Fun in the Sun

At the beginning of the year, I decided to write a short story for the Bouchercon Anthology. Unfortunately, my story was not chosen, so I've decided to share if with y'all. Let me know what you think.

I stretched my legs out in front of me, towards the lapping waves. I rolled my shoulders, my tension melting away. These last few weeks had been nothing short of a nightmare. Digging my toes into the sand, I looked over at my husband. Every time I thought the word, I silently cringed--husband-- I never thought I would have one. Andy was looking back at me with a dopey, love filled expression, his smile hadn’t  vanished since the day I said “I do.”

“Have you heard from Ramirez?” Andy asked.

“I talked to him yesterday, before we got on the plane. He's back at work already, closing up all the details on the Thames case. There's so much evidence to sort through for the DA. Captain wasn't happy with our surprise wedding and honeymoon.”

“We deserved it. The bad guy's in jail and our pictures are all over the news. We're heroes.”

How about a little relief from this sun. I’m dying here.” I fanned my burnt skin.

We’ve been out here for thirty minutes, Hayden. You can’t already be burnt,” Andy said with an amused expression.

I looked down at my flushed skin and tried again. “I know a few other things we could be doing besides melting in the sun.” I smiled devilishly.

Okay, okay. You win,” Andy conceded.

    A few hours later, we sat in a dimly lit restaurant, enjoying the quiet ambiance. I dug into the rare steak and washed it down with a cold beer. Andy quietly watched me eat, barely touching his own plate. Something was on his mind.

What’s up?”

Oh nothing. Just thinking.”

About?” I rolled my hand, in a please explain gesture.

Just how happy I am and how much happier we would be if...” he trailed off, staring at a spot directly over my head.

That sentence better not end with kids.”

Will you at least promise to think about it?”

I sighed. Andy had been talking about kids for  weeks, ever since our wedding night. I had promised myself I wouldn’t turn into my sister. Stuck at home, raising snot-nosed kids, while my husband got to escape every day from nine to five. I’ll promise to think about it, if you promise not to bring it up again. I want to enjoy our honeymoon.”


I turned my attention back to the bloody steak in front of me and sawed off a chunk, shoving it into my mouth. “So, what’s on the agenda for tomorrow?”

Well, I think you’re going to like this one. I planned an airboat ride through the everglades.” He smiled with apprehension.

Are you fucking kidding me? The everglades? Bugs, alligators, and smelly water. Yeah, just how I wanted to spend my honeymoon.”

Oh, you’re going to love it. I heard a story once about a guy who found a dead body. Maybe we’ll get lucky.” He bounced with excitement.

What do you even wear on an airboat ride?” I asked, knowing arguing was futile.
    The next morning, I woke to bright sun streaming through the open curtains. I threw the pillow over my head and squeezed my eyes shut. Why had I let Andy choose Florida? Of all places, Florida. I felt the bed shift as Andy sat down next to me. Wake up, my beautiful bride,” he sung.

What is wrong with you,” I growled through the pillow.

We have a full day ahead of us.” He ripped the pillow from my face.

The fragrant smell of coffee wafted in my direction. I opened my eyes a fraction and noticed the mug of steaming java waving in front of my face. Snatching the coffee out of his hands, I raised myself into a sitting position Isn’t the whole point of a honeymoon to stay in bed all day and relax?”

We have a lifetime to spend in bed together. Plus, I’ve never been to Florida. Aren’t you excited?”

Yeah, thrilled. So far Florida hasn’t been that impressive. Golf ball sized mosquitoes and hot and sticky air should be on the billboards,”

Just get up and get dressed.” He stood and tossed the pillow onto the bed next to me.

