Mysteries...with some steam!

Author: KT (Page 1 of 3)

The Night Swimmers…Re-issued!

Free for a limited time!

To celebrate getting my novel professionally edited I have set the Kindle edition my first novel of the Katie Undercovers series for free until Monday May 16, 2022. (It’s also part of the Kindle Unlimited program for those who use that).

Katie Undercovers – The Night Swimmers

This latest version should be 100% error free. If it’s not…there’s a bonus! Anyone who lets me know of a typo or grammatical error will get Book 2 for free when it comes out in the fall.

Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂


Just in time for Halloween…

…I’ve (finally) set loose a spine-tingling spooky story that is sure to shock, alarm, and generate manic fear and blind panic across the land!!

Okay, actually, almost none of that is true!

I did (finally) get one of the promised ‘Dock Girls’ short stories up in time for Halloween…but I can’t promise it will be particularly frightening for anyone. Well, maybe Amber’s mother if she somehow stumbles across it. Which I doubt. Though – as the tale will attest – Amber is known for being a bit free with her concept of ‘sharing’ so who can say!?

Anyway, my goal now – due to repeated urgings from the various narrators involved – is to get my butt in gear and keep putting out (figuratively speaking) new installments to the ‘Dock Girls’ series over the next few months. I’m setting myself the target of one per week (Friday being the hopeful constant publishing day).

I releasing them one at a time in part to help motivate me to get them all done, and also as a way to ‘expand my catalog’ which I’m told is the thing to do! Once they’re all out though I will bundle them all together as one entity (and a cheaper price than the per-story cost). So I’d wait until Christmas for that to happen…or if you have a KU (Kindle Unlimited) Amazon account then of course you can dive right in anytime.

Okay…time to get to work on my Halloween costume. What it be this year…? Slutty Nurse? Slutty Vampire? Slutty Lawyer? (Is that a thing?)


Story Planner

I made a thing!

Since I have always use Moleskine notebooks for my journaling I’ve lately been using them for story ideas and plotting and such. Some writers (like me) like to fully plot out their stories before they start writing. Others (the ‘pansters’) prefer to ‘write by the seat of their pants’ and make it up as they go along. This printable plotting guide is probably not for them! 🙂

What is it?

Well…after reviewing a zillion different types of story structure and plotting layouts I’ve ended up with one that works for me. It’s a sort of crib-sheet that is spaced so the lines exactly match the line spacing in a standard Moleskine notebook. I printed it out on thicker paper and then cut it out and use it as a book mark. Then on a single page of my notebook I can briefly plot out an entire 28 chapter novel! For me it’s just the first step but if I write small (and I do) I can put a LOT of information about my story.

If anyone finds it useful please let me know! 🙂


She’s Alive!

Haha. Hoo boy.

So after over a year of diligent hand washing, and mask wearing, and avoiding hugs with friends (I really like hugs)…I goofed.

As near as we can figure it was during a beach volley get together. It was over a few days last month and I had dropped by to see ‘the gang’ at the beach on thursday afternoon. I had not played myself but had sat with a few friends, discretely sitting apart(ish), and watched a game. We did not wear masks, but we were fairly far apart. At one point though…I believe I drank from a water bottle that wasn’t mine. This was the big ‘oops’.

As it turned out…one of the gf’s of the guys playing, who I was sitting near, ended up testing positive. I learned all this much later.

The weekend went by, I played some games, I hung out at home. I was feeling great! Until tuesday morning of the next week when I had that “gee…did a truck run over me in the night?” feeling. Full body ache. Wicked headache. No fever though! So I thought…meh. Whatever.

Wednesday was worse. So with alarm bells finally going off I got driven to the testing site and had to gargle with salt water and spit delicately into a test tube. When it comes to gargling I’m a total pro – so no issues there. But the swishing back and forth sequence was more problematic. Somehow I ended up drooling a fair bit. This was, I imagine, neither very sexy, nor was it ‘best practices’ from the look the nurse gave me. Sigh.

Later than night I got ‘the phone call’. And then I was sent off to isolate by myself in the cottage. Feeling (deservedly) like I had leprosy, my main agony was imagining everyone else who I had now exposed. It was two days of hell waiting for everyone at the house to get appointments for testing and getting the results. All negative! Unbelievable.

I slept well that night I can tell you! After that, it was just putting in the time while my body cycled through the various covid symptoms on my personal menu. Loss of taste/smell? Check. Body ache? Check. Fatigue? Oh My God Yes! Headache? Check. etc. etc. Still…never had a fever thankfully. I was chilled though. So lots of hot baths, when I had the energy to drag my ass to the bathroom and turn on the water, at least.

Anyway! I’m now out of isolation, back at the house, feeling pretty silly, but back to maybe 80% of my former swagger!

Hope you’re all staying safe!? And…always double check who’s water bottle you’re holding!


Little Free Libraries

I love little free libraries.

Those little boxes that people have made at their end of yards and people take and leave whatever books. Some are works of art, like small houses with little windows, carefully crafted with tiny shingles on the roof. Others are thrown together and scarcily keep the rain out. Still…I love them all.

On my daily walk with the dogs I have a route that takes me past five different libraries (seven if I do the bigger loop).

The contents are always changing of course, which makes daily visits a constant journey of discovery. And the selection is generally hard to predict. One day a whole science fiction collection will get jammed in between a dog eared cozy mystery and a historical tomb that has been there for months. The next day it will be a stack of Harper’s magazines, and some Scandinavian noire.

But I say ‘generally’ hard to predict…because there is a trend based on geography!

The battered red library with the wonky hinges at the end of our street is predominantly populated by sci-fi, cook books, and various self-help themes.

The one around the corner (a beautifully done mini version of the actual house behind it) leans towards YA (young adult) sort of fair. But also mature mysteries (Tana French, Louise Penny, most noticeably).

Then, past the path through the woods, is the mother lode. A large multilevel box outside a modern flat-roofed house…but across the street is a retirement age condo building. All those wonderful grey haired little old ladies who — apparently — have an unending appetite for the filthiest sort of romantic smut imaginable. The turnover is daily, and some of the stuff is too graphic even for me! (Anal gang-bangs? Really??) Additionally though, is a great volume of cozy mysteries and Agatha Christie type material.

Fourth on the list is a cool log-cabin type of box. It has lights inside when you open the door and everything. Now were into mostly thriller sort of things. Lee Child, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, etc. etc. But also religious pamphlets, travel guides, and the biggest source of popular ‘literary’ type things.

Lastly, down by the beach, is another favourite. The turn-over here is wildly eclectic, and huge. Every visit is a new grab-bag, and competley unpredictable.

Regardless of the library in question…I’m tempted to buy a bunch of ‘The Night Swimmers’ in paperback and seed them in. Just to see how long they stay before someone takes them home. And then wait to see if they return again.



So the great March give-away went pretty well I think.

245 copies of “The Night Swimmers” were downloaded over the five days of the promotion. Which is cool!

I know from reading on the Reddit romance subs that it is often the case that people will download ‘anything’ free…but not necessarily ever get around to actually reading them. And also that free offerings tend NOT to translate into ratings and reviews. Like because the reader didn’t have to invest financially in it there is somehow less attachment to the book. Curious. Some interesting psychology going on there I think!

Speaking of which…I’ve been delving into the world of voyeurism. This is going to play a significant role in “Katie Undercover(s) Book 2”. So I’ve been onto a few related websites and, wow! Really fascinating to me. Entire apartments with multiple cameras in EVERY single room, recording absolutely everything 24/7. I gather that the residents receive some significant remuneration beyond (presumably) free accommodations.

These are (mostly) all young and attractive individuals and I expect the heat must be cranked to the max as clothing is often limited. Which is of course largely the point.

I can barely function on a zoom call without being overly self-conscious. I cannot conceive of being remotely comfortable in one of those apartments where my every move and angle is constantly recorded! But maybe you would get used to it?Maybe you learn to just block out the thought and live your life ‘normally’. Certainly the folks I’ve seen appear to have pulled that off.

Will ‘Katie’ be able to though…? I wonder.


Free Free Free!!!

I’m kicking off March with a free promotion on Amazon!

That’s right! For 5 whole days, the world can enjoy “The Night Swimmers” (ebook version) completely free. So that’s right now! March 1 to March 5. Get ’em while they’re…hot? Crazy huh!? Apparently not. I’m told it’s a good thing to do to raise one’s visibility in the (very, very, very) crowded sea of new authors.

One favour though, if you do read it, puhlease give it a rating/review on Amazon or Goodreads. It would mean the world to me! 🙂

Did you know that apparently on Amazon alone a million (1,000,000) new books get published every year? I mean…holy cow! That’s a LOT! Now I’m fairly certain that a big percentage of those might contain a spelling/grammar mistake or two. And I imagine there is a chunk of angsty teen vampire-related themes that might be a bit overworked. But still..

So the word on the street (just an expression – I don’t go out much these days) is that a free give away can help give a bit of a bump. This idea works MUCH better when you have other books available that aren’t free, so as to entice new readers into your little world. But I figured I would give it a go right now just to see what happens.

Amazon only lets you have promotions like this for a short period of time so it will be long back at ‘regular’ price before book 2 is all polished to a shine and ready for publishing. At which time I can always do the free promo thing for The Night Swimmers again.


I’m getting a new (to me) laptop! I found a used place downtown that has EXACTLY the same little Lenovo that I have now. Only theirs has one where the keyboard works. I’ve gotten a bit tired of the sticky keys on this one – the result of a oopsy when I dropped it and a bunch flew off. Some teeny tiny plastic edges got snapped/folded/scrunched. Its never been the same since. So…time for an upgrade.

What else? Oh yes! I took a WHOPPER of a fall the other morning. I was out with the dogs (and Christie) and we were frolicking along the beach in the crisp morning air. The tide was high, and in one cove, the logs were piled up and beautifully dusted with frost. Super slippery frost. As usual I was wearing footwear of less than practical leaning. We were climbing over a small pile, and using the logs as (narrow) pathways as it’s easier than trudging through the pebbles and kelp and bric-a-brac.

The sun was only somewhat up and I looked to admire the light dancing over the water and ….Swoooooop! One foot zipped out from under me. It was like I’d stepped on a buttered teflon…or maybe like that time the lube bottle broke and things with my vibe got a bit out of hand…I digress.

Anyway! I landed with a wallop on my ass/thigh. I now have a nifty bruise that looks like I was kicked by a small mule. It’s become a ‘please do NOT touch me there’ zone at the moment.



Marketing 101…

…was a course that I probably should’ve taken! Haha.

After early excitement with some sales over the first two days the flood of those clamoring to read my novel dried up pretty fast. Flatlined completely. Crickets.

But I am in no way disheartened! This is all a learning process, and I’m already figuring out many things that I will do differently when the next story is ready. So that’s all good. Meanwhile, though I really need to try and get some reviews and ratings going on. Both on Amazon and on Goodreads. So if you’re reading this (and read ‘The Night Swimmers’) I’d be hugely grateful for a quick review or even just a ratings click.



Okay, that said, what wisdom can I impart…

Oh yes! Do not — I repeat do NOT — leave your favourite flip-flops outside overnight. Even though you think that they’re ‘just beside the door’ and under the safety of the deck…the racoons don’t care. I found one halfway down the yard and it was chewed almost beyond recognition. The other…well…presumably it didn’t come off so well. I imagine that by now it’s either passed completely through a raccoon’s digestive tract or maybe they just used the little chewed-up bits to play with in some sort of sick and twisted raccoon sporting event.

Possibly my flip-flops were targeted because I have nice smelling feet. It’s doubtful…but I’m clinging to that belief.



So it was quite a thrill to wake up and find the email confirmation that “The Night Swimmers” had jumped its way through the Amazon approval hoops. The bigger thrill though was seeing that even before I knew it was up for sale…someone in Australia had already figured that out!

My very first sale. Ever.

I have always wanted to visit Australia. And now I have one more reason to! I need to search out that first buyer and bring them a signed copy of the paperback! And then pester them with questions on what they thought about it. JK!! The anonymity of Amazon means I shall never know who they are…but they have my thanks!

(I’ve decided that the buyer is most likely a grizzled ranch hand in some teensy place smack dab in the middle of the country that no one has ever heard of. And he likes it that way).


The Night Swimmers…has landed!

In time for Valentine’s day! (Happy Valentine’s day!)

On ebook, or bathtub ready paperback, the first adventure in the ‘Katie Undercover(s)’ adventures has arrived on Amazon!

Presenting “The Night Swimmers”

A heartfelt thank you my family, and my internet friends who have been so supportive of my writing journey.

Book 2 in the series is already underway!



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