Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Water Lord by Matt Minor


Genre: Political Suspense
Publisher: Dead Tree Publishing
Publication Date: April 2, 2018
Number of Pages: 249 pages

     A town has gone dry, and the general manager of a water district is found dead, presumably a suicide. His crazed widow is in denial and recklessly loose-lipped. Texas House District 100 is again in turmoil, and the interests of the landed class against urban sprawl are at odds.

    Enter John David Dothan (The Representative).
 The world’s hippest legislator is back, but he is a changed man. Post-stroke Dothan dons an eccentric cane and is married to his former chief of staff, Tryphena Taylor. The two lovers reside peacefully tucked away in a country cottage with their rescued cat. But they are swimming against the tide. 

     Caught between the past and the future, the rural and the urban, the representative is trapped in a no-win situation both politically and emotionally. When a constituent brings to his attention a mysterious ‘retention pond’ things grow increasingly murky. The waters turn completely dark when Dothan learns his forbidden first love, former State Senator Rachael Logan has been hospitalized.

     Armed with only his cane and sidekick, Mason Dixon (The District Manager), who serves as his new Chief of Staff, Dothan sets aside the ambiguities of politics and love in search of clarity and righteousness. But the cost of doing the right thing might not just be his young marriage…but Tryphena’s life.

Chapter 1, Part 1

1. Tryphena

“John David!” I called out from the back porch of the cabin. “You’d better get on the road, baby. It’s getting dark!”

John David stood against a blazing sky. In the foreground, his hair disheveled by the wind, his silhouette dominated the naked winter trees that shook on the horizon.

“John David?” I called again, plaintively.

He broke from his frozen stance and started toward me. In his black suit, white shirt, and black tie, he looked the image of the poet Tennyson as I remembered him from an old high school textbook—before the beard and accolades kicked in. But the dragon-coiled cane that cast a hip dignity, and the awkward limp that bestowed humility—these…these were all his own.

I slipped inside. He exited the dying flames and entered the house.

“I hate leaving you on Sunday. We’ve barely had any time together. I should just wait ’til morning,” he lamented.

“You’ll regret it, baby, you know you will. You hate getting up early.”

“I know you’re right. I just feel guilty.”

“We’ll have our honeymoon when the legislative session is over.”

“June? That’s seems like a lifetime from now.”

“It will be here before we know it.”

“What about getting away for MLK Day?” he asked, setting his cane against the sofa. Before I could answer, he clasped me by the waist and pulled me toward him.

“Careful, baby,” I warned. I worried he might lose his balance.

“I’m fine. What do you say?”

“Where would we go?” I asked as I snuggled into his well-dressed chest.

“Somewhere within driving distance: The Hill Country, New Orleans.”

“Mmm, both sound nice,” I purred as the spell of his cologne overtook me. I looked up at his chiseled face, a woman in love. “Your hair is getting so long,” was the only thing I could think to say.

“You think I should cut it off? Some of those bastard legislators look at me like I’m a hippie loser.”

“They’re just jealous, baby. Don’t cut it. Hell, don’t comb it. Just own it.”

“So what about next weekend?”

“I have to study, John David.”

“Think about it.” He released me, and then, with a slight wobble, reached for his cane.

“John David, please be careful!”

“I’m fine,” he coolly replied.

As he went into the bedroom to pack his things, I went to the kitchen to organize his meals. Post-stroke there was very little that he could really eat that he liked. I had to get creative. I’d spent the previous week poring over cookbooks, and the weekend grilling chicken and fish with various low sodium marinades. As I stuffed the fillets in their respective-sized baggies, I found myself laughing inside. What domesticity. If only the college girl I was a few years ago could see me now: in the kitchen cooking for a man! She would probably flip out.

Actually, I had never been so content. I should have known that it wouldn’t last. A woman in love is a fool. But if foolishness is the price of happiness, however brief, so be it, I say. Occasional lamentation is always better than lifelong bitterness.

With his meals neatly packed and stacked on the kitchen table, I stood and waited for John David to kiss me goodbye. He repeatedly blew past as he came and went from the truck and house. His last stop was the kitchen table and my lips. We kissed for what seemed like ten minutes as I dangled from his arms. His grip was strong and abrupt. Not what one would expect from a man who had suffered what he had. I felt as if I’d just jumped from a merry-go-round revolving at top speed upon release. He had that effect.

I followed him to the driveway. “Call me when you get to your apartment,” I told him as he sat in his recently restored pickup with the window rolled down.

“I will, Tryphena. I love you.”

“I love you too, John David.” We pecked.

I watched as the ’74 Ford wound its way out the front gate of our property and onto the highway. Back in the cabin, I set about doing domestic things. I folded laundry, loaded the dishwasher, and vacuumed the den rug. I’d finally sat down to go over my legal materials when the landline rang. It was a local number I did not recognize.


“Yes,” I answered. I was confused, as I did not recognize the voice.

“This is Karl Cook. Commissioner Karl Cook!” he sounded alarmed.

“Yes, Karl…how are you? Sorry I didn’t recognize your voice.”

“No worries, is JD there?”

“No, actually he just left for Austin. They’re on the floor in the morning, voting on House rules, or something. Do you have his cell?”

“No, I don’t. Would you mind giving it to me?”

“Of course not. Got a pen?” After I gave the number, there was a pause. “Something wrong, Karl?”

“Yeah..., yeah there is. Do you know who Chip Carlson is?”

“Hmm, doesn’t he have something to do with the county water district?” I vaguely recalled an introduction at John David’s victory party that past November.

“Right!” he shouted. “Chip’s the General Manager…or was…”

To be continued on the 1/12/19 tour stop with Lone Star Book Blog Tours!
"Great pacing and a well-written storyline. I look forward to reading more from Matt Minor!" - My Reading Addiction

"Matt Minor has great attention to detail and makes everything from the setting to the characters feel very real. It makes for a wonderfully written and very suspenseful novel." - Momma and Her Stories

"A well-crafted suspense! The plot kept me turning the pages and I finished this novel very fast. Matt Minor's voice is a breath of fresh air, smart, witty and full of twists... I will read more books by this author!" - Indie Express

"Matt Minor has created a novel in which the main character shows growth...I like flawed characters and if they can overcome things, it really speaks to me." - A Life Through Books
Matt Minor presently serves as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. In the Texas House he has served under the Pensions Committee, Government Efficiency and Reform, Investments and Financial Services, Bond Indebtedness, and Way and Means. He has worked as a political campaign manager and is a public speaker. Matt has authored official state publications, oversees syndicated editorials, (both political and cultural) and is a speech writer and district radio legislative commentator. Prior to his life in state politics, Matt was a professional musician and entertainer. Matt’s hobbies are centered on the arts, including the craft of poetry, an interest that has brought academic recognition and numerous awards.

His first novel, The Representative was an Amazon Political Fiction Bestseller the summer of 2015, and was accepted and archived into the Texas State Legislative Library. In April of 2016, The Representative won an IPPY Gold medal for Southern Fiction. In the summer of 2016 he released his second novel, The District Manager.

Matt Minor resides on his ranch property in Wharton County, Texas. He lives in Austin during legislative session. 

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JANUARY 8-17, 2019
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1 comment:

  1. I love anything to do with water, so I had to check this out. Thanks for sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental