Friday, November 8, 2013

Any Orson Scott Card fans out there? Want to win prizes?

LDStorymakers is an amazing writing conference held every year in Utah, and open to all writers of all genres, in the LDS, national, and self published markets. Classes will be geared to different skill levels, ranging from beginning writers to published authors, focusing on craft and the business of writing. The 2013 conference sold out, attracting almost 500 writers and authors eager to learn more about their craft and the publishing industry. Many got to pitch their projects to some top agents and editors. The next conference will be April 25-26, 2014 at the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah.

And here's your chance to meet
ORSON SCOTT CARD!
who is the keynote speaker at LDStorymakers in 2014.

This year, we have five amazing agents / editor who will be attending  - we'll be announcing them on the facebook page, along with our author faculty, so keep posted! Registration opens in December. This year, the conference will be at the Davis Conference Center in Layton.

Mark the date now! Spots will go quickly.

Now onto the contest information:
The prizes packages are listed below, so check out the spectacular things you could win. Rafflecopter will choose 2 random winners in order. Sorry, but this contest is only open to those living in the U.S. Winners will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours to claim their prize, or another winner will be chosen.

Prizes:
First Place Prize Package
2 tickets to see Ender's Game
SIGNED copy of books 1-4 in the Ender's Game series: ENDER'S GAME, SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, XENOCIDE, and CHILDREN OF THE MIND
Ender's Game swag

Second Place Prize Package
SIGNED copy of Ender's Game
Ender's Game swag

Deadline:
The contest closes November 16 at midnight (PST).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Awesome deals on great books--3 days only

Me and a bunch of my author friends are holding a three-day ebook sale Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week with many of the ebooks at 99 cents and some may even be free. This is a terrific chance to try out new authors at a great price. My first culinary mystery, Brownies & Betrayal, which normally sells for $4.99 will be only 99 cents for the three days.



Thursday, October 10, 2013

How life derails us sometimes

The best laid plans always go awry, don't they? I had intended to have my fourth Sweet Bites mystery, Eggnog & Extortion out by now, and it's sitting on my hard drive at 13,000 words. I do have a lot of other stuff that's sucked up writing time, though.

About ten days after my last blog post my hubby and I decided that rather than wait until spring to maybe move to Kansas, the time was now. Right now. A few days later we were on a plane to go look for a house. By the end of July the house in Kansas was under contract  and we were packing the house in Utah and closing our business. A few days after Labor Day were were packed up and driving cross country.

Yes, it happened that fast. In there I finished edits for a book and published it (under my pen name) and struggled to finish edits on my serial story with Big World Network and get the audio recordings done and turned in on time. We had a vacation we'd planned in the spring that we took in the middle of all of this (thankfully, or I would have gone completely crazy with the packing), and then we moved.

Our new place was built in 1920. It hasn't been maintained for several years and needs a fair amount of TLC (But the price was fabulous.). Plus the unpacking. Did you even notice that you have way more stuff when it's in boxes than when it's in your cupboards? I swear the kitchen cupboards in my old house were like the TARDIS; bigger on the inside, because we have a ton of stuff I had forgotten about. And I thought I got rid of most of that before we moved.

But, I am getting back to writing, finally, and I'm ready to start playing with recipes for Eggnog & Extortion with the hopes that I'll still get it released before Christmas. In my fantasies, anyway.

What gets you off track?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Announcing the release of Muffins & Murder

It's always a bit of a celebration for me when I finally click the button to put another book on sale, and the third book in my Sweet Bites Mystery series was no exception.

Halloween carnivals are supposed to be all fun and games, but when one of the school teachers is found strangled by a quilted table runner at the end of the night, Tess, bakery owner and amateur sleuth, is on the case. 


Between stalkers, small business rivals and neighbors whose hobbies clash with the victim’s, there is no shortage of suspects. Tess’s social life finally starts to take off as things get interesting with Jack and her good friend and employee, Lenny’s, wedding is only days away, Tess has got her hands full. Will she be able to catch the killer before he or she strikes again?


