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Searching for Gertrude Teaser Tuesday

 

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Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Published: January 22, 2018
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While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago. 
How far would you go to find the woman you love?
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Excerpt
As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.
Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.
After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.
About the Author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.
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Chosen Path Teaser Tuesday

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Erotic Romance
Date Published: 4/28/2017
Yumiko Itsumoto wants it all. An accomplished artist and feared attorney, she gets what she wants, all else be damned. Now she wants love, even if it means charting a new course for her life, but changing course can be dangerous.  In mere moments, she tumbles from the dizzying pinnacle of success into a bottomless abyss of murder and treachery.  Yumiko will not live happily ever after—not this time—but can she at least find a way to stay alive?
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EXCERPT

Jun gave me a towel, with which I wrapped up my hair, and a yukata, one of his. Its sleeves hung well past my hands, but its hem did not drag the ground. I decided to go ahead and indulge. I’d had a difficult night. A little smear of grease on my back would do the trick. I worked as quickly as I could to remove the rest, but it still took me perhaps twenty or thirty minutes.
I emerged from the bathroom with a much-improved mood.
Jun lived in a modest flat, sparsely decorated in Japanese style: tatami flooring and rice-paper screens to separate (or not) a small bedroom from the tearoom. I liked it. He had put on a yukata as well and sat formally in the tearoom. I duly went to the first guest position and knelt.
“Do you have any citric acid?”
He blinked and asked, “Citric acid?” I had woken poor Jun from a sound sleep and it seemed he was still trying to gather his wits.
In my gentlest voice, I said, “Yes. I was unable to remove all of the grease from my skin. If I might further impose upon your hospitality, I would be grateful for your help with it. Citric acid, lemon juice if you have it, might break down the grease more readily than soap.”
He stood and walked toward his small kitchen. I turned my back to him and widened my stance to sit directly on the ground with my feet beside me, and I opened my yukata to drop it from my shoulders and expose my deliberate grease smear. Holding the yukata up with the crooks of my elbows, I crossed my arms over my chest and turned my head down. His steps halted when he saw me. His voice, when he spoke, bore more confidence than his approaching footfalls.
“I would be honored to provide you with whatever counsel I can, Itsumoto-san.”
“Thank you, Jun-san,” I said, “and please call me Yumi.”
“Will you tell me of the matter?”
I inhaled to fill the hollow in my chest and kept silent, tasting enjoyment in dabs of cold lemon juice against my back, softer than raindrops. I’d have all day to tell my tale before he finished, and part of me wanted to drag it out. The better part of me wanted to rip the band-aid off and be done with it.
“I was in the subway yesterday. There was a woman next to me. She was killed by a passing train. I believe I will be charged with her murder.”
“Why would you be charged?”
Another deep breath did nothing to fill my chest. It was hard enough admitting my mistake, a mistake made in the making of another mistake. I had to tell him the unconfessed secret of my heart. In a way, sitting half-naked in front of him made it easier to let go of my pride.
“I believe she was engaged to marry a man I previously dated—a past lover. I had gone to his home yesterday hoping I could reconcile myself to him. When I got there, someone, I believe it was this woman, was there with him. I left without announcing myself. It seems she left not long after I did and intended to catch the same train as me.
“After the incident, I ran. That was foolish. I was scared, shocked, and not thinking clearly. I have not been sleeping well. I had not slept for perhaps a week. This insomnia has affected my mental state. I did not intend to kill her, but I stood to benefit from her death. There were witnesses. I paid my PASMO with a credit card. The police will be able to determine who I am.”
Jun’s hands on my back remained timid, but his voice reassured. “Your situation may not be so dire as you believe it, Yumiko-san, but I can understand how it troubles you.”
The room filled with silence until I deemed it thick enough to call attention to my next statement.
“Jun,” I said, “when a woman takes off her clothes and kneels before you, it’s safe to assume you can drop the honorific.”
“I never assume facts not in evidence.”
I sighed and gave instructions. “I want you to call me Yumi. I want you to press hard against the stain on my back and scrub until I am clean.”
He did as I told him, taking my shoulder in one hand to steady me and grinding into the grease with his other. Sooner than I might have liked, a smear of cold water slid up my back, and the collar of my yukata patted me dry. I gave him further instructions.
“I also want you to fuck my brains out.”
His hands snapped back.
I waited him out, wandering my gaze along the weave of his tatami floor. Eventually he spoke.
“Will you not be needing them?”
I liked the innocence of his question, so I answered earnestly. “They have functioned poorly in recent times.” I waited again to hear his next quandary.
“I would think it a difficult thing to do to a woman of your considerable intellect.”
“Take your time.”
I waited while he tried to think through what was happening, seemingly as disturbed by his own unanticipated circumstances as I had been by mine the night before. Clammy fingertips, followed by their palm, touched down high on my back and slid haltingly up my shoulder and alongside my neck. I tilted my head up, yielding to the almost imperceptible push of his index finger under my jaw. He followed, and I continued until I craned my neck back as far as it would go.
When his fingertips drew gently against my throat, I went with them instead of letting them drag against my skin. I kept leaning, transferring my weight onto my toes, which pointed back along the floor by my sides.
Flipping over my toes to set my weight on my spine and straighten my knees from that position is always an awkward move. Jun was unprepared for how suddenly I fell backward when my weight transferred, but he caught me with a hand behind my neck before my head hit the floor. That was just as well because his abrupt catch knocked the towel free from my hair and just in time because I held my back still fully arched and would have driven my head hard into the mat.
I’d left my hands in my lap, straightening my elbows as he bent me backward, leaving my torso bare in front of him. My yukata, folded inward over my thighs, provided only a pretense of modesty. His eyes struggled not to wander while I stared up at him, so I closed mine to let his have their way. I’d told him to take his time, so I parted my lips and waited.
“Did you do it?”
My eyelids rocked open. “You ask your clients if they’re guilty?”
“I’m asking you.”
I closed my eyes again and rolled my spine downward, relaxing my back to the floor. “Nice dodge.”
“Likewise,” he volleyed. “Shall we play again?”
“I’d rather not.”
“Then answer my question.”
His hand behind my neck firmed and steadied and was soon joined by his other hand to cradle my head. Jun had no idea how to handle a woman, but he knew exactly what to do with a hostile witness.
I had to tell him, and he knew it. I was the one asking him for help. He could simply decline and be rid of me. Something inside him clamped down and turned to stone. He was awake now, and our little back-and-forth spanned the full width of his patience. It takes a hard man to set murderers free every day and still look at himself in the mirror.
I drew a slow breath to show him I would answer. I needed a hard man. I was a murderer.

