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Friday, January 25, 2013

Freaky Friday

Did you know that the color you gravitate toward says a lot about you?

If your favorite color is purple, you lean toward spirituality, humanitarianism and emotional security.

If your favorite color is indigo, you are looking for harmony and spirituality.

If your favorite color is blue, you are seeking inner peace and the truth.

If green is your favorite color, you are seeking acceptance and you feel a need to belong.

If yellow is your favorite color, you need logical order and structure in your life.

Orange is the color of courage. It can mean you are facing challenges and you need courage, or you are seeking challenges.

If red is your favorite color, you are firmly planted in your life here and now. You are action-oriented and need or seek physical fulfillment.

Having a favorite color at different times in your day or life might mean you need that particular color at that particular time. Think of your choices when you dress each morning. What do those colors signify in your day ahead?

If you avoid certain colors, why?

When writing, you can often say a lot about a person by the colors they wear. A woman who insists on wearing red might be one who craves sexuality or the physical experience. A woman who wear purple or indigo, especially in loose, flowing clothing, might live her life closely connected to the spiritual. A man who gravitates toward ties with orange in them might love a challenge. In addition to the way you describe a character in a book, you can weave color elements into your story as a subliminal message.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I set a policy years ago: I'd never correct the media and I'd never criticize a book event.

I learned never to correct the media from my father. He joined the FBI in the 1950's while J. Edgar Hoover was Director. Mr. Hoover was of the opinion that to correct the media, even if they had facts wrong in the case, would only alienate them and cause problems.

I've read a lot of things about me over the years, some of which was true, some in which the truth was stretched, and others that were just plain wrong. But I've never corrected the reporters and I've never wished I had. The truth always comes out and to keep a story alive due to inaccuracies just doesn't seem worth it to me.

I also decided very early in my career that I would always be gracious to everyone who invited me to participate in a book signing or author event. Of course things are not always perfect; this is Life, after all. But I know each person who worked on an event, whether it was large or small or somewhere in between, did their best.

I've seen other authors over the years who have been very critical of specific events. They are always the ones who never attempted to organize an event themselves so they have no idea of the amount of work that goes into it. I've also noticed that first-time authors, especially those who are self-published, tend to be more critical. The more seasoned and successful an author is, the more gracious they become. I think it's because they know how tough this business is. They also know that you can never judge an event simply from the hours you're there; there is work and publicity that goes on beforehand and other work and publicity that will follow...

And if success is meant to be, it will find you, wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I am between books right now. I completed Dylan's Song late last year and it's in production now, scheduled to be released on St Patrick's Day of this year. The next book in the series is The Pendulum Files, which is scheduled to be released in 2014 and which is due to the editor late this summer.

I also finished the first book in a new series, the Ryan O'Clery series, entitled The Tempest Murders. I am scheduled to complete the sequel, After the Tempest, this spring.

In the meantime, I am balancing my writing with work on the Book 'Em North Carolina event, scheduled in Lumberton on Saturday, February 23, 2013. It's a huge event that is taking the bulk of my time to organize.

Here is an excerpt from Dylan's Song. I will have advance copies at Book 'Em so attendees have the opportunity to buy the book weeks before it's even in book stores:

Dylan stopped at a crossroads while he observed the sky. Of course it would rain during his mission. It was always raining in Ireland. The fact that it hadn’t thus far was an oddity. These were the skies he was accustomed to. He could feel the mist on his cheeks; could taste it on his lips.
He turned and gazed at the cottage he’d just left. His heart felt full for a moment as he thought of Vicki in his arms in a nice, warm bed. The cottage glowed from the lights within, casting radiant fingers across the lawn leading to the pond. There would be no full moon tonight, he thought. No skinny-dipping. Ah, well. He had his memories from the previous night and there would be other nights.
He turned again, facing the village. It was off in the distance, only perceptible by a faint glow on the horizon. Those would be the lights from the pubs as all the shops were closed by now. And he knew each of those pubs as well as he knew himself. He’d spent many a night there. Too many. And he regretted most of them.
He had a lot of regrets in his life, he realized. Looking back at the years behind him, it was nothing if not a long string of mistakes, bad decisions and stupid moves.
A quarter turn and he was facing Mam’s house over the next knoll. It was quiet now and dark. Tomorrow afternoon he would have no choice but to go over there once more and clear things out. The landlord had Bonnie O’Sullivan as a tenant for at least sixty years but he’d be chomping at the bit to get another paying renter in there as quickly as possible.
It wouldn’t take long; Mam didn’t own that much. He’d go in with Father Rowan and his mum; they’d box up the photographs and scrapbooks and get them ready for the post, where they’d be mailed to him in America. And when he received them, he’d most likely stash them away in the attic somewhere. Maybe someday, ten or twenty years down the road—or more—he would haul them out and look at them.
Everything else would go to the auctioneer. It would be Old Mister Kilduff, a man he suspected was older than the village itself, who would come in and determine the starting bid on each object. People would come from miles around to buy off what they could and Dylan would be long gone by then. Mister Kilduff would get his take and send the rest by cheque to him in America. It was the way things worked. The way they always worked.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

