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#TuesdayBookBlog WIP and apologies #Iamwriting

Hi all:

First, sorry to all of you who’ve been trying to comment on my blog and finding bizarre requests or those who have been notified of posts or pages that don’t appear. I’ve been trying to catch up on the new Data Protection Regulations and exploring different possible plugins to try and facilitate the process, with less than stellar results (sorry again). I have no idea how things will work out but I think it might take a while for me to find a solution, so don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me.

In case you want to comment but you can’t here, please, feel free to e-mail me: mmxrynz@hotmail.com (and don’t be worried, it’s not WordPress trying to drive me mad. I’m doing it myself).

If you want to check some information about the data protection act in the European Union and how it might affect blogging, you can check here.

As an apology, I thought I’d share a bit of the next book I hope to publish after the summer sometime. It will be the fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series (although it is number three, as one is a prequel) and it will be called Deadly Quotes. It was going to be a collaboration with another author, including some characters from one of his own series, but that didn’t work out, so I’ve made some changes. I am not sure the series will go in this direction, but I grew fond of the book, so… The Spanish version has been corrected and the English version will be in the next few weeks. The cover artist is working on the definite cover, but I’ll share my Canva attempts (don’t forget to check this fabulous website here), the description and a little sample from the beginning. If you’re interested and would like an early copy (it won’t be ready until July at the earliest) do let me know.

(Ah, and the images come from Unsplash.com and are copyright free).

Thanks for your patience and your help.

Deadly Quotes. Escaping Psychiatry 3 by Olga Núñez Miret

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.

Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note? Was it murder?

Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating but are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The third book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you can’t miss this novel.

Discover Mary Miller’s new adventure, and if you’re new to the Escaping Psychiatry series, you can read the prequel Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings, in e-book format, FREE.

Here is my sample:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a murderer will go back to the scene of the crime. Of course, as is the case with any wisdom that has become general knowledge, it must be taken with a pinch of salt, although… (King, T. To Live Killing)

 

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” One of those sentences that have been attributed to many people through history and through the years. Personally, I prefer Oscar Wilde’s version. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” I’ve always had a weakness for Wilde. Don’t you start thinking now that I share his taste on the opposite sex, or rather, the same sex. But his style… not sartorial, but his behaviour, the way he showed off and he treated others, his genius, his art… And yes, like him I also think that I’ve dedicated my genius to my life, and only my talent to my art.

I’m conscious that not many people see it that way and they don’t believe murder is a talent, something one should cultivate or feel proud about, but I do. For me it wasn’t an impulse, something I did in a moment of insanity, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, overburdened by my emotions or provoked to the limit of my resistance. No, no, not at all. It was a conscious and premeditated decision.

I know there are many who follow family tradition; they start working in their parents’ business when they’re young, or perhaps they end up there, not quite so young, even if they don’t want to. Some try many different things without being able to find their calling, something they’ve been born to do, however hard they try. Others seek advice from counsellors, guides, gurus or coaches, asking them to help them find their true talent. I don’t imagine any of them would ever advice anybody to go into a life of crime or murder, even if they have the ability and the skill for it. I suspect that’s something one discovers alone, be it with desperation, disillusionment or trepidation.

In my case, I realised when I was quite young that I was interested in death. And that I had a certain talent (with time I’ve become modest) to accelerate its arrival. Once I overcame my initial surprise (after all, I come from a normal family and didn’t have, at the time, any criminal connections) I devoted myself fully to it. It’s true that practice makes perfect. And, although I shouldn’t say that, I achieved a certain level of mastery. That’s why, now that due to my sad personal circumstances I can’t carry on practising, I thought that a book, a cross between memoir and manual, could be of interest, not only to those who study people like me, but also to those who might be considering serial murders as a possible career.

Even though, as all artists, I’m against plagiarism and piracy; as I say at the beginning, imitation is a completely different matter. So, if you find here something useful that you might be able to use in your future endeavours, don’t hesitate. Of course, a token of recognition and appreciation will be always welcome.

The Case

Mary read the e-mail Leah had sent her to the encrypted account the FBI had set for her.

Hi, Mary:

As you and Elliott have been encouraging me to get into other aspects of investigations, apart from the post-mortem reports, when this case dropped on my lap and I started to make enquiries, I thought about you. Read the information I send you and I’ll phone you tomorrow.

