Snippet Sunday, 5/1, new story

I finally finished Garrett and Van’s story, which is now at the publisher. Meanwhile, I’ve had enough of getting sick, being in hospitals and therapy rehab places. So this is a snippet from the new series I’m starting that takes place in the fictional town of Dannville, Colorado. I had a dream about a historical, and have a few chapters written, but it’s “not quite ready for prime time.” This is the beginning of the contemporary called “Cinderella Wears Blue Jeans.” It’s very raw (I’ve been sick). It’s been edited to fit the line limit, but it might still be over. Any feedback would be appreciated.

I stare into the sky blue eyes of the paramedic who’s just rescued me. He’s just given me a lecture about my housekeeping skills (or lack thereof). All I want to do is get to Dannville Hospital—stat. I’d gotten out of bed to go to the bathroom and was walking back when I blacked out. When I came to, I was on the floor.
“Dude!” the female paramedic, who was driving the ambulance is on my side. “You need to lighten up or you’ll have a heart attack!”
Ol’ Blue Eye slaps a hand to his forehead. “Women! Did you see the condition of the house? It’s not fit for her cat to live in!”
I can’t see the woman’s expression because I’m lying on a stretcher but I can sense she’s rolling her eyes. The man ignores her and starts asking about medications I’ve been taking.
When we get to the hospital, he hands me his card. “When you get out of here, call me. I’ll come over and help you with the house.”

SnippetSunday Garrett’s POV

More from “Geek in Disguise,” this time from Garrett’s POV. I’ve moved ahead—Van had a mishap with the dogs, who took her for a walk along the muddy creek bed in Garrett’s backyard. Garrett feels bad, so offers to wash and dry her clothes while she takes a shower. I might have gone over the 10-line limit. Any feedback is appreciated…

From the time Garrett Berkowitz pedaled his blue bicycle to his job at the Cincinnati Observatory, to the time he arrived home, he questioned his judgment at leaving the boys with Vanessa Brown. Especially when he found them dragging her along the muddy creek bed. Sure, she’d come highly recommended. He felt bad about leaving Neptune and Jupiter alone all day, and her dog-sitting and walking service seemed like the perfect solution.
Not to mention, she was very pretty. She had shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and blue-green eyes that sparkled whenever she spoke.
Garrett pushed those thoughts away. She was his complete opposite. She’d teased him about being serious. It appeared that she never worried at all. As long as she never discovered one of his troubles, they’d be okay.
Come on, Garrett. You have to trust her. Don’t do this to yourself.
He couldn’t help but remember the last serious relationship he’d had. His girlfriend hadn’t understood that he was dyslexic. So they’d broken up, leaving Garrett with a broken heart and a lack of confidence in the opposite sex.

Snippet Sunday,1/3,Dogs

Today, January 2, would have been my parents’ 66th anniversary. They met at my mom’s best friend’s wedding. I am planning a Chanukah short story collection that spans three generations. The hero, Noah, and the heroine, Rachelle, of the first story, are loosely based on my mom and dad. I don’t have anything written yet, but I do have the next snippet for “Geek in Disguise,” which I’m trying to finish. Here, we meet Garrett’s dogs. Any feedback is appreciated…

Suddenly, the Shetland started to bark and the puppy followed suit, earning a stern look from Garrett. “Boys, behave!” he said, but the puppy kept on barking. Van spoke softly, calming the canine down with a gentle tone.

Garrett shrugged his shoulders. “This is why I called you. Not only do these guys need to be walked, they need someone to look in on them during the day. I’m very busy what with working at the observatory and all.”

“What are your dogs’ names?”

“Oh, sorry. I should’ve introduced them. The Sheltie is Jupiter, and the puppy is Neptune. Guys, this is Vanessa Brown.”

“So you named them after planets?” That didn’t surprise Van at all.


Snippet Sunday 12/27–Garrett

More from “Geek in Disguise.” This has been edited to fit the line limit. Any feedback is much appreciated—I’m trying to get this done so I can send it to the publisher. “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” fans—my re-write got put on the back burner so I can finish this.


No one answered, but she heard dogs barking from inside. She tried the doorbell and heard its loud ring.

A slender, black-haired man with warm brown eyes hidden behind black glasses answered. His dogs, a black and white sheepadoodle puppy, and a fully grown gold and white Shetland sheepdog, followed on his heels.

“Garrett Berkowitz?”

“Ms. Brown?”

“You can call me Vanessa. Or Van.”

