State of the Collaboration: Next Book

Bob and I are taking a break because we strained our brains writing three books in seven months, but we are starting to talk about the next one.

No, seriously, he wants His Guy walking the Appalachian Trail with his dog. I want to know what My Girl is doing on the damn Appalachian Trail. She’s in long skirts and sparkly flats, and she runs a second hand store, plus she’s the single mother of a high school senior. She doesn’t have time for the Appalachian Trail. This may be the first romantic adventure where the two leads never meet.

Reminds me of that time when he said, “Who’s Your Girl this time?” and I said, “A food writer,” and he said, “My Guy’s a hitman.” That worked out okay. Still, I have grave doubts about Rosie and the Guy Walking the Appalachian Trail with His Dog.

But first we take a break. He’s finishing the next Phoebe book and I am going to get Nita out the door for once and for all.

Then I’ll deal with the damn iceberg.

85 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration: Next Book

  1. I can only think that an iceberg in the Sahara is a post-apocalypse romance setting. How the Appalachian Trail got onto that iceberg requires supernatural intervention. I’m thinking the title wants to be “Maybe Not This Time”.

    Blurb: “Who knew that solving Global Warming would require a coven of the world’s most possible witches? Who knew that solving Global Warming would trigger an ice age? Who knew?” (Does this make the male protagonist Dr. Who?)

    1. Powerful, not possible. I haven’t been to bed yet, and can’t sleep now – I have that check-up at Virginia Urology at 11:00. I have to break in a new Urologist, the old one’s moved to Richmond.

      1. Good luck. I hate breaking in a new Dr., hairdresser, Dentist, cat, neighbor… Wait, the new cat breaks ME in. What was I thinking?

        1. I was going to call you on the cat thing.

          Visit went fine. Next visit in 6 months.

          Stopped at my FNFL on the way home. Got deli chicken, Fanta (orange) for the kiddies, (Hope they enjoy sharing a 2L bottle.) They had Ukrops Apple Spice Cake… by the slice. I indulged. No NY Strip steaks!

          Part of my Atkins chocolate order arrived. I indulged.

          Almost bedtime. Can’t stop reading White Magic Five & Dime. G’night. Or maybe g’day. Let’s settle for TTFN.

          1. Should Jenny resurrect The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes? (Not that they’re dead or anything, but zombie witches might have more power.)

    2. Just make sure they’ve got thick soles and stick to the tracks…a book with a dog is desperately needed right now, in the future, always…

  2. T Kingfisher’s beserkers are adorable! Particularly the one obsessed with knitting socks

      1. It depends on your tolerance for darkness. I LOVE the Paladin series, but the other one of hers I tried was too grim for me.

          1. If you’re not into dark, avoid The Twisted Ones and The Hollow Places. Especially The Hollow Places. That was nightmare-inducing. Brrrr.

            Nettle and Bone was the first one of hers I read and I loved it. It’s cosy horror, if that’s a thing. And has the bestest good dog ever.

            Swordheart is a standalone in the same world as the paladan series, and it’s got a brilliantly snarky heroine.

        1. I liked Swordheart and A Wizards Guide to Defensive Baking —they and the first paladin book are all good placeS to start

  3. Sounds like you need to move to one of those little towns near the Appalachian Trail, where you could imagine a woman running a second hand store who meets up with a dude and his dog.

    No icebergs, no Sahara, no zombies – but it could be possible!

    Of course, moving . . . blech.

      1. Agreed! Reading AT and PCT related books is one of my pleasures, and tons of things can and do go wrong that would cause them to meet. She could be a trail angel (long standing or circumstantial only)… natural disasters, trail closures or injury could drive him off the trail… those are just the normal occurrences.
        I’ll read anything you or the two of you publish.

        1. Bob talked about trail angels, too.
          Surprisingly, I am not interested in a woman who serves people. I think it’s a lovely gesture, but no.

