DOMINIC IS HERE! Let’s celebrate with a special sales deal!

Drum roll, please…

The second installment of The Bastille Family Chronicles is here! WOOT!

BFC Dominic cover ebook

(BTW: the title is not missing: it’s on the spine. Chuck Palahniuk used a similar setup for his novel Haunted.)

The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic is the story of Dominic Bastille, a transplant surgeon and one-half of the youngest Bastille siblings (he has a twin sister, Nicollette. Look for her story this summer). Dominic has relocated from Newark, New Jersey to Atlanta, Georgia for a unique professional opportunity. Unfortunately for him, his past has caught up with him…in the form of his ex-fiancee, Cecily Porter. Three years post-engagement and Cecily still isn’t over Dominic; to make matters worse, Dominic has hired Taryn McIntyre, a very brilliant and attractive game developer, to help him with his medical research, which tends to integrate a lot of technology with commonplace medical procedures and training. Of course, Dominic and Taryn start a personal relationship in addition to the business one. But Cecily is not done with Dominic..and she plays for keeps.

Read an excerpt from The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic

This was more fun to write than The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, and that’s saying something!

Read an excerpt from The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille

In the original draft of BFC: Dominic, Taryn was a freelance journalist who specialized in healthcare, and met Dominic when she was assigned to interview him for a new healthcare magazine. But I didn’t want to be accused of writing about a thinly-disguised version of myself (I worked in healthcare for years, once upon a time, and I’m a writer, so there’s that), so I changed her to a game developer. I liked this version of Taryn better because I have interacted with quite a few female gamers and game developers on Twitter, and I am also a fan of Back Girls Code and Women Who Code. These ladies deserve some literary shine, and I hope I did them justice. I also wanted Dominic to have a romantic relationship with someone who isn’t necessarily like the women he usually dates. Taryn, with her shoulder-length, bi-colored dreadlocks (I use the term “locs” in the book) eyebrow ring, and sleeve of tattoos is not the type of woman Dominic usually goes for. Plus, she’s smarter and makes more money…definitely not Dominic’s usual wheelhouse. 🙂

While this is technically Dominic’s story, I explored some issues that have been going on with women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields in general, as well as entrepreneurs. Taryn is in the minority regarding her viewpoints on life and her priorities…read the book to find out exactly how.

Check it out: in honor of the release of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Dominic, I am doing a sale special: if you purchase the paperback from my website (which is autographed, BTW), you get the ebook FREE! How cool is that? Use code EBOOK at checkout to get the free ebook. This deal also applies to The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (BFC #1) and Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott novel (which I wrote under a pen name and is more of a suspenseful book. It is centered around Brooklyn-born, Trinidadian-raised, San Francisco-based DEA Special Agent Sebastian Scott, who was introduced in BFC Camille).

Read an excerpt from Blizzard: A Sebastian Scott Novel

Camille ebook cover  Blizzard_Cover_for_Kindle

In order to get this book/ebook deal, you HAVE to purchase the book from my website; the code doesn’t work on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Can’t choose? Check out the starter pack, which includes BFC Camille and Blizzard, since they are the first books in their respective series. Good bargain!

To recap: Buy paperback from website. Use code EBOOK at checkout. Get free ebook. Lather, rinse, repeat. 🙂 Ebooks are also available for separate purchase in epub (Apple, NOOK, Kobo, Google) and Kindle formats.

Please spread the word, and #SupportINDIEWriters. I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.  Feel free to drop me a line with your comments about the novel(s). Got Twitter? Speak your piece with the hashtag #BFCDominic (or #BFCCamille, or #SebastianScott ).

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Under The Wire: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 9

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,745

Today’s blog count: 9

Total words written: 17,578

Total blog posts: 9

I squeaked my word count under the wire today, as I spent most of my day preparing for tomorrow’s release of my new novel, Blizzard. I spun off a character from my previous book, The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille, and gave him his own story. I hope audiences enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Today’s writing on Fertile Ground (for NaNoWriMo) included more dialogue, where the two main characters were trying to sort through the puzzle pieces of their situation in order to figure out what was going on. I’m trying to figure out where I want them to go next: the plot will logically flow into the discovery portion, where the characters do some digging to either bolster their theories, or debunk them. I have to figure out how to get that done.

