Category Archives: Books

Drugged to Death available in print!

Finally! I don’t know why I couldn’t format it this time – it was so easy before. Anyway, it’s available now, if you’re a print aficionado. Drugged to Death Print

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Jamie Brodie Mystery #20

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What are you doing tomorrow?

TWELVE-SECONDS-COVER-_-WEBBecause at 4:00 pm Eastern time, we’re doing something fun! All of the authors from the Footsteps in the Dark anthology – Josh Lanyon, S.C. Wynne, Carroll S. Poe, L.B. Gregg, Nicole Kimberling, Dal MacLean, Z.A. Maxfield, and me – are doing a thing! It’s called Footsteps in the Bar. We’re all doing a brief reading from our work in the anthology (in my case, Twelve Seconds) and answering questions. And there will be drinks. BYOB.

Hope you can make it! It’s a Zoom meeting; here are the details you’ll need.

Meeting ID: 884 3109 7465
Kevin Burton Smith is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Footsteps in the Bar
Time: Jun 27, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 884 3109 7465
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbexLGeipk

 

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I’m on the Gay Mystery Podcast!

Another treat this week! I’m the featured author on the Gay Mystery Podcast, which debuts today. I had a fun, delightful interview with Brad Shreve, the creator and host of the podcast, all about Jamie Brodie and the mystery series. You can listen to it right here:

Gay Mystery Podcast with Meg Perry

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Drugged to Death is now available!

Woohoo!!! A day early! Drugged to Death, Jamie Brodie Mystery #20, is now available in e-book format through both Amazon and Smashwords. Other e-reader platforms will probably be available by tomorrow; print will take a couple more days.

Called out in the middle of the night.
Pete Ferguson’s call is from his sister; their dad has collapsed and is in intensive care. Pete flies to Tucson to be at his bedside. Jamie Brodie was already concerned for Pete’s emotional well-being, and his worries only grow each time he talks to Pete – who seems to be gradually falling apart.
Kevin Brodie’s call is from his boss, Tim Garcia; there’s been a double overdose at the Powell Library at UCLA. When the standard drug screens come back negative, Kevin and Jon Eckhoff go on the hunt to identify a new pharmaceutical killer.
When Kevin and Jon’s quest leads them in a direction they couldn’t have imagined, Jamie gets answers to some old questions, and is left with two more mysteries.
How is everything that’s happening in LA connected to New Mexico?
And will he and Pete make it through this crisis in one piece?

Cover small

Jamie Brodie Mystery #20

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A snippet from Drugged to Death

Just a little something to whet your appetite. Nine more days!

As Bill Frazier had predicted, there wasn’t much that was helpful in Rick Ramsey’s personnel file. There were, however, a couple of intriguing findings.

Ramsey’s one-page resumé was included. Jon read it, frowning, then waved the page at Kevin. “Why would a guy with a master’s degree in public health turn to truck driving?”

“He has a master’s degree?”

“Yup. Bachelor’s in health science and a master’s in public health, both from Sacramento State.”

“Maybe the money was better. Maybe he had the urge to travel.”

Jon snorted. Kevin said, “Yeah, I don’t believe that either. Whoever’s staging all of this called his old buddy Rick and ordered him to change careers.”

“Probably paying him over and above what he’s making from Southland.”

“That, or he knew something about Rick that was coercive. Are his references listed there?”

“Nope, says ‘on request.’ Do you have ‘em?”

Kevin scanned through the employment application. “Here they are.” He laid the page where both he and Jon could see it. “You want to do the talking?”

“With pleasure.” Jon dialed the first number, and put his phone on speaker.

The voice that answered was male, raspy, and elderly. “Yell-ow.”

“Hello. Is this Mr. Burmeister?”

“That’s right. Who’s this?”

“This is Jonathan Eckhoff with the City of Palmdale, California. I’m calling about Rick Ramsey. He’s applied for a part-time job as a coach in our city’s recreation department, and I’m checking his references.”

