Welcome back to BADASS Women Week – Day #5! I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Carmen and Kristi, and watching the fight scene from Atomic Blonde.
Since DAKOTA BURN goes live tomorrow (!), today I’m going to share with you a short excerpt, and a little bit about why I wrote the book. But first, here’s a link to an outstanding list of badass women through history: https://www.boredpanda.com/women-who-changed-history/
People always ask me where I get my ideas. I’m not gonna lie–I find a lot of them from the news. If something pisses me off, that’s a pretty good sign that I will probably write a book about it.
Case in point: Dakota Burn. I was sitting in the doctor’s office paging through Time magazine, and ran across an article depicting one woman’s battle to help trafficked victims in the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota.
A victim herself, this woman had been working to help others who’d been trafficked but wasn’t receiving a lot of support, either from the state of North Dakota, or anywhere else, for that matter.
After I read that article, it occurred to me that I might be just the person to shed some light on the problem. I’ve got family in North Dakota–specifically near the Bakken–and know the area pretty well. That, coupled with the fact that reading or hearing anything about human trafficking pisses me off, and I was determined to do something.
Enter Dakota Burn. And *bonus*, I got to bring back a series favorite, ex-poacher Derek van der Haar from Cargo.
An ex-poacher and a former assassin–what could go wrong?
Add in some unsavory, ruthless types who traffick kids, the East Coast Mob, and Leine’s penchant for exacting justice by any means necessary, and you’ve got an explosive storyline (I do like my incendiary devices 😀 )
Here’s an excerpt from Dakota Burn:
Lucky zipped the bank bag closed and handed it to her bouncer, Bruce.
“Make sure you deposit it before the bank closes.”
Bruce gave her a nod. “No problem, Lucky. You need me before my shift?”
Lucky shook her head. “Not tonight, hon.” She opened the cash register and handed him a fifty. “Go have a nice dinner with your girlfriend, what’s her name.”
Bruce accepted the cash and grinned. “You sure you don’t want to be my date?”
“Go on, get outta here.” Smiling, she waved him away, sending him out the door. He sure as hell knew how to make a gal blush. If she was thirty years younger she’d definitely give him something to think about. With a sigh, Lucky turned back to her laptop. Analyzing revenue trends wasn’t sexy, but it was the next best thing.
Lucky shook a cigarette out of the pack next to her laptop and lit up. Ever since the engineers figured a cheaper way to get oil out of the Bakken, business was up two thousand percent. That’s the way things went in a boomtown. One year you’re eating shit off of politicians’ shoes, the next you’re flying high and no one can stop you.
She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lucky and her stable of ladies had filled a vacuum—the other strip club operating in town went tits up, literally, after the last boom bottomed out, and couldn’t fund a reopening. Enter Lucky and her East Coast connections—a group of old-school mobsters that set her up in the former club, promising to help her expand as soon as she showed a profit.
That was two years ago, and she’d made a hefty profit both years. It was hard not to, what with the overabundance of single, bored, horny men, pretty strippers, hookers, and booze. Hell, the food she served—if you could call it that—was an afterthought. All cheap, pre-frozen appetizers that only needed a microwave or a toaster oven. No one cared. Early on, one of the waitresses had come to her with the idea of expanding the menu, but Lucky stopped her cold. The overhead stank, and spoilage would have been too much of a concern.
Besides, Lucky knew she wasn’t anything other than a madam who ran a covert stable of prostitutes out of a titty bar in Small Town, North Dakota. Wasn’t much sense in Lucky’s trying to be an upscale supper club. She didn’t want to hire more waitresses, for one thing. Most of the dancers worked two-week contracts except for a couple of regulars. No full-timers, no insurance or set wages, no paid time off. Kept things fresh for the customers.
And cheap for her.
“Hey, Lucky.” Chloe waved as she walked in the door. A dry cleaner bag with her costume for the evening was draped over her arm. “You hear about that big explosion outside of town?”
“I sure did. That’s the most excitement we’ve had around here in months.”
“Any news on where or what caused it?”
Lucky shook her head. “Should be hearing something soon, though. News carries fast in this town.”
“Sure does.” Smiling, Chloe shook her head and continued to the changing room. Lucky watched the Nordic blonde disappear down the darkened hallway, and then returned to her numbers.
That girl was a find. Not only a pro dancer who didn’t do drugs and showed up when she was supposed to, Chloe was also working toward becoming a paramedic. Lucky just wished she could talk her into turning a few tricks. The boys from the Bakken liked big, strong blondes with back and shoulder tats—there wasn’t a night that went by someone didn’t offer big bucks to take her home. They’d both be rich.
Who was she kidding? The boys from the Bakken liked women, full stop. And Lucky was already rich.
What early readers are saying about Dakota Burn (pre-order here):
“…a clever, fast moving, and thrilling story.” ~Christine
“…it’s a fast paced, adrenaline junkie ride, full throttle all the way.”~ Looseboots
“Another cracking thriller from a cracking author. She is certainly one deadly lady. And you all know what I feel about feisty females. Cannot wait for the next one. Highly recommended.”~SilverSurfer
“Intense. I purposely only read this during the day. Good thing. Reading this at night would’ve caused me to lose sleep.”~KC
“…You cannot possibly stop reading till you have finished. Nor can you manage to keep your blood below the boiling point. Another great read, another page burner. Actually a chapter burner…IT IS A MUST READ.”~T. Hart
Be sure to stop by tomorrow and enter to win a signed paperback copy of Dakota Burn and a limited edition Dakota Burn T-shirt!
Until then, be your badass self 🙂
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