Independence Day

Ava makes a bargain to dispose of a gangster’s enemy in exchange for a new life.

It was the 4th of July, the country’s Independence Day. It was Ava’s, too. Although, unlike the nation, Ava was still unsure of what it meant to be free. On the vanity she set the lipstick, “Crimson Dynamo”, and the Colt automatic. Ava hadn’t handled either of these for the five years she’d been jailed at Tehachapi State Prison, but she hadn’t lost her touch with the only things a girl like her really needed.

Independence Day is a short story by Avril Adams published in 2017 in LAst Resort – an anthology of stories written by members of Sisters in Crime / Los Angeles.  Edited by Matt Coyle, Mary Marks, and Patricia Smiley, with an introduction by Michael Connelly.

LAst Exit to Murder

From the Low Riders that nightly cruise the Sunset Strip, to the infamous Dead Man’s Curve immortalized in song, Southern Californian’s fascination with their cars has long been the fodder of legend and has defined a culture known for its fast-paced and sometimes reckless lifestyle. Now, sixteen tantalizing stories from L.A. authors takes us on a Joyride through the darker streets of Los Angeles. At the signpost, just ahead, your… LAST EXIT TO MURDER.

Edited by Darrell James, Linda O. Johnston and Tammy Kaehler with an introduction by Gary Phillips.


L.H. Dillman – Cam the Man
Donna May – Rocket 88
Laura Brennan – Driving Dead Daisy
Lynn Allyson – Identity Crisis
Andrew Jetarski – Dance Man
Miko Johnston – By Anonymous
Beverly Graf – Shakata Ga Nai
Sally Carpenter – Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in
Laurie Stevens – Kill Joy
Stephen Buehler – Not My Day
Nena Kelty – Road to Revenge
Julie Beers – The Last Joy Ride
Eric Stone – Traffic Control
Avril Adams – The Lowriders
Bonnie Cardone – The Last of the Recycled Cycads
Paul D. Marks – Dead Man’s Curve

The Lowriders by Avril Adams is an urban tale of racial tensions set in Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles prior to World War II. It was inspired by a visit to the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where vehicles capture the zeitgeist of Southern California’s car culture. Here is a preview of The Lowriders:

Salvador Bernstein stepped in front of the bathroom mirror. It would be his final check of his appearance before taking the long concrete staircase that wound down to La Palma Avenue from his home on the hilltop overlooking Chavez Ravine. His dark brown hair, long on top, clipped above the ears, gleamed from the oil he’d raked through it. Tonight he wanted to impress the other fellows and especially the girls with his white tie and lavender shirt, and the black calf-length coat that squared and widened his shoulders so that he could pass for a man of twenty-five years and not a child approaching seventeen.