Running Blind blog tour=treats for you

Have I got a Halloween treat for you!

Today is the first day of the Running Blind blog tour. Venona and I have a whole bunch of goodies lined up for you, including bonus short stories (one involving Lord Squashbottom and amnesia and… well, you’ll have to read it), excerpts, secrets, and an in-depth interview with narrators Greg Tremblay and Joel Leslie. We also have THREE wonderful giveaways! (One open to everyone, the other two just to US residents due to shipping costs.)

All of this is to celebrate the release of Running Blind on November 7–but you can preorder now.


Here is a complete list of blog tour dates and locations. Be sure to visit them all to collect all your treats. And I have giveaway links below!

Nov 2 – Rhys Ford
Nov 3 – Mary Calmes
Nov 4 – DSP Blog
Nov 7 – Divine Magazine
Nov 10 – Love Bytes
Nov 11 – Sinfully Gay
 Giveaway #1: Open to everyone!
Prizes: gift certificate, e-book, 3 audiobooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2: Open to US residents only
Prizes: print Manga books, e-book, 3 audiobooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #3: Open to US residents only

Prizes: bento box ensemble, e-book, 3 audiobooks
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Release Day! Contact


Today is release day for Contact, the 5th in the Gothika series! Each book in the series has novellas with a particular monsterish theme. This time we have aliens. Just in time for Halloween!

In this volume, we present novellas by F.E. Feeley, Jr., Jamie Fessenden, B.G. Thomas, and me. Mine is called “Refugee.” Here’s the blurb:

When World War II ended and army medic Walter Clark returned to Chicago, he discovered that although home remained the same, he had changed. Unable to fit comfortably into his old life, he spent a year gradually making his way west. Now he’s gone as far as he can—the shore of the Pacific—but old memories make ocean views intolerable. He turns inland and finds himself in the hidden hamlet of Kiteeshaa, Oregon, where the locals are surprisingly friendly and the café serves food exactly like his grandmother used to make.

Martin Wright runs the Kitee Motor Court Inn and offers Walter a place to stay for a few nights. Later, Martin offers him a great deal more. But while Martin is a delight, he also harbors secrets—and there’s something not quite right about Kiteeshaa. No matter how far the two men have traveled, they can’t run away from their pasts.

I’ve had such fun writing the stories in this series, and I’m proud to be in such excellent writing company. I think you’ll really enjoy this volume.

Oh, and you don’t have to read the volumes in any particular order because the stories aren’t related. So you can pick and choose which sorts of creatures you’re in the mood for.

Contact at Dreamspinner Press

Contact at Amazon

New Orleans

I’ve traveled a fair bit around the US and Europe, but I’ve never managed to visit New Orleans. I’ve tried several times–it’s definitely on my bucket list–but somehow never got there. That’s about to change though, because I’ll be attending a conference in NOLA next month. The conference is for my day job, so I’ll have to do the academic stuff. But I’m definitely planning on sightseeing as well.

I already have a voodoo/cemetery walking tour booked. That’s an absolute must for me because, as you might know from previous posts, I love visiting old cemeteries. And thanks to my novella “The Dance” (in the Bones anthology), I’m really interested in voodoo.

So, those of you who know the city, what else do you recommend I see and do? I’m especially interested in things having to do with history, writing, the macabre, and of course food. Please comment with your suggestions!


I promise this isn’t a post in which I whine about reviews. Much the opposite, in fact.

I really, truly appreciate it when readers take the time to write reviews of my books. You don’t have to. You certainly don’t owe it to me. Yet some of you do make that extra effort, and your reviews not only help guide potential readers but also give me a sense of what works and what doesn’t. And let’s be honest: good reviews make me feel good.

I like how reviews can remind me of how much tastes vary. Consider these two real excerpts:

  • It was a bit fluffy for my taste. I enjoy a bit more struggle and angst but I enjoyed it.
  • I found this book to be enjoyable but it’s pretty hardcore.

These are from different people’s reviews of the same book. And they’re both right because they’re both talking about what pleases them–and that varies.

Some reviews make me laugh, like the one that noted that characters in my books pee too much (do they?) or the one that complained that a Prius is a poser car and not really eco-friendly. Some make me give an evil laugh, like the ones that said I made them cry or kept them up way past their bedtime (mwah-hah-hah!). Some touch my heart, like the ones that talk about how something in my story was personally meaningful to the reader.

Some reviews are incredibly thoughtful, and I especially love it when I can tell a reader gets it, that some theme or allusion I wanted to make was clear to someone else. I also love it when reviewers find my books–or parts of them, anyway–funny. And of course I’m thrilled when reviewers say they fell in love with my characters, because so have I.

I know we’re all busy. Maybe some of you wrongly believe you don’t have anything useful to say about a book you’ve read. But really, do an author a favor–next time you read, leave a review. Thank you!

As a reader, do you find reviews helpful? What information is most useful to you?

San Francisco weekend

My older daughter turned 17 yesterday. For her birthday gift, she asked for a family weekend trip to San Francisco. How sweet is that? We lucked out with perfect weather and even got to see a bit of the Blue Angels air show.

012 Here’s the birthday girl herself. There’s nothing better than watching your kids grown up to be lovely young adults.




And here’s her sister. We discovered a little free library and the younger kid nabbed a book, then enjoyed reading with amazing weather and a world-class view. What book would you read here?



063Have you read my book Staged? A crucial scene takes place in one of these houses (which I’ve made somewhat more upscale in my version of San Francisco).




One of the very cool things we did was visit the ruins of the Sutro Baths. You can climb all over the ruins and walk through a tunnel, enjoying this bit of the city’s history.



071 My husband enjoyed the beer flight at Beach Chalet. I enjoyed the waiter–who spilled one of these onto my husband and will become a character in a future book.




086 We went to California Academy of Sciences, where I fell in love with the sea dragons. These guys are so adorable and amazing! They look like something from Dr. Seuss.





And we made a stop at the Camera Obscura at Cliff House.




It was a nearly perfect weekend. Even my Fitbit was happy. Over 3 days, I walked up the equivalent of 60 flights of stairs.

Running Blind cover reveal!


I am so excited to announce that Running Blind is now available for preorder!

The book releases from Dreamspinner Press on November 7. I had the delightful opportunity to co-write it with Venona Keyes, and we had a wonderful time creating Kyle and Seth. I think you’ll fall in love with them too. Later we’ll be doing a blog tour, talking about some of our inspirations for this book. For now, here’s the blurb. And a preorder link.

Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.

After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin and leaves both men running blind.


The Downs on audio

downsacxIf you’re visiting this blog, you’re a reader. Are you a listener too?

When it come to stories, I’m panliterate. I read them in print, dead-tree format and a I read them on a variety of electronic devices. I also listen to audiobooks. Audio is a practical choice for me because I can listen while I walk. That allows me to fit more reading into my schedule and gives me incentive to get moving.

But audio is also great because it gives new life to a familiar story. It’s one thing to see words in print or on a screen, but a totally different experience to hear a talented narrator perform it.

All this is a prelude to announcing that I have a new audiobook available, The Downs. I’m so excited that K.C. Kelly was available to read it. If you’ve listened to some of my other audiobook, you’ll recognize his work from Brute, Housekeeping, The Tin Box, and Rattlesnake. Obviously, he’s one of my favorite narrators and I’m so thrilled with his newest work.

As with all my self-published works, I’m donating all my proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. So not only do you get a good story, but you’re doing good too.

You can order it now from Audible and Amazon. It will be on iTunes soon.

That cover is a beautiful photo by John Andreson, who very kindly gave me permission to use it. Check out his other work!

Oh, and one other thing. After you listen, I’d deeply appreciate it if you left a review. Thank you!