Tag Archives: Michele Drier

A day in the life of Matt Jorgenson by Michele Drier

The day my dad’s caregiver called and told me my dad couldn’t remember how to button his shirt was the day I had to make one of the hardest decisions.

He’d developed Alzheimer’s gradually and over the past three years had been able to live in his home with a caregiver. The disease was too great now and he needed to be moved into a Memory Care facility. Locked doors, twenty-four-hour care.

This meant he’d be abandoning the home in Bakersfield that I’d grown up in, the home that my dad built for his family, my mother and me. I moved away better than a decade ago, heading for law school and a career in San Francisco, shaking the dust of the Central Valley off my shoes and not looking back. As much as I loved him, I couldn’t give up my life in the Bay Area, particularly now that I’d met Jennifer.

Alzheimer’s, the concern for my father and the gnawing fear that I may be headed for the same diagnosis, terrified me. When I heard about a memory chip that could augment your memory, maybe bring back forgotten parts of your life, I jumped at it. Now, I’m thinking it may have unintended consequences.

The other night, I was out in a North Beach bar with some friends when a woman smiled at me. I smiled back and asked the waitress to bring her a drink. As I went over to talk to her, another guy, a drunk from the end of the bar came over. I said, “Leave the lady alone. She’s not interested.”

“And who are you? Her guardian?” The guy took a step towards me and raised his hand.

I pushed the hand away and twisted the guy’s arm up behind him. “What part of leave her alone didn’t you understand?” I poked him in the ribs. Not a hard punch, just enough that he whooshed out a breath and staggered.

Now Brian, Stan and Artie were up, surrounding me to keep the other drinkers and the bartender from seeing anything. “Come on, pal, let’s get some air.” Artie put an arm around the guy’s shoulder and he and Stan walked him to the door, talking all the time about how he’d had too much to drink.

“What was that all about?” Brian watched me, an odd expression on his face. “I’ve never seen you make any moves like that. You’re a lover, not a fighter.”

“I don’t know, man. I had this feeling, this anger, come up from my gut.” I sucked in a deep breath. “Something about that guy and his cheezy moves made me see red.”

I turned to the woman, stuck out my hand. “I’m sorry if I frightened you. I don’t usually meet a woman like this. I’m Matt and this is Brian.”

The blond didn’t take it. She turned to her friend, said, “Let’s go,” picked up her purse and went out the door.

Not a night to remember, and I have strange dreams now, violent dreams of hitting people, breaking things, lashing out with anger I can’t control.

With my dad on his way to a facility that he’ll never leave, and me with dark and dangerous dreams, I worry that Alzheimer’s isn’t the only thing I have to fear.

You can read more about Matt in Ashes of Memories, a psychological thriller.

Getting what you wish for can bring unintended circumstances. Jennifer in New York and Matt in San Francisco worry that they’re losing their memories. Jennifer from an earlier trauma and Matt while watching his father succumb to Alzheimer’s. After finding a new medical technology designed to help people with cognitive disorders, they independently track down a grey-market supply, but when they meet they find unknown terrors.

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About the author
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

She is the president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of Bouchercon 2020.

Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death, and a stand-alone thriller, Ashes of Memories, published in 2017.

Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights, SNAP: All That Jazz, and SNAP: I, Vampire.

Visit her Facebook page, her website www.micheledrier.com or her Amazon author page,

All comments are welcomed.

A Day in the Life with Clarice Stamms by Michele Drier

Delta For DeathWhen my boss asked me to write this, I was a little nervous.

Was she asking me what I do all day? Going to use this to determine my job description?

I decided she was interested in gathering some ammunition to take to the publishers, Calvin and Max, to wangle more money for the newsroom. I’m all for that, especially if it means a raise.

I’m Clarice Stamms and I’m the police reporter for a mid-sized daily newspaper in California called the Monroe Press. My boss is Amy Hobbes, the Managing Editor. And I realize that we’re both lucky to have jobs at one of the few newspapers left that print a daily edition.

My day usually starts around ten in the morning, which is perfect, since I’m a night person. First, I have to have coffee. I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie—probably why I love my job. As the caffeine hits, I read the Press to see if the copy editors changed anything in my stories and check on the headline they wrote. One of the hardest things to get across to people I write about is that I don’t write the headlines. Once I finish the story, and edit it the way I want, it’s out of my hands.

After a quick shower, I start my morning phone calls. I’m not officially at work yet and this time doesn’t get charged to the Press, but it can give up a jump start on my day.

I call the Monroe police and fire department and the county sheriff’s department. I’m looking for any unusual calls they received after about nine p.m. the previous night.

If there’s an active “incident,” a fire, burglary or robbery…something that requires official involvement, I throw on some clothes and hit the street. I used to have a police scanner next to my bed, but didn’t get a lot of sleep. It there’s something really big that goes down in the middle of the night, one of my friends at dispatch will call me but it has to include “shots fired” or “injuries” or “fatalities” or, for a fire “mutual aid requested”. Those are the calls that get immediate responses and most everything will be cleaned up by the next morning, when I would normally get there. Everything else can wait.

My official shift starts at twelve p.m. and runs until nine p.m. which is when I have to turn in my last story for the day.

There isn’t anything that requires me to be at a scene today, so I spend an hour or so at the city police and the county sheriff’s departments, talking to officers about what they’re working on or what training is coming up.

SWAT training or Swift Water Rescue training are good for feature stories and today it’s Swift Water. The cops like them because it shows that they stay ready to help the public and it’s tax dollars at work in a positive way. The summer heat is starting and today I get to spend a chunk of the afternoon at the rivers, watching firefighters and cops in wetsuits, tops unzipped and bottoms hanging off their hips. It’s a difficult assignment, but someone’s gotta do it.

