Showing posts with label Contemporary Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contemporary Romance. Show all posts

Thursday, February 16, 2017

You'll Save That For Mine

As I was working on the second edition of Make Mine a Heel I got to indulge in some of my favorite scenes. This one is top 5. Its their first and most fun fight.

Banner stopped the recording. “What was that?” She asked sharply.

Keith stared at her intently as if he had expected her reaction. “What was what?”  He asked deliberately.

“You cannot break out Ayn Rand on general American society. Do you realize how many people have no idea what ethical egoism is?” She actually put up quote marks with her hands as she said ‘ethical egoism’.

Keith became very still and disturbingly serious as his eyes never left Banner’s. “Yes I do.” The statement was as still as he was. He stopped long enough to let that sink in, and then continued, 
“You’ll take back the interview I give, or I’ll give no interview.”

Banner felt the hairs on her spine prickle as she began to understand what this was really about.  She needed to revise her game plan. Keith was going to make this a lot harder to dismiss than she had thought he was going to. Something else she was starting to understand that he knew before she even got here.

“Maybe we should eat first?” Banner supplied peaceably.

Keith nodded with a sharp cold smile as he uttered. “Maybe we should.”

He nodded at someone that Banner couldn’t see. A short dark haired girl appeared and once again Banner ceased to exist.

“Hi Keith, your usual?” she asked in a manner that suggested that perhaps she was part of his ‘usual’.

“Sorry darling, just the shake.” He said to her in a familiar tone.

She pouted and then turned razor dark brown eyes on Banner. “And what can I get you?”

Banner frowned. She hadn’t even looked at the menu. “The special.” She said quickly. It was her default in unfamiliar waters.

She paused and took one look at the storm brewing across from her. Just then she remembered the dull pain in her head.  In her mind the words, ‘fuck it’, were clear as a bell.  “And a Crown and coke.” She finished quickly.

Keith watched the cute little waitress leave and then focused all of his attention on Banner. “You didn’t strike me as the type to drink on the job.” He teased.

Banner was beyond being able to curb her thoughts anymore. Questioning her professional ethic was beyond reasonable. “I don’t have to when I like the job.” She snipped back.

“Are we not getting along Ms. Hemweigh?” His accent flared which let her know that his temper was up.

“Nowhere near. I suggest you stop picking at me until we are both more reasonable.” She advised sharply meeting his gaze unapologetically.

The look on his face said that the last thing he wanted to be with her was reasonable. “I thought I was being reasonable. You seem put out that I know big words.” He snapped back.

Banner sighed, here we go, she thought. In her best professional tone she started her spiel. “Mr. Daniels, it was not my intention to insult your intelligence, but I refuse to insult the intelligence of my audience.”

He nodded as he looked away from her for a moment. She could practically feel his teeth grinding. Then with a sharp tilt of his head she knew she was going to get what popped into his head anyway. The thought that had him grinding his teeth for self-control. “No, you’ll save that for mine.” He supplied.


Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Make Mine a Heel 2nd Edition

In an effort to keep Fiona and Colan a little longer I decided to edit and release a 2nd edition of my first self-published ebook and historically top selling, Make Mine a Heel. As always when I dive back into the pages of this book nostalgia takes hold.  This time it was so refreshing as I expected such a mess of a story and saw that even then my voice had a cadence and a charm I hardly expect to see or read. I started critically and then I just fell back in love with Banner and Keith:

“You must hate me,” Banner whispered.

“Why would I hate you Bay? You’re at least here trying to understand.” His deep voice sounded solemn, humble. “That’s more than that jackass that knocked my mother up has ever even tried to do.”

The next thing she knew his hands were on her shoulders and she could feel his breath at her ear. “Yeah, we got off to a rocky start, but you’re here for the same reasons I am. We’ve done what we’ve done for basically the same reasons. I could never hate you.”

He turned her to look at him; the truth of it in his eyes. “Twice in your life?” she asked.

He gave a false smile with a joyless laugh. “I may have exaggerated a little.  I believe the last time I heard from the son of a bitch was him admonishing me for my career choice. With my size and athleticism I should’ve become a basketball player. Something people could respect.” He turned from her. “That was when I realized what a fool I’d been all my life. You tell yourself you’re doing something just to prove what you’re worth. It isn’t until much later do you actually admit who you’re trying to prove it to.” He admitted.

“Broke your heart,” she guessed.

Keith laughed. “A broken heart I could’ve dealt with. This was worse. It broke my spirit,” he shook his head gravely as he spoke. “I didn’t know which way was up anymore.” His voice turned gravelly as he spoke as strong emotions coursed with his words. “I had convinced myself in the deep dark parts of me that I never try and speak to that if I did good in this he would see what I was worth.” He stopped his face taking on this expression of mocking disbelief as he continued, “Finally he would come along. Be repentant, beg me to forgive him, and we could start fresh as I proved that I was worth his time. Now I would allow him to do the same.”

He sat again staring at the screen, the two men in the ring tumbling, twisting. The announcer was increasing his tone, his pitch to match the action. The crowd was screaming, yelling.   This was made all the more apparent by his stillness. His green eyes wide yet focused on the screen, almost innocent with shadows. For a moment Banner could see him as he had been when he fell in love with this sport. That young boy that hadn’t yet understood the whys and hows of life, but knew if he could chose it would be like what he saw.

“My foundation, my hopes and dreams were rocked and shattered. It was more devastating because I didn’t know until that very moment how much of what I had done and become was based on this perception. I had built everything on the idea that one day he would think I was worth his time.” He stared silently at the screen for a few moments after his wrenching speech.

Banner looked at the screen because his face was much too painful to look at. Then she just looked at the floor because watching what had made him choose what he had chosen was no better. She could see it. What a small boy would see; all the fans, the unconditional love, the affection. The absolute lines of right and wrong. Men hugging each other knowing that it was okay. It was the same things that made young boys play football or any other sport. Why boys joined the military. Why they joined gangs.  Always, they were just looking for a man strong enough to love them. They sacrificed everything only to wake up one day and realize that the only man that could do that for them is the one they become.

“My father, and I use that term loosely, is a waste of space,” he began his eyes never leaving the screen. “I was never going to matter to him. I was the fallout of a drunken night on a leave weekend from some Mexican whore that didn’t know any better. He was the son of a high ranking Navy Colonel and no way was the world going to know what he sired and with what. He considers my mother and our family mongrel beasts; nothing but poor hapless peasant stock. Had he known that I was being born he probably would’ve had it taken care of. As it was, my mother was much smarter than he ever figured. She used it to get into America. She made the ass pay child support and raised me to know all sides of myself. Not just the ones she was comfortable with. She planned it all out, right down to my name. Now I just know that the prick did a disservice to only himself. He missed out on an amazing woman.” He ended reverently.

“And a son,” Banner said softly.

“I think some things are hereditary. It took me a while to become the boy my mother tried to raise.”   He dropped his head. “The fallout from me was much worse than my father had ever wrecked.” He said dispassionately.


He wiped his face showing his exhaustion. “You’re right; I need a break. Didn’t realize it, but that took a lot out of me,” he gestured towards the TV. “Sit and watch for awhile?” he asked.


Make Mine A Heel available in ebook and coming soon in print.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Endless Night

In my next book after 'So a Psychic and Rocket Scientist Walk into a Bar' called 'Shuttered Vision' one of the large installation paintings that my female lead Fiona paints is called Endless Night and it is a painting of my male lead Colan's personal nightmare hellscape. I wrote this about someone I'll always love after I wrote the first few pages regarding his hell.

I think of you when the lights go down
In the shadows I feel you smile
Dark and burning with lavacious delight
You beckon me close, my endless night

The walls they peel with falling light
Tearing through their normal plight
The world I see is built for flight
You hold me close, my endless night

The scene is bathed in black and red
All that survived the death was the bed
Dizzy I am from the staggering sight
Here we are again, my endless night

Time is lost as the world shifts
The tug, the pull, the burn are gifts
Into this place free from all sight
Never let me go, my endless night

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Make Mine a Heel Post Mortem

Growing up in Texas there were two things that a lot of people did religiously.  Watch football and wrestling. My first wrestling event wasn’t on TV.  The first time I saw professional wrestling was live at the now defunct Sportatorium in downtown Dallas. It was World Class Championship Wrestling. I cried the whole time cause I thought people were really being hurt.  That certainly made the experience itself pretty memorable.  My mother told me right then and there it hurts some, but they aren’t as badly hurt as they make out.  So then I was fascinated by it because I wanted to understand how you could fake that stuff.  My little brother and I would watch religiously, and yes sometimes we did very unfortunate things to each other in misguided reenactments.

My love for football came later as I grew up enough to actually understand the mechanics of the game.  I think it’s a very interesting analogy.  I hated football right up until the moment I understood it.  I think a lot of life is like that.

The character of Dominique ‘Dangerous’ Dutton was originally created years ago as I participated in a play by mail wrestling promotion one of my friends was running.  I loved it because once a month I could sit, and plot out the comings and goings of my wrestling stable called Bad Company. Thanks to my ability to write a ‘mile a minute mouth’ head heel and four flunkies, Bad Company had the entire roster after them, and the top dogs of a sister promotion. With this paper testing done I figured had he been real, he would’ve gotten a rise out of anyone. So when I decided to write a wrestling romance novel it just all came together.

It was a dare I gave myself to write a viable novel about 2 things I enjoy so much I never want to try and live without them. Make Mine a Heel was a project and writing of pure love. It even has a muse that I dedicated it to if you read the book. But it wasn't just the dedication or the love of something like wrestling. It is a love letter not just to athletes of the sports I feature but to the people in the background often behind the scenes that have accepted roles people would assume are less glamorous but are not by any means less important. Its about a function and process.

Love is always hard to convey. Especially when something lives and breathes in you. I often find myself defending wrestling from the 'fake' naysayers. I argue so is most entertainment does that really take away from what you are seeing, what you are feeling?  I don't think so. I wanted to write something that gave a different perspective of the sport. One that highlighted many of the things that fans and none fans alike take for granted when thinking of this type of performer and professional. As a lifelong artist I know what it is to have your life's blood not respected. So I hoped to be able to use one of my passions to highlight and honor someone else's.

I feel like I have a decent amount in common with most people in the professional wrestling business. I have those childhood memories of watching wrestling and being obsessed with it. I developed an a true love for storytelling and physical expression. I also create art and it all has a base in the divine. We all are telling a story of some kind. I wanted this story to do the business justice but I could only do so from a limited fan perspective as I have never been so bold as to wrestle myself or be very close to someone who did or does for a living. So I always hoped my love letter to the business would be received as that and not undermine or disrespect what for me has always been something I've had the utmost respect for. I could gush about professional wrestling indefinitely but I don't want to bore you. So please grab read and enjoy.



Available in ebook from the following venders: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fiona Canters excerpt from Shuttered Vision

She liberally applied the paint to the brush and dabbed the canvas at the right spots.  It gave the flower she was working on texture and depth.  It almost felt like the vivid shade she had seen in her dreams.  But there still wasn’t any amount or type of paint that could fully capture the texture of her dreams.  She placed the shades on her brush in the sky now and dotted the horizon.  The music playing in the background only made her hum slightly to herself following the rhythm and cadence.  She always painted to classic rock.  There was something primal about the way it moved and the way it was played that connected her with her dreamscapes almost seamlessly.  She imagined that bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple conducted their music in that same place.  That was why it drew her there so completely.

Most people discounted dreams as merely unrealized desires, hopes and ambitions.  Small confessions from a person’s subconscious mind to their conscious.  These are the explanations given to them by the practitioners of psychology.  These ideals and thoughts have helped countless people deal with their neurosis and fears. For that reason, Fiona didn’t necessarily disagree with these thoughts.  She just thought it was rather limited.

Fiona Canters grew up differently than the rest of the free world within the United States of America.  When 5 year old Fiona first told her mother about one of her extraordinary dreams her mother had smiled pleased and asked her daughter to tell her what they meant.  Confused Fiona had not answered.  The very next day she had been privy to the conversations the women in her family had away from husbands, boyfriends, sons and fathers.

“Fiona dreamed last night.” Her mother had told her mother in law excitedly.

“Does she know what it means?” her aunt had asked anxiously.

Her mother proudly shook her head and then recounted the dream for the listening gaggle. With gasps of delight and praises to the Almighty they had all regarded Fiona differently. 

The Canters were a French Creole line originally that intermixed with a line that had roots in Native America, Africa and Ireland. Now they were a rainbow people where the shade of relatives spanned the realm of possibility. 

Fiona’s mother was Salvadorian, her skin the color of burnished copper, her hair fell blue black tightly curled and silky across her shoulders.  Her light brown eyes always alight with seemingly forbidden knowledge. A Canters man, her father was tan skinned by nature, dark eyed and hard to place into a particular ethnic set.  From that Fiona had emerged a shade lighter than mahogany, eyes an almost eerie shade of dark grey making them look lit from within as the iris closest to the pupil was a paler grey than the midnight that it changed into as it floated to the rims.

“Witch eyes.” Her grandmother had said that night as the women talked and she took the child’s measure for the first time.

Fiona had starred up innocently into the clear hazel eyes of the paler woman and felt that nagging suspicion of being in the presence of something that was more than it seemed.  Of course as a child she had no true idea of what it was.  Just this sudden unmistakable unshakable awareness as she peered up at the woman waiting for her to change form right before her eyes.

She had always been fearful of her father’s pale, hazel eyed mother. The woman had eyes that saw too much.  They saw everything and communicated with the souls of others without their knowledge.  These were things she had heard whispered growing up among the others.
The others were the ones of her family that had been born without that extra thing that most of the women had.  It was a generation skipping instance.  Every once in a while a woman in their line was born without that extra sense of the world, without the vision to see into others through dreams, premonitions and senses that were a family birthright.

They were raised in a different way than those with sight.  Still loved and shown the same affections and care, but kept away from the ones who bared stunning signs and levels of awareness.  It was a courtesy to both sides.  The children would grow to understand and appreciate each other before they interacted.  Understanding their differences and not treating each other badly over them. 

Before the conception of every child, the women of the family dreamed, during the pregnancy the women dreamed.  They dreamed of the child they would bare, knowing before modern technology whether a boy or a girl would be born.  When the mother conceived her entire existence was enrapt in the being she carried. And through their personal dreamscape they would understand the nature of that child. How it should be raised and what it should be led to do. 

Even those born without the special gifts procured to the blood line were dreamt of.  Regardless of whether it had been given sight or not, it would one day raise a child that most likely would be given sight.  And they needed to be raised in a fashion to be able to deal with their child’s gifts. That was why all dreams and premonitions centered around the child.

Fiona was the exception. Fiona’s mother Alejandra calls that time in her life ‘el negro’.  The dark. For the first time in her life she knew what it was to live as most people do.  She had only common sense, instincts and logic to guide her way through life.  All of her dreams during Fiona’s conception and birth had been shielded from her. All premonition and sensory insight dulled to just instances of déjà vu. Her mother in law said it was because the child she carried was blank. Meaning there was nothing to see. 

For the longest time they thought Fiona was going to be stillborn. Her mother’s gift hiding what was to come to save her enduring the pain more than once. Because of the circumstances of Fiona’s conception and birth she was raised with the children that the family knew possessed none of the gifts.

“At times mi amor, I can see what I must do with you and then I do it and like that its gone.”  Her mother would sometimes whisper at her temple as she put her to bed at night.

It wasn’t until much later at the age of 10 as Fiona started to have actual premonition episodes did she understand what her dreams as a young child meant. Slowly over the years the pieces had started to put themselves together and it implied things about her that was unnatural even for her family.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Those with Sight - Shuttered Vision

Fiona Canters dreams a lot.  Usually her dreams are plain simple and about people she loves and cares for.  All of her life Fiona has listened carefully to her dreams.  As her family knows they tell stories that the world need to pay heed to.  Fiona's art is always a pale shadow of the brilliant color and light that her dreams bring into being.  So when an unknown stranger begins to appear in them, she has no idea what to do with him.  He doesn't fit the mold and worse yet, he doesn't seem to want to be there.  And yet she can't seem to stop dreaming about him.


For Colan Abrams life has seemed to exist in a constant nightmare.  His demons remain with him on waking and seem to only be pushed away by the tide of sleep.  There he gets to see her, and she drives away all the pain and anguish for those brief blessed hours that sleep finds him. Always Colan thought this specter was a figment of his imagination.  A woman created from his dreams to pull him away from his hellish existence.  Until the day he met her.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The W.A.R.M. Front Series 5 Book Projection

Sandra’s Social (Book One of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Dr. Sandra Dalianas is a woman that almost has it all. She has a loving family, good friends, and a thriving feminist movement. Which she feels helps her deal with her historically lack luster love life. On a divergence from her normal path, Sandra meets a dark stranger that intrigues her more than any man ever has. Her gorgeous, arrogant, and disarmingly charming mystery man seems to be at the right place, always at the right time. Almost too right because her feminist shadow life unfortunately puts her in the wrong place at the wrong time. A fact she may live to regret. That is if she lives.

Charlotte’s Chance (Book Two of the W.A.R.M. Front Series) 
Currently Available Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords
Charlotte Rhoades had to stand back, and watch her best friend flee for her life with a mystery man that no one even knew she was seeing. Like any good friend she does everything in her power to keep her best friend’s life from falling apart only to realize that the bad guys have mistaken her for her best friend. So she starts running in circles fast to try and throw them off of her trail without letting them know where Sandra is. And just when she thought she was caught, her assailants would disappear. In the mists of all of this political intrigue it took her a while to notice the man that had been following her for weeks now. 

But she knew this man. It was Thomas Glendel, the golden-eyed friend of the man Sandra had left with. He was always there in the background never close enough to touch, but just close enough to affect her. Always right beyond her reach. The problem was that she desperately wanted to reach him.

Brenda’s Bounty (Book Three of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming January 2017 
Brenda had always admired her W.A.R.M. front founders Sandra and Charlotte.  She saw them as take charge kind of women and completely supported their efforts to retrain men.  So when it was time to step up and take one for the team Brenda didn't hesitate. Hell it should be fun. She figured Jeffrey Aames would be easy to corral, he was a man after all.  If none of the conventional worked she'd go to tried and true tactics to get him to give Sandra the time she needed to let her big bad wolf of a guy settle her problems.  However Jeff was nothing like Brenda thought he would be and offered her a proposition she could not say no to. Even so she wasn't so distracted by the man with the cloud cover eyes and desert cowboy good looks to not notice that she had a lot of company wherever she went. No slouch in the hard to wrangle department Brenda makes plans to keep herself safe in light of the current climate for the women of W.A.R.M.

Rachel’s Resolution (Book Four of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming November 2017
Rachel Adams had a deep dislike for men that had more to do with being raped a few years prior than anything else.  Even if she hadn’t been, she would’ve been drawn to W.A.R.M. because of the many injustices paid to women she knew that weren’t considered ‘good girls’.  But the rogue feminist group had suited her ‘hands on’ personality. She had been shocked at the message from Deborah stating that W.A.R.M. activities had been officially halted.  Then terrified when Sandra hadn’t returned her phone call.   The very next day a stranger had started working security for the 18-month concert tour she was working. 

When Rey Serrano received a phone call from CIA inside man Thomas Glendel his first response was to hang up.  He had learned the hard way that doing favors for the CIA was bad business.  Then Glendel had said the magic words. The man he owed his life to needed his help.  That had changed everything. Protect Rachel Adams.  But he soon finds out that the only person she is in danger of, is him.

Deborah’s Dilemma (Book Five of the W.A.R.M. Front Series)
Coming March 2018

Dr. Deborah McKilligan Dallas county criminal psychiatrist had been a loner from day one. Somehow Sandra had broken through that and convinced her to be involved in something.  Now as she watched that woman get married it was her job to continue the fight by heading up W.A.R.M.  A year later an odd closed case lands on her desk.  Quickly Deborah realizes that this case was a scam.  Someone high up was trying to cover their tracks.  Looking for some insight into this mystery case she had asked Sandra’s husband for some advice.  He had reintroduced her to Major Carlos Guerrero who she had met at their wedding reception.  Major Guerrero for the life of himself couldn’t figure out why of all the people he could send the ferocious redhead to, he had chosen him.  What he did know was that the little lady was going to get herself into a hell of a lot of trouble if she didn’t send this case on it’s way.  He just had to make sure that the maniac she was dealing with didn’t get to her before he did.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Annniversary of Make Mine a Heel

I get nostalgic this time of year every year.  About this time 8 years ago I was inspired to do things I never dreamed and inspired to write a book I never thought possible.  I've been on a an educational research hiatus because I don't make a living on my writing yet and I do have a passionate love of education. However considering its Road to Wrestlemania season and being a Dallas TX native, I'm thrilled my city is finally getting the big one with Wreslemania 32. That being said I see no better time than now to get myself back into the game.

So 8 years ago I met a very interesting person who inspired me to want and achieve more.  Writing was always something that I admired and couldn't quite figure out how to get started.  I had a couple of failed attempts during that time but nothing I felt I could really shop.  Then I went to a Wrestlemania. . Wrestlemania 24 to be exact.  I went to see the retirement of Ric Flair a seasoned great that I have always admired. My childhood was filled with this man's work.  It only seemed right to see him off into that gorgeous sunset.  (I'm quite a fan of wrestling check out my other blog from years ago: http://suenammirichards.blogspot.com/)

Now this wasn't my first WM,  My first was Wrestlemania 17 in Houston about 15 years ago.  See how these dates are adding up. I found my ticket stub for it not too long ago and smiled fondly at the memory and laughed at myself for not being able to actually watch but mostly listen to the infamous TLC 2 match that people still talk about to this day. Nonetheless I was indeed there.

But back to WM 24. So I was there and by chance met someone else. Totally by chance it was one of those divine fate moments because there was no way to know or even suspect who I would meet. (Long story I can't make short lol) To wrestling fans he's known as the 'Rated R" superstar and to others as Adam Copeland. . actor. Which if you know anything about professional wrestling you know that was not that far of a reach. Not to discount his work. He is a very talented man in many regards. I've watched him move on with his career outside of the ring with great pride and admiration for his courage.

The thing is meeting him gave me inspiration. It struck me that in all this time I've never read a romance novel with a professional wrestler as the male lead.  It struck me as an odd and egregious oversight because clearly this man should be someone's romantic fantasy. As well as many, many other performers. So I left inspired and about 2 years later around this time I found myself with a full blown romance novel 96,000 words and one of the best things I think I've written. 

I told a couple of stories in this book, Mostly it was about my heartache of my ending marriage. I was supposed to go to WM 24 with what is now my ex husband. But best laid plans. Instead I found a fleeting hope in my soul and a need to tell one of the many love stories I wish I had as my own. So therein is the muse the inspiration and even a beginning chapter shout out to the man that without doing a single thing made me think about love again when my life needed it the most. 

But I also talked about women and men in very basic terms. It is a story about perception and how that affects life. What we see isn't always what we think it is.  And sometimes its exactly what we need regardless of what we think is happening. I always hoped that this book would help women to see love in the many many ways it can present itself and how time and distance can never make true love wane. 

I usually put the book on sale for .99 right before Wrestlemanias as a tribute and as a reminder that no matter what you cannot ever give up on love. 

And sincerely, thank you Adam Copeland.  And in more traditional wrestling venacular, 

Thank you Edge, Thank you Edge Thank you Edge.

Always w/love,

Sue
www.maryandbess.com/suenammirichards

Make Mine a Heel is available only in ebook form from most ebook vendors including Amazon and Barnes & Noble 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sandra's Social Sunday Teaser

The odd yet fascinating habit of meeting him in a previously discussed location, and returning to his loft for the night had become the highlight of Sandra’s existence after a couple of months.  It was so odd how much you could know about a person without knowing their name.  Their conversations were intelligent, political, and sometimes inane.  They talked about relationships with parents and with friends, always describing them in terms that didn’t require mentioning names.  Sandra’s thoughts wavered as she stepped into Maguire’s with a slick and confident smile on her face.  She would’ve been surprised if she could have seen it.  
The elegant and coiffed hostess took in Sandra’s mahogany Calvin Klein slip dress and matching Chanel pumps with handbag, and smiled her approval.
“One Ma’am”, the severe looking redhead quickly added, “Or perhaps you are meeting someone.”
Sandra smiled back.  Her fake business smile while she tried not to choke on the overpowering scent of Liz Arden’s Red Door. “Just the bar please.”  She and all the ladies of W.A.R.M. had endured Brenda’s ‘I need a new scent’ month where she ran the gambit of designer colognes from Giorgio Armani to Yves Saint Laurent before settling on Liz Taylor’s Black Diamonds.  Without doubt the day of Elizabeth Arden had been the toughest to take.
The “Of course” from the hostess was clipped as her demeanor changed as she began to figure that Sandra was a high classed prostitute.  Nonetheless she led her to the bar, and quickly left it.  Sandra gratefully breathed in the fresh air that was left in her wake.
 “You’re late,” the deep voice rumbled behind her as Sandra got settled.
Sandra slowly turned her stool to face him.  He was Monsieur Arrogance tonight for sure.  She smiled haughtily at him.
“Late, I didn’t know we had a date,” she said breathily. Every freaking time her first words to him were like that.  She might as well have called him Mr. President.
He sat next to her without saying another word, and signaled the bartender.  She noticed that the sleeves of his pale green shirt were rolled up, cufflinks gone, and a $10,000 Rolex sat on his wrist.  She only knew the price of that model because her Grandpa Samath had bought one for her father years ago for a birthday present, and he had bragged about the price for 6 months afterward.  She knew that the one she sported as a graduation present was quite pricey, and so whenever Brenda tried to tell her how much it was worth she would always stop her.  It was better not to know how much of a fortune the damn thing cost.  After all it was just a watch.  
Sandra was under the opinion that you didn’t spend more than $50 for an accessory that was designed to be annoying. But her Grandpa Samath always said, “A good timepiece is very important Sandra.” His bushy grey and white eyebrows would bunch together, and he would draw his wide featured face up for maximum impact.  Samath Dalianas was a tall man, being the bearer of Jiri’s overwhelming height.  His gray and white hair was still thick and worn a touch long.  Proudly he sported a slight bulge around the waist, but that didn’t detract from broad shoulders and toned arms since he still boated quite a bit himself with his brother Tomas.  “The difference between success and failure can be measured in seconds. You must always know what time it is.”  
“Jack and Coke for the lady, Chivas rocks for me.” The tone was matter of fact as his eyes dared Sandra to contradict him.
Uncharacteristically Sandra let him be high handed.  For some odd reason it felt wonderful to have a man know her well enough to order for her. Her Greek half would be thrilled.  Since Jiri had shattered tradition, they didn’t mince over her being with a Greek man.  It was still preferred, but at this point in the game she was considered well past a decent marriageable age. Any man that would have her would do. Grandma Jasmine and G’pa Chase on the other hand would tease her unmercifully.  Both knew that in her heart of hearts Sandra thought she would be the one to avoid all of this male female nonsense. She grimaced to herself that the training in women to be dependent on the approval of men was ingrained deep.  Even she was susceptible it seemed.  
After a questioning and searching glance, he entreated,   “I hope you don’t mind.  I was recalling your position on the role taken by today’s woman in opposition to the role forced onto women in the past.  I wouldn’t want to offend your feminist nature with my brass, barbaric, and controlling one, but I must be true to myself.” His look was amused. “I am a bastard.”
Sandra took a sip of her drink, and regarded him in silence. With keen interest he turned to face her, one arm on the bar, the other resting on his black clad thigh. Then with another small smile, and an almost scholarly look she was beginning to recognize, he continued.  Sandra smiled in anticipation, story time.
“There was a fisherman once.  He had one cormorant that he trusted, and two that he didn’t.  Without fail everyday he would take all three out into his little boat and set them free to fish for him as he sat and waited.  As expected the two cormorants that were untrustworthy would eat more than they would bring back to the boat choosing to greedily fill their bellies before returning any of what they caught.  When full they would hunt for sport, and bring what was left for the fisherman.  The third was a very different creature. This bird would bring all he caught back to the boat without thought or hint of treachery choosing to fill his master’s belly before filling his own.” He paused for dramatic affect only, one of his many story telling habits.  
She had confessed that she loved to hear him tell a story.  He had explained that in Japan it was an art, not just anyone was allowed to tell a story.  Men had been slaughtered for less than telling a bad story, and that was a quote.  When you were an oddity in a place like Japan, the people who viewed you expected to be entertained.  So he had learned how to tell wonderful stories.  It was the only way the smaller Japanese children would play with the giant grandson of the white haired gaijin.
He continued, “I will remind you that this would occur every day.  The fisherman didn’t eat all that he caught.  He sold much of his catch to others, and feed countless people whether they paid or not.”
He was a hand talker depending on the seriousness of the story.  Because he was proving a point he had very few hand gestures to accompany this story.  So it stood out when he raised his hand from his thigh slightly dropping his head signaling a pause.
“But this story is not about the honor of the fisherman, it is about the honor of his birds. So when they were done the two less loyal cormorants would spend the night punished for their greed without food or drink. Their treacherous ways returned to them the way the fisherman saw fit.  They would watch as the third was gifted with all the luxuries of a kept bird; unlimited food and drink, a safe place to sleep, and freedom to eat and drink at his leisure.  All for a couple of hours of selflessness each day.”
His pause was once again dramatic, but carried a hint of being thoughtful.  He could make his face and voice so very expressive when he wanted to.  A by-product of all the control he exerted over his features and emotions constantly.  “Sometimes the choices of a caged bird are only seen by the caged bird.  And the hunger of a bird that doesn’t allow itself to be tamed only felt by the hungry.  All of the birds contain the same spirit, yet all are caged.  Wouldn’t it be safe to say that it is then left up to the bird whether the cage has bars or not.”
“And the bird that is free?” Sandra inquired sweetly.
His narrowed eyed look wasn’t him being cross with her.  She happened to know that he enjoyed these debates with her very much.  He narrowed his eyes to try and distract from how much fun he was having so he could concentrate on giving as good as he got.
“Is filled with the uncertainty of a free wild thing.  Uncertain food, uncertain that tomorrow will even be seen.  If the cage is chosen, why fight that which wants to reward and care for you.” He shrugged as if the question was unseemly.
At Sandra’s doubtful sound he continued in a musical tone, “Not all masters are uncaring.”
“Not all masters are caring,” she amended in a flat one. “It’s foolish to choose a cage over the uncertainty of unyielding freedom.” Sandra mused. “Then all that is caught belongs only to the bird.”
He now watched her in the oddest way as if her answer had just told him all the secrets of her being. It was very disconcerting as he sat across from her holding the side of his face in his hand resting his elbow on the bar.  The other on his thigh idly turning his half filled glass of Chivas rocks. His unusual eyes were focused intently on her noting everything.
“That’s an easy choice for one that is not a bird.  Why risk unfed nights when the kept birds have already captured all of the fish and are joyous and full.”
Silently they contemplated each other, and Sandra got the feeling that this conversation was about much more than birds and fish or an argument that had started weeks ago.  She was answering whatever he was actually proposing unknowingly.
Sandra thought back. The argument had started during their week three meeting.  He had posed the question, ‘What was the purpose besides political for women to have a revolution when in fact they have always had the world at their feet depending on the man that they laid with.’  Instantly engaged and enraged Sandra had cited several instances of women’s inequality resulting in death and wrongful treatment at the hands of men.  To which he had responded that this treatment would happen in a totally equal world as well.  The nature of man was to destroy in most instances, and whether women were considered equal or not was of little to no regard. There were men who would destroy, and those that would fight the urge and not. To which she had responded that she had expected no less an answer from a man raised Japanese. The argument had taken place at least once between them as each thought of counter points to support their position.
After several moments he broke the silence, “If the cage is chosen which will you choose to be, one that hunts for itself and is left as such, or one that hunts for another trusting that the generosity of your spirit will be returned?”
“Neither. The cage will never be my choice,” Sandra replied confidently.
“Never is a permanent word that the nature of life does not support.” Almost mockingly he began to sip his drink. “The fates conspire against those that use that word with such conviction.”
“Never say never?” she asked coyly.
“Never say never without a thought for maybe,” he clarified. “Life and people are ever changing, never does not allow for that.  Simple bravado filled statements that one can only hope to live up to are all that do.”
He sat his drink on the bar, and took hers from her hand, and did the same with it. Holding that hand in his he inquired, “What do you think of when you meet someone?” This was seemingly very honest from him, naturally curious.
“How they see me.” She spoke lowly, trying to ignore how good it felt to have her hand in his so she could read what was behind his untimely question. “How they see life, and where their place is in it.”
“And you? How do you see life? Where is your place in it?”
Sandra hesitated as she realized that he was leading to another point.  Nervously she clenched her hand, and he returned the squeeze as she decided to give him a bland answer. “I see numbers, facts and figures. A testimony to the nature of man, and his slow and gradual evolution.  I am a humanity mathematician.”
Laughing that enigmatic laugh of his, he barely got out, “You are a woman. A beautiful, intelligent, woman.” Quick as lightening his long warm fingers snared her other wrist. His index finger was tapping her pulse as he placed it over his chest right above his heart.
“Count this,” he implored her gently.
Sandra’s lips parted, and she let herself feel his heartbeat beneath her fingers. The world around them blurred as her heart sped up its pace pounding heavily in her ears. ‘Rushing blood,’ she thought, ‘take deep breathes’.  For a countless number of seconds nothing existed but the insistent building of their heartbeats; the rhythms starting to come together and echo each other. The penetrating warmth of his body was burning through his shirt in counterpoint to the comfort of his hand holding hers to his chest. Her eyes were pinned to his chest where they touched.  He squeezed her hand causing her eyes to shift to his. They exchanged a pointed look between the two of them.
“What is that supposed to mean to me? It’s a heartbeat.” Sandra started breaking the hold his eyes had on hers because it made her much too aware of where her hands were. “We all have them, men, women, murders and saints.  It’s the purpose that lies behind it that concerns me.  Man has had a history that shows a desire to subjugate the weak, and to enslave those not in power for fear of their strength.”
Sandra felt an unnamed emotion course through him as his hand tightened over hers. His perfect blue eyes grabbed hers again.
“And a need to protect the weak and live life as it is, not in a matter of facts and figures that only tell the tales of those willing to be judged and tested.  This place has a balance. One cannot exist without the other.”
“So their honesty must be true. Why lie about such ugly things?” The air of disbelief lay thickly between them.
Resigned finally he sighed. “So this argument shall continue.”
She nodded. “Until you can convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that your view is correct, yes.”
“So be it.” The aggressor conceded.  “Will you come home with me?”
Despite herself Sandra smiled. “You’re asking; how modern of you.”
“The barbarian in me would prefer it another way.” He shrugged. “But I realize that this course would be unsuccessful in accomplishing my goal.”

“You are a smart man.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sandra's Social Saturday Teaser

The Sittingbulls were modest, simple people that changed what they could, and accepted what they couldn’t.  Ayita was a product of her family after all.  They had raised her to care for others more than herself.  Always see to the comfort of those around you before you seek comfort for yourself.  If you didn’t, how would anyone ever learn how to act. So it was really no surprise at how hard the Sittingbulls had taken their daughter’s secret marriage.
Ayita and Jiri had showed up in Oklahoma married, and with a 1-year-old daughter.  Grandpa Chase didn’t speak to his daughter for 2 months.  So angry was he at being denied the opportunity to congratulate the man strong enough to accept Ayita, and revel in the birth of a child that would be his only grandchild.  He questioned whether or not this man’s family had the capacity to be as accepting of diversity as he was.
Which was a fair question with all things considered. The Dalianas side of the family had come to the Sittingbull half independently wealthy from money they could trace back to the 1700’s as the world was changing and philosophers became politicians. Samath Dalianas had a knack for finance, and had more than doubled the family’s abundant wealth over the years by branching out in shipping and trade.  Sandra remembered feeling like it was much too Onassis for her, and then she found out that Aristotle was the guy grandpa had been advised by.  Smart move.  So her father’s family had maintained strong family lines in Greece with a few other members scattered in chunks over Europe, and the United States. Needless to say when one was a part of an affluent Greek family, news traveled quickly.  The twenty-eight immediate family members of the Dalianas clan had arrived together on the honeymooning couple’s hotel door in France the day after the wedding.  It made for quite a retelling during holidays when Sandra met up with her completely scattered extended family of all races gathered in some preplanned centralized location.  Always it amazed Sandra that despite her racial obscurity, her completely biased Greek half never failed to treat her just as warmly, and as inexplicably inane as any other Dalianas offspring having the misfortune of being born in what Nana Irene termed ‘this doomed generation’.
The blind affection from all halves of Sandra’s diverse family hadn’t properly prepared Sandra for some of the unsettling thoughts about race and inequality that apparently a lot of people in this world had.  She had found out early in her life, and often, that people were either intrigued or horrified by her obvious racial ambiguity.  She was always made aware that life as a mixed breed was more than just differing religions, languages, and mentalities.  Everything seemed to come back to that one question.  What are you?  Over the years Sandra had come up with a multitude of witty repartee for this line of conversation.  Her favorites have been: Human, Yoko Ono and Sammy Davis Jr.’s secret love child, and what they really found at Roswell.  Her best friend talked up her envy at every turn saying how wonderful and interesting it must be to be so unique.  True, but not much fun when you really thought about it.
In the mirror stared back at her a tan complexioned girl with unruly curly black hair, untamable eyebrows, long nosed, and thick lipped with overdeveloped breasts, obnoxious hips, and the frightening ability to put on muscle like a linebacker.  She grew hair in the oddest spots, and there really wasn’t a base that matched her skin tone.  No eye shadow that did wonders for her ever-changing eye color.  Most clothes fit her awkwardly if not skin tight or impossibly loose.  And then there were men.  Did she really want to get into men?  Oy vey.

Due to her parents’ international lifestyle, Sandra had grown up everywhere.  She had been born in Rome on a humid night in mid-July.  She had celebrated her 3rd birthday on a yacht outside of Norway.  Her fifth was on the coast of Brazil.  Her most memorable was her sweet 16 in New Zealand.  Obviously one didn’t maintain friendships very well, or relationships of a more carnal nature.  There had always been love in Sandra’s life.  Without fail grandparents, aunts and uncles, first, second and third cousins, and a few acceptations showered her with affection whether they were Greek, Cherokee, African American, or some other odd mix. Ayita and Jiri were the most loving couple she knew; fiery due to their mixed ancestry and beliefs, but just as loving none the less.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sandra's Social Friday Teaser

As Sandra stepped up onto the porch of the house, Ayita dropped her hand to take her daughter’s arm. They walked in, and Ayita had set up tea for them.  Sandra groaned inwardly; her mother had something to say to her.
“Sit, pishee.”
Sandra laughed lightly at the endearment she hadn’t heard since she had been young. “What’s going on mamma?”
Ayita sat, and began pouring tea.  It was chamomile and lavender. The smell alone said that this tea was from Ayita’s self-grown stock.
“That’s what I was going to ask you.” Ayita sat, and looked over expectantly after she handed Sandra a cup.
Sandra listened to her mother’s odd accent that seemed to combine French, Greek, and the clippings of southern American English from her rural mother and father before she commented. “Nothing new except for my doctorate. What are you and father doing here?”
Her mother stirred the tea with her finger, and lightly tasted it. “Your father is consulting one of the top mole docs here.  I am considering things.”
Sandra nodded.  A mole doc was another molecular scientist like her father.  Jiri’s research had taken them around the world, and back again so many times that Sandra couldn’t keep up.  Jiri “the original Dr.” Dalianas was a complex man to say the least.  He had always seemed larger than life to Sandra, and that would have a lot to do with him being the most physically intimidating molecular scientist she had ever met.  She had met a few thanks to who her father was.
Biochemistry and molecular biology was her father’s life.  Always he seemed obsessed with solving the genetic make-up puzzle.  DNA mapping was his specialty.  So constantly he traveled to consult with doctors in his field to get a little bit further in the mapping of the human genome. Talking about it always brought an eerie light into his already unsettlingly bright pale green eyes.  As a byproduct of his passion, the man demanded from himself peak physical condition always insisting that knowing what the body could do made him manic about fulfilling it.
And her mother; when Ayita considered things, they were usually big things. With her towering height, Ayita had always been the most beautiful woman in the world to Sandra. Considering that she spent most of her life modeling, the world seemed to agree; the entire world outside of America that is.  It was a shame that she hadn’t been very popular with her oak skin tone, caramel eyes, full lips, and blunt nose.  Because of her exotic looks, and the social upheaval in the states, her mother only worked in Europe, and various other locales outside of the States.
The irony is that her career hadn’t really taken off until after Sandra had been born.  It started one afternoon doing a shoot in the south of the French Riviera.  The prime minister of France had been a fan of Ayita’s for years.  Having the chance to meet her, he did. They had dinner, and talked politics.  Being no political slouch because of the amount of social consciousness that had been artfully instilled in her by both her parents, Ayita had impressed the Prime Minister to no end.  He recommended that she become an advisor, and soon set the plan into motion. Soon she became quite a political figure in Europe during the 1980’s up until the Bush regime took over, and made foreign relations more stressful.
“What are these things?” Sandra asked insistently.
“A spot in the United Nations,” she said with the polite calmness most people would use discussing the weather.
Sandra squeaked a little, “You’d be awesome at that.”
Ayita merely frowned, and made an iffy noise. “Still considering.” She sighed and glanced at the floor. “Honestly I was hoping your father would be ready to settle, and we could go to Mendocino.” Her eyes sparkled warmly as she lifted them to Sandra’s. “I’ve always loved it there.”
“It’s beautiful,” Sandra agreed as she took a sip of the tea not really believing that her mother still amazed her at 25 years of age.
The quiet inquisition that had been perfected by Ayita Sittingbull-Dalianas began as she sat quietly sipping tea, and staring avidly at Sandra.  Sandra sighed, no longer hiding her exasperation, and tilted her head at her mother giving her a pointed look.
“This works on dad, doesn’t it?”
Ayita slowly smiled.
“Yes I am still a virgin,” Sandra began, “and I’m starting to think that it’s not a problem.  We are not all as lucky as you and dad were.  And most certainly not all as gorgeous as you are—”
Her mother made a negative sound, “You are beautiful Sandra.”
“And you’re my mother; you have to think so.  What I’m saying is that I’m fine.  I have successfully defended my dissertation, and that meant so much for me.” Sandra paused looking for a sign that this would be enough. Then sighed, and continued, “I have accomplished almost all I want in this life.”
“No husband; no children.” Ayita gave her a consoling look. “Why plant a garden, and then not let the flowers bloom.”
Sandra stifled the urge to argue with her mother.  In the end Ayita wanted the best for her daughter, and when you had a husband like Jiri, you assumed that marriage was good for everyone.  She just didn’t seem to understand that they were a small margin of what actually went on with men and women.  Not that Sandra had vast amounts of experience. It was just that numbers don’t lie. During her brief and eventful 25 years of life she had seen, three uncles, five aunts, two first cousins, and an adventurous third cousin marry.  Out of the eleven marriages she witnessed, and the 6 that were in existence before she had been born, only 9 of them had lasted, her mother and father, their immediate parents, a couple of cousins, and a set of aunts and uncles.  Only nine out of an overall 18.
“One promise pishee, and we will discuss this no more,” Ayita stated strongly with a clear finality.
Sandra nodded knowing that when her mother asked for a promise like this she was true to her word, and she wouldn’t let up until you agreed.

Ayita met her daughter’s turbulent ever-changing eyes, and said softly, and slowly. “Let the tide catch you once. Let yourself feel the ocean before you say you don’t enjoy it.”