Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Excerpt From: 30 DAYS TO SYN
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing

She brought the cell phone over to the bed with her and sat down beside him again, tucked the phone under his pillow should he or she need it. She removed the washrag from his head, fanned it in the air a few times to cool it, and then laid it over his eyes again.

“Sucks to be me,” he grumbled.

She laughed despite the fact she was still put out with him. “Yes it does.”

“I hurt, Melina.”

“Turn over on your side and let me rub your neck. That always helps…”

“I’d rather you rubbed my cock,” he said.

“That won’t help your headache,” she said.

“It’ll help one of them,” he responded.

“Behave,” she said, warming to his sense of humor.

“I’m better when I’m bad,” he said but he turned to his side, sighing as she put her hands on his neck.

“You’re as tight as a drum,” she said, massaging the tense muscles.

“I’ll bet you are, too.”

She giggled. “Stop it,” she ordered. “You’re incorrigible.”

“I’m engorged,” he said with a snicker.

“Just hush. I mean it.”

He was quiet as she gently but firmly kneaded the rigid column of his neck. A soft knock at the door turned her head toward the sound. “That was quick.”

“He lives nearby,” he mumbled, his lips against the pillow.

She got up, opened the door and found a man who bore a close resemblance to Jono standing in the hall.
“If you’re here that means he’s really hurting,” the man said and she stepped aside to allow him to enter with his little black bag. “Did he chunder?”

“I’m sorry, what?” she asked.

“Did he puke?” the doctor clarified.

“I don’t know,” she answered.

“Yeah,” he said from the bed. “I puked up tons of shit.”

“Then stop eating shit,” the man said. “I’ve warned you about that.”

She bit her lip to keep from laughing at the exchange as she walked back to the bed. He was once again lying on his back with his knees up, arm over his eyes. “I hurt, bro,” he said.

“On a scale of one to ten?” the doctor asked.

“Fifty,” he replied.

“I wish you’d learn to count. They have classes for that you know. What brought this one on?”

“Piss-assed M?ori wankers who ask stupid fucking questions.”

“Bugger off,” the man said as he put his bag on the bed and opened it. “I ought to let you suffer, you knob head.” He rummaged in the bag and pulled out a syringe and a glass bottle.

“What do you give him?” she asked.

“Demerol for the pain and Vistaril for the nausea.” He glanced at her after he filled the syringe. “Why?” He tossed the bottle back in his bag and pulled out another, adding that liquid to what he’d just drawn up.

“Just curious,” she said. “I get the same meds when I have to go in to the ER.”

“Huh,” Craig grunted. “A match made in heaven. Unbutton your jeans and turn your arse over, Synnie.”

He did as he was ordered, groaning as he rolled over.

“Pull his pants down a bit, will ya, love?” Craig asked.

“She’s been wanting to do that all night,” he said with a smirk

“Will you please stop?” she asked.

“Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a stop button,” Craig said. “I’ve looked.”

“Limp dick,” he growled.

“Asswipe,” Craig returned.

She tugged the waistband of the jeans down his hip and held it in place as Craig stabbed the needle into his patient’s ass as though he was throwing a dart.

“Fuck, Craigie!” he cried out, flinching. “That hurt!”

“Fuck, Synnie, you knew it was going to.”


“Stop being such a pussy,” Craig told him.

“It does burn,” she said.

“Yeah, well he should be used to it by now.”

“I don’t think you ever get used to it. I’ve got lumps on my fanny from years of getting poked,” she stated.

There was a gasp from one of the men—she couldn’t tell which one--then they both howled with laughter, the howl dying down to a fit of the giggles.

“What did I say?” she demanded.

Wiping his eyes from laughing so hard, Craig put a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie,” he said. “In Kiwi-ese, a fanny doesn’t mean the same thing as it does to a Yank.”

“What does it mean then?” she asked.

“Don’t tell her,” he told Craig. He was rubbing his hand on the place where he’d been injected.

“Look it up,” Craig said as he capped the syringe and put it back in his bag then closed it. “He’s gonna be down for a few hours. Are you staying?”

“Looks that way,” she said.

“Good. I won’t worry about the little prick.” He grinned. “I didn’t get your name, Miss…”

“It’s none of your business!” he snapped, drawing his knees up into the fetal position.

“Well, Miss Noneofyourbusiness, it was nice meeting you,” Craig told her.

“It was nice meeting you, Dr. Tonika,” she replied.

“It’s Craigie. Call me if that headache isn’t gone in four hours and I’ll jog over and pop him again. I love hurting the little wanker.”

She liked Craig. He had the same goofy grin that she had come to adore on Jonny and wondered if all M?ori men of his acquaintance smiled so readily and were so personable, if they all teased him so unmercifully. She started to walk him to the door.

“He can leave without your assistance. Come here.”

Craig rolled his eyes. “Better scoot. That’s his pissy tone.”

“Yes, I know. I’m all too familiar with it,” she said.


She looked around to find him on his back once again with his hand outstretched toward her.

“Call me if you need me,” Craig said again.

“Thank you,” she said as he opened the door and exited, lifting a hand in acknowledgement of her gratitude.

“He’s a nice man,” she said when she returned to the bed. She slipped her hand in his and he placed it against his chest and snorted.

“That’s a load of lod cods wollop,” he replied and she stared at him, wondering if that was a real phrase from his homeland or Demerol-induced gobbledygook.

“Is there a dictionary of New Zealand words and phrases I can buy?” she asked.

“I’ll teach you everything you need to know after I let my ferret run.”

“What?” she asked.

“Lie down with me,” he mumbled, his words beginning to slur from the potency of the narcotic.

“You need to go to sleep,” she said. “I’ll sit over by the win…”

“You lie down with me, Melina!” he ordered. “You lie down with me!”

“All right!” she snapped. “Let me take off my sandals.”

“T-shirt and jammies in the dunny,” he said, running his hand up and down hers, pressing it harder against his chest. “That’s what you sleep in every night—t-shirt and jammies.”

“Of course you’d know,” she said and tried to slide her hand from under his. “I’m assuming dunny is New Zealandish for bathroom?”

“Kiwi-ese,” he corrected. “I speak Kiwi-ese.”

“Well, let go so I can go change.”

“T-shirt and jammies. Pretty little cotton jammies wid bundy wabbits on ‘em. Sweet little cot…” he said, the last word fading away as the drug took complete control of him.

As she pulled her hand back she watched his lips part and thought he was out. She sat there looking at him and realized she was beginning to like the arrogant, highhanded jerk—which was no doubt what he intended. Any woman would consider him a box full of eye candy and the taut muscles beneath the tight t-shirt were enough to fan the lowest of flames into a full conflagration of lust.

“You are way too handsome for your own good,” she said softly. “Or for mine.”

She looked down at the hand that lay on his chest. It was a strong hand with short, clean, professionally manicured nails. The large signet ring he wore gleamed as his chest rose rhythmically in slow cadence to the soft breath coming from his parted lips.

She went into the bathroom and found a new pair of pajama bottoms and a bright pink t-shirt folded neatly on the vanity. The pajamas were pale blue with tiny koala bears climbing eucalyptus trees. G’day Mate! was written in pink script across the front of the t-shirt.

“You are a goof ball,” she whispered as she began to undress. “You really are.”

He was beginning to burrow a tiny hole inside her heart like one of the little kiwis she’d seen on the National Geographic Channel. He was becoming her Kiwi in more ways than one.

Clad in the soft cotton pjs and t-shirt, she started to turn off the bathroom light but thought better of it. The room was very shadowy—as it needed to be for him to sleep—but if she needed to get up to take care of him, she didn’t want to be blundering around in the dark. She did, however, ease the door almost shut and was annoyed that the shaft of light from the room fell directly on his face.

“No wonder you had your arm over your eyes,” she said as she crawled into the bed beside him.

She thought he was out of it but as soon as she lay down, he rolled over and gathered her in his arms before she could react. He put his forehead and nose to hers but didn’t open his eyes.

“Night, baby,” he mumbled.

“Go to sleep, Kiwi,” she said and watched him smile. He took three breaths and completely relaxed and the fierce hold he had on her loosened.

Her gaze wandered over his face. In the low light, there were dark hollows under his eyes and the pain had given him a slight pallor. Though his lids were closed, she could picture the vibrant blue of his eyes and knew at that moment should he open them, the pupils would be wildly dilated from the drug. He looked younger. He looked vulnerable and for some reason that brought out her protective instincts. Something moved inside her and she knew she’d never knowingly hurt him.

