The Day Before by Liana Brooks


The Day Before

by Liana Brooks
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A body is found in the Alabama wilderness. The question is:

Is it a human corpse … or is it just a piece of discarded property?

Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of

Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break—a murder—that could give her

the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and

technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only

for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie.

The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems … and for Sam, nothing

about Mac is what it seems, either.

This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a bodybag.

A thrilling new mystery from Liana Brooks, The Day Before will have you looking over your shoulder and

questioning what it means to be human.


Author Bio

Liana Brooks once read the book GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett and noted that

both their biographies invited readers to send money (or banana daiquiris). That seems to have worked

well for them. Liana prefers strawberry daiquiris (virgin!) and will never say no to large amounts of cash in

unmarked bills.

Her books are sweet and humorous with just enough edge to keep you reading past your bedtime.

Liana was born in San Diego after bouncing around the country she’s settled (temporarily) in the great

wilderness of Alaska. She can be found on Twitter (@LianaBrooks), on FaceBook, and on the web at


Friday May 17th, 2069

Alabama District 3

Commonwealth of North America

With an asthmatic wheeze the engine died. It figured. Stuck in a man’s craw, it did. This

truck had been his daddy’s and his pappy’s, and before the Commonwealth government forced

him to replace the diesel engine with the newfangled water doohickey, he was certain he’d pass

the truck onto his son.

He’d been playing under the hood of trucks since he was six and now he was stranded.

Embarrassing, that’s what it was. He climbed out of the cab to check the engine out of habit. The

ice blue block of modern fuel efficiency stared back. Three hundred bucks it’d cost him, straight

from his pocket.

Oh, there was a government subsidy, all right. A priority list. Major Population Centers, they

said. Unite the countries of the Commonwealth on a timeline, they said. And what did all that


It meant the damn Yankees got upgraded cities and free cars before the ink was dry on the

Constitution and what about the little man? Nobody thought about the working class. No one

cared about a man covered in oil and grease anymore.

He thumbed his cellphone on. No reception. Figured.

So much for the era of new prosperity. He’d hoof it. There was a little town about five miles

down the road where he could call Ricky to bring a tow truck. It would have been cheaper to pay

the diesel fines than get all this fixed.

Off schedule. Over budget. Son of a –

He stared at the distant trees. Well, it wasn’t going to get any cooler.

He grabbed his wallet and keys from the cab of his truck. The tree line looked like a good

spot to answer a call from nature, then he’d see if there weren’t a shortcut through to town. A

meadowlark sang. Not a bad day for a hike. Would’ve been better if it weren’t so dammed hot,

but at least the humidity was low. He wouldn’t like to walk in a summer monsoon, not at his age

with arthritis playing up.

Under a sprawling oak he unzipped his pants. As an afterthought, he glanced down to make

sure he wouldn’t stir up a hill of fire ants.

A hand lay next to his boots.

He blinked, zipped his pants slowly, and turned around. “Hello?”

Cicadas chirped in answer.

“Are you drunk?” The quiet field that looked so peaceful only moments before was now

eerily sinister. He nudged the hand with his foot. It was swollen and pale and crusted with blood,

just like a prop out of a horror movie.

Maybe it was a good idea to run to the next town.

Guest Post

Finding A Balance Between Books

And Reality

Books have always been my primary obsession. Even before I knew what a fandom was I

knew My People were the ones who would read for hours and loved books. A young start as

a reader led me down the perilous path of writing. At first it was simple storytelling, rewriting

the ending of a book so my favorite characters would survive. It was fanfiction before

fanfiction and the internet were a Thing. Those simple stories tempted me to create my own

worlds… and that’s where I got lost.

It’s easy to wander into the worlds of fiction and not want to come back.

Reality means school, work, bills, walking the dog, washing the dishes, feeding the kids,

and pretending you want to talk about anything other than your newest Favorite Author or

your One True Pair. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who can pay all the bills with your

storytelling there is a need for balance.

