I have a special offer going right now: You can pre-order Framed and Burning on ebook for $1 off. Once the book releases on November 27, the regular price will be set at $3.99.
Framed and Burning is the much-anticipated second book in the Dreamslippers Series. The Dreamslippers are a family of private investigators who have the ability to "slip" into your dreams. In Framed and Burning, someone sets fire to Mick Travers’ art studio, killing his assistant, and Mick won't give an alibi. His dreamslipping sister--the eccentric Amazing Grace--is convinced he's innocent, but her granddaughter and the police aren't so sure. Was it really Mick, or is something even darker behind the fire?
You can pre-order across multiple platforms and devices--just follow these links.
For even more options, including non-U.S. links, check out this page.
Still looking for a reason to pre-order? Here's the prologue:
Brickell Lofts, Miami
December 5, 2013
Donnie Hines was passed out drunk in a corner of his studio when the flames made their way to the painting he’d finished that night.
It was a true work of art, and he knew it. Not just good, but great. He knew it even as the whiskey—a diabetic, he had no business drinking that much, and he knew, that, too—made his tongue thick in his mouth and his eyelids droop. When he could no longer hold a paintbrush, he’d sat back in a metal folding chair and realized he had finally done it. He had captured, perfectly, the fractal shapes he’d been chasing his whole life. Ever since his father took him to the Cleveland Science Center when he was ten, he’d seen them in his imagination. That day a scientist showed the crowd how fractals could be found everywhere: in mountains and rivers and seashells. Never-ending patterns that repeated themselves in an ongoing feedback loop, they were the most beautiful things Donnie had ever seen. For the past thirty years, he’d been trying to capture them on canvas.
And in the end, all he needed for inspiration was a bowl of broccoli.
Not just any ordinary broccoli, either. This was special. “Romanesco broccoli,” the woman at the market stall called it. Lime green, its florets spiraling into fractal shapes. He bought a bag of it, had it sitting in a bowl on an old Formica table. Mick, whose studio Donnie shared, kept threatening to cook it up for lunch. But he agreed it was special. “Froccoli,” Mick called it.
Donnie had worked feverishly that night as a way to stamp down the loss he felt. Working always helped, always freed him from feelings he couldn’t sort through. But in the end, his masterpiece at last finished, it was the drinking that had won out. A bottle of Bushmill’s, three-quarters empty, sat on the floor by the cot where he slept.
Donnie hadn’t even signed the painting.
But it didn’t matter. The fire that devoured Donnie’s masterpiece knew no names and took no prisoners. The paint still wet, it went up in a shimmer of orange, igniting the wooden two-by-four easel behind it.
Next Mick’s paintings caught fire. An angry slash of black on a field of red curled easily into charred shreds. A thick decoupage of mixed media first melted, its bits of metal and rock sliding down before the canvas disappeared in flames. One painting, then another, some finished, some not, went up in flames.
The fire leapt to a stack of framed paintings leaning against the wall like oversized dominoes, first eating their stretched cloth and then attacking their hardier wooden frames. Bottles of turpentine, paint thinner, and oil paint fed the flames, as did the men’s bottles of whiskey, wine, and gin, all of them exploding, their glass shattering.
Donnie did not stir.
Perhaps he was already dead.
Or maybe he dreamed in his sleep as the fire raged, smoke pouring in behind the curtain surrounding his cot, enveloping his passed-out form and invading his lungs. Those who knew him would expect him to dream of the fractals that were his singular obsession, how they would keep repeating into infinity, so small his eye wouldn’t be able to see them.
First his skin fried. The flames licked across the surface of his body, the top layer quickly peeling off. Then the fire attacked the thicker layer underneath, causing it to shrink and split. As it split, Donnie’s own body fat leaked out, feeding the fire, another kind of fuel.
Maybe in his dream, he was eating the broccoli. Maybe since the florets were made of the energy of fractals, they kept repeating inside him. He could feel them spiraling through his gut. Soon he could only watch as they emerged from his belly, bursting out of the core of his body, rippling in space, turning him inside out. He was a vibrating, swirling entity of math and matter. His body dissolved.
But as Donnie died, maybe he still existed—in a larger way, his spirit flowing as part of the energy that is everything in the universe at once, the largest supernova and the smallest quark and everything in between.
Maybe Donnie’s true masterpiece was this: He became a fractal, never ending.