Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A bit of the future and . . .

Hi everybody, just a word or two or three about the present and the future of Iza.

Product DetailsThe present: On August 22, I published the penultimate Small Town short story. It is entitled "Archer's Paradox," and contains the only murder mystery in the entire Small Town Saga. Today,I uploaded the final story, "Ghosts." It ends the saga, hopefully on a positive note. I have enjoyed working with Sue-Ann, Gina, Clarence, The Creeper, Krista, Smokey, Dilly Dollar, and all the rest of the characters that populate Pine Oak,Florida. I hope you have enjoyed them too.

Product DetailsToday I also published the three novels in the Small Town Series as a boxed set. Get The News in Small Towns, Madness in Small Towns, and Secrets in Small Towns for the low price of $9.99 at all the major e-book retailers. If I could choose, though, I would ask you to buy from They care about their authors and don't take every penny like some other retailers I could mention. At over a quarter of a million words, this set will keep you reading for a while. It may be only the second boxed set to be published in the Lesbian Mystery Category.

The future: In early 2015 the last volume of the Small Town Saga will be published in e-book and paperback. It is a book of stories and novellas called Mysteries in 'small Towns. It includes the two stories mentioned above along with six others. At over 82.000 words, it will be well worth the price of admission. Presently, all the stories are available separately at most of the on-line retailers, but they will disappear when the volume is published. As a side note, there is only one other book of lesbian mystery short stories featuring the same protagonist.  It is Barbara Wilson's The Death of a Much-Traveled Woman. I feel like I am in good company.

What then?: Life after Small Towns? Well, what about mysteries in large towns?. I have almost completed writing a set of completely different mystery stories set in Miami in 1974. This will feature XYZ Investigations, made up of the sisters Xande, Yolande, and Zoe Calhoun. Xande is a hippie with blonde dreadlocks whose one passion is thwarting crime. Yolande is a law-student  who cares more about finding a girlfriend than unraveling crimes. Zoe is so mysterious it is difficult to even describe her. Unlike The Small Town Series, which rarely touches on murder, The XYZ Mysteries is full of murder. Here' the publication schedule:
January, 2015: "Brothers and Sisters and Brothers"
March, 2015: "There Was an Old Woman"
May, 2015: "The Case of the Headless Heir"
July, 2015: "Queen's Honor"
September, 2015: "Xmas"
November, 2015: "Z"
Then, in January, 2016, these stories will be published as the volume The XYZ Mysteries in e-book and paperback. I can't wait.

Awards: As you probably already know, The News in Small Towns was a top-5 finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the categories of Mystery and Regional Fiction. The next book in the series, Madness in Small Towns, was also a top-5 finalist in the Mystery category. Secrets in Small Towns has been nominated for awards in four different contests in five categories. It would sure be nice to win one. And with Mysteries in Small Towns and The XYZ Mysteries I have at least two more chances after this year.

Anyone interested should check out the Goodreads Reading Group called Lesbian Mysteries. I'm one of the topics on their Individual Aurhor list, but there are about 300 other authors listed. Imagine that.

I guess that's all the news that's fit to write. Read everything and tell your friends. I'll be back next time I have something to say. If you are interested in buying my books in paperback, remember that the major on-line retailers give the author virtually no royalties. Do me and my publisher, Black Bay Books, a favor by purchasing them directly from Black Bay Books. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Target

On August 22 the second-to-last story in my Small Town series will be published in virtually all major e-book markets. It is called "Archer's Paradox" and it involves Sue-Ann in the only murder mystery in the entire series. This will be followed in December by the last story, "Ghosts," which not only ends the series, but has plenty of sex. Yum!

Archery has been a motif throughout the Small Town books. In the first novel, The News in Small Towns, we learn that Sue-Ann was once a former National Archery Champion. The second novel, Madness in Small Towns, features Sue-Ann doing horseback archery. She even gets to put an arrow through a bad guy. The third novel, Secrets in Small Towns, has Sue-Ann practicing clout archery--kind of like golf but played with a bow and arrow rather than clubs and a ball. She practices Japanese archery as well. But I always wanted to write about another, little -known, facet of the sport: 3-D Archery, which is shooting at lifelike animal targets in a wooded, but enclosed area. "Archer's Paradox" is that story.

The germ of "Archer's Paradox" came into being on a school bus many years ago. I heard a whisper about one of the teenage girls who, like me, lived outside of town. It was said that one of her neighbors let her ride his horses if she would give him sexual favors. Who knows if it was true. If so, with "Archer's Paradox," I hope that she is revenged.

As I have probably mentioned many times, "Archer's Paradox" will be one of 8 stories that will make up the volume Mysteries in Small Towns, due out in February, 2015 in both e-book and paperback. Look also for a boxed set of all three Small Town Novels in e-book form.

Hey. Although I mentioned that these e-books are available pretty much everywhere, I suggest that you purchase them through Indie-friendly In fact, ""Archer's Paradox" is available on preorder from them right now. Paperbacks of all my novels can be ordered directly from the publisher. It helps them and it helps me.

More news soon. I mean, really exciting news!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

When in Pine Oak . . .

Well, Secrets in Small Towns, the third and final novel in my Small Town series, is up and running, both in paperback and e-book. Please get you a copy and if you like it, tell Goodreads and Amazon what you think in a review. But that's not what I came here to tell you about. I want to talk some more about the short stories that will make up the collection Mysteries in Small Towns.

Since we last talked, I have written the last story in the Small Town milieu. I call it "Ghosts." In it, you'll find out what happens to Sue-Ann and many of the other characters in Pine Oak, Florida. Advance readers are excited about the direction that it and "Indian Summer" are taking the volume of stories as a whole.  This feedback made me realize on a completely different level how important each individual story in Mysteries in Small Towns is and how each has the ability to affect the next, both in tone and in story line. What were originally written as amusing "one-offs" have become important building blocks--or maybe windows-- for the Small Town world as a whole.

When I realized this, I began the process of revising the stories, one by one. "A Question of Breeding" and "Grand Theft" both received considerable attention and the versions that are now posted on are tightened and expanded versions of the originals. "Wonderful Town," too--which is supposed to be amusing and even a little silly--got its share of the red pen. When I came to "Sensei" and "Trail Ride and Barn Dance After," however, I realized that a thorough edit was not enough. Both stories needed to be completely rewritten.

"Sensei" was originally written for a friend's birthday. It was supposed to be a  horse mystery with a serious note about abusive training practices. Well, most of the original "mystery" are still there, but very little else. I have cut out several characters, added a few more, and turned the story from being about virtual strangers to being about Sue-Ann and Gina, as it should be. So although certain elements of the plot remain, I estimate that 75 percent of the original words have been replaced . The entire martial arts motif has been removed, making it necessary that I change the name of the story from "Sensei" to "When in Tennessee." Which, in turn, necessitates a new cover.

But rewriting the story so heavily, changing the title, and replacing the cover offers the possibility that someone might buy "When in Tennessee" thinking it is an entirely new story. It isn't. I'm not talking about millions of people here, but if you have already purchased "Sensei": and feel you have gotten the shaft, tell me and I'll let you know when I have a free promotion for "When in Tennessee."

The revision of "Trail Ride and Barn Dance After" is my next project. The good news is that I think I can keep the title and the story will be pretty much the same. It will just have to be rearranged some. Preliminary indications are that it will be a little more literary, like the novels. I'll let you know.

I'm still hoping to come up with two more, brand new stories before I publish the volume next February. Let me know if you have a subject you'd like Sue-Ann and her friends to delve into.