Actually, strike that, reverse it…. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who can pay all

the bills with your storytelling it is ESSENTIAL that you find balance.

There’s a romanticized notion of the starving artist locking themselves away, shivering

and starving, as they use the last of their money to create their masterpiece. It’s a poignant

image perfectly suited for an indie film that will win critical acclaim at Sundance, but it’s no

way to live. As Amanda Palmer said, “We are artists, not art factories. The money we need to

live is often indistinguishable from the money we need to make art.”

In other words: Do Not Let The Books Control Your Life.

Adapted for your situation a writer’s schedule should look something like this…


 This should be done 5-6 days a week with the majority of the time spent on the

 Writing should happen when you are most creative (try writing at different times

 A few minutes each day should be spent reviewing outlines and checking progress

project with the nearest deadline.

of the day to find out when this is). If this isn’t possible because of work or school

schedule a regular writing time where you can. A page a day is still a novel at the

end of the year, so make the minutes count.

to make sure you are on track.

 If you have a new idea appear pin it down. Write a quick outline and save it in

your writing folder. No matter how much you swear you’ll remember everything

you can’t. Write it down and you’ll always have it for later.


 Marketing is a reality no matter how you publish. Know your audience and how they

respond. If you don’t know what advertising works best for your genre stalk (safely,

cordially, and on social media only – this doesn’t need to be creepy) other authors in

your genre and see what they’re doing.

 Set aside 15 minutes a day for marketing things. This includes: answering emails,

sending out review copies, writing guest blogs, scheduling tweets/tumblrs/Facebook

posts, sending winner’s prizes, ect.

 Make sure you have a strong social media presence and that it is social. A feed full of

ads is always ineffective.


 One day of the week should be designated as a No Writing Day. Take the day off

from the computer if you can.

 No working on your WIP on this day. Your brain needs a break.

 Take your day off to check your health and tend to self-care. Read, take a bubble bath,

go get some sunshine. Relax.

 Never neglect your health. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep that you don’t wake

up tired. You can run on fumes for weeks at a time but it isn’t healthy and it won’t

make your writing better. Even on a deadline – especially on a deadline – make the

time to take care of you.

 If you work from home make sure you set a quitting time each day. It’s easy to fall

into the trap of writing until midnight because the computer is right there and the

words need to happen. Don’t do this. Set an alarm for quitting time and obey the

alarm. When it goes off you hit save and turn the computer off.

 Take time to refill your creative well. Find other hobbies you love. Create other art.

Explore the world. Everything you do will improve your writing.


 According to Jim Butcher an author needs to have five books on the shelf to make a

comfortable living. That’s five books per person. You do the math.

 Get a good education and fight for a good job. The market sucks, but that’s just


 When you’re at work, WORK.

 Remember that a novel can be written in a few minutes a day. The words add up, so

don’t fret if you don’t get to spend the whole day at home writing. Most authors who

do have all day to sit at home and write only spend a few hours of each day actually

writing. The hard work is plotting out the scenes, and you can do that sitting on the

bus to work.


 If you have the significant other/spouse/roommate/kids/parents equation in your life

make sure to carve out a day just for them. For us Saturdays are Family Only time.

We plan trips a week in advance and spend the whole day together.

 Make time for your friends. Set aside a monthly get together, or a weekly dinner


 Plan daily rituals with the people around you. Whether it’s spending thirty minutes

walking your dog or sit down to dinner with the family every night. Schedule a game

night with your roomie and smash them in Mario Kart. We need time with other

humans to remember how to be human. Neglecting this will only hurt your art.

 Shy? Introverted? Stranded in a new town with nobody you know? I hate to say it, but

you still need to spend a few hours a week with people. Other humans are story

fodder. If nothing else go grab a hot cocoa at the bookstore and people watch for an

hour a week. The books will be there to back you up and, who knows, you might find

a fellow fan of your favorite series.

What do you do to keep the balance?



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