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What happens when Christine Bailey, a
young woman from an affluent family, believes she has met the man of her
dreams, only to discover she has been living in a fool’s paradise? The
handsome, charming, and cunning Awesome Petté will not only awaken her sexual
inhibitions but will draw her into his sinister plot, which will ruin her
financially and obliterate her parents’ billion dollar empire that has been in
the family for four generations.
Alone in her majestic
manor, Christine Petté knew something was wrong when she came home to an empty
house and found a beautiful small chest on her husband’s desk. The wooden box,
with its intricate handcraft patterns and sparkling gems, reminded her of a
piece that one would find at an auction house or in a museum.
She never questioned
her husband’s business affairs, but some strange occurrences got her wondering
about him, his business, and his inner circle of friends.
There were bizarre
phone calls all hours of the night, secret meetings with individuals she never
knew or met and packages delivered to the house by scary looking messengers.
Then, someone broke into the house while she and her husband were dining at a
restaurant in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
Her husband’s office
was the only room ransacked. Furnishings, papers, and DVDs were scattered all
over the place, but the intruder, as far as she knew, took nothing. Two
thousand dollars in cash, a Cartier watch, and gold coins worth over five
thousand dollars were in his top desk drawer, which were all visible to the
“Honey, what were they
looking for, and how could they have missed those items, which were in plain
sight?” she asked, reaching for her cell phone.
As she was getting
ready to dial 911, her husband grabbed the phone out of her hand. “There is no
need to call the police. It is Halloween; it was probably some kids playing a
practical joke. Instead of adorning the house with raw eggs and toilet paper,
they decided to remove the spare key from under the doormat, let themselves in
and rummage through my office. Nothing
is missing. There is no need to get the police involved.”
A spare key under the doormat; this is
news to me,
Some neighbors did
leave their doors unlocked and would place an extra key under the mat or hide
it in a flower bin. There were occasional break-ins, but major crimes rarely
occurred on the quiet block.
She decided not to
pursue the matter. Her husband’s tone,
body language and demeanor made it quite clear.
Leave well enough alone. Let sleeping dogs lie dead.
The kind of business
her husband was into might have been the reason for the break-in.
Maybe the prowler thought there were
pieces worth stealing, she told herself.
He owned a shop, which
sold second-hand junk. Often he would bring items home to restore before
offering them to customers.
Since the Great
Depression, the economy was in the pits. At the same time, gentrification was
spreading throughout the borough like locusts circling cornfields, and high-end
shops and restaurants were replacing mom-pop establishments. If three customers
came into her husband’s shop, it was considered a good day.
Why someone would come
into a home just to poke around and not steal a timepiece, coins, and cash, all
worth over eight thousand dollars, did not make any sense to her.
But if Mrs. Petté
thought these events were out of the ordinary, she would soon receive a wake up
call that will send her into a hellish tailspin, leaving her asking: How could I have missed the deception my
husband was exhibiting in plain sight?
Excerpts and purchase link will be coming soon. In the meantime, check out her other books at the following links: Lulu Smashwords Amazon
The digital world has its place, but when it comes to dating
and romance, which may eventually lead to a nasty break up, what you post
on-line or in a text messaging application may have a detrimental effect on
future employment, entrance into college or your chances of finding a soul
For many reasons, a lot of people put all of their personal
business on the Internet without giving it a second thought, no matter who ends
up getting hurt. It is a good idea to keep delicate details about why you ended
your relationship with an ex off social media, public forms, chat rooms and
Whatever bad issues you had with a past lover should never
be posted on the Internet. No matter how angry you are, discuss your feelings
in private. Talk to the person face to face, or discuss your reasoning for
ending the relationship on the telephone or write a letter and send it by snail
mail, which may be a lost art among many of today’s young people. But never
expose what went wrong or what went on between you and your ex in the bedroom on
any social media. Forget about listing all of your ex’s unrewarding sexual
performances. It’s over; put a period behind it and move on.
Even if the post is anonymous, chances are your friends will
have a good idea who you are maligning. And you may also open yourself up to a defamation
Airing your dirty laundry among friends, behind
lock doors, is no different from airing your grievances on the Internet. The
only difference is that the chitchat you post on the World Wide Web will remain
Two years ago, Caroline Carrington had made the biggest mistake of her life; she had rejected the man she loved.
Now, she was back in London and ready to find a husband.
But first, before proper Caroline did exactly what was expected of her, she wanted a little scandal, something to remember during her life as a perfect society wife. Not enough to ruin her, but enough to make her feel alive.
Who then is better placed to help her with her quest than Tom Crawdon, the man whose mere presence still had the power to weaken her knees, and her heart?
Tom had promised himself that he would never allow another woman to get under his skin the way Caroline Carrington had. He had returned to London intent on forgetting her and moving on with his life.
Forgetting her however, would have been a lot easier had she not arrived in London at the same time as he had.
What was worse, she seemed to be on a mission to shake off her good girl reputation. And who better to help her than a notorious rake like him?
But could he help her while still protecting her unblemished reputation? And what happened if she snuck her way right back into his heart?
Especially someone he l- cared for.
A sound drew his attention and he turned to see Caroline trying to get herself back onto Fortuna.
No doubt she was trying to storm away. But since Fortuna was far too large for Caroline to be able to reach the stirrups alone, all she had managed to achieve was to be halfway up the horse, with one foot in the stirrup and the other dangling uselessly as her arms clearly did not have the strength to continue pulling.
“Er – what exactly are you doing?” he asked politely.
“Minding my own business,” she snapped back, “you should try it.”
Ah, she was still upset.
He didn’t think he’d ever seen her in a rage before. It was most amusing.
“Let me help you”, he tried again.
With a huff, she gave up on the frankly impossible task of mounting her horse alone.
She whipped round to face him, her face red from the exertion of scaling a horse, her eyes flashing fire.
“Oh, now you want to help?” she drawled sarcastically. “Well, no thank you. You have made your feelings on helping me perfectly clear.”
Tom felt his temper rise to match her own.
“I cannot believe that you are angry with me for trying to preserve your reputation.”
“Hang my reputation”, she shouted now.
“Hang it, indeed. You forget I know you Caroline and I know that you may speak as if you do not care but I was there the night you decided that your reputation was more important to you than anything else in the world, remember?”
His outburst brought an abrupt stop to her ranting and there was a deadly silence between them both.
He had thought that his words had taken the sting out of her mood? That she would apologise and say that he was right?
He watched as she bowed her golden head and waited for her to lift it again, to see her eyes filled with contrition.
Lift her head she did, but her eyes were glinting with determination now. Not contrition.
He was immediately suspicious.
“I have told you before, I am well aware of what I did two years ago. And what it cost me”.
His heart slammed at her words. Was she saying that she regretted it? That she felt she had lost him?
When all it would take was a word from her?
Before he could speak, however, she continued.
“I am prepared to live with the choices I have made. And live with them I will. I will become everything I thought I wanted to be and I will do so with good grace, as all ladies do.”
She sounded now much more like the Caroline of old and he felt a certain relief at it. This new Caroline kept him constantly wrong-footed and it wasn’t a feeling he liked.
“However”, she continued, a hard edge to her voice now, “I am still absolutely determined to enjoy a little scandal before that happens. And if you won’t help me I will find someone who will.”
A rage such as Tom had rarely felt burst through him at her words. The thoughts of her kissing another man as she had been kissing him just moments before were enough to make him want to hit something.
“Like hell you will”, he growled.
She raised a disdainful brow.
“And who will stop me?”
She was goading him. He knew it. He knew that he should not rise to it. Knew that she was probably calling his bluff.
What if she were true to her word? What if she meant to give another man her smiles, her laughs, her kisses?
He’d be damned to hell before he allowed that to happen.
Looking her dead in the eye, he reached out and grabbed her to him.
Her eyes widened but rather than fear, they held unbridled passion and excitement. And it was his undoing.
“Me”, he finally answered before once again crushing her lips beneath his own.
