Let’s Face It…

I am not very good at blogging…or self-promotion for that matter. It’s on my To-Do list to get better at it.

But I haven’t been totally neglecting the Chronicles. As a matter of fact, this year’s NaNoWriMo project will hopefully kick off a new series set in the same universe. All your favorite secondary characters are there, seen through a new lens as Fred and Kevin Reilly take the spotlight and work to solve a mystery for Aunt Emily.

I have to admit, it was a lot of fun to write, and so far, the beta responses have been promising. I learned a lot about the characters in my world that Jo never bothered to tell me. 😉

Looking at things from the perspective of a different viewpoint was extremely enlightening. Now, I am not saying the Jo’s stories are done–I have at least a half dozen more in my head…–but this venture will complement and add to the world, expanding on characters and relationships I had never realized existed. Do your characters ever spring things on you like that, writing buddies?

So, look for The Fred Files: The Case of the Counterfeit Confederate coming soonish…(title subject to change…)

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Dublin was Magical…and over a month ago

Time flies when you aren’t really doing anything constructive…but that’s over now. I am gearing up for NaNoWriMo and Book Six of the Chronicles, The Grieving Groom’s Gambit. Things are not all as they seem when Jo and Alistair go to stay with Logan Shaw as the two colleagues consult on their respective automation techniques. And Jo is soon head over heels in the middle of the mayhem.

It should prove a rollicking time for all if we can get it all on paper, as it were. Stay tuned for details!

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“Recent Post” is Relative…

…Since the last post was almost exactly a year ago as I readied for last year’s ArmadilloCon and derailed my life…lol.

No, in a good way.

I noticed the WorldCon table in the Dealer’s Room was talking about Dublin, and I asked my wonderful husband if we could support it. Then I discovered that it was actually set to BE in Dublin this year, and Newell said “We should go.”

After I recovered from the shock, I bought our tickets, and this year has been a whirlwind of reservations and passport applications and so on and so forth…but I am finally going to Ireland!

This has been a dream of mine for more years than I care to count. Dublin, and then a week in London. So excited.

So much to research!

I even got a miniature Jo so that I can put her in some of my pictures:

Mini Jo

I promise LOTS of pictures.

I don’t know why it is that I have always been drawn to Ireland, but after writing two books (so far) set in Dublin past and future, I thought I really should see the present. 😉

I hope to visit some of the places that Alistair and Jo did in The Elderly Earl’s Estate, and I can’t wait for some authentic Shepherd’s Pie!

But now, there are still a page full of things on my To-Do list for ArmadilloCon 41. If you will be in Austin this coming weekend, you should definitely drop by and say hello.

Here’s my schedule:

Saturday, August 3:

10am Game of Thrones Ballroom E
11am Autographing – Saturday 11 AM – 12 NOON Dealers Room
12pm Free Form Poetry Discussion Southpark B
4pm Here Be Dragons Ballroom F
8pm Ghost Stories Ballroom D

Sunday, August 4
1:30pm Author Reading – Rie Sheridan Rose Southpark B


Otherwise, I’ll probably be in the Dealer’s Room. Overseas travel is expensive!

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All Is Ready For ArmadilloCon…

Books have all arrived (well, except for a last minute order that will be here Friday before I need it Saturday night.)

Promo items all put together and ready.

Jo has a new dress for the occasion.

Lots of new things I’ve never had at cons before.

I just keep looking for something else to do, but I think I’ve done all I can… Do you get this way before a convention? Do you GO to conventions?

This is my first, and only, working convention of the year, so I really hope to sell most of the books I’ve got. If I have left over stock, I may try setting up a place to order autographed copies of things directly from me. Would anybody be interested in that option?

Short, but this is mostly just to work off my nerves. 😉

If you are going to be in Austin, Texas this weekend, drop by ArmadilloCon and visit. 🙂


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Let’s give this a shot…

Months ago I set myself a goal of blogging on this site every Monday, and the main website every Friday. So far, that hasn’t worked out so much…

…but we are getting a little attention again, so I’m gonna try.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I finally got the book files for The Elderly Earl’s Estate approved and the paperback available on Amazon. The weird thing is that I had already had them approved and ordered a paper proof so we could make last minute changes more easily…but after I tweaked those pages, it took three attempts and a completely new format to get it approved again. I really don’t know what was up with that.


I used one of my birthday gift cards yesterday to get some new research material that should come in handy as we continue to explore Ireland in Book 6. That book on blacksmithing might have come in handy in several ways during the writing of the current book, as we run into several blacksmiths in the course of the adventure.

For example, in researching The Elderly Earl’s Estate, I was lucky enough to be pointed to Mary Parsons, Lady Rosse. She was a real person of the time period that Jo would have gotten along very well with. All of the things she is credited with doing in the book are real achievements of this remarkable woman–including having her own smithy and fabricating the telescope. I may have made her a little younger than she was in 1876, but I hope the liberty won’t be held against me. She is worthy of study, and I am very pleased to have made her virtual acquaintance.

Short and sweet today, but that’s two blog posts in a week, which is certainly better than I’ve done all year!


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The Elderly Earl’s Estate

At long last, Book 5 is available…well, on Kindle, at least. We are still fighting on the paperback, but hopefully that will be resolved by the end of the week. I am so proud of this book. It is the start of a new chapter in Jo and Alistair’s life and relationship, as they head to Ireland for their honeymoon, and a bit of mystery.

