My latest Funeral Singer book is out and available now at Amazon in both Kindle and paperback! So excited about this third installment in the series. Things are really heating up for the funeral singer now.
Called A Song of Betrayal, the story continues singer Gillian Foster’s interactions with the recently departed in the ethereal cemetery as she confronts a murder victim. Zoe Sarkis’ husband killed her and fled the country. Now, she’s refusing to cross over until he is found and brought to justice. Complicating Gillian’s task of helping Zoe, she is also facing an increasing number of ghoulish figures called shades. Can Gillian help find the missing husband and learn to deal with the shades?
A Song for Betrayal is available now in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com. You can also read it for free on Kindle Unlimited. Take a look at my launch page for more information and links.
For a preview of the book, follow the link below:
Reno Comic Con
If you’re in the Reno Nevada area, Sands Comic Con is happening this weekend, September 23 & 24. I will be there both days to talk to folks and sign books at the Pynhavyn Press table. Joining me, both at the table and in a panel on Saturday, is Margaret McGaffey Fisk (Steamship Chronicles) who will also be happy to chat and sign books.
Our panel will be at noon and we’ll be discussing Immortality as Seen by Hollywood. This panel excites me as I love talking about how most of the programs that have immortal characters tend to slant it negatively. As a longtime Highlander the Series fan, I’ve definitely had discussions with people on this before. So, if you’re in town, come on down to the Sands and join us in this discussion.
I know it’s been a while since I sent an update to my blog. Bad me. But I have been busy with writing and rewriting. That’s the good news. The bad news? I’m behind on my planned schedule, particularly on the book I am reworking.
… the YA Novel
Let’s start there. I’ve been fighting my way through Dew Dropping Hour, my first YA novel and there are parts of it that are great and parts that just don’t quite flow the way I want them to deliver. So, that is still in the works and way behind my original time frame for the novel, but better to take the extra time and get the best book I can do, I believe. Since this is the first book of a trilogy, I really want it to pop! Don’t you agree?
…the next Funeral Singer novel
I’ve started working on my third book in the Funeral Singer series, called A Song of Betrayal and I’m excited about this story. While it follows the main story line with a murderer to catch, this also begins to focus more on the through story as Gillian encounters more of the dark spirits and that story line begins to heat up.
So far, I’m at Chapter 18 of the first draft and expect it to be about 24 or 25 chapters, so I am getting close to the end of the first draft. I hope to have it done by the end of May, but we’ll see how that goes. If all things, including beta reads and editing, go well after that, I am hoping for a September release on it.
For a little glimpse into this book, here’s the first couple of paragraphs:
“Who the hell are you?”
Battered, bloodied, and angry, the petite woman glared up at me from a crouch on the ground. A clotted slash of blood tore across half of her throat and her light blue silk nightgown bore a ragged, crimson hole where a bullet had ripped into her chest. Her walnut-colored eyes blazed with fury as her nostrils flared like an angry bull’s. “What is this place?” she asked.
I wasn’t her enemy, but that mattered little at this moment. Echoing at the edge of my awareness, I heard the melody and indistinct words that my physical self back in the chapel sang for her, but my full attention focused on this distraught victim of a horrible murder. Her appearance mimicked the way the Reno police had found her, not the pristine version of the body lying in the coffin for family, friends, and curious gawkers to view before they tucked her away forever.
The other exciting news on that front is that I have a cover that I think works well in the set and here it is, a first look!
My covers are all independent-looking rather than following a specific theme and that may not tie them together well. Is a tombstone on each cover enough? Let me know what you think.
And what about the O’Ceagan’s Sagasequel? I hear you asking that and it’s really in the swirl of the thought-cloud at the moment. I wrote a related, but not direct sequel to it that I plan to get edited and out this year, but the actual next book in the series hasn’t been started yet. But there will be more coming up…
….Earth Day thoughts
I had a great time at the Reno Earth Day Celebration. It turned out to be a lovely day in the Biggest Little City although spring is an ephemeral, but recurring season in Northern Nevada, Margaret McGaffey Fisk and I talked to lots of nice people and we hope some of them will check out our books.
Book Giveaway and a Chance for a Gift Card
Ok, I want to include you on a little giveaway I have lined up. I am really trying to get reviews on both Funeral Singer: A Song for Marielleand A Song for Menafee as well as for O’Ceagan’s Legacy. Reviews are one of the hardest things to get it seems and I know some people are reading them and downloading copies. But I only have 11 reviews for A Song for Marielle and 3 for Menafee. About the same for O’Ceagan’s Legacy. So here’s what I’m trying.
I will give away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who posts a review on one of those three books. Of course, I need to know who you are and when you posted in order to enter you in the drawing, so if you write a review and let me know, I will include you. And, if you are willing to read and write an honestreview, I will even send you a code to get a free copy. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the code for whichever book you want to read and I will send you a code at Instafreebie that will allow you to download a book in the format of your choice. So, you get a free book and a chance at a gift card. It’s a win-win for you no matter how you look at it.
The gift card will given away on August 31st, 2017, so that’s over three months to read a book and review it. How about helping me out?
Until my next update, thanks for reading this and have a great summer!
As I’m working on the next book in the Funeral Singer series, I decided that I needed to do some “in the field” research for it. So around the beginning of the month, I scheduled a trip to Tennessee. Hot damn! Memphis!
I’ll bet you thought that right off the bat. Well, yes, I did fly into Memphis airport. A day later than I planned, at that. I got to the airport and boarded my flight on time in the early afternoon on Monday only to have a mechanical delay. It seems there was a tear in one of our engines and the experts were taking a look to determine if they could “speed seal” it (I think that was the term the pilot used.) We waited for the verdict although I don’t think anyone was overjoyed with the prospect of taking off on a two-engine jet that had a crack in one engine.
A couple with their two little children, one an infant, were across from me and I kept thinking that if I were in their shoes, I’d be hustling those kids off the plane and be looking for another flight, as some people were already beginning to do. The flight was connecting in Denver and I had a couple of hours leeway, so I waited it out since it wasn’t supposed to take too long. Two hours later, the pilot said that they thought the tear was too deep and they were contacting the manufacturer’s in France to see if it would be safe to use the quick repair option. That was the point that I decided, I wasn’t going on this flight. So, I took my bags and went downstairs to the counter and got re-booked on an “0:dark:thirty” flight in the morning – 5:30 am, to be precise.
At least I got into Memphis by early afternoon, but there was no time to linger there. I took my rental, a nice Jeep Compass, and drove out to Shiloh National Memorial Park, also the Battlefield. While my book isn’t exactly about Shiloh, part of it does play out there, so I felt I had to see it, touch it, and feel it for myself. I arrived there in the late afternoon with the sun shining in a nearly cloudless sky on April 5th. For those who might not recall, the battles at Shiloh were on April 6th and 7th, 1862, so I had come at the same time of year that the battles were fought.
First and foremost, Shiloh is a memorial cemetery and many war veterans are buried here, not just those from the Civil War. But the monuments installed here to remember those who fought and died on this battlefield are powerful and beautiful. I was too late to view the video about the battle when I arrived, so I made a quick trip through the museum and went out to explore the first few stops on the tour.
I got as far as Shiloh Church, which is a recreation of the original church. I had the opportunity to go inside and look around. It is small with only eleven pews in it and a few open windows. Outside, and across the parking lot, there is a newer Methodist Church that is still an active congregation. Across the street is the Shiloh Cemetery where more recent graves are found amongst the older ones.
As the park closed at 5 pm, I went into Savannah, Tennessee, where I spent the night. I had a fabulous Cajun Skillet meal at one of the local restaurant’s, Mollie Monday’s that is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. It came with shrimp, chicken, and sausage in a perfectly seasoned sauce on rice and a generous serving of hush puppies. Heaven! Then I splurged on pecan pie that was simply divine. When in the South… eat like a Southerner.
The next day was overcast and sporadically rainy, which actually turned out to be perfect for the mood, the lighting and the photos that I took. I did see the video before I started out on the trail again, then saw each stop on it through the new eyes of knowledge. It was very crowded around Shiloh Church and I don’t know if they had a special memorial because of the anniversary date or if there was a funeral, but I was grateful I had seen it the previous day. Overall, it was a very moving experience and one that I hope I can convey with depth and emotion in the new novel. If you have the opportunity to visit Shiloh, I highly recommend it.
After another night in Savannah, I went north to Clarksville, another spot that is a setting in the book. Travel can be slow. The road North was only on a freeway for a short time as it went towards Nashville, then it was two-lane highways most of the way from there. It took quite a while to travel the 175 miles, plus an accident on the freeway delayed traffic for almost an hour while police cleared it.
At Clarksville, I stopped at Fort Defiance to check out the Civil War history there. Basically, Clarksville was in the more neutral territory of the war and evidently switched sides based on who was occupying the city. The display at the very architecturally-pleasing museum was interesting and the story was told from a woman at home while her husband fought point of view. After Shiloh, it seemed pretty tame, but it’s good to know that there were calm spots in the war.
From Clarksville, I drove back to Memphis, which took most of the last day I had and I ran into major construction on the freeway in Memphis, which forced my Garmin to route me through some exciting back streets in the city to get to my motel near the airport. Bottom line? I didn’t even get down to Beale Street this trip, but I have been there before.
So, that’s my research trip to Tennessee and now all I have to do it incorporate the essence of it into Funeral Singer: A Song for Menafee.
Wow! It’s nearly the end of July and I am still editing “Funeral Singer” to get it ready for publication. I’ve had it out to my second round of beta readers and have gotten some great feedback on it. I am hoping to see a little more in the next few days. I am still making some changes as I go through and make spelling and punctuation corrections.
It definitely pays to have other eyes on the manuscript because I managed to miss quite a few things in the last two edits I did on the book. It is so easy for your brain to just correct or ignore the mistakes you make in your own writing. I took a class on proofreading once where the advice from the teacher was to read your work backward. This takes away the familiarity with the project and you are more likely to catch the errors. Other suggestions from writers are: 1) Change the font type and size so it doesn’t look the same. 2) Print the entire manuscript out and read through it with a highlighter, marking the errors. 3) Read it out loud a few times. This also helps with hearing the dialog and if it sounds natural. 4) Use an automated reader program to have it read the book to you so you can listen for odd phrasing, omissions and other errors. This one is really strange to listen to since there is no inflection in the reading.
In a few more days, I will be ordering my first Proof copy of the book so I can read through it to make sure I caught everything. Once I feel comfortable that I’ve done everything I can do to get out a clean copy, it’ll be time to finalize it and release the book. Right now, I am targeting mid-September for the release, but it won’t fly until it’s ready.
One of the things that took a little time was writing the book blurb. These are the back pages of the book where you give a little synopsis of the story to give the potential reader an idea of what the story is about. This is an art and a tricky skill to develop. You have to wonder how much is enough? How much is too much? Have I put in any spoilers? Will this be enough to entice someone to read it?
I am excited to get my first novel out in the world and I hope that it is well-received by those who choose to read it. No matter how you look at it, it will be an adventure. Look for release information to come up next month.
Exploring barriers between reality and other realities… Is it fantasy or just a step through a dimension portal?