Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Bathing, Beauties, Booze, and Bullets
By Ellen Collier
NEW ADULT Jazz Age Mystery
Date Published:May 5, 2013
It’s 1927 in Galveston, Texas—the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Jasmine (“Jazz”) Cross is an ambitious 21-year-old society reporter for the Galveston Gazette who tries to be taken seriously by the good-old-boy staff, but the editors only assign her fluffy puff pieces, like writing profiles of bathing beauties. The last thing Jazz wants to do is compare make-up tips with ditzy dames competing in the Miss Universe contest, known as the “International Pageant of Pulchritude and Bathing Girl Revue.”
She’d rather help solve the murders of young prostitutes who turn up all over town, but city officials insist on burying the stories during Splash Day festivities. After Jazz gets to know the bathing beauties, she realizes there’s a lot more to them than just pretty faces and figures. Jazz becomes suspicious when she finds out the contest is also sponsored by the Maceos, aspiring Beach Gang leaders and co-owners of the Hollywood Dinner Club, where the girls will perform before the parade and pageant.
Worse, her half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis, a speakeasy on a rival gang’s turf, asks her to call in a favor from handsome Prohibition Agent James Burton—an impossible request that could compromise both of their jobs and budding romance. While Agent Burton gives her the cold shoulder, she fends off advances from Colin Ferris, an attractive but dangerous gangster who threatens Sammy as well as Burton. In the end, she must risk it all to save her friends from a violent killer hell-bent on revenge. Inspired by actual events.
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer/editor whose articles and essays have been published in several national magazines, including: FAMILY CIRCLE, MODERN BRIDE, GLAMOUR, BIOGRAPHY, COSMO, PLAYGIRL, etc. Several of her short stories have appeared in WOMAN'S WORLD. She’s profiled a variety of people, from CEOs and celebrities (including Suze Orman), to charity founders (Nancy Brinker et al) and do-gooders (for BFI). A flapper at heart, she’s the owner of DECODAME, specializing in Deco to retro vintage items
Formerly she's worked as a magazine editor, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism, where she enjoyed frou-frou cocktails and lots of lattes.
"When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper's life in Galveston during Prohibition."
The Oasis was more than half full, and in the dim lights, I spotted Sammy at a corner table, talking in earnest with a young, good-looking guy with chestnut hair. I held back, but Amanda charged forward, plopping down on the chair closest to Sammy.
“Hey, Sammy, how are you?” She said it with a smile that only I knew was forced.
“Been busy. The joint is jumping with all the tourists in town.” He looked over at me for help, mild panic in his eyes. “Are any of your friends with you? Got a lot of guys asking about the bathing beauties.”
“Aren’t you two dolls in the pageant?” The cute guy stood up and held out a chair for me, motioning for me to sit down. “Sammy, why don’t you introduce me to these dishy dames?”
“No, but thanks for the compliment. I’m Jasmine,” I told the handsome stranger, “but I go by Jazz. This is my friend Amanda.” I looked across the table, but Sammy and Amanda seemed to be quarreling—no doubt she was upset because she was feeling ignored. What else was new?
“Jazz,” he repeated. “I like jazz. I’m Colin, by the way.” He stuck out a hand, and shook mine with a firm grip, lingering until I pulled my hand away.
“Nice to meet you.” He looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him.
“How about a whirl across the dance floor, Jazz?” He flashed a smile of teeth that seemed to light up the room. Very tempting, but I needed to talk to Sammy.
“Maybe later.” He was attractive, but I hadn’t danced with anyone since my rendezvous with Burton at the Surf Club, and I wasn’t in the mood.
“Well, how about a drink then, Jazz?” He leaned forward, his arm thrown over my chair.
“Sure, why not? Make it a Manhattan.” Normally, I didn’t drink with strangers but he seemed to be a friend of Sammy’s and besides, I didn’t expect to hear from Burton anytime soon.... Colin returned with two drinks, and scooted his chair over so our knees touched under the table. The cocktail felt cool and refreshing and I began to relax. “So what do you do?” I asked him, wondering why he looked so familiar.
“I’m in sales,” he said. No wonder he seemed so confident, so outgoing with strangers.
“What do you sell?” I wanted to know.
“Whatever people need. Some import and export, some local.” Rather a vague answer, but then again, this wasn’t an interview for the newspaper. “How about you? What’s a lovely lass like you doing here all alone? I take it you’re not married?”
I grinned at him, feeling flirtatious. “Do I look like I’m married?”
“Just checking.” Maybe it was the drink, but I felt comfortable around him and soon we were chatting, almost like friends.
“How do you know Sammy?” I asked.
“We have mutual friends,” he said. Another cryptic answer, but who cared?
Bernie began playing “Ain’t She Sweet?” on the piano, and Colin held out his hand. “What are we waiting for? Let’s dance.”
Naturally I was rusty but I loved to dance and for once, I didn’t worry about anything or anyone, least of all Agent Burton. Colin kept up with my Charleston and even did an improvisational Irish jig when the song ended. Then the tempo slowed down and Colin pulled me to him, his big arms almost crushing my chest. I tried to push him away, but his grip only tightened around my waist, one hand wandering down my backside.
