And that's how I feel today. Monday? Say it isn't so!
But to keep you (and me!) entertained, here's an excerpt from 'Beyond Secrets.' Here's the blurb:
He's a barista in a wheelchair.
She's the face of Mrs. Chatty, stalked by the mob.
Can true love survive danger and deceit?
When Sierra Madison is demoted to a gossip columnist at work, she wanders into the coffee shop across the street, where Nathan, a handsome barista in a wheelchair behind the counter, befriends her. After finding out that the part owner of her newspaper is a mob member and wants her silenced, Sierra gets help from a detective named Phil who looks identical to Nathan. But both men declare they don't know each other and never seem to be able to meet. Even though Phil can walk and he protects her from the evil Chicago undercurrent, she still wants Nathan, but knows it can never happen when she finds out his secrets.
"Sierra Madison. We meet at last." The man, looking like a mobster dressed in casual business clothing, sat down beside Sierra at the bus stop.
"Do I know you?" She was confused, but had to keep her cool. No one would know she was the face of Mrs. Chatty, since she just got the job at the Chicago Life Newspaper. Maybe this guy knew Uncle Nick? If so, she'd try to get away from him.
"No, we don't know each other yet, but we're going to be best friends." He whipped out his card and handed it to her. "The name's Ronny Samuels, just like my card says. I'm a lawyer for Joey Angelo."
She glanced down at the card. "Who's Joey Angelo?" When she lifted her eyes to Ronny's face, his evil smile made the hair on the back of her neck stand up. His eyes narrowed as if he wanted to eat Sierra for lunch. She had to remember she was from Jersey and pull out what she liked to call her Jerseytude, even though he frightened her.
His bushy eyebrows lowered slightly as he watched her. "You don't know that name?"
"No, sir." Sierra donned a bit of attitude. "Should I?"
"Everyone should know that name. Joey is a silent partner for your business. He's part owner." Ronny leaned closer. "I'll be watching you, after that article on fish you wrote."
"The one about local restaurants serving fish with mercury in them? What about it?"
He nodded. "That's the one. Why do you think you were demoted to the basement janitor's closet?"
She sat up. Finally, some answers. "Because of that article, according to Mr. Warren. But I don't understand why and he wouldn't tell me." Mr. Warren was her boss. His office was on the fifth floor, where her office used to be located.
"Joey owns six restaurants, all of them serving fish. That article made the inspectors sit up and take notice in Joey's businesses."
Her eyebrows rose considerably. "I had no idea. So I wrote about the silent partner owner and bashed one of his other businesses?"
"Yes, you did." He paused, just watching her face with his beady brown eyes. "Watch your step. Mr. Angelo plays for keeps."
The bus pulled up to the stop but she didn't move. Instead, she stared him down. "Is that a threat?"
He nodded and stood up. "Good day, Miss Madison."
As he walked away, Sierra decided against going to the Victorian tea party. She'd just found the best article for her page, but knew if she wrote it, her life would be in danger. Her articles shouldn't be about fluff, but should reflect the undertone of Chicago and how dangerous it was. She couldn't mention Joey Angelo, but she could describe how the city wasn't for the faint of heart. However, Mrs. Chatty wasn't usually dramatic, so if she wrote it tongue-in-cheek, she might be able to actually get a bigger readership. It was time to let Ronny Samuels and Joey Angelo have it, Jersey style. If need be, she'd call in the big guns—her uncle who'd been rumored to be involved with the mob in Atlantic City. She might do that anyway, just to protect herself.
She needed a place to think, seeing a coffee shop across the street. It was time to go undercover, and what better way than to load up on caffeine.
Buy links (99 cent book):
Have a great week!