The Next Big Thing : Second Drink

Joyce Tremel, editor of the Working Stiffs, invited me to participate in a blog promotion where authors discuss their Next Big Thing.  You can find her post here.

But before we get to my next big thing, I’d like to throw a shout out to B.J. Daniels, Les Edgerton, Pete Morin and Marjorie Brody, all of whom I hope will be participating in the blog chain with their own posts next week.  Meet these talented folks.

B.J. Daniels – Barb is my favorite Western mystery writer.  Even a bigger favorite of mine than Craig Johnson or Margaret Coel.  Why?  Because Barb writes mysteries that I can’t figure out before the last page.  I guess that’s part of the reason she’s a USA Today Best Selling Author.

Les Edgerton – Les writes tight noir mysteries.  My favorite is The Bitch.  But I should confess that I carried Les’s book Hooked in my back pocket for over a year while rewriting FIRST MISTAKE.

Pete Morin – Pete writes crime fiction.  His novel, Diary of a Small Fish makes me think that some day I’ll be saying, “I knew Pete Morin before…”  His words tickle my brain and his observations about life make me think I should go easier on lawyers and politicians.

Marjorie Brody – Marjorie writes award winning fiction.  She wrote a short story a few months ago that I can’t get out of my mind.  Her new novel is coming in April, 2013 and I cannot wait.

With luck, you’ll be able to find their blog posts on November 19.   And now, I’d like to introduce you to my next big thing.  <drum roll>

Meet SECOND DRINK, another rowdy contemporary mystery featuring Jimmy Ray Hawkens, scheduled for June 2013.

One Sentence Synopsis

SECOND DRINK is a mystery about three fathers facing the consequences of their parenting choices when a young woman is murdered.

The Story

In SECOND DRINK, a beautiful young coed is murdered.  When her boyfriend, the Austin Police Chief’s son, is identified as the prime suspect, the Police Chief begs Jimmy Ray to take the case and save his son. Alejandro.

As Jimmy Ray investigates, he’s impeded by fathers that want to control their young adult children.  The dead girl’s father is consumed with white-washing his daughter’s reputation, interfering at every turn. The Police Chief, eager to protect his job, badgers his son to cop a plea, sacrificing any chance of uncovering the truth.

When the clues point to a fraternity, powerful university alumni squeeze Jimmy Ray to ditch the investigation.  But he can’t.  Not after he discovers his own son, David, is implicated.

Will Jimmy Ray follow the truth wherever it leads?  Or will he take the easy way out and let Alejandro pay the price?

What is the hook?  What’s this book really about?

At its core, SECOND DRINK is a mystery about the relationship between fathers and sons.  What happens when a father discovers his son’s flaws?  What lengths will a father go to protect his son? What happens to a man when he realizes he’s not willing to pay the price to live up to his values when that price is his son?

What inspired the book?  Where did you get your idea?

While listening to our local radio station, KLBJ when Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo discussing a no-refusal weekend, I wondered “What would be worse than a DUI for a public official?”  Answer?  A murder committed by one of their children.  Presto.  Bingo. Smash.  Second Drink.

Since this is the second Jimmy Ray Hawkens mystery, I wanted to delve into the relationship between Jimmy Ray and his eldest son David.  I’m using the relationship between the Police Chief and his son to show two different types of divorced fathers, and examine how choices made long ago drive behavior in the most crucial moments of a young man’s life.

What genre is this book?

Straight up mystery with a splash of humor.  The blood is off the page and the hot sex is between your ears (or as others say, the bedroom door is shut).  Not a cozy. Not a procedural.

Where and when can I read the book?

You can find the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble in June, 2013.  What?  That’s too long to wait?  Then Comment on this post and let me know you would like to be a beta reader.  You’ll have the story sooner. :)

Read more great books

Check out B.J. Daniels, Les Edgerton, Pete Morin and Marjorie Brody, next Monday November 19, 2012 when they reveal their NEXT BIG THING.


  1. Thanks for including me, C.L. – and particularly for the nice words. I’m eager to tell folks about my just finished Next Big Thing, and very glad to have the chance to share it with you and your friends. See you next week!

    • Pete,

      I can’t wait to read about your next big thing. Loved your write-up about B’con too. What’s the music plan for next year?

      Take care,


  2. Mark O'Pella says:


    I’d love the opportunity to be a beta reader. I’ll even be a non-critical editor if it would help. For free!


    • Mark,

      Beta reader? You bet. I do need a reader for SECOND DRINK, so I will keep you posted. Thanks so much, and Happy Thanksgiving.

      Take care,


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