Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Fifteen

Happy Wednesday and welcome to another edition of the Wednesday Briefs! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week, and staying safe. It's been a rough week, weather-wise, hasn't it? Hopefully it's behind us for a while.

As you know, since it's Wednesday, we have some flash fiction for you! Last week, in Dallas II, Dallas and Campbell crossed the strawberry river and found their way to a small cottage in the woods. Find out what happens in this week's chapter. Then be sure to see what the other flashers are up to! Their links follow my tale!  Enjoy!

Dallas in Wonderland II: Chapter Fifteen

“A feast? That sounds wonderful! Sorry to intrude,” Campbell apologized.

“No apologies needed,” the first twin declared. Mentally, Dallas dubbed him #1.

“And none accepted,” came from the other, #2. Though if the twins should shift position when his back was turned, Dallas knew he’d never be able to tell them apart again.

The man by the cauldron sneezed again. Dallas was fearful he’d sneezed into the contents of the cauldron, whatever those might be. He didn’t really want to find out, either.

“The feast shall begin shortly. As soon as the others arrive,” #1 declared. From the pocket of his hunting jacket, he produced a large watch. He stared at the face of it, then pulled out a cloth from another pocket and began to polish the surface very carefully. His every movement carefully observed by #2.

When he replaced it in his pocket, the second twin turned and stalked away. It didn’t take a weatherman to know a storm was brewing here.

“Thanks for the invitation,” Dallas said politely, “but we really can’t stay. Smells wonderful, though.”

Here the man sneezed once more. Without turning around, #1 barked, “Wendell, please!” Dallas assumed that Wendell was the sneezing man until the other twin, with a loud sigh, approached the sneezer and began to pound him on his back. Which brought on a few more short sneezes.

“It does smell divine, doesn’t it?” The first twin took a deep breath and exhaled it, as if to trump the sigh of his brother. “This was for the queen, you know.” He leaned toward Dallas and Campbell and muttered in a confidential tone that carried through the whole room easily. “Chosen we were to cater the queen’s birthday party. You have no idea what an honor that is.”

“I can imagine,” Campbell politely replied when it became apparent a response was required.

“Indeed.” #1 sniffed loudly.

“It’s not my fault, William,” Wendell protested. He took a container and began to vigorously shake its contents into the cauldron, which only served to exacerbate the man’s sneezing into loud explosions of sound that seemed to shake the very walls of the dwelling.

Wendell shoved the container into the man’s hand, before stomping across the room to his brother. “You know it’s not my fault,” he repeated, the whine in his voice increasing in pitch. “How was I to know the queen was in a bad mood? I tried to help!”

“And how did you try to help?” The sarcasm in William’s voice was unmistakable.

Wendell’s lower lip pushed out, giving him the appearance of a naughty child. “I made some tarts.”

“Tarts. Exactly. I rest my case.” William turned toward Dallas and Campbell, a note of exultation in his voice.

A little voice in the back of Dallas’ head told him this was not going to end well. He reached for Campbell’s arm, intending to back from the room and out the door. Too late.

“What’s wrong with tarts?” Campbell innocently asked.

“What’s wrong with tarts? What’s wrong with tarts?” William’s voice rose another octave. Dallas and Campbell both winced. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with tarts. It reminds the queen of the tart she lost. And then she gets all grumpy wumpy. And then—” He made a swiping gesture across his throat with one finger.

“That means off with their heads,” Wendell confided before he scolded his twin. “Not everyone understands what you mean. You should speak plainly, Brother.”

William’s face purpled instantly, his cheeks expanding with suppressed anger.

“Oh dear, shouldn’t we do something?” Dallas looked to Campbell uncertainly.

“Oh no no, don’t worry, he’s just throwing a tantrum. He’s holding his breath because he hasn’t gotten his own way. Don’t worry, he’ll stop in a minute.” Taking advantage of his twin’s distraction, Wendell reached into his pocket and emerged with the watch in his hand, a triumphant grin spreading over his face.

The next moment the watch had been snatched back. Wendell gave a cry and held his hand to his lips. Dallas thought he spied blood. Big fat tears rolled down Wendell’s cheeks.

“You shouldn’t hurt your brother,” Campbell chastised William. “And you can stop holding your breath. It won’t kill you. You’ll pass out before you reach that point.”

William sulkily released his pent-up breath, reminding Dallas of a deflated balloon. He turned to Wendell with a smirk. “I didn’t hurt him, he’s happy, can’t you tell?”

“Those aren’t happy tears. You hurt me, you idiot!” Wendell snapped. He’d been sucking at his wounded hand. Suddenly he lashed out and slapped his brother’s cheek. Loudly. The force of the blow was enough to cause William’s head to wobble back and forth.

In the back of the room, the man sneezed again. The twins turned in his direction and shouted in unison, “More pepper!” The man began to furiously shake pepper into the cauldron until the air was fairly thick with the stuff.

Without warning, Wendell leapt on his twin, and the two fell to the floor, arms flailing, screams filling the air. From what little Dallas could see through the thickening air, their punches were poorly aimed and their crying was more for show than for any actual injury.

Dallas sneezed, and then Campbell. It was hard not to, the pepper was flying everywhere. For a moment, Dallas thought the pig on the table sneezed.

“Let’s get out of here.” He grabbed Campbell’s hand.

“That’s my watch,” Dallas heard Wendell scream. “Give it back, back, back!”

“No, no, no!” that was William now. And then their outraged cries became screeches as they continued to roll about on the floor.

Dallas and Campbell felt their way to the door and beat a hasty retreat, shutting the madness behind them.

They wiped at their streaming eyes, randomly sneezing, although the fresh air helped their breathing.

“This Wonderland is a very strange place,” Campbell observed. He patted Dallas gently on the back.

“Tell me about it.” Dallas rolled his eyes.

to be continued

Now go visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to!

Virtual Book Tour: Charming the Duke

Please welcome author Holly Bush, who is here to talk about her newest release, Charming the Duke! (I must say I love a good romance that involves a duke!) Holly will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To find out where the stops on her tour are, go here. Don't forget to look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

Charming the Duke
by Holly Bush



1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.

The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.



Our hero can’t resist a kiss . . .

“Thornsby!” Matilda hissed. People from one end of the room to the other were staring. Oddly, the glimpse Matilda caught of her mother revealed a smile.

“What is wrong with you, Thornsby?” Matilda asked when he finally released her after pulling her into the first deserted room they came to.

“You said yourself that Altry has never asked you to dance. What do you imagine prompted him now?”

“Heavens, I don’t know. Why would I care? It was just a dance,” Matilda replied.

“Just a dance? That young pup was nearly drooling.”

“Drooling? Whatever are you talking about?” Matilda asked.

“Miss Sheldon! You are no fool. Don’t presume to tell me you don’t understand. Altry asked you to dance because of this damned outfit you’re wearing.” Thornsby shouted.

“You’re only angry you can’t compare me to a maid or a washwoman.”

Matilda supposed the Duke was right though. Altry would have never paid her court if she hadn’t been wearing this dress. It all supported her notion that the glasses, brown dresses, and scruffy boots separated the chaff from the wheat. Those that deemed her worthy enough to speak to when dressed that way, and those that chose this evening to address her. The Duke had apparently noticed her gown.

Thornsby stared at her as if in a trance. She wondered what was going through his mind. “Don’t make Altry to be any more the cad than you, Thornsby. You’ve never noticed me either. Unless to insult me.”

His eye twitched. “That is untrue.”

“Far from it,” Matilda said.

“Don’t presume to know what is in my mind,” Thornsby said and grabbed Matilda’s bare shoulders.

The moment was charged with sparks, shooting through the air, connecting him to her. Matilda felt, well, she didn’t know what she felt. Fluttery and female. Angry. Aware. The touch of his fingertips drifted down her arms leaving her hands numb. Her voice came out barely above a whisper.

“What is on your mind then?” she asked.

“I’m thinking of kissing you, Miss Sheldon.”

Matilda batted her lashes. “Is it the dress?”

Thornsby touched his lips to hers. A feather’s touch. He inched back to gaze over her face. “I don’t know. But I don’t think so.”

His breath was warm on her cheeks. She’d never been this close to a man before. She could see the lines around his mouth and the bristle of his beard. He touched his lips to hers again.

“What do you imagine it is?” Matilda whispered into his mouth.

Thornsby slipped his hand around her waist and pulled her close. He tilted her head up with his finger. “I haven’t a clue,” he said. Then he kissed her. Really kissed her.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and former vice-president of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.


