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Friday, February 22, 2013

Freaky Friday

Figure the odds of a meteor striking the earth at the same time as an asteroid passes under some of the satellites, so close to earth that in Indonesia it could be seen clearly with telescopes.

Turns out, meteors hit the earth more frequently than we might have imagined. It's only been a stroke of luck that has prevented them from hitting major cities and major population areas.

Asteroids formed the earth millenia ago. Flying debris began locking onto each other until they became larger and larger, forming the earth. This means at one time, the earth was pummeled by asteroids hitting at such frequent intervals that life could not be sustained. It was only after the asteroid and meteor showers slowed that life began to form - first as bacteria and the lowest life forms, eventually evolving into the plethora of animal and sea life we see today.

It is even believed that the moon was formed by two giant planets - the earth and another - hitting one another, spinning off the smaller moon that we see every night.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Last year, New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers told me that I was the calmest person she'd ever seen before pulling off a huge conference like Book 'Em North Carolina.

I do admit, something happens during the final two weeks and I do become very calm.

I know I've worked on the event for an entire year (see this Monday's post for details) and at this point, what is going to happen will happen.

Will it be perfect? Of course not. Nothing is ever perfect. But it will be awesome. Something magical happens at these events and I have no doubt this year will be no different.

Last year, an unpublished author attended and literally ran into a publisher - they began talking and long story short, he asked for her manuscript. One year later and she'll be back and selling her new book on Cooking with Carolina Wines. I hope you'll look for Ginger King at the conference!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have two books floating around in my head, which both must be written as soon as Book 'Em North Carolina is completed this weekend.

The first one is After the Tempest; though I've been tempted to write the next in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, this one is important because I must have another book in the series complete for a new publisher to pick up the series.

The Tempest Murders was completed in 2012 and my agent has been shopping the rights. We've received some interest among the big New York publishers, which was our goal. The book centers around an Irishman named Ryan O'Clery who moves to America and becomes a detective in North Carolina. As he is investigating a string of murders, he begins to realize the serial killer's next target is the woman he is falling in love with.

The fact that he's Irish was important to the plot, as the story actually begins nearly two centuries earlier in Ireland when his ancestor Rian Kelly loses his fiance to a serial killer who bears a striking resemblance to the man Ryan O'Clery is hunting. Ryan finds a journal that details his ancestor's own investigations, which mirror the series of slayings in North Carolina. What's more is Ryan is dreaming of a woman he lost to a killer - and has been experiencing these dreams since he was a young boy.

Now he's convinced the woman he is falling in love with is the reincarnation of his lost Irish lover.

It's a psychological thriller and asks the question: is history destined to repeat itself?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

My 15th book, Dylan's Song, won't officially be released in paperback until St Patrick's Day, March 17, but the manuscript has already been read by a half dozen reviewers and the first reviews are coming in. It is also now available for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other eReaders a full month before the printed edition is released.

I loved writing this book because it took me to Ireland, which happens to be the land of my ancestors. And as the initial reviews come in, it's clear that the backdrop of Ireland and more specifically the Bogs of Allen, added a layer of mystery and intrigue to the plot.

The bogs in Ireland are centuries old. Once lake beds, vegetation formed along the banks and slowly, over millenia, stretched inward until the lake beds were filled with forest land. But over time, the bogs sucked the forest inward like quicksand, the swampy land swallowing up whole forests and even homes. In Dylan's Song, it's the dungeons of a castle that are found beneath the surface -- and in one of those dungeons is where they will find the missing CIA operative.

Their mission: to get into those dungeons and rescue the agent.

Of course, there's a personal aspect to the book as well... Vicki has accompanied Dylan to Ireland to provide a front for their CIA mission. With her along, he can take her into various regions under the pretext of showing her Ireland - while they are really searching for the missing operative.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday and The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

So today is the Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them.  I hope you'll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy.  On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of the books I am working on plus links to other authors you can explore.

