Another baby out into the world…

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Jamie Brodie Mystery #19

That’s sort of what it feels like when I publish. I don’t think it’s just me. You open the door and toss the book out there, and hope it flies. Sometimes it doesn’t, but THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, it usually does.

I’m so glad you all have taken Jamie, Pete, and the crew to heart.

Now that there are only two books left in the main series – in “canon,” as my editor says – I’m feeling kinda sentimental. Can you tell?

Anyway, Deserted to Death is now available at Amazon and Smashwords, and in print through the Zon. I don’t see it at iBooks yet; other e-tailers will probably take a couple more days.

Be sure to check out the soundtrack for Deserted to Death! I’ll start posting the tracks on my Facebook page tomorrow. http://facebook.com/JamieBrodieMysteries

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Deserted to Death available on Kindle!

The paperback version isn’t ready yet, nor is the Smashwords etc. version. But if you’re a Kindle reader, it’s ready for you! Here’s the link. The cover isn’t showing on my Amazon page; I don’t know why…

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Jamie Brodie Mystery #19

Jamie Brodie is feeling unsettled. His boss has asked him to take an unpaid furlough for the summer; his husband, Pete Ferguson, is obsessed with genealogy research and has papered the walls of their townhouse with family trees; and his father-in-law, Jack, is experiencing odd side effects from a new medication.
Pete wants to head straight for their second home in New Mexico at the beginning of Jamie’s furlough. Jamie has misgivings, but agrees. On their first morning in Alamogordo, Jamie discovers a dead teenager in the street across from their house. The findings in the victim’s autopsy report are deeply disturbing, and the victim’s identification leads Jamie to a jarring discovery.
Several days later, someone leaves a note inside Jamie and Pete’s morning newspaper. NO QUEERS IN ALAMOGORDO.
As the anonymous homophobic attacks continue, Jamie’s determination to stand his ground solidifies. But someone out there is equally determined to push Jamie and Pete out of town, and is willing to take extreme measures to achieve his goal.

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Cover reveal: Deserted to Death

Jamie Brodie Mystery #19. Early October.

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One more snippet from Deserted to Death

More than a snippet, actually… this follows the one that was posted yesterday. shutterstock_390420802

The next morning, at breakfast, I got a text from Jeff. Val doesn’t want us to come. I tend to agree, especially for Colin.

I understand. Did you tell Col why?

Yeah. He’s unhappy, but he gets it. 

Okay. Some other time.

For sure. You all be careful.

You bet.

Pete was watching me. I said, “Val and Jeff have decided that now is not the time for Colin to visit.”

Kevin, wisely, remained silent. Pete’s face was dark, but he was externally calm. “So your nephews will never visit?”

I said, “Now who’s overreacting?”

Kristen said, “Once you figure out who’s behind this and neutralize them, I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

Neutralize them?” The volume of Pete’s voice rose slightly. “Seriously? This is not a war.”

Kristen crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. I thought, Uh oh. She said, “You’re being forced to fight to be accepted and respected in this town. What would you call it?”

Pete snorted. “This episode is an anomaly.”

“There are thirty-three churches here that are Baptist, Fundamentalist, Church of God, etcetera. Thirty-three. Not that anomalous, I bet.”

“You counted churches?

“I sure did. I wanted to know what you were up against.” 

I sidled over to stand by Kevin as we watched Pete and Kristen argue. I didn’t have to wonder who would prevail in a contest of wills between them. Pete’s volume increased by another notch. “Unbelievable. This is not even your business.”

“No? Being concerned for my family is not my business? Wanting my brothers-in-law to be safe is not my business?” 

There is nothing to worry about!

“And you are in complete fucking denial!

I held up my hands. “Whoa, whoa. Can we table the discussion?”

Kristen said, “Fine by me.”

Pete didn’t respond. He shoved past us and went out the back door.

Kristen said, “Sorry.”

I said, “Don’t apologize. I appreciate your concern. Pete will, too, as soon as he chills out.”

“I’m not wrong.”

I sighed. “No. I’m afraid you’re not.”

 

Kevin helped me clean the kitchen, then he and Kristen went to the front porch. I poured water from a jug into a bottle and went out back to find Pete. He was in the far southeast corner, opposite the greenhouse, chopping at a hardened section of ground with a mattock. I leaned against the wall and watched him. Finally he stopped, dripping with sweat, and glared at me. “What?”

“Nothing. What are you doing?”

“This is where the beehives will sit. I’m leveling this piece of ground.”

“Do bees need flat ground?”

“No idea. But our bees will have it.”

“Lucky bees.”

He blew out a breath and stared at the sky. “This is not how I wanted my summer to start.”

“Me either.” I handed him the water bottle.

He took a long drink. “Someone’s trying to frighten us. Or provoke a response.”

“I’m sure they are. But there’s a difference between us not responding, and us completely ignoring the threat.”

“What do you propose that we do?”

“Proceed with caution. Do everything we planned while watching our six.”

“We planned to have Jeff and Colin visit.”

I sighed. “Pete, you’re not a parent. Jeff and Val are protecting Colin. That’s what parents do.”

He kicked at a loose clump of dirt. “Not mine.”

“Let me rephrase. That’s what good parents do.”

“Steve will be disappointed.”

“Steve will understand.” Probably.

He looked around the property. “I love it here.”

“So do I. But aren’t you glad we have an eight-foot wall?”

He grimaced. “And it was your idea. I didn’t think we needed it.”

“My intent was to keep critters out of our vegetables, and allow us to walk into the back yard naked if we wanted to. I didn’t realize we’d need protection from anything but coyotes.”

“I refuse to build a moat.”

I laughed. “That would drain the well, for sure.”

“I’ve never argued with Kristen before.”

“I don’t recommend it.”

He snorted. “I can see why.”

 

I wielded a level to complete Pete’s bee preparation, then we went inside. Pete headed for the shower. I took a Coke to the front porch, where Kevin, Kristen, and Ammo were sprawled in various poses. Kristen craned her neck to look at me. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah. He broke up some hard-packed ground in the back. He’s in the shower now.”

Kevin said, “We didn’t mean to be the guests who came to argue.”

I waved that off. “All of it needed to be said.”

Kristen asked, “Why is Pete being so stubborn?”

I laughed. “Do you know him? He is stubborn. But I also suspect that he really wasn’t expecting to have to deal with in-our-faces homophobia.” 

Kevin said, “It’s not only stubbornness. This harassment is crashing into his vision of what living here would be like.”

Yes. He’s constructed this idealistic vision of our future in Alamogordo.”

“He thought he could leave the troubles of his past behind. That moving here would be a fresh start for him.”

“Christine pointed out to him in December that this town could be a sister city to Barstow. He didn’t like that. But now he’s seeing that she was right, and he doesn’t want to accept it.”

Kevin said softly, “You have to brace yourself for more homophobia.” 

“Oh, believe me. I’m expecting more.”

Kristen asked, “What will Pete do then?”

I shook my head, gazing into the distance. “I don’t know.”

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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

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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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