At last!

dcbd-cover

 

Divorce Can Be Deadly (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries Book #2) is live on Amazon. Here’s what it’s all about:

“Two ghosts troubled Dr. Benjamin Bones. One he feared would never release him. Another he worried might slip away, however much he tightened his grip… .”

So begins Divorce Can Be Deadly, the long-awaited second book in Emma Jameson’s wartime cozy mystery series. Return to Birdswing, a tiny Cornish village, in the bitter winter of 1939 and revisit old friends as they embark on more amateur sleuthing. Irrepressible Lady Juliet is taking a correspondence course in private detection and is vexed by the return of her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Meanwhile, not only has Ben failed to realize the depth of her feelings for him, but his obsession with Lucy, the Fenton House ghost, is growing stronger.

When a bloodless, half-naked corpse is discovered in a great house in a nearby village, Ben and Juliet must again follow the clues to solve the case. Join them as they pry into the secret lives of villagers in seemingly picture-perfect Barking, including a vicar who hides from his secretary, a baron haunted by the Great War, and a butler who just might have done it.

Brimming with romance, historical details, and warm humor, Divorce Can Be Deadly is already being called “worth the wait!”

The book is currently publishing on other platforms and should be available soon for Nook devices, the Apple store, Kobo, and Google Play. Watch this space and I’ll let you know!

Don’t forget you can also preorder Dr. Bones and the Christmas Gift on most platforms. It will go live on December 23rd and take up right after the events of Divorce Can Be Deadly. Click below on your preferred vendor:

Amazon 

Nook from Barnes & Nook

iBooks

Kobo

bonesxmasfinalcover

Pre-Order for Dr. Bones and the Christmas Wish

bonesxmasfinalcover

Hello, all! I’m sure you can guess what I’ll be doing this weekend. Continuing to finalize Divorce Can Be Deadly, and watching tomorrow night’s Westworld finale. In the meantime, I have good news: Dr. Bones and the Christmas Wish is now available for pre-order. Many of you have requested pre-orders in the past, but I’ve always been wary. This will be my first attempt. As for DCBD, it will go live the moment it’s finished, I promise.

To order Dr. Bones and the Christmas Wish, click to visit one of these vendors:

Amazon            Apple iBooks           Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Here’s the details:

Dr. Benjamin Bones had no opinion on Christmas. That is to say, he had no polite opinion on Christmas. His actual opinion, the one he knew better than to say aloud, was that Christmas was a disappointment, a raising of hopes only to dash them, a festival of flash and dazzle which, come January, was hard to pay for and even harder to justify. That was Christmas: disappointment, with a price tag.

So begins Dr. Bones and the Christmas Wish, a charming romantic short story set in the tiny Cornish village of Birdswing, 1939. Readers who enjoyed the Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries, Marriage Can Be Murder (#1) and Divorce Can Be Deadly (#2), will adore this holiday tale of love lost and love found featuring Dr. Bones and Lady Juliet.

I hope you’ll enjoy this novella set in wartime England, 1939. Please note the story takes place after the second book in the Dr. Bones series, Divorce Can Be Deadly. It’s not essential that you read that first, but I highly recommend it to get maximal pleasure from the story.

Cheers!

christmas-wooden-windowpane

 

Bonfire Night

Guy Fawkes Mask

Guy Fawkes Mask

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot”

On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes was arrested for plotting the assassination of King James I. In Great Britain, the day has meant different things to different people: a commemoration of the king’s survival, a celebration of bonfires and fireworks to break up the autumn monotony, even an appreciation of those who question authority and challenge the powers that be. When writing my latest book, Marriage Can Be Murder, I wondered how my village of Birdswing would celebrate in 1939, just two months after the start of the Blackout. Here’s an excerpt:

In addition to his amateur detective work, Ben kept up his rehabilitation efforts, forcing himself to put on his coat, pick up his cane, and walk the length of the high street twice a day. Only once did he fall, pivoting so quickly to avoid a tomcat that his left knee buckled. As the big, ragged creature darted into an alley, Ben was hauled to his feet by a trio of  little old ladies, then questioned by ARP Warden Gaston, who’d burst out of Morton’s café when he heard the commotion.

