Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Major Book Hangover

Several years ago I began reading the PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. I grew so busy that I only was able to read two of them, but I loved the stories and the characters.

What a concept! The world has discovered that psychic talents are real, and law enforcement has found a way to utilize those skills by teaming up a psychic and a "stiff", someone with no psychic talent. Psychics are ranked on a scale, with 2 and higher certified for their talents, the highest known example being an 8. Talents range from a human lie detector to a woman who can accurately answer yes/no questions and empaths strong enough to both read other's emotions and change them.

PsyCop Victor Baine is ranked as a five. His talent? He communicates with the dead, as in, he can see them, sometimes initially mistake them for the living, and provides valuable testimony from the victims themselves as a homicide detective.

He meets "stiff" Jacob at a retirement party, the beginning of a hot, but tumultuous relationship. "Tumultuous" mainly because Vic has serous trust issues, as well as a self-medication habit he developed to help him tune out the chattering dead, and "repeaters", those spirits fated to relive their final moments, over and over.

Fast-forward a few years, and though I still don't have time to read, an awful commute leaves me with a lot of time for audiobooks. I went on a PsyCop binge, but sadly, after plowing through the nine currently available Audible books, I have a serious case of book hangover.

What a roller coaster ride! There is never a dull moment, and the narrator brings the story to wonderful life.

Just like PsyCop Victor Baine, I constantly formed opinions, only to have them turned on their ear. This world is full of imperfect, but oh so relatable characters.

Kudos to the author for playing the line out slowly, providing small bits of information, keeping us constantly in suspense, and keeping us riveted through each installment. Slowly, slowly, we untangle Vic's past, connecting it to the present.

I've zipped through books 1-9, which star Vic and Jacob, except for volume 8, told from the point of view of a secondary character. While I loved learning more about Crash, I'm afraid that story, told from his point of view, colored my view of Jacob, and it took me plowing through story 9 to start liking him again and trusting him to do right by Vic. Actually, the jury is still out. I'd love to read something from Jacob's point of view.

Yeah, I've become protective of Vic. He's such a talented and respected medium, but he's also endearingly vulnerable and seems so much younger than his years, mostly due to missing memories and stunted social skills. 

It's lovely to see him take baby steps into trust and making friends.

I'd love to see more about Lisa and Con, and hope they make a reappearance soon. I'd also love to see more of Crash. At first I thought Jacob would forever be his "one that got away", but the author proved me delightfully wrong. As with Jacob though, I'd love to read more about Red.

I cannot recommend these books highly enough. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. I cannot wait until the next installment!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Highway Man Now Available at Audible

I'm pleased to announce that I've teamed up with voice actor Darcy Stark, an amazing talent who'll bring many of my characters to life.

The first? Highway Man.

Highway Man is one of my earlier, shorter works, heavily inspired by the video of The Magnetic Fields' song Papa Was a Rodeo. I first saw the video when it was linked on a blog I followed, and the blogger said, "Someone should write a story for this song."

I did. In three days while snowed in. Yes, that happens in the south sometimes. The story originally released as an 8,000 word short from Torquere Press, but when rights returned to me I added back everything I'd had to take out to reach the word limit. It's now right at 15,000 words, and better captures the tale.

If you're familiar with song and/or video, you'll recognize components in the story. There's even a disco ball!

This is my first collaboration with Darcy, but certainly won't be the last as he's voicing Bo and Lucky and the whole Diversion crew. The entire series. I couldn't be happier.

You can find Highway Man at Audible, here:

Killian Desmond's dreams died in a flash of pain and the scream of twisted metal. He lost it all the night a tour bus sailed off a mountainside, sending his band-with his brother-to their deaths. Killian is dead too, if the papers are to be believed, and living a half-life of odd jobs, rodeo rides and pick up gigs. The road that once meant freedom is now Killy's exile. No strings, no ties, no names for the one-night stands. Answering a tribute band's ad thrusts him face to face with his past, and into the arms of the one man who just might understand. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Introducing Edie Sommers!

There's a new member of the Rocky Ridge Books family: Edie Sommers, whose very first novel will publish September 15th. Saying Yes is the story of one woman who finds herself falling in love with two brothers.

This is also a departure for Rocky Ridge, in that it will be the first het title they've published, and began as a challenge for the author to step outside of her comfort zone and write something other than her normal M/M romances.

My next-door neighbors, hotter than hell Jack and quietly luscious Andy, have a parade of women coming by, but fire up the grill for hotdogs with me. I'd take one of them in a heartbeat, if they'd ever ask. Or both—a girl can dream.
What did I ever do to wind up in the friend zone?
Now the guys want to change that, want me to date both of them and decide which one I want to keep. Easy enough right?
There’s a slight problem. They’re twins, and choosing one might mean losing the other as a friend.
And I love them both.

Cassie caught my eye the day she moved in next door. She's funny, sweet, and sexy, the kind of woman you can take bowling one day and dancing the next. There’s only one thing keeping me from pursuing more than friendship with her: my brother wants her too.

Even with the flu Cassie manages to be gorgeous, and it’s sheer torture to live next to her, see her day after day, and resist taking her into my arms and kissing her senseless. We read the same books, and although I’m not much of a talker, somehow she breaks through my defenses. I’ve never met anyone I wanted more. Jack and I finally realize that we risk losing her if we don’t tell her how we feel, and leave the decision up to her which one of us she wants.
Would it be possible for her to want us both?


As you might have guessed, Eden Winters and Edie Sommers are one and the same, just different names to delineate my M/M romances from this new venture. Saying Yes began about six years ago, and took that long to flesh out. Yes, Lucky from Diversion kept commandeering my time. 

