AfterStrike Released!

The fabulous reviews for this book just keep coming, and I’m excited for it to be out in the world.

The Story Behind the Story

AfterStrike is based on true events and real people. The specifics of the fraud crimes were so bizarre and fascinating, I knew I had to write about them.
Then after reading articles about two separate lightning-strike survivors, I met (and danced with) a man who’d lost both arms in a high-voltage shock incident. I felt like the universe wanted me to tell their stories.
So I bounced the ideas off each other until this wild thriller plot emerged.

As always, if you like the story, please leave a review/rating online (Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, etc.). Your support helps keep me writing!

Readers and Authors Rave:

“A sizzling must read thriller. I absolutely loved this story!” — Midwest Book Review

“A fantastic read! Un-put-down-able!” — Terry Shames, award-winning crime-fiction author

“A gripping thriller that keeps you guessing until the very last page. An L.J. Sellers masterpiece. Do not miss this one!” — Gary Ponzo, thriller author

“L.J. Sellers peels back layer after layer of a young woman’s troubled past in this relentlessly suspenseful tale of bad people, bad decisions, and very bad luck. Add an adorable dog to the mix, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. A lightning strike of a book!” — Ann Voss Peterson, author of Pushed Too Far

“After Strike starts at a dead run and doesn’t let up. The satisfying twists and unexpected turns come at a breakneck pace, all crafted with laser precision by a master storyteller. The result is a book that’s hard to put down, and that leaves you breathless and eager to continue, assuming you even can. L.J. Sellers is at peak form in this breathtaking thriller. I declare it an absolute must-read.” — Bill Cameron, award-winning crime-fiction author

“The best thriller L.J. Sellers has written, and she’s at the top of my must-read list.” — Teresa Burrell, bestselling author of legal thrillers

There are some books you read and enjoy but do not remember and then there are some books you inhale, devour and BREATHE. Afterstrike is one of these books.”— Di, Goodreads Reviewer

“I was intrigued from the first page of this smart new thriller.”— Elizabeth Sims, bestselling mystery author

I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks for your support!



Hello Friends!

This is just a quick update, mostly about a couple of free ebooks that are available—and to reassure my Jackson fans that I’m working on a new Jackson story that I hope to release in May. I started working on it in December, then had to travel to Costa Rica to rescue my grandchildren. I essentially did my own extraction, complete with real danger. A wild, but true, story! I’m home safe now and back to writing.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read my new psychological thriller, THE OTHER, which features my Extractor character, you can enter to win one of a hundred ebook copies on Goodreads. So far, the novel is garnering all 5-star reviews. You can enter the contest here:

You can also download a free copy of THE GENDER EXPERIMENT from Amazon right now too. This standalone thriller features FBI Special Agent Baily and the Readers Favorite Awards calls it “the best thriller of the year.”

If you miss the free giveaway, contact me, and I’ll send you a copy.





I’m also honored to introduce you to Teresa Burrell, a good friend and terrific writer. You may already know her as the author of the bestselling legal thriller series called The Advocate. But she’s also started a new series and is giving away ebooks to people who want to read and review. If you’d like a copy of MASON’S MISSING, you can contact her directly through a Facebook message, or let me know and I’ll send your contact information to her. If you want to know more about the story, here’s a link to the book’s description (and great reviews) on Amazon, I’m reading it now and love it so far.

Thanks for your consistent support of my work!

Hello Readers! (and giveaway)

Sorry I’ve been out of touch with blogging, but I’ve stepped up my novel-writing schedule. I finished Jackson #10 (Yay!), and it’s now in the editing phase, with a release date of early March.

Deadly Bonds medAnd, as odd as this sounds, I keep forgetting that Deadly Bonds (Jackson #9) hasn’t released yet. It feels like I wrote the story ages ago! But my author copies arrived today, so release day is coming soon—August 26th!

I’m starting to get great reviews from NetGalley readers, so I’m excited to for readers to see this one. In fact, I’m giving away a couple copies today to my favorite commenters.  I’m also giving away 7 copies at Goodreads, and there’s still time to enter.

I’m also getting beta reader feedback for Jackson #10, so I occasionally get mixed up about which story is under discussion. I also recently posted the first chapter of the new book on a Facebook page, and the first person who read the excerpt said it was a mild spoiler for Deadly Bonds. Oops! Again, I’d forgotten that readers haven’t had access to it yet. I’ll be glad when it’s finally out there!

The good news is that the beta reader feedback on Jackson #10 is terrific, so I’m getting excited for everyone to read the new story too.

In between Jackson stories, I wrote The Target, Agent Dallas #2. That series is indie published so the book  is already on the market and selling well. But if you’ve read it and liked it, please leave me a good review on Amazon. The story features Agent Dallas and Agent River, so some male readers were put off by too many women, and another reader called it a “lifestyle” story, and I suspect he didn’t care for River and her transgendered status. So I need you to help offset those negative reviews, if you have a minute.

Up next is Dallas #3. I’m in the plotting stage, but I hope to have the story completed and published before the end of the year. That was the goal I set last summer—by the end of 2014 to have written two more Jackson books (for a total of ten) and two more Dallas novels (to make a three-book set).

I think I’m going to pull it off. The only thing that could be a setback is having to sell our house, pack, and move. But the new house, and the lovely view of the Cascades should inspire me to make up the writing time.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter to win a print copy of Deadly Bonds.

ARC Giveaway & New Excerpt

I now have two Jackson stories completed—both with rave reviews from my beta readers—and waiting for them to be released is killing me. My readers often contact me to express their frustration as well. I’m sorry for the delay, but I believe that signing with Thomas & Mercer was the best thing I could do for my career and the long-term viability of the Jackson series.

The good news is that I have advanced review copies for Rules of Crime, so it’s starting to feel real, and many of you will get a chance to read it soon. I believe advanced e-books already went out, and it would be nice to hear from someone who got an e-file.

I’m also giving away print ARCs. They haven’t been through a final proofread so there may be typos, and the cover isn’t included, but still, it’s the new Jackson story you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a Jackson fan, leave a comment or email me. And after you’ve read the story, if  you like it, please post a review on Amazon (after it’s available Feb. 26) and/or Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, or Facebook (anytime). These reviews help the story gain traction with new readers, and I greatly appreciate them.

If you live in Eugene, come see me at Holiday Market at the Lane County Fairgrounds on Saturday, December 8 (10-6) and I’ll give you a copy.


Meanwhile, here’s an unedited excerpt from the Jackson story I just finished.

Tuesday, March 12, 8:22 p.m.

Jerry came too quickly, but before he could mumble an apology, he heard a thump downstairs in the factory. He pushed himself off his scowling mistress, lept from the couch, and grabbed his pants.

“What’s your hurry?” Cindy complained. “Jesus, Jerry. I don’t know why I bother with you.”

“I heard a noise. Someone’s in the building.” He yanked up his pants, not bothering with his shorts, which he couldn’t locate. Jerry regretted getting naked from the waist down. They usually just went at it on the desk, him with his pants around his ankles and her with her skirt pushed up.

Shuffling sounds, like someone moving quickly and quietly, raised the hair on the back of his neck. They weren’t the heavy footsteps of the plant foreman coming back to check the day’s production. Someone sneaky was in the building. “Get your clothes on and get out of here,” he snapped at Cindy, who’d sat up on the couch and now looked concerned.

“You think it’s Ricardo?” She was married to the foreman and had reason to worry.

“I don’t know. Just go.”

Jerry dropped to the couch and pulled on his shoes. His socks never came off, unless he was in the shower. Listening hard, he tried to determine where the intruder was. In the break room? Maybe hoping to steal iPods or drugs from the employee lockers? It didn’t sound like that corner of the building, but what else made sense? The factory filled plastic bottles with local spring water, using standard production equipment. Why would someone come in here?

A protester, Jerry realized. That was why the owner had recently asked him to work an overnight watch shift. Mr. Rockman was worried about the environmentalists, even though they hadn’t been out front recently. Something had happened to make the owner nervous.

Jerry crossed the small upstairs office and peered through the glass at the factory floor below. With the overhead halides off, the production area was illuminated only by small wall lights that cast weird shadows on the machinery. He scanned the floor but didn’t see anything.

When he turned back, Cindy had her skirt and heels on and was reaching for her pink leather jacket. “How do I get past Ricardo if he’s coming up here?”

Jerry had to think. “Stay under the stairs until it’s clear.” Would she be safe? Would their affair get him fired? “I don’t think it’s Ricardo. Stay under there until you hear from me.”

Jerry grabbed his giant flashlight—heavy enough to kill someone if he knocked ‘em upside the head—and followed Cindy out of the office and down the stairs. As a watchman, Jerry wished he could carry a gun, but the owner wouldn’t allow it. Rockman had added a weekend drive-by security detail after protesters picketed the place last year, but all had been quiet. Then recently something had spooked the owner, and he’d added a night and weekend on-premise watch. Jerry hadn’t had any trouble in the two weeks he’d been in the new job. Not wanting to go back to working the line, he was almost grateful for an opportunity to prove he was needed on the watch shift.

At the bottom of the stairs, Cindy turned and slipped into the built-in closet underneath. Jerry moved down the short hallway to the door leading to the factory. Should he call the police now or wait to see what he was dealing with? He didn’t want to risk him and Cindy both getting into hot water with their spouses over some supervisor coming back in for something he’d forgotten.

Jerry stepped into the factory and flipped on a row of overhead lights. “Who’s here?”

The cavernous room was quiet except for the hum of the halides. Jerry moved toward the break room. If it was an intruder, how did he get in? Had Cindy failed to close the door properly when she came through?

Jerry strode past the bottling line and toward the short hall leading to the break room and employee lockers. A squatting figure jumped up and bolted out of the dark. The man in the ski mask shoved past him, brushing his shoulder. Jerry swung his flashlight and missed. The intruder ran for the side door. Jerry reached in his pants pocket for his cell phone and dialed 911.

“What is your emergency?” The woman’s voice was calm, almost bored.

“This is Jerry Bromwell, night watchman at the Rock Spring bottling plant. We have an intruder.”

“Are you in danger?” He had her attention now.

“No, just get some cops out here to catch him. He’s wearing a ski mask and dark clothes.” Jerry stepped into the hall where the man had been kneeling, but realized he’d passed the light switch, which was just outside the opening.

“What’s your location?”

“Rock Spring Drive, just off Laurel Hill.” He flipped on his flashlight and squatted.

“Any other description of the intruder?”

Jerry couldn’t process what she was saying. The thing on the floor had his full attention. His heart skipped a beat as he realized what he was seeing. “I think it’s a pipebomb.”

“Get out of the building and get clear,” the dispatcher commanded. “I’ll send the bomb squad.”

Jerry was already speed walking toward the side exit. The overhead doors were closer, but they took too long to unlock and open. He wanted to run but was afraid. Afraid of what? That his pounding footsteps would set it off?

He wasn’t ready to die. He had a lot of hunting, and screwing, and Duck football left in his life. Oh shit! Cindy was still in the closet. Jerry stopped. Was it safe to go back for her? How much time had the bomber given himself? Just enough or maybe a good five minutes?

Fuck! Jerry spun and ran past the hallway and down the bottling line.

“Cindy! Come out. We gotta get out of here!” He yelled at the top of his voice. He needed her to respond to his panic.

As he approached the stairs, the closet door opened and she stepped out. “What’s going on?”

“There’s a bomb!”

“No shit?” She trotted toward him.

Jerry grabbed her arm and ran toward the exit, pulling her along. He hated passing the hallway, but it was the fastest way out. Like most factories, this one had no windows. And the damn overhead doors in front took too long to open.

Jerry’s adrenaline pumped so hard he could have made it to the red Exit sign in five seconds flat. But Cindy wore heels and a skirt and didn’t know how to run. She dragged him down, and he wanted to let go of her.

But he couldn’t. Her whimpering brought out his protective side.

Something snapped and Cindy went down, making him stumble and let go of her. She let out a cry as she landed on her knees on the concrete floor.

“My heel broke.” She sobbed and pushed to her feet.

Gritting his teeth, Jerry grabbed her hand and started to run again. With a broken heel, Cindy shuffled even slower. Jerry fought the urge to curse at her.

Finally, they reached the door and he grabbed the wide metal handle. He pushed open with one hand and pulled Cindy through with the other.

Behind them the pipebomb exploded. It carried little force, but the sudden noise made Cindy trip and fall again. She landed on her hands and knees on the asphalt this time.

Jerry helped her up and saw blood dripping down her shins. “Are you all right?”

“Yes. But shit! How will I explain this?” She gestured at her scraped knees.

“You fell. It happens. Now get out of here before the cops come.”

She gave him a look.

“Get in your car and go. If anyone learns you were here, it could ruin both our marriages.”

Jerry pulled her toward her car. Once she was inside, he noticed the dirt smudge on her face and reached to wipe it off. She slapped at his hand. “I can’t go home like this.”

“Go get cleaned up. Buy a pair of pants before you go home. Just go. We can’t get caught.” Jerry couldn’t bear the thought of his wife leaving him and taking his little girl.

Once his mistress was on the road, he breathed a sigh of relief. Now he just had to get his story straight. He’d saved Cindy’s life by going back for her, but he couldn’t ever tell anyone she had been there. His one chance to be a hero. Disappointed, he glanced back at the factory. Still standing. Damn. He wouldn’t even get some time off out of this.



Birthday Mystery/Thriller Giveway

It’s my birthday, which means it’s time for a book giveaway. I should be reflecting on what this particular milestone means, but I’m too busy. I have a rewrite to finish and a baby granddaughter coming over later. And I’ve had lots of birthdays. This one is only special because I’m finally in a place in my life that feels about perfect.

First up, I’ll give away a print copy of my latest Detective Jackson book, Liars, Cheaters & Thieves to the person who gives me the best nickname name based on a last name. For example, my husband’s name is Steve Hutchison and his friends all call him Hutch. And I need the name to be gender neutral. This is for a character in my next series, and I’m excited to see what you come up with.

I also still need good Amazon reviews for Dying for Justice. The book is now #8 on Amazon’s top-rated crime fiction list, a separate list from the bestsellers, and it’s based on customers’ ratings alone. If I can get into one of the top three spots, Amazon will feature Dying for Justice on all its crime fiction pages—which would be huge for its sales.

So if you’ve read the book and liked it, please leave even a brief review and be sure to click the star-rating system. Anyone who does or who comments here about my name contest gets a free e-book of their choice. Be sure to email me to let me know which one you’d like and which format Kindle (mobi) or epub.

Thanks for all your wonderful support! Without, I wouldn’t be in this perfect place.

Bookclubs and Readers Rule

I’ve joined a group of bestselling authors on Readers Rule. I love this title and philosophy! I’ve always tried to put readers first, to respond to every reader who contacts me, and to give away as many books as I can. These authors have all sold 100,000 books/ebooks, so they must be doing something right. We’re just getting started and will soon add a regular book giveaway and monthly newsletter. I hope you’ll check out the site. Read more

Name Those Characters Contest

I spent an hour looking through the phone book for names, then realized I hadn’t held my usual “Name That Character” contest for this book. I’m writing a new Jackson story with the working title Liars, Cheaters, & Thieves, and I need lots of names. Suspects, victims, and witnesses.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the story involves three men, friends since high school. I’ve settled on the main character’s name, Read more

The Arranger: A Futuristic Thriller

What do you do when a minor character is so much fun you can’t let her go? You plot a novel just for her. That story became The Arranger, a futuristic thriller involving two wildly different concepts: a software technician who devolves into a killer and a national endurance competition called the Gauntlet. This unusual story developed from several ideas that came together for me: Read more

Book Giveaway: Passions of Dead

The fourth book in my Detective Jackson series was the most challenging to write so far. I used parallel structures to tell overlapping stories. In the main story, Jackson investigates the deaths of a slain family. The parallel plot starts six weeks before the murders and tells the family’s story, with each victim narrating a POV section, leading up to the murders. Thus the name, Passions of the Dead.

The family’s story takes readers right through the final murder scene— Read more

Birthday Book Giveaway

thrilled-to-deathToday’s my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to give something away? I have two advanced review copies of THRILLED TO DEATH, my third Detective Jackson novel, to offer. Here’s the back cover copy:

Monday morning, a young mother disappears after a doctor’s appointment. Monday evening, a young socialite leaves a risqué lounge and never makes it home. Read more