Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Two--Chapter 6

Ellmann and I were lying together in the dark. I could tell by his slow breathing he was dozing, near sleep. I was alternating between lying with my eyes closed, wishing myself to sleep, and staring at the ceiling, thinking about the dozens of questions bouncing around in my head. Ellmann rolled onto his side and pulled me closer, wrapping an arm around my middle and laying his head on my good shoulder.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked.
“I’m just wondering what’s more important than losing your house.”
“You said the grandmother was protecting Dillon.”
How would Danielle Dillon benefit from Grandma Porter losing her house? How did losing the house protect Danielle?
“That’s just a feeling,” I said. “And it doesn’t really track.”
“Don’t doubt your instincts. No one has instincts as good as yours.”
Much to his dismay, most of the time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Two--Chapter 5

My evening plans had been to have dinner with Ellmann, grab Dix and take him to the pokey, then drop in on Danielle Dillon’s grandmother where I would discover some clue as to her current location. The only part that had gone according to plan was dinner. After Ellmann and I left Priscilla standing on the sidewalk outside Starbucks, he walked me to my truck and I drove home. I stripped my clothes off in the doorway and deposited them in the garbage can. After a shower, in which I scrubbed and washed everything twice, I found clean clothes and set out again.
If I’d had more time, I would have called it a day and picked up the search tomorrow. As it was, I’d already lost most of the day and had nothing to show for it. And I still believed Grandma would be the key I needed.
I had the sides of the top up on the Scout, and I cranked the music as I drove. I sang along with every song I knew, and some I didn’t. I didn’t want time to think. I knew if I had it, I’d compare myself to Priscilla. Really, I know there is no comparison. I mean, this is me I’m talking about here. And her. No comparison. But that didn’t stop me from comparing us all the same. And comparing us made me feel bad. I didn’t have time to feel bad. I had things to do.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Two--Chapter 4

After stopping at all the addresses listed for Dillon and turning up zilch, I drove back to the office. The front door was open until six, when the receptionist and Amerson went home, but I wanted to slip in and out. I parked in the back and let myself in through the rear entrance. I’m not an employee and don’t work full time, so I don’t have an office or my own desk. But there are several cubical workstations in one of the back rooms, set up with computers and phones for use by those of us who only drop by occasionally. Tonight, the room was empty.
I chose a seat and pulled out my notes. It was tedious work, but I went through each plate number I’d written down. My first step is always to see what name came back and if it’s known to be connected to the case. My next step is to make sure the plate came back to the same make and model I’d found it on. Stolen plates had blown open more than one case in the past, or so my mentor Blue had said. Lastly, I input everything into an Excel spreadsheet so I can more easily search for patterns later. When I’d done this, coming across no names that rang any bells or any stole plates, I printed the list.
I’d learned the Camaro and FJ were registered to an Eric Dunn. A quick property search told me Dunn owned the house, having purchased it five years before. I ran his name through the Sideline database and came up with several hits. A bit more searching told me Dunn was a defense attorney. That went a long way in explaining how he could afford his house.
I wasn’t sure I was making progress on finding Danielle Dillon, but I still needed to find Dix, too. I looked up the number to the Starbucks where he worked and used the landline to call. A girl answered, and I heard the espresso machine hissing and blenders whirling in the background.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Book Two--Chapter 3

“I got Fink,” I said to Amerson over the phone.
He asked and I briefly explained how I happened across Fink.
“See,” he said. “That’s exactly what we need for Danielle Dillon.”
“Don’t hold your breath.” I sure wasn’t. “Does Dillon have a vehicle registered with the DMV?”
I was sitting in the truck outside the detention center, Dillon’s file open on my lap, leaning against the steering wheel. I’d read through it, including the notes of those who had already tried locating her. All of her information was useless; it was like starting from scratch. With less than three days to do it.
“I don’t think so. There should be a note in her file.” I heard the tapping of a keyboard over the line.
“I don’t see one.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Two--Chapter 2

Ironman Sam gave new meaning to the word “workout.” For this, I loved and hated him in equal measures, though not always simultaneously. As I walked to the parking lot, it was a lot more of the latter.
I returned to my truck, a 1978 International Scout II, and tossed the sling onto the seat. I’d found the Scout four years before by happenstance. I’d been selling my Mercedes, a reminder of a life I no longer had nor wanted, and Stan had been looking to buy something new for his wife. There was something about Stan I liked, and he must have known then that he was dying. I knocked a big chunk off the price of the Mercedes, and he threw in the Scout.
Talking around an ever-present cigarette between his lips, Stan had told me he’d purchased the thing new in ’77 and, being a mechanic, he had done all the work himself. With one glance, it was obvious it had been impeccably—and lovingly—maintained. The Scout is a thing of beauty. It’s hunter green with a white removable hard top. The interior is an Army-tan color. Everything works as well as it had the day it rolled off the manufacturing floor.
And almost everything is original. Shortly after Stan died, the lock on the tailgate busted—the truck’s way of mourning, no doubt. I never replaced it because I knew Stan would never approve of anything less than an original Scout part, and my half-assed attempts to locate one had turned up zilch. But the open tailgate had been how the kidnappers had succeeded in grabbing me, so I’d gotten serious about repairing it. My new mechanic, Manny, had fixed it for an exceptionally reasonable price.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Cover Reveal for The Trouble with Theft

Here is the book cover for The Trouble with Theft. It is absolutely stunning--I love it!

Of course, we never get the photo we want on the first try. Just like the first photo shoot, there was quite a bit of trial and error to get that perfect shot.

But the book cover is by far one of the most fun components of prepping a book for publication. The editing, the formatting, all the promoting and marketing—all of that is tedious and boring and so very time consuming. But the book cover . . . that’s fun. 

Sabrina was able to squeeze in a photo shoot when she came home for Christmas. This made all the difference in the world, because it just wouldn’t have been the same without her. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Two

The Trouble with Theft, the second Zoe Grey novel, is coming soon. I am working on final touches before publication, and will soon have a release date. 

Until then, I will post chapters here for you to begin reading. I will post at least one chapter every week until the book is published and available for download/purchase. 

Be sure to watch for updates and announcements. 

Read chapter one now.

Read chapter two now.

Read chapter three now.

Book Two--Chapter 1


The trailer park off Harmony Road is almost completely obscured by the shopping center that had been constructed a few years before. Now, only those who already know it’s there ever spot it. I found I was spending quite a bit of time here recently.

It was five a.m. on Thursday morning, and this was my second trip to this particular trailer park this week—the third to trailer parks total. I made my way through the roundabouts then took the first right, cruising around the periphery of the park until I came to the lot I was looking for. It was a double-wide, and plain white, though someone had tried to spruce it up with pink shutters (horrendous even in the dark) and a window planter. It was late June, but the planter was empty.

Albert Dennison was out on bail and had failed to appear for his court date earlier this week. Not only did the court not appreciate that, but the bond company, which I work for, didn’t either. Now here I was, cuffs in my pocket and capture paperwork in my bag, assigned to haul his dumb ass back to jail.