This was a fun book to write with some interesting relationship setup in preparation for Eggnog & Extortion, which will be released sometime in the fall--hopefully in time for Christmas sales, since it is Christmas themed.

Fans of the Sweet Bites series can pick up Muffins & Murder on Kindle now. It should be out on Nook in the next 24 hours, and paper copies will be available soon on Amazon and through me.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Introducing: Motive for Murder by Marlene Sullivan

While we're talking scrumptious food, murderous intent and plenty of plot twists, I thought I'd share this new book out by my friend Marlene Sullivan--it includes ten recipes, which is always a plus in my book!

Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But one day into her vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed when she stumbles, literally, over a dead man on Wendy’s driveway. With police closing in on her friend as their main suspect, Erica must find the real killer before Wendy ends up behind bars.
With Erica’s skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake but then a second homicide-attempt hits close to home. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.
As the plot thickens, it appears Erica may have bitten off more than she can chew, but she forges on, sifting through mounting evidence until she hones in on the killer who has a most surprising motive for murder. With a dash of romance and some surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. 
I asked Marlene what is the funnest thing about being an author for her and the most frustrating thing.

She said: The greatest thing is simply being able to sit down and take time to write.  When my children were small, I felt very guilty about taking time to write, as though it was some nefarious indulgence. Now that I’ve published nine books, I no longer feel guilty taking time to do what I enjoy. Sometimes writing is difficult, occasionally it’s a chore, but I love it. I’ve always felt driven to write. I have such a deep inner desire to put words down that I sometimes wonder if I’m an addict!  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and pleasure to write, polish and revise and get the words just right.
The most frustrating thing for me is usually the first draft.  I’m not sure why, but it’s very difficult for me to get the rough draft down.  I enjoy coming up with an idea, and then plotting out the story line, but the first draft is torture.  It seems that whatever I write is garbage. I take heart only in knowing that you have to get something down before you can revise, and that revising is the essence of good writing. So, I grind my way through it, and then enjoy the revising process, going through the manuscript 6-10 times until I’m satisfied. I liken revising to taking a nondescript stone and polishing it until it sparkles. 

Thanks Marlene!  Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children. 
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.  Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island.
A busy writer, Marlene will have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next came Motive for Murder. In July, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who risked their life for the gospel, will be released by Cedar Fort Inc. 

You can find out more about Marlene on her website. Motive for Murder will be available online in all formats and  in LDS bookstores in both print and audio. Find it at Seagull, Deseret Book and Amazon.

Friday, June 7, 2013

New from my kitchen: baking with natural yeast

It's been a busy spring with more craziness coming as summer really gets into gear. As I turned over all of the  LDStorymakers conference responsibilities to the new co-chairs, I've been working to turn over a new leaf in my own life--eating healthier. I've decided not to go into the whole thing in one leap, though--realistically changing my eating and exercise habits all at once will never work, but I've been planting a more extensive garden this summer (if not as big as I had originally hoped), and I've started cooking with natural yeast.

I didn't really know what natural yeast was before last month, but after hearing many of the benefits extolled, I decided to give it a whirl. Caleb Warnock (who I've known since my newspaper days, which makes it nearly a decade now) and Melissa Richardson recently published a book titled The Art of Baking With Natural Yeast.

Natural yeast is what they use in sour dough and artisian breads. Until the mid 1900s, it's what most bread products were made with. It's pretty easy to use and not all strains are sour.

Melissa came to my local International Permaculture Day celebration on May 4th, bringing yeast starts and selling copies of her books. I took a (non-sour) start home and started reading up on how to feed it. If you've ever had a start for Amish Friendship Bread, then you're familiar with how this works. Every three days or so I use part of my start, and then I add 1 part start, 1 part flour and 1 part water, mix it well and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. I check it every time I open the fridge, and sometimes (if my hubby cooks or we eat out) I open it just to check on the start. It start to bubble within a few hours and can double in size, though mine has never gotten that big yet.

