The Forever Team is available in paperback ($5.99) and eBook (99 cents).
Six months ago The Forever Team released as part of 10-Code Project to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund. I don’t have the figures yet but I’m very excited to see how much money we raised. Thank you everyone who purchased a copy.
I worked very hard this past month to make The Forever Team appropriate for age 10+ readers. This means I cleaned up the language and sexual innuendos that made it true to life. The changes don’t effect the story but for the first time, my grandchildren can read a book I’ve written.
As a long-time rottweiler owner, I want you to know this story is very close to my heart. I had just lost my six-year-old Rottie to cancer when I wrote The Forever Team. There were so many tears shed it was hard to see my computer screen at times. I’m hoping there are a few more Detective Jolett books in me because I really want to revisit her world.
Buy link: Amazon Kindle
For many police officers mandatory overtime is a favorite phrase. Twice a year, even in the toughest economy, it’s the rule. The first is New Year’s Eve and the second is Halloween. I’m a fright night lover so you can probably guess which my favorite is.
I learned early in my career how best to enjoy this fun and crazy night. I always put my name in to work the day patrol shift. The other cops give me strange looks. They want the nightlife because Halloween day is when the ghosts and goblins, better known as teenagers, rest up so they can terrorize the town when the moon’s at its zenith.
This means I have a chance to catch up on reports and prepare for skeletons rattling out of the darkest closets once the sun goes down. I go home at five, eat dinner, and await the early ghouls, better known as sweet young children, before heading back out on the street for overtime at nine.
I have a list of names, reported by the local grocery and convenience stores, for those restless zombies who purchased eggs during the day. The stores actually stock up on embryo supplies just to keep the monsters at bay. A simple phone call, using my evil cackle has the clerks spilling their guts.
With my holy water and stake at hand, inconspicuously appearing as chocolate candy bars and dollar bills, I’m ready to fight evil.
The calls start coming in and my police radio heats up. I can hear excited voices on the car to car channel as officers zero in on the culprits and head that direction only to be thwarted. Not me. I’m older and wiser than the average patrol super hero. I head to the do it yourself carwash.
To keep their brooms from melting, the flying monkeys make mad dashes through the stream of immortality before heading back out. This is where the chocolate and dollar bills come in handy. I pay the heathens for wicked intel and enjoy the candy bars myself.
A few calls to dispatch and my crime fighting brethren are now heading in the direction of the next ambush. I confiscate the blood-filled eggs, or at least that’s what the begging and moaning vampires have me believing they are and wait for my next victims. My voodoo list of names comes in handy when I need to summon demons aka a phone call to their mothers if they refuse to cooperate.
Officers request I give up the secret spell that allows me to pin-point the next phantom egg attack but what fun would that be? And, I’d probably have to share my chocolate stash.
Early feedback for Bad Luck Officer has been wonderful (special thanks to Ruby). I hate editing and it continues to be my nemesis. If it wasn’t for my mother and friend Linda, this book would never see daylight. Their criticism and grammar corrections make me look good. This book was a team effort.
I have plans to release my Small Town blog posts later this year. Please don’t get too excited because if you’re reading this you’ve probably read them. It will be titled Bad Luck in Small Town. The only thing I plan to add is a common theme throughout but I’m not sure what (yet). I have a few homicides under my belt so I may use one of them as the backdrop. I’m also thinking about Bad Luck Detective and hoping to type the first chapter sometime in the next few months.
I published the following post on Blogher and decided to share it here…
In law enforcement, we run a criminal history search on all felony cases. When I see a suspect with a.k.a.’s, I know I have a shady character. Fraud cases are the most prevalent but violent suspects are also known to use multiple names. I’ve lately wondered, if I had ever committed a crime, and my rap sheet was viewed, what would it look like today?
Back when I was in seventh grade, there was a tween I worshipped. She had dark brown eyes, a thin and muscular body and a name I fell in love with. She was a gymnast, on the cheerleading squad and incredibly popular. I moved away halfway through eighth grade and never knew what happened to her. She never knew me and we never spoke.
I carried her along by signing my daughters up for gymnastic classes. Little did I know, my world would revolve around competitive gymnastics for many years, as my one daughter excelled. She (my daughter) retired from the sport at age 16, to start a part-time job in a veterinarian office, which was her dream. And my life continued…
Many people don’t know this, but I owned an independent bookstore in Phoenix for many, many years, and finally sold it in 2002. Books were my life and I knew, one day, I would be a writer. I also had one childhood dream that I never thought would be fulfilled. During my freshman year of high school, an appointment was made for me to visit my guidance counselor. The big question she asked, “What are your career goals?” This was 1975. I told her I wanted to be a police officer.
