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Deceptive Appearances

She was someone no one would suspect

Deceptive Appearances is book three in the Operation Quickline series. Lisa and Sid get pushed into an investigation from her home town. You can pick it up from your favorite retailer by clicking below. The paperback costs $14.99, and the ebook is only $3.99. The book runs just over 200 pages.

Deceptive Appearances Synopsis

Heading for a simple pickup in Stateline, Nevada, Lisa Wycherly was nervous. She and Sid Hackbirn, her partner in Operation Quickline, had been asked to not hide behind their usual aliases, but work as themselves. After all, Lisa’s hometown was just across the state line in South Lake Tahoe, and thanks to her good girl reputation in town, odds were excellent no one would pick her as an undercover counter-espionage operative.

But it was Sid who first ran into an old friend from high school – his teacher and former lover Della Riordan, who was murdered shortly after leaving Sid that night. Then Lisa found a small box filled with cocaine instead of the coded instructions she’d been expecting from the pickup. Sid got tagged as the main suspect in Riordan’s murder and took full advantage of all the women who threw themselves at him as a result.

With Sid cutting a randy swathe through the female population on both sides of the state line, the last thing Lisa needed was her parents coming home early from a trip. The only thing worse was finding out that her father’s store might be at the center of a drug ring, let alone harboring a spy selling secrets to the other side. With a crooked cop bent on setting Sid and Lisa up for the murder and an enemy agent spying on them, keeping their secret from Lisa’s family will be almost as hard as staying out of jail.

Check out all of Lisa and Sid’s adventures

Read the first chapter here

How this one came to life

I love the title Deceptive Appearances. It really describes who Lisa and Sid are. Lisa seems like a “nice girl,” but while she is a nice person, she’s not “nice.” She has her principles, but thinks about what she believes and can adjust her thinking as needed. She is also very shy, which doesn’t always come up in the series because we’re hearing everything from her point of view. And she can get up in front of a classroom and teach effectively. She can also stand up to folks who are giving her grief, especially when she’s protecting somebody she cares about, as we see in the second chapter of this novel.

The same with Sid. He’s not a sleazebag, even though he sleeps around. I worked hard to make that the case. He grew up with the idea of free love being a good thing. He is a very caring person and will not violate free consent. Although he generally avoids emotional connections, over the years, I’m seeing that it’s probably his experience in the Vietnam war driving that. He’s clearly capable of connecting – we see that not only with Lisa, but in his relationship with Lisa’s sister Mae, Mae’s kids and husband, Neil.

Neither of them would seem likely undercover operatives. Nice church girls don’t do that, and Sid’s swinging habits are actually kind of dangerous for someone in his business. In fact, I make James Bond jokes about that all the time.

Other stuff going on

Even if Deceptive Appearances alludes more to Lisa and Sid’s personalities and circumstances, there’s a lot of deceptive stuff going on. In some ways, it might seem like the plot has a lot of coincidences, but they’re not, really. It’s just that Lisa, at the point when she’s writing this, doesn’t know that hers and Sid’s presence and her father’s involvement in the case, are anything but a coincidence. Alas, you’re going to have to wait a few years for that book to come out, but it is in the cards. I promise.

The other thing I love about this installment is the way I wrap the Janis Joplin tune “Me and Bobby McGee” around it. I’m not sure why that tune hit me that way. But one of the last lines about trading the future to relive the past really seemed to connect with the story. That, and Lisa gets a little carried away singing it, and that’s fun.

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