Twitter - @hollybushbooks

Facebook -!/pages/Holly-Bush/247399131941435

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Night Magic

Please welcome author Kathleen Ann Gallagher, who is here to talk about her newest release, Night Magic. Kathleen will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC, an eBook copy of Night Magic, and a tote bag (US only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find out where the rest of the tour stops are, go here.  And look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post!

Night Magic
by Kathleen Ann Gallagher



The beautiful but lonely owner of a bath and body shop, Krista Winter is in need of legal counsel. Her past is about to catch up with her.  She was forced to flee from her life as a teacher in New Jersey after being shunned for being a witch.

Life is not the same for Jon Bartolo. He’s a dedicated lawyer, living in the town of Conway, New Hampshire. His days are spent helping his clients with their struggles and his nights are spent in agony, lost in a world between life and death.

His mother, who died three years ago, lurks in his house, suffering from a curse for eternity, without a resting place.

A smoldering fire between Jon and Krista ignites almost immediately, however, he’s sure his secret would frighten a woman away. An afternoon escape brings them closer, but doubts linger between the love-struck couple.

How will Jon’s  mother find eternal rest so he can move on with his life? Is he bound to a life of hell on earth?

Will Krista fit into his world when he learns about her past?  Could she be hiding a bigger secret? Is it possible for them to open their hearts to love? Could  a touch of Night Magic be just what this couple needs?



Steadying herself, she stood back and stared into his eyes. As Jon moved in again and plunged his tongue deep into her mouth, he lightly brushed his hand across the back of her hair, and she surrendered to his touch. It was as if a long lost lover had reappeared and claimed her heart’s desire. There was no telling what might happen next. Her whole body relaxed as he nuzzled her ear, teasing her with playful nips at her neck. All rules had been broken, but it didn’t matter. His hard shaft rubbed up against her stomach, and she swayed back and forth, unable to break away from temptation. His breathing sped up and his strong arms were tight around her back. She quietly moaned, lost in another world. Every movement brought her one step closer. Am I that lonely? I’m about to have sex with a man I just met. As his hand trailed across her back, her body rocked with his.

Each touch was electrifying, as if he wanted to devour her, and she found herself in a trance-like state. Is this what I’ve been missing? Running her hand across his firm bicep, she felt woozy. The warmth of his body was raising her level of arousal. Here in the middle of his office, she experienced a passion like no other. Everything seemed right. Lust took control of her senses and she let herself go with it. With each kiss he cradled her in his arms, his embrace warm and protective like a warrior of love. How did this happen? Had she found the man she was destined for or was it all a dream?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kathleen lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two dogs. She’s a registered nurse who works in an emergency room. Writing has been her passion since she was a young girl. Contemporary and paranormal romance are her favorites.  She has three adult children and three lovable grandsons. Her favorite romantic getaway is Cape May, New Jersey. You might find Kathleen on the beach down The Jersey Shore, wearing a straw hat, sipping on an iced tea, dreaming up her next romance novel.







a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 25, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: The Zoastra Affair

Please welcome author Victoria Pinder, who is here to talk about her new release, The Zoastra Affair. She's also answering a few questions!  Victoria will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find out where the other stops on the tour are, go here. Look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post.

The Questions

1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
Well I’m getting married in June, so it’s going to be the fiancĂ©. One item of my choice? A mattress,
preferably with a bed. True story: I’ve been lost in the woods at night with a blinded park ranger and my mother. The park ranger was hit in the face with a tree branch. We dropped the flashlight down the side of the mountain. My mother almost fell to her death when we climbed over a tree bridge. So I’m not going camping ever again unless there is a hotel next to the woods.

2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
Really?!? I’m smiling with this question. I love singing musicals and if I had been allowed, I’d have studied. Musical theater is the BEST!!!! I’m going with Gigi. My parents kept me under lock and key and I never had a Gaston. But I understood not being allowed to go outside and to spend all my time at home as a child.

   3)     Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  insurance, owed, talk
“I need my car.” Caro argued with her mother, but her mother shook her head and kept cutting the carrots.
Caro rolled her shoulders and said, “Mom we need to talk.”
“You owed the money to pay for the insurance and I’m not paying for you.” Her mother picked up the plate of carrots and dropped them into boiling water.
Caro opened her mouth and shut it. Then she did it again. Finally she built up her nerve and answered in a booming voice, “Mom, I’ll go ask dad. Prom is that important.”

