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  • Writer's pictureCJ Murphy

Take a CHANCE!

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

Oh, where oh where have my PCT’s gone, oh where oh, where can they be? You’re welcome for the ear worm I just gave you. Seriously, I’m beyond grateful for those of you that have said, “WE NEED SOME POSITIVE CJ THOUGHTS!” So why haven’t there been any, for months? That is the million dollar question.

I’ve been working hard to get my next novel, Gold Star Chance, completed with my awesome editor, CK King and working with my fantastic publisher to get it RIGHT. I’d been holding back saying much about Book One until I had a cover to show. As always, Ann McMan of TreeHouse Studio took my rambling ideas and brought forth an outstanding cover.

Meet Sheriff Chance Fitzsimmons, a retired smokejumper turned county sheriff. Chance is a prodigy in some ways, the second to join the law enforcement ranks in her family. Her father, Ray Fitzsimmons, was a deputy sheriff. When he was killed in the line of duty, Ray’s sister Maggie and her wife Dee, stepped in to raise Chance. Now Chance lives the principles her father impressed upon his young daughter.

“Daddy, why are there five points on your badge?”

“Well, honey, the points mean different things to different people. To me, they mean honor, duty, courage, integrity, and empathy. The empathy part is the hardest as an officer. It’s a hard one to find balance for. Someday, when you’re wearing the badge, you’ll understand.”

I’ve come to believe that writers use things from their own lives to enrich a story, and this one is no exception. For this series, I’m drawing heavily on my thirty years of experience in the emergency services.

I’ve never been a law enforcement officer, but I’ve spent the majority of my adult life around them, being friends with them and consider many of them family. I had people ask why I didn’t make Chance a firefighter instead of a sheriff. The reason is simple, it allows for a broader story line for the series. Chance is chief of the technical rescue team and has a fire service background on the federal level. I gave her a K9 unit because----- who doesn’t love dogs?

My wife spent her entire career in 911 communications and for the final few years as a county emergency manager.

Combine our years in this business, and we have sixty years worth of calls and incidents I can use as a basis for this series. We’ve both spent our lives in the service of others living the principles of honor, duty, courage, integrity, and empathy.

Those of you who follow me as an author know there is always a romantic side of the story and the Five Points Series is no exception. Chance has always believed that she missed out on the one true love of her life. Jax St. Claire went off to school and took Chance’s heart with her. Oh, Chance tried to love again, but it was never the same. She gave her partners one hundred percent of her, and yet the connection never seemed as soul deep as her first love.

A tough rescue brings Chance face to face with her past for the first time in over three decades. The passionate fire that seemed to have grown as cold as a doused campfire comes roaring back to life with a single glance, like a spark to dry pine needles.

Chance had resigned herself to the fact she’d soon be sporting stitches, or at least skin glue, to close the wound. She was busy listening to some traffic on the radio, as they led the horses to the rehab area. She felt a sharp elbow to the ribs from Taylor.

“Check that out.”

Chance scowled and rubbed her side. “Check what out?” She looked in the direction Taylor’s head was leaning. A woman in dark-green canvas pants, work boots, and a light-green polo shirt was bent over the horse hoof between her knees. She was digging something out from beneath the shoe. The chestnut gelding nickered, as the woman released his leg and patted his side. When she stood up, her gaze locked on Chance. Jacqueline St. Claire stood with the hoof pick still in her hand. She didn’t move for several seconds, then broke the staredown and returned to the horse she was helping.

“Jax,” the word escaped Chance’s mouth before she had a chance to put up her internal mask.

“I hear that’s the new vet Jacqueline St. Claire. Word is she’s old Doc Hendricks—”

“Niece.” Another word floated past her lips without conscious thought. Chance was eighteen again and floating on an inner tube in the Cheat River. A gorgeous woman in a red, white, and blue bikini top and cutoff jeans floated beside her. She wore Chance’s ball cap. Her black hair pulled through the hole in the back. The ponytail was so long, it dipped into the water. Her shapely arms draped over the sides; her fingers barely trailed the water. Long, tanned legs floated in front of her. Mirrored aviator sunglasses Jax had stolen from the dash of Chance’s truck covered pale, almost ice like, green eyes.

“Chance?” Taylor interrupted her pleasant trip down memory lane with a slight touch to her arm.


