Monday, December 7, 2015

Once Upon a Cover

Here it is, and I love it--the cover Julie Nicholls designed for Valkyrie on Planet Fury. The book is in the editing stages and will be available soon.

Valkyrie on Planet Fury, coming soon... What a long, strange trip it’s been. While we were discussing possible images, typefaces, etc., Julie reminded me that a cover has only a few seconds to tell the browsing reader what the book is about and lure them to look closer.

Book covers can even change the book for the author. Halfway through writing the first book about Sybil--Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone, I encountered a pre-made cover from James at It was so evocative that it even changed the character while I was writing. Once I fell in love with that cover, Sybil had to have red hair.

Fast forward a year. When I came to Julie to do the cover for Valkyrie on Planet Fury, I explained that Sybil would be going to the House of Darkness, where the rulers are the Furies, professional hit women who wear snakes in their hair.

Julie nailed it with lightning speed—also with actual lightning, as you can see from the cover. She’s a genius!

I'll let you know more soon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Try a little on Kindle Unlimited--in the "what's an author to do?" department

Long story short, this author is now experimenting with Kindle Unlimited. The first book featuring Sybil from the Planet Valkyrie Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone is now available for KU borrowing.


Math has never been my strong point, but those who keep track of the publishing business report that hundreds of thousands of books are now being published every month. Or maybe that was billions every hour, the numbers are so cosmic that I don't dare take my focus off of writing fiction to count 'em and weep. How is any given book to get noticed? Particularly a self-published book with no budget for advertising. This is an obsession with me and I'm constantly seeking ways to do that.

Writing a short story in the same "world" as the novel is supposed to help. Check. See my free short story Valkyrie in the Demon Realm below. All experts agree that compelling covers are essential (more on that next week)! The Demon Realm story has a new cover. Checked that box.

The story of Sybil's adventure just after leaving The Forbidden Zone is told in Valkyrie in the Demon Realm. Still free in all formats.

Some experts say writing more books helps. I'm doing that, well, basically it's done. A new book Valkyrie on Planet Fury is on its way. Featuring Sybil from Planet Valkyrie, it's in the editing stages--watch this space to see the stunning cover next Monday.

I've decided to go all-Kindle on both books so that Kindle Unlimited readers can sample it free. I'm checking off tactics as fast as I can. Still not at checkmate, but it's not for want of trying.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

49 Shades of Light and Dark, Two FREE Collections of Stories

Early this year I met a group of highly talented, but not widely known, indie authors known as the Awethors. They were planning to put together a sort of literary tasting menu in the form of a collection of very diverse short stories. Forty-nine authors joined forces, and the collection became two volumes.

I am honored to announce that I contributed The Falstaff Vampire Werewolves which takes the reader on a hunting trip to the San Francisco Airport with a Vampire 101 survival course on a collision course with a werewolf on a desperate mission. My story found a place in the Awethology Light, now available and suitable for readers of all ages.

The other flavor is Awethology Dark, for adults and also available Free!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Available October 18, New Free Short Stories from the Awesome Authors

This group of stories is suitable for any age readers.

Here's a snippet from The Falstaff Vampire Werewolves:

We met the werewolf at the San Francisco International Airport as I stalked along behind Mrs. Battle and her latest Vampire Survival 101 class. There is no Vampire 201. The rules are simple, set in stone, and those who fail go from undead to true dead in a hurry.

When you disintegrate in open sunlight, your travel options are limited, but after dark the airport is a vast buffet of distracted humanity. When I became undead a few months earlier, I survived Mrs. Battle’s class. She lets me tag along when she takes the newbies to the airport.

The casual observer of our teacher would see an African American woman of middle years with a serious face and a medium dark complexion. Her stout form was clad in a dark-blue trench coat with a matching fedora anchoring her braids. She wore sensible tan shoes and carried a matching huge tan purse.

I followed the three new vampires who scurried along after Mrs. Battle through the airport terminal like a family of baby ducks. I was the most informal in my long wool sweater over a tee-shirt and jeans, running shoes, no hat. I’m short and wiry with curly dark hair shot with gray and green eyes behind gold-rimmed glasses. Vampire vision means I don’t need the glasses but they make me look even more harmless. I dragged along a wheeled suitcase-style cat carrier. Brutus, my vampire cat, is a great conversation starter. After a little kitty talk and hypnotic eye contact on my part, we adjourn to a more secluded corner of the airport. Then I open the carrier. Brutus needs to feed too.

