Cover designed by Jeff Larson
Isn’t it puuuurty?!
I might be biased.
It’s already up in Paperback and Kindle format at Amazon and digital format at Apple. You can also get the paperback from Barnes & Noble and the Nook contents DO have the new cover, they just haven’t updated the picture on the “buy” page. I’ve contacted them and I’m sure they’ll fix it soon!
(Supposedly, Amazon will do this for you as well if you ask them nicely. I sent them an email asking for clarification on your behalf!)
And guess what else?!?! I got some postcards, magnets, and bookmarks to give away to my loyal fans:
For those of you who haven’t read First, I Love You, below this is a description of the book followed by two excerpts (the first, romantic in nature, and the second, family drama in nature).
You can read the first THREE chapters for free right here on the blog on the page “First, I Love You Excerpt“. (Those of you who have read it might be interested to know you can also read a young Tommy Gates extra scene and a James&Kiki missing moment under the tab “Short Stories and More“).
About the Book:
If Mario Puzo and Jane Austen crossed the time-space continuum and mated, FIRST, I LOVE YOU would be their literary baby.
Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.
Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved.
One part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, FIRST, I LOVE YOU isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.
FIRST, I LOVE YOU is available in print and digital format at all major eBook retailers.
“You don’t have much respect for me do you?” Kiki asked.
“On the contrary, if I ever need to know which shoes to wear to match my tie, you’d be the first person I call. If I had your number,” James said, trying to temper the sarcasm with a charming smile.
“I’m sure you already have it, along with all the other boring background check facts you recited earlier,” she rejoined, still making no move to retreat.
James admired her nerve. Maybe this princess had a bit of her father’s steel in her after all.
“That would defeat the purpose of you giving it to me,” he said.
“What purpose would that be? And you still haven’t answered my question,” she retorted.
“How about you answer one of mine first?” James asked then chuckled as she raised an eyebrow in a pretty good impression of her father. “Why would you invite your father’s old mistress to your party when she is not related to you, was no doubt the source of great pain and embarrassment for your own mother, and her presence, you had to know, would be unwelcome with at least a few of your guests?”
“I already explained my reasons to my brother. And his opinion is the only one I care about; certainly not a rude, presumptuous, party crashing boar like yourself. You don’t know a damn thing about me,” she answered, dark eyes glittering with anger.
“What I know is there’s a lot of big important grown up things going on and the last thing Tommy needs is his spoiled little sister playing games with his family, and distracting him from this case,” he said with perhaps a bit more heat than he meant but the smell of her hair and the glittering of her lip-gloss with the hall lights was distracting him and he was trying to keep his mind on the task at hand.
“How dare you? You’re the outsider here! It’s you who should butt the hell out of my family’s private issues! And you’ve the nerve to say we can be of use to each other? Why the fuck should I help you with anything?” Kiki ground out.
“Tisk, tisk, such language, little girl,” James said with a smirk. By God, she was beautiful, he couldn’t help but think. “How about we go back to your place and discuss this like rational adults,” he finished in a playful yet suggestive tone.
She let out a huff, clearly nonplussed by his forwardness. Then something flashed in her eyes, a sort of calculating, cynical and predatory look that had him feeling momentarily nonplussed himself.
“Alright. Let me say good bye to my guests. You obviously already know where I live. I’ll meet you there in a half hour,” Kiki said, cool and collected once more.
It was more like an hour when she arrived at her door, but who was counting? They said nothing to each other as she let him inside. James looked around her one bedroom apartment and thought it was nothing like he’d expected. He’d expected lots of pink or maybe something trendy with splashy colors. It was all cool metals, finished wood, and retro 50’s style furniture. Frank Lloyd Wright stills peppered the room and books lined the entirety of one wall. Her windows were left uncovered and the city lights cast interesting reflections in the room. She threw her shawl and little clutch purse on the butterfly chair by the bookshelves. Then she walked up to him and grabbed his holster. He stopped her hand.
“What are you doing?” James asked, his discomfort at having underestimated her twice in one evening making him irrationally angry.
“You should make yourself more comfortable,” Kiki said seductively.
“I thought we came here to talk?” he prevaricated, as he took his jacket, gun and badge off.
He could tell she was playing some sort of game and it spiked his irritation up a notch. His mood was all over the place, actually. There was frustration at the blocked opportunities by his partners and Downey to further the case tonight, mixed with his desire for her, the self-disgust that that brought, the irritation with her childish interference, the discomfort of knowing she was right that it wasn’t his business what went on between her and her family.
But now she had decided to take his sexual sparring and call his bluff. Except he wasn’t bluffing. Did she think he would be scared off from her family this way? Maybe that would work with her usual limp wristed boy toys or the gumbahs who were probably too afraid of her Daddy to actually make a move, but not with him.
James hooked an arm behind her back and yanked her towards him. She gasped and put her free hand on his chest, but she didn’t push him away. She kept looking at him, eyes still full of challenge and no fear. It was like something snapped in his brain and all he wanted was to wipe that look from her eyes, to make her realize lives weren’t to be played with, manipulated. To give her a taste of her own medicine.
