Discharged from the military after being wounded, Monroe Price has only one objective now that he’s back on United States soil and that is to figure out who has been blackmailing him and his friends. He’s not interested in getting involved in anything else or helping anyone out. Not even his wife.
No one was more surprised than Azalea Moray Price when she was left a fortune upon her stepfather’s death. But she is not in the least bit surprised that someone is trying to kill her for it.
With the end of the war on the horizon, and life getting no less complicated, Monroe and Azalea realize that just as they had when they were younger, they must join forces again if they ever want to live in peace.
The last book of The Lost Boys will be out at the end of March. I was hoping to release it in February. I really was. If it’s worth anything, Beneath the Cleansing Flood is nearly 50,000 words longer than the previous two books. That means this book is approximately the size of two novels.
Also, with the exception of the Prologue, there are no flashbacks. From the get-go, when I had first outlined this series, I waffled back and forth as to whether I should have any flashbacks in Monroe’s story. But then my youngest sister told me that while she enjoyed A Privilege to Carry, she had skipped all of the flashbacks. That solidified it for me. There are no flashbacks. It’s all Monroe and Azalea in their present time.
I truly hope you enjoy this last book as we say goodbye to Henry, Sebastian, Beverly, and Monroe. The series has been a joy to write and thank you so much for going on this journey with me!
Having spent his youth being passed around from one family to the next until he decided to strike out on his own, Beverly Fossey has learned that he does not like anything complicated. Keeping his head down and minding his own business is his best approach to life and it’s the philosophy he brings with him into the Army. Unfortunately, Beverly finds himself being blackmailed for events that happened years before. Although it’s not really the blackmail part that he’s worried about…
There’s nothing Iris Crawley loves more than drama. And if there isn’t any, she’s not afraid to create some. Enlisting in the Army as a nurse and passing for white are merely two details in her life that are there to fulfill her yearning for adventure. She doesn’t count on falling in love with her English host family or being intrigued by the serious and stoic Sergeant Beverly Fossey—which is a problem considering that any romance between them is, if not forbidden, certainly unadvisable by both society’s rules and the Sergeant’s himself.
When Iris stumbles across a situation that is more than even she can handle and with Beverly trying to just make it through the war in peace but being pulled in more direction than one, the two of them end up on a crash collision course that changes the rest of their lives.
Yes, book three in The Lost Boys series is coming out! I was concerned there myself for a moment. Life has a way of getting in the way and that was certainly true as I wrote this book. I’ll take a minute to pull back the curtain: I am a lawyer by day and occasionally my job does take precedence. The busyness of work had me pushing this book back again and again. I’m the sort of person who cannot be consumed by more than one thing at a time and writing is a very mind-absorbing field. I was struggling to both think about the story and think about the law. Any writers out there know what I mean?
On top of that, when I started plotting this book, I just couldn’t see it. I had very definite plot points I had to hit but no idea how to get from A to B to C. And this was strange because since book one, I had been thinking about this book and then when it was time to write it, there was nothing but silence. Every day that I sat down to put pen to paper so-to-speak, I didn’t know what was going to happen. The story literally unfolded before my eyes. It makes for a bit of a slower write and lots of editing but at the same time, I loved that the characters told me who they were.
I had fun with Iris and Beverly. My beta readers said they had fun reading about them. I’ve got two main purposes when I write: to glorify God and to entertain. I truly hope that this book both blesses you and puts a smile on your face. I’ve already begun work on Monroe’s book. It is my NaNoWriMo project this year and because I’ve been laying the foundation of this book since book one, the chapters are flying. I’m very excited about how the Lost Boys Series will end. In case you don’t hear from me again this year while I finish the last edits of Beverly’s book and continue working on Monroe’s book may you have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Sebastian Hatchett joined the Navy merely for a paycheck, but when war breaks out, he finds himself stuck in Annapolis, Maryland, training steward’s mates for naval duty. When one of his trainees invites him to Chicago, he reluctantly goes, expecting little. But to his everlasting surprise, his trainee has the most interesting sister…
Calista Brantley was an ace journalist just a few short months ago, but the inspiration is gone, and the stories have all dried up—until she gets a visit from a woman with information that might rock her community. In the midst of deciding just what she wants to do with this knowledge, she meets her brother’s friend, Sebastian Hatchett…
Embarking on a one-week flirtation, neither of them expects anything from the other. But when their time is up, deciding whether or not they will form a lasting connection becomes the least of their worries as Sebastian is finally sent to war—and also finds himself being blackmailed for events that he had long since thought were forgotten; while Calista is thrust into solving a murder that carries grave implications.
