Saturday, October 31, 2015

Murder is afoot!

ISBN: 9781310765162
Tirgearr Publishing
Cover Artist: Alicia Stuckey
I've been biting my nails for weeks, wanting to say something about my new project but having to wait until all my ducks were in a row.

As a writer, I'm constantly coming up stories to write about, and when a body was found in our area along a stretch of river two years ago, the title for a new story jumped right out at me. Since that time, I've been muddling over how to make this my own story. And now, all the planning, research, writing, revising, the long process with beta readers and editors, and more revising has finally come to an end. The ducks are all aligned and I can now make my announcement.

Book one of the new Sassy O'Brien cozy mysteries is now available on pre-order!!!

This is my first venture into a non-romance genre, and I can tell you, it's been challenging, but also extremely fun. I love writing challenges, and this one certainly was that.

But it's also been an interesting learning experience. With this story, I was fortunate enough to have the council of a senior Garda/police inspector about the ins and outs of Irish police procedure. I'd love to shadow him one day through an investigation. His advise and suggestions were invaluable.

And I've discovered a budding cover designer named Alicia Stuckey. We've both really enjoyed getting to know each other while working on this cover. And it's been a monumental task for both of us keeping quiet about this project until we were ready to announce. You see, I know her mother, and she doesn't know about this yet :-) Well, she does now that we're both making the big announcement. I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall when she found out what her daughter has been up to the last couple months. This is officially Alicia's first ever book cover! I'm so happy with it, and can't wait to see the other five in the series.

So, a little about the story. Firstly, I live in Mornington so I walk along this river and the nearby sea fairly regularly. All of the stories in this series are based on the area where I live. Mornington is a bedroom community on lands once belonging to the Earl of Mornington, near Drogheda, Co Meath, Ireland. Bettystown and Laytown are the only villages along the sea here, the strand of which is about 3 miles long between the Nanny River at Laytown and the River Boyne at Mornington. Bettystown in the center, and the central location where my protagonist, Sassy O'Brien, lives and works.

Sassy is a local hair stylist in Bettystown. She's a young woman who lives with her Irish Wolfhound, Bracken, upstairs from her salon which is located beside Bettystown Strand. Sassy and Bracken do a five mile jog up the beach and back every morning before work, which is when my story opens.

Sassy is a fan of crime television programs, and as a single woman, she spends her time off relaxing by catching up on her favorite shows -- Bones, Criminal Minds, Elementary, etc, and of course, Castle.

When Sassy finds a body on the riverbank during her morning run, and after she stops freaking out, she thinks, "What would Beckett do?" So she rings 999 (Ireland's 911) before taking several crime scene photos on her mobile phone. As you do! She feels a little silly doing this, but of course, ends up taking several more. Who knows? Maybe the state forensic people will miss something, as if! She makes note of the clues too, and plans to follow the investigation through the media. But when the detective who interviews her starts coming into her salon with regularity, the chins on the locals start wagging, and suddenly, Sassy's life is turned upside down.

The last thing hair stylist Sassy O’Brien expects to find on her morning run on her local beach is a dead body. An addict of TV crime programs, she thinks, “What would Beckett do?” After ringing the police, she takes several crime scene photos on her mobile phone, as you do.

Much to Detective Donnelly’s consternation, Sassy’s involvement becomes instrumental in his investigation, especially as clues are overlooked by his team.

How will Sassy cope when all the clues point to her?

Murder in Mornington publishes Monday, 23 November, but you can get it NOW on pre-order on the main ebook vendor sites. Pre-order on Kindle for just 99c/99p/99eucent!

I'd love to hear what you think of this story when you get a chance to read it. If you like cozy mysteries, if you like Ireland, if you like quirky stories, and if you like goofy Irish Wolfhounds, then this is the story for you. :-)

For more information, visit the series page.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Awakening has a new awakening

original cover art:
Dara England

As some of you know, a few years ago, I started a series under the pen name Scarlett Valentine. The first book in the ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series was Awakening. This is an amazing medieval erotic romance set in 1149 Wales, and started off this unusual 26-book series very well.

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to manage my Scarlett projects. With most of my writing under my own brand, and of course the last four years with Tirgearr Publishing, there just hasn't been time for a whole other persona . . . website, social media, promotion and marketing, reviews, interviews, and everything that comes with being an author and promoting one's work. An author has to put their whole selves into promotion if they want to sell books. And it's much harder when you're managing two personas, and a publishing company.

I've been thinking long and hard about this, and I've finally decided to put Scarlett to rest. It's as if she's been languishing in a box on the shelf for the last couple years, selling only the odd book here and there when someone happens to find her. It's unfair to the series, and it's unfair to readers.

So, as of today, I've brought Awakening under my own brand and will continue the series as Kemberlee Shortland.

This process hasn't been easy. I now feel like a pretender, which is strange. It's as if I wrote this story for someone else, even though that someone else was *me.* Having my name on this cover almost feels like I've taken something that wasn't mine and put my name on it, when in reality, *I wrote it and it is mine!*

So, please help me spread the word that *my* book, Awakening, has come home! I'd love to hear what everyone thinks of the new cover, and of course, would love some feedback to let me what you think of the story (ahem . . . reviews).

Thank you to all the readers who invested in this story as Scarlett. I hope you will continue following my work, and this series, under my brand.

Without further ado, here it is!

The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter, book 1

Ysbail is the ward of the Prince of Powys. Bedwyr is the bastard son of the King of Gwynedd. When a peace settlement is reached between Prince Madog and King Owain, it’s at Ysbail and Bedwyr’s expense. Known as the Grave Knower, war has taken Bedwyr to the edge of insanity. But when he first sees Ysbail, his blood-thirst turns to blood-lust, and vows to show Ysbail she needn’t fear him.