    I sighed and placed the cooling coffee on the bedside table. Knowing Andy wouldn’t leave me alone, I threw the covers back and stumbled into the bathroom. I looked in the mirror, tracing a fingertip down my reddened cheeks, when a wave of nausea hit me. I bent over the toilet, emptying the contents of my stomach into the bowl. Just as soon as the nausea came, it passed, leaving me panting for breath. What was that about? I wondered as I climbed into the shower. I stood under the hot water, silently calculating the days in my head. Oh, fuck! I thought as I lowered myself onto the floor, and pulled my knees to my chest. I couldn't tell if it was the hot water or tears streaming down my cheeks.

    Twenty minutes later, I stood over my open suitcase. I hastily wiped the tears from the corners of my eyes and inhaled a deep breath, hoping to hide my moment of weakness. It wasn't the end of the world, after all. It just felt like it. I exhaled the breath and peered at the hodgepodge assortment of clothes. I had hastily thrown my whole wardrobe into the bag when Andy had told me to pack. He refused to tell me where we were going, so I didn’t know what to pack. Tossing aside the winter jacket and thermals, I picked a pair of jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. At least with jeans, the mosquitoes wouldn’t be able to eat me alive. I stepped into the small sitting room and noticed Andy sitting in front of the television. The headline on the news channel read “Charleston Detective Solves Twenty-year-old Case.”

    I settled in next to Andy and focused my attention on the television, hoping to distract myself from my revelation. The female reporter smiled while reading familiar details about the investigation. Even on vacation, I couldn’t escape real life. My life. The life of a detective. The report ended and commercials started playing. Andy turned the television off and stood. He shoved his gun into back of his pants with a smile in my direction. “Alligator safety,” he said with a wink. He offered me his hand, which I accepted, and pulled me to the door. I patted my own weapon in the waistband of my jeans to reassure myself. Two guns are better than one.

You ready?” Andy asked.

Let’s just get this over with.” I sighed and trudged into the hallway.
We stood at the exit of the hotel, waiting for the taxi to arrive. The heat was stifling. It was November, for God's sake. The green and white taxi pulled to a stop in front of the door and we climbed in, thankful for the cool air circulating through the musty smelling vehicle. I looked out of the window as the taxi drove through the crowded Miami streets. I shuddered as the eclectic crowds walked down the sidewalks. I had never seen so many people in bikinis and speedos, and I didn’t think my eyes would ever be the same. The taxi turned onto the highway and picked up speed. Palm trees and billboards flashing past the windows. Before I knew it, the taxi was pulling up to a run-down building. A sign over the door identified it as “Jack’s Airboat Rides.”

The taxi driver turned to face us, his arm stretching across the back of the front seat. “Well, here ya are.”

    I looked at the crumbling building and I was reminded of that scene from “Deliverance.” All that was missing was the redneck saying “you gotta purty mouth.” What had Andy gotten us into? He passed the driver a wad of bills and thanked him before pushing the door open. I followed suit and stepped out into the heat. I inhaled deeply, waiting for the putrid smell of salt and decaying fish to assault my nose, but all I could smell was fresh air. Maybe I was wrong about the everglades. Or, maybe not.

A man stepped out of the wooden building, the screen door slapping against the wooden frame. How ya doin, folks,” he said with a toothless grin.

He wore a baseball cap with the words “Come to the Everglades” scrawled across it. His white tank top stained with god knows what and his jeans were about three sizes too small. He held out a weathered hand, which Andy grasped and shook vigorously. I’m Jack. Nice to meet ya. Where ya from?”

We’re from Charleston, South Carolina,” Andy answered.

Oh. South Carolina. Got some family up thatta way,” Jack said with a smile. “Well, ya folks ready? I got the boat all gassed up and ready ta go.”

    Jack turned towards the shack and we followed behind. I looked at Andy, but he refused to return my gaze. Jack led us around the building to a small dock. Sawgrass and cypress trees grew out of the murky water. Frogs croaked and I could hear the distinct hiss of alligators. I didn’t have many fears, but being eaten alive by an alligator was near the top of the list. The rickety airboat sat in the water, ready to go. Jack jumped onto the boat and planted himself in the seat next to the controls. He gestured us aboard . Andy clambered in and held a hand out towards me. I’m going to kill you,” I said as I grabbed his hand and stepped into the boat.

