As you will have noticed, I’ve suspended blogging to work on other projects. I’ve spent my blogging time scouting instead. I will be a den leader and complete my “Wood Badge” ticket in the coming year. A wise friend, vigilante author Robert Bidinotto (whose vigilante thrillers you ought to check out), suggested I was better off working on my sequel than trying to promote my debut novel. I took his advice. It’s cost sales in the short run, but I’m hopeful expediting my sequel will make up for it in the long run.
I’ve been making good progress on A Rambling Wreck, sequel to The Hidden Truth. I’m about 50,000 words into my draft. I’m aiming for a release before LibertyCon June 30-July 2, but even if I miss that date, I’ll be done by the end of the summer. Expect a sample chapter soon. For now, I’ll reveal the first page of A Rambling Wreck:
Chapter 1: Whatever Happened to Angus McGuffin?
It was Angus McGuffin’s last day on earth, but he didn’t realize it until too late.
Between the salacious speculation why a missionary might frequent so seedy a neighborhood and the ample amounts of blood from the slaying, the Atlanta press was all over the case. “Missionary Slain,” the headline proclaimed. The details of Hitler’s latest aggression pushed the article below the front page fold of the next morning’s Atlanta Constitution. McGuffin almost ended up an unknown John Doe in a pauper’s grave. A fellow Presbyterian had recognized McGuffin’s picture in the evening’s Atlanta Journal from a church “Jubilee” held in 1913, and church leaders confirmed the identification. Was it just a random slaying? Who would want to kill a humble missionary back in the country after a quarter century abroad? Why was McGuffin living under an assumed name at a hotel? The reporter, Jack Sweeney, clearly knew there was more to it. His article had more questions and speculation than answers.
I already knew much more than appeared in Sweeney’s decades-old article. In the weeks before his brutal demise, McGuffin had completed a manuscript, “Suan Ming or the Art of Chinese Fortune Telling.” He sent a bound proof inscribed to his friend, “Bill,” at the Tolliver Technical Institute. The fire that “coincidentally” consumed the Magnolia Publishing Company the day McGuffin’s body was found probably accounted for the rest of the copies. The Civic Circle’s Technology Containment Team, or whatever they were calling it way back then, must soon have secured any remaining copies or notes.
All but one.
Forgotten over sixty years in my hometown up in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, that last remaining copy gathered dust on a shelf in the Tolliver Library until that library, too, burned to the ground last year. Only we got there first, and preserved McGuffin’s legacy. Now, I was trying to piece together the puzzle of whatever happened to Angus McGuffin. Because, the people who killed Angus McGuffin also killed my parents.
Pete and Amit are off to Georgia Tech to continue their research into the real meaning of the hidden truth, and to prepare themselves for the coming battle. Only, their enemies are busy, also, with a scheme to corrupt and subvert the school. Our heroes will have to find a way to enlist the help of George P. Burdell, himself, to save the school, thwart an ancient and deadly cult, unlock the secret meaning of the hidden truth, and somehow find the time to study for their final exams. With new enemies, new allies, new challenges, and new mysteries to unravel, fans of The Hidden Truth will not be disappointed.