ARCs of NEVER BROKEN are now available for review and for Kindle pre-order!
NEVER BROKEN, book two in the Lisa Jamsion Mystery/Suspense series, is now available to reviewers on NetGalley and for pre-order on Kindle. Pre-orders for paperback and other e-readers should be available in March.
What do you think of the cover?
Here's more about NEVER BROKEN
The near corpse of a stranger had no idea where he’d been, how long he’d
been there or who had kept him captive. But one thing intrigued journalist Lisa
Jamison even more than his story: recent memories of a woman named Chandra
Seven years had passed since Chandra disappeared from Seneca Springs without
a trace. Police investigators still compared DNA records whenever an
unidentified body appeared, hoping to at least bring her family closure. Lisa
still chased down leads from desperate family and friends, being careful to
hide her investigations from an editor who thought she’d become obsessed with a
woman who was clearly dead.
But this man had just seen her, sewing designer clothes in a dark, filthy
basement with about twenty other men and women under horrifically inhumane
conditions. And the sweatshop workers all had one thing in common: All were
people of color.
A split-second decision to help the man takes Lisa on a race against time.
His captors want him back, there is evidence someone on the police force might
be involved and the man knows that if he were recaptured, they would torture
him until he revealed the names of the two people who helped him escape: Lisa
Jamison and Chandra Bower.
Lisa promised her teenage daughter she would stay away from the dangerous
stories ever since her job had nearly gotten them both killed two years before.
But she no longer has a choice. She must keep the stranger hidden while she
gathers enough evidence to turn the case over to city police or the FBI. At least
three lives—her own, the stranger’s and Chandra’s—depend on it.
If you read and enjoyedA DEAD MAN'S EYES,please consider clicking on a rating or leaving a review on your favorite website, such as Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Book Bub. Reviews are important to newbies like me, who are also published by small presses. We greatly appreciate them.
If you haven't read the novel, you can order A DEAD MAN'S EYES through any of these links or from your favorite book store.
Book two in the Lisa Jamison Mystery Series arrives in bookstores in April of 2022! For a description of NEVER BROKEN and my other upcoming novels, click here.
Meet Lori Robbins
Lori Robbins began dancing at age 16 and launched her professional career three years later. Robbins performed with a number of modern dance and ballet companies, including Ballet Hispanico and the St. Louis Concert Ballet. The opening work in her On Pointe Mystery Series, Murder in First Position, won first place in the Indie Book Awards for Best Mystery, was a finalist for a Silver Falchion, and is short-listed for a Mystery and Mayhem Book Award. Murder in Second Positionwas released in November 2021. Her debut novel, Lesson Plan for Murder, won the Silver Falchion Award and was a finalist in the Readers’ Choice and Indie Book Awards. It will be re-released by Level Best Books in June 2022. Short stories include “Accidents Happen” in Murder Most Diabolical and “Leading Ladies” in Justice for All. She also is a contributor to The Secret Ingredient: A Mystery Writers Cookbook.
As a writer, an English teacher, and the mother of six, Robbins is an expert in the homicidal impulses everyday life inspires.
About Murder in Second Position
Ballerina Leah Siderova belongs onstage. Not in an interrogation room at Manhattan’s Twentieth Precinct. And yet, for the second time in less than a year, that’s where she has a starring role. It wasn’t her fault someone killed the autocratic new director of American Ballet Company. And it wasn’t her job to find the killer.
Leah is determined to stay as far away as possible from the murder investigation. After all, if she were going to kill someone, it would have been the woman who’s been relentlessly trolling her on social media.
And that’s where things get complicated. Because when dancers say, “ballet can be murder” they don’t mean it literally.
Most of the time.
Q: Your On Pointe series is set in the world of professional ballet. What inspired you to set bring murder and ballet together?
Lori: I’m a former professional dancer, and it’s a world I know well, one that’s filled with intense drama and conflict. A ballerina’s professional life is brutally short, even without a fictional murder thrown into the mix, and that makes dancers extremely vulnerable to all kinds of pressure. An added element of tension is embedded in the fact that dancers aren’t simply in competition with each other. They’re also in competition with themselves: their own bodies and their own frailties. I’ve read and watched many stories that take place in the dance world. It bothers me when the details aren’t true to life, and it was really important to me to get things right.
Q: How has your series been received by people you know in the ballet world?
Lori: Almost all responses have been really positive. The one negative response came from a thirty-something ballerina, who said she found my book too painful to read. She’s going through the same fraught time in her life as my protagonist is in hers. She still looks about fifteen years old, but that doesn’t matter. The pandemic has cut short the career of this incredibly gifted dancer.
Q: Do you have a favorite scene or character in your latest release, Murder in Second Position?
Lori: My favorite scenes take place at Studio Dance. It’s a fictionalized amalgam of two dance studios in NYC: Steps and Ballet Arts. I’ve taken class at both places many times, and several older dancers I met there were the inspiration for three characters.
Q: How long have you been writing and how have you pulled it off with six children and a full-time job?
Lori: I was about ten years old when I wrote my first book. It was a sequel to 101 Dalmatians, which I creatively titled 102 Dalmatians. In later years, I thought the idea was silly, but Disney ended up doing pretty well with the concept. When my kids were young, I scratched out two books that, objectively speaking, were total garbage but great practice. It’s almost as if I had to get them off my chest and out of my head in order to begin writing with an eye to getting published. As for the six-kids/full-time job situation, as a teacher I had the summer to get the bulk of my writing done. Even so, it wasn’t until my youngest kid graduated from high school that I was able to focus on that long-deferred dream.
Q: Can you tell us more about your future writing projects and what you are working on now?
Lori: In June 2022, Level Best Books is republishing my first mystery, Lesson Plan for Murder. It features an English teacher who solves crimes using clues from her favorite books. Having taught English for many years in a public high school, inspiration for murder isn’t hard to find. I’ve experienced enough craziness to provide fodder for many more books, which is lucky, because there will be at least two more in this Master Class series. I’m also working on Murder in Third Position, which will be released in November 2022. I’m really excited about that book, because I’ve got a very creative method of murder in it. That’s always a challenge for me. I love the idea of poison, but that gets complicated. Sometimes it’s easier to toss the victim off a rooftop and be done with it.
In 2021, I had two short stories accepted for publication, and I’m working on several more. In the past, I was very intimidated by the art of writing short stories, but my editor encouraged me to give it a try. I’m glad I did. Writing short stories has made my novel-writing sharper and better-paced. It’s also fun to live with new characters without having to commit to a long-term relationship.
Q: How important have writing organizations been to your success?
Lori: I can’t overstate my debt to Sisters in Crime, in particular the New York/Tri-State chapter. I was so nervous at the first meeting and so worried I didn’t belong. They welcomed me with unparalleled generosity and kindness. I’m grateful to have had the benefit of their expertise. And their friendship.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Lori: See above! Writers, at least the ones I’ve met in the mystery writing community, have been an invaluable resource for information and inspiration. When all I had was a few chapters of the book that would eventually become my first novel, I joined a critique group through Sisters in Crime. I still meet weekly with one of the original members to exchange pages and discuss writing. Writing doesn’t only get done when you’re by yourself.
This is where you will find me virtually and in person!
(For the always-updated website version, click here.)
News and Events
Note: I limited events for at least the
month of January to focus on the holidays and other family events. I
will add more events as they are scheduled.
Jan. 19, The Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center, 134 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA, noon. Book discussion. Bring a lunch and let’s talk murder! This discussion of A DEAD MAN’S EYES is the first event for 2022 in the center’s Brown Bag Series. Admission is free and the exhibits make the visit even more worthwhile. I will be selling and signing books after the discussion as well. I hope to see you there!
April 12, launch of NEVER BROKEN, book 2 in the Lisa Jamison Mystery Series. Events to be announced.
It looks more like fall than winter here in North Central Pennsylvania lately, but this kind of winter weather brings its own kind of beauty. These are a couple of photos from my walk around our property yesterday (January 3). Despite the sunshine, we had a high of only 18 degrees.
What's up with my books?
Reviewers are reading
NEVER BROKENand I am nervous. I took some chances when I wrote this novel, and it is difficult to predict how those efforts will be received. The best I can do now is to keep busy and remain distracted.
Some authors hire publicists to promote their books, but I am reaching out to reviewers, bloggers, media outlets, libraries, and bookstores on my own. My journalism background is helpful in that I know how to write an effective press release and I have no fear of reaching out. Still, it is like a part-time job on top of my part-time job.
My plan is to devote one weekday morning per week fully to promotion and to limit my promotional work to responses the rest of the week. The remaining weekday mornings will be devoted to writing. I will work my paying job during the afternoons and evenings.
That sounds good, right?
Last year, when I was preparing for the release of A DEAD MAN'S EYES, this schedule would have worked beautifully. But as published author, there are new forces to contend with this time around. Requests for blurbs (words of praise for other authors' books) and reviews are new to me and I must figure out how to fit all that extra reading in my schedule. I am also spending more time on the phone, in person or via email working with aspiring authors who want to tap into my experience. Add to that book releases every six months for the next two years, and it's looking a lot more challenging.
These are all good challenges though and I think I can achieve a balance.
So many people have helped me along the road to publication that I am thrilled I can give back, even if doing so throws my new plan out of whack occasionally. My plan will be my anchor and my compass. It will keep me grounded and helped me find my way back when I get lost in my efforts to help other writers. It will give me a measure, something I can use to determine when I can say “yes” and when I must, reluctantly, decline.
So, yes, it is a good plan.
It will be interesting to look back on this next month and see whether I have succeeded.
What's up at home?
As I write this, the twins are back in high school school for the first time since Christmas. The older kids will be leaving for college this weekend (We think. Temple University is delaying in-person classes until late January, but our daughter is hoping she will be allowed to return to campus due to our lousy internet.). My husband is still working at home, but the latest plan is to return to the office a few days a week in February.
So, it is beginning to feel a bit like the pre-pandemic life here once again. I am determined to get healthy, which will be easier as the days get longer and lighter. My Christmas gifts will help. I now have a small set of weights beside my desk and an exercise bike in the room where I work. Already, I am finding that a few arm rotations with weights in my hands wakes me up after a lot of sitting better than coffee or a snack.
We are getting into a better routine with my mother-in-law's care with the help of our niece and Home Health Care. It is still stressful, but we are all learning to breathe. This month will be full of daylong indoor track meets on the weekends for the twins, but that also makes for good reading time. So I expect I will get more reading done this month. The twins will also turn 15 in two weeks, only one year away from driver's permits. Ack! But I will stress about that next year.
Happy writing and reading. Only four more months until the release of NEVER BROKEN!