Tag Archives: women’s fiction
Date Published: May 2017
On Sale for $1.99 for a Limited Time!!
SAVING MADELINE is unusual, heart-wrenching and humorous. In the beginning, Roxy, a spunky, young actor arrives in Hollywood to follow her dream and escape from her mean-spirited family. When she finds herself coexisting in a cramped Los Angeles apartment with a wounded warrior and her German shepherd, tensions run high. And then her mother moves in—so much for escaping.
Along comes the well-connected acting coach, James Jonathan Jarvis, and Roxy’s big break in showbiz: a part in a reality TV show with a wilderness survival theme. But a week before rehearsals begin, her mother disappears. Roxy’s search leads her close to Montana where she and Madeline become trapped in a real life-and-death situation.
Though bombarded with daily challenges, the women laugh at their frequent calamities, and Roxy’s Hollywood misadventures buffer the troubling glimpses into the world of a woman whose memory is fading.
A short excerpt from the section
Guests Come Knocking
In Saving Madeline
Then Roxy contemplated doing something she’d sworn she would never, ever do. Don’t do it. Do Not Do This! Her palms sweated, her stomached rolled, then taking a deep breath, she did it. She opened the Help Wanted section of a regular newspaper and searched for an ordinary, though flexible, part-time job—just like normal, non-showbiz people did. To her surprise, she spotted two possibilities right away. One involved helping first-year college students revise and edit their failing work from the required course, Writing 101. Piece of cake. She could do that in her sleep. The other required someone capable of assisting a high school aged male with his guitar playing and songwriting.
“Ah, ha!” she declared. Now that was a tasty piece of cake. She wanted that job. Without any hesitation, Roxy made the call, which resulted in an on-the-spot phone interview with a pleasant, friendly woman.
“There is just one more question I must ask,” the woman said after they’d spoken a while. “And I’d like to offer my apology in advance for asking it.”
Roxy waited, curious.
“My son has a thing for starlets, and starlets seem to have a thing for him. Do you consider yourself a starlet?”
Not certain of the meaning or motive of her question, Roxy replied, “What’s a starlet?”
Genuine, hearty laughter traveled across the phone line, followed by, “Perfect. You’re perfect. When can you start?”
* * *
“Hi. You must be Liam,” she said. “Come on in. Can I get you something to drink before we get started?”
“Thanks, man. A beer would be great.”
He was a good-looking young man with short dark hair and eyes to match. She figured he was kidding about the beer because he definitely wasn’t old enough to drink. He was still in high school. So she smiled and played along.
“One beer coming up—right after I check your ID.”
He shot her a look of annoyance. “Are you messing with me?”
“No, but I thought you were joking. You weren’t?”
“Hell, no. Come on. Everybody drinks beer.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“Not a problem. Wine, whiskey—I’m not picky.”
The content of this first conversation with her arrogant new student was unbelievable. Was this typical behavior for an L.A. teen, or was she just being a mid-western geek?
She brought him a can of soda and asked him to play something. He didn’t react. She nudged, needing to make this small job a continuing reality. “How long have you been playing guitar?”
He shrugged, reluctant to answer her simple question, so she asked again.
He sipped his soda, looking both bored and annoyed. It was as if he didn’t want to be there, but then with a tilt of his head and one eyebrow slightly raised, he tossed out an answer. “Since I was a kid.”
In her estimation, he still was a kid, albeit an alcohol drinking kid. When he finally freed the Martin guitar from its case and played a few bars, Roxy was blown away. As badly as she needed the cash, she let him know that she wasn’t the right person to advance his guitar playing ability. Between the two of them, he was by far the better musician. His musical talent was amazing.
“That’s okay,” he assured her. “I’m more interested in breaking into show business than I am in upping my guitar skills.”
For now, Roxy kept her thoughts to herself. She could relate to his dream, but she wasn’t the person to help him with that, either. She had no connections, no ‘ins’ when it came to breaking the showbiz code.
She crossed her arms and tilted her head. “So you’re here expecting me to help you break into show business via your songwriting ability?”
“Not exactly.” He gave her a lopsided smile. She gave him a confused frown. “I’m here because my parents are trying to keep me out of trouble. They’ve lined up a bunch of activities to keep me busy. You’re just one of them.” An amused expression flashed across his face. “Hey, since I am here, what do you think of this?” He played a new riff on his guitar. “Are you any good with lyrics? Help me come up with some words to go with that.”
His unique musical style intrigued Roxy. She dug out a notebook and pencil and settled on the floor in front of him. The words and music came together with surprising ease. Or so it seemed. They both agreed they were on to something great and had the beginnings of a real song.
With their first session over, Roxy asked, “Same time next week?”
Placing a few folded bills into her palm, he shrugged. “Sure.”
After her student had managed to shove the ill-fitting door closed, she stood in her living room with her ears ringing from the sudden silence. After spending time creating and playing music with Liam, the apartment felt empty, lonely. She didn’t like that feeling, but she did like the fact that she held $30 cash in her hand. Cash she had earned.
Expecting to see a twenty and a ten, she sat and stared at the money. The two faces staring back at her belonged to neither Alexander Hamilton nor Andrew Jackson. She stood face-to-face with Ulysses S. Grant times two. One hundred dollars. Was this a mistake? Should she be elated or concerned? Until Roxy learned the truth, she’d consider the extra $70 to be a gift, a bonus for a job well done.
# # #
About the Author
Cricket Rohman grew up in Estes Park, Colorado and spent her formative years among deer, coyotes and beautiful blue columbine. Today she is a full-time author writing women’s fiction and mysteries about the cowboys, lovers, teachers, dogs, the great outdoors—even Alzheimer’s. And, so far, there is a dog in every one of her novels.
Book 1 FOREVER ISLAND and Book 2 WINTER’S BLUSH of The Fantasy Maker series, romance novellas, were released November 2017.
The romantic western, COLORADO TAKEDOWN, is scheduled for release early summer of 2018.
Prior to writing, Cricket’s career path included the following adventures: actor, singer, audio/video producer, classroom teacher, school principal, and U of A assistant professor.
THE SIEGE: A NOVEL
Award Winning Author Marilyn Baron
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
A journey of self-discovery leads to love and passion in the search for a family’s hidden past…
Artist Theia Constas receives a tour of Italy from her grandmother as a college graduation present. Before she departs, her ya-ya’s deathbed revelation of a cache of WW II photographs and love letters extends Theia’s itinerary to Crete in search of her unknown grandfather, a promising artist who studied under Chagall but didn’t survive the war.
Wade Bingham, an actuary who always follows the rules and calculates the odds, finds himself alone on his honeymoon trip, wondering why his fiancée jilted him at the last minute.
In the wrong place at the wrong time when their hotel in Florence, Italy, is besieged by terrorists, the two strangers find themselves thrust together in Wade’s honeymoon suite. Immediately attracted to each other, Wade conducts a siege of his own to win Theia’s heart.
About Marilyn Baron
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. Her latest book, The Siege: A Novel, a mainstream women’s fiction set in Italy and Greece, released January 8, 2018, is her 14th novel with The Wild Rose Press, Inc. and her 23rd work of fiction. AmazonEncore republished her psychic suspense novel Sixth Sense in 2015. She is also one of six authors of Love Around the Table, a short story anthology published November 1, 2017. She’s published five short stories with TWB Press.
She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is The 2017 Finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year Awards in the Romance Category for Stumble Stones: A Novel.
A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism (Public Relations) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm.
She serves on the 2017-2018 Roswell Reads Steering Committee and the Atlanta Authors committee and she presented on an Atlanta Writers Club panel at the 2017 AJC-Decatur Book Festival.
Read more about Marilyn’s books, short stories, and other works of fiction at http://www.marilynbaron.com.
Official website: http://www.marilynbaron.com
To receive regular updates from the author, join Marilyn Baron’s newsletter.
WIN $25 GIFT CARD AND MORE
Prizes up for grabs:
1) $25 Amazon Gift Card
2) The Alibi eBook copy
3) Signed Print of Amelia Marsh by Sharon Goldman
2) The Alibi eBook copy
3) Signed Print of Amelia Marsh by Sharon Goldman
Contest runs from January 8 – 14, 2018.
In partnership with
Romance, Women’s Fiction
Date Published: April 2016
Publisher: Aldage Books Publishing
Sebastian was turned into a vampire on his eighteenth birthday by his mother, whom he thought had died ten years earlier. His mother teaches him how to live amongst humans without spilling human blood. Almost two centuries later, his mother is killed and he blames humans. After a year of brutally killing humans to exact vengeance, he comes upon the young child of a woman he just killed. He can’t bring himself to hurt the girl, so he names her Hanna after his mother, and finds a family to raise her. He anonymously provides for her, making sure her new parents have all the money they need to ensure she has a good life. Sebastian disappears from Hanna’s life to better himself for all the killings he has committed. Although Hanna is out of his life, Sebastian can’t get her out of his head, and believes his love for her is like a father. He reappears in her life seventeen years later to see how she is faring, only to see that Hanna has grown into a beautiful woman. He falls in love with her all over again, but this time as a lover. He plans an “accidental” meeting, which does not go well. Before Sebastian leaves Hanna once again, he learns that vampires and wolves are after her. Now it is up to Sebastian to secretly guard Hanna’s life.
Other Books in the Sebastian Series:
Sebastian 2: Dark Times Arising
Publisher: Aldage Books Publishing
He lifted his hands to wipe the tears, and as his hands moved from her cheek to the corner of her lips, he longed to kiss her.
Hanna could tell what was on his mind and for a mad second, she also wanted to kiss him; she wanted to understand why she was suddenly attracted to him. For a second they stared at each other and then their lips met and moved against each other with want. The kiss was all that Hector had dreamed that it would be; he felt alive; with his eyes closed, his head was spinning with desire, and he pulled her closer to him as if his life depended on it.
For Hanna, it was nice; at first it made her stop hurting inside, but something felt wrong and different in her head; it was not like she had felt with Sebastian; then the thought of Sebastian jolted her brain and she pulled away at once.
While Hanna and Sebastian embark on dealing with the pain of their separation from each other, Hanna continues to gain more enemies all hungry for her powers. With all the wars raging, Sebastian finds it hard to walk away even though Hanna made it clear she didn’t need him. But later, Hanna discovers a revelation about someone, news that may help heal their sufferings but would it be enough or is it too little too late for their love …
Sebastian 3: CONQUEST OF POWER
Publisher: Aldage Books Publishing
Sebastian’s eyes close as he tries to welcome the inevitable, but then she speaks again and this time, she calls him “S.” In his weakened state, excitement surges through him; Sebastian wonders if he is hallucinating again. He knows troubled minds conceive desperate ideas that bring about all sorts of imaginations, and he is sure that he is hearing things that aren’t real. “S, can you hear me?” Hanna pleads.
Mason Benedict continues his quest to resurrect his wife, Annemarie, and to gain the gift of light that enables vampires to exist in daylight and walk under the sun. His fame grows and many vampires join his army at the prospect of becoming day walkers. For this to happen, Hanna’s blood and powers must be siphoned. Sebastian and Hanna must be found; imminent war is brewing. Hanna finds that she must also defend against the malicious Hilda Denali of the wolf tribe. Hilda blames Hanna for the curse on her tribe; her mission is simply to kill Hanna and cleans the wolf curse. Although Sebastian and Hanna are united again, there is a third wheel in their union, Hector, who has decided that Sebastian must die, but will his plans work? Sebastian and Hanna must decide whether to fight for their freedom or to run.
Conquest of Power is the much anticipated third book in Elizabeth Johnson’s captivating Sebastian vampire romance saga.
I got back home just before dawn. I was caught between the excitement of meeting her again and the way I had left things with her. My body tingled all through the day. I could not rest. I could not get her out of my head or control how happy I was inside. I watched the clock, impatiently waiting for the time to fly, by but it crawled along. I silently wished I had the power to walk in the sun, just to see her reflection. Her face and her scent consumed me all day long. It felt like torture having to wait for the sun to go down. I knew I should rest, but it was impossible to do so. How could I sleep when I was already dreaming of her? I replayed our conversations repeatedly in my head, and my body melted at the thought of being with her again.
At last, it was safe to go out. Looking my best, I drove to the art and music centre. I wanted to get there before she did, just to watch her arrive. I impatiently sat in my car and waited until she arrived. She pulled in driving her Toyota Corolla and got out of the car. I saw her looking around as if searching for someone. I wondered if she was looking for me. As usual, she looked breath-taking. I opened the car door to get out and cautioned myself not to make any fast moves in my attempt to get to her. I looked up at her again to see where she was. Someone was with her. I could tell who it was by the awful smell that greeted my nostrils. I became annoyed at myself for not getting out of the car sooner and angry at him for being here. I was not aware that he took lessons here too, although I am not surprised, seeing as he follows her about like a pet dog.
I followed behind them, walking at a slower pace and listening to their conversation. He bored me with his silly talk, and I just wished he would go away so I could have a moment with her. Not knowing what to do with myself now that her attention was elsewhere, I quickly walked past them, pretending that I had not seen them. Disappointed that she did not notice me, I carefully opened the front door to go inside not wanting to repeat the disaster from before. Then she called out. “Hi!” she said.
I looked back to see who she was greeting and saw her eyes on me. “Oh, it’s you again.” I pretended as though I was just seeing her for the first time today.
“Yes, it’s me. Were you expecting someone else?” she joked.
I smiled; glad I had her attention at last. “No, not really,” I said, and she smiled back. I tried not to look at the boy next to her. Although I could not overlook the stench oozing from him, I did not want to look at him unless I really had to.
“Oh, how silly of me. You two haven’t met, have you? This is my friend, Huritt Denali, and this is—” I did not take my eyes off her as she tried to introduce us. “Sorry, I don’t even know your name,” she said.
“Sebastian,” I responded.
“Sebastian,” she repeated slowly. I loved the way she said my name. “What a lovely name you have.” She smiled. “Er—Huritt, meet Sebastian.”
I looked in his direction just for a second and greeted him with a nod of the head out of courtesy to her. His hands were already stretched forward for a handshake, but I ignored them. I could see the anger in his eyes, although I think he tried to control it for her sake. I refused to let him distract me and focused my attention on Hanna, who seemed as excited to see me as I was to see her.
“I looked around for you earlier,” she said.
“Did you now?” I asked, secretly happy that it was me she was scanning around for earlier.
She smiled and turned to Huritt. “Huritt, I will see you around later, okay? I want to have a chat with Sebastian.” I looked over at him just to see his reaction because I knew he would be fuming inside, and I was right. His eyes were like thunder, and I enjoyed his little expression of detest or anger or whatever it was he was trying to express. It didn’t bother me one bit. I still had not found out what he was, but I hoped for his own sake that he was not what I suspected him to be. Glad that he was gone, I now had Hanna’s full attention. She was looking at me.
“I didn’t think you would come,” she said.
“Why not?” I asked.
“It’s nothing, just that I got the feeling I upset you yesterday with something I said.”
“And I told you that you didn’t say anything out of place. I’m sorry for my behaviour yesterday. It was uncalled for. It’s just—I get like that when the subject of my mother is raised.”
“I promise not to talk about her again,” she said. I smiled. It felt amazing standing here talking with her. I have never felt like this with anyone.
“Thank you. That’s very polite of you.” She brushed her hair away from her face—I like it when she does that.
“So, what do we talk about then?” she asked.
“Anything you like,” I replied.
“Are you sure? You would let me know if there was something you aren’t comfortable with? I mean, sometimes I just ramble on, you know, without thinking.”
“Don’t worry about it. I am a good listener, and I have all the time in the world to listen to you ramble.” We both laughed.
“You see yourself as a gentleman, don’t you? I mean, for a teenager like myself, you are quite something.”
“I try my dandiest to always be on my best behaviour,” I replied and quickly added, “but by all means, let me know if you prefer the bad-boy image. It may surprise you what I can become in a short space of time.”
“No this will do just fine,” she replied. I noticed her blushing, and I was glad that it had something to do with me. Then she said, “Why do I feel like there is something mysterious about you, like something you are not telling me. I don’t know, I just get this feeling like—”
“Like what?” I asked.
She paused and looked at me. “I don’t know what it is, but there is something about you, and I just—I just want to know you more. I kind of want to spend more time with you. I’m sorry, I am doing it again. We just met, and already I am asking you to be generous with your time. I have no right—”
“There is nothing to be sorry for,” I said gently. “I like talking to you,” I reassured her.
“But I’m scaring you off.”
I looked at her and could tell she was genuinely worried. I wanted to put her little heart at peace and made light of her worry. “I’m still here. That should tell you something. Look, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but there is nothing I don’t like about you. I promise you, it will take a lot for me to be scared off.” I chuckled, and I could see in her eyes that she was feeling more at ease.
“I’m keeping you from your lesson, aren’t I?”
“No, you are not,” I replied, and she smiled shyly and bit her lower lip. That’s another thing that is beginning to grow on me.
“What are you here for anyway?” she asked.
“What lessons did you enrol to take?”
“Oh. Piano lessons.”
“Seriously, I shouldn’t keep you. I’m very good with the keyboard. I am just here to pass time really. I hate being stuck at home doing nothing. You should go before you miss your class altogether.”
“What if I want to stay here with you?” I asked.
“Why would you want to do that?”
“Why? Because I like you, and you’re growing on me,” I said.
“I kind of thought I heard you say that before,” she said.
“No, I did not. Earlier I said that there is nothing I don’t like about you.”
“It’s all the same. And I like that you like me. Isn’t it too soon to tell that you like someone? I mean we just met not too long ago.”
“Maybe. You said you liked me yesterday after only five minutes. I’m allowed to tell you I like you too aren’t I? It doesn’t really make any difference to me the length of time in between. I’ve liked you since I first set eyes on you,” I said.
“Is that true?” she asked. “Even with blood oozing off my face?” I smiled and looked away. I didn’t know what to say to that. I do not like to remember the day I swung the door in her face. “I have said something you don’t like, haven’t I? I can tell. Although you are smiling, your eyes look pained.” I wondered how she could read me so well just by looking at me.
“You’re right. It’s just that I still regret the circumstances in which we met.” She stared at me and was looking into my eyes as if she was searching for something.
“Yeah, but there’s more isn’t there? I can see you’re trying very hard to hide something.”
“Like what?” I was puzzled.
“Oh God, I am doing it again. Sorry. I don’t know why I keep doing this. It’s just that when I’m around you I get this—this feeling, as if I’ve known you—it’s weird. You must excuse me. I’m ruining it all.” She was about to go.
“No, don’t go. I’m—I’m not offended. I meant it when I said I like you, and if it means you are going to act strangely sometimes, I—I don’t mind at all, as long as I get to spend time with you.”
“Really?” she asked shyly.
I nodded and replied, “Yeah, really.”
Then she smiled and looked relieved. “It feels right you know,” she said quietly.
“What feels right?” I asked.
“Being friends with you,” she responded.
I don’t think there is anything about her I can fault. In my mind, it feels like I am drunk, only it isn’t anything like that. I am just so happy to be with her, and I have never felt like this in my life, both, either as a human or a vampire.
For the rest of the evening, we sat outside by her car talking, which she did most of, while I listened. She enjoyed talking, and I, in turn, loved listening to her. She spoke about her childhood. I would ask her a question about when she was younger, and she filled in the rest. I loved it because she told me those things I missed while she was growing up. Every night she told me a different story. We skipped music classes almost every day that we met. She felt guilty all the time because she thought she was depriving me of my lessons. I convinced her that I was old enough to make my own decisions.
After about two weeks of hanging out together every evening, I already knew most of the things about her that I had missed. Occasionally, she would ask me questions about my past, such as wanting to know the kind of childhood I had. I noticed she never mentioned my mother again, and as it was my fault. So I decided to tell her about her. I tried to answer her questions truthfully, telling her the little I remembered about my human life. I told her how I felt when my mother died, and how lonely, depressed, and angry I became. I told her my mother had been killed and was found on the side of the road. I told her that she died when I was just eight years old, which is still very true, considering I was only talking about my human life.
Then she said, “I wonder what I would do if my mother died. I can’t see her dead, you know. I can’t think of it. Thoughts of her dying scare me. If someone were to hurt her, I don’t think I have it in me to forgive such a person.” My mind immediately went to that night I had her birth mother in my hands, and I regretted killing her all over again. This is one secret that can never come out, I thought, or I risk losing her forever. I tried to get the thought out of my head because she usually can tell when I am hiding something.
“I have not seen your friend, er—what is his name again?” I said quickly, changing the subject, not that I cared about him.
“Oh, Huritt? Poor Huritt.”
“Why poor Huritt?” I asked.
“It’s nothing really,” she said.
“No, please tell me. I want to know.”
“Oh, okay. He kind of likes me, I think. Okay, a little more than I think he should, you know. But the thing is, he told me he doesn’t like that I’m friends with you because he and I don’t spend any time together since I became friends with you.”
“Oh, well,” I said in reply.
“Is that all you’re going to say?” she asked.
“What do you want to hear? That I prefer to be in his shoes? Because the answer is I don’t. I love being with you, as long as my presence does not bother you. Does it?”
“No, it doesn’t. I love being with you, too.” She flashed me that smile that I have come to adore. I looked at her and was swelling inside, because of what she just said. She looked away shyly, and I dropped my gaze.
“I feel bad, though,” she added. I looked at her.
“I just chose you over him and am happy about it. It’s selfish of me, don’t you think?”
“Sometimes, we need to do the thing that makes us happy. You can’t please everyone without hurting yourself. Allow yourself to be happy.”
“Wow, he has wisdom as well. You are really something,” she said laughing, and I snickered.
I had to go hunting. This time around, I needed to go far to find a bigger game to feed on if I was to be around her this much. I did not want any temptation. I wanted to start early so I could return before dawn. I had not told her yet that I would be leaving earlier than usual. I wish I didn’t have to leave, but it was important that I feed for both our sakes.
“Hanna,” I called. She turned and looked at me. “I will be leaving early today. I have to go somewhere important.”
“Is it far? Can I come with you?” she asked.
“I wish you could, but you can’t—er—I have to leave now before it gets too late. I’ll see you sooner than you think, though,” I said, annoyed at myself for having to leave her, but it was necessary that I feed. She looked sad that I was leaving.
“Cheer up,” I said. “At least now you get to take those lessons that you tell your parent you come here for.” She laughed, and I was glad she was feeling better.
“Okay. Will I see you tomorrow then?” she asked, still a little disappointed that I was leaving.
“Of course, where else would I be?” I raised my hand to touch her face, feel her warmth, and just reassure her that I would be seeing her soon, but I could not. I did not want to get too close. Reluctantly I pulled it back and put it in my pocket and just walked away.
About the Author
Elizabeth Johnson enjoys books and even loves writing them better. She started to write books at a very young age. The author finds writing very exhilarating and is very passionate about her characters. Some of her plots come from dreams she’s had, however, 99% of her stories are pure fiction. She is a hopeless romantic and that reflects in most of her books. She currently lives in London with her family.
Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Date Published: January 2017
Publisher: Forget Me Not Romances, Winged Publications
What happens in the roaring twenties when a daredevil barnstormer falls in love with a wing-walking flapper threatened by dangerous men out to exploit her?
Orphan and wing-walker Gloria needs a job when her boss dies in a barnstorming accident. With no other jobs available, she sweet-talks Rand into letting her walk his wing. Flying Ace Rand fights wartime injuries that hamper his flying even as he works to gain the world-record for solo flight across the Atlantic. He bucks his wealthy dad’s plans for him to settle down, join the company, and marry a socialite.
Rand falls in love with the courageous, fun-loving, and daring Gloria. But Orphan Gloria’s experienced too many men who promise love and marriage and instead take advantage of her being alone in the world. She holds Rand at arm’s length. Without her knowledge, Rand protects her and makes sure she doesn’t starve. When Gloria’s offered a movie contract Rand knows he must intervene.
Kill Devil Hills, 1925
Gloria plodded from the bathroom into the bedroom. “Daisy, we’ve no food in the cottage, so I need to have a heart-to-heart chat with Mr. Rand Maitland. He’s exactly the type of older man I prefer to work with.” She bent to pat the blonde puppy’s head. No more fending off amorous bosses. “I need to find another partner like Buzz.” A tear slipped from her eye and wiggled down her cheek. “I miss you, Buzz. If you were still alive, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Thanks to Vincent and his lies, no other pilot will hire me.”
Gloria swiped a fist across her cheek to wipe the tears and snagged her only dress from a hanger, leaving the small closet empty. “I’ll force myself to be amusing and cheerful. Older men like that.” Anything to improve her chance of getting a job. According to Annie, Rand Maitland had been an ace fly boy during the war. She could trust his acrobatics.
