A snippet from Deserted to Death

Enough about Greg and Justin for a few days. 😀 Here’s a bit from the next book that I’ll actually publish, Deserted to Death, Jamie Brodie Mystery #19. Coming in October.

Pete followed Steve outside. I turned to Kevin who was standing at the edge of the patio, his arms crossed, frowning at me. Behind him, Kristen was pacing. I said, “What the fuck?

Kevin said, “This is unacceptable.”

I spread my hands. “I’m open to suggestions. But there’s nothing we can do about it, is

White_Sands_New_Mexico

David Jones [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D

there? Other than calling the cops?”

“No.”

Kristen was still pacing. “Maybe Jeff and Colin shouldn’t visit.”

Jeff and his eldest, my nephew Colin, were scheduled to visit next week, arriving the day after Kevin and Kristen left. I said, “Then the terrorists win.”

“True. But what if the attacks escalate?”

Pete came through the back door as she spoke. “They won’t.”

Kevin said, “You don’t know that.”

“No, but I can predict it. Whoever these people are, they’ve done the worst they can think of.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Kevin waved his hand in the general direction of town. “This county is loaded with right-wing Second Amendment fans. You can’t say that someone isn’t out there planning a drive-by.”

Pete scoffed. “Seriously? This is a small town. Nobody’s going to try anything like that.”

“You think shit like that doesn’t happen in a small town? You grew up in a small town. You know how unpleasant the local yokels can be.”

I’d inched my way to stand beside Kristen, and we watched as Kevin and Pete argued. It was a new experience for me. Finally Pete said, “You’re overreacting.”

Kevin wasn’t done. “And you’re sticking your head in the sand. Don’t be naïve. Did you think this rural county would be gay-friendly? Would happily live and let live? Would give you a pass because you’re Steve’s brother? What do you think?”

Pete was attempting patience, but I could tell he was gritting his teeth. “I. Think. That. It. Will. Be. Fine.”

Kevin stared at Pete for a minute, and I realized something that I never had before. I’d thought them equal in terms of intimidation factor, but I’d been wrong.

In a contest of wills, Kevin would always win.

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Character interview: Greg Marcotte

Yesterday, we got to know Justin Harris from Twelve Seconds a tad better. Now it’s Greg’s turn.

Greg Marcotte

Name: Gregory James Marcotte

Nickname? Greg

Age: Forty-one

Height: 6’2”

Birth Place: Asheville, North CarolinaTWELVE-SECONDS-COVER-_-WEB

Hair: Blond

Eyes: Blue

Astrology sign: Leo

Health: Perfect.

Current Occupation: Special Agent, Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Formerly a homicide detective and SWAT sniper with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Police Department.

Marital status: Single but dating

Romantic Interest: Justin Harris

Dominant Character Trait: Forthrightness

Secondary Character Trait: Precision

Your two worst character flaws: Stubbornness with a perfectionist streak

Friends: Mostly the people that I work with.

Enemies: They’re all in jail.

Family: My parents and siblings are all college professors. My dad teaches psychology at Warren Wilson College; my mom teaches Appalachian Studies there. My sister teaches biology at UNC-Asheville and my brother teaches music at Appalachian State.

Tattoos: Nope

Rent or Own: Own

Relationship with God: Lapsed

Politics: I’m a law-and-order socialist.

Overall outlook on life: Shit happens.

Piercings: Nope

Voice: Deep. Justin says it’s melodious. I have a Southern accent.

Right-or left-handed: Right

Level of Attractiveness: TV cop

Clothing: Polos and khakis

Sense of humor: Yep.

Interests and favorites: Boating, fishing, hiking, target practice. Live baseball, majors or minors. Being outdoors in general.

Food, drink: The basics in each ethnic tradition. Nothing raw.

Music: Classic rock.

Books: True crime, current events

Movies: Anything but rom-coms

Dislikes: Being shot at.

Color: Blue

Vehicle: Ford F-150 pickup

Sexual Orientation: Gay

Kinks: Nothing worth mentioning

Most fears: That we’ll get into another stupid war

Most desires: To settle down with the right guy

What do you believe in? You know Kevin Costner’s speech in Bull Durham? That.

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Character interview: Justin Harris

TWELVE-SECONDS-COVER-_-WEBNow that you’ve read Twelve Seconds, here’s a chance to get to know our characters a little better. First up: Justin. (h/t for the questions to Josh Lanyon, who’s used this for some of her characters.)

Justin Harris

 

Name: Justin Andrew Harris

Nickname? I don’t have one

Age: Thirty-eight

Height: Six feet even

Birth Place: Cocoa Beach, Florida

Hair: Dark blond

Eyes: Hazel

Astrology sign: Aries

Health: I’m a few pounds overweight. Otherwise, fine.

Current Occupation: Space reporter, Hughes-Simmons News Syndicate

Marital status: Single but dating

Romantic Interest: Greg Marcotte

Dominant Character Trait: Curiosity

Secondary Character Trait: Tenacity

Your two worst character flaws: I’m told that I’m overly hard on myself. And I stress eat.

Friends: Mostly the guys that I work with.

Enemies: My stepfather.

Family: I’m an only child. My dad died five years ago. My mom remarried two years ago.

Tattoos: Nope

Rent or Own: Rent

Relationship with God: Dubious

Politics: Progressive

Overall outlook on life: Hopeful

Piercings: Nope

Voice: Low tenor? High baritone? You tell me.

Right-or left-handed: Right

Level of Attractiveness: So many freckles…crooked nose…

Clothing: Jeans and t-shirts

Sense of humor: Pretty good, I guess

Interests and favorites: Space. Rockets. Technology. The beach. My cats.

Food, drink: I’ll try anything once.

Music: Folk rock

Books: Space and science, both non-fiction and otherwise.

Movies: Sci-fi, but not superheroes

Dislikes: Politicians, Florida land developers, snakes

Color: Green

Vehicle: Ford Focus

Sexual Orientation: Gay

Kinks: Not particularly

Most fears: That humanity will give up trying to reach the stars

Most desires: To see humans get to Mars

What do you believe in? Science.

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It’s alive!!

Twelve Seconds, that is. Space Coast Mystery #1, featuring space reporter Justin Harris and Air Force Special Agent Greg Marcotte, is available here. It’s only on Kindle right now, as I’m testing out the efficacy of Kindle Unlimited, but eventually it’ll be available through Smashwords and the other outlets, too.

Enjoy! If you’ve already read the story in the anthology and are waiting for book 2, it’ll be out next spring. (I must tell you, though, this version has added content in the form of backstory for all of the characters.)

TWELVE-SECONDS-COVER-_-WEB

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Cover reveal: Twelve Seconds!

 

TWELVE-SECONDS-COVER-_-WEB

Coming soon! As in the next few days! This is the cover for Twelve Seconds, my novella from the Footsteps in the Dark anthology. If you didn’t buy the anthology, here’s your chance to read the first of a new series, the Space Coast Mysteries. If you did buy the anthology, then you’ll just have to wait for book two. 😀

Thanks to Dianne at Lyrical Lines Proofreading and Book Covers for this awesome cover!

This version of the story is a couple thousand words longer. I added some scenes that will carry forward in the rest of the series but weren’t necessary for the standalone version.

The book will be on Kindle Unlimited at first. I’m experimenting with that. I’ve never used it for the Jamie Brodie books, and I’ve heard mixed reviews from other writers.

Speaking of Jamie Brodie, the next book (Deserted to Death, JBM #19) will be out mid-October.

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An excerpt from Deserted to Death

Is it hot where you are? It’s hot here, but then it’s summer in Florida. We expect that sort of thing. If you’re hot where it’s not supposed to be hot, you have my full sympathy.

So… let’s take a trip to the desert! It’s a dry heat, don’tcha know. 😀 This is a piece from Deserted to Death, Jamie Brodie Mystery #19, which takes place right about now in New Mexico, but won’t be published until October. Enjoy!

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When I woke up at 6:22, Pete was still asleep, face down, his right arm slung over me. I eased out from under it; he didn’t move. Ammo was dreaming, his nose and paws twitching. I quietly pulled on shorts and a t-shirt, slid my feet into sneakers, and tiptoed to the kitchen. The coffee maker was on, but there was no sign of Meredith. She was probably getting dressed.

I went through the laundry room into the garage, intending to retrieve the newspaper. I hit the button to raise the closest garage bay door and walked onto the driveway.

There was something lying in the street, against the curb across from the house.

There was someone lying in the street.

I ran to the person – a young man. Maybe a teenager. He was lying on his left side, his left arm stretched out underneath him as if he’d been reaching for something. He was terribly thin. Barefoot, wearing only a t-shirt and jeans. The soles of his feet were crusted with dried blood.

His eyes were half-open, clouded, unseeing. His lips were parted slightly. His hair was dark, cropped close to his head, and there was stubble on his chin and cheeks.

I bent down to feel for a pulse in his outstretched wrist, already sure of what I’d find.

He was cool.

He was dead.

I ran back to the house and into the bedroom for my phone, unintentionally rousing both Pete and Ammo, and called 911. Ammo scrambled to his feet and Pete sat up as the dispatcher answered.

“Otero County 911, where are you calling from?”

“Las Lomas Court. There’s a dead body in my street.” I left the bedroom, headed outside. “Ammo, stay.”

He stayed. Pete followed me into the garage. “What?

The dispatcher, a woman, sounded equally skeptical. “There’s a dead body in the street?”

“Yes, ma’am. A young adult male.”

“Does he have a pulse?”

“No pulse. He’s cool to the touch.”

“Do you know who it is?”

“No, ma’am.”

“When were you last in the street?”

“Um…about 9:30 last night.” We’d watched the sunset from the front porch.

I heard the first sirens approach. As the ambulance turned onto our street, Pete stopped beside me, staring at the corpse. He breathed, “Oh, my God.”

The dispatcher signed off. The EMTs scrambled from their truck with equipment, and we backed up into our driveway. One of them started to roll the kid over – and stopped. “He’s in partial rigor.”

Two police cruisers parked, and an Alamogordo PD patrol officer emerged from each. They conferred with the EMTs briefly. One cop went to the body, and one approached us, a burly guy with a blond brush cut. “Morning.”

Pete said, “Morning.”

“Officer Smallwood. What happened here?”

I told him. As he was taking notes, the other uniformed officer joined us, nodding hello. “I called the chief.”

“Okay.” Smallwood tipped his head toward our front porch. “You all hang out here for a while.”

I said, “Yes, sir.”

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So I should probably explain…

Obsessed to Death is the first of a four book arc that will end the Jamie Brodie series. There are a few threads that will be left hanging in both this book and the next, Deserted to Death. Most of them will be tied up in the next to last book, Drugged to Death. Then the final book, Resigned to Death, will finish it off.

I haven’t really done that before so you might be surprised by it. I do have a plan. I promise. 😊

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