Andy didn’t respond, just smiled as I sat down in the cracked vinyl seat. He sat next to me and wrapped his hand around mine.

Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine,” Andy reassured me.

Ya’ll ready?” Jack asked.

    Andy replied with a hearty thumbs up. The engine roared to life at a deafening volume. I squeezed my eyes shut and silently said a prayer. I didn’t open my eyes again until I felt the wind whipping my face. Tall grass blurred past the side of the boat, the salt water spraying me in the face. I couldn’t help the smile that stretched across my face. Who knew flying over the water would be so exhilarating? Andy looked at me and chuckled at my grin . The boat slowed to a crawl through the water and my ears slowly adjusted to the quiet after the thundering sound of the massive fan.

See that over yonder?” Jack asked, his finger pointing directly ahead of us towards a tree. The grey bark was gnarled and scratched, a rope swinging from the highest branch. “Last year they found a woman hangin’ in that tree,” he said with a smile.

He pushed the throttle forward and the boat slowly crawled forward. A towering cypress tree with Spanish moss hanging in the branches. As the water was stirred something floated to the top of the water. I stood from my seat and peered over the edge of the boat to get a closer look. Ah! What the fuck?” I exclaimed.

What is it?” Andy asked, leaning over me. “Oh my god.” he said.

I looked back at Jack, still sitting in his seat next to the controls. “Call nine one one. There’s a body in the water,” I said.

I looked back at the mangled body. Mottled gray skin sagged from an unrecognizable face. An eyeball drooped onto a decaying cheek, hanging by the smallest thread. Jagged wounds decorated the remaining flesh, like a dog's old chew toy. The detective in me took over as I pulled my phone from my pocket. I took as many pictures as I could, the body, the tree, the small buoy floating a few feet away. Jack snapped his phone shut and jumped down from his seat.

The police are on the way. They are going to meet us at the dock and then we’ll lead them to the body,” he said.

I looked up at Jack and nodded in acknowledgment. We climbed back in our seats as Jack jumped back into his and started the engine. The fan roared to life as we raced back. It seemed to take longer heading back . As we arrived, a police boat was waiting. I jumped out of the boat as it bounced into the wooden planks and headed straight to the man in charge. His name badge read LT. Donovan. Pulling out my wallet out of my back pocket I flashed my badge in his face.

Detective Howell with the Charleston Police Department and this is Detective Detweiler,” I said pointing behind me as Andy strolled to my side.

Long way from home aren’t ya,” LT. Donovan.

We’re on our honeymoon,” Andy said offering his hand towards Donovan.

You wanna take us to the body?” Donovan asked, while shaking Andy's hand.

Yeah, we can show you where it is, here I took these for your CSI team,” I said handing Donovan my phone.

Donovan whistled as he scrolled through the images. Passing the phone back, he  headed towards the waiting police boat. Jumping in, he held a hand out towards me, which I ignored and stepped down into the boat. Andy climbed in behind me.
See you later, Jack,” Donovan said with a wave as the boat pulled away from the dock. A small team was assembled on the bow of the boat, scuba gear ready.

I don’t know how they’re going to pull the body out of the water without it falling apart,” I said to Andy, raising my voice to be heard over the roar of the engine.

He shook his head and refocused his attention ahead . Before long the crime scene came into view, before the engine cut off and the boat coasted towards the cypress tree. The officer standing at the front of the boat waved at the driver and threw the anchor into the water.

It took what felt like hours for them to pull the body out of the water. Every time they tried to grab the body, a chunk of skin or flesh fell away, sinking into the muddy darkness. The sun began its slow descent towards the horizon and the body lying on the tarp in the middle of the boat still wasn’t complete. Every few minutes, the scuba diver would reappear at the surface of the water, waving a body part as if he had found the lost city of Atlantis. He swam towards the edge of the boat and gestured for Donovan. Removing his respirator as he did.

I’m not seeing anything else down there. I think it’s safe to say the gators probably got the rest,” he said.

Donovan turned towards the assembled group of police officers and addressed them as the scuba diver climbed back into the boat.

Alright folks, let’s call it a night,” he said nodding towards the pilot.

The engine roared back to life and the boat started its journey back towards the airboat. Waiting for them was a small man with a rat-like face. His nose and eyes scrunched against the sun as he stared at the approaching boat. When the boat came a stop, he jumped down onto the deck and walked straight towards the corpse. His latex clad fingers skimming over the mangled body. He gestured towards the orderlies waiting next to the white cargo van.

Let’s get her loaded up and back to the morgue. I hope she doesn’t start swelling on us,” he said.

I climbed out of the boat and stood next to Andy, watching as they wrapped the body in a tarp and carefully transported her to a white, unmarked cargo van. Thankfully, all the body parts remained inside of the blue tarp. Donovan climbed out of the boat and approached us.

I’ll give ya a call if we need anymore help. Hope ya enjoy yer honeymoon,” he said with an awkward smile.

Yeah, just what I wanted to do on our honeymoon.” I walked towards the front of the wooden building.

I’ll call a cab. Why don’t you go inside and get us something to drink.” Andy called to me as he pulled his phone from his pocket to call a taxi..

I stepped towards the wooden building and knocked on the screen door. Jack came to the door and peered out towards me.

What do ya want?” He kept the screen door shut, a distinct barrier between us.

I’m hoping you have a bathroom and something cold to drink.” I tried to peer past Jack into the dark room beyond .

Hang on,” he said,  slamming the door

I turned back towards Andy, who was facing the opposite direction. Moments later the door creaked open again and Jack reappeared.

Come on in,” he said, pushing the screen door open.

I followed Jack into the dark room and noted a terrible smell. A smell I normally associated with death and everything that came after. Jack turned towards me, sensing the disgust on my face.

Sorry. I think a rat done got in one of the vents and died up in there.”

I shrugged my shoulders and continued to hold my breath. “Bathroom?” I gasped.

Down the hall, last door on the left.” He pointed a finger toward a dark hallway.

I glanced over my shoulder. Jack stared back at me with a weird expression. Almost expectant. I shrugged off a nagging sensation and continued towards the hallway. As I got closer to the last door, the disgusting smell got worse, leaving me gasping for air as the contents of my stomach attempted to make a reappearance. The air whooshed out of my lungs as I pushed into the bathroom and turned the light on. I ran down the hallway, straight out of the house and stood on the porch breathing in the fresh air and trying to rub the image out of my eyes. Andy ran towards me.

What is it Hayden?” He rubbed his hand up and down my back.

Body. Bathroom. Jack,” I managed between panting  breaths.

What?” he said, confused.

I pulled the a breath down to my lungs and held it in for a few seconds before blowing the air out in a gush.
There’s another body in the bathroom.”

Andy’s face instantly changed from honeymoon face to cop face.
Go around back and get Donovan,” he said.
He pulled the gun from the belt of his pants and jogged towards the front door. He slowed as he reached a steady hand out to the screen door.

No fucking way,” I said as I pulled my gun from the small of my back. “We’re married now,” I said, fighting back the churning sensation in my stomach and heading back to the door with Andy.

Andy sighed, but didn’t argue. He held the screen door open and we entered the room. I crouched low and Andy stood above me sweeping his gun across the empty room before moving toward the hallway. He kicked open door after door, revealing nothing but empty rooms.  At last, we stood in front of the open bathroom door. The woman hung from the shower curtain, her arms tied over the metal rod, her head drooping on her chest. Her gray, mottled skin showed evidence of long-term abuse. Some bruises were still deep purple, while others had faded into yellowish green blotches. I held my hand over my nose and approached the body.

Hayden, she’s dead.”

I know she’s fucking dead. Can’t you smell the rotting flesh?”

Get away from the body. We gotta go get Donovan before they leave.” He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door.

He pushed me out of the bathroom and walked behind me down the hallway, toward the light streaming in from the open front door. I held my hand out to stop Andy and pushed him back. A shovel swung towards my head and I ducked just in time to avoid it. Jack stood at the end of the hallway, swinging a metal shovel wildly in our direction. I raised my gun in his direction and leveling it at his chest.

Drop the fucking shovel, or I’ll shoot,” I said.

Go ahead,” he said.

I don’t want to kill you, but I will if you make me .” I cocked the hammer on my gun and heard the cylinder click into place.

Don’t you want to know why I did it?” Jack asked, still holding the shovel and slowly approaching Andy and me .
I don’t care why you did it. It doesn’t matter to me. All that matters is that you’re a sick man ,”

You can’t believe how excited I was when I found out that the famous Hayden Howell and Andy Detweiler were coming for a visit. I had to make sure I had something special for you.” Jack smiled devilishly.

I’d rather have a toaster as a wedding present, thanks anyways,” I said.

Jack was still inching towards us, backing us into the putrid bathroom.

Take one more step and I’ll do it.” I thumbed off the safety.

You don’t have the balls,” Jack said with a humorless laugh.

I wouldn’t make that bet, if I were you. Just come quietly, Jack,” Andy’s even tone sounded reassuring behind me.

Jack dropped the shovel and reached towards the front pocket of his jeans. My heart jumped into my throat as I squeezed the trigger. Jack spun around and shot to the end of the hallway where he crumpled to the ground with a yell of pain.

You shot me, you fucking bitch,” he wheezed.

I warned you.” I stood over Jack’s crumpled form. Blood oozed from the hole in his white t-shirt.

Roll over on your stomach,” I screamed, my gun still aimed at Jack.

I can’t. I can’t move,” Jack said through ragged gasps.

I kicked his injured shoulder. “I’ll do it again if you don’t roll the fuck over.”

Jack rolled over onto his stomach, groaning in pain as he did. I knelt and shoved my knee into the small of his back. Reaching for his hands, I yanked them behind his back and held them together. Footsteps raced through the house and Donovan appeared at the front door. His gaze traveled from Andy still holding his gun in the entrance to the hallway to me on top of Jack, a pool of blood spreading across the wood floor under him.

What the hell happened here?” Donovan asked.

Well, I think we found your killer for you,” I said looking up at Donovan.

Donovan waved to the group of officers appearing behind him.

Cuff him.” He tossed me a pair of silver handcuffs.

I snapped the handcuffs into place and hauled Jack up to his feet. His eyes spun in his ashen face.
Better get an ambulance out here. Don’t want this piece of shit dying from blood loss,” I said, shoving Jack in the back towards the end of the hallway. I pushed past Donovan and his group of officers then shoved Jack into a chair in the living room.

Body’s in the bathroom,” I called over my shoulder.

Hours later, I sat in our jumbo sized tub, scented bubbles floating on the top of the water. Andy sat behind me, rubbing soothing circles into my aching shoulders. I leaned back into his smooth chest and tilted my head to look into his face.

What a honeymoon, huh?” I said.

“Yeah. I don't think we’ll ever forget it.”

“Oh by the way,” I paused, gathering my courage. “I'm pregnant,”

His eyes widened. “Are you serious?”

“I took the pregnancy test at the gas station on the way back to the hotel. Looks like you're going to get your way after all. Just remember though, I refuse to be a stay-at-home mom. Absolutely refuse.”

He lowered his soft lips to mine and wrapped his warm arms around me. He released my lips and looked into my eyes.
“You've made me the luckiest man alive.”

“Just don't forget that when you're changing shitty diapers and waking up at three AM for middle of the night feedings.”

His eyes widened in alarm again and he placed a gentle kiss on the top of my head.
“It will be great. You'll see.”

Two months later:

I sat at my desk, running my fingers through my matted hair. My phone rang, drawing my attention away from my normal midday self-loathing. I rubbed my hand over my protruding belly..

Detective Howell,” I said into the receiver.

Hey Howell. It’s Lieutenant Donovan. Just wanted to let you know what was going on with the case.”

I sat up straighter in my chair and focused on the voice on the other end of the line.
Yeah?” I said.

Jack cried lawyer as soon as we got him to the hospital,”

Son of a bitch.”

Wait, it gets better. His lawyer convinced him to talk to us after I let him think I would show a little mercy. Turns out the fucker’s been luring unsuspecting women to his place for the past five years,” Donovan said in disgust.


Yeah, he lures them out to take a ride on his boat, bashes their heads in and then hangs them in the tree to see how long they will survive.” he said.

Are you kidding me?” I asked.

He bragged about it. No motives other than being fucking crazy. He even said he just wanted to see how long it would take for the police to figure it out. I guess he got bored and was hoping to get caught by the famous Hayden Howell. I don’t know how he got away with it for so long,”

I do,” I said. “It’s those fucking alligators,” I said with a shiver.

Struggles of a Writer: Dealing with Distractions

Let's face it, as a writer there are so many things that can distract us. Whether it be kids, Twitter, animals, or other every day activities. Either way it goes, if you want to make it as an author, you have to figure out a way to write those stories that so desperately want to be written. I am by no means an expert on eliminating distractions, but here are some of the things I find helpful.

1. Write when everyone in the house is either sleeping or away. It's true, I don't have kids, so I don't have to worry about the distractions of being a mother, but I do have a house full of animals and a husband who finds it amusing to talk to me when I'm in the middle of writing. So, I spend a lot of my time writing at night when he's asleep, or in the mornings when he's at work.

2. Write with headphones on. This might not work for some of you that have a young one running around, but for me if I'm trying to write and people are being loud, I pull out my headphones and just write away. Turn up the volume and blast your favorite music.

3. Disconnect your laptop from the internet and hide your phone. Twitter is so distracting. There are so many amazing people and awesome conversations to take part in, but I've found that if I don't connect my laptop to the internet and hide my phone, I'm not distracted by the urge to check my account. Also, when I'm writing, I give myself breaks where I can check Twitter or Facebook or just do some Googling. Every hour I write, I award myself 15-20 minutes of Twitter time.

4. Be sure everyone has what they need before you start writing. This is always hard to do, but for me, before I start writing I let the dogs outside, fill their bowls with food, and give them some attention before I sit down to start writing.

5. Escape for a few hours. Sometimes writing in the same old place gets a little monotonous, so when I have that feeling, I'll take my laptop outside and write in the fresh air, or go to my favorite coffee shop or book store and do some writing.

6. Sometimes the stress of everyday life can be a huge distraction. Before I start writing for the day, I always take a relaxing shower or bath and get in the most comfortable clothes I can find. I've found that if I'm comfortable, I'll get more done.

However you deal with distractions, the important part about writing is rewarding yourself for what work you do get done. Why not reward yourself with your favorite dinner out after you finish 10 chapters? Or why not buying yourself a few books after you finish a draft? You should be proud of your accomplishments.

These tips might be helpful to you, or you might just think I have no clue what I'm talking about, but either way if you want to be a successful author, you have to write. And in order to write, you have to be able eliminate distractions and get the job done. If you have any tips or tricks that you'd like to share, be sure to leave a comment in the section below.

Struggles of a Writer: Writer's Block and How to Overcome it

I've been thinking awhile about starting a blog series about the struggles of a writer and author. So as the inaugural Struggles of a Writer series, I proudly present to you: Writer's Block and How to Overcome it.



I wander the dark streets, cold and alone. The shadows follow me, growing darker with every step. My mind races, images flash across my eyes. A clattering noise comes from the right. I jump. I hear yelling and the sound of skin slapping against skin.

An Author's Nightmare

As a writer, I have many nightmares, but I think the biggest thing I struggle with is validation with my peers. I'm not writing this as a sob story or for attention, just sharing some of my thoughts and ways I've been able to deal with my publishing anxiety.

After Avrin and I published our novella, Coup De Grăce, sales were amazing. We sold 9 copies within the first few days, but then, nothing. Our sales have literally come to a standstill and even with Coup De Grăce on Kindle Unlimited, we still don't even have page reads.

Here are some of the thoughts running through my head:
1. Is Coup De Grăce a terrible novella? Do people hate It?
2. Have I done everything in my power to promote it?
3. Do I really just not have any friends who are willing to read my work?

I think the biggest kicker, and I already knew this, so I shouldn't be surprised, but I really thought with my visibility on social media, we would sell more copies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this to be conceited, but there have been a number of friends books from social media that I have purchased and read, just because they were my friends. But, I get it, the writing community on Twitter is not to sell books, it's to connect with other authors, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I found myself hovering over the sales page and the reviews for Coup De Grăce, literally checking multiple times a day, but I can't be a helicopter author anymore. So, if you find yourself in my situation, here are a few things that I'm doing to keep myself motivated and distracted.

1. I recently read that once you publish something, you need to prepare to publish again within 18 months, so I have strapped on my seatbelt and I'm on the fast track to getting my next novel ready.
2. I've let my anxiety about Coup De Grăce go. I know that we wrote a good novella, and I'm refusing to let anyone diminish that. I never expected to get rich or become a best seller after publishing one work, so why am I setting my standards so high?
3. I'm going to focus on building my author platform and get everyone excited about my next novel. If you want to be a successful author, people need to know who you are. So I'm putting myself out there. I will try to participate in more writing and author events.
4. I have really dove into getting some of my short stories published. In the past 2 weeks, I have submitted 2 stories for AFOW and 1 to If I can get my name out there and get people to read my other stories, maybe they will be more interested in reading Coup De Grăce.

So, if you find yourself in my situation, just take a deep breath, forget your KDP login for a few weeks, and refocus yourself on your writing. Don't let lack of sales get you down and don't let bad reviews diminish your work. You've accomplished something just by finishing and publishing a novel. You are an author now. Live that moment and don't let anyone take it away from you.

Coup De Grace Update

If you didn't already know, Coup De Grăce released on Sunday and sales are already blowing me away.

I couldn't be happier to have such a supportive group of friends and family. This is the most amazing experience of my life. We worked so hard putting this novella together, and to see it being purchased by readers is just awesome. I'm seriously at a loss for words right now.

Just to say thank you to all you guys, I put together a giveaway. Check out how you could win a $10 Amazon gift card and a surprise gift from me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you are an author struggling with publication and getting your words out there, self-publishing is truly a blessing. I know that I probably won't say that a few weeks from now, when sales are at a standstill, but honestly, I couldn't be happier with the out-poring of support from all of you.

I hope this is just the beginning of my writing and publishing journey. I do have a few other projects in the works, including my novel, Deja Vu, the story of how Hayden and Andy's relationship started. And I'm also working on a New Adult novel that I haven't titled yet, featuring Aidan, the orphan with superpowers. I can't wait to share more of my work with all of you.

Be on the lookout for more info from me and my amazing co-writer, Avrin Kelly.


Sunday April 8th from 5PM-10PM EST is the first ever #MCchat. The event will be hosted by Avrin Kelly, Manuel Arbanassi and me. Basically, the event is set up like a big party and our main characters will be tending bar. In preparation for the event, Manuel put together a short story to describe the setting, The Heart's Delight.
So bring along your main character and settle in for a fun night.

Fun in the Sun

At the beginning of the year, I decided to write a short story for the Bouchercon Anthology. Unfortunately, my story was not chosen, so I...