She perched on the edge of the sagging bed, pulled shiny, silk stockings just above her knees and rolled in the garters. She stood and slid into the white dress that ended in a shocking way just below her knees. Well, older men liked that too. She’d need every advantage to capture this job.
Suited her just fine she didn’t need to flatten her bosom because God hadn’t overly endowed her. In her line of work a voluptuous bust got in the way. She reached behind her back to zip up her dress. Easy, because the fabric draped open to below her shoulder blades in the rear. Scandalous in the daytime, but she only had this one gown or her trousers. “Trousers won’t impress the old man, Daisy, and I can’t wear my costume. Being broke is just tedious.” She smoothed the drop-waist dress and settled on the edge of the bed to slip on red, high-heeled shoes. She stood and pivoted in front of her blonde puppy. “How do I look, Daisy?”
Though her might-be-new boss lived close, she’d borrow Annie’s Model T roadster. “Rand Maitland’s bound to have his Jenny tied-down near the sand runway, and I don’t want to get grit inside my only pair of dress shoes.”
Daisy raised a paw to be shaken. Gloria smiled, bent and shook the furry offering. She didn’t need the auto since Kitty Hawk wasn’t more than five hundred yards or so from Annie’s cottage near Kill Devil Hills, but Mr. Maitland would be more impressed if she drove. He mustn’t know how desperately she needed this job or he wouldn’t hire her. Her high heels tapped a determined rhythm on the uneven linoleum as she crossed the living room. She shut the door behind her and marched down the rickety wooden stairs to the beach. Stepping carefully to keep loose sand out of her shoes, she tiptoed around the cottage to where Annie had parked her Model T before she left for Europe. Gloria bent, cupped the crank handle on the front of the car in her palm, pulled the choke wire with her left hand and gave the crank a quick half-turn. The engine sputtered to life. Her shoes slipped on the sandy driveway as she minced on tip-toes around to the driver’s seat and climbed inside.
She drove close to the three bi-planes tied down just beyond a cluster of larger cottages on stilts. Too late to turn back. She’d forgotten to apply that new chalk-white face powder that was all the rage. Nor had she painted her lips red. She’d wanted that color to bolster her confidence and hide her pain. She shook her head and shrugged. Well, she had a stiff spine and didn’t need to paint on courage. She pulled up next to the closest home, stopped the automobile, turned off the ignition, set the brake, and slipped out the door. Just off the road, her red high-heels sank into loose sand. “Ain’t we got fun?” she murmured dryly. Her shoes had survived worse obstacles. These red high heels would outlast this setback too.
In the slanting morning light, three visiting biplanes cast long shadows. All the other planes, snug inside hangars, waited for tomorrow’s barnstorming show. A man wearing blue coveralls with his back to her, bent over the engine casing of the middle Jenny. Annie had mentioned Mr. Maitland named his plane Jazzman, so that big fella had to be the man himself, right where she thought she’d find him. Taking giant steps through the sifting sand between her and the hard-packed sand beneath the Jennies, she stopped directly behind him. She tugged her red cloche hat low over one eyebrow, held down the silky skirt flapping in the breeze, and straightened her shoulders.
“Hello!” She highlighted her voice to sound perky. Older men liked perky. The man grunted, tightened a bolt on the engine with a large wrench and then turned. She started, her hands flew up, and she almost lost her footing. Annie hadn’t mentioned her husband’s youngest brother was gorgeous. He flashed a smile. Dimples played around that dazzling grin and found an immediate place in her heart. He stared at her with eyes bluer than the bluest lapis. And he was no older man.
Too bad for her. She pressed her lips together. She’d so counted on Mr. Maitland being older. She’d learned her lesson about handsome men.
And she better make sure she remembered it.
About the Author
ANNE GREENE’s home is in the quaint antiquing town of McKinney, Texas, just a few miles north of Dallas.
Her husband is a retired Colonel, Army Special Forces. Her little brown and white Shih Tzu, Lily Valentine, shares her writing space, curled at her feet. She has four beautiful, talented children who keep her on her toes.
She’s traveled to every location of each book she’s written, and each book is a book of her heart. Besides her first love, writing, she enjoys travel, art, sports, reading, sailing, snorkeling, movies, and way too many other things to mention. Life is good.
