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my books, new authors, tips from the latest chapter in my life, people, places, and fun tidbits.
Tune in for
Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday, Trippin' Thursdays,
and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Quick #Update Trippin' Madness

TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
I've been obviously absent. There are many stories to be told and much trippin' has happened...but until life turns right side up and I have time to think, it won't get from head to blog. Family matters, and I'm tied in knots with that. I'll have a tale soon enough. We're in the new RV so there's a story there.

Book four, The Power of Love and Murder, is in edits and a release date nearly scheduled. But, I can't share that date yet. It depends on how quickly I get these last edits completed. Fingers crossed.

Book five is underway as well as a short story for The Roses of Prose. Unfortunately, they are progressing very slowly with all the hoopla of life.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 29, 2016

VICARIOUSLY THROUGH A CHARACTER by Chrys Fey


MUSE MONDAY
Please welcome Chrys Fey to Muse Monday with an interesting look into an author's characters!
Sometimes writers base their main character after themselves or give pieces of themselves to their characters, such as physical descriptions and personalities. I tend to do this when I write. For me, it’s pretty hard not to, especially for the heroine (or MC). This character is usually so much in my head that I can’t help but not picture myself as her and put myself in her shoes. I created her, so I always end up relating to her. I want her to be a little like me but to also be what I can’t be. Beth Kennedy from the Disaster Crimes Series does this perfectly.
I have some physical limitations from spine surgery, so I can’t kick butt as she can. I wish I could, though, and that’s why she’s a self-defense instructor. I long to be more active and to do things on the water, but I am afraid of drowning while Beth canoes for fun. I also wish I could stand up for myself more. Well, Beth doesn’t pause when someone tries to push her around. She’ll slap them silly. I guess you could say, I gave her the strength I don’t have. 

But she does have some of my traits:
1. We’re vulnerable but try to hide it.
2. Neither of us can hold our anger.
3. We like to collect shells at the beach.
4. We have a charm bracelet. Only I bought mine, and Donovan bought hers.
5. And we’ve experienced a category 5 hurricane. 

BLURB: 

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments. 

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs. 

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything? 

EXCERPT:

The moment she realized Buck was shooting under the cars to hit her, the tire she hid behind blew. She squeezed her eyes shut as she tried to make herself smaller by pressing her body into the SUV. The Morse code of bullets hitting metal started up again. She could've sworn she felt the SUV shaking with the continuous beat of bullets slamming into it, except the shaking was below her feet. It started gentle but as soon as she noticed, it became violent. 

Earthquake! 

She fell backward and struggled to get back up. Her body bounced up and down and rolled from side to side simultaneously, which told her the quake's epicenter was close. The origin could've been beneath the hotel for all she knew. A light came crashing down from the ceiling and slammed into the concrete floor with such power it exploded into a trillion stars. Glass shot out in all directions like the Big Bang. Beth screamed and covered her face with her hands as tiny pieces of glass bit the skin on her arms. 

She fought onto her hands and knees and hugged the tire to keep from falling over again. The intensity of the tremors grew. The concrete below her feet didn't feel solid anymore. It felt alive, as if two gigantic gophers burrowed through the earth. The truck behind her slid with the vicious shock waves and bumped into her, pushing her roughly into the tire. She let out a cry of panic. 

Digital:




Print:


BIO:

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes, Book One in the Disaster Crimes series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and creates their monthly newsletter.

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four adopted cats who keep her entertained with their antics, and three nephews who keep her entertained with their antics. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and through her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers! 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Friday, August 26, 2016

Interview with Fearless Jana Lane by Joe Cosentino


FEARLESS FIRDAY
Please welcome my guest, Joe Cosentino, and his character, Jana Lane.

It’s Fearless Friday and we welcome back fearless Jana Lane, America’s most famous ex-child star, current movie star, and now Broadway star in Joe Cosentino’s fourth Jana Lane mystery novel, published by The Wild Rose Press, CHINA DOLL. Welcome back, Jana. 

