Mysteries Now Back Online – New Book Scheduled
The Karen Maxwell mysteries are back! Book one, George Washington Stepped Here, and book two, Worth its Weight in Old, have been re-edited and are available on Amazon. They should be available shortly through other retailers as well. And book three, Roped In, is scheduled for release on June 1. Book three brings Karen undercover into the world of competitive jump rope. Never heard of the sport? Click here to check out some videos from “WejumpRope,“ a group of high school students on the Kangaroo Kids Precision Jump Rope Team. The whole team is amazing (and I freely admit to bias here because my daughter is also on the team) but these boys take the art and sport of jump rope to a whole new level with these beautifully crafted videos. Enjoy!
And Now for Something Completely Different…
My next new print release will be a collaboration with science fiction author Catherine Asaro. It’s a shorter story called “Corn Fed Blues” set during the Roaring Twenties — but in a place where the decade was still more of a sleepy kitten than a roaring lion. The story will be part of an anthology tentatively titled Deco Punk and it features futuristic dream technology of the 1920s. Our focus was more on the characters and the era than the tech, though. Who knew that one night in the feed store speakeasy could change a farm girl’s life forever?
The print version of the anthology will be released by Pink Narcissus press, and ebook details will be coming soon.
Restitution Coming Online
We’ve been experimenting with cover art for the ebook version of Restitution, which should be online later in the spring after re-editing. There’s always room for improvement, right?
I would like the new cover to feature the “Gun Shop” at Jerusalem Mill just like the original print cover did. Jerusalem Mill is a wonderful historical village with a dedicated staff of volunteers including living history interpreters. A visit to the site while I was researching the story drew me into the the world of 18th Century reenacting and life hasn’t been the same since.
I’m grateful to my publisher for nominating my story, Sense of the Season, for a Gold Ankh Award. Sense of the Season features an unlikely duo as hero and heroine – she’s a reformed bully and he’s a compulsive gambler with a drinking problem. He knows he’s hit rock bottom when he wakes up on the floor of the poorhouse to find his childhood nightmare looming over him. She doesn’t remember who he is…at first.
Sense of the Season is part of the Cotillion Christmas Celebrations collection of traditional Regency Christmas stories. However, holiday celebrations don’t actually figure into the story at all. In fact, the season is just used, as one of the characters says, as an “excuse for poor behavior.” (So I guess I shouldn’t count on it winning an award in the Christmas category, should I?)
Much of the action takes place in the almshouse in a small fishing village, and the story was inspired by a place we visited on the southeast coast of England. My editor told me she had to send back the first several versions artists created for the cover because they were too opulent, with fancy gowns and elegant drawing rooms. I’m glad she fought for me on this!
Latest Stories Now Available in Print
Two of my not-so-traditional “traditional” Regency romances are now available in print. Deceptive Behavior is my updated version of a popular 18th Century farce. When the hero comes to meet his intended bride, he mistakenly falls in love with a maid instead. But the maid turns out to be the woman he was supposed to marry, so everything’s okay –or is it? In my version of the story we go beyond the mistaken identity mishap to find out what comes next.
Another recent story release, the Regency novella “Change of Address,” is now available in print as part of the Cotillion Christmas Surprises anthology. Though the story is set in December, the holiday season during the early 19th Century was not anything like it is today and I find Regency Christmas stories satisfying to read all winter long. Maybe that’s because, as a reviewer said, the setting for “Change of Address” was “so vivid I could feel the damp chill of the new home.” This is just a long-winded way of saying I think you’ll enjoy these stories (and the one below) at other times of the year, too.
You can learn more about Deceptive Behavior and “Change of Address” and read samples on the books page.
My First Ghost Story
“Bride of Belznickel,” my first ghost story, is Christmas story only in the sense that it is the Christmas holidays that forces the heroine to come stay with her obnoxious cousins. She decides to try to frighten them with tales of the Christmas demon, der Belznickel. But then her stories start to come to life and of course everyone thinks she’s responsible.
There’s more about this on the “books” page, too.
Find out what really happened in Oz.
Everyone knows how Dorothy and Toto save Oz from the Wicked Witch of West…or do they? How will Dorothy survive in a land filled with haunted bags of straw, hollow metal men and giant smelly cats?
How will she fight off killer bees, mad wolves and really annoying monkeys? And how will Dorothy ever find the way home?
The simple truth is that she won’t, at least not alone. Of course, she’s not alone – she has Toto, her best friend. But in Oz, Dorothy spends more time talking to a cat than to her…
Find out more on the Books by K.D. Hays page.