Tag Archives: Score of Silence


Okay, so I went a little crazy with this one. How about the first chapter to the sequel to my debut murder mystery? This is 2150 words, more than double the going rate for flash fiction. If you dig what I wrote, be sure to check out Score of Silence. It should be published by Amber Cove Publishing in February or March of this year! I’ve worked in prompts from Terribleminds, Said Bree’s 2018 flash fiction challenge, and Julie from Write on Wednesday.

Caroline led the way up the steps to her room at Vivian’s, Tupper in tow. He grumbled as he wrestled a banker’s box full of files through the door behind her, tripping over the clothing strewn on the floor.


“Dining room table,” she said, kicking aside dirty laundry to make a path before heading to the kitchen. The fridge was in as much disarray as the rest of the apartment, but she found two beers at the back. Kimberly’s favorite, she thought, shoving one back while rummaging for something her stodgy partner would prefer. She pulled the cork on the wine bottle and passed it under her nose. Better. Now, if she could just find a clean glass.

Tupper was already settled in a chair when she returned, the box lid tossed aside and stacks of files lining the antique table so out of place in the otherwise sparsely decorated room. He traded a stack of papers for the glass of wine and she pulled them across the table, cracking open her can of beer as she slid onto a chair.

They sorted in silence, exchanging files as they went, all the while scribbling notes that passed between them without comment. Caroline glanced at the dusty CD player on the sideboard, but thought better of it. For all she would have liked a bit of background music, the sound would have destroyed the groove they had long before established. Besides, Tupper hated The Dancing Pigs.

For almost an hour the only sound was that of shuffling papers and the scratching of pencils. When a tap came at the door, Caroline lifted her head, unsure if what she’d heard was simply the groans of the old building. Again, a knock, more insistent that the first. She left Tupper hunched over documents and went to investigate.

She stopped with her hand on the doorknob. After the events of the previous month, she was still skittish. She didn’t want to admit it, but how else was she supposed to react to having been drugged, abducted, and forced to clear her name against a pair of overzealous FBI agents—not to mention and the federal prosecutor that had wanted to pin everything on her. Doula Breech’s smile and casual wave still grated on her nerves. Still, the real killer had been caught, the mole in the FBI exposed, and the charges dropped. She even thought that one of the FBI agents, Steve Braxton, might prove to be a new contact in the FBI as Tupper’s former team took promotions and transfers. She did not have to be afraid. Why, then, was she?
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Writing, Contracts, and the New Year

2017 has been a whirlwind year for me in the writing world. The blog updates have been a pendulum swing from posting every day to posting nothing for weeks. I’ve done a few appearances here and there – mostly radio interviews and small book-related events. I had such a great time at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon, where I got to hang out with fellow authors, many of them writing books, comics, and games that I play or read. While hanging out with the wonderful people at Bard’s Tower, I met someone who is making a game based on The War of the Worlds, and he was using, among others, mine and John’s War of the Worlds: Retaliation. I participated in some charity events, and helped raise money for getting books into kid’s hands. I even had an interesting encounter with Dick Van Dyke. I met my long-time writer hero, Harry Turtledove via Twitter, and we chat from time to time. Harry has even agreed to blurb War of the Worlds: Firestorm when it comes out in 2018. Severed Press picked up the distribution rights to Retaliation, and Firestorm back in March. I was nominated for Best Historical Fiction Novel at the eFestival of Words, and even got a vote for a Hugo award consideration. I didn’t win at eFestival, and if I’d gotten a Hugo nomination, you’d’ve known about it because the post here would’ve had exclamation points and all caps and stuff. I even got around to finally finishing my undergraduate degree in Human Behavior, and my certificate in Community Development and Sustainability. So, already, 2017 has been a great year for me.

