Nanoparticles to Cure—And to Kill!

Medical science in the 21st century is increasingly more sophisticated and growing exponentially. One of the more fascinating areas of medical research involves the evolution of nanoparticles.

Nanoparticles are (in simple terms) small objects that behave as a unit to have common properties and to perform specific jobs. They are tiny complex particles on the scale of one billionth of a meter—mere fractions of the width of a human hair.

These particles are molecular-sized entities that can be made from almost any material: metals, plastics and a multitude of hybrid materials. The most common at present is silicon.

Because they are approximately the size of a biological molecule, they offer great potential for use in the body to cure diseases because of their ability to transport substances on their surfaces or within their structures (think sponge-like configurations) into the body.

When used for medical purposes, they enter the body most often via intravenous injections. But advanced nanos that can be administered via an oral capsule and nanoemulsions that could be used for aerosolized nasal delivery are being developed.

I’ve been thinking of a plot for my next Jon Masters thriller novel, and I think it will involve some sort of sinister use of nanoparticle technology.

In the near future, nanotechnology could advance to a point that medical science will use nanos to cure diseases. There is even a nano robot that is one nanometer in size (one billionth of a meter) and is the smallest electric motor in the world.

But, as with all technological advances, the amazing cures and enhanced qualities of life that are on the forefront of nanoparticle development could have an alternate dark side effect.

As we’re seen with powerful herbal and pharmaceutical remedies, misuse can result in lethal outcomes. As with all good things, there can also be alternate lethal applications that spring forth from creative minds.

I can already imagine what poisons and toxins could be delivered into the body via nanos, and what other lethal consequences could be achieved by ill-used nanoparticles entering the body not only by injection but also by the newer oral and nasal applications being developed.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!


Jon Masters Thrillers – Book 1 and Book 2

Both Available from Amazon HERE!


Posted in A How To Blog on Murder Plot Ideas, A How To Blog on Murder Weapons, About James J. Murray, About Medications/Pharmacy, About Murder, All About Murder, Applications of Nanotechnology, Biological Weapons, Blog About Poisons in Fiction Writing, Blog Writers, Blogging, Bloodless Death Scene Writing, Bloodless Death Scenes, Developing Story Plots, Developing Storyline Ideas, Dramatic Murder Weapons, How to Choose a Murder Weapon for a Plot Idea, Ideas for Murder Scenes, Imperfect Murder Thriller Novel, Instruments of Death, Interesting Murder Weapons, James J. Murray Blog, James J. Murray's IMPERFECT MURDER Novel, James J. Murray's LETHAL MEDICINE Novel, Killing Off Characters in Writing, Killing With Lethal Nanoparticles, Lethal Medicine Thriller Novel, Medical Uses of Nanotechnology, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Weapons, Murder Weapons Discussed, Nano Technology, Nanoparticle Technology, Nanoparticle Technology in Medicine, Nanoparticles for Medical Cures, Nanoparticles in Medicine, Nanoparticles To Cure And Kill, Nanotechnology Used For Murder, New Blog, New Methods To Kill Characters in Your Novel, Plotting Interesting Murder Scenes, Plotting Murder Scenes, Poisons and Murder, Prescription For Murder Blog, The Science of Murder, Tools for Murder, Tools of Murder, Unique Murder Plots, Unique Murder Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Author Spotlight – An Interview with John Spietz

Today, I’m so pleased to share a blog interview I did recently with a friend and fellow author, John Spietz. John published his first novel last month—a time-travel sea adventure called THRILL CHASE. I’ve read it, loved it, and highly recommend it. When you click on the book link below, you can read my Amazon review. John is a fellow participant in a writing critique group. It’s called ALIR (Adult Learning In Retirement). From the first chapter he read, I knew it would be a hit and a “thrilling ride” for his readers. As he continued to bring episodes to the group sessions, what he shared continued to intrigue me. The book is a winner. It will not disappoint you.

Please give a first-time author a chance to entertain you by buying his book. Now, let’s have John talk about his novel and his journey as an author.


Tell us about yourself before we talk about your published novel.

Originally from Michigan, I have worked in 28 states and lived in ten. I transitioned from draftsman to Partner in an architectural firm, then started managing construction. I moved to San Antonio in 2004 to handle construction and remodeling contracts for the Defense Commissary Agency. 

When did you first realize that you wanted to write? What was your first attempt like? Was that attempt a novel or something shorter?

I retired in 2016. Like a lot of retires, I cast around for something to do to remain relevant. After trying this and that, I resolved to write. My first attempt was an essay entitled “The Commons: A compass for Navigating the Perils of Common Capital Management.” published in Voices de la Luna

What (in a # 1,2,3 style) gave you the confidence to write a novel?

