A little piece of the new book for you.

Austin, TX
Hotel Ella
March 12
12:37PM

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the announcement boomed, and a hush fell about the room. “The Senator from the great state of Texas, Elizabeth Holcomb!” An echo of cheers rose from the attendees as the Senator entered the vast hall at the lavish, and historic downtown Austin hotel.
When she first ran for a state senate seat back in 92, Elizabeth Holcomb never expected to win, let alone be successful in Washington. Sure, she had ruffled a few party feathers with her progressive leanings, but after 30 years, she was proud of the work she had accomplished. When she left Texas for Washington, she understood that she had a fight in front of her. At first it was so much more than a simple up hill battle, but she dug her heals in and earned some much needed respect. After only seven short years, she became chairperson of the senate intelligence committee. There was where she had hoped to do her best work. In truth, this was where she failed. Rumors of collusion with a foreign diplomat, an inappropriate phone call, and a lengthy divorce settlement had her waving a white flag. She was down but no out. Her constituents stood by her through it all with unwavering support. For this, she was humble.
Being from a small town outside of Austin, she always loved giving back to her community. The charity luncheon was for a non profit she set up years ago to help provide medical care, and legal representation for mothers and women suffering from abuse.
The 350 in attendance were hand-picked by Holcomb herself due to their sizable bank accounts. Their applause swelled as she stepped up to the podium. She never worked with a speech writer. She always spoke from her heart.
“My dear friends,” she gazed around the room. “I wish that we were all gathered here today to celebrate a Longhorn’s victory. Unfortunate, this is not the case. We are here because of a grave injustice. A grave injustice, indeed. This injustice is defined by the victims of domestic violence throughout our great state and across our great country. But isn’t it also an injustice that organizations such as these suffer for funding each quarter while the numbers of victims increase exponentially?” She cleared her throat; at which point a glass of mineral water was placed on the podium for her. She took a sip, smiled and continued. “You are all here in large part because of your wonderful and continued support for me throughout the years but also because we need your help. 1 out of every three women in this state have suffered or are currently suffering from domestic abuse. This cannot continue.
“When I think of Texas, I think of family, and friends, home, and happiness. For some, those dreams are unimaginable. So, I ask you today, as we indulge ourselves…” The senator faltered, and grabbed hold of both sides of the podium. Her face turned ashen, and she reached for the water. “We must…” Her eyes grew wide as they pleaded for help. Security was behind her in an instant, but she pushed them away. She attempted to stand and regain her strength. “We must…”
The audience watched in horror as the senator fell to the floor in a violent spasm. Secret Service, along with her aid, rushed her out of the room and a medical team performed CPR as an ambulance pulled up in front of the building.
Senator Elizabeth Holcomb never spoke another word. Before she died, she had lost the use of of her muscles. It was reported to the press that the senator had suffered a violent heart attack. One man, watching the events on a video monitor from across the country, had a different diagnosis.

Just write! That’s all there really is to it.

As a writer, I have to set simple goals, or I’ll never get a thing accomplished. The main goal is to simply write each day. No matter what the situation. In the morning before work. At night after work. My days off are filled with writing. Roughly 75% is trash but that’s just fine. It’s the 25% that I’m proud of. But even when I know that I’m writing trash, I have to push through so that I can come out the other side with something that makes some sense. My next goal is just as important, and it relates to the first goal. I try to write at least 1,000 words each and every day. To do this takes a bit of preparation. I look to my current outline and decide what I’m writing next within my current project. Staying focused is key to any writing goal. It also helps to eliminate distractions. With my present project, remaining focused has become easier as new ideas for it spring up out of nowhere. My last goal that I will discuss is to read. Read, read, and re-read. Each day, before I begin, I go back and read what I wrote the day before. This is crucial because you must edit yourself. No matter how grammatically correct you are, there will always be mistakes. Also, it helps to move the story along when you remember where you left off.

  1. Write. Write through any blockage. Push through the garbage.
  2. Set a word count goal and stick to it.
  3. Read what you are writing.

Ascendancy

From the author of The Blood Red Box, comes a new psychological thriller that won’t just keep you up at night, you might not ever go to sleep again.

In Washington DC, the newly elected Governor and his wife have gone missing, with no evidence or witnesses. The secret Service employ retired agent Grayson Sawyer to locate the high-profile couple before the press gets word.

In Chicago, a single mother kills three people, including her 6 year old son, and doesn’t remember any of it. Forensic psychologist, Emily Promise, is not at all convinced of the young mother’s guilt. Something just doesn’t fit.

In North Carolina, an honor student pulls a gun in class and kills 7 of his fellow students, with no memory of the incident whatsoever.

