Give Jillian a big hello! She`s a fellow Secret Cravings author, and has a new release with the incredibly clever title, Tequila Mockingbird. The floor is yours, Jillian.
Thanks for having me here, Vicki! I appreciate the invite. It’s a nice warm day here on the sunny gulf coast of Florida and I wanted to share a little about my story Tequila Mockingbird. It is set in Los Angeles as well as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
A few years ago, my sister turned 50 and invited me to accompany her on a Mexican Riviera cruise. We hit three ports of call including Puerto Vallarta. When we were there, we took a bus/walking tour and traveled quite a distance- from the shore to the edge of the jungle. It was awesome- and I even held an iguana. I was pleasantly surprised at the texture of that guy. His skin was soft to the touch and not at all scaly like I thought it would be.
As we rode the bus up into the mountains and the guide pointed out where the movie, Night of the Iguana was filmed as well as the house Liz Taylor lived in when she was there with Richard Burton, I was inspired to one day write a story based in the area. It’s really cool how the town on the waterfront with the beaches turns to tree-lined streets and then eventually to jungle. The views looking down to the water from the highs of the edge of the mountains are breathtaking. Such beauty in the world inspires me as well.
The name of this story comes from my two sons. We live in the south- about two hours from where the story To Kill a Mockingbird was written and so, of course, the kids in school here must read the novel. Each of my sons would come in from school and tell me they had to read a few more chapters each night. They both slurred the title and said it so fast, I heard it as Tequila Mockingbird. I actually had the title for two years before I thought of a story to go with it. And what better than a story set in Mexico- the home of tequila?
BLURB:Two years ago, Kestral Falco was an up and coming prosecuting attorney in Los Angeles. His life was set until he found out his fiancée cheated on him. In a misguided attempt to be chivalrous, he let her put the blame on him, never imagining the repercussions. Treated as an outcast, he leaves the practice of law and moves to Mexico where he’s recruited to join the Drug Enforcement Agency and go undercover to fight the war on drugs. His code name is Mockingbird.
Rachel Newsome, a defense lawyer who blames Kes for breaking her friend’s heart, has a client who desperately wants to find out Mockingbird’s true identity. When Rachel’s sister is kidnapped and taken to Mexico, Rachel becomes desperate to find her. She’s more than a little upset when she’s forced to team up with Kes as he has the knowledge Rachel needs to help save her sibling.
A week after the fiasco at the bar, Rachel strolled down the corridor at the courthouse after her motion hearing concluded. Her briefcase bulged with the file from hell. This case would be the death of her. Both of her opposing counsels were named Michael but one went by Mike. They were also like little boys in a playground. She thought of them as two kids playing tug-of-war while she sat back on the swing set and watched the action. She was convinced that eventually she would win the case and it was just a matter of how bloody it would get between them before the final bell rang. Good thing she liked her client.
As she strolled alone she waved to several colleagues who passed by. She turned the corner. Up ahead she recognized several male lawyers congregated around the area near the stairwell. They were laughing and making a lot of noise. Her stomach clenched when she recognized one of them.
Orry Falco leaned against the wall with one hand in the pocket of his dress slacks. She’d seen him off and on in the courthouse in the two years since his brother Kes had jilted her friend at the altar and left town but the easy friendship of the past was gone. Kes had left a swath of bitter feelings in his wake and a lot of relationships changed due to his selfish actions.
Rachel hoped Orry wouldn’t notice her but no such luck. Almost as soon as she arrived at the stairs with the intention to sneak past the rowdy group, he turned. His eyes widened and he jerked his head back around.
Now a little peeved, Rachel wondered what the heck that was all about. Really? They couldn’t even be cordially distant now? He was going to flat-out snub her?
She stopped in her tracks and peered around his back to see who else was in the crowd. She sucked in a breath when she saw the profile of a buff man with a ponytail and a scruffy beard. Could it be the same man from the bar? The one she’d thought was so sexy getting into the cab?
The crowd parted and the man with the ponytail turned around. Rachel did gasp then. Loudly. She dropped her briefcase. It landed with an echoing thud at her feet.
“Rachel Newsome. What a pleasant surprise.” The tone of Kestrel Falco’s voice told her that he was anything but pleased. He bent down and picked up her briefcase. “Yours, I presume?”
She snatched it from his hand. “Yes.” God, he’d changed physically. He’d always been handsome but gone was the staid lawyer in the three-piece suit with the short haircut. In his place was a man in a pair of jeans and a white shirt who could be a god from Mount Olympus. He’d bulked up, his long hair in the ponytail was dead sexy and she didn’t even want to think about what the scruff on his face would feel like if she touched it.
“Most people would respond with a thank you.”
“Thank you.” She came back to herself and snapped the answer more harshly than she’d intended.
“Oh, dear. She didn’t sound very grateful, did she fellows?” one of the men in the crowd asked.
The rest of them all guffawed their agreement.
Rachel tucked the briefcase under her arm. “You all do know this is a courthouse, right? You’re all making way too much noise. This isn’t a bar or a men’s club.”
“Well, not to be mean, Rachel, but it really is a men’s club. Or at least it was until you walked up,” one of the men she didn’t know said.
“How do you know who I am?” she asked the rude jerk.
“Everyone knows the ice princess.” He sneered.
“Ice princess? What does that mean?”
“It’s the reputation you have around here, Rach,” Orry said.
“And you know, princess, if it was truly a men’s club, we’d have some hot chick here half-naked, not a prissy stuck-up female lawyer who probably hasn’t been laid in five years.” The jerk lawyer stepped forward and into Rachel’s personal space.
Before she could react, Kes moved closer. “Cut it out, Jack. That was uncalled for and rude. Apologize to the lady.”
“Why should I? Why should you defend her honor anyway? Isn’t she Deidre’s pal?”
“She is but that’s no reason to be rude.” Kes’s voice lowered an octave, which actually scared Rachel. She’d never seen him so tense and wired. He acted as if he was going to lunge at the man.
Jack raised his hands in front of his face in a defensive posture. “Sorry, Kes. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Don’t apologize to me. Apologize to her.” Kes, fists clenched, tilted his head toward her. “And you better be sincere about it.”
“I’m sorry I called you an ice princess, Rachel.”
Kes literally growled. He sprang forward. His brother grabbed him. “Let it go, bro. He’s not worth it.”
“I’m going to head to my hearing now.” Jack sneered again and walked away.
Rachel looked up at Kes. She didn’t remember him being that tall before. Maybe it was all the new muscle definition. “Thanks for trying to make him apologize. Some people are cruel and there’s no dealing with them, but I appreciate your effort.”
“You’re welcome.” Kes bowed. “I better go now. I have a meeting with one of the prosecutors to discuss my testimony tomorrow.”
“So you’re here for a case?”
“Yeah, I am. As a witness though, not a lawyer.”
“Interesting change of position there, isn’t it?”
“Sort of but not really. It’s not like I’m on trial.”
“Good luck then.” Rachel moved down the stairs.
Before she got more than three down, Kes called after her. “You can’t even say it was nice to see me?”
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