Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Staple


Welcome to this week's edition of Tuesday Tales. This week I'm sharing with you the opening to my new WIP. 
 
This will be your outcome if you don’t stay away from Charlie.  These words encrypted on two tarot cars had not only haunted her, but had changed the course of her life.

Five years later…

On a train en route to River Lake Springs, Rachael Ragazzi opened the zipper compartment of her wallet and pulled out back-to-back tarot cards stapled together, where these harsh words were written.
To this day it still amazed her how she let these two cards change her fate, causing her to make the biggest mistake of her life.  Making such a brash decision in packing it in and leaving River Lake Springs without thinking things through, had gotten the best of her.  Why would she let tow tarot cards change the direction of her life?  For Christ sake they were only an Italian card game, not a course of living.

Thinking back to when she told Lacy, she remember Lacy reassuring he that whoever sent the cards apparently was an absolute imbecile with no knowledge of the underlying meaning of the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck or any tarot deck for that matter.  However, this person was smart, taping the Tower Card and the Death Card back to back.  On the Tower Card, the number one was written and below it in lipstick red said, “This is what’s to come.” Turning the card over Rachael started at the Death Card.  On it, written in the same red lipstick was the number two and below it this will be your outcome if you don’t stay way from Charlie.
Rachael still got an unsettling feeling whenever she looked at the Tower Card. The card represented destruction.  It was a dark and dreary card with a lightening bolt that hit the top of the towel knocking the top off, while flames quickly blazed throughout.  There were two people falling from the tower and on one of them her name was written in blood red ink.
Chills ran through her body when she flipped the card over.  Now knowing much about the tarot, she surmised the Death Card meant that someone was out to kill her.  The card displayed an armored, skeletal figure riding a white horse holding a flag, with dead flowers and a king, child and maiden falling in front of him.  It frightened her beyond belief that two cards had been the deciding factor in her final decision to leave.
When Rachael calmed down, Lacy explained to her that the Death Card in a tarot reading was a good card.  Death meant the end of one stage in your life and the beginning of another.
She thought back to the day she packed he things and took off to Lacy’s house in Crown Royal, a three hour drive to upstate New York.  That day was the turning point in her life.  The day she had made the decision to start over again, which began with her changing her cell phone number and deleting her Facebook account.
It nearly killed her leaving behind all that meant the world to her.  What could have possessed her to be scared off by two tarot game cards? She had turned her life upside down.  Tears accompanied her every night bed ritual, which consisted of a prayer to Saint Anthony, a brief summary of her day in her journal and kissing Charlie’s picture good night.
Why did she walk away from the one man who had captivated her heart and soothed her soul? How could she have left without any explanation?  Her motto out of sight, out of mind just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  She thought she’d get over time, but never did.  He was always popping up in her everyday thoughts.  All it would take was hearing a song and Charlie’s image would appear.
Taking a deep breath Rachael gazed out the train window.  She couldn’t believe she had volunteered to return back to her hometown of River Lake Springs, New York with Lacy for the reading of Lacy’s ex-husbands will.
What were her chances of running into Charlie?  And what would she do if she did?  This was something she had dreamed about all these years.  Just thinking about him, sent chills through her.  The fact of the matter she never stopped loving him and hoped somehow someway she would run into hi.  But then, there were still those damn tarot cards.  Every time she thought about calling him,
she would think about the cards and talk herself out of it. Or was she using the cards as an excuse to keep her life stagnant.
“Hey, I thought you got rid of those five years ago,” Lacy said pointing t the cards.
“I lied,” she frowned.  “I wanted to get rid of them, but something just wouldn’t let me.”
Lacy took the cards from her.  “I would love to find out who sent them.”
“Yeah, me too.  I’ve never been the same.  I must be crazy walking away from my life over two cards.”
“However, only good came from the cards.”  Lacy grinned.  “Those cards drove you straight to Crown Royal where you’ve become a successful businesswoman.  Fate has a funny way of playing games.”
“You’re right.  We’ve come a long way.”  Putting her head down she concluded, “I never thought I would get back on track, especially after my disastrous marriage to Mitch.  Thank God I was able to get a quick divorce.”
“That’s what happens when you make rash decisions without thinking.”
Rachael took her cards back.  “And that’s what good friends are for.  You helped me through one of the most devastating time in my life.”
“That’s what we’re all about,” she nodded. “And on that note, I’m going to find the restroom and inquire if there is a bar car on this train.”
Holding up her cell phone, Rachael said, “Call me if there is and I’ll meet you thee.  I sure can go for a martini.”
Lacy stood up.  “I’m sure you can, and a double at that.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tuesday Tales Bookstore

Welcome to our first Tuesday Tales Bookstore post. This week I'm going to share with you Wild Pitch with is a baseball novella.

THE WILD PITCH

Blurb: Pia Tallisico loves baseball, she loves the New York Pelicans. On a solo trip to the ballpark she meets Pelican relief pitcher, Lorenzo Marcus, which causes an instant spark between them. As the season progresses, so does their relationship. When a secret Pia buried away slowly unravels, an additional unknown deceitful twist arises. Will Pia's secret cause Lorenzo to walk away from the only woman he ever loved?

Excerpt 
The game went by quickly, being played in a little over two hours. Her team the New York Pelicans won by the score one to nothing. Games like this, wound up taking more time traveling than the actual time she sat there. Pia got herself a cup of coffee from the vendor cart before making her way through the crowd back to her car. Since she had been so late, thanks to the extra heavy traffic, the only parking spots left were in the back of the stadium. She hated parking in the back lot, as it always took longer to get out of the parking lot.
Pia got into her car, carefully placing the coffee cup in the holder. Next she reapplied her bronze lipstick onto her plump lips before sliding the key into the ignition. She turned the key and nothing. She turned it again to the same silence. Oh boy, this meant disaster. Getting out of the car, she looked around the lot. Most of the cars in the area were already gone. Since she came to the game by herself, this had turned into a huge problem.

She decided her best course of action was to return back into the stadium to seek help. Under her breath she cursed. Why had she kept putting off renewing her roadside service for only fifty dollars a year? Now she had to hope someone would be able to help her, at least get the car started, so she could get herself home.
She locked the car. As she turned to walk back toward the stadium, she heard someone call out, “Miss.” Pia turned around. Walking toward her was a tall, muscular man with dirty blond hair, dressed in jeans and a white buttoned down cotton shirt.
“I see you have a problem with your car,” the blue eyed stranger said. “I thought I’d stop to see if there’s anything I could help you with before I go home.”
Pia turned and pointed at her car. “I don’t know what’s wrong with it. It just won’t start.”
“Let me try.” He held out his hand.
Pia placed the heart shaped keychain in his hand. She watched him get into her car. He tried numerous times starting it, to no avail.
“Do you live close by here?”
“No. I live in Staten Island.”
“Hmm.” He shook his head. “Let me start by introducing myself.” He held out his hand. “I’m Lorenzo Marcus.”
Pia shook it. “I’m Pia Tallisico. Are you a fan?”
Lorenzo chuckled. “Yes I’m a fan. I wouldn’t mind helping you out.”
Pia thought for a few minutes. “Lorenzo Marcus. You just came up from Triple A ball.”
“That’s me,” he grinned. “I can arrange to have your car taken care of tomorrow. I have no problem giving you a ride home.”
“I don’t know about that,” Pia shook her head. “That’s a lot for a stranger to ask another to do for them.”
“Not a problem. I’d like to take you out for dinner.” Lorenzo took his cell phone out of his back pocket. “Give me a few minutes to call my brother, who’s a mechanic. He’ll take care of everything. If it isn’t anything major, he might have it ready by tomorrow afternoon.”

