Author Robb T. White is with us today discussing his new release Dangerous Women.
When I put this collection of 11 stories together about women characters, I knew I was facing a dearth of candidates who might fit happily into an Amish quilting bee or prayer circle of nuns telling their rosary beads. The principle of selection wasn’t just gender but an ability for a woman or girl to hold her own against some pretty cunning or depraved male antagonists. She must prove herself capable in very dire circumstances to qualify.
Regina “Baby” Frontanetta, in the first story, is a Youngstown boxer-turned-gumshoe whose first case is almost her last. She must out-think (even out-fight) males that range from her chauvinist pig boss through a violent lowlife (we Midwesterners do love that word) to a wealthy suburban businessman. Baby possesses more than grit and focus; she has integrity, far more than her trainer-brother Gennaro. The final story, “Huffer Girl,” features a similar type only much younger and less experienced than Baby despite her recent life on the street and an addiction to huffing paint. Opposed by a determined, professional killer, Natalie doesn’t run when all her instincts scream to do just that if she wants to survive the next twenty-four hours.
The longest story in the collection is “Finding Sandy Biggers.” Sandy is the object of a manhunt—not by police but by a betrayed partner, an amiable psychopath who relentlessly pursues her across the country. Unlike the other women, Sandy doesn’t appear to be the focus until the end when the reader discovers what she’s done with the money since betraying her partners in crime. The indifferent narrator could not care less, of course, because his aim is simple: Find her, kill her. The reader is left to contemplate a human being’s capacity to change, even one so desperate as Sandy Biggers. Not many characters—or people—get that chance in fiction or life, and it’s interesting when it happens.
Now we come to what will surely not please the reader who desires her or his female characters to be interchangeable with two-dimensional males—or worse, super-females. Some readers, I realize, want their women characters to be self-reliant but also self-effacing, smart but not too smart, even-tempered but not docile when challenged by men. I hope we can fast-forward to the reality of contemporary life and accept the fact, begrudgingly or not, that women can be as vicious and cunning as men, as greedy and wicked, or as able to outfox a man as another man, especially when that intended target has instincts as honed to survival as a Norwegian rat’s. It was important to me not to provide my dangerous women with soft males, albeit one such male so describes himself after his own undoing in “Diana’s Perfect Patsy.” Men addicted to crime or men whose personalities have been shaped by a predilection for evil should not be taken advantage of too easily. Even “normal” men, not so criminally inclined, knowing a little power or success in the world shouldn’t be easily duped; nonetheless, a couple of trusting husbands and at least one boyfriend of a pair of unscrupulous twins will come to rue that weakness when their hour comes round at last.
Yes, evil. Why not? We don’t have a female equivalent to Hannibal Lecter yet but someday we will and she won’t be a cartoony creature of Disney’s like Cruella de Vil but a terrifying equal to that bizarrely wonderful creation of Thomas Harris. In the meantime, I modestly offer a selection here—not a bevy of beauties, although the lap dancer in “My Gypsy Girl from Bluefield” and the trophy wife in “Her Ticket to Heaven” don’t hesitate to use what nature endowed. These women include ordinary women or girls, wives, girlfriends, students, so ordinary no one would notice them on the street. I acknowledge the inclusion of the stereotypical golddigger as well as a few women depraved enough to take a life (or three) while betraying hubbie or boyfriend on the side. After all, sex isn’t the only game in town. There’s money—and there’s the sheer pleasure of revenge and getting away with it. The arrogant narrator of “Blackmail Is My Business” discovers a criminal con job far superior to his own specialty.
For every cop-show viewer who feels a little sorry for the housewife entrapped by a vice cop acting as hit man when she clumsily plots to kill her husband, I humbly present a counterbalance of women who know how to do it right. These women can lie, cheat, steal, kill, betray and seek revenge for harms inflicted or damages perceived by the males in their lives—or sometimes, not at all, just for the sheer fun of doing it. Men have enjoyed a monopoly too long on violence, and it’s time women come in for their share of the fun—vicariously speaking, of course. After all, every nature program about the Serengeti features lionesses, not lions, on the hunt, providing the food, and protecting the pride from hyenas or other male lions while the alpha male sleeps soundly beneath a bush and wakes up for the food or fornication provided by the females. My caveat to the reader who yet insists on the traditional stereotypes and might be shocked when good girls commit murder, I refer them to the warning embedded in the subtitle: Stories of Crime, Mystery, and Mayhem.
