Bright and Early morning in the Smith household #ROW80 #Amwriting #Lesfic

My kids have gotten in the bad habit of waking up super early in the mornings, thus my morning writing time has become very short. Which has been a struggle, not going to lie.

I’ve been struggling with this book on my writing list that I need to get done. I’ve honestly avoided it for months. I had originally planned on writing it in November, then December, then first thing January, and now we’re to the end of January and I just started it.

This piece. … It’s a tough one emotionally. This is for my FBI series, and the title of the book is Race War, so you can probably imagine what it involves. Bombers on a vendetta against one particular race, in this case, Somali Muslims. Diving face first into the world of racism, extremism, violence, why someone would do this, how they could come to the conclusion it was needed, is draining to put it in the slightest.

But I also feel, given the current climate of the US, that it is very much a necessary topic to explore. Because I think a lot of people like me (aka those who would be reading this book) don’t understand that viewpoint, they don’t understand why someone would go to those levels.

My story is in no way glorifying it. It’s an FBI mystery, procedural, so you know–of course–the bad guy gets caught in the end, but goodness, it makes writing this piece tough. Especially because I do “bad guy” POV, and I’ve essentially required myself to get into the headspace of someone who would be willing to bomb and kill someone.

On a happier note…the book is going. I’m writing chapter 7 today. I’m only one day before where I had originally planned to be, and hope to make it up this weekend sometime.

I did get edits back for my August release titled Love Burns, so I did those last week, which was not part of my original goal list since I didn’t know when I’d be getting them back, so some of my edit stuff might be switched around, so I’m going to change some of those based on what’s happening with send-backs from publishers.

I found a new online digital calendar that I think I can officially say I like. It’s got it’s issues, but thus far, it allows me to do the major thing I need, which is move chapters around on different days to shift when I get things done/don’t get things done.

Round 1 Goals

  1. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  2. EDIT – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – Waiting on edits back
  3. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – Printed & kind of started but not really
  4. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – IN PROGRESS
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  7. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – IN PROGRESS/ONGOING
    1. Doing some live readings on my own Facebook page
    2. Did an official cover reveal
    3. ARC is up on BookSprout and Netgalley
    4. Doing live readings for various groups
    5. NEED – Blog Tour for release
    6. NEED – Figure out what type of launch party I’m doing
    7. NEED – Find more promo opportunities
  8. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

COMPLETED GOALS

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Love Burns

Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone 1) COVER REVEAL #amreading #lesfic

Today, I’m officially revealing the cover for Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1). This book. This book, you guys. I can’t even. I love it.

It’s a fuller expansion from a short story I wrote in 2015 called “A Blizzard’s Blow” in an anthology titled Young Love, Old Hearts. I have wanted to expand this story for YEARS, and I finally decided to do it.

Serial killer investigations need a woman’s touch, luckily Agent Morgan Stone is the best profiler the FBI has.

A twenty-year veteran of the FBI, Morgan has worked her fair share of cases. When Chicago Homicide Detective Fiona Wexford calls for a second opinion, Morgan jumps at the opportunity to help.

With a growing crush on Fiona, Morgan fails to weave the personal and professional when it becomes clear Fiona’s suspect is a serial killer. Taking over the investigation, Morgan rushes to solve the mystery and makes an egregious error in the process.

Will Morgan reclaim her case and catch her suspect before one more person has to die?

If you have read any of my Grace novels, you will recognize the main character’s last name. Morgan Stone is the oldest of the Stone children, Amya (Grace’s long-time girlfriend) being the youngest. And it may explain a lot as to why Amya puts up with so much from Grace or why she understands Grace’s quirks a whole lot.

Morgan is a 20 year veteran of the FBI. It’s been her life, and she loves it. She’s not someone who ever wants to be in a long term relationships (she was married once, it didn’t last long, and she thinks it was a HUGE mistake).

Morgan, also being the oldest child, gets the bulk of the family drama from most of her siblings and definitely from her mother. Who we will meet in person in Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2) — a Detective Grace Novel which releases in December of this year!

