Kathleen O'Conner gazed into the huge mirror on the wall of the luxury bathing facilities in her lovely room in the Breaker's. The historic hotel in West Palm Beach was the perfect place for her wonderful party hosted by Lyn, Sharon, and Mary. Her beautiful maroon, Lotta Stensson, silk-handkerchief sundress, sets off her light blonde hair. Her skin silky smooth and her body relaxed, she remembered the wonderful spa treatment she'd had today. A finishing touchup to her lipstick, my gosh the makeover woman who had worked on her today found the best shades of eye liner. She loved her strappy Pelle Moda sandals, they made her feel like a queen. Her Amalfi swimsuit hugged her body beneath her dress. She was ready and she looked hot!
Pleased with her appearance she walked out the doors to the balcony and sat in a comfortable lounge chair. Oliver would come for her when it was time, she didn't understand all the security, but she was appreciate of the two hunks who guarded her door. Maybe she'd invite them in for a drink. In any case, she looked her best and she was ready, her hat and the shoulder throw she carried, shimmer just like her dress.
"Mary you are gonna drop that," Lyn bellows.
"No I am not,"annoyed at Lyn who has been bossing her around all day, Mary is determined to prove her wrong. "If this cake falls it will not be my fault." Mary gives Lyn a smirk over her shoulder, just as Oliver rushed past. "Look at all the guest, the pool area and the Porte Cochera where all the food is has a gazillion people milling about." Expertly he takes the beautifully decorated cake into his hands an places it next to his flower arrangement on the desert table. He smiles and turns to Mary and Lyn. "We're almost ready to get Kathleen!"
Oliver is so excited he can't contain it. Today he is dressed in his traditional butler uniform with a couple of exceptions, beneath his vest his naked pecs flexed as he gestures toward the food. "Look at the cookies I made for her and the cake, it's one of the best I have ever baked!"
Mary ducks and thinks she's made it, she really thought that this week she would be clean and ready in her own sundress. That was before Oliver knocked her over in his exuberance. Yes, right into the punchbowl.
"You think this is funny," Mary asks Lyn, who is now laughing so hard she can't catch her breath. Sharon helps Mary out of the punchbowl and whispers, "don't do it!" Too late she can only watch as Mary dumps the rest of the punchbowl on Lyn.
The surprise on Lyn's face is astonishing. She stands and puts her hands on her hips and begins to count. "One, two," before she hits three Mary is gone like a shot, headed to her room to change and hoping to outrun Lyn.
Lyn gazes toward Sharon who is swallowing laughter. "We'll be right back, thank goodness we bring a change or two of clothing. I really liked this outfit too." Lyn walks away, trying to maintain her dignity whilst dripping purple punch in her wake.
Sharon turns to face Oliver. Before she can open her mouth he is gone like a shot, yelling over his shoulder. "I'm going to greet Kathleen and her guards."
Sharon shakes her head and gazes at the food, she rearranges the place where she put the conch fritters, she hoped they weren't too spicy. Trays of cheese, among them the Dubliner that Kathleen loves so much. Mango, Papaya, Starfruit, oranges, avocados, stone crab, spiny lobster, the cold and hot dishes made her mouth water, oh my, Key Lime Pie. She'd never seen shrimp as big as the rock shrimp on the table. She opened the cover to smell the intoxicating scent of grilled dolphin. No not like Flipper, please.
In the distance Sharon watches as Lyn throws Mary into the water as she passes her on the way to their room to change.
Glub, glub, snort, choke, Mary emerges from the undertow and chases Lyn down the beach. A laugh that tinkled in her ears makes her look up and there is Kathleen. She's seen Lyn and Mary and shakes her head as she chuckles. Mary waves to her and heads after Lyn, her yelling fading in the distance. "We'll be right there!"
Sharon watches as Kathleen approaches the main Cabana. In her arms, her beloved Westie. Guests, family and friends, greet her as she passes. Sharon walks up to her and kisses her on each cheek. "Welcome Kathleen, welcome to your roast!. Lyn and Mary will be here shortly. " A roar and loud applause follow Sharon's words and Kathleen finally speaks.
