Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Bit of A Problem

But rather a nice problem to have in a way. I am busy trying to finish the second book in my mystery series while doing early promoting on the first one. I feel like a juggler at times, and a poor one at that.

For a little while, I'm a writer, hacking away at the latest scene in Stalking Season. Then I get up, walk around my office chair and become my publicist. I contact places to send the ARCs for review. Work on the promo pieces that go out with ARCs. Write the cover letters that go out with ARCs. Did I mention I have a few ARCs on hand?

The first book, Open Season,  introduces Sarah Kingsly and Angel Johnson, homicide detectives who are unlikely and unwilling partners. When people start dying in area shopping malls, the detectives find themselves up against a killer who has his own race card to play. Some people have described it as "Lethal Weapon" in Dallas with female leads. 

Here is an excerpt from Open Season, which will be released in December from five Star Cengage/Gale. I will post another excerpt in a few weeks.

Sarah took a deep breath and faced Quinlin in the stuffy cubbyhole of an office. The room was hot and musty. Dust motes floated in the slivers of sunshine that had penetrated the haze of accumulated grime on the windows of the old building. The scent of his cologne hung heavily in the still air. Chaps. Rich, masculine, and too easily a distraction.

Dressed in a dark, somber suit, Quinlin didn’t speak. He watched her with the careful scrutiny of a snake considering a field mouse. A trickle of perspiration ran down Sarah’s back and dampened her white T-shirt. Shifting in the wooden chair, she contemplated the wisdom of taking off her jacket, then decided against it. He would interpret it as a sign of weakness.

She thought she was prepared for this. She’d rehearsed it a million times, remembering the images, nailing down the sequence, readying herself for his opener, “Detective Kingsly, tell me what happened that night.”
She recalled the moon playing tag with a few heavy clouds, casting weird, disorientating shadows on the crumbling buildings. She remembered wishing the clouds would give way to rain, anything to relieve the oppressive heat that had pounded the city relentlessly for weeks. She remembered thinking the heat made people do crazy things.

Maybe that’s why it had happened.

The rest of it flashed through her mind like a sequence of freeze frames.

Franco and the boy turn.
A glint of metal in the moonlight.
John pushes her away, reaching for the gun tucked in his waistband.
The clasp on her purse sticks.
A flash of gunfire.
The sharp report of return fire.
Struggling to get her gun.
Franco is down.
The kid swings his gun toward John.
She fires the same time the kid does.
The coppery smell of warm blood.
Goddam it, John, get up!
Why is everything so quiet?
Where is the kid?
There’s a big gaping hole in the cheap sequined evening bag.

1 comment:

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi Maryann,

I certainly know exactly what you're talking about. I'm working on one book and have a new one about to come out and it means jumping back and forth.