I have twelve books briefly outlined for this series, not including three crossover books with Grace and Amya. Those are going to be a blast. The design of this series is that every three books should go together in a sort of trilogy. You don’t have to read all of them at all, but there are hints of information in the first two books that lead a big case in the third.

So…we have…

Stone’s Mistake — Book 1
Race War — Book 2
Mr. Jimmy — Book 3

but alas, I’ve talked too much I think and should give you a bit of an excerpt. ALSO!!!! If you want an ARC (they’ll be going out in the next 1-2 months), send me an email (adrianjsmithbooks@gmail.com) and I’ll put you on the list for when they’re ready.

Morgan had arrived early that morning, but she had to wait for the local PD to let her in before she could go to the crime scene. She’d walked the apartment complex twice before the detective arrived well past nine in the morning. The murder had been discovered the night before, the car Morgan had been searching for parked by the apartment had only pissed her off even more.

When it had been run, an alert had popped up on her end, and she had immediately called Taylor and told him she was leaving in the morning. He readily agreed. She clenched her jaw and glared at the detective in charge. If St. Louis Police Department had only taken her inquiries seriously then perhaps they would have one less dead body on their hands.

Morgan stomped straight toward the detective’s vehicle. Pax’s rental SUV stopped her short, and the window rolled down. Pax gave her a grin, and Morgan sneered at him. “You better brighten up, buttercup, if you want any information from them. Going in there like that will get you nowhere.”

“Shove it. You got the good stuff.”

“Always, love.” Pax handed her the cup of coffee out the window, and she breathed in the aroma before taking a sip and hissing. “It’s hot.”

“No shit,” she muttered but took another sip anyway.

Pax drove ahead and parked next to the detectives vehicle. There were still uniformed officers on the property. Morgan walked to meet up with Pax, but he was already talking to the detective in charge. She raised her eyebrow at him and waited for introductions to be made.

He nodded at her. “This is my partner, Special Agent Stone. This is Detective Hadley.”

“Pleasure to meet you.” Morgan put her hand out for him to shake, but he stared at her and turned back to Pax. Inwardly groaning, Morgan listened and drank her coffee, absorbing anything he said. She worked it into her already built profile.

When Hadley offered to let them in the apartment, he turned to her with a hand on his hip and a smirk on his lips. “It’s a bloody mess in there, forewarning you.”

“Why? Because you think that I’m a lowly, petty woman who is going to faint at the sight of blood or because you just think I might be interested in the fact that this murder is a lot more violent than the others?”

Hadley’s lips thinned.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Morgan pushed her way around him and walked up the awkward cement steps to the building. She made it to the top floor before Pax and Hadley were even at the second floor. She was pissed, and the anger running through her veins was not going to do her well. She flashed her badge at the uniform at the door and went inside after putting on her booties to cover her shoes, not wanting to wait one more minute for the asshole behind her.

No one was in the apartment but her. Taking in a deep breath, she caught the scent of flowers and bacon. Someone had cooked recently. Walking into the kitchen, Morgan found the dishes done and no sign that anyone had eaten there recently, much like the other crime scenes. Whoever was committing these murders was meticulous before they left about making sure the house or apartment was in complete order.

Morgan moved to the dining room. Nothing looked amiss there either. The chairs were tucked under the table, pushed in and out of the way. The living room had the throw blanket folded and tossed over the arm of the couch. Pax walked in, his breath slightly heavy from the climb up the stairs. She’d tease him about it later but really didn’t want to open any opportunity for the asshat to talk more than necessary. “Body found in the bed?”

“Yeah, this way.” Detective Hadley grunted and then led the way into the back bedroom, passed the bathroom. It was a small apartment. No more than five hundred square feet. It wasn’t spotlessly clean, but it was tidy. Everything was in place, just as she had requested it, except for the body. They had already taken that to the morgue, she knew. She and Pax would make that stop next, but first she’d wanted to get into the mind of her murderer.

The bedroom was a completely different story. The bed sheets were bloody, but the vague outline of where the body had been was imprinted into the pattern of blood. Splatters of red littered the ceiling, the headboard, and two walls, like the killer had shifted position in the middle of stabbing the victim. Unlike Andrea’s murder, this one was violent. If Morgan didn’t know better, she’d say her killer was angry.