WILD PITCH IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON. CLICK HERE.
EPUB Nook, Itunes, Kobo, Sono reader and tables. CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Tuesday Tales Picture Prompt

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales Picture Prompt. This is an excerpt from my new cozy mystery novella series. 
 
 




Connie walked into her brand new kitchen and placed two plastic shopping bags full of baking products onto the kitchen counter. It had taken Pete, the handyman close to two weeks to complete taking half of the two-car garage and turning it into a baker’s kitchen. Today was about the finishing touches.  Taking her wooden spoons out of the bag, she used her wooden garlic press as a utensil holder.


Moving to her best friend Sara’s house, in an adult community after her divorce had been a big decision, but one she had to make if she were to move on with her life. She had to start over again, with the first step leaving Staten Island and all her ties behind.

Starting a business had been both Connie and Sara’s dream since they were teenagers. There entrepreneur idea went out the window when they both had gotten married and raised a family. Now twenty something years later, they were both betrayed by their husbands and were in a position to start the second half of their life building on their original dream. Sara’s talent of creating handmade dishes would house Connie’s cookies when they officially starting selling.  

Connie spent the first few weeks living at Sara’s baking cookies, cakes and pastries and leaving samples for the people in the community. She had received many orders, and now with her fully stocked kitchen she would be able sell more.

Since Connie moved down to the Jersey Shore, Sara was trying her best to fix her up with one of the younger men in the community.  One man in particular had captured her eye. Could this be her second chance?

RETURN TO TUESDAY TALES HERE
VISIT MY WEBSITE

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Life



Welcome to this weeks edition to Tuesday Tales. It sure feels good to be back. This is the continuation of my WIP, which I am tying up in the weeks to come. 

Jill gasped when she walked into Umberto’s Restaurant dining room.  In the far corner of the room was a table filled with all different colored wild blowers. The hostess led them to the table next to the one with the flowers. Jill was happy that she hadn’t prematurely comment on them. That would have been one of the most embarrassing moments she had with Robbie. But she was wrong.

Robbie pulled her chair out for her and waited for her to sit before taking the seat across from her.  “I hope you like the flowers.”

Jill lifted her hand to her lips before her lips broke into a huge smile. “I can’t believe these are all for me.”

“And there’s still more to come.” Robbie directed his gaze to the hostess. “I would like a bottle of champagne and fresh fruit to start the evening.”

“Fresh fruit? I’d think that would come after the main course.”

“It usually does. But with the champagne I ordered, fresh fruit jumpstarts the pallet.”

Jill scanned the room. She had been to this restaurant when she was in college. The funny part was the décor, all these years later still looked the same. What really surprised her was how Little Italy shrunk. Back in the day, Little Italy spanned over at least a mile radius. Now, if there were a few blocks it would be a lot. This had always been the place to go clothing shopping when she was in her early twenties. Glancing over Robbie’s shoulder, she couldn’t help but zero in on the orange flowers. He apparently went to a lot of trouble to make this night special for her.

“I can’t tell you enough, how much I love the flowers. I’ll never be able to get these all home.”

“I didn’t expect you to. I asked the owner to deliver them to the women’s shelter down the block when we leave.” Robbie turned around in his chair and took the same flower that Jill had been looking at.

“How did you know?” she asked, taking the flower he held out to her.

“You haven’t taken your eyes off it.” Robbie reached over the table and rested his hand on her. “Never in my life have I ever met a woman who gets so excited over the littlest things.”

“I’ve never been a material woman. Don’t get me wrong I love having the very best money can buy, but just like everything else, it eventually breaks and all that’s left is the same ashes.”

Robbie lifted his hand off hers and reached up and touched her cheek.  “I’m falling in the love with you.”

Jill’s mouth dropped open. This was the last thing she expected to hear. Even thought she felt the same way, she wanted to try her best to keep her feelings hidden. Taking things any further then a few kisses would mean disaster, especially if things didn’t work out and they weren’t physically compatible.

“You seem surprised at my admission.”

“Very much so.”