“I’m quite all right. It was only a one-eared cat. Orange, with stripes. Did you think I’d been attacked by German agents?” Ben grumbled, dusting off his trousers.

“I didn’t think at all,” Gaston said proudly. “In event of emergency I never do. One of my luckier qualities.” To the small crowd, he said, “Off with you! Find suitable occupation. That’s an order. The poor man’s embarrassed enough, making up tales of cats without you lot gawping at him.”

“Tales?” Ben peered into the alley, gloomy from the shelter of two overhanging roofs. He thought he saw two yellow eyes glowing back at him from behind the metal rubbish bins. But as soon as he blinked, they were gone.

“I can give you a ride back to Fenton House,” Gaston continued, not unkindly. “Or give you my arm and help you there, if you’re dead set on walking. Need to speak to Agnes about this Bonfire Day nonsense. I’ve half a mind to drive up to the manor and tell Lady Juliet I’ve changed my mind about permitting it.”

“Please don’t.” The village thrummed with anticipation; Ben had heard about little else for weeks. Due to the blackout, Birdswing was forbidden from the usual nighttime festivities for Guy Fawkes Night: roman candles, Catherine wheels, a huge bonfire in the village square. There had been some efforts to convince the vicar to throw a substitute party in the church hall, perhaps with a papier-mâché bonfire, candles, punch, music, and dancing. Having never approved of Guy Fawkes Night, which struck Father Cotterill as practically pagan, he’d refused. But just as the disappointed villagers resigned themselves to 5 November as yet another silent, colorless night, Lady Juliet had appeared on the high street, bursting into shops and salons and restaurants with the news. On the very next Sunday, a daylight version of Bonfire Night would be held at Belsham Manor, and every resident of Birdswing was welcome.

“If you try and shut it down at this point,” Ben told Gaston, “you’ll likely have a riot on your hands. Besides, your sister isn’t home. She’s getting her hair done. I’ve never seen her so excited.”

“Excitement breeds disobedience,” the air warden muttered. “I can’t imagine what’s gotten into Lady Juliet. She’s never been one for parties. Usually wanders off halfway through or spends the whole night reading a book.”

Ben knew what had gotten into her, and while he had his doubts about the scheme’s efficacy, he couldn’t fault the good intentions behind it. Breathless with enthusiasm, she’d rang him a few days ago, spilling out her thought process before he could even say hello.

“Last night, as I was propped up in bed reading a mystery novel… wait. I just realized I’ve never asked. Do you enjoy mystery novels? I do, so long as the woman isn’t a ninny. Can’t abide ninnies. At any rate, I was reading, and thereupon it struck me like Archimedes in his bath: how does one advance a case like Penny’s, where there are more suspects than evidence? Eureka! Give a dinner party and invite all the players!”

She paused, both to take a breath and receive praise. Ben knew better than to laugh, though he was glad she’d announced her plan by phone. Had she been able to see his expression, the resultant injuries might have put him back in that ghastly Edwardian wheelchair.

“You mean, actually invite them to Belsham Manor, lock them in your parlor, snuff the lights, and wait to see who turns up dead?”

“No, that’s how murders happen, not how they’re solved,” Lady Juliet said patiently. “The idea is to get the liquor flowing, get them chatting and joking and laughing, and just observe. The murderer is sure to be exquisitely uncomfortable under pressure and thus reveal himself. Particularly if it’s Freddy Sparks.

“The pretext is simple,” she continued. “Guy Fawkes Night during the day. Why moan about not being allowed to burn an effigy when we can do it before sundown? As for our suspects, I doubt I can dig up Mrs. Hibbet, but I’ll invite her, just in case. And I’ll need to go back to Plymouth to invite Bobby Archer, but that’s no sacrifice. I can apologize for accusing him—the better to snare him later, if it comes to it—and purchase a new dress while I’m there.”

“New dress?”

“Yes,” she barked. “No tartan skirt and no trousers but a proper dress, like Margaret’s friends. Perhaps I’ll get my hair curled, too, and put on my mother’s sapphire earbobs, rendering you and your kind speechless.”

