Hey, peeps. Come join me and 150+ authors this Friday, December 3rd, over on DangerouslyDarkDarlings on Facebook for a Secret Santa party. We’ll be there all day chatting about the upcoming holidays, giving away prizes, and generally having a fun time.
In addition to EVERYTHING else I’m currently doing with my writing career, I’ve begun the process of converting my first KindleVella story into book form. I hope to have the completed work ( it’s 32 chapters Yikes) ready to publish in KU on January 1. That’s a bit of a daunting date, but I seem to thrive well under pressure these days.
The episodic story did so well in KindleVella and continues to do so, I felt I wanted to offer it to a wider reading audience, so, the process begins.
Here’s a little tease from the book for today’s Tuesday Teaser:
Since first learning of their assignment, a question had been burning inside her. Anna finally gave it a voice. “Can she really be as good as we’ve been lead to believe? I mean, she’s been stuck out here in the sticks for ten years. Can she still have that edge?”
None of the current members of the SPCD, aside from Tucker, had been FBI agents when Kella was a major member of the unit.
“From everything I’ve read in her bio, she’s one smart chick,” Diego said. “Three doctorates before the age of twenty-three; tenth-degree black belt. She was the choice of the Director to head the unit after her old man was killed. She passed, so it went to Petrie.”
“And he’s never looked back,” Jemson said, a flash of humor crossing his face. In the next instant, he grew serious again. “Petrie told me a story once a few years ago when we worked on the Bordello Butcher. Remember that one?”
“I heard about it,” Diego said. “One sick dude.”
“Yeah. Petrie figured out who the perp really was because of something he remembered Kella said when she was just a kid. Seems she was always at the Bureau or Quantico with her old man after her mother died. They were working a case where the guy strangled his little boy vics and then tied a big red bow around their necks as a calling card.”
“I remember that one,” Anna said. “Required reading during training because of the age-specific profile.”
“Yeah. Well, it seems Carson O’Brien was the one who wrote the profile, but it was little Miss O’Brien who nailed the guy. She was twelve.”
“How?” Diego asked, keeping his eyes on the car in front of him as it turned off the main street.
“The team liked a coupla guys for the do-er, but couldn’t finger any of them with the limited evidence. The kid comes into the conference room one day, sees the pictures of the crime scenes all over the bulletin board, spots the bows, and tells her old man the guy’s left-handed.”
“How did she figure that?” Anna asked.
“Well, they’d all been staring at the pictures for days, and Petrie and O’Brien felt something wasn’t right about the way the victims were laid out. They thought the positioning was wrong or something. Anyway, she comes in, looks at the pictures, tells her old man the perp’s left-handed and then demonstrates it by tying her shoes first right-handed and then left. Seems she’s ambidextrous as well as brilliant.”
“I am, too,” Anna said. “Ambidextrous, I mean,” she added, her face turning color.
“You shoot both hands?” Diego asked, eyeing her in the rearview mirror.
“Yeah. My Dad taught me how to use both.”
“Well, then you should know there really is a difference in how the bow falls if you tie it left-handed,” Peter said. “Only one of their suspects was, so the team zeroed in on him and actually caught him, under surveillance, pick up his last victim.”
“Pretty smart kid,” Diego said.
“To hear Petrie talk her up, she’s the best thing that ever happened to profiling. The Director offered her anything she wanted to stay on as head of the unit. She’d had enough, though, when her old man bought it. The killer almost did her in as well. The way I heard it, she was an ounce of blood away from dying when she killed the guy.”
“I heard that story at the Academy,” Diego said. “When we took Weapons and Firearms. The instructor drilled into us how important it is to practice shooting from every imaginable angle, no matter what physical condition we’re in. That kind of training saved Kella O’Brien’s butt.”
Intrigued? I’ll keep you posted and if you subscribe to KU you’ll be able to read it.
Ever notice how most of my post titles come in threes? LOL
Today is – commercially – referred to as CYBER MONDAY, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
The experts tell us this is the most heavily shopped day on the Internet during the holiday season. I don’t know if I agree with that because I know people who are still online, shopping, on Christmas Eve with the thought the gift will be delivered December 25th morning.
With the advent of a spike in Covid cases recently, I wonder if people are going to take advantage this year – as they did last year – by doing a great deal of their shopping online instead of having to brave the outside, infected, world. Shipping and the supply chain issues are also currently problematic, so it may be easier to find that perfect gift online.
It’s said this day is predicted to be the best of the year for retailers who offer online shopping this year. As someone who sells her books, for the most part, through digital means, I hope this is true.
