Monthly Archives: January 2014

Stolen medieval manuscripts lead to murder

Researched to Death is available! http://goo.gl/BMAz8T

“Was it National Old Boyfriends Week, and I’d missed the memo?” 
Librarian Jamie Brodie is looking forward to a week of vacation in Oxford, England, his first trip back in seven years. Before he’s even packed, though, a couple of complications arise. 
The first complication is Jamie’s ex, Ethan Williams, who shows up at Jamie’s office with his new boyfriend and a request. Ethan’s going to Oxford too, and he needs Jamie’s help to find a rare 15th century book in the Bodleian Library. When Jamie tells his boyfriend Pete that he and Ethan will be in Oxford at the same time, Pete doesn’t react well. To say the least. 
The second complication is Pete’s ex, Luke Brenner, who shows up at Pete and Jamie’s house. He lets Jamie know that he’s in town to get Pete back – but Pete doesn’t think Luke will try anything. 
He’s proven spectacularly wrong, in one horrible moment. 
Jamie leaves for Oxford, not sure where he stands with Pete, not looking forward to seeing Ethan. When he requests the book that Ethan needs, he learns that it’s been missing for three weeks – and the man who likely stole it is dead. 
Then two more men die, and Ethan goes missing as well. Is he in danger? Or is he a killer? And what could be in an obscure medieval manuscript that’s worth killing for?

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Editing

I’ve been doing the final edits on Researched to Death, which will be published by the end of the week. Editing is tedious! It takes as much time as writing does.
I’m lucky to have a good editor. My writing partner is a writing specialist in our college writing center, and he catches all the misplaced and missing commas that I never would. I tend to use commas as I would in speaking, wherever there’s a natural break in the sentence. For writing purposes that placement isn’t always correct. I need to brush up on the rules but that will have to wait until summer when I have more leisure time.
Another thing I do is use the words “really” and “just” waaaaaay too often. I spent a chunk of time yesterday and this morning using the “Find” tool in Word to check all my uses of “really” and “just.” I was able to remove a lot of them. Sometimes there’s no substitute, sometimes (especially with “just”) it expresses exactly what I wanted it to. But most of the time, the sentence stands just fine (ha! see what I did there?) without it.
Editing is one of the tasks that makes me realize how easily writing could be a full-time job. 🙂

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The cover for Researched to Death

Here ’tis! Once again, Stephanie from October Design Co. has done a great job.

Coming by January 31.

Coming by January 31.

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What’s Jamie Brodie up to?

I didn’t blog over the holidays, but I have been writing and editing! Every day. My daily writing has (mostly) been scenes for Stacked to Death, and I’ve been editing Researched to Death and Encountered to Death. Researched to Death is very close to being ready for publication. I’m contacting my cover artist today.

One of my friends gave me a very useful Christmas gift – a Thesaurus of Worn-Out Words and Phrases. It’s great. So many of the metaphors that we use in our daily conversations are worn-out. I went all the way back through Researched to Death, all 59,000 words, and found and took out as many as I could. I don’t know if anyone will notice, but I hope it makes my writing better.

Here’s the current sequence/schedule:

Researched to Death: Jamie’s ex Ethan and Pete’s ex Luke both show up and complicate the relationship, while Jamie goes back to Oxford, England for a week and gets embroiled in an investigation involving a murder and a missing medieval book. Will be out by the end of January.

Encountered to Death: Jamie and Pete take a much-deserved vacation to see Pete’s brother in Alamogordo, New Mexico – where a body crashes through the skylight of Pete’s brother’s workplace. Who is he and where did he come from? And who wanted him dead? Should be out by the end of April, maybe sooner.

Psyched to Death: The assistant chair of Pete’s department, Elliott Conklin, is accused in the stabbing death of his boyfriend, Matt Bendel. Elliott swears his innocence but doesn’t have an alibi. The investigation goes nowhere until it suddenly collides with someone from Jamie’s past. Pete can’t concentrate on clearing Elliott because he’s taking over Elliott’s class – and he’s distracted by the arrival of his sister, whom he hasn’t seen in 24 years. Their mother is dying – and Pete has a decision to make. Will be out in the summer.

Stacked to Death: Someone is killing work-study students in the library stacks. At first Kevin is on the case, but after the third death, Homicide Special – LAPD’s special robbery-homicide unit from downtown – takes over. The papers call the killer the Stacks Strangler, and work-study students are fleeing UCLA’s libraries by the dozens. All three of the victims were from the same hometown, and the downtown detectives think there’s a connection – but Jamie isn’t so sure. Can he figure out what’s going on before another student gets killed? Will be out by the end of the year.

Filmed to Death: There’s a murder on set at the studio where Abby works, and her ex-husband is the main suspect. Abby doesn’t think he’s capable of murder, and there were plenty of people who had it in for the victim, an actor with a history of bad behavior. Tentatively scheduled for spring 2015.

Stoned to Death: Jamie and Pete take a dream vacation, four weeks in England and Scotland. While there they try to unravel the mystery of Pete’s great-great-grandfather, an archaeologist who disappeared with a priceless Stone Age artifact in the late 1800s. Tentatively scheduled for fall 2015.

I have my work cut out for me! But I’m still having so much fun writing these books. 🙂

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