          1. I’m sure there are plenty of people in those small towns who are sick to death of all the smelly hikers constantly trying to hitch rides, cluttering up the sidewalk in front of shops and restaurants with their big, smelly packs, camping on private property when they can’t get a spot in the trail hostel in town, and a million other petty and not-so-petty annoyances. Bob’s Guy would be just one more annoying hiker cluttering up Your Girl’s perfectly lovely town. Maybe her next door neighbor opened the hostel a few years ago, and suddenly they’re swamped with hikers, where they only used to see a couple a year before. So not only is she aggravated by what’s been done to the town, the problem is right next door, and she has to deal with the questionable strangers, noise, and the occasional waft of pot smoke, with a teenage girl in the house.

    1. Well, first, we see if the agent can sell them to anybody. If she can, then the publisher decides.
      If everybody in NYC passes, we self publish and then Bob decides.

      TLDR: I dunno.

    1. Or goes on a summer hike with friends, ends up out of communication, so Mum sets off after them, she bumps in to bad guy and escapes and bumps in Guy with dog who uses her to ID him.

  4. Yay! You are definitely moving on, if you are thinking of next books. I would suggest you just take a moment to savor your accomplishments! It must feel so good to have three books done, after a long pause in publishing something. Sit back and relax. Put your feet up. Cook something. Walk in the pretty leaves. You earned this break!!

    I lay awake last night planning a crossword puzzle called “A Novel Death”, with all the ways people died in the books I’ve read, starting with Revethvoran. That word is so mellifluous! It was fun, but I’d really rather sleep. My sleep app called it REM.

  5. A Guy walking his dog sounds pretty tame and calm, comparatively. Am I delusional, or could this be Bob’s foray into a murderless book? Naw!

    1. He is probably a retired secret service agent who left after taking a bullet for a horrible politician and is now haunted by it, trying to find peace in the solitude of the trail. Plot twist, the assassin was actually aiming for him and is now stalking the trail in pursuit. The bullets start to fly, first attributed to a poacher, and then it becomes clear that something even more sinister is afoot.

        1. Sparkly Flats Girl could be the assassin? It would be a good cover… (and potential role reversal for you and Bob!)

          1. Ha! I like that idea. Although I am a little afraid of what Bob’s version of a normal guy would look like.

  6. Your girl woke up on the App Trail after being kidnapped by Viking Vampires who had to get themselves under cover before the sun rose.

    The guy on the trail with his dog is, of course, retired Special Forces. HE is coming off a successful mission in the Sahara with a pack of shifter werewolves and is looking to clear his head on the trail when he comes upon your girl.

    His “dog” is actually a shifter buddy from a line leading back to the knights Templar and stays in shifter form to keep his berserker tendencies in check.

    You’re welcome.

      1. Somebody please tell Bob this idea. I will pay in molasses cookies embedded with sugar sprinkles. (They sparkle, like the vampires who shall not be named.) 🙂

    1. No, his dog is a robot, like K-9 in Doctor Who and they have to struggle to adapt K-9’s locomotion to the rough terrain. Your girl is a burned out robotics phenom who is so enchanted by K9’s personality that she volunteers herself and her tool kit to help them complete the trail.

    1. Shhhhhh.
      He just told me His Guy is the captain of the pirate zombie iceberg.
      I told him icebergs don’t have captains.

      He’s finishing the latest Phoebe book and I’m going to get Nita out the door if it kills me, so it’s gonna be awhile on the next one.

      1. Maybe it’s about hockey team called the Pirate Zombies, made up of retired special forces guys. It’s off season so he’s hiking the trail with his teammates named Berg (his nickname is iceberg) and Sahara. They come across a skinny dog who follows them and then it leads the off trail after a blood trail that leads to her storage behind her shop. They snoop around and tick her off, plus there is a gang of very pale people who have recently arrived in town and don’t get out much during the day. Shenanigans and snark commence!

  7. The comments so far have already got me looking forward to the next collaboration and I haven’t read the first three of the new batch.

  8. Ah, this sheds a bit of light on why Agnes and the Hit Man made my list of five I’m going to put up on my website. I don’t know if it’s my absolute favorite of what you’ve written, but it’s the one that sticks with me the most.

  9. He’s at a hostel or hotel in one of the towns where hikers come off the trail for rest, food, showers, etc. He’s been walking as a break from his duties as a Special Forces, or a spy. Maybe his dog is a Malinois. He helps her son out when he (the son) breaks a leg out on the mountains, so he meets her. He gets a call to stay in the town for a meet about bad guys. Townsfolk are nervous about an undefinable threat. There’s a diner with great pie. His dog falls in love with the her shop dog. More town folk disappear, strange sounds are heard in the woods. Her son is immobilized, how does she protect him?

  10. Emma Lathan had a good Appalachian Trail mystery.

    Always up for a book with a dog as long as it doesn’t die.

    Maybe your girl is watching a store, B&B, house sitting for someone. Kid with her because needs to be pulled away from bad company?

      1. I’m still worrying about the surviving author of Emma Latham and refusing to buy the reissued books that seem to be ripping her off. Sigh

  11. The Appalachian Trail goes through towns, Your Girl’s town could be one of them. She’s making extra $ with room over the garage hikers use to spend a night indoors, do laundry and take a shower. He rents it and somebody tries to kill him. : D

    1. That was my plan, that he comes into town, but getting him off the trail was the problem. Evidently he’s fine with being unshowered for the whole trail.

        1. I second that eww.

          Wouldn’t the dog be the obvious solution? If they served together they’re best friends, and he would do literally anything to keep the dog healthy, safe, and happy. Maybe the dog cuts a paw and needs a vet?

      1. he can “bathe” in streams etc., or under waterfalls along the trail, with the colin firth, as darcy in the wet shirt, from the pride and prejudice movie for, you know, the movie version of this new book

      2. Speaking of, did you see the news report about that 90-something guy who didn’t wash. Ever. The mind boggles.

  12. She has a shop in the town at the trailhead. He texts to see if she sells a particular item. She doesn’t – but she texts back. The novel consists of the texts they keep sending each other, while murder, mayhem and true love develop.

    Does that count as a romantic adventure where the two leads never meet?

    1. If their texts are half as entertaining and Bob and Jenny’s, that book would be a best seller.

  13. You could probably publish a book of your texts from writing the trilogy. It would sell—at least to us

  14. Her kid is a senior and sneaks off to join his friends at a kegerator. Something goes horribly wrong and our hero comes to the rescue. They meet in the ER.

    1. Her kid is a super-conservative political animal (daughter). She is a free-spirited artist/magician. They run a second-hand store in town.
      He’s retired military on the trail.
      We’ve pulled together leads that were that farther apart, but not by much.

      1. That was supposed to be “kegger”. In your senior year, even a super-conservative political animal goes to at least one beer party out in the middle of no-where. As someone who remembers doing so regularly, I saw even the class valedictorian at one once. She was probably suckered into going by her friends. Probably a super-conservative, free-spirited artist/magician would more likely to find herself in a difficult situation than her friend who knows everyone, goes everywhere and just wants to see if her boyfriend really is going to parties, drinking beer and necking with her arch enemy, the head cheer-leader.

  15. All the talk of romance on the Appalachian Trail made me think of Uther Pendragon – not the King Arthur wizard – one of my contemporaries at the Alt Sex Stories Text Repository. Bob and Jeanette Brennan start their stories on the honeymoon night, and the next two are their honeymoon on the Appalachian Trail. I’m not starting those stories again right now – they’re as bad as TV Tropes, addiction-wise.

  16. Could you do a fraught mother daughter relationship and have her mother hiking the trail and falling out of contact forcing her daughter to try and track the trail? When I walked the Camino there were a lot of elderly tough as nails women on it and at least one of the Americans had done the Appalachian

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