Wednesday, July 8, 2015

News About Redemption

Redemption (Diversion #5) is now in the hands of my editor, and I'm optimistic about an August publish date.

In the past some reviewers have asked for less case, and more relationship, while others want more case, less relationship. The first group will be thrilled to know that Redemption will be character driven, rather than action driven, and will definitely see Bo and Lucky jump a few hurdles in their relationship.

The loose ends of their last case will be tied up, and Victor fans will finally get answers.

On a sad note, Redemption is not a standalone work, and it's not very likely that a reader will be able to pick up this book and understand what's happening without prior knowledge.

That said, I'd like to leave you with a snippet from the upcoming novel:

***

Dr. Bright-eyes cut off Lucky’s latest evasion. “Mr. Harrison. I can’t help you if you won’t let me. You’ve been coming here for weeks now and we haven’t even discussed the issue that brought you here.” Twenty more minutes of this week's torture session, give or take. Good thing Lucky’d stopped wearing a watch. Time checking every ten seconds prolonged the torture, watched pots and all.

Well, if the doctor wanted him to talk, he’d give her an earful. Starting with his name. “Lucklighter.”

“Excuse me?”

“Lucklighter. Richmond Eugene Lucklighter. That’s my name.” Once upon a time, a million years ago. “But folks call me Lucky.”

The therapist peered over the top of her glasses. “Your chart says Simon Harrison.”

“Anybody hunting me knows where I am. No use hiding behind a fake name no more.”

The therapist shrugged, her expression vacant. “Okay, Mr. Lucklighter.”

“Lucky, call me Lucky.”

“Okay, Lucky. Tell me what I need to know to help you.”

Where to start? When did his life go to hell? “I was a punk kid, fresh off the farm. Stole cars and resold them. I stole the wrong one and wound up with a choice: work for a crime boss or disappear.” On his knees, staring up at Victor Mangiardi for the first time, ready to kiss his ass goodbye. Victor let him live, gave him a job, shared his home and bed, and later, planned a life for them. If he’d gotten his way, even now they might be basking on a beach somewhere, enjoying the high life.

But then Lucky wouldn’t have Bo.

“I found myself on his payroll and in his bed for the next few years. He trafficked drugs until we got busted.”

No surprise, no squirming. The therapist simply regarded Lucky with casual interest as she had through all their unsuccessful visits.

“I testified against Victor in court, and for years I thought he’d killed himself after the judge handed down life sentence. Now, I’m not sure what happened. Turns out his nephew put a hit on him. There’s a chance he made a deal with DEA and is still alive.” Damn, South Bend Springs, soap opera extraordinaire, had nothing on the twists and turns of Lucky’s life.

“Are Victor and his nephew why you’re using an assumed name?”

“Partly, them and others. I made a deal too. The judge gave me ten years. I spent two in prison, then got recruited to work off the other eight with the SNB, rounding up folks like me, and sharing the tools of my old trade.” Patient old Walter always treated him like any other member of the team, even turning a blind eye to Lucky’s cockiness.

No, that wasn’t right. Walter set Lucky apart, but never treated him as less. He expected more of Lucky because Lucky was capable of more. Plain and simple. Funny how these things just now occurred to him.

“I did my time, my boss arranged a fake death, and now I’m Simon Harrison. I met my partner on assignment. You remember me telling you about Bo, right?”

One side of the woman’s mouth twitched, the closest she’d come to a smile all afternoon. “You might have mentioned his name a time or two, along with Cyrus Cooper’s.”

Two thousand might be more accurate. “Yeah. Well, he’s more than my work partner.”

Not a flinch from the doctor. Her upper lip curled into the barest hint a smile. “I guessed that part.”

She had? “How?”

“I deal with law enforcement personnel daily, Mr. Har—Lucky. While I’m used to them praising their partners, they rarely wax poetic.”

Wax poetic? Lucky? “I do not!” Well maybe. Sometimes. Gotta watch that. But in talking about Bo, he didn’t have to talk about himself. “He’s getting a hold on Cyrus. Still acts like him from time to time, but is more of himself lately. Going undercover as someone else for a year plays hell with your mind.”

“I’m glad he’s doing better. You’ve made it clear how much his well-being is important to you. You were telling me about your past, and how you met. What brought you here? Why did the department send you?”

“Oh, yeah.” So much for stalling. “Anyhow, Victor’s asshole nephew dragged me and Bo to Mexico, and I killed a man, so here I am.” Lucky rolled his shoulders and stared at the woman who’d turned showing no emotion into an art form. “Bet you wish hadn’t asked.”

***

Stay tuned for a cover reveal, real soon.

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