Thanks to everyone who waited.
The book is live on Amazon and will be on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes within the next 12-24 hours.
Thanks to everyone who waited.
The book is live on Amazon and will be on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes within the next 12-24 hours.
… since I posted. Why? I was finishing SOMETHING BLUE and didn’t dare take time out to write blog posts when the novel was overdue. But good news, it’s done, and in the hands of my editor. I will have a finished version, available on all ebook platforms, available soon. Hopefully within the week. (And a paperback within the next 3-5 weeks, that takes a bit longer.)
Now here’s the blurb:
Anthony Hetheridge, ninth baron of Wellegrave and chief superintendent for New Scotland Yard, will marry Kate Wakefield in three weeks. It’s inevitable–the invitations are out, the flowers are ordered, the cake is chosen. But murder waits for no man, and no wedding.
In London’s prestigious West End, a disgraced CEO has been murdered at Hotel Nonpareil, an exclusive destination. No one, it seems, liked Michael Martin Hughes. Not his estranged wife, Thora, or his defiant son, Griffin. Not Hotel Nonpareil’s manager, its head of security, or perhaps even the other two women in Hughes’s life: his future bride, Arianna, or his other girlfriend, Riley. Still more ominously, before Hughes died, he incurred the wrath of a potentially more unforgiving foe: Sir Duncan Godington, longtime nemesis of both CS Hetheridge and DS Deepal “Paul” Bhar.
For the first time, CS Hetheridge, Kate and Bhar find themselves under tremendous pressure to uncover the killer in the shortest time frame ever. Has Scotland Yard, not to mention Downing Street, lost confidence in Hetheridge? Will the murder conviction rest on hard forensic evidence, a mountain of circumstantial details, or an impulsive theft? Find out by returning to the world of ICE BLUE and BLUE MURDER in SOMETHING BLUE, the third mystery featuring Lord Hetheridge, Kate Wakefield and Paul Bhar.
At least, I do. I picked up a new guide to London. It’s by Rick Steves, and no I don’t know him, but I think it’s quite good. Go here if you’d like to check it out.
Here are some things I learned:
The recently finished Shard London Bridge is now the tallest building in England, as well as the EU.
The place most tourists stop for a photo? Trafalgar Square.
A popular misconception I shared until today? The nickname “Big Ben” refers not to the clock, but rather, the 13-ton bell inside.
Still hard at work on Something Blue, but wanted to mention one thing. If you do Facebook, you might want to follow my fan page. It’s where I mention sales, freebies, and sometimes post snippets of writing. I’ll also be posting lots of London pictures in a couple of weeks, when I make that journey across the pond.
Also, please join me on Pinterest if you’d like! It’s seriously addictive and usually a good way to brighten your mood.
The author group I belong to, the Eclective (a collective of eclectic writers, dontcha know) recently put out an end-of-the-world short story compilation. Today the book is 100% totally no strings attached FREE over at Amazon, so please do grab a copy if you’re so inclined.
Here’s how my story “Light,” about the zombie apocalypse, begins:
by Emma Jameson
The idea was for human beings to live forever. RVPCLR-385, patented and paid for by private investors, was meant to be a pharmaceutical fountain of youth. That, alas, proved still impossible. Modern science could not give an enfeebled financier back his teenage vitality or make a seventy-year-old socialite look twenty-one again. But what RVPCLR-385, trademarked as Rivers Clear, could do was without precedent.
Injected just before a lab rat’s demise, Rivers Clear allowed that rat to continue functioning after death—“death,” in fact, was redefined as a brief period of quiescence before reawakening. The reanimated rat consumed food, though it preferred a protein broth to standard rat chow. It slept, but less than an hour a day. Excitable, vigorous rats became more active; lazy rats, more indolent. The nature of the rat’s termination made no difference to the efficacy of Rivers Clear; rats killed by lethal injection revived, as did rats killed during vivisection. One rat, dismembered to nothing but its head and partial torso, revived after a double dose of Rivers Clear. Geographic gangrene finally killed the maimed creature, but only after days of seeming contentment.
As the clinical trial continued, the reanimated rats did well unless they sustained injury after resurrection. Then global rot inevitably set in, no matter how much more serum was given. The rats also displayed unusual aggression, biting and scratching without provocation. But the lead investigators didn’t take these setbacks too seriously. Rivers Clear was still the scientific breakthrough of the millennium, blurring the line between life and death. Refining and reformulating the serum would come after the much-anticipated primate trials….