Jana: I’m thrilled to be out of Joe Cosentino’s head and talking with you again. 

Of course we all remember you as a child star in cherished films like The Adorable Orphan, Jungle Girl, and Pink Ballerina, but since you last talked with us you’ve had a huge comeback starring in the steamy His Obsession and the political thriller Madame Senator for which you won a well-deserved Oscar. You’ve had quite a comeback, personally and professionally. 
Jana: And thanks to Joe Cosentino’s novels, my life is an open book. Five of them actually. 

Jana, you are gorgeous at forty-one with your petite figure, layered blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and porcelain skin. Do you have a beauty regime? 

Jana: I work out in my home gym each day to music like “Maniac,” “What a Feeling,” Gloria,” and “Cover Me.” 

And since you live in the 1984, I love your chic business suits and dresses, shoulder pads, lace gloves, leggings, and scrunchies. 

Jana: As they say, the clothes make the woman. 

In your case, I think the woman makes the woman. You are truly fearless, Jana Lane. Please tell the readers about your mystery series by Joe Cosentino.

Jana: In PAPER DOLL I am thirty-eight and living with my family in our mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. My flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in my future. When the local police detective is of no help, it’s up to me to venture back to Hollywood, where I uncover a web of secrets about everyone I love. I also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of my old producer, Rocco Cavoto. After my investigation, I figure out the identity of the murderer, trap the rat on my property, and the truth comes out. 

And in PORCELAIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), you make a comeback film and uncover who is being murdered on the set and why. And your heart is set aflutter by your incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. And as in PAPER DOLL, you use the skills you learned as a child star, including some karate moves, to trap the murderer. Well done, fearless Jana Lane! 

Jana: A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Then in SATIN DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), my family and I head to Washington, DC, where I play a US senator in a new film, and become embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. I also embarks on a romantic flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. I also rub elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter. 

Once again you figure out whodunit and corner the murderer into confession. Tell us about your current release, CHINA DOLL. 

Jana: My agent arranges for me to star in a Broadway play. So in CHINA DOLL (The Wild Rose Press), I head to New York City to star in a Broadway mystery, where my I become enchanted by my gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens—another actor, and I’m faced with murder on stage and off. It is old home week and nepotism in action as the play is produced and written by the same producer (Stanley Rothman) and author (Katrina Wright) who produced and wrote my first Broadway play when I was five years old, Sweet Nothings! My co-star from Sweet Nothings, the aging but still gorgeous and mysterious Savannah Stevens, is co-starring in China Doll, along with Savannah’s incredibly handsome and muscular son, Peter Stevens, in his Broadway debut. Rounding out the cast are Rothman’s granddaughter Bella, my nephew Brad, and my youngest son B.J. And the play is directed by Katrina’s new husband. 

The young studly Tony Cuccioli. 

Jana: Also in the cast are Sally Chen a recent Tony Award winning actress, and Tate Moonglow a transplant from Off-Broadway. Art imitates life as members of the production team of China Doll are murdered, and personal secrets are revealed. 

I’m guessing once again Jana Lane uses the skills you learned as a child star to solve the crime and catch the killer. 

Jana: Including a fight scene that takes place on stage! 

You are truly fearless, Jana Lane! With her gorgeous violet eyes, is Savannah Stevens, the aging movie star, based on Elizabeth Taylor? 

Jana: Savannah is a smart, strong, talented woman like Elizabeth Taylor, however, she doesn’t have anywhere near as many husbands or such a troubled life. What great fun for me to co-star with Savannah in a play when I was five years old then again at forty-one. 

Is Katrina Wright, the highly successful mystery writer, supposed to be Agatha Christie? 

Jana: They are both very successful, older female writers, but Agatha Christie wrote many novels and a few plays, Katrina has written many many plays and no novels.  Also unlike Agatha Christie, Katrina has a young stud husband who just happens to get the job as director of Katrina’s play—to the producer’s (Stanley Rothman’s) chagrin.

