Friday, December 30, 2011

L.J.'s Standalone Thrillers

by L.J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries & thrillers

I feel a bit like the kid in the Home Alone movie, having the place to myself while the family is away for Christmas. I've tried to be responsible and post blogs with wide appeal, but today is my last chance to be mischievous and I can't resist a little blatant self-promotion. So here's a post from my personal blog.

Readers are most familiar with my bestselling Detective Jackson books, but I also have three standalone thrillers, two that I wrote before I started the series. I worked for a pharmaceutical magazine for seven years, so the pre-Jackson books have subtle medical themes. I rewrote them before self-publishing to update the stories and to give Jackson a small cameo in each.

The seed of an idea that would become The Baby Thief sprouted one evening many years ago while I watched a few minutes of American Gladiator. I thought about how physically fit the winners were and how genetically superior their children would be. Eventually, I connected that idea to fertility science, and the plot for The Baby Thief was born. In essence, a woman goes to a fertility clinic, hoping to become artificially inseminated, but the clinic director takes one look at her and decides to steal one of her eggs to create a child of her own. Before that happens, the main character, Jenna, meets a charming reporter who won't let her disappearance go uninvestigated. Their relationship is a driving factor in the story, so I labeled the book romantic suspense, my only such label. As info, I'm giving the story away today on Amazon.

The Suicide Effect reflects my concern that some antidepressant medication actually makes some people feel suicidal! The story's structure is similar to a “woman in jeopardy” novel, yet it’s so much more. Sula, the protagonist, combats her deepest fears and risks everything to find the truth about the drug in question. Readers have said the ending made them shake in fear, then cry with joy. And for Jackson fans, he also makes a brief appearance.

My third standalone thriller is quite different. It features Detective Evans from my Jackson series, only it’s set twelve years in the future and she’s no longer a cop. She’s working as a freelance paramedic and enters a national endurance competition called the Gauntlet. Early in the story, she witnesses a crime, which later hinders her ability to compete. And then there’s Paul, the government official with access to personal data who complicates everything. The story was originally called The Arranger, but accidental market research recently told me that it needed a new name. So it's now called The Gauntlet Assassin, and I'm just waiting for the new ebook file to come back from my formatter.

The Amazon reviews/ratings are terrific for all three, and I hope you’ll check them out. 

My plan for now is to write two Jackson stories a year, plus one standalone. Eventually, one of those standalones may develop into a second series. Or I may run for Congress instead. You never know with me.


  1. Interesting, LJ! I'm off to Amazon to pick up a free copy of The Baby Thief, and will buy The Suicide Effect while I'm there!

    And I love your new title for The Arranger - The Gauntlet Assassin - good one! Very catchy.

  2. Whoa. Are you nuts? Three books a year? Sheeshkabobalino.

    I agree with Jodie, I love The Gauntlet Assassin as a title. Very, very cool.

    I have all three of your standalones (actually four, counting The Sex Club), and of the three I would have to put The Suicide Effect as my favorite.

  3. I second that Whoa! Seriously, and I thought I was expecting too much of myself trying to get titles out more quickly. You've just raised the bar! Of course, I wish you much luck but hope you don't kill yourself in the process, L.J. We kind of like having you around ;)

  4. I keep reading blogs by these traditionally published writers who say serious authors need to produce three or four books a year. And plenty of people seem to be doing it. I published four last year, and it didn't kill me. :) But almost.

    Peggy, I'm so glad you like my standalones too, especially The Suicide Effect. It was almost a throwaway.


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