He grinned. Any day he could get a rise out of Lady Juliet was a good day. “Ah, but my kind is in short supply. Your table may be overloaded with ladies. How many villagers will you invite?”

“Why, all of them, of course.”

© Emma Jameson, Lyonnesse Books, 2014

Amazon: http://amzn.to/10SMu6m

BN: http://bit.ly/1xa1kiS

Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/marriage-can-be-murder/id936762241?mt=11&uo=4

Kobo Books: http://bit.ly/1ureZoB

99 Cent Book Sale Continues! #BESTSELLER

Sale

The sale continues! Today I’m featuring some sci-fi and fantasy. If you like romance in the mix, there’s Cruxim by my friend Karin Cox. Here’s the cover and blurb:

Cruxim_cover_mediumWhat is Cruxim?

Amedeo is Cruxim, a mysterious, immortal fallen angel. Destined to seek redemption as a vampire hunter, he nourishes his insatiable hunger on vampire blood. But when the object of his passion, the novice nun Joslyn, is turned into a vampire and enters a vampire coven, Amedeo’s worlds collide. Shattered by the loss of his beloved, he vows to rid the world of vampires once and for all, even if it means destroying Josyln in the process.

A Paranormal Game of Cat and Mouse

Joining Amedeo on his quest to rid the world of the undead is Sabine. Half-woman, half-lioness, she is a Sphinx, a Guardian who has protected humans from vampires since the dawn of time. Yet Sabine comes to this fight pursued by her own enemies. Dr. Claus Gandler knows the secret of Sabine’s mythological past and has vowed to torment her for eternity or destroy her forever.

Immortal Ever After?

Captured by the evil doctor, Amedeo and Sabine are paraded as sideshow freaks in Gandler’s Circus of Curiosities. Only vampire Joslyn has the power to intercede. Will she prove Amedeo’s redemption, or his destruction?

Next there’s Sunset by Arshad Ahsanuddin. Here’s the cover and blurb:

Sunset

By DayLos Angeles, 2040. When the terrorist known as Medusa threatens to kill millions with a stolen nuclear bomb, Nick Jameson makes a fateful decision. He reveals himself on global television as a Daywalker – a vampire with a soul. To save Los Angeles, Nick exposes not only his own gifts but three separate cultures based on millennia-old magic.By NightThe three metahuman races exist in careful balance, working to maintain a fragile peace. Nick and his fellow Daywalkers successfully master their natural bloodlust. The Sentinels, armed with both magic and steel, repress their warlike instincts. And even some Nightwalkers, normally their natural enemies, have deserted the Court of Shadows to join the triple alliance. Nick Jameson is deeply involved with two such Nightwalkers – handsome Lorcan and powerful Rory. Both men love Nick. But neither can protect the new Ambassador to Humanity from the events he has set in motion.By the Sword

Jeremy Harkness was lured into Medusa’s service under false pretenses. A loner with no one and nothing to cling to, he was willing to die for his cause. But the night Medusa tried to obliterate Los Angeles, Jeremy met Nick Jameson, triggering the onset of his own psychic gifts. For Jeremy is the third race of metahuman, a Sentinel, born to kill the Nightwalkers with no quarter asked or offered. And neither Medusa nor the Court of Shadows will settle for peace when they can make war.

Betrayal and treachery lurk around every corner on the road to coexistence, and at every turn, Nick must question who to trust among his metahuman allies, friends, and lovers—before their civilization is plunged into the depths of darkness and bloodshed. With millennia-old magic, emerging romance, and ever-shifting allegiances, this inventive series unveils a scintillating, homoerotic world of Nightwalkers, Daywalkers, Sentinels, and Humans, who battle for world dominance in the not-too-distant future.

Now comes Downside Rain by Lin Welch. Cover and blurb:

Downside Rain

Another place lies palm to palm with the world we know. Downside, Earth’s backdoor, where magic, madness and monstrosities abide; where rain falls from a cloudless red sky and neon pulses day and night.

A fallen angel in a derelict tower weeps crystal tears.
A powerful man hides a dark secret.
Wraiths skim through the streets.