In Arizona, a single father, worried about his teenage daughter’s sleeping difficulties, enrolls her in a 2-day sleep study to help with her night terrors. After 24 hours, the young girl is in a coma.

In a race against the clock, Emily Promise and agent Sawyer come together to find the meaning of these senseless incidents. What they find is nothing short of impossible.

When the Man in Black Went to Prison

On this very day in 1968, singer/songwriter Johnny Cash walked into Folsom Prison in California and lit the country music world on fire. We’ve all heard the phrase music soothes the savage beast. Well not in this case.

Inspired by a 1950s film of the same name, Cash wrote Folsom Prison Blues in 1955 and said that one day he would play that song inside its walls. Many of his peers thought he was crazy but thirteen years later he would do just that. And the rest, as they say is history. But what did this do for Johnny’s career?

Johnny was set with depression, in his personal life and with his music. This live performance and subsequent album release revived his career, his marriage, and his life. Johnny went on to have a career that would span decades and inspire so many.

The Smell of Grass

This title has been spinning around in my head for a number of years. The idea of it is that it holds memories. And now I have come up with the perfect story to surround it.

Alex and Alexa are twins. Identical twins. They do everything and share everything together. But when Alexa is taken to the hospital after a life-threatening accident, the siblings are never the same again.

Stay tuned for more about this heart pounding story of lost memories and stolen innocence.

Out of the frying pan…You know the rest

Wilmer McLean

In 1861 Wilmer McLean was retired from military life. A grocer by trade, living in Virginia with his family, Mclean was perfectly fine with not having to be involved in the war. At 47 years of age, he was far too old to reenlist when the war broke out. A southerner at heart and a business man by trade, McLean valued his status as a Virginia gentleman. Which was why he was overjoyed when he was approached by Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard to use his home, located just outside Manassas, as a perfunctory headquarters. As luck would have it, the battle of Bull Run would begin that very afternoon as Union an Confederate forces converged on McLean’s front yard, marking the first major battle of the Civil War. Beauregard and his troops exacted a heavy toll on McDowell’s unseasoned Union army, but not before getting off a number of shots themselves. The Union just happened to be canon heavy on that particular day. One of those canons lobbed a fiery ball through the roof of McLean’s house, landing on his kitchen table. The home survived, and so did McLean and his family. But his business, along with many others in Manassas, suffered because of the war. Wilmer filed for bankruptcy and moved his family to a home in Appomattox, Virginia.

Appomattox Courthouse

In 1865, General Lee’s dwindling forces fought their last skirmish at a little known area of Virginia known as Appomattox Courthouse. Lee lost 600 hundred men in that battle and quickly surrendered. The war was over. On April 9th of that year, Wilmer McLean was approached again by yet another Confederate General. Only this time it was Robert E. Lee himself, requesting to use the home for a meeting. That meeting was Lee’s official surrender of the Confederacy to General Ulysses S. Grant. The surrender took place in the parlor of the McLean family home, overlooking the battlefield, still being cleared of the dead. Once it was over, the two general’s shook hands and Lee departed. Later that month, Wilmer McLean gave a statement to a local newspaper saying: “The war began on my front lawn, and ended in my front parlor.”

An Unforgivable Act

What is it about you that I detest so much? Your smell? Much like an offensive version of burnt ketchup and something rubbery. No, that’s not it. Is it your lack of compassion when faced with the burdens of your fellow man? Not quite. Could it possibly be the way you wear your hair, all combed to one side like you’re trying to cover up part of your brain? Although this is loathsome, it is not the reason. If you wish to know why, I will tell you…

You broke into my home. Yes, I realize that the door was technically unlocked but that didn’t give you the right to enter. You used my bathroom. This horrible realization I’m not even going to comment on. You sat in my chair, browsed through my extensive library and watched my television. However, all would have been forgiven if you simply hadn’t eaten my entire bag of pork rinds!

It is not for me to say

As I sit here at my corner desk in my cramped room in my small but not-so-modern apartment, writing an essay on South Carolina’s aggression prior to the shots on Fort Sumter while snacking directly from a family sized box of Chicken in a Biskit crackers and drinking flavored water in an attempt to relieve myself of the burdens of caffeinated sugary goodies, I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to be God. Does he allow snacks and drinks in his kingdom? I have stopped drinking alcohol (in theory) but would there be whiskey available? Yes, this is quite a random thought to have at this time of the day but are we not guided (also in theory) by our conscious thoughts?

Hello there…

I understand that it has been some time since you last heard from me. School has me laden with this task and that. However, it is always exciting when I dive into a new project. Please stay tuned for the wonderful things to come.