Category Archives: The Detective’s Brother

Why Self-Publishing?

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot lately, and with my new book out I thought it was a good time to write a (really long) post about it.

I wrote The Detective’s Brother some years ago and was very proud of it. I polished it, edited it, and sent off dozens of queries to agents and editors. None of them picked it up, though a few did show interest. Disappointed but not ready to give up, I shopped it around to some small presses, especially ones that were focused on romance novels.

img_0113It wasn’t long until I found a very small publisher called Sinnful Books that was just starting out. The publisher loved the book and wanted to sign me at once. I was excited and the terms were good, so I signed and sent it off. He set me up with a beautiful cover and the book was headed to the editor with a tentative release date. Then, out of nowhere, he emailed all his authors and said that the company was shutting down. All rights would revert to us, we were no longer bound by the terms of the contract, and were even free to keep our cover art if we wanted to cut out the imprint.

At that point I considered self-publishing, but thought I’d give the whole small press thing another try. I submitted my book to Booktrope because I felt like it would give me more creative control – small press marketing with indie control, what could be better? They also wanted it with some slight edits, so once I got it into the system and picked out my team my book went into edits.

img_5455My editor whipped it into shape, teaching me some very important lessons along the way, and I credit her with The Detective’s Brother turning out so well. Once it was a book we were both proud of, we set it up to be published! Then, about two weeks after it was released, Booktrope said it was shutting down at the end of the month. Unlike Sinnful, though, we were left with the options of either paying back our cover artists and editors or selling them and divvying up the royalties as per the contract. My cover artist decided to just give us the art, but my editor preferred a payout. Of more than a thousand dollars, which would be her fee for my manuscript If I’d gone directly through her.

Since it’s rare for me to even get one paycheck of that sort of money, The Detective’s Brother has gone back on the shelf until I can pay her or the contract runs out in five years. I really do want to pay her and was willing to do it in installments, but then my husband became disabled and I became the breadwinner of our family. As for The Detective’s Brother, I can sell the last few copies I have but that’s it.

treasured Love coverI was pretty depressed about the whole thing. What was the point, I thought, to signing with these small publishers only to have them go under? Thankfully, Tammy Andresen had contacted me before Booktrope shut down, asking if I wanted to be part of a pirate-themed historical box set. As depressed as I was, I had already agreed to it so I wrote the novella for Treasured Love and had a great time. I was also included in Every Rogue’s Heart, another box set with them.

The box sets, as many are, was self-published and consisted of mainly self-published authors, most of whom are very successful. After firing a zillion and one questions at Dawn Brower, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish Drowned History.

I don’t yet know how things will turn out, but I’m pleased with how the book is doing and love the way it looks. It would be nice to have a publisher deal with the marketing and such, but I don’t have to have one to validate me. If there’s one thing I do know, though, it’s that I love writing and I’ll never sell myself short again.


Alone Again, Naturally

Detective's BrotherWell, I have some incredibly sad news. As of May 31st, The Detective’s Brother will no longer be available as Booktrope is closing down.

I got the news on Friday and immediately started texting and messaging other Booktrope authors that I have become friends with, as well as my editor. As near as we can figure out, until I pay the team what their usual rate would be my book will be stuck in limbo.

I’ve decided – as have a number of my fellow authors – to go the self-publishing route. I’ve learned a lot from my time with Booktrope and I think I can go it alone as well as possible. I have a day job that I love so I’m not in danger of losing a large chunk of my income, and I’ll have a little more control over what I’ve written.

A couple of friends have encouraged me to try and explore small presses but honestly, I’m not looking forward to doing that again. I’ve been down that road before and it only leaves me stressed and unhappy when no one wants to read historicals or requests chapters and then never says anything again. Not to mention the fact that the two indie publishers that picked up The Detective’s Brother both went under. Sinnful at least returned the rights to me with no strings attached. Booktrope is returning the rights but, as I said before, I can’t republish until my team is compensated and that will take a while if they want the money up front. I adore my editor but I can’t afford her rate unless she lets me pay her back in installments or something.

Turn the Page is still slated for a release this year, though it may be a little longer in coming than originally planned since I’m going to have to shell out the money for the editing and cover myself. However, I’ve got a designer I like picked out and a couple of stock photos for her to work with. I’ve got a few ideas for contemporaries and historicals, so you definitely haven’t heard the last of me, and I hope you’ll stay with me through the next big adventure.

The Worst Day

Open Book BH 3

This week on the blog hop, we’re talking about a topic that affects almost every writer at some point – a time when we considered giving up writing.

I wrote The Detective’s Brother in 2011 and spent several years trying to get it published through every possible avenue, but even though I got a little bit of interest from agents I was ultimately rejected.

Every time I got a rejection letter I felt like I was personally being rejected. No matter how many times I reminded myself that every writer gets rejected and that JK Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers before she found one that would publish Harry Potter, I felt my resolve that I would ever publish slipping.

Then one day I just woke up and couldn’t write. Everyone has an off day so I just sat around watching movies and crocheting, deciding that I would try again the next day. But the same thing happened over and over until I couldn’t put more than a paragraph on the page without worrying about its quality.

Rather than trying to ignore my inner editor as they tell us during NaNoWriMo, I overanalyzed every word in an attempt to understand why no one wanted to take a chance on my writing. I got so caught up in trying to craft the perfect sentence that someone might love that I wasn’t enjoying writing, and eventually I just stopped.

After a few months of attempting to write this way, I gave up. I decided I was just going to stop writing because obviously it wasn’t good enough for anyone, so I put away my computer and sank into a deep depression. Every day that I wasn’t writing felt like an eternity but I couldn’t look at a blank screen any longer.

Then my husband suggested that I write something completely outlandish just for fun. When I was in college and high school, I used to write fan fiction (if you don’t know what that is, it’s when you write fiction using the characters and stories from something established like Harry Potter or Doctor Who). I decided I was going to write something like that again just for fun, and once again I found joy in writing.

I got used to writing every day again and before I knew it I was getting ideas again and writing outlines for stories of my own. I started rewriting Detective’s Brother and submitted it to small presses. You know the story from there!

Since then I have never had a day like the one where I decided to stop writing, and it’s been a relief. Now I can’t imagine making that decision again.


Release Week Wrap Up

It’s finally the end of my release week and I am super tired. Everything has been really good and I’ve made more sales than I expected, especially being a new author who doesn’t exactly have a following yet. I hope at least half the people leave reviews because that’s what we’re all about these days. Sales are nice but reviews will make potential new readers take notice.

Because I’m super tired now, I’m going to put a couple of links up for you to take a look at instead of a post.

Em Shotwell, author of my current favorite book Blackbird Summer, did a little blog post about my book!

Ropin Romance has an interview with me from the Passion in the Pages event, wherein I reveal an unusual choice in dinner dates.

And here’s where you can buy your very own copy of The Detective’s Brother! Paperbacks are now available as well as the ebooks, but the books are on sale until April 11th so grab your copy at $0.99 while you can. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Now I’m going to go back to my writing cave and work on my contemporary. Right after I take a nap.

A Little Taste of The Detective’s Brother

Detective's BrotherToday I’m going to give you a little excerpt from The Detective’s Brother to enjoy. It’s about Simon Creed, who hasn’t given or received much affection for a while.

“I suppose so. The handwriting on the stub and the check are the same, and it must have been torn out and put in the ledger so that whoever was going to send it out wouldn’t notice the difference in the register. If you look at them side by side, the only thing these have in common is that they’re cursive.” Donahue tapped the check stub, which had been neatly filled out with Amos Bellman’s name and address. “Though I suppose it could be overlooked if you were in a hurry. And unless something like the mill burning down happened, there wouldn’t be any reason for someone to be looking.”

“Uh-huh.” He tried to look at the papers but was distracted by the backs of her hands. A lady’s should have been white and smooth, but hers were a little tan and the right had the ghost of a scar across it. They fascinated him more than they should have for propriety or practicality at that moment, and it didn’t take long for Donahue to notice he wasn’t speaking.

“Is that all you have to say about it?”

“No.” Creed wasn’t quite sure what came over him, but when she turned back as if to ask him what he was talking about, he grabbed her shoulders and kissed her. He was a little rougher about it than he’d meant to be, and she seemed startled by it so he held her firmly to make sure she couldn’t pull away. When he let her go, Donahue’s face was bright red and her hat was pushed back on her head.

“Wh-what was that?”