"Hello everyone, I am so pleased that you are here to celebrate the release of my new story. This is so wonderful, please everyone. Relax, eat, swim, have a wonderful time." Sharon hands her a glass of ice cold coke. With a bit of Cuddles magic added in. "Bless your little horn sweetie," she pats Cuddles and then Junior. You two are such good boys." Both magic pets are on their best behavior, so Sharon cuddles them both. Mary and Lyn are standing sopping wet behind the well trained animals. "Seems the girls can't behave." Her comments bring a shrug from Mary as she sticks out her tongue at Sharon, while Lyn crosses her arms to sulk.
"Thank you Sharon. Please everyone toast with me! To happiness and good books!"
"Here, here," the audience shouted loudly, "Here, here!"
Kathleen is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, recipient of a James Michener fellowship and the Connecticut writing Awards. Her short stories have appeared in Woman's World, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen Magazine, St Anthony's Messenger and Liguorian. Her novels are: A Private Matter (a Whiskey Creek Press Dec. 09 release), Men of Paradise, (The Wild Rose Press) and No Doubt, (Whiskey Creek Press).http://www.gottawritenetwork.
Excerpt from Men of Paradise (where two strangers inherit joint custody of an untrainable Westie named Dudley)
What was Ina thinking?” Lauren said to the equally outraged dog. “This isn’t good for you; it’s terrible for David, and uncomfortable for me.” She eased into a plastic lawn chair and had just stretched out when a grey Chevy Blazer breezed into the driveway.
“You can bite him,” she whispered to Dud as an athletic looking man in jeans, faded blue shirt, and black sport coat approached the porch. His skin was bronze and his hair long and silky. Lauren was sure she had seen someone this good looking before == maybe on the big screen in a chilly movie theater. In her experience guys with GQ looks like his were always morons.
He opened the screen door and crooned, “Hey, baby! How are you doing?”
“Doing all right,” Lauren answered before realizing he was talking to the dog. She blushed and folded her hands behind her back.
Dudley, the traitor, inched forward to sniff the stranger’s cowboy boots. Yuma Hawk whipped out a bone as big as a bow tie. The dog snared it, then gulped it down.
Already he is outspending me on dog treats. Lauren stood frozen while Hawk switched the high-beam smile from the dog to her, and advanced with an extended hand. “Good to finally meet you, Lauren. You’re a bit younger than I expected.”
Mitch Gallagher is obsessed with finding the killer of David Forjane. The young detective believes the murder’s proximity to the victim’s workplace is the key clue. Tess McConnell, a new hire, at the same corporation complicates the detective’s job though.
Unaware Gallagher is a recent widower, she comes on too strong and then feels terribly rejected when the grieving detective doesn’t respond. To get even, she ignores Gallagher and initiates some amateur sleuthing of her own. The detective suffers during this ‘cold shoulder’ treatment and eventually discovers he is more ready for a relationship than he realized. And it will take the efforts of both these characters to solve a murder where the killer left no clues.
David Forjane threw his briefcase in the back seat of his new red Saturn. It was a sporty enough car, but did not quite make the statement he desired. He was two years away from the blue BMW. Life was always a waiting game.
He peeled out of the garage anxious to get a mile away from the concrete fortress that was the Rayex Chemical Company. Something about the building affected radio reception, and he was now ready to hear the silky-voiced Samantha of WKAC. Always his companion for the commute home, she spun records for the heartsick and lovesick. He enjoyed their dim patter. Yesterday he heard his girlfriend call in and request a tune for David; a song called Gone. He could not quite believe it. It was his Peggy, of the repetitive conversation and robotic sex, doing something interesting and original. When Marta Johns serenaded him with, I’m beginning to see you’re growing bored with me, David answered, “Oh Peggy, I’ve been bored with you for a long time.”
He looked into the rear view mirror and was surprised to see the departmental loaner car barreling up behind. He thought he recognized the driver, but not the passenger. The twosome was going like hell and about to pass on the left. David reached down to turn on the radio.
A single bullet slammed through his brain before his hand reached the dial.
Wow! What an excerpt...
Kathleen's question for today's prize is easy. If I said I had a rag doll, what kind of pet do I have?
And why the odd name? Kathleen is giving away two prizes to two of today's commenters!