So many people loved Brenda Carnegie and Chris Sandige in Exit 22 that it spawned the Black Swamp Mysteries series. In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, they are reunited--along with Dylan and Vicki. Here's the scene in which Chris sees Brenda again:

Chris strode purposefully across the kitchen and grasped Brenda in his arms, pulling her to him like she weighed no more than a rag doll. One hand gripped her hair, his fingers ensnared in the thick tresses as they moved upward to her head, drawing her face up to his as his lips found hers.

Then they are spinning to the side as Chris backed Brenda against the side of the refrigerator, driving her against the hard surface with unbridled passion. She met his efforts with a husky moan and as he began to pull back, she grabbed his head and pulled him back to her, her eyes opening momentarily to reveal a fire burning from within.

The knowledge that he should not be gawking began to wash over Dylan and he forced himself to draw his eyes away from them. As he moved past them to the doorway they continued their reunion as if they were oblivious of his presence.

As he stepped into the hallway, Vicki moved toward the kitchen but he caught her and pulled her away.

"No, darlin'," he said gently as he pulled the door closed behind them, "they need to be alone."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freaky Friday

Is it possible for you to see into the past with the naked eye without even trying?

Not only is it possible but it most likely happens to you every single day and night.

If you have ever gazed at the stars, you are not seeing them as they are at that given moment in time. Instead, you are seeing what they looked like from a few minutes ago to millions of years ago, depending on their location in the universe.

The sun is the closest star to us and it takes 8.3 minutes for its light to travel to us. So every time you glance at the sun, you are seeing what it looked like 8.3 minutes before you looked at it - you are, in a sense, gazing back through time.

The next closest star to us is Proxima Centauri. Its light takes 4.3 years to reach us. So when we see that star tonight, on January 18, 2013, we are actually seeing what it looked like around October 2008.

Since our galaxy is 100,000 light years across, light from other stars can take tens of thousands of years to reach us. Those stars outside our galaxy can take billions of years to reach us. We could actually be looking at a light that existed while dinosaurs roamed the earth.

So tonight when you gaze up at the stars, you are actually seeing into the past.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've begun a new series that won't take the place of the Black Swamp Mysteries series but will be in addition to it. It's called the Ryan O'Clery series, and it's about an Irishman (for all those fans who love Celtic men) who moves to America and works as a detective in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina.

In the first book of the series, The Tempest Murders, Ryan is convinced a news reporter is a woman he has seen repeatedly in his dreams. As he works a serial murder case, he begins to realize the killer's intended target is the woman he is falling in love with -- and it's up to him to stop him before it's too late.

Here is the scene in which Ryan meets Cathleen Reilly for the first time:

He set his drink on the table and raised the grill hood again. He was getting hungrier by the minute. He left the hood open, reached for the plate and readied the patties. He was just preparing to plop them onto the fiery grill when a voice rang out.

“Detective O’Clery?”

He hesitated, his plate still held in one hand while the grill sizzled beside him. He thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. A woman had stepped through a break in the hedges and was standing there watching him.

She had very long brown hair that appeared thick but perfectly straight. There was something about the way she held her head, her chin slightly lowered so her eyes were cast upward as she looked at him. She was of medium height and as he drew his eyes downward, he took in a royal blue cotton blouse with a neck deep enough to expose just enough cleavage to entice him. His heart quickened as his eyes drifted further south to a pair of form fitting jeans that ended in open-toed shoes with enough heel to show off her slender ankles. A dragonfly was tattooed on one ankle.

“Ryan O’Clery?” she said expectantly.