“You wouldn’t be the first woman to do that to me,” he’d said and she wondered what he’d meant.

“Melina…” he said on a long sigh and she realized he was floating in that muted, numbing nether world of the narcotic where nothing registered. Soon he would be under completely.

“Kiwi,” she whispered and snuggled against him.

As she drifted into sleep, she took the sight of his face down with her into her dreams.

~~~~~~~ The WindVerse Series ~~~~~~~

Theron Sarandakos is a Panthera, a species of Reaper that shifts into black leopards. Ronnie puts his stealth and guile to work as a bounty hunter. His assignment is to catch a thief, and he’s determined not to fail. But when he sets eyes on his quarry, Celeste Wynth, he knows at once that she is his one true mate, destined to be his.

Their lust threatens to burn up the jungle world where he makes his home, but their illicit love means that Lettie will be shunned by her people unless she agrees to marry the man she’s been betrothed to since childhood. And Theron’s wariorress family have other plans for him as well. To be together forever, they will be forced to fight for their love.

Learn more about REAPER'S BOUNTY at Ellora's Cave

 ~~~~~~~ The WindVerseSeries ~~~~~~~

Drakon Alexandrovich is in deep trouble. The person who assassinated his brother—leaving Drakon next in line for Grand Duke—is now after him. Though he is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, he isn’t going to argue when a beautiful, sexy woman is assigned as his bodyguard.

Major Fiona Brennan is one hot number. Dangerous, committed, capable of killing a man with a single blow, she is one of the elite Riezell Guardians known throughout the Megaverse for their abilities. Ordered to protect Drakon from whoever is after his ass, she’ll give her life to keep him safe.

But she’ll give her body just to have his ass… Sparks fly and passions ignite when the hotheaded man of royalty takes the single-minded warrior woman to his bed, determined to keep her there.

To find out more about GUARDIAN OF THE DRAGON go to Ellora's Cave

The ad reads: Young woman (American only) willing to engage in domination role play. No BDSM. Salary: $1,000,000 upon completion of contract. Length of employment: 30 consecutive nights.

Drowning in debt, Melina Wynth is going under for the third time. With a dead-end job and a disabled brother dependent on her, the ad in the paper could be the lifeline to keep her from sinking. Reeling in her courage, she casts her line.

Synjyn McGregor is a shark—a very wealthy shark from Down Under—and his bite could prove to be her undoing. But Lina is determined she isn’t going to allow him to get away. The length of employment might read thirty nights, but she suspects he is fishing for something more.

Synjyn needs a woman who will love him—mentally and physically—as never before. A woman whose touch will not only put the billionaire in his place but keep him there…begging for more. He will quickly realize Lina is made for Syn.

Find out more about 30 DAYS TO SYN at Ellora's Cave

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Okay, so I've been a sucker for handsome, dark-haired, angst-filled, soul-tortured men since I was 13 and very impressionable. I blame this malady on Robert Vaughn's role in The Ordeal of Dr. Cordell, an episode of Boris Karloff's Thriller TV series from 1961.I have a copy of this episode that I found on YouTube and if you are in the mood for cheesy, check it out.

My illness progressed to Michael Landon in I Was A Teenage Werewolf then bled over to Christopher Jones in Ryan's Daughter, Michael Sarazin in Frankenstein: The True Story, and at this point in time has settled firmly upon the broad shoulders of Antony Starr on Banshee and dribbled a bit onto the slender shoulders of Hugh Dancy on Hannibal. There is something very alluring to me about a tortured hero. After all, I write them better than most authors according to numerous reviewers. :)

So it was with supreme satisfaction that I began watching the new Showtime series Ray Donovan last night in a sneak preview of the series which begins next week. If you consider my ailment an addiction then I was on one helluva high watching the show. My enjoyment was two-fold: tortured, angst-filled handsome man with a hairy chest and the owner of that broad set of shoulders attached to that hairy chest is Liev (pronounced Lee' Iv) Schreiber. Actress Naomi Watts is a very lucky lady to wake up to that sexy mug each morning! I'm sure she enjoys letting her girls play on that crisp grass.

