Cali's new squad
Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
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Cali's new squad

There are so many things that an author can do to market their work. I am going to try something new. There is such a thing as vanity publishing. This is where you pay the publishing company to publish your book. Depending upon the company, you might need to convince the company, just as you would convince a conventional publishing company to print your book. Others will print anything given enough money. I have one book, Is Homosexuality a Sin, in a publishing company like the first one. I had an agent, of sorts, that helped me to find this company. It was a long process. You can find the letter that I wrote to attract the publisher on the page for the book. This is one way to attract a publisher. It was not what I wanted in the beginning, but it is a step up from self-publishing. There is another method to help a person find a publisher. You can hire a company to act something like an agent to promote your work. They are vey clear, they are not agents, but they can help you to write query letters and they present your work to agents and publishers that would be interested in your specific piece.
With a company like this, if you want their full service, in other words, if you want them to do more than just add your work to a long list of works and actually promote your piece, then you need to pass their vetting process. You need to impress them, much like an agent or publisher. I was asked to apply to one of these companies. This invitation is not unusual. They are always looking for new clients. What is interesting is that I put in Veterans and was denied. They did not tell me why, but I believe that it is because that book is just too shocking for a first book. It has an extremely limited readership. What is interesting is after they denied the work, instead of dropping it and walking away as most companies would, they sent me a personal invitation to try again.
I had indicated when I applied with Veteran that I had other works, they invited me to send them one of those works. This tells me that they liked my work, they just didn't feel comfortable trying to market Veteran. So, I sent them Forever, Love. I hope that it is more the style that they are looking for. I hate to pay for someone else to find me a publisher but, at this point I will do what it takes to get my work out there. I am also still sending Michael's Folly to Daws books this week. The manuscript is almost 400 pages long. Still I expect competition to be fierce for one of the few slots that Daws publishes each year.
In the meantime, I am still writing my latest Cali adventure, and here is the next chapter.
Cali’s new squad
The break room had too many people in it so Cali called a meeting of her squad in one of the conference rooms on the second floor. It wasa simple room. A table in the center surrounded by chairs. A television sat atone end of the room next to a pull down movie screen. Cali stood at the head of the table. Tao sat at her right.
She looked around the table. She recognized the two that had been Detectives before she had gone on vacation. Detective Bryce Wood sat at the end. He was young and fairly handsome with one of those scruffy not quite a beard on his face. As she could recall, Wood was still trying to prove himself. He was fairly new to the gold shield. But, he was solid.
Detective Mandesa Copeland was the other face that she recognized. She smiled when she saw Copeland. Of all the Detectives in the department, this one was one that she would have requested, if she had been here for the forming of this squad. Copeland was a muscular, thin runner type with ebony colored skin. She kept her thick kinky hair cropped short, and she wore very little make-up. Cali didn’t think she would look good with make-up.
The young man that was sitting next to Wood, could have been his brother. He also had a scruffy not beard. Other than that Cali couldn’t tell what he looked like. He was in a full suit. It was baby blue with a tie to match. He appeared to be of average weight and height, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. Baby blue, was not a good color on him.
The young man sitting next to Copeland was wearing a sport jacket over a polo and blue jeans. He looked seasoned, but his darting eyes and strained neck muscles gave him away. He was clean shaven and looked to be a bit thicker of body than boy number one. He had non-descript brown hair with dark hazel eyes.
It took Cali a matter of seconds to make her assessments “Welcome, Detectives Wood and Copeland, it’s good to see you again. I hope that no-one roped you into this duty.”
They both grinned. Wood tried to defer to Copeland but, she insisted he address Cali first. “No-one needed to rope me in Sergeant. When they decided to divide the department up into squads like this, I asked to be placed on your squad, and you can call me Bryce.”
Cali nodded. Inside she was surprised. Why would anyone in their right minds request to work with me?
It was Copeland’s turn. “I also requested your squad. Although I know for a fact, that a lot of Detectives requested your squad. We just had the best reasons, I guess. I for one have been wanting to work with you again for quite a while.” She had worked briefly with Cali on a kidnapping case. It was the very case in which Cali had been shot in the hand and received the nice white scar that she was showing around. “And my name is Mandi, unless I’m in trouble, or we’re talking to the press.” Her comment was said with as mile and elicited giggles throughout the room. Mandi spoke with a South African accent, one that was often mistaken as Australian.  
“Well, I had no idea.” She glanced at Tao. “I’ve been a bit out of the loop. Thank you both for joining us. I’m new to this whole idea, so we may hit a few bumps in the beginning, but I’m sure that we can learn to become an effective team. First off, I suppose I should meet your new partners.” She pointed at young man number one, sitting next to Wood.
He sat up straight and began by stuttering. “I’m… my name is… that is I’m Detective Nathan Trapp.”
Cali ignored the stuttering. There would be time later to find out if the man could be teased. “Welcome Nathan, and you young man, what’s your name?” She turned to the sport coat.
“Lyndon Jasper ma’am. My friends call me Lyn.” His hand was shaking, but at least he didn’t stutter.
“Welcome Lyn and congratulations to you both on making Detective. I’m not sure what Tao has told you but, I can guess. As I said this is new to me. That means that I’ll be making up the rules as we go along. That being said, I do have a few rules that I tend to live by, and you should know if we’re to get along. First off, be professional. Do not give the press, or anyone else anything that they can use against you, or any of us. If that means biting your tongue, then I would rather see real blood on your tongue than proverbial blood in the water and sharks circling. Next, you see with your eyes, not your hands. Don’t touch anything until you know what you are doing, and then you had better have gloves on. This is not television. We do not enter a crime scene, and begin touching, and moving, and breathing on everything. Next, don’t jump to conclusions. That being said, do think about what you are seeing, and try to extrapolate the information and formulate a logical chain of events or probability. Next, it’s okay, and I even encouraged you, to ask questions, just be smart about it. Learn when asking a question is appropriate, and when it is not. And finally, I’m not generally a very talkative person, and when I’m on a case, I can be downright surly. Don’t take it personal, unless I tell you that it is. Okay… that’s enough of that. Are there any questions?” 
Lyn very tentatively raised his hand. It wasn’t like a second grader would raise their hand, he kind of just held it out away from his body. “I was wondering ma’am, do you know what we will be working on?”
“That’s a good question Lyn. I wish that I could tell you that we’ll be working on a major murder investigation. But, I can’t. You might already know that Gronkowski and his squad are working on the departments only murder case, and Surrey and his squad are working on a kidnapping. That means that we get what is left over.”
“Which is?” Bryce asked when neither rookie did.
“A missing person case. Mrs. Linda Sumner has gone missing. It could be a murder or it could be that she just got out of a bad situation. I don’t know. We have preliminary reports taken by the boys in blue. We have some pictures and a few pieces of personal clothing… oh and a few pictures.”
The room fell silent. This is where you’re supposed to make assignments. Tao and Ray had told her how a team worked, since she had never participated in team sports in school. It was simple actually, everyone had their job. If everyone did their jobs right, then the team benefited. If someone didn’t do their job right, then the team suffered. Cali had prepared for this meeting by reading the files of all of her new squad members. She knew what they could do, what they couldn’t do, and what they needed encouragement to do. Now it was time to find out if she was the leader that everyone wanted her to be.
Live well and be good to each other.

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