So you can read my books

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Denise and Donna have a new Friday Romantic Challenge:

This prompt is about the others in the romance couple’s lives DURING the break-up.

Inlaws, best friends, co-workers siblings, the kids and other immediate family. Anyone who has connected with the couple and is expected to choose sides when the relationship ends.

What we want to see (in 400 words or less) is how “the others” feel or is changed by the ending relationship,

and what they see as the strengths/weaknesses of the couple. We want to live the romance through a second party. (This is not a love triangle.)

Me, being me, I did it in 500 words. But this is Victor Standish's story, and you know how he is!

This is an excerpt from NEW ORLEANS ARABESQUE:

Her eyes were dark with more than the night.

Yes, Meilori’s eyes were jade quarter moons waiting to rise. What made them dark was her soul steeped in hate … for me.

“Standish,” she husked, “what does it take to kill you?”

Why did all my enemies ask me that? As if I would tell them. A bloody Captain Sam had a trembling arm around her bruised shoulder. He was leaning heavily upon her.

The two of them escaped her sister’s trap by the skin of their teeth. They both looked ready to fall.

I was dribbling a bit of blood myself. They wouldn’t have made it if Alice and I hadn’t fought off Maija’s reinforcements. Captain Sam looked uneasily from her to me and back to her.

I sighed. Losing Meilori for 7 years to Maija’s deceit had almost gutted him. To lose her now after just being reunited would destroy him.

I felt my face go tight. Sometimes to save the ones you loved, you had to lose them. I sighed. I always knew that alone was my destiny. I turned to walk away.

“Time to surf the waves in California.” I whispered.

Alice cried out to Meilori, “Oh, Lady Shinseen, please do not send Victor away! I – I am bound to New Orleans. I cannot follow him.”

Meilori murmured, “You are better off without the gutter rat.”

Alice sobbed, “I will die without him.”

I kept walking, but Captain Sam called out, “Victor, no!”

Meilori snapped, “Samuel, he is your son not mine!”

I turned around. Uh, oh. Mother, the Angel of Death, was materializing beside a startled Alice. Sfumato!

There were a billion ways for this to go wrong. I didn’t think there was a single one for it to go right.

Mother smiled a thing of nightmares. “No, Ningyo. He is my son.”

Meilori smiled back. “Go ahead. Strike me down. Samuel will never forgive you. And I will have my revenge.”

I started clapping. Meilori turned furious at me. I smiled my skull smile.

“No, Your Brittleness. Your sister, Maija, will have her revenge on you. You will die. I will die. Sam will die inside. Alice will live an eternal Hell. And Mother will be denied us all after leading us to that bright light.”

I sighed, “All of Maija’s most hated enemies will die or be in torment.”

Meilori husked, “Maija is dead.”

“Really?” I sighed. “That would be a first. All my enemies, Maija included, are like damn cockroaches. You can never seem to kill them. Besides, Maija knows you. She knew what would happen when she set all this into motion.”

Meilori frowned, “What do you suggest I do, gutter rat? Learn to love you?”

I shrugged, “I’ll settle for tolerate me and love Captain Sam. That last will tie Maija’s panties in a knot even if she is dead.”

Meilori fought a smile and turned to Captain Sam. “I can do the last with all my heart. You live … for tonight.”

I smiled as if it were a raw wound. She talked as if my enemies weren’t going to kill me long before Christmas. Alice squeezed my hand.

I squeezed back. The trick was to live each moment until that last breath. Alice smiled with trembling lips as if thinking the same thing.

Three more weeks until Thanksgiving. No. I was holding the hand of my Thanksgiving right now.

{Exquisite art courtesy of Leonora Roy.}


  1. "Tie Maija’s panties in a knot even if she is dead." Great line!

  2. My heart breaks for them reading this excerpt, then soars! Love it. The emotion in this piece is so tangible!

  3. Thanks, Alex:
    Victor is PG-13 on his best day ... which this isn't! I'm glad you liked his line.

    Your kind words mean the world to me right now. Thanks. That I touched your heart touches mine. :-)

  4. I'm very partial to Alice and I always want to see her happy:)

  5. Beautiful. It's been too long. I've missed your words and characters.

    ~ Olivia

  6. Gwen:
    Victor feels the same way about always wanting Alice to be happy ... and NOT hungry!! :-)

    Thanks for the kind words about my words! I've missed your visits, too, Roland

  7. Ah Roland, I don't think anyone expects you - or your characters - to ever follow the rules :)

    Thank you for sharing another witty excerpt from one of your novels. It pleases me to see you still turning out the tales of your creativity.

    Well done on the sentiment and keeping the theme "others" in the romance.


  8. Well Roland I heard your desperate call so as soon as I finished eating cassava and refusing to drink Kava, I hit the wi fi. Loved how you kept to the theme. Always good to read about Alice and Victor.


  9. Wow! Star-crossed lovers... sure holds the interest... great writing.

  10. Donna:
    Rules? Victor says they only make him want to do the opposite! Yes, I still write. No one buys, but I still write. Stubborness. Gotta love it!

    I'll have to look up "cassava." Thanks for visiting. Victor appreciates it. Alice just rolls her eyes at him.

    Thanks, Ruby:
    Victor and Alice. Samuel and Meilori. They're about as star-crossed as you can get. Especially Meilori since she comes from the stars. I'm glad you enjoyed the snippet, Roland

  11. I love Victor's voice in his stories. Excellent excerpt. :-)

  12. One never knows what to expect when Victor opens his mouth. Great excerpt and awe factor. "I was holding the hand of my Thanksgiving right now."

    I have Victor / Alice love envy!

  13. Misha:
    I sometimes smile when I hear Victor's "voice" as I write his tales, too!

    I wish I had my own Alice, too! Sigh. Only in my dreams, Victor smirks. And Victor mostly doesn't know what will come out of his mouth until he says it. He'll never be a politician that way!

    Thanks for the kind words!

  14. Another interesting excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Meilori has a soft spot for Victor!! I know she does!! :-) Take care

  16. Ah, star-crossed lovers. Thanks for this high drama.

  17. Holding the hand of his thanksgiving...Nice touch. I like! Another intriguing one from your stable.

  18. Hello.
    The one thing I can say is that your stories are never boring, even if I am confused sometimes with all the characters! Nice piece of music at the end. Thanks for sharing.

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

  19. Kiru:
    Thanks for enjoying it!

    Meilori does have a soft spot for Victor ... right between his eyes where she wants to put the bullet!

    Yes, Victor and Alice are the poster children for "Star-Crossed Lovers!"

    You made me smile this weary morning with your nice words.

    Victor's life is never boring. Alas, I make the error to think everyone visits my blog regularly and knows my stable of characters!

    Wasn't Loreena McKinnett lovely in that song?