I’m not thinking of anything right now except going to bed; my mind is tired.

Thanks for stopping by.



Crucial Conflict: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 8

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,721

Today’s blog count: 8

Total words written: 15,833

Total blog posts: 8

Again, no video, so you’ll just have to read again today. 😀 (It’s kind of tiring to tape oneself every day. How do selfie aficionados do it?).

I broke the 15K mark today with 1,721 words, which brings my total to 15,833. I had to really push myself today to make my word count. Part of it was that I’d spent most of the day laying out my upcoming book, Blizzard (written under a pseudonym), and submitting it to CreateSpace. I didn’t have that much energy left (it’s a process), but I managed to get my word count in.

Today, my characters were arguing/fighting. Yesterday, I posted about a character’s shattered reality. Today, I went further into that shattering, into the anger part: the characters are lashing out at each other, trying to find a reason, some blame–something concrete onto which they can hold, so that the madness is less frightening. Maybe that’s another reason I feel so drained: writing all that anger and angst is not healthy, especially when I don’t have any going on in my own life.

I also started the events that lead up to the conflict, which will require some more belief suspension. But that will happen tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is going well, and that you are making progress on your writing, blog, or both.

Thanks for stopping by.


The Five Stages of Shattered Reality: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 7

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,976

Today’s blog count: 7

Total words written: 14,112

Total blog posts: 7


Happy  Friday! And Happy Day 7 of NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo! Can you believe it’s already been a week! Seven whole days…WOW.

No video today, and just a quick blog post, ’cause I’s dawg tired, Boss.

I have gotten over 14,000 so far:  that’s a good feeling. When I was writing today (after finishing the final touches on the final draft of my new book, Blizzard, which comes out next week),  I found myself entering the realm of disbelief. This is where the speculative aspect of my book comes in: I took a premise and ran with the “what-if”ness of it.

It’s always interesting to see/write a character’s reaction when the realize that their reality, the reality in which they’ve always been, is not quite as real as s/he thought. It’s even goes something along Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief:

  • Denial: “Nope, this is NOT happening.”
  • Anger: “How dare you even say/think/insinuate that this is happening?! Take it back!”
  • Bargaining: “Please God/Higher Power/Universe, if you stop this from happening, I swear I’ll______.”
  • Depression: “I can’t take this happening.”
  • Acceptance: “This is happening.”

I had some fun just gong with the flow, and got some amazing dialogue as a result.

I hope everyone is plugging along on their book, or blog, or both. Keep up the good work, and enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for stopping by.



Oh, the Morality: NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo day 6

Total word count goal: 50,000

Total blog post goal: 30

Today’s word count: 1,855

Today’s blog count: 6

Total words written: 12,136

Total blog posts: 6

Day 6 of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo…man, the days are flying by!

Today was another good writing day. I introduced a lot more dialogue (which I really enjoy writing). I also introduced some morality issues for my characters. My main character is pretty much a black-and-white person, while the secondary characters, in this particular situation, are more shades of grey.

This sets up an interesting conflict because the main character thought these other characters thought as she did, and she gets a rude awakening when she realizes that they don’t. They’re more “the end justifies the means” in this particular situation, and the main character is miffed to discover that these people she thought were like-minded, were more interested in practicing situational ethics and morality, as opposed to blanket ethics/morality.

Humans are like that, though. We are not black/white individuals, though many of us like to see ourselves that way. We are more shades of grey type of people, and pixelated shades of grey at that.) That’s part of why there is so much conflict in the world. THen again, the world would be a very boring place if we saw everything the same way.

Anyway, I’m off to put more finishing touches on my next book before I do the layout tomorrow, and then some basketball (whee! #GoSpursGo). Thanks for stopping by.




What It Look Like? Seeing Ourselves (?) in Literature

I’ve gotten comments from those who have read The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally known as The Camille Chronicles) about how they like the fact that I’ve written my characters in a way that their race wasn’t obvious; in fact, one can insert any race, ethnicity, or combination thereof, and it wouldn’t detract from the story.

That’s exactly what I wanted to accomplish, and it’s good that I’ve accomplished that goal.

I’ve always said that I consider myself an author who happens to be black, rather than a black author (oh, wait…you didn’t know I was black? LOL I personally don’t use the term African American, but that’s another post for another day, and on a different forum. But I digress.). When I was jonesing for a contract with a major publishing house, over a decade ago, one of the more discouraging comments I heard during my rejection process was that “the  numbers show that black people didn’t read” the thriller/suspense novel my then-literary agent was shopping around. I resented the fact that my book would only marketed to black people, when my story was beyond that. No disrespect to my people, but my goal as a writer was not to limit my writing based on race and/or ethnicity. This is further compacted by the assumption that every black author writes a “black” book (whatever that means, although it’s usually code for either an urban/street fiction novel, a church-based book, or a sistagirl novel a la Terry McMillan–which is what “the numbers” *rolling eyes* allegedly show that these are the books that black people only read). I was hesitant to put my picture on the cover because I didn’t want potential readers to see it and think, “Oh, this is a black book, and I’m not black, so I probably shouldn’t read it as I wouldn’t understand it, or I probably wouldn’t see  myself in the story–literally and figuratively.” But I also didn’t want someone else showing up and passing themselves off as me, so…the pic stayed. 😀

That sentiment had a large part in the cover design as well. I’d originally thought of something along the lines of what is normally seen on a romance book cover–namely, two people who may or may not be in the throes of passion, significant looks, etc.  The wonderful graphic artist who ended up doing my cover, John of AdLib Design, mentioned that as a reader, he liked to form his own opinion on how a character looked (or not) based on how s/he was described in the context of the story. To that end, we agreed on using symbolism instead of people on the cover. The feedback on the cover has been very positive, so I’m going to continue the symbolism going forward in the rest of the series. Which is cool, because I have to make sure that each book has a symbol-friendly hook to it, usually in the guise of a significant hobby or activity.

A good story is a good story. I like Maeve Binchy novels, but I am not white, and I have never set foot in Ireland. Her stories, though, are touching and I relate to them. I hope that other readers are willing to give me the same benefit of the doubt and at least try what I’m offering. I’m not saying my writing will transcend race (which is a phrase that irritates me, BTW), but will at least form a common ground for my readers.

Thanks for stopping by.

Take It to the Bridge: On Joining Two Book Series

While working on (what I plan to be) the next book in the Bastille Family Chronicles series, one of the other characters started chattering away in my brain, so I had to block out her story.

[Only writers can get away with phrases like, “I heard the character(s) speaking in my head”. For anyone else, that could mean a one-way ticket to a psych ward. Even with writers, such phrases are not to be whispered too loudly, or in mixed company, lest we meet the same fate. :)]

Oddly enough, this character’s story is shaping up to intersect with a character who was first introduced in Camille Bastille’s story (The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille). In fact, said character has his own books, which may or may not see the light of day (they need to be reworked, and may be best as a collection of short stories because of how I’ve written this character. Stay tuned).  So now I’m faced with a slight dilemma: how to (or should I ) write this Bastille novel as a “bridge” novel, in which I’ll be connecting two different book series. To add to the irony, my draft of yet another Bastille novel could be a bridge novel as well.

With series, I’m presenting stories from the points of view of the characters within that series. If I do bridge novels, I’ll have to work it so that the points of view of both seminal characters are presented in a way that not only reflects the “bridge” aspect, but also align with the tone of their respective book series.

Like writing isn’t hard enough.

Then there’s the risk of exposing another series too soon into this current Bastille Family series; I don’t want my readers and potential readers to get too confused at this point. Even Laurell K. Hamilton didn’t introduce her Meredith Gentry series until she was about nine books into her Anita Blake series.

Anyway, I’ll figure it out soon enough, especially if my readers decide that this story (instead of the one I’d planned) is the one they want to see next.

Thanks for stopping by.








It’s HERE! And new directions

It’s here! It’s here! Or, to be more grammatically correct, they’re here: the hard copies ordered during the pre-release offer of The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally known as The Camille Chronicles).


The Camille Chronicles shipped box 080614

I have been basking in the wonder that occurs when your published book is held in your hand. This is a culmination of a lifelong dream, and of over fourteen years of active and not-so-active work on my craft. And it’s here, in my hand.

Of course, part of my joy is dulled by the anxiety of hoping that the book is well received, but that was already covered in a previous post.  So I’ll move on. 🙂

I have more books on the way (the pre-release did REALLY well), so my weekend will be spent autographing books and packing them for shipment. The autographs will be personalized, of course, and will be emotional because I will try to convey to each person who ordered a pre-released copy how grateful and appreciative I am for their support and love. Most of the people who ordered have known me for at least ten years, and most have known me for over twenty. That’s a lot of sentiment to squish into relatively few words. But gratitude is good for the soul. 🙂

In other news, one of my character’s story started gelling in my head, and I had to get it down. And then a plot twist came to mind, so I abandoned the draft of what I’d initially planned to be the next release, to work on this one. A writer’s work is never done, and we cannot control when The Muse decides to visit. It’s when S/he doesn’t visit, that there’s a problem. 😀


Thanks for stopping by.

Death and Dying: Building A Character Through The Ultimate Adversity

The words are coming in dribbles, for both Camp NaNoWriMo and Clarion Write-A-Thon. Maybe a spurt or two.

Perhaps I am affected by the agonizing wait for The Decision 2.0, if only to see who my beloved San Antonio Spurs will smack down in next year’s NBA Finals. 😀 And yes, I am rooting for the demise of the Miami Heat (although I love me some Pat Riley), because I’m petty when it comes to NBA hoops (although I will root for Shabazz Napier, whose style of play I enjoyed throughout his UConn career); plus, I’m very partial to four-year players).

ANYway…while working on the Camp NaNoWriMo project, I figured out the form of betrayal (mentioned in a previous post) that will catapult my character into the rather unlikeable person he becomes in subsequent books (albeit only mentioned in passing). Death has a way of doing that; not my character’s death, but the effect of death on his life.

What is it about death that completely bends and alters a character, much as it does a real-life person? Is it the finality of it all? The unknown (because everyone does not believe in any semblance of an afterlife)? Depending on the manner of death, it could be the suddenness, or even the lingering; each manner has its pros and cons. It could be the tallying  of life’s balance sheet and coming to the conclusion that you may just end up in the red. Or the realization that there is still so much to do, even if you’ve done a lot.  That effect is more pronounced in the taking of a life, be it accidental or intentional. No one ever recovers from that, unless you’re an assassin or psychopath, in which case it never mattered in the first place.

No one ever fully recovers from grief.

I’ve had death touch my life more than I preferred, so this may be yet another way of me working out some long-buried angst. Writing is much less expensive than psychotherapy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to researching diseases of the 1940s. I’m also reading City of Beads, the second installment of the Tubby Dubonnet novels, by author Tony Dunbar.

Thanks for stopping by.


Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 7

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,615 words

Today’s word count:  818

Total words written:  4,240 words


I hope you all had a pleasant Fourth of July Weekend (if you are in America). If you don’t live in America, I hope you had a pleasant weekend anyway. I spent a lazy weekend binge-watching my favorite TV shows and movies, and doing a bit of work on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel.

I didn’t get that much done, only 818 words. But while working on the current chapter, I tried to get into the head of one of my main characters. I tried to figure out what, exactly, would cause a pleasant person to turn cold, and to have an obsession. I’m toying with death, but I’m thinking more of a betrayal; the type of betrayal that goes bone deep. I haven’t figured out what type of betrayal that would yet be for this character. That’s part of the fun, figuring out motivation and letting the plot play out accordingly.

Anyway, I have a bit more work to do before I pack it in. Thanks for stopping by.


Previous Older Entries