Rain and Castle dispose of monsters, be they mischievous but relatively benign
sprites, or ghouls which don’t limit their feasting to the already dead. When the
hunters become the hunted, they must survive attacks by demons and Gettaholt
citizens compelled by powerful magic. Who is trying to kill them, and why? Can
a wraith die twice?

Next there’s Guardians of the World by Jolea M. Harrison. Here’s the cover and blurb:
Guardians

GUARDIANS OF THE WORD is an epic fantasy, science fiction amalgam that tells the story of Dynan Telaerin and his ancestor’s long struggle to rid the world of evil. Beyond the barrier lies the heart of deception, trapping the world in a repeating cycle of devastation, rebirth and then destruction once again, every thousand years. For countless cycles knowledge is destroyed, the words of truth lost to future generations until one young man, the First King of Cobalt sacrifices his eternal soul to remain. He brings previously lost knowledge forward in time to his ancestors, Dynan and Dain, who like him are telepathic twin brothers. It is their destiny to finally break the cycle, or doom the world to the final darkness. For in their time, the Gods are weakened, evil prevails and unless it is defeated once and for all, will remain to rule in domination and terror.

In CHOSEN, Dynan Telaerin finds himself on a corpse-strewn hillside, uncertain if he’s dead or alive, charged with saving his ancestor, the most powerful telepath to ever exist. The race for survival drastically changes when his brother, Dain is taken. Will courage alone be enough to face the greatest evil to exist? Will he lose his soul to save everyone else?

Finally, if you’d like a FREE book, check out The Sable City by M. Edward McNally:

Sable

For the first time in a hundred years, Vod’Adia – the fabled Sable City – is Opening. All across the known world, adventurers hungry for gold and relics from the Witch King’s era are making their way to the legendary ruins. For many of them, the Sable City will claim their lives and perhaps even their very souls. But for one heroic fellowship bent only on rescue, entering this deadly place may do worse than destroy them. It may destroy the entire world.

The journey begins in the Miilark Islands, where a most unusual dwarf makes a most unusual choice. Captain Block, charged with finding the exiled heir of House Deskata, picks Tilda Lanai to accompany him – a young woman newly trained in the arts of the Guild, but completely untested. With the help of a rag-tag company that includes a ronin samurai, a semi-competent wizard, a noblewoman in disguise, a healer, a warrior-priest and two ex-soldiers (one in danger of being hanged for desertion), Tilda’s quest leads her into the very heart of the Sable City–where devils and demons roam freely, and very little is what it seems.

Check out these and many more 99 cent or free books by clicking here!

More 99 Cent Books! #BESTSELLER

1461317_555645454517631_930395764_n

You survived Thanksgiving — now what?

The 99 cent sale is still going on, and there’s a book for every taste. Yesterday I focused on mysteries. Today, I’ll show you books for middle grade and YA readers.

First, here’s the cover and blurb for Curse of the Ice Dragon by my friend Tara West.

16050795
Born with mark of the Mighty Hunter, Markus has the skill and strength to feed his people, but not to confront his own tyrannical father. Shamed by his cowardice, Markus releases his frustration on the forest creatures.

The village prophet warns that Markus’s reckless ways will bring down The Hunter’s Curse, and for every animal Markus kills, his loved ones will suffer the same fate. When the warnings go unheeded, the Sky Goddess unleashes her ice dragon. Now Markus must flee the dragon without killing it or his beloved brother will die.

Markus’s flight takes him to the lands of the mysterious Ice People. There, the beautiful maiden Ura helps Markus learn the compassion and courage he needs to face the wrath of the Goddess, but the final confrontation will not be without price, as Markus must choose between the life of his brother and the fate of the girl he loves.

Next, for older readers, there’s The Kiss Off and Over It from my friend Sarah Billington. Here’s the cover and blurb for The Kiss Off:

17706088

When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global.

A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she’s along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn’t as easy as she had hoped.

Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.

Also for YA readers who love fantasy, there’s Troll Or Derby by my friend Red Tash. Here’s the cover and blurb!Troll-or-Derby

In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and for being different. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she’s grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and this magical new realm, forever?

Intrigued? Check out every book on offer by clicking the picture below.