If you are shopping the Internet today and have a book lover and/or romance reader/women’s fiction reader on your gift list, I hope you’ll consider my newest Holiday RomCom,FIXING CHRISTMAS, as a gift. It’s on sale digitally for the next few days at only 99cents at all major online booksellers ( not only Amazon!).
Christmas has never filled writer Abra Charles with undiluted pleasure. If you’d been left on a doorstep on Christmas Eve morning, you might have a few issues with the holiday as well.
Abra’s avoided her hometown of Dickens for the past twenty Christmas seasons, but now she’s returned in an attempt to get her writing mojo back. Twice-divorced and with her third engagement ending in heartbreak, anger, and blackmail, Abra is now six months behind on submitting her current book. She hopes renting Copperfield House and immersing herself in solitude will cure her writer’s block and get her life back on track. The house she rents isn’t helping her achieve her goal, though, as one thing after another breaks, collapses, or floods.
Colton Bree, Dickens’ very own Mr. FixIt, can’t help but wonder if the new resident of Copperfield House is cursed. After being called to repair a broken window, he’s then needed to fix an exploding coffeepot, an overrunning toilet, and a washing machine that has a mind of its own. Bree doesn’t mind all the unexpected repair jobs, though, because the sexy renter is something to look at despite being a little neurotic and a whole lot of snarky.
Can Abra get her book done with all the distractions and craziness of her life, the biggest distraction being the flannelled hunk with the bedroom eyes and scowling yet oh-so-kissable mouth? Or will Dickens’ Mr FixIt have to step in and save the day and in so doing, fix Christmas for Abra forever?
It’s no secret I live in a small town. It’s also no secret I am a big supporter of small-town businesses.
The TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP, for instance, is an indie book retailer in my town and they have been uber-supportive of my publishing career from the get-go. I had a book signing with them yesterday and they went all-out for me.
Living in a small town where you see and know the owners of local businesses at church, or out dining, or at the local YMCA, it’s easy to want to support them. After all, if their businesses thrive, your little town does too, because they give back to the community.
So today, on SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, I encourage you all shop locally owned and operated stores for your holiday gifs.
And as an aside, did you know that every writer is considered a small business owner, indie authors most of all? We have a product ( our books) that we market to the public ( readers) for a price. So, please, if you know any indie authors who are your favorite writers and they sell their books from their website, support them as well. I’m included in this group because I have an online store attached to my website here: BOOKSTORE If you want to order any books directly from here, use this order form.
Support your local businesses, peeps. It’s a good thing.
And so, on this day after America gave thanks for her many blessings, the commercialization of the holiday season – better known as BLACK FRIDAY – begins.
I will tell you this honestly: I have NEVER gone shopping on Black Friday. I’m not one for crowds. They make me nervous. Covid didn’t help my anxiety, either, but bolstered and increased it a million-fold.
Cyber shopping was truly invented for people like me – the ones who must and need to shop, but hate going out in public to do so. Long lines. Whining kids. Grumpy shoppers. People who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze right in your face.
Nope. Not my cup of tea at all.
Which is why I love to shop internet/store deals on this day.
If you’re like me and hate to leave home on this busy, ridiculously busy day, I’ve got a deal for you and the book lovers on your holiday gift list – a #99cent sale on FIXING CHRISTMAS my latest Dickens Holiday Romance. Today it is available for a limited time at #99cents everywhere digital books are sold – Amazon, Nook, Applebooks, even Kobo.
Here’s the universal link. Just click and choose your purchase venue:FIXING CHRISTMAS
Whether you’re embracing the hordes in the stores, or sitting on your couch finger shopping, I hope you find all the deals and gifts you want this holiday season.
And I really hope one of them includes my book! Shameless plug, I know, but this is me, after all!
In 2020 I spent the day cooking and visiting with family via a three-hour Zoom call. Not the best Thanksgiving ever, to be certain. But, at least we were still able to see one another, talk and make fun of the way our lives were going.
This year no zoom call. My family is all vaccinated, some of us have been booster-ed – some have appointments to be – and we are all still diligent about handwashing, sanitizing, etc. We can meet face-to-face to share our meal and give our thanks.
That alone is enough to be thankful for today, but I have a few other things I want to share that I am so grateful for and now seems the appropriate time to do it.
