As usual, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to The Novel Approach for letting me post my “doings” for the next few months or so. So, Lisa and Crew, thank you. Very much. You’re very sweet for letting me have space here.
Oooooo so much to talk about. Let’s start with the schedule of books and a few cover reveals!
5 June 2015
Murder and Mayhem [Dreamspinner Press]
So I’ve got a new series coming out. It hits June 5th and The Novel Approach is lovely enough to let me post about it here first! Soooo many exclamation marks.
With the Dirty series winding down, coming to an end, pining for the fjords, I wanted to take a look at Los Angeles from a different kind of storytelling view. Funny thing about writing a book—for me at least—I usually start it off with this idea on how I want it to be written, the voice of the book as it were. In the case of Murder and Mayhem, I thought it would be lighter and funnier, a bit slapstick sometimes.
Boy was I wrong. Instead I got a gritty, noir-ish, steamy novel about Rook Stevens, an ex-cat burglar, and Dante Montoya, the Cuban-Mexican detective he’s got the hots for. And hots are definitely returned on the detective side. Problem is, they’ve been on the wrong side of the law from one another in the past and chances are, will be again in the future.
I both loved and hated this book because as it sets up a new series, there’s a tone and a vibe that needs to be worked out, secondary characters to be painted and more importantly, issues to be knitted together. Look for a cameo by Alex, my character from Grand Adventures. He made a reference to his cousin the collectibles dealer in that story and well, here we go.
Blurb: Murder and Mayhem
Dead women tell no tales.
Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.
Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.
Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.
7 July 2015
Ink and Shadows [Dreamspinner Press Publications]
The cover for this book is currently being worked on by Anne Cain and I really can’t wait for her to finish. I normally do all of my own covers but for the DSPP books, I felt like I needed a master of Urban Fantasy art to create that grit and vibe they need. As soon as I have a cover, I’ll drop it for a look-see.
This book is both a love and trial for me. It’s probably one of the darker books I’ve written. A paranormal urban fantasy, this takes place in modern-day San Diego and well, other parts of the world as needed. When I came up with the idea of Kismet Andreas, a tattoo artist who sees things in the shadows, I knew it was going to be a wild ride into the what-ifs, and when I added the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—that’s when things got weird. The Four are probably the most human characters I’ve ever written. Unabashedly human. It was a labour of love and anguish to write their personalities and at the same time, balance the darkness they live in with a lot of light. I loved writing this book because of the places it took me and it allowed me to really examine the question of what it means to be human.
Blurb: Ink and Shadows
Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.
For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.
And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.
The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.
Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.
When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.
Sloe Ride [Dreamspinner Press]
And we are back to Sinners and their Morgan Boys.
Oh how I hated this book. Okay, I hate all books as I write them but this book—this was like pulling back my skin and ripping out a drop of blood at a time with a very thin needle. Why? Because Quinn required such a delicate balance. A difficult task with this book was writing Quinn’s POV from third person yet maintaining his world view, which is decidedly different from the rest of the Morgans. This is the book were I take a reader deep into Morgan family dynamics and through the inner workings of their relationships. I had some startling surprises when writing this book. I ended up discovering certain characters who I’d never have put together actually worked—and not only worked but really needed to have relationships.
And then there’s the slow ride of Rafe and Quinn rediscovering one another after spending years apart. Their personalities were interesting to write because neither one of them is explosive, per se, but complicated. Fitting them together and balancing them out was a labour of love.
This also isn’t the end of the series. There will be a final book called Sin and Tonic with Miki and Kane to round out the whole thing. And well, let’s talk novellas later.
Blurb: Sloe Ride
It wasn’t easy being a Morgan.
Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.
Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ “bad boy” friend and the man who’d broken his very young heart.
Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt—until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.
When Rafe hears the Sinners’ are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself but as a crazed killer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.
December 2015: Yet Unnamed One-Off
Spring 2016: Dirty Heart (Final Cole McGinnis Series Novel)
Projected Novels: Hellsinger #3, Kai Gracen #2, Sinners Novella and some other stuff.
Now we come to the speculative part of our program, looking forward.
I’m currently starting a contemporary mystery without a name and a loose sketchy plot. I know, so informative, but since it’s in the beginning of the process, I don’t really have a lot of details. I’ve got the characters, the place setting and the plot. Now is when I’m finding the voice of the book. That usually takes a few tries. It’s also important to find the right start point. I’m looking forward to this one because it features an ex-con, the niece he’s gained custody of and a bookseller they both grow very fond of.
Oh…and well, a bit of a mystery but you know, that kind of stuff happens.
And ah, Dirty Heart
Sadly, the time has come for the end of the Dirty series. There are things to wrap up (Ben) and questions to be answered (Ben) and healing Cole needs to do in order to move forward (Ben). While this will be the final book in the series, I will be doing one-off mysteries in the future but the series itself will be finished up.
I’ll admit it’s a bit weird putting the Dirty series to bed. Cole McGinnis was my first entry into this genre, and I will always have a special place in my heart for him. No pun intended with the title there. It’s been a blast folding in different cultures and playing around in Cole’s Los Angeles. And I am so very thankful for each and every one of you who’s been along for the ride. Seriously. Thank you.
And Everything Else
There’s so much to do. Really. And sooooooo little time. I’m looking to deliver another Hellsinger novel, especially after Wolf’s discovered who Tristan is related to. And of course, there’s a ghost or two.
Kai’s in line for a sequel. I might drop a novella before I do a full novel, but I’m on the fence with that one. Why do a novella first? It all depends on the time I have. Kai needs some page time. And I want to deliver that.
And then there’s the Sinners boys. After Sloe Ride, it’ll be nice to visit with the guys in a non-murdery kind of way, much like I did with Devil’s Brew. It’ll also be great to write. Because really, who doesn’t love a bunch of rockers and their lovers.
Where I’m Gonna Be
I’m officially traveling to two Cons this year at the point. I might add one or two, depending on time.
First is the UK Meet in September and that’s something I’m really looking forward to because no only will I be in Bristol but I’ll be going to visit with Three of the Five, dear sweet friends who’ve been with me for a significant amount of my life. They’ll be going to the UK Meet as well so there’ll be a great time had by all. It’ll also be great to see everyone from the area and Dreamspinner’s Elizabeth North will be a keynote speaker.
One can never have too much Elizabeth North in their lives.
Secondly is GayRomLit which will be held in San Diego—my hometown—for the first time. I’m hoping to work out something special for this GRL, as it is my own stomping grounds. The hotel looks fantastic and really, you can’t go wrong with San Diego during October. I’m really going to love having GRL here this year.
Now for the fun part, how about a giveaway? One Lucky Winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to the etailer of their choice, as well as an Advanced Reader Copy of my next two releases. You’ll get Murder and Mayhem as well as Ink and Shadows in the format of your choice.
Just leave a comment below by Midnight Pacific time on Monday, April 20, 2015, and a winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, the 21st, and contacted by email.
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED
Good luck! And thank you so much and I’m looking forward to the rest of this year…and having you all along with me.