Summary of the post-mortem report:

Steve Burton, male, 45 years old, estate agent by profession, divorced with two sons, with no criminal history, was found collapsed in front of his computer in Sparta, Georgia. They thought he’d had a heart attack and had died of natural causes.

One of the policemen noticed what was written on the computer screen. It seems it was a new document, and they didn’t find any copy of it on Burton’s computer, and the only thing written there, in Times New Roman 36, was: Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

At first, they thought that it might have been a story he was writing, but they could find no evidence that he did any writing. Neither in his computer, nor in his online browsing history, or even in the type of things he read, that weren’t many. It seems that he was interested in football, police-procedural TV series, and little else. That made them suspect that perhaps his death was not natural and that the quote might have been written by the murderer.

I know that apart from being a writer you are also an avid reader. I don’t know if you will think the same, but I thought the statement in question sounded like a quotation. And even more, it sounded familiar to me. So, after thinking about it and it going round and round in my head and the computer, I finally found where it came from. I’m sure you’ll remember Taylor King. A serial killer that terrorised the country a decade ago. You probably remember he was caught and he’s still locked-up, but after plenty of controversy and disputes to and fro, they decided to publish his memoirs, To Live Killing. It’s a quote from that book.

Taylor is in a high-secure psychiatric unit, so it couldn’t have been him, but it may have been a copycat.

I asked them to do more tests, as they didn’t know what had killed Burton. I suggested they look for injection marks, and told them to send the blood samples to some specialized toxicology labs to make sure they had not used a rare poison or some new drug. As you can see from the pictures I attach, there is no evidence that he resisted.

Today they called me to tell me that they had found a needle mark in Burton’s body. In the popliteal fossa, the area behind the knee. And, luckily, a more sophisticated lab managed to find traces of a new sleeping pill, very fast acting, in his blood. It’s called Somnodem. They were tiny traces, but it’s very likely that he was asleep when he was murdered, and that explains why he didn’t resist.

But there are too many things that don’t fit in that made me think this is not just a simple murder, if there ever is such a thing. Although they had only asked me to check the post-mortem, I’ve had an idea. I’ll call you to see what you think.

Thanks and speak to you soon.

Leah

Mary smiled. She had met Leah, a Forensic Pathologist working for the FBI, when they had asked her to become a consultant for the FBI after she survived the attack of a rapist and serial killer, and Leah was in charge of the induction course for the newbies. Mary immediately liked her, although it was evident that she did not enjoy talking in public, even if it was to a small group of people. She was good at teaching, but it bothered her that people were forever asking her about one of her teammates, who seemed to be very well-known in the FBI and had a reputation for being both a weirdo and a genius, Elliott Best. Because Mary was not an FBI insider and did not know the said Elliott, she focused on the topic they were studying and they ended up talking after the course ended, and had kept in touch. Leah had confessed that she was seeing Elliott but they hadn’t told anybody, to avoid interference in their privacy. And now, after much discussion of investigations and cases, in the abstract, it seemed that finally there was something more tangible to work on, perhaps together.

Thanks for your patience and thanks for reading, liking, sharing, and reviewing and remember to keep smiling!

Categories
book promo Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview, news, and a sample. #ILoveYourCupcakes #Romance

Hi all:

I decided to take a mini-break from my reviews (not that I’ve finished reviewing all the books, but some of the books I’ve reviewed recently are not due to be published yet, so…) to bring you some news. And to share a lovely review of one of my books.

First, some of you know already, but I’m now back in Barcelona. Although I will probably visit the UK sometimes, as I have friends there, I’ve sold my house, so I won’t be spending there long periods of time. I might tell you more about the process itself at some point, but let’s say it put my patience to the test and it took longer than I expected. I have only been back a few weeks, my things took a bit of time to join me and I’m still trying to get settled here, so I’ll keep you posted. (The weather has been quite crazy, but I know that’s been the same everywhere, so I’m not too alarmed yet, worried that I might have brought the weather with me).

Second, as those who read me often know, I don’t talk about my own books often and don’t check my review unless somebody shares them with me.  But Robbie Cheadle, baker, writer and blogger extraordinaire, was kind enough to review the audio of my book I Love Your Cupcakes, recently, and I had to share it with you.

