Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

Friday, May 20, 2016

Don't Apologize for Calling a Spade a Spade

“What do you mean? This is good info.”
“I’m not saying it isn’t.  It’s about how it was acquired.” He paused pacing, and stared aimlessly at the back wall. “Unless a person who would have this information legally claims to have given it to you.” He threw up his arms dramatically.  “It can’t be used.”
“In a court of law,” she finished as she dropped her ever-tiring head into her hands.  Abandoning that she popped her head up causing her hair to cascade over her head, and resettle disheveled. “So all this really did was put me on the chopping block.”
Thomas made an odd negative sound that was between a growl, and a hum as he started pacing again.  “Not necessarily; it gives us more than we had before.”
Not seeing the bright side like he was Charlotte hissed, “That being?”
Her sharp tone made him stop pacing, and turn to look at her as an odd expression briefly crossed his normally passive features. “A path.  We can figure out what he is doing, and how he’s been doing it.” Thomas nodded to himself. “I can use it to make him incriminate himself.”
He then looked at her for only the second time since he had determined that she needed to relocate.  The hard lines of his face softened slightly.  The difference was almost undetectable.  Most people probably wouldn’t notice, but Charlotte had.  It made his lips soften, and the crinkles around his eyes lessen.
“You need to sleep.” The statement was more of an order than an observation. 
Thomas walked back to the SUV, and pulled out her gym bag.  With a head gesture he inferred that she should follow him.  Feeling like she was just tired enough not to argue, Charlotte lifted herself from the chair, and fell into pace behind him as he began clearing the space to the staircase.  They went upstairs, and he opened the door of the first room.  Charlotte followed him, and it was like she was at the Hyatt all of the sudden.
The room was like a hotel room.  The furniture was wooden and in solid colors.  Not great, but not bad.  It was mostly sterile, and looked like a man had picked out everything.  There were no knick-knacks, just basics.  An ugly pasty green couch, a matching chair, and some dull wooden end tables were the highlights of the decor.  In the corner was a kitchenette with a full sized fridge, stove, dishwasher, and microwave.  The sink was a single basin with a washrag, and dish soap nearby.  The second door in the room lead to a bedroom that housed a king-sized bed covered in a hideous beige comforter, and some more of the dull wooden end tables the living area sported.
“Bathroom is connected to the bedroom,” Thomas said as he threw her gym bag on the bed, and started for the door.
Charlotte stared at the room, and grabbed the arm of the brooding man as he passed her.  She almost hissed at the warmth of him through her fingertips.  The feeling was short lived as he stopped, and removed her hand from his arm by grasping her wrist.  The action made her snap her eyes to his, and they held for a moment neither of them blinking for the space of two breathes.
“You’re safe here Charlie.”
“Tommy—,” she stammered not really believing that she had addressed him so familiarly.  It had to be her exhaustion because he had not done anything that would make her assume such an air with him.  The look that danced in his eyes for a moment could’ve been shock or anger.  She wasn’t sure, but she was sure that she had crossed some invisible line with the name that had fell from her lips.
 “Thomas,” she quickly corrected looking up at him.  “I didn’t mean— on the phone—”
He whipped her body into his, and ducked his head to seal his mouth to hers.  Charlotte felt the burn of his lips against hers.  The abrupt entry of his tongue pushing between her teeth made her stiffen, then practically melt against him.  Her wrists were captured behind her back by one of his larger hands.  The other hand had taken possession of her left butt cheek pulling her against his body.  She moaned in a haze of adrenaline, pleasure, and fear as she kissed him back with just as much ferocity as he was kissing her with.  His hips were grinding into hers.  She could feel the length of his erection between them.  With that knowledge her knees nearly buckled.  What she wouldn’t give to get her hands on him.
What had started as rough tongue stabbing was dissipating.  The forays he took between her lips were becoming more leisurely as he explored her mouth with long slow licks that drug his tongue over all of the surfaces of hers.  He would pull away slightly, and then decide that he wasn’t done, and take her mouth again.  This happened a few more times before he pulled back, and slowly licked his lips.  Panting they held there breathing each other’s air.  He let his eyes roam over her face.  She watched as they settled on her lips then flew back to her eyes.

“Don’t apologize for calling a spade a spade,” his deep voice was rough, and his accent was dominating his pronunciation.
An excerpt from Charlotte's Chance on AmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

And Now the Running

Sandra had a corner apartment on the third floor.  They were the only units in the building that offered the large obnoxious roman bathtubs.  The only draw back, if you saw it that way, was that they were at the end of the living group for the hallway.  The closest thing to her door was the fire escape across the hall. It was open, and Sandra loved to climb it instead of taking the elevator or the interior stairs.  In her heart of hearts Sandra was really a recluse, and this suited her.
While musing over the oddities that comprised her best friend, Charlotte had locked the door, and had that feeling. As soon as she had turned the bolt, the sudden creepy crawly feeling of being watched covered her.  It had been in a split second, but her mind had yelled RUN!!  She hadn’t thought about it, she had just reacted.  She had run to the elevator of the long hall way as the door was closing.  Then she bolted for the stairwell at the end of the hall.  Charlotte hadn’t heard the footsteps, but she had felt the eyes.
Don’t look back.’  She heard her brother in her head yelling at her.  The self-defense pointers he had given her starting to play in her mind. 
Focus on what is in front of you.  Will yourself to that place.’  She flew through the doorway to the stairwell. 
If you get a chance, hide, don’t try and outrun them.’
She turned the stairwell, and went up instead of down.  The stairwell was a myriad of walled half flights, carpeted, and quiet.  She crouched on the other side of the wall facing the steps leading to the next level hoping her pursuer didn’t realize that she was there.  Charlotte pressed her back to the wall of the stairwell flattening her palms near her hips.  She balanced on the balls of her feet ready to spring because of the low heels on her black boots.  Her breath was coming out loudly almost panting. The air-conditioned area was musty like carpet that had been left wet.  There was a single oval recessed light on each landing right above the open space before you stepped through the door.
The creaking of the door on the landing beneath her as it flew open made her stop breathing.  Charlotte swallowed her gasp. Her heart was beating so loudly it could probably be heard from the street. She flexed her hands against the wall willing herself not to move. Even as the slight sound of padded footsteps receding reached her she waited before she let out the breath she had been holding.
Be patient. Don’t make a mistake now. You’re almost there.’
Charlotte slowly moved away from the wall, and made her way back down to the landing she had come from.  She walked slowly, fearful that her pursuer would get wise, and come bolting back up the stairs at any moment. When she reached the hallway she stood nervously in front of the elevator knowing that she couldn’t go down it alone.  She paced a few moments as a crowd of young adults made their way to the elevator.  A few of the ladies had hair like hers.
Don’t shy away from people.  Other people are your best cover if someone is looking for you to be alone.
She boarded the elevator with them.  They reached the garage under the building where she had parked her F-150.  Because of her brother’s diligent teachings, she always parked very close to elevators, and always under highly lit areas.  Charlotte streaked for her F-150, and got in locking the doors, and starting the truck in the same motion.  The creepy feeling returned, and for a split second she stared into the black eyes of a tall stocky man with a greasy look and feel to him.  His face snarled as she hit reverse, shifted to drive, and burned rubber pealing out of the parking lot.
It had all happened so quickly.  She had come home locked all her doors, closed all her blinds, and battled herself into not calling the police.  What would she say?  I think this guy was following me.  Oh yeah because my best friend and me have gotten ourselves into some serious trouble with a local oil baron.  And did I mention the CIA agent that kidnapped her off to Japan.

She had finally convinced herself that she would’ve sounded nuts.  At that time she most likely would have.  After all who was to say the guy didn’t need change or something.  Maybe he was a bill collector she had missed and was trying to find Sandra.  Charlotte had spent the night concocting an array of amusing, interesting antidotes that would explain what had happened at Sandra’s apartment.  Then it had happened again.

An excerpt from Charlotte's Chance on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

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.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NEW RELEASE: Sandra's Social

I wanted to give this release a special introduction because this is a special release for me.  Sandra’s Social was the first romance novel I ever finished.  Key word here is FINISHED.  This book was the culmination of a 3 year odyssey to find my literary voice and my writing focus.  A lot of the theories that I apply to my romance novel writing were put into place because of this book.

I tried to write the standard romance novel.  Not the ones that have florid and vivid storytelling and engaging characters, but the other ones that I thought publishers wanted.  Each attempt found me done with the book and the characters before I even got to 10,000 words.

I used to marvel at how when I read an Elizabeth Lowell novel she seamlessly gave the reader knowledge about an artistic endeavor, the subtle charm and humor in a Johanna Lindsey romance, and the emotional historically accurate tour de force that Diana Gabaldon could create.  And I openly wondered what could I bring to the table? 

Looking back at my life experiences and my interests it became obvious almost immediately.  I stopped trying to imitate a style that I never really enjoyed and instead embraced one that I could claim as my own. I realized that what I wanted was to write a different kind of romance.  I wanted to pioneer a style that actually took into consideration aspects of social class and gender concerns.  I wanted a thinking romance novel. Thus my first heroine Dr. Sandra Dalianas was born.

Sandra’s Social is book one of a 5 book series called The W.A.R.M. Front.  What started as a kitschy acronym to give a little flavor to a heroine became an investigation into the obstacles that love faces in our society.  It became a call to arms for me as I realized that there are things that we as a society need to deal with and talk about.  More importantly we need to form new opinions on a number of socialized norms. 

So Sandra’s Social is very social as it deals with multicultural, multiracial, gender, and class issues.  The book arc focuses on 5 women whose lives have been brought together by the solidifying idea that being an unconventional women shouldn’t come with the price tag of being alone. Sandra’s Social is the first step to self-empowerment and reclamation.

So I invite you to get social, get unconventional, and get ready for The W.A.R.M. Front.

Always w/love,

Sandra’s Social is available as a NookBook with Barnes&, as Kindle release with and in other digital formats on