Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest Blogger Jenn Nixon

Please welcome today's guest blogger, Jenn Nixon. Her novel, Lucky's Charm releases 7/31 from Wild Child Publishing.  Here's a sneak peek at her new release!

Lucky’s Charm

By: Jenn Nixon

To protect her family and find a killer, Felicia “Lucky” Fascino assumed her adoptive father’s identity and joined the network, an organization of moral assassins to finish the job he began. Eliminating the man responsible for murdering her mother has consumed her for the last five years. While keeping her Uncle Stephen and cousin Elizabeth at arm’s length, Lucky begins to feel the weight of her career choice and reclusive lifestyle. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic hit man, during one of her jobs, turns into a provocative and dangerous affair. Distracted by the secret trysts with Kenji Zinn and mounting tension within her family, Lucky makes reckless mistakes that threaten her livelihood and almost claim her life.


Two days after her last job…
Lucky Fascino sat at the back of the plane, flipping through the complimentary magazine. She smiled up at the male flight attendant when he stopped the beverage cart.

“Drinks?” he asked.
“Gin and tonic, thanks,” she said.
“Make it two,” her neighbor added.
Her row mate, a pink-skinned, gray-haired man, had curiosity etched on his face. Next to Lucky, any Caucasian looked pale so she understood their interest. Being naturally bronzed, due in part to an unknown, mixed heredity, gave her an all-year color most women would kill to have. As part of her normally disguised travels, she hid her curly, honey-brown hair and slight almond-shaped, amber eyes—now considered exotic instead of strange—behind a jet-black wig and brown contacts.

Talking to a stranger was the last thing she wanted to do. Getting far away from the job was the only thing on her mind. She’d been in Vegas for nine days, watching the target, learning his habits, hangouts, and daily rituals. During the last five, she’d seen him with three women in two different motels.

Gotta love Vegas.

Afterward, she had worked off the adrenaline high from the job in the hotel gym, while waiting for news of the target’s death. It came in the form of a small article in the local newspaper. The city had well over a hundred murders so far this year. One more, under seedy circumstances, didn’t get much attention.
            The man beside her tried to make conversation while she nursed her drink. Mundane chitchat mostly. I really don’t care where you live. It was natural for normal people to want some type of contact to ease the boring flight. Thanks to her second cocktail, she felt more social. Besides, she didn’t have a choice. He wouldn’t shut up.

            “So, what do you do for a living?” Frank asked after the exchange of names and destinations.

Kill people like you. Well, she didn’t really kill people like him, unless he had some sordid history of crime. Unlike Andersen, who used his corporate success to embezzle, commit fraud, and murder, Frank seemed like a regular guy.

“I’m the Comptroller for an international furniture company.” Lucky watched the man’s eyes glaze over when she described what she did for “work.” Accountant types never impressed anyone. During long jobs, she made up a personal history and itinerary to go along with whichever fake ID she used for cases like this. Today she played Lucille Summers from Baltimore, Maryland. It was one part of the job she still enjoyed.

            “Sounds lucrative.” He rubbed the side of his gin-reddened face and covertly tried to ogle her legs. “In Vegas for business or pleasure?” The way he enunciated the latter made her skin crawl. She wouldn’t give him the time of day if he were the last man on the planet able to donate sperm to keep the species alive.

“Business meetings, you know how it goes, have to get those fiscal reports in order for the CFO,” she said, smiling, mostly to suppress the gag reflex.

            He laughed, continually eyeballing her and gabbing about his trip. The trite, one-sided conversation continued until the plane began its descent.

Bio: Jenn’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.

Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.

Twitter: @jennnixon

Sunday, July 1, 2012



By: Terri Talley Venters

Abducting a newborn topped Hilda’s agenda. At midnight, she entered the birthing suite at Manhattan’s Mercy Hospital where Alexandra and the birth mother bonded. How sweet, Hilda smirked.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Montgomery, I’m here to take your blood pressure.” Hilda approached the patient’s bed and prayed her nerves didn’t show.