I am thankful and grateful…
for my freedom. With the recent events in Balarus and the middle east, I can imagine myself in no other country on earth but this one. We may have issues – Lord, we have issues – but we are inherantly free as a people to express ourselves.
for my family. It may not be big, but it’s a wonderful conglomeration of people and personlaities who give me joy every single day.
my new baby grandson who owns my heart, pure and simple.
the fact my parents are still alive, relatively well, and able to live in their own home. Now in their upper 80’s this is an amazing accomplishment.
my ability to still think clearly enough to write for a living! Some days the words don’t come, but when they do, I am thankful for each and every one.
the people who read my stories and actually like them. That is priceless to me.
my health -such as it is. After another bout with this dreaded skin cancer I’ve grown to dispise, I am going into the next year giving thanks that it could have been worse. A few scars on my face and body are the proof I defeated this ridiculous disease.
My daughter, who fills my life with immeasurable joy and who makes me glad each and every day I was blessed to give birth to her
My crazy dog Maple. I had hoped for a calm, service-type personality dog. Nope. Not even close. But still I am thankful she came into our lives.
my husband who makes my life complete in every way and has for the past 40 years. Here’s to another 40!
The happiest of days, my dear peeps. I hope your tables are filled with people you love, your stomachs are filled with delicious food, and your health is, and remains, well.
It is so hard for me to believe Thanksgiving ( in the US) is tomorrow! Where the heck did this month go? Or for that matter, this year?! With the birth of my first grandchild in September, the loss of my father-in-law two weeks ago, and the marriage of my nephew last weekend, I am one tired chickie! And just for giggles, let’s throw in the fact I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year.
Yikes. I guess I’ll sleep in….well, I really don’t know because next month is pretty filled, too.
While I am decorating for the Christmas holidays starting tomorrow, I wanted to let you know about two events going on concurrently this week.
First, FIXING CHRISTMAS – A Dickens Holiday Romance ( Dorrit’s Diner) is on sale for only #99cents for one week. Amazon jumped the gun and started the sale yesterday, but for every other venue, it begins on Thanksgiving day. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, now is the perfect time to order it!
On Black Friday I will be signing books at the TOADSTOOL BOOKSHOP in Keene, NH from noon until 2 pm signing FIXING CHRISTMAS and all my other Holiday books:
So get your Holiday reading started – or buy some books as gifts for the romance lovers on your holiday gift list!
Books are a great gift anytime of year, but especially during the Holiday Season!
Happy Thanksgiving, peeps and hope to see many of you on Black Friday – also called Plaid Friday for those who shop local – at the TOADSTOOL! ~ peg
“Some of the joys in being a septuagenarian are unexpected. Google is one—how else did you think I knew how to spell septuagenarian? Dressing however you want is another. It’s especially fun to wear what a blonde twenty-something on Facebook assures you is completely wrong for you.” – Liz Flaherty, Window Over the Desk
Getting romance novels published is hard for me these days—not so much because I’m the age I am, I guess, or because I look the age I am, but because I sound the age I am. The editors I’ve worked with in past years are kind in their assessments, but they either say no or they edit my work to the point that it really doesn’t look so much like my work anymore.
That’s hard. I won’t deny that. But publishing a book of essays that have previously appeared in newspapers and blog posts and magazines—that’s “dressing how you want.” And the age you are. No one who reads the Window books ever mentions that I sound old.
Let me know. Do I?
In 2020, I released the first collection of Window Over the Sink columns. It was for my family, really, and to give my own ego a boost. (Any writer who says she doesn’t need that now and then is lying, by the way.)
It was so much fun.
Which is why I decided to open the Window Over the Desk. My view out this particular window is a favorite—even today, when I’m drying…things…on the clothesline. Also today, the hay bales in the field that have given me pleasure for several weeks have been gathered and stored for the long winter.
I hope the essays in this book give you some pleasant reading time over that winter. I hope they make you remember things, laugh sometimes, and refill your cup and sit down and read “just one more.”
As I mention way more often than is necessary, I’m kind of old. The years have dimmed some reflections through the window, brightened others, and changed a whole bunch of them. What a trip it’s been.
Thanks—again—for joining me on the journey.
The Woman in the Mirror
Do you ever feel as if you lost yourself somewhere along the way? If you’ve had a bad time or an extraordinarily good one, do you ever look in the mirror and wonder exactly who’s looking back at you? Because you’ve changed, and you’re not sure what to do with the person who’s there.
I’m feeling thoughty here—can you tell? I’m always, always whining about how much I hate change, yet when I look back—over bad times and extraordinarily good ones, it’s an ongoing cycle, isn’t it? It’s what keeps life new and interesting. And, yeah, sometimes awful.
