Murder in the Eternal City and More Hist Myst

As I mentioned in my last post, Captain Lacey Book 16 (Murder in the Eternal City) is out! Find it in print or e-book:

Amazon (US, also at Amazon worldwide)
Apple Books
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Google 

James Gillies is working on the audio book as we speak.

There will be more Captain Lacey to come. He will return to London and carry on investigating crime in its streets.

Next I am working on Leonidas the Gladiator Book 3: The Ring that Caesar Wore. Once more I’ll travel back to Ancient Rome and follow Leonidas and Cassia through the streets of Rome where they navigate danger and the mercurial Nero.

I anticipate a January release and will post per-order links when I have them.

In the world of Kat Holloway, I’ve signed a contract to write at least two more books (Book 7 and 8) in that series.

Also, I just did two virtual interviews about The Secret of Bow Lane (August 2022) with Murder by the Book in Houston and Poisoned Pen Mystery bookstore in Scottsdale.

Murder by the Book link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrZ0AgoG5Ec

Poisoned Pen link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eYYFlk_mvY&t=3s

I will do much more writing next year! As I say, more Kat Holloway and Captain Lacey, and more romances (Riding Hard, a new Regency series, more Shifters and Mackenzies) plus hopefully more Stormwalker!

A lot has been going on in my personal life (we are moving my mother into more advanced care), but writing is my refuge. It does help me to deep dive into these worlds I’ve created. I appreciate those who encourage me to write more!

Fall and Writing

I have just put a Riding Hard Christmas novella (A Riverbend Christmas) on preorder for a November release. I had a lot of fun returning to Riverbend to catch up with Adam, Grant, Carter, Tyler, Ross, Kyle, and Ray and the rest of the family. No fear, it will be in print and audio as well as ebook!

Some Pre-order links:

Amazon 
Kobo 
Nook 
Apple 
Google and print links coming soon

I decided to make the main romance in this story about Olivia, the Campbell brothers’ mom, who raised five sons alone. I thought–she seriously needs some HER time!

I wasn’t quite sure who Olivia would fall in love with, until I read through the entire Riding Hard series, and in walked Sam Farrell, the uncle of Bailey and Christina (heroines of books 1 and 2). Sam! He’s warm and sweet, but strong and handsome, and he and Olivia have been friends for decades. He’s alone, she’s alone … And the story was born.

I know Olivia has been dating the town banker off and on, but, well … you’ll see what happens with that. Also I was able to look in on Lucy, the Malorys’ sister, and Karen Marvin and her new attraction, Jack. More books will come of that!

I’ll post again next week about the release of the next Captain Lacey Regency Mystery, Murder in the Eternal City, and then about what to expect coming up. Many things!

This has been a rough year for me in many ways, and I’m grateful I have my stories to sink into, characters who embrace me and make me whole again.

More Below Stairs Mysteries

I just inked a contract (well, docu-signed it) with Penguin Random House for two more Kat Holloway mysteries! Book 7 will be called Speculations in Sin, and Kat will help her dear friend Joanna (who looks after Kat’s daughter Grace) with a terrible problem. I’m not sure of a publication date, but will let you know when I know.

The feedback on Secret of Bow Lane (Book 6) has been wonderful! Thank you to everyone who has posted comments, reviews, or contacted me about it.

I have more mysteries and romances coming up next!

Writing and New Books

Much has happened since my last post. We tried for months to move to our summer house in the cool mountains but were stymied by ongoing renovations. The kitchen was supposed to be finished in March but because of slowdowns all around, it wasn’t until the first of July. I didn’t want to move into the house while work was still being done, not because we couldn’t deal with it, but because our remaining cat is mostly blind and mostly deaf and I didn’t want him getting hurt.

Now we are in the mountains, which is 30-40 degrees cooler than our desert house. The cat has adapted amazingly well–I was picturing having to assist him to find his litter box etc., but he kind of wandered about, using his nose, whiskers, and feet to figure things out. He now runs up and down the stairs, knows exactly where the food and his sofa is (note: “his” sofa–he sometimes lets us sit there too), and has adapted very well.

What about books? I’m writing them! Next Tuesday is the release of the sixth book in the Kat Holloway series. Yay!!!

Find this book at booksellers everywhere or online:

Amazon
Kindle
Apple Books
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Google Play

Click here to read an excerpt.

Kat Holloway is amazed to meet a woman who claims that Kat’s so-called husband was murdered, and not only that, left a fortune behind. Can the two find it? Kat knows there’s much more going on, and recruits Daniel and her friends to solve the mystery of her former husband’s death.