Under the names Terry White, Robert White, and Robb T. White, Robert White has published dozens of crime, noir, and hardboiled short stories, and three hardboiled private-eye novels. A lifelong reader of crime fiction, he published his first story in Gary Lovisi’s Hardboiled magazine. Since then, he has published several dozen crime stories, and a collection of mainstream stories in 2013. An ebook crime novel, “Special Collections,” won the New Rivers Electronic Book Competition in 2014.
White was born, raised, and continues to live in Ashtabula, Ohio.
More about Robb at:
Weaker sex? Not hardly!
The female is definitely deadlier than the mail. Short stories about ladies who can hold their own.
Be careful what you wish for, Regina.
Her mother’s words. Sometimes she could hear her mother’s voice in the house.
The Vindicator piece on Bodycomb’s death was two paragraphs.
He was found floating in Lake Milton, a popular summer resort area for fisherman seventeen miles east of Austintown just off the Interstate 80 overpass. Shot by a small-caliber weapon in the back of the head. The important information was in the second paragraph: Bodycomb, it noted, was running a dog-fighting network among three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for a loose-knit West Virginia crime family connected to the Pittsburgh LaRizzo family.
Damn you, Leo.
She was blowing through caution lights, ignoring the honking of cars, as she beelined for the office on Market.
Like a script from a cheap thriller, he was there, wearing the same clothes and unshaven, big jowls dark with stubble, pong of body odor in the overheated single room.
“You promised me full disclosure, total honesty,” she said.
She threw the paper across his desk.
“Here it is in case you missed it.”
Be calm, Regina, she told herself. She wasn’t going to lose her temper and a new job in that order.
“I did and I meant it, Baby,” Leo said.
He glanced at the paper sideways and pushed it back to her. He’d obviously read it.
“You asked me—no, you demanded I call somebody. I did,” he said.
He disgusted her with those wagging jowls and big stomach. She noticed his belt was undone and a patch of curly belly hair exposed.
Probably jerking off in here, the freak.
“I suppose you’ll tell me when the mood strikes.”
“I meant the second case—your next case,” Leo said. “Full disclosure, just like you want.”
Her indignation petered out at the prospect. “So tell me about it,” she said.
Bodycomb was moving in on Donnie Bracca’s territory with his dog-fighting, Leo said.
“He can kill all the dogs he wants in West Virginia,” Leo said. “But Donnie B. controls gambling around here.”
“Donnie Bracca was your real client all the time,” Baby said.
“It’s like this, kid. They don’t blow each other up in cars no more. Gentlemen’s agreements, all nice and polite. But rules have to be followed. Bodycomb went rogue.”
She bit back a retort: You mean, like your own father?
Leo went on, waxing large, a hopeless Mafioso lover, although a real mafia man, a made man, could see Leo couldn’t be trusted. But even the Aryan Brotherhood used outside associates to get things done. Leo could be useful if you couldn’t buy a cop or scare off an investigative reporter snooping in shady politics or business deals.
She didn’t feel bad about Bodycomb’s death. After all, she’d wanted to kill the guy herself.
“Damn it, Leo,” she said. “You should have told me this in the beginning.”Baby moved in the direction Bodycomb’s vehicle had taken. After A couple of hundred yards through meadow grass up to her knees, she stopped and listened. Moving on, she dodged stunted bushes that popped up out of nowhere to snag her clothing. The foliage grew less dense. She found the parallel ruts of the Road Runner’s tracks and kept moving, straining her eyes to see light ahead. If Bodycomb was hiding assets from his soon-to-be ex-wife, he was taking a lot of trouble over it.
After five minutes of faster walking in the grooves, she heard barking coming from the right. She saw the first glimmer of light in the distance. The terrain was sparse but small slopes refracted the light source so it appeared and disappeared with every rise of the ground. A single dog barking became two, then three and finally a pack. Beneath their howls, men’s voices.
When she got close enough to make out words, she lay flat on her belly and put the binoculars on a cluster of men beside a ramshackle barn surrounded by cages of dogs in the beds of trucks beside a squared string of light bulbs a dozen feet from the ground. It looked like a crude boxing ring for backyard brawlers.
Its purpose became clear in the next few minutes. It was a dog-fighting pit.
Dangerous Women will be available in print on the Class Act Books website.
Dreaming of a Kindle Fire? Stay tuned.
Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .
After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .
Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion . . .
“And we’re working on the backgrounds of the Cole International execs. Do you have everything there you need?”
Logan had his own personal weapons with him—a Glock 19, a Ruger LCP and his Kabar knife—but on the remote chance of an invasion he wanted to be covered on all fronts.
“More firepower. I’ll text you the list as soon as I hang up. How are you coming with the phone?”
We’ve just gotten started with it. First of all, it’s not an ordinary cell phone. It’s made by a company like the one that makes ours.”
“So it’s ten times as hard to crack.”
“That’s right. We got past the factory restore and there’s data on it, but it also seems to have multiple passwords.”
Logan snorted. “Can you say paranoid? Now I’m sure there’s shit on it we need.”
“I’ve got Del on it. He’s got it hooked up to a bunch of different programs at the same time. If anyone can break it, that would be him.”
“Okay. Keep me in the loop on that.”
“Ginger’s been digging into Graham Cole with an electronic shovel. I want to know everything from the past ten years, personal and corporate. There’s a clue somewhere and I mean for us to find it. I’ll bet we find a lot of unpleasant crap there.
“I hope we find something soon,” he told her. “I don’t think they’re near done with her.”
“And that’s why you’re there, Mr. Marine.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.
She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.
She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast,
USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.
“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)
Learn more about her and read her novels here:
Desiree will be awarding a Kindle Fire 7 with Alexa to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more individual excerpts, fun and chances to win, follow Desiree on tour: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2017/08/book-blast-hide-and-seek-by-desiree-holt.html
Author Jeanette Watts has graciously agreed to submit to our Q&A before sharing her blurb and an excerpt of her latest release.
What is your greatest temptation:
In men: Shoulders. I love strong-looking shoulders. And brunettes. I have only had crushes on three blondes in my entire life: Michael York, Dirk Benedict, and this guy I knew in college.
[OOH, and I am the exact opposite. I love blonds!] says Linda
In food: Yes. I love food way too much. Donuts, chocolate, strawberries, pasta, mangoes, bread, it’s all a weakness. And my stomach doesn’t have a shut off valve, so if I sit there at a party I will just keep nibbling from the bowl of M&Ms in front of me.
In clothes: Jackets and sailor outfits. I own way, way too many jackets. There’s a cute one at the thrift store, it comes home with me. I get an idea in my head, I have made a winter coat that stops traffic, makes friends, and gets me out of parking tickets. Then my mother-in-law clued into my weakness, and she gets me a new, fun jacket every year for Christmas. As for sailor suits, it’s a summertime thing. I have so many outfits with a nautical theme, I could be my own Japanese anime show. I own a necklace and earrings that are little silver anchors, to go with all my sailor outfits.
And to top it all off, I do own a jacket that has a nautical look to it. Found it at one of those outlet malls. Didn’t need it, but of course when it tied into two fetishes at the same time, there was no way I was leaving without buying it. I even had a hat to match.
What is your greatest weakness (example: buying shoes)? Practical jokes. I will go to insane extremes for a practical joke. I flew to Madison Wisconsin one Christmas for a friend’s caroling party, just so I could casually walk in when I wasn’t expected. When I played Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen at the local Renaissance Festival, I played a joke on my “nemesis” the sheriff almost every day. One day I posted Wanted posters with his photo on them and a list of his misdemeanors. Another time I bought him from his wife. The poor guy must have lain awake at night wondering what I was going to do to him next.
My latest practical joke has upped the ante considerably. I convinced eight of my friends to help me construct 4 Swiss Guard uniforms, and one man’s Renaissance doublet and trunk hose and hat. It took about 9 months of sewing, and the men had put together pole arms, and my husband bought these amazing helmets, and we found nun’s costumes for the ladies on Amazon. When we had everything together, we went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival and paid a visit to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (played by a close friend of mine). Four guards marched in, guarding the emissary from the Pope, followed by all the nuns, and delivered a message to Queen Elizabeth from the Pope, telling her to repent and return to the true faith!
If you could have any kind of car, what would it be?
A convertible! I may be a redhead so I required a lot of sunscreen, but I love driving a convertible with the top down. My husband has a Mazda Miata, he lets me drive it sometimes. It’s ironic that my husband ended up with my dream car, but sadly I’m a pragmatic person who always owns a hatchback. You can’t haul Christmas trees and sound equipment and furniture in a convertible. I have put more things in the back of my car…I’m always a little astounded when I buy something that won’t fit.
Your dream home – mountains or ocean?
Both! If you haven’t been to Greece, I highly recommend it.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’m a natural born storyteller. While I’m told most people hate writing, I love it. I get these characters that come into my head, and they just sort of take me over. The story is secondary to the characters. If you stay true to the characters, the story will tell you where to go. I never get writer’s block, I have trouble keeping up with my brain. It tells stories so much faster than my fingers can type, and then there’s that whole process of revising and revising until it’s “ripe.” I never let anyone read my writing until it’s been through several drafts. So many things change in the first several drafts!
Do you have a daily writing routine? If so, please share.
I would love a daily writing routine! Maybe when I finish moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, I can get settled into a daily routine. I’ve never had one before. I will go on week long writing retreats, or a weekend, or an extra day tagged onto the end of a trip when I hide in a pretty place with my laptop. But I’ve never had a regular schedule.
What is your favorite book?
Well, I usually say Gone With the Wind, but that’s becoming a hot button issue right now. I’m thoroughly and passionately a Yankee girl, I admire Margaret Mitchell’s writing immensely. She was a very nuanced writer. A lot of people miss the pro-abortion messages buried in the book…
My other favorite books are Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, Shelby Foote’s series on the Civil War, and anything written by David McCullough.
What is your favorite movie?
Ouch. I have a Master’s Degree in Cinema-Television. There is no such thing as one favorite movie. I love silent movies, I guess my favorite is Douglas Fairbanks’ Mark of Zorro, 1920. My favorite director is Michael Curtiz, my favorite movie of his is Casablanca. My favorite actors are Errol Flynn and Jimmy Stewart, my favorite movies of theirs are The Adventures of Robin Hood (also directed by Michael Curtiz!) and Shop Around the Corner. My favorite living actor might be Hugh Jackman in Australia. My favorite foreign film is Amelie. My favorite science fiction movie is Star Wars.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
For men, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. I mentioned I’m a Yankee girl…? These two men had moxy beyond anyone else in their time. Grant was a guy who had failed a few times. He was fallible. He had a drinking problem. And when things got tough, he had no fear of failure. Other Union generals would lose a battle, and turn around and go home. Grant would win a battle, and press forward. He’d lose a battle, he’d march his men into a new position, and do battle again. He wasn’t there to win a battle. He was there to fight a war. He thought on a different scale. Sherman was his best friend, his second half, and he, too, saw the big picture. Sherman is the man who coined the phrase “War is hell.” He didn’t enjoy it, but he understood it. He was the one who understood that a war is fought by a society, not just by the soldiers holding the guns and carrying out the orders. He would have understood World War II, and in contrast, Vietnam.
My favorite women in history are Alva Vanderbilt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Both of them were amazing women. Alva Vanderbilt would have been a hell of an architect, had she chosen to go to architectural school. But she single-handedly changed the way the world saw America with one blowout party. And Eleanor Roosevelt? Do I have to say any more?
In your books, who is your favorite hero and please introduce him?
Hm… my new book Jane Austen Lied to Me doesn’t have a hero, per se. Or it has several. Depends on how you see it. If we count the book as having multiple heroes, I guess my favorites are Professor Jacobson and Lon.
Professor Jacobson is based on one of my friends from Graduate School. He’s a professor now, just qualified for tenure, I believe! The professor in my book is just like him: kind, gentle, has a nice sense of humor, is the sort of person who would be the first to help out in a crisis. The all-around best word for him is lovable.
Lon the Floor Nerd is smart, dependable, generous, and serious. I think he’s still looking for his sense of humor. We get hints at the end of the book that he’s been finding it over the course of the three years that the book takes place.
If you’re asking about my favorite hero from every book I’ve ever written, I’d go with Thomas from Wealth and Privilege. He’s far more flawed than these other two gentlemen. And the way he loves Regina, I would forgive him any and every fault he’s got.
Who is your favorite heroine and please introduce her?
The heroine of my new book is Lizzie Barrett. She is the all-American college girl. She’s smart, but can be dumb. Or you could say she’s dumb, but she can be smart. She’s generally a kind person. She’s going through all the teenage angst that is part of the stresses of trying to figure out who you really are. She’s boy crazy, but things never seem to go her way. She’s still very innocent, in a worldly sort of way. College is very complicated. I’ve seen plenty of adults smile indulgently at college students’ stress, but they don’t remember what it’s like to be 18. Somehow I’ve never forgotten.
New releases anytime soon?
Yes! Jane Austen Lied to Me is coming out at the end of this month! I’m available through Amazon, CreateSpace, and also through my webpage.
Where can eager fans find you?
My webpage is http://www.JeanetteWatts.com, the Facebook page for the book is https://www.facebook.com/Jane-Austen-Lied-to-Me-342613389485243/
What college girl doesn’t dream of meeting Mr. Darcy? Lizzie was certainly no exception. But when Darcy Fitzwilliam comes into her life, he turns out to be every bit as aggravating as Elizabeth Bennett’s Fitzwilliam Darcy. So what’s a modern girl to do?
Jeanette Watts’ satire pokes loving fun at Jane and all of us who worship the characters who shall forever be our romantic ideals.
This afternoon I got further confirmation that I’ve been seeing an awful lot of Michael. I was wandering back to the apartment, when Lon hailed me from one of the couches inside the lobby doors.
“I have a message for you from your boyfriend,” he said, kind of stiffly.
I looked at him stupidly for a moment. “My what?”
“Your boyfriend was here. He said his phone was dead, so he couldn’t call or text you to tell you that he can’t stick around for dinner tonight. He has a late meeting with a new client and he had to rush back to the office.”
I was still having trouble with the boyfriend thing. “Wait – do you mean Michael?”
“If that’s the guy you’ve been seeing the last couple of months,” Lon said with a shrug. “The one you’re always having dinner with.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” I protested. “He’s an old friend of the family. We grew up together.”
Lon’s head was back at his computer screen. “Boyfriend, friend. The guy who kisses you goodnight all the time after he takes you out for dinner. He’s not coming tonight. I’ve delivered my message, that’s all I’ve got.”
Right then Allie walked up. “Hey, Lizzie! Waiting for Michael?”
“No, he’s not coming tonight.” I headed to the elevator with her.
“That’s a shame. I know how much you enjoy having dinner with him, even if he does aggravate you a lot.”
“Yeah. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship,” I agreed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jeanette Watts had been writing historic fiction when the inspiration for Jane Austen Lied to Me hit her on the drive home from the Jane Austen Festival. The idea was simply irresistible, and she put aside other writing projects in order to focus on writing a satire, thinking it would be a “mental vacation.” It turned out to take every bit as much research to write a modern story as it does to write a historical one.
She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing. When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.
Jeanette Watts will be awarding a doll dressed in Regency clothing, handcrafted by the author (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
For more fun excerpts and more chances to win, follow the author on tour:
Yesterday, Lot’s Cave Publishing released:
(no longer available from The Wild Rose Press or on Amazon)
Hot Spanish Nights:
(no longer available from The Wild Rose Press or on Amazon)
Her Brother’s Wife: No book video as yet.
From birth, Alain and Alina Alastair are a scientific phenomenon—identical male/female twins—a biological impossibility. Wishing to avoid notoriety, Lord and Lady Alastair whisk their miracle children to their island home isolated by a two-hour ferry journey from the mainland of England. It is at Alastair Keep that their destiny unfolds to the constant percussion of a restless sea.
As a young man, Alain craves escape from the seclusion while Alina more willingly follows her heart. Unaware, they courageously struggle with a genetic proclivity, the Gemini Factor, that will lead them down forbidden paths. The secrets at Alastair Keep will undermine the foundations of their world and threaten their very lives.
The Anointing: Gemini Factor is a dark psychological novel dealing with a controversial subject in a fantasy setting.
Bianca’s Lot’s Cave Author Page: http://www.lotscave.com/ebooks/author/bianca-swan.php – ALL THREE BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH LOT’S CAVE PUBLISHING