J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the month “February, 2019”

Guest Post by Julian Lane

I like to share blog posts when I can, including those that don’t necessarily have anything to do with my books or the Civil War. These blogs are strictly for your information only. I hope you enjoy this article and find it useful. Thank you, Julian, for your contribution.

house

What to Know When Preparing for Costly Home Repairs

Being a homeowner means you will have a place of your own, a place to feel secure, and a place to create memories. However, it also means you will face costs associated with replacements and repairs. You’ll deal with burst water pipes in the winter, a broken air conditioner in the summer, a roof that needs replacing every couple of decades, and many other issues. But just because you can’t always predict these things doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.

Establishing an Emergency Fund

Some synonymous terms with “homeowner” are “Mr(s). Fix-It” and “Mr(s). Pay-For-It.” Hopefully, you don’t have a money pit, but you should expect to fork out some money to upkeep your home, save for those inevitable big expenses that will need replacement, and put aside some savings for those unexpected repairs or replacements. Emergency repairs can be some of the most costly expenses homeowners face because they are not planned for. It’s essential to start an emergency fund as soon as possible and to plan to save 1 to 3 percent of the value of your home. When that tree falls on your roof or that pipe bursts in your wall and floods your house, you’ll be thankful you planned ahead.

Other Ways to Fund Emergency Repairs

Emergency repairs can be costly, but they should not remain unresolved until you can afford to fix them, as they could lead to further damage and unsafe conditions (mold, structural damages, fires). If you haven’t saved for an emergency fund and don’t have the immediate extra income to cover the costs, you should look to alternative sources such as government funding, insurance, taking out a home equity line of credit, applying for a personal loan, or seeking assistance from family and friends. The longer you do nothing about a major issue, the more complicated the problem will become, and you will lose more value that you’ve invested in your property.

Expecting Replacements

All good things must come to an end, and some replacements should be planned for. For example, an asphalt shingle roof should last 20 to 25 years, while metal and tile roofs will last longer but will still require repairs and eventual replacement. While you can ensure that the replacement costs do not happen sooner than planned by getting a warranty on the roof, hiring tree cutters, and routinely inspecting the condition of your roof, a normal wear-and-tear replacement will need to occur. Some other replacements you should plan for are major appliances and HVAC systems.

Finding the Right Contractor

After you determine that some work needs to be done to your home and you know where you will obtain the financing, you should then begin your search for the right contractor. Not all work is created equal, and not all contractors are as equally equipped to perform the necessary replacements and repairs to your home. Choosing the wrong contractor can lead to incomplete projects, higher expenses, more damages, the need to replace/repair sooner, and added stress.

Here are some tips for selecting a contractor:

  • Get references from people you trust
  • Read reviews
  • Interview contractors
  • Check for licenses
  • Have a contract
  • Require proof of permits
  • Pay for the project in installments
  • Verify insurance coverage
  • Keep the lines of communication open

Depending on the size of the repair or replacement, a contractor can be in your life for a while — and they most certainly will impact your home.

There is seemingly no end to the possible issues you can face as a homeowner. However, if you’re prepared, you’ll be less likely to be overwhelmed when those days come. Start by setting up and growing an emergency fund, and stay up-to-date on alternative sources for funding emergency repairs. Also, do your research and get to know what common replacements you can expect. Finally, take seriously the process of choosing your contractor, because they can either fix your situation or make it worse.

 

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A Beautiful Glittering Lie Featured on Blog

ABGL B.R.A.G. Medallion

My award-winning novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is featured on “Karen’s Killer Fixin’s.” Ms. Karen Docter is also an award-winning author who writes romance. She invited me to participate in her blog, and the fun part is that I got to include my favorite recipe. I thought maybe a recipe from the book might be good, such as Cush, but instead, I opted for a recipe from my UDC chapter’s recipe book. Here’s the recipe, courtesy of the Varina Howell Davis Chapter 2559 United Daughters of the Confederacy.

glazed-carrots

Here is the link to Karen’s blog post:

https://wp.me/p4pimt-5lf

Make sure to check it out! It’s your chance to win a paperback signed copy of A Beautiful Glittering Lie, so enter right away! Good luck!

 

Release Day Blitz – Justice Gone

Justice Gone Cover copy

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter 7

The funeral services, particularly the burial, had been announced as private and that sympathizers should remain at a discreet distance; and in a demonstration of exemplary respect, the hundreds of supporters complied with the request.

Family and comrades, especially those from the New Hope Clinic, were designated to be at the gravesite. An uninvited guest, surprisingly, was also among them: John Garson, Police Chief of Bruntfield Township.

After the lowering of the coffin, and the slow deliberate departure of the mourners, Garson slipped away, in the opposite direction that everyone else would follow toward their cars and hired limos: crossing fields of gravestones until he reached the coppices of oak trees, in order to escape the press.

Everyone else present merged into the group of activists who assembled at the gate of the plot, all intent upon making known the measure of their sorrow to the public.

The crowd that participated was moderate in numbers, but in no way insignificant—about seven hundred were reported to have shown up. They marched, waving their signs and chanting slogans, from the central commercial district to the Bruntfield Veterans Memorial Park, where a makeshift stage had been set up for the guest speakers. The local TV stations from Newark and Trenton, including the network affiliates, were present covering the march.

The whole thing was fairly orderly, despite the loud chants of “Justice for Jay” and the cardboard signs that said: WE DON’T WANT KILLER COPS, SHAME ON YOU, PROTECT NOT KILL, PUT THE ANIMALS BEHIND BARS. Police presence was minimal and subdued.

Once they arrived at the previously setup podium in the park, representatives of the various groups got their chance to express their views with the condition of keeping it short, and as per Marshal Felson’s request, focused on the incident. The fact that Jay Felson was approached by police when he was not in the act of committing any crime was stressed on more than one occasion. The TV crews covered the speeches with utmost diligence, as this was one of the highlights to be expected. Finally, for the emotional touch, the organizers called on the young man’s father.

“We are here today to let the city authorities know that we will be following very closely the grand jury proceedings!” Marshal Felson shouted. “That we, as a community, will not just brush this aside. I am grateful to all of you who have shown concern and have voiced their support for my son.” He gave up the mike and walked off the stage amid cheers and applause.

A rather frail-looking young man with glasses took control of the audience to announce that Dr. Tessa Thorpe from the New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic was to be the next speaker.

Tessa had given much thought as to how she should dress for the occasion. Her first instinct was her Karen Kane pants suit, but dismissed that idea to wear her copper-brown print kaftan in its stead.

Now, with its folds caught in the vigorous September breeze, giving the illusion of a multitude of miniature flags fluttering around her, her thick locks of hair dancing around her head, she spoke to the crowd, slowly, deliberately taking her time. “Hello, my fellow citizens.” She stopped to survey the mass of people standing in front of her. Dramatic pauses replete with eye contact, if not overdone, were quite effective in getting one’s message across. Not surprisingly, Tessa knew how to get her message across, a special art in the realm of behavioral scientists. Public relations firms, advertising companies, political campaigns, all hired an army of psychologists to sell a product. And Tessa Thorpe, as someone who had thirty years’ experience as a criminal psychiatrist, could sell as well as any of them. “We are here today for two reasons, two very important reasons that are essential to our well-being in a modern society. Freedom is one, and justice is the other.”

Enthusiastic cheers.

“When the call for war came, we were told that our enemies hated our freedoms. We were told that the citizens of Iraq had been held hostage by a ruthless dictator who denied his own people these freedoms. Our invasion of that country was sold to us as Operation Iraqi Freedom. And so we sent our young men and women off to war, the most traumatic experience a human being could ever go through, with the belief that they were fighting for liberty and freedom. And yet, one of those whom we had sent…had come back to us only to have his own freedom denied. His single offence at the time he was approached by law enforcement officers was that he was exercising his freedom to stand on a street corner.”

This elicited a roar from the crowd.

“This is not merely tragic, it is an act of deplorable fraud, being denied the very thing he fought for!”

More heartfelt cheering.

“When I was young, we were made to pledge allegiance, an oath that ended with the phrase, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ Well, Jay Felson was denied liberty…let us make sure he is NOT DENIED JUSTICE!”

An ear-shattering reverberation of concurrence.

Having descended from the little platform with the crowd still shouting in endorsement, Tessa was serially embraced by her coworkers: Casey, Ed, Penny…all with praise about her wonderful speech, culminating in Marshal Felson’s hug, whispering into her ear, “Amazing.”

The next event on the program was to go together to the site where Jay was killed at the bus depot in order to lay memorial flowers and gifts. The TV teams followed, instinctively knowing that this was indeed another newsworthy item. In fact, as a human interest story, it tugged at the heart to see the gift bearers laying their offers down. And what made it even more poignant was the huge bloodstain that had yet to be cleaned off the pavement, a crimson smear that drew numerous zoomed-in shots by the camera crews.

About the Author:

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Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Follow the Author:

Website * Goodreads * Amazon

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Meet Uncle Robert Wilson

Uncle

Uncle Robert Wilson who left this planet at 112 years old and whom the United Daughters of the Confederacy buried.

“RICHMOND BORN CIVIL WAR VETERAN DIES IN ILLINOIS
Elgin, Ill April 11- UP

Robert Wilson, oldest patient of the Elgin State Hospital, died today.
Confederate army records establish his age as 112.

Wilson, a Negro, was born in slavery January 12, 1836, at Richmond, VA, hospital files indicate. He was credited with service in the Confederate army during the Civil War (sic).

Known in the institution as Uncle Bob, he practiced evangelism before entering seven years ago.

He told attendants in the veterans’ ward that he was proudest of his knowledge of the Bible and of a half a dollar given him by Governor Dwight H Green, of Illinois, during a visit to the hospital several years ago.

Several months ago, Wilson lost the silver piece. His dismay was mentioned to Governor Green, who sent him another half dollar to replace it on his 112th birthday this year.

The oldest veteran had no living relatives. Hospital authorities said that plans are being made for his funeral by the Daughters of the Confederacy.”

ELGIN DAILY COURIER NEWS Elgin, IL.
April 11, 1948 Special thanks to Commander Randall Freeman for the information.

Lani Burnette – BLACK CONFEDERATES AND OTHER MINORITIES IN THE WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION

(Article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp 1452, Volume 43, Issue #2, February 2019 ed.)

Cover Reveal – The Heart of You

(A Geeks of Caltech Novel)

by Aarti V Raman

 

 

Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.

 

What he doesn’t know how to do is fight for himself…

 

… Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.

 

Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.

 

She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.

 

When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily – he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend – it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.

 

And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.

 

But it isn’t just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It’s her adorable son, Bret.

 

Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.

 

Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.

 

But, survival no longer seems enough.

 

Can they take a chance on each other, on their hearts… On a love that braves The Heart of You?

 

The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!

 

COMING SOON!

Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.

She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.

She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.

Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances – all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.

She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.

Contact the Author:

Website * Facebook Page * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

This Cover Reveal is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours

 

 

Book Blitz – The Retreat

The Retreat by Mari.Reiza

 Coming of Age / Psychological Thriller 

About the Book:

An uncomfortable but fascinating ripening journey.

Ahmed has abandoned her. Nadia is gone the way Isabelle did before, her two fallen warriors. But Marie can still hear His voice clearly.

A deep call for justice takes hold in an impressionable teenage girl from a recently broken family during a religious retreat; what happens next will mark her life for years to come.

the Retreat is a story of men playing God, of hurt that doesn’t find its way out.