I built the start and got a feel for it for a couple of weeks before doing anything with it, then tried bread. I've made pancakes, waffles, and cinnamon rolls, and more bread.

And my hubby has never been so happy when he walks into a yeasty-smelling kitchen.
Here's some of the cinnamon rolls I made last week. They were so fabulous! Melissa's recipe is for whole wheat rolls, and includes some mashed potato to make the recipe lighter if you're using all whole wheat. It turns out my whole wheat flour has gone rancid--yes, that's how long it's been since I did any serious baking. So I made this with all white and didn't bother with the mashed potato, but next time I'm going to try at least part whole wheat--as soon as I buy some more flour. (A decent grain mill in on my to-purchase list for late this summer.)

Natural yeast has lots of good things for your stomach and is good for your digestion. Some people who've suffered from acid reflux have reported that eating products using natural yeast on a regular basis have eliminated their problems (ask Caleb Warnock about this sometime). We're hoping it works for my hubby.  Also, letting the yeast work on the flour overnight (yes, it takes considerably longer to let it rise than store-bought yeast) helps make the flour more digestible, too.

My most recent baking attempt was Melissa's honey molasses bread recipe--which is really terrific.

Want to learn more? Check out Melissa's blog at http://thebreadgeek.blogspot.com. Get their book, and Caleb will be happy to send you some natural yeast flakes so you can grow your own start, or if you live near me (or might be seeing me soon), contact me and I'll share some of my start.

I think my next baking project will be to test Melissa's cake recipe. I'm a big fan of cake and can't wait to see if I can tweak it for other flavors. =)

Friday, April 26, 2013

I, Spy by Jordan McCollum—Coming June 5, 2013!

Hey guys, this book is my friend Jordan McCollum's first book. I read early chapters of this book last year and it was terrific! She's just revealing her book cover today and I think it's fabulous! Seriously.

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you'd expect to find an American spy. But even idyllic Ottawa has its deadly secrets—and so does CIA operative Talia Reynolds. She can climb through ventilation shafts, blend in at the occasional diplomatic function, even scale buildings (small ones). But there’s one thing she can’t do: tell her aerospace engineer boyfriend Danny about her Top Secret occupation. It worked for a year, keeping Danny in the dark, keeping him away from danger, keeping her secrets. And then Talia finally catches a hot case: Fyodor Timofeyev. Russian. Aerospace executive. Possible spy? She can make this work, too—until Danny needs her at the same time her country does. And when Fyodor targets Danny? Suddenly her schedule isn't the only thing suffering. Now to save her secrets and her country, Talia must sacrifice the man she loves.
Add I, Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Advance praise

The edge-of-my-seat undercover operations kept me turning pages, and just when I thought the story would go one way, plot twists sent it down another path. Thrilling, adventurous, and romantic, this book has it all for an Alias fan.
Jami Gold, award-winning author
Jordan McCollum’s debut novel is a delightful combination of mystery, action, and romance. Talia’s CIA training and almost OCD caution feed her quirky humor while exposing her very human fears and insecurities. Add in her boyfriend Danny, and it's enough to twist your heart.
Donna K. Weaver, author of A Change of Plans
Clever, suspenseful, and charged with political intrigue and romance, I, Spy is the perfect combination for a fun and captivating read!
Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah. Follow Jordan on Twitter, like Jordan on Facebook and add I, Spy on Goodreads today! 

Awesome Arbor Day book deals

My friend Andrea Pearson decided it was time to celebrate--so she got a bunch of authors (including me) to offer discounts on their books for the next few days. There are almost three-dozen ebooks being offered to readers--including one of mine You can find the whole list here, and check out my deal:

SEALed with Love

Author: Heather Tullis
Original and discounted price: From $3.99 to $0.99
Number of days discounted: Three
Coupon code for Smashwords: TM44H
Genre and target audience: Contemporary adult romance with paranormal elements
Book rating: PG13
Download it from AmazonNookSmashwords
Book description: 

It isn't Sage Parker's fault that she mistakes former Navy SEAL Joel Watts as the stalker who had been sending her disturbing letters--he shows up every time she turns around. Too bad her father doesn’t tell her he sent Joel to protect her. When the stalker tracks Sage from LA to her new job in Colorado, she's glad to have Joel on her side. She didn’t plan to falling in love with him though—now if he would see her as more than just a client.