Kevin chuckled at the smoothness of Jon’s deception. Burmeister said, “A coach, eh? Well, I never knew Rick to have anything to do with kids, but I reckon he’d be okay.”

“How do you know Mr. Ramsey?”

“I was his neighbor for a couple of years before he moved down there. Nice guy, no wild parties. Had a few girlfriends.” Burmeister chuckled. “Lookers, all of ‘em. But never caused any problems.”

“Mr. Ramsey never had any trouble with the law that you were aware of?”

“Nope. Kept his nose clean, from what I could tell.”

“Is there anything else you can tell us about Mr. Ramsey that might help us make the hiring decision?”

“Naw. Only knew him for the past couple of years, but he seemed okay.”

“All right. Thanks for your time, Mr. Burmeister.” Jon said goodbye and hung up.

Kevin said, “Only knew him for two years.”

“Mm hm. Not much to go on there.” Jon dialed the next number.

A woman’s voice answered, “Alameda County Public Health Department.”

Jon raised an eyebrow at Kevin. “Hello, this is Detective Jonathan Eckhoff with the Los Angeles Police Department. Could I speak with Leslie Chambers?”

“Do you know which department she’s in?”

“No, ma’am, I’m sorry.”

“Okay, hold on.” There was a click, and Jon and Kevin were treated to a repeating series of admonitions, in both English and Spanish, about vaccinating their children and getting their flu shots.

Kevin said, “Alameda County.”

“What about it?”

“Jason Poe was from the Bay Area before he moved to Alamogordo.”

“Huh. Think Poe and Ramsey knew each other?”

“Dunno. But if they were both working for the owner of the conversion camp…maybe.”

The phone clicked again, and the woman’s voice returned. “I’m sorry, sir. Ms. Chambers doesn’t work here anymore.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Could you transfer me to your human resources department?”

“Sure. Hold on.”

Jon and Kevin waited through another message about vaccinations. Then a different woman said, “HR.”

Jon introduced himself. “We’re doing background on a potential witness to a crime down here, and we believe that he used to work for you. The name is Rick Ramsey.”

“He’s not a current employee?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Okay, hold on.”

They held on. Kevin said, “If this keeps up, I’m gonna have to go find someone’s kid to vaccinate.”

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Jamie Brodie Mystery #20

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Drugged to Death cover reveal!

Here it is, coming two weeks from today! Cover and blurb:

Called out in the middle of the night.

Pete Ferguson’s call is from his sister; their dad has collapsed and is in intensive care. Pete flies to Tucson to be at his bedside. Jamie Brodie was already concerned for Pete’s emotional well-being, and his worries only grow each time he talks to Pete – who seems to be gradually falling apart.

Kevin Brodie’s call is from his boss, Tim Garcia; there’s been a double overdose at the Powell Library at UCLA. When the standard drug screens come back negative, Kevin and Jon Eckhoff go on the hunt to identify a new pharmaceutical killer.

When Kevin and Jon’s quest leads them in a direction they couldn’t have imagined, Jamie gets answers to some old questions, and is left with two more mysteries. 

How is everything that’s happening in LA connected to New Mexico?  

And will he and Pete make it through this crisis in one piece?

Cover small

Jamie Brodie Mystery #20

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What day is it again?

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Alhassan Abdul-Manan [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

It hit me yesterday, when I was trying to figure out the date to write on a check. (Yes, I still have to write checks a couple of times a month.) Today – April 21 – is one month before May 21.

Duh, you might say. What’s May 21?

It’s the publication date for Drugged to Death. 😀

Thought that would make you happy.

I hope you all are safe and well. I’ve been working from home since March 18 – a luxury afforded to me by virtue of being an academic librarian. Best job in the world. But the days do tend to run into each other. I can usually tell you what day of the week it is, but dates have occasionally escaped me.

Not today!

