Among plans to nurture our creative souls, the SDP authors have a lot of new books coming your way in 2023! We have mystery, history, historical mystery, music, mayhem, satire, adventure, and romance on the horizon. Whatever your reading tastes, you’ll always find a fresh take from an SDP author!
My 2023 writing plan is to have no plan—not to be confused with doing nothing. I want to do something. In fact, the likelihood of me doing lots of something is high. However, I’d like not to plan to do anything—more panster than a plotter, if you permit me to use a literary term to describe my future writing life’s random projection… except for my next novel. That wonderfully exciting something is already in the works! It’s called, Who Killed Gary? — and it’s a satire, mystery, social commentary mash-up. Tons of fun, goofy at times, poignant at others, and filled with many characters weirder than me. I had a blast plotting the story, writing it, and coming up with cover ideas, and I can’t wait for you all to read it come April 2023!
Besides the above, I am dedicating the rest of 2023 to my Creative Soul. She’s been wonderfully patient, but a promise is a promise. No more pressure, no ‘have-to,’ no musts. My only job will be to pop open this rusty old jar (that’s how I describe my brain, where my little gray cells live) and let my imagination run loose—uncontrolled and unfiltered. Free to create without housekeeping or gatekeeping concerns. If a fab story idea crosses my radar and it sounds like a cool or challenging project, I’m in. If nothing comes to fruition, so be it because sometimes, planning Nothing produces the best Something(s).
So, hail to 2023—the Year of Nothing!
Belinda M. Gordon
In October of ‘21, my latest book, Having It All, was published. After that, I took a break from writing. But I’m happy to say I’m back at it! I’m writing a novel with the working title Troubled Waters, which I hope to see released before the end of the year.
Troubled Waters follows the tribulations of NYC lawyer, Madison, as she tries to get approval for her client to build a textile factory in a small town in Pennsylvania while an environmental activist group fights against her. Aden, a local businessman, might be the key to swinging the town her way. As Madison and Aden get to know each other, romance ensues!
When I complete this project, I plan to go back to one of my favorite characters, Sloan, and write another Findale Fae Mystery. I’m looking forward to revisiting my fantasy characters!
In Simply Gregg I introduced Howard Pierce, a homicide detective trying to solve his last homicide case before his retirement. In Bloodhound Investigations, the second book in the series, A Howard Pierce Investigates Story, Pierce has retired and is now a private investigator with his own agency. Although private investigators do not get involved in homicide investigations, Pierce is asked by his former second-in-command at the police department to look into a seemingly natural death on the insistence of a friend of the deceased who believes his friend was murdered. Pierce soon realizes, although there is scant evidence, that this is a homicide investigation.
For 2023, I plan to work on Book 3 where Pierce and his assistant, Frank Irizarry, whom I introduced in Bloodhound Investigations, accidentally get involved in a homicide case. This will be the last of the Howard Pierce series so I will make sure that Howard Pierce does not ruin his perfect record of solving homicides.
I have two novels due out this year, which will complete the Hearts and Crafts series.
Shelf Life, book two, releases on January 16th. To say I adore this story would be to state the obvious. Also, I say that about all of my books. I become so invested in the characters and their lives while I write them and it’s always sad to say goodbye when I get to the end of the final chapter. This story in particular, though, is special. Gray and Aaron take an incredible journey, one they could only have embarked upon together, and their arc combines two things I love: baking and board games. Maybe an unusual combination, but I think it works!
I’m deep in edits for book three of the series, The Leaving Kind, which will release later this year. I love this story, too, as I once again got to write about careers and pastimes I’m passionate about: gardening and painting. And fans of Sundays with Oliver, the first book in the series, will enjoy seeing Nic’s brother Cameron get his own well-deserved happy ever after.
Susan Moore Jordan
Writing and publishing And This Shall Be for Music was in some ways the culmination of my homage to music. My character Lindsey Cameron showed how music filled her life and what it meant to her and those she loved. It took the better part of a year, and after it was finally released, I took some time to consider if it might be my final book.
Well, after eight Augusta McKee mysteries, for several reasons I thought I might have completed the series. The late 1960s were a turbulent time in the United States, and I ended The Case of the Bogus Beatle in December of 1966. Over the next two years, Cincinnati experienced racial unrest, beginning with a riot in June of 1967.
But on further consideration, I realized that the McKee mysteries are not, in the strictest sense, cozy mysteries. The setting is urban, and Augusta’s husband, Detective Malcolm Mitchell, is the primary “puzzle solver” even though Augusta assists him. In several books, I touched on societal problems and how they contributed to the murders which were part of those books. So rather than backing away from the unrest which began in 1967, I opted to incorporate it into a new murder, and The Case of the Casanova Cantor was launched.
As always, research has proved fascinating with this book. This was a time when the Civil Rights movement had become part of the landscape, and it will be the background in the new book for two mysteries. Publication sometime in the spring of 2023.
The year 2022 gave me time to review my past writing efforts. I found my first attempts at writing fiction lacking in so many respects. I decided to re-write my first novel in the Amy Mohr Chronicles to reflect all I had learned in workshops, online courses, and from writers’ groups that had sustained me during the pandemic years. I now call that novel The End of Lies. It’s hardly perfect, but it represents a great improvement in my ability to craft a story. It incorporates many of my own life experiences, and if there is a category called autobiographical fiction, it fits. I’m not an undercover agent, but I have traveled and encountered much of what I’ve written about. And, I did have an incredible romantic crush on my tour manager for that memorable trip to southern Africa. I hope he never finds out!
My latest new novel, Belalcázar’s Curse takes place in the city of Quito and the Ecuadorian rainforest. I returned from a trip there shortly before the COVID pandemic claimed the next three years of my life. Hundreds of hours of research went into crafting the story of an esteemed Ecuadorian saint called The Lily of Quito, and the history of a cruel Spanish hidalgo that conquered the Inca in what became the city of the same name.
I’m not sure where I’m headed next. To Greece sometime this spring is on the books, but I need a new writing project. I just wish I could get as enthusiastic about marketing!
I think we all wish we could be more enthusiastic about marketing. Or that our books would happily read themselves and post reviews! Regardless, even though the past couple of years have been tough all around, we’ve all had an even harder time trying to quit this writing gig. Thank goodness for the power of story, meaning you have many more SDP titles to look forward to in the future.
In the meantime, we’d all like to wish our readers the happiest of New Years and much luck and fortune in 2023!
Writer of love stories. Bibliophile. Gamer. Hiker. Cat herder. Waiting for the aliens.