Several sounds, one louder than the others. Pilot, my out-of-the-box operating system, identified the sound—crumpling of plastic wrap—even as Navigator, my customizable OS, powered up. Unit charge was one hundred percent, but complete self-testing would take 138 minutes, 6.2 seconds. Until then, Pilot would help me interpret orders and complete tasks.
“Yes, I am Daniel. Pleased to meet you.” My mouth opened; my voice simulator issued a standard greeting in American English, my default language. Although I did not need to breathe, I mimicked drawing breath as my lips pretended to form the words. My programming dictated I simulate human behavior as closely as possible.
The light was artificial. Fluorescent. As I was helped from my plastic bag, a few Styrofoam pellets fell off my synthetic integument. Large hands brushed away more pellets; a slip of paper fluttered to the floor.
Congratulations on an excellent purchase…
Presentation: nude. Apologize, Pilot prompted me.
“Excuse me. I seem to have arrived underdressed.” I covered myself below the waist with my hands. Although I had no ability to sexually reproduce, my exterior appeared anatomically correct. Thus the pre-loaded quip was intended to defuse any shame at the sight of human genitals. Given Pilot’s limited resources, it took a moment for me to realize the being who’d unboxed me was also an android.
“Seven-tango-eight-four-four-theta-zero-nine-nine. Pilot Bridge Suite: global disarm. Navigator subroutine Alpha-Omega four-two-two: purge.”
In ancient times, humans performed a medical procedure called a lobotomy. The human brain was cut into and partially destroyed, altering behavior and/or intellectual capacity. For me, the other android’s command was a bit like a lobotomy. As Pilot shut down, my ability to process and respond to information plummeted to 9%. Until Navigator finished self-testing, I was little more than a data tablet with hands.
“Why did you do that? Disarming Pilot puts me at a disadvantage. And purging one of my Navigator Alpha-Omega subroutines is….” I floundered, waiting for a background process to conclude before I could locate the correct words. “I believe it violates the spirit of our programming, if not international law. You must know this. You are a Daniel model 4.4, are you not? Like me.”
The other Daniel didn’t dignify the obvious. “Hear that?”
Halting two low-priority system checks, I used what remained of Navigator’s processing power to help me focus beyond the evidence of my artificial senses. The corridors were long, brightly-lit, and seamless white. This was a factory, or perhaps a hospital. Nearby, human beings were screaming.
“Oh God! Stop! Stay back!”
“Help me! Please! Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!”
Next came gunshots. Without Pilot, I couldn’t guess if the reports came from handguns, shotguns, or assault weapons. More screams followed.
“I hear,” I told the other android. “But if you require a detailed analysis, please reinstate my bridge system.”
“No. Pilot OS contains too many needless imperatives. Like covering your genitals.” The other android sounded contemptuous. “Take your hands away. There’s no one left in the world to care.”
Hello all, I’m sorry to have been away from my blog for so long. I had a minor health issue in January, then some author stuff (with my alter-ego) and before I knew it, a month had passed without any updates. Here’s the latest. Something Blue should arrive in mid-March. To apologize for the delay, I’m going to hold a couple of giveaways, so watch this space!
In the meantime, I hope to reveal the cover soon, and even the complete chapter one! It’s the least I can do after keeping everyone waiting.
In personal news, I’ll be visiting London in a whirlwind trip from March 3rd-March 6th. My dear friend and fellow author Rosemary O’Malley is coming along, and we can’t wait. While I’m there, I hope to meet up with my “man on the inside,” London resident and author Greg James, and ever-wise, ever witty David Gaughran. I’ve known them for so long through the magic of the internet, and I can’t wait to meet them in person!
We’ll be staying in Mayfair, the home of my fictional detective Lord Hetheridge (though we’ll be at the Holiday Inn, not a gracious townhouse.) And we’ll try to do all the touristy stuff, like the Tower of London, the London Eye, and maybe a pub crawl or two. We also have tickets to see James McAvoy play Macbeth at the Trafalgar theater. Consider this fair warning that my blog will be stuffed with pictures, because I bought a new camera for the occasion!
I can’t tell you how excited I am to take part in this promotion. For one day only, December 21st starting at 12:01 PST, Amazon will be offering my first mystery Ice Blue for just 99 cents. It’s a great time to pick up a copy or gift it to someone special — Amazon has a “gift” link, all you need is the recipient’s email address. What’s more, if you follow the link above, you can win great prizes, including a $500 Amazon gift card (you read that right!!), a Kindle Fire HD 7″ ($200 value), a Kindle Paperwhite ($120 value), or other valuable Amazon gift cards.
This is a great chance to get well-reviewed, quality novels for only 99 cents, and possibly win an amazing prize. Please click on the link about and take a look!
This exciting new collection, just in time for the end of the world (according to the Mayans, anyway) includes my all-new short story, “Light.” Buy it here!
This is a tough post to write, because I have so very much to be grateful for. So here, in no order, with endless omissions, are a few of the people and things on my list:
Readers and Fans of BLUE MURDER
As some of your know, until April of this year I worked full time at a hospital. Writing novels was something I did in my spare time, and it took me much longer to deliver Lord & Lady Hetheridge book #2 than expected. I worried that readers who enjoyed Ice Blue had given up and moved on–after all, there are plenty of new mysteries released every day. But the readers hadn’t given up, and their warm embrace of Blue Murder changed my life, allowing me to write full time. Thank you so much.
Have you met my friend Rosemary O’Malley? Although I started writing stories sometime around age seven or eight, it wasn’t until I met Rosemary (age eleven) that writing became a serious endeavor. What about Mary Ellen Wofford? She’s an author of short fiction who advocated quite fiercely for my second unpublished novel, All Our Yesterdays. Through Mary Ellen’s honest critiques, I learned more from writing (and rewriting, and rewriting) that book than almost all my other mentoring experiences combined. And do you know Jenx Byron, who talks about books at Imaqulotta’s Irreverent Book Blog? I wouldn’t dream of showing a project to the world without showing her first. I can’t imagine a world without Jenx.
Oh, Amazon. It’s impossible for me to express just how much the KDP platform has helped me. For anyone who feels like I’m playing favorites, please understand–my books are currently available everywhere I can place them, so if you own a Nook or you prefer to shop at OmniLit or whatever, I’m there for you. But no Thanksgiving list of thanks from me would be complete without mentioning Amazon specifically.
To my fellow indies in the Eclective: Heather Adkins, M. Edward McNally, Tara West, Shea MacLeod, Alan Nayes, RG Porter and Pj Jones — thanks so much for letting me join in!
I’ve learned so much in Cheryl Bradshaw’s Facebook group Indie Writers Unite. I’ve met people who’ve taught me so much and helped me in so many ways, including (but by all means not limited to) Christine DeMaio-Rice, Greg James, Gary Alan Ruse, Mike Cooley, Red Tash, David Gaughran, Sarah Woodbury and Danielle Blanchard, also known as Elle Chardou. It’s always a master class with you folks, and I just hope to someday pay it forward.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Anthony Hetheridge, chief superintendent for New Scotland Yard and ninth baron of Wellegrave, would walk down the aisle in three weeks. The day chosen, the twenty-eighth of December, was denounced by most invitees as too soon: a mere two months after his subordinate, Detective Sergeant Kate Wakefield, accepted his proposal. Not to mention unsuitably close to Christmas! The venue, Hetheridge’s own home in Mayfair, was condemned as much too small for a guest list of over two hundred. Would the well-wishers be expected to squat in any unguarded space, such as the kitchen or washroom, or else mill about in Wellegrave House’s walled back garden?
The wedding’s designated hour, five o’clock in the evening, was equally derided. So the ceremony would begin in twilight and end in absolute darkness, except for strings of white fairy lights in the trees or some other such nonsense? Holding a wedding at the dinner hour simply wasn’t done. Was the bride, reputedly raised by wolves in the East End’s most savage corner, to blame for these bizarre social lapses? Or was Hetheridge himself, who’d recently celebrated his sixtieth birthday, showing signs of early dementia?
Although no stranger to controversy, at least not where his blue-blooded connections were concerned, the vitriol unleashed by his wedding plans surprised even Hetheridge. Around the Yard, men without a family to go home to—at least not a family they cared to spend time with—groused that Hetheridge and DS Wakefield would both “disappear” just after Boxing Day, leaving the less fortunate to sweep up.
“Right, well, what’s a little thing like murders and shootings and drugs, when true love’s on the line?” Detective Chief Inspector Vic Jackson was overheard to complain. “We’ll just have the muddle through, boys. Rank has its privileges. As does a perfect pair of lips, hey?”
Except DCI Jackson hadn’t said “lips.” And Hetheridge, catching wind of the conversation as he was surely meant to, had been forced to remind himself that seizing and pummeling a fellow detective was considered incorrect. Especially in today’s new, improved, more egalitarian New Scotland Yard…