Traveling on Down the Road

Since we moved to NW Arkansas from the Twin Cities in Minnesota in 2003, we have traveled Interstate 35W too many times to count. Each time, we comment on many of the same points of interest as we travel the route. I’ve included some of these in my next Deception book (yet to be titled) as the story moves from Minnesota to Joplin, Missouri, into Picher, Oklahoma, and further into Northwest Arkansas. I’m curious as to whether my readers have other remembrances of their travels along that route? Tell me what you think. Here’s just a short bit from the next Deception novel:

The rich, black farmlands of soybeans in southern Minnesota and cornfields in northern Iowa soon morphed into solar farms north of Des Moines. The afternoon sun reflected off the brilliant white towers of hundreds of solar windmills built on both sides of the highway. Three enormous blades moved in graceful, slow motion arcs atop each of the tall towers erected to stand in rows mirroring a farmer’s crop. No wonder they called them solar farms, Sam thought. The flat Iowa farmland provided a perfect location for the solar farms. ….
Quay slowed as they entered several miles of construction south of Des Moines. “We always say construction is one of the four seasons in Minnesota. Looks like Iowa has that season, too,” commented Quay.
Sam knew Quay was anxious about any slowdowns, especially those due to construction. He was totally focused on getting to their destination as soon as possible. To distract him, she began pointing out interesting billboards and signs along the way.
“I saw a sign for the birthplace of John Wayne in Winterset a while back, and it’s got the covered bridges there, too. They were the setting for the book, ‘The Bridges of Madison County’. It was a movie, too. Did you see the signs? You love John Wayne. And I loved both Bridges book and the movie. Wouldn’t that be an interesting place to visit?”
Quay gave a noncommittal “Uh huh,” as he unwrapped a fresh package of bubble gum.
Undeterred, Sam continued to point out spots for future visits. Suggesting that the Amish community in Lamoni might be another good place to visit, Sam pointed out a black, horse-drawn buggy silhouetted on an overpass, just before the state line as they headed into Missouri.
“When we get to actually enjoy our honeymoon, Quay, maybe we could visit some of these places, what do you think?”
“We will make all those stops part of our honeymoon, Mrs. Thompson, I promise. We can look into them on our way back, after this case is through. First things, first, though, you know.”
“I’m going to hold you to that, Mr. Thompson.” She thought she’d better make notes of these sites for their return trip.

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A few new lines…

I’m not sure what I’ve shared with you before. Some of you have asked about the relationship between Bureau of Criminal Apprehension partners Samantha “Sam” Atwood and Quay Thompson. I hope you’ll enjoy their new relationship as they track the bad guys in the Deception 3 book. #stillworkingonit #itsaworkinprogress #comingalongnicely #gotquiteawaystogothough #alittlemurder #alittlekidnapping #alittlellovestory Here’s another sneak peek for you:

The opening to the tunnel lay hidden behind an overgrowth of weeds and tall clusters of spiked-leaved bushes. Sam had wandered away from Quay when she spied the dark opening hidden behind a cluster of branches. She was unsure at first if she had really seen it, but when she pulled a couple branches aside, she realized it was clearly the old entrance to a tunnel. A thorn caught the edge of her jacket and she yanked it free, snagging threads of cloth and scraping a thorn across her finger.
“Ouch!” She muttered.
“What’s the matter?” asked Quay as he came up behind her and looked over her shoulder.
“Dang it! I just snagged my finger and my jacket pocket on the thorns from this bush.” She thrust a finger into her mouth to staunch blood droplets. “But look what I found!” She carefully reached in again and pulled aside a branch to reveal the opening for Quay.
“I think this might be what we’ve been looking for,” he said as he carefully pulled several more branches aside. Looking at the ground in front of the shrubbery, he saw what they had missed before in their first search of the area. There were scuff marks streaking through the dirt. Something had been dragged through here.

This Writing Job…

You know, this writing business just ain’t easy! I have this whole story crammed in my head wanting to get out, but it takes so long to get all those details into words and down on paper so that it turns out the way I picture the story. Wish I could just do a Harry Potter/Dumbledore thought stream. That’d be so much easier!

More Deception working draft:

And a few more lines for you from the new Deception#3:

The shadowed form in the woods crouched low into the brush. Field glasses focused on Quay Thompson, then Samantha Atwood Thompson, and finally on Samantha’s sister, Sara Atwood, and lingered there. He was too far away to hear the words, but he could tell that the wedding ceremony had been completed. Sara Atwood had been surrounded the entire time. She would come into view, and then someone would step in next to her, while someone else stepped in front of her. Even during the wedding, he had not been able to get a clear view of her for any length of time. He wondered what she had told them about the memo she had read. They had to know something. They were obviously protecting her. He doubted if they really knew what they were protecting her from. If they had known, they would have had a much larger force present to watch out for her. And they’d have been searching for someone like him in the woods. Perhaps she hadn’t told them everything, he thought. He hoped not. For her sake.


Beginning with Deception #3

Most of you know I’ve been working on book #3. Working title is just Deception 3 for now. I’ll share a few lines with you as I can. If you remember the two main characters Quay Thompson and Samantha Atwood, you also know that they became engaged at the end of the last book. Now, it’s time for wedding before the wild ride into Deception begins.(And it will be a wild ride – right down here to Arkansas! But it begins on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.) Here you go:

The dawn began creeping just above the horizon with opaque, foggy damp misty feathers skimming low over the lake. Gulls had awakened, too, and were taking turns swooping and skimming over the waves searching for a breakfast of fish swimming near the surface. Their harsh squawks echoed through the mist. He glanced up catching movement further along the edge of the woods and watched as a doe and her two fawns stepped gingerly out of the brush, ears up, and white tails twitching. The searching birds and the deer had come at daybreak to the shore to meet the coming of the full sunrise. It was going to be a perfect day for his wedding.
He noticed the lights snap on up in the house. The family was up and moving about. Quay stood, stretched to his full 6’4” height, and began a slow climb back up the trail to the house, using his hiking boots to dig for traction into the pine needle strewn path. The wooden screen door screeched open, and Samantha Atwood poked her head out scanning the area until her eyes lit on Quay ambling up the path.
“Quay! What on earth were you doing down there so early? It’s barely light out. And it’s a wee bit chilly, don’t you think?”
“Got coffee! It’s okay,” Quay lifted his mug in demonstration and flashed a quick smile. He approached her and pulled her to him with a quick kiss. “How’s my bride-to-be this morning?”
“I’m great! The forecast is for a perfect wedding day!”
“The weather guy said that? A perfect day for a wedding?”
“Yeah. Well, something along the line that it was going to be a perfect day. I assumed he meant it would be perfect for our wedding.” She smiled, gave him a quick squeeze, kissing him back.
“Mmmm. You smell good. Love that spicy musk cologne you’re wearing. We may have to move the wedding time up!” She winked, gave him another quick hug, and grabbed his hand, leading him into the house. He chuckled and followed after her.



PERSONALLY SIGNED editions of my Quay Thompson mystery novels are on SALE this weekend. Deception and Redemption and The Final Deception (regularly $14.95) are available now for $11 each or 2/$20! Pay Pal and major credit cards accepted. Add $3 for postage, tax, and handling, and I’ll get it to you in plenty of time.


New characters coming…

Had a fabulous time at the Gravette Public Library’s  50’s themed Mystery dinner gala last night. Thanks to the auction, we have a couple new characters coming in the next Deception novel. Many thanks to those who bid to become a part of the next book while supporting the library. I can hardly wait to share these new characters with you! …you can’t make this stuff up!