The books are gorgeous! Out August 2!

What else am I working on? Lots of things. Captain Lacey Book 16 (Murder in the Eternal City) is about to go to the proofreader. I’m also working on a new Leonidas the Gladiator, another Kat Holloway, and going back to my Western romance series to do a Christmas story and more. That’s just in the immediate future. Much more after that!

Tiger’s Daughter

As I mentioned in a previous post, Tiger’s Daughter is now on pre-order for a May 24 release. It will be in paperback, e-book, and audio. The paperback is currently pre-orderable only on Amazon, but it will be at Barnes and Noble and other places on release day.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3K48qB8

Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/TigersDaughter 

BN: https://bit.ly/3DxfdRy

Apple: https://apple.co/3DA37aw

I will have it at Kobo and Google closer to release date.

The blurb:

Connor Morrissey hits his Transition—hard—and Shiftertown braces for chaos. His transformation into a fully adult Shifter comes early and is lightning fast, heightened by Connor’s very special heritage. Connor spirals out of control, ready to fight for his place in the hierarchy, and his instincts tell him his place is very high.

Only the touch of Tiger-girl cuts across Connor’s pain …

She’s there for him, beautiful, powerful, but a fish out of water, struggling to makes sense of the real world. As Tiger’s daughter, she’s more than an ordinary Shifter, inheriting Tiger’s strength and intelligence in addition to the enhancements the Shifter Bureau black ops team made to her in secret.

Then Connor is captured by those who will use him to enhance their own power. Tiger-girl knows the mate bond is forming between them—losing Connor will tear her apart. But can she risk being found by those who want to turn Tiger-girl into the most deadly Shifter of all time?

Now Tiger-girl must choose between her safety or exposing her whereabouts to free him …

I am so pleased to bring this book to you! I have had a wonderful time hanging out with Connor and Tiger-girl.

Lots of news!

After months of nothing much happening (except constant writing), I have a lot to tell you!

  1. The Below Stairs mysteries have been picked up for two more books! Book 6 is out this year (August), and I have just accepted an offer to write Books 7 and 8. More Kat Holloway! (The lovely cover of Book 6: More about it here: https://katholloway.com/the-books/the-secret-of-bow-lane/)

2. I also recently signed with Dragonblade, an indie imprint run by Kathryn le Veque, to write three Regency novels! These will be hot Regencies about three soldiers returning from Waterloo to re-start their lives. Drama, humor, and scorching love scenes await! The books will be out in 2024, so there will be much more information to come (titles, pub dates, covers, etc).

3. I am pleased to have received rights back to two of my Stormwalker books I write as Allyson James (Firewalker and Shadow Walker). I am in the process of re-covering the whole series, and republishing the books I’ve received rights to. Because of this, I’ll be able continue writing the series! I’m so excited! Much more about all this in due time.

4. Tiger’s Daughter is now up for pre-order! Pub date May 24. I will do a separate post with all the details.

I also was able to take a long-anticipated vacation!! (Vacation? What’s that?) We took a cruise up and down the coast of California, stopping in at San Francisco, Santa Catalina Island, and San Diego. I love SF, though it was cold! I’d never been to Catalina, and I loved it! Must make a special trip there for it’s own sake. (Pics are both of Avalon on Catalina).

I’m back home now and working on more books! Much to write!

What’s Up

It has been a while since I posted, and so many things have happened! I sold a house and bought a car, went to Tucson for my first in-person convention in two years, made it through the holidays, set up a new office in my desert house, had a book release, and started writing several more.

I also hit a wall on writing–for some reason, my hands would not type a story. The characters in my head were doing things, but I just. could. not. write. It was frustrating, and put a big snare in my schedule. Part of it was the business of life-changing events, and I think I was just exhausted.

I decided to change up the way I write my drafts. My hands had no problem editing words already written. As I continue to self-analyze, I think part of the trouble is that typing is slow. My thoughts race along, the story unfolding, and it’s tiring for my fingers to keep up.

Several authors I know dictate their drafts. I’ve tried this before and haven’t liked it (the dictation software does not understand my low and somewhat slurred voice), and I end up with hilarious results. But in desperation, I went back to it.

I’ve found two dictation programs to be decent. Otter is great, because you speak into your phone, so I can walk around the house or lie on the couch with my eyes closed and talk the story. (I warn my husband beforehand–if he hears me saying things like “Shite, Sean, what gives?” I’m not talking to ghosts or calling him by the wrong name.) I save the speech as text and then upload it to my laptop.

The other decent software is simply MS Word’s dictation feature. The advantage is that the words appear right on my laptop–the disadvantage is I have to talk into my laptop. It also is somewhat more accurate.

Oh, and, if you forget to tap the “record” button, you can dictate pages of words and they will drift into the air and vanish. Wonder how I know this? 🙂

Once I’ve dictated a chunk, I have to clean it up. It’s a big mess, and I need to go through several passes to make sure everything is right. For example, Otter likes to capitalize Words at Random, So I have to Change all Those. MS Word likes to put spaces before all the commas , and periods . And don’t get me started on how they spell my character’s names.

In spite of the drawbacks, however, dictating enabled me to get the stories out! Where I can do something with them.

I’m not sure I’ll use this method forever, but I’m grateful because it got the words flowing again. No typing 100 words and then realizing I’m done for the day. I went back to my usual pace, to my relief.

To that end–here’s what’s coming up!

I decided to finish my Regency Bon Bons novella trilogy. These are sweet Regencies (no sex on the page) I started writing for multi-author anthologies. The first two (Duke in Search of a Duchess and A Kiss for Luck) have been re-released outside the anthologies. A Kiss for Luck leaves the heroine’s stepdaughter, Sonia, needing a story, and Along Came a Prince was born (out in February).

These are fairly short (7-10 chapters each), so they are not individually in print. However, now that I have the third written, I will release all three in one paperback volume so readers can choose print or e-book.

Along Came a Prince will be out February 15 at all vendors. It is available for pre-order right now at

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

With Kobo, Google, and Apple links coming soon. The print book will release Feb 15, though I might be able to put it up for pre-order at Barnes and Noble beforehand.

I love the cover!

The other book I’m working on is Tiger’s Daughter. I plan to have a big cover reveal and pre-order links soon!

After that, Captain Lacey returns!!

Upcoming Releases

I haven’t posted in a while, because the last two months have seen me with my head down, writing hard!

I’ve been working on two books:

Kat Holloway Below Stairs Mysteries Book 6, which is finished and now on my editor’s desk (pub date and title TBA). Yay!

The second, The Sinful Ways of Jamie Mackenzie (Mackenzies Book 12) is still in progress with a pub date of November 16.

You can pre-order Jamie’s book here:

Kindle
Apple
Nook

Kobo and Google pre-order links to come.

I will of course have it in PRINT as well as audio, closer to release date.

This book will take us into the early 1900s, with Jamie, Ian Mackenzie’s oldest, at 28. He’s been kicking around the world having adventures, and now he’s home to settle down, or so he thinks.

Running into Evie McKnight (a new character), a young lady he’d met under bizarre circumstances ten years ago, sends him straight back into adventures. The problem is, she’s engaged to another man. Jamie reasons that such things didn’t stop his father when he’d courted Jamie’s mother, and they’re not going to stop Jamie.

You’ll see Ian and Beth in this book, as well as Jamie’s sisters (Belle and Megan) and several of the cousins playing important roles as Jamie falls madly in love.

I plan to do stories for most of the next generation: Next up will be Megan or Belle. Hart’s oldest son is not sure he wants to step into the ducal shoes, Gavina (Cam’s daughter) wants to live life to its fullest, and Aimee (Mac’s adopted daughter) is facing the difficulty of her background as she blossoms into a beautiful young woman.

The lads will find heroines strong enough to love Mackenzies, and the ladies will encounter their own hot heroes.

A note: The series is now entering the 1900s, which I realize is a run-up to WWI. I have made the decision that no Mackenzie will be killed in the war. This series is about romance, adventure, and family, and I want everyone to be smiling when they finish each story. If any books are set in those years, the family will of course be touched by it, but they will come out of it together.

More books coming up

I sadly had to move the next Captain Lacey to spring, because me writing schedule this summer got discombobulated. I have a beautiful cover for it (Murder in the Eternal City), and I’m tentatively setting the date for March.

In May, another gladiator book (The Ring that Caesar Wore)

But first, more Shifters! I like having February as Shifter month, and so Tiger’s Daughter will be out then. Stay tuned for pre-orders on that book.

That’s what I’ve been up to since last post. I’d hoped to travel a little more this summer, visiting Canyon de Cheyelles, the Grand Canyon, or Vermillion Cliffs, but I spent it all in my office writing. But I realize I needed to chill in a calm place and not run around frantically. I’m glad, because I went from not writing (for almost three months! ack!) to finishing one book and closing on the end of a second.

