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Sad Lisa

You’ve found the place to learn more about Sad Lisa, book five in the Operation Quickline series, featuring Lisa Wycherly and Sid Hackbirn as undercover counter espionage agents who just might have a thing for each other – if they weren’t so busy trying not to. The paperback is $15.99 and the book $3.99, and the book runs 284 pages.

Sometimes, you have to face what’s most in your way…

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Lisa Wycherly’s secret life as a spy has always made things tricky for her social life. When her boyfriend, George Hernandez, proposes, she shocks everyone, including herself, by accepting. And no one is less thrilled by the news than Lisa’s boss and housemate, Sid Hackbirn. Not that he’s saying so, of course.

The new situation complicates their latest case – trying to follow and capture a double agent trying to bring down Operation Quickline, the ultra-secret espionage agency that Sid and Lisa work for. Then Sid gets kidnapped and rescued. George starts to resent Lisa not telling him everything that’s going on in her life. Lisa is ready to give up on men altogether, only to find that Sid has another bombshell to drop on her.

Confused and frustrated, Lisa has to keep her head together long enough to work the case – which soon blows up into the worst of all possible nightmares.

Find out more about Sid and Lisa

Download a sample chapter of Sad Lisa

How I wrote it

Sad Lisa starts with the haunting melody from the 1970 tune by then-named Cat Stevens, currently known as Yusuf. I’d loved the tune as a kid, so when Lisa Wycherly’s journey began to grow by several episodes, it seemed only natural that one of those episodes would share the title of the song. And if the story was going to share the title, then the tune should have a place in the storytelling.

Music has always been a part of the Operation Quickline series. Sid’s background as a pianist. Lisa’s nephew Darby taking up the violin and getting quite good at it. And tunes both Sid and I grew up on make occasional appearances, such as Me and Bobby McGee in Deceptive Appearances, book three. I’ve even been able to add references to some of the good stuff that came out of the 1980s as time has gone on.

But Sad Lisa isn’t just about the music. It’s about Lisa growing into her relationship with Sid and having to face the truth about her feelings for him. Sid does the same thing, but without the right relationship tools or ability to be what Lisa needs him to be, i.e. faithful sexually.

Emotions and idiocy.

The other fun part is that Sad Lisa became a very emotional book. Some months or so before I started it on the blog, a friend told me that his problem with my writing was that it wasn’t as emotionally invested as it should have been. I kept thinking as I did the final re-write that this one ought to cure him of that little notion. And the re-write was surprisingly easy in that respect. The emotions flowed because they were inherent in the action.

Still, the story telling presented a challenge: What do you do when you have a character who doesn’t usually act like an idiot, and she starts acting like an idiot? Lisa’s engagement to George is not one of her smarter moves. She’s agreeing to do something she really, really does not want to do, namely get married. She’s not in love with George, well, not that way. She does love him. So, I had to make sure that Lisa felt the doubts about the engagement, and give her a good reason for pushing them aside until she can’t anymore.

One more little tidbit. Lisa, as a Catholic, does all sorts of things that reflect her faith. In this one, she thanks St. Anthony for a parking space. My great aunt, Cora Ryan, taught me to do that. Aunt Cora was a wonderful influence on my life, and on my mother’s, so it was fun adding that little bit of business to the story in her honor.

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