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.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

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.


As he approached her, she felt a tingle travel throughout her body.
He took her hands in his. "Over the past couple of months, there was a void in my life. Then, one night, not that long ago, I met a woman. She was intelligent, caring and compassionate and couldn't care less who I was. There was just something about this woman that I couldn't get out of my mind. I've dated a lot of women in my time. Never did I experience the feelings I felt when I was with her. You see, love…" He wiped her eyes, lifting her chin up till their eyes met. "That woman is you. I love you."
"There's no such thing as love at first sight."
"Oh yes, there is." He looked at her with a twinkle in his eyes, which made her knees wobble. "Are you going to deny it?"
How could she when he was right? Her life had been empty for years. She had been so caught up in her own self-pity she couldn't write or go on a date without comparing. Drake had changed that, brought her back on course. She slipped her hand out of his and ran her fingers softly down his cheek.


Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt Purple

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Tales to the word prompt purple. This is the continuation of my new WIP. This is a rough draft so I apology for any errors.

            Rachael couldn’t help but laugh.  It always had been the same thing between the two of them all these years.  Whenever they got stressed out they would announce “cocktail time” and would indulge in cocktails and sugary snacks for a quick fix.
            A martini would be exactly what the doctor ordered.  Her nerves were starting to get the bet of her about returning to her hometown.  City living had been a thing of the past now that she had fully
adapted to a slower environment.
            The transformation from city life to country life had been tough.  There were plenty of times when she wanted to get into her car, come back home and reclaim the life she once had.  Things were different in Crown Royal and she had changed along with the little town.
            Lacy had been her godsend. She moved up to Crown Royal close to seven years ago when her boyfriend, now her husband’s company relocated.
            In the beginning, Lacy drove her crazy, calling her more than a dozen times a day crying, saying how much she hated it there, but as the months passed by, Lacy changed.  She spoke about Crown Royal like it was a tropical paradise, begging her to take a long awaited vacation and come spend some time with her.
            Rachael put the vacation off for another two years.  The day after she received the tarot cards, she took Lacy up on her offer, never looking back.
            “We’re all set,” Lacy announced handing Rachael an oversized martini glass. “Let me tell you, you should’ve seen the look on the bartender’s face when I asked for a triple.”
            “I could just imagine.” Rachael held up her glass.  “To our return.”
            “Yes.  To our return,” Lacy agreed as they clanged glasses.  Lacy took a sip before sitting back down.  “I’ve got to do something about my hair while we’re here.” She pushed her bronze colored bangs out of her eyes.  “One thing’s for sure, you can’t get a good haircut out in the country.”
            “Then,” Rachael said raising her glass again, “To the hair salons in River Lake Springs.”
            Both women laughed as once again they clanked glasses.  It seemed like only yesterday that Lacy spend every weekend at her house either by her pool or dining room table clanking glasses at every possible scenario, and discussing their most passionate secrets, desires and fears to one another.
            “Do you ever regret giving up your job t the television studio?” Lacy asked.
            “What makes you ask that after all these years?” Rachael rolled her olive eyes and added, “You know the answer to that.  I loved my job, however, it was the price I had to pay to revamp my life.”
            “And revamp we did.”
            “That’s right.  I gave up one successful career and within five years we’ve become forty-something entrepreneurs.”
            “It was our dream that we always talked about. Opening the New Age Candle and Gift Shop has made us independent women.”
            It had taken them months to get all the merchandise they needed.  Besides buying religious
figures they had colored candles, especially the purple ones she loved, incense and a full supply of holistic candles and oils. All their greeting cards were handmade as well as any holiday decorations.
            “Yes it has.”
            Lacy took another sip of her martini and crossed her lean legs.  “I have a question to ask you I know you aren’t going to like.”
            “Then don’t ask.” Rachael looked at Lacy.  When their gazed met, Lacy grinning.  “Go ahead, I know you’re going to ask anyway.”
            “How well you know me. “But I want to be better able to prepare myself.  So,” she began clearing her throat and turning sideways in her seat, “I just want to know what effect this trip will have on you if you run into Charlie?”
            “It’s been over five years Lacy.  I’m quite set I my ways and don’t foresee myself falling off the wagon if I see Charlie.  Now can we change the subject?”
            They rode in silence before Lacy leaned over her and pointed out the window. “We’re getting closer to the city.  The farms have turned into factories.”
            “Yeah and look at the smog,” Rachael added.  “I can’t believe we were able to breath.”
            “And I’m still trying to figure out why I’m included in the reading of the will and what the hell is waiting for me when I get to the attorney’s office.”
            “I know.  This whole will thing is absurd.” Nodding, Rachel concluded, “Leave it to your ex-husband to cause a rumpus from the grave.”
            “You can say that again,” Lacy agreed shrugging her shoulders.  “You know what I love best, the fact that at different stages in our lives we jumped ship without looking back.” Closing her caramel colored eyes, she hesitated a moment before opening them in a smile.  “We both turned our lives around and built a company from a fragment of an idea we came up many years ago.  To think we did that in less than five years.”
            “We worked hard to get where we’re at today, despite the monetary beating we took in the beginning getting the story up and running, but we stood together and did it.”
            “Yes we did. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.  You refused to give up and never lost faith.”
            “That’s right,” Rachael said.  “This was an important venture for both of us.  I thing we needed to do this to prove to ourselves we could survive.”
            “Absolutely.  I gave up on men and never thought I’d eve be happy again or get involved in a relationship until I met Gene.”  Smiling she continued, “I found a warmness and sincerity in him I never had with Matt.  It took me a long time to forget the pain I endured during my marriage. I made the right decision when I married Gene.”
            “Without a doubt.” Rachael tucked the cards back into the pocket of her wallet and crossed
her arms.  “He welcomed me into your house with open arms and supported me through my whole ordeal. I don’t think I would’ve made it without the two of you.”
            “Our friendship is golden and we’ve both supported each other through the best and worst of times.”
            “I hate to bring this up again but you really never confided in me what happened between you and Charlie.”
            “I never told you because I never knew what happened.” Closing her eyes she concentrated hard and whispered, “It was those damn cards. He told me he loved me and I was the love of his life.” Sigh. “He apologized for making a mistake and moving Peggy in with him when we had broke up for few months. He said he cared about her, but wasn’t in love with her.  He asked me to give him more time, just a few more weeks.”