Create, Pitch, Sell

August Coffee Break

I've decided to put two novels on the back burner for a while. The first draft of the untitled Wichita story is completed, and SERIAL QUILLER 2 has a basic outline. I'm setting them aside to concentrate on some of the projects I had planned to do next year.

The first is a couple of short stories I'd like to release before Halloween. Next, I'm writing a YA paranormal romance novella that has a colorful cast of characters.

New Fall Look For Trilogy

It may still be hotter'n forty hells out there but fall is just around the corner. So I've given the Hellfire Trilogy a new look. SMOKE ON THE WATER begins in the fall. The photo was taken in the fall. I think the covers represent the trilogy better than the previous ones. The new covers also look a little "hellfireish". Don't you think?

Of course, if you haven't seen the old covers, this is a moot point. [smile]

The trilogy is one story. You can read sample chapters for free. Click a book cover, then go to Amazon or Smashwords. The books will soon be available on Nook, Sony, Kobo, and Apple. I love this story. I hope you will, too.

On The Road!

New Book Releases For August

LIQUID SMOKE by Jeff Shelby
WYATT by Garry Disher
THE SIXES by Kate White
DARK TANGOS by Lewis Shiner
LOUISE'S WAR by Sarah R. Shaber

THE KILLER IS DYING by James Sallis http://www.jamessallis.com/
THE LANTERN by Deborah Lawrenson http://www.deborah-lawrenson.co.uk/
ICE STATION by Peter Tonkin http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/t/peter-tonkin/
RIP TIDE by Stella Rimington http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/r/stella-rimington/
SEASON OF DARKNESS by Maureen Jennings http://www.maureenjennings.com/
DON'T CRY TAI LAKE by Qiu Xiaolong http://www.qiuxiaolong.com/index2.html
THE DEATH FACTORY by Joe Domenici http://www.texaswriterjoe.com/about.html
NORTHWEST ANGLE by William Kent Krueger http://www.williamkentkrueger.com/
THE BRINK OF FAME by Irene Fleming http://www.historicalnovels.info/Irene-Fleming.html
WHERE THE SHADOWS LIE by Michael Ridpath http://www.michaelridpath.com/index.html
MURDER, MAJORCAN STYLE by Roderic Jeffries http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/j/roderic-jeffries/
THE MAGDALENA CURSE by F.G. Cottam http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/974195.F_G_Cottam

Happy Birthday To Me

Novel Distribution Announcement

My novels are available worldwide now on Smashwords. [linked in right column]

Through Smashwords the novels will soon be available on Nook, Sony, Kobo, Apple, Diesel, and Scrollmotion.

I'll post when the books go live on these eReaders.


The Making Of The Hellfire Trilogy

* The trilogy is one continuous story with several subplots. About 440 single-spaced pages. About 200,000 words.
* Smoke on the Water was intended to be a stand-alone mystery novel that was inspired by actual events.
* I loved the characters so much I planned to write six to eight more books, and call it the Point Jove series.
* The first book was originally titled The Cabin. A quick search at the local library revealed 26 titles containing the word Cabin.
* I went through a dozen titles before going with Smoke on the Water.
* A TV docudrama about an arsonist inspired Fire Flicks. The title spawned the trilogy, ending the idea of an ongoing series.
* The title Ashes of Vengeance came from a 1920's movie.
* SOTW is a stand-alone. FF and AOV are not.
* Point Jove, Missouri is a fictitious place.
* Point Jove, Talon Ridge, Eagle Daze: Bird of Jove. Bird of prey. My antagonist.
* I can't say who the antagonist was modeled after without revealing the identity of the antagonist.
* Preston and Julie Terrace were named after the characters portrayed by Henry Fonda and Bette Davis in the movie Jezebel.
* Sheriff Joshua Wolfe could be the actor Sam Elliot at age 53.
* Paige Cole-Denham is someone close to me [but not me].
* Realtor Willard Wiley is a lot like the character Deputy Barney Fife.
* When I worked in retail I met a creepy, unsmiling, elderly couple named Drama and Dru [their names were on the personal check used to pay for their merchandise].
* The church in the movie Jeepers Creepers inspired the description of the church in Ashes of Vengeance.
* Degotoga is a Cherokee word that means, "standing together".
* The colors Gray, Red, and Black [smoke, fire, ash?] were accidentally used throughout the trilogy. I didn't catch it until the final readings.
* I am one of the characters in the trilogy. I'll never say which one.
* Peridot Past: Peridot is my birthstone.
* I used to have an English springer spaniel. Someone poisoned him. His memory lives on with this trilogy.

