Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm okay with you thinking my books are fluffy escapism

I've been told that my books are "fluff" and "mindless entertainment". While I know that the people who've said those things meant them as insults, I take them as compliments. There are times we just need our spirits lifted or our minds taken off our troubles. 

Sometimes people take the time to write to let me know how much they've enjoyed the momentary escape from their problems and struggles.

I enjoy and appreciate EVERY single fan letter I receive. What can be better than knowing that  complete stranger enjoyed your work? Every letter is a gift I treasure.

With that said, there are some letters that touch me more profoundly than others. I received one of those this weekend. It's the kind of letter that, even though it's short, I was crying before I reached the end. I asked the writer if I could share it and she graciously agreed.

"Just a word of thanks...I suggested that my daughter read your "Hitwoman " series. She is 40 years old and diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, sad one day, angry the next. I thought your laugh out loud humor would be of help. Your books helped her to escape the moment and to prepare her forward to a year of fighting cancer with surgery followed by chemo. Again, thanks."

Are you weepy too? 

Tell me Killer Friends: What books do YOU enjoy escaping with?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Dying Embers

Here's a snippet from my suspense novel - Dying Embers...

Pushing off from the dock’s edge, Jace Douglas struck out across the lake, measuring the water one arm-length after another.  Even under the hot July sun, the water was cold and clear, making her relish each solitary stroke.  As she felt the surface tension pull along her skin, she could also feel the stress slipping away from her.  Twelve acres of solitude and reflection—twelve acres she only saw between assignments—but it was hers.  Still, if she had her own way, she wouldn’t be at home; she’d be at the office going over the same case for the millionth time. 
Swimming alone with nothing but the wind to distract her, she had to admit Graham was probably right.  It always did take some coaxing for her to admit she needed time away, if only for perspective, and out on her tiny ranch in the Piney Woods, she could finally admit her need. 
“If they find another…” she thought as she pulled herself through the calm water. “Not if, when they find another body I won’t have much time to breathe, let alone think.” 
The thought of her case pulled her from the single-mindedness of exercise.  Her strokes faltered and then stopped.  She tried to get back into the rhythm, but it was hopeless.  Too many unanswered questions assaulted her serenity.  Rolling onto her back, she allowed the gentle fluid to hold her up and her work to fill her once more.
She wouldn’t have let it go at all if it hadn’t been for her boss.
“Jace, you need a break,” he’d said right before he told her to leave the building and not come back until she could learn to relax.
At the time, she thought, “One day, and then I’ll go back.”  She’d fake it if she had to.  There was a killer out there somewhere and she had to catch him.  Before she knew it, her one day had stretched to three.
In retrospect, she knew she’d left her boss no choice.  She knew her ends would’ve been better served if she hadn’t blown up at her co-workers.  Six months on any case was enough to test the calm of anyone, especially when the case only provided more bodies without providing any more evidence.  But this case niggled at her in a way she hadn’t allowed herself to experience since before she joined the Serial Crimes Unit—maybe since that hot summer night when she was a teen.
Even with the tightest reins, sometimes you can’t control a beast as unruly as your past.
Just the thought of going down that path tightened every muscle in Jace’s body and she sank beneath the rippled surface.  She came up sputtering.  Another moment’s peace ruined.
Striking back toward the shore, she focused on putting one arm in front of the other until her dock was within reach.  As she began to pull herself up, she almost shrieked when a hand reached out for her.

Hope you enjoyed it.  =o)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tips for the Not-so Serious Dieter

1) A cupcake eaten before noon counts as a muffin.

2) Broken cookies have no calories.
  2a) Unless you break the cookie on purpose, then you've doubled the calories.

3) Fat free dressing negates the fat content of salad toppings.

4) Technically, all food is 'organic'.  If it was inorganic, we couldn't eat it.

5) Having a burger with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles counts as having a salad.  If you make it a cheeseburger, you've had milk with your meal like a good girl.

6) Ketchup is a vegetable*. (Hey, if schools can count it as a veggie, so can I.)

7) Therefore, chips are also a vegetable. 

8) And Starbursts are a fruit.

9) Pizza, with the right toppings, contains all four food groups, so it's good for you.

10) Half a piece of pie contains 50% less calories than a regular piece of pie, so have two.

What are some not-so serious diet rules you've used or heard of or follow religiously?

* Well, technically, ketchup is a fruit.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dictionary Day

Today is the day set aside to honor Noah Webster - the Father of the American Dictionary.

Being writers, we owe a lot to Mr. Webster.  

So, tell us, Killer Friends... How often do you use a dictionary?  Online version or hardcopy or CD?  And for a bit of fun, go to the dictionary of your choice and find a random word that starts with the first letter of your last name, and tell us what it is in the comments.