My gratitude to my literary agent and fellow author Barbara Casey for inviting me to participate in this event.  You can click the following link to learn more about Barbara and her work.  Website:

In this blog hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our book or work-in--progress (giving you a sneak peek).  We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write--the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book? 
The Pendulum Files

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

During the last presidential election, one party claimed the other party was orchestrating international crises in order to advance their platform. As desperate as it sounded on the news at the time, I began thinking through the concept of what would be involved in actually going down that road to make the candidate look better to the general population.

3. What genre does your book come under?

Suspense/thriller. This one is part of the Black Swamp Mysteries series. It’s the fifth one in the series and definitely has an international flavor.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Amy Adams would be terrific as Vicki Boyd, Lindsay Lohan as bad-girl Brenda Carnegie and Eduardo Verastegui has the appearance of Dylan Maguire; I wonder if he can do an Irish accent?

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Psychic spy Vicki Boyd joins forces with CIA operative Dylan Maguire to investigate a series of bombings targeting Americans, but what they find will shake the United States Government to its core and threaten its future.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

This book will be published by Drake Valley Press and I’m very proud to have Barbara Casey of the Barbara Casey Literary Agency as my literary agent.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

This is a work in progress so it isn’t quite finished but I have scheduled about four months to write the book from the first concept to the final edited manuscript. The time I set aside is based on how long it’s taken me to write my last four books.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is a unique plot and a varied cast of characters so it really doesn’t bear any resemblance to any other story of which I am aware.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This is the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series so I knew it would bring the same cast of characters forward into a new adventure. I like international intrigue and a James Bond or Jason Bourne type of adventure/suspense, and this book provides that.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The Black Swamp Mysteries series has been doing quite well. The second book in the series, Vicki’s Key, was a finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and also the 2012 USA Best Book Awards. The third book, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, is an IPPY Award nominee, and there’s buzz about the fourth book, Dylan’s Song.

11: Why are you so much better-looking in person than in your photo?

Because you weren’t wearing your glasses when you saw me in person?

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

So glad you asked!

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on Works in Progress and New Releases! Happy Writing and Reading!

Abyrne Mostyn:
Christie Silvers’ blog: 
Bonnie Watson’s blog:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

Dylan's Song has been released in eBook format - and will be released in paperback on St Patrick's Day, March 17, 2013.

This is one of my favorite books because the action takes place in Ireland. I have always loved reading about the moors of England and it turns out that Ireland has bogs which are very similar. The bogs in Ireland have actually swallowed up entire forests of trees and over the centuries, many skeletal remains have been found in their grip.

Dylan finds himself in the midst of the bogs while searching for a missing CIA operative. And while he is on his mission in Ireland with Vicki, he finds out his grandmother is dying. It plunges him into a past that he thought he'd left behind forever. And while Vicki is discovering the real reason he left Ireland for America, she harbors a secret of her own.

Right now you can order Dylan's Song from and it will ship before the book is even available in the stores. The initial reviews coming in say this book is my best one yet.

You can also read an excerpt from the book at by clicking on Books.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Less Than Two Weeks

Many thanks to those wonderful friends who contacted me when they didn't see my regular posts. I haven't been ill but instead, I have been working non-stop on the final stretch before Book 'Em North Carolina.

This year's one-day event will take place on Saturday, February 23 at Robeson Community College in Lumberton, North Carolina. We have 92 featured authors, publishers, literary agents, book promoters - and a Hollywood agent who will speak about the process of turning books into movies.

The event is free and open to the public. I've been busy coordinating nearly 260 volunteers and we're expecting at least one busload and attendees coming from all corners of the country. In all, we're anticipating around 3,000 attendees.

When attendees purchase books, at least 40% of each sale will go to literacy programs. This year's beneficiaries are the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Robeson County, Communities In Schools of Robeson County and the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library.

For more information, please visit - and follow our blog at