It's been a long time coming. A very long time.
I originally came up with the basic idea for this novel all the way back in 2004. And I knew right away that when I finished the outline, I wanted Laurie Moore to write it with me. I think we started on it in 2005 and finished sometime in 2006 - it was a long time ago, so forgive my somewhat hazy memory. And we sent it out and... kersplat! Nothing. I think people were a little afraid of it, to be honest.
But here we are, and in just over a week, our first book in the Dakota Jones, P.I. series will be live and real. If it goes well, we'll probably write another one. If not, well, at least we eventually got it published. And that wouldn't have happened without the kindness of David Niall Wilson, the Publisher at Crossroads Press. I know we're both grateful for everything he's done to help us bring Dakota Jones to life.
Here's the cover copy, should you care to read it:
Dakota Jones, nouveau riche owner of Runaway Investigations, expects a quiet Thanksgiving with her girlfriend, Kris Carson, a homicide investigator with the Phoenix Police Department. But Kris gets called in to work, spoiling their long-awaited day together. Celia St. Claire, the madam of Fantasy Escorts, Unlimited—a high-dollar escort service—was found murdered and her body posed at a grisly scene, and Kris’s police partner, Hamilton Stark is asking for Kris’s assistance with the investigation. It looks like someone had a grudge to settle with Celia until another fantasy escort is found murdered a few days later. Then a third fantasy escort is found dead, and a pattern begins to emerge in the clues from each victim—henna tattoos, with lyrics from popular songs, and missing locks of hair.
Dakota, who once worked as a fantasy escort for Celia, wants the murders solved but Kris, who’s glad Dakota left her old life, wants her to stay out of the investigation and distance herself, despite phone calls from the remaining escorts who are begging for Dakota’s help. Jealousy between Hamilton and Dakota for Kris’s time and affection erupts as the two detectives work the pattern killer cases; after all, Kris once had a meaningless fling with Hamilton and it’s getting in the way again. Then grizzled stranger Travis Creeley—one of Dakota’s former fantasy clients?—appears in town looking for his daughter while Dakota searches for a missing teenaged neighbor, a wealthy member of the Goth culture and aspiring henna tattoo artist.
Could the teenager be involved, or know who’s responsible for the murders? Hindered by local politics, Kris and Hamilton must accept Dakota’s help as they work parallel investigations in order to stop the murders and find justice for the victims now that Kris and Dakota find themselves targets of a frightening pattern-killer.
We're hoping for a strong launch and preliminary signs are good, but we could really use your help. I'm looking for anyone who's willing to be part of an online book bomb this coming Sunday and Monday, October 2-3. What's a book bomb? Easy - help us get the word out. Post about the book on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., during those days, and if you're feeling generous, order a copy and (this is important, thanks to Amazon's algorithms) leave us a review when you've read it. We're also happy to do interviews (blog, radio, television, etc.) as well as live chats, and just about anything else you can think of, bearing in mind that Laurie lives in Texas and I'm in Florida.
I'll be posting more on this over the next week, but in the meantime, if you're willing to help out, please contact me - send a message via Facebook or an email to writer(at)morningstormbooks.com.
As always, write on - and read on!