“She’s getting more violent,” Morgan commented to Pax, bypassing Hadley.

“She?” Hadley asked.

Morgan refused to answer and let Pax do the talking for her. If she didn’t have a direct question to ask Hadley, she wasn’t about to talk to him, and she might even be of mind to complain to his supervisor if she could find the energy and the time.

“Theory is our killer is a woman.”

“Not theory. She is a woman. Your tests will come back, undoubtedly, that the victim had sex before she was killed with a woman. There has never been a sign of a male in the homes of our victims.”

“Jesus,” Hadley muttered.

Morgan spun on him with a grin on her face. “Want to make another snarky comment about women now or afraid one of us might kill you?”

Hadley blanched but wisely kept his trap shut. Morgan took her own photos on her phone, knowing she’d get copies of everything anyway but wanting access to it sooner rather than later.

Mid-week check in for #row80 and #nanowrimo wrap up

I spent the last week barely writing and focusing as much as I could on launching my book. The barely writing slowed down my nano progress goals so I didn’t hit my goals for NaNoWriMo, which were to write every day for 30 days and to write most of if not all of three novels, which would total about 210,000 words.

I did write every day, although the last few days were about 150-500 words each. Totally NOT my norm.

I did write two full novels and then I went back and forth between two before abandoning one and focusing solely on the other. I’m about 21,000 words into that novel, which is about 1/4 of the way through the book.

I did not hit my word count goals. I wrote about 172,500 words for NaNoWriMo. Not my goal, but still a great chunk of words. NOW to all the edits hahaha.

Yesterday, I launched my first book in 4.5 years (since May 2016!). It was amazing and fells amazing still! I’m super excited for this book, and yes, I’m still doing marketing for it. That will likely not be done by the end of December since it’s an ongoing project.

I am 21,000 words into Young & Old.
I am 6,000 words into Love Burns: Take 2

My plans for December are to finish out Young & Old (Missing Persons #3), write Beware (Quarter Life #4), and maybe write or start to write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2).

I took the entire last week off in December to hopefully finish out my goals!

TTFN

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – IN PROGRESS
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2 – IN PROGRESS

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  5. Write F/M/F romance piece
  6. Write Lawyer romance piece
  7. Edit Glacial Freeze aka Eira

Another round of #WIPpetWednesday #amwriting #thriller

I can’t think of the word thriller without Michael Jackson’s voice running through my head! Yesterday during therapy, my spouse mentioned that I had written a scary weird ass novel to our therapist. She was all “What!?” I was all, “I wrote a thriller.” Cue Michael Jackson.

Anyway! I am here to share another excerpt from this book, Stone’s Mistake. I did finish writing it, and the lovely and insane editing process begins tomorrow.

Yesterday, I went through my calendar for the rest of the year in what I have planned to write. I changed my mind. SHOCKER! haha. I ditched my short stories. They’re just not happening. As much as I want them to be written, every time I sit down to work on them, nothing happens. So back to the closet they go for awhile.

I rearranged my schedule, added two new romance novels to the list (sequels to Love Burns) that have been rocking it around in my brain these past few weeks.

So here’s a brief outline of what I am working on and what I will be working on.

September:
Broken & Weary: Missing Persons #2
Release: Quarter Life #3

October:
Release: Quarter Life #3
Special Agent Stone #2

November: AND NANOWRIMO!!
Love Burns Take Two (not the actual name)
Blind & Seen: Missing Persons #3

December:
Beware: Quarter Life #4 (tentative title)
Love Burns Take Three (not the actual name)

This gives me a WHOLE lot to do, but I’m pretty sure I can do it. I slowed down writing my Grace novels. I was planning on writing two chapters a day, but I realized how unrealistic that was, so now I’m aiming for one chapter a day. Grace is long winded in her chapters. haha

Without further ado, however, my WIPpet for September 9th, 2020.

This is from Stone’s Mistake: Agent Stone #1. 10 paragraphs for today’s excerpt from chapter 8. Math is as follows. 9 (for the month) + (2/2) = 10!

Little introduction. Morgan really likes Fiona. Fiona is kind of clueless. Morgan is BAD at dating. Morgan has just returned from a stint in Kansas were she worked on a human trafficking case. Fiona has been waiting for her to get back so they could meet up at a crime scene and discuss Fiona’s case. Fiona is Chicago PD homicide detective and Morgan works for the FBI.

Morgan’s heart rose to her throat again. She coughed to try and clear it, sputtering as she tried to find words. Business she could talk, but she wanted so much more than business with Fiona. Wexford took a step closer, her hand on Morgan’s arm.

“You okay?”

“Uh, yeah. Just a frog. It’s been a long week.”

“Where’d you go? You said you were driving back yesterday.”

“Had an operation to do.”

Wexford’s eyes widened. “Were you in Kansas? Was that your case?”

Morgan’s eyebrow lifted. She didn’t answer as Fiona stepped even closer. Her heart thudded hard, and her breath stopped up in her lungs once again. She didn’t know what possessed her, but leaning to her side, she pressed her mouth to Fiona’s.

The kiss didn’t last long. Morgan jumped back, her eyes wide and fear settling in the pit of her stomach. Looking wildly to her car, Morgan begged for a phone call, a distraction, something, anything.

“That was…I don’t…Uh…” Morgan bit her lip. “I don’t know why I did that. I should…I should go.”

Booking it for her car, Morgan escaped and didn’t wait for a response from Wexford. She didn’t want to hear or see the reaction she might have had. Putting her car in drive, Morgan headed back to the bureau, ready to dig in to some old case files and see if she could find another one that matched the two here.

Updates and updates #amwriting

I realize I haven’t been over here in almost two weeks, and I promise you there will be a WIPpet Wednesday tomorrow (scheduling the post today =p). We took a small trip to Keystone, CO last week to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary which was Sunday. It was a blast, except kids came with us and one is deathly afraid of heights, apparently, so we had to change up our plans a bit on what we were doing.

Tis life.

I wanted to stop by the blog and give you some updates as to what I’m working on and not working on and what I’ve accomplished so far this year.

In November of 2019 for NaNoWriMo, I did start a novel. I did not finish it, nor did I finish NaNo. But I did get something like 35,000 words in. For some reason, every time I hit about 35,000 words in any novel when writing, I slow down and have to really work hard to push through to the end, so it’s no surprise that I didn’t finish this one then.

But I did finish it. In July. It’s called About Time and features an ER doctor and a Hospital Chaplain. It’s a contemporary romance, and they literally cannot find the right time to just freakin’ get together.

I also started a second romance novel earlier this year (feb/mar) that I finished in June which is titled Love Burns. This is a contemporary romance, may/december, let me fill you with all the tropes book. Celebrity chef meets nanny and they cannot resist each other no matter how hard they try. Massive conflicts of interest and so forth.

After finishing up those two (which have been subbed to publishers and I’m impatiently waiting to hear back about them), I worked on De-Termination (Quarter Life 2). This book. You guys, this book…It has been weighing on my since my hiatus started. I always said when I got back to writing, this would be the first one on my list, and it was. And you guys…

I fell in love with Faye.

I did not like her so much in Unbound. I didn’t understand her. She was weird and lied a lot and just snaps her fingers and changes her mind, but this book, her and I got to know each other a whole lot better. De-Termination is with the publisher and will hopefully be out sometime in 2021, but I have no dates for anything and definitely more edits to do.

Then I worked on a new book in July/August. I wrote a short story eons ago called A Blizzard’s Blow which is in an anthology (Young Love, Old Hearts, find it on Amazon). I have had this idea for ages to take that piece and turn it into a novel, an FBI agent trying to find this serial killer (sorry SPOILER). So I did, and it kind of turned into a series and it kind of connects to Grace Halling. It’s awesome. I’m in the process of doing first round edits right now.

That least to WHAT AM I WORKING ON TODAY!

This was the great debate of the last week. Because of vacation, I took off from writing to spend time with family. Next on my list/schedule was to work on the next Grace book, but heavens, it was scary thinking about writing her again. No idea why. I debated between Grace, Release (Quarter Life 3), and a sequel to my Love Burns romance.

I ended up, finally, on Grace. Broken & Weary: Missing Persons 2 is what I began writing yesterday. I spent the morning outlining the book, spent the afternoon writing chapter one and the evening attempting to write chapter two. I got tired so stopped about halfway through it.

Grace is…my not-so-secret girlfriend! I love her to death, and this book just brings me right back into her drama.

My spouse always asks me why I write so many series? I don’t know, but I do know that I fall in love with my characters daily and over and over again. What else can I do but write their stories?

Partners in Fighting Crime #WIPpetWednesday #Snippet #WIP #Excerpt

I’ve been working on this novel for a week or so now. I thought it was crime/mystery at first. I realized the other day, it most definitely is not. It is a psychological thriller through and through. I even looked up a definition of it and sent it to my spouse going this, this, this, this, this, this…ALL OF THIS…is exactly what this novel is. haha.

So…I guess I’m writing a psychological thriller with a crime/mystery bent. This novel is about an FBI Special Agent Morgan Stone (yes, she is sister to Chaplain Amya Stone, Grace’s infamous girlfriend). Yes, Amya does show up in this novel, and Grace too, albeit briefly.

This novel is about my agent trying to catch a serial killer. That’s the basic of it. Morgan has been with the same partner at work for near a decade, so she knows him amazingly well. This is just a little snippet into their working and personal relationship. From chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. This is completely unedited as I never edit while writing a novel because well I won’t finish it if I do. So bear with me on that.

26 paragraphs from Chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. 26 is for the day of the month! That’s your WIPpet.

Sighing, Morgan glanced up as Pax jerked his chair back and plopped his briefcase heavily on the desktop. She shot him a questioning gaze before leaning up to focus on her obviously angry partner. “What happened?”

“Mel. Mel is what happened.” He huffed out a breath and sat next to her, grumbling something she couldn’t hear.

“Care to elaborate?”

Pax and his wife had been married fourteen years, and it still wasn’t unusual for him to show up miffed about a fight they’d had just before he’d left for the office. Morgan, in some ways, reveled in his life. Married, boy-girl twins, stability, a home. It was everything she didn’t have and only some things she wanted.

She’d known Pax since before he married Mel, had been the best man at his wedding even, so she knew the ins and outs of their issues. When he shot her a look, Morgan chuckled. “Forget to take out the trash?”

“One flipping day, that’s all I wanted.”

“Wanted for what?” Morgan turned back to her computer screen, deciding she wouldn’t waste all her energy on placating him in his foils.

Pax grunted. “I wanted to go golfing.”

“Since when do you golf?” She furrowed her brow, shook her head, and pursed her lips. “And who the hell do you golf with?”

“None of your business.”

“Wait. Hold on. You don’t golf. What did you really want to do?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he muttered, powering on his computer and clenching his jaw.

Morgan turned her lips to the side as she debated whether or not to pursue the topic. Giving in, she pushed slightly back from her desk and turned to face him fully. “No. What did you really want to go do?”

“I was trying to set up a renewal of our vows.”

“Oh…” Morgan pulled a face. “Really?”

“Yes.” He glared.

She laughed softly. “Didn’t figure your for the sentimental type.”

“It’s a surprise, for our fifteenth. Thought it might be nice.”

“You thought it would get you out of some hot water for something you did, or you thought it’d win you some bonus points for the future when you screw up.”

The look he gave her told her the latter was correct. She laughed again, shaking her head. If he was going this deep in his planning, he was going to have to lie better than trying to go play golf when the man had never swung a club in his life.

“Pax, you’re gonna have to learn to lie better.”

“I can’t lie to Mel, you know that.”

“You’re going to have to if you want this to be a surprise.”

“Can’t you—”

“Absolutely not. This is your own fresh hell you welcomed into your brain. You do it. I am not the best friend who plans vow renewals. You’re lucky enough I dressed up for your wedding and showed up for it.”

He grimaced. Ending the conversation, Morgan turned back to her computer and continued searching for Reilly’s real name and face. She was another hour deep into search when her phone in her pocket buzzed. Frowning at it, she knocked her head to Pax to see if he was paying attention or not. When he wasn’t, she slipped away from their desks and down the hall to a quiet and empty conference room.