The Write Focus Summer Series on Discovering Your Novel … a series of craft-focused podcast episodes along with productivity and process and tools … has reached its conclusion.

Presence / Promotions / Publish / Party are the four steps to get that finished novel into the marketplace.

Yes, Party is a step. It’s a major step! Let people know the major task that you have completed.

You can listen to the concluding episode at this link.

Next up to start the Autumn right: Challenges then a mini-series for PrepToBer with inspiration!

Thanks for listening to The Write Focus.

M.A. Lee has four books that celebrate an anniversary this month,

three born in 2019 and one born last year.

On the Second of September: The Hazard of Secrets

This is one of those books that kept expanding. The word count was intended to be around 70,000; the final book topped out at nearly 109,000 words.

original cover by Deranged Doctor Design for Writers Ink
Jem and Clarey face press gangs and murderers.

Two hearts with dangerous pasts ~ Can they keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Clarey Parton crosses the Atlantic to steal an inheritance. She hopes that no one discovers the rightful heir lies in a cold grave.

Jem Baxter returns to the England he fled three years before. He assumes the name James Axminster to conceal his past, one littered with misdeeds.

When a press gang sees two people traveling alone, they seize the opportunity for quick cash: they plan to sell Clarey to a brothel and impress Jem on a merchant ship. Fate brings these two lonely souls together. Chance helps them escape.

Yet escape traps them in another secret—one with murder as a bloody solution.

The Hazard of Secrets offers twists and turns as tight as knots. Can Clarey and Jem keep their secrets, or will murder force them to reveal all?

Fetch it here:


On the 10th of September, A Trio of Hazards.

Three novels bundled together, published one year ago in our plague year.

Above, The Hazard of Secrets.

View the trailer at this link:

Coming Soon

Next comes The Hazard for Spies.

Can Conrad discover the identity of the French spy mastermind? Will Phinney’s single-minded pursuit lead her into the murderer’s snare? Will three children be caught and sold into London’s underworld?

Will Conrad and Phinney discover the connection between past and present murders?

Or will two bullets allow the murderer and the French master spy to continue their work against the British government?

This book did exactly what it was supposed to do: story, length, everything. It concludes the spy narrative in the Hearts in Hazard trilogy, which also includes

A Game of Secrets

A Game of Spies

A Game of Hearts

The Danger for Spies

The Key for Spies

The three children introduced in The Hazard of Secrets above are secondary characters in this novel.

Hector Evans, first introduced in The Danger to Hearts  and receiving his own story in The Key to Secrets, also makes an appearance in The Hazard of Secrets and The Hazard for Spies.

 Last is The Hazard with Hearts.

In the gothic tradition of Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden, The Hazard with Hearts offers a determined heroine who confronts doubts, superstition, and the dark passions of a killer who wants every countess of Sheldrake dead and buried.

Vivienne Northrup agreed to a marriage of convenience to reap the benefits of becoming the Countess of Sheldrake. While she explores the ruins of Sheldrake Castle, a falling stone dislodged from a tower nearly kills her.

Only then does Vivienne discover that the earl’s previous two wives died tragically. The first had jumped to her death from that very tower.

Or had the woman been pushed? The way the stone nearly killed Vivienne?

I loved this book. At first I struggled with the heroine … until I changed her name. Then she came alive! When I finished this novel and knew I was finished with the Hearts in Hazard series, I was saddened. The characters became part of my family, and moving on from the series was like moving far away from family. I know that I will want to return.

A Trio of Hazards can be purchased at this link:

Individual novels are available in ebook and paperback. The bundles are only available on Amazon and in ebook format–although the bundles are a bargain!

The other two books for September are nonfiction guidebooks for writers.

On September 22, Discovering Characters.

Our job as writers is to find every detail of our characters then use snippets so our readers will see our characters as they drive through our books. We hint at the foundations while opening doors to their plans and purposes.

Discovering Characters is designed to help writers find the exteriors and interiors, public and private. We’ll dig around the foundations and climb to the roof. We’ll explore the open rooms and the storage closets. We’ll peek into rooms inhabited by such characters as diverse as Elizabeth and Darcy, the Iron Man, Aragorn and Frodo, Travis McGee, Medea, Macbeth, and Nanny McPhee.

Five areas comprise this guidebook. Just as characters—and houses—are individual, this info is individual. You won’t need every bit. Dip in and out, skim around. When you reach locked rooms, come back and explore to discover the keys to your characters.

  1. Starting Points ~ offering templates and character interviews
  2. Classifications ~ common and uncommon ways of discovering characters
  3. Relationships ~ couples, teams, allies, enemies, mentors, etc.
  4. Special Touches ~ progressions, transgressions, and transitions for character arcs
  5. Significant Lists ~ archetypal characters and much more

Discovering Characters, with 44,000-plus words, is the second book in the Discovering set, part of the Think like a Pro Writer series for writers new to the game as well as those wanting to up their game.

Fetch it here:

Finally this month, on the very last day, we have the anniversary for Discovering Your Author Brand.

Discovering Your Author Brand understands that the browsing readers will only give a few nanoseconds to our books.

So, we explain the three main glances that hook the readers before they swim down the river. We also look at the keys to unlock those glances. With the right keys, the brand is revealed, and the door to the reader opens.

To help with the keys and glances, we have worksheets (charts!) to help you discover the brand for book, series, and your author persona—because the first leads to the last.

In addition to analyzing successful brands by writing greats from the last of the 20th century, we have information on how to develop a video book trailer. You can watch our own trailer for our book on Branding at this link:

Fetch this guidebook at this link:

Coming later this Fall

We have the paperback version of Discovering Your Writing, which combines our books on Plot, Characters, Branding, and Sentence Craft, a real deal!



Dark Fantasy. Twisted Magic. Foul Sorcery.

A blood-drinking monster.

The icy mountains hold danger and death but not in the way

that the Fae Mark’d wizard Alstera expects in Sing a Graveyard Song.

Suspicious villagers, justice-seeking pursuers, and foul sorcery

are nothing compared to a blood-drinking monster.

With her powers still shackled for crimes against wizardry, Alstera reaches a snow-smothered village being attacked by a death walker. The re-animated corpse drinks blood to exist. To fight the death-walker, Alstera relies primitive and forbidden blood-magic.

Yet will blood-magic defeat a blood-spelled creature?

How many lives will the death walker take before Alstera finds the way to destroy it?

Will Alstera cross the tenuous barrier that separates wizardry from foul sorcery?

The dark fantasy Sing a Graveyard Song continues the grim story of twisted magic and foul sorcery and Alstera, walking the silvery thread that separates them. Third in the Fae Mark’d Wizard series, Grave follows Weave a Wizardry Web and Dream a Deadly Dream. Although each novel is a complete story, readers will have a richer experience if they read all three in order.

View the trailer here:

Fetch it here:

Available now / 3# in Fae Mark’d Wizard

Dark Fantasy.

Mysterious Spells. A Sorcerer’s Sleep Snare.

A Conspiracy to Assassinate. Wyres and Wraiths.

Forbidden Blood Magic. Wizardry against Sorcery.

Dream a Deadly Dream

Threats come from enemies and friends, sorcered spells and steely blades in Dream a Deadly Dream.

Her powers bound for crimes against the Wizard Enclave, Alstera ventures into Vaermonde. By chance, she meets another lone traveler, Cherai the bard.

After three years in hiding, Cherai is no closer to discovering who assassinated her father, the comte Muirée. She unknowingly holds the key to the conspirators’ plan. To capture her, they order a sorcerer to weave a malevolent sleep-spell of lethal nightmares.

Alstera blocks the spell—but it intensifies. Betrayal wields a sharp sword that drives them to flee. Then treachery springs its poisonous trap.

Can Alstera free Cherai? Or will sorcery spin a lethal web that ensnares them both?

For a dark fantasy of mysterious spells, forbidden blood magic, and a conspiracy for assassination, read Dream a Deadly Dream.

Dream a Deadly Dream is the second novel in the epic Fae Mark’d Wizard series, featuring the wizard Alstera from Weave a Wizardry Web. Alstera’s story continues in Sing a Graveyard Song.

Meet Alstera

the Fae Mark’d Wizard: 

Meet Cherai

the fugitive comtesse hunted by the conspiracy:

Meet Raul

Cherai’s fellow traveler on the lonely roads of Vaermonde, and glimpse Guy DuBarree, who broke her heart: 

Meet Shield

an enslaved wyre who is the tool of the sorcerer who is himself a tool of the conspirators: 

View the Trailer here:

Fetch your summer reading of epic dark fantasy here: