Fresh out of prison, Jack “Gent” Darcy is bent on cutting ties with the Creds, but when you're a war counselor in a national gang, they don't let you just walk away.
Injured and on the run, Jack lands on Hank’s doorstep, and makes her a proposition she can’t refuse: write his story about life inside one of the most powerful gangs in the country. It’s simple – she’ll get her career groove back, and he’ll bury the gang, then disappear – his version of freedom.
Only problem is, they can’t help falling for each other, and they’ve both got something to hide that could blow up in their faces. With time running out and gang enforcers closing in, will the trust they’ve forged survive the ultimate test?
Here's a behind the scenes look at A MIghty Good Man's setting.
I grew up in my family’s restaurant business, an actual, cool, Mom and Pop style diner. Only at the time, it wasn’t yet retro! In true 1970s fashion, it sported lots of brown and Crayola orange, from the counter tops to the paneled walls, to the vinyl covered booths. Design crimes and all, it’s a place that’s part of my soul, and though long gone, lives on graciously in my memory, and now, I’m thrilled to say, in my book.
What a privilege to grow up in such a place! From the time I was about ten, my brother and I worked alongside my parents, aunt and uncle, cousins and the help, making, on a large scale, tantalizing, from scratch fare, such as spaghetti sauce, wedding soup, and bread stuffing. Lots of weekend in the a.m., we did heavy prep, mixing up ingredients in Rubbermaid tubs; pounds of butter, ground meat, celery, onions. We cooked in cast iron and stainless steel cauldrons half my height, stirred with wooden paddles that could’ve doubled as oars. I learned how to work the grill, make salads, and turn last night’s chicken special into today’s soup du jour.
And that was just the food.
The people who worked there were larger than life too, and also live on, fondly, in my memory. Cooks, waitresses, busboys, dishwashers; men, women, young, old, and in between—they ran the gamut from high school student to retiree, from vagabond to workhorse. Some came and never left, some worked one shift and never bothered to return—characters, all of them.
I remember hanging out at the counter with my Dad for hours, while he drank coffee and talked with customers. I would sit, fascinated, by the adult conversation, and the things I heard, and shouldn’t have heard. A unique and well-rounded education was mine for the taking on topics as varied as the economy, the local steel mill, sports, hunting, the president, politics, family, and religion. Regulars inhabited the space, claiming it as their own; they made it a hub in the community, not just as a place to eat great food, but as a place to connect, to complain, to celebrate, and to come together.
The food, the people, the work, the experience—it was delicious, joyous, exhilarating, exhausting, crazy, colorful, strange, and maddening, but above all, unique; so much so, we would often laugh and say we could write a book.
Well, I did.
And an awesome book it is! I enjoyed reading A Mighty Good Man and recommend it to adult readers that love suspense. Thank you Rebecca, for sharing with us your story behind the story.
Readers---Tell us about your favorite diner or experience working at one!
One commenter will be randomly selected to receive a free e-copy of A Mighty Good Man.
Here's a bit about Rebecca and how you can connect with her:
With music, books and laughter as constant companions, she grew up working, cooking and eating in the family’s restaurant business. A certified book and hoagie junkie, Rebecca thrives on live music, mysteries and the outdoors. She's a cheddar enthusiast, and lover of cats, teddy bears, hot coffee, cold beer, thunderstorms, the blast of a train’s whistle, the change of seasons, country roads, woodpeckers, spoon rings, cool office supplies, and the Food Network.
She's a sucker for a happy ending, and strives to write the kind of stories she loves to read—those featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.
Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.
Connect with Rebecca
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Check out A Mighty Good Man on Amazon.com!
Amazon Buy Link: http://bookShow.me/B00PHZ3RLC
“They pulled it.”
Hank sucked in a breath and clutched her stomach like she’d been punched. Her smartphone pressed to her ear, she ceased her inventory of the walk-in cooler and slumped on the overturned five-gallon bucket she’d been using as a step stool.
Of course they’d pulled her story. The final betrayal. And it hurt almost as much, if not more than the first blow the bastard had dealt her.
She’d gunned for it, poured her heart into it, worked the angles, taken to the streets to do research. She’d given the underage prostitutes she’d interviewed a voice, a way to spur action. Their eyes, haunted, hopeless, would always stay with her. Hot tears clogged Hank’s throat. Her story, buried—a fate she hoped wouldn’t befall the young men and women she’d met. Goddamn him—and her—to hell.
The surprise and shock she’d thought herself immune to, that she no longer had a right to, reached out and took hold of her heart with two icy hands. As she shifted on the bucket, her foot struck an open gallon container of dill pickles, upending it. She sat, staring, motionless, as cold brine sloshed out of the jar and soaked her pink high top Converse, her sock, the floor.
“Hank? Are you there?”
She forced away the tears. “Yeah, I’m here.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Thanks.” Ana was a friend; she didn’t, couldn’t know all that had happened. Hank’d never told anyone about Maurice. How could she? By calling her, Ana had done what a friend would do, and given her the dirt.
“What the hell is going on?” Ana’s voice was low, guarded. Hank pictured her in her cubicle, her head down, wary of discovery through the fabric dividers.
“I can’t talk right now. Thanks for letting me know.”
“Okay.” Ana sighed. “How is your aunt?”
“She’s going to be okay.” Hank had moved to auto pilot on that topic.
“Good. Well, call me . . . if you need anything.”
Yeah, maybe she would—for a reference. “I will.” Hank ended the call, then rested her chin on her phone, eyeballing the design of colored pencil shavings on its protective case. She set it down on one of the stainless shelves and rubbed her bare arms, her plans for taking inventory and rotating stock in the cooler forgotten for the moment. She was cold, but she didn’t care. She’d steal a moment’s peace where she could find it.
At this rate, she’d be punch drunk before long. Christ! The story was the icing on this morning’s cake. Criminals, guns, ex-cons—she hadn’t seen this much action living in New York City during the past year. She patted her pocket containing the .32, then leaned forward on the bucket, pushed the cooler door open, just enough so she could see Jack, plating up orders. Everything appeared to be under control. For the moment. She eased away, let the door swing shut again.
She toyed with the silver spoon rings on three of her fingers, one of her thumbs, noting they could use a polish. She almost snorted. So could I. Each ring was unique; some were delicate, their patterns intricate, others were wider, simpler. Each one she’d bought for herself, and in so doing, she’d begun an unplanned collection, and owned about ten now. They’d evolved into a powerful symbol of self, of her pride in non-conformity, beauty, strength. Quite a beating that self, that pride had taken.
She dug in her pocket, noted her dwindling supply of Cowboy killers. None of those highfalutin’, slim line cigarettes for her. She went at her nicotine the same way she did life—whole hog. She started to reach for her coffee in its insulated mug, but it was hours cold, and she’d already had her fill. Her belly churned, reminding her she’d missed breakfast.
How ironic was it she was right back where she started? Here, in Fiddler’s Elbow—the very place she’d resolved to escape—her career imploding, her dreams shattered, and betrayed to boot. Her aunt had made a life here, had fought to give her one, but Hank wanted more; way more than the confines of this rural hell, where football and deer hunting held reverence alongside Sunday services.
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