Category Archives: Book Stuff

Musing from the dead

It certainly has been a while since I posted.

A lot happened in 2019. I got laid off from my long-time broadcasting job in April. (I started that job in November 2007!) Life was difficult this year. I suffered from bouts of apathy, no doubt, depression from my life situation. My writing career seems to have stalled, and I went from getting invited to everything to no one wanting me. (I know it’s not true, but depression has a nasty way of making you believe things…) Of course, I haven’t written a damned thing since April. I’ve kept reading, but Amazon’s odd policies on writers reviewing other works of fiction resulted in no reviews. I’m not sure that anyone read my reviews, but I’m probably not going to do those anymore. Goodreads will be my primary reading portal reporting thing, since I can still leave starred ratings.

I started a new career in September. (I know, broadcasting was my new career.) So education is my new new career. I took a job as a Data Operations Specialist at a local liberal arts college. I didn’t realize how much I hated my broadcasting job until I got the college job, to contrast how much fun this new job is. I’m also going to start my graduate program in January 2020. I received my undergraduate degree in 2017 after five years of NAU, so getting an accelerated graduate degree in a year will be a challenge that I look forward to completing. The educational future for my family and me is looking good.

As for writing, I just got back from an educational training event in Portland, OR. I spent my evenings with fellow writer D. Paul Angel. We ate food and saw the sights in Weird Portland. Yes, I know that “Keep Portland Weird” is an unofficial slogan, but I don’t care. Anyway, with the beginning of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to be writing the next Tupper Jones mystery, and have already written 1500 words of Brass Queen. I’m not sure of the timetable for the Brass Automaton sequel, but it’s revived. (Can you believe that it’s been since 2016 since we wrote in this universe?)

Anyway, I hope to blog more now that I’m feeling better with life. November may be light, since I want to focus on writing two stories for NaNoWriMo. Twitter will be the best place to follow that. So, in closing, it’s good to be back, and I look forward to the challenges of the future.


City Before Sunrise out now!

Hey, you. Yeah, you. My second murder mystery with Amber Cove Publishing is out now. I know, I know, you want to know why the series is called “Tupper Jones Mysteries” when the protagonist is Caroline Collins. Really, it’s because I’m a bit of a trickster. You picked up on the fact that I do stuff like naming the FBI agents after pregnancy terms, right? You dig the puns, right? Well, City Before Sunrise has the same level of snark and excitement as Score of Silence. Like more even. I guess I should say something like “Now with 17% more snarky banter!” I took a customer behavior course while getting my undergraduate degree in human behavior, and I know that that statement is meaningless. What isn’t meaningless is that gasp, there’s another dead body. (Do I really need to use “dead” as a qualifier? I mean if it’s a body, then it’s obviously dead, otherwise, it would be a person.) Some of you emailed me and said that the blood in the opening chapters of Score of Silence was too much. Okay, maybe it was. City Before Sunrise has 63% less blood. Like the description says, the team’s back together, and ready to get their man. For fans of Kimberly and/or Tiffany, they have bigger roles in City Before Sunrise. Flat-face, er, I mean Agent Braxton returns with 5% less vein-bulging, red-faced anger. So, get the book. Get two or three so you can give them to your friends. Oh, and just so you know, the rough draft of book three is finished, so expect another Tupper Jones Mysteries book March 2020. (It’s a pattern!) P.S. I could use some reviews on both titles, so you know, please…

Caroline Collins just can’t catch a break.

When an old friend comes calling, Caroline finds herself embroiled in a case involving clandestine meetings, bank robberies, a shady import-export business, and the murder of an FBI agent. And where this fearless female sleuth goes, Tupper Jones is sure to follow–only this time, following could mean a long walk off a short pier into Lake Michigan.

Hot on the heels of the events in SCORE OF SILENCE, CITY BEFORE SUNRISE explodes with action, danger, and a touch of snark. The band is back together and Team Collins won’t stop until false allegations against their friend are laid to rest and the Chicago mob is in need of a new boss.

City Before Sunrise
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q131CHX/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43471669/

Score of Silence:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B4F7ZD3/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39405579/


Release Party This Saturday!

The Verde Valley Comic Expo coincides with the release of my second murder mystery this year. City Before Sunrise is scheduled to release on March 26th, but you can get your copy early at the Verde Valley Comic Expo on March 23rd! Entry is only $5 ($3 if you bring two non-perishable food items). I’ll be there from 10am until the event closes at 5pm. Last year, I skipped the afterparty with Tales of the Con, but plan on tagging along this year. I’ll also have a Bards and Sages swag bag that the Cottonwood library will be raffling off to support their summer reading campaign. VVCE regulars, Tales of the Con, Everybody’s Hometown Geek, & Arizona Ghostbusters will be there too.

Here’s the description for City Before Sunrise:
Private Investigator Caroline Collins just can’t catch a break.
When an old friend comes calling, Caroline finds herself embroiled in a case involving clandestine meetings, bank robberies, a shady import-export business, and the murder of an FBI agent. And where this fearless female sleuth goes, Tupper Jones is sure to follow—only this time, following could mean a long walk off a short pier into Lake Michigan.
Hot on the heels of the events in SCORE OF SILENCE, CITY BEFORE SUNRISE explodes with action, danger, and a touch of snark. The band is back together and Team Collins won’t stop until false allegations against their friend are laid to rest and the Chicago mob is in need of a new boss.

But wait, there’s more! My daughter and teen artist, Alyssa, will be at VVCE2019 with me. She’ll have framed artwork for sale for only $15. She’s gotta buy lunch from the Copper State Pizza truck, so stop in and buy some of her artwork. For those of you on the south side of Mingus Mountain, she’ll also be at the Teen Art Showcase on Friday the 22nd at the Prescott Valley Library from 6pm – 8pm. The showcase will be her first public appearance ever, so stop on by to either event and say hello.

Here are some links:
VVCE2019 website
VVCE2019 facebook
Cottonwood Public Library
Prescott Valley Public Library
City Before Sunrise Amazon page
Amber Cove Publishing
Bards and Sages Publishing
Tales of the Con podcast
Everybody’s Hometown Geek
Arizona Ghostbusters


Anthony’s Blue Crayon is out now!

Guess what came out yesterday? Yep, Erika’s third children’s book, featuring illustrations by Alex Rudolph. Also, just in time for Christmas, the hardcover trio is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Wal*Mart (next week). We’ll have a digital version out on the first Tuesday in January, just in time for the recent Christmas tablet purchases. You should be able to pre-order next week.

Aubrey's Beautiful Crown Alyssa's Blank Canvas Anthony's Blue Crayon
Aubrey’s Beautiful Crown:
Amazon

Alyssa’s Blank Canvas:
Amazon

Anthony’s Blue Crayon:
Amazon


The Complete ABC Trio (hardcover):
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Wal*Mart


Be sure to head over to the children’s book page for more links and art and stuff.


Alyssa’s Blank Canvas available tomorrow.

Erika’s latest children’s book is now available on Amazon!

From the author, Erika Gardner:

People have been telling me for years that I should write a children’s book, and I finally decided to give it a shot. My 3 children loved having stories read to them when they were small, and though many of the books they loved were great and fun to read, there were always some that left me shaking my head and hoping I wouldn’t have to re-read them very often. I am a big fan of children’s books that rhyme. I love reading books that are entertaining and can be read with a fun rhythm. Colorful and cute pictures are also important. I am writing books that I wouldn’t mind reading over, and over, and over…which hopefully will be the case. I decided to have these first 3 books each have titles with ABC in them, partially because then I could have a book for each of my amazing children and also because I liked the ABC concept. I got really lucky that my husband was able to find an absolutely incredible illustrator to create the pictures for my books. I am SO EXCITED to see the finished products. It’s like the artist saw right into my mind and drew exactly what I wanted. This is a really fun undertaking for me and I hope to continue beyond the initial 3 ABC books, with holiday books and then whatever pops into my crazy mind after that.

Aubrey's Beautiful Crown Alyssa's Blank Canvas Anthony's Blue Crayon


Aubrey’s Beautiful Crown now available.

Erika’s latest children’s book is now available on Amazon!

From the author, Erika Gardner:

People have been telling me for years that I should write a children’s book, and I finally decided to give it a shot. My 3 children loved having stories read to them when they were small, and though many of the books they loved were great and fun to read, there were always some that left me shaking my head and hoping I wouldn’t have to re-read them very often. I am a big fan of children’s books that rhyme. I love reading books that are entertaining and can be read with a fun rhythm. Colorful and cute pictures are also important. I am writing books that I wouldn’t mind reading over, and over, and over…which hopefully will be the case. I decided to have these first 3 books each have titles with ABC in them, partially because then I could have a book for each of my amazing children and also because I liked the ABC concept. I got really lucky that my husband was able to find an absolutely incredible illustrator to create the pictures for my books. I am SO EXCITED to see the finished products. It’s like the artist saw right into my mind and drew exactly what I wanted. This is a really fun undertaking for me and I hope to continue beyond the initial 3 ABC books, with holiday books and then whatever pops into my crazy mind after that.

Aubrey's Beautiful Crown Alyssa's Blank Canvas Anthony's Blue Crayon


See you at CoKoCon!

CoKoCon is a traditional science fiction/fantasy con in Phoenix, AZ which will be held over the Labor Day weekend in 2018. We’ll be at the Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North at 10220 N Metro Parkway E, Phoenix, AZ 85051.

Regulars of the blog already know that I’ve been a fan of Harry Turtledove for several decades. I’m totally excited to be on an alternate history panel Saturday with my literary hero. There will be a limited amount of my novels and collections on hand – sold by Duncan’s Books and More. Copies of all my current novels (Champion Standing, Days Until Home, Score of Silence, Sixteen Sunsets & War of the Worlds: Retaliation) should be available, plus the discontinued story collection, Warmache and Other Stories. I’ll be signing books Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 1pm. I’ll be on the Alternate History panel with Harry Saturday at 12:30 (H. Paul Honsinger & Sue Martin as well), and a Space Opera panel at 6:30pm with author friend, David Van Dyke. (H. Paul Honsinger & T. L. Smith will be there too!) I’ll probably be heading back up north around 3pm on Sunday.