Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Hooks - Drama Club Chaos #MFRWhooks, #MFRWAuthor

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current WIP or previously published book by possibly new to you authors.
Dram Club Chaos is the third book in the Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series. 

All is quiet at the fifty-five and older community where Connie Acosta is running her illegal bakery out of best friend Sara Mazza's garage. Both women swore off getting involved in any police business at the compound. Just as the two amateur sleuths are enjoying a night out in the clubhouse ballroom, a scream from the lounge draws them into the middle of a police investigation with Warren and Brett, their current partners. Who said seniors can't get into trouble and fall in love again.


“Come on, Connie,” Sara said, grabbing her arm. “It’s disco time.” She pushed Jack toward Vic. “We’ll be right back.”
       Connie got lost in the music. There were so many memories attached to these songs. She could recite the title, artist’s name and year it was released. That’s how much she loved the music. The DJ played five disco songs in a row and then immediately cleared the dance floor when he played a country western song.
       “What is it with this DJ? I’m totally over this,” Sara said, walking over to the table.
       “I got us some snacks from the kitchen,” Jack said. “I have a tray of cheese and crackers that I forgot at home. Do you want me to go get it?”
       “You don’t need to.” Sara ran her hand up his thigh. “Sit tight––”
       Connie watched their playful exchange, as did the woman sitting next to Jack. Jack smiled, slid out of his seat and walked over to Vic.
       “Sara! People can see you. Behave,” Connie warned.
       “Don’t tell me you are talking about these people here.”
       “I am. I hear the way they talk about Lizzy, calling her an old whore. These women get really graphic.”
       “Without a doubt. They have nothing else to do than to watch what other people are doing. If you pay close attention to the house across the street from us, you can see Lucy peeking through the blinds over here,” Sara said.
       “Now how would you know that unless you’re doing the same thing?”
       Sara’s cheeks turned red. “Okay, you got me. I’m just making sure no one is getting too close to the house. The last thing we need is for someone to find out we’re running an illegal bakery in the garage.”
       “You’re right. That’s why we have to watch what we say and who we get friendly with.”
       “You’re always one step ahead––”
       “What are you two whispering about now?” Vic asked with Jack standing next to him, shaking his head.
       Before Connie or Sara could answer them, the DJ slowed the music down. Vic took Connie’s hand and led her out onto the dance floor.
       “I have to ask. Why didn’t you tell me you were coming tonight?” Vic asked, holding her in his arms.
       “Because most of the time Sara and I are on the dance floor. Sorry I didn’t mention it. Don’t be upset.”
       “I’m not. I like spending time with you and enjoy watching you have fun.”
       “You’re really different. I’ve never met anyone like you,” Connie said.
       “I can say the same thing, but I’d be lying. I was with my ex since we were kids. We were married almost thirty-two years when she served me with divorce papers. But that’s in the past,” Vic said. “You’re my future.”
       Vic’s words echoed in her mind. Connie liked him, but wasn’t ready to start any kind of serious relationship. Since they met, their relationship was casual and Connie liked how things were. She was looking for companionship, nothing more.
       Connie wanted to say, “Slow down cowboy,” but instead said, “Vic you’re jumping ahead of things. I like things the way they are. Let’s take it one day at a time and enjoy the night.”
       It was as if the DJ read her mind as he played another slow song. Connie took a step back to gaze at Vic. She smiled. “Another slow one.”
       “Shall we?” he asked, extending his hand.
       “Absolutely.” She slid her hand into his. How’d you learn to waltz?”
       “I took dance lessons before my daughter got married.”
       “Of course. I’m sure you danced to Daddy’s Little Girl.”
       “What father doesn’t?”
       “You’d be surprised.”
       Vic placed his hands on her waist, pulling her closer to him. The dance floor was crowded as the DJ played another slow song. Connie relaxed in his arms, feeling his breath on her cheeks. Vic gave the impression that he was serious about her. It seemed that he was always bringing up subjects relating to marriage and how he felt content whenever he was around her.
       “I can hold you like this all night. Sorry I don’t know any disco moves,” Vic said.
       “You don’t give me the impression that you were the disco king back in the day.”
       “You’re right. I wasn’t. I always leaned toward country western music.”
       “Not me. I was the disco queen.”
       “Hmm. Us Jersey boys had a label for you gals.”
       “Not me. I was already with my husband. No playing mind games with the guys from me.”
       Vic stared into her eyes. “You have put me under a serious spell.”
       He lifted her chin with his finger. Just as their lips met, the shrill of a woman’s voice was heard over the music. After another scream, the music stopped and the room went silent. This time the words, “Oh my God, she’s dead,” echoed throughout the room.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book Hooks - Chaos at the Compound - #MFRWhooks, MFRWAuthor

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current WIP or previously published book by possibly new to you authors.

