Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Buncha Book Covers and Stuff

You'd think I would learn by now that I'm a very small person who can't pick up large things without completely throwing my back out. You'd be wrong, though. This time, the heavy thing is my squirming puppy. My gosh, is he growing. My gosh, does my back hurt.

I've figured out how to write while lying very still. That's about the extent of doable things, though.

So why not read, instead? My favorite contemporary author has a new book out today, and I'm so excited for it.

I love that each of her Dublin Murder Squad novels features a minor character from a previous novel, made major. I love her prose. Her novels are all super-absorbing and I can't wait to dive into this one.

I'm also excited about Part II of Fearless, "Crossing Lines." I hope to have it out by late October.

Also coming out in October, another book by one of my favorites.
And next Friday, the 12th, this finally releases.
Go forth and read. And enjoy being upright for me. 

Monday, September 1, 2014


Who can believe it's September already? This morning marked the beginning of my obnoxious Season of Unrepentant Sunrise Photography. I know my Facebook friends grow weary of waking up to sunrise shots each day. But I just can't stop taking pictures. That's how you become a better photographer - take and take and take and take.

This was my favorite shot of the morning. I love the way the golden light softens the jagged edges of the pecan tree leaves. I adore this tree. It's riddled with woodpecker holes. With the exception of the live oaks, there's not many trees more Southern than pecans.

I love how Viktor wandered into the shot and I didn't even notice until later.

I love the dew on the grass and the crystalline spiderwebs between the tall stalks.

Authors never really take a vacation - there's no getting away from your thoughts - so I'll be spending the next few hours working. This September arrives with it's fair share of busyness and stress - a good kind of stress. It's good to be busy and have things to do.

A quick reminder that Keeping Bad Company comes out Friday September 12. Just a couple more weeks! I'm excited about this one because it's a crossover between the Russell Series and Fearless. You can grab it now for 99cents on Amazon.

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Friday, August 29, 2014


So here we are. The product of my computer-free weeks. Fearless is many things: it's the spirit and the womenfolk of a story I wrote several years ago that I wasn't sure would ever get its chance to shine out in the real world; it's a character epic; it's a forbidden love story; and it's an experiment of sorts.

"Lying Down With Dogs" is the first installment in a multi-part novel. Rather than release Fearless six months from now, I decided to try something new, and release it in ebook installments. It's something I've always wanted to try, and the expansive world of Fearless is a perfect fit for this project. After all the installments have been released, I will then release a final, complete ebook and paperback of the novel. And I would love to host a signed paperback giveaway when the time comes.

The project has its own page here, and I'll be posting release dates and other info on Twitter, Facebook, and here on the blog through the rest of the season.

Okay that's all the boring stuff. Let's talk story.

Fearless shifts from the Russells' outside perspective of the Lean Dogs MC to an inside perspective, that of club wife, Maggie, and club daughter, Ava. Maggie and Ava have been with me a long time, and I'm so excited to bring them to life like this, in a totally new, reimagined way.

Then of course we have the boys. The wives. The hangarounds. A rich cast of characters steeped in local color.

Lace up your boots, folks. Here we go...

From the back of the book:

From the author of the Walker Series comes a family drama like no other, a sprawling character epic, a forbidden love story full of angst, adventure, heartbreak, and second chances.  Welcome to the mother chapter of the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club; meet the girl raised by outlaws, and the fearsome man who will always hold her heart.

Ava Teague left for college with a busted heart and a deeply ingrained love for her biker family. She returns home to Knoxville for grad school, just in time for her father to accept the burden of president…and for Mercy Lécuyer to roll back into town, looking to patch into the Tennessee chapter once more. She’ll steer clear of him, she tells herself. She has a new life, a new boyfriend, and a new outlook. But she can’t shake her DNA. And maybe she doesn’t want to.

Felix Lécuyer left the swamps of Louisiana for a life as an outlaw biker named Mercy, but it was his family, and the retribution he dealt because of it, that made him famous within the club. Fourteen years ago he fled New Orleans for Knoxville, to become an extractor and bodyguard within the mother chapter, guarding Ghost Teague’s family, becoming a constant companion to little Ava. When she was seventeen, he finally crossed the line. Now she’s twenty-two, and he’s back in town as on old nemesis rears its ugly head, and puts the entire club in danger. The fate of the club is uncertain, but Mercy has no doubts about his heart; it still belongs to Ava.

Told in installments, this rich narrative travels from the swamps outside New Orleans to the foothills of Tennessee, spanning fourteen years, following a family of outlaws bound by brotherhood, blood, and a love that knows no boundaries. Dive into Fearless Part I: “Lying Down With Dogs,” and be on the lookout for Part II: “Crossing Lines,” this fall.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Song A Day: Nothing But The Water (I) - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

I've gotten behind on this "song a day" thing. Sorry. We'll make up for it today.

First up is "Nothing But The Water" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Lots of water in this story.

Then it's the entire Magic Potion album by The Black Keys, namely "Strange Desire" and "Goodbye Babylon." If you haven't ever listened to any of the tracks, I recommend you do so immediately. I personally think this is their best album. A little more drama and darkness than some of the newer stuff.

The official release date for my new project Fearless is tomorrow, so we'll talk about it then. But it's on Amazon if anyone wants to go take a peek. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Playing It Safe

The Lean Dog

If you read my blog, you by now know how much I adore Sherlock Holmes. My favorite adventure being The Hound of the Baskervilles - or "The Hound of the Baskervilles" if you're watching it. Long have I been fascinated by the black dogs of British folklore, the spectral dogs - the crossroads demons, the hellhounds, the heralds of death - who haunt the moors and back roads of the Isles. The legend of the black dog is pervasive; there's been a concentration of sightings on Dartmoor, but they are said to haunt other quiet places. In Hertfordshire, the malevolent spirit of a huge black dog with glowing red eyes, said to be the spirit of a chimney sweep hanged for murder, haunts a roadside where a gibbet once stood, sinking into the road when anyone lays eyes upon it. Locally, it is known as the Lean Dog.

I love the sound of that: Lean Dog.

I love that it resides in Hertfordshire, the setting of my all-time favorite literary novel, Pride and Prejudice.

I bring up the legend of the Lean Dog because I have some news regarding my Russell novels and my upcoming Friday release. When I first wrote God Love Her in 2008, I knew I had to name the motorcycle club "The Black Dogs," my special tribute to sinister folklore and Sherlock, too, if I'm honest. I searched online, and could not find an outlaw club by that name. But I didn't publish God Love Her then; it was only released last year, and the copyright stands only from that point forward. I've recently realized that there now exists a law enforcement MC that has copyrighted the name "Black Dogs MC," one founded before my book was released.


What are the odds a club would care about my books? About me using the name? I asked myself. But I've been thinking on it all week, and I realized something: the name of the club in my novels isn't as important as being respectful of other people's copyrights. It's just not.

In my writing life, I've had the bejesus plagiarized out of my stories. It's a terrible feeling. I never want to do that to anyone else. I never want anyone to think I stole something from them.

So, moving forward, The Black Dogs of my novels are still the Dogs - they are still steeped in mythology and folklore and the bar in Keeping Bad Company is still called Baskerville Hall, but their name will now be the Lean Dogs Motorcycle Club. They're still black dogs, and bear them proudly on their cuts; they're just not Black Dogs.

I hate the idea that this might cause any confusion, but it's something I felt was important. I have already gone back and adjusted the name in God Love Her, will do so for KBC, and Friday's release is ready to go as the Lean Dogs.

So, the Black Dogs are now the Lean Dogs, and all the novels should now reflect that. Sorry, everyone. I thought it best to rectify the matter before going any further, especially since Friday's release is so chock full of Dogs. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Short Change Hero

A soundtrack song a day: "Short Change Hero" by The Heavy


Welcome to Knoxville

source: pinterest
The Tennessee River in Knoxville, TN.
The waterways of a place have a profound effect upon them. The rivers, lakes and coastlines drive the local culture - to a certain degree. The identity of the city is often wrapped up in the water that flows through it. This is the Tennessee River, and along its banks you'll find the setting of Friday's Super Secret Project. We're going to Knoxville for this latest adventure. 

Market Square Alleyway art print by David Patterson
Neyland Stadium at University of Tennessee