Skip to main content

Writing Progress - Sushi and Suspicions

I’ve been working on Sushi and Suspicions , a Christian contemporary romantic suspense which will be releasing in June in the multi-author box set Summer Suspicions . Trouble follows Liv on her vacation to Hawaii when she is framed for the theft of an antique rifle. Only a handsome investigator can help clear her name ... and maybe give her a reason to stay in the islands. If you want to read a snippet of what I wrote last week, check out my last newsletter !

Street Team book list excerpt - THE SILENT ORDER by Melanie Dobson

Camy here: Here's another book I added to my Street Team book giveaway list! You can win this book by joining my Street Team--Click here for more info!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Silent Order
Summerside Press (November 1, 2010)
by
Melanie Dobson


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Rural America - 1928. After the murder of his partner, Detective Rollin Wells hides away in an Amish home near Sugarcreek, Ohio, to find out who in the police force is
collaborating with Cleveland’s notorious mob. While Rollin searches for answers to his partner’s death, he befriends an elusive young Amish woman named Katie and her young son. As Rollin learns about Katie’s past, he’s shocked at the secret Katie is hiding - a secret that has haunted Rollin for eight years.

Excerpt of chapter one:


Chapter 1


“Let’s go home,” Nikki whispered, her lips quivering. Even her toes, squashed into the sharp points of her strapped Mary Janes, wouldn’t stop shaking. “Liz…”

“Hush,” her sister hissed as she swung open the side door of Man¬giamo’s. Nikki held up the small battery-powered lantern, and the shiny countertops in the kitchen glowed.

Nikki’s knees knocked under her navy blue skirt and she pressed them together. Her father’s employees left the restaurant hours ago, around midnight or so. Everything inside was still except her heart, which had been hammering in her chest since she and Liz snuck out of the house. Somehow Liz had secured the key to the side door of Man¬giamo’s, but she wouldn’t tell Nikki why they needed to get inside.

“No one knows,” she whispered as the door creaked closed behind them. No one would find out she and Liz were here.

Their parents and older brother were asleep in their large home, a few blocks up Murray Hill. As she and Liz snuck down to Mayfield Road, the usually bustling streets in Cleveland’s Little Italy were draped with an eerie fog. The silence unnerved her—even the alley cats had stopped howling for the night.

As Nikki followed her sister across the kitchen, Liz pulled a second key out of her purse.

Nikki gasped. “Where did you get—”

“I told you to shut up,” Liz barked as she pushed the key into the lock of another door—a door that kept the kitchen staff out of their father’s private lounge.

Nikki leaned closer. “Papa’s going to kill you.”

“He’ll have to catch me first.” Liz laughed, sounding more like she was twelve than twenty-one.

Her sister teetered daily between the frivolities of her youth and the weight of adulthood. The shiny red barrette in her bobbed black hair matched the red bow on her scalloped dress. Even in the dull light, she exuded glamour.

Until this moment, Nikki never thought to ask why Liz was dressed to the nines—she was still trying to wake up after her sister shoved her out of bed in the middle of the night, saying she needed help. She hadn’t told Nikki why they needed to come here, but it didn’t matter. Nikki always seemed to be on call for her older sister, and Liz knew it. She covered for Liz whenever her sister slipped away to visit one of Cleve¬land’s many nightclubs.

But never before had Liz tried anything as daring as breaking into Mangiamo’s back room. Their father’s sanctuary.

Their brother was allowed inside this room when invited—and he bragged about it often—but Salvatore never talked to either of his daughters about the place. Didn’t really talk to Nikki at all. She knew the extent of his fury, though, and she feared him almost as much as the spineless henchmen who bowed to him like he was God on earth. She’d never bowed, but she usually cowered when he was around, hop¬ing he wouldn’t notice her. He rarely did.

Her sister wasn’t afraid of anything, including their father. She had the gift of being able to charm almost any man. If their father discovered them trespassing in his den, though, no charm would work. Discipline would be swift. And painful.

The knob turned in her sister’s hands, and as she cracked open the door, the stench of cigar smoke mingled with the lingering smells of spicy sausage and cheese from the kitchen behind them.

“Liz—” she repeated.

Liz grabbed the lantern from Nikki’s hands. “Tell me if someone comes to the front door.”

Light illuminated the gray stone that lined the narrow staircase below them. Her sister stepped down and slowly descended into the dungeon.

Nikki propped the door open with her heel, waiting in the darkness. She had thought there was a small room in the back of the restaurant, not a basement, but she wasn’t surprised. Secrets bound their family together like the tangled silk threads layering the web of a black widow.

The girls at Nikki’s school envied these seemingly luxurious threads, but she knew that the Cardano money only covered the secrets with a blinding sheen that most people couldn’t see past. She and Liz knew the truth, and they were trapped in their family’s web for the rest of their lives.

Her mother refused to talk about their family’s secret life, and her father usually refused to talk to her, period. Silence stopped even the walls of the Cardano mansion from sharing their secrets, but the walls knew. They knew about her father’s mistress over on Woodland Ave¬nue. They knew about the bitter tears her mother shed. And they knew about the dirty money that surged through her family like water from a fire hose, money that never seemed to extinguish the smoldering inside her father for more.

Nikki watched the light in her sister’s hands turn the corner at the bottom of the steps, and she rested her back against the post, praying Liz would hurry.

Light from the city lamps trickled in through two small windows at the side of the room, illuminating the shiny tops of the kitchen ovens and the draped tables that filled the dining room. Instead of windows by the imposing front door there was a wall filled with paintings of Italy.

The restaurant couldn’t possibly support the Cardano family life¬style, nor could the factory where her uncles refined sugar, but there was always plenty of money. Some mornings she walked down the stairs and the dining room table was hidden under silvery green mounds of cash. Someone supplied her father with thousands and thousands of dollars at least once a week, but she didn’t know who paid him, nor did she want to know. She just wanted to rush out the door each morning before the others woke up to join her friends at Saint Anthony’s.

Their mother liked to pretend that her husband’s business ventures were perfectly legitimate as she tried to induct her daughters into the high society circles like they were members of Cleveland’s elite. Two years ago, Liz began rebelling against the dog-and-pony show and decided to flaunt herself in circles not so pleasing to their mother. The more their mother and father disapproved, the happier Liz seemed to be.

Salvatore ignored Liz’s exploits for a long time, but everything changed in July. For the past three months, her father had kept Liz home around the clock, under surveillance. On the rare occasion that her father let Liz go outside the estate, she was escorted by two of his bodyguards.

Tonight, however, the man who was supposed to be standing guard outside Liz’s door was sleeping beside it instead. Nikki assumed Liz, with her smooth words and alluring smile, offered him a couple of drinks from the stash she snuck into her room under her longer dresses.

The lantern light blinked below her.

“Liz?” she called in a hushed voice.

When her sister didn’t answer, her gaze wandered back toward the six rows of tables that separated the kitchen and the front door. The chairs and table settings appeared to be in their proper place; there was no hint of the loud patrons who had departed four hours ago and no bloodstains left from the man shot inside the parlor back in March.

Nikki shivered. Did the man’s ghost stay behind to haunt those who’d murdered him?

She glanced back down the staircase, at the light bobbing on the wall below. She should have asked Liz why they needed to come here in the mid¬dle of the night, but it was much safer to play along than ask questions.

A sharp click sounded in the dining room, and her heart leapt. Turning, she squinted in the dull light, but nothing moved. No one was in the restaurant at this hour, she told herself. No one but her and Liz.

She whispered her sister’s name one more time, but Liz didn’t respond.

Holding her breath, she pressed her hands against the doorframe and pretended to be one of the Sicilian statues in her father’s pictures. If the murdered man had come back for vengeance, perhaps he wouldn’t see her. Surely he would know she didn’t have it within her to hurt a soul.

She peeked around a column as the front door crept open and a man walked inside, built thin as a rail and a good head taller than she was. The evening was warm, yet he wore a dark overcoat and hat, the uniform of a Cleveland Mafioso.

And he looked very much alive.

She stepped down into the stairwell. If anyone except their father caught her and her sister, they might bump them off, and there were no guarantees with their father.

She and Liz had to get out of here.

Nikki locked the door behind her, and as she rushed down the stairs, she struggled to catch her breath. Air didn’t come until she reached the bottom, but even then, her breathing was shallow. The room in front of her seemed to spin.

Steadying herself against the wall, she took a deep breath and hiccupped.

The basement was one room, a dank space fortified with cold stone and a solitary brown hat rack that hovered in the corner. An old table stood in the middle of the room, surrounded by folding chairs, where the men probably dealt business ventures along with their cards. At the side of the room, a much shorter set of steps led up to a storm door.

Liz swiveled around by an open closet door, a narrow metal box clutched in her hands. “I told you to stay upstairs.”

“But someone’s—” Nikki didn’t finish her sentence. The door above her swung open, banging into the wall. Apparently her father wasn’t the only one with a key to this place.

Liz shoved the lantern into Nikki’s hands and tucked the metal box under her arm. Then she stepped toward the second set of stairs. Nikki followed her lead, but at that moment, the storm door began to shake. Someone else was outside.

Liz swore and grabbed Nikki’s arm, shoving her into the closet. Liz squeezed into the tight space beside her and yanked the door closed, the lantern shining like a beacon until Liz punched the button on top. The closet turned black.

On the other side of the door, Nikki heard muffled voices as sev¬eral men greeted each other. At this time of night, surely this meeting wouldn’t last long. They’d finish whatever deal they’d come to resolve and disappear back into the night. She and Liz would escape minutes later, going home to the safety of their beds before daylight. No one would be the wiser.

Her ear pressed against the door, Nikki strained to listen to the men’s words. Rough talk about the Puglisi family, interfering coppers, and the blessed Volstead Act floated under the thin crack beside her feet and burned her ears. They were making a pact to work together under the nose of the government.

