Tag Archives: satire

Author Showcase – Jan Romes (Wine and Sweat Pants Series)

~~ BOOK ONE ~~

Suddenly single, in her forties, and eager to do what it takes to start over, Elaina Samuels meets three women with similar circumstances at a cash-for-gold event. They quickly become friends and form the No Sweat Pants Allowed – Wine Club. This newly found alliance brings about some humorous escapades, a few tears, and a bond so strong no man can break as they try to cling to the past and finally step out of their comfort zones to find a happiness they thought they’d never feel again. Discover Elaina Samuels, Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray.

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~~ BOOK TWO~~

Recently single, Elaina Samuels could’ve never imagined such an amazing six months. She’d met Tawny Westerfield, Stephanie Mathews, and Grace Cordray, at a cash-for-gold event. Individually they were there to trade in their wedding rings to get a fresh start. Little did they know that fate would step in and put them together – first in the jewelry store and then to share their stories over wine in the bar across the street. They clicked from the get-go and a few weeks later, Elaina made an offer for them to move in to share expenses. Best. Decision. Ever. Join Elaina, Tawny, Steph, and Grace as they continue their journeys to get life right-side-up and embrace the next six months with energy, mischief, chaos, fun, and a few tears.

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~~ OUT NOW –> BOOK THREE ~~

Sometimes the only way to truly start over is to move. That’s exactly what Elaina Samuels and her unruly band of cohorts decided to do. Elaina, Tawny, Grace, and Steph bought a bed and breakfast in Maine. The trip from Cherry Ridge, Ohio to Portland is a wild and crazy ride, filled with things they never could have foreseen. In this adventure there’s laughter, tears, doubt, and a little danger thrown in to keep them on their toes. Will this relocation to the northeast be the key to real happiness? Or will it test their friendship to the breaking point?  

 

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Could the day get any stranger? First, the guy in the Mercedes; now Frank and Bax.

The unspoken question answered itself.

An old gal with powder-white hair and glasses came up to Elaina. “Four Sassy Chicks. That describes us to a tee. Isn’t that right, Flora, Hazel, and Josie?”

Accompanying the short, tiny-framed woman were three carbon copies. The four women were dressed in the same fake fur coats and floral bandanas.

The carbon copies nodded.

“We’re in our eighties but we can be a bit cheeky.” The leader of the pack smiled so big her eyes went closed. “I’m Adelaide. We’ve come from Tennessee to stay at your bed and breakfast. Sorry it took so long for us to get to baggage claim. We’re not as spry as we used to be. The airline offered to cart us with one of those fancy four-wheelers.”

One of the carbon copies spoke up. “They’re not four-wheelers, Addie. I believe they call them shuttles.”

Another of the four women winced. “A lot you know. They’re called courtesy transports.”

“That’s our know-it-all sister, Hazel. What she doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.” Adelaide broke into a cackle that turned into a loose cough.

“I never claimed to know everything; although I do have more upstairs than the other three put together.”

“You wish. I’m Flora, dear.”

Elaina nodded. “Nice to meet you, Flora.”

“I’m, Josephine, the prettiest of the Turlington sisters.” She put her dentures together in a silly grin. “Boom.”

Did she really say boom? Elaina kept her expression even. Inside she was jiggling with a laugh. She had a feeling it would be a fun few days. “I’m Elaina. Welcome to Maine.”

Adelaide leaned into Elaina. “Several years ago we decided to vacation in every state before we kick the bucket. We’re proud to say this is the fiftieth. Right, girls?”

Their heads wobbled when they nodded.  

“How exciting! I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of great things in your travels.”

Flora shook her head. “Not really. We don’t get around so good, so we usually don’t venture out.”

“You don’t leave the hotel or bed and breakfast?”  

Hazel didn’t hedge on the truth. “Nope. We play cards and drink wine.” She made a weird noise that could’ve been a laugh. It was hard to tell. “When we get home we brag to our card club that we visited another state.”

“That’s remarkable.”

“Oh it is.” Flora winked. “I want you to know ahead of time that we collect those little bars of soap and bottles of shampoo. Some people collect trinkets. We collect toiletries.”