4)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
Lately, planning the wedding. But if we are not, we’re holding hands, walking, and joking. It’s the best and
to me better than any fancy dinner.

5)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
Character. Now I might have a plot bunny like it would be fun to have my characters sky dive into town. But I can’t write that scene without knowing my characters. But now that I said this, my mind is wondering can I fit that into the story I’m working on right now? It might work… And my process goes more like this…

6)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
Anne Hathaway, but my life is pretty boring. It’s why I make stories up in my head.

7)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
The guy in the Shining. I still haven’t finished that book and it’s been 20 years. I’m still terrified.

    8)   Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
You’re asking a history teacher. This is bad. England, France, the Ancient world are all swimming in my
head. Throw in American history like Lincoln with a loud voice… Eck. I don’t know. Gerard, a third brother in the Collins books, is based on JFK a bit. And growing up in Boston, that family is the known ones. So that has to be part. But then tomorrow it could be a cowboy like Wild Bill Hitcock, Henry Vth was a good guy, or I could pick an adventurer like Marco Polo.

9)      Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
I think the world is ready for a lot. I’m not worried about not ready. Though I have contracts for six books, I’m still learning my style that is to last the career. I’d rather figure that out. I cannot control the world.

The Zoastra Affair
by Victoria Pinder



A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.



Twenty Second Century

Sheraton Home World

I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.

“Ariel, are you listening?”

Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”

She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.

A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.

Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?

Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.

No longer on her planet, Grinocx, she did her best to understand this planet’s culture. Order made sense, but the Sheratons never made sense. Her gaze wandered to the well-manicured lawn designed for ostentatious parties. Not paying attention, Ariel’s mind still picked up a few phrases in the lecture, please a man, be agreeable, and do whatever is asked with a smile, floated in the air.

Lenchena’s voice became animated as she told them, “Ferula can be used on your future husband to ensure he finds completion even if you are too tired to perform your duties. However, with your husband, do this sparingly or else he’ll find you a lazy wife.”

Ariel blinked after that statement. Another grueling lecture on pointless marriage and sex. Blah, blah, blah. Her people, Grinders, didn’t believe in love and mating only to reproduce. Being stuck on Sheraton where the women dressed in long dresses, caring for homes with neatly cut green grass, and doing nothing more exciting than watching the pink dawns, while the men held careers in outer space, had never been her plan.

Was she really sitting in a lecture on how to please the male species? She rolled her eyes. Seriously? No, she refused to listen to this nonsense. The words ‘ladies never say no’ reverberated behind her back and made her face pucker.

Ariel schooled her features, pretending to listen to the school master, Ms. Rochelle. The woman had no heart. No one had listened to Ariel when she had cried for days and days that some young teenager had switched bodies with her, trapping her in this alien hell. Rochelle had dragged her back to school, and kept her under lock and key.

Hope became fleeting after that, while the years ticked past. For the past four years, she’d been training at the all-girls school for orphans on how to be a proper maid and housewife.

The twenty-five years of her life training to be an engineer, then serving on the starship Tygra, then the sistership Thrycer, had been stolen.

Now that this body was almost of marriageable age, Ms. Rochelle, cursed school teacher, paraded Ariel out of the orphanage to find her a match. Every week or special event needing service, Ariel had on the job training with heavy supervision, pointing out Ariel’s light pink hair and ability to be a serviceable wife to a working man. Pink hair girls are sweethearts. Yeah right. That lowlife bottom-feeding insect, Lenchena, had stolen her body and her life.

Ariel had stopped complaining years ago because it got her nowhere. She was on her own and needed to find a way out of this body and back to her ship. With the almost age of marriage upon her, it was now or never. Then Ariel was going to find that little twit who stole her body and make her pay for stranding her on this backward planet.

“In a few weeks Ariel will be leaving us. Heading toward marriage with Massimo?” Ms. Rochelle’s voice pulled her back into the lecture.

“Err . . .” Massimo, with his hovercraft, became convenient transportation to leave the school with permission, but marriage? The boy dreamed of owning a restaurant with a pretty wife. She’d find a way off the planet, when she wasn’t being observed or offered for marriage to every low level non-space going man on this planet. Time ticked fast now.

