Works in Progress

Yes, of course I’m working on a new book.  Right now, it’s Rocky Start, the beginning of a new trilogy with Bob Mayer since we just finished the Liz Danger/Vince Cooper series:

The Liz Danger Mystery Series with Bob Mayer: FINISHED!!!

Liz Danger ran away from her hometown of Birney at eighteen and never went back.  Now thirty-three, she’s a ghostwriter trying to get to Chicago to finish the autobiography of her current client, the five-times-married-to-famous-men Anemone Patterson.  But on the way she gets stranded in Birney and has to face all the things she ran away from.  Trouble ensues.

  • Lavender’s Blue – The last place Liz Danger wants to be is back in her old home town, the best place Vince Cooper has found to be a cop. One traffic stop later, Liz and Vince would be exploring new passion if her return wasn’t bringing up so many dangerous old ones.
  • Lavender’s Blue: Would it kill you to go home and see your mother?
  • Rest in Pink – Liz Danger is looking at her boss’s copy edits, watching over a little girl, and seeing as much of Vince Cooper as possible, until she finds herself staring down real danger: arson, murder, and the suspicion that a month of one-night stands might just be a relationship.
  • Rest in Pink: It’s gonna be a hot time in the old town tonight.
  • One in Vermillion – Liz Danger and Vince Cooper are dealing with book deadlines, greedy politicians, embezzlement, broken hearts (not theirs), vandalism, determined exes, shady real estate, lying parents, murder, and a relationship they don’t want but can’t give up. It’s time to finally save a town . . . and their future.
  • One in Vermillion: That red in the ledger isn’t ink.

The Devil in Nita Dodd: Truck Draft Finished!

This is one is on its last rewrite. Stay tuned.

Detective Nita Dodd suspects Nick Giordano is a con man when he claims to be (a) the Devil Elect and (b) dead.  But when things she never believed were real start coming out of the woodwork, she’s forced to turn to the Devil she knows.

The Devil in Nita Dodd, Scene One Revisions

Paradise Park

Paradise Park is an experiment in episodic novel writing, novella chapters, each a complete story in itself, combined to make a novel.  Not sure yet how many (the ones that are mostly finished are in italics), but the title list is:

Zo White and the Five Orphants
Hansel and Gleep
The Frog Principle
The Goose Guy
Zo White and Roseret
The Rubber Bridegroom
The Wolf and the Witch

Zo White is living a precarious life in New Riven City in the early twentieth century, trying to keep out of trouble the five orphaned children she was put in charge of when they were evicted from the Mothers of Mercy orphanage for being dangerously strange, and she was asked to leave the Mothers of Mercy for not being maternal or merciful. When the Orphants break into a powerful politician’s house, Zo meets Xavier Fenris (call him Ecks), a cop with a heart of steel, which seems to be melting at the edges when he’s around her. Then there’s Ecks’s partner Wyland (call him Wy), who runs into trouble when he investigates a woman named Petal who turns men into frogs when they kiss her. Add in Ylva, the stepmother trying to kill Zo; the secret cult taking out princesses like Pet; Eck’s nephew Harry, a brand new copper who hasn’t learned not to hit the bad guys yet; a house haunted by steampunk beasts who are NOT HAPPY; and the Orphants being the Orphants—Doc, Roseret, Owl, Gleep, and Kitsa—and you have Paradise Park, two love stories with magic, murder, and mechanical bats.

Monday Street

The novel that follows Paradise Park. (Collage below is work in progress)

Six years have passed since the events of Paradise Park, and Zo and the others are still living in the bad part of New Riven City, but Cat Gilchrist lives on Monday Street, the bad part of the bad part of New Riven City, surrounded by murderers and thieves (she’s the second-best pickpocket in New Riven). She runs the restaurant, Maggie’s Ear, for her foster mother as she tries to save the various and sundry people who are part of her life. That does not include Harry, the local crime boss’s newest thug, even though he’s kind of attractive if you like them big and murderous, which Cat does not, and besides she has her own problems because some idiot is digging up the crypt in the abandoned church where she’s living and the magic that was trapped down there is rising, and now she has to deal with air fish and her pet raven, Edwin, talking to her. Add in the newest waitress at the Ear, the slightly surly, definitely magic Keely; and the head of the Department of Extraordinary Complaints, the slight sinister, definitely suspicious Rafe, and Cat has her hands full. Then something besides magic begins to rise in the church . . .

