Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Still a chance to WIN!

Did you miss our big Facebook online giveaway?

NO problem.

There are still prizes to be won. Five more days from TODAY, so click and enter!


In addition, on June 30th, Lei Crime Series author Toby Neal will be hosting Lei Crime Kindle World authors on her blog. There will be interviews (yes, I'm on - July 4th) and more prizes, so stop on by.

Here is a list of the participating authors - all have written at least one Lei Crime Series Kindle World book.
6/30: Toby Neal
7/1: Lynda Filler
7/2: Amy Allen Hallmark
7/3: Fiona Manning
7/4: Donna Blanchard McNicol
7/5: Noelle Pierce
7/6: Patricia Sands
7/7: David Schoonover
7/8: Carol Shenold
7/9: Amy Shojai
7/10: Helen Yee, Julie Gilbert, Scott Bury, AJ Llewellyn
7/11: Shawn McGuire, Terry Ambrose
I hope to see you there, posting your questions and comments. Since I will be traveling, I may not be able to reply right away, but I will reply as soon as I possibly can!

Monday, June 27, 2016

NEW BOOK: "Dead Man Lying"

One of my author friends has a new book out. I don't always post when this happens because it happens a lot. But this is a special case. Author Scott Bury has written the Lei Crime Kindle World novella, Dead Man Lying. That was the book that gave me one of the characters in my novella, Paradise Down.

The character is FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm. I was lucky to read an advanced copy of Dead Man Lying and learned even more about Vanessa. She is an interesting character for sure, and yes, she will be featured in a future Lei Crime Kindle World novella of mine.

Now available at Amazon
Dead Man Lying
A Lei Crime Kindle World Mystery

She knows when you’re lying …FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm is back on Maui to catch a killer.

With lush rain forests, black sand beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle, Maui offers the perfect retirement location for once-famous country singer Steven Sangster … until he ends up dead.

As the killer, or killers, strike again and again, Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm must untangle the lies spun by the singer’s associates, friends, family — and the singer himself before the music dies.
Two young women stood on an eroded, rough low platform made of volcanic rock that had been placed in the midst of the rain forest. Long fronds and branches hung low over it, weighted by rain that had only recently stopped. Yellow tape strung from tree to tree in a rough ring around the platform drooped with the weight of the rain, too, obscuring the words “Police Line Do Not Cross.”

The air was heavy with moisture and the smell of wet soil, flowers and the unique, spicy aroma of Hawaii.

The taller woman was fit, with shoulder-length dark blond hair and large green eyes. She wore the office-formal blue blazer, dress pants and shoes that broadcast “FBI.” She leaned carefully over one edge of the eroded platform, where some shifting in the earth below it had opened a narrow gully. Its bottom was littered with lava boulders that matched those remaining on the platform. More fronds reached over its edges from the forest around it, as if they were also trying to see the bottom. 

“It doesn’t look that deep — maybe ten feet,” she said. FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm’s foot slipped on the wet rock and she took a step back. The next time I come to Hana, I’m wearing hiking shoes, she thought.

She crouched down on the platform, the heels of her hands at the crumbling edge, trying not to let her pants touch the rock surface. 

“It wasn’t the fall that killed him,” Maui Police Detective Lei Texeira answered. “The coroner feels he was dead before he fell off the edge. That’s his initial thought, anyway. It will have to be confirmed in the lab.”

Vanessa looked down into the narrow pit again. “There’s nothing to mark where the body was,” she said.

“The rain washed it all away,” Texeira replied. “At this time of year in Hana, it rains every day.”

“It looks like it,” said Vanessa. The forest here was very thick, and the path that led from the estate down the slope to the lava platform in the forest was like a tunnel. Vanessa could just make out the corner of one of the outbuildings far below. Hidden in the branches, birds twittered and peeped, and occasionally she could hear large drops of water hitting lower leaves or the forest floor. “Should we be standing on this? It being a historical artifact?”

“Not really,” Lei answered. “The local Hawaiian cultural organizations are going to complain about it. But this is the only way to see the death site.”

They stood on top of the remains of a heiau, an ancient Hawaiian temple. All that was left was an uneven platform of piled lava rocks, worn by rain, maybe twenty feet across. The creeping roots of the rain forest had eaten its edges. Vanessa eyed the side that had collapsed into the gully, wondering how big the ancient temple had been when it was built.

Watching where she stepped, Vanessa carefully made her way across the heiau, toward the path through the jungle back toward the house and other buildings on the estate. “Is that typical, a historical, cultural artifact on a private estate like this?” 

Texeira was right behind her. “It’s unusual. This heiau was abandoned and forgotten centuries ago, and rediscovered only after Steve Sangster had bought the property. Now that he’s dead, you can bet some cultural organizations are going to be making a lot of noise for it to be turned over to the government or a museum.”

