“A Texas Naval Affair,” final cover

Barring one of you sharp-eyed readers finding something my drunk eyes through bifocals did not, this shall be the cover for my next novel (at 47,200 words, I’d call it a novella, but that’s me).

Yes, I am fully aware the back blurb is long. Per something I discussed in someone else’s podcast (which shows how lazy I am to not ferret out the link) is that a writer has about 0.25 seconds to catch and hold a potential reader’s attention as they scroll down on their phone. That is what the front is for. The back is me pulling up on the line once the hook is in their mouth. Given that this is a romance, girls and women will be expecting to know more about the cute couple on the front (not kidding: I’ve had two women say that to me already). If this were another military story, I’d write, “the character does cool stuff and shit blows up” and there’s my male reader base.

[Still working on “Tillamook” with Gil, Nichole, and Teresa. I bet Mackenzie is a little less than pleased that her husband’s former lover, who has not aged a day in twenty years, just showed up as she’s entering menopause.]

“Allen x Ryland,” part 4

The “x Ryland” part of the title has been off-screen long enough. So I’ll start to fix that here. Any cop comes to understand human nature pretty damned fast as a part of their job and Allen’s father is no different. Sure, it’s possible for broken people to turn around their lives, but most do not.

I had finished the original 6000 words of this short story several days ago. Thinking a little too much about this past Saturday… and hello to an additional 1800 words! This is now definitely headed into “novella” territory and one again I conclude that creative writing is a mental illness.

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“Allen x Ryland,” part 3

The story takes a turn for the murky as Allen’s father seeks to provoke his son, to shock him into realizing this sort of relationship just won’t work. The lad responds by saying something Ryland told him. Personal family history which no one talks about.

And the old tractor needs fixing; there’s that.

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“Allen x Ryland,” part 2

The short story continues as we get both a little more about Allen’s backstory, including an outburst as to why he hates his old life, as well as a tiny introduction of the this girl.

For those of you who have read it, we meet 14-year-old Ryland in “Empress’ Crusade,” she’s even on the cover with her cousin, where she proves a very level-headed girl. I say there that she is “graduating the academy in two years,” so that would seem to be where we are right now.

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Backstories and November

Today is my seventh anniversary. As a writer. I’ve discussed how that happened before so I shan’t replay that here. But… a dozen books with another on the way, an audiobook, my poorly kept-up podcasts; not that bad for just seven years.

Even in the slow month of October, I banged out the short story, “Cadets.” And, from Sunday before-last at Mass, I saw another story. I think what this is, is that while putting together the stemma for “Obligations of Rank,” some of the gaps shouted out to me, for example, what did happen to St. Louis, hence “Cadets.” Then, how did Ryland Rigó meet her future husband, Allen Rupert? Which is what follows, below the fold.

My cover designer has completed her other project and now turns her attention to OR. I’m older to not even attempt to guess what I’ll be working on the remainder of this year. But, I hope to have fun. So, let’s meet Allen; if this turns into a novella, I’ll love to hear his first talk with Arpad Rigó, who was also a thug until forced into the military.

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