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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday Sample: Blue 52

Welcome to Saturday Sample. I think today I'll share an excerpt from Blue 52. I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but that's one of my favorite books, maybe my all time favorite. I'm also sharing excerpts from Return Engagement on Sunday. Blue 52 is the sequel to Return Engagement, and I'm working on book three of the Lovinggood trilogy.

I'm going to focus on chapter one for the next few weeks. The chapter is deceptively low key; there's a lot going on. Just stay with me. If you've read Return Engagement you're already familiar with the two characters in the opening scene. If not, you can pick up Return Engagement either at Amazon or at

Chapter 1
California, 2048

Senator Henry Lovinggood dozed in the warm sunshine streaming through the window of his study. A loud, rumbling snore woke him, and he saw his aide Tim Jarvis standing in the doorway.
“Taking a little snooze, Tim,” he boomed as he scrubbed his hand across his face. “Why didn’t you wake me?”

Tim handed a phone to the senator. “You have a phone call, sir. It’s the attorney general. Of California, I mean.”

Senator Lovinggood touched the flat screen, and a hologram of Morton Williams appeared before him. “What can I do for you, Morton?”

“Senator, I’m calling you about the Prescott Flash Train.”

“What about the Flash Train?” Senator Lovinggood growled. “We’ve already had this conversation.”

“Sir, the state has made its position very clear. We have to have that land. Whether the public likes it or not, the bodies at Knollwood must be moved. Some of the Flash Train cables have to be buried, and...”

“I’ve heard it all before. I don’t believe that the engineers can’t find a way to route the train without disturbing a cemetery.”

“Sir, they say they can’t.”

The senator snorted. “I don’t believe it for—”

“Sir, it’s going to happen. President Lovinggood and his 
wife are scheduled to be disinterred on the twenty-third of November. You and your grandson should decide on a new resting place for them.”

Piqued, Senator Lovinggood rudely turned off the phone and thrust it at Tim. “Damned petty flunky,” he shouted. “Are the transportation people too wimpy to tell me themselves?”

Tim pursed his lips, reminding the senator of an overgrown guppy. “The state attorney general’s office has to approve all exhumations, Senator. Anyway, the president should have been in Arlington all along.”

The senator skewered Tim with a fiery glare. “As you doubtless know, a sitting president is required to make his funeral arrangements so that his wishes are followed in the event of his death. President Lovinggood made his wishes very clear. He wanted to be buried here in California with his family.”

Tim flushed as his lips thinned. The senator saw both apprehension and contempt in his eyes, but he had too much sense to back talk his boss. “Can I get anything for you, Senator?”

“Yes. Some coffee.”

As Tim vanished, the senator gave a brief, inward sigh. He had recruited Tim ten years ago and had regretted it many times. Tim had expected an exciting life in Washington; instead, he had gotten a quiet life in California with a senator who seldom even went to Washington anymore, not unless there was a vote he didn’t want to miss. He made his displeasure known in countless little ways. I guess I should replace him, but why bother? I’m retiring in eighteen months.

The senator heaved himself to his feet and shuffled across the study. Damned arthritis; I move like an old man, and my snot-nosed kid of a doctor had the gall to lecture me about my attitude. “You should be glad you aren’t crippled,” Grant had scolded. “Thirty years ago you wouldn’t be walking at all. You’d also be in severe pain.” 

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