Her response, which I will never forget, “That’s not a job for women, pick something else.” So, with a broken heart, I did. As most of my readers know, I went into law enforcement at age 45. I like to describe it as a lark but it really wasn’t. It was a long forgotten dream that I needed to fulfill in my life. Two years later, I began writing. I like to say, I never look back, but I do.
I think about seventh grade and those beautiful big brown eyes that I envied. When I had to pick a pseudonym to write under (it’s frowned upon for law enforcement to write police blogs) I could only think of one name, Suzie Ivy. My eyes are blue, I have blond hair and these are the things I no longer want to change. But, I have an awesome writing name and for that, I thank the seventh grade girl who never knew me. What ever happened to the real Suzie Ivy? I don’t know but this one loves life, family, career and writing. Thank you Suzie for inspiring me, I hope your life has been as rich and fulfilled as mine!
I’ve been working very hard on the edits for Bad Luck Officer due out January 13th 2012, Friday the 13th, the best day for Bad Luck! (I came up with this slogan on my own)
The first half of the book is the day to day struggle of field training. Every officer, upon graduating the academy, goes through months of one on one supervised training before being put on the street by themselves. Rookies make numerous mistakes and our stories become notorious and are told to every new officer entering the department.
I was actually lucky during my field training and didn’t screw up too badly. Though I had many funny moments and some definite wake up calls in my chosen career. My infamous rookie story starts the first day I was officially on my own. I was hot stuff all the way to my first call. Spike, who you meet early in the book, is one of my Field Training Officers and though a great friend now, had little patients with me back then. Please don’t blame him, poor man has been through way to many newbies.
I’ve recounted this story as closely as I can and unfortunately it wasn’t hard. I’ve heard it told by my field training team way too many times and it’s now exaggerated far past what happened. If you ever hear a different version, it’s a lie. I never fired my weapon and I did not kill the dog!
Excerpt from Bad Luck Officer: First day on my own.
I went out to my squad car, started the engine and radioed dispatch that I was 10-8 (ready for duty). The dispatcher said good morning and told me to stand by for traffic (a pending call). This would be my first call with no one looking over my shoulder or checking up on me. I held my breath in anticipation as I waited for the information.
The dispatcher came back on the air and told me there was a large suspicious case in the garbage can at Circle K and they requested an officer immediately.
Several things went through my head upon hearing suspicious case. In my mind, I imagined a plain brown wrapped package concealing a bomb. My second thought was body parts. I’d definitely watched too many serial killer movies and my rookie brain was working overtime. Either scenario would require me to contact a supervisor. I decided to take a look first and then decide my course of action.
To explain what happened next I must explain some ten-codes (radio language), just the few that led to the disastrous domino effect that followed.
961 (vehicle accident no injuries)
962 (vehicle accident injuries)
963 (vehicle accident death)
930 (animal at large)
931 (dead animal)
1510 (My personal radio signature)
So the call went something like this.
I arrived at Circle K and saw three women standing at the large dumpster on the side of the building.
I approached and they all turned and looked at me. The manager told me there was a large suitcase in the dumpster and blond curly hair was sticking out the side. She believed it to be a dog, but wasn’t sure.
I walked up to the dumpster and looked at the suitcase, which was lying on mounds of smelly trash. It was a beat up brown hardshell case, about two feet wide, two and a half feet high and eight inches deep. I could see the tuft of hair in question and it did look like it belonged to a dog.
In my most professional cop voice, as I spread my arms wide I said, “I need you ladies to stand back and let me take a look inside the suitcase.”
They all stood farther back with a few “ewes and awes” cast my way. I was one professional cop.
My radio chirped and Spike asked me what was going on. This is where my professionalism bit the dust.
“What do you have 1510?” came Spike’s sharp deep voice.
“I have a 962 (accident with injuries).” Of course, I meant to say 931(dead dog).
“How bad is it?”
“Well sir, he’s dead.”
“I’ll be right there.”
The next thing I hear over the radio is an ambulance being dispatched. I wasn’t paying close attention because I was opening the suitcase and even over the smelly garbage, the odor of dead dog overwhelmed me.
Dispatch radioed me and asked if I needed more than one ambulance.
It started to sink in and I realized I told Spike it was a 962 (accident with injuries) and then told him my subject was dead (which is a 963). I immediately radioed and said I miss-spoke the code and I actually had a 932 (there is no such code). Dispatch questioned what I said and I not so calmly repeated 932. Why this unknown code came out of my mouth, I do not know. I was on a roll.
As this was going on, I was admiring a forty-pound, dead, very large blond fluffy dog, crammed inside the suitcase. It’s eyes were open and staring at me, poor fellow.
The ambulance pulled into the parking lot and while laughing and smiling the crew walked over to me. They had heard my entire miscommunication. Before I could explain, Spike pulled up, jumped out of his car and began yelling. “What the hell are you doing? If you don’t know a code, use English.”
He was pissed off. I told him I was sorry for the mix up. Everyone was staring and Spike’s face was red. My face was redder.
“What the hell is a 932?” He demanded.
This is where I realized I had blown it once again and very bluntly responded, “A 932 is a dead dog in a suitcase. Didn’t you learn that at the academy?” I’m not known for holding back, even when I’m wrong.
I thought Spike would lose his mind. His red face went purple. I was afraid he might stroke out, but he took a deep breath, turned his back and marched to his patrol car. He spoke into his radio to dispatch, “Please take note that a 932 is a dead dog in a suitcase, and if 1510 ever has another one, you need to know the proper code.” He left the parking lot on squealing tires.
I closed the suitcase, slunk to my vehicle and cleared the scene. I could hear the ambulance personnel laughing as well as the dispatchers over my radio.
Later that day, I had to call dispatch by phone. They started laughing again. I apologized for my mix up. I was told it was okay, they never enjoyed a call so much in their lives and had a sheet of paper posted for any other codes I wanted to add. It was a special sheet just for me.
Their laughter was infectious, and I began to see the humor in my blunder, but doubted that I would ever live it down. Over the years, I’ve added more codes to the list, but out of expediency, not idiocy. It was not the greatest start to my first official day on my own.
If you’ve read my blog from the beginning, you’ve read Bad Luck Cadet but it’s also available as an ebook download for .99 at Amazon.com. If you have a little extra time on your hands and have an Amazon account, please click the “like” button and if you travel further down the Amazon page there are book tags which help place the book in different category search listings. No purchase is necessary and clicking these tags are a huge help and would be greatly appreciated! I also have an Amazon Author Page which you may visit and click the “like” button as well. Now that I’ve given you lots to do during the busiest time of the year, thank you for reading thus far. Your comments and encouragement are what keep me burning the midnight oil. I never knew how much work was involved in this writing gig:-)
Special Agent Bacon will be my blog topic next week.
I’ve been writing like crazy but I promised to post the first chapter of Bad Luck Officer on my blog. Please blame my editor. She made me split my first chapter into two chapters. I agreed with her reasoning but the, now, second chapter is one of my favorites and it’s killing me not to share. As always, if you are visiting my blog for the first time start with Accidents Happen, the first post in the Bad Luck Cadet series.
I woke up Monday morning in sudden fear. I had finished the police academy; I had attained the goal I set for myself; and now I, Suzie Ivy, was a Certified Peace Officer for the State of Arizona.
I must have been out of my mind!
This thought stayed with me as I uniformed up for my first official day on duty as a police officer. Starting with the matching sports bra and panties, black long sleeved undershirt, uniform pants, and uniform shirt with my bright shinny badge in place on my chest, I then put on my duty belt. This consisted of a baton, one set of handcuffs, pepper spray, flashlight, gun and two extra magazines of bullets. My outer bullet proof vest came next and my new duty boots with their academy worthy shine came last.
Note to self– it’s nearly impossible to bend over in all the gear and put on shoes. Tomorrow boots go on directly after uniform pants.
Now, I was ready to hit the streets. Not. From head to toe, the total weight of my gear was twenty-eight pounds. This was more gear than I ever wore at the academy and it was my excitement that kept me from feeling claustrophobic.
I arrived at the police department and was greeted at the door by Sandy, the administrative secretary to the Police Chief. She actually smiled warmly at me and welcomed me into the inner sanctum of the department. This was not her previous response to me, but I was an outsider then. Now I was a member of the department.
Sergeant Spears was waiting for me in his office.
“Good morning, Officer Ivy.”
This was the first time I had been officially called “Officer,” and it felt good.
“Good morning Sir,” I said, as I stood at attention in front of his desk.
“Sit down and relax,” said Spears, “you’re not in the academy anymore and you need to loosen up and be less formal. Please call me Dave while we’re inside the office.”
“Yes sir.” I said as I warily took a seat.
I couldn’t help it. It felt like a trick. Eighteen weeks of proper police etiquette had been drilled into me at the academy and this was my first day on the job. Relaxing or calling him Dave was not a possibility at all.
Sgt. Spears gave me a semi smile and then got down to business. He handed me a blank Arizona traffic ticket combination complaint form and told me to write a citation for disorderly conduct. He handed me another piece of paper, half filled with typed information, and told me everything I needed was on the “27.”
A “27” was not something I had been taught at the academy. I looked at the traffic complaint form and then I looked at the paper. Sgt. Spears saw me staring at the paper and asked if there was a problem. I explained I was not sure what a “27” was but I could probably figure it out.
“The 10-27 is the motor vehicle driver’s license report that you have in your hand.”
I knew that. We had learned all our “ten codes” at the police academy. But I had been thrown for a loop by not hearing a ten before the 27. I took a deep breath and began filling out the form. I asked for the location of the offense along with the date and time and was told we would be driving to the scene and I would enter the exact location when we arrived.