Date Published: October 24, 2017
Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. So, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing never to look back.
Seeking solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.
In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.
The sighs from my supposed-to-be-empty bedroom grow into moans, and my pulse thuds in my temples. I know the dark place might suck me in if I’m not careful, but I can’t stop myself from looking.
I peer through the half-open door. My husband crouches naked on the bed with his face buried between long, shapely legs. Gorgeous, oddly-familiar legs.
“Oooh, oooh,” groans the owner of the silky limbs.
“Mmm, mmmmm,” answers Jerome. His rear wags from side to side. The two bald spots in the center of his butt cheeks stare at me, and my skin tingles the way it did when I drew too close to the sparklers little Benjamin played with on the fourth of July.
The bed creaks. After twenty-six years the thing still makes the same noise. A chill winds its way up my back, and pain sears beneath my ribcage. My breaths rush in and out.
How can he? What the hell? In our bed. Today of all days.
Darkness grows, and flames erupt behind my eyelids. In a red fury, I howl and charge. I whoop again and bear down on the startled couple.
With a jolt, the name of the owner of the legs explodes into my mind.
I know Mandy. Sort of.
Jerome’s personal trainer. Mandy Malone.
I slip on the area rug and lose my balance. Oh, yes. I know Mandy. At the gym Christmas party Mandy’s hips sported a short, pink thing that appeared to be more like a headband than a skirt. The Christmas party was where I saw those legs before.
Mandy jumps out of bed and pulls the covers around her. She cowers in the corner.
I’m not proud of what I do next.
I grab a red high heel from the floor and climb to my feet. Taking aim, I hurl the shoe, but Jerome rolls away and the stiletto lands on the pillow. I reach for one of Jerome’s wing tips resting annoyingly on the floor beside a pair of red panties and matching bustier. I launch the shoe, and the ever-athletic creep dodges and leaps from the bed. A pink rubber phallus lands with a thunk, and a yowl bursts from deep within me. “Sex toys. You’re using sex toys.” My hands grasp the floor lamp and level it like a spear.
“Sof, cut it out.” Jerome’s voice quavers, and he holds his hands over his privates.
Yanking the plug from the wall, I swing the lamp in a circle with no idea of what I’m doing, acting on instinct. I run towards him, but Jerome darts out of the way. The lamp smashes into the headboard, shattering bulbs and sending the pole flying from my hands. Shards of glass cover the bed and floor.
A tiny red mini-skirt and pink tank top catch my attention. My God, she must shop in the children’s department. And what an awful color combination.
“Sof, this isn’t doing anyone any good. Can we talk?” He’s bobbing and weaving now, waiting for the next assault.
“Talk? Talk? What’s there to talk about?” My brain sizzles, and my thoughts stab mercilessly. I seize his belt from the floor and hurl it, grazing the top of his head. “Do you remember when we bought this bed?”
No answer leaves his lips.
“I do.” I snatch up his other wingtip, and this one catches him in the back. “We couldn’t afford it, but you wouldn’t take no for an answer. You said it would last a lifetime.” I rip at the all-cotton sheets, yanking them off the mattress. “I just bought these at Macy’s. I changed the bed yesterday. You told me polyester blends make you sweat. So does she!” I yell, jerking my arm towards the cowering blonde and fighting the fury twisting inside my gut.
Jerome approaches the closet. His hairy bare rear with its Orphan Annie blank orbs shines in the morning light. I tug on the curtains, and as the metal rod falls we both reach for it. He twists hard, and I let go causing him to lose his balance and send the pole clattering against the oak flooring. I swoop up the rod in a death grip and connect with the back of his knees. He falls to the rug and writhes in agony.
“Stop,” he shouts.
“Sure,” I say, launching myself on top of him and boxing his ears. “How’s this?”
He rolls to the side throwing me off, and my face plants onto the carpet. I scramble to my feet and collect the scattered clothing, stumbling down the hallway to the spare bedroom.
About the Author
Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels.
Her travels have taken her to forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.
Her many past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She’s a native New Yorker with roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester. She currently resides with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. She enjoys spending time with her son and his family and planning her next adventure. She wants to remind everyone that when you meet her, SHE’S NOT SHOUTING, SHE’S ITALIAN.