Look for Saying Yes by Edie Sommers releasing from Rocky Ridge Books on September 15. For you Kindle Unlimited readers, this will be a KU title, and is currently available for pre-order

Sunday, August 19, 2018


If you've read the newer installments of the Diversion series, you'll have met a character, and perfect foil for Lucky, named Moose.

Lucky brings home the rescue dog to help with Bo's recovery in Redemption, and they wind up adopting him, adding him to their growing family of Bo, Lucky, and Cat Lucky, a tuxedo kitty who latched onto Lucky in Collusion.

Moose, and many of his antics, are based on the real-life Toby, my family's very own Great Pyrenees, and the seventh animal of this breed to wander into my life.

Like Lucky reminisces, the Mooses I've known have all been guardian animals, keeping goats, chickens, and other animals safe from wolves, coyotes, and neighbors' dogs. They're a wonderful breed, if a bit large, but gentle and sweet. In fact, they have a tendency to make great livestock baby sitters.

During the first week of life, baby goats are kept hidden while mama goat grazes, but starting about the second week, and until the youngster joins the herd, well, see for yourself.

Toby and baby Opal

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Wonderful World of Audiobooks

My long commute gives me plenty of time with nothing to do but drive, and as I usually don't have much time to read for pleasure, I got hooked on audio books. 

And grew to love them, couldn't get enough of them, then said, "What if?"

It's long been my dream to hear the Diversion series in audio book but, no matter how many works I listened to, I never found the right voice for Lucky. I talked with several narrators, but many were too busy with other projects or didn't want to take on a series. 

Then I met an amazing voice actor named Darcy Stark, who submitted auditions both for Diversion and for a short work, Highway Man. 

Oh, damn! He voiced the perfect Killian Desmond of Highway Man capturing the pain and elation of the man's journey. He even sung the song lyrics! I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. I'll announce soon when the file goes live. 

But... He's also stared on the Diversion series, helping me make a dream come true. Stay tuned for more details later. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Back Where I Started

Some of you may have heard me talk about growing up on a Southern farm, and though it was late 60's and the 70's, my upbringing spoke of an earlier time. We didn't have air conditioning, dishwasher, or many luxuries my friends had at their houses, but on the flip side, we barely missed a beat when the power went out. Mom merely moved dinner from the kitchen to the hallway, where we had a wood stove, and neighbors thought we had power because lights shown from our windows. Ah, the many kerosene lanterns we had.

Though a perfectly good tractor waited in the barn, we plowed fields with a mule. I know, right? I didn't get it either.

I remember riding a horse through the snow, ax thrown over my shoulder, to break up the pond ice so animals could drink.

I was twelve. When my kids were twelve I barely let them out of the house without my being there.

We didn't have fashionable clothes and ate at a restaurant maybe once a year, usually a burger place.

Anyway, simpler times, but a very strict household. Therefore, all through my teen-aged years, my major thought was--leaving.

Oh, my God. If I could just get off that farm I'd be happy, or so I thought, being convinced that anywhere else had to be better.

Man, did I have a lot to learn. First off, I missed the twenty some odd barn cats, the dogs, chickens, ducks, geese, cows, etc. Next, growing up on a farm with limited exposure to anything non-farm, meant I wasn't prepared for the real world. Sure, I'd run into bad people, but those I'd learned to handle.

When the movies show the fresh-faced country kid getting off the bus in the big city and getting eaten alive by opportunists, well, I can relate.

Eventually I got my feet under me, though it took a while, stumbled my way through a series of bad choices, and came out the other side. Yes, I left the farm, running from myself, folks set to do me no good, and the past. As the song says, "Wherever you go, there you are."

I began writing as a way to cope with the world around me, met a great group of people, and set my foot on the road to where I am today.

The bottom dropped out of my life and I returned to my home state, needing the support of my family while I licked my wounds and decided what to do next. I'd totally forgotten who I was and where I came from, and when searching for yourself, where better to start than the last place you saw the real you?

I thrived beyond my wildest dreams. Dreams I thought out of reach came to hand, and then I reached farther.

Anyway, the reason for the overshare is this:

I'd sworn off relationships, having decided all I needed were friends, family and myself. It was then that I met someone I never dreamed existed: non-judging, supportive, and not wanting to shove me into a mold I couldn't conform to.

The most ironic part of this whole story is that I moved miles away, and more miles, and still more miles, living a nomadic lifestyle so different from what I knew.

And found myself five miles from where I started, back on a farm, and totally happy.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Eddie's Helmet

There's an idea in my head that wants to be written, based around a motorcycle helmet. It's a tribute story, of sorts.

I met Eddie on the job, a man in his late sixties working as a security guard. We bonded over a mutual love of motorcycles. At the time he rode, I didn't, as I currently didn't own a bike and, due to vision limitations, wasn't likely to buy one.

Still, we relived glory days and always had something to talk about. Time went on, his health began to fade, and Eddie eventually sold his motorcycle. By then I'd started riding again, having met Bear, who owned a motorcycle.

One day while Eddie and I chatted, I mentioned how a full face helmet blocked all the wind, and half the joy of riding was wind in my face. He agreed.

Eddie brought me his helmet, complete with a half shield.

I cleaned it up, buffed out a few scratches, and bought a new visor. Whenever I rode, I wore Eddie's helmet.

Today for the first time after his passing, I donned the well-worn, well-loved headgear and climbed on the back of Bear's, now my husband, bike.

Eddie rode once more.

One day I'll sit down at the computer and a story worthy of this man's friendship will occur to me.