He opened the door, motioning for her to come in with a swing of his slim arm. The living room was homey, with hard wood floors, a comfy-looking tan sofa and white overstuffed chairs. The Shetland sheepdog made himself at home, sitting right on top of Van’s feet. The puppy went straight to Garrett.

Van appraised the man who had requested her help. He seemed the old-fashioned  professor type, probably because of the brown wing-tip shoes and glasses. Van figured him as her complete opposite. She played in a garage band, Van and the Sheepdogs, on the weekends, and was kind of a free spirit.


Famous lines of 2015

Now that Chanukah and Christmas are over, next week we’ll start a new year. With that in mind, here are the famous lines of my characters and friends for 2015. I usually have a word of the year, but I can’t think of one this time.

#5) Carson Finney and Malia Crabtree, hero and heroine of my novella, “The Devil in Disguise,” work together at The Morganville Weekly Banner. Malia is Carson’s boss and her mom,who owns the paper, has a strict no-dating policy. Eventually, though, both Malia and her mom have the promise of a happy ending. “Mom finally found her prince.” Malia slipped her arms around Carson’s neck, pulling him close. “And I’ve found mine. You’re my prince, my heart, and my future.” Awww!

Malia Crabtree, “The Devil in Disguise” Coming Soon from Crimson Frost Books

#4) I was walking out the door to go to work when my friend and cab driver, Greg, called to tell me he was waiting outside. When I got into the cab, he started joking around with me about the old “I was walking out the door” excuse.

“I was walking out the door and forgot to walk out the door”

–Greg M., October, 2015

#3) I fought the conspiracy…and the conspiracy won seems to be the theme for 2015. At least for me. Here’s a line from my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s book, “Nutsie in Disguise,” which is out now:

“I kept thinking of another one of Jay’s favorite sayings, “It’s all part of the conspiracy.” He was so right! It’s all part of life’s current conspiracy against me.”

–Nan Moskowitz, “Nutsie in Disguise”

#2) Jay Galloway, my cab driver and part-time musician hero of “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny” is kind of a work-aholic. He harly ever takes off, and he expects other people to be the same way, which leads to some “differences of opinion” with his friends and customers. This is a line from my updated version of “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless,” which will be available next year (I hope). Jay’s sister, Lorrie, just found out that her finace, Hugh, cheated on her and Jay is outside, looking up at Hugh’s apartment.

“I have to get back to work since I don’t have a trust fund! Some people have to work for a living.”

–Jay Galloway, “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” Update coming, 2016

#1) Another line from the “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless re-write…After Hugh breaks their engagement, Lorrie goes into a funk, refusing to go on dates again, letting herself and the house she shares with Jay go. Jay wants her to get back out there again, hoping she’ll meet someone who will make her forget Hugh and get back to her old self. (And my friend, Greg, who hasn’t read this re-write yet, said almost the same thing to me when I got really sick and depressed in October and November…only it was about my excuses for taking off work)…it’s freaky (but I love it when art imitates life).

“I really don’t want to go to the singles dinner party, so I start working on my excuse. I can hear Jay’s voice in my head. Whenever a singles event comes up at church or work, or someone tries to fix me up with someone, I always find a reason not to go. “So what excuse are you gonna use this time, Lor? ‘I’ve got choir practice?’ ‘I don’t feel so good?’ I know—you’ve got things to do. You should write a book of all of your excuses. It’d be a best seller!”

–Jay Galloway, “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless–update coming 2016 or: Greg M. December, 2015 






Snippet Sunday-12-20-Van & Garrett

I know I promised more of Lorrie and Scotty’s “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” re-write, but I’m on deadline to get this one finished—it will be the last in my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s, R-rated romantic comedy “Disguise” series. This is from “Geek in Disguise.”


Vanessa (Van) Brown walked up to the door of the white clapboard Victorian home, expecting to hear the “Addams Family” theme song any minute. There were leaves and branches all over the house and sidewalk leading up to it. The windows were dirty and the pretty house seemed kind of neglected. The wooden steps had creaked when she’d walked up to the door.

Of course, she was there to help the owner take care of those pets, not judge them on how their house looked. She loved her business, Lovely Daughter’s Pet Caregivers. She’d gotten to know lots of people—and their animals. She knocked on the door, wondering how this particular job would pan out.


Snippet Sunday 12/13–Nutsie in Disguise

Sorry I haven’t been around for the last two months…I have been sick with the infection(s) that wouldn’t leave. Was in the hospital twice–but I’m feeling stronger and better every day. Finally got out of the house and back to work…

Scotty and Lorrie will be back next week (I hope). Meanwhile, my alter ego, Vi LaNance’s third story in the “Disguise” series (R-rated) is available on Amazon and other e-book sites. This and the other stories in the series (and three more new ones, plus the first two) will be available as a boxed set in print and e-book format. Meanwhile, you can get this one…it’s one of my favorites…

Here’s a snippet:

I was on my way to work, carting some supplies, when my feet were swept from beneath me. I should have been more careful because there was black ice everywhere, and I know that my landlady never removes it.

This was the second time I’d fallen in two weeks. I’d broken up with my boyfriend on Black Friday. Now, it was really Black Friday. In addition to frozen pipes, I’d just fired one of my employees for insubordination. To say that her constant cutting remarks about my weight, hair and clothes got on my nerves was an understatement.

To top it all off, my friend,   brother from another mother and smart aleck cab driver, Jay Galloway, had an uncanny ability to know which day to have a “difference of opinion” with me about my work ethic. He did work hard by driving people here and there in all kinds of weather, putting up with rude customers and avoiding crazy drivers. If he didn’t feel well, he still worked. When I’d left early after firing Tabitha, and had taken another whole day off, Jay had gotten upset. Neither rain, nor cold, nor mean employees and all that. And now he was walking toward me as I was sprawled out on the sidewalk. I didn’t look very professional laying there on the black ice. I had hoped the landlady would do something about removing the ice but guessed that was part of the conspiracy, too.

“Of all the ice on all the sidewalks in all the world, you had to fall on this one. Can you get up?” he asked.

“I’ll try.” But I slid again.


Snippet Sunday, 10/18, back to the wedding

I’ve skipped a little of the dialogue for this snippet. Lorrie just told her brother’s best friend, Scotty, that she’s in love with him and Scotty went to get her out of the restroom at the reception hall at her brother’s wedding.

Scotty’s pretty strong. He’s tall and muscular, and slim and handsome. He looks even better all dressed up in his light gray tux. We’ve been friends since we were kids and no maid of honor can change that.
Reluctantly, I open the door. “I’m only coming out here because of Jay. I love him more than anything and… I want him to be happy.”
“Sure,” Scotty says, taking my hand and leading me downstairs to the reception hall. He gives me a wide, easy grin as we head into the hall.

Snippet Sunday, 9/26-27, “I Won’t Say I’m in Love”–Lorrie’s POV

More from “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.” This is from Chapter One–the original story was in third person POV from Lorrie and Scotty’s POV with a few scenes in Jay’s POV. I got so much positive feedback from the prologue from Jay’s POV that I’m experimenting. This is from Lorrie’s POV, written in first person. Any feedback is appreciated–I’m liking the first person.

I should have known how Jay’s wedding day was going to go when I heard my brother singing “I’m Getting Married in the Morning” in the shower. He had a good voice, but his attempt at a British accent left a lot to be desired.
So now I’m sitting in the restroom of Nutsie Nan’s Café, waiting to go out to the reception hall where the whole crowd had heard me admit, not a mere fifteen minutes ago, that I’d always been in love with Jay’s best friend, Scotty.
Okay, it hadn’t been the whole crowd. Just my brother and his new bride, Reese, her maid of honor, who I disliked on sight, the other two bridesmaids, and Reese’s dad, who probably wondered what kind of mess his daughter had gotten into. And, of course, I’d blurted it out to Scotty.
“Lorrie?” Scotty’s sexy, and usually persuasive, voice came through the door. “Jay and Reese are waiting for you to make the first toast.”

Snippet Sunday, 9/20/15, End of the prologue

I know Hugh can’t hear me. He’s probably warm and cozy, sitting by his marble fireplace, counting his money. I holler at him anyway. “Y’know, you’re just lucky Lorrie stopped me from coming up there and punching in the nose, you SOB! Besides, I have to get back to work since I don’t have a trust fund! Some people have to work for a living.” And some of us work two jobs. I drive a cab for the Orient Cab Company, and in my spare time, play guitar and sing with my band, Jay & the Cincinnatians.
After my rant, I turn to Lorrie. She still has a few tears running down her face. “Do you want to go to the concert so the night won’t be a total loss?”
“Can you just take me home?”
I glance at my watch. I still have a few more hours before the concert starts and my band mates were setting up until I got back. “Sure, honey, but you shouldn’t be by yourself tonight. Y’know?”
“I’ll probably just go to bed early.”
“Okay. I love you, Sis.”
“I love you more.”
Her voice is shaky when she talks. I have the feeling it’ll be a long time before she’s back to “normal.”


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