 Chaos at the Compound is the second book in the Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series. 


Connie Acosta is officially a resident in the fifty-five and older community her best friend Sara Mazza lives in. Her baker's kitchen is almost complete and she has met Vic, another resident who is crazy about her. Meanwhile, Sara finds herself in the mist of a love triangle with Vic's friend Jack and Warren, a police officer at the local station.
When Sara received a call from her friend at the clubhouse saying there is a dead body floating in the outdoor pool, the women rush there to check things out, getting themselves involved in another investigation, especially when Sara finds a few blue pills scattered in the grass that she didn't turn into the police.
Who said seniors can't get into trouble and fall in love again.

After a long cold snowy winter and a chilly spring, the clear blue sky and warm weather of late spring brought all the residents back from their winter homes. The leaves popped out on the trees just like the snow had on the branches. Flowers of different colors began sprouting out throughout the community, just waiting for the deer to find them. Bunnies and chipmunks came out of hibernation and were out every morning like clockwork, searching for food.

       Connie Acosta walked out onto the deck with her cup of coffee, taking all of it in. Watching the bunnies hopping around the back in full sight was one of nature’s delights and this morning was no different. Since moving in with her best friend Sara Mazza, her life had turned around. Her divorce was final and she had to decide on what to do with her house on Staten Island. Maybe now was the time for her to sell her house and buy her own place in the community.

       “Good morning.” Sara walked onto the deck and sat across from Connie. “It feels like summer.”

       “I know and I’m loving it. The best part is how quiet it is here. It makes my thinking become so much clearer.” Connie sipped her coffee. “That’s why I’m contemplating that maybe it’s time for me to find my own house, giving you back your privacy.”

       Sara stood. “No. I won’t hear of it. We have our business to build. There’s no time to start packing and unpacking. I think what we need to do is transform my house into a workstation for both of us.”

       “And how do you plan on doing that?”

       “My idea is to make the sunroom into my studio. I can put tables around the room to put the platters to dry and buy a worktable to put in the center of the room with storage room on either side for my paints. I saw the table I wanted in an antique store on route nine, and they deliver.”

       “That’s wonderful. It takes care of your workspace, but what about mine. I really need a double oven to get at least two trays in at a time.”

       “And I figured that all out last night.” Sara leaned to her side and took out a piece of paper from her pajama bottoms. She unfolded the paper and placed it on the table for Connie to see.

       Connie lifted the paper off the table to get a closer look at it. “What are you planning to put an extension on the house?”

       “Nope. That’s where the garage comes in to play. If we take half the garage, you can have a big stove and plenty of space to lay out your cookies.”

       “Yeah and freeze my ass off in the middle of the winter.”

       “And I have that all figured out too. My neighbor used to be a contractor. He said we can put a wall up to separate the other half of the garage from the kitchen, and he would insulate and sheetrock, making it into your own kitchen.”

       “When did you have time to talk to your neighbor?”

       Sara laughed. “Last night. He’s always up late because he takes his dog out at one o’clock for the last time before he goes to sleep.”

       “What scares me is that you have your neighbor’s schedule down to a science. I think you’re turning into a true senior citizen.”

       “Never. There are people who live here in their late eighties and bounce around like they are teenagers, so keep your thoughts buried.”

       “Thank God for that.” Connie smiled. “So when do you want to start?”

       “Immediately. I thought we’d have an early dinner, stop at the antique store and then go look at the ovens.”

       “That works. I have an idea of what type of oven I’m looking for. I can’t believe this is going to actually happen. This has been our dream since we were kids.”

       “Dreams do come true.“

       The phone rang. Sara reached into her pajama bottoms and answered. “Hello.”

       Connie watched Sara’s expression change from smiling to her mouth opening wide as she walked back into the house. Connie thought back to her first day she arrived when Sara told her a wild goose chase story about missing pictures in the clubhouse, which mysteriously reappeared. Connie thought it was a joke until she witnessed it with her own eyes. The whole incident helped her to forget about her ex-husband who had humiliated her in front of all her friends, cheating on her, having babies with multiple women, and topped it off by selling enhancement drugs to the kids on the football team in order to win games and championships, putting the players’ health at stake.

        “You’re never going to believe this,” Sara said, closing the screen door behind her and leaning against the deck.

       “Did something happen?” Connie moved her chair into the sun, turning toward Sara.

       “Hannah at the clubhouse just called and told me she just got to work and discovered a body face down in the pool.”

       “No way. I’m assuming the person is dead.”

       “Yes. The police are down there right now investigating. What do you say? Are you in?”

       “And what exactly are we going to do?”

       “We are going to find out who it is and why he’s dead. I can’t believe someone would jump into the pool and drown in three feet of water.”


Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Book Hooks - New Beginnings #MFRWhooks, #WFRWAuthor

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current WIP or previously published book by possibly new to you authors.

 New Beginnings is the first book in the Cookie Cutter Cozy Mystery Series. 


 After a traumatic event in her life, Connie Acosta heads down to the Jersey Shore to stay with her friend, Sara Mazza, who lives in a fifty-five and over community. For Connie, this is a temporary stop until she figures out what she wants to do.

Connie and Sara have a brief discussion and decide to start the baking business they had spoken about decades before. But things take a dramatic turn when Sara gets Connie involved in a mysterious adventure at the clubhouse.


It was the perfect day for a pep rally. The sky was blue with clouds scattered toward the east. Connie Acosta couldn’t believe how warm the weather was for a fall day. Usually at the first pep rally of the school year, she always stood on the sidelines in a bulky sweater. But this year was different. For the beginning of October the temperatures were still in the seventies, a treat for suburban mothers in Staten Island, New York. Standing out in the cold had never been her forte.

All the teachers were already standing on the sidelines when she arrived. She had just run a few errands for her husband, Teddy, who was the high school football coach, happy to have made it back in time for the start of the pep rally.

“Connie, over here,” Rita, the principal, waved her over.

Connie joined Rita at the platform stage under the goal posts. Up on stage was a podium with a microphone and eight black and red football helmets. Earlier, Teddy had revealed to her that eight of the junior varsity football players were being moved up to the varsity team, which was why she had gone shopping to pick up the gold uniform numbers to give to the new varsity players, a ritual Teddy had done since he took over the team.

“How was your summer?” Rita asked, hugging Connie.
“Great. Teddy and I went down to Florida for two weeks. How about you?”
“I did my usual. Did the summer school stint and then went to California for a week to visit my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.”
“How old is she now?”
“I can’t believe she is already seven. Time goes by so fast.” Rita slid her sunglasses onto the top of her head. “How’s the attorneys?”
“Both my sons are doing well. They opened their own law firm Acosta and Associates and brought their cousin into the firm with them. Unfortunately neither one is close to giving me a grandchild. ”
Rita patted her on the back. “Don’t worry it will eventually happen.”
The music began and the marching band came onto the field playing the school’s song, causing everyone in the stands to stand up and sing along before cheering at the end of the song. As the band played their next song, they got into their position on the opposite sidelines making room for Teddy to jog across the field to the podium. When he past by the faculty, he high-fived each of his colleagues, until he came to her. Teddy gave her a quick hug without exchanging words and continued up to the podium where he stood waiting for the band to finish playing.
“How pumped up is Teddy this year?” Rita asked, leaning into Connie.
“Really pumped. The moment our vacation ended, he had the boys down here practicing everyday.”
“So I heard. I few of the parents thought he was being obsessive with the practicing, but I assured them in the end it pays off. Teddy has won the state championship eight years in a row.”
“That’s my husband. Sometimes I think football is his soul mate.” She laughed.
“Welcome and thank you all for coming out to attend our first pep rally of the school year,” Teddy’s voice echoed through the stadium.
The cheerleaders ran out onto the field with their black and red pompoms, making the students go crazy screaming. They performed a routine and ended it with the girls forming a pyramid with the cheerleader captain standing on top.
“Thank you ladies.”
The girls disengaged and stood in two parallel lines with their pompoms raised above their heads.
“It is my pleasure to introduce the varsity football team,” he spoke, his voice rising through the PA system above the band that began playing again.
The players jogged in one at a time between the cheerleaders. Connie looked up at Teddy who stood watching with a huge smile on his face. She knew how proud he was of his boys. He put a lot of time into making sure the boys were physically fit and kept their grades up. Teddy was a stickler for making sure all the players maintained at least a B average in all their subjects. If they didn’t, they were benched.
Connie couldn’t be any prouder of her husband. Thirty-eight years earlier she stood on this same field cheering for her Teddy, who was a senior, while she only a freshman. She spent her first year of high school dating the high school quarterback, any girl’s dream come true. Teddy went on to college, got his teaching degree in physical education and returned to teach at the same school he attended.
“It’s with great joy that I introduce you to our varsity football team.” While everyone cheered, Teddy bent down to lift up the first of the eight helmets. “This year I will be adding eight junior varsity players to my team. These boys worked hard and each maintained a B average throughout the school year. They cursed me when I benched them for failing back to back tests, but in the long run, all my boys in the past went on to college with full scholarships.”
The stadium exploded again in cheers. The band began playing again and the cheerleaders did another routine. The music and cheering was so loud, that no one heard the siren of the police cars driving onto the football field.
“Your husband is full of surprises,” Rita yelled over the music. “I can’t believe he got the police to come here to escort in the new players to the varsity team.”
“Neither can I. This is just as much a surprise for me too. But that’s my hubby.”
The police cars slowly approached the stage as the band played louder and the cheerleaders surrounded the police cars. Connie was impressed with how Teddy still had the knack of keeping surprises to himself, in fear that she might accidentally let it slip out.
“Please move away from the cars,” a voice echoed through from the speakers of the police car.
Everyone cheered even louder, sending the whole stadium into a roar. But when the words were spoken again, there was an authority to the voice that sent chills through Connie, as well as the rest of the stadium, with everyone becoming silent when another police car and two unmarked cars sped into the stadium.
Connie watched as the cops got out of their cars, and men in suits with gold shields on silver link chains hung around their necks walked right up to the podium. Rita touched her shoulder, squeezed it and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
“Theodore David Acosta?” blared over the PA system.
"Yes," Teddy answered.
"You're under arrest..."


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Bone

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales. It feels great to be back with this awesome group of authors. With September rolling in, I'm starting a new story. I so sad that the summer is almost over. It really went by too quick. Happy September!

Anna Hershitelli followed the instructions on the certified letter she had received a few days previous. This whole adventure had been surreal, one that she had never dreamed would have ever happened to her. 

When she received the letter, she had tossed it aside, assuming it was another letter from a creditor. When her partner died two years ago, it was a complete shock. Billy had been in the best of shape. Every morning they went jogging together before heading to work. Who would have thought that a forty two year old man would have a massive heart attack? 

The bills started pouring in after the funeral along with the debt he had incurred. They had been together for ten years and had thought that he was well off, only to find out that he had absolutely nothing. She had been the fool who had agreed to take out joint credit cards.

Six months after his death, she was swamped with credit card bills. She had been given him half the money for the rent and he apparently was pocketing it and paying with his credit card. And all the beautiful jewelry he had given her, she now was stuck paying for it. 

The trip on the Garden State Parkway went smoothly until she got off the highway in Little Egg Harbor. She had followed the instruction perfectly until she made the last left. Where the hell was Willow Tree Place? Even her phone’s GPS brought her to the same place, which had a sign that read, “No Outlet” along with two metal gates closing off the dirt street. This time, she pulled over, got out of the car and asked the young couple standing outside where Willow Tree Place was. They laughed before telling Anna where she made a mistake.

Anna found her way out of the cul-de-sac and made the left turn down a dirty road that brought her through woods and out onto route nine, where the house was located on the corner lot.

The house was made out of stone, just like the letter said. She pulled behind the SUV parked in front
of the house. By the time she got out of the car, an elderly man stood in front of the slate walkway to the house.

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Hershitelli.  I’m Steward Walker, your Aunt Rose Aufielo’s attorney.”

“Nice to meet you.” Anna shook his hand. “I’m sorry I’m later, but I got lost along the way.  I didn’t realize that Willow Tree Place is off of route nine or else I would have taken route nine the whole way down.”

“I have to apologize. I had made the same mistake the first time I came here too. Technically, the house has two addresses, one on Willow Tree Place and the other on route nine. Your aunt used the Willow Tree Place address because it was a difference in her taxes being off the main road.”

“I can’t believe she had this house. Even my mom didn’t know anything about it.”

“It’s a beauty if you look vintage.”

“So I can see. I think the last time I saw a cottage made out of stone was on HGTV.”

“You’re probably right. There aren’t many like these around anymore. That’s why you have gotten yourself a beauty here,” he said taking a folder out of his briefcase. “Let’s go into the house so we can go over the paperwork.”

“What paperwork?”

“This cottage is yours. When your aunt passed away, she left the cottage to you, her only niece. She was certain that you were the one who would keep the house,” he explained.

“I don’t know why she would think I could handle a house when I’m so much in debt.”

“Not anymore. She took care of all your debt. When she came to do her will, she said you were the only one who ever called or visited her. You are debt free with a beautiful twenty-eight hundred square foot house, waiting for you to move into.”

“This is a lot to digest.”  Anna reached down into the calf high grass and lifted up a soda can and a steak bone.  “Looks like the lawn hasn’t been maintained in quite sometime.”

“Maybe so. But wait until you see the inside.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Hooks - Roses

Book Hooks is a once a week Marketing for Romance Authors promote each other. It's also a great way for the author to share their work and have their friends get the word out about the group.

     After the untimely death of her husband in the line of duty, Nikki Petrino still grieving three years later, goes on retreat to Mexico to finish her novel, where she meets musician Drake Dente a 90’s rock icon working on lyrics for his comeback CD.
     After meeting at dinner, Drake and Nikki can’t keep their eyes off each other. Sparks fly and they instantly became an item. Upon returning to New York for Nikki’s high school reunion, she learns shocking events from her best friends.
     After a misunderstanding, Nikki is missing and Drake is desperate to find her.

She dangled a pair of white heels from her hand, but glancing at her sunburned feet she decided on a pair of white flat sandals instead. She closed her hotel room door and headed to the Bamboo Bar.
The waiter led her to the perfect table beneath a bamboo roof with an ocean view. Before opening the newspaper she purchased earlier in the hotel’s gift shop, she ordered a piña colada. She was quite surprised to see a New York paper. However, when she realized it was two days old, it brought a smile to her lips.
Nikki still found it hard to believe that she’d actually picked up and left solo. She always liked to be around people and would rather not eat than to be caught alone in a restaurant. But tonight she cherished her privacy. She loved the fact that she could do whatever she wanted when she wanted. Whenever she went anywhere with her friends, their main concern was always when and what they were going to eat and what time they were going to get home. Now, there were no responsibilities, no time schedules and no one lurking over her shoulder giving her what they thought was the perfect solution for her broken heart. Yes! This was the perfect trip for her.
Just as she finished her drink, the waiter brought her another cocktail. She shook her head no and continued reading the paper. To her dismay, he left the drink on the table and walked away. Before she could call after him, he was already across the room waiting on another table.
"Excuse me, miss." The interruption came from a tall muscular man built like a body builder with the word Mom tattooed on his upper arm.

"The drink is from the gentleman sitting over there," he said, pointing to a well-dressed man wearing black tailored pants and a white button-down shirt.
"Please tell him, no thank you."
Nikki waved him off. She wanted no part of the man standing in front of her. He was so big and his voice so deep that he frightened her.
“Please miss, the gentleman would like very much for you to accept his offer,” he firmly explained in a distinct New York accent.
"Listen, I don't care who it's from. I'm just not interested," she muttered, hastily standing up.
"Hey that's all right, Tony. I'll take it from here. I'm a big boy now."
Nikki turned around and there standing in front of her, stood a distinguished man. He seemed familiar. He was tall, beardless with a fair complexion, highlighted by very appealing hazel eyes. His wavy light brown hair extended past the nape of his neck and lay floppily on his forehead. She fought the urge to sweep his shiny bangs away from his soft brown eyes.
“I'm Drake Dente," he said in a British accent.
As soon as he spoke and introduced himself, she knew exactly who he was. "Nice to meet you, Drake. I'm Nikki Petrino."
"Oh, really!" Surprisingly, he laughed. "I just finished reading your novel Detective’s Row. It was great. In fact it was the first book in a long time that kept my attention from beginning to end. Damn, I wish I had brought it with me. I would’ve loved to have you autograph it!"
"Thank you." She smiled. “That's truly a compliment."
"You wrote it like a true New Yorker."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Book Hooks - New Release

Book Hooks is a once a week Marketing for Romance Authors promote each other. It's also a great way for the author to share their work and have their friends get the word out about the group.


The Perfect Pitch (Seaside Boulevard Series - Book 1)

 Francine and Richie Ragglio are high school sweethearts. Francine owns her own real estate business and Richie pitches for the New York Pelicans. Richie hurts his shoulder while pitching the first game of the season, not the way he wants to end his career. When Francine is left an abandoned restaurant from someone from her past, things begin to spiral out of control. The mystery of a hidden basement brings Francine and her friends together to do their own investigation, which puts them in the middle of a smuggling ring. Will Richie's get through his surgery so he can retire on top of his game? And will Francine and her friends solve the mystery of the hidden basement?


Richie Raggalio’s name was called over the PA system. Everyone jumped to their feet clapping, and Francine’s butterflies hatched in her stomach with excitement for her husband. Richie came running out of the dugout, tipping his hat as he waved to the crowd. The press photographers called out to him. He stopped to let them take some pictures. Before going out to the mound, he walked up to the stands to give Francine a peck on her lips.
“This game is for you.”
Francine continued clapping and cheering with the crowd along with her friend Amy Mills. Fifteen years earlier, Richie took the same walk out to the mound, except his words to her had been, “Wish me luck” before taking his position on the pitching rubber. Today he stood on the mound, still tall and lean. The only difference being these days, he sported a crew cut.
Her life as a baseball wife, while running her own business, had been far from glamorous. Her foster parents had purchased the business for her after Francine caught them cheating on one another. Their deceit resulted in them paying for her college education, and giving her anything she wanted within reason, in exchange for keeping their secret. Her loyalty to both led her to becoming an entrepreneur.
“Let’s all stand to sing the National Anthem, being sung by local musician, Mike Gio,” the broadcaster announced.
Francine kept her eyes on Richie. When she sat next to him in biology lab twenty-five years ago, her heart had skipped a beat. The first time she watched him pitching in high school, she had no idea she would become part of his baseball career.
Richie had spent his whole career playing for the New York Pelicans. Most games she attended alone, leaving her two childhood best friends Amy Mills and Toni Belluci to run things at the office. Looking around at the other players’ girlfriends and wives sitting in the area, she couldn’t help but laugh to herself. The younger the women were, the higher the stilettos and shorter the skirts. Francine never fit in with them. When she wasn’t at work, she pulled her long chestnut colored hair in a ponytail, wore jeans and, depending on the weather, flip-flops or flats. Today, she wore flats.
The fans began cheering during the final words of the National Anthem. Since this was Richie’s last season, she would cherish the moments spent at the ballpark. This had become her home, her way of living. The only thing that worried her was what Richie would do with his free time. He was drafted during his third year of college and spent the next few years working his way up through the minor-league organization. Since he was a teen, he had devoted his whole life to his baseball career and her. During the off-season, Richie volunteered at the high school helping pitchers, which occupied most of the winter months. Other than that, he didn’t have many other interests that would keep him from driving her crazy in retirement.

Tuesday Tales -Word Prompt - Stone

 Welcome to this week's Tuesday Tales to the word prompt stone. This is an excerpt for my work in progress.

      “Peggy was real sick with meningitis and was on the road to recovery.  He said he just couldn’t throw her out, but promised as soon as she recovered he would talk to her about finding a place of her own.”
      “I don’t know whose worse, you or him. You both got involved in other relationships on the rebound.”
      “You’re a hundred percent right.  I was a fool when I married Bill. You’re right in saying my first marriage was on the rebound, along with the second one to Alex.  I don’t think I ever really loved either one of them.  I hurt both of them when I asked for a divorce.”
    “You can’t look back.”
     “I don’t.  And then when I was about to get a second chance with Charlie, I got those damn cards.”
     “Personally, I think deep down you used the receipt of the cards a a legitimate excuse to resign
from your job at the television studio and run away from your problems.  The cards thing just isn’t real.”
     “And what made you come to the conclusion?”
      “It was just a feeling I had.  I sensed you lost your drive to go on stake outs and your adrenaline rush for breaking into places had diminished.  You lost something with your breakup with Charlie.”
      “Yeah I did. I felt as if a part of me had died.  But that’s over now.” Rachael quickly recovered from her somber mood. “Things are different, I am different. I am stronger and successful.  I might have given up one career, but I sure as hell made a great, or shall I say we made a great comeback.”
     “We sure as hell did. I’m able to stand on my own.”
     “I don’t think you’ll ever have a problem. You and Gene are there for the long haul.  I think you have nothing to worry about.”
     “You’re right.” Leaning across Rachael, Lacy looked out the window.  “It won’t be long.  I can see the city in the distance.  We should be arriving in less than an hour.”
      “I think you’re right.  I can see the tall building over the trees.”
     “You know it’s funny, but the close we get to our past, the more I regret coming here.”
     “Why is that?”
      “I just get this eerie feeling about coming back that I just can’t explain.”
      “Is there something you’re not telling me?” Rachael asked concerned.
      “No. I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m just reading too much into Matt’s motives for having me be a part of his last will and testament.  But I just can’t seem to get out of my mind the reasoning behind this.”
     “I’m sure the reason is going to be just as ridiculous as the way he turned your divorce into.  Let’s just hope he didn’t leave you with some outstanding debt he never paid bank and you’re being held liable for.”
    “That would be my luck.  I’m at a point I my life that it’s as close to being perfect as it could
possibly be.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt gives me a zinger from his grave, with the head stone shaking.”
    “Okay, that’s it, enough of the subject.  Let’s not think about it or else it’s going to drive us crazy.”
    “So what do you purpose we do?”
     “First thing to do is check into our hotel and call the hair salon to make appointments,” Rachael said squirming in her seat.
     “You’re right.  I think hair, manicure and pedicure are in order for both of us.”
     “Sounds like a plan.  I also think tonight we should grab an early dinner and get a good night’s sleep.”
     “Just to set the record straight, it’s agreed that no matter what happens we’re out of here on the last train tomorrow night?”
     “Exactly.  The less time we spend in River Lake Springs, the better off we’ll be.”
      Rachael shook her head in agreement.  River Lake Springs was thing of her past.  She would be content in having bad haircuts instead of returning back to the place she still had a had time forgetting.
     Lacy pushed Rachael’s shoulder. “Hey, stop drifting.  This is a twenty-four hour gig, so we’re rolling in and out with limited contact with all.  Right?”
    “Right.  We agreed on all the specifications before we left.  We have to stick to the itinerary we mapped out.”
    “No doubt.  I promised Gene I would make sure you returned home in one piece.  Remember?”
    “Yes I do.  He felt so bad he couldn’t accompany us.”
    “At least if he joined us we wouldn’t be sitting on this train.  Instead we would be sitting in the truck with a twelve pack of beer drinking it out of a brown paper bag,” Lacy giggled.
     “And it wouldn’t be a first either. Anyway, this turned out to be the better way.  Look around,”        Rachael circles her left arm, “this car is practically empty except for that older couple and their cat in the pink travel bag that occasionally meows down the other end.”
    “You’re right.  This way neither one of us had to drive.”
    “The worst part about the drive is that you have to keep the radio low in order to hear the radar detector.”
   “That’s why the train is your best bet.  We sit, relax, have a few cocktails and maybe even take a snooze.  It’s no frills, and we save on gas and tolls.”

   “Alleluia,” Rachael sang raising her voice.  “Between the two of us, and our nerves, it would’ve been an interesting trip if we had to drive.”
    “Don’t even get me started again. I’m really nervous about the reading of the will. I did my tarot cards this morning before we left and they were inconclusive.”
   “Let’s not worry about anything.  “We’ll go directly to our hotel and order room service.”
    The stood up when the train conductor made the announcement they would be arriving in River Lake Springs within ten minutes.
    “Are we ready to confront our demons?” Rachel asked.
    “Do we have any other choice?”
    The train came to a halt. Rachael and Lacy made their way out of the terminal and into the cocktail lounge.  Their original itinerary had already been broken.