“Collect?” Josephine scoffed. “We steal them.”

Hazel set the record straight. “They think they’re getting away with something.”

Adelaide rebuffed her sister. “It’s thievery all right. If you don’t use it, you’re not supposed to take it.”

Elaina looked from woman to woman. “Are you ready to discover the Four Sassy Chicks Bed and Breakfast?”

“Can we make a stop?” Flora inquired.

“I’ll bet she forgot to bring her Depends,” Hazel said under her breath.

Flora leveled a scowl at her sister. She couldn’t maintain it. An evil grin splashed across her weathered face. “You’re just jealous that you have to use the bathroom when you have to pee. I never have to leave the card game.”

Adelaide rushed to deny Flora’s boasting. “She’s teasing. Flora, tell this sweet lady you’re teasing.”

“Nope. I pee wherever and whenever I want. I’m peeing right now.”

Hazel lifted her eyes in embarrassment. “Sorry about that, miss. I could blame it on her age, but age doesn’t excuse everything.”

“Booyah.” Flora blew on her fingernails like she’d one-upped her sisters.

Elaina smiled at each Turlington sibling. “You remind me of my friends. Wait until you meet them. You’ll see what I mean.” Her cell phone chimed with an incoming text message. She ignored it to remain professional.

Her cell phone rang shortly after the text. Again, she ignored it.

Elaina addressed Flora. “Where would you like me to make a stop?”

“Wherever they sell wine.”

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Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she is also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance and women’s fiction, enjoys finding new ways to stay fit and gardens even though she doesn’t claim to have a green thumb.

 

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Author Showcase – Michael Hughes (The Crimson Shamrock)

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A scotch-swilling DUI attorney, a cynical congressional staffer, and a retired bomb- sniffing German Shepherd are just some of the characters Chuck Wesson meets after he takes a travel assignment from his new boss, mysterious Silicon Valley entrepreneur Axel DeWilde. Chuck has been sent on a flight from San Francisco to Boston in order to demonstrate the Crimson Shamrock, a breakthrough portable communication device code-named the RedClove.

However, Chuck begins to suspect that all is not as it seems after a robber tries to steal the device at the airport, and his flight later has to be diverted to the Twin Cities after a threat is made. After his meeting is relocated to the D.C. suburbs and does not go according to plan, Chuck flies back to California to discover who and what are behind his travails.

 

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After dropping Blake off at the VC headquarters, Axel drove me back to the office.  As we got inside, Axel began to go on one of his euphoric monologues.

“You see, Chuck, all of the opportunities that we are presented with!”  I was afraid he was going to shatter the glass front door given how enthusiastically he had shut it.  “Just look how eager Blake was for our product!”

“Is he OK with our timeline, do you think?” I asked.  I turned on my computer and took a seat as Axel continued to pace around the floor.  I was half afraid he was going to start dancing.

“Why, of course!  All things take time, and Blake and his people understand that very fact.  We are, in a way, building up the anticipation even more, yes?”

That didn’t seem like the soundest logic to me, but who was I to tell Axel this?

“That’s one way of looking at it, I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“Oh, yes,” he said as he almost tripped over himself on his way back to his desk.  “The anticipation of the new product is key. Absolutely, essentially, key.  Key, key, key.”

I twiddled my fingers as I waited for my computer screen to turn on.  Luckily, I didn’t have to wait too long.

“I think you’ve done enough work for the day,” said Axel.  He looked at my computer, walked over, and turned it off.  “You should head home and get some rest.  Next week is going to be a learning experience for all of us.  We are going to have to have the boys finish engineering the prototype, and then we will have to have it transported to the East Coast for its demonstration.”

“How are we going to get it over there?”

Axel grinned.  “The method of its transport is in this room.  He, I should clarify, is in this room.  I generally try to avoid flying.  You are free to draw your own conclusions.  Shall I see you tomorrow, ten o’clock, no?”

 

 

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I’m 25 and currently work for a bank in compliance in Los Angeles.  Pumpkin Farmer and The Crimson Shamrock are my two published paperback novels; I also self-published a novel titled Loafing by La Brea. 
 
 

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