Thursday, September 8, 2016


Three nice covers, huh? At least, I think so. Unfortunately, I don't yet have one for the next book, but I like to think it will be as good. By the way, the covers you see down the right panel are the previous covers for two of the books. I left them for the sake of comparison.

Let’s take a look at some action from the fourth novel in the BJ Vinson series with the working title of THE LOVELY PINES (now in progress). Regular readers will know that our hero BJ Vinson, a confidential investigator, was drawn into the case when there was a break-in at the Lovely Pines Winery in the fictional village of Plácido, New Mexico north of Albuquerque. Nothing was taken, nothing was destroyed, but the suspicion lingers that someone is still prowling around. The following scene takes place in Chapter 13. BJ is returning to stakeout an area west of the winery.

     Remembering how the sniper had scanned the parking lot the one time I’d caught a glimpse of him, I pulled off into the forest on the south side of the highway a hundred yards west of the logging road that paralleled the Pines property and hiked the rest of the way in. Once I located a likely spot where I had an oblique view of the winery doors, the wallow where I’d encountered the sniper, and by turning my head could see the area where the bicycle tracks had ended, I pulled my backpack off and settled in a sheltered spot. This was not the perfect stakeout location, but since I was keeping an eye out for two separate individuals on two separate missions, it would do. Once comfortable, I hauled out my Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm semiautomatic and stuffed it in a jacket pocket. We might just be heading into July, but twilight was coming up fast, and at this altitude the temperature would drop sharply once the soil lost the sun’s warmth.
     I no sooner poured myself a lid of coffee than the odor of weeds and wildflowers and fallen pine needles surrendered to the pungent aroma of the hot liquid. I resolved to take my refreshment in smaller doses hereafter.
     Hours passed. Despite the coffee and isometric exercises, I was losing ground to the need for sleep rapidly. I’m a trained stakeout artist and had done this a hundred times, but the gentle swish of the pine boughs all around me was as effective as a sleeping tonic. I’m sure I dozed at times but for the most part managed to remain on guard.
     Somewhere around midnight I grew aware of something. I hadn’t actually heard a car, but there was one down on the highway. I glanced south but caught no glare of headlamps or parking lights. Then I heard a slight growl as a motor accelerated. The vehicle had stopped for some reason. To let someone out, perhaps? But there had been no bang of a car door. Of course not. He was sneaking in.
     Just as I was about to move, I caught movement down near the wallow. It wasn’t much, just a slight swaying of brush. In the darkness, I wasn’t even certain I’d actually seen anything, but something had snared my attention.
     Son of a bitch! The sniper! He’d snuck into place right under my nose. And movement told me he’d heard the car, too. He was going to intercept whomever had gotten out of the car. Sniper and intruder were about to meet.
     I stood up, making sure to create a racket in doing so. No reaction. Cautiously, I worked my way, tree bole by tree bole toward the wallow. He wasn’t there. He’d slipped by me again. I turned and ran to the road and headed south. I caught a glimpse of a shadowy figure ahead of me. There was just enough moonlight piercing the overhanging canopy to determine the man carried a rifle. I had no doubt he’d use it if cornered. More troubling, would he use it if he met the intruder? I couldn’t take the chance. I raised my S&W and fired three bullets into the trunk of the nearest pine. The flashes blinded me, but I stumbled left into the covering wood in case the fleeing man decided to return fire. There was nothing. Nothing but the roar of an approaching vehicle.
     Before I reached the logging road again, I heard a car screech to a halt, a car door slam, and the vehicle roar away. The sniper had phoned a buddy who’d been hanging around nearby to retrieve him.

I sincerely hope you found that worthy of your time. Maybe I’ll get the novel finished one of these days and DSP Publications will see fit to publish it.

Feel free to mail me at As always, thanks for being readers.

New Posts published at 6:00 a.m. each Thursday.

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