One of the things I’m constantly reminded of by my boss is my relationship with the Sheriff, Jim Dodson. Well, the one beyond my professional relationship.

Amy is the widow of a policeman who was killed in a high-speed chase and she’s constantly reminding me to keep the business and personal barriers up. A little difficult because Jim Dodson and I are…well, “dating.” We don’t know where this will lead.

For now, working at the Press is fine and I love the police beat. I’m covering the most instant news that happens in Monroe. But I do have a master’s degree from the U.C. Berkeley J-school, and I think I’d like to tackle more investigative pieces.

When I began, about five years ago, I had my sights set on working for a major metro, a paper like the San Francisco Chronicle, L.A. Times or the mother lode, the New York Times. Now all those papers are cutting back, so I’m wondering about the wire services like The Associated Press.

Where ever the future is, I spend every day digging up the most interesting stories about people, just plain people, and writing the best stories I can. Whether I’m in Monroe, New York or Africa, I intend to tell stories for the rest of my life.

You can read more about Clarice in Delta for Death, the third book in the “Amy Hobbes Newspaper” mystery series, published May 2015. The first two books in the series are Edited for Death and Labeled for Death.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on August 28 for the chance to win a Kindle version or PDF of Delta for Death. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as MDriera reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was named one of the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 by reviewers of the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: All That Jazz, Book Eight of The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was awarded second place for best book of 2014.

Visit Michele at on Twitter and on Facebook.

A Day In The Life Of Amy Hobbes by Michele Drier

Labeled For DeathMy name is Amelia Louise Ivery Hobbes. The Amelia was from my mother; she wanted me to have the spirit of Amelia Earhart. What I got was a hopelessly old-fashioned “Amelia Louise” with a last name that was always spelled Ivory on the first try.

I settled on Amy Ivery in college, which made for a short, snappy byline when I began a career in journalism.

I’d written under that name for a couple of years when Vincent Hobbes came along. A lot of women I knew kept their original names when they got married but I wanted to be part of my own family, so I became Amy Hobbes.

My first job in journalism was the cops beat. It’s a place where there’s always news and I loved it. It’s how I met Vinnie-the-cop. His family called him that; I took it up through osmosis.

I was learning the ropes, getting more and more story assignments when I got pregnant with Heather, our daughter. When I went back to work, Vinnie insisted that I take a different, less dangerous assignment, so I starting covering local politics. Safe as milk until a disgruntled city sanitation worker holed up in the mayor’s office as I was interviewing His Honor.

SWAT was called, no shots were fired, everybody walked away, but Vinnie was upset.

Vinnie was a good cop, a careful cop, but he let the hysteria of a high-speed chase get him involved in a gun battle. The bad guy—who’d killed two innocent kids in a drug deal gone bad, then taken off in a stolen car—was dead. But so was Vinnie.

My widow’s pension wasn’t enough to support us and I couldn’t just stay home and be a mom. Too many ghosts were in my head. I needed something big, something challenging, to keep them buried.

The San Fernando Valley Globe helped with this. I was back covering local politics and went to a local rally for a councilman. I was chatting with a campaign staffer when a good-looking man came up and joined us. The staffer’s eyebrows rose, but he introduced me anyway.

This Brandon guy was smooth. This Brandon guy was pretty. This Brandon guy was going to be dangerous. And I married him and moved to Monroe.

My life was on a different track than I’d planned, but it was secure and safe. Until the day Brandon came home and announced he’d taken a different job. It was in Chicago. Heather and I wouldn’t be joining him. He was moving with his pregnant girlfriend, a staffer in the Illinois legislature.

Now I’m the Managing Editor for the Monroe Press and end up solving a lot of things; my staff’s personal crises, AWOL reporters, managing a tiny and still-shrinking budget and the mystery of why people do things, including murder.

My days begin with a scan of two newspapers and CNN on TV while I drink coffee and eat a bagel. I’m in the office around 10 a.m. The day centers around finding those events that will translate into stories to keep the people of Monroe informed, entertained and knowledgeable about what’s happening around them. Two major meetings a day are the cornerstone: A first meeting about 11 a.m. with all the reporters to get a list (we call it a “budget”) of the stories they’re working on and the second one about 4 p.m. to nail down what stories are actually coming in—and what the gist of them is.

This is the meeting when we finalize which stories will be in the paper the next day and which page they’ll appear on—a consideration for those who want to be stars on Page One.

Much of the day is taken up with meetings. With the ad department to argue about the news space and with local politicians, the Chamber of Commerce, the Superintendent of Schools, letters to the editor writers and local people looking for stories about the biggest tomato, pinkest camellia, award-winning recipes and the Little League team that just won the championship.

All of this takes place against the constant drone of the police scanner sitting just outside my office door. It’s almost white noise, until I hear the cops reporter, Clarice, jump up, grab her purse, keys, cell phone and notebook and run out the door. It doesn’t always pan out, but these are the forays that net us some of our biggest stories—murder.

And after days of adrenaline and pressure, I’m happy to get home to my dog, Mac, a quiet house and maybe a phone call from Heather, who’s now a fifth year student at UC Santa Barbara. Or on a good night, from my friend Phil, the art critic at the San Francisco Times.

I’m still a little gun-shy after Brandon, but we seem to be developing more than just a friendship. Wonder where this is going?

You can read more about Amy in Labeled For Death, the second book in the “Amy Hobbes” mystery series. The first book in the series is Edited For Death. Books are available at online booksellers.

Meet the author
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the micheledstate, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.

She writes the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries and the five-book Kandesky Vampire Chronicles paranormal romance series, and has just published her seventh book, a mystery titled Labeled for Death. She’s working on the sixth Kandesky Vampire book, SNAP: Happily Ever After? for publication in fall 2013.

Visit her website or her Facebook page, or her Amazon author page