May 21 will be a double treat. Not only will Drugged to Death hit the virtual bookstands that day, but I’ll also be interviewed by Brad Shreve on the Gay Mystery Podcast. Which you should be listening to, if you’re not. It’s a fantastic resource for all sorts of new-to-me (and some not so new) gay mysteries and a fun look at the process for other writers.

So mark May 21 on your calendar! I’ve ordered up the cover from my graphic designer, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I can.

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Status: Plotting

Pngtree-editable-calendar-2020-png-image_1558959

Alhassan Abdul-Manan [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D

Happy new year, everyone! I hope the first week of 2020 has treated you well.

2020. Wow. In Jamie Brodie’s alternate universe, the final book of the series, Resigned to Death, began yesterday. (It doesn’t end until June. The final book is gonna be LONG.)

The next-to-final book, Drugged to Death, is finished. I think. My writing group still has to read the final section of it and critique, then it needs to be edited. It will be released on Thursday, May 21st, which is the day that I will be appearing on the Gay Mystery Authors podcast. That’s how far in advance I had to book my spot on the podcast! I hope you’re listening; it’s a terrific source if you want to discover new-to-you gay mysteries.

Right now I’m working semi-feverishly on the second book in the Space Coast Mysteries series, Three Thousand Miles. Writing Greg and Justin is very different from writing Pete and Jamie. I don’t know them as well and they’re not living in my head like Jamie does. Which is good, in some ways. That book will be out in March, I think, at least well before Drugged to Death.

I promise that you’ll see more of Jamie after Resigned to Death. The first 21 books are what my editor refers to as “canon.” I’ve been thinking, however, that Jamie will have a new adventure about every other year after (spoiler alert?) he and Pete move to New Mexico. The first one will actually be a prequel: Jamie’s first case, back in Oceanside.

The alternate universe will continue, however, with the Kevin Brodie Mysteries. Some of these will be gay mysteries; some of them won’t. But all will feature Kevin and Kristen, Jon and Liz, Max and Jill, Susan Portman, Clinton, and the rest of the LA gang. I’m going to continue with the …To Death title format; the first Kevin Brodie Mystery will be Painted to Death. Coming in 2021.

So! What are your plans for the year? 😀

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I’m featured this week!

On Jon Michaelsen’s blog. Jon is one of the guys who runs the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Facebook page, of which I am a member. Every week he posts a link to his blog, where he features a recently published gay mystery book. It’s a great way to discover new writers, and the segment is usually long enough that you can tell whether you want to read the book or not.

Anyway, this week, Deserted to Death is his feature! Check it out, and follow Jon’s blog for more gay mystery recommendations. Or join us in the Gay Mystery-Thriller-Suspense Facebook group!

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Jamie Brodie Mystery #19

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A chance for a do-over

How often do we get the chance to do something over in life? Personally, there are all sorts of decisions that I made in my youth that I’d fix if I could. Although then I might not have ended up here, so maybe that’s not such a good idea.

However.

When I started writing fiction, I had NO idea what I was doing. I was a biology major in college. I had a solid foundation in spelling and grammar; I could construct a solid sentence and had a decent vocabulary. But formal training in writing? Nope.

Cited to Death, the first Jamie Brodie Mystery, showed my lack of experience. Seven years later, I’m a better writer than I was then. I certainly know my characters a LOT better than I did then. And I’ve never been entirely happy with the ending of that book.

So I’ve done it over. Let me emphasize. Nothing has changed in terms of Jamie and Pete’s arc. But the book is tighter and the ending is (I think) better. There are many people who read Cited to Death and didn’t like it enough to continue with the series. I’m hoping that the changes to this second edition will decrease that number, and more people will keep reading.

If you own Cited to Death in e-book format, you should be able to update the book on your e-reader. I know you can with Kindle, and I assume you can with the other e-readers. For Kindle it’s under Your Account, then Manage Content and Devices, then Preferences, then Automatic Book Updates.

The new version will be out on Friday for Kindle. I hope to have it the same day through the other outlets as well.

Of course, a new edition means a new cover, too…

New cover small

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