  1. As a Construction Manager, I wrote many construction claim adjudication recommendations and felt competent to manage Microsoft Word’s technical aspects.
  2. Married to an English Literature professor for many years who taught writing, I learned what good vs poor writing practices entailed.
  3. Current writing assistant software for spellcheck, grammar, and so forth would help me with writing mechanics.
  4. A course offered by Michelle De La Garza on how to write a novel gave me a road map for putting a book together.

Tell us a bit about Thrill Chase and where it’s available.

Jason, an Alaska commercial fisherman, just returned to Sitka from crabbing in the Bering Sea. He has a pot bust hanging, his girl has left, and he needs more money. For an exorbitant sum—and the thrill—he agrees to crew on a Seattle sailing schooner without knowing where they’re going. Having invented gravity wave time travel, a high-tech Seattle billionaire transports himself, the boat, and crew to the Strait of Gibraltar in 1798. They defend against a pirate attack and aid a Boston merchantman. When a Napoleonic frigate threatens the American, they mangle her rigging with a mini-gun. Attacked again by four Moorish pirates, they blow them up with missiles to impress a becalmed British man-o’-war. After dinner aboard the Brit, a mutiny and violent storm threaten their return. To get back, they must be at a certain point at an exact time. Can they make it?

The book is available on Amazon HERE!

What was your inspiration for writing this novel?

The best advice I received is (1) write about what you know, and (2) write what you would like to read. Having lived in Southeast Alaska for 15 years, where my best friends were commercial fishermen, and having fished—although I’m only a commercial fishing dilettante—for salmon, halibut, crab, and shrimp, I know something of Alaska fishing culture. With a lifelong love of history and our maritime heritage, in particular, I feel qualified to bring these interests together in a novel.

What are three interesting facts about Thrill Chase not covered in your synopsis?

  1. My protagonist is an atheist who believes there must be evidence to support a conclusion.
  2. The pot bust in the novel is an actual case that happened in Alaska in 1973.
  3. The Muslims of 1798 used the Koran as a religious pretext for attacks on American shipping. This religious extremism does not differ from ISIS today.

How would you introduce your protagonist to your readers?

I present Jason Oliver, a typical young Alaskan who went north to the Great Land seeking adventure.

Is there a personal quirk that you’ve given to one of your characters? If so, who and why?

The Captain is fond of referring to “all kinds o’ mean, nasty, ugly things,” a quote from an old Arlo Guthrie tune called Alice’s Restaurant. I feel the underlying sarcasm reflects the Captain’s point of view.

What research did you need to do to write this book?

I did a great deal of research into the French Revolution. It was difficult to synthesize the Age of Enlightenment, the Terror, and Napoleon into the brief descriptions appropriate for a novel.

What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?

  1. Once you accept the premise of time-travel, the characters and setting must be believable.
  2. I found it challenging to keep the action going and not devolve into a history lesson.
  3. I may be too “preachy.”

What is the one thing that you wish every reader would take away from your novel?

Melanie did a song in 1970 called “Look what they’ve done to my song, Ma.” In it, she has a line, “Oh, I wish I could find a good book to live in.” I think that line captures the goal of an excellent novel. When people read for pleasure, they want to go live in this other place. Like Jim Stafford said in Wildwood Weed, You can “Take a trip and never leave the farm!”

Stalk the Author All of my author links: Goodreads, Instagram, FB Author Page, Website, etc. are available on my website:

Did any of your favorite authors influence your style of writing? If so, who and how?

Patrick O’Brian’s 20 novels around life in the Royal Navy at the time of Napoleon was my single most influential author. Mostly, I read historical nonfiction. I am fond of Al Gore, Jon Meacham, H. W. Brands, Jared Diamond, and Daniel Walker Howe. The human organization’s trajectory concerns me, but I have found no better way of anticipating the future than analyzing how we got to where we are. History does not repeat itself, but it echos.

What do you do to relax when you are not writing? Tell us about the everyday John Spietz.

I play in the San Antonio Senior Softball League, which gives me more exercise than just running off at the mouth, jumping to conclusions, or flying off the handle. I play a lot of chess and taught it at a local library before the onset of COVID-19. And I like to travel. My wife and I have planned a month in France this year.

Thanks, John, for visiting with us today. Hope you are busy writing your next thriller.

THRILL CHASE – Order it today on Amazon HERE.


