July 17, 2014
In my book to be released tomorrow, You Can’t Go Home Again, the bold female character is Marie, Kevin’s wife. When Jack’s rookie partner, Kevin, is killed in their undercover operation gone bad, Jack insists that he has to be the one to inform Kevin’s family. Jack doesn’t want some nameless/faceless person going to inform his family.
The only problem is that Jack doesn’t know who Kevin’s family is, or even if he has one. Jack lived his life very segmented. When he was at work, there was absolutely nothing personal that was discussed or even acknowledged. And when he was home, there was nothing about work that intruded. In Jack’s world the two spheres just did not overlap.
Jack had his reasons for doing this. Early on, he’d tried to live his life openly, letting his coworkers know that he was gay. But that blew up in Jack’s face – big time. For years Jack had suffered taunts, been the brunt of jokes, and had coworkers whispering about him and informing all the new guys to steer clear of him in the showers because he was gay and they knew what that meant. So Jack kept everyone at work at arm’s length.
But Jack is tough. He gave back as good as he got. he earned the respect of some of his co-workers, but the whole thing had taught him to be reserved, to share little of who he was or what his life was like. In other words, Jack put up some serious walls to keep himself safe and to keep others out.
Jack’s walls were only strengthened when his long-term boyfriend announced that he was leaving Jack because he couldn’t live with a cop. He couldn’t handle the idea that at any minute someone could come to the door and tell him that Jack had been killed in a hail of gun fire on an assignment gone bad
So Jack built even stronger walls, not just around himself, but especially around his heart. And that is why Jack doesn’t know anything about his rookie work partner, Kevin. He didn’t know Kevin was married, but once he finds out that he was, Jack sets out to meet her and give her the news personally. When he gets there he finds that Kevin was married to Marie, one tough cookie who can hold her own in a fight, verbal or physical, all by herself.
July 17, 2014
I need to take a short break. My job thinks it can intrude on the rest of my life. I know! Can you believe it? I’ll be quick and take care of them so I can dash right back here to be with you. I’ve drafted a couple more posts that are ready to roll and will keep you occupied while I deal with work briefly.
July 17, 2014
Dreamspinner has the most amazing artists who can take a simple concept statement and can create a depiction that conveys a sense of the story and draws you in and makes you want to pick it up, makes you want to buy the book, makes you want to delve deeper into it. I love the work they do and I keep a copy of all of the Dreamspinner covers simply because they are beautiful art work. They also make a great screensaver with new covers flashing up every few seconds. Yes, I’m a geek. I’ll admit it.
This cover is especially important to me because I took the photo that is used on the cover. This is the second photo of mine that has appeared on a Dreamspinner book but I hope not the last. For a couple of years I’ve been doing a lot of fine art nude male photography. I’ve mixed in some clothed shots as well and I was delighted when Dreamspinner bought one of my images for use on another book.
I’ve got a pool of several thousand photos of nearly 40 models now and I’m hoping that you’ll be seeing more of my work in the future. Even if not, I’m going to keep hiring models and taking pictures, well, just because its so much fun. What? Look at beautiful naked men? Oh, I suppose. If someone has to, I’ll do it. Send me in.
July 17, 2014
In my stories I often include strong female characters – really strong, you could almost say bold. There was Anna, Tony’s mother, in Book Fair. I got rave reviews of her – everyone loved her and wrote me countless messages about how much they loved her. I was caught off guard by all the positive feedback about her because she was just an example of the women I grew up around.
I was raised by bold women, so it just seems natural to me to write about them. Both of my grandmothers were ferociously tough survivors. They had to be. They both lost their husbands while still young and with young children still at home. In a day when women didn’t work outside of the home, they were both left penniless and in desperate need of a way to support themselves and to provide for their children.
One of my grandmothers was an amazing cook so she decided to use that skill to support her family. She rented and then eventually bought a truck stop dinner and ran it for years. Open 24 hours a day in the 1940s and 1950s, she got all kinds of customers, some devoted customers who became lifelong friends, but also some unsavory characters as well.
My grandmother was not a giant woman in height. She was ample in size and bold in spirit, but a lot of the men that came in towered over her in height. But that didn’t stop her. I once saw her take a butcher knife and step between two feuding men. Her message was simple — take it outside. It was so wonderful to watch these two giant, 6-foot plus men, cower at the words of a 5-foot tall woman. Granted, she was holding a knife and I have seen her behead a chicken so I know she knew how to use it, but it was still amazing to watch.
The same grandmother at the same diner, before I was born, did something that seriously pissed off a whole bunch of people. Our little town had a train station. Trains would stop there to refuel and to change crews. One of the conductors would come to the diner to get a cup of coffee. This was in the 1940s, and since the conductor was black, the previous owner of the diner had made him come to the back door to get his coffee. Not my grandmother. Remember – this is the late 1940′s/early 1950′s. She took him to the main room and seated him at the counter and poured him a proper cup of coffee — in a mug and everything. And then she stood there on her side of the counter and talked with him.
Well, let me tell you, my grandmother got mega crap for doing something like that. Other customers tried to tell her that she couldn’t do such a thing. She just couldn’t! But she told them that she didn’t understand why not. He wanted a cup of coffee, so why shouldn’t he sit at the counter like everyone else and have his coffee? She didn’t back down. And for six months business slacked off because people were boycotting her diner. After all, she seated a black man! Can you believe it?
But my grandmother didn’t back down. Eventually her customers came back or they were replaced with new ones. The conductor started coming to the diner on a regular basis and he and my grandmother became life long friends, a friendship that lasted in to the 1970′s. And once a year he would come to visit my grandmother and they would sit on the front porch and talk for hours. It came to be known to us as the day Mr. Carter came to visit. Every year like clock work.
So I was surrounded by big, bold women who didn’t let circumstances get them down. Who are some of the bold women that were part of your life? In my view, even though they’re gone, as long as we remember them and tell their stories, they still live on. Who were some of yours?
In my next post I’ll tell you about the bold woman in my current story. Stay tuned to read about Marie.
July 17, 2014
I can’t believe I forgot to share the book cover for this release coming tomorrow. Duh. Once again the incredible artists in the Dreamspinner art department have worked their magic and have produced a beautiful work of art to go along with my story.
July 17, 2014
In my first post I said “hello” in five different languages. Who can identify the languages I used? I went through something like 40 different languages and decided to go with these five because they are all potentially recognizable. Give it a shot, even if you don’t know all of them, tell me which ones you recognize. Go ahead. You can do it.
July 17, 2014
I’m here today to tell you all about my newest book, You Can’t Go Home Again, that is scheduled for release tomorrow, July 18th. The story starts simply enough. A seasoned cop and a brand new rookie are on an undercover assignment that goes seriously wrong – big time wrong. Threats are thrown around and shortly after bullets are flying. When it is all done, the seasoned cop, Jack, finds his rookie partner, Kevin, on the floor, dying.
Jack has spent years trying to be the tough guy, the guy who could take anything. He had to be because a whole lot of crap had been thrown his way over the years, and his choices were to let everyone else win, or be tough and survive. Jack is a survivor.
But as Jack sees his partner lying on the floor bleeding out, he drops to the floor and holds the rookie trying desperately to keep him alive until help can arrive, trying to provide him with some small degree of comfort. But Kevin is too badly injured and dies in Jack’s arms a moment later. Jack sits holding his rookie partner, soaked in his blood, feeling guilty, sad, angry, bitter, furious, and a whole host of other emotions. He should have done more to train the kid, he should have done this, he could have done that. Jack beats himself up for having failed on what was supposed to be a simple undercover op. No one was supposed to die, least of all the rookie assigned to him for training. But he did, and now Jack has to deal with the fall out. He could run and hide, but that’s just not Jack. Once he’s able, Jack washes the blood off his body, changes clothes, and goes to tell Kevin’s wife, Marie, about what happened. More about Marie in my next post when I talk about why I write about strong women in so many of my books.
July 17, 2014
Michael Murphy here to keep you informed and entertained for the next few hours. I know this violates one of the cardinal rules of presenting yourself in public, but I have to start by telling you that I’m brand new at this. In fact, this is my first time on the Dreamspinner blog. So please be patient with me as I do my best to come up with posts today. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you throughout the day (provided I can figure out how to find your comments!).
July 16, 2014
Here’s one more snippet from Feline Persuasion that I wanted to share. Thank everyone for taking the time to visit. I’ll still be around to chat for most of the evening, so let’s keep the party going!
I’ve written down a number between 1 and 100. Later tonight I’ll see which two people came closest to those numbers and post the winner’s on the blog here. I’ll need your email address that you use in the Dreamspinner store to give to Hayley, the PR person at Dreamspinner so she can add a copy to your shelf.
July 16, 2014