Woohoo! I finally completed the second edit of Scorpio’s Sting and will be able to send it to my editor, Caroline on Monday. I’m thrilled with the way it’s turned out. It’s changed a lot since I first submitted it, but I think with her help, we’ve tied up all the loose ends and filled the holes now.
Scorpio’s Sting is about a Drew McBain’s VMF System, which is designed to help shore up the US borders and stop the human and drug trafficking. The problem Drew comes up against is the fact that the Cartel that does business on the Arizona and California borders doesn’t like the idea of their operations being curbed.
Neelie Nelson is an agent with ICE–Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and she has to handle human trafficking. She and Drew meet in unusual circumstances and find that they have a common goal.
Drew is forced to seek help from the very people he is going to prevent from crossing our borders–the illegal immigrants.
The story came into my mind one afternoon when my friend and co-worker in Young, Arizona received a panicked call from her brother. He had an illegal Mexican working for him, as many people do in Arizona and California. Let’s call him Juan, and he had a big problem. He had paid the drug kingpin to bring his wife over the border. The men who escort illegals are called ‘coyotes’, and the coyote had crossed the border with her, but was now demanding another $3,000.00 or he would abandon her in an undisclosed location in the desert with no water or food. My friend’s brother had to help him find $3,000.00 in a hurry. They were only given 24 hours. As far as I am aware, they were able to scrape up the money and the story had a happy ending, but ever since that day my heart has gone out to those whose story doesn’t end in joy, and that’s what his book is about.
Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter:
Drew McBain’s eyes opened wide, and before he could do anything to stop her, a smoking hot blonde filled his arms. “Watch it!” he said.
“Oh no, I’m so sorry,” she yelped.
“You should look where you’re going.” She smelled good, and he had just groped a delectable, firm breast. “I didn’t mean to . . . ”
She ran her tongue over her lower lip, and for a moment their eyes met. “I’m sorry, again.” She held up the cell phone she had been checking. “My bad. I’m late for work.”
He released his hold on her, and watched her ass until she disappeared into the darkness. He blew out air, and headed into the Sand Swamp bar, where he had arranged to meet his friend, Dan Lemar after work, for a beer.
“You missed Neelie,” Dan said. “I told you not to be late.”
Drew slid onto a stool and the bartender pushed an icy mug of beer over the glossy counter to him. He took a long swallow, and stared at the doorway. “She left already?”
“Yup. Special Agent Cornelia Nelson. She’s as hot as a summer revival. If I wasn’t married . . .” Dan ran a hand through his short hair. “You might have even passed her on your way in.”
“I wasn’t really looking at anyone except the blonde who ran into me. What are the odds that would be her? What’s she doing in San Diego anyhow? Doesn’t she live in Arizona?” She didn’t act like she was in law enforcement, but it’s possible that was her.
“Yeah. She’s working undercover here in San Diego on some secret assignment. We often have to work together as you know, and I invited her for a drink. As it turned out, she couldn’t drink any alcohol because she had to go do whatever it is she does. I was hoping you’d be on time so I could introduce her to you. She had to leave in a hurry.”
“Blond, about so high?” Drew held his hand palm down. “Green eyes?”
Dan nodded. “Yup. That was Neelie.”
“How long’s she gonna be in town?”
Dan grinned. “Let me guess. You want me to arrange another meeting.”
If she’s the blonde, sure. “Can you?” He could still picture every detail of the unexpected incident. The way she looked, the way she smelled, and the delectable hormone-jerking feel of her breast in his hand. He could use more time with her.
“I’ll see what I can do. It’ll depend on her work schedule. How are things going with that contraption you’re manufacturing? With all these kids being sent alone from Mexico across our borders we need it like yesterday. And if it can put a dent in the drug trade that’s an added bonus.”
Drew nodded. “The federal government is taking the VMF System seriously at last. I’m meeting with a Specialist from the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection Office of Procurement in a couple of weeks.”
“I’ll never understand how the thing works.” Dan took a long drink of his beer.
“It’s not easy to explain the VMF System because there are multiple elements to it. You have to understand quantum physics, and geophysics, not to mention UAV or drone technology.” Drew signaled for more drinks and waited while the bartender poured two draft beers from the taps and slid them over the counter.
“I mean, a virtual mine field. What is that? It sounds like sci-fi to me, or a case of bullshit baffles brains.”
Drew took a sip, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and smiled at Dan’s description. “The Virtual Mine Field is real. Anyone who steps within range of the sensors will get kicked back the way he came.”
“But he won’t get hurt? In other words, it’s not gonna deliver anything close to a fatal jolt of electricity.”
“No. That’s the big selling point. Nobody wants to electrify the fences on the borders because they don’t want a whole bunch of dead people to deal with, like what happens in other parts of the world. And now with the rash of kids . . .This’ll knock them over, but no normal, healthy person will get hurt.”
Coming soon. . . . Still waiting for the final cover from the wonderful artists at Soul Mate Publishing, The one on this page is a temp one I made myself.