Happy 5th birthday, Jamie Brodie!

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Photo credit: By Cekli829 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Huh? Jamie’s in his 30s!” You are correct. Jamie, the fictional character, just turned 37 on May 17th. However – the idea of Jamie was born back in June 2012.

It began, appropriately enough, as a conversation around the reference desk. I was chatting with my friend and fellow librarian, Dustin. I don’t even remember how we got on the topic – but we decided that it would be cool to write about a librarian who solves mysteries. Nothing to do with magic or museums or mummies, just an everyday academic librarian, like us, with access to vast depths of information that the police didn’t have. Solving crimes with research. The kernel of an idea.

I suggested to Dustin that a plot would be helpful, and with his input, I sketched out a very rough and very short outline centered around the idea of academic plagiarism leading to murder.

But who would star in this show?

Like most writers, I was an inventive kid. I didn’t just have an imaginary friend – I had a whole town. I’d spend hours on my swing set in the back yard, dreaming up adventures for my characters. Over the years, as I grew up and plunged into school, work and life, I mostly stopped making up new stories. Occasionally, in an idle moment of daydreaming, I’d revisit my “friends,” having fun with assigning them jobs and adult personalities.

The Brodie family gradually evolved out of those childhood stories.

I wrote the beginning of what would become Cited to Death, then wisely signed up for an eight-week continuing education class on writing mystery novels through the University of Central Florida. $89 well spent, I tell you! My initial thought for Jamie would be that he and Ethan would be happily partnered, settled into their academic careers. Then the instructor in my class said that wouldn’t do; Jamie had to have conflict in his life.

Goodbye, Ethan. Enter Pete Ferguson.

Over the next six months I hammered out the rest of Cited to Death with the help of both my writing group and other friends who read and critiqued. (I have Dustin to thank for the title; I had a terrible time coming up with something that sounded right.) Then I called my friend Stephanie about creating a cover. Then I launched my first book into space.

I had no idea if anyone would buy it. If anyone did buy it, I had no idea if they’d like it. I wasn’t a trained writer; I really didn’t know what I was doing. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had never sold a copy.

But it did, and some of you fell in love with Jamie.

And the rest is history.

I am eternally grateful to all of you for continuing to love Jamie.

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It’s Release Day!

Woohoo!! Promoted to Death is now available, through all e-book outlets. Here are the links to Amazon and to Smashwords. If you pre-ordered (Thanks!!) it should be on your reader by now.

Enjoy!

Elaine Pareja didn’t have any fans among her colleagues in the psychology department at Santa Monica College. When her promotion application is denied and she is terminated, no one is sorry to see her go. When Elaine is reinstated for no apparent reason, it causes a revolt in the department. When she turns up dead, her colleagues turn into suspects. But Elaine was a keeper of secrets – other people’s, and her own. Jamie Brodie and his friend, business librarian Sheila Meadows, join forces with the police to pick their way through the tangled web of Elaine’s life, searching for the thread that led to her death.

Promoted 1

Jamie Brodie Mystery #14

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Promoted to Death ready for pre-order!

Finally! 😀 Promoted to Death is available for pre-order (e-book formats) at both Smashwords and Amazon. Release date is May 31. The print version will be out by the end of June.

Promoted 1

Jamie Brodie Mystery #14

Elaine Pareja didn’t have any fans among her colleagues in the psychology department at Santa Monica College. When her promotion application is denied and she is terminated, no one is sorry to see her go. When Elaine is reinstated for no apparent reason, it causes a revolt in the department. When she turns up dead, her colleagues turn into suspects. But Elaine was a keeper of secrets – other people’s, and her own. Jamie Brodie and his friend, business librarian Sheila Meadows, join forces with the police to pick their way through the tangled web of Elaine’s life, searching for the thread that led to her death.

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You’re invited to a party!

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This weekend – even as we speak! – the Josh Lanyon Fan Page is throwing a launch party for Josh’s new book, The Monet Murders, due out next week. Josh has been incredibly gracious and invited several other authors to guest host the party for an hour – including little ol’ me!

The party is at this address: https://www.facebook.com/events/378201799240646/ 

Formal wear not required. I may still be in my pajamas. 😀

I’ll be hosting from 2:00-3:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time, tomorrow afternoon. I’ll talk about Jamie and Pete, I’ll post a new excerpt from Promoted to Death, and I’m giving away two books!

I’m SO excited. I hope you can join me! If you’re a fan of Josh’s as well, head on over there now. They’re giving away all kinds of stuff!

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Promoted to Death featured today!

Author Jon Michaelsen has featured Promoted to Death on his blog today, with an exclusive first-look excerpt. Thank you, Jon!! You can read the excerpt here: http://www.jonmichaelsen.net/?p=2943

I still don’t have a solid date for the release of Promoted to Death, but I’m predicting that it’ll be around Memorial Day. As soon as I have links, I will post them here and on my FB page.

And tune in next weekend, when I’m guest hosting on Josh Lanyon’s fan page for her release of The Monet Murders! More about that later in the week.

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Cover Reveal: Promoted to Death!

We’re getting close! My editor is editing away – he has other projects too so isn’t positive exactly when he’ll be finished, but it will be around the third week of May. In the meantime, here are the cover and blurb! Enjoy!

Elaine Pareja didn’t have any fans among her colleagues in the psychology department at Santa Monica College. When her promotion application is denied and she is terminated, no one is sorry to see her go. When Elaine is reinstated for no apparent reason, it causes a revolt in the department. When she turns up dead, her colleagues turn into suspects. But Elaine was a keeper of secrets – other people’s, and her own. Jamie Brodie and his friend, business librarian Sheila Meadows, join forces with the police to pick their way through the tangled web of Elaine’s life, searching for the thread that led to her death.

Promoted 1

Jamie Brodie Mystery #14

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What I did on my spring break vacation

Ah, spring break. An entire week off. Do I travel? Do I stay home and putter? Decisions,IMG_0179 decisions…

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This year, the decision was easy. I joined a meetup of the Fanyons at Catalina Island. For those of you who may not know, the Fanyons are a large group of fans of Josh Lanyon’s. It was a chance for me to meet several of my favorite authors, and to visit California. I’d never been.IMG_0126

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I had a blast! Catalina is gorgeous. There was a lot of fog when we were there, but it was very atmospheric. I caught up with some people I already knew, and got to meet some I only knew through Facebook.

I was also fortunate to have a writing consultation with Nicole Kimberling, a superb gay mystery writer (The Bellingham Mysteries) and editor at Blind Eye Books. She had all sorts of suggestions for the books, about which you’ll hear more later.

IMG_0172If you’re looking for an exotic island vacation, I highly recommend Catalina. No passport necessary!

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