After I finished the paperwork, Sgt. Spears grabbed his sun glasses (I was less than cool without a pair to put on) and we headed out to his police vehicle.
As we walked, he began explaining what was expected of me as an Officer in Training (OIT) and how I needed to always ask if I was not clear on something. Small Town Police Department had never had a female officer and we would all be facing challenges we could not possibly anticipate or prepare for. We would go through a learning curve and adjustment period. And as my supervisor he wanted me to communicate any problems to him immediately.
We got in his vehicle, with “Dave” driving and I riding shotgun, and headed to my first call. The instructions continued. This first week I was to stand back, observe, and let him do all the talking.
“Above anything else,” said Sgt. Spears, “don’t get yourself killed or God forbid get me killed. Keep your eyes and ears open and think Officer safety.”
That was it. We had arrived at my first call.
Small Town is as it says, small. This is a farming and cattle community. There are only thirty-eight square miles within the city limits and then you’re out in the boonies. I found this laughable when I first moved here. The town proper was the boonies to this city girl. Now it was my town, my district and my stomping ground. We drove through one of the less than sprawling housing developments and I saw what exactly my first call would entail.
Mr. Dwaine Piskett was sitting in the middle of the road. He had a large rock in his lap. I’m not talking a rock the size of your hand. I’m talking a big ass rock the size of his lap. We approached and Sgt. Spears asked Mr. Piskett how he was doing.
“I don’t want to speak to you.” Mr. Piskett said to Sgt. Spears, “You is a ugly man an god done handed out the looks the day you was digging through the garbage.”
I stayed in the background as Sgt. Spears requested. I was in shock. This man was speaking trash to my Sergeant. Ten hill runs Mr. Piskett or better yet how about I kick your ugly old ass. This was all in my head and I remembered Sgt. Spears words, “God forbid don’t get me killed.” So I stood back, hand on the release lever to pull my gun, Officer safety thought running through my mind, ready to save my Sergeant.
“Well that may be so, but you’re going to need to get up and move out of the road,” was Sergeant’s reply.
“This is my road. It’s been my road for a hundred years and I can sit in it if I want to.”
It was scary, maybe it had been his road for almost one hundred years. From the 10-27 I knew Mr. Piskett was ninety-two and not far off that hundred year mark. The academy did not prepare me for this specific situation.
Sgt. Spears kept his cool.
“We’ve been through this before Mr. Piskett, you can’t sit in the middle of the road. Put aside the rock and let’s get you moved.”
“This here rock is a gift from God. It’s my rock and you can’t have it.”
“Okay Mr. Piskett,” said Sgt Spears, playing along. “But I need to move you out of the road. You can carry the rock if you want.”
“Are you blind? You’re nothing but a stupid ugly piece of kennel poop. I can’t lift this rock.”
Sgt. Spear’s voice tightened slightly, “Then how did you get it over here?”
“I rolled the damn thing, but at soon as I got here, God told me I couldn’t roll it no more.”
Sgt. Spears looked at me with a slight question in his gaze and then turned back to the man cradling the rock.
“Well Mr. Piskett, this pretty lady here was sent by God to move your rock. I’ve been sent by the Small Town Police Department to move you.”
Mr. Piskett looked at me and asked me if I was sent by God.
I tried to look Godly.
“God wants me to help you with the rock,” I said to Mr. Piskett, “and get you out of the road.”
He got up allowing the rock to roll from his lap and said, “I’ll help you lift it but God said not to roll it, so you’ll need to carry it, and since God wanted it moved now it shouldn’t weigh too much.”
Mr. Piskett and I picked up the rock. He was wrong about God lightening the load. Still I took it from him and, thankful for every push up I had to do at the academy, I carried that big ass rock over to the side of the road and dropped it.
“Angel Ivy, I need you to get that citation out of the car.” Sgt. Spear’s voice held humor although he maintained a straight face.
I walked over to the car and took the citation out. I carried it back over to Sgt. Spears. He told me to finish filling it out with the location information and to issue the citation. Mr. Piskett was now sitting on the side of the road, out of traffic, and I issued him the citation. He signed it and then he said he was thankful for my help.
“God bless you Angel Ivy.”
Then he looked down at the court date I’d written on the citation and said he’d be seeing me in January if God was willing.
Sgt. Spears and I walked away and got back in the patrol car. I was quiet, trying to understand exactly what had just happened.
Sgt. Spears laughed and said I did a great job. He explained Mr. Piskett would stay out of our hair until after the court date because his friend the judge would not forgive two citations so close together.
I couldn’t make sense of the rock and told Sgt. Spears. He said there was no sense to the rock.
This was my welcome to the Small Town Police Department!
Next post “I Don’t Speak Cow” http://wp.me/p15Fdq-5f
Bad Luck Officer is available at Amazon