“Ariel is lucky to have found a man so interested in her beauty, he can overlook her status.”

Ariel’s mouth tightened and she lowered her head to hide her scowl. No. Massimo was a child, too. Getting her body back from the child thief, Lenchena, mattered far more. This body was now strong. Away from the ever-watchful teacher, she’d have her chance for escape at one of the upcoming diplomatic events where she’d be a maid or serve others dinner. Plus, Sheratons mated for life, something Ariel refused to believe in. But in order not to draw attention to herself, she played along. “Um, yes. I am.”

A group of male soldiers marched past the closed door of the school room. The females in the class twisted around to catch a glimpse of them. Ariel didn’t join her classmates in staring and drooling at the opposite sex.


Why did these aliens keep males and females separate until marriage? The customs of this world never ceased to amaze her. The teacher taught the virgin teenagers to expect women to fall into orgasm whenever a man’s hand grazed her body. Seriously? Had they never had sex before? In her memory, sex hadn’t been that all-encompassing.

For the past four years she’d been stuck in this body, living through alien teenage hormones. The sexually denied tightness irritated her body, and her mind longed to be back working on a single engine design. On the Thrycer, she’d run a top design engine room, winning numerous awards for ingenuity on a space ship. Then she’d joined the boarding party to Sheraton, being told the planet was a relaxing and safe tranquil spa. Lies.

If Ariel let them, these alien hormones would dull her reaction time in the girl’s leftover body that held her consciousness. She’d managed to keep slim and fit with exercise as she bided her time until she found a way to her freedom, and got her body and life back. When she finished this, she’d fix everything. She’d force the girl who stole from her to return with the borrowed body to make the final switch and right everything.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.

During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.

When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.

Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.

Visit Victoria online at:

Authors Website:







Buy Link:


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tease Me Thursday #7: A Special Christmas

Welcome to Tease Me Thursday! When it's not quite Friday, but you want to have some fun!

Today I'm posting a little bit from my recent Christmas release, A Special Christmas. It's Prohibition-era Chicago, and two young immigrants meet in a speakeasy in Romeoville, Illinois. Florian is Italian, and works in his family's dry cleaning business. Nick is a young Greek, who has come to America to live with is aunt and uncle and help in the pharmacy. This is a little bit of their first meeting. Enjoy!

Turning back toward Florian, magnetized by him almost, Nick nodded, not trusting himself to speak quite yet. He was not as innocent as Florian appeared to be, although he thought that he was probably a little younger. When he lived in Greece, he'd flirted with a young man in his village. It was nothing serious, just for fun while they worked together in the fields. But that boy had not stirred him the way that Florian did; he had not wanted to kiss him the way that he wanted to kiss Florian. He pushed such thoughts away. He knew that most of the men in America were not like those in Greece. He'd been warned of that before he ever moved here. What was most important to him at the moment was that he not scare Florian away. "You have a pretty name," he said at last, when he felt his voice was more firmly under his control. Success! It didn't crack -- much.

"Grazie," Florian said. "I mean, thank you. In English, it means flower." He took care to enunciate his English very distinctly.

"Ah, you are Italian?" Nick realized, even as he thought to himself that it was an appropriate name. "You come from Italy, yes? I am Greek." He proudly pressed one hand against his chest, as if to punctuate his words. "Are you born there?"

"No, no, I am born here, in America. My parents, their parents, they come from Italy, a very long time ago. Before they come to Chicago, my parents live in New York. Someday I would like to go there."

"New York looks very big. I only see a little bit of it," Nick admitted. "I come here to live with my aunt and uncle and my cousins. We live in Elwood, Illinois. You probably do not hear of it. Where you live?"

"I live in Cicero," Florian said.

Nick's eyes grew big. He knew what kind of people lived in Cicero. The gangsters who populated his dreams. 

Now available at Torquere Press

Now go check out the other bloggers!


Virtual Book Tour and Review: Savage Deception

Please welcome author R.T. Wolfe, who is here to talk about her latest release, Savage Deception, which I have also reviewed.  R.T. will be awarding a $100 Amazon or BN GC (winner's choice) to a randomly chosen commenter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on the tour, go here.  Look for the rafflecopter at the end of this post!

