There’s a New Book Coming

There’s a new book coming, and it’s called Field of Bones. Joanna Brady #18 goes on sale September 4.  (Wait, how can there be that many of those already?  Didn’t I just start writing them yesterday?  I guess time flies when you’re having fun.)

Spoiler alert:  In this book JOANNA HAS THE BABY!  It’s a girl!  The last time Joanna was expecting, the story-line for Denny’s pregnancy and birth meandered through three separate books. This time it’s only two. Oh, and she WINS THE ELECTION!  The problem is, if she didn’t win, that would most likely mean the end of the series. I’m not ready for that, and I doubt my readers are, either.

Regular readers of my blog have already seen this information, but newsletter readers may not be aware of it, so I’m repeating it, just to be on the safe side. I’m having issues with my right shoulder. It doesn’t interfere with typing—I’m icing it right now—but it interferes with traveling. Things like dragging luggage around airports or lifting it into an overhead compartment aren’t in my wheelhouse right now. So for this time out, I’ve taken the book tour off the table.  That’s why there are no scheduled events posted—there aren’t any. Some retailers will have signed but not personalized books available. Barnes and Noble stores will have a limited number available nationwide. Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Mostly Books in Tucson, and V.J. Books in Portland will have signed books as well.  (By the way, the last one mentioned is an on-line presence only—no brick and mortar.)  In addition, copies of Field of Bones sold by Costco will have an additional piece in it—an essay recounting the story of how a chance encounter with a serial killer in 1970 ended up bringing me into the world of mystery writing some fifteen years later.

All that is to say I’m sorry I won’t have a chance to meet up with any of you on the road, but them’s the breaks.

Where did this book come from? One of the characters, Latisha Marcum, showed up in my head and wouldn’t go away. She is by turns naive, tough, resilient, brave, stubborn, and ultimately believably triumphant. The thing is, she didn’t go away even after I finished writing the book. A week or so after I completed the manuscript, I had a dream about Latisha in which the two of us sat down and had a long conversation. I knew I was the writer. She had no idea.  It’s the first and only time in all my years of being a writer that I actually dreamt about one of my characters.

Most of the action in FOB, as we call it around here, takes place in the corner of Arizona that stretches from Douglas east to the New Mexico border, right along with the border with Mexico. People in Cochise County routinely refer to those two entities as New Mexico and Old Mexico respectively. Whenever I make that differentiation in one of my books, I receive E-MOOs  (E-mails of Outrage) explaining in high dudgeon that there’s no such thing as Old Mexico.  Sometimes, however, that’s what you get to do when you write regional books—you get to BE regional.

That seemingly empty corner of Arizona comes loaded with history.  Skeleton Canyon in the Peloncillo Mountains is where Geronimo surrendered. The Mormon Battalion passed through Skeleton Canyon, too, where they found the terrain so steep that they had to disassemble their wagons and raise and lower them and their livestock by using a block and tackle. And it was here in the San Bernardino Valley that Texas John Slaughter lived and ranched while also serving as the Sheriff of Cochise County. I find Arizona endlessly fascinating, and I hope my readers do, too.

One of the advantages of writing a series is watching as a character evolves over time.  We’ve seen Joanna’s daughter, Jenny, grow up before our eyes. In this book, she’s off to college.  Not only is Joanna juggling two little ones in FOB, a kindergartener and a newborn, she’s also struggling with a new role in life.  In the previous book, Downfall, she was preoccupied with the details of losing her mother and stepfather and with planning Eleanor’s and George’s joint funeral and memorial services. Now she’s stepping out as the “older generation.” She’s now the grownup in the room because she has to be. Let’s see how she handles it.

Enjoy, and happy Dog Days of Summer.

Avoid the heat wherever possible.

11 thoughts on “There’s a New Book Coming

  1. I am really looking forward to FOB. I recently reread Desert Heat after a visit to Tucson which resulted in a field trip to Bisbee. After finishing Desert Heat, I just kept reading! I’m now on Book 13 of the Joanna Brady series, even though I’ve already read them all. I’ve forgotten most, if not all of the details of the earlier books so it’s like reading them for the first time. As I get closer to Book 17, however, I’m starting to remember more about the stories. My very favorite scene in all the books is when a 9 months pregnant Joanna shoots the ankle of a carjacker who has taken off in a car with two small children. She and her deputy have chased him until he has to pull over due to rough terrain. He’s trying to get one of the kids out of the car to use as a human shield. Joanna is on her very pregnant stomach with a semi-automatic rifle when she sees his feet under the car. She makes a quick decision that saves the kids and nails that bad guy. With one shot, she shoots him in the foot!

  2. Thanks for being sucha great author. I hope your shoulder heals properly soon. I so look forward to each and every new book. And sure hope you will be in Green Valley next March as usual. Love your presentations. Always come away with a “song in my heart”

  3. I love Joanna! She is me, I am her when I read! SO looking forward to this book! The hard part is finishing it and then she and I as one are no more again! My sister just finished Ali so I have bagged up up all my Joanna books to take to her on Sunday! Of course I will get Ali back from her! Live in Sedona, lived in Redmond and have been to Bisbee so your writings are all about parts known to me. Being of an older young, body parts take a lot longer to heal. You are right to take some “You” time. Love to you my friend!!! Kathie??

  4. I’m with you. Way to early to stop the Brady series. (Has the Beaumont series run its course?) Your characters are like the “characters” that read your/our books. We get older … and sometimes wiser. I’m looking to FOB.

    I worked for a company right after high school delivering developed photographs to drug stores and camera shops from the processing lab. Because of the questionable ability of some to pay via statements, I was to collect payment upon delivery. The boss called it COD (cash on delivery) or FOB (fetch it on back). Don’t really know what that has to do with anything. Just needed to exercise my fingers I guess.

    With a sincere prayer, I hope you’ll soon be over the painful aftermath of your dislocated shoulder. I’m glad it hasn’t had an effect on your typing.

  5. Ugh sorry about the wonky shoulder……for me shoulders are one of those places where it suddenly hurts with no prior warning, making me very movement adverse. Hope the icing helps – at least it warm weather, icing in the winter is awful.

    Delighted to hear there is a new Brady book on the horizon – my mom (age 94) likes that series the best so it will be great to have a new one for her.

    Glad you are keeping up the good work!

    ceci

  6. Your books fascinate me! I got into the Joanna Brady series because I love that area of our country. I must admit that I’m in love with Beau and have been for years. Seattle is gorgeous and he is more than one of your average characters on a page.
    Heal and take care!

  7. Love the stories you write, beau is my personal favorite,though he was more interesting single. Wish you lived in my area as I use an excellent chiropractor and perhaps he could help your shoulder. Waiting to read about Joanna’s new baby – thank you for great books.

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