Joel takes his job as head of resort security seriously, but Sage is his number one priority, and the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. He isn't sure if he believes in her precognition, or some of her other hokey beliefs, but he soon finds he can't live without her. He just has to catch the stalker before he or Sage end up dead.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pistols & Pies is now available!

So excited to see my second Sweet Bites mystery finally out! It just went live on Kindle and I'll have paper copies in the near future. Check out the first two chapters.


Chapter 1

I checked my watch and was pleased to see I was on schedule. The cake set up at the Silver Spring, Arizona fitness center’s open house went smoothly—to my great relief—leaving me plenty of time to do the last-minute decorating of the miniature tennis courts. The cake was huge—big enough to feed four hundred and decorated to look like the new facility.

I looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps and smiled at the mayor, Ralph Tanner, and Eric Hogan, the city councilman who had overseen the entire project. “What do you think?” I asked.

They stared at my masterpiece as if they hadn’t believed I could do it. “Wow. Can I say “wow”?” the mayor asked.

“I’m always happy with wow,” I said smiling. Wow fell only slightly behind gorgeous, awesome and fantastic in my book.

 “It looks great.” Eric nodded, studying the entire grounds before turning to me. “Do you have those pies?”

“Yes, they’re in the kitchen. I stashed them in the cupboard over the fridge where no one would find them.” He’d prepaid for them when he ordered over the internet (prepay was one of my favorite words now that I was in business for myself).

“And you used fresh peaches and blackberries?” he asked, as if doubting my word.

“Of course. I used only fresh ingredients, and no preservatives, so you’re completely safe.” He claimed his wife was allergic to preservatives, but I heard through the grapevine that requests like this predated his marriage by several years. Still, he came in often and usually paid with cash, so who was I to quibble?

“Good, good. We have some things to check out, but this place should start to get busy really soon,” Mayor Tanner said, checking his watch.

Feeling suddenly nervous, I made an effort to relax my stomach muscles. Everything was fine. The cake was perfect and  would taste great. No problem.
* * *
People milled all around, whispering about their weekend plans or discussing my cake while Mayor Tanner gave a long, drawn-out speech on how excited everyone was for the new facility, and how it would serve generations to come. Yeah. He’s one of those. Councilman Hogan came on stage and received the mayor’s thanks for watching over the project.

I glanced toward the contractor, whose work hadn’t even been acknowledged, and saw him glower at Hogan. What was his name again? Greasy? No Grizzle. Marty Grizzle. A big bull of a man, he folded his arms over his plaid flannel shirt (flannel in Arizona, in July, really?) and spread his legs into a defiant stance. His work boots were crusted with mud from one of his job sites and there was a black pack of Camels poking out of his front pocket. I got the feeling if he had free reign to talk about how wonderful Hogan was, the words he spoke wouldn’t be printable.

“And now, we’re going to cut the ribbon, and then Tess Crawford, owner of the The Sweet Bites Bakery, will slice her incredible replica of the facility.” My name pulled my attention back to the mayor, who held a huge pair of scissors. “If you haven’t taken a good look at this cake, you better do so before we start cutting. And I understand it’s supposed to taste great, too!” He grinned as if he were imparting some special wisdom before he opened the scissors and cut the ribbon that cordoned off the rest of the building from the crowd. The outer facilities had been used all summer for city-league sports, but the indoor portions including the pool, track, weight room, gym and racquetball courts would officially open this afternoon.