Here it is:

#Bookreview – I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Nunez Miret

Oh, and don’t forget to check Robbie’s blog and her books. If you love cakes and great stories, you should not miss her collection of books created in collaboration with her son Michael. And she has a new book just out. Check it here!

As this book has also been republished in Spanish by a small independent publishing company, I thought it was a sign I had to talk about it. Ah, and the #MeToo campaign has made me thought about it more than once. Unfortunately, sometimes fiction is not so fictional.

Here a sample, from chapter 16, where the main protagonists, Dulce and Adelfa, and the two members of another team competing in the same TV baking programme, are having a bit of a break.

The girls’ night in was exactly what the two teams needed. They had a heated discussion about what movie to watch, with Adelfa and Trisha set up on an action movie or a thriller, and Dulce and Candy keener on a comedy. Eventually, they decided to start with a romantic comedy and if they still felt like watching anything else they’d look for something less “fluffy.” They ordered from a variety of fast-food venues and more than anything, they had a great time talking about their businesses and their lives.

“It’s amazing to think that after being all day in the kitchen around food we can still eat,” Dulce noted.

“I don’t know if it’s the nerves or what, but I don’t think I’ve eaten a proper decent meal since all this started” Trisha replied. “I’ve just realized I’m starving!”

“A proper decent meal this? I thought you were into organic products” Adelfa said, stuffing a big chunk of pizza into her mouth and proceeding to munch it noisily.

“Well, OK, a good old-fashioned bad-for-you bit of food then” Candy nodded. “If one is good all the time it’s too boring. After all, if there was nothing bad in the world, and no temptations, how hard would it be to be good? There would be no merit in it!”

“I love how you think!” Dulce declared.

The romantic movie got them talking about relationships. They realized that none of them were, or had been, in a steady relationship for some time.

“I guess we’re very dedicated to our businesses and we don’t have much time to do things that encourage the birth of a relationship.” Candy said.

“I’m firmly of the opinion that women who are in a relationship with somebody have a better chance of ending up in another relationship than if they are alone,” Trisha said.

“How do you work that one out?” Adelfa asked.

“Oh, it’s my own theory, but it’s the law of the market. If you are with somebody, it signals to other men that you are relationship material, others find you desirable (and men are suckers for competition,  having to prove that they are better than anybody else, can have what other men have and take it from them) and your market value is higher. If you’re alone, on the other hand, either nobody values you and thinks you’re good enough, or you’re too difficult. Your market value is lower. You’ll have to offer a discount to make a sale. It’s also easier to find a job if you’re already in one than if you are unemployed.”

“Trisha’s law of relationships,” Candy said. She’d evidently heard her friend expose her theory a few times.

“No, don’t mock her. I think she might be onto something.” Adelfa said.

“It’s also quite possible that being independent women, our own bosses, and used to doing things our own way will not make us very attractive to certain types of men either,” Dulce said. “Look at my friend Adelfa, here. Not only is she in a fairly successful partnership with me, but she’s on her way to becoming a Professor at University, she does her own research, she’s a sought-after chemist…And on top of that, she’s pretty too. You need to be fairly self-confident to try and woo her.”

Adelfa smiled and pinched Dulce’s cheek.

“We’re all pretty amazing women. Anybody for some Chinese food?”

They went to bed quite late, tired but happy and relaxed. They had a whole free day ahead of them!

Here the info about it in case you want to check:

I Love Your Cupcakes. Cover by Lourdes Vidal
I Love Your Cupcakes. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes

Dulce, Adelfa, and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only want to talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love? Recipes included (only for cakes, not love!)

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO           NOOK            APPLE           SCRIBD        

PAGE FOUNDRY   OYSTER  GOOGLE PLAY     PAPER    

Also in audio, with a slightly different cover:

I Love Your Cupcakes, audio with Gwyn Olson as narrator

In AUDIBLE (UK) AMAZON.COM    AMAZON.CO.UK     i-TUNES

And for an audio sample, you can go here!

Thanks very much to Robbie for her review, and to everybody who’s kindly shared it, to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, REVIEW, and to keep smiling!

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