Find it on Amazon


About the Setting

The story moves back and forth in time and place. From Brussel’s during Marie’s early teenage years with her mother and siblings, to Zermatt where she’s sent with the nuns on a fated ski trip. Years later in London, Marie is attempting to find a job and build a life with Ahmed who she met on a plane, when she’s lured to a Victorian bathhouse and meets troubled Nadia. But the book begins and ends after Marie’s London years, back in her natal Bordeaux. There Marie strikes the final blow in her prodigal daughter’s return of sorts.

 

Meet Marie

Marie is cute with a sexy gap like a secret passage between her upper incisors. She was once a diligent student, before her estranged dad left them or was driven away, or they left and he failed to follow the family to Brussels. But soon after her ski trip trouble, she’s labelled a rebel by her conservative single mother whose only hobby is work and only God is sacrifice, accused that her kind of righteousness gets them into trouble. Is God where Marie’s fight started? She thinks when people have faith in nothing they’re less dangerous. Why can’t she marry well like her older sister or build a successful career like her brother? She tries shortly with Ahmed in London, until Nadia lures her back into her old destructive ways, eventually prompting Marie’s return to her natal town where nothing has changed. There Marie feels blamed for her younger sister Lucie’s depression, her marriage to old peasant Raoul and her recently found fervour to breed donkeys. Marie knows Lucie is angry against her and she’s angry back. How many things have happened in Marie’s short life! Has Marie inherited them in a way? Who has forced them upon her?

Meet Marie’s Teacher and School Friends

Hélène is endowed with breasts big enough that she would still be liked even if she was ever forced iron on her smile. Hélène has been there for ages and is confident in and out of school premises, talking to the school’s staff, with colleagues of every race, sex, colour and nationality. She’s even fun. She is every classmate’s dream and every teacher’s pet, and the section’s headteacher is her father, her surname forever capable of favouring her. She’s definitely trouble.

 

Martine emulates Hélène in every way she can, even if she falls desperately short of her goal: other than for her derrière extraordinaire, she seems a good for nothing girl, hardly a genius.

 

Monsieur Berger, the religion teacher, wears large Italian spectacles he claims to have bought in Rome whilst on a visit to the Pope and uses a few long strands of white hair to pretend he isn’t bold. His skin, especially around his hands and eyes, is wrinkly, pale and freckly, and his fingers tremble during his impassioned oratories, making him look like a Mayan idol whose touch unleashes visions from dubious gods. Monsieur Berger exclusively wears brown corduroys, paired with pale cashmere turtlenecks and shirts which look far too expensive for anyone vowing poverty like he insists he does. And he often delivers the full lesson with his zip undone. The rumour is Monsieur Berger was not always the religious type but has a florid past. Are clumsy Sister Perline and sour Sister Prudence covering for him?

 

Isabelle’s a very quiet girl, not as sexy-pretty as Hélène, but still deliciously put together down to every centimetre allocated to her face and body, except for her dark, luscious half-eyebrow. Where’s the other half gone?


Meet Ahmed

Ahmed is on his early twenties with captivating eyelashes, working in a bank in London. The day Marie met him she thought he was it; understood

that much of what she had been missing and actually required was in his love. She temporarily felt locked outside of her misery. But it turns out the man was tormented by the curse of ambition, like a prospector in the Wild West, ready to suppress every good bit of himself for no trouble to come his way. Ahmed had been put there to fill a void. Yet after a year they had been together he had not managed to modify a thing in Marie, nor to impress in her body one lasting imprint: nothing of him had endured.


Meet Nadia

The same thin, long neck as Isabelle. The same straight black mane of hair. The same thick, dark eyebrows; both eyebrows. Her hands, one slightly deformed. In the haze of the baths Marie thinks Nadia’s stomach looks so tiny, her belly button so pretty. Her voice is gentle almost that of a ghost. ‘Do you believe in God?’ Nadia has lost a sister to a fire and her brother is angry. When she extends her sponge, Marie’s ready to let the young woman invade her like a peacekeeping force.

 

If the book interests you, you can request for a REVIEW COPY in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author:

Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She has worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London. She studied at Oxford University and lives off Portobello Road with her husband and child.