Within five minutes I had smiled for several people—including the news reporter—who took pictures of me behind the cake, then started slicing from both ends. I’d made it with white cake on the front of the building and chocolate on the back to satisfy various appetites. Taking a better look at the crowd, I was surprised by the number of people in attendance. More advertising as far as I was concerned. Word of mouth was far more effective in creating sales than newspaper articles anyway.

I spent the next half an hour happily destroying my masterpiece while people’s eyes popped as they tasted the treat. That was what I lived for—that and the joy of designing and decorating the cake in the first place.

Despite how huge it had started out, there was only a small section of white cake left when the last of the guests dispersed. I packaged up the remainder in a couple of pastry boxes and headed down the hall where I’d seen the mayor and facility manager talking earlier. Someone might as well enjoy the end of it, and I didn’t need it. The local nursing home, women’s shelter and food bank already got regular donations of my leftover products.

The halls were eerily quiet, my footsteps echoing on the gray asphalt tiles. Children’s voices trickled from the pool, while the clank of weight machines sounded down the other hall. The facility was free to the public for the rest of the day and plenty of people were taking advantage of it.

When I didn’t find the mayor on the main floor, I went upstairs where there were rooms available for rent. I checked a couple of meeting rooms, then pushed on the door to the closet-sized kitchen, which could be rented to portion out snacks for events. The door stopped when it was halfway open and I looked down, seeing a big, brown man’s shoe blocking the way. It appeared to be attached to a pair of men’s dress pants.
My heart raced and I caught my breath as I looked around the edge of the door, already knowing I was not going to like what I saw.

Eric Hogan lay on his back, the boxes of pie I’d made lay next to him, one on its side with the pie falling out onto the floor in chunks. His hands splayed at his side and a big red bullet hole marred his forehead, blood still oozing out of it into a pool around his upper body and trickling down under the oven.

My stomach clenched as I grew nauseated. The smell of peaches and spice assaulted my nose along with the coppery scent of blood (though that might have been my imagination). I took two quick steps back, holding my stomach, hoping I wouldn’t vomit. A few more steps and I ran into the railing that overlooked the main floor. Turning, I saw the mayor and a woman passing below me. “Mayor, help! Call 911.” My voice failed me, and he looked up at me, confused. “It’s Eric Hogan,” I said.

“What’s wrong with him? Is he hurt?” He started up the stairs toward me, fast.

“He’s dead.” I slid down the railing to sit on the floor and pulled my legs to my chest, dropping my head between my knees, hoping I wouldn’t pass out. What was it with me finding dead bodies?

Peach-Blackberry Pie


Filling:
4 cups fresh peaches
1 cup fresh blackberries
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Tart crust.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tbsn white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust: Mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until it is uniform. Mix the egg and vinegar in a cup and blend into the flour mixture. Pie crust tip: once you add the liquids, you want to handle the crust as little as possible, but before adding the liquids, you can mix it as much as you like.

Line the bottom of the pie pan with crust and prick the sides and bottom with a fork. Then spread in the peaches and berries.  Sprinkle the other ingredients evenly across the top. Top with a second crust and crimp the edges and bake for about an hour, or until crust starts to turn golden.

This is based on the recipe my grandma always used from her Encyclopedia of Cooking, though I really like the extra punch the berries give the pie. My friend Honey prefers it au-natural, though, with just the peaches. If it’s off-season and you just have to have your peach-pie fix, frozen peaches and blackberries can be substituted for the fresh ones, just put them in the shell still frozen. If you defrost them before you bake they can turn mushy.


Chapter 2

“We really have to stop meeting like this.”

I’d know the voice anywhere—it belonged to paramedic Jack King, the man who always seemed to be there when I felt or looked like crap. I peered up at him now and hoped I wasn’t as pale as I felt. “You’re telling me. Did you get a look at him?”

“Yeah, there’s nothing we can do for him. How about you? Need an IV?” His blue eye twinkled at me and I glared. He knew how much I hated needles.

I hit his leg with my closed fist, though I didn’t put as much energy behind it as I could have. “Sure, just as much as you want an appendectomy.”

