Tag Archives: Cited to Death

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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Better late than never!

I got a little off track over the spring due to some health issues, and got behind on writing and editing the sequel to Cited to Death, which is called Hoarded to Death. But I’m back on my feet, and last week I finished what I’m calling the “final first draft.” I had trouble finding an ending, but I think I have now. I sent it out to the beta-readers yesterday, and they have until June 18 to get back to me with their critiques. My goal originally was to publish in June, but now the goal is the end of July.

I’ve contacted the cover artist and she’s working on my idea. It’s coming together, finally…

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Writing goals

Boy, 2012 ended in a rush. First the craziness of NaNoWriMo, then getting Cited to Death published. I was extremely pleased with the results of both of those things! Cited to Death has done better than I expected. I don’t really know what I expected – but more people have bought the book than I can account for, so that’s great!

I’m so glad I took part in NaNo. I haven’t looked at the novel since I finished it up, but I’ll get back to it before long. When I do, it’ll be with fresh eyes.

I’ve just finished the first draft of the sequel to Cited to Death, which is called Hoarded to Death. I hope to have that published by June. I’m not crazy about the ending yet – it still needs work. But the rest of it is pretty much done, and I’ll be sending it out to my readers soon.

Now, with my daily writing, I’m working on the third book in the series, which will be called Hidden to Death. It’s scheduled for publication next December.

My goal for the rest of January is to write the ending to Hoarded to Death, and to write a blurb for it. I didn’t do that beforehand when I published Cited to Death, and had to come up with one on the fly. This time I’m going to be prepared.

Cited to Death

Academic librarian Jamie Brodie hasn’t seen old boyfriend Dan Christensen in years. When Jamie reads Dan’s obituary in the paper, he’s surprised. When he receives a letter from Dan, written just before his death, Jamie is shocked. Dan’s letter suggests that Dan was in danger, lists two article citations from medical journals, and asks Jamie to look into the citations. When Jamie requests the articles, strange things begin to happen. His computer is hacked, his tires are slashed, he thinks someone might be following him – and he uncovers two more deaths. The coroner’s report says that Dan died of natural causes – but did he? Is there something suspicious about the articles, or was Dan just paranoid? The closer Jamie gets to answering those questions, the more it seems that someone is trying to stop him…

 

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Cited to Death is published!

It’s so exciting! To actually go to amazon.com and see something that I wrote! *happydance*

For right now, it’s only going to be available on Kindle. Publishing to Kindle was fairly painless, even though it took a few hours. Friends who have published through other services tell me that others are much more difficult. If there’s a huge demand, I’ll consider it eventually, but not just now.

If you’d like to read it, and you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle software to whatever device you do have – iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Blackberry, Mac.

Here’s the link: Cited to Death

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Cover art

My covers are ready! The artist gave me five choices, and I’m pretty sure which one I want. I’m going to show them to a couple of other people to see if they agree. They look GREAT. I still don’t know how much it’s going to cost me, but whatever the amount, it’s worth it. They look very professional. I could never have put together something like this myself.

I’m getting closer! I believe I will have Cited to Death published by mid-December.

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A scene from Cited to Death

I figure my book is about two to three months from publication. It’s with the beta-readers now, then it needs to be copy edited, and I still don’t have a cover. But I think I can get all that done by the end of the year. Until then, here’s a scene from the first chapter…

Now here he was, standing in my doorway. I tried to smile; it must have looked more like a grimace. “Hey, what are you doing here?”

Pete smiled back. He had a nice smile. “I wanted to see if I could buy you dinner on your way home. Figured you’d be done for the day by now.”

I was suddenly suspicious. “Did Kevin send you here?”

“No, I’ve been here doing research all afternoon. But it did occur to me that you might need some encouragement to leave work on time, and maybe I could entice you away.”

“Doing research? I thought the point of taking a teaching job at a community college was so you didn’t have to do research.”

