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Pruning and Fine Tuning
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As I've been hinting for a while, more books are coming in the Murder and Magic series. The series continues with stories from two of Hetty and Benjy's descendants, in stories that take place in the 1930s and 1960s respectively. 

While I have many stories in mind for Hetty and Benjy (these two have a way of stumbling into adventures after all!) the chance to dive into escapades of their descendants was also very appealing and worked rather well the central mysteries I have in mind.  This direction is ironically was where I was initially headed with I first drafted The Conductors. In my original plan had the sequels to The Conductors be  story (and mystery) for each generation:  1901,  1925, 1943, 1965, 1984, and even a modern day story.  Some were set in Philadelphia and others around the US. But that was before I got The Conductors and The Undertakers published and I worked and build out the world a lot of what was in those stories no longer works now. So much that when I turned my hands next generations I basically started over.  But that's fun part part for me. Because I got to see not only how much I have changed and improved as a writer, but to see what aspects of history is resonating me at the moment. 

Below is a bit more about the next two books The Improvisers and The Starseekers and in the months to come I will have more to share about books and leading sleuths. 

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In The Improvisors we arrive in 1931 following the

rather colorful life of Velma Fyre, Hetty and Benjy's youngest

granddaughter. A celebrated pilot in the spirit of Bessie Coleman, Velma made a small fortune as magical bootlegger before switching careers to become a magical investigator with the Magnolia Muses.

Impulsive, snarky, and known to charm people to get out trouble (both with magic and otherwise) Velma acts before she thinks and hopes it works out well.

Her latest case involves a mystery pocket watch that lead some to

strange deaths, Velma crisscrosses the US seeking answers, other enchanted items, and suspects. Only to find that the answer to all the above lie closer to home than she would have ever anticipated - at her family's inn.

Helping Velma along the way, are several relatives eager to help, old bootlegging contacts, and a rather annoying and nosy reporter by the name of Dillon Harris who always seems to pop up in the middle of her investigations when she least expects it.

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The Starseekers is set in 1964, where Dr. Cynthia Rhodes, works at the Ainsworth Arcane Research center, a fairly new facility created by NASA for magical studies on earth and in space. In charge of project designed to use magically charged fuel to power rockets, after a deadly accident on the facility's grounds, Cynthia is abruptly

reassigned to a new project.  A project involving potion lost in centuries old shipwreck and brings in maritime archeologist, Dr. Theo Danner as consultant. The same Theo Danner who happens to be her old college boyfriend she gave up when she had to raise her much young siblings following her parents' death.

Content with a quiet life, Cynthia just wants to finish the

project with the only distraction being the local tv show game show she hosts for fun. But when Theo suggests the accident at Ainsworth

might have been murder she can't deny the possibility or the fact that something sinister is going on.

Upcoming Events

Hampton Roads Writer Conference in Virginia Beach, VA

Sept 22- 24


Craft Corner

When I get in the final stages of draft, the moment I know where the draft is at good enough place to start letting others read it, that's when I break out the puzzles. Or really one puzzle. I clear off my coffee table and scatter 1000 puzzle pieces across it. I don't work for speed. The puzzle solving is simply a chance for me to step away from the screen and shift gears to allow my mind to ponder other problems for a moments. Sometimes I even tease apart a problem as I find the perfect puzzle piece on the section I'm working on.  This slow process usually mean the puzzle is out there for nearly a month (and I have to find a new place to leave my library books!) but it works for me.

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