Almost done

Almost done with the “rough draft” of my next book. From the list of books down at the bottom it would seem I’ve been reading too much instead. (I just moved the list up).

WHAT I READ THESE PAST WEEKS:  Angelique in Love by Sergeanne Golon. Dead On My Feet by J.A. Konrath. Beguiling the Beauty by Sherry Thomas. Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill. Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas. Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas. The Changeling by Kristin Kathryn Rusch. The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas. Insects by John Koloen.  

For the last week I’ve been watching naked guys on film. Sometimes half-naked guys on film. Started with the remake of Psycho. Went to Eastern Promises. Ended with The Legend of Tarzan. Between those three, plus the stills on the internet that went with them, I garnered a few details to add at the end of my work in progress.

You should have seen me, sitting on the couch by myself (actually, our dog Boomer was on the couch with me), a notepad on my lap, trying to take notes instead of getting caught up in the story. And pausing, running it back, pausing, running it back. Those guys just moved too fast for me to concentrate on what I wanted, which was shoulders, small of the back, forearms (and don’t ever Google “men’s forearms”).

I’m into writing that scene today. Probably tomorrow and Wednesday, too. Hope I can make it sing.

Apologies to the actors I’m using as guides, but they are the ones who signed up for nude scenes. And I did watch the whole movie. Each of them. Eastern Promises was a lot better than I remembered. And an incredible bit of acting from Viggo Mortensen as well. The remake of Psycho, not so much. The Legend of Tarzan held me enthralled. I almost forgot to take notes.

Name of my new book, already months late: THE GOODALL MARAUDERS.

My published books can be found here

First Friday, Lockhart Texas

Tomorrow night (June 2, 2017) is First Friday around the town square in Lockhart, Texas, which is also the barbecue capital of our state. First Friday is a promotional event for the stores. They stay open later. They sometimes have entertainment (music), wine, and tasty treats.

PRINTING SOLUTIONS will be featuring me GRETCHEN RIX (and someone else, I’m going to be surprised) at the book signing from 5 to 8 pm. I’ve got eleven books to show off. Normally costing $13.95, we’ll sell them to you for $10.00.  

Two are set in Lockhart.: the murder mysteries TALKING TO THE DEAD GUYS and TEA WITH A DEAD GAL. The weird western (it’s a horror genre sub-category) ARROYO features a whole adventure in Lockhart at the time the Dr. Eugene Clark Library was being built.  THE COWBOY’S BABY and THE COWBOY’S BABY GOES TO HEAVEN is set in Central Texas, somewhere in the Kyle area. These two are romantic comedies. THE SAFARI BRIDE is set in Western Africa. My three short story collections are ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT, TWISTED RIXTER, and BABY SINGS THE BOOS. Ill Met is a hoot. Twisted Rixter is… well, twisted. Baby Sings is funny, and about a bull and a dog. And then I’ve got science fiction. More like space opera. THE GOODALL MUTINY and THE GOODALL MANIFEST. If you like Star Trek you should like the Goodall series. If you want hard science, these aren’t for you. 

We’re bringing tiny bundt cakes. There should be wine. If  you want to talk writing, we’d love to.



Hint from the writing trenches:

Procrastination can be a writer’s greatest friend.

It allows the story to percolate through your subconscious long enough to bring up the most unexpected plot twists. Be careful not to stall too long, though.

Deadlines is another nasty word that disguises its worth. Deadlines are a writer’s best friend, too. They take us away from NCIS New Orleans and put us in our writing chairs.


I’m working on THE GOODALL MARAUDERS, the third in my series of space opera short novels. And having a blast. (I guess when I get the third cover on here it will be double the size of the Manifest below)




For those of you who have NOOKS

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: American Caliphate by William Doonan. The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas.



Retro/welcoming yellow banner instantly identifies it/cozy space/(some would say too small)/down-home waitresses/friendly to a fault/Coca-Cola, thank God. Fast, fast service/watch them cook (no, I don’t think so)/Margarine (or whatever serves for it now-a-days)/too bad it’s not real butter/hot butter/melted salt-laced butter. Oh, well. Would have eaten too many waffles if buttered/Waffles, waffles, waffles, of course. Unless it’s lunch time. Then patty melts/hash browns/more hash browns. Can’t believe I almost turned down the hash browns. You don’t remember anything until you’ve seen it eight times/They say/Thought I saw a Waffle House every other block down by the beach in Biloxi/Google says there were only eight./We ate there twice. Gulf Shores, Alabama. Baytown, Texas (hello Baytown!). Anyone other than me think of the movie Tin Cup when they see a Waffle House? How about Food, Glorious Food from Oliver?

We were on vacation.

You can find all my books on Amazon


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Hill Country Rage by Patrick Kelly. Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas.


NOTICE: I’m going to start with my romance novels. Does anyone want a free Audible copy of my light romantic comedy The Cowboy’s Baby Goes to Heaven? I have several to give away. The narrator Carol Herman has done a peachy-keen job on it. Just go to comments and tell me you want one. I’ll reply with the free code and instructions on how to download it. First come, first served. Like at the Waffle House.





Trying something new

I’m working on the third book in the Goodall series, which is basic science fiction adventure, or space opera, and this time I’m doing something different: getting the cover designed before I’ve even finished writing the book. You see, I know how this one ends. So I’ve been able to suggest a complimentary cover to the first two.