Pete laughed. He had a nice laugh too. “I don’t have to, but it does help with tenure. And the professor who was my dissertation advisor here has asked me to write a chapter for a textbook that she’s editing. So I need to do some research for that.”

“A textbook on what?”

“Abnormal psychology. My chapter’s on criminal psychology. And right now I’m criminally hungry. So whaddya say? How does Thai sound?”

I sighed. “Actually, it sounds great. I just want to go through this last stack of mail before I leave. Come on in, sit down.”

Pete moved a stack off the chair and sat. “This place is a mess.”

“No kidding. They’ve just been throwing my mail in here as it came.”

“Nice. I hope there wasn’t anything important in it.”

“Probably not.” I was tossing catalogs into my chair and important-looking mail in the direction of my inbox on my desk. None of it looked interesting, until I came to an envelope with a name I recognized. It stopped me in my tracks.

Holy shit. I must have had an odd look on my face. Pete noticed. “What’s wrong?”

“This morning I found out that this guy I used to know died. And now here’s a letter from him. It’s postmarked the day before he died.”

“Who is it?”

“Dan Christensen. We started library school together. He’s a medical librarian at Cedars now. Was a medical librarian. He died on Friday.”

“Christensen. Why does that name sound familiar?”

“I was kind of – um – involved with him for a while. You might have heard me mention him.” I looked narrowly at Pete. “That was almost six years ago, though. If you remember that, you’ve got an awfully good memory.”

“Hey, I’ve always paid attention to your love life.” He nodded at the letter. “What does he want?”

I looked at the letter again. It was postmarked Malibu. Malibu? Dan lived in Glendale and worked in LA. Why would he mail something from Malibu? I opened it and pulled out a sheet of paper.

It was just a plain sheet, not hospital stationery. I read out loud. “Jamie – if anything happens to me, check this out.” I stopped at what was below that sentence. “What the…”

“What is it?”

I handed the letter to Pete. “‘If anything happens to me..’ What’s he talking about?”

Pete examined the note. “What’s this at the bottom? It looks like journal citations.”

It was. Below Dan’s handwritten note, he had typed two citations.

The first seemed to be in a foreign language:

Hughes, D., & Llewellyn, M. (2003). Nid yw symbylu’r celloedd bonyn embryonig dynol diwylliedig â hormonau ffoligl ysgogol yn arwain at ffurfio ofwm tebyg i gelloedd. Meddygol Cymru Journal, 17(9), 23-28.

The second was in English, but was nearly as incomprehensible as the first:

Oliver, T., Wray, A., & Goldstein, B. (2007). Stimulation of cultured human embryonic stem cells with follicle stimulating hormone leads to formation of ovum-like cells. Journal of Stem Cell Biology, 2(4), 15-22.

“This looks like medical stuff. How am I supposed to read this?”

“What language is that?”

“The names could be Welsh. And Cymru means Wales. I think it’s Welsh language.”

“Can you read it?”

I shook my head. “Nope.”

“You could run it through Google Translate to get an idea of what it says. Why would he send this to you? You’re not a medical librarian.”

“I don’t know. I might be the only librarian he knows in the UC system. Or maybe he thought…oh hell, I don’t know.”

“And those are just citations. Why wouldn’t he have sent you the articles themselves?”

“I have no idea. Maybe he couldn’t find the full text.” I grimaced. “This is creepy. Dan’s dead. Do you think someone might have done something to him?”

“Like what? Was there anything to indicate foul play?”

“No. The obituary just said he died suddenly. And what could be dangerous about a couple of medical articles?” I frowned at the paper in my hand.

“You could ask Kevin about it. He can get the police report and the autopsy results. See if there was anything off about it.”

I frowned again. “I guess. But that’ll take a while, won’t it?”

“Yeah, it won’t be a priority.” Pete picked up my computer bag from the floor. “Come on, I’m hungry. You can fill me in on this guy and those listings while we eat.”

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