Sneak Peek at Works in Progress

Now and then, we check in with our writers to see what they’re working on. Here’s the latest from our amazingly productive group.

Jen Blood: In what I can only describe as a monumental loss of my senses, I’m working on three projects at the moment:  Maya Picks a Puppy, a rescue-friendly children’s picture book TBR May 2, about a little girl choosing her first dog from a local animal shelter. White Out, the second novel in my Flint K-9 Search and Rescue mysteries, due out in July, and The Transport, the first novel in my new YA Flint K-9 Animal Rescue series. Tentative release for that one is fall, 2017.

Lea Wait is announcing that, yes, she has another persona. Or – at least she’ll be writing under two names. “Cornelia Kidd” has just signed a contract with Crooked Lane Books for the “Maine Café” mystery series, centered around two sisters who grew up in different worlds and have different goals, but who’ve have decided to open a restaurant together on Quarry Island, Maine. Lea’s finishing up a draft of the first book in that series, to be released in June of 2018.

Lea Wait, on the other hand, has just started work on a novella based in Haven Harbor, Maine, with the Mainely Needlepoint cast, to be anthologized in early fall of this year, and is outlining the seventh in the Mainely Needlepoint series, in which a old Maine embroidery hides family secrets … and leads to a murder today . . . to be published a year from now. (And, yes – she occasionally sleeps.)

Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson: Although it won’t be in stores until December, I have the cover for the next Kaitlyn Dunnett, X Marks the Scot. It has to do with a treasure map found in something Liss MacCrimmon buys at an auction. Meanwhile, I’m working Crime and Punctuation, the first entry in my Deadly Edits series featuring a retired teacher turned book doctor. It will debut next June. I’m also working (as Kathy) on the fourth book in my historical Mistress Jaffrey mysteries, Murder in Colchester Gaol, which I’m writing without benefit of contract. What can I say? Sometimes just writing the whole book first works better for me than trying to sell a book with a synopsis. It’s set in England in 1585.

Jessie Crockett: I’ve just finished up copyedits on my second Change of Fortune Mystery, Whispers of Warning which will release in September. I’m also working on my second novel in my new Beryl and Edwina series. The first book, Murder in an English Village, will release on Halloween. These books are set in England in 1920 and feature two old finishing school friends as a pair of sleuths.

Susan Vaughan: Update on the current project. I’m writing a novella to complete The DARK Files series. Dark Vision will be the prequel, introducing a few of the agents in DARK. The protagonist, Matt Leoni, reappears as a secondary character in Dark Vengeance. I’d rather say no more until the story is finished.

Kate Flora: In the realm of something completely different, I’ve been working on a story for a collection described as: CRIME + POLITICS: THE OBAMA INHERITANCE is a proposed anthology wherein contributors would riff on any one of dozens of teabagger-alt right conspiracy theories about Obama’s years in office and turn them on its head. So much fun to play with this. Of course, the story may yet be rejected. The 8th Thea Kozak mystery is still somewhere in limbo, but here’s the cover. Now I am back working on the 9th Thea Kozak mystery and doing edits for Shots Fired: The Misconceptions, Misunderstandings, and Myths about Police Shootings. My crime story, Ida Mae Buys an Crown Vic, will appear in the anthology, Busted, in April.

Dick Cass: Happy to report that I’m working on a contract to publish the prequel to Solo Act, In Solo Time, sometime in 2017. In Solo Time is the Elder Darrow origin story and I hope people who enjoyed Solo Act will be compelled to find out where he came from and how the Esposito came to be.
Same characters, maybe a little less evolved, solving the murder of an obnoxious jazz guitarist on the stage of the Esposito.
Details as they come.

A thriller that I’m shopping, The Go-Between, won a finalist’s award at the Florida MWA conference in February. Denton Robinson, the protagonist, solves peoples’ problems for a living, staying close to the legal side though sometimes straying. In The Go-Between, a left-leaning dirty tricks organization mistakenly identifies Robinson as a hit man and tries to hire him to kill an embezzler, whose ill-gotten gains are earmarked to fund the governor’s run for U. S. Senate. My current work-in-progress is a follow-up to The Go-Between, tentatively titled The Gone.

Bruce Robert Coffin: I’m busy writing the third novel in the Detective Byron Mystery Series while awaiting copyedits on the second. Book two in the series finds Byron and his team investigating the suspicious death of a prominent Portland attorney following the loss of a multimillion dollar civil trial. Beneath the Surface, will be released on August 8th.

On the short fiction front, I’m happy to announce that my story Bygones will appear next month in the Level Best Anthology Busted: Tales from the Beat.

Vaughn C. Hardacker. I’ve just finished reviewing the ARCs of Wendigo, scheduled for release in July. Here’s a couple of blurbs based on reviews of the ARC:

In Wendigo, Hardacker gets it all right- the bone-chilling cold of the north woods, the isolation and loneliness, the quirky characters, the constant peril- and tops it off with a tense hunt for a killing legend.

—Dale T. Phillips, author of Shadow of the Wendigo

“The horror residing on the pages of Hardacker’s latest thriller is more terrifying than an old Algonquin legend. Wendigo will have you looking over your shoulder and locking your doors.”

—Bruce Robert Coffin, author of the Detective Byron Mystery Series


I have started a new series with a novel entitled The Dying of The Light, a thriller.

Wendigo: Coming July 2017

Dylan Thomas is a strange mix. He’s a former state police officer who paid his way through law school while working as a private investigator, now he’s possibly the only lawyer/investigator in Maine, if not New England. When his sister, Caitlin, calls him and says that her four year-old daughter is missing, Dylan becomes full-time investigator. His investigation will lead him from Maine’s northern-most county to the darker neighborhoods and streets of Boston. He tears the lid off an adoption for a fee operation that abducts and sells young white children to wealthy clients who do not want to wait on a bureaucratic system, that has a shortage of young white children, to find them a suitable child to adopt. I’m moving along, currently at the 63,ooo word mark.


This is NOT the official cover for Bad News Travels Fast. But isn’t it cool?

Maureen Milliken: I’m working on the third book in the Bernie O’Dea mystery series. I hate to say too much about it while I’m writing — maybe it’s a little bit superstition and a lot of not wanting to let the cat too much out of the bag before the bag has been fully… oh geez, that metaphor just fizzled into nothing.

Anyway, I’ll say this: Why would someone murder someone who was lost in the woods and so far gone that she’d die anyway? Well, the new book, working title BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST, will answer that question. The book takes place the summer after NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS, with still a lot of fallout from that deadly November in the town of Redimere, Maine, and their effect on protagonist Bernadette “Bernie” O’Dea and co-protagonist Police Chief Pete Novotny.  It’s due out sometime toward the end of summer or the fall.

I’m also excited to be one of the presenters in the Short & Helpful Online Writers Workshops. My workshop, on Flashback & Backstory (and if you’ve read NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS, you’ll get why I was asked to do that one), will be available in May.


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2 Responses to Sneak Peek at Works in Progress

  1. David Plimpton says:

    Thank you for for the list of works in progress, which should be an inspiration to most writer.

    Dick, I enjoyed SOLO Act, but still looking forward to finding out how The Esposito came to be named. As I recall, you didn’t confirm or deny hockey great Phil Esposito as the possible inspiration, so the mystery persists in my mind.

    Bruce, from my own professional experience, not sure “prominent Portland attorney” isn’t an oxymoron, but in any event, killing one off, prominent or not, may well be a convenient way to produce a lot of suspects.

    Good luck with everyone’s projects.

  2. Lea Wait says:

    Thanks to Kate Flora, for nagging us and pulling this all together! We all write different types of books … but it’s clear that we’re all busy! I predict lots of good reading ahead!

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