Author Archive

Holy Crap, Book 6 is done!

Yes, you heard it here. After three LONG years, I finally finished writing my sixth book in the saga of Bernice and Evan and the mayhem that seems to follow them everywhere. And oh, what mayhem I’ve created in Woman in the Wind. There’s gunfire, explosions, corpse tampering, and so much more. And let’s not forget all the sex (and romance, there’s romance too).

I’ve dug through all the other books to reintroduce and fill out other characters from Bernice and Evan’s past. It was actually a lot of fun for me to do that. It makes for such a rich story and it sparks these great plot angles that would have never occurred to me otherwise.

I’ve gone through some pretty hefty life changes these past three years. I hope I didn’t disappoint my readers with the long wait, but to be honest, if I had been able to push out a book with my usual schedule of one a year, this book would have been a different book, and I’m not sure it would have been as good.

I’m surprised and happy with the great backstories, vignettes, and plot twists that only came into being in the last few months, weeks, even days. I believe this book accomplished the things it was supposed to in Bernice’s universe, the good, the bad, the sexy, and the murderous. And I think my readers will be delighted with the ending…of this book, anyway.

So, here’s the deal. I have my manuscript ready for my beta readers (thanks guys!). I will post my preorder on all my ebook distribution channels this week (I’m shooting for Halloween because it seems fitting, but no promises). I’m setting a release date for the finished product as December 26th (which should also give me time to get the print book up and running on Amazon). That means, you can order the ebook THIS WEEK, and it will automatically show up on your electronic device on it’s release date.

But wait, there’s more (cue the obnoxious infomercial voice)! The same week I release Dairyland Murders, Book 6: Woman in the Wind, I will post my preorder FOR THE NEXT BOOK (sorry about all the caps, I’m just really excited)! That’s right, folks, Dairyland Murders, Book 7: Pastor in the Pasture will be available for preorder at the end of this year. How’s that for making up for lost time?

Location as a character

Whenever a writer makes a big deal about where a story takes place, the location in essence becomes its own character in the story. Initially, one would think this would be true for every story ever written, but that’s not really the case.

There are books, especially mystery books, where the characters could be plopped into any gritty noir-like city-scape, any post-apocalyptic dystopian environment, any charming small town, and the story would still play out basically the same. Admittedly, my books can be like that. I feel it is an advantage. Readers from other parts of the country and world can see themselves and people they know in my books.

What I’m talking about is when the location is so unique, the story would be bereft without it. That location is imperative in the legitimacy of the story. If it is a real life location, you have to be really careful, because there are pitfalls in missing things or getting them wrong. If a reader is familiar with that place, they will become distracted with the inaccuracies and lose focus on what is going on with the characters. They will lose emotional investment and that is bad news for the writer, especially if the reader can’t or won’t finish the book.

This is why editing and rewrites are so very important. I get that a writer has deadlines and there is a sense of urgency to get the story done and out, but once the product is on the market, warts and all, there is only so much damage control you can install after the fact. Believe me, I know of what I speak. I am the queen of impatience and it shows in some of the earlier versions of my series. I can never take down the critical reviews about my editing. They are a sobering reminder of the need to slow down, read every sentence with objectivity, and do my best to get it right.

Give them nothing

It is with a disturbed and saddened heart that I witness this rise in mainstreaming of bigotry in our country. Somehow, it became okay to believe that white people, the most privileged and entitled group on pretty much the entire planet, are somehow in harm’s way and are therefore justified in pushing an agenda of purity and violence. Really? Really?

I am not unfamiliar with racism. I grew up with it. It still exists all around me. It crops up in old tasteless jokes, usually about Native Americans or minorities. After Obama became president, the awful monkey poster made the rounds. I still hear grumbling in local small town parades as royalty becomes more diversified. And I see it in the wide births that I sometimes witness in the local grocery stores when groups of newly settled immigrants are doing their shopping, often speaking a language to each other that is not English.

Presiden Trump is not the reason for this reappearance of an old ignorance, but his refusal to admit the alt rights’ irrelevance in a modern America only emboldens those who can’t accept that our country has no room for their hate any longer.

This condoning behavior from our commander and chief has sparked a resurgence in white power rallies that only promise misery and pain to those of us who must tolerate their First Amendment right to exist and assemble in public places.

So what should we do? If counter protesting only spurns them on, then what is the solution?

There are many of those who will vehemently disagree with me, but I suggest we do…nothing. Don’t counter protest. Don’t show up at the rally if you are not a cop and obligated to be there. Don’t pay any attention to them whatsoever. Let them have their right to speak, to chant, to act like big bullies with their ridiculous symbols and pretend they are important, but let their audience be no one. They want the attention. They crave the validation. Don’t give them the satisfaction that they matter.

They’ll have to look for that surge of adrenaline elsewhere, probably by doing something illegal. Then the authorities can arrest them and they’ll go back to being recognized for the thugs they truly are, lacking any of the faux legitimacy they think they somehow gained in January. Give them nothing.