The dime novel excerpts are a thing of the past now that Jo is trying to find her own voice as a writer. And most of the characters that have peopled the first four books remain behind in New York, but there is a new cast of eccentric individuals for Jo to charm as she sleuths her way across a new continent.

Here’s the cover:

Kindle Cover

And here is Chapter One to whet your appetite:


Oh, Alistair…it’s so beautiful! I never dreamed I’d see Ireland for myself.”

The setting sun lit the sea ablaze as I stood at the rail of the ship eagerly craning my neck to catch my first sight of Dublin. The voyage across the ocean had flown by, and now I would finally see the land of my ancestors. The city itself crowded up to the dock, as if eager to meet me as well.

Overhead, gulls wheeled and screamed, diving for fish in the shallows beside the dock. The chill January air carried a strong scent of the sea, and the unpleasant tang of rotting seaweed and fish.

On the boardwalk before us, people jammed the dock, chattering and pointing. There were hundreds of them!

I’d thought the throng seeing us off in New York huge, but this smaller dock made this crowd seem twice as large. I clung to Alistair’s elbow, a bit intimidated by the sight. He slipped an arm around my waist, and smiled down at me. “They won’t bite, Jo. I promise.”

When the crew began ushering disembarking passengers towards the gangway, I took a deep breath and let it out. “Shall we?”

You have your things?”

I touched the waistband of my skirt, comforted to feel the rustle of paper beneath my fingertips. At my mother-in-law’s advice, my travel papers and folding money were pinned in a pocket hidden beneath my skirt. With the smart traveling jacket I wore reaching several inches below my waist, there was no hint of this arrangement to be seen. I slipped one arm through Alistair’s, and the other through the handles of my trusty reticule. “I’m ready.”

Let’s go find a porter to collect the rest of our belongings. I’ll also need to make arrangements for a cart of some kind to transport Phaeton, but that can wait till morning if we find somewhere to leave him overnight. Perhaps the shipyard has a place.”

We walked as we discussed the matter. People pushed and shoved all around us—some coming up the gangway as well as others going down. It flustered me a great deal to be trapped in such a throng of people, I must admit.

The porters were hard pressed to keep order in the chaos. I tightened my grip on Alistair’s arm until my fingers hurt, terrified we might be separated in the crush.

Someone bumped me quite hard, nearly knocking me off my feet and sending me staggering. As I reached out to steady myself against the railing, I felt a sharp tug, and looked down to see a slender figure about my height clutching my reticule in one hand and a knife in the other! He slashed through the strings just as I made a dive for it. My fingers just brushed his sleeve before he was off, weaving through the crowd like an adder.

Stop, thief!” I yelled, lifting my skirts to run after the miscreant. No doubt foolish of me, but I was too angry to think clearly.

My cry caused heads to swivel, but no one lifted a finger to stop the rogue. I struggled forward, but I hadn’t the facility of movement the villain had in his serge trousers. My skirts were far too cumbersome.

What’s wrong?” asked Alistair—whose view of the incident had been impeded.

That street rat stole my bag!” I pointed to where the fellow was even now disappearing at the edge of the crowd.

He glanced over his shoulder just before he vanished, his features almost elfin under their coat of dirt. A wide grin split his face, and he touched the brim of his cap before he was gone.

Alistair! He has my reticule.” Tears were fighting their way toward my eyes, more hot and angry than sorrowful.

Did you do as Mother said?”

Yes.” My fingers brushed my papers again.

So there isn’t anything of too much value in it, is there?”

I suppose not. Thank goodness, I put my pistol in the trunk last night.”

His face blanched. “Yes. Yes, that’s indeed a good thing.” He put a comforting arm about my shoulders. “Let’s speak to the porters—he may well dispose of the bag when he discovers it contains nothing of value. We’ll have them keep an eye out. You can make a report with the harbormaster as well, but I doubt there’s anything to be done about the theft unless he discards the purse.”

I laid my head against him. “You’re probably right.” Suddenly, a thought struck me, causing me to start upright with a gasp.

What is it, Jo?”

My journal is in my bag. And the latest draft of the book I am working on. I’ll have to start completely from scratch. What a bother!”


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I can’t believe I haven’t posted a new blog all year. Well, I have given up on the Patreon experiment, so maybe I will be better at keeping things updated here.

We’ll see. Today, I am procrastinating when I should be working on The Elderly Earl’s Estate edits. It is being particularly obstinate…but on the other hand, I’ve just added a new character who may turn out to be extremely important along the way, and I have FINALLY found a good opening that even the boys like. 😉

I’ve also discovered my new favorite band Steam Powered Giraffe. If you do not know this band, remedy that situation. It is amazing to me how they seem to have put Phaeton’s soul into lyrical form. In particular, Brass Goggles, Automatonic Electronic Harmonics, and Electricity Is in My Soul seem to speak to me of my automaton. I’ve been obsessing for a week now. Newell threatened bodily harm if I didn’t play something else…

The cover is coming along better than the book. I’ve acquired permission for my images and put everything together to my satisfaction, so we are good to go there. I will save the reveal for next week so that I have something to post.

Now go listen to the Giraffe!

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