I did my homework, created my list, checked it twice, double-checked with AW and Preditors & Editors to verify who is naughty and nice and . . .
*read submission guidelines*
(Statistically, the sub is doing as it should, with the first rejection and first full request racing each other to my inbox.)
But that isn't the point of the post. Book one on its way, it is time for book two. What's next for Jewel and Ethan?
Without indulging in spoilers, things ended bittersweet for pretty much everyone involved. Number one also did the job of an origin issue in comics, it blew her out of her tidy status quo life and sent her somewhere she never saw herself ending up. But, like the saying goes, you can run, but you can't hide.
So, I have new scenery, new characters, new problems. However, what I still have is her code - loyalty, a dislike of injustice, and a low tolerance for bullshit.
Some things don't change. She is still an attorney at heart (trust me, the reformatting that occurs in law school does not go away, I've always suspected my DNA was re-sequenced.) Even worse, she is a criminal defense attorney with the natural cynicism and distrust of law enforcement, government, and authority.
Each book is slated to happen at the nexus of two crimes that collide and intertwine. In the first, smuggling and murder are vehicles for betrayal. In this one, with the working title "Ride the Lightning," the crimes are murder (of course) and designer drug manufacturing (on the drawing board are Nigerian lonely hearts scams, a murder based on real-life that includes a seance, and environmental/fracking crimes.)
The nexus for book two is a glitzy "gentlemen's lounge" (read strip club,) in Biloxi, Mississippi. Because I love Biloxi and the stretch from Pascagoula to Gulfport has a delightful dark and seedy underside that exists with the gleaming tourist trade.
But not just a murder. There is no doubt about the crime, the question comes with the penalty. I'll be looking at (in flamboyant dramatic, not journalistic detail) the death penalty and my own thoughts about it. While I am not opposed to the death penalty in theory (in my own limited small town practice I saw horrid things that deserved it,) I have become opposed to it in practice. I feel the current state of our society has negated the wisdom needed to impose it fairly. I blame John Grisham and Bill Kurtis. A southerner and a Kansas, scarcely bastions of liberalism. Both of these attorneys with their thoughtful research and superb communication brought me to where I am today.
And since Jewel is my extension, she will have to examine her own feelings. However, the one thing she can't stand is injustice and this one stinks from the jump. Whenever she lost a client to prison, it was because the state had done its job and its case had held up through everything she threw at it.
Now, when it comes to money and power, her ethics have been known to be more situational and she is dragging a heavy past behind her.
Book 2 opens with Jewel as the manager of the Lightning Lounge in Biloxi and hiring Maddie Carmichael. Jewel suspects she's lying to her. But, hell, everyone has a secret.
"Maddie, your first training shift is Thursday. It's slower, the crews at the factory don't get paid until Friday, and the tourists are playing slots and getting fake po-boys down on the beach. They don't wander out here until the weekend. Lose the FM heels. Trust me, you'll want something comfortable."
"Gotcha, Boss." Her wry smile told me she knew exactly what I was talking about.
"Oh, and show all the cleavage you want, but wear a bra and panties. Otherwise, it torques the dancers and I don't have time for catfights. You ever want to let the twins free, let me know and I'll book you time on a pole."
One year ago I was at the top of my game as a criminal attorney. Now I was ordering beer and setting the schedule in a titty bar. Now was better.
But, it won't be business as usual for long . . .
In the meantime,
See ya soon!