He gripped the back of her neck with his other hand and crushed his mouth to hers. She met his kisses with equal fervor, pressing up against him. He let go of her waist and neck and began a rough exploration of her body, not bothering to be gentle. She sunk her hands into his hair and gripped painfully. Whether to give as good as she got or from passion he didn’t know. All he knew was his body was on fire for her and all he could think about was sinking into her.
“Went to supper with Mom and Kiki last night,” Tommy said.
Mickey nodded. He knew that, of course. He had someone who kept an eye on Mary at all times. He knew where she went and what she did and who she met. And he knew she knew that he knew these things. It was almost like she was taunting him these last few weeks with her activities. He wasn’t sure what she was playing at but he could practically hear the words ‘Game On’ in his head.
“They both figure that we… that is, you and I…” Tommy started to say, frustration and irritation clearly evident in his voice.
“Ah, I see. Plan A didn’t work so we’re on to Plan B? Kiki rooked Joe into some convoluted plot and now she’s guilting your mother into doing her dirty work as well?” Mickey interjected.
He sighed. This girl of his. He didn’t know if he wanted to shake her for her interference or hug her close for always, always, having his back. Tommy was half glaring at him, lips pursed. Then he, too, let out a sigh and shrugged, running his hand through his hair.
“Truth is, my mom had already mentioned something to me a couple times before last night about spending more time with you while I’m here. I think I’ve been soundly outvoted here,” Tommy said, still sounding agitated.
“And you hate that, don’t you?” Mickey asked with a smile.
This boy was so much like him sometimes it was uncanny. But he knew instinctively that would be the last thing he should say to him right now. He walked over to the wet bar in the study and fixed an Old Fashioned. It was 5:00 somewhere. He got a cooled bottle of water out for Tommy from the mini-fridge and handed it to him. Tommy was watching his movements with a wariness and body language that spoke of fatigue.
“I’ve made no secret of my desire to have you be a part of my life. Everything’s been said, what feels like a thousand times over by now. But the last thing I want is you standing in my home against your will. Out of some sense of obligation to the people you do actually care about. It pleases me to see you, but it pleases me to see you happy most of all. What would make you happy?” Mickey asked softly.
Tommy looked down at his bottle in his hand and back up at Mickey through the fringes of his hair then looked away again. He didn’t answer, but he took a drink from his water and walked to the Chippendale desk in the corner of the room. Tommy fiddled with Mickey’s Al Capone bobble head someone had given him as a joke when he first moved to Chicago. It was difficult, but Mickey bit his tongue and waited, giving Tommy the space he needed to answer.
“If I didn’t care it would be easier, wouldn’t it?” Tommy finally answered, not looking at Mickey.
Mickey remained silent, such was his shock at hearing his son say he cared about him. Or is that what he said? Maybe by ‘cared’ he simply meant ‘cared to never have anything to do with you ever’. His confusion kept him mute. Tommy finally turned and looked at him.
“It’s not like we’re strangers. Like we just met or something. We have… loved ones in common. A shared history; a few fond memories, though long ago. We’ve spent a couple holidays and family events together. But it’s not as if we’re close either. We don’t really know each other except for facts on a sheet and a superficial understanding of likes and dislikes. And, yes, that has been intentional on my part. I’ve told you why. I haven’t been able let go of my anger at you for what you put my mother through, and I can’t help but think,” Tommy stopped and ran a hand through his hair again. “What’s the point of getting to know you better? I’m still a cop and you’re still a man who has zero respect for what I do for a living. But I’ve never claimed to be indifferent. Of course I care. I care that my own father loves me, but I also care that he obviously doesn’t respect me—”
“Now hold up just one second, son! I do respect you. I am very proud of you and of the man you’ve become—”
“I care that you make me feel important and valued but treat others—”
“It’s true I don’t have any faith in law enforcement—”
“—with such breathtaking callousness and cruelty.”
“—or the justice system but I admire your dedication to it. I admire—”
“I care that you lavish us with obviously heartfelt gifts with money stolen—”
“—that you are a good person and a good example to your—”
“—from ‘dedicated’ and ‘good’ people who fear you—”
“Enough!” Mickey shouted.
The bourbon in his glass spilled all over his trembling hand and dripped to the worn wooden floor below. His stomach churned with tension and residual panic, and far from calming his nerves, the alcohol seemed to be ramping up the suffocating sensation of powerlessness that had threatened at the edges since Frank’s call. For years he had called all the shots. For years he had commanded respect from everyone around him. But with the one man whose respect he was so desperate to earn he was completely ineffectual. Everything was hanging in the balance on every front, and he couldn’t guarantee that a few loyal men and few billion dollars would be enough to protect his children and the woman he loved and he had given all that power up for this man – this man! – who refused to even see him as anything but the sum of his worst actions.
Genevieve Dewey is the author of The Downey Trilogy (First, I Love You & Second of All) and the short stories Bird Day Battalion & V-Day Aversion. She is a wife, mother, sister, friend and Anthropologist. She was raised mostly in Nebraska, partly in Arizona. She has a Master’s in Anthropology and worked as an Applied Anthropologist for years (even ran her own research company for a while) before deciding to be a stay at home mom. She loves passionate (rational) debates, reading, and libraries… oh, and Chicago and high-heels and chocolate and target practice and gangster flicks and anything with the FBI in it and run-on sentences. She lives in Nebraska with her three brilliantly diabolical children and one incredibly funny husband.
You can find me online at: