Monday, October 27, 2014

Secret Service: LA (NaNoWriMo 2014)




This is the working cover for Secret Service:  LA. (Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll!)

My profile on NaNoWriMo is now complete, and I'm ready to start writing on Saturday.

This is the excerpt of the novel that appears on the NaNoWriMo site:
The late afternoon LA sunlight casts a golden hue on The Southland. Maybe it’s the way the angled light reflects off the dust and smog particles, but it bathes everything it touches with a golden sparkle, a chiffon veil that masks little imperfections with its diffusion, like an airbrush that perfects beauty in a high-def world.

I try not to think of this as a metaphor for this town. But it is. LA: where celebrity comes to craft its image. This is where the action is. That’s why the Secret Service’s largest field office is here.

I love this time of day, though. The afternoon sun is one of my favorite things about living in LA. It brings over me a feeling of calm. It helps me appreciate the subtle beauty of the scrub and dry summer grass (fuel for brushfires as it is) that blankets the hills of this Mediterranean chaparral climate--at least, these grasses blanket the few hills preserved against development.

This gossamer lens almost restores the marred beauty of the recently deceased, nearly topless celebrity in front of us. She lay back against the hill as if she had merely been sunbathing in the dry, calf-high grass. However, the scratches, bruises, and bloodstains told another tale. The mangled car and the broken railing on the road above echoed her story.

The annoying crime scene bots had just cleared the area for our inspection, and Jackie Roberts, my partner, was docking them into the hydraulic lifts that retracted into the trunk of the car. It was her turn.

I reviewed the bots’ findings while Jackie chased after the capricious things, threatening to shoot them. I can’t understand how they manage to creep over a crime scene so meticulously but then try to escape as soon as you send them to their docking stations. I was almost done when she finally got them all docked and walked over to join me.

“At least she died happy,” said Jackie.

“I don’t think she was that high. . .” I said, flipping back to the toxicology report.

“She still has the rear-view mirror in her hand,” Jackie explained.

Cause of death: Vanity.

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