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?

May Thoughts and Adventures

First off, this will be my only offering this month. I’m two and a half weeks into first drafting a novel and preparing for a journey. The adventure will be discussed in my June newsletter. (Now is a good time to register for that if you haven’t already.)

My current project is the third book in what I now know is a trilogy spin-off of The Possession Chronicles. With the first manuscript, I thought I was writing a stand alone. Then I realized those main characters needed to finish their story, nineteen years later. And when I finished that second story, I knew those people and the next generation needed one more novel–and a couple more years–to come full circle. I’m at twenty-two thousand words and feeling great about it. At least today. Emotions over projects have an ebb and flow. Some days everything looks like junk, the next day it can be jewels.

Me with my novels and anthologies featuring my short stories–and lots of azaleas–in March 2021.

One of my June blog posts will have the cover reveal for Haunted Remains, the sixth novel in The Possession Chronicles. I’m super excited for this reveal. It will have a depiction of Alexander Melling as the focus as he is one of the POV characters. It’s about time he gets to share his side of things as the series wouldn’t be possible without his choices. He’ll join Lucy, Eliza, Magdalene, Claudio, and Frederick in this epic cover collection created by Ashley Byland.

I’ll catch up with you in a few weeks. In the meantime, happy reading! If you want to keep up with me in between blog posts or the monthly newsletter, check out my social media links on the CONTACT page and follow me on one (or more) of those sites.

Springing Along

After finishing the first draft of my latest project at the end of March, I took a few days off to reset my mind. Powering through 118,000 words in just over two months merits a mini-break. Then, I dove into what I think was my final round–or next to final round–of self edits (draft twenty-four) of Barren Devotion, the seventh novel in The Possession Chronicles.

One of the period pieces of photography that helped me set the mood for Barren Devotion.

Yesterday, I completed the first draft of a short story to submit to the next Mobile Writers Guild anthology. The deadline is May first, so I’ll be powering through edits the next few weeks. I even gave it the first round of edits last night after only a couple hours away from it–not the best thing to do, but I’m on a time crunch. Generally, the longer you’re away from a project, the easier it is to see the flaws. Fortunately, I have just enough time to submit the story to my critique group so it can have more eyes on it before submitting. That’s always a good thing–especially for writers like me with dyslexic tendencies.

It looks like the rest of April will be spent editing the short story, while waiting to hear from the editor of Haunted Remains, the 6th novel in The Possession Chronicles. The next book releases this July and several editing rounds with a professional will be happening before then. And the cover art–I always look forward to that.

I already have an idea for another project, but it’s on hold until I see to these deadline projects. I tend to get obsessive about projects and find it difficult to balance more than one at a time, so I hold back the new ideas until I get a clear creative calendar. That doesn’t work for everyone. A lot of people I know, if they don’t act on an idea, they lose it. For me, it builds up like pressure behind a dam and when I get to it, it spews out. Not a pretty visual, but first drafts are messy.

At least, that’s how it’s worked for me the past few years. Creativity has an ebb and flow, just like the rest of life. I used to not be able to fast draft. Now I can–except for last year. It took me thirteen months to draft one novel when the previous six novels took an average of two months each. But this last one put me back on my fast draft schedule. I don’t force it–I go with it. Life is too short to be overly hard on yourself, especially with creativity. Take breaks, reset, allow your output to change with life’s demands. We’re human.

March Madness

Pollen abounds, as do health hijinks and mega download numbers. This month started with great literary news–Perilous Confessions made it to #1 on the Saga Fiction chart for free books during a sale on Amazon U.K.–and I added in some medical scares (I’m good, for now), all while coated in lovely yellow dust–the accessory of spring.

Mirror Lake at Bellingrath Gardens & Home in Theodore, Alabama (Mobile County) on March 22, 2021.

Between all that, I’ve been trying to finish the first draft of my newest project. I began writing it January 17, 2021. Last night, I got to 101,004 words on it. There are a few more chapters to go, which I hope to complete by the end of the month. The project is still unnamed, which is weird for me, but it’s an unnumbered/stand alone Possession Chronicles tie-in novel set the spring-summer of 1916 (between books six and seven of the series).

For those worried about that massive word count, I over-write. If you think my books are heavy on descriptions, you should see what I cut! I also naturally write in a passive voice, which is cumbersome and wordy. I tend to cut close to 10% of the word count in the first dozen rounds of self edits just by addressing those two things. But The Possession Chronicles novels are long. They average 106,000 words. My worse overwrite was Perilous Confessions. The first draft was 132,000 words (which I wrote in 53 days)–finished product was twenty thousand words less.

If you haven’t already, be sure to download a copy of Mosaic of Seduction. It’s listed for FREE on Amazon, nook, Kobo, and more. Paperback copies are now available too.

Eliza Melling is shocking readers–even those who are caught up on the series. There are plenty of surprises, even though this is #1.5 and five novels are published. Don’t assume you know the whole story about Eliza’s year between Perilous Confessions and Murmurs of Evil.

My Facebook readers group, Dalby’s Darklings, is doing an online book club style discussion about Mosaic of Seduction April 9-11. This is something I do the month following a new release for the readers group. We dive into the characters and settings through questions/answers and conversation starters. I also do a giveaway and often hint at what is to come–especially about the series. These discussions are hosted on a separate Event page so there are no spoilers in the main group. You are welcome to join us. If you can’t attend, I’m always happy to answer questions via email, direct messages on social media, questions post on my Goodreads author page, etc. Find my contact info here.