What better way to return from a sabbatical than to bring you the latest news about what’s been going on with me, and throw in a few book reviews for good measure?
The Latest News
First, my apologies for ghosting you. There have been some struggles in my personal life this past year, and it hasn’t been easy to write. But I am back to writing and will be publishing again soon enough, and it feels great!
It’s been almost a year since I released my last book, NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE: A LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMOIR. It was my first non-fiction, and honestly, writing it took a lot out of me. If you haven’t read it but think you might like to, click on the link and preview the first four chapters with no obligation to buy.
After the memoir, I took a few months off as a much-needed break from writing. Eventually, I started three other novels: THE PROGRAM, which is book 7 in the Dickie Floyd Detective novel series, book 2 in the Rich Farris Detective novel series, and a standalone novel about patrol deputies assigned to Firestone station in South Los Angeles during the eighties.
Each has great potential and I’ll get to them eventually. But the seventh book in the Dickie Floyd series won out, and I’m about halfway finished with the first draft. The fun and interesting departure from the other books in that series is that this one is told primarily through Josie’s point of view.
An Excerpt from THE PROGRAM:
On the way to Norwalk Josie called Dickie and said, “That little asshole from East L.A. who I shot and then busted for robbery a few years after, and who I’ve literally put in prison twice, myself, and who had the balls to file a complaint against me for stalking him, just got picked up in Norwalk with a gun.”
“Well, it appears your day is looking up, partner.”
“No, it’s not. The little shit is asking to see me, and I’m on my way there now. What am I supposed to do with that? Why would he want to speak with me? What could he possibly have to say to me? And how’s that going to play out with a complaint sitting on the captain’s desk?”
“You can’t go. It’s that simple, Josie. Blow it off and head back to the office or go to the bar or whatever it is you need to do to keep you from making this worse.”
“How’s it going to be worse?”
Dickie didn’t answer right away.
She said, “You there?”
“Yeah, I’m thinking.”
“I bet I know what he’s up to,” Josie said. “He’s going to try to negotiate a gun arrest for the complaint against me. He must think I’ll lose my job over the complaint or something as if he could get out of a gun beef and avoid prison. Looking at a third strike, he’d better know where Hoffa’s buried if he thinks he’s getting out of this.”
There was another moment of silence and Josie could hear the sounds of car doors closing, Lopes saying something in the background. Finally, Dickie said, “We’re at the office. You should come in, meet me here.”
“I’m pulling up on them now,” she said, glancing over her shoulder as she merged into the left lane, prepared to turn in where she saw the patrol car on a traffic stop, offset from the vehicle the deputy had stopped. Traffic was backed up as two lanes merged into one and everyone slowed to see the action.
Dickie was saying, “Josie…”
A man sat on the curb between the radio car and the vehicle that had been stopped. His arms were folded around his knees and his head rested on his arms as if he were taking a nap or saying a prayer. Josie thought You don’t have a prayer now, buddy, as she whipped a U-turn and came in behind the radio car, a blue and amber light now flashing on the rear deck of her Charger.
“Gotta go, partner,” she said and disconnected.
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THE PROGRAM, in its infancy, was entered in the Idaho Writers Guild “first ten pages” novel contest, and it was awarded second place.
It is a book all fans of the Dickie Floyd series will enjoy.
My editor, Patti, has begun working on it as well, chapter by chapter as they are written. I needed to know if I had a good story going and if it is headed in the right direction. She has a really good feel for those things, and she can be brutally honest about it.
This is what she has to say about it thus far:
“Josie is magnetic. Smart, independent, and irreverent, she can hold her own with any hardboiled detective. (The story is) intriguing, energetic, irresistible, and fun. I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner.”
These are some books I’ve recently finished reading, and I think you might enjoy them too:
NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU CRY, by Edna Buchanan
This is a collection of true crime stories told by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edna Buchanan, who spent two decades covering the police beat in Miami. This fascinating, brilliantly-penned memoir is a must-read for fans of true crime.
SAIGON, by Ralph Pezzullo
I sense that this story may be somewhat autobiographical, though it is classified as war fiction (literally an Amazon category). It might also be considered a coming-of-age tale. A sensitive and intelligent 13-year-old boy experiences love, conflict, and violence during his father’s stint in Saigon as a U.S. diplomat. Very well written, interesting, and just a really great story.
THE TORTILLA CURTAIN, by T.C. Boyle
This is a compelling and thought-provoking story with terrific (though perhaps over-stereotyped) characters, and I really enjoyed it. A very entertaining read that keeps you turning the pages. The Chicago Tribune described it as “A compelling story of myopic misunderstanding and mutual tragedy,” which is on point as the worlds of the two primary characters, an undocumented worker and a self-centered well-to-do liberal, literally collide.
That’s the Latest
Now you’re up on the latest happenings with me, and I’ve given you a few book suggestions to boot. I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up, and please let me know what you think of those books if you read any of them.
By the way, do you know who my favorite authors are?
Who are some of your favorites?
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