Here’s The Goodall Mutiny And here’s The Goodall Manifest  


The third book in the series will follow the design of the first more than the second, or so I’ve planned. Can’t wait to see it.

Should be writing it instead, right!


We had fun selling The Goodall Mutiny, The Goodall Manifest, and Ill Met By Moonlight April 8 at the 5th annual San Antonio Book Festival.


WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  The Pirate Captain’s Daughter by Lindsay Buroker. Evelyn Marsh by S.W. Clemens. Legend of the Dawn by J. R. Wright. Chirp by Ann Everett.

Find my books here

Books you’ll enjoy


Books you’ll enjoy.

I just re-read THE WALK by Lee Goldberg about the fourth time in as many years. It has become my favorite go-to book when I’m feeling a little down. I always remember the story, but the details fade. It would make a great little movie. We’ve given it to libraries, and we’ve gifted it to friends. THE WALK is about a low-level movie executive caught in The Big One ( a beyond catastrophic earthquake that destroys much of the west coast) who tries walking across Los Angeles to get back home to his wife. It will really surprise you. You can find it here

Almost everything by Dick Francis (before his wife died). I’ve read most of his books three times already and am only waiting until some of the details fade out of my memory to read them again. His characters are like nobody else’s. Get lost in a world where honor still means something. Plus you’ll learn all sorts of things. His books explore all sorts of jobs. I think my first was REFLEX. I was hooked ever after. You can find that book here

Connie Willis has what I consider a masterpiece with PASSAGE. Changed my perceptions about death right around. A great science fiction novel about near-death experiences and what they really are. Most of it plays out on the Titanic. You can find it here

And then there are the masterful and suspenseful mystery novels of Kris Nelscott about detective Smokey Dalton. A DANGEROUS ROAD is book one. Read this one and you won’t want to stop. You can find it here 

And then, you can find my books here


The above are in order of my writing them. The last book is always the best book, because I’m getting better and better with practice. Do I have a favorite? I really can’t say. I’m proud of all of them. Am I including them in my books you’ll enjoy list? Nope. I’m sure (and I started to say I’m pretty sure, but really, I’m sure) you’ll enjoy Goldberg, Francis, Willis, and Nelscott more. They are writers at the top of their game. I’m just beginning.

This time I think the photos were by Gretchen Rix.

The Illustrations

Yes, ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT has illustrations. Even in the e-book version, though I think they look better in the print version. Streetlight Graphics did the work. Roxanne and I decided what might best represent each story, and they took it from there.

Below are the pictures for HANDSEL MONDAY, for ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS, and for EXPIATION. You can find ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT at BookPeople in Austin, Tx. And through Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, and ITunes.
















































WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Skirmishes by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas.


BROWN and THE GOODALL MARAUDERS. Sounds like a movie, or a book title. And you’re right, but it’s two book titles! Against my better judgement, I’m writing two books at the same time.

Going all out in the month of March to write and finish writing THE GOODALL MARAUDERS, which is book three in my series. And in my spare time, continuing the adventures of BROWN, which was meant to be my first thriller, but is really a straight murder mystery with a bit of offbeat humor.

I’m on Chapter Three of THE GOODALL MARAUDERS (and this chapter’s giving me fits) and on Chapter Twelve of BROWN. I’m not worried about any unintended crossovers between the two. They are very different stories. The one set in San Antonio, Texas, and the other in deep space. (Just finished Chapter Twelve of BROWN. What fun! Really. It’s fun writing).

It will be interesting to see if I can work on the two at once. You can find my books here











WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:  Crosstalk by Connie Willis.

In the “a picture is worth a thousand words” category




The tree above is one of the great illustrations for my last book ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT courtesy of Streetlight Graphics. You can see it here

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK (actually, several week’s worth): Stuck by Steven L. Hawk. A Hidden Magic by Vivian Vande Velde. End Game: The Fallen Empire Book 8 by Lindsay Buroker. The Crypt Thief by Mark Pryor. Blackout by Connie Willis.

God Bless You Every One

I’m paraphrasing Dickens with God Bless You Every One. Of course.

This is referencing my last week’s free giveaway of my latest book ILL MET BY MOONLIGHTrsz_ill-met-by-moonlight-2500x1563-amazon-smashwords-kobo-apple

I truly appreciate all the readers who took advantage and downloaded my little tale. And I love the one reader who bought a copy of THE GOODALL MUTINY during the same time-span. (Or as Tober-Maurice would say, Love you, Love you, Love youuuu!). The Goodall Mutiny

We gave away ninety-one copies. Some of you might think that’s pipsqueak numbers. It’s not. Eighty-one readers in the United States now have ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT available to read when they’re ready for it. Four readers in the United Kingdom, one in Germany, one in Japan, one in India, one in Canada, and two in Australia as well. Not pipsqueaky at all. Thank you each and every one.

For those of you who enjoyed ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT, my short story collection TWISTED RIXTER has similarly dark humored tales, though they’re not about the dangerous walking macadamia trees of Hawaii (except one that’s already in ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT.) Twisted Rixter







And the more family-friendly tales in BABY SINGS THE BOOS rounds out my short story offerings. It’s a tie in between the mystery novels and the light romantic comedy novels I’ve written. Very funny. Baby Sings The BoosAgain, thank you. Hope you enjoy my stories. Really hope you come back for more.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Drive safe.

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK: The Falls by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Selfie