Jan 30

Something to look forward to!

I’m hearing from more and more friends, writers and nonwriters alike, that they’re having to make age-related adjustments. For some, it’s learning to dictate instead of using a keyboard. For others, it’s special glasses or operations or new diets.

My own thumbs have been giving me “issues” for several years now. I finally figured out that pressure point and massage helps. If that helped, then what else could I do to . . . maybe . . . exercise my thumbs?

One evening I thought about crocheting. I used to crochet a lot, but haven’t picked up a needle in years. I decided to give it a go — and it worked! I still have to be careful when picking things up, but overall, my thumbs feel much better!

Unfortunately, while crocheting is like riding a bike — once you learn, you never forget — the intricacies of crocheting, i.e. tightness of stitches, etc, need to be relearned . . . or refigured . . . or whatever.  I started with headbands — for giants. Ripped out the first ten. Finally, ended up with a decent-sized headband just in time for Christmas.

Then I tried beanies. And ended up with a beanie that fits a beanie baby! It was supposed to fit a young child. Back to the crochet board. Playing with different size hooks, different weight yarn, looseness of stitches, etc. Having fun doing it!

Which is what I try to remember when writing–play, not work is what makes me sit down at the keyboard. The subject may not always be “fun,” but the process is always satisfying.

Writing the sequel to Night of the Clockwork Dragon is proving challenging, but I love the characters, love their stories, love the process of getting the stories in my head down in a manner that reflects that story to someone reading about Abby Crumb and her friends.  The sequel is almost finished, but the series has just begun. Daunting, yes. Something to look forward to, definitely!

Jan 16

Abby Crumb is finally here!

What started as Abby Crumb and the Night of the Golden Pea is now a trilogy that kicks off an entire series!

Join Abby as she arrives in San Francisco–looking for her mother–and finds more than she bargained for!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to launch this series. It’s been in the works for several years and has grown beyond my original expectations. The characters are so much fun! Stories seem to sprout from every direction!

And to kick Abby’s arrival off with a big bang–Night of the Clockwork Dragon is part of a huge promotion that starts tomorrow!! Check it out at Fantasy Book Promotion

Night of the Clockwork Dragon is available in ebook and can be found at your favorite retailers . (The $2.99 price is good until the end of the promotion.)

You can read more about Abby’s adventures on the open sea in “Bad Luck, Good Fortune” featured in Beneath the Waves, available at your favorite online retailer.

Sheriff O’Malley and Eclipse have further adventures in “Dashing Through the Flames” (A Very Mysterious Christmas) and “A Safe Place to Scream” (Stars in the Darkness) also available at your favorite retailers.

You might have noticed this web site has undergone a slight face lift. Brandon’s been working hard to bring everything up to date, but we’re still behind in a few areas. We both appreciate your patience!

Jan 16

About Louisa

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Born on an Indian reservation in northern California, Louisa Swann spent the first six months of her life carried around in a papoose carrier. Determined not to remain a basket case forever, she escaped the splintered confines and proceeded to participate in, make a living as, or halfheartedly attempt the following: student, maid, waitress, receptionist, flight attendant, secretary, ski instructor, ski patrol (volunteer), and engineering assistant. She finally settled down on an eighty-acre ranch in northern California with hubby, son, two horses, cat, a varying population of rabbits, deer, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, snakes, frogs, birds, bugs, and no electricity. The human members of the family put up with Louisa’s writerly eccentricities—which have resulted in numerous short story publications in various anthologies—with only a few minor squabbles. On the other hand, the horses, dog, cat, and miscellaneous wildlife understand her completely. She often goes to them for grooming when the rest of the world becomes too difficult to handle.

Jan 16

Bots to Bullets – Synopsis

Bots to Bullets by Louisa & Jim Swann

If someone called you in the middle of lunch and told you to get out of town, would you go?  What if that same someone claimed your husband had just been murdered and that you and your stepson were next?

 

Kate Ramsdell’s a squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease kinda gal.  During the week she’s an administrative assistant, one of the best in Tucson, Arizona, but come the weekend Kate takes off her typing gloves and goes…

Extreme mountain biking.

With her husband and stepson.

Until two years ago when Kate found out she had breast cancer.  That put an end to the extreme kind of biking.

For the moment.

Now the cancer’s in remission and all Kate wants is to help her stepson plan his wedding.  After all – he’s going to marry her best friend’s daughter.  How much fun is that!

The fun turns tragic when lunch is interrupted by a phone call from a nutcase in Montana named Jackson Miles, a voice from her husband’s computer geek past. Miles insists her husband Dave is dead and that Kate and her stepson are in danger.

If she and Travis don’t leave town immediately, their lives may be forfeit.

Really.

If it weren’t for the promise Kate made her husband long ago – the promise to take Jackson Miles’ advice if and when it were ever offered – Kate would’ve hung up the phone.

Instead, she packs her bags, thinks up a lie to get Travis in the car, and tries to disappear.

Only disappearing isn’t as easy as Kate expected.

When someone tries to blow off her head in a tiny roadside café, she decides they have to go deeper under cover and the only one who can help them is Miles.

But can she really trust a man when she gets shot at every time he shows his face?

Bit by bit, her husband’s dark past reveals itself, sending both Kate and Travis on the downhill ride of their lives with twists and turns no one can predict.

Not even the enigmatic Jackson Miles.

Dodging a mysterious nemesis who seems to know their every move, Kate and Travis head north while  Miles untangles the events surrounding his friend’s death.

Then halfway between New Mexico and Chicago the pursuit suddenly stops.  They’ve won the game.  Time to get their lives back together.

Of course, Jackson Miles has to show up like a rotten banana and spoil the fantasy.  It seems Travis has been sending covert messages to his love, messages that were intercepted by the people trying to kill them.

Now Kate’s soon-to-be daughter-in-law is heading  into the jaws of a deadly trap.  A trap only she and Travis can stop from springing.

With Jackson’s help, of course.

In a soul-chilling move that delivers them to the enemy’s front door, Kate and Travis race to Chicago, determined to stop the kidnaping, and come face to face with her nemesis: Allegra Rodriguez.

Her husband Dave’s ex-lover.

A woman whose skill with computers is only bested by her hatred of everything Dave.

A hatred that’s finally come home to rest.

 

Determination and guts – a combination honed to a fine edge by the extreme biking and tempered by her battle with cancer – stand Kate in good stead during a heart-stopping confrontation that threatens to shatter the Ramsdell family for good.

Jan 16

Jelly’s Heroes: Saving Private Slime

Saving Private Slime takes adventure to a new level!

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Stay tuned for the first Jelly’s Heroes novel, Worm Watch. Coming for Christmas 2015!

Jan 16

Jelly’s Heroes: “Jelly’s Heroes” A story to kick off a new space opera …Maybe

Jelly and her team have finally arrived!

Jelly’s Heroes kick off the adventures of Jelly and the blobs!

FR14 Valor ebook cover web

 

Jan 16

Myrtle Creek: Soul Reapers Novel: Coming 2018

Myrtle Creek:  Soul Reapers

Only three things in life worth dying for far as Myrtle Creek sees it—hot coffee, molten metal, and sizzling women.

And Trouble—which always seems to find him no matter where he goes.

Trouble piggybacked into town with the arrival of a new doctor and now Myrtle must find the “cure.”

Magic runs wild in a world of gadgets and gizmos in this suspense-filled tale guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Coming 2018!

Jan 16

Abby Crumb: Night of the Dying Moon. Coming Soon

Abby Crumb and the Night of the Dying Moon

 

imagesMelting noses, withering limbs—growing up the daughter of a necromancer prepares one for anything.

Surviving Mother, Rule #1: Never say no to a sorceress. When Abby’s necromancer mother pulls Abby out of finishing school with an “invitation” to visit her in the States, Abby’s ship flounders in a storm, delaying her arrival by almost a month. When she finally arrives, she finds herself alone in the mud and fog, facing cut throats and brigands. All preferable to facing Mother’s displeasure.

Mother hates to be kept waiting.

Abby Crumb and the Night of the Golden Pea delivers a spine-tingling, white-knuckled adventure in which no one is safe and everything is—weird.

Coming Soon!

Nov 20

A Day Off

 

Yesterday I turned 62. Ended up taking the day off from writing, though that wasn’t intentional. Hubby and I had breakfast at a cute little place in Graeagle, then took a drive around Lakes Basin. Instead of fall leaves, we found naked trees (of the deciduous type), snow, and water. Lots of water. In the trees, on the road. Made for quite an adventure. Got home feeling more relaxed than I’ve felt in quite a while.

 

 

Whether in life or in writing, encountering the unexpected often yields rewards that are equally unexpected. I often have only an idea, a concept, sometimes simply a title when beginning a story. As the story progresses, it often feels like I’m slogging through snow or water or mud, getting nowhere. When I look back at what’s been written, I see that isn’t so. What felt like slogging was merely an adventure of the unexpected kind.

 

 

 

 

That type of “slogging/adventure” invariably leads to discoveries that, more than likely, wouldn’t have been made if I’d kept to a prescribed path, eyes straight ahead.

That’s what’s happened with my newest series — the first novel turned out to be the second novel. Definitely not expected, but the story arc, characters, and author are now happier with that discovery! Forward Ho!

Nov 06

Time to Rock and Roll!

We’ve been reading Mark Twain Himself by Milton Meltzer, an enjoyable and enlightening read. I didn’t know that Clemens held out for royalties (5%) instead of selling all rights to Innocents Abroad! Smart man, though he had his ups and downs. As his daughter Susy put it: “He has the mind of an author exactly, some of the simplest things he can’t understand.”

I often feel like the simplest things slip by me, especially when I’m deep into story writing. Things like washing the same dish three times while sussing out a scene or putting a knife in the fridge — because that’s that silverware drawer, right? A little over a week ago, I was privileged to listen to Kevin Anderson talk about how he dictates his novels and stories while hiking. I’m really tempted to give that a try — with a border collie to herd me away from the cliffs and watch for snakes!

Fall is here with Winter (yep, that’s a capital W) looming. Putting the final touches on Abby Crumb: Night of the Golden Pea and its companion novels! I’m really excited about this series–it’s been fun to write and a definite learning experience. The third in the series is more than halfway done (concept cover pictured on left-a work in progress, too!). Time to rock and roll!

Now, where did I put that chainsaw??

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