Caroline was bored, and decided to take yet another walk in the gardens.
Her stroll took her around to the front of the house and she was surprised to see the arrival of a lone rider to the front of the house.
Her brow creased in confusion. As far as she knew, Tom wasn’t expecting his guests for another day or two.
Her attention was caught by the arrival of another two riders coming up the long driveway. She dearly hoped it was Tom to greet his guest.
Unsure as to whether she should greet the stranger or disappear until someone else arrived, she watched as he dismounted and made his way to the front door.
His gait was very familiar. So too was his dark hair.
Caroline stepped closer and then gasped in surprise.
It was Charles!
“Charles”, she called and ran toward him.
Her brother turned at her shout, and he grinned as Caroline ran up the steps.
“Hello, Caro” he said in his deep voice before he pulled her into a hug that pulled her from her feet.
Charles had always towered over her and he made Rebecca look positively tiny.
“What are you doing here?” she asked now, completely forgetting about the imminent arrival of the other riders in her excitement.
“I came to Town and was told by Edward’s servants that you were all here. I was sure his cousin would not mind if I paid a visit, since I came to see my family and my entire family are here.”
Caroline smiled widely.
“No I am sure he would not mind, he is a very generous man.”
Charles eyes, identical to Caroline’s icy blue, narrowed slightly at her warm praise but he did not comment, instead pulling her toward him in another hug.
“You look very well, Caro. It seems England is agreeing with you.”
Caroline made to answer but did not get the chance as she was suddenly pulled roughly from Charles’ grip.
She looked up in confusion and was surprised and horrified to see Tom, looking murderous, push her gently away from Charles before throwing his fist and landing a fierce blow right onto Charles’ cheek.
“Tom” she screamed now, “what are you doing?”
“Getting this lecherous brute’s paws off you”, he snarled and made to move forward again.
“Stop it”, she screamed again, pulling out of his arm with all her mite. “He’s my brother”.
Tom stopped mid-step and turned to look at her.
“Your brother?” he asked slowly, his breathing harsh.
“Yes, my brother” she shouted back, furious with him.
“Ah, so it is. Hello Charles, nice to see you again.”
Caroline’s jaw dropped at Edward’s nonchalance.
Charles grinned at Edward, seemingly as unfazed as the other man.
“Edward, nice to see you too”, he said as the two men shook hands.
Caroline felt as though she had slipped into a surreal dream, or nightmare rather.
Charles turned back to face Tom and eyed him closely.
“You must be Tom Crawdon. Sorry to drop in unexpected, though it would appear I’ve had my comeuppance” he grinned ruefully, rubbing his cheek and extending his other hand.
“My apologies”, said Tom now grasping Charles’ offered hand, “I thought –“
“You thought some stranger was manhandling my sister. Believe me, I am well pleased to have someone take such good care of her. You must really care about your guests.”
The two gentlemen shared a look that Caroline, still in a state of shock, did not even try to decipher.
Tom broke the brief silence.
“Please, come into the house and we will have someone look at your cheek.”
“It’s nothing that a glass of brandy won’t fix”, Charles said jovially.
The door had opened as this bizarre little exchange was going on and Edward stepped through, handing his hat to a waiting footman.
Both Tom and Charles turned back holding a hand out to Caroline then glancing at each other; Charles’ face once again shrewd and questioning, Tom’s trying and failing to look innocent.
Caroline stared at them both, completely overset by what had just occurred then shook her head and stomped into the house without either of their assistance.
She wished Rebecca and the dowager were here. She’d even take Mrs. Colson at this point.
In the space of a few moments, she’d seen Charles, watched as he was almost knocked clear out by Tom and then listened to them bonding and talking about brandy of all things.
Her head began to ache. And in the midst of it all was the horrible realisation that now whatever chance she and Tom had of being together had been completely obliterated by the arrival of her older and overprotective big brother.
One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
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The Las Vegas Mayoral race is heating up, and the incumbent doesn’t have a prayer. Wealthy real estate speculator Nick Campenelli, who wants to legalize prostitution in ClarkCounty, and former pastor Louis St. Louis, running on a 'clean-up-Vegas-by-getting-rid-of-the-whores' platform, are the front runners.
They’re also front runners on the suspect list for a string of murders. Kennedy O’Brien, four-year detective with cop blood running in her veins, and her partner Wilder “Wild Thing” James, a veteran, are determined to find the man who’s murdering prostitutes who work the wrong side of the street, and they don’t care how important or politically active he is.
The killer is a man with a mission. He stalks the women before he kills them, leaving a “BEFORE” photo on their bodies, and sending an “AFTER” shot to the local news hound. Ed Hershey, an aging newscaster with just the right amount of grey in his hair, is determined to turn this story into a network gig, and his interference, along with the LVTVS legal team, are making Kennedy and Wilder look bad. Campenelli’s good looks and charm, and St. Louis’ vitriolic hatred of prostitutes are muddying the waters too, and now the killer seems to have taken a liking to Kennedy.
So the big question remains. Can she get him before he gets her?
THE CALMSKY DID LITTLE TO LESSEN THE BRUTAL AND UNRELENTING LAS VEGAS HEAT THAT ENGULFED HIM AS HE STOOD WATCHING FROM THE SHADOWS. Sweat, mixed with anticipation and fear, made his cotton dress shirt stick to his back. Adrenaline pulsed through him, blurring the flashing neon lights in his peripheral vision into distorted, iridescent streaks of color dancing across the sidewalks. He rubbed his clammy palms together as he watched a woman step from a Mercedes onto the littered curb.
With a quick tug on the rough denim, she straightened her tight, micro-mini skirt and, placing a hand on each side of her jewel-trimmed halter top, jiggled her size double-D’s into position. Smiling, she tucked a wad of bills into her tiny purse and waved as the dark sedan sped away.
His heart pounded an erratic rhythm in double-time against his chest wall and small beads of perspiration dotted his forehead. He wiped his moist hands on his pants and approached her, head down, shoulders hunched.
“How much for twenty minutes?” He tipped his head in the direction of the alley. “Over there, standing up.”
Her eyes widened, bright purple eye shadow sparkling in the light of a passing car. “Standing up? You like it a little dirty, do you?”
He eyed the creamy breasts overflowing from her halter top. “Don’t we all?”
The woman shrugged, and for a few seconds he could see the boredom in her gaze. She looked down at the sidewalk and back up at him. Then she smiled.
“You’re in charge, boss. Twenty minutes, fifty dollars. Cash up front and I have a strict policy about condoms. I only use my own. A girl’s gotta protect the merchandise.”
He closed his eyes, savoring the moment that would propel him into greatness. When he opened them again, he could tell by the look on her face she thought he was mulling over the price. He’d go along with it. “Fifty dollars up front?”
“Take it or leave it. Hooking this side of the county line is illegal, you know. I’m taking a risk.” She ran her hands slowly over her double-D’s and wiggled her ass. Her voice purred, “As you can see, I’m not a blue-light special.”
He looked down one side of the street, and then the other. He studied the alley for a moment, and then looked her over again, slowly.
“I’m worth every penny.”
Did the whore actually think he’d find that sexy? “Yes, love. I can see how much you’re worth.”
“Well then make up your mind.”
He pulled a fifty from his pants pocket and handed her the cash. “Of course I’ll pay you what you deserve.” Pushing past her, he walked into the dark alley, rolling up the long sleeves of his once neatly pressed dress shirt.
“Thanks, sugar.” She folded and then tucked the cash into her purse.
He looked over his shoulder at her. “So how about you get that sweet, fifty dollar ass of yours over here?”
She followed willingly and when they stopped, stood face to face with him. The stink of cheap perfume smacked him in the face and his stomach muscles tightened. His voice roughened.
Teri Riggs, Author
Teri Riggs was destined to be a writer. As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own. Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head? When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories. On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending. Her girls loved it.
After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in. It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.
Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world. And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.
Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep. The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.