She had an American accent but she’d pronounced his name in the Irish manner. Yet he knew he’d never laid eyes on her before—at least not in the flesh. He would remember if he had because her image had been seared into him night after night. It was as if she had stepped right out of his dreams and materialized in front of him, right there between the grill and the garden hose.

She took a step forward, her head still slightly downward and her eyes peering up at him quizzically. “Are you Ryan O’Clery, by chance? Detective O’Clery?” Her eyes were the color of a stormy sea; gray and blue with flecks of gold that swirled and danced like crashing waves.

Her chin wavered a bit and he found himself unable to tear his eyes away. She bit her lower lip. When he continued staring at her, she reached into a purse that hardly looked large enough for bills and a driver’s license and pulled out a card. Holding it out to him, she said, “I’ve been trying to reach you. My name’s Cathleen Reilly. I drove in from Atlanta—”

“You’re the reporter,” Ryan said. His voice sounded disembodied to him.

“I was hoping to ask you a few questions—”

“Only the chief can comment on ongoing cases.” Her face fell and he realized how abrasive he had sounded. It was as if his mouth was moving without direction from his brain. “But are you hungry?”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

Dylan's Song will be released this March. It's the fourth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series and according to the initial reviews coming in, it's the best. I loved writing this book because Vicki and Dylan journey to Ireland and the backdrop is nothing short of breathtaking.

Here is an excerpt from the book as Vicki gets the phone call that beckons him home:

Dylan's cell phone rang and Vicki leaned across the bed to answer it. She was aware of only two people who had his number—Sam and herself. But as she grabbed the phone from the nightstand, the caller identification seemed strange; there were too many numbers.

“Sam?” she answered.

“I’ll be beggin’ your pardon,” came a lilting male voice, “it appears I’ve dialed a wrong number.”

“Wait,” Vicki said hastily, “Were you looking for Dylan Maguire?”

There was a hesitation on the other end of the line. “Dylan—I suppose that’s what he’s goin’ by now, ‘eh? I know him as Mick. Mick Maguire.”

It was odd to hear the Irish voice on the phone; stranger still was the reference to the man she loved as Mick.

“He’s in the shower,” she said. “I’m Vicki. I’m his girlfriend. Can I take a message?”

“His girlfriend.” The voice was softer. It was obvious she’d surprised him and now she could almost feel the wheels turning. “M’ name’s Father Rowan.”

“Father Rowan.”

“I’ll not be knowin’ if Mick ever mentioned me to you?”

Vicki glanced toward the bathroom as the shower was turned off. “I’m afraid not.”

“I’m a friend o’ the family. He gave me this number in the event o’ an emergency.”

Vicki sat up straighter and began to rummage for something to write with. “Yes?”

“Would you get a message to him, please?”

“Of course.” She found a pad of paper and hunted for a pen.

“Would you be informin’ him—his grandmother, his m’am, she’s—well, her days are numbered.”

“Excuse me?” She stopped searching for the pen and stared toward the bathroom door. It was slightly ajar and she glimpsed Dylan as he moved.

“She’s soon to leave this world,” he said. His voice was deep and a bit raspy. “She wants to see him one last time. I’ve called to beckon him home.”

“His grandmother—”

“His mum’s mum. She raised him since he was a tyke. And it’s her dyin’ wish to see him once more. I know he’s not likely to be wantin’ to return—but please, ask him to telephone me. He’ll be regrettin’ it if he doesn’t come home.”

“Of course I’ll tell him,” she said. Her own voice had grown softer.

“You ‘ave m’ gratitude, Miss Vicki.” With that, the phone clicked off.

You will soon be able to pre-order Dylan's Song on my website at The eBook will be available by late February and the official release date for the printed book is St Patrick's Day.   And yes, for all those asking: I WILL have advance copies at Book 'Em North Carolina!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Musings

When an author has an identity crisis...

A couple of years ago, I discovered a great new author. I enjoyed reading her series of suspense because they had innovative, unique and complex plots. They involved time travel to exotic locations and the author was so good at writing suspense that I kept the pages turning long after I should have closed the book and gone to bed. One sign of an excellent book and a great author is when I finish that last page and go looking for more.

So I was very excited to learn that she had written two more series and both of them had been published this past year. I immediately purchased the three books in a series that sounded very similar to the one I'd loved. I started reading the first in the series last week and it's obvious the author has changed genres.

