Saturday, August 13, 2011

Murder Beyond Words

If this heat has put you in the mood for a chilling murder mystery, check out my latest release, Murder Beyond Words.  It's only 99 cents, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. 

During a heat wave in New York City, a literary agent is murdered in her Brooklyn apartment. Across the hall in 3B, aspiring writer Ruby Neptune finds herself sucked into the murder investigation of a neighbor she barely knew and didn’t really like. The agent seems to have known her killer, as there was no forced entry. Ruby slowly discovers that many of her neighbor’s friends had strong reasons to want her dead. Determined to find the killer, Ruby puts her own life on hold, which upsets her closest friends, one of whom suspect that her new boyfriend is capable of the murder. As the list of suspects narrows, it hits uncomfortably close to home and Ruby finds herself lying to friends and even putting aside her writing career to solve the case. But will Ruby be able to identify the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Beyond-Neptune-Mystery-ebook/dp/B005GAP2HU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1312847799&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-beyond-words-julie-christensen/1104307539?ean=2940013169517&itm=1&usri=murder%2bbeyond%2bwords

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An open letter to President Obama

This was written by my husband.  I love this letter.  It's worth reading to the end, regardless of your politics.


Mr. President,


I hope this finds you well.

Me on the other hand, I am sick. Sick of the tea party. Sick of the republicans and democrats. Sick of the press. Sick of the state of the union. Sick of political cesspool that is Washington DC.

You have definitely not been the change I had hoped for.

Admittedly, for most Republicans, their only goal in life is to be against anything and everything that you are even remotely for. It’s obvious and the press, from the Times to Fox, are in on the game. You could remark on the rain as you stand in the middle of a hurricane, and they would have Eric Cantor on right after you to explain that, as he sees things, the sun is shining brightly and that the President is just trying to destroy jobs again by badmouthing the sunscreen industry. And thus you have what passes for honest debate in our capital.

Occasionally, I watch C-span and see congressman after congressman stand up with charts and graphs and trace the currently sad state of the country directly to your inauguration. It seems painfully obvious to me that you will never be able to deal honestly with the Republicans in their current manifestation. They are not interested in anything but defeating you and winning the presidency and majorities in both houses next November. VP Biden was right to describe them as terrorists.

I’ve heard you say that you would rather be a good (great?) one term President rather than a mediocre two term President. I want to believe that. I wanted to believe in you when I voted for you. But when I typed your name in the computer to write this letter, the first option that popped up was your re-election site. To me, that speaks volumes. Whatever your Presidency is to date, it is hard to describe it as great, let alone good. You seem to be surrounded by people that are either steeped in politics or graduates of Goldman Sachs. Your message, whatever it is, is not getting out of Washington. I do believe that you want to be a great President, that you want to do things differently, I just don’t see you making any progress in that direction. You and your team seem determined to do things the same way every chance you get expecting a different response from the Republicans or enough of a boost in the polls from Independents to make the Republicans finally deal with you. It ain’t gonna happen.

I find myself ambivalent as to your reelection. But at the same time I shudder at the policies of the Republicans, even the mainstream ones.

So for my part, I have two suggestions:

1. Shine light on your deliberations.

You said you would do this but it seems like everything you do is behind closed doors, even more so then the previous President. Your health care bill was shaped by the titans of health care. Your banking reform bill was written with the help of the very people who drove us over the edge while raking in tidy profits. Your recent discussions with the Speaker turned into a he said she said charade.

What if, instead of negotiating behind closed doors, you bring a camera in the room? Let America know what actually goes on in these meetings instead of making us try to suss out the particulars on our own. I don’t know what happened behind those doors, but as an American, I don’t feel like anyone was there on my behalf. And depending on whether I listen to Fox or MSNBC, my opinions of what happened, no matter how extreme to the left or right, will be validated

2. My second suggestion is to get out of Washington!!! Walk away.

Seriously. I suggest that you walk across the country. East to West would be best because that way, every day you will be farther from Washington both figuratively and literally. I bet you could comfortably do it in 6 months. You could still get your briefings as needed. You could always fly back to DC if there was a reason to do so.

Think of the boost to the national psyche. You would increase exercise in the country tenfold. You could walk 6 or 8 hours a day. Walk with real people. Democrats. Republicans. Independants. Everybody and anybody. You could listen to and talk with the people instead of pollsters, advisors, lobbyists and bankers. You would hear their stories and be able to tell yours. You could discuss job creation with actual people looking for jobs instead of pundits and political hacks. Discuss green technologies with little people instead of oilmen. It would be a breath of fresh air for both you and the country.

Get out of Washington. Get to know the country you love and serve. Be a great one term president if needs be. The country needs that much more then the mediocrity we see emanating from Washington on a daily basis.

Those are my ideas. I hope they can inspire you swing for the fence.

I am a nurse in a community health center in Omaha, NE. where I have worked for 15 years. I am a diabetes educator. I am the father of two children, a 2 and 4 years old. I rode my bike across the country a few years ago as a fund raiser for the clinic and I can tell you, it was a great way to see the country and more relaxing then you might imagine.



Sincerely,

Jerry McGuire