JB: My hard copies of my dictionary and my thesaurus were left behind when I moved and I miss them terribly. Using an online version just isn't the same.

LYART -- streaked with gray

B.E.: I actually don't use a dictionary all that often anymore, even though I'm surrounded by them.  I have a 2-volume set on the shelf on my desk, a red Websters on the reference shelf, the Encyclopedia of Dictionaries my parents gave me for high-school graduation...  When I need one, though, I usually hit Merriam-Webster Online or just Google the word and 'define'.

STIBINE -- a colorless, poisonous gas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sneak Peek!!! A Match Made in Mystery

Only a couple of days until the release of A MATCH MADE IN MYSTERY the second Matchmaker Mystery.

Here's a sneak peak of the heroine, Amy, in action:

The rain beat relentlessly on her umbrella and she wished shed worn a raincoat. Her purse, which contained the twenty year-old note, hung heavily on her shoulder, its weight almost too much to bear, despite the fact shed only added the one piece of paper to its usual contents.
She couldnt do it. Not today. Hadnt Mr. Leeves said he was delivering the envelope six months early? Maybe she was supposed to wait until then to find out what its contents meant.
She was still in mourning over the loss of Bea. She didnt need to invite even more stress into her life.
This didnt feel right. She had to go home.
Turning to head back to the bus stop, she caught a flurry of movement out of the corner of her eye. She tilted her umbrella to get a better look.
An older woman and a young man were engaged in a tug-of-war over the womans pocketbook.
Hey! Amy yelled, instinctively changing course to help the old lady. Stop that!
The strap on the pocketbook snapped, sending the woman tumbling backward to the ground and leaving the thief holding the bag. Standing over the woman, the thief rifled through its contents.
Dropping her umbrella, Amy fumbled in her bag for her pepper spray, as she broke into a run toward the fallen woman. Get away from her. Get away.
The thief looked right at her as she stumbled to a stop in front of him, a cold malevolence gleaming in his gaze.
Give it back to her, Amy demanded, pepper spray in one hand, the handle of her own purse in the other.
A superior sneer spread across his face. You gonna make me?
Amy studied his face and neck taking a mental inventory. No tattoos probably meant he wasnt with a gang. No visible scars meant he wasnt much for violence. He probably only preyed on little old ladies.
Give it back to her, Amy repeated in a measured tone, tightening her grip on the strap of her own purse.
Or what? Whos gonna make me? You or Grandma? He looked down at the fallen woman and blew her a kiss.
Amy swung.
Her purse, which contained three books, was heavy. It arced through the air and caught Mr. Tough Guy squarely in the face.
Crying out in pain, he dropped the stolen pocketbook, as he cradled his nose in his hands. Blood gushed.
Amy swung her purse again, catching him in shoulder with a resounding thud. The blow knocked him to her knees.
She moved in for the kill.
You bitch! he screamed, dropping his hands from his bloodied face. You broke my nose.
She sprayed the pepper spray into his eyes.
He screamed.
She scooped up the stolen pocketbook.
Without taking her eyes off him, Amy bent to help the old woman to her feet. Are you hurt?
Only my pride, dear, she murmured.

I bet yours isnt nearly as dented as his.  Wrapping an arm around the frail womans shoulders, Amy heaved her to her feet as the thief stumbled away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EVERYTHING TO LOSE by Danielle Girard -- Teaser Tuesday

JB: I had the great ummm…honor?? of being physically struck by author Danielle Girard at the Writers' Police Academy.  (Don't worry, we were practicing disarming one another. She was WAY better at it than I will ever be.)  Since she was kind enough to not do me any lasting harm, I invited her to share her new release here.


Featuring Sex Crimes Inspector Jamie Vail

When the daughter of San Francisco socialites Gavin and Sondra Borden is brutally assaulted, Jamie Vail makes it her mission to find the attacker. A seasoned Sex Crimes Inspector with the SFPD, work is what Jamie does best. She isn’t distracted by the fact that her adopted son and the victim go to the same school.

Jamie can almost set aside that the man caught on tape with the victim is a man she’s been wary of for years, her son's biological father. At home, her son is performing poorly in school, becoming more reclusive, and nothing she does can draw him out. Every piece of evidence seems to bring her closer to home. 

Desperate to be wrong, Jamie must find Charlotte's attacker before her son lands behind bars, or worse…

Available at:


As one of four children, Danielle Girard grew up in a house where the person with the best story got heard, and it’s probably no surprise that fast-paced suspense stories have always been her favorite. Girard’s books have won the Barry Award and been selected for the RT Reviewers Choice Award. Two of her novels have been optioned for movies. Visit her website at