Sale

HUGE 99 Cent Sale! #BESTSELLER

Sale

Happy Black Friday! I hope you’re … oh, who am I kidding? For most of us, Black Friday is either an exhausting obligation or a free-for-all to be avoided at all costs. So how about an ebook sale instead? Benefits include (1) ability to shop from your ereader, phone, or computer, (2) low, low prices and (3) purchases will count as gifts if you’re so inclined. 

Whispers-of-Murder.225x225-75

From USA Today Bestselling Author Cheryl Bradshaw, there’s Whispers of Murder and I Have a Secret. Here’s the blurb for Whispers of Murder:

It was Isabelle Donnelly’s wedding day, a moment in time that should have been the happiest in her life…until it ended in murder.

Three women, three motives to kill:

–A jealous sister
–A company CFO
–A newfound friend

But which one is plotting against her? Which one wants her dead? Think you know who did it? Think again.

Devil's Hour

From New York Times Bestseller J. Carson Black, we have The Devil’s Hour.

“J. Carson Black’s THE DEVIL’S HOUR is a superior mystery novel in all respects. Fine prose, terrific suspense, believable characters, and one of the most unexpected and satisfying conclusions I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.”
—John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of DAMAGE

From Amazon and iTunes bestselling author Sarah Woodbury, you can start her time travel romance series for FREE with book one, Daughter of Time.

In 1997, the disappearance of three young girls rocked the city of Tucson, Arizona. Eleven years later, one of those girls, Micaela Brashear, comes home–alive.

Criminal Investigator Laura Cardinal worked homicide for Arizona DPS, but now she’s been moved to the Open-Unsolved Unit. With a new job and a new partner who questions her every move, Laura pieces together Micaela’s fragmented memories in the hope she will learn the whereabouts of the other two children.

When a man walking his dog finds the bones of a child in a shallow grave on the mountain above town, it becomes clear to Laura that Micaela was the lucky one.

But the killer isn’t through yet, and afte

r the fiery death of someone close to Laura, she realizes she faces an implacable enemy.

daughter_time

From Amazon, BN, and iTunes bestseller Sarah Woodbury, you can start her time travel romance series for free with book one, Daughter of Time.

From The Kindle Book Review:

While a time-travel romance, the relationship between Meg and Prince Llewlyn of Wales is not cliché. It’s truly two people struggling to overcome their different backgrounds and the current political climate of 13th century Wales to follow their hearts. The completely fresh storyline of a Daughter of Time is one of the strongest aspects of this story.

Daughter of Time is a sweetheart style romance in that the sexual scenes take place off stage, and an enjoyable look at chivalry in a way that explains how functional it was for the time period, and not just a cliché romantic notion modern readers have about knights in shining armor.

And from my friend Christine DeMaio-Rice, there’s her award-winning Fashion Avenue mysteries, all three for just 99 cents!

51iMeaF2JzL._AA160_

WINNER – Preditors & Editors Best Mystery of 2012

WINNER – 2012 eFestival of Words – Best Mystery/Suspense.
A Red Adept Select for outstanding book in its genre.

This set includes all three award-winning, full-length mysteries, including book one, Dead is the New Black:Fashion designer Jeremy St. James is everything Laura Carnegie could want in a man. He’s gorgeous, rich, and talented. The fact that everyone says he’s gay doesn’t stop her from dreaming of being in her boss’s arms. As a matter of fact, she suspects his inaccessibility is part of his charm.When Jeremy’s backer is found dead in his office and he’s accused of the crime, he trusts Laura, and only Laura, with the keys to the design room. She wants him back and out of jail, and in the process of exposing a counterfeiting ring and finding the real killer, she uncovers the secretive man under the temperamental artist; a man who is most definitely not gay, and a man who might not be that inaccessible after all.There are MANY MORE books in this huge sale, including sizzling romances (adults only!), fantasy, science fiction, young adult, and humor. I’ll feature more as the promotion continues. Check it out, and stay safe (and sane) on this Black Friday!