But if it weren’t for change, and my kicking-and-screaming caving to it, I would:
Never have changed jobs and I’d have been stuck with working one I hated.
Never have married the man I did because he wasn’t the first person I loved.
I’d never have had a third child.
I’d have given up the first time a publisher said Nope.
Or maybe the second.
For sure by the twenty-third.
I’d have kept my hair short.
And let it go gray.
I’d still be writing longhand on lined paper and thinking I wasn’t good enough.
So, no, I don’t always know the woman in the mirror, or, for that matter, the man I’m married to. I don’t always like either of us. There are days when I do feel like I’ve lost the person I was. Because I have. Because every re-invention in every time of life is change, it’s often hard, and it’s always necessary. I think maybe I like it.
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and wanting to travel. The author of 20-some books and her husband Duane share an old farmhouse in North Central Indiana that they talk about leaving. However, that would require clearing baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren, so they’ll probably stay where they are. Liz can be reached at email@example.com or found at http://lizflaherty.net
I know COVID destroyed a lot of things. Being isolated and quarantined for so long has to have a negative effect on socialization, so I’m wondering if one those social things that got shoved to the wayside were BOOK CLUB meetings.
Now, I know many people ( read: men) think book clubs are nothing more than an excuse for women to gather, drink wine and complain about their…men. While the drinking wine and gathering may be true ( and let’s just say the complaining is too,) most book clubs really do exist for a reason – to read and discuss a chosen book.
Sounds kinda obvious, doesn’t it men??! ( Add the sarcasm.)
So I’m wondering with COVID were book clubs able to keep on keeping on? Zoom could have helped, but there’s nothing like gathering in person to discuss your club’s chosen copy of the month is there?
And here’s a shameless plug: the reason I wonder about book clubs is because I’d like to have one of my books featured in one.
Told you it was shameless.
When I lived in Wisconsin I belonged to a book club that met once per month. The book was decided by the club manager and I never read a book that I liked or could relate to when I was a member. Part of the problem may have been because I was the youngest member at 30 and the mean average of the group was 70.
After we moved I was so busy with my family I never bothered to find a club in my new town.
But now that I write, I’d really like to get one of my books in front of a book club and get their reactions to my written words.
So ( here’s another shameless thing, this one is an ask!) if you have a book club with your friends, would you consider me for a featured author spot? I love zoom and I could pop in after you’ve all read the book to discuss it. Connections to people with similar tastes and likes in books is a great way to foster relationships, so if you’ve got a book club, please consider me!
I know it’s only November, but a writer’s actual holiday preparation starts in the Spring and early Summer. That’s when the new crop of holiday romance books must be completed so they can be put on sale from October through December. Some authors even have Christmas in July events to promote their new and upcoming holiday romances.
I simply adore a good holiday love story no matter what time of the year it is. I don’t get my fix of holiday romcoms and smalltown stories from the Hallmark or Lifetimes channels on TV, though, but through reading. I can count on several authors each year releasing a new book for the season and like clockwork, I buy them all.
I adore slipping away for a few hours with the newest Nancy Naigle holiday story, or Jill Shalvis’ most recent holiday romcom. Brenda Novak and Debbie Macomber never disappoint in the holiday fiction department, either.
My love affair with holiday romances began when I read Nora Robert’s ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS when it was released in 1994. This lovely story of twin boys who ask Santa to bring a new mommy for them and their daddy pulled at every heartstring in my chest. Since then, reading these kinds of stories has become my happy place around the holiday season.When shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, office parties, and relatives-you-could-do-without-seeing alloccur within a ten-week period of time, hiding out for an hour or two with a good holiday-centered-romance is my way of staying sane. In fact, now that I write my own romance books, holiday love stories have become a thing for me to release into the world too!
This year’s addition is FIXING CHRISTMAS – A DICKENS HOLIDAY ROMANCE ( Dorrit’s Diner), which released on 11.9.2021. Last year I was honored to be part of a group of authors who penned the CHRISTMAS COMES TO DICKENS stories about a small fictional New England town during the holidays. Several of the authors – including myself – loved telling the stories so much we teamed up for another season. Each book is a standalone romance but from book to book you meet some of the same townsfolk. It’s a truly charming town and the stories are all heartwarming.
Here’s a little about FIXING CHRISTMAS:
She’s a neurotic, snarky, chatty writer trying to get her professional and personal life back on track.
He’s a quiet, widowed, ex-military handyman.
When her rental house starts falling down around her ears, he’s charged with fixing the issues – and just might be exactly what she needs to fix her own ones as well.