“Too late, I already had one, but yeah, surgery’s not really high on my to-do list right now.” He crouched beside me. “Are you going to be all right? You’re kind of gray around the edges.” He brushed at a couple of hairs that had escaped my hair clips.

“I’m feeling better. Help me stand and we’ll see how much better.” I slid my hand into his and tried to ignore the way it wrapped around mine so nicely, or the gentle way he helped me to my feet. Instead I reminded myself that he’d put a needle in my arm that spring. I still wasn’t ready to forgive him, even though I’d needed the IV and had sort of given permission.

“How’s that?” Jack asked when he got me to my feet. He put a hand on my back, steadying me for a moment as a bout of lightheadedness hit me.

When it passed, I nodded. “I’m okay.”

“Yeah, sure. Let’s find you a chair. Tingey will want to talk to you before you leave, anyway.” He nodded toward the detective, who was speaking with a man outside the kitchen door.

“Of course he will. And then he’ll ask me again, and he’ll have me write it down, and if I’m really lucky, I’ll get a ride to the station to give a formal report too!” I pasted on a manic grin as if it sounded like barrels of fun. Having experienced it before, though, I knew better.

My cell phone rang and I fished it out of my pocket as we headed down the stairs to a chair by the empty cake table. Someone had hauled off the board while I’d been upstairs trying not to be sick.

I glared at my phone when my shop’s number came up. “Hey, Angela. How’s it going?”

“Um, fine?” my nineteen-year-old employee said.

I could feel a headache coming on, and she hadn’t even said what was wrong, yet. “Yeah? You called to tell me everything was fine?”

“Well, see, I was helping Mrs. Hooper with the anniversary cake you made for her, and I sort of dropped it on the floor. It doesn’t look very good there.”

My mouth formed words I would not allow myself to speak aloud to an employee. Jack seemed to get the gist of it as he slid an arm around my back before I could give in to the desire to pass out for real this time. It had to be easier than dealing with such incompetence.

“Um, Tess, are you still there?” Angela asked when I didn’t speak for a long moment.

“Yes. Is Mrs. Hooper still in the store? Could I speak with her, please?” I was proud of myself for keeping my voice even.

A moment later the woman came on the line, her voice hitching with tears. “I promised my Albert we’d have something special for the family party tonight. I can’t believe it. It happened right in front of me. What are you going to do about it? It’s all over the floor.”

Dang. That meant I couldn’t just fix the exterior as I would if the damage hadn’t been serious. I looked at my watch. It was three-thirty. “Look, I have a round cake in my fridge that I was going to decorate tonight. How about if I come in and decorate it for you? I know it’s the wrong shape, but it’s the same flavor and I can do it up along the same design as the other one and deliver it to your house before six tonight. Will that work?”

The woman sniffled. “Yes. But I should get a discount if it’s going to be round.”

I ground my teeth together. “Of course. How does fifteen percent sound?”

“Well, I guess you are delivering it.” She seemed to debate for a moment. “That will be fine.”

“Terrific. Make sure you give Angela your address and I’ll see you in a few hours.”

Detective Tingey was not going to be happy about me ducking out, but I figured he knew where to find me. I hung up the phone and slid it back into my pocket.

“That didn’t sound good,” Jack said.

“You have no idea. The good news is I’m so furious that I’m not feeling light headed anymore.” I pulled one of my business cards from the pocket of my apron and grabbed my pen. On the back of the card I jotted. “Sorry, business emergency. I can meet you after six, or you can swing by the shop.” I put my cell number below it and signed my initials. I handed it to Jack. “Could you give this to Detective Tingey? I know I owe you for taking the glare he’s going to shoot at you when he reads my card. Bring your daughter in when you get a day off and I’ll get you both cupcakes on the house.”

“I won’t argue with that. You’re sure you feel okay, though?” He looked concerned and studied my face.

“Fine.” I gave him a fake smile, and hurried out to my SUV. I thought I heard Detective Tingey’s voice calling my name before the door closed behind me, but I didn’t stop to find out.


You can buy this on Amazon here, and on Nook here. It will show up on Sony, Kobo, iBookstore and several other sites eventually, when it finishes trickling through from Smashwords in a couple of weeks. You can read the first chapters of book 1, Brownies & Betrayal here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Make Good Art

Neil Giaman is a writer of novels, comic books, children's books, screenplays and many other things in multiple genres who has made a career of his writing for decades. He spoke at a university commencement last spring about being a creative person, making mistakes and sticking with it anyway. This is so inspiring to me and fits not just writers or artists, if you're not just heading into the real world, fresh from college, but have a dream you want to pursue, it still applies to you--not matter how old you are or what kind of dream it is.


 So go forward, and make good art.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pistols & Pies teaser

Yes, the release of my second Sweet Bites Bakery book is growing closer--before the end of the month for sure, though the date is a little hazy as I'm waiting for my cover to be finished. With much luck I'll be able to do a cover reveal next week. In the meantime, here's a little teaser:


When I didn’t find the mayor on the main floor, I went upstairs where there were rooms organizations could rent. I checked a couple of meeting rooms, then pushed on the door to the closet-sized kitchen, which could be rented to portion out snacks for events. The door stopped when it was halfway open and I looked down, seeing a big, brown men’s shoe blocking the way. It appeared to be attached to a pair of men’s dress pants.
My heart raced and I caught my breath as I looked around the edge of the door, already knowing I was not going to like what I saw.

Eric Hogan lay on his back, the boxes of pie I’d made for him lay next to him, one on its side with the pie falling out onto the floor in chunks. His hands splayed at his side and a big red bullet hole marred his forehead, blood still oozing out of it into a pool around his upper body and trickling down under the oven.
My stomach clenched as I grew nauseated. The smell of peaches and spice assaulted my nose along with the coppery scent of blood (though that might have been my imagination). I took two quick steps back, holding my stomach, hoping I wouldn’t vomit.  A few more steps and I ran into the railing that overlooked the main floor. Turning I saw the mayor and a woman passing below me. “Mayor, help! Call 911.” My voice failed me, and he looked up at me, confused. “It’s Eric Hogan,” I said.

“What’s wrong with him? Is he hurt?” He started up the stairs toward me fast.

“He’s dead.” I slid down the railing to sit on the floor and pulled my legs to my chest, dropping my head between my knees, hoping I wouldn’t pass out. What was it with me finding dead bodies?

And now, back to edits.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Starting the DiCarlo Brides series

I'm excited to reveal the start of a new book that I've been working on for the past two years, the DiCarlo Brides series. Bill spent an entire day tweaking and playing with my cover until it came out just right, isn't it cute?




Cami DiCarlo has always known what she wanted and where she belonged, but when her father dies, his will reveals huge secrets—four of them in the form of half sisters she never knew about—and his plans for her future, which aren’t at all what she had in mind.

She finds herself working alongside her sisters as they get ready to open the hotel for business, dealing with personality conflicts, and trying to find out who is trying to destroy the family name and ruin the hotel’s reputation before it even gets started.

Vince Talmadge, local landscape architect, seems miles away from the kind of man she usually dates, but the attraction flares between them from word one. Learning her father picked him out to be her future husband, she is not amused, but neither can she back off the path they’ve begun together. But can two people miles apart in so many ways really make things work? 


I published this series under a pen name, Heather Tullis, because it's geared more toward a national audience with a light PG-13 rating instead of the super squeaky clean romances under my real name. To celebrate, A Perfect Fit is available on Kindle and Nook for 99 cents for this week only. That right, Saturday night it'll revert to the normal $4.99, so don't put it off.  (It should also be popping up on iBookstore, Sony, Kobo and other sites, but it takes a couple of weeks to trickle through their systems).

I won't be making regular announcements for the books under this pen name on this blog, but you can become a fan of my Heather Tullis Facebook page, or contact me here to be added to my Heather Tullis newsletter.

What do you think?