Free Fortitude

¬†Couldn’t we all use a little extra grit and determination right about now? I know I could.

As a timely gift, my first published novel (now in its second edition), FORTIUDE, is available as a FREE download on Kindle this week. This coming-of-age novel features Claire O’Farrell and her Dauphin Island family, as well as her Creole best friend and Buffalo Soldiers amid the backdrop of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Sadly, those themes are relevant to current events, with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and acts of war all over the news in recent weeks.

Fortitude is often claimed as a reader favorite from all my novels. It’s geared for ages twelve and older, so it can be shared with younger relatives and friends. I’ve spoken to several schools and at writing events for upper elementary grades through high schoolers about it. It’s even on the small but mighty “Best History Books” list for Grateful American Kids for its historical accuracy and reader engagement–a true honor. (Out of only about fifty books listed, Fortitude is up there with the likes of Newbery winners, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Maya Angelou!)

And, of course, I’ll remind you that Fortitude does tie into The Possession Chronicles. If you’re reading the series, you’ll want to dive into Fortitude because a relation to Claire (and Joe) plays a sizeable roll in the forthcoming final novel of the series.

So grab your free download of Fortitude this week and tell a friend! It’s a great read to discuss in book clubs or one-on-one. And, as always, I’m happy to answer any questions about it–just reach out.

Summer Writes, Reads, and Edits

It’s meltingly hot here in Mobile, Alabama, which means it’s a typical August along the Gulf Coast. My favorite thing to do in August are indoor activities including reading, writing, and editing.

On August first, I completed the first draft of the final manuscript in the trilogy I began in the autumn of 2019. It took me until December 2020 to complete the first book (about fourteen months), but this year I was able to knock out the second and third over-written installments in three months or less each. Hooray! (And when I say over-written, I mean it. The third project ended at 126,165 words.)

My plan is to release this nameless trilogy after the main body of The Possession Chronicles is completely published–which will hopefully be by the middle of 2022. That means plenty of time for working the dozens of rounds of edits each of the manuscripts need before they become books. Last week, I chronologically edited all three of them for the first time and I’m pleased with the overall trilogy arc, but I know individually they each need a lot of cutting and polishing.

Right now, I’m working my final personal round of edits on Barren Devotion, the seventh novel in The Possession Chronicles. It’s officially draft twenty-five, but it will get a couple more go-throughs with the editor I’m assigned to work with by Bienvenue Press. I’m hoping for a Winter release, but it will be Spring ’22 at the latest.

Now for the reading news. Last week in POSSESSED: Timeless Gothic Reads group on Facebook, I co-hosted a week-long discussion on Darkwater by Dorothy Eden. It was great to share one of my favorite novelists with fellow Gothic fans, many who were reading her for the first time. Dorothy Eden is my favorite for Gothic Romance (which Darkwater is), but I love her family sagas even more.

One of the visuals I shared during the discussion.

My current read is Steamboat Gothic, a delicious Southern Gothic family saga by another favorite author, Frances Parkinson Keyes. I’m not quite halfway and already it’s nudged into the top five of her books that I’ve read so far. Thinking it will be a top three contender.

You can follow all my reading adventures on Goodreads. I chart what I’m reading and leave short reviews when complete. I’ve read 30 books so far this year.

What are you reading right now?

Haunted Remains Release Day

Today is the day the drama continues in my Southern Gothic family saga series.

Haunted Remains is the sixth novel in the series, but the seventh release counting #1.5 novella Mosaic of Seduction. (That means the big A lists it as book 7 because they don’t deal in decimals.)

I will be hosting an online discussion about Haunted Remains in my Facebook readers group next month, but I am always happy to answer questions/comments about my stories individually. Just reach out. Find details from email to social media to snail mail on my CONTACT page.

Amazingly enough, Haunted Remains is the fifteenth published story in The Possession Chronicles world. That’s including Fortitude and all the short story tie-ins. Find the chronological listing of all the novels, short stories, and novella in my historical Southern Gothic world on my Possession Chronicles page.

How many have you read?

Preorder the New Release Now

That’s right, you can now order your Kindle edition of Haunted Remains for the sale price of $0.99 and get it auto-delivered on its July 13, 2021 release date next Tuesday.

Confession, control, and crimes collide in this offering of the Southern Gothic family saga series. Set during 1912 in Mobile, Alabama, many of the threads in this novel link back to Perilous Confessions (and Perilous Confessions is currently on sale for $0.99 in its Kindle form as well, so get your friends started on their Possession Chronicles journey).

People often ask if they need to read the series from the beginning. I think readers could start at books 1, 2, or 4–or the novella #1.5–but for Tendrils of Passion, you need at least an understanding of Murmurs of Evil (they are true companion novels–first written as one massive book). For Haunted Remains and the previous novel, Hostile Charms, you need the full scope of all the drama for it to make the most impact–and that holds true for the final two novels after this as well.

Yes, there’s just two more novels to go in The Possession Chronicles after Haunted Remains. I’m happy with the way the series is taking shape in its physical form. I love the way the covers look all together. What about you? Do you have a favorite cover from the series?

Online Event!

In celebration of my critique partner’s debut novel that releases tomorrow, June 15, I’m participating in my first official event in over a year. WooHoo!

The event is a Zoom conversation all about Southern Gothic, with just a few highlights about each of our new releases. It’s FREE and hosted by The Haunted Book Shop here in downtown Mobile, Alabama, but everyone is welcome to join us–even if you aren’t local.

Register here to receive the link and come hang out with us for an hour. Candice Marley Conner‘s Southern Gothic YA mystery The Existence of Bea Pearl is the main release we’re celebrating. Besides me and Candice, author Jodi Cain Smith is joining us. She is the founder of the Mobile Literary Festival, which I’ve been lucky enough to work on with her from the beginning. Besides that connection, all of us (including Angela from The Haunted Book Shop) are Mobile Writers Guild members, so it will be like a literary family reunion.

If you have any interest in Southern Gothic or want to learn what it’s all about, join us. There will be a Q&A at the end too.

And, one more time, in case you missed the embedded hyper-link above. Here’s the registration information.