Don’t Panic!

Last night was another session of the Mobile Police Department’s citizen’s academy. (I did not try to drown myself with a water bottle this week!) We learned about the various precincts, different areas within the department, saw video from a dashboard camera of a pursuit that ended in a shoot out (The officer involved was uninjured and the two car thieves were arrested.), and saw some of the cool toys Mobile PD uses, including Segways and the ultra coolest, Sky Watch, a mobile observation tower.

We also signed up for “ride alongs” with patrol officers. I chose to ride with someone from the precinct in which I live and to report for morning roll call in order to get the “full experience.” The patrol officers work in 12-hours shifts. I’m going to attempt to stay for the entire shift. I don’t know if I’ll make it the full 12-hours, but I’m going to try. The “ride along” is scheduled for Friday…chosen because Mark will be working from home that day and my day of editing BLOOD LAW would be somewhat disrupted anyway. Plus, I’d rather sleep in on Saturday.

Speaking of BLOOD LAW, if you have already pre-ordered through (Thank you, thank you, thank you!!), you probably received an email stating the release date has changed from May 25, 2010, to June 22, 2010. Don’t panic! This isn’t really a “delay” so much as a “correction.” Dell, my publisher, has said from day one that I was scheduled for a June 2010 release. This was not unexpected. All you have to do is follow the instructions in Amazon’s email to accept the changed date. (And, please, do so before the deadline listed in the email, otherwise, I believe your order will be cancelled!)

Bouchercon 2009 is only a few weeks away! My schedule is rapidly filling up with all the requests for lunch, coffee, drinks, and dinner. (Sorry, folks, but Friday, October 16 is booked solid, including lunch with Ms. Editor and Ms. Publisher, and the Random House cocktail party.) When, why, and how did I become…popular? It amazes me. I’m just a geeky gal from the Mississippi backwoods, never “popular” or “cool” in high school, and now…suddenly…people know my name and want to hang out with me. It’s all very surreal to me.

While on the subject of surreal, I’ve confirmed my attendance to the RT Booklovers Convention in Columbus, OH — April 28-May 2, 2010. This is the first confirmed conference appearance for next year — and my first RT Convention, period. I’ve heard wild stories. Don’t know if I’m ready for this or not, but I’ll be there. Other appearances are in the works and I’ll keep everyone posted as news becomes available.

One tiny final conference-related bit of trivia here… One of Mark’s (former) co-workers, Mike, (Hey, dude! *waves*) recently moved to San Diego, CA. Mike has been a great and early supporter for BLOOD LAW and I made a deal with him. If he can provide 100 people to show up for a book signing at the Random House booth, I would attend San Diego Comic Con next year. Mike’s response: “I can do this.” So…now comes the question, “Can he do this?” If memory serves me correctly, I believe the last count for BLOOD LAW attendees stood at 7. Will he make it? Will I attend SDCC? *looks at calendar* Hmm…I don’t know…only time will tell…

Of course, all these appearances hinge on BLOOD LAW‘s release. To that end, I should probably get back to work. So….


Cops and Wet T-Shirts

Yesterday was a busy day here at Hacienda del Holmes. Naturally, the cats were spazzing most of the morning. Scraps of paper, dust bunnies, and shed whiskers become mighty dragons in their minds. There was a whole lotta pouncing, chasing, and general mayhem. (Only Nugget was in a dragon-slaying mood this morning, so it was relatively quiet.)

I spent most of the day catching up on emails and doing other “housekeeping” type stuff until it was time for Ms. Editor to call and discuss the final round of edits for BLOOD LAW. It’s all minor tweaking in the vein of adding a sentence or two here and there to clarify things. It shouldn’t take long to wrap these up at all. Huzzah! We also discussed the plan for Book 2 and she gave the official green light on it. (Good thing, too, since I already started writing it. Hehe.) We also discussed other Super Secret Items Which I’m Not Currently At Liberty To Divulge. *evil author grin* Overall, it was a good conversation that left me completely jazzed to get to work on these edits.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to start work right away. Last night was the opening night for the Mobile Police Department’s “Citizen’s Academy” and I was selected to participate in the program. I spent three glorious hours learning some of the basic foundations of law enforcement. According to our schedule of events, the next 11-weeks are going to be filled with information and fun. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about their community and how the police operate within it to check with their local PD and see if they offer a “Citizen’s Academy” type program. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors, the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us all, and have a little fun in the process.

Of course, being the complete klutz that I am, I can’t go anywhere in public without doing something to embarrass myself. The Academy staff provided light food fare — finger sandwiches, fried chicken wings, barbecue meatballs, and beverages — for everyone. I chose to stick with water as my beverage of choice. Everything is going great when suddenly the water bottle slips as I’m taking a sip. What is the most natural of reactions when something starts slipping from your hand? You tighten your grip. Well, you can guess what happened next.


Water up the nose. Water splashed all over my chest. (When I told Mark about the incident, his reaction was to laugh hysterically and say that I should’ve told everyone I was “there for the wet T-shirt contest.” Yes, I smacked him.)

*sigh* Only I can nearly drown myself with a bottle of water while surrounded by about thirty people, including five or six highly trained cops, and at least one nurse.

This is why I often avoid the buffets and such at cocktail parties and stick to non-alcoholic drinks served in real glasses. I’m a klutz. If I can possibly drip, dribble, spill, stain, or otherwise embarrass the hell out of myself, I’ll find a way to do it. I don’t even have to be at an important function. I can do the same whenever Mark and I go out for dinner. It happens so frequently that we’ve created a motto: “If Jeannie doesn’t drip, it wasn’t worth the trip.” Grace in motion, I am not.

Oh well… All these little embarrassments build character. Right? Right?

BLOOD LAW Available for Pre-Order!

I┬ácan’t decide if I should be jumping for joy or having a panic attack so I think I’ll just go stand in the corner and babble incoherently for a little while.

September 2: BLOOD LAW is available for pre-order on — Click here to visit the pre-order page.

September 4: BLOOD LAW is available for pre-order on — Click here to visit the pre-order page.