Find Mari at:

Twitter * Instagram

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Book Blitz – Prisoner of Yakutsk

Prisoner of Yakutsk by Shreyas Bhave

The Subhash Chandra Bose Mystery

Final Chapter

8th to 10th February

About the Author:

PoY Cover copy

What exactly happened to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose?

  • In 1945, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Leader of the INA leaves Singapore to take a series of flights, and dies in Taiwan after his plane crashes near Formosa. Or so it seems.
  • In 1947, Mr Mrs Singh, an illustrious army couple, both veterans of the Indian National Army, are last seen in Delhi, and then never again.
  • In 1949, the plane carrying the first deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, mysteriously disappears for seven hours.
  • In 2012, following the fall of WikiLeaks, a female hacker of the notorious X group is on the run as most wanted by everyone from Interpol to the KGB
  • In 2015, the millionaire CEO of a Fortune 500 company suddenly resigns and vanishes from the public eye.

A set of seemingly unconnected disappearances emerge to be woven into a single fabric as the answer to one leads to another… In this riveting narrative, bestselling author Shreyas Bhave, takes the reader on a thrilling adventure to solve the greatest mystery the Indian nation has known. 

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

 

Read an Excerpt:

 

At minus 5 degrees celsius, the cold is refreshing and a light hat and scarf are all that are required to keep you warm. At minus 20, the moisture in your nostrils freezes and it is difficult not to cough. At minus 35, the air is cold enough to numb exposed skin, making frostbite a constant hazard. And at minus 45 degrees, metal sticks to your cheeks and tears off chunks of flesh when you take off your sun goggles. Jay Rasbihari was not wearing any metal, just his fur coat, but the cold was such that even the plastic earphones in his ears felt painful as he tugged at them to listen to his contact from HQ. He waited for the connection to be established. The thermometer attached to his clothes showed minus 40. His ears had begun to sting. Next would be his legs. Nevertheless he stood still and waited.

                          “HQ to Jay.” His contact’s voice filled Jay’s ears. He opened his mouth to acknowledge the call but realized the cold had caused his throat to freeze. “Jay here.” He willed the words to escape his mouth. 

                       “Start the GPS on your phone so I can track you,” the voice from HQ instructed. For a moment Jay felt envious, thinking about his contact sitting somewhere in warm comfort. Such thoughts were dangerous, he knew. They sapped one’s will. He struggled to find his phone and struggled to enter the codes with his numb fingers. “I see you,” the voice from HQ confirmed. “Move forward.” Jay cursed as he lifted his leg and brought it forward. His foot sunk into the snow but he pulled it out and continued. Walking up the slope was a breathless challenge as he climbing at snail’s pace. “Okay, stop!” The voice from the HQ said once he was on the top of the small hill. Jay halted, struggling to catch his breath.

“Should be at your feet,” the voice said. The mist made it hard to see anything. Jay sank to his knees and groped. He could feel nothing but snow, all around him. “I don’t see it.”

                     “Of course you don’t.” Jay thought he heard amusement in the voice. “Mr. Jay, you’re going to have to dig.”

 

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_drRmIwXtmI
POY Shreyas Photo copy

About the Author:

Shreyas Bhave’s love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India, which has been taken up as ‘The Asoka Trilogy’ by Leadstart Publishing. The first part of the trilogy called ‘The Prince of Patliputra’ has been published in January 2016 and the second part called ‘Storm From Taxila’ was published in 2018.

 

Connect with the Author:

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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Book Blitz – Opera by Mari.Reiza

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 Literary / Romance 

About the Book:

A wealthy arts patron receives a wrongly delivered letter at her secret address in Kensington. Her therapist recognises the intended recipient immediately, leading her into the hands of a defeated composer she will, together with her sweetest accomplice, help back into music. A passionate rendition of human resilience.

Find it on Amazon

About the Setting

There are three main settings. First, Ivanka’s secret Kensington flat where she weekly receives her massage therapist Fer. She has instructed her doctor to send any correspondence to this address, helping her channel misery away from her everyday life. Second, a ruinous local mansion where Maria has caged himself, confined to the largest of its rooms, a boundless nest with a floor of sand and a central shiny black grand piano. Finally, a sophisticated high-class London Mexican restaurant resembling a theatre set where guests can pick a character and live only the fun parts. Here Ivanka regularly meets and plots with playfellow and long-life confidant Igor.

Meet Ivanka

Ivanka is a beautiful young woman born in Saint Petersburg, wedded to rich banker Alexey. But their marriage has only given birth to a story of misuse of wealth and human limitation. He doesn’t like losers. Neither does she. She couldn’t stomach grievers orbiting around them if her sorry news became public. It’s impossible to be naturally kind or forgiving with her pain, but in Maria she has seen something precious. She wants to bring it out in him though not the way Alexey did in her…  After all, was she not once the most wonderful music promoter, a genius in seeking talent?

Meet Fer

Fer is slim as a river reed, looks so innocent-pretty despite his cut-rate-dental teeth and wobbly eyes always alert to never miss anything, so gay in his hideous rainbow shirt. He has been hired by Ivanka for his osteopathy services alone, yet  has from day one committed himself to deliver much more, channeling a constant flow of psychic vigour to every corner of her system in peril. He’s drawn to her talk of Igor even if he doesn’t understand who he is. He’s full of childish excitement about Maria he recognizes as a musician in a popular band when he was growing up in Italy. Very few people seem to afford Fer a chance other than for what they want for themselves, but he knows Ivanka is his chance, that something in her will make things happen for him.

Meet Maria

A blue-eyed Viking. He looks like a haunted criminal under a witness protection program, a man who would slaughter, skin and bake your family dog, a man you don’t want to be telling you what he has down on his life tally… and what’s with all his leather neck chains and charms unable to hide his prominent Adam’s apple? The sight of him almost immediately wins Ivanka over. His mind has remained full of an old flame, of the grief of living with someone who’s not there, who had once sworn she didn’t mind him not being like other people and had him dream of fathering mermaids, of living under a waterfall. How could he ever get over that?

Meet Igor

Ivanka’s prince. She finds him irresistible in a motherly way. She always did, since she was fourteen and he was a little boy and they were constantly bonding over one activity or another she set out for him in Moscow, when she first arrived from Saint Petersburg. Igor’s a son of a famous actress and director, has tried and failed to follow in his father’s steps. And he’s wanted back in Moscow by his hysterically resentful, erotically hyper-charged Cuban ex-lover (married to an old Russian princess he has duped) who has offered Igor his last opportunity to rehabilitate their shared history or else…Igor can’t go back to Moscow. He can’t ‘holiday’ around sad corners of the continent indefinitely either, like a fugitive. He’s stuck in a bad situation, one that would easily call for him to open a bottle of port every night and weep over his life, which he indeed does, repeatedly. He needs to secure work in London just to be safe. He needs Ivanka. And he would do anything to have her happy; he owes her for old times’ sake…

 

About the Author:

Mari.Reiza was born in Madrid in 1973. She has worked as an investment research writer and management consultant for twenty years in London. She studied at Oxford University and lives off Portobello Road with her husband and child.

Find Mari at:

Twitter * Instagram

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A Tragic Loss

I usually don’t share personal things like this, but a friend of my husband’s and mine passed just a few days ago. He was a compatriot of my husband’s SCV camp, and he was the husband of my dear friend, who is the ex-president of my UDC chapter.

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Mr. Sam McGan was a  person who had a witty sense of humor and loved everyone. He especially loved his Southern Confederate heritage. With Sam’s passing, he will leave a void in all our hearts who knew him. He was a wonderful man, husband, father and grandfather, and he was very passionate about his beliefs. He was a strong Christian and loved his Southern roots. I’m sorry we can’t be in Memphis this weekend to express our condolences. God bless you, Sam. You were a remarkable man, and you will be sorely missed.

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