I finished the first draft of the fifth Detective Jackson story and it’s now in the hands of beta readers. This is the nerve racking part! But the early feedback is great, and my husband loves the first two chapters. This is a very good sign because he’s my toughest critic. For those who have been reading the series from the beginning, I wanted to share some background on this story.

DFJ-cover-frontI started outlining it at the beginning of last year (Jan. 2010). At that time, I thought I might give up the series because the second book had a failed launch and I couldn’t face another one (which is a whole other story!) I had two more Jackson books written, with one under contract. I thought if I could re-launch the series under a new premise with a new publisher, I might be able to save it. So I mapped out a plot in which Detective Evans was a lead character, with Jackson as a strong secondary character—hoping my readers would stay with the new series.

Then everything changed. My husband and I were laid off our jobs, e-books started to take off, and I re-envisioned my novelist career. (For that whole story, read the blog at this link.) I set this new story aside, rewrote two standalone thrillers I had sitting around, and put them up on Kindle. I went on to self-publish (and promote) four more e-books. That took most of the year.

In October, after launching my fourth Jackson story, my series became a bestseller on Kindle and readers were asking for more.  It was an incredible turnaround, and I’m still amazed by it. In November, I was ready to start writing again. After reading through my outline, I decided I really liked this story and would go ahead and write it.

So…Dying for Justice, the fifth book in the series, features Detective Evans as a major POV character. Evans and Jackson each work their own homicide cases and tell their stories…which of course overlap. Here’s the short blurb: Two unsolved murders from the past, a dirty cop, and a painful family connection—will this be the case that breaks Detective Jackson?

I had a blast writing from Evans POV. She’s very different from Jackson, and it was liberating to let her out in full action. The book will be released in April. If you want an email letting you know it’s available, contact me here. The cover will be posted soon too.

I’m also posting an (unedited) excerpt, if you’d like a teaser. I’m excited about this story and I hope you will be too.

  1. That’s great!!! I can’t wait for the new one. I like Det. Evans and am excited to have her play a bigger role. I think all of your stories are a GREAT read, probably one of my favorites and am so glad for your good fortune so I can continue reading your great stories!!!

  2. I love your story, L.J.! Inspires me to keep writing and putting the titles online! 🙂


  3. Sounds awesome! I’ll be looking for it. 🙂

  4. L.J., not only do you rock, but you’re a rocket woman! Inspired by need (let’s be truthful), you have surpassed everything you thought might be possible. Of course, it helps you’re a fantastic writer and a dedicated bichoker.

    Between you and few others who are spreading their wings and finding an audience, I’m looking at the future with more hope for my own efforts.

  5. Thanks, everyone, for your incredible support! I am humbled by the friends and readers I’ve acquired in the last few years. My life is so enriched because of all of you.

  6. Good news, L.J.! Still following your career. 🙂

  7. Yay for the 5th Det. Jackson story! I’m on the 4th (Passions of the Dead) and I’ve enjoyed all the others, and I’m looking forward to reading Dying for Justice. I have your other 2 novels (The Baby Thief and The Suicide Effect) in my TBR pile. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  8. Wow i cant wait to read it. I will definitly be looking forward to reading the fifth book. Good excerpt

  9. L.J. Your writing brings the characters to life in each book. I began reading the 1st book 2 weeks ago and continued on with them all, finishing the 4th book just now. I turned the page expecting more and was bummed to see it had been the last page. I went to Amazon to find out if a 5th book was expected and found your link.. I’ve never written to an author before and I read alot, but your stories are very addictive and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to your next release. Meanwhile I will add your other 2 books to my collection. I plan to spread the word to friends that also enjoy great mysteries. Thank you!!

  10. Sharon, thank you so much for making an effort to find my blog and contact me. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the series and I appreciate your support. Your kind words made my day!

  11. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing. On twitter you asked for feedback on cover. I like the concept of the cover, but it feels very 1940 ish. Is that what you were going for? Look forward to reading the book.

  12. No, but that’s an interesting observation. They are investigating crimes of the past, however. Still hearing from a lot of people on Twitter and it’s very positive.

  13. You asked for feedback on twitter on the cover. I think it looks awesome, but I agree with Jenni that it has an older sort of feel to it, not really the same feel as I get from reading the books. My only other question would be what does it look like at a little smaller size – I think the search thumbnails on kindle are smaller (though I could be wrong, I have uploaded 600×900 and they wind up smaller in the thumbnails than this). For my upcoming book, I discovered that the cover that really looks good in print looks pretty bad when reduced, so I’ve worked to tweak it a bit.

  14. Thanks, Edward. I do think about how my covers look as small images on Amazon’s list. Of course, I’m biased, but I think they have good “pop.”

  15. Interesting cover, kind of set the tone of caring and vulnerability the way he’s being cradled with the juxtaposition of death at hand. Nice.

  16. Congratulations on your Kindle successes, L.J. It’s certainly well deserved.

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