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

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Colan Abrams from an excerpt of Shuttered Vision

“Mr. Abrams.”

A pause.

“Mr. Abrams.”

Longer pause.

“Colan.”  From a different voice.

He jerked awake. “Yeah, yeah what is it.”

“I can’t even describe how rude what you’re doing is.”

Colan wiped his face and resettled himself in his chair. “It wasn’t intentional I had a rough night last night.  I apologize.”

The four people at the table stared at him.

“Please continue.” He gestured loosely at the man speaking.

“So here is where the film actually moves . . “

What movement Colan thought to himself.  Another horror film where people disembody each other in horrific ways.  There is no movement in a film about brutal death.  There is brutal death, a half to fully naked chick and oh yeah a glorified psychopath.  Alfred Hitchcock knew what horror was.  It was an element of the mind.  He understood that what the human mind could imagine was much more horrific and gruesome than what he could ever show on a screen.  Even with today’s technology he would only redefine darkness, horror, true terror.  He would create art.  Film making was an art.  True film making, movie making however was a tired racket.  He could always tell within the first 30 seconds of a pitch if he was talking to an artist or a hack.

The horror flick being pitched, “Until Dawn” was a movie, not a film.  The screenwriter had cobbled together the shock value factors of the last 4 years of highest grossing horror movies and was selling them like they were fresh stock. And because Colan was in the business he was in, he would have to underwrite it and start production as soon as the hack was ready.  Because he was not a film producer, he was a movie producer and never should the two actually met.

If he had known that a Bachelor’s from Berkeley and a Master’s from NYU would’ve gotten him here, he would’ve saved the money.  That way at least he’d be like Paul sitting next to him, none wiser about the difference between art and crap.

“You hear that Col, the ending, it’s totally unique.”

“No it was done in 1976.  It’s a variation on the original ending of Carrie, the one they didn’t have the funds to do during that time period, the one Stephen King actually wrote.” Colan corrected without really thinking about it.  He sat up straight.

“Bottom line, it’ll easily be the Halloween blockbuster the year its’ released.”  He paused as the pasty man’s excitement started to fill the room. His partner nodding in agreement.  It was always like this when he talked to these guys.  Had to be how music producers felt about most rap styles that had nothing to do with the original slam poetry and hip hop styles they so carelessly discarded yet have to thank for their future success.

“Any plans for sequels?” He asked carelessly.

The man grinned from ear to ear. “Well I was trying to produce a stand alone but if the studio would like a franchise I am more than willing to negotiate those terms.”

Colan stood. “Wonderful, you and Paul here can hack it out. I mean hash it out.”  He fixed Paul with a blank look. “In the current media market we can shoot for 3 total, with a possible 4th upon villain restructuring.  Get me 2 in the can in 28 months.”

Paul was taking notes and nodding.  Colan stared down at his pristine bottle platinum blond locks carefully and artfully moussed and gelled into hip spikes. Reflexively he ran his hand through his own shoulder length blonde mane trying to remember the last time he’d even washed it with shampoo and conditioned it.  Felt pretty rough to the touch.

“Done.” Paul confirmed and looked suspiciously up at him with his dark brown eyes.

Colan smiled at the look of suspicion.  He was always wondering what he was up to.  What angle he was playing.  Wouldn’t he be surprised the day he told him there never had been one. He turned and left the room. 

Couldn’t blame Paul.  That was the life.  Movies made a lot of money, they also spent a lot of money.  Those two factors together drew a certain kind of person.  A land shark.  But there were levels of shark and cannibalism was not only tolerated it was often encouraged.  To reach the level and status that Colan had reached required a lot of guilty memories.  Paul was just being careful because you never knew when one of those beasts was going to turn on you.

Colan would’ve had a guy like Paul for lunch eight years ago.  He had been without remorse when it came to getting to the top and being able to call the shots.  He had been a fool to believe that being at the top of this industry would do anything but change his priorities. People have this fantasy that once they get to the top of something, they can just instantly change the entire institution and structure.  They think they have a noble cause and noble goals. 

Colan had been no different. For most of his 36 years of life, films had sustained and carried him.  He would never forget his first drive thru experience.  His mother and father had taken them to see something he thought he really wanted to see until he turned around to look at another screen in the tri screen theatre.  There he watched, without sound, Superman. Shortly there after his father had left and he fell completely into the world of moving pictures as his mother had to leave him to fend for himself as she had to work more.  So he watched movies, every kind he could watch.

He was raised in a back water Oklahoma town called Chandler right outside of Oklahoma City.  When he had become high school age he had talked his mother into letting him go to the best high school in the state located in Norman Oklahoma near Oklahoma State University.  There he had started the process to get into the University of California Berkeley. From there he had gone to Tisch with New York University with a 4.0.

Colan had graduated full of zest, zeal and an appropriate amount of artistic angst and he had hit the independent film scene a blaze.  His first three movies had been shot down instantly.  The people he pitched to insisting that America didn’t want to think, they wanted blood guts and senseless violence. He had been unconvinced.  The public took what they could get. He was going to make films again. 
All of his professors had seen the idealist in him and knew what that meant.  One by one over the years they had warned him away from Hollywood.  Make films overseas first, he had been advised. But he had been a patriot.  He had only wanted to give his creations to American audiences first. 

With the choices being Disney and Hollywood, he had chosen the later.

So there he had gone.  Hollywood was everything he thought it would be and a slew of other things he hadn’t expected.  He had expected to be disgusted to be insulted as the art he loved was being canonized and mass produced without thought or originality.  What he hadn’t expected was to be lured in by the potential of ultimate power. To be held enwrapt by the bright lights the lifestyle, the parties, the drugs, the sex.  Some of those women he had met along the way had been willing to do anything.  Anything at all for a shot. It isn’t until it’s much too late do you realize what you had to become to get there.

But the most seductive lure of it had been the competition.  Being better, doing better hopefully in a way that shows everyone how bad someone else is at this job. Colan had started as a rigging grip. After 5 years of wheeling and dealing, flaunting his degree, his good looks, and southern charm, Colan Abrams from bumfuck Oklahoma and a broken home was the most sought after movie producer in Hollywood.  He had gotten to be an assistant of a producer within a year and half of being in the company.  Produced his first film within the next six months as the man he was working for cracked under the pressure.  Pressure Colan had eagerly and liberally applied. That year he had turned a summer blockbuster that would’ve fallen on its ass with the previous producer into a multi-billion dollar worldwide hit.

The rules are simple for success in Hollywood.  Money is the name of the game and the only resume item that’s respected. Rule one summer, you got lucky, rule two summers, you might just have what it takes.  Three summers followed by a killer Halloween and an amazing Christmas showing, baby you’re a star.

Colan was a country boy at the core of his being.  And like any boy not used to women that looked like Hollywood wanna be starlets did or men willing to prostitute like Hollywood wanna be leading men did, he had lost his way. He had been exposed to it during school, but it wasn’t the same.  In the end, the purity of the art always held him first and kept him focused.  But with the purity of the art gone, all that was left was this sickening people pulsing floor show.  When the lifestyle had started not to be enough he was a little worried.  When the drugs had started to not be enough, his worry escalated.  When the sex became practically another form of currency he had started having full blown panic attacks.

Two years ago Colan Abrams, multi billion dollar movie producer, film company executive, and all around Hollywood behind the scenes badass, had a nervous breakdown.  And his perception of the world had never been the same since.  


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, 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.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fine Times On That Road to Hell - Make Mine a Heel Excerpt

Banner could tell that Keith was in a rare mood.  The women who knew him the best sat silently.  Banner stared at him, waiting.  He pinned her with his eyes.  They were a maelstrom of chaos, rage, unrest, determination, acceptance, and then  . . .  desire.
“You ready to interview,” he directed at her casually.
Banner inhaled sharply. “You know I’m ready whenever you are,” she combated quickly.
He nodded, sharp and determined. “Then we should get to it.”
He bent and kissed his mother on the cheek whispering something in Spanish in her ear. She turned and put her arms around him, and just held on; saying nothing, yet saying everything. 
He pulled away kissing her on the top of the head, and looked over at Banner. He gestured to another room, and started out.  Banner walked over to where his plate sat, and picked it up along with his iced tea. She then stopped in the doorway, and waited.  He took three more steps before he turned around, and saw Banner holding what he had turned back for.  He stared at her for a moment, and then a slow easy smile spread across his face.  The tension from the moments before was starting to drain away from him.  He looked at the floor, and shook his head, as if he were arguing with himself.  With renewed vigor he took slow casual steps over to Banner. 
Banner just watched him because he was moving in that way that made her lose track of what she was thinking, or doing for that matter.  She just stared at him understanding that he was getting closer, and knowing that she really wanted him to.  Her eyes had fixated on his hips. She finally realized that she was actually staring at the man’s package, and went for his eyes instead, and found that to be even worse.  She was in his focal points.  He had taken notice of her, and she would be hard pressed to get out.  They said that the easiest way into a man’s heart was through his stomach; perhaps just understanding that stomach played a large role in the process.
Honestly, she had never become more aware of herself as a woman than she was in that moment, and it was so very cliché. She stood there holding his meal, and he was coming over to retrieve it.  It should’ve been simple.  But something about the way he moved, the look in his eyes, and the sureness of his step implied so very much.  It said that at that moment in time, he was having trouble deciding what he wanted more; the food or the woman.
Banner felt her spine stiffen.  She was not cut out to resist a full on assault by this man.  It had been a mistake to grab the food and drink.  Too damn casual; too damn comfortable.  She was acting in such an uncustomary fashion for her. The action implied an intimacy that she shouldn’t have.  For her, it had been factual.  He was a big man. There would not be a successful interview if he didn’t eat.  In truth she had been taking care of her job, not him, she quickly rationalized.  But the way he stalked up to her reeked of possession, and not just in regards to her belonging to him; this was much more unsettling because it implied a belonging of him to her.  Banner couldn’t speak for him, but she’d lose her damn mind if something like that belonged to her.
Keith took the plate and glass from her, and said almost beneath his breath, “that’s three.”

Make Mine a Heel  On Kindle

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Woman to woman moments "Make Mine a Heel"

Banner grabbed his forearm. “How dangerous is whatever it is you’re doing?”
He sat back on his haunches, and Banner inwardly groaned knowing this was the precursor to him jacking with her. “You worried about something that isn’t real?”
“Don’t be an ass Keith, how dangerous?”
“One to ten about an eight,” he answered slowly.
“What do you classify as a ten?” she asked sharply.
“Smart woman,” Jason tossed in.
Keith crunched his face pinching one eye closed. “Anything involving open flames.”
Banner knew she paled. “What about something that draws blood?”
They both stared at her as if she was insane. Keith threw up his hands with an inscrutable look on his face. “Ummm, doesn’t get to register, that’s standard issue babe, like getting tackled in your tongue.”
Banner held out her hands trying to calm her rising temper. “Don’t call me babe, and what’s a one?” she finally got out.
“Any drop that’s more than ten feet.”
“So let me get this straight, much more dangerous than a drop from more than ten feet, but not as dangerous as open flames, just really close.”
Jason smiled. “I think that’s how he described it to Mr. Cassidy verbatim.”
“Not quite, but damned close.”  He took Banner’s shoulders.  “Look I love it that you are freaked out, but don’t be.  I’ve done much stupider things, trust me.  This is a baby bump in comparison.”
“You aren’t going to tell me what it is because it sounds really bad,” Banner guessed.
He gave her a slow meticulous smile with a chaste kiss on the cheek, and walked away with Jason.
“Good luck with that”, she heard from behind her.
She turned to face Sheryl Cassidy. “That man doesn’t heel worth a damn,” she finished with a knowing look.
“Part of the appeal,” Banner begrudgingly admitted. 
“Damn shame isn’t it? We only want the ones we can’t tell what to do.”
“How is Scott?”
Banner felt bad about asking the question as Sheryl’s face clouded with pain. “I wouldn’t know,” she admitted softly. “I haven’t spoken to him since I left him at the hospital.”  She cradled the clipboard she was carrying, and shook her head. “I don’t know what to do with him. He’s put me in such an awkward situation with the business and my family.”
Banner stepped up to the woman, and put a hand on her arm. “Still love him.”
“More now than before. I almost lost him.”  She sighed long and heavy. “But every once in a while a girl has to ask herself the same question that Anna Mae Bullock had to.”
Banner grinned recognizing Tina Turner’s real name. “What’s love got to do with it?”
Sheryl met her eyes, resolve spreading over her. “Honestly, can women like us afford it?”
They stood there for countless moments staring at each other understanding what was really being asked.  Could women in positions of power with the ability to change things for the better make any other choice than the one that benefitted them and those around them the most?  Could they just refuse the pull of advancement, and follow their hearts anymore?  Maybe a decade or two ago, but today.  The only women that truly wanted to be housewives already were, and loved the job.  The rest just weren’t cut out for it.
“So tempting to be selfish,” she whispered. “To just chuck all that could be done, and chase after that man.”  She shook her head. “I can’t drop the ball like that. Too many people suffer for it; and why, so that I can feel like everybody else.  Husband, 2.5 kids, the American Dream.”  She humphed harshly, and looked around. 
The noise was deafening.  There was a match going on in the ring.  Guys were running around yelling orders.  Her father had signaled her, and she had unconsciously made a notation to her clip board. With an ironic look on her face she met Banner’s eyes again.
“I’m not like other women. I’ll never be like other women.  So it just makes sense that my dreams are different.  I want it all Bay; the husband, the kids, the career, my life, my mark on this place.  For so long men got to do this; have it all.  The home and the career, and women were relegated to making it happen; being the crutch. It’s not fair, and it takes women like us to change it. But it’s hard; we have to do it the way that hurts the most. You cannot forsake one to have the other. They have to all find a way to coexist, so you stay with the one that needs you the most when it needs you.” She took a deep breath, and looked around. “This one needs me the most right now. Scott needs only himself.  If he’s worthy, he’ll see to it.  If not, I’ll find another.”
Sheryl stared at Banner for a moment longer and started talking mostly to herself. “If he’s the one, he’ll understand. Maybe not today; maybe not tomorrow, but someday. Don’t be tempted to stray.  You’ve got a job to do.” With a slight nod she continued past Banner, and took the reins of the backstage production.
Sheryl Cassidy was very good at her job.  She had what Teddy had referred to as good vision.  Banner had seen behind the scenes production for television, people that worked the mechanics of it all. She had seen people that were, okay, good, outstanding and clairvoyant.  Sheryl Cassidy was almost a level beyond clairvoyant.  It was easy to see why Keith had fallen in love with her.  Why all the guys were obviously crazy about her.  Besides being the bosses’ daughter she was humble, but not so much that you didn’t respect her.  She knew what she was talking about, and wasn’t afraid to follow through on it.  Whether Daddy approved or not.  If he didn’t, and she knew it was right, she changed his mind, or did it without him. 
Banner felt her head tilt as with stunning clarity she realized that she was practically looking at herself.  Just under different circumstances.  But unlike Banner, Sheryl had acknowledged instantly that she was in the presence of an equal.  They were women who didn’t focus on what women couldn’t do in their chosen fields.  They had instead made strides so that one day women could do anything in their fields, and thus anything in the world.
Banner took a deep breath feeling the plan take hold.  They could have it all couldn’t they?  God this was a gamble, she thought to herself.  The fallout initially would be immense, and Keith may not ever forgive her.  There was a story here, as a matter of fact there were a few. And while very compelling, the most important story here wasn’t Keith Daniels.  Banner stared after Sheryl for a few moments more.  With a deep sigh, she checked her tapes, and started to set aside paper for a different line of notes. 

With a nod she left her spot. “Hey Sheryl, wait up.”


Make Mine a Heel  On Kindle