 

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About the Author 


A mathematician by training and computer programmer by trade, J. Whitney Williams lives and works under the X in Texas, thinking too much and speaking too little.
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A Shot in the Dark Teaser Tuesday

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Romantic suspense
Date Published: February 1, 2017
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
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A motorcycle crash forces Skyler Smith into Laney Pearson’s hospital, barely clinging to life…
As a trauma nurse, Laney works with surgeon Josh Stone to bring Skyler back from the brink of death and toward recovery. But what initially looks like nothing more than a freak accident may turn out to be much more dangerous—and maybe even deadly.
In the years they’ve worked together, Laney has never given Josh the time of day…
She thinks he’s nothing more than a pompous doctor looking for another notch to add to his belt. But caring for Skyler brings the pair closer, and Laney lets down her guard, allowing them the chance to find happiness together in the midst of so much destruction. But someone doesn’t want them to be happy. Someone wants Laney gone.
Threats might derail their love before it really starts…
As the couple tries to build their budding relationship, Laney begins to receive menacing messages. And when she and Josh learn that Skyler’s accident is anything but unintentional, they fight to balance finding the would-be killer with keeping keep Laney safe from her stalker. But each wild turn takes them further away from the truth…and each other.
Can Laney and Josh discover who is behind the violent acts, or is each guess they make nothing more than a shot in the dark?
Some accidents aren’t accidental…
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About the Author

JG Sumner is a Registered Nurse who went rogue.  As good as she was at starting IV’s, she enjoys writing the down the stories in her head even more.  Most of the time the characters won’t stop pestering her until she has them down on paper.
JG can often be found with a glass of red wine or prosecco in front of her computer.  When she’s not creating, she enjoys the outdoors hiking, bike riding, snowboarding, and camping.
JG has a very dry sense of humor, and should never be taken too seriously.  She loves to hear from her fans, and even those who aren’t and would love to hear your opinion on her books.
JG writes romantic suspense/thrillers including: A Shot in the Dark, Into the Light, The Surrender Trilogy including Surrender, Shattered, and Saved which will be available through Limitless Publishing soon.
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Twitter: @jg_sumner
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The Gilded Cage Teaser Tuesday

TEASER TUESDAY
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YA/Historical
Date Published: 12/1/16

 

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Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making. As she watches her world fall apart, Masie must decide whether to take her place in the hierarchy, or spread her wings, leaving the people she loves, and the life she despises, far behind her.
Excerpt
“How you feelin’, Mas?” Vinny asks.
Relaxing back into the chair I look up, unable to keep the sour grin from my face. “Never better.”
Releasing me he steps around the table, helping himself to a seat. “That’s not how I hear it. I hear you lay in bed all day feelin’ sorry for yourself”
“Can you blame me?” I ask harshly, straightening in my chair.
He’s still for a minute, then pulls the fedora off his head and plays with it in his hands. “I’m sorry about your ma, she was a fine lady.”
I snort, the booze in my belly making me bold. “She was a nut job and everyone knew it.”
Now he looks up, his thin lips downturned at the edges, “She was good to me.”
Sighing I stand, helping myself to the crystal decanters on the tray. “She loved you like her own,” I offer gently as I pour myself another drink. “It’s the only thing she was good at, loving people. Wasn’t great at taking care of them, though.”
She’d tried to take care of Daddy at first. I know she always secretly hoped he’d change his ways, as if her love could make him a better man. But, as much as they may want to, people don’t really change. Time passes, choices are made, but we are who we are in the end.
“Is there anything I can do?” he asks, twisting in his chair to look at me.
I just hold up my glass, “This seems to be helping.”
Standing, Vinny walks over, taking the glass from my hand he swallows back the contents in one gulp. “Never drink to feel better, Mas. That’s not how the stuff works.”
I frown, pushing past him, “Don’t tell me what to do.”
He stops me, grabbing my arm and pulling me toward him until the tip of his crooked nose is touching my forehead, “I’m not gonna let you throw yourself away like she did.”
His words are sharp and they cut like glass
I shut my eyes against them, against the closeness of him, the heat radiating off his body, the smell of bourbon on his breath. Part of me demanding to push him away, the other part wanting to lose myself in him.
“You left,” he continues, his tone accusatory. “You left so you wouldn’t have to watch—but I watched. I watched the light in her go out. I won’t watch that happen to you, Masie. I can’t. So you’re going to have to be strong. Because we need you. I need you. It’s awful dark here, Mas. We need you to be the light.”
The first tear slips from beneath my closed lids. Maybe it’s the desperation in his voice, or the fact that he’s right, but something in his words strikes me to the core. It’s tempting, far too tempting, to drink the pain away, to let it eat me from the inside out until there’s nothing left to hurt.
But I can’t.
I can’t be like my mother.
I won’t.
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TEASER TUESDAY

Teaser TuesdaysTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Alright everyone, here is my teaser for Teaser Tuesday.

I am currently reading an ARC that I received from Netgalley.

A Last Chance Christmas (Sons of Chance)

“Jack’s not in charge of my love life.”

“I know.”

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