“I’m sorry,” Creed said quickly, stepping back. “I don’t know what that was.” She stared up at him and he shook his head. “I have to—” He didn’t know how to end his sentence so he turned and left as calmly as possible, making it out of the office and onto the street.

Creed leaned against the side of the building, shaking as if he’d just been ill. What the hell did I just do? I don’t know what came over me, he thought, pressing a hand to his forehead. It was like my body moved on its own when she turned around. The look on Donahue’s face when he’d let go of her came back to him, and he rubbed his eyes with the heel of his hand, trying to make it go away. He couldn’t decide what had been inside her dazed look, and the possibilities either way made him want to punch the wall behind him until his mind was clear again.

It might have been better if she’d just slapped me. I can’t think of much that’s more humiliating than kissing a woman with no interest in you.

Want more? The Detective’s Brother ebook is only $0.99 through April 11th on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! If you’re holding out for a signed copy, I’ll put up details as soon as they are available!

A Release Day Walk Down Memory Lane

Detective's BrotherIt’s finally here! Today is the official release day for The Detective’s Brother and I wanted to celebrate by telling you about how it came to be. Some of you may have already heard all about it, in which case you can head over to my Facebook page and enter to win an autographed copy by checking out the pinned post.

To give you an idea of how important today is to me, you have to go all the way back to 2011 (previously I might have said 2009, but I went back to the original files and checked the date. It just feels like that long). I wrote it in about two months and adored my characters. I did my research, went through a couple of different settings, and was extremely cruel to Simon Creed. I edited it and sent it to beta readers, who enjoyed it a great deal, then in about 2012 I started querying agents. After a couple of false starts, I decided to try small presses.

By 2014 I was certain that my only option was self-publishing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing but I also have a full time day job, which leaves little time for marketing, designing, and learning the ins and outs of publishing, and definitely no time for writing. Then I was scooped up by a little startup in Canada called Sinnful Ebooks. We got a contract signed, a bonus paid, and a cover. Then they shut down abruptly, leaving Simon and Quinn stuck in literary limbo.

I submitted the story to Booktrope on a whim after seeing a couple of author friends talking about them and a few months later they accepted it! I was so happy about it that I had to keep checking my email to make sure it was true. Not gonna lie, there were times I thought that there must have been some mistake. After so many rejections, it was hard to believe that someone really wanted to publish it.

So today I’m looking at my name on a book cover that’s up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and thinking to myself wow, it’s real. Pretty soon I should have a box of paperback copies and I’ll offer them here for anyone who’d like an autographed copy. I’m nervous and excited, and I hope people read my story and at the very least are entertained for a few hours.

If you’re so inclined, stop by my Facebook party tonight and meet some awesome authors, win some prizes, and just generally make me feel like a princess on my release day! And if you’re not a Facebook person, you can still get your copy of The Detective’s Brother for $0.99 here: – The Detective’s Brother

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – The Detective’s Brother



Detective's Brother

I am super excited for two big reasons today!

First, the Passion in the Pages event went really well! I was super nervous about it, to the point where I was worrying about it all morning and had to take a nap. I’d never done an event like this so I didn’t know what to expect or even if anyone would come and interact with me.

I had everything set up ahead of time as far as writing posts so all I had to do was copy and paste them when it was time. Chelsea, my book manager, had a helpful timeline for me to follow and I had to expand it a little since the slot was an hour and I only have one book. But it went really well, and I kind of had a hard time keeping up with replying to everyone but I made sure I didn’t ignore anyone! I even got a couple of new likes on my page and several ladies wishlisted the book. As a bonus, I pulled back the curtain on my personal Facebook page and one of my friends bought it immediately.

Which brings me to my other good news – The Detective’s Brother is live on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble! It was originally planned for tomorrow but somehow it went up Friday. Super exciting! Here are some links you can use! – The Detective’s Brother

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – The Detective’s Brother

Remember, if you buy either of them for $0.99 for the first two weeks and visit my Facebook author page to comment on the pinned post with proof of purchase, you are entered to win an autographed copy!

No matter how you get your hands on it, please leave me a review! Good or bad, I love hearing what people think about my writing. Speaking of which, I’d also like to leave you with a couple of lines from the book. Hope to see you back tomorrow for a walk down memory lane!

detective's brother