Now, there's a right way and a wrong way to change genres. If you don't want to lose the audience you've worked so hard to get, you want to keep the same or a similar writing style. I was concerned when I wrote my two historical books that I'd lose my suspense audience so I wrote them with the same level of suspense as my other books - even though they were true adventure. The result: one won an international award (River Passage won the 2010 Best Drama) and the other is still my best-selling book (Songbirds are Free.)

In this new series, I'm told there is a plot - I read it in the blurb. But I haven't seen it yet. I am halfway through (around 50,000 words in) and so far, the two main characters have ridden on horseback and had sex at every turn. Nothing else has happened.

I'm not a prude (so my children and grandchildren tell me.) I know sex sells. But I have to wonder how a writer who was SO good, SO adept at suspense, turned to a no-plot series featuring nothing but sex. The money might be there in the short term. But is it worth the reputation in the long run?

The style was so different that I went online to research whether there were two authors with the same name. I found out, both series were indeed hers - and so is the third series, which has also been recently released. The newest series is all about gay sex. Manlove.

That doesn't do anything for me.

If this author writes another book in the first series I read, I'll try her again. Until then, call me disappointed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Freaky Friday

I've been asked how my fascination with the freaky or bizarre could possibly help me with my writing. To answer that, one need not look further than my series, Black Swamp Mysteries, and psychic spy Vicki Boyd.

I've mentioned in my Friday posts that we are in a new age with regard to science and technology. In today's world, scientists are able to use some of the same technology developed to identify tumors in the brain to actually track brain movement during psychic sessions.

During a psychic session, activity in the brain's frontal lobe increases dramatically.

An unexpected result of psychic sessions is other parts of the brain used to identify our surroundings and our physical self actually diminish. This means the person in the session itself is no longer aware of their own physical surroundings or what is happening around them while they increasingly "see" what is happening somewhere else in the world.

When psychic spies are used in the United States Government (declassfied information has revealed our government does use them in the CIA, Department of Defense and other Intelligence agencies) they do not treat their missions as hocus pocus but they approach them from scientific stances. Every piece of information provided is analyzed and verified before they are acted upon.

In the Black Swamp Mysteries series, one of the main characters, Vicki Boyd, is a psychic spy. She travels to a remote village in Afghanistan in Vicki's Key to uncover a black market operation; she finds a woman with secrets that could topple our government in Secrets of a Dangerous Woman. And in Dylan's Song, due to be released in March 2013, she locates a CIA operative who disappeared in Ireland while following a known terrorist.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

The next two months are a challenge for me as I head into the final stretch before Book 'Em North Carolina.

I usually spend an average of 7-8 hours a day writing my books and another 25-30 hours a week working on Book 'Em North Carolina. But this time of year, I will spend more than 40 hours a week on the event. It brings together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents and book promoters--as well as an awesome Hollywood producer - and it also brings together more than 250 volunteers from throughout the community - civic groups, businesses and individuals.

This is my 11th Book 'Em event and I always enjoy watching everyone on the Big Day. It's like watching a movie with one group after another riding a roller coaster. Everyone responds differently and it's quite interesting.

One year, I saw two authors sit side-by-side and have very different experiences. The crowd was slow that year and one author became quite grumpy and complained incessantly. The other kept her smile and positive attitude. The result wasn't surprising. The author with the positive attitude not only sold more books but she also made a connection that landed her a talk - at the United Nations.

Another year, two authors sat side-by-side. One kept his book in front of his face as if he was engrossed in reading his own work. No one wanted to bother him, so they walked right past him. The result: he didn't sell a single book. The author beside him smiled at each attendee, chatted with them -- and sold more books than any other author that year--around 150 books.

Attitude is everything. It can turn things around if you're positive and sink you fast if you're negative. The complainers are always remembered - but for all the wrong reasons. The positive, can-do, appreciative folks are always remembered - and for the right reasons.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I love the start of a new year. As the old year draws to a close, I look back at things I've accomplished and set my goals for the coming year. Due to the popularity of my new series, Black Swamp Mysteries, much of my year has been set for me. And I hope to have some great news soon about an additional series I've been working on.

In 2012, I wrote three full-length books. Two of them were for the Black Swamp Mysteries series: Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, which was released in the autumn of 2012, and Dylan's Song, which will be released in the spring of 2013. They are the third and fourth books in the series.

I also began a separate series. The first book in the series is The Tempest Murders. My agent is currently shopping it around to interested publishers.

