Much obliged Mistral!
It's very gratifying to hear the characters sound about right. I'll bear your advice in mind about Tom's humor. (If he survives, that is).
One challenge is exploring new territory with familiar characters without disappointing people's expectations of them. It's a tightrope!
So very glad to hear your input.
I guess I'd better get started on CH 8! From here on out I'll post one at a time as I get them.