. In return, and especially for exclusivity, Amazon gives indie authors an opportunity to participate in programs like Kindle Select which gives them access to Kindle Unlimited (KU) readers like many of you reading this. We get paid by the page for every page you read of a book that’s in the program.

It’s a great program that benefits readers and many authors. The problem with it is, a book in Select and KU can’t be sold in the same form anywhere else. You can sell it as a paperback or hardback anywhere you want to or as an audio book but you can’t sell the individual digital version of it. Those eggs have to stay in the Amazon basket.

If you take the book and you combine it with other books in a set that either are or are not available on Amazon individually and you do not make that set part of the Select/KU programs, you can sell it anywhere you want to. That’s one of the few loopholes in the program so closely monitored by Amazon and it’s a serious advantage for series authors.

I’ve spent the last couple of months putting this set, that includes my first four books and a companion guide out far and wide (it could appear under either cover on most major sites):

The Full Circle Collection - 2D Cover

 

The Morelville Mysteries Boxed Set

 

The only ‘big’ name player’s site I couldn’t get it on was Google Play. All that changed yesterday. It’s there now thanks to fellow mystery author Molly Greene turning me onto Streetlib, an Italy based digital publisher that acts as the middleman. Google Play has been closed to ‘new’ author members for some time while they revamp their program with no timeline in sight for them to reopen. I’m happy to give Streetlib their small cut in exchange for being on the last large platform I really needed to get on. Here’s the Google Play link to this set.

And now, this set is becoming widely available too (except at Amazon):

The Morelville Mysteries: Books 5-8

The Google Play link for it is: The Morelville Mysteries: Books 5-8 Collection.

If you prefer Amazon as your major eBook provider, not to worry. This complete set of eight is available there and it’s in the KU program.

The Morelville Collection Boxed Set

Look for my romance, Broken Women, now only available at Amazon and free via KU, to become widely available in August.

 

 

 

 

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