Some of the Awesome Awethors have darker visions and their stories are available in the

More information Sunday, Oct 18th!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A great week so far, Survived Facebook Event, Happiness from Julie's Book Review & an Awesome Gang Interview

Well, I survived Saturday's Facebook event and here's my new author photo:

Okay, I'm an introvert, so sue me.

Then on Sunday I found that Clabe Polk gave Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone five Stars at Julie's Book Review:

Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone is a quick reading science fiction/fantasy novelette that is terrifically entertaining. Lynne Murray has managed to weave a fine story line that includes sex, and pheromone-based sex appeal, female-v-male dominance, male disrespect/abuse of women, and the social pressure on modern women to adhere to an unrealistic physical image prescribed by modern culture. Read the whole review at Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes!!! Julies Book Review: Review of Gravitas by Lynne Murray Then a fun interview with the Awesome Gang showed up.

One cool question:

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone came from two ideas and my own, as usual, contrarian reaction to them. One was a book by Carl Jung,, Flying Saucers : A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies. He suggested that we are witnessing the formation of a religion in the shape of the UFO craze. The other was reading paranormal romances where the heroine has many lovers (just can’t help herself). I thought, what if that was the rule, and women who only wanted one husband were mistrusted. Then it was a matter of turning the world upside down in the book, which is one of my favorite parts of writing! You can read the whole interview here!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Three-Day 99-Cent Sale of Gravitas to go with Saturday Online Event

Jessica Wren and fellow Indie Author Promo authors on Facebook are hosting an event to celebrate Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone and maybe some other stuff I've written. I'd love to hear from anyone who feels like clicking over. Everyone's welcome and we can discuss whatever strikes your fancy. We may get wild, we may go deep or we might even get radical!

I won't be able to attend till around noon Eastern time (aka 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time here at House of Happy Cats where I live. So I'll provide a couple of special treats for anyone who shows up earlier. I'm putting Gravitas on sale for 99 cents on Amazon from Friday through Sunday.

The other treat is a snippet from my next "novel with Gravitas" -- Valkyrie on Planet Fury! It's not here. But I'll post it late Friday night at this link! Saturday Sept. 5th Event, click to attend!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review of Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone by Cy Wyss

Cy Wyss is a mystery and thriller writer and reviewer who writes a mystery series set in San Francisco, though she lives in Indianapolis! She reviewed Gravitas today, yay!

Cy also writes on her webpage and facebook page on the subject of indie writing--check out the funny (and oh, so true) cartoons!

I feel fortunate to be reviewed by such a creative author!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Release the #Awethors!

Awethor Author Awareness Day is in progress, over on Facebook at #Awethor Awareness and on Twitter at #Awethor.

Friday, August 7, 2015

On August 15th #Awethors Are Poised to Attack...Their Keyboards

You know we're (mostly) harmless. Some of us, like myself are reputed to be incapable of making a fist--carpal tunnel is a cruel mistress. But when we all get together in a group we can get unexpectedly rowdy. Previous celebrations have resulted in awethors getting briefly incarcerated in F***b**k "jail" for outrageous behavior of the linguistic kind. Not to mention the "unsafe for work" photos. The event takes place over the weekend, so that will lessen the need for most attendees to practice Safe Workplace Computing.

There's no predicting What Will Happen or (given the international time zone locations of the group) exactly When. Any time from midnight August 15th to midnight August 16th #Awethor Awareness may strike.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Cool Week so far! Reviews of Gravitas, Basking in the Spotlight!

This has been quite a week. And it's only Wednesday, Jessica Wren cast a spotlight on Gravitas and on Facebook she also mentioned the free short story! Happily basking in the light! Jessica her review began by saying:

Have you ever traveled to a foreign country? If so, do you remember how different it felt, and some of the local customs felt strange? Imagine visiting a foreign planet. In Lynne’s Murray’s novel Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone, which is a science-fiction comedy with just the right amount of erotica, Val-Sybilla (better known as Sybil) finds herself in that very situation.

While making a trip to transport a shipment of “Gravitas,” a powerful aphrodisiac within the Ritual Jewelry that the powerful women of the planet Valkyries wear, she and her companions stop at a market, where, to her horror, she finds her first (and favorite) husband Josu, chained and being offered for sale. Determined to find out the truth about what happened to Josu, she enters a ritualistic meditation state to conjure up the three (very interesting and diverse) “demons” who live in her head. When her meditation is interrupted by Gelbraves, a loutish delegate from a rival planet, they both, along with Josu, fall into a portal that makes them crash-land in the Forbidden Zone (known to us as “Earth.”