And you go through a major personal event. 

Jana: I love that part of the story. It still brings tears to my eyes when I read it. 

Everyone in CHINA DOLL seems to have a secret. Thank you for revealing them by the book’s end. 

Jana: Thank Joe for that. Each Jana Lane mystery is its own story. Readers get a complete mystery with each novel, as you said, full of revealed secrets, clues, plot twists and turns, and white knuckle shocking ending.

Do you see the Jana Lane mysteries as a TV show? 

Jana: Joe sure does. He wants to play my agent Simon! 

What is your next mystery?

Jana: RAG DOLL, where I am offered the leading role in a TV pilot about an amateur sleuth. Life imitates art once again as murder and romance ensue. After all, it’s a Jana Lane mystery! 

How can your readers contact you?

Jana: Via Joe. He loves hearing from readers. It gives him a break from listening to me. They can contact him at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.
Thank you fearless Jana Lane from the Jana Lane mysteries, here with your latest release CHINA DOLL by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press. Stay fearless! 

CHINA DOLL, a Jana Lane mystery

by Joe Cosentino

published by The Wild Rose Press



Jana Lane is back on Broadway in 1984—starring in a murder mystery. Life imitates art when members of the company are murdered. As Jana investigates, it’s clear she may be the next victim. Complicating matters is Jana’s uncontrollable infatuation with her leading man, gorgeous and muscular Off-Broadway actor Peter Stevens. Will Jana find the murderer before the curtain comes down on her?  
Praise for SATIN DOLL, the previous Jana Lane mystery: 
“A book that will captivate any reader! A page turner that won't let you go! This is one author you can always depend on to publish a good read!!” Stormy Nights Reviewing
“Joe Cosentino is a brilliant mastermind when creating the perfect mystery series. In each novel in this intriguing series of his, Jana Lane Mysteries, readers are blown away by his writing. The instant readers jump into Joe Cosentino's fictional world, the danger feels real, the suspense is killing, and the plot moves so fast. Action, lights, camera!”  “A fast-paced murder mystery that readers will easily fall in love with...and one they can't live without. Overall, I highly recommend this new title in the Jana Lane Mysteries and look forward to the next best adventure from Joe Cosentino.” Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity Inc.
Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, and China Doll and the upcoming Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, and the upcoming Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com 


Excerpt from CHINA DOLL, the fourth Jana Lane mystery, by Joe Cosentino, published by The Wild Rose Press
Jana came face to face with Stanley. “If Tate and Gary go, so do I.”
“Don’t do it for me, Jana,” Tate and Gary said in unison.
Stanley grinned. “Listen to your deviant friends, Jana.”
Tate held Jana’s arm to stifle her from replying to Stanley.Stanley glared at Sally Chen. “And if anyone doesn’t like the size of her role, I’ll accept your resignation.” Then staring at Savannah and Jana, he said, “And if any of you regrets signing a contract with me for this show, let this be a business lesson for you. Lawyers enforce contracts.” Stanley clapped his hands again. “Tony, Tate, and Gary, you are released. Kat, please take a seat in the house. Jose, back to your stage manager’s console please. Everyone else, please make a circle around me, and I will lead you in some acting exercises.”
As everyone moved around Stanley onstage in a state of shocked pandemonium, the bookcase set piece teetered back and forth then crashed down on top of the producer.


Friday, August 19, 2016

TRIPPIN' TROUBLE (keep smilin')

TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
Remember, I'm about tossing out ways to have fun when you retire and/or change lifestyles with nothing in the bank but love. I like sharing little ways to tighten the budget while you loosen up life. Well...this week it was about none of the above!

We've gone back and forth between Prescott, Tonto Basin, and Phoenix so many times I have to think about where I am each morning when I open my eyes. The purchase of the bigger and better fifth wheel is done except for signing the papers on pick-up day September 2nd in Prescott. I've gotten Mom to the dentist in Phoenix twice...three more appointments to go.

On Wednesday, I headed back to the basin by myself in the car and just before I turned onto I-17 the car made a funny chattering noise which suddenly grew loud. I pulled off the road, steering wheel went stiff, and car was dead. The timing belt broke and the engine was blown. A tow truck ride and hours later, we learned the fix was more than the car is worth. Sold it to the junkyard. Hubby came to rescue me.

I shudder to think how it would've gone had the event happened a little farther along in the drive...maybe on the winding road over the mountains down into the Verde Valley. It 's a fast moving highway and a major truck route. Or maybe on the rim road. 260 is a winding two-lane road on the edge of the pine covered mountains. There's rarely anywhere to pull over and lots of blind corners. I can be thankful for where it happened, at least.

Next day, hubby and I headed out in the truck and as we rounded one of those turns on the 260 rim road, a front tire exploded. Black smoke billowed behind us, and he fought to get the truck steady until a small area to pull over on the mountain side appeared.

Again, I shudder to think how it might have gone at another moment like if we had been pulling that new fifth wheel. Not only am I thankful for the timing of this ugly event, but also to the young man who stopped to help us change the tire. He actually passed by us, found a place to turn around, and came back. If you ever meet a
fireman from Pine, AZ named Paul, tell him you know he's one of a kind.

So tips? Only hindsight: buy tires for the truck before the car because the car is going to blow an engine anyway. Wait a week to fix the breaks on the car because it's going to blow an engine anyway. I can advise to not buy Ironman tires. They are overpriced and fall apart at 30,000 miles. Oh, and another way to save the bucks? Go down to one vehicle. Saves on insurance and tags. Always good to find the upside, right?

Monday, August 15, 2016

SEDUCING THE STORY...FROM THE CHARACTER


MUSE MONDAY
The characters who populate my fictional world always guide me from idea to page. What has changed over the years is how well I get to know them before I put their story into novel form. I keep a tight rein on them now, or at least they let me think so.  

I considered myself a pantser when I first started writing. Authors are either pantsers (writing by the seat of their pants) or plotters (organized and thought out). I didn’t write an outline or synopsis beforehand. I usually knew the names of my two main characters, what they looked like, and a bit about their personalities. I knew where the story began and where it would end, but none of that stuff in between. 

And as a pantser, characters could deceive me or get feisty and hold back important details, dropping them on me right in the middle of a plot line. Give them an inch… 

When I entered the world of series writing with true villains capable of murder, writing by the seat of my pants didn’t work so well. But let’s leave plotting for another day. I’m still on characters right now. 

Before I write that opening scene, a Character Sketch is created for the players…or at least all of the
ones I know of. As the story progresses, new characters will pop into the story I had no idea even existed. For those I know of, I record their full name, birth date and place, race, eye color, hair color and style, height, weight, build, skin tone, how they dress, and if they have any distinguishing physical traits or mannerisms. Once I get past the visual, I need to know their personality traits, what their background is, their education, and their occupation. Keep in mind, not all of this will be used in the book. But I have to know it in order to write their stories. 

Then comes the real crux of the person: GMC or goal, motivation, and conflict. These three things drive the character and create the story. In my early days, I wasn’t always sure of all three when I’d begin writing. Even now, my characters will throw me a curve at times, but I’m much stricter with them and insist on knowing just why and where we’re going with this adventure. 

This week, I’m at the character stage in The Deep Well of Love and Murder, book five in the series. There’s a larger cast of characters involved in this story, and I’ll bring back some from books one through four. Should be fun. Next week, I’ll begin plotting. Oh yes, I now plot. 

An inside look for you for book five from the Character Sketch file: remember Laura from book one? She had a very minor role as the wife of Clark Katz. And from book two, do you remember the Meadowlark Range foreman, Randy? His role was even smaller. They’re up front and center in book five. I just found out Randy comes from a colorful ancestry of Brazilian Gauchos on his father’s side, and Laura had to flee her childhood of a dysfunctional family when she was young. 

I’ve been writing, with the purpose of becoming an author, for about nine years. I landed my first contract in 2009 and held a copy of my first published novel in my hands in the summer of 2010. Every time I hold the latest published novel, the thrill is the same. Wish me luck in cajoling all of the details out of the characters for manuscript number eleven this week.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

SURVIVING MY SUMMER MOOD

TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
In everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...in our latest season, with only a vague plan and a touch of creativity, we're off on another adventure. Half of this twosome is retired; my half will probably never know what that means. I promise to share.
The only trippin' I've been doing is over my erratic schedule and mood. Can I lend any good advice or tips to you as a result? Suuurrrre!

I discovered that climbing into the shower with yoga pants and a tee shirt under cold water, then sitting in front of a fan really cools you down.

I discovered getting a 16 ounce glass with a lid and straw filled with ice and water, then refilling every time it's empty (two of these before lunch, two before dinner minimum) keeps you hydrated and cooler.

I discovered if I'm jumping between three towns, three beds, it's best to lie and think a minute about where I am in the middle of the dark night before I try negotiating a path to the bathroom.

I discovered switching Internet and phone carriers is uber frustrating. We were able to get out of our Sprint hotbox due to non-existent coverage. My mood was greatly affected by lack of Internet coverage when I needed it. Costco had a deal and we netted new phones, a notebook, and Internet with Verizon for the same amount we were paying for a decent iPhone, crappy cell, and spotty
Internet coverage. Yes, the result was good, the changeover was a hassle. Tip: look at plans and at other places like Costco to save and upgrade.

See the glass with straw? Water and ice!
I discovered buying a new RV is just as infuriating as buying a new car. Yes, we decided to trade in the small RV, the Eagle, for a more comfortable size. Why are we upsizing? Does it mean we actually have a plan on what the next adventure is? Yes. Sort of. And I'll leave that until we are actually in possession of the Wildwood. (a few pics from still on the lot)





Monday, August 8, 2016

A BIG, HOT AUGUST- SIZZLE with Barbara Brett


MUSE MONDAY
It's great to have Barbara Brett today! Read on...

It's August, usually the hottest month of the year—at least here in New York City, where I live. Those of us who spend most of the season at home are not too fond of August, but I'm a big fan. Not because I enjoy the month's long, sweltering days, but because I'm so grateful for the anniversaries that some of those days commemorate. Ninety-six years ago, on August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to our Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified. August also marks the birthdays of two brave women who fought long and hard to make that right a reality. 

On August 13, 1818, Lucy Stone, suffragist and abolitionist, was born. Lucy was one of the organizers of the Women's Rights Convention and she spent her long life fighting for freedom for slaves and the vote for women. When she died in 1893, the slaves had been freed and African-American men had the vote, but women were still waiting. 

Suffragist Inez Milholland Boissavain was born on August 6, 1886, right here in Brooklyn, where I live. Unusual and extremely difficult for a woman in her day, after she earned a degree from Vassar, she received a law degree from New York University. She fought for women's rights, prison reform, and children's rights. On March 3, 1913, the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, robed in white and on a white horse, Inez led a suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. Inez died three years later at the age of thirty. Four years after that, women finally gained the right to vote. 

I've always admired women who have blazed the trail, whether in politics or business, making the way easier for the rest of us. Many of them have taken it up as a cause. Others have done it on their own, determined to succeed just for themselves, but in doing so, they have surely eased the way for others. When I created Marietta Wylford, the protagonist of SIZZLE, I wanted to explore exactly how a woman could make her way in the man's world of business. I set the book in the 1980s, when it was much more difficult for a woman to succeed than it is today. It was an exciting time of junk bonds and corporate raids, and the macho guys on Wall Street thought they had the goodies all to themselves. But Marietta was determined to get her share of the pie. Could she succeed and still keep love in her life?

Blurb for
SIZZLE
Where the boardroom meets the bedroom.

She’s the most beautiful and ruthless CEO in the nation. He’s the most dangerous corporate raider in the world. Neither has ever lost a battle in the boardroom—or  the bedroom. Now they’re warring for America’s biggest publishing prize.

It’s the glitzy1980s. Fortunes are being made and lost—and made again. Wall Street is on a roll. One after another, corporations are being gobbled up by rapacious raiders. And now Sizzle, the most glamorous and profitable magazine in the world is up for grabs. British media mogul and corporate raider Harrison Kendricks has set his sights on this publishing plum, in which the reputations of the rich, the famous, and the beautiful can be built or destroyed with a paragraph or a photograph. He has never before lost a hostile takeover. But then he has never before been in competition with Marietta Wylford, the brilliant and beautiful CEO of Wylford Enterprises. She needs only Sizzle to crown the business empire she has built with nothing but her own genius and ambition, and she is determined to let no one stand in her way. Not even the mysterious and dangerous Harrison Kendricks. To defeat him, she will have to uncover the one vile secret that will utterly destroy him. And she will do anything to get it—even at the risk of breaking her own heart.

SIZZLE—a  novel of breathtaking power and ambition, set against the jet-setting world of Manhattan’s elite!

“[A] battle fraught with...the dirtiest of tricks...the stuff that destroys marriages, people, lives.... Sizzle through the summer with Sizzle.”—The Salem News

Buy links:
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Sizzle-Where-Boardroom-Meets-Bedroom-ebook/dp/B01DL6F1E4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1460124005&sr=8-1
B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sizzle-barbara-brett/1123604122?ean=9780989917339
Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/626180
Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Sizzle+%28Barbara+Brett%29

Excerpt from SIZZLE by Barbara Brett
Marietta Wylford began life as Marianne Vuckendorn, which should have been a sufficient handicap for anyone, but fate chose to deal her out even more. She had a brutal, alcoholic father who rarely worked, and when he did, he spent all his money on liquor and whiskey-drinking friends. Her mother, too weak willed to leave him, slaved behind the steam table in a lower Manhattan cafeteria, where, on the rare occasions when her boss was in a good mood, she was allowed to take home some leftover vegetables that had been cooked beyond recognition and some dried-out ends of meat.

When Marianne was eight and still fantasizing that her father had crept into the palatial home of her real parents— visiting royalty from Europe—and kidnapped her from her diamond-studded cradle, her older brother, then fifteen, was killed by a fellow junkie in an argument over their stash of heroin. When she was twelve and past all fantasies, her younger sister, then eight, died in a fall from a swing in the local playground, which, unlike its counterparts in well-to-do neighborhoods, had no rubberized protective cushioning in potentially dangerous areas. No one bothered to investigate the accident, obviously just another case of a dumb poor kid who didn’t watch what she was doing.

That death was a turning point for Marianne. She had always known that someday she would escape the vicious cycle that had closed her parents off from hope and kept them tied to apartments in crumbling tenements in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, outcasts forever quarantined because they suffered from that insidious social disease, poverty. Now she began to make concrete plans for that escape. Her mother delighted in telling her that the angels had smiled on her face, and even a critical look in the mirror confirmed that her mother was right. She had large, wide-apart eyes the color of fine emeralds, and luxuriant, silk hair that gleamed like burnished copper. Her nose was straight and her chin firm but gently rounded, her cheekbones high and aristocratic, her skin a clear ivory tone unmarred by blemishes or freckles. But if the angels had smiled upon her face, it soon became apparent that they had beamed on her body. For she grew to a height of five feet, eight inches, and to a breadth that was nothing less than the American dream—thirty-eight, twenty-three, thirty-six. Obviously, she was made for better things than Crown Heights had to offer, and she was determined to have them—whatever she had to do....

Thanks for having me on your blog, Brenda! I'd love to hear from your readers. They can find me at:
Website: www.brettbooks.comGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1767558.Barbara_Brett
Amazon.com author page: www.amazon.com/author/barbarabrett