“Are you going to tell me what you’re feeling?” Robbie asked.

“I don’t know if I can. I’m coming out of a bad relationship slash marriage, met you and you offered me a great job and opportunity. I’ve been trying to separate business from pleasure. I know what happens when you mix the two together. As soon as one goes soar, the other one is right behind.”

The waiter brought over the bottle of champagne and fresh fruit. He placed the fruit on the table, popped open the champagne and poured.

“Before I answer you, I’d like to make a toast.” He held up his flute glass. “I know this is all happening fast, however, I have never felt like this before. I know this is all happening quite fast, but I know we can make this work. To us.” They clanked glasses.

“I’m not sure­­–”

Robbie covered her lips with his finger. “The television show is expected to exceed its original numbers. The producer is happy with the episodes you have written. If we get the audience we’re expecting, then I’m hoping that we get signed for another season.”

Jill lifted the flute glass up to her lips and took a sip. Slowly, she brought the glass back down to the table. “I’m…feeling the same. I’m just scared. Scared to let me feeling and emotions go.”

“Let them go. You have nothing to fear.” Robbie reached across the table to take her hands in his. “What I found in you, I’ve been searching for my whole entire life. Together we are magical. Give me that chance to prove it.”

Jill lifted her gaze to meet Robbie’s. He played around with something in his pocket. Her mind went in all different directions. They only knew each other for a couple of weeks. But Robbie was right. It sure as hell felt magical. 


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt Love

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!

Robbie had a limousine waiting for their trip into Manhattan to get Jill heavier winter clothes. Since she returned to the east coast, she was still adjusting to the winter weather. Robbie brought her to top line designer shops in the garment district. Finding her size was a challenge, since everything had been marked down to make room for the spring line. Jill wound up getting three pairs of dress boots,
two pairs of shoes and winter handbags to match. Most of her handbags were either white, ivory, tan or beach bags so it was refreshing to broaden her color spectrum along with heavy wool and cashmere sweaters.

Their last stop was to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks before heading to the office for the meeting Robbie had set up with the producer and other writers. As soon as the elevator doors to the office opened Gary Nelson was waiting for them at the reception desk with a bottle of water in his hand.

“Jill, so nice to see you again. Come, follow me to the conference room.” He reached his hand out to shake Robbie’s. “Nice going, bro. You’ve found us a gem.” They walked into the conference room where Jill and Robbie sat down opposite the folder on the table.

“I’ve enjoyed all the scenes you wrote. The flow of the characters are natural and I’m loving where you’re taking it.” Gary opened the folder in front of him. “The only problem I have is with the
amount of different scenes you have here. I really want to keep the cost of the sets down until we are certain that the network picks us up for a second season.”

“Robbie spoke to me about that earlier. I was thinking we could eliminate a few of the sets if we taped outside. I was thinking of a few scenes in Central Park.”

“I like how that sounds. Do you think you can make the adjustments and have them ready for me by early next week?”

“Sure I can.”

“Perfect.”

For the next hour, Jill met with two of the other writers to go over scenes and how they were going to intertwine the plots. By the time they finished, Jill had made a few pages of notes on what she needed to do when she got home. She had the perfect idea on how to make the changes to the script. It would just be a little tweaking here and there and some rewriting.

Robbie squeezed her knee under the table. She glared at him and smiled. Ten minutes later Robbie led her out of the building and back into the limo. The seat opposite them was packed with bags. In less than three hours she had purchased a brand new winter wardrobe.

“Do you know what today is?” Robbie asked smiling.

“Yes. It’s Thursday.”

“I don’t mean that. Driver can you stop at the next corner?” Robbie asked. The car came to a halt. “You wait here. I’ll be right back. I forgot to buy something.”

When Robbie got out of the car, Jill turned the radio on low. She looked around and couldn’t imagine where Robbie had gone. The limo door opened and Robbie slid back in with a dozen red roses and a big red heart.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he said, handing them to Jill.

“Oh my God.” Jill said as she took the flowers and candy from Robbie.  “I totally forgot with everything going on. “Thank you.”

“You’re evening has just begun. Our next stop is dinner in Little Italy.”

“We’re never going to get a table. It’s…”

“It’s been all arranged.” They pulled up in front of Umberto’s. The driver opened the door and she slid out after Robbie. “I want tonight to be perfect.”

“Being here with you is all I need. You have done so much for me today. You bought me all these beautiful clothes, then the roses and chocolate and now this. I can’t believe how lucky I am.”

Robbie chuckled. “You haven’t seen anything yet. You’re going to love what I have planned for the evening.” Before they walked into the restaurant, Robbie kissed her softly on her lips. “Tonight is all about you and all about love.”


Just released, my book of Love Poems.  You can purchase it HERE


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Metal




Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales to the word prompt metal. This is my work in progress that is still untitled. Make sure you stop to read the other wonderful stories from a great group of writers.  


Jill stepped back out of Robbie’s embrace. The thought of this going any further spelled disaster. Mixing business with pleasure never worked when the relationship went south. The only thing that could come out of this was her being on the unemployment line. It was literary impossible to work along side someone after you slept with them.

“What’s wrong?” Robbie asked, pulling Jill back into his arms.

“I don’t want to ruin what we have.”

“You’re not going to,” he said, staring deep into her eyes.

“I’m not ready to get involved in anything heavy. I just got divorce and I’m trying to find myself.” Jill dropped her hands into his. “I lost a part of me when my husband’s past discrepancies caught up with him and slapped me in the face.” This time tears trickled down her cheeks. “I’m sorry for being so emotional.”

Robbie wiped her tears away with his fingers. “It’s okay to be emotional. I like you. I like you a lot. Take your time getting to know yourself because once you do, this,” he pointed back and forth between the two of them, “will still be there. I knew it from the moment I met you. You’re worth the wait.”

Jill leaned into him and kissed his cheek. “It’s going to be hard to resist you. I’m going to have to treat us like a character in the sitcom. But I hate that sexual tension thing because the audience always knows that they will wind up together. I want the heroine to be strong, knowing herself before she gets to know anybody else.”

“I like how I feel when I’m around you. You make me feel alive. Damn, I know exactly how you’re feeling. I felt the same way four years ago when my marriage ended. It took me some time to find myself. Divorce is hard. The wound will eventually heal with time.”

“I’m hope so.”

“How about we have another cup of coffee and work on the script? I want to discuss the setting a bit.”

“Yes.” That would be the perfect distraction.

“The producer has starting working on the set. He feels something is missing,” Robbie said, pouring the coffee.

“I agree with him. I think besides the set we should do some outdoor shooting, especially in Central Park.”

“You think that will work?”

“Sure it will. I’ll have to do some readjusting on the script, but I truly believe that people love watching outdoor scenes. When I watch Blue Blood, I love that I recognize places. I’d love to look at the restaurants, cafes, coffee houses and stores around the area.”

“I have to bring you down to the studio. Wait to you see what the set producers can create.”

Jill took a sip of her coffee. “Where’s the studio?”

“In Williamsburg. It’s an old warehouse with brick walls and a metal ceiling that the owner put up for
sale. The executive producer scooped it up and has the staff working on rooms. I have a copy of the blueprint they are working on. Give me a minute, I’ll fetch it.”

Jill sat back in the high kitchen chair, dangling her feet. She wondered if Robbie would take her idea of outdoor shooting seriously. In episode five, she could see the two lead characters running through the park, going from the west side to the east side along the lake. It would add depth to the scene versus the characters walking room to room or up and down the stairs.

“Here you go,” Robbie said, unrolling the blueprint and placing it down on the kitchen counter.

Jill stood, joining Robbie at the counter.

“These are the four rooms we have created. At the office they have a three dimensional version on the computer.”

“I can’t wait to see it,” Jill said, catching Robbie’s gaze.

