Sunday, October 6, 2019

Super Diversion Sale!

Had your eye on the Diversion series but haven't given in to temptation yet? Now might be the perfect time. Until October 21, Diversion Box Set Vol 1 is on sale at Amazon and B&N for the bargain price of $1.99.

That's right, y'all, three full-length novels for less than two bucks.


This volume contains Diversion, Collusion, and Corruption of the Diversion series.

Diversion:
There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

Collusion:

Dead men can’t love.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter “died” in the line of duty while working off a ten-year sentence in service to the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, only to be reborn as Simon “Lucky” Harrison. The newbie he trained, former Marine Bo Schollenberger, is now his partner on (and maybe off) the job. It’s hard to tell when Lucky doesn’t understand relationships or have a clue what any sane human is doing in his bed. Bo’s nice to have around, sure, but there’s none of that picking-out-china-together crap for Lucky.

While fighting PTSD, memories of a horrid childhood, and a prescription drug addiction, Bo is paying for his mistakes. Using his pharmacy license for the good guys provides the sort of education he never got in school. Undercover with his hard-headed partner, Bo learns that not everything is as it seems in the world of pharmaceuticals.

When a prescription drug shortage jeopardizes the patients at Rosario Children’s Cancer Center, it not only pits Bo and Lucky against predatory opportunists, but also each other. How can they tell who the villains are? The bad guys don’t wear black hats, but they might wear white coats.

Corruption:

Renegade biker. Drug runner. Recovering addict. Wanted by the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. But he isn’t a crook, he’s the law.

SNB Agent Bo Schollenberger’s solved his cases using his brains and not a gun, and with his partner, not alone. Now he’s handed a tough new case involving designer drugs that turn users violent. One false move could end his life as he immerses himself into a motorcycle gang to locate the source. His fate depends on how well he can impersonate someone else. Someone named Cyrus Cooper.

Cyrus is everything Bo Schollenberger isn’t, including the badass enforcer for a smuggling ring. He establishes pecking order with his fists and doesn’t take shit from anybody, not even the undercover agent who comes to help his case.

Simon “Lucky” Harrison’s always been the best, whichever side of the law he was on. Former trafficker turned SNB agent, he damned well ought to be undercover in this motorcycle gang, instead of hanging around the office going crazy with new policies, new people, and “inter-departmental cooperation” that sticks him in a classroom. Yet he’s passed over for the SNB’s biggest case in decades in favor of the rookie who shares his bed. A man Lucky thought he knew.

When survival depends on a web of tangled lies, lines blur, worlds collide, and a high stakes game turns friend to foe. Lucky knows the difference between Bo the agent and Cyrus the outlaw, but does Bo?


Pick up your copy today at Amazon or B&N

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

GRL 2019

Hey, everyone!

Once more I'll be attending GRL, this time in Albuqueque. I've only missed one in all the time they've been a thing. So much love there. So many great people. And awesome books!

Anyway, here's my schedule for the event. Please look me up if you're there, I have plenty of swag to share.


10/16/19 Wednesday
4:00pm – 6:00pm 2nd Floor Registration

10/17/19: Thursday
4:00pm-4:45pm Book Room
6:00pm – 6:45pm Author Lounge 

10/18/19 Friday
10:00am – 10:45am Book Room
12:00pm – 12 :45pm Author Lounge
5:30pm – 6:20pm Featured Author Spotlight where you will hear what Bo and Lucky have been up to lately. 

10/19/19 Saturday
10:00am – 12:30 Book Signing Featured Authors


I can't wait to see you there!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Killing Creativity

When I first starting writing I had no idea what I was doing, I merely wrote the story that was in my heart. It couldn't have been all bad, because a publisher chose to publish the work. Fast forward, and I have 20 published books and quite a few awards. Yes, I have been blessed.

But... something strange happened along the way: I started listening to voices, and not the ones in my head. There are as many snippets of writing advice as there are words in the English language. While I appreciate any assistance in being a better writer, sometimes the contradictions get out of hand. Here's a few things that confuse me:

1.To engage your reader, write deep POV. Having the protagonist question themselves is a good way to do this.
2. Never, ever have your character ask a question unless it's in dialog.
3. Limit the words: was, that, it, and all their forms.
4. Never use just, really, or very.
5. Never use adverbs.
6. Never have autonomous body parts (though many cannot agree on what this means).
7. Never use passive voice.
8. Never use "Mom" and "Dad" unless in dialog.
9. Never start a story with dialog.
10. Don't use "so".
11. Don't use exclamation points.
12. Don't use semi-colons.
13. Don't end sentences with a simple word like "it."
14. Use inner dialog.
15. Don't use inner dialog.
16. Never use tags, only beats.
17. You need more tags.
18. Don't write in present tense.
19. Don't write in first person.
20. Don't write in third person.
21. Don't write omniscient POV.
22. Show don't tell. Always.
23. Sometimes telling is necessary to provide backstory and give your reader a break from constant tension.

Are you beginning to see the problem? What was once simple story-telling has too many rules, and many of those rules vary from editor to editor, reader to reader.

I, myself, am guilty of pointing out these things in works I beta. I pay attention to all writing advice because I want to become a better writer with each new book.

But you know what?

Excessive rules turn writing into a chore, and if writing is a chore, your reader will see it, and reading will be a chore. Know what else? I've been consuming books at an alarming rate lately. Wonderful books with high ratings and reviews. Most of them contained examples from above. Judging by the reviews, no one cared!

What has happened to my work is that I've become so focused on not using 'that' that I've lost sight of the true reason for writing. Don't get me wrong, doing a seek and destroy on "it" and "that" can make wording so much stronger, but all the fancy wording in the world doesn't make a good story.

What makes a good story is... a good story.

It's time to take a step back, pull in a deep breath, and let the words flow. I don't mean toss grammar rules out the window or abandon proper sentence structure, but if rules are getting in the way of writing, there is a problem. Advice, like a hammer, is a great tool. Also, like a hammer, if used improperly, it can cause great destruction.

Back in my early days I wrote good stories, and I didn't get one danged comment on the number of "thats", though someone did once count how many F-bombs Lucky dropped in Diversion: 85.

Trying to follow every piece of advice has put a damper on my creativity, leaving me so nervous I'm more afraid to publish a story now than I was ten years ago when I first started. So, I'm going to stop  stop trying to be perfect and just write.

Maybe then Diversion 8 will finally see the light of day.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Consorts of the Red King now available for pre-order

Consorts of the Red King is now available on Amazon for pre-order!




In deepest space the ruthless Federation lays waste to one rebel colony after another, leaving comrades-in-arms Van Orskey and Tayn Kassik without family, without a home, and without hope.

With nothing left but each other, they run contraband and smuggle fugitives from the safety of their ship, the Cormorant—with the occasional clandestine mission for the rival Coalition thrown in. Their heists have not gone unnoticed, though even the bounty on their heads doesn’t prevent them from being a thorn in the enemy’s side at every opportunity.

Pissing them off? Big mistake.

From the day of his birth Prince Jorvik of Akiak learned duty, wisdom, and honor from his father, leaving him ill-equipped to withstand betrayal by his Federation-puppet uncle. He has no love for the greedy off-worlders who plunder his world’s natural resources and enslave his people. To defeat his foe, he needs the cunning, fearlessness, and touch of treachery only outlaws can offer.
Two off-world mercenaries make unlikely partners in Jorvik’s quest for vengeance, but the more he learns of them, the more common ground he discovers. In each other’s arms they find passion, heat, and maybe, a reason for living—until their common enemy threatens to tear them apart.  

To survive, they must take on the corrupt Federation.  


And win.

Find it here!














Friday, September 20, 2019

New Sci-Fi Novel Heading Your Way!

Well, it's finally happened. My editor has ripped the final manuscript of Consorts of the Red King from my obsessive-compulsive fingertips and deemed it worthy of publication. To allow time for me to work myself into a worrying frenzy, arrange promo, and get through GRL, Rocky Ridge Books is shooting for an October 26 release.

Stay tuned for more details!

I've been told there is no audience for MMM sci-fi, but the commenters on The Sentinel say otherwise.

This one's for y'all!

The Friday Review - NoX, by Adrienne Wilder

Daaaaaaaayuuuuuuuum!

Whenever I read a book that truly resonated with me, I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops and share my discovery with other readers who enjoy the same type of books I do.

The latest is NoX, by Adrienne Wilder, and author I'm sad to say I've never read before. This may have been my first book by this author, but it won't be the last.

I am suffering from some of the worst book-hangover of my life, and for someone who voraciously consumes books, that's saying something.

I won't give a synopsis of the story, I can only tell you my reaction. Though NoX brought to mind Terminator-2 in the fact that a remarkable being is sent to protect someone who sees himself as nothing special, the plot is so wonderfully unique. Again with the "I've read a zillion books" thing, making this quite a feat.

Told in three POVs, this tale kept me on the edge of my seat, stealing every possible moment to hear more. The narrator did an excellent job of not only voicing the characters in beleivable tones, but catching the nuances of their thougths and words.

What awesome characters they were, too, even those for whom we didn't get much backstory. Although we're left with a solid HFN, I'm hoping the ending means more to come. (Oh, please, please, please!)

While the story is rather long, it never once dragged, and all action was there for a reason. The sex also is a study in social behavior of beings that aren't human, and therefore cannot be thought of in human terms. Sex is a part of social structure, comfort, reassurance, and a single organism in multiple bodies connecting.

I've listened to many audiobooks this year, and this one just muscled its way onto my top five list. It's a talented author who can worldbuild so well that, even in a fantasy environment, readers are sucked into the plot, clearly visualizing even the fantastical events.

If the author made up all the scientific and historical details, then again I'm impressed. Everthing seemed so believable. I do wish the author had more works in audio, as those are the only books I can read these days.

If anyone knows of plans for a sequel, please let me know. Nothing would make me happier.

Find it here on Amazon. 

Oh, and by the way, the cover is perfect!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Unique Sound of an Author's Voice

Just as voices can be similar but not exact, so too the sound of an author's unique voice. I've been privileged to be a beta and crit partner to several authors, and have learned much about styles.

If you have paragraphs written by three different authors, fans of their work could match them up. For instance, one of my crit partners writes in an entirely different style from me: yaoi, and yet we work well as crit partners because we understand that we write differently, and that's okay.

Another crit partner writes linearly, start to finish, something I could never do. Their writing is so clean you could publish their rough drafts. I might give comments like, "Make me feel it" prompting more emotion in the scene, but I try not to insert my own style into theirs. The last thing I want to do is say something that translates to, "This is how I would write it."

It's their story. They have their own followers who expect certain things, and it certaintly isn't a book that sounds more like someone else wrote it than the author. 

The most valuable lesson I've learned in critiqueing others' work is:

It's their story, not mine. I can make suggestions, give them reader reaction, I can give an example of how to reorganize a tricky paragraph to eliminate overused words, but the moment I try to tell them how to write, I've crossed a line. 

I've changed their voice. All my crit partners have amazing voices that don't need changing. I do my best not to.

Betaing and critiquing is a privilege and honor. Also, I get to read totally awesome books before anyone else gets to.

Win/win.