This retreat has been incredibly good for me for both stress and creativity.

Much more to come!

Hooray for an Office!

My silence for the last month has been because of moving! My mom to a new apartment and me and husband to our summer house in the mountains.

After a buttload of work, we are finally all settling in. And I have an office!

I found this lovely desk at a local furniture store. I wanted something small, because I figure I can only clutter it up so much before I have to clean it off. Right? It also happily has ports to plug in my laptop and phone.

The folding chair next to the desk is what I was using before I got the office chair. Great for camping, bad for writing. I have it here for the cats–they love lounging in it.

I also have my guitar nearby so I can play and practice when I’m not writing.

Already my productivity has gone up. I was in despair because writing has been sidelined for the last couple of months–not suprising–but for me, going more than a week without working on a story is unheard of!

Yesterday, after I got my chair, I started revising what little I’d written in the past months and today I am getting through the rest of that revising. Plus I’m brainstorming other stories in the notebooks beside the laptop.

I also have a nice view off the balcony to a quiet road. A pair of crows talk to each other in the trees outside (all day long …).

If you wonder why I’m so excited to have an office, it’s because it’s my first one. For the previous years of my career, I’ve been writing in the living room or dining room, or in a cramped space in a hobby room. Which is fine, but the living room and dining room are traffic areas of course, and I either have to have headphones with the volume turned way up or yell at people to be quiet and stop distracting me. Not fair to them or me.

Now I have an office of my very own, with a door. Which I can’t shut, because, you know, cats. But it’s in a cozy corner upstairs, free of traffic and distractions (except for cats). I’m thrilled!

The office needs more decor (the whole house does), but that will come.

I’ll have more news when I get back into the groove of things. It’s nice to be back to work! (For real.)

Virtual Conference–Inspiration

I spent last week at the Historical Novel Society’s virtual conference (in place of its in-person conference). The HNS is for all authors of historical fiction–mysteries, romance, thrillers, mainstream fiction, adventure fiction–any fiction as long as it’s historical.

Because I’ve been helping my mom move, I didn’t get to “attend” all the sessions I wanted to so I will have to catch the recordings, but that’s fine.

I have been inspired by the sessions I did get to, including two master classes on historical fiction and publishing. So much great information, plus it gave me a lot of confidence in what I’m writing now plus ideas for new things in the future.

(Sometimes people are surprised that I go to conferences and attend sessions and classes, but there is always something new to learn. I don’t care how long you’ve been in your chosen field–the day you think you know it all is the day you truly don’t.)

I find that I’m enjoying virtual conferences. The HNS said that this one had more attendees than ever. I did a virtual master class in dollhouse miniatures in early May, and it was wonderful. The attendees for that one were so enthusiastic that the miniatures organization is contemplating more online workshops (please do! Sending out hopeful vibes …)

I do miss the in-person conversations, dinners and lunches out, just hanging around the lounge and chatting with my writing friends, but I find that I have better focus in the classes and absorb more of the information when I’m learning at home, plus there are “face to face” questions and discussions via Zoom.

What I don’t miss is the hours of flying, annoying connections, bad food, mediocre but expensive hotels, and the time zone changes (east coast conferences for me are a pain in the butt, because not only are the flights long, but I lose three hours, so I always have to travel a day or two beforehand.) Paying only for the conference and focusing only on the conference is wonderful.

I’m hearing that many others are enjoying the online virtual conference experience, so much so that many organizations are thinking about keeping them virtual or going “hybrid,” with some in-person attendees and others joining online.

In my opinion, the hybrid conference would be wonderful. I can’t always take the time to get away (as I said, flying in one-two days in advance), and it gets expensive–writers conferences in the U.S. can set you back $1-$2K, and if you fly in internationally that price sharply increases.

How wonderful to attend conferences around the world without having to spend tons of extra time and money on it. (Time zones can still be challenging–an 8 am session Eastern Time for me means getting up at 4 am, and those in Australia attend most of the sessions in the middle of the night).

That is not to say I’m never going to an in-person conference again. Meeting up with friends and talking face to face with my editor and others in the industry is awesome–nothing can take its place.

Business woman lecturing at Conference. Audience at the lecture hall.

But virtual conferences allow me to learn, connect, and experience without having to say no because of the time and travel factor.

Have you done virtual conferences this year? Are you eager for more, or done with them?