Novel Excerpt (62) *edited

Novel Excerpt (62) *edited

A scene from Breaking Bread, Book Five in the Bucks County Series by Margaret Sorick. Find the previous excerpt here.

The back of Brad’s Porsche was stuffed with bags and boxes. Replacing all his clothes and personal items had been an exhausting and depressing endeavor. On the way back to his new home —Leo had finished the lake house and moved in, leaving the apartment over his business available for Brad to use— Brad drove past the Doylestown Police Station. Seeing Jack’s car in the parking lot, he pulled in. Jack was on the phone when Brad walked into his office. He held up a finger, signaling him to wait.

“Alright, thanks Ms. Walden. If you think of anything, let me know,” he said before disconnecting. “Hey, Brad. What’s up?”

“Just the question I was about to ask you. Anything to report?”

Jack shook his head. “Not yet. I’ve talked to everyone on Mike’s list of Tanya’s friends except for Cecilia Landis.”

“Huh. I’m surprised. From what I understand, Cissy has a work-from-home job which is why she’s always around to butt into everyone’s business.”

He checked his watch. “Yeah. Maybe she doesn’t take personal calls during business hours or something. I’ll give her till 5:00 then I’ll try again.” Jack rubbed his eyes. “So. You guys ok?”

“Peachy.”

“Right. Stupid question.”

“Look, I just wanted to check in. I have a carload of clothes and other crap to haul back to my new digs.”

“You need a hand? I could use a break. And maybe a beer.”

“Then it’s your lucky day. I just stopped at the beer store.”

Jack stood. “Lead the way.”

Brad pulled out of the parking lot with Jack in his unmarked Charger following behind him. Leo’s apartment was about fifteen minutes from Doylestown just outside the nearby borough of Dublin. As they approached the outskirts of town, Jack pealed off onto a side street, lights flashing and sirens wailing.

“Guess that beer will have to wait,” Brad said aloud.

Donovan Construction occupied the first floor of a building with a store-front reception area, and several large garage bays for the construction equipment and vehicles. The apartment above was thus spacious and quiet after business hours. Brad pulled the Porsche up to the outside steps and began hauling his purchases up to his new home. The clothes he dumped on the floor of the bedroom. The bedroom furniture he’d purchased this morning wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow. In the meantime he was camping out on the sofa Leo had left behind.

His phone rang just as he was bringing the last of his supplies into the apartment. It was Jack.

“Hey, man. Still up for that beer?” Brad said by way of greeting.

“No, but I’m sure as hell going to need one later.” Jack sighed heavily. “Somebody took a shot at Cecilia Landis. She’s not hurt bad, but I’m following the ambulance to the hospital now. She was able to describe the car the shooter was in at least. I have every available officer out searching.”

Brad spat out a string of curses. “Holy shit, Jack, what about Maya? She’s right across the street!”

“I know, already taken care of. Nicki is with her, she’s ok.”

“I’m going over, too, Jack.”

“Yeah, sure. But Nicki stays for the time being. This is no coincidence, Brad. It has to be related to the fire.” He sighed. “Well, at least I know where Ms. Landis is. I’ll be waiting to talk to her as soon as they patch her up.”

“Alright, good. Let us know as soon as you can.”

“Will do. Something tells me curiosity nearly killed the cat. I’ll be in touch.”

I Have a Rendezvous With Death – Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger was born in New York City on June 22, 1888. After joining the French Foreign Legion in 1914, Seeger was killed in action in northern France on July 4, 1916. 


I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear…
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Naming Names

Naming Names

How do you choose a name for a character?  Some of my characters’ names came from deceased relatives, old family friends, and a particularly useful website:  behindthename.com.  Since names fall in and out of popularity throughout the years, one way to name your character realistically is to see what names were popular for the year in which they were born. That’s what this website can tell you –the most common names given to the children of that age.

For choosing surnames, I carefully watched film and TV show credits, paid attention to the last names of athletes, people in the news and even place names. Detective Jack Staley, for example, arose from – Jack: a consistently strong male name (think Jack Kennedy, Jack Ryan, Jack Reacher, Jack Bauer) and Staley which I borrowed from former Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Duce Staley. (Also giving it a Philly connection). Maya Kaminsky is a combination of – Maya: Russian engineer from Kim Stanley Robinson’s book, “Red Mars” and Kaminsky: the last name of one of my childhood friends.

How do you feel about graveyards? They are another excellent source of names. Go have a wander in the local cemetery – the older, the better. Finally, to make sure you aren’t using the name of someone already ‘famous,’ google the name you’ve chosen to see what comes up. Although, the name might not belong to a celebrity, it could be the name of a business leader or politician that is well known in their field. You may want to think twice about using it, especially if it is the name of your villain!

Another caution: don’t have too many names that look or sound similarly. For instance, naming Maya’s sister Mary, or having a Jack and a Jake in the same story. They will easily be confused and that is frustrating for the reader.

May your characters be unique, their names be memorable and your book a best seller!