“Are you okay? You’re as pale as the sheets on Mag’s clothesline. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“I have. I haven’t seen that woman in thirty-six years.”

With that, I introduce you to our main characters, Chance and Jax. The last thirty plus years haven’t been easy for either of them. The future seems wide open, or is it? Will burning brands from their past or the uncertainty of the future burn over them like a wildfire or can they shelter in place together to ride out the inferno. The only way you can find out is to pick up my latest book, Gold Star Chance, available exclusively for a limited time directly at Desert Palm Press’ website at a 10% discount from the regular price! Click on the link here or go to the DPP site and click "Our Books", then Romance.

It's available on at DPP and Amazon at

Make sure you check out Desert Palm Press’ incredible new website.

The other reasons there haven’t been any PCT’s was I’d started book two of my Five Points series, Forever Chance, when a very pushy broad, Pastor Rhebekka Deklan, jumped into my head and shoved everything out. The story completely possessed me until I’d squeezed all 361 pages and 88,000 plus words out. There is no true polish on it as of yet, and the betas that read it have offered numerous suggestions that need to be taken into account. The story was deeply personal for me and drew heavily on my experiences growing up as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. When I sent it off to my publisher to look at, Lee immediately felt it needed to be part of the Five Points Series, as I’d tied in several things including the setting used in the series. So, Redemption’s Road will become Book 3 of the series and will be written in first person point of view. I’m about halfway through the writing process Book 2, Forever Chance of which there is an excerpt at the end of Gold Star Chance. Book 2, Forever Chance, will be available fall of 2019

So, there you have it. Basically, I’ve been writing three books, oh and working to make a living, farming, and trying to have some form of a life.

That’s the best excuse I have.

Here are my PCT’s in a few simple words with a depth of responsibility I’ve spent a lifetime trying to live up to. Honor, duty, courage, integrity, and empathy. In today’s climate, these simple principles seem to be disappearing quickly. Every day, there seems to be a war on those that live to protect and serve, be it soldiers, law enforcement officers, nurses, firefighters, or medics. Don’t get me wrong, yes, there are bad apples in every single category, but the vast majority live and breath to protect and care for others. Be kind to those who will put their life on the line for you.

So why do I write lesbian romance, lesbian adventure, lesbian stories in general? I do it because I want women around the world to see themselves in the media. I want them to see their families represented, the love they have for another woman, for the struggles their families go through. That is why I write, and I do it with great pride.

I’ll be headed to the Golden Crown Literary Society annual convention in Pittsburgh in July. I’m reading from my new novel, Gold Star Chance, and sitting on a panel for the first time.

I’m completely immersing myself in the world of lesbian literature as both a nervous author and a giddy readers giddiness. I want to surround myself with those I’ve admired for years and to finally meet in person my own personal Yoda, AJ Adaire. I’ll get to rub elbows with other newbies like me and stand in the shadows of the greats while I soak it all in.

I try very hard to live the principles I’ve written about in Gold Star Chance. So, with a straight back and a wide smile, I’ll do my best to stand there with courage and be grateful for my opportunities. I’ll do so holding on to my honor, my integrity, my duty, and all while sharing my empathy for those who have gone before me and those who will come after. In words Melissa Etheridge so emphatically espoused, YES, I AM, and I’m so grateful for that.

I hope you will take a chance on my new novel, Gold Star Chance, and my previous books, The Bucket List and ‘frame by frame' all of which are on sale on the Desert Palm Press website.

If you are so inclined, please leave a review at your favorite outlet or on your social media pages. Yes, those reviews matter because it let’s other who might be on the fence take a ‘Chance.’ Thank you for your patience and support.

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Reviews for 'frame by frame'

Absolutely Fantastic 

 I was right there in the story. It has strong characters and the individual personalities are remarkable. I love the deep family bond and Ree is someone I absolutely adore. I really am impressed with this debut novel. An outstanding and exciting romance. Read it and I’m sure you won’t regret it.- Goodreads 11/30/17



If there were 10 stars, I would choose 12

This is a happy ever after story, one we would all use, especially now. This is a debut novel for this writer and all I can say is I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR MORE. If these were 10 stars, I would choose 12.



Beautiful Story

This is the first book I have read from this author and I loved it. I really loved taking the adventure with to strong women that both were dealing with a past.... I definitely recommend this book.



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Purchase  CJ Murphy's novel   'frame by frame'     at the following retail sites:




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