Category Archives: book news

A New Genre, A New Release!

Have you ever been haunted by a goddess?

Over the past few years, a character named Alice has haunted me. She made her debut in a piece of flash fiction I wrote in 2011 called Mario’s Goddess. She now officially has her very own full-length story in my new psychological suspense, THE BURNING.

This book came to me differently than my cozy mysteries, and it’s a much darker tale. In the flash fiction story, Alice is the goddess of war and is locked up in a mental institution. Over the past couple years, her character wouldn’t leave me alone, but I didn’t know what she wanted. What were the opposing forces in her life? What was her story?

Some of her life came to me in pieces, scenes actually, that I dutifully wrote down over the years. She was a mother with two small children. She was orphaned at birth, spent her life in and out of a children’s home. She couldn’t remember anything before her thirteenth birthday. I have to say, she confused me. Was she a goddess of war? Was she a human mother? Was this a fantasy story? Magical realism? Paranormal? And then it hit me. She was both a human mother and the goddess of war, and this was a psychological suspense. They don’t call it multiple personalities anymore, now it’s called dissociative identity disorder, and this is what Alice has. Or does she? (I’ll let the reader decide) One of her personalities is Kali, the goddess of war, and she insists she’s a goddess having a human experience. She’s also the one who gets Alice in serious trouble. Arrested for arson and murder, in fact.

As more of the scenes came to me, I knew Alice/Kali needed an antagonist, but what kind? Enter the 2016 Presidential election where America elected a man who’s been repeatedly accused of sexual assault and bragged about groping women on tape. (Whatever your political leanings,
or whether you believe he is innocent of these charges, we can all agree such behavior is not acceptable.) Kali rose up and said HIM. So, I had a template for Alice/Kali’s enemy and the rest of the plot unfolded from there.

It wasn’t my intention to tackle sexual assault and human trafficking but that’s where Kali led me, and who am I to argue with the goddess of war? It seems kind of serendipitous to me that she led me down this road just as the #Metoo and #Timesup movements arrived.  I’m excited that this book can add to the conversation and hopefully the healing process for all women.

Summary:

Alice Leininger seems to have the perfect life. She’s happily married, has two beautiful children, a close knit group of friends, and a cause she cares deeply about. But beneath the surface, her world of safety and comfort is unraveling. The periods of lost time she’s kept secret—even from her husband—are happening more frequently. She certainly doesn’t remember leaving her Sarasota home at three-thirty in the morning to burn someone alive. Now she sits in a Florida state mental institution, awaiting judgement on whether she’s fit to stand trial on charges of murder and arson. While a psychologist works to help Alice face her past, her future depends on the answer to one question: How far did she go for justice?

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

AVAILABLE ON BARNES & NOBLE

AVAILABLE ON KOBO

AVAILABLE ON ITUNES

 

Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

It’s finally time to reveal the secret project I’ve been working on for Severn House and TAAA DAAAAA!!! Here is the cover:

Isn’t it soooo cute?! I have to tell you, I was a bit worried when they said they weren’t going with the traditional illustrated cover (at least it’s traditional here in the US for cozies) but I really love the cover they came up with. It sets the perfect atmosphere for the story. And what is the story? So glad you asked. Here’s the blurb:

Introducing ‘doggie-yoga’ instructor Elle Pressley, in the first Paws & Pose Mystery – featuring canine cuties, Florida sunshine, a sexy Irish PI . . . and murder.

Doga instructor Elle Pressley just wants to teach her classes at Moon Key’s Pampered Pup Spa & Resort in peace and save money to move out of her crazy mother’s house. But when her deceased childhood dog, Angel, shows up, she knows she’s about to be in danger. Sure enough, one of her clients winds up dead, and Elle is pulled head first into the investigation. For the prime suspect is Dr. Ira Craft . . . the husband of Elle’s best friend, Hope.

Elle is determined to clear Ira’s name, for Hope’s sake, and she enlists the help of Irish private investigator Devon Burke. But someone is determined to stop Elle from uncovering the truth. And now that Devon’s involved, it’s not just Elle’s life that’s in danger: her heart is too . . .