I start off 2013 by writing the sequel to The Tempest Murders. The working title is After the Tempest and it picks up one year after the first book leaves off. This series is the Ryan O'Clery series; for all of you who love Celtic men, you'll definitely find a lot to like in Ryan O'Clery.

Ryan comes from a long line of law enforcement officers near Dublin, Ireland. He is an educated man, dedicated to a life fighting crime. He moves to America when his sister, Claire, decides to attend college in North Carolina, planning to keep an eye on her and provide her with the safety net of a big brother in case she needs it.

Ryan obtains a job as a detective in a small North Carolina town - Lumberton, to be exact. In The Tempest Murders, he is investigating a string of murders when he realizes that the woman he loves is the killer's intended target.

The book takes place against the backdrop of Hurricane Irene, which hit the North Carolina coast in 2011 before making its way up the eastern seaboard. It also contains flashbacks in Ireland as Ryan stumbles across a journal kept by a distant ancestor, whose descriptions of a serial killer bear a striking resemblance to Ryan's case.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

The most popular character of all my books turns out to be an Irishman and Dylan Maguire has completely transformed the Black Swamp Mysteries series. He originally made his debut in Vicki's Key, released in the spring of 2012. Below is an excerpt from the book as Dylan and CIA psychic spy Vicki Boyd are getting to know each other.

“What was your life like in Ireland?” Vicki asked. “What did you do there?”

Dylan's eyes turned dark and he averted his gaze. “What did I do there?” he repeated as if he was deeply contemplating the question. “I lived. Just like everybody else. I felt happiness and sorrow. Failure and success.”

“And you’re here now.”

“That I am.”

She watched him take a hefty bite out of the chicken. “It was a woman, wasn’t it?” she asked softly.

He half-turned and watched a couple strolling around the lake hand-in-hand. “Must it always be a woman?”

“What else could make you leave a home you’d known all your life?”

“I don’t know,” he said, turning back to look at her again. “Why don’t you tell me?” His voice was soft and almost silky. “What prompted you to come here, to a town where you didn’t know a soul, to work for an old woman you’d met only through the Internet?”


“No, I’m quite serious. What made you come here?”

“I wanted to start over. And I didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

“But you must have some skills.”

“Are you saying I’m a poor fish breeder?”

He laughed. It came from deep inside him; she could picture him in an Irish pub, surrounded by friends, raising a pint high and laughing that same laugh. “Not at all. You make a very good fish breeder.” Then he narrowed his eyes. “You’re an educated woman.”

“Home schooled.”

“Are you, now?”

“And you’re not.”

“No. Typical school. They’re a bit like a prison, they are.”

“You’d prefer to be outdoors.”

“I’m an open book to you, aren’t I? Aye, the outdoors beckon to me. Give me sunshine, fresh air and laughter. And a bit of ale never hurt.”

“So you know why I came here. To start over,” Vicki said. “Why did you come here?”

He paused for such a long time that she was coming to the conclusion that he did not intend to answer when he said, “To start over.”

“And you chose Lumberton because Aunt Laurel is here.”

He nodded. “Same as you, actually. She summoned us both, didn’t she?”

In the fourth book of the Black Swamp Mysteries series, Dylan's Song, Dylan is summoned back to Ireland when his grandmother is dying. It is there that Vicki unravels the mystery behind the real reason Dylan left his homeland and came to America--while harboring a secret of her own.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Musings

This month I begin the big media and publicity campaign for Book 'Em North Carolina. If you're not familiar with the event, it is an annual writers conference and book fair that takes place on the last Saturday of each February in Lumberton, North Carolina. We bring together more than 75 authors, publishers, book promoters and literary agents.

Genres range from children's books to young adult to romance, mystery, historical, fantasy, non-fiction, inspirational, science fiction... just about every genre imaginable.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can sit in on panel discussions all day long. Our headliners this year are New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe and Hollywood producer Chuck Williams. It's a terrific place to meet authors face to face, chat with them one-on-one, or attend their discussions. The fact that it's completely free is a real plus in an industry that normally charges hundreds of dollars for events such as these.

If attendees buy any books, the authors and publishers have agreed to donate a minimum of 40% of each book sale to literacy campaigns. This year, like last year, money will be donated to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County to buy books for children ages 1 through 5; Communities In Schools for literacy projects in all grade levels in Robeson County; and Friends of the Robeson County Public Library for adult literacy projects.

