#CreamCityHustle – Update #1

August 12th – Update #1 

Below is the first paragraph from my novel in progress, Cream City Hustle. The opening paragraph introduces the story’s protagonist, Marcus. At this point, I have about 13,000 words written and it is going well as I have a very good idea where I want the story to go. Also of note, some subtle changes have been made to the book’s cover. See Below. The leaf has been brought to the fore, weaved between the ‘L’ and ‘E’ in Hustle.

     “Damn!” Marcus swore under his breath as he blew into his cupped hands, trying to warm them and fend off the cold November air. One day, not soon unfortunately, he would leave this city behind. As much as he loved catching the occasional Brewer’s game in the spring, spending time at Lake Michigan in the summer and watching the Packers in the fall, he hated winters in Milwaukee, his hometown and the place he had called home all 19 years of his life. Absolutely hated it! “What did you say?”asked Train. “I hate the snow and it’s too damn cold out here,” Marcus told him, blowing more hot air into his cupped hands. “How much longer will we have to wait?” It was a rhetorical question of course. Like him, Train had no idea how much longer they would have to wait for Trevor, Marcus’ supplier.

August 6th – Introduction to Cream City Hustle

I recently started my first novel, Cream City Hustle, a personal finance thriller set in Milwaukee. I’m looking for a good name (nickname) for the antagonist, a would be drug kingpin. Any suggestions? I’ll be sure to give a shout out in the Acknowledgements to the person that comes up with the chosen name when the book is published.

I plan to offer updates as I make progress. Look for a preview of the first paragraph or two next week. I look forward to getting reader feedback.

This is the working book cover…

Cream City Hustle Cover

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. How do you write a novel? One word at a time. Good start. I noted you used the word “Damn” 2 times. Something I would call a ‘weak word’. Is there a local word that could fit in? “Oofdah” it is cold. Or maybe go stronger “Fing shitballs” it is cold. I think harsh cuss words are overused these days. Go to a Sara Bareilles concert and she drops F bombs 20-30 times. Cute from a cute girl, but overused.

    I look forward to seeing the progress. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yep, definitely one word at a time 🙂 A couple damns early but not overdone throughout the book. About 16,500 words in and nothing worse than damn and shit so far; no ‘F’ bombs to this point. Thanks for following the progress. Look for the next update around the end of the month. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. How cool that you are writing a novel, James! The opening paragraph works for me! I love the cover picture as well. I’ve often thought of writing a novel. I will be interested to follow your journey on this endeavour.

    • Thanks, Deb. It isn’t something I thought about until recently. So far, it is going well as I have a clear idea of the story’s arc and writing has come easily. I already have some ideas on a second novel. What I’m most interested in is the idea of the novels being Personal Finance Thrillers. Even the more broad genre, Finance Thrillers, seems to be fairly small. We’ll see. I hope people continue to drop by and give feedback as I provide periodic updates.

  3. Love the cover! The first paragraph has me intrigued as well. Cream City Hustle, I like it. Looking forward to reading the book.

    • Thanks, Karen. Look for another paragraph or two, along with more bits of information, in two weeks. I’m hoping the book will be ready for publishing in November.

  4. Great start, looking forward to the end result!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Brian. I like the way the story is coming together. My projection right now is that it will come in at about 65,000 words. A shorter novel, but it should be a pretty good tale with some dramatic twists. I believe this may be a fairly new genre, the Personal Finance Thriller. Look for the next update in a couple of weeks. I will have settled on the name of the antagonist and I plan to share a couple of paragraphs – probably the introduction of the antagonist – along with some more teaser information. I look forward to the feedback.

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