The premise of Ray Donovan is rather like a strongly pornographic, gory version of the TV series Scandal. Where Liv (coincidence? I think not) fixes things on the East Coast, Ray fixes them on the West Coast. She deals mostly with politicians. He deals with rock stars and athletes and actors and various other rich/famous folks who have more money and power than common sense. That Ray can and does resort to mayhem and murder to get the job done is an added bonus if you like your hero a bit tarnished. I see already I am really going to enjoy this show. The previews of future episodes made my mouth water.

There are a few observations I'd like to make regarding the actors.

Liev Schreiber is a very talented man. I've been a fan of his since the late 90s when he played a bad guy in Mel Gibson's movie Ransom. He can do comedy and mean-as-a-poked-rattler with equal aplomb. You've seen him in the latest rendition of The Omen, Salt, Repo Men, Defiance, and as Wolverine's brother Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He has a heck of a colorful past and if you're interested check him out on Wikipedia. He's a man's man--and a woman's man--and he's rugged with  mega-watt sex appeal.

I don't like the woman who plays his wife. Her accent makes me cringe. It's supposed to be a Boston accent but I kept thinking of a tongue-tied Ukrainian with a bad cold every time she opened her mouth. I hope there's a messy divorce in Ray's future. Disliked the character enough I wasn't even tempted to see who was playing her.

Jon Voight--in all his brazen glory--plays Ray's father and you can see crap happening there a mile away. Though the coming evil has already been cast like a fly fisherman's line, you find yourself eagerly waiting for the fish to snag the bait. No one does Bad Dad like Voight. Ask daughter Angeline Jolie.

Another face I recognized was that of Steven Bauer. He's one of Ray's henchmen who does 'clean up' for the fixer. Don't know where you know him from? Bauer has gained enough weight to sink a battleship but at one time he was a svelte, hunky replacement for Ken Wahl on the long-defunct Wiseguy TV series (from which Ray Sharkey and look-alike Kevin Spacey sprang into instant stardom). Bauer was at one time married to Don Johnson's/Antonia Banderas' main squeeze Melanie Griffith.  There's a lesson to be learned from that, guys.

A character I'm hoping we will be seeing often is that of Tommy Wheeler, an action hero who has a thing for transvestites. Skillfully played by Austin Nichols, there is handsome angst there, too. 

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give Ray Donnovan a solid 9. It would have gotten a 10 if not for that annoying wife of Ray's.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

I remember my mother repeating to me something her Jewish boss once said to her: "A mother can take care of ten children but ten children can't take care of one mother."

I always thought that was a sad commentary on the dysfunction of family life in America. I say sad because as a mother myself, I can't imagine anything more heartbreaking than to spend your life taking care of an ungrateful child. True, that child didn't ask to be born...and many who are crappy people to begin with will throw that up to their parents. Those are the children who will one day have bratty offspring of their own.

Mothers give up a lot for their children. Maybe their careers, their dreams. They do without things they want so Johnny can have a new skateboard he doesn't need. They put aside what they'd like to do to cart Susie to ballet practice or cheerleader camp. They put their life on hold until Johnny and Susie go off to college and even then the chances of those brats dragging home tons of laundry for Mom to do is a good bet.

What brought all this to mind is the plight of a very dear friend of mine. She was born on June 17th a year before me. Since we met at McCoy AFB in 1967 we have religiously sent one another birthday cards and Christmas cards and anniversary cards. She was at St. Joseph's hospital in Tampa when my first son was born and I was at Orange Memorial in Orlando when her first daughter was born. We left Orlando when Tom was sent to Vietnam and her husband was sent to Korea. It would be ten years before we saw one another again and that was in San Diego. By then I had two sons and she had two daughters and four sons. 

Many years later, we wound up together again at Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois and it was as though we'd never spent time apart. We are as close as sisters and if I wasn't at her house, she was at mine. I preferred she come to mine because I couldn't stand being around her crappy children. Truth be told, I disliked every one of them then and I loathe them now that they are grown.

In 1982 Tom was sent to Diego Garcia and her husband retired after thirty years in the Air Force. I moved to Milton, Florida because that was where the Navy was sending Tom when he rotated back to the States. She and her husband moved down to Orlando. Though we were miles and miles apart, we kept in touch through monthly phone calls and the occasional visit. When we moved to Iowa in 1991, the phone calls got longer and longer and our phone bills higher and higher but that was okay. We had a lot of catching up to do.

Her husband passed away in 2006 and mine died in 2009. Tom and I attended her husband's funeral in Florida and she came to Iowa to attend Tommy's. In order to do that, she had to take out a loan against her house to pay for the airplane ticket. I didn't know that until two years later when one of her snotty, crappy brats threw it in my face. He took exception to her 'wasting money on a stupid trip for a silly reason'.

Okay so I will admit to you I used some very unladylike language that day. Those who know me well know I have a vicious temper when truly riled. It takes a lot to anger me but once anger arrives, it don't come in on little cat feet. But at least her youngest son now knows exactly how I feel about him and his siblings and that felt--God forgive me--very good. Did I mention this boy is an orthodontist? That two of his siblings are also doctors? That one is a lawyer? Another is an architect? And the twin boys own their own car dealership?  Yet none of them could loan Mom the money to come to Iowa?

Yes, she did ask and each of them turned her down because they thought it was a 'waste of money on a stupid trip for a silly reason'. Calling my beloved husband's funeral a silly reason makes me want to get on a plane and apply some much needed whupass on those crappy brats.

"Mother could have lost the house because of you," her son had snarled.

She didn't lose the house from that money she borrowed to attend Tommy's funeral. She paid it back. Every last cent. No thanks to her crappy children. Her house has a leaky roof...which isn't being repaired by her crappy children. She has a car that barely runs but she doesn't have the money to fix it and it sure as heck won't be fixed by her crappy children. Buy mom a new car? No, there's no money for that but there was money to buy a condo in Cancun and timeshares in Hawaii.

All of this is leading up the latest thing her six crappy children have--or rather have not--done.

She lost her job when she turned 65 so she's been struggling to make ends meet on just her husband's social security and military pension. Orlando is an expensive place to live and like all of us, she has bills. Thankfully she has military health care because she is diabetic and has been diagnosed with A-fib like me. I've sent her money a couple of times because she needs it more than I do.


Here's why....

Monday was her 66th birthday. I sent her a card with a gift card from Walmart tucked inside and I called her, settling down for at least a good hour's chat. The moment she picked up the phone I could tell she'd been crying. I asked what was wrong and what she told me made me so angry I wanted to put my fist through a wall.  Not a single one of her six kids had called to wish her happy birthday. Not a single one of them sent a card or flowers or a present.  There had been no Mother's Day presents or cards or flowers, eithers. All six of her crappy children live within twenty miles of her but not a one dropped by on Mother's Day or on Monday. As a matter of fact, she hasn't seen any of them since Easter when her youngest grandchild turned 16.

Before you ask if maybe she deserves such treatment, let me assure she does not. This is a woman who never worked a day of her life until her husband died. She was a stay at home mom who went to every piano and dance recital, attended every football, softball, basketball and soccer game. A woman who carted her kids from place to place without a single complaint. In all the years I've known her, I've never heard her use a vulgar word, heard  her curse, or raise her voice. If she has missed a single day of Church in all this time, it's news to me. Though she brought her kids up in the Catholic faith and made sure they went to Mass and CCD, they cut all ties to the religion as soon as they went off to college. Every moral, decent thing she ever tried to teach them vanished at Vanderbilt and Auburn and FSU to be replaced by abortions, drug addiction, drunk driving arrests, and three counts of shoplifting. Nice kids, huh?

BTW: the grandchildren...all nine of them...are no better than their crappy parents. I'd be sincerely surprised if a single one of them ever thanked gramma for THEIR birthday cards and presents. 

No, she has never failed to send cards to her children, children-in-law or grandkids. She might not can afford much in the way of presents but at least she gives them something every year and at Christmas.

I just got off the phone with my dear old friend. She'd called to wish me a happy birthday. As of today, there has still been no cards, flowers, or presents from her children. I look at the hundreds of birthday wishes I've gotten in e-mails and on Facebook and I want to cry. Only one birthday wish went to my friend who does not have the Internet. If she did, I'm sure she'd have received dozens upon dozens of birthday wishes. The folks on Facebook are very good about extending such greetings.

(To all of you who sent birthday wishes to me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.)

And if one of you crappy,  shitty, godforsaken kids is reading this...and I hope you are..Shame on you, you ungrateful, hateful brat and may your crotch get infested with red ants. 

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