Doctor Sleep: A Novel by Stephen King … a review by Emma Jameson

Doctor_Sleep
So first … a caveat. I almost never write book reviews. Think about it. As a novelist, when I write a review, that review arrives with a certain amount of baggage. And the questions that might crop up, as the review-train puffs into the station, can be excused as only human. Why did I write it? Am I propping up a friend? Dissing a competitor? Discharging some shadowy obligation?

So on this blog I feature new releases, and I mention them, and if the author is a personal friend, I mention that, too. But this is different. It’s a review from me, and suffice it to say, I am not blessed to call Stephen King a personal friend.

Having said that … for the last thirty years, you might say Danny Torrance has been a personal friend.

I read THE SHINING for the first time when I was 14. I re-read it several times during my teenage years. I can’t say precisely why, but THE SHINING was an intensely personal book for me. It taught me so much about writing characters, especially flawed, wounded, hopelessly striving characters. Because in many ways, it was more about poor, alcoholic, doomed-from-childhood Jack than his gifted five-year-old son, Danny.

Jack, a sensitive, intelligent child, watched his father, a hospital orderly and drunk, beat his mother at the dinner table until her eyeglasses landed in the mashed potatoes. That was the image that haunted Jack: those poor sightless specs, adorning a side dish while his alcoholic father vented his wrath. When he grew up, Jack escaped his dysfunctional family, teaching English at a prestigious prep school. even writing for publication.

But the ghosts of his past were not silent. They spoke. And Jack started to drink. The result–harm to a student, harm to his young son–drove him to take a last-chance job as winter caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. Another place filled with unquiet ghosts. Which ghosts were more real, and more deadly–the ones in the hotel, or the ones in Jack’s memory? That, dear reader, is up to you. (And if you’ve only seen the Stanley Kubrick film, I must urge you to read the original novel, because this review has nothing to do with Kubrick’s film. No disrespect intended, just a statement of fact.)

At any rate, most of the Western world has seen the movie, and knows Mrs. Torrance and her son Danny escaped the Overlook Hotel. But what happened next? Approximately thirty years later, Stephen King tells the tale.

Danny–now Dan– is twenty-something, beset by a terrible temper, and a drunk. The thing he swore he’d never become is the identity that consumes him. He drifts from town to town, content to deaden his telepathy (the shining) with booze, wishing himself dead. Then he hits bottom, a deeply humiliating bottom, and drifts to a town called Frazier, New Hampshire. There he has a chance to get sober, and to earn the friendship of a little girl called Abra. Once, Dan was the child in desperate need of an adult (Dick Hallorann) who understood. Now he is the adult called upon to help, and he can either live up to the calling or crawl back in the bottle.

I won’t waste time teasing you with further details. If you’ve read my description, you’re either in or you aren’t. All I can add is this. For approximately thirty years, I waited for news of Danny–Dan–Torrance, never expecting to get it. When I heard Stephen King had published a sequel, my first reaction was fear. This will ruin my vision of Danny’s future, I thought. It won’t be right.

But no. It was perfect. Perfectly conceived, perfectly edited, and perfectly laid down. If you loved THE SHINING half as much as I did, get yourself a copy of DOCTOR SLEEP.

Emma Jameson,10/21/2013

A Valentine’s Day Freebie from the Eclective

68215_3752700984275_207554408_n

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:

Light

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….

***

Light.

Sound.

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.

“Daniel.”

“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.

“No! No!”

“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.”

A Shout-Out To A Fellow Author

Here’s my take:

I was lucky enough to receive an advance review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Once again we join Laura Carnegie, her sister Ruby, dreamboat Jeremy and a cast of fun, interesting supporting characters. In A DRESS TO DIE FOR, Jeremy’s business is threatened when a priceless dress, once belonging to a dead princess, is swapped for a counterfeit. As amateur sleuth Laura investigates, she tackles many issues, including her deadbeat, long-missing father and that burning relationship question: can she and Jeremy really trust one another? This book is witty, surprising, and filled with heartfelt emotion. Lovers of cozy mysteries and contemporary romances will enjoy it.

Intrigued? Check it out at Amazon.com!

Load Up On GREAT 99 Cent Books and ENTER TO WIN PRIZES!

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered and to enter to win, click here!!

Hello, all!

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!