The final countdown has begun. Midnight in Line and Form is back from the editor. Lots of work to do, but my goal to publish by 1 April is not only plausible, it’s possible. I’m editing as fast as I can. I’ve developed good relationships with all my characters, and as much as I like them, they don’t all need so many scenes. It hurts, but I’m cutting away.
This is the first scene I cut (even before the editor said to cut out the fat). I shared this with my newsletter subscribers, and now I want to share it with you. It gives you a glimpse into the side of Austin usually reserved for those who whisper in the shadows.
Exert from Midnight in Line and Form, Book Two of Midnight Whispers.
“There’s something you should know,” said CC. Her face, despite the swelling and discoloration grew serious. “You missed the news this morning, but there was trouble in Austin last night about the time we were leaving town.”
“I saw something about a fire on the news, but I was too tired to pay attention.”
“A bar. It’s owned by a Cesar De La Rosa. Name familiar?”
“Works for Mugello. We thought he might be a -”
“He is, and he’s important. He was in the bar. Babe, someone attacked the bar with fire while it was full of people.”
“The rev wouldn’t do that,” said James Earl without thinking. “He values life. That’s why we all follow him.”
“Not everyone values it like we do,” said CC not wanting to say any names.
“But the guys wouldn’t do anything without the rev’s okaying it.”
“Wouldn’t they? You know their stories, how they came to be with the group. You don’t think Madeline could persuade them to act without the rev’s say so.” CC spoke rather than asked. She always had a way of understanding people. That’s why James Earl liked her and opened up to her when they met.
“But Roger’s always been so close to the rev.” James Earl wanted to believe the people he knew wouldn’t kill with such an abandonment.
“And he’s in love with Madeline. You’ve seen that yourself. I think we accept that everything’s changed.”
“Understatement,” Jenny said as she walked back into the room carrying Fluffy. “Your friends have hooked up with some very military style hunters. It’s only luck we found you in time.”
David followed her into the room. “They’d kill you in a heartbeat, James Earl. How much your reverend friend knows about them is as much a guess for you as it is for me. Vamps are pissed and looking for revenge. It’s all Anthony can do to keep them under control right now. He told me to stay up here till things blow over, but I know he’ll need me in town.” David looked at Jenny who pouted but said nothing.
“Even this far from town, people are anxious over the terrorist attack at the bar. Keep your faith in me James Earl. After tonight, you’ll understand.”
“Terrorists?” asked James Earl.
“That’s what officials are saying. Whole city is on lockdown while they hunt for the one that got away.”
James Earl looked to CC.
“I don’t know who it was, either, but it could be one of us.” CC tightened the grip on his hand.