I wrote Score of Silence about two-and-a-half years ago. The sequel, Lady by the Window, I finished up the first draft eighteen months ago. Score of Silence has had so many people in the writing community help in one way or another; I’ll have a three-page acknowledgements section. The failed Kindle Scout campaign was a bummer (but not really, since the acceptance rate is less than 5%), but I’ve never been shy to self-publish if I couldn’t license the rights to a manuscript. Many publishers passed on John and my War of the Worlds sequel before Severed Press picked it up. I’ve had a few rejections for Score of Silence, but I wanted to be persistent – especially since I couldn’t let down all the awesome people who helped make it happen. Well, I started talking to Amber Cove back in October, and am pleased to say that we’ve reached an accord for a two-book contract. Obviously, Score of Silence and Lady by the Window are those two books. With the contracts signed, and the advance cashed, I can let you all know about it. There’s going to me a minor rewrite of Score of Silence, and then after a proper edit and proofread, the book will be published – probably in the first quarter of 2018. Lady by the Window is still super rough, and it’ll need rewrites and revisions, and a date with a developmental editor. A release in early 2019 is totally doable. I have ideas for at least two more Tupper Jones novels, but that’s a bit down the road.

John and I are still plugging away at War of the Worlds: Firestorm. We both haven’t written anything in November. Me, because November is full of birthdays and other family stuff; and for John, because he was working on getting his latest non-fiction sports book out the door. We may have the first draft hammered out by the end of the year, but with Christmas and other holiday events, it’ll probably be the end of January before we type, “THE END.” After a revision or two (my chapters are weak compared to John’s), we’ll send it in to Severed Press. About three or four months after that, we could see it hit the shelves summer 2018. John and I have ideas for a third book, but with each of having individual commitments, and very busy schedules, I don’t think we’ll work on a project like that unless a publisher offers a substantial advance. You never know. Maybe after the first book is turned into a movie, there might be enough interest for a third book.

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Score of Silence on Kindle Scout

Hello, all!

Today, the Kindle Scout campaign for my debut murder mystery novel, Score of Silence, starts. I’ve tried a few Kindle Scout campaigns, and unfortunately, I’ve never gotten the nod. The editors there have passed on War of the Worlds: Retaliation, which John and I licensed to Severed Press. We’re talking to them about another War of the Worlds book, tentatively titled, War of the Worlds: Firestorm. Kindle Press also passed on Sixteen Sunsets. Here’s hoping that the third time’s the charm.

Originally, Score of Silence was supposed to be a sequel to my techno-thriller, Body Rentals. After about 25,000 words or so, I realized that no one had switched bodies! So, I rewrote it into a murder mystery. There are still a lot of elements that stayed in Score of Silence. Tupper Jones is obviously Colonel Lance Bishop. (There was even a play on words in the first or second chapter about Tupper calling an ambu-Lance, but when I changed the name to Tupper Jones, the joke had to go.) Caroline Collins is Teresa from Tyrant and Body Rentals. Kimberly Smythe is Kimberly Smith. (I know, I know, “How original.”) The characters from Score of Silence took on a life of their own during the rewrite, and I already have a 48k rough draft of a second novel.

Anyway, I’d appreciate it if you could support the campaign by nominating, and sharing the link to your various social media outlets. Here’s that link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/2EKMJBJRHGZ12

Here are the description and character bios for Score of Silence:

Retired FBI agent, Tupper Jones, has made a name for himself as a private eye. But today isn’t his day. His partner and right-hand woman, Caroline Collins, has woken up next to the dead body of the FBI’s star mob witness with no memory of what happened. Tupper and Caroline must solve the mystery of what happened before the FBI puts Caroline away for the murder.
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Score of Silence on Inkitt


Hello everybody! My murder mystery, Score of Silence, is done with the next draft. I was thinking of making available to the first 100 readers over at Inkitt to get some beta readers. It’s one of those crowd-sourced publishing things. They’ll consider doing something with the story if I get 100 beta readers to download the story. So be a pal and if you know of someone interested in beta reading, help spread the word: