Winter Greetings and Farewell

The shortest day on the calendar seems like a good time to bid goodbye to you in 2021. It’s been a productive year for me. Here’s a quick recap of the notable literary happenings.

I published two novels and a novella in The Possession Chronicles through Bienvenue Press. Haunted Remains, Barren Devotion–now available in print and Kindle editions–and Mosaic of Seduction. I’d love to hear from you as you read the books, so don’t be shy about emailing, reviewing, or commenting. (There’s one more novel to go in the main series. Look for Reckless Rebellion in April 2022 to see what happens to the Melling and Davenport families as the next generation comes of age in the 1920s.)

Another short story in a Mobile Writers’ Guild anthology published–my fifth in as many years. Find “Dashing Through the Snow” in the Stormy Pieces collection.

I’ve completed a new trilogy, with over half a dozen drafts of each of the novels so far. The series is The Malevolent Trilogy and I’ve created a page on my website for it. Yes, it’s another Southern Gothic family saga that’s related to The Possession Chronicles (a spin-off), but it can be read alone.

A new Possession Chronicles linked short story, “Mystic Misperception”, was written and submitted for consideration in a Bienvenue Press Mardi Gras anthology for 2022.

And I’m finishing up final edits before submitting a short story for the 2022 Mobile Writers Guild anthology with the theme “retold classics”. It’s a reimagining of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (my favorite short story by Hawthorne) and it’s my first time working a retelling. I had fun infusing Southern Gothic elements into the turn-of-the-century Mobile setting, though the characters are completely unrelated to anything or anyone in The Possession Chronicles. (I had to prove to myself I could write something besides my series.)

There will be lots of news to share in 2022, but in the meantime, there is plenty to read–both from myself and the other authors and genres you follow. I know my TBR stack is in the hundreds. How about your reading pile?

I’ll be back to blogging (typically twice a month) in January. Until then, may you stay cozy and read often in the days ahead. Happy holidays and have a great new year.

Sugar and spice, with story lines a little naughty and nice…

New Year, New Stories

Unless you live along the Gulf Coast, the holidays are over. If you’re in the Mardi Gras zone, you know the festivities have just begun. Besides being a year old this week, Perilous Confessions is fun to talk about during carnival season. A lot of my historical research centered around Mardi Gras in the Port City.

The Possession Chronicles passed its one year mark, but growth is still happening. Three full-length novels are out–four if you count Fortitude as an unofficial prequel–as well as three short stories (if you include “Courtship and Courage”, the Fortitude short in Hometown Heroes.) Here’s a photo I took of the Possession Chronicles related books, including the anthologies featuring short stories, in chronological order of how to read them.

You can find a list of the publications in this order–including what’s to come and projected release dates where possible–on my website’s page dedicated to the series. Next to be added to is Valentine’s Day Pieces, a Mobile Writers Guild anthology, which releases later this month. Look for ordering links in the following blog post (in about two weeks.)

February will hopefully see the unveiling of book four’s cover as Scarred Memories releases in April. Also forthcoming is a yet-to-be-announced short story project that I’m co-writing with a USA Today best-selling author which ties our story worlds together.  2020 will be a year to read and remember.  Don’t miss out–catch up with The Possession Chronicles now!

 

Order Perilous Confessions Now

Yes, you read that right. Perilous Confessions, the first book in The Possession Chronicles, is available to order for Kindle and the sale price is only ninety-nine cents. Merry belated Christmas! I’m not sure how long that price will last, so the sooner you order it the better. Paperback ordering will be up soon, so stay tuned.

 

Next week my January newsletter will be emailed. Included will be dates for my public events and more. Be sure to join to receive these monthly updates and behind the scenes news.

For now, continue to enjoy the wonder of the holiday season. I hope you all have a great and safe New Year’s.

Read On

Christmas equaled reading time in these parts. A princess with pneumonia, not to mention other family members—including myself—with assorted head colds/congestion, set things up for a low-key Yuletide. Because of this, I was able to do something I haven’t done in a while: read a book in a day.

Actually, I finished one book and read two others within a sixteen hour period. Of course, I was up until two in the morning to complete the trilogy, but I had to find out how Jane’s story ended. 100_4593

Jennifer L. Holm crafted a well-rounded heroine in Jane Peck. Boston Jane: An Adventure is a novel I picked up in the bargain section of a bookstore several months ago. I started it on the twenty-third and finished it Christmas morning. A few hours later, after searching on-line for the other two books in my local library system—negative—I went ahead and purchased the second, Boston Jane: Wilderness Days, on my Nook. Then, at about ten o’clock Christmas night, I purchased Boston Jane: The Claim and stayed awake until I finished it. Extremely satisfying!

To start 2014off with something fresh, I joined Goodreads last night—look me up if you’re there, too. I’d been receiving invites to the site from my book-loving friends for years, but put off signing up because I knew I’d be sucked in. I’ve already rated five hundred books from recent years, as well as a few long-time favorites.

I’m thinking about setting a reading goal for the New Year and I’m leaning toward one hundred and fifty books. Have you ever set a reading goal or tracked your reading habits? What are your numbers?

Light it Up, Softly

Sensory issues are often the crux of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, and because most people spend their waking hours with their eyes open, visual problems are often the most tiresome. Light sources, rather natural or manmade, can be a blessing or curse for those with this sensitivity. 100_4588

In the U.S., we’re on the verge of a possible lighting crisis. The turn of the New Year will mark another reduction in light bulb options, closing the choice of yet more incandescent bulbs at stores around the country. Fluorescent lights, whether long strip bulbs or the compact swirly ones (which are terrible for the earth—read the disposal warning on them), are often visual triggers for susceptible people. The flicker, harsh glow, and even the hum of the offending bulbs can cause headache, eye fatigue or emotional meltdowns for those with sensory difficulties.

The same thing happened, not long ago, in the United Kingdom. You can read one account of it here. http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/leisure-and-environments/architects/light-sensitivity-and-autism.aspx

This an important situation for me, as myself and loved ones suffer from light sensitivity. Ben, one of the main characters in CORRODED (one of my fictional labors of love, yet-to-be-published stories) has to deal with this as well. Here’s a little peek, from Chapter Ten, when Mary and Ben are at his house playing a round of Battleship.

“You never explained to me why you don’t go outside during the day,” I said.
“I go outside. Remember the first day we met? I sat on the porch with you and your mom.”
“Oh… well, then why don’t you go for walks and stuff?” I asked.
“I’m sensitive to sunlight.”
“Like, you burn easily?”
Ben shook his hands like he was air-drying them. “No, it’s my eyes. Bright sunlight causes sensory overload and I can barely function. Fluorescent light does the same thing. It’s common for Aspies.”
I looked up at the soft white glow of the over-head lights. “So, going to schools and office buildings must be difficult.”
“The worst. That’s one of the reasons I homeschool. If I do have to venture out for a medical appointment or something I wear sunglasses inside.”