“Stop, you’re hurting me!” As I struggled to get free, he forced his mouth on mine, his lips rough, the whiskey strong on his breath. Finally I jerked back and slapped him hard across the face. Even in the shadows, I saw his cheeks turn bright pink. “I said to leave me alone. Who do you think you are?”
A small semi-circle gathered around and Bernie stopped playing, his fingers hovering above the keys. Sammy stormed across the small dance floor, grabbing Colin by the shoulder and knocking him to the floor. The crowd fanned out, gaping as if it was a boxing match. A few onlookers shouted and cheered: “Fight back, you dumb Palooka!” “Get up, you sorry Mick!”
Embarrassed, I fled to a corner, wishing I could hide, disappear in the dark. The last thing I wanted was to make a scene, or cause trouble for Sammy.
Colin stood up shakily, his eyes blazing, while Sammy circled him, fists up. Then he took a swing at Sammy and almost fell over. Frank and Bernie yanked on Colin’s arms, marching him toward the stairs. Buzz cowered behind the bar, watching, wide-eyed with fear.
“Stay out of my joint!” Sammy yelled after him. “Or else!”
Colin managed to break free of Frank’s grasp and whirled around, pointing at Sammy, his hand like a gun going off. “You’re a dead man, hear me? A dead man!”
A dead man? Now what had I done?
Amanda rushed to my side. “Jazz, what happened? Are you OK?”
Still shaking, I leaned against the wall, waiting for the commotion to subside, trying to catch my breath. “He was getting fresh, that’s all. But I can defend myself. I didn’t expect Sammy to knock him out like that, in the middle of the bar.” I tried to brush it off, but the truth was, I felt vulnerable, violated.
Sammy came over, waving his hands in the air. “Jazz, what were you doing, dancing with an asshole like him? What were you thinking?”
“I thought he was your friend.” I stared at him, confused. Sure, some of Sammy’s friends were on the unsavory side, but with his cropped hair, striped shirt and khaki pants, Colin looked as clean-cut as any College Joe. “Did you have to slug him? So he got a little too friendly, but I didn’t want to cause a big ruckus.”
“Friend? Far from it,” Sammy snorted. “Don’t you know who he is? He’s a member of the Beach Gang, one of Sam Maceo’s goons.”
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Silver Sphere
Published November 26th 2012 by Evolved Publishing (first published November 19th 2012)
ISBN ISBN13=978 (ISBN13: ISBN13=978162)
Evolved Publishing presents a wild journey to a sister planet of Earth, in "The Silver Sphere" by Michael Dadich. [YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi] Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father... when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy). His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless.... Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?
Links to Buy
I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.
Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son, and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.
For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at http://www.thesilversphere.org.
You can find the whole tour Here
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
PROMO BLITZ - Unleashing God's Power: Maximize This Great Benefit of Christianity in Your Life by Jimi Akanbi
An inspirational book for mid level to mature Christians. The book discusses eleven key steps to maximizing the power of God in a Christian's life. The author uses great analogies to connect things of the Spiritual to things of the natural. He also discusses deep uncommon truths about praise, prayer, Holy Spirit and faith. The book is definitely bound to empower and increase a Christian's faith, in turn, experience supernatural results in life.
Links to Buy
Chapter 1: Understanding and Strengthening Your Faith in God
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Belief is a by-product of faith. The following is a scenario that will shed light on belief and faith in God. If there is an empty house in front of you and I tell you that the house is owned by someone, although, you have not seen anyone in the house, will you not believe me? Yes, you will and this means you have faith in the law of nature. The law of nature says that every house built is owned by someone, even if not yet purchased, then in this case the builder or the bank owns the property. The same way we must believe and have faith in God.
What does it profit, my bretheren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food
And one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
It is written, faith without works is dead. Pay close attention to what is being said. Let’s look at an example of how putting your faith to works operates.
If I show you a strange house with a vicious dog barking in it, but you cannot see the dog but can hear its aggressive barks, if I tell you to go into that house, for sure, you will say No.
This shows two things:
1. Although, you cannot see the dog but you can hear it bark means that you believe and have faith that there is a harmful animal in the house.
2. You have put your faith to works by rejecting to enter the house.
This can be likened to having faith in God and obeying his commandments. That is, the vicious dog can bite or harm us if we enter the house. The attack from the dog is compared to the consequences we will face for disobeying God’s commandments and principles.
Believing in God’s commandments is likened to believing that the house has a dog in it. That is, we cannot physically see God but we hear his word and commandments which should give us faith in God.
The same way you did not physically see the dog in the house but you heard its bark.
You not entering the house because you heard the dog’s barks is an act of putting your faith to work. That is, you know the dog is in the house but you cannot and did not see it. The same way you must put your faith to work by not seeing God physically but hearing his word and commandments and obeying them.
I am Jimi Akanbi. I am a Christian nonfiction author, who is sold out to God. I live in Atlanta, Georgia USA. I have an MBA in Finance from Mercer University, Atlanta Georgia. I am currently an active member of the prayer and intercessory team at my church. I have also served God as an usher and protocol officer at my previous church. I have undergone a formal ten week bible training course. My interests include writing, counseling, ministry, movies, sports, music and more. I was miraculously called by God to be in the writing ministry, and I am acting in obedience.