The hosts of the Author Roast and Toast arrive at the fantastic Italian restaurant, Maneros.
Volare, by Dean Martin, has several old time Italian men singing along to the music. They smile through white mustaches and pat little children on the head, as they dance by. One young girl sits on her grandfather’s lap while he sings the words in Italian to her. She giggles and squeals with delight. Today the restaurant is closed to the public for a celebration to honor, Karen Michelle Nutt, and her new release, Soul Taker. Laughter and animated conversation surround the room, as relatives and friends greet one another with bear hugs and kisses on each cheek.
The restaurant is filled with colorful paintings, and apples, pears, oranges, figs and several types of nuts, designated for desert make, for edible, mood making, centerpieces.
“Look.” Lyn eyes the friendly smiling faces of those who fill the eatery. “I never woulda thought there were Italians with red hair.”
“Mama Mia,” Mary exclaims. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”
“That’s nice.” Lyn, puzzled, asks. “Mamma Mia, made the Italians have red hair?”
“Who’s Mamma Mia?” Mac wonders, as she eyes the place.
“The red heads are probably Irish. I have Italian relatives and lots of them married Irish people. My mom was Irish and my father was Italian.” Mary tells them. “She decided to marry him ‘cause he was a terrific cook and she never had real tomato sauce until they met. She used to put tomato soup on spaghetti. What Italian couldn’t help but to be attracted to someone who couldn’t make Italian gravy as good as he could. Italians always fight over who is the best cook and you’re not talking corned beef and cabbage, which Italian’s don’t make. He saved her from a life of Campbell’s soup and spaghetti. To an Italian, the only thing worse than that would be Ketchup and butter.”
Mac looks at Mary confused. “What does that have to do with red hair?” She wonders
“Never mind Mac. Is that our Oliver?” Patsy points across the room..
“Yes it is. Look, Oliver is dressed like a gondolier.” Lyn chuckles as they make their way to the food tables
“I never saw so much food in my entire life!” Lyn gestures to the huge buffet that fills the room’s center. Piles of pasta with red sauce surround large meatballs, sausages, beef and pork braciole, and hunks of tender sauce coated pork, cover one corner. Spaghetti with clam sauce, Alfredo sauce, anchovy sauce, and several other different sauces wait to be devoured. Baked clams, baked ziti, chicken cacciatore, veal parmesan, mussels and other seafood in garlic butter sauce tantalize ones taste buds.
Cappuccino, latte, espresso, rich red wines, Limoncello, Amaretto, and Grappa, sit amongst other ethnic drinks, waiting to be tasted. A huge roast beef waits to be sliced, and
vegetables entice in serving dishes.
vegetables entice in serving dishes.
A bloody red raw steak sits in a special place.
“Why is there a raw steak on the table?” Mac wonders.
“For the vampires, obviously. That and a bottle of O positive blood to spike the wine with.” Lyn tells them. “But, that is between us, not everyone knows that one of Michelle’s characters is a vampire. Heck, there are even werewolves here.”
“Werewolves, vampires, I thought this was just a gathering of Italian relatives.” Mac gazes frantically around the room. “Are they going to try to bite me?”
“Of course not, dearie.” Lyn pats Mac on the back. “That’s why I ordered the blood chaser.”
“This is beginning to sound like one of my family get togethers. If there isn’t somebody bleeding from a fight…” Mary sighs. “Well, no worries, looks like you have all the bases covered Lyn.”
“Bases, vampires, werewolves. AHHHH!” Mac runs screaming from the room.
“Could you go and get her Patsy.” Lyn asks.
“Why is it always me?” Patsy sighs, her mouth a grim line, she stamps her foot.
“Cause you are the only one who can carry her back.” Mary laughs.
“Only if I get to announce this week!” Patsy is determined. And smiles as Mary and Lyn agree with a nod.
In her outdoor voice Patsy hollers. “Welcome everyone to Karen Michelle Nutt’s roast. Let’s make it fun! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of her latest book.” Proudly Patsy smiles at the applause and bows as she turns to retrieve a frightened Mac, who happens to be running down the street screaming.
“Just another roast and toast, eh sister.” Lyn grins and slaps Mary’s hand as she tries to take a taste of lemon, cheesecake. “Vegetables and dinner first, then desert.”
“Vampires don’t eat cheesecake do they?” Mary asks, while Lyn shakes
her head and greets Karen and her characters…
No soul is safe…
A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.
Excerpt: Garran and Isabella are in the morgue, attempting to raise the latest Soul Taker's victim and find out how to find the fiend.
Isabella stood next to the table, staring at the body of Missy Spangler. Sadness etched her features, and she made no move to do… whatever she did to summon. He decided to move this along before Dr. Wilson or anyone else discovered them. "Miss Lucci, must I remind ye that time is of the essence?"
She threw him a disgruntled look, but it propelled her into motion.
They had stopped by Isabella's place on the way here so she could pick up what she needed to conjure a soul. She pulled out a diagram with symbols, a black mirror, and an out of date mobile, a flip-phone no less.
Curious, he stepped closer.
She placed the diagram and the mirror on the woman's chest. She placed the open phone on the table to reveal the screen. She then pulled out a dagger jeweled with an amethyst hilt. She pricked her finger and blood welled at the tip.
Her scent had already played havoc with his senses, and now the aroma of her blood, fresh and dripping onto the diagram for him to see—it took all he could do to rein in the urge to sample her. His fangs elongated and a deep growl escaped his lips.
Isabella looked at him, her brows drawing together sharply.
"Go on. Do no' mind me."arched for a link to her spirit beyond the veil.
Her gaze shifted to his mouth and he knew she stared at his fangs.
"Ye're safe from me. It's… the blood." He nodded toward her finger. "I'm in control."
She looked as if she didn't believe him. Smart lass. A Grim Sith's word was only as good as his control, and that could change in a flash.
"I'm going to channel," she told him. "Please, don't talk or you might break the link to the other side."
He gave her a curt nod.
She chanted words and it took him a moment to realize the words were spoken in Latin, a prayer of protection he supposed, until she switched back to English, asking for Missy Spangler. She se
The temperature in the room dropped dramatically. The air around Isabella charged with electricity, making her dark hair stand on end as if tiny fingers held up each strand.
She repeated the words over and over again like a Gregorian chant. "Missy Spangler, a word with you, please. Missy Spangler, a word with you, please." Again and again she repeated the singsong phrase.
Just when he thought it wasn't going to work, the lights in the room flickered and the cell phone rang.
When she’s not time-traveling, or fighting monsters, she creates book covers. You can find her cover art at: Gillian’s Book Covers: Judge Your Book By Its Cover.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.
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