Mardi Gras Mood

Crisp January days always remind me of Alexander Melling and Lucy Easton in Perilous Confessions. The first book in The Possession Chronicles released three years ago this month and is set between December 1904 and February 1905.

This time of year, camellias are in bloom, chill days make me yearn for a cloak, and if I hear bells from the nearby Catholic church, consider me gone because my mind is reviewing the settings, costumes, and characters.

If the seasonally appropriate weather is in conjunction with Mardi Gras news, that compounds my distraction. Lavish masquerades, swoon-worthy scenes, and enough scandals to ignite gossip flames for weeks–that’s what you’ll find in Perilous Confessions.

Completing the 1905 carnival season, the only novella in the series comes into play. Mosaic of Seduction picks up immediately after Perilous Confessions, showcasing the aftermath of Alex and Lucy’s relationship, as well as bringing into play debutante Eliza Melling’s first year season in society. To say she makes the most of it might be an understatement.

Why am I rehashing books that have been out for a while? Because their Kindle editions have new pricing. Perilous Confessions and Mosaic of Seduction are now both priced at ninety-nine cents each.

It’s a great price to fill your digital library and tell your friends so you can discuss the series. The spectrum of characters has plenty of room for choosing sides, ‘ships, and everything in between. Root for your favorites and hope those you despise get what they deserve–it’s all acceptable within the pages of historic Mobile Bay.

As always, I’m happy to answer questions about any of my books or short stories. I also do author visits and presentations–both in person (Mobile and Baldwin counties in AL, and coastal Mississippi and Pensacola areas) and virtually. Check out the contact page for ways to get in touch.

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…

Best Books Article on Shepherd

This past month, I had the opportunity to create a Top 5 list of my choosing for a new reader website, Shepherd. I decided to fangirl over my favorite historical Gothic family saga books. You can find my feature here.

MY TOP 5 PICKS.

Next month, the Shepherd site will get a new front page, topic pages, and search option. They are still building and growing–and looking for authors to create more lists. They were professional (I worked with three different people over the process) and efficient. I recommend the website for both readers and authors.

P.S. Barren Devotion‘s release is soon coming–possibly this week in the ebook form. The paperback is being delayed, but I’ll keep you posted on the availability.

‘Tis the Season Sales

All three of the Bienvenue Press Christmas charity anthologies are currently marked down to 99 cents on Kindle. While in my series world, each of my short stories can be read alone, and you’ll also get other themed holiday stories from several authors in the collections.

Hometown Heroes features the Fortitude/Possession Chronicles tie-in short story “Courtship and Courage” set in December 1898 on Dauphin Island, Mon Louis Island, and in Mobile. It takes place a few months after Fortitude ends and it’s your chance to see more Captain Joe Walker and Claire before their Possession Chronicles years. Proceeds from sales of this collection involving everyday heroes benefit Cajun Navy Relief and Rescue.

Finally Home features The Possession Chronicles linked short “Grace Shadowed”, set in Mobile during December of 1906, close to the end of Tendrils of Passion (the Christmas after the hurricane). The main characters are Dr. John Woodslow (one of the Mystics of Dardenne members) and Grace Anne Marley (Lucy’s ex-best friend). This anthology features characters rescuing four-legged friends and benefits regional animal rescue organizations along the Gulf Coast states.

Homeroom Heroes is where you’ll find “Natural Selection in Life and Love”, another Possession Chronicles short that also ties into my forthcoming Malevolent Trilogy. It’s set over the holidays in 1912 Mobile. Find out who captures Sean Spunner’s heart in this tangled romance inspired by an event from my family history involving a progressive principal/teacher who happened to be my great-great grandfather. Sales from this anthology benefit Acadiana Writing Project in Louisiana.

If you don’t have these anthologies in your collection, now is a great time to load your digital readers for the holidays and help out some great organizations in the process.

P.S. You can also preorder Barren Devotion right now and lock in the sale price, saving three dollars.

New Release and Digital Sale

Yes, back-to-back blog days. I didn’t want to squeeze this information at the end of the already long post about the cathedral, so I waited. Get ready for two digital reading tidbits.

The Kindle edition of Stormy Pieces is now available. It’s the fifth in the Pieces series–anthologies by Mobile Writers Guild. I have a short story in each of the books.

My offering in Stormy Pieces is “Dashing Through the Snow”, set during the record six inches of snow Mobile received February 14-15, 1895. Yes, it’s linked to The Possession Chronicles, but you can read it alone. It’s my oldest setting to date, but still in my favorite era. All the stories, poems, and even a play in this anthology relate to storms in some way though the collection covers an eclectic mix of genres and style–as all the anthologies do. (My story is a historical coming-of-age romp.)

Also news-worthy is a digital sale of Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge.

This anthology by Bienvenue Press (publisher of The Possession Chronicles and the second edition of Fortitude) features romances written by several PB-published authors that all take place in Jolie St. Amant’s vampire-owned hotel in New Orleans, the Chateau Rouge. It first published in May 2020, but if you missed it, now is a great time to add it to your Kindle collection.

If that sounds familiar, but the cover doesn’t quite look like you remember, it’s because it received a little update. The stories are all the same, the anthology just received an overhaul on the exterior.

2020 original cover v. the updated 2021 art.

My story in this anthology is my first-ever co-writing project, “Revelry’s Requiem”. Jolie St. Amant is a HUGE Claudio De Fiore fan and wanted him to come visit her characters in New Orleans. Because of that, we had to travel back in time compared to the other stories. I suggested Mardi Gras, 1911, right after Scarred Memories took place so I could utilize Claudio’s cousin, Valentino as well because Claudio wouldn’t willing get involved with vampires, but his frisky cousin would.

We took turns writing the scenes, but as in my own projects, the characters didn’t stick to the original outline. The story brought us new twists, giving it that organic, character-led feel. Once you read it, you’ll be able to catch the nods to “Revelry’s Requiem” I plant in Claudio lines within The Possession Chronicles, though you’ll never hear the details of what happened in the main series. (But every time he mentions New Orleans, you’ll know who/what he is thinking of.) If you like vampire stories or Claudio, give this book a try.