Well, I finished my self-edit of Desperate Season, the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series, and it is off with another editor for that ever-so-crucial final proofing. That is a step some new authors who are self-publishing skip, as well as getting a pro to format the interior of the book, and a graphic artist to design a cover.
As soon as I get the manuscript back from the editor, I’ll send it on to get properly formatted for digital and print, but I’ve already received the final covers from the artist.
While my “pretend” cover wasn’t too bad, it certainly didn’t have the professional touch it needed. The artist is Lauria, and I found her at Fivrr. I think she did an excellent job. What do you think?
Now, here is the excerpt, picking up from where I left off last time I posted some of the story.
Angel met her at the elevator when she got off at the entrance to the CAPERS department. Sarah liked the name – Crimes Against Persons. Made her feel like the guardian police officers were supposed to be. Too often, the job involved horrible crimes and innocent victims that they hadn’t been able to save, but every now and then, they did get there in time to save the woman from an abusive husband and that felt good.
“McGregor wants to see us,” Angel said by way of greeting.
Sarah followed her partner, wondering if the abrupt comment meant anything other than the fact that Angel was in a hurry. Sarah wondered a lot; afraid that she had inadvertently said or done something to put them back to square one in their partnership. “Something wrong?” she asked.
Angel slowed her steps and let Sarah come along side. “Sorry. the lieutenant just sounded like he wanted us there pronto. I think this latest dead girl was one too many.”
“Any dead girl is one too many.”
“Amen to that,” Angel said as she opened the door to McGregor’s office.
Every time she came in, Sarah marveled at the total disarray of the room. Boxes of files concealed most of the carpeting on the floor, and the stacks of files on his desk looked like they could create a paper avalanche at any moment. How he kept track of cases was beyond her, but he obviously had a system that worked for him and satisfied Chief Dorsett.
“Did you talk to Walt?” McGregor said, giving Sarah a nod to indicate the question was for her.
“Good morning, Lieu.” Sarah pulled one of the battered metal chairs from the wall and placed it in front of his desk and sat down. “Yes. I did.”
McGregor didn’t respond to the sarcasm in her voice. He just waited for Angel to empty another chair of its contents, then he waved a hand at Sarah to continue.
“Walt’s doing the autopsy this afternoon. Said he’d send the full report over later, but he did confirm that the girl was shot at pretty close range in the back of the head.”
That got his full attention. “She was targeted?”
“Christ.” Mc Gregor wiped a hand through his thinning hair. “Who’d do that to a kid?”
“Well, as Walt reminded me yesterday, that’s what we need to find out.”
McGregor glared. He was doing a lot more of that now that he was no longer drinking. Still, Sarah was glad he’d stopped. Not only had the move saved his job, but now his office no longer smelled like the back-alley vent from a bar. Like smokers who were unaware of the lingering aroma of stale tobacco, people who drank too much never seemed to know how the sour odor of liquor would seep from their pores.
A few months ago, when she found out that he was going to AA, she’d asked if there was a twelve-step program for cussing. Maybe she should clean up her mouth. He’d looked at her and dead-panned, “Maybe you should.”
As silly as some kind of program for curbing the urge to cuss sounded, Sarah knew it wouldn’t hurt to at least try to limit the colorful language. How many times could she say “fuck off” to the brass and get away with it?
“Sorry, Lieu,” Sarah said. “Just trying to inject a little humor here.”
“Well, humor me, and tell me what else you’ve got.”
“Actually, we got nothing, Lieu. Nothing at the crime scene and nothing conclusive from the family.” Sarah finished by quickly filling him in on their interviews with the family.
“We are going to take a look at the father,” Angel said. “Sarah seems to think he might be somehow involved. I’m a skeptic, but at least eliminating him will give us something to do.”
“Can’t imagine a father killing their own kid that way.” McGregor shook his head. “I know fathers kill their kids all the time. But it would take a cold-hearted bastard to do it up close and personal. Is the father a bastard?”
Sarah thought about the guy’s behavior. If they asked the wife, she might say her husband wasn’t the kindest man. But was he rotten? Not like some people she’d helped put behind bars. “I’d have to say no. But he was evasive and basically shut us down in the interview.”
“Wasn’t just grief reacting?”
“Could’ve been,” Sarah acknowledged. “But we’ve got to cross him off the list one way or another.”
“Okay. Try again. But go at him easy.”
That’s it for me for today, folks. I hope your weekend is a good one, despite the frustrations and limitations that the pandemic has brought to our lives. Be safe! Be well!
I hope you enjoy reading these excerpts, and I’d love any feedback you’re willing to give. If you’d like to get the first two books in the series, Open Season and Stalking Season, they’re available for many reading devices from Draft2Digital; as well as Amazon. Open Season ** Stalking Season