Title: They Call Me Murdered, Book I (The Sandra Derringer Chronicles)
Author: Cyndi Lord
Genre: Contemporary Suspense/Paranormal/Murder Mystery
Published By: White Bird Publications, LLC (January 24, 2014)
About The Author: Cyndi Lord has a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Michigan. She also studied Biblical Archaeology at Birmingham Bible College. She has nine children, 16 grandchildren and a great grandchild. She loves traveling and lives her summers in Michigan and winters in Texas. Since 2005 she has lived on a ranch in Texas with her husband, and two dogs and two cats.
This is particularly pertinent information to understanding and appreciating the expertise that Cyndi brings to the character Sandy. Cyndi had her own private investigation agency with 11 employees until recently. She is also active in a ministry for the homeless and enjoys dabbling in philosophy. Both of these pursuits are part of who she is and how she writes.
Last year she became semi-retired and started following her passion—to write full-time. Her affiliations include: Lighthouse Ministries, Investigators Unlimited, Northeast Texas Writers Organization, and National Association of Professional Women.
About The Story: Sandy, a 32-year-old private investigator is connected to the spirit world and channeling. It’s not something she wants to do, but somehow spirits get through the wall and find her. A murdered professor contacted her while Sandy was trying to write her first historical romance. Through cryptic words and sentences, Sandy is able to understand what Joylynn wants – she seeks more than to have her murderer found. Joylynn and Sandy form a bond and Sandy goes to Michigan to research and solve the case.
Sandy is also involved in another case in Texas where it takes on a sinister twist—where Sandy’s life is at stake. Can the perpetrator be found and stopped before it’s too late?
Personally Sandy has issues that she must choose how to deal with it. This choice she learns through a sort of ‘ghosts of Christmases past’ scene will affect her and those who are around her, those who have come before and those who have yet to come.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
The thump, thump, thump in my inner ear started three days before I discovered who tormented me. After a late night of surveillance and too little sleep, I awoke early intending to write more of my manuscript. With groggy eyes, and a first cup of coffee, I sat in front of the computer to read over what I’d edited the day before. Words written below mine caused me to gasp in surprise. Different words. Different Font.
you cant ignore me – they told me you can help me – youre always too analytical – always the private investigator – STOP IT – Im here
Assuming someone played a joke, I grinned. How did this happen? I used my key in front last night. I got up, ran to the back door, and turned the handle. It didn’t move.
I whispered to the air. “Maybe a hacker?”
Back at the computer my heart beat went into overdrive.
doors cant keep me out my story needs to be told – youre chosen to tell it
Hair rose on the back of my neck. Rational thoughts twirled. How would a hacker know I did P.I. work? Who could see inside the house to know I checked the doors?
Cases I handled pissed off people who were often criminals, from white collar cons to murderers. When I testified against them in court, my name and address became part of their case file. Running a home business made it easy for them to know where I live.
Something I couldn’t put my finger on played in my subconscious, slowly pushing forward. It came to me sharp as a slap when I laid my hand on the mouse. Without doubt, I’d turned the computer off before I went to bed. The odd writing hadn’t been there. Solid white temporarily blocked my senses and I sought rationality.
I clicked for a quick scan then put the mouse over the web cam. It remained off.
A normal person would think they’d gone insane, but I was anything but normal. My gift and curse from infancy involved seeing the dead, hearing voices, and channeling spirits. The eternal light of positive energy, Miss Karma or God—whatever title one chose to use, decided when most kids outgrew their imaginary friends, mine stayed with me. Only they’re not figments of my imagination. Once I got past the fear of mental illness and moved from denial to acceptance, my life became easier. I decided to live pretending everything was fine, but deep down, I knew it never would be. When I did doubt, I got served a big bowl of “deal with it.”
My Thoughts: This story reminded me of the times I read Nancy Drew as an eleven year old. Of course, this was an adult version. The story didn’t take long in hooking me. I was well hooked by the end of the first page. Paranormal happenings involving the spirit world touch a part of my inner being.
Sandy was a woman who was strong and yet when it came to making commitments to the man in her life, she just preferred to keep some distance—she had been engaged for four years. As you read Sandy’s story you commiserate with her situation. She has choices in life and she must decide what she values.
I was drawn in by the love that Sandy had for her dog, the companionship she had with him and his sensitivity to her and what was happening around her. Sandy was a woman who wanted to right wrong and didn’t want the bad guy to win, even if it met she had to kick butt!
The murdered professor’s spirit gives her own perspective of what she should have learned when she was alive and tries to tell Sandy the deeper meaning of life. Some of it Sandy gets and some she balks at.
Cyndi created well-rounded characters that were strong-willed and very believable whether they were the protagonist or antagonist. She also did something I would like to see every author of fiction do. She provided more than just entertainment. She provided an underlying wisdom of life and what is really important when all is said and done. There are many sentences that are gems in and of themselves—full of wisdom and a deeper insight to what it is all about.
Cyndi Lord has written a delightful, at times witty, definitely profound story and one that I hope you take the time to read. Without hesitation Cyndi receives a thumbs up from me.
Tomorrow Cyndi will be joining us here at BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN for a book giveaway and interview. Don’t miss your chance to meet Cyndi. She has had a very unique career before she became an author. Stay tuned!