News!

Wow, long time, no update! Ari and I have both had a really busy spring, but we hope to get back in the groove of updating this summer.

Our first bit of news is that we have a new Herc’s Mercs book coming out in August! Herc’s Mercs: Once a Hero is a little different from the previous Herc books in that our merc starts off in retirement.

Ezra Levin formerly served in the Israeli Army and the Mossad, and he ended his career working with Cade “Herc” Thornton at Lawson and Greer and then Hercules Security. But at 45, he’s feeling the effects of a soldier’s life on his body, and he’s retired to work as a personal chef for Judge Mason Whittaker, a widower who is raising his son, Jamie. But when it appears an ex-convict is holding a grudge against the man who put him behind bars, Ezra must come out of retirement to protect Mason and Jamie — and admit the truth about his past to the man he loves.

This book is different not only because our merc is older and retired, but also because for the first time, I wrote the merc! Usually, I write the client because Ari is better with action than I am, but we decided to switch it up this time. Writing Ezra was a fun, new challenge, but for Herc 5 and 6, I’m writing the client again. ;)

Speaking of which, we’re putting the finishing touches on a draft of Herc 5 now! We need to add a couple of scenes and go through the editing process, and then we should be able to submit it within the next 2-3 weeks.

Herc’s Mercs: Once A Hero will be released on August 26 by Torquere Press.

Meanwhile, I have a solo story coming out in July! My collaboration with Ari is still going strong, and neither of us has any intention of quitting, but for various reasons, I decided to try flexing my solo writing muscles again. I submitted a short story to the Plaid Nights anthology call at Torquere Press, which was for stories from 3,000-10,000 words featuring men in kilts. My story, “As Fair Art Thou, My Bonny Lad”, was accepted, and it will be published as part of the anthology on July 15!

Currently, I’m working on another solo short story, this one for Torquere’s First Time anthology. After we finish up the draft of Herc 5, we’re going to focus on finishing Blood Bathory 3. It’s taken us a while to get to the point of being nearly finished, partly because we had two or three false starts with that story and partly because we’ve gotten derailed by hot, hunky mercs. ;) Given that this is the last book in the trilogy, we’ve taken extra care to make sure we end on a strong, solid note. That’s not to say we can’t or won’t revisit the Blood Bathory universe! The plot lines from the trilogy will be wrapped up, but there’s definitely room for us to explore other characters and conflicts, and we have a few tentative plans for what we might do.

So much writing, so little time!

Winter

It has definitely been an interminable winter in the mid-Atlantic, but we got what I hope is the last snow storm of the season yesterday. It’s now colder than the ninth circle outside, but it’s rather pretty, too! Yet I’d prefer to stay inside and write, to be honest. This southern gal has never developed a taste for temperatures below about 65, even after decades in the north!

snowtree

Big Biscuit Bottoms: Murder Ballads playlist

Last year, we wrote a Valentine’s Day story that featured a main character who is a toy store manager by day and a Bluegrass musician by night, Andy Lane. In Dandy’s Little Girl, Andy’s band, the Big Biscuit Bottoms, were hired to play at an anti-Valentine’s Day party at a popular bar, and I had way too much fun coming up with their set list because I love Bluegrass, folk music, and old Country music. Given how often love turned to death and murder in these songs, it wasn’t difficult for me to compile a “murder ballads” playlist for the band.

Last year, I posted here with the playlist enhanced by videos. This year, I’ve gone a step farther and created a  Big Biscuit Bottoms: Murder Ballads set list on Spotify!

I added all the songs from the original set list in the story and added some others I’ve found since then. I’m sure I’ll keep adding to it as I find grisly, creepy new material.

Happy Valentine’s Day! ;)

Letters from Cupid Now Available!

Our Valentine’s Day story, Letters from Cupid, is now available!

We wanted to do something light and fun for Valentine’s Day, and we’d had a plot bunny about a secret admirer leaving notes on someone’s door. It wasn’t specifically earmarked for Valentine’s Day, but it did involve the note writer offering support after a break-up. We decided we could easily adapt it to fit the holiday, so we plucked that plot bunny off The List and wrote it!

I wrote Macon, the curmudgeon, and I may have let some of my own opinions about academia come out through him. To be honest, my opinions usually do slip out if we’re writing in a university setting. ;)  I love academia, but it has its flaws, and it’s no more immune to internal politics than any other job. And yes, the whole “sitting at the back of the room and grading during faculty meetings” thing does actually happen. We don’t like long, tedious meetings either! Unlike Macon, however, I do at least skim the agenda.

Torquere Press coupon!

Torquere Press is celebrating Valentine’s Day all month long with a special 15% off coupon! Just use “sweetheart2015″ as your coupon code when you’re checking out to apply the discount. The coupon code will work on preorders (like Letters from Cupid) and already published Torquere or Prizm books alike.

And just as a reminder, we do have a Valentine’s Day story from last year as well! Dandy’s Little Girl is available from Torquere.

Plot bunnies everywhere

I’ve mentioned before that Ari and I use Evernote for our notes and ideas. It’s really useful because you can clip articles and images from the web, upload documents, and create your own notes, all saved in specific notebooks.

We have one note that’s just an on-going plot bunny list. Whenever one of us gets an idea for a plot or character, the standard response is “Put it on the list.” Although now that it’s pushing 100 plot bunnies, I think it might be deserving of capitalization: The List.

Since the Herc’s Mercs series seems to have taken off nicely, we’ve been thinking more and more about ideas for continuing the series. We’d been lumping the Herc bunnies in with all the other bunnies, but last night, we decided it was time to give the Herc series its own bunny list. So I pulled all the plot bunnies specifically earmarked as Herc ideas plus a couple of others that we’d discussed as being of potential use for Herc stories and added them to a separate note in our Herc’s Mercs notebook.

The Herc plot bunny list is already 7 items long, which doesn’t count the two stories we’re currently working on. So if our readers like the Herc’s Mercs series, I don’t think they need to worry that it’ll dry up any time soon!

We have two Herc’s Mercs stories going at once because we started one, realized it wasn’t working out the way we wanted, and decided to backtrack and do over. However, before we got started on the do-over, another insistent Herc bunny came along, so we decided to roll with that one and get back to the do-over afterward.

Right now, we’re probably about 3/4 finished with the insistent Herc bunny, which features a retired merc whose attempt at building a second career as a private chef is interrupted when the circuit court judge he works for is targeted by an ex-con with an axe to grind. Ezra “Ghost” Levin ends up calling in a favor to his former boss, Cade “Hercules” Thornton, and getting a team of mercs to help him keep his judge safe. For those who liked Herc’s Mercs: Bloody But Unbowed, Daryl “D-Day” Greer makes an appearance in this story as part of Ghost’s team. :D

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