The whole review is at Spotlight: Lynne Murray

Monday, a great review of Gravitas from The Reading Bud made me feel validated. We all endure the bad reviews but when someone says, "I loved the cover, I beginning/the end," it is massively encouraging, and courage is essential to live the writing life!

But enough about me. Yesterday, I was able to cast some light from a Body Impolitic blog post on Joseph P. Eckhardt's Living Large, the story of little-known silent film star, Wilna Hervey, and her life partner of 59 years Nan Mason.

I explain in the blog post how I went on a quest to find Wilna Hervey, and found the just-published biography of the woman who made many silent films as The Powerful Katrinka. The book is charming, as witness this "discovered by the moviemaker" scene--take that Lana Turner, famously "discovered" sipping a soda in a Hollywood ice cream parlor. Could she lift a trolley car?

Wilna Hervey would long remember the interview in New York that changed her life. She arrived at her agent’s office to find him engaged in conversation with another man, who was impatiently pacing up and down. As Wilna entered the room, the pacing stopped and the man looked up. “My God!” he exclaimed. “She is the original Katrinka!”Expressing his astonishment—and delight—was the noted cartoonist Fontaine Fox, creator of the Toonerville Trolley cartoons, which were then syndicated in several hundred newspapers around the country. One of the most popular of Fox’s inventions was the character of Powerful Katrinka, a massive young woman of superhuman strength, and limited mental range, who was capable of lifting the trolley off the tracks. … Properly casting this role was essential to the success of the proposed Toonerville films. The actress needed to be enormous and very strong, as not all of the feats of strength would be sight gags.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A great review of Gravitas from The Reading Bud!

This wonderful review from Heena Rathore made my day--well, okay, my week. It looks a lot more elegant on The Reading Bud site.



I loved the plot of this amazing novella. It has a really, really unique concept of having a planet where women dominate men and they undertake several husbands to look after the estate and home affairs. Lynne Murray successfully created a unique world that is both believable and marvellous. It’s uniqueness really stood out and I was longing to be able to visit this wondrous place (but only if they’ll allow a human from earth to visit their planet!)

I loved the attention she paid to all the small details. Everything sounded so beautiful and real. The concept of humans worshiping the alien visitors was hilarious and interesting, I mean what if the world in the book is really ‘real’! God, that will be amazing!

The over all structure of the book is great and it keeps you glued to the book from staring to end.


I absolutely loved Val-Sybilla (a Valkyrian.) She is the strongest and the most independent female leads I’ve ever read. She is beautiful in her own way and I love this about her. The second character I loved in this book is Gelbrave. Initially I hated him but the author worked up her magic in showing his growth in the story. By the end I found him to be extremely humble and adorable.

Rest of the characters were also amazing and I was able to feel a connection with each one of them.


There was a lot of romance, or should I say, Gravitas propelled lust. Sybil carried around huge amount of Gravitas with her in a ritual jewellery and it made people get attracted to her sexually. So everyone kind of wanted to take her. But, the relationship between Josu and Sybil was beautiful. It was a true-love relationship and I loved the fact that he always supported her.


Lynne Murray’s writing is beautiful. It’s subtle and had an easy flow to it. I was lost in the story as soon as I started reading it. No complicated sentence-structures and no unnecessary tongue twisting words – just perfect.

At some points her subtle sense of humour made me laugh. It was a great experiences and for a novella, this book is amazing. Not too long, not too short, just the right length.


I loved the beginning, the first chapter started right in between a complex situation (as you can guess from the first line, see below) and then the author explains how they got there and then later picks up from there and tells what happens after that first scene. The structure of this books is so amazing that it’ll grip you right from the first page.


The ending is perfect. It had the right amount of drama, action, emotions and logic. I enjoyed it and it made me smile broadly after finishing the book.

Cover Art:

I love the cover art. It’s stylish and beautiful. And the red hair girl goes well with the description on Sybil. The colors on the cover really stand out. It’s one of the two reasons I read this book.


