Chrysalis – A Race to Death

This book has been a long time coming for some of you! Last year, I promised there would be a fourth book in the Jamie/Sam series and I’m so happy to announce that it’s done!! Early in September, Chrysalis will be available through Amazon and online book sellers as a paperback and an ebook.

Over the next four weeks, I’ll be writing about the book to give you a heads up, and a sampling of the writing. But first, here’s a little background:

{in this book} It’s 2008, and Jamie and Sam have just moved to Ponca City after living in Pawhuska since their marriage. Jamie’s mother, Mary Jamison (you met her in Beehives) has come to live with them after having a fall while living alone in her Rio Rancho, NM home. It’s September, and six weeks earlier Jamie started a new job teaching science at the Ponca City high school, while Sam opened a new family law office. He’s maintaining his office in Pawhuska, but will only meet with clients there every other week on Fridays.

They are basically happy, although Jamie is apprehensive about loss of privacy after her mother moves in. Her mother is also worried about loss of privacy and independence, a common response. On the surface, all seems well, but as you can tell from the following Prologue, someone is about to make their lives miserable.

September 2008Sunday

The Watcher, wearing a black hoodie and surrounded by candy bar wrappers and empty potato chip bags, slumps in the front seat of a parked Honda. Crumbs litter the carpet and a musty smell fills the car.

Two houses away, Jamie Aldrich Mazie and her husband, attorney Sam Mazie, supervise two burly men in t-shirts unloading boxes from a moving van in the driveway.

Eyes narrowed, the Watcher taps the steering wheel and glares toward an unknown and unexpected third person who is pacing the porch of the Mazie home. The thin, gray-haired woman wrings her hands and frowns into the bright nearly-autumn day.

The Watcher’s fingers beat a staccato rhythm in the shadow-filled car.

He’s hardly aged, he’s as good looking as ever. And his wife … Thick dark hair. Not thin, not fat. Normal. So, why did Sam marry her?

The watcher studies the couple as they move beside the workmen. Both dressed in jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts, both in their late 40s.

They probably work out. The Watcher sneers and sips diet cola from a convenience store cup.

Revenge will be sweet. The Watcher sets the cup in the holder and grins. He’s got to pay, one way or another, for the rest of his life. Sam and his family. They’ve all got to pay.

A vehicle approaches from the opposite direction. The Watcher slumps lower, pulls the edge of the hoodie down, and turns the ignition key of the ubiquitous white Honda.

Keep it together. Don’t tempt fate. Only a few more days. A week?

The Watcher turns the steering wheel, makes a U-turn and drives slowly down the street, away from Jamie and Sam’s new home. Anticipation races up the Watcher’s spine.

That’s how it begins. I’ll be sharing the first chapter with you over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, here’s a little more information. In Cobwebs, the first book of the series, you met Trudy, and Vera. You also met Queenie, the part basset hound dog who came to live with Jamie mid-way through the book. They’re all back in Book 4. In addition, over the intervening seven years, Queenie has had puppies. Two  of her ‘sons,’ Zeus and Augie Doggie, are also in this story. Another new furry friend is Princess, the cat.

I chose the name Chrysalis for this book because it is symbolic of what happens. I hope you get that message as you read. A chrysalis is the name given to the hard covering that a caterpillar creates and lives in while undergoing metamorphosis into a butterfly. (A cocoon is similar, but houses a caterpillar that will become a moth.)

The second part of the title: A Race to Death, has to do with the name of a play that Jamie’s high school’s drama club is staging with the Ponca Playhouse as a fundraiser. The subject of the play is the Ponca City Grand Prix, a road race that was held for over twenty years on a stretch of road in Lake Ponca Park east of town. But it has double meaning, as you will soon find out if you read the book.

And I hope you will read the book, and also that you’ll return to read more about it in this blog during the month of August.

(Note: all of my books are currently on sale on my website! If you haven’t read them, or would like to give them as gifts, they are a good buy right now at Soon, they’ll be available with new covers! It’s your last chance to get the original version.)


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