Posted in A John Spietz Thriller Novel, A New Thriller Novel, A New Thriller Novel by John Spietz, A Thriller Novel, About Author John Spietz, About Writing, Chasing a Dream, Growing As A Writer, Guest Author, Guest Blogging, James J. Murray Blog, Nautical Adventure Novel, New Blog, New Book Is Published, New Book Release, New Novel Published, New Novel Release, New Publication, New Thriller, New Thriller To Download, Prescription For Murder Blog, Thrill Chase - The Novel, Time Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smashwords Book Sale -> Starts Today!

Starting now and going through Saturday March 13th, Smashwords online book seller is offering my eBooks, and a whole bunch of other eBooks, at fantastic discounts.

Two of my eBooks, both in my Detective Rosie Young Murder Mystery Series, are highlighted in this sale and they are available at 50% off this whole week!

Detectives Rosie Young and Vince Mendez chase an elusive villain when, not one, but two victims turn up alive less than twenty-four hours after their death. The body count continues to climb as the detectives investigate how two seemingly unrelated victims share an almost identical near-death experience but have no memory of the event. The trail of evidence leads to starting revelations of deceit, greed and an international conspiracy in this entertaining murder mystery.



The Serial Chemist – this week on sale for $2.49:

Emile and his brother Cecil live a calm, predictable adult existence. Everything is orderly and without disruption. Suddenly, it isn’t. With the death of their mother and the loss of her guiding wisdom, Emile finds it increasingly more difficult to keep his brother safe. In their most challenging of cases to date, Detectives Rosie Young and partner Vince Mendez embark on a race against time to stop one of San Antonio’s most cunning murderers, a villain with a particular talent to strike and kill but leave only pristine crime scenes in his wake. With the help of clinical psychologist Dr. Chris Parker, Rosie and Vince journey into the mind of a serial killer to understand exactly what type of monster roams their city targeting dads of small boys. The question both detectives and Dr. Parker must answer is what emotional baggage creates a deranged mind that suddenly transitions to cunning killer and eludes the best of police forensics. Scant crime scene evidence and a mounting body count spur Rosie and Vince to use every tool at their disposal to pursue the perpetrator before he kills again.

Check out my books (and those of other authors) during this marathon eBook sales week!

And remember . . . 

If you liked the book, be sure to leave a quick review. 

Posted in A Murder Mystery Novel, A Mystery Novel, a New Horror/Thriller Novel, A New Novel By James J. Murray, A New Psychological Thriller Release, A New Science Thriller Novel, About James J. Murray, About Murder, All About Murder, Almost Dead-The Novel, Book Sale, Defining Murder, Designing Murder Plots, Drugs Used For Murder, Flicker-A New Short Story, James J. Murray Blog, James J. Murray's ALMOST DEAD, James J. Murray's THE SERIAL CHEMIST, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, Murder Mystery Book Sale, New Blog, Prescription For Murder Blog, Smashwords Book Sale, The Serial Chemist, The Serial Chemist - A Psychological Thriller Novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Appreciating the Little Things in Life

I read an interesting article the other day regarding the effects of COVID-19 on the body, including some of the symptoms unique to this disease. One of those telltale symptoms is a loss of smell.

Smell is one sense that we often take for granted. It’s been with us since birth, we use it all the time, we develop the ability to detect the subtle nuances between similar fragrances, but rarely do we think much about it. We learn to actively appreciate our other senses, but we usually take for granted our sense of smell.

In the past, scientists and common folk alike thought that smell was “the most dispensable” of senses. Even Charles Darwin considered smell to be “of extremely slight service to humans.” 

It’s often thought that humans, as opposed to animals such as our pets, are bad at smelling. However, no one can dispute that humans have a better sense of smell than we think. I can tell if “rain is in the air” and can detect the scent of freshly cut grass, even if that task was done hours before.

I think we simply don’t think much about smell and rely on our other senses of sight and hearing to better determine what’s happening around us. And, even though science tells us that smell plays a large role in how we perceive the taste of food, we talk much more about how our meals taste rather than the appetizing smell of them. 

Scientific studies in this century punch holes in the idea that humans are not good at smelling. Studies indicate that human brains can tell the difference between exercise sweat and the sweat from fear. We may not be better than dogs at sniffing out the scent of someone on a trail, but spouses are good at detecting if their partner wore a piece of clothing instead of a stranger. 

Research shows that humans simply don’t rely on scent to guide them through life like our pets and other animals often do. Additionally, as we age, we lose our smell acuity, but most older adults don’t seem to notice. We’re fitted for glasses when we can’t see as well as before or use a hearing aid when we can’t hear as well. However, we don’t notice if we can’t smell things as well as we used to—until we realize that we can no longer smell things at all.

They say that you never know what you’ve lost until it’s gone. That’s what so many people who have had COVID-19 say—that they never appreciated their sense of smell until they could no longer smell. 

Fortunately, I have not had COVID-19, and my sense of smell is intact; but reading articles about those who have lost this sense makes me appreciate taking in a deep breath and experiencing all the scents that my surroundings have to offer.

My hope is that you appreciate what you have and celebrate whatever brings you joy each and every day. Appreciate what you have today . . . because you never know what you may lose tomorrow.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!

Posted in COVID-19 and Sense of Smell, Importance of Smell, James J. Murray Blog, Loss of Sense of Smell, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, Prescription For Murder Blog, Sense of Smell | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Most Used Word in 2020 – and into 2021?

UNPRECEDENTED – defined as never done or known before. The term is used interchangeably with words like unparalleled, uncommon, and out of the ordinary.

Hardly a day in 2020 ended without the word “unprecedented” being mentioned at least once in a news article or TV news feature that I read or watched. In the second half of 2020, the word was used so often that it became a distraction as I caught up on current events.

I usually don’t comment or write about religion, sex or politics—and I don’t intend to start 2021 by changing that rule—but I think we can all agree that 2020 was the year of UNPRECEDENTED HAPPENINGS.

Unfortunately, “unprecedented happenings” appear to be the 2020 hangover that continues to afflict us as 2021 emerges, and I long for a more ordinary time. I’m weary of politics consuming and drowning out other news. I long to shake hands and hug friends without fear of death. I long to be under a roof with others while enjoying a shared experience. I long for normalcy.

Some people that I admire have said that I need to be more MINDFUL and that is very true. I tend to push ahead and often don’t reflect or take pleasure in the moment. I’m the tourist guy touring with a group in a faraway land who is constantly taking photos to review later rather than drinking in the splendor of an historic or wonderous place.

Mindfulness is that mental state achieved by focusing awareness on the moment, calmly accepting one’s thoughts, feelings and sensations in the present. I acknowledge that mindfulness should be my number one New Year’s Resolution—to take pleasure in the present moment.

When people are allowed to travel safely around the world again, the postponed trips my wife and I had planned for 2020 and into 2021 may actually become a reality late into the year—places of ecological and historic significance like the Galapagos Islands, Petra in Jordan, and the Antarctic. Hopefully, my resolution to be more mindful will allow me to soak up the grandeur of the moment in those places—yes, take a few photo opportunities, but also to immerse myself in those wonderous places.

There I go, looking toward the future, and not being mindful of the present and the joy of health and safety—yet another New Year’s Resolution broken!

Thoughts? Comments? I’d like to hear them

Posted in A New Year's Wish, A World of Possibility, A Year To Remember, About James J. Murray, Being Hopeful During a Pandemic, Being Thankful, Being Thankful During a Pandemic, Being Thankful Every Day, Blog Writers, Blogging, James J. Murray Blog, Mindfulness, New Blog, Prescription For Murder Blog, Thoughts on Mindfulness, Unprecedented - An Overused Word, Unprecedented Events of 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A 2021 New Year’s Wish



May the problems of 2020 be forgotten

May 2021 be filled with Hope, Joy & Happiness

* * *

Wishing You Much Health and Prosperity in 2021

And may this be the BEST YEAR of your life!

To You and Yours

Posted in A Holiday Wish, A New Year's Greeting, A New Year's Poem, A New Year's Wish, A World of Possibility, About James J. Murray, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Holiday Cheer, James J. Murray Blog, New Blog, NEW YEAR'S WISH | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays 2020

May You and Yours

Be Filled

With Peace and Joy,

Health and Safety

This Holiday Season

Posted in A Christmas Greeting, A Holiday Wish, A World of Joy, About James J. Murray, Happy Holidays, Happy Winter Holiday, Holiday Cheer, James J. Murray Blog, New Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ghost Kitchens: A Pandemic Thing or a Durable Future?

Until recently, I had not heard about the idea of Ghost Kitchens—also known as Cloud Kitchens and Virtual Kitchens. Maybe I’ve been focusing so much on the pandemic and trying to hide into the virtual world of my novel writing that I didn’t notice this new phenomenon in food delivery. My wife and I have been preparing simple meals at home.

 A Ghost Kitchen is a facility that contains all the physical food prep aspects of a restaurant—the usual kitchen equipment and facilities needed for food preparation and the required kitchen staff—but has no designated customer space. That is, there’s no dining-in area (not even an outdoor patio area) and no space devoted to customer walk-in traffic. These food service entities are totally a closed door, delivery-only concept.

During this pandemic, many restaurants adopted a food delivery service concept as an alternative to dining in, along with curbside food pick up services, but this is even different from that model.

