Baby it’s cold outside!

It’s probably not that cold to a lot of you out there, but for us here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, it doesn’t get cold like it’s been this week. I’ve lived in North and Central Texas for almost 40 years now, and I don’t remember ever hearing them predict 12 degrees in my area and yet this week, they did. We haven’t been that cold yet, and may not get that cold, but just the thought is crazy! It’s 33 now and plenty cold enough for me. I was born in southern California and went to high school in Phoenix AZ where it’s nice and warm year round. I’m not prepared for this!

One thing it’s done for me, though, is keep me inside and close to my computer with a little more time to write than I usually have this time of year. That’s a good thing. I’ve got deadlines looming after the new year and some serious revision time ahead. I have to admit, I’ve been slow on the uptake on promoting my own books, much to my chagrin (and my publisher’s dismay I suspect). I’m on the lookout to form a posse who’ll help me get the word out and keep me on task, and a few committed souls who’ll volunteer as beta readers. Let me know if you want to lend a hand!

AngelKillerfrontWhat’s next for me? In Angel Killer, Shari Markham had a bit of a cold, hard winter. The case was solved, but her emotions were wrecked in the process. Did she bite off more than she could chew when she took the position as psychologist and profiler with the Dallas Police? It’s one thing to want a job where you can make a difference, but what if it works better in theory than practice? What if the consequences of your decisions are life or death and you make the wrong choice? The team might’ve solved the question of whodunit on their last case, but what about who you should trust? That answer isn’t as clear and as another horrific case unfolds in the hot, Dallas summer, Shari’s self-confidence has taken a beating. She’s not sure she can trust herself, much less anyone else. Fortunately, Shari’s as stubborn as she is smart, and then there’s that sign on her office wall that her sons gave her that says: Never Give Up; Never Surrender

Till next time!

PJ

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Dr. Shari Markham on getting in over her head

Here’s a post that’s written in the character of Dr. Shari Markham, protagonist of Angel Killer:AngelKillerfront

I can’t be sure if it’s more like jumping off a high cliff or drowning in the middle of the ocean, but I was definitely in over my head.

It all seemed so simple. I was tired of my job at CPS. Of seeing so many cases never closed and so many kids with so many needs never met. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer out of the blue, everything seemed to happen so fast. Four months later, he was gone. My oldest son was married and my youngest just started medical school. Ken had enough life insurance that I was taken care of. Our house was paid for. But life as I knew it was over.

For years I’d said if I could, I’d go back to school and get my PhD in psychology and go to work for a law enforcement agency where maybe I could actually make a difference. The more I thought about it, and talked to the boys, the better it sounded and soon I was enrolled in Sam Houston State. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The study of abnormal and criminal psychology was fascinating. After graduation, one of my professors was kind enough to put in a good word for me when I applied for a newly created position with the Dallas Police Department in their Crimes against Persons division.

Everything seemed like it was going exactly the way I wanted it to. Then came the wakeup call. Sergeant Brian Grant seemed none too pleased to have to clean out the storage room to make an office for me, and the rest of the officers in the division followed his lead. Oh, they were polite, most of the time, but I was definitely the outsider. I pretty much stayed in my office unless I absolutely had to leave, and I did the requisite evaluations and paperwork, but it was hard. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach that followed me home in the evening and I started wondering how it could be so different than I thought it would be.

I guess I seemed pretty down. Gradually, Sgt. Grant started asking me to go with him more often when he went into the field. I found that I really liked being able to visit the crime scenes and be present when they interviewed witnesses. Sometimes I even noticed things in the witness’s body language or facial expressions that the officers didn’t notice and was able to help them interpret information that was important to solving the case. Finally, a reason to be there!

There’s still so much that I don’t know, but over the last year, I’ve become acquainted with most of the guys and we’re friendly. Each new case is eye-opening and I still get that butterfly feeling in my stomach when the tension rises. I know that each decision can be life-threatening or life-saving. That’s a lot of pressure. But I’m up for it. I’ll be the best criminal psychologist I can be.

“Listen up! We’ve got a DB out on I-20. Shari, you coming?”

Would you like to know more about Shari and her new job? Angel Killer is just the beginning…