“Why don’t we head into the city, get you some warm clothes, and then we’ll head over to the office. I’ll give Ted a call letting him know we’re stopping by, giving you a chance to tell him your idea. Then on the way home, we’ll stop in Williamsburg so I can show you the studio.”

“That sounds great. Just give me a half hour to get myself together.”

“A half hour? That’s quick.”

“I’m not a diva.” Jill laughed. “I’ll meet you back here.”

Robbie walked her to the door. “Just come in when you’re ready.” He opened the back door, and before she walked out, he gave her a soft kiss in her lips.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Track


Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales. We are continuing with the story of Jill and Robbie.
 
That night, Jill lay in bed for the longest time not being able to fall asleep. She had come back to New York with a plan, which consisted of getting a job, finding a place to live and finally working on her memoir. But instead, the plane wasn’t even twenty minutes off the ground when she met Robbie, landing herself a job before she even got off the plane. She had to keep her life on track. Meeting Robbie derailed her original plan. Renting the cottage from Robbie made the transition to New York much smoother. But falling for him was the last thing on her list.
                                                                     ~
“Good morning,” Jill sang, walking into Robbie’s kitchen.

“Hey. You’re just in time. I squeezed some fresh orange juice, made a batch of corn muffins with pieces of corn in them and freshly ground coffee.”

“Wow. I didn’t realize you were domestic too.”

“I’m not. Would you believe that I’m just trying to impress you?” he asked, his cheeks growing rosy.

“Yes.” She giggled.  “And no, you don’t have to do that. I usually don’t eat breakfast and if I do, it’s dry cereal out of a coffee mug.”

“That’s going to have to change. We’re going to be working long hours on the sitcom.  Since you’re the head writer, you can do most of the writing out here, but once a week we have to meet at the studio for an meeting with the staff and the actors.”  Robbie placed a glass of orange juice and a dish with an extra large corn muffin in front of her.  Next he brought the coffee and the vanilla creamer.

“Thank you, Robbie. I’m not used to being served.”

“I thought we’d get an early jump on shopping this morning. I’d like to spend the afternoon going over and tweaking the script. I’m hoping to have the script ready to go so we can have a meeting on Thursday morning.”

“When will we start shooting?” she asked, eating a piece of muffin.

“The executive producer wants to have at least the first six episodes ready to go. He feels that will give us enough leeway to get to know the characters and see where they bring us.”

“That’s what we’d do on the soap. Sometimes one particular character would just take over the story, opening up so many opportunities.”

“Since the show has two stories running parallel to one another, we have to make sure the characters and scenes are in synch. You are going to love the two other writers on staff.”

“I usually get along with everyone. I’m always open to any constructive criticism that will make the plot stronger. I believe in team work.”

Robbie nodded. He finished this breakfast and brought his dishes to the sink. Jill felt he was a little off this morning. Robbie wasn’t his usual cheerful self. He seemed somewhat withdrawn as if something lay heavily on his shoulder.  Should she say something? Or just ignore his solemn mood.

Going with her instincts she stood, brought her dishes to the sink and turned the water on to wash them.

“You don’t have to do them.”

“Not a problem. It will just take me a few minutes. Why don’t you pour yourself another cup of coffee?”

Jill quickly cleaned the dishes and muffin pan in the sink, placing them into the drain board. She’d leave the dishes for him to put away.  When she finished, she turned around to watch Robbie pacing back and forth in front of the kitchen island.

“Robbie, what’s wrong? Did I do and say something to make you seem so out of sorts?”

“No. You didn’t do anything. I just have something important on my mind.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Robbie stopped pacing and walked within inches of Jill. “I think I would. There’s just something that’s driving me crazy that I have to get off my chest.”

“Tell me?”

Robbie moved her hair off her face, leaned into her and kissed her lips. Against her better judgment, she went with heart, wrapping her arms around his neck, responding to his kiss.

The ink isn’t even dried on my divorce papers. But this time it felt real…not good.