When the storms of life rage their way, Sebastian and Calista, two people from very different walks of life, must decide whether they will navigate the seas together.
When I first began to outline this series, this was the book that I was most concerned about (that has since changed, in case you’re wondering!). To the point where I was going to switch the order in which each person’s story was told and move this one to the backburner. But I prayed about it, and I felt like the Lord was telling me to stick with my first mind. So I did even though I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make Sebastian and Calista’s story interesting. Unlike Henry, Bev, and Monroe, Sebastian and Calista play a slightly bigger role in The Rolling Thunder and I sort of knew their story before I started this series. I just didn’t know how to make their romance capture readers’ attention.
But this book has truly been a blessing in more ways than I can count. For those who have read my blog before, you know that All the Day Long was a tough write for me. I finished up that book unsure of what my future looked like as a writer. And it was with great reluctance that I sat down to write this one. But the story, to my surprise, flowed. And it reminded me exactly why I loved writing.
I love this book. I love these characters. It’s within to me to put out a disclaimer–I don’t know if that’s because of my personality or because that’s the lawyer in me–but I’m not going to do that. I’ll let you read the story for yourself and make your own decisions! 🙂
Thus, the book is written, I’ve gotten in back from the beta readers and it will be on your devices shortly! Probably around the time when you can expect fireworks…
If you have been following my website for some time, you might realize that the fact that this book is coming out at the end of March means that there was a hiccup. It was supposed to release this month. In an effort to pull back the writing curtain a bit for those who are aspiring writers, writers, or just interested in the writing process, here’s what happened:
Did I finish the rough draft on time?
Did I give it to the Beta Readers on time?
Yes, but this is where things broke down. I have three Beta Readers who I can count on to read my books and provide very specific feedback. I’m appreciative of them all. They have often brought to my attention changes that I needed to make with regards to certain characters and situations. Based off of their recommendations, I have changed the ending of books or even added (or removed) chapters. I don’t always agree with their assessments but so long as I understand what didn’t work, I will either make a change or try and provide clarity within a novel. Here’s how the feedback went:
Beta Reader #1: I received a very long review that could be summed up in three words: this is bad.
Beta Reader #2: This is a person who has read all of my books, many of them twice. They still haven’t finished the first draft yet.
Beta Reader#3: Informed me that by now I have some consistent readers and those readers will enjoy the book. (thanks mom!)
Criticism is hard. Especially when it’s the whole book being criticized. I sat in a daze for a month, refusing to look at the manuscript at all, and wondering slightly if I had told all the stories in me to be told. I’ve had writer’s block before but for the first time in my life, I wrestled with crippling doubt. I’m still wrestling. I literally have to pray before I start writing to work up my courage to put thought to paper. And I’ve never had to do that before.
But I knew this series would be a challenge when I started. In the beginning, it felt like it might be too big of a story to tell. And yet, I’m still so excited about it. When I re-read the first paragraph of the manuscript after ignoring it for a month, I just felt overwhelming love for my characters and the story I’m telling. And everyone won’t like it. I wish they would, but that’s not how life works. Nevertheless, I hope to be able to look back on what I’ve accomplished with pride.
Anyway, I said all that to say that the series is slightly delayed, but it’s coming. Since I can’t release on time, I will at least provide you with the premise:
Henry Jones Dabney-Sinclair of the towns of Dabney and Sinclair, Mississippi has always done exactly what has been expected of him…with the exception of one night. A night Henry has long since erased from his thoughts and his memory. But, that night hasn’t been forgotten by all. On the eve of Henry’s leaving for basic training—having received his letter from Uncle Sam—Henry receives another letter: a blackmail letter.
Since the murder of her mother, Petula “Tula” Ann Taggart has lived most of her life bouncing from one relative to the next doing whatever was required to make sure she had a roof over her head at all times. When she is offered the chance to work as a junior hostess at a USO with the same people who had been around her mother the day she died, she realizes she is also being offered an opportunity to discover who killed her mother five years ago and to possibly exact revenge.
When Henry and Tula, two people who have lived in the same two towns their whole lives, knowing of each other but not knowing each other, are drawn together by necessity, they come to realize that working together might be in their best interest and maybe their situations aren’t so different after all.