Although Ghost Kitchens may include part of the new business model for some existing restaurants not able to have customers dine in at present, this is a concept once removed from a restaurant preparing a meal and then calling an independent delivery service to deliver that meal to a customer.

Ghost Kitchens are cropping up all over the world and the business model is all about efficiency.

The physical kitchen equipment and staff are in place, but the physical space doesn’t need to be anywhere near high rent or high foot traffic locations. These businesses might even be located in refurbished warehouse buildings in more industrial areas of a city. All that’s needed is a point of sale website, and ordering software that accommodates a variety of delivery platforms—like GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash, etc. 

Some of the articles I’ve read about these new food service operations indicate that the business model may be here to stay, much like the concept of working from home for many may not go away after this pandemic is in our rearview mirrors. 

Certainly, the convenience of such a food service is arguably great; and, with a high quality meal just a phone call away or with a few clicks on a keyboard, an online order can be in process. I think this food service concept is yet another habit that humans will adapt to as future common practice that results from isolating during this pandemic. 

As a writer, it’ll be interesting to see how many of my author friends include these new concepts of everyday living into future plots.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d like to hear them!


Lastly, I need a SPECIAL FAVOR!

My latest book The Serial Chemist has been entered into a book cover contest for the best cover of the month in December. I would sure love some votes before Dec 5th! 

Click below to vote for THE SERIAL CHEMIST:

Thanks so much!


Posted in Blog Writers, Blogging, Cloud Kitchens, Food Delivery During a Pandemic, Food Delivery Services During a Pandemic, Ghost Kitchen Food Delivery, Ghost Kitchens, How to Create a Better Life, How to Create a More Enjoyable Life, How to Create a More Productive Life, How to Create a More Satisfying Life, James J. Murray Blog, Lifestyle Changes During a Pandemic, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, Prescription For Murder Blog, Virtual Kitchens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Please Vote for my Book Cover

Hi Everyone:

My latest novel The Serial Chemist has been entered into a . . .

book cover contest for the best cover of the month.

I would sure love some votes! Click below to vote for THE SERIAL CHEMIST:

Thanks so much!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Hopeful Author – Even During a Pandemic!

November in the United States is Thanksgiving time. This year, the US Thanksgiving holiday is Thursday November 26th.

It may seem to be an unusual time to be thankful with so many across the world being economically fragile, food insecure and with many individuals suffering from COVID-19—and so many mourning the loss of a loved one. Thankful is possibly not the correct word to use this year, but hopeful is definitely on the menu for Thanksgiving.

There is much hope that the science driving the research and testing for meaningful therapies to treat Covid-19 as a less lethal disease will continue to be successful.

I am also hopeful that news of several effective vaccines may truly be on the near horizon, and that widespread administration of those vaccines in 2021 will allow for a more normal life and for prosperity to return to all.

As an author and “an older gentleman,” I’ve spent much of my time this year socially distancing from others and isolated while doing what I love—writing and publishing novels. I did complete a book that I was already working on when the pandemic hit and focused fully on completing The Serial Chemist novel and publishing the book this past August. Amazon Order Link HERE!

After that, the question was, “What to do next?” The answer was obviously to start another book, and I am doing that. It will be another Detective Rosie Young thriller novel and will involve another serial killer. The plot is a bit more playful this time and maybe less dark than the last one. My characters, however, have a habit of taking over my mind and directing the story however they choose. It will be interesting to see how this plot turns out, even though I have already planned the ending.

So, in this month of Thanksgiving, I am both thankful and hopeful. I’m hopeful that next year we can return to a more enjoyable existence, and I’m also so thankful for the gift of imagination to be able to create stories that readers enjoy—and I so much love writing.

Be safe, stay healthy and be thankful for the good that is in your life, now as well as with whatever future possibilities may come your way.

Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them. 

Posted in A Holiday Wish, a New Horror/Thriller Novel, A New Novel By James J. Murray, A New Psychological Thriller Release, About James J. Murray, All About Writing, Being Hopeful During a Pandemic, Being Thankful, Being Thankful During a Pandemic, Being Thankful Every Day, Being Thankful For Your Life, Blog Writers, Blogging, Developing Better Life Skills, Developing Writing Skills, Getting Through a Pandemic, Happy Thanksgiving Blog, Holiday Cheer, Hope for 2021, How To Be A Happier Person, How to Create a Better Life, How to Create a More Enjoyable Life, How to Create a More Productive Life, How to Create a More Satisfying Life, James J. Murray Blog, James J. Murray's THE SERIAL CHEMIST, Life Skills, Murder Mayhem and Medicine, New Blog, Prescription For Murder Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments