Saturday, November 12, 2016

What We're Writing Week: Julia and HID FROM OUR EYES

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: The book: HID FROM OUR EYES. I swear I'm working on it. Well, I will be. I took most of this week off - just could not concentrate. The scene: Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne's investigation brings him to the Washington County Fair, where he bumps into the Rev. Clare Fergusson, his wife. She's headed back to the St. Alban's food tent - fried fish dinners, only $8! ($7 for seniors.)

Russ ducked to avoid a face full of helium balloons. “Actually, I'm walking this way because I want to talk to the guy running the shooting booth. There was a girl working the taffy apples who said he'd been sneaking away and acting shifty. She thought he might be dealing. Granted, she clearly didn't like the guy, but she may be on to something.”

Or she may be a pissed-off ex-girlfriend.”

He grinned. “Watch out, darlin'. My cynicism is rubbing off on you.”

Believe me, nobody knows more about the vagaries of the human condition than priests.”

He nodded toward a Wild West Shoot-Out! sign. “This is my stop.”

She kissed him. “If you can, come by St. Alban's booth. We're down that way, close to the vendor parking. Free fried fish lunch.”

That's the best offer I'll have all day. Do I need to check in with Kathleen?”

No, I called her. The baby went down with no trouble.”

Russ didn't say anything, but she could read his expression. Still sure daycare's not the right choice? She waved as she walked away. No, she wasn't sure daycare wasn't the right choice. Parents were supposed to go by their gut feelings, right? But how was she to know if her gut was acting in her child's best interests, or only out of guilt? Maybe she and Russ could try dipping a toe in. Mornings only, maybe eight to noon. Or eleven.

The noises behind her broke through her reverie. Over the shrieks of riders and the cries of barkers, she could hear shouts. She spun around to see a young carnie racing down the midway road, headed straight for her. Or – she glanced to where she could see the St. Alban's tent behind her – the parking area.

Fair-goers were leaping out of his way, leaving a mingled roar of “Hey!” and “Watch it!” and “What the hell?” in his wake. And behind that, Russ, pounding down the lane. 
One glimpse told her he wouldn't be able to overtake the sprinting man. She didn't have time to think; she acted. She stepped back as if to get out of the carnie's path, then launched herself at him in a full body tackle. 
He slammed into her, toppling them both, thudding, rolling, and then he was squirming out of her grip, up on his hands, knee in the dust, boot on the road and then he lurched sideways, breaking her hold.
But it was enough. Russ raced past her and slammed into the young man with eighty pounds more than she could muster. This time, the carnie stayed down. Russ, straddling his back, pulled his arms behind him and hitched him with handcuffs. “Clare, are you okay?”

She got up, swiping at her blouse in a vain attempt to get the dust off. “I'm fine.”

He stood up, hauling the carnie with him. “Kid, you're under arrest for resisting--” He broke off as he turned the young man around. Skinhead shave, short beard, tattoos around his neck. 
Clare sucked in her breath. “Kevin?


  1. Oh, I cannot wait to read this book!

    The easiness between Russ and Clare is such a pleasure; I always enjoy the scenes where they are so relaxed and comfortable with each other.
    And there’s a baby! [Details, details!]
    And Kevin?!

    Thanks for sharing this; it’s a special treat . . . .

  2. Julia, your distraction is my distraction. Such a hard week.

    This teaser makes me miss Russ and Clare, so I hope your writing frame of mind returns in full force.

  3. Wow! Julia, this is spectacular. Really. MORE MORE MORE!

  4. It's not fair(ha!) to stop there!

    Deb Romano

  5. Julia: Thanks for the sneak peak...I really love Russ and Clare! Can't wait!

  6. Kevin??? OMG, you had to stop THERE? You are cruel, Julia, very cruel! :)

    Given this taste of things to come, I'm more than happy to wait patiently (well, somewhat patiently), for Russ and Clare's newest adventure -- however long it takes. Just knowing you're writing it is enough for me!

  7. I seem to recall another scene you teased us with--Kevin was in it, too. I, however, am not waiting patiently (not in my nature :-)). Just can't wait for this book, Julia!! From the snippets you've shared, there is SO much to look forward to in this book--I'm betting we are going to be blown away by it!!!!

  8. At the rate this book is going, it had better blow everybody away...

    Sorry there are no illustrations - I had some nice pics of county fairs but Blogger WOULD not let me upload them. Some times our internet cable seems to slow down to a trickle. I'm not sure if it's because everyone in the neighborhood is drinking from the same hose, or if Time Warner is trying to get me to upgrade.

  9. Julia, please forgive me for asking.

    I am confused by the last line. Do you mean the kid had a shaved head and tattoos around his neck? Can't the shaved head be seen from the back too?

    Thank you,

  10. Ohhh, can't wait. Get thee to the writeree!

  11. KEVIN????? The baby? Boy, you aren't giving out information at all! Hurry up already.

  12. Julia, so distracted am I this week that I broke my "don't read Jungle Reds during what we are writing week" rule. Great piece of the hurry to your legal pad and pen, typewriter, laptop or even the stone tablet! I want it ALL! Thank you. :-)

  13. Thank you so much for this wonderful treat today, Julia! It is much needed. Can't wait to read this next book!

  14. Julia, I can't stand it!!! I want to read this book!! Go write.

  15. I am thrilled to know you're writing this book, or close to writing this book, or intend to soon be writing this book. I cannot wait. Thank you, Julia!

  16. I needed a lift after the events of this week so what a pleasure to get a tantalizing peek at your latest work in progress. Naturally I'm impatient to get my hands on this book but I'm pleased that you are taking time to get things just right. Thanks, Julia!