The blurb is intriguing and is the second reason for me to accept this book for review.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Book Trailer & Preview of My Review About a Lost Powerful Film Heroine

I'm getting ready to review a biography of Living Large: Wilna Hervey and Nan Mason by Joseph P. Eckhardt. Earlier I sought out fat women in film and they are disappointingly few and far between, as I discussed on a Body Impolitic post. Nobody Loves a Fat Woman on Film.

This was so unlike the rich group of fat male character actors in film. at least there were enough big guys in film history that film critic, Dana Gioia invited them to a mythical banquet

I like to imagine these hefty heroes gathering in the afterlife. The feasting hall of their B-budget Valhalla is the original Wilshire Boulevard Brown Derby secretly rescued by Valkeries from the wrecking-ball. As they file in (to the accompaniment of Miklos Rozsa's "Bread and Circus March" from Ben Hur) for porterhouse steaks and lobsters thermador, cherries jubilee and baked Alaska...

No such banquet for the women.

And yet, and yet... By a wildly unpredictable path (which I'll describe in the review) I found out about Wilna Hervey. Seriously how could I have missed her? In a coincidence worthy of Carl Jung's synchronicity, I discovered that Wilna Hervey and her life partner Nan Mason are the subjects of a loving biography.

check out the trailer for Living Large, it got me a bit misty-eyed. More to come in my review on Body Impolitic soon!

Lovely trailer for Living Large

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gravitas Showcased on The Virtual Bookshelf

I've loved books (and bookshelves!) for as long as I can remember. I'm particularly happy to see Gravitas in the spotlight on The Virtual Bookshelf!

Thanks to Glynis Smy for allowing me to unwrap some of my favorite Reviews in her virtual space! Though she's in the UK, in the seaside town of Dovercourt~Harwich and I'm on the oceanside edge of San Francisco in the US. Different oceans notwithstanding, the internet makes us neighbors!


Reading this Lynne Murray book is like being a kid in a candy shop. Sure, she can weave a thrilling story line, but she also makes you feel as if you can indulge your dreams and fantasies about living in a different, much more delightful world. Read the book. It is more fun than eating chocolate while sipping wine. Frannie Zellman, author of The FatLand Trilogy

Escape to the outer reaches of space….and San Francisco…in this intriguing thrill ride of a tale that had me hooked from the first page. I was on the edge of my seat and reading on to see what would happen next. I truly did not want it to end, and am hoping there is a sequel that I can get my hands on as soon as it comes out! Tracey L. Thompson, author of Fatropolis A Novel

If you like Terry Pratchett, you’ll enjoy Lynne Murray, who blends social issues, fantastic worlds and humor in breathtaking stories! Jaqueline Girdner, author the bestselling Kate Jasper mystery stories

Murray hurls the reader into her story and her universe, with links to daily reality, which make it seem more possible. The strong-minded protagonist displays Murray’s trademark flashes of wit. Well imagined and thought provoking!” Leslie Moïse, Ph.D., author of Judith and Love Is the Thread

Monday, June 15, 2015

Happily interviewed at Little Birdy Blog!

Snippet from Little Birdy Blog interview--

LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?

L.M.: I like to turn situations upside down when I write. For example, Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone stemmed partly from a Carl Jung book called Flying Saucers, where he suggests that the UFO craze is an example of a religion being formed in front of our eyes. That led me to think, "What if the people of Earth have been doing this for thousands of years, creating a new religion every time they run into alien tourists?" I also liked the idea of a heroine who comes from a planet where women are expected, indeed required, to have several husbands.

More at Little Birdy Book Blog

Friday, June 12, 2015

Update: Blood Tide Snuffs Candle--Moth Unharmed

I have to follow up on the post last week, where I whined what about being powerless before the elegance of ABC's television series Hannibal. I'm still liking Aquarius, the Flower-Power-Meets-Noir-Police-Procedural show that airs just before it. But last night's episode of Hannibal restored my critical faculties. I still watched it only in snippets, but the opening sequence was bizarre in a way that helped me get some distance, to see what bothered me about the thing.

It begins with long-suffering (and I mean that literally) FBI agent Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) almost mortally wounded by Lecter. This may have happened more than once over the earlier two seasons, but I seriously don't care. I think it was a dream sequence, but again, who cares? I couldn't help thinking about a quote about Titus Andronicus (maybe from Margaret Webster's Shakespeare Without Tears) "When the stage direction reads, 'Enter a messenger with two heads,' the reader can be forgiven for wondering if he's carrying them or wearing them."

Lecter holding a knife, slashes a girl's neck, also fatally wounds a stag and, of course, Graham. Then he asks for Graham's forgiveness. For what? Oh, so many things. Then blood flows from oh, so many donors. The tidal wave of blood gets deep enough that Will, helplessly wounded, sinks into it as if into a swimming pool.

What is it with magical realism and blood tidal waves? I'm no expert, but I've seen blood flowing on occasion, and it clots pretty fast unless there's hemophilia or blood thinning chemical present. However, watching Will Graham submerge in a lake of blood brought home the point to me: the blood is filmed as if it had the liquidity of wine or possibly paint, i.e., visually prettier than actual gore, although plenty of more authentic looking gore coated the actors as well.

It was blood porn. The pornification of blood (also suffering and pain). I was reminded of Cindy Gallop's insights in Make Love Not Porn on how hardcore pornographic video has created clichés and myths that have distorted an entire generation's actual experiences of sex and sensuality.

Similarly, the blood in Hannibal behaves like wine and the suffering that Hannibal inflicts on those around him is romanticized and prettified into a relationship, a dysfunctional bromance that glorifies the psychopathic killer as a hero. Oh, yeah and Graham forgives Hannibal at the end of the episode. Domestic violence mass murderer style.

It's like a conjuring trick, once you see how it's done you can't un-see it and I don't want to.

I'm now turning off masochistic anthems á la Billie Holiday's My Man ("He isn't good, he isn't true. He beats me too. What can I do?" Um, call 911? Get the hell out of there? Seek counseling?), and put on The Thrill Is Gone from B.B. King (RIP)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Moth Meet Flame - Why I Can't Seem to Quit Psychopathic Killer Stories

I wrote this on June 5, 2015, but Thursday is one day away and Thursday is Psychopathic Murderer night on NBC. I had mixed emotions from my June 4th viewing.

I looked forward to Aquarius, which views Charles Manson's 1967 heyday through the eyes of a cynical Los Angeles cop and World War II veteran beautifully portrayed by David Duchovny.

As a '60s survivor, my own path to novel writing led out of the sex, dope & rock and roll world through the Raymond Chandler L.A. noir mystery stories. So it was not just the nostalgia of all that 1960s music that captivated me. With the mystical babble removed, Duchovny's assessment of Manson as a simple, garden-variety pimp and con artist was refreshing. Then after watching Aquarius, I found myself fluttering like a moth working a 12 step program backpedaling away from the much-promoted show that followed.

I feel both drawn toward and repelled Hannibal. It has been visually beautiful from the start, but I stopped watching during Season 1 for reasons shortly to be discussed. This season they upped the ante in the poker game of beauty.

The promos for Season 3 were stunningly evocative. One used an Edith Piaf vocal with a motorcycle trip past the Eiffel tower at night with leather-clad biker Mads Mikkelsen removing his helmet to say, "Bonjour." Announcing without further ado that the seductive bad boy had arrived. Another Hannibal trailer "Bride of Hannibal" used the 1967 hit song "Happy Together" by The Turtles to tie David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson together, even though Hannibal and Aquarius have no overlap and almost nothing in common aside the psycho killer theme and the fact that the two actors collaborated so memorably in The X-Files--which I loved.

I started out watching Hannibal in the first season because of the wonderful actors (Mikkelsen, Anderson, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne to name a few) and the sheer power of the images. That was part of the problem.

The subject matter so beautifully presented soon drove me away. Even elegantly done, I can only stand so much torture, murder and gourmet cannibalism.

So I consciously avoided the season premiere of Hannibal. I tried to distract myself watching an old rerun of Blue Bloods--a police procedural that could qualify as the "Anti-Hannibal." But I changed the channel back to Hannibal and then away again when the sadism and gore started to flow.

One phrase from the snippet I watched while channel surfing was Mikkelsen's remark to a fellow amoral fan of medieval torture devices: "Ethics becomes esthetics." I don't know. I'm struggling with this.

Beginning with the print versions, I have a troubled history with the works of Thomas Harris. I've been in discussion groups where his gory scenes are dissected frame by frame. On paper he is a skilled author, and his "Hannibal the cannibal" character is both compelling and disturbing. (Although my standard joke on the subject is that if Harris had named the character "Norman" he would have had to make him a Mormon.)

When I was picking up paperbacks carelessly I even accidentally read Harris's Red Dragon twice. I couldn't stop the second reading, even when I realized what I was doing and knew I was going to regret exposing myself to the images again. It bothered me for years.

A close friend who knows my sensibility advised me to stay away from The Silence of the Lambs. She probably remembered staying up with me till dawn after the night we watched Night of the Living Dead because I was too scared to be alone.

I did eventually read Silence of the Lambs during a period of angry depression as a kind of literary equivalent of Russian Roulette. I wouldn't do it again, but it wasn't as harrowing as I had expected. The female FBI agent as the central character helped.

One positive outcome was that I finally managed to quit Thomas Harris's print books for good. Reading the final chapter, I realized that the author had fallen in love with his psychopathic killer and lost whatever objectivity had previously existed. From that point on it was all about Hannibal, his evil genius and inevitable appetite for human flesh. To me it seemed clear that Harris saw his former ultra-villain as Everyman. Or maybe he just realized he'd struck a nerve and decided to keep hitting it. In any event, I hated it enough to stay away from future books.

The audience for this heroic psychopathic cannibal broadened immensely with Anthony Hopkins portrayal of Hannibal as the ultimate boogeyman in the movie. Eventually the killer "got the girl" and functioned as a romantic lead of sorts in the movie, Hannibal. The character's troubled youth is explored in the 2006 book and 2007 movie Hannibal Rising.

Hopkins portrayed Hannibal as the creepy, yet hypnotic predator. The television series uses charismatic actor, Mikkelsen to make the psychopathic killer seductively refined. His predator is connoisseur of unknown delights, smarter than everyone around him and infinitely more refined. It's his gourmet palate that demands human flesh and his inner sadist wants to do the butchery himself. To paraphrase Auntie Mame, his view is that life is a banquet and suckers with ethics don't know what they're missing.

I still mean to quit the TV series. Maybe the first step is to realize I am powerless in the face of dazzling artistry. Now where is that dang higher power when I need it? Maybe a candle-snuffer would do, or a TV remote and a strong dose of mental moral. Oh, no that never works, I'm doomed.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Have you ever known a murderer?

I met Jaki Girdner in the writer's critique group where she made the following confession:

I mentioned that I’d known two murderers during a mystery writers’ critique group meeting some years ago. There was a shocked silence among the other aspiring writers. None of them had known a murderer! I was as shocked as they were. I thought everyone had.

Was my predilection for knowing murderers just because I was a good listener and people told me their sins? Or was it because I’d worked in a mental hospital? She goes into riveting detail in her Lineup article

I joined the group a little later, but I probably would have made Jaki feel less alone if I'd been in it when the question was asked because I've known a few murderers as well. On the other hand, Jaki really IS the sort of person strangers share their secrets with.

When my late husband Charlie, worked in the law library while going to night law school, he amused himself by reading criminal case law. He was shocked to see the name of a mutual friend who was involved with and helped the police catch a murderer. Charlie mentioned it to me and I had to say, "Oh, yeah that guy, he used to hang around with [mutual friend's name omitted]."

Charlie adjusted quickly--after all, there had even been a murder in the apartment above us, though we moved in after most of the parties involved had moved on. Charlie soon learned to tease visitors by mentioning the crime when the weather got hot enough that flies circled around the apartment. No connection with the murder upstairs. We just didn't have window screens back then and the flies did that in all the apartments when it got too hot. But the homicide was real.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Click to read a sample of Gravitas at Sneak Peak

I landed, naked, on the highway with a lust-crazed Roggarian warrior trying to scramble on top of me. Heavy, wheeled machinery thundered past. I could hardly breathe. I shoved Gelbrave off and struggled to my feet. I’d been alone in my room at the Conference meditating when he attacked. By the Triple Goddess, how had we ended up here?

Horns blared all around us and squealing sounds as hulking, metal vehicles skidded and swerved around us.

I threw a curse over my shoulder as I scrambled to the side of the roadway. More at Sneak Peak!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Book by Any Other Name (or Cover)...or Price

Bride of the Living Dead is that book for me. I keep trying to explain it, like those mothers of troubled kids who plead, "He's a good kid, just misunderstood." I vented about What to do when your book is "complicated"? Peggy Elam, at Pearlsong Press is helping me out by letting me change the cover--See below--the new cover and price are on the Pearlsong page Bride at 99 Cents in June New Cover for Kindle edition

Thursday, May 21, 2015

At long last, a short story...FREE for your reading pleasure!