An Amazing Thing Happened Today

I was able to rescue a large bird with a three-pronged fishing lure stuck in its neck.

I'm not telling you this story to brag. I'm simply sharing a side of me I never knew existed.

While bike riding this morning, I passed by a bird standing still in the parking lot of a convenience store across from the beach. It was the size of a seagull. Brown, not white and black. I noticed it didn't fly off even when I was less than four feet away. Near its beak something bright yellow glinted in the sunlight. I thought the bird was eating an odd type of fish. The bird squatted so low to the ground I couldn't see the yellow thing anymore. It hit me that the bird was in trouble. I parked the bike. Dashed into the store, and told the first person I saw. The man stopped what he was doing and followed me outside. There was a short section of fishing line attached to a lure and one of the hooks was attached to the bird. The man surmised someone caught the bird while casting out, merely cut the line and left it to fend for itself.

The bird inched its way toward the highway. The man stepped on the line to keep it from darting out into the traffic or from trying to fly off. He told me to cover its eyes with my hand. I did. He examined the hook. Said he couldn't find a way to remove it without further injuring the bird. He hurried inside to ask someone else to help me, then got in his car and sped away, leaving me kneeling on the ground holding the bird with both hands. Other people came and went. They couldn't miss seeing me. Some turned away. Others flashed a sympathetic smile. "I need help, dammit!" I shouted, angrily. An employee came out and told me The Parks and Wildlife Service had been called.

Minutes later, a woman and a man pulled up in a van. She said she's a bird rescuer. They examined the bird while I continued holding onto it. The man tried to cut the barbed tip off the hook. Broke the handle of the tinsnips instead. The woman said it would be easier if they took the bird home with them. I didn't trust her. I had a sudden flashback to the time when I was forced to take my dog to a shelter because we were moving to an apartment complex that didn't allow pets. Heartbroken, I tried to come up with a plan to smuggle my dog into the apartment. I returned to the shelter a couple of hours later to find they had euthanized him not long after I'd taken him there. I couldn't help but think the same fate awaited the defenseless bird. She said they would remove the hook and return the bird to the wild. Reluctantly, I placed it in her care.

Two things amazed me. One: The bird stopped trying to get away from me, as if it finally understood I wasn't there to harm it. Two: My role in all of this. I love birds and animals. So I wasn't surprised that I didn't look the other way or find a way to quickly put the creature out of its misery. I was surprised, however, that I wrapped my bare hands around it without being scared or squeamish, even after it bit my hand hard enough to make a bruise. It's true when they say you'll never know how you'll act in a situation until you're confronted with it. I've always been a champion of the underdog, which made it easy for me to fight for the life of the bird like I did. It's also why it's easy for me to curse the person for hurting the bird in the first place, and for not taking responsibility for their actions. Cutting the line and leaving the bird to die shows a blatant disregard for life.

I didn't think to ask the woman what kind of bird it is. The photo is a close likeness. I also didn't ask her when and where she would return it to the wild. Hard as it is, I need to have a little faith.

The Hellfire Trilogy

My mystery series has gone live on Smashwords. The novels are available globally on most eReaders. [Linked in Read An Excerpt]

In SMOKE ON THE WATER, a sheriff tracks a psychopath targeting members of a retired mariner's family.

In FIRE FLICKS, a reporter furthers his budding career as a crime scene photographer by filming new construction being set ablaze by his older brother, who has a dark secret of his own.

In ASHES OF VENGEANCE, a deadly game of geocaching goes awry when hidden clues to the whereabouts of a kidnapped victim are swept away in a flash flood.

Serial Quiller

It's official--

SERIAL QUILLER has gone live on Smashwords, and is available globally on most eReaders. [Linked in Read An Excerpt]


In SERIAL QUILLER, a crime writer embarks on a killing spree to help sustain her best-seller status.

Psychological Thriller