Vanessa paused at the edge of the forest to try to rub some of the dirt off her shoes. “Steve Sangster. I can’t believe I’m investigating his death. Did you like his music, Detective Texeira?”

“Call me Lei. Yeah, I love all that folksy rock stuff. I even had one of Steven Sangster’s albums as a girl. Did you?”

Vanessa could not repress a smile. “I was a big fan. I had all his old CDs — still do. I had such a crush on him when I was 16. He was so handsome.”

Lei smiled back. “The blue eyes and the square chin, huh?”

So this is the famous Lei Texeira, Vanessa thought, looking at the slender detective with her peripheral vision while appearing to study the heiau. She was small for a cop, but athletic, with beautiful big brown eyes and a sprinkle of freckles across her cheeks and nose. Her features spoke of a mixture of Hawaiian, Asian and European extraction. Her dark brown curls rippled to her shoulders, and Vanessa wondered briefly how much of the curling was due to the incredible humidity of Hana, on Maui’s rain coast.

 “Is this where it happened?” said an unfamiliar voice. Vanessa and Lei turned and Vanessa’s shoe slipped again. Her knee buckled and she almost went down, but Lei’s small hand grabbed her arm, steadying her. Vanessa was impressed — Lei was stronger than she looked.

...and that is just the beginning of the fun in this fast paced mystery. I hope you will grab a copy and enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Facebook Online Party - June 27th #LeiCrimeKW

Monday, June 27 at 6 PM - 8 PM

Join Toby Neal, author of the original Lei Crime Series, and more than a dozen Lei Crime Series Kindle Worlds authors (Yup, I'll be there!) for a fun gathering with tons of giveaways to celebrate the launch of a host of new Lei Crime novellas June 30!

Meet the new authors, participate in hilarity, snag some cool swag, and be entered for a multi-gift grand prize! Oh, and tell/invite all your friends.

Come join us, just click HERE. Oh, and if we aren't Facebook friends - feel free to send me a friend request, just let me know you are a FAN of my books.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Setting Thesaurus Books Are Here: Help Becca And Angela Celebrate!

If you have ever looked at my resource page, you will see three books by Becca & Angela:


Well, now they are coming out with two new books. Here is some information on THE SETTINGS - Urban and Rural. I know I'll be getting them as soon as they are available!

As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we're usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. Yet, there's a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we really need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Used to its full advantage, the setting can characterize the story's cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory...and that's just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories?

Well, there's some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

 In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Rural Setting Thesaurus: Ancient Ruins.

And there's one more thing you might want to know more about....

Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT.

At the heart of the Writers Helping Writers site is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking...if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

Monday, June 6, 2016

How do you vacation?

As posted earlier, I've been on vacation. Many people tell us we live on vacation, but that's only partially right. We still have all the day to day things that have to be done. Plus, I need to wrangle out writing time.

So right now our vacations are cruises. We have done 5 weeks of Caribbean cruising on Carnival this year and we have another week for my birthday (new port to me, Baltimore). Then in November we are doing a short cruise to Mexico followed by a fifteen day cruise to Hawaii and back (color me VERY excited).

In January we have two weeks of back to back cruising on Carnival's newest ship, the Vista. That was the one where we were going to cruise through Mediterranean in April/May but cancelled. It's an amazing ship, probably too large for us...LOL, so we still wanted to try it. Then we have ten nights in February on Royal Caribbean, another Caribbean itinerary (good for hubby's scuba diving).

We also love to ride our motorcycle (it used to be 'motorcycles', but I finally traded mine in for the backseat of hubby's trike). But as we've aged, we discovered we are weather wimps. Too hot? Stay home. Too wet? Stay home. Too rainy? Stay home. And too cold? Yup, stay home.

What are your favorite vacations? Tent camping? A place at the beach or the lake? A foreign country? A mini-stay in a close to home retreat?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

#IWSG for June 2016: Encouragement

Once again, it's hard to believe, but it's time for my monthly IWSG post. Every month seems to pass by faster and faster. What is IWSG? Direct from their site:
To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The theme for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group is ENCOURAGEMENT.

What are you doing to encourage others, whether it's to follow their dreams, pursue their passion or just keep on plugging? What are you family and friends doing to encourage you? Do you have a good support group? Are you discouraged or encouraged?

Are you guilty of discouraging others? Yes, there are times this is necessary, but be sure you're right. Just because their choice might be wrong for you doesn't mean it's wrong for them.

We work hard, we try to be all we can be, we want our children to do better than us - but is that done with encouragement or discouragement?

It's your choice.....