Tag Archives: ATF

Get ’em while they’re Hot

Yeah, it’s a little word joke in the title. My new book, Arson, went live on the Amazon store overnight. You can get your copy right here: Arson.

Arson is the story of Perry Wolfe, an elite space firefighter called a space walker. He loves his job, his friends, and his future looks bright. His Oxygen Company extinguishes fires by removing the oxygen from burning space ships.

Perry gets caught in the perfect storm of events. One small injury costs him his entire career. Big insurance decides he cannot be a firefighter any longer. Yeah, big insurance is the bad guy.

When his sister is murdered, he applies for her job as a federal arson investigator with ATF. He leaves his elderly father behind to travel to the planet Quantico II, in the city of Glynco II for training.

Clues to his sister’s murder keep showing up, but he’s at the wrong agency. The FBI is working on that case. This program isn’t what Perry wants, but if he leaves he may never be able to figure out what happened to his sister.

Perry’s losses are substantial, and somewhere along the way he has to find a way to accept the changes and move on with his own life.


Note: This story includes a bit of brutality, and a bit of sexy time too. You have been warned.


I’m not one to beg, but I’d sure like to get some reads and reviews on this one. It’s a fun story, and I had a great time writing it. This one includes the most fun supporting character I’ve ever written.

Let’s look at Leon Tukker’s awesome cover art one more time:



Tons of work ahead now. I need a linked image on my blog pages. I have to update my “about me” page, my Amazon page, and my Gravitar. Then I need to get the back pages of Wild Concept and Panama updated to sales pitch Arson in those books.


Filed under Writing

editing, nail biting, and publishing

I got to the writing cabin around 7:30 this morning. Lisa* was ready with coffee and Cream of Wheat. She had on her pink overall shorts and her legs looked two yards long with her lace up high heeled boots.

“So where’s our guest?” I asked.

Lisa put a finger alongside her temple and looked off into space. “My sensors tell me she’s still asleep.”

“Maybe she thinks this is a vacation.”

“It probably is for her.”

I added some honey to my cereal and sipped my coffee. Lisa reached up to the pot rack and unhooked a large cast iron witch’s cauldron and dropped it on the floor. It clattered across the floor and made a loud racket.

“Oops!” She said, putting a finger to her lips. She looked just like a million old school pinup’s.

The shower started running upstairs. “You’re awful,” I said. I headed for my office and started reading blogs.

Lindsay** yelled down the stairs, “Hey, can I get a little coffee up here. Send the girl, I’m not dressed yet.”

Lisa passed by the door with a cup in her hand. Her lips were pursed and she looked like she was in a foul mood.

It took an hour before they came down.

“…I’m really glad you like my overall shorts,” Lisa said. “Those shoes are adorable.”

“Thanks. Looks like we’re in for a long day,” Lindsay said.

“You look nice today,” I said. Lindsay had on a summer dress with low heeled shoes. “We probably ought to get to work. I want you to look at the section about the projection lab. I want to describe it, but not wear readers out. I don’t need the technical detail you two might like.”

“Okay,” Lindsay said, “but since this is a cabin, shouldn’t we have a fire?” She got up and moved towards the fireplace.

Lisa jumped in front of her. “Oh, that’s my job. Do you want one? It’s going to be 98 degrees today.”

“I suppose we could have a small one, for mood. Make sure you open all the dampers and windows so it doesn’t get too hot,” I said. I opened the Arson manuscript and passed the iPad to Lindsay. I touched the fire extinguisher under my desk with my foot, just to make sure it was there.

Doubt*** the raven left his perch and landed on the back of her chair. Krawk, Krawk.

“I’ve never seen a black raven before,” Lindsay said. “They’re all purple on Quantico II.”

“It means he doesn’t like something,” Lisa leaned forward and said.

“Yeah, there might be too much detail here.”

I opened the document on my Mac while she sipped her coffee. “Some small changes. Try it now.”

“Good. Why do you spend so much time on my big ass and spanks?” Lindsay asked.

“Not all characters are fashion icons. Real people get to have stories too,” I said.

“She is,” Lindsay cocked a thumb at Lisa.

“Maybe, but she has her own demons to overcome. Let’s check out the cover.” I brought up Leon Tukker’s artwork.

“That’s awesome. It looks so real. The flames are perfect.”

“I toned down the adsphault. Do you think I should hit it harder?” I asked.

“Oh God no. Every surface street there wants to sell erectile dysfunction meds or some new action movie. I prefer the skyway, but it just makes it more visible.”

We went on like that for hours. I searched specific words that spellcheck always fixes the wrong way. Lindsay added wood to the fire whenever it burned low. Lisa kept a close eye on her.

The beer horns sent out a baritone blat before we finished. Lisa filled them both and they came running. I opened Amazon and started building all the various pieces into a book. When it said I could move ahead before the manuscript was finished, Lindsay clicked on the button and said, “Live a little.”

I answered all the questions and kept moving forward. I got the message that Amazon was reviewing my book and it could take up to ten hours.

“Oh crap! What happened to the preview?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Lindsay said, “I’ve never done this before. Did it work that way for Panama?”

“No, and Wild Concept let me preview too.”

“It’s probably fine. Let’s just enjoy our drinks.”

“You don’t understand. Now I’ll have to pay for a copy of my own book to see if the formatting is all screwed up. How embarrassing is that?”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Lisa said. She lifted the beer horn over to my desk and it strutted around the Mac. “Besides, you’re an old hand at this now.”

I planted my forehead against the desk and the beer horn rubbed against my head. Nothing left to do but drink.

* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps around the writing cabin these days.

** Lindsay is a supporting character in Arson. She may be the most fun supporting character I’ve ever written.

*** Doubt is a raven.  He was a gift from my Muse and is supposed to help me.


I’ve never had Amazon skip the preview before. Does anyone have any ideas?


Filed under Muse, Writing

Ready for some final edits

I filled up the enchanted beer horns and carried one out to the porch. The other one ran happily behind, and I held the door for it.

Lisa* paced back and forth across the porch and stared off into space.

“What’s with you?” I asked.

“Watching for company,’ she said. “I invited Dr. Pennington** to visit.”

“That’s cool, I suppose. Do we have room for both her and Perry?”

“She’s by herself.”

“But she never travels alone. Who’s going to keep an eye on her?”

“She can stay in my bedroom, I don’t really sleep anyway. I downloaded special software and I’m responsible for her.” She gazed into the sky again and pointed. “There she is.”

I couldn’t see anything. I shaded my eyes and looked harder.

“I can detect the tracking chip. It’s about the same as seeing, at least to me.”

I leaned against the rail and took a swig on my beer. The other horn rubbed on my legs like a cat. A bulbous blue sedan appeared in the sky. “I can’t believe they let her drive the skyway.”

“The car’s all pre-programed. She can’t drive anywhere else. I have to talk to the car and send it back.” She turned towards me and put a hand on my shoulder. “Did I screw up? What if she wants to test me and burns me up?”

“She’s with ATF, not CPSP. The fire sciences lab isn’t about product testing, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

The car descended and slowed. It touched down near the cabin and drove to the porch. The door opened and Lindsay Pennington stepped out. She wore a blue button up blouse and some khaki pants. Her hairstyle never changed, auburn, pulled up tight with curls pouring off the top to one side.

“They wouldn’t allow me a stop along the way,” she said. “Can I use your bathroom?”

I held the door open and led the way to the facilities. The beer horns followed us inside. Lindsay moved pretty fast and closed the door. Lisa hustled in behind us.

When Lindsay stepped out she said, “What’s with you two? Can’t a girl go in private?”

“I still have some things to sort out,” Lisa said. “We need to unload your bags and send the car back.”

Lindsay picked up the other beer horn and took a drink. “I’m pretty dangerous. You’d better keep an eye on me.”

“It, um it isn’t that–

Lindsay stomped her foot and lunged. Lisa and I both flinched backward. Lindsay laughed and headed for the car.

I unloaded several bags, including the rolling trunk with a pink fire helmet lashed across the top. A plush pink bunny head was secured to the shield area. Lisa connected her umbilical to the car’s dashboard and told it to go home.

Lindsay grabbed a bag and said, “Come on, Lisa. I’ll tell you all about my fire projection studio.”

“That sounds really interesting,” Lisa said. “I’d love to see it in person someday. Is it really just like standing inside a burning building?”

“Yes, and verified by many real firefighters.”

“I need you to look over my notes about the projection room. Make sure I’m describing it right,” I said. “That, and about a hundred other things.”

We stepped inside and headed for the upstairs room. I flicked the gauge on one of the fire extinguishers, pointed at my eyes and then at Lindsay. Lisa gave me a nod and a thumbs up.

“You guys are too nervous,” Lindsay said. “I know the sound of flicking a gauge. Besides, it’s hard to burn a log cabin. You need smaller sticks to get the logs to light. When you see me carrying brush inside, then you can panic.” She took another drink and clunked her horn against mine. “Let me get situated and we can get to work.”

*Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and helps around the writing cabin these days. Her story is available on Amazon right now.

** Dr. Lindsay Pennington is a supporting character in Arson. (Coming soon to a Kindle near you.) She runs the fire sciences lab for ATF, and may be the most fun supporting character I’ve ever written.


Filed under Muse