Savage Deception
by R.T. Wolfe



Busy juggling loan sharks and Amber Alerts, Detective Nickie Savage makes time when the FBI seeks her expertise with a child trafficking ring. But when Nickie discovers that the men running the ring are the same ones who abducted her as a young teen, the case gets personal.

Risking her badge, Nickie goes rogue. Luckily, she has Duncan Reed, along with his wire tapping and surveillance expertise. But Duncan also wants to take their relationship to the next level.

Now, Nickie must choose: break her own rules and risk her heart or forge ahead alone.



“This is our hotel.” Those were the only four words Nickie had spoken since Duncan picked her up at Vegas Metro. He’d expected her to be shaken after the day she’d had. He didn’t expect her to be shaking.

Heading for the elevator, he realized they were retiring to their room as the rest of the town was beginning their evenings. He heard them before the elevator arrived. Loud, drunk and male. The doors slid open to a small group of young men. They reeked of marijuana and alcohol. One did a double take at Nickie.

“The cop stripper!” he slurred. “I got your card in here somewhere.” He patted his pockets.

Nickie wore what she usually did. Button-down blouse, this one raspberry-pink, and black slacks … both tighter than most wear. She was never afraid to use her sexuality when it suited her. Her black boots had heels. Her gun was secured on her belt, along with her badge and cuffs.

Duncan saw it all through an angry haze of red.

The one patting his pockets took out some cash. The others whistled as they pulled out more bills.

Duncan stepped in front of Nickie.

“Come on, dude. Share!” they boy said to Duncan.

He wasn’t sure whose arm it was, but before he knew it a hand cupped her breast. As quickly as the arm reached her, Nickie twisted and had it wrenched behind the man’s back. “That’s assaulting a police officer you stupid piece of shit.” Her voice was eerily calm.

“Hey!” another one defended, landing a hand on her shoulder. Duncan took it, bending it back until he heard a crack. The boy bellowed in pain as his friends stepped in to help.

Fists flew and heads bobbed. They were drunk and young. That excuse wasn’t going to help them. Duncan ducked easily taking two down with solid hooks as he heard the soft heels of the security officer running toward them.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

R.T. Wolfe enjoys creating diverse characters and twining them together in the midst of an intelligent mystery and a heart encompassing romance. It's not uncommon to find dark chocolate squares in R.T.'s candy dish, her Golden Retriever at her feet and a few caterpillars spinning their cocoons in their terrariums on her counters. R.T. loves her family, gardening, eagle-watching and can occasionally be found viewing a flyover of migrating whooping cranes.

R.T. Wolfe Website:

R.T. Wolfe Facebook Page:

R.T. Wolfe Twitter Handle:

R.T. Wolfe Pinterest Page:

Savage Deception for Kindle:

Savage Deception for Nook:

Savage Deception for iBooks:

Savage Deception for Kobo:

Savage Deception
Author: R.T. Wolfe
Publisher: ePublishing Works!
American release date: December 11, 2013
Format/Genre/Length: EBook/Drama/254 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: NR
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

To call Nickie Savage and Duncan Reed polar opposites would be an understatement. She’s a damn good detective with a whole lot of baggage and he’s from a lifestyle she can only imagine, dripping with class and good looks. And yet somehow they work, in their own way.

Eight months before the story begins, NIckie had been the one who was responsible for breaking up a mass kidnapping ring that forced kids in their early teens into prostitution. Now the FBI wants her help with a similar situation. Little do they realize she has personal experience with a group just like this, of the kind that leaves deep scars.

Duncan has tried to amalgamate Nickie into his life as much as possible without freaking her out.  But she has so many damn rules she feels compelled to follow. And he respects them because he loves her.

Nickie and Duncan are each flawed in their own ways, and the author brings them powerfully to life. The writing is very strong and very fast paced. I found myself reading faster and faster in order to find out what would happen to them, because I couldn’t even begin to guess.

This is a rollercoaster of a ride that you’ll be glad you took. I was so involved with these characters that I carried them with me when I wasn’t reading. As if the story would continue and magically appear before me.

The love between Nickie and Duncan floored me, and I enjoyed their intimate scenes together, as well as watching them mesh as a couple, each learning how to be with the other. Together, each can be whole, through the power of their love.

If you like stories with suspense, mystery, despair, hope, and above all, love, give this a try. I loved it, and look forward to the next book in the series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway