Category Archives: Coffee & Ghosts

Free Fiction Friday: The Drabblecast

Exciting news! The Drabblecast is back!

The full relaunch is in the fall, but you can head on over and listen to the backlist stories, including Ghost in the Coffee Machine. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the audio.)

I love this audio production. It has sound effects! And music! And artwork.

If you enjoy both speculative fiction and the audio format, be sure to click through and give The Drabblecast a listen.

It’s good to have them back.

 

 

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Filed under Audio Books, Coffee & Ghosts, Free Fiction Friday, Reading

Weekly writing check-in: Diving in

Hamilton, the (possibly magical) cat

This week, I jumped feet first into the revision. First up, I created a book map, which is essentially a list of all the chapters and scenes in the draft.

Or, in my case, just a list of scenes, since I figure out the chapters at a later point.

From there, I made another list, this one of all the big events. I looked at what might happen if I moved some of those big events around, and had a couple of Oh! That might happen! moments. Those are always nice.

As I’m looking at the big pieces, I’m also working through the exercises in Donald Maass’ The Emotional Craft of Fiction (and so far I’m really, really liking it).

Finally, I drafted a description of the story, which might not be a final description. Mind you, it might not be the description at all. Also, the story doesn’t have a title yet or the series a name. I’m kind of hoping one will magically drop from the sky as I work my way through the revision.

Five years ago, Poppy Jones left the necromancer community and all its ghosts. Now she’s back, degree in hand, homeless, jobless, and nursing an aching heart. She’s seeking the solace only a big brother can give.

When her brother vanishes—suspiciously and without a trace—only Poppy is concerned. As she pieces together clues to this current mystery, one from the past seduces her.

Jasper Riley, the sinfully sexy warlock, might hold the key to both mysteries. His professional opinion, as a private investigator, is that she doesn’t have a case, never mind a missing person’s one.

That’s before someone breaks into her home, before Poppy stops a supernatural onslaught with her bare hands, before either one of them realizes she’s a witch.

Even with the help of Jasper, his ex-girlfriend, and a (possibly magical) cat, Poppy may be too late. Because her brother has crossed a line, crossed the wrong necromancer, and may have crossed over to a place Poppy can’t reach.

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Weekly writing check-in: Switching Gears

Oscar in his natural habitat

So, here I am, working on the fairytale series. About 5,000 words in, I realize that I haven’t completed all the world building. Mind you, I thought I had. But I’m running into things that I’m not quite sure about. Is it in a pseudo-Middle Ages, Grimm brothers Germany? Or is it more like Charles Perrault’s France?

See? This is something I should know. Beyond this, as I was writing, I also realized that there are other forces in this particular fantasy world that I hadn’t accounted for either.

Decision? Let it compost a bit more.

So I’m switching gears and diving back into the Coffee and Ghosts spin-off series.

I looked structure of that this week, I reread the manuscript, and used dictation this time around to take notes.

So instead of a half a page of strange cryptic notations that I don’t understand later on, I ended up with about 2000 words of excellent story notes.

Whenever I do a read-through, I always tell myself oh I’ll remember this. Thing is? I never do. With this new way, I have lots of notes to begin with. Granted, I do have to deal with things like:

Necromancer sunsets fuel the story.

But I keep the audio files until I have a chance to review the transcription. That way, if I can’t figure something out, I can listen to it.

I made a list of things that needed expansion and additional research. I swear, three books and two documentaries landed in my lap. Just like that.

I think this is the universe’s way of telling me I’m on the right track.

 

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Filed under Coffee & Ghosts, Reading, Reading & Writing, The dog, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with the BookBub

So my BookBub for the first season of Coffee and Ghosts went out on Monday.

Yeah. Deep breath. I get it now. I totally get it. So worth it. I was in the black by Wednesday from sell-through from the rest of the series. It can be hard and uncomfortable casting a wider net for readership. But it has been an amazing week. I’m so excited I’ve found readers who seem equally excited about Coffee and Ghosts.

The book peaked at #5 in the Amazon free store, made the top free list on Apple (when I thought to check, it was at #14, and that was the following day), as well as on Kobo. It’s the little series that could.

If I have one regret, it’s that Darcy isn’t here to see this. She loved this series so, so much. She would’ve been thrilled that it landed a BookBub.

In other news, I’ve been finishing up a Coffee and Ghosts short story as an exclusive bonus for everyone on my mailing list. I’ll be sending it out soon. It is … very silly. After all, the tagline is:

There’s no business like ghost business.

Want a copy? Just sign up for my mail list, and it will land in your inbox in the next week or so.

 

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Filed under Coffee & Ghosts, Reading, Reading & Writing, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: an outline in the bag!

I have an outline for the first story in the fairy tale series in the bag (along with a cat). Not only that, but I have an inkling of what might happen in the other books, and how I’ll go about accomplishing that.

Well. More or less.

I might start writing the draft this week. I want to do a little more brainstorming of the entire series, get something more concrete than “bad stuff happens here” and things like that.

That’s about it for this week. I think I got a rejection (checks submission tracker … yep, I did), which I’ll look to sending out in the next few days or so. Otherwise, I’ve been focusing on the new series and getting everything ready for the Coffee and Ghosts BookBub in May.

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Filed under Coffee & Ghosts, pets, The cat, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: Hello, Spring!

Blizzard last week, spring this one. We’re looking at temperatures above 60 degrees today. There’s still a bit of snow on the back deck (we got a lot of snow last weekend), and it’s weird to have the air so warm and the ground covered with snow in places.

But … we’ll take it.

In other news, you may have noticed I’ve done some spring cleaning on my covers. I did like my coffee pot covers, but they didn’t convey everything about the stories that I wanted them to.

   

 

 

 

 

I really like the update. I think the covers convey the fun, quirky, and romantic feel of the stories. And I’m not the only one who agrees. Just this week, the first in the series was selected for a BookBub featured deal (coming up on May 21st). As some of you may know, Bookbub is pretty much the premier book advertising platform. And you may also know that there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a featured deal–ever. (And I’ve been trying. Oh, how I’ve been trying.)

So … I’m pretty excited about this.

In other news, I started really digging into the fairy tale series this week, not draft writing, but lots of structure for the first story (while keeping the entire series in the back of my mind). I also turned in the article I was working on and just okayed all the edits this morning.

And that’s it for this week. Now, I think I will take a walk in this amazing weather and ponder the fairy tale series a bit more.

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Filed under Coffee & Ghosts, Promo, Publishing, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with the binge-watching cure

We had lots of fun at last week’s author visit with Liza Wiemer. If you ever need a speaker for school/group of teens (especially those who like to write), I highly recommend Liza. Also, check out her wonderful debut YA novel Hello?

I also finished writing An Army of Toads this week. It came in at ~9,000 words, which is an awkward length for a short story. (Technically, it’s a novelette, which is a cute name but a hard sell.)

My big news this week is, of course, the acceptance of The Saint of Bright Red Things to The Binge-Watching Cure:

The Binge-Watching Cure will be an anthology of short stories of increasing size. The first story will be 100 words—anyone can read that. The next, 200 words. Then 500, then longer, all the way to novella length.

Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? My story was selected for the 4,000-word slot, and I’m very excited about that. This is a story set in France during World War Two. Here’s a quick summary:

In Nazi-occupied France, Marigold Jenkins, the daughter of ex-patriot Americans, must keep her identities—all three of them—a secret. She navigates the streets of Paris armed with a bright red handbag, scarlet lipstick, and a compact tailor-made for her role as a courier in the resistance.

But when a train accident leaves her concussed and stranded in a provincial hospital, Mari must navigate a new reality, one that leaves her at the mercy of a German officer. She must decide whether she can trust this man—and what she must sacrifice in order to do so.

For writers, they’re currently taking submissions for a horror anthology.

And last, but not least, Coffee and Ghosts 3: The Complete Third Season is finally in print format.

Writing Work:

  • Planning/researching new series
  • Outlining/Draft writing ~ 4,000 words, An Army of Toads = done!

Submissions:

  • Fire and Ivy

Rejections:

  • Fire and Ivy

Acceptances:

  • The Saint of Bright Red Things

Publications:

The print version of Coffee and Ghosts 3: The Complete Third Season is now available!

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