For more information, visit and be sure to follow the blog at!

I co-founded The Book 'Em Foundation more than ten years ago with Police Officer Mark Kearney of Virginia to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. I began Book 'Em North Carolina in 2011 (our first event was in 2012) and co-chair it with Robeson County Librarian Katie Huneycutt.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Freaky Friday

This era is considered The Golden Age in Science and Technology.

Having spent a lifetime in technology, I have seen things change more rapidly than I could ever have anticipated. I began my computer career before the Apple was ever invented. I was working at IBM when a prototype came across my desk. It was smaller than any computer I'd ever seen before, had 16KB (yes, KB) of memory and did not have a hard disk. You could do only one thing at a time - which consisted in the early years of word processing, spreadsheets, graphics and databases. The screen was green on black, not high resolution, and capable of displaying only 40 characters on each line - which meant you had to print your work to see how it would look.

Floppy disks were 5 inches - smaller than the 8 inch disks used with word processing machines such as the IBM Displaywriter.

In just the past few decades, I've witnessed computers held in my hand that have far surpassed what we could once do with mainframe computers that cost millions of dollars.

With that technology has come a lot of power - the power to reach people by phone around the world (even from Mt Everest), the power to take our destinies in our own hands and create cyber-corporations, the ability to tap into vast stores of data at our fingertips.

How has technology changed your world?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursday Thoughts on Book Tours

A few years ago, I was spending as much as eight months on the road promoting my books. The schedule was pretty much set: when a new book was released, I had as many as five appearances each day in specific markets. I often drove a thousand miles to begin my book tour, working my way closer to home as the weeks and months progressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting fans, seeing new places, and meeting the book store employees and librarians who were wonderful at promoting my books when I wasn't around. And I do miss them.

But along the way, things in the publishing industry have changed immensely. Where publishers once foot the bill for physical book tours, they only do it now with the largest, most profitable authors - and only then, if it is negotiated by their agents. Deadlines have become more demanding - in 2012 I completed three full-length novels - and it doesn't matter if the work is written on an airplane, in a hotel room or in the comfort of my office.

Travel expenses have risen dramatically - gasoline prices, hotels, flights and public transportation.

But along the way, technology has stepped in to create new opportunities, opportunities that only a decade ago were unimaginable. In 2012, I participated in three blog tours. I visit various websites around the world on specific, predetermined days. The appearances include a lot of behind the scenes work - answering interview questions, writing guest blogs, and providing review copies of my books, artwork and other pertinent information.

But it's well worth the time.

Though it takes as much time as a physical book tour, I can participate from the comfort of my home. On the day the interview or blog is released, I check in several times and answer questions left by site visitors. And it has resulted in reaching fans I couldn't have dreamed of reaching at one time - fans in India, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, among others.

In 2013, I have three blog tours scheduled for the release of Dylan's Song, which I will be posting on my website at I will also be posting links here and in my newsletter, which you can sign up for on my site at I am anxious to participate in them. And while I won't be looking at my fans eyeball-to-eyeball, I will still get the connection that I enjoy so much. I hope you'll join me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday

In a few short weeks, the fourth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series will be released. Dylan's Song takes Dylan Maguire and Vicki Boyd to Ireland, where Vicki comes face-to-face with the village where Dylan grew up and the past he thought he'd left behind.

The book also introduces another character, Father Thomas Rowan, the priest at the Catholic Church where Dylan once lived. Below is an excerpt from Dylan's Song, in which Vicki sees Father Rowan for the first time.

Vicki was still backing up when the door abruptly opened and she ran into someone entering the pub. She gasped instinctively and hurled around, coming face to face with a priest's collar. Stunned, she looked upward. The door was still held ajar with the priest stranded between it and Vicki, the waning light illuminating part of his face.

He was young; perhaps the same age as Dylan. His hair was light brown with golden highlights and it was long, brushing past his collar. It might have covered his ears but he had it combed behind them, revealing long sideburns that might have looked like a style from the past - but on him, it looked perfectly natural. He sported a mustache under a chiseled nose but his strong jaw was clean-shaven. His eyes were blue and sharp, taking in the scene unfolding in front of him and the pistols held in Vicki's and Brenda's hands.

"Ladies," Dylan said, "this is Father Rowan."

"A Catholic priest," Brenda breathed. "What a waste of a good man."