Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad Republished

I decided that Eye of Newt needed a new cover, so I built one that I really like. However, in the process of changing the cover, I had to do some revision on the manuscript. Mostly fixing some stylistic issues and a few sneaky fat-finger things.

The book is now available on Amazon with it’s new cover and and new ISBN. Take a look -see if you like the new cover as much as I do.

There will be an Amazon Freebie giveaway of the Kindle version from March 3 through March 7, 2023. I will be doing a book signing on March 4, 2023 at COAS Books in downtown Las Cruces. I’ll have all of my books available, including the new edition of Eye of Newt and, hopefully the new Carol Montgomery Mystery #3, La Llorona.

Yet Another New Book

Still Life Musings: A Small Haiga Collection

Yes, I have just published, via Lulu Press, a coffee-table type book that is a collection of Haiga that I have done over the years. Haiga are photos or art work with embedded Haiku. All but three of the photos in my book are mine, and all of the Haiku are mine and written for the picture – or the picture was done for the Haiku. Most of the pictures are straight photos, but I have “artified” some of the photos. Because of the color, fancy paper, size (8.5″x11″), and being hard-backed, the book is on the expensive side – $33 USD. Also, it is only available from the Lulu Bookstore, or directly from me – that’s the result of problems with Lulu’s Global Community of booksellers’ constraints on size.

Here’s the cover and the Haiga from the title page.

Book’s cover

Book’s Title page Haiga

Dear Jennifer: The Jenny Princess Letters is Published

My kid’s book, Dear Jennifer: The Jenny Princess Letters, is available at the Lulu Bookstore. It should be available at a bunch of other bookstores in the very near future. This book is suitable for readers in the third and fourth grades The letters were originally written to encourage my youngest daughter to read more. I have subsequently added some stories and illustrations which I had no way to do when I wrote the original letters.

It is my hope that the stories will be enjoyed by young people, especially girls. I hope the stories will inspire them to be the best that they can be and to take advantage of opportunities to move ahead.

Second Edition of The Jaguar Drum is Available

The Jaguar Drum, sporting a new cover and subtitle – A Mayan Boy and the Spanish Entrada – is now available as both Kindle eBook and paperback on Amazon. This second edition has a few editing changes to go along with the new cover, but it is the same Middle Reader novel that received praise form reviewers of the first edition.

It will be available as an Amazon Freebie from March 14 to March 18, 2023.

Here’s the new cover.

What’s Happenin’

Just published La Llorona – Carol Montgomery Mystery #3. It’ll be available as an Amazon freebie from March 2-6, 2023. I have a book signing in Las Cruces at COAS Books on March 4. We’ll see how well the new book moves. My Carol Montgomery series, overall, seems to be moving well – probably because it’s a series of stories dealing with places that are familiar to local folks. Featuring a witch and a telepathic cat familiar might also be playing a role.

Trying something new for me – just submitted three of my books (The Jaguar Drum, Eye of Newt, Skin of Toad, and A Piano in the Night) and a poem ( Tiempo) to national-level writing contests. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, results from the effort.

I’m about half way or a little less through the newest O’Flaithearta Biological Consultants Mystery, Of Rats and Drones. Rather slow going right now – too many other distractions and I’m having a tough time getting the story-line moving where I want it to be. Ah well, that’s life in the peanut butter factory, eh, wot?

My youngest grandson, Etienne, just turned two. Here’s a picture of him. He’s a cutie – at least we all think so.

Etienne Ray, two years old – Feb -2023

La Llorona Drafted – Ready for Editor and Reader

To all of my friends, colleagues, and readers:

All the writing “experts” make big noises about writing every day and setting aside time to write. Apparently, they have never had life interfere with their plans – at least they ain’t admittin’ it. So what, you say? Well, that’s my excuse for missing my self-imposed December deadline for finishing and publishing Carol Montgomery Mystery #3 – La Llorona.

But, having posted my excuse – yepper, life got in the way — I have finished the draft of the book. 33K words — good solid Novella length – nice and cozy – a little bit of violence – some romance – and of course, Rogue, the telepathic cat. It’s now out to my editor-in-chief, and life is getting in her way too – publication might be slower than I wish – ah, well.

It’s actually a fun story – but then, so are the others. I’ve rolled a bit of technology into this one – how does one project a wraith onto a footpath? A bunch of new characters and some old ones. Police procedural aspects – being in the ‘border land’ as Las Cruces is, the border protection folks – ICE – are involved. So are the state cops, the CIA, the FBI, Interpol, and the local police. Wow – that’s a bunch of cops and spooks – what gives?

We shall see – eh, wot? Book signing coming up in March at COAS Books – a local bookstore, for those of you not familiar with Las Cruces. I had to cancel the December signing – yep, you guessed it – life got in the way. Life notwithstanding, I should be able to have it published by March …. he said.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and that the New Year treats you well.



Writing Novels

Writing novels; whether mysteries, romances, thrillers, fantasies, Sci-fi, or whatever; tends to be a lonely, introspective exercise. I read how-to books on writing, and they recommend reading and going to conferences or getting into writing groups or training sessions. I don’t disagree with the intent of all of that advice; clearly, it worked for those best-selling authors that are giving it. However, when one sits down to write/type/dictate a book, one’s focus becomes wholly turned inside their head. A scene forms, a picture develops, and words pour out onto the working surface. Right words, wrong words, good words, mediocre words, a tale unfolds. Characters take shape and become rounded and full or remain flat and motionless until that vagary breeze lifts them to some action, or a heroic or happenchance occurrence tests their strength and durability. The writer lives in that world, those scenes, until something clicks – then back to the mundane -— all those other people coming out of their reveries.

“Hello — What? Oh, umm, yes, I did finish chapter one.”

Fenton R. Kay