Monthly Archives: November 2017

And we have a winner!

As you can see from the widget to the right, I have once again “won” National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I’ve written the first draft of several of the Jamie Brodie Mysteries this way.

Image_of_a_ghost,_produced_by_double_exposure_in_1899 (1)

By The National Archives UK (Ghostly sighting?) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

This year I tackled book #17, Haunted to Death, which will be published late next year. It’s the first time that I’ve managed to keep myself from editing as I wrote, which is a bad habit of mine. Even so, I ran out of story at about 47,000 words, and had to supplement it with a couple of new short stories (coming within the next year) and some scenes from Cloistered to Death, the next book in the series, due this spring. (I figure if I wrote it in November, it counts, right?)

Anyway, I am not crazy about Haunted to Death in its current first-draft form, but I guess that’s to be expected. It’s great to know that I can depend on my writing group to fix its flaws eventually.

And I am so glad that November is over.



Filed under Books, Writing

A snippet from Published to Death

Published to Death, Jamie Brodie Mystery #15, is coming Wednesday! If you haven’t pre-ordered, you can do so here for Amazon and here for Smashwords. If you already have, thank you so much! The print version will be out a few days after the e-book; I’ll post here when it’s ready.

To whet your appetite, here’s a scene from the first chapter of Published to Death. Enjoy!


Jamie Brodie Mystery #15

Dr. Loomis called the meeting to order just as our University Librarian, Dr. Laura Madorsky, entered the room. Dr. Madorsky didn’t typically attend our meetings. Something must be up.

Dr. Loomis said, “First order of business is to welcome Jamie back into the fold. Your sabbatical was productive, I take it?”

“Yes, ma’am. The second draft of the book is finished and the editor has it now. It should be published in about six months.”

Everyone applauded, and I responded with the royal wave, which produced laughter. Dr. Loomis smiled and said, “Wonderful. Our second order of business will be explained by Dr. Madorsky.”

Dr. Madorsky pushed away from the wall where she’d been leaning. “You’ve probably seen flyers around campus announcing this… Beginning tomorrow and running through the end of the week, UCLA is hosting a convention of self-published authors on campus. The primary meetings will be at Carnesale Commons, but there will be sessions scattered throughout different buildings and the exhibit hall is in the Wooden Center. When you’re out and about over the coming days and see a lost conventioneer, please guide them to their destination.”

We all murmured agreement. Dr. Madorsky said, “Thank you. This is a convention of writers, so naturally it involves books. The self-publishing field is expanding rapidly, and it’s an area in which academic libraries have had minimal impact. I’d like to change that. It’s critical that we’re aware of what’s happening in all areas of publishing. Gina Marsh from Powell and Karen Lewis from the biomedical library are attending the conference, but I’d like to send one or two of you from YRL as well.”

We all glanced at each other. Lola, the scholar of classical literature, looked horrified. Dr. Madorsky continued. “Much of self-publishing is in e-book format, and much of the marketing occurs through social media. Kristen, unless you have a compelling reason that you can’t, I’d like you to attend. See what’s trending in the world of book-related social media.”

Kristen Beach – fellow librarian and my brother Kevin’s girlfriend – was our communications and digital humanities specialist. Dr. Madorsky’s request made sense. Kristen said, “I’d enjoy that. Thank you.”

Dr. Madorsky smiled. “Thank you.”

Kristen said, “I think Jamie should go, too. Since he’s currently immersed in the publishing process.”

What?? I said, “Uh…”

Dr. Madorsky raised an eyebrow. “Excellent idea. Jamie?”

Liz was smirking. Frank Villareal and Katrina Johnson were hiding smiles. I said weakly, “Sure. That’d be great.”

“Wonderful.” Dr. Madorsky handed Dr. Loomis a folder, which she passed down the table to us. “The conference schedule is in that packet. I’ll look forward to your report. Madeline, thank you.”

Dr. Loomis saw Dr. Madorsky out, then turned to us. “Kristen? Jamie? Do you have everything prepared for the new quarter?”

Unfortunately, I did. I’d combed through all of my research guides last week. I should have waited. I said, “Yes, ma’am.”

Kristen said, “I do.”

“All right.” Dr. Loomis gave me an amused smile. “Looks like you’re going to a convention. Now, third order of business…”


Filed under Books, Publishing

Published to Death is ready for pre-order!

Whew! I am so happy to have this done before Thanksgiving! You can now order the e-book of Published to Death at either Amazon or Smashwords. The Smashwords affiliates sites (Kobo, etc.) should be available in a couple of days. The book will be released on Wednesday, November 29. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mercedes Moran is one of the stars of the self-publishing world, a romance author who’s made millions by selling 99 cent romance novels through all of the ebook platforms. Her fan base is enormous – but Mercedes is a horrible person, and she’s made plenty of enemies, too.

The Association of Self-Publishing is holding its annual conference on UCLA’s campus, and Mercedes is the keynote speaker. When Jamie Brodie and Kristen Beach attend the keynote at the encouragement of their supervisors, they get an earful from other conference-goers about Mercedes. But it’s nothing to do with them.

Until Mercedes turns up dead in the back of the exhibit hall.

Kevin Brodie and Jon Eckhoff are on the case, and they enlist Jamie’s and Kristen’s help with navigating the world of self-published authors. But the case takes a turn for the weird when Kevin and Jon are joined by a lieutenant from Internal Affairs, who claims to be brushing up on his investigative skills – and who only speaks in clichés.

Who killed Mercedes? Why is a desk jockey from Internal Affairs dogging Kevin and Jon’s every step? And why do so many covers of male-male romance novels feature headless torsos??


Jamie Brodie Mystery #15


Filed under Books, Publishing