Arresting Anna

Anna Jone’s life is not going the way she wants: her significant other cheated on her, her new boss is a dweeb, and the guy she had a one-night stand with, the one she called Charlie, turns out to be an FBI agent named Nathan who has suspicions about her and art fraud.  Nate Milner’s not having that great a life, either: Lucy, his sweet little one-night stand, turns out to be Anna, the last of a notorious Mafia family, the daughter of a whack job mama bear, and a prime suspect in art fraud and yet still tremendously appealing somehow.  Arresting even.  Then to make matters worse, his partner (that would be Carter Archer) is called back to Ohio, and Nate and Anna are left alone to face down somebody who really would rather Anna stopped breathing.  Not too crazy about Nate, either.

Haunting Alice

Alice Archer (from Maybe This Time) is now a thirty-something, lepidopterist by day and a reluctant ghost expert at night, at least the night the book opens when her attempts to dissuade a credulous client into holding a séance with her old friend, Isolde, are hampered by a guy named Ethan who stops by to protect the old lady from the probably-crooked mediums at the behest of his best friend (her name’s Nadine). If that’s not enough, a parapsychologist wants to buy Archer House, Alice’s ancestral home, which Alice is against because ye gods that house is evil, but everybody else is for. Alice goes back to Archer House to find out what’s going on, hampered once more by Ethan at the request of her brother, Carter, and finds it’s not as deserted as she thought it was. As the house fills up again with nefarious parapsychologists, lunatic ghost hunters, her brother Carter and the flaky gallery chick he’s falling for (name’s Nadine Goodnight), most of Alice’s family, and the ever-present Ethan, trouble ensues. Also, ghosts.

Stealing Nadine 

Nadine Goodnight (from Faking It) is now a thirty-something gallery manager, running the Goodnight Gallery by day and painting furniture and canvases by night. When a stranger named Carter shows up at the Gallery, Nadine is suspicious. Good call, Nadine: Carter Archer investigates art fraud for the FBI, and the Goodnight Gallery has been flagged by some senator’s wife named Clea. Nadine knows something’s up and the family will lose everything unless she does some fast thinking, possibly accompanied by faster theft. Unfortunately, her best friend and partner-in-crime, Ethan, is off on some wild ghost chase with some woman who thinks she can talk to the dead (that would be Alice Archer), so Nadine’s going to have juggle forgeries, her family (remember them?) and Carter if she’s going to save the day. (OF COURSE, she’s going to save the day).

“Hot Toy,” “Cold Hearts,” “Warm Bodies”

This is a novella series that follows “Hot Toy,” a Christmas novella I wrote several years ago.  I started “Cold Hearts” because I really loved the heroine’s sister, Courtney, from “Hot Toy,” and then I gave Courtney this great assistant, Darcy, in “Cold Hearts,” and . . . three novellas, one done.  I’m on it.

You Again


An homage to Golden Age mysteries, You Again is the story of how Zelda Banks gets bamboozled into spending Christmas week in a snowbound house full of ruthless people jockeying for money, power, sex, and chocolate covered cherries.  The population includes Scylla, Zelda’s reality-challenged foster sister;  Rose, Zelda’s manipulative godmother who’s up to no good; James, the boy she had a crush on seventeen years ago; and James’ extended family, most of them fairly horrible people.  Rose has invited a medium named Isolde to hold a seance because what this family needs is someone digging up their past, and she’s brought a teenager named Alice who can talk to the dead, which comes in handy as the family starts dropping like flies.  Food, sex, death, dogs, ghosts, and Christmas carols, Zelda has it all and wants none of it.  Well, Scylla can stay.  And the dog.  And James.  James has improved a lot. And the chocolate-covered cherries, but that’s it.