What do ya think? Sound like a story you want to cozy up to? (See what I did there :-))

Well, if so here’s the details:

It will be available in the US & as an e-book on December 1st. PREORDER
UK folks can order it on Aug 31st or PREORDER


Now the fun part… the super cute doga beach-tote giveaway!

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY you just need to leave a comment below with the email address you’d like to use to receive my newsletter. (I only send them when there’s a new release or contest)

Also, if you want me to put your name in the hat twice, you can like my Facebook page here as a bonus. (Mention that you did this in your comment)

That’s it!

I’ll randomly select a winner on Tuesday, August 18th. The winner will be notified by email and also be announced on my Facebook Page.

Go forth and enter & good luck!

Are you on Pinterest? Want a peek at my inspiration for this book? Just go HERE

My Yoga Mat Is My Life Raft

So, I’ve told you guys about my new pet cozy series coming soon from Severn House. Some news … I’ve learned the first book is slated for hardback publication in the UK this August, the US edition and worldwide e-book will be out the first of December.

I can’t wait for you guys to meet the main character, Elle Pressley. I think you’re going to love her story! Today, I want to give you a little insight into her world (and mine) by talking about something Elle and I have in common: the use of yoga as a life raft.

Someone else is pretty fond of my mat, too.

Someone else is pretty fond of my mat, too.

I love my yoga mat. When I unroll that sucker and smell the faint scent of rubber, I’m reminded of the saying “where the rubber meets the road” and it definitely fits. But yoga is more than exercise for me, and nothing brought that fact home quicker than this past year of recovering from a serious medical trauma which in turn triggered fibromyalgia.

Because of this, spending time with just this small rectangular space and my own body has become difficult. First of all, there are so many things to overcome now just to get in that space (like joint/muscle pain and fatigue that could take down an elephant). So much to work through not to give up. Frustration. Anger. Grief. So many negative thoughts to let go of in order to stay present and pay attention to my new physical boundaries so I don’t cause a flare up. To be kind to myself. Why is it such a struggle to truly be kind to ourselves?

Yoga has become a vital part of my well-being and the lessons I learn on the mat always translate to life off the mat. The biggest one:  I must show up.

You’d think that would be the easy part, right? Nope.

The importance of this “showing up” has been a valuable lesson for me off the mat, too.

Like my writing. Whether I feel like it or not, I must show up in my writing space every day. I have no boss, no one clocking my hours. But to experience the version of life I want to experience I must write. I must show up. And not just sit at the keyboard and stare out the window, I must be mentally present.

Atlas feels the need to show up with me

Atlas feels the need to show up with me

My kids. Same thing. If I don’t want to wake up one day and realize they’re surly teenagers who would rather walk on hot coals than have a conversation with their mother, I must show up and be present with them now. While they struggle to learn new things, when they fail and fall, when they hit their first homerun. I must show up. Be present. Pay attention.

The family who oms together stays together.

The family who oms together stays together.

Who would have thought a six foot strip of rubber could be such a life saver? But there you have it.

Fortunately, I don’t have to show up to solve a murder in real life like Elle does!


(If you want to be notified when the new book is released, please sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar —>)

So, what things in your life demand you show up and be present? Have you tried yoga? Loved it? Hated it? Please share?

 

 

 

 

 

Book News

Fall_Wallpaper
Fall is here and change is in the air! Normally, this would be the time of year that I would release a new book in the Pet Psychic series, and I’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately asking when book four will be out. Well, I have some good news and some bad news.

Bad news first. While I definitely will be releasing book four eventually (after all, there is Sylvia’s big wedding coming up!), it has been delayed.

The good news is why it’s delayed. I’ve recently signed a contract for a two book deal with Severn House Publishers for a brand new pet cozy mystery series!

So, this new series will be my priority. I’m so excited to be working with Severn House on this project. They have forty years of experience behind them and everyone has been so charming and kind. Plus, I am having so much fun writing the first book. I can’t wait for you guys to read it! There’s plenty of dogs, humor, romance and of course… murder.

If you want to know when either of the new books are out, the best thing to do is sign up for my newsletter. (Sign up on the sidebar—>)

I won’t spam you, I promise! I only send out a newsletter when I have a new release or special offer.

Happy Fall!