Today, I press the button making The Rolling Thunder go live. But first, I wanted to explain a bit as to why this book. It all started with a film called The Peanut Butter Falcon. I’m not here to promote this film, I didn’t even finish it, but there was something about it that planted a seed that kept growing (okay, if you must know, it was Shia LaBeouf’s character). I had no plans to write a book in between Salis and my new series entitled The Lost Boys. But the Salis Plantation Series was a mentally heavy series to write and when I finished the last book, I was not in the place to jump into another series. Especially one that is requiring so much research and is not exactly a light read considering it takes place along the backdrop of World War II. I needed, not necessarily a palate cleanser, but something totally different to think about. Something light and fun and fluffy…so of course I went with a murder mystery.
I think it worked out well because The Rolling Thunder manages to serve as a fun introduction to The Lost Boys. It is not a prequel, but in fact, a sequel. For some reason, it made sense to me to set it up this way.
Here’s the blub:
Taking a break from her life as a lawyer in Chicago, Theodosia “Theo” Brantley decides to spend the summer of 1955 in Carlin, Louisiana visiting her southern relatives—and to see if she can possibly make a go of a new career as a photographer. But when her grandmother asks her to look into a mystery surrounding a girl who drowned in the Mississippi River nearly sixty years ago and then a dead body found in the same river is literally brought to her grandmother’s doorstep, Theo quickly realizes that her summer is not going to go at all like she planned.
With the help of some unlikely characters, old and young alike, Theo Brantley begins to realize that the more the town of Carlin comes into focus, the more it’s clear that things are not all as they appear to be.
With the War Between the States over and slavery now a thing of the past, Sylvester Hollis—a man born for the saddle and a gun– finds himself at a crossroad in life…and he doesn’t like the looks of any of the paths laid out before him.
As one of the few slaves that stayed at Salis Plantation before, during, and after the War, Hagar has spent her whole life in service to others, unsure of who she is and what she wants in life. But when the straw breaks the camel’s back, Hagar knows one thing—she wants off the plantation. Remembering the name of Arrow Creek, Hagar packs her bags determined to take herself West. What she doesn’t plan for is Sylvester Hollis.
On a journey that neither one expected, from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Sly and Hagar come together as circumstance after circumstance is thrown their way. Forced to deal with bandits, townspeople, and ghosts from both of their pasts, Sly and Hagar cling to the one thing that has kept them going so far—hope.
Can’t wait to share Sly’s story with you all! I had so much fun writing it, I hope you have just as much fun reading it!
Logical, serious-minded Keturah Hollis has been a slave all her life. When her brother Sly Hollis deposits her in Arrow Creek, Oklahoma, a town run by Negroes, Keturah has to learn for the first time ever what it is to be free.
Irreverent and cynical, Manny Day, a runaway slave from a tobacco plantation in Kentucky, has a pretty good life in Arrow Creek. No longer at the whims of other men, he runs a general store with his brother, taking each day as they come. He lives a quiet, mostly content life—until he stumbles across a dead body.
Both filled with a desire to protect Arrow Creek, Keturah is reluctantly pulled into a profession she never would have considered while Manny is reluctantly forced to solve a mystery he hoped to avoid. Unlikely friends and even unlikelier allies, Keturah and Manny must work together and learn to have some faith.
Prince, steward and personal manservant of the master of Salis House Plantation, has been quietly biding his time in hopes that he would one day be given his freedom. When his master unexpectedly dies, it sets off a chain of events that forces Prince into a corner of his own making.
Annie, head cook of Salis House Plantation and known for her extraordinary beauty, has longed all of her life to be free, but due to her own life circumstances has never seen a way out—until now.
When Prince and Annie reluctantly join forces to escape Salis House Plantation together, they find themselves embarking on a journey that stretches the boundaries of both of them and eventually leads to something they have both desired all of their lives—peace.
Laura has been quite content as the head seamstress at Salis House Plantation. But when it is decided that two of her brothers are to be sold, she is forced to make a decision she never hoped to make.
Sam’s greatest desire is to be free. Free from the bonds of slavery, free to choose his own path, free to become the man God created him to be. But when circumstances conspire to lead him only further into slavery, he is pressed to make a choice that will change the course of his life forever.
When Laura and Sam cross paths, they find themselves on an unlikely journey to freedom that spans the western United States and leads them on a journey that requires all of their strength.
It’s in the last stages of editing, so it’ll be out soon and very soon!