Once upon a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I dedicated my life to writing fiction. I started by trying to write science fiction short stories. I followed Heinlein's 5 Rules for Success in Writing.

Rule 1. You must write. Got it. I could do that.

I got hung up on Rule 2. You must finish what you write.

I could not finish writing a short story to save my life. I was pretty messed up in my personal life in those days--trying to get out of a religious cult without losing my religion, drinking too much, alternating dieting and bingeing, doing temp work and walking around talking to the wall a lot. My best friend told me, "You say you want to write, why don't you write down what you say when you talk to the walls."

I did. Three years later I finished my first novel, a sensitive story of disillusioned youth. Totally unreadable. I would blush to even tell you the title--even that was beyond bad. But I finished writing a novel and I liked writing novels. I had found what I was meant to do for better or worse. I've since written nearly a dozen novels, many of which have been published.

I've also written lots of short nonfiction. (Even ghost wrote a nonfiction book, although I signed a contract not to talk about it.)

But I would have sworn that it was beyond me to finish a short story. It seemed like in the time I wrestled with a short story I could have gone ahead and finished a novel.

Until last week.

Somehow I wrote and finished, and published a short story Valkyrie in the Demon Realm! It's free on Amazon and in other formats. Check it out if you feel like it. What the heck, the price is right! It's based on the short novel Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone.

I'm writing another short story (vampires this time) very close to finished.

It took a few decades, but I feel pretty good about that.

I to prove that sometimes less really is more.

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Review of Fat Kids: Truth or Consequences

Rebecca Jane Weinstein has put together an important book that consists of reports from the front lines of the War on Fat Kids. Here's my review on Body Impolitic Here's the book on Amazon.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wonderful YouTube Review of Gravitas from D.M. Cain

Today I was happily surprised to find my first YouTube review of Gravitas. Sincere thanks to D.M. Cain, author of The Phoenix Project and A Chronicle of Chaos and generous #Awethors communicator on Facebook and Twitter to authors both shy and not-so-shy. I didn't exactly do a happy dance to see this--some things are not possible--but I kissed my cats a couple of extra times to celebrate!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Report from Awesome Authorland

Last Sunday I took part in a Facebook/Twitter 24-hour event that brought together over 200 authors to play with words and each other--not like that! It was simply a some wildly creative, witty folks from all over the world talking fiction.

Writing is a lonely business and most of us handle that well. You have to be comfortable talking to imaginary people in your head in order to do it at all. But we’re human, we want other people to read and enjoy our work. Engaging with actual humans can be hard because we aren't sure they'll be nice to us. We're supposed to be "competing" for readers. Actually readers are addicted to fiction, so they can probably consume more than all of us combined could create. It takes way longer to write a book than to read it! But that doesn't stop the anxiety and self-doubt.

So you ask yourself: How to prepare? What if they are so much better than I am? FYI, some of them probably are, but if they’re snooty about it, screw them. Actually nobody proved to be snooty at this event. Au contraire, everyone was warm and welcoming with no necessity to retort or retreat.

A couple of people who participated on April 12th were surprised and touched at the supportive nature of authors to each other. Michael J. Elliott’s posted about his experience.

The kindness of strange authors was less surprising to me because I have seen so much support, knowledge-sharing and mutual aid among authors in the past, particularly in mystery circles such as Sisters in Crime and the DorothyL list. I've also been to marvelously supportive events through Pearlsong Press. But last Sunday the interaction was both real time and extended, through fast-moving discussions on Facebook and Twitter that stayed up for responses to contribute hours later.

The giveaways and contests were managed by the amazing DM Cain and Rocky Rochford.

I put together a semblance of a competition to give away a copy of Gravitas: Valkyrie in the Forbidden Zone. There were no takers. If nothing else, this amused me (ya know, "can't give it away and all that").

Those who want free stuff from me will have another chance if they sign up for my new mailing list--another thing I was inspired to try. Sign up here for new book and free story info.

The verdict: A good time was had by all, friendships forged and future projects launched. Also, I was totally trashed for a couple of days but that goes with the territory!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fast Approaching the speed of Awesome - Proof Positive Interview

Things are heating up as many, many authors gear up for this 24-hour event. As L.E. Fttzpatrick puts it in her Limelight Literature blog “More awesome authors than you can cram into a bus” -- I think we may need a few more buses, as we gladly stop for hitchhikers! Glad to see my Bride of the Living Dead among the giveaway bundles here I'm happy to have a pre-event interview posted at Christie Stratos' Proof Positive blog. Here's the Interview

Monday, April 6, 2015

Christie Stratos explains the 24-hour April 12 event

Christie says it clearer than I could feel free to drop by. I'll be there from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M PST, but probably will be checking in earlier than just to see what's happening.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

An Awesome Online Author Event coming April 12th

I'll be joining authors from several genres for a 24 hour Worldwide 'Get Down With The Awethors' event!Questions, answers, stories, contests, prizes. I'm looking forward to it! More info on Facebook, Twitter, etc. soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pitch Perfect Praise & a Little Valkyrie Traveling Music

I am going through the early days of my new novel's publication--about two weeks in. It's a trial and error process and the overwhelming response is usually a deafening silence.

This is no a surprise to me, it's the usual way the process works. Even for an "ebook far" this part of the journey is a massive amount of toiling trying to get word of the book out to potential readers. At this point in my life I have to do that primarily on the internet.

This week I was thrilled to find that Gravitas was selected by Underground Book Reviews as one of five books chosen for the week of March 9 as Pitch Perfect Picks.

The folks at Underground Book Reviews explain: "Pitch Perfect Picks have intriguing, original premises and show the utmost professional quality."

Thanks, guys! Then the amazing Peggy Elam reviewed Gravitas on her new blog On the Whole Take a ride into The Forbidden Zone with a sexy Valkyrie . She says about heroine, Sybil, "Her adventures as she makes her way through The Forbidden Zone in search of a way home are fun and deftly written, as are the glimpses of other planets and cultures."

To make the ride even more fun, Peggy included some Valkyrie road warrior music with the review. I love the idea of moving The Ride of the Valkyries out of the helicopter & gunship, Apocalypse Now space and into the realm of powerful women on magical steeds!

Friday, March 6, 2015

A review with a little taste of Gravitas!

In her post on Body Impolitic Debbie Notkin says: I had the privilege of reading Gravitas in manuscript, and I want to recommend it to all of you. It is that rare bird, a novel which embraces fat power while not being about fat power. Instead, it’s about the troubles and travails of Val-Sybilla, who is burdened with a huge amount of the perfume Gravitas, a scent which has the power to cloud people’s minds (well, to turn people on and heighten their other emotional reactions). Val-Sybilla is carrying more Gravitas than most women ever carry, because she expected to get rid of it fairly promptly. But she is forced into an unexpected detour … onto Earth. Val-Sybilla’s people admire large bodies, so Earth is a bit of a surprise . . .

So, fat power, sex (influential women on Val-Sybilla’s planet are expected to have several husbands), adventure, suspense, and goddess worship. What more could you possibly want? more at Body Impolitic

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New short novel - "more fun than eating chocolate while sipping wine"!

GRAVITAS: VALKYRIE IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE is now available as an ebook

on Kindle

And all other formats

An urgent mission.

A woman with a past.

A dangerous burden.

Sybil, from Planet Valkyrie, carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac, to trade at a conference on ending slavery in her sector of the galaxy. Attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr, Sybil falls through an unmarked portal to land on Earth. The Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible. Portals to Earth are sealed. Sybil needs to defend herself, protect her hazardous cargo, and find a way home--while dealing with a damaging overdose of Gravitas.

Advance praise:

Reading this Lynne Murray book is like being a kid in a candy shop. Sure, she can weave a thrilling story line, but she also makes you feel as if you can indulge your dreams and fantasies about living in a different, much more delightful world. Read the book. It is more fun than eating chocolate while sipping wine. Frannie Zellman, author of The FatLand Trilogy.

Murray hurls the reader into her story and her universe, with links to daily reality, which make it seem more possible. The strong-minded protagonist displays Murray's trademark flashes of wit. Well imagined and thought provoking!" Leslie Moïse, Ph.D., author of Judith and Love Is the Thread

Escape to the outer reaches of space….and San this intriguing thrill ride of a tale that had me hooked from the first page. I was on the edge of my seat and reading on to see what would happen next. I truly did not want it to end, and am hoping there is a sequel that I can get my hands on as soon as it comes out! Tracey L. Thompson, author of Fatropolis A Novel