A hiccup swelled in her throat again, and she swallowed hard, holding her breath for a good minute. When she finally released her breath, her hand raced to her mouth to squelch another hiccup, but in her panic, her fingers knocked the lantern in Liz’s hands. She groped for the lantern in the darkness, trying to stop its fall.

Liz reached out to catch the lantern, but when she did, the metal box in her arms fell to the floor, and the crash echoed around them.

Nikki froze.

Liz swung open the door to the closet, pushing Nikki in front of her, and Nikki stumbled forward. Chairs slid back, and the men at the table opened their coats. She saw her father’s face first. The anger etched in his eyes. And there was another emotion she’d never seen before.

Fear.

Her brother sat there, stunned. And all three of her uncles.

There was another man beside them. A man with bushy blond hair.

Nikki watched in horror as the blond man reached for his gun.

“Stop, Heyward,” her brother yelled, but she could see the malice in Heyward’s eyes. He wasn’t going to stop.

“Blast it, Nikki.” Liz shoved her toward the storm door, her eyes still focused on the blond man. “Run.”

Heyward shouted, commanding the others to shoot. Nikki snapped out of her stupor when she saw the gleam of his gun. Racing up the stairs, she slammed open the storm door and burst outside.

Cool air flooded over her as a gunshot echoed down the alleyway. Lifting her skirt, Nikki ran into the billows of the fog, but with every step, her sister’s face trailed her. The faces of the men haunted her soul.

Another thread for their family’s web of secrets. A thread she could never escape no matter where she fled.

Comments

Popular Posts

Get my short story, White Soup, FREE!

“White Soup” is a short story set in my Christian Contemporary Romance Sushi series. It takes place after the events in Weddings and Wasabi . Originally this short story was in the anthology A Recipe for Romance which is now out of print. But now, "White Soup" is available free if you sign up for my newsletter! What’s up with the white soup? Originally, I heard about white soup from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (FYI, my Sushi series short story is NOT a Regency romance). Mr. Bingley is talking about the ball he plans to host at Netherfield: “If you mean Darcy," cried her brother, "he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it begins—but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.” I researched white soup and made it, then blogged about it here . But then I made the recipe again, simplified and a bit more hearty, but definitely not what Bingley served for dinner, and I b

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

Knitting pattern - Honoria’s Handkerchief

I grew up using tissues to blow my nose, but when I started reading Regency romances in high school, I became fascinated with the handkerchiefs those ladies were always fluttering around. Unfortunately, there were ZERO handkerchiefs in my parents' house (even my grandmothers didn't have any old ones that my grandpas might have used), and in those days, there was barely an internet, much less internet shopping. When I went to Japan one summer, I was given a handkerchief by my host family, and I loved it. I bought more as I got older. The prominent ones I could find were the utilitarian cotton type mainly used by men, so I ended up buying bandanas and using those as handkerchiefs. Then I went back to Japan on a trip with my parents and saw some absolutely lovely handkerchiefs being sold in a stall at Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa in Tokyo, on the grounds of Sensoji Temple. They were really thick woven cotton with pretty patterns printed on them. I still use them to

Fun facts about Naomi from Deadly Intent

6 reasons why you will enjoy Deadly Intent: 1) It's set in a SPA! 2) Devon (the hero) is totally HOT! 3) Did I mention the SPA? 4) Naomi (the heroine) is cute and fun 5) Naomi is a massage therapist! 6) Naomi is a massage therapist in a SPA! Naomi is 27 years old, and half-Japanese, half-Caucasian, so she looks a little exotic, but not too much so. I pictured her to look like Natalie Portman. I admit I named her after a girl in the youth group at my church because I honestly couldn’t think of a name. Also, the real-life Naomi is half-Japanese and half-Caucasian just like my character. My character Naomi’s personality isn’t based on anyone I know, but I always thought being a massage therapist would be a cool job, so I did a lot of research for Naomi’s career and for the spa. Naomi’s a maiden or Persephone archetype. They tend to be easygoing and carefree, but Naomi has been thrust into a more responsible role by her father, who just had a stroke. Worried about the future

Gritty Christian Suspense

I’m participating in this promo. Click on the graphic to check out all the Christian suspense books available and stuff your eBook reader! Gritty Christian Suspense

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Guess what this is from A DANGEROUS STAGE

Can you guess what this is? I’m on the Sweet Romance Reads blog today with a little info on the strange sweet my character is making in A Dangerous Stage . Check out the blog post here.

Psalm 91:2

Psalm 91:2 Dear Lord, Thank you that you are so close to me that I can be confident that you will protect me like a fortress. Thank you that I can run to you as my refuge whenever I am afraid or anxious. Thank you that I can trust completely in you to take care of me and lead me in your paths. Amen 詩篇91:2 親愛なる主よ、 あなたが私の近くにいてくださり、要塞のように私を守ってくださると確信できることを感謝します。私が恐れたり不安になったりした時、いつでも避難所としてあなたに駆け寄ることができることを感謝します。私の面倒をみてくださり、あなたの道に導いてくださるあなたに完全に信頼できることを感謝します。 アーメン

My website is down for a little while

Sorry everyone! My Camy Tang website is down. :(

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th