The fifth book in my Show Me series has found a new home after being orphaned. Cave Hollow Press, an eclectic small publisher, will release Show Me the Sinister Snowman next spring.
In this book, former CIA operative Phoenix Smith must play deputy again when Achilles, her K-9 dropout, sniffs out a murder weapon at the scene of a congressman’s “accidental” death. Who tried to hide a homicide? She suspects either a corrupt political insider or an enraged abusive husband and puts herself at risk to prevent more murders. Phoenix goes with her friend Annalynn, an aspiring U.S. House candidate, to a political gathering at the late congressman’s isolated antebellum mansion. A blizzard traps them there with multiple suspects inside and a sinister snowman outside.
Going to a new publisher wasn’t a frivolous decision. Midway through 2015 I became aware Five Star, which published the first four books, had serious problems. With little advance notice, the parent company delayed the release of mysteries (Show Me the Ashes from December to March) and stopped issuing contracts. In January 2016, authors received notice that only those manuscripts already under contract would be published before the mystery line died.
Publishers usually don’t want to take on a series when they don’t own the rights to the preceding books. A dozen or so Five Star authors decided to self-publish their completed manuscripts, preferring hiring editors, designers, etc. to searching for a new publisher. From what I’ve heard, most writers focused on a new mystery series or another series coming from a different publisher.
I submitted my manuscript to the good editors of Cave Hollow Press, which published The Feedsack Dress in 2007. Show Me the Sinister Snowman has begun the long process of becoming a book.
Meanwhile I’m working on a new series and considering some short stories (maybe one told from Achilles’ point of view?) and novellas featuring Phoenix and friends.