Do Grave Harm – the story behind the story

If you’ve been paying attention to my social media or the other pages on this website you know Do Grave Harm, book 1 in my new multi-genre series, Blue Bald Falls, is finally available across all formats.

Yahoo! Yippity do-dah! It’s been a loong, loong, time coming for this story and to say I’m thrilled is too tame.

I’ve said on this blog many times that my characters come from a lot of different places and people I’ve met over my lifetime. Some were just passing acquaintances but a phrase they spoke, a way they held their heads, stuck and my memory and suddenly showed up in one of the characters.

But at the heart of every heroine or protagonist, there is me.  Egotistical maybe, but there you have it.

In Do Grave Harm, Jennifer, is probably more me than any other character I’ve ever written. I was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2014. We caught it early, did a lumpectomy and was hopeful it would end there. After the surgery was complete, we learned my type of cancer, Her2+, was particularly aggressive and needed a year of chemo and 30-35 radiation treatments.

It was devastating news, but I decided it was only a year out of my life. How bad could it be? As the treatment progressed, story ideas began to filter through my mind. I’d never written a mystery before (romantic suspense and comedy are in my wheelhouse) but the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded.

Fast forward two years later and Do Grave Harm is finally ready for prime time. It was an incredible journey writing this story. I would not wish what I went through to get here on anyone, but know so many of us face daunting diagnoses like Jennifer’s every day.

That’s why a portion of all proceeds will be donated to metastatic breast cancer research  and Circle of Hope, an East Tennessee foundation thats helps people in this area pay for their treatment. Every October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, the total proceeds from this book will be donated to those charities.

Happy reading!

Trixie

 

Do Grave Harm On Sale Now!

‘Do Grave Harm’ available now!

 

I’m thrilled to announce that Do Grave Harm, the first book in a new multi-genre series called Blue Bald Falls, is now available at all major ebook retailers, in paperback at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

Following is some information about Do Grave Harm, an excerpt and links to buy.

Links to Buy

Ebooks

Amazon ; Amazon Paperback;  iBooks ;B&NKOBO

Cover Blurb

“Helpless” and “vulnerable” aren’t normally part of freelance writer Jennifer Atkinson’s vocabulary. But there’s nothing normal about her regularly scheduled radiation treatment, especially when she discovers that while she was fighting claustrophobia inside the massive machine aimed at her breast, someone was murdering the technician at the controls.

As the gruesome scene plays over and over in her mind, small details that didn’t seem significant at the time start the wheels turning. Soon she’s asking more questions than she’s answering for the seriously attractive investigating officer, Blue Bald Falls Detective Ben Manteo.

 

Despite Ben’s warning she should keep her nose out of it, Jennifer can’t resist using her limited energy to pick up seemingly unrelated threads that, inevitably, begin to weave themselves into a narrative. A story of lies, deceit, and betrayal that someone will go to any length to make sure never gets told…

Links to Buy

Amazon ; Amazon PaperbackiBooksB&NKOBO

 

Excerpt

Something wasn’t right. I didn’t want to panic, but I was starting to feel claustrophobic. Having a two-ton radiation machine sitting only inches from your chest will do that to you, especially when it seems you’ve been forgotten.

You’re not truly alone, Jennifer, I reminded myself. There were dozens of people down the hall in the waiting room. And this was a hospital. People were constantly moving around, even though they kept the radiation section closed off.

Repeating these things and more didn’t help. At that moment, I felt abandoned, as if no one knew where I was.

“Excuse me,” I finally called, hoping the radiation technician who’d brought me in here would answer, reassuring me.

Robert. I picture his name tag in my mind. Raising my voice, I called again, “Robert?” Nada. The room was probably soundproof with the door shut.

Panic sped up my breathing as I stared at the machine. It hadn’t moved after my radiation treatment had ended. That was the problem.

In my mind, the six inches between me and it had shrunk to three. My arms were starting to go numb, as well as my feet and legs. No one was coming to help me. I had to do something. Now.

Moving while under the machine was kind of tricky. I was a large woman, and I’d never been dexterous on my back, much to my rat ex- husband’s lament, I guess.

I kicked my legs out of their rubber support and, after several tries, scooted my butt down the metal table. Then I did an ungainly slide, like I was slipping under a barbed-wire fence. Except this particular fence was the size of a VW Beetle, and it seemed to be inching closer to me with each passing second.

When I moved enough that my head and neck were no longer in the plastic mold that kept me still during treatment, I banged the back of my skull against the table. “Ow, ow, ow,” I muttered, inching my way farther down it until I cleared the machine.

Finally, my legs dangled off the end. I sat up, took my first relieved breath in eons, and waited for my head to stop spinning. Freedom! I looked around the room, and everything seemed normal. Walking over to the plastic chair to my left, I picked up my long-sleeved cotton jersey and put it on. Since I got topless for my treatment, most of the time I didn’t bother wearing a bra when I came here. It would be one more thing to take off.

I moved to the doors. They’re made of thick steel and tightly sealed. No wonder no one answered me. They wouldn’t have heard me even if I’d shouted. I pushed on one a bit, staggering under the unexpected weight. When it opened a scant few inches, I peered around the edge. I don’t know why I was acting like a guilty person, doing something or going somewhere I wasn’t supposed to.

I hid a giggle behind a cough. Jeez, Jennifer, get a grip. Something still wasn’t right. In fact, I felt an overwhelming sense that things were horribly wrong.

“Robert?” Still no answer, so I pushed the door open a little wider. Now I could see the second lab and computer station. It was as dark as it had been when I came into the radiation lab at the Blue Bald Falls Cancer Center no more than ten minutes ago. I opened the door wide enough and stepped into the bright lights of the hall.

Robert had his head down on the computer keyboard like he was napping. The scalpel sticking straight out from the side of his neck and the blood pooling on the table down to the floor told me sleep had nothing to do with it.

(Read more)

Links to Buy

AmazoniBooksB&N, KOBO

 

Do Grave Harm up for pre-order

 So excited to announce my newest story, Do Grave Harm, is now available for pre-order at iBooks and Amazon!
I’ll add the official blurb and links to pre-order this title below but I want to give you all a little background info on this story.
I got the idea for it while undergoing treatment for agressive breast cancer for the first time in 2014. I used to tease my doctors every time they were telling me news (good or bad) that they’d better be careful because as a writer they couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t come up with an idea to kill them!
It didn’t change their message (sometimes it was good news; yes, others were devastating), but I know they all realized I was kidding. Several of my doctors even offered me options on just exactly how to go about “killing them.” The nurses came up with even better ideas to kill the doctors.
Fast forward to this summer. Finally, after fits and starts, this book is finished.
All my stories have personal meaning to me. I don’t know that I could write a book that didn’t. Because this story started out when I was fighting an insidious disease that I may never defeat, it goes beyond the normal. I can’t step away from it. I can’t toss it off as “just another story.”
I hope, when you read it, you’ll understand why…

DO GRAVE HARM

(A Blue Bald Falls Mystery)

“Helpless” and “vulnerable” aren’t normally part of freelance writer Jennifer Atkinson’s vocabulary. But there’s nothing normal about her regularly scheduled radiation treatment, especially when she discovers that while she was fighting claustrophobia inside the massive machine aimed at her breast, someone was murdering the technician at the controls.

As the gruesome scene plays over and over in her mind, small details that didn’t seem significant at the time start the wheels turning. Soon she’s asking more questions than she’s answering for the seriously attractive investigating officer, Blue Bald Falls Detective Ben Manteo.

Despite Ben’s warning she should keep her nose out of it, Jennifer can’t resist using her limited energy to pick up seemingly unrelated threads that, inevitably, begin to weave themselves into a narrative. A story of lies, deceit, and betrayal that someone will go to any length to make sure never gets told…

Note: The proceeds from this story during October, breast cancer awareness month, will be donated to metastatic breast cancer research.

Amazon pre-order

iBooks pre-order

Kobo pre-order

 

Trixie

 

Cover Reveal!

Thrilled to announce the cover for my first mystery, Do Grave Harm, scheduled for release this summer!

This lovely cover is the work of the incredibly talented Elizabeth Cooper.
Liz and I have been friends for a long time. She is a multi-talented lady, her stories are amazing and she tops herself every time with her graphic designs.
And here’s a short blurb to remind you what this story is about. More information in the next few weeks! I promise!

Do Grave Harm: A Blue Bald Falls Mystery

She never thought the fight of her life would become a fight for her life.

 

BLURB

There’s nothing normal about Jennifer Atkinson’s radiation treatment, especially when discovers the technician dead in the control room. As the gruesome scene replays itself in her mind, small details spark more questions than she’s answering for the seriously attractive Detective Ben Manteo.

 

Despite Ben’s warning to stay out of it, Jennifer picks up seemingly unrelated threads that weave themselves into a story of lies, deceit, and betrayal that someone will go to any length to make sure never gets told…

Trixie

Old is new again

The Business Trip available now at 99 cents

Getting the rights back to stories that have gone out of print is like stumbling on an old friend through social media or better yet, in person.

That’s how I feel today as I celebrate the re-release of my erotic romance short story, The Business Trip. (Amazon, iBooks, Nook)

Here’s a little about the story:

Eliza Montgomery is an executive secretary by day and an erotic romance author by night. No one knows her secret, certainly not her boss Clayton Johnson. Although he looks like every woman’s fantasy lover, Clayton is the all-work-and-no-play poster boy. Take, for example, his idea for the January week their office is closed. She wants go to the Caribbean; he wants a business trip to Alaska. If she says no, there goes her steady paycheck.

Clay, however, has more on his mind than memos and business for his sexy little seductress. Eliza is about to find out just how hot Alaskan winters can get…

When it was originally released in 2005, it garnered good reviews and seemed to strike a chord with readers far and wide.

Fast forward to today. I’m re-releasing this story with few changes. We’ll see how readers react now.

That’s part of the allure and, frankly, the sheer terror of independent publishing.

If you never read before it was out of print, scoot on over to your favorite etailer and get a copy. It’s only 99 cents. If you did read it and wouldn’t mind giving your honest review, you’ll have my undying gratitude.

Oh and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter (form here.) I’ll be putting out the first one soon and it’ll have lots of neat updates and other good stuff. Promise.

 

Trixie

The Quarterback & The Blackout are back

Exciting times!

After a lengthy hiatus, two of my short, hot erotic romances (The Quarterback & The Blackout) are available again in all digital formats. To say I’m pleased is an understatement.

The first is The Quarterback.

This story is about a young love that broke apart and how they come back together years later in a professional situation.

They say time heals but sometimes the wounds are just too deep. Will they get back together, or will they let the hurts of the past keep them apart?

Older and wiser, each have opposing careers that could be on the line. So it comes down to a simple question after they deal with the past. Can they both continue in the jobs they love or must one make another sacrifice for happiness?

 

The second short I’m re-releasing is The Blackout.

Imagine, a hot but aging rodeo cowboy who has only lost one thing that mattered in his life. He has a short elevator ride to convince her to give him one more chance.

What’s a man to do when fast work is needed and he prefers to take this kind of thing real sloooow?

Sometimes though, even a cowboy can get lucky and nature gives him a hand.

To celebrate these two re-releases, The Quarterback will be available in all digital formats and platforms for 99 cents. Get it while it’s hot!!!

Next week, I’ll be talking about my two new romantic suspenses.

Y’all come back, now.

Trixie