‘Extreme Measures’ is live!

So last night, I uploaded “Extreme Measures,” which is now available at Amazon and at Smashwords. Soon it will be live at Barnes & Noble, Apple and other e-book outlets.

Extreme Measures

Big sigh of relief — and anxiety … I hope you like it!

But here’s the deal. Up until this point, I’ve been publishing drafts of books I’ve worked on over the years. Some books were in better shape than others, which is why “In the Presence of my Enemies” took forever to get together. I have three more books in mind for Emily and I am pretty much starting Book 7 from square one.

So.

Since it’s November and this is my reality, I’m going to try National Novel Writing Month to jump-start the book. This is pretty scary for me because once I have a deadline, I’m committed and the anxiety starts. And in this case, it’s a side project, not work, so there are other things that have to take priority, like making sure my kids aren’t recycling their socks from the hamper and having healthy meals in the fridge so no one is zapping cups of EasyMac for supper. Yes, they know cooking basics and how to do laundry but I have a hard time giving my writing time precedence over their studying for a calculus test. Ultimately, I do want them to graduate, then move out of the house someday.

But I’m going to give it a try. The worst that can happen is I fail epically. But any words I can give to the novel are more than I have right now, right? While normally the goal is 50,000 words, I’ll be happy if I crank out some text every day in November. I will try to post my progress here, as I probably won’t be posting much else. And stay tuned for excerpts from Book 7 once I feel they are of quality to post.

And, on a final note, the Cubs are still alive in a World Series! Emily would be so thrilled. So in her honor, I’m posting this:

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It’s almost here!

I am thhisss close to finishing “Extreme Measures,” Book 6 in the Emily O’Brien series. I had hoped to have it done sooner, but you know, life. It happens. Anyway, I’m hoping to upload it by early November, barring any clown invasion to northeast Missouri, creating mass chaos.

Extreme Measures

So on that note, and as thanks for all your patience, here is an excerpt from the book:

Craig looked surprised when I showed up on his doorstep ten minutes later. “Hey. I thought you had a game tonight.”

“I did. We won.”

“Then why do you look like you’ve been crying?” Then he studied my disheveled clothing. “Or fighting. Did someone hit you?”

“Yeah. It was hardly a tap. But I bit my lip.”

“Someone hit you! What is going on?”

“Holly is missing.”

“Who’s Holly?”

“A girl from the paper. The one I told you about the other day.” I told him what happened.

“Emily, no offense, but that was not the best way to handle it.”

I scowled. I hated when he was right. “We need to find her.”

“Okay, let’s back up. You have not one shred of evidence that he did anything, right?”

My scowl deepened. “No.”

“And until you showed up the mom wasn’t worried?”

“That’s because she doesn’t pay any attention to her own kid.”

“Why don’t we go to the police station in the morning?”

“Not now?”

His expression softened and he offered to drive. When we got there, I asked for the lieutenant on duty. Mitch Duncan came out to meet us in the lobby. “Emily?”

“Hey.”

I knew most of the guys on the force now that I was on the crime beat. Mitch was an okay guy, professional but a little cocky. He was young to be at this level in his career already, and I guessed he had a bit of an ego about it. But he’d always been a pretty reliable source.

He ushered us back to his desk. We took a seat.

“What’s going on?”

“Someone I know is missing.”

I outlined what happened with Holly missing lunch, then my not-so-pleasant visit with her mom, though I omitted the part about grabbing Donny and him smacking me. The fact that he’d hit me confirmed he was a creep, but the fact I’d been asking for it was not my finest moment. I also told him what Holly had said about her mom’s boyfriend.

“So you think this Donny guy might have done something to her?”

“I don’t know but he would have been the last one to see her.”

Duncan sat back in his seat. “Technically, she isn’t considered missing yet. I mean, she’s twenty-one so she can come and go as she pleases. And she doesn’t have to tell Mom where she’s going.”

“But…”

“Hang on,” he said, lifting his hand. “I do think it would be worth stopping by to talk to both of them. Do you know this Donny guy’s last name?”

“No.”

“Then I’ll need to get that, too. Run a background check. But more than likely, Emily, she’s going to turn up.”

“I hope so.”

“I’ll call you if I hear anything. And you do the same, okay?”

I nodded. “Thanks.”

Craig and I walked out of the police station. My nerves were fried and I felt like I’d had too much coffee on an empty stomach.

“You okay?” he asked.

I nodded. “Yeah. Thanks for going with me.”

Please. No more clowns.

A few weeks ago, I posted a short comment on a story in the news regarding clown sightings in South Carolina and how I thought it was kind of creepy. Probably a prank, but still creepy.

Now I’m beyond the creepy. It’s getting ridiculous.

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Clown sightings are growing nationwide, including in my small town here in Missouri, where they had extra police patrols at the schools because of some vague comment someone made about the clowns harming teachers. Actually, I’m not really worried about clowns here because if you know anything about Missouri, we love hunting and guns enough that a good percentage of the population is armed. Take that, creepy clowns!

So while it was never really funny (“Poltergeist” and “It” pretty much snuffed out the idea of harmless clowns), it’s now annoying. Yes, there have been some reports of clowns committing crimes, likely sickos jumping on the bandwagon to provide some cover for whatever criminal activity they were inclined to do anyway. But I think most of the clowns out there are just looking for attention.

For the people doing it because they think it’s cool, please stop. It’s no longer funny or creepy. It’s just stupid. Sigh. Now the scariest thing in the news is once again the presidential election.

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