Brutal Season, the fourth book in the Seasons Mystery Series is getting closer and closer to being ready for the release date of April 10. The cover is finished, thanks to the awesome graphic designer Dany. I’d say she was awesome even if she wasn’t my daughter. 🙂
This coming Friday there’ll be a book blitz with Lone Star Literary, revealing the cover and announcing the giveaway that includes signed copies of the first three books in the Seasons Mystery Series and a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
Excerpt From Brutal Season
In the meantime, I’m happy to share another excerpt from the book. This is the start to chapter three and reveals the first murder.
Fred pulled his mask tighter around his ears and pinched it tight across the bridge of his nose. He supposed that was one good thing that could be said for the pandemic. It had most people who were out for the protest wearing masks, although the leaf blower the guy in front of him had was doing a better job of keeping the tear gas at bay than the flimsy paper mask.
He, and a few hundred protesters, were headed to the Earle Cabell Federal building on Commerce Street. Not to vandalize it. Or try to break in like those idiots did on January 6th in D.C. It was just a great spot to stand and get a message across. It didn’t matter that the media wasn’t out in the middle of the night, everyone was an amateur reporter now; cell phones always at the ready for recording.
The beauty of the digital age.
Josiah, the young man who’d come to speak at the church last Sunday, had made it clear that they were going to try non-violence first. Fred could relate to that. He’d always been a bit of a pacifist, which was one of the reasons that his wife had seemed so shocked when he’d told her that he wanted to join the Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Dallas.
“What? You finally grew a pair?”
She’d thrown the insult with the accuracy of a dart, but he’d ignored it, like he had so many of her recent barbs. When had their twenty-year marriage start to disintegrate to such a low point? He really didn’t know. It’s like it had slowly started to slip away in recent years like the land along shorelines giving way to rising water levels. They didn’t spend much time together. Both with demanding jobs. But they used to be able to make the most of that time with some romance; wine and music and dancing in the kitchen. Then the good times under the sheets.
Not much of any of that for some time now.
He’d almost laughed when, in the next breath, Amelia had begged him not to go downtown and march. Not because she was so concerned about his safety. He didn’t pretend to believe that. She was definitely more concerned about her standing in the legal community.
Her firm had been hired by the police officer who’d been fired for shooting the kid two weeks ago. That shooting had started all of the local protests, and Fred didn’t understand why she’d accepted when she was asked to handle the case. Would it really help that white officer to have a black attorney? Maybe. Probably. But at what personal cost? Had Amelia’s loyalty to the black community gone down the same drain as their marriage?
The killing of the Frederickson kid, whose only crime had been having mental health issues and coming off his meds, had followed too closely on the heels of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Up to that point, the streets of Dallas had been relatively quiet when it came to protests. No large crowds back last May. But no longer. Every night since the teen had been shot and killed, the Black Lives Matter marches and protests had mushroomed, with hundreds of people turning out in support.
While Fred had initially tried to respect his wife’s wishes to stay neutral about it all, things had changed for him after listening to the young, passionate Josiah deliver his call to action from the pulpit last Sunday. Weeks ago, their pastor, the Reverend Jedediah Daniels, had invited the young activist to preach for the next few Sundays, and the first sermon had stirred a fire inside Fred.
He’d been downtown every night since.
The crowd of protestors, who followed the guy with a leaf blower, were now within three blocks of the federal building, the July heat and humidly hanging as heavily in the air as the tear gas. Fred paused a moment to catch his breath, and that’s when he felt it. A quick, sharp pain in the middle of his back. What the hell? Was he having a heart attack? He stumbled. Went down on one knee and tried to recover. But there was no catching a breath. Something wet and sticky rolled down his back. Sweat? Should he take his shirt off? Maybe. But his hands and arms refused to listen to his brain.
The crowd moved around him, following the guy with the leaf blower who was like a Pied Piper.
Then Fred’s legs went out completely. He could see the pavement coming up to greet him.
But he never felt his cheek touch down.
If you missed previous excerpts, you can read them in order: First Sample *** Second Sample *** Third Sample *** Fourth Sample *** Fifth Sample
Brutal Season ready for pre-order at a discounted price.
That’s all for today from me folks. I hope your week starts off well and continues down that path. Do come back on Friday to join the fun and enter the Give Away for a chance to win a great prize bundle.