Want an autographed first edition of Eldercide or Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders? I can get it for you wholesale! I have only a few dozen copies of each novel left, and I’m offering them for $12.00 apiece, or $20.00 for both. If you want more than two, each additional copy will also go for $10.00. Shipping and handling is additional.
I self-published both books with the print-on-demand company Virtualbookworm, and for now, they’re both available from Amazon at $14.95 each. You’re welcome to order them there, but I’m suspicious: many people have told me they ordered them, but my royalty checks have been pitifully few and far between. Soon I’ll be withdrawing these editions from Amazon and replacing them with new editions on Kindle and CreateSpace, to coincide with the launch of the new paranormal novel I’ve been blogging about.
Thanks to my fellow Michael Easton fan, Alison Armstrong, for inspiring this idea. Her vampire novel Revenance looks intriguing, and we agreed to trade books via good old-fashioned U.S. mail. She said she’d prefer I send the one with the character based on Michael. Sorry, I thought, I haven’t finished that one yet, but then I remembered: his Caleb Morley character was a major inspiration for Gabriel in Eldercide – a charismatic and charming serial killer with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. Below, I’m reprinting the segment of Chapter One that introduces Gabriel. He’s killed an elderly woman a few hours earlier, and Claire, the nursing supervisor for the home care agency providing live-in care for the woman, has just learned of the death. I hope this excerpt intrigues you enough to buy a copy and read more about him!
From Eldercide, Chapter One
Copyright 2008 Julie Lomoe
Across the lake, Gabriel squinted through the telescope. Claire Lindstrom sprawled motionless on the chaise, her head turned toward the morning sun. Her wavy blond hair curtained her face from view. Too bad – he’d have liked to see her expression. When she’d made the call, her back had been turned. He felt a flash of anger. Watching was part of what made his work worthwhile, and she was depriving him of the pleasure.
The scene was deceptively idyllic, like a watercolor on the cover of an L.L. Bean catalog. The slender blonde in a turquoise tee and khaki shorts stretched on the forest green, Adirondack-style chaise, her skin still summer tanned. The big dog, its hair a shade lighter than Claire’s, lying nearby on the lawn that swept down to the water. The kayak, a nifty accent in fire engine red, pulled up on the beach, the lake sparkling in the morning sun, encircled by deep green hills.
Maybe he should start painting again. He’d taken a couple of courses in college, and the instructor had told him he had talent worth pursuing. The network kept him fairly busy, but although the number of assignments was increasing, there were still stretches of inactivity. And painting might bleed off some of the nervous energy he felt when he’d successfully completed a mission.
Last night, for example. The old lady’s death had progressed perfectly, exactly as planned. He had shone the flashlight full into her face, watched the confusion, the slow dawning of comprehension segueing into terror, the creeping paralysis as the drug took hold. Even after the breathing stopped, the eyes clung desperately to life. It was hard to pinpoint the exact moment she crossed over, but he kept the light focused on her face for a full five minutes as he watched the life glow fade from her eyes. Then, still wearing the latex gloves, he closed her lids.
Death by paralysis had to be ghastly, but at least the suffering was short-lived, infinitely superior to the endlessly prolonged agony and degradation that modern medicine inflicted on the chronically and terminally ill. He’d had his fill of that in the nursing career he’d abandoned.
The new affiliation had come as a godsend, and the money wasn’t half bad. But the role they’d cast him in was too limited, too predictable. The powers that be had cautioned him to follow their protocol precisely. No room for creativity or improvisation. He was just a cog in a much larger machine. But that could change with time. If he played by their rules, they promised, the potential for advancement was virtually limitless.
He watched through the scope as Claire climbed off the chaise. She raked her fingers through her hair, daubed at her eyes. He caught a glimpse of her elegant features before she turned and headed for the house. Before long she would probably be at Harriet Gardener’s place. He wished he could join her there, savor her reaction. But that was out of the question.
He’d called in his report hours ago, and a day of enforced idleness yawned in front of him. All at once he knew how to spend it: he would drive to New York City, pick up some supplies at that discount art supply store in SoHo. Pearl Paint, on Canal Street, near Chinatown. He’d be down and back before nightfall, and if they had a new assignment for him, they could always reach him on his cell.
He decided to buy oil paints. They had a squishy, sensuous feel that was more satisfying than acrylics. Cadmium red light would be perfect for the kayak, and it was good for mixing flesh tones, too. He wanted to do justice to Claire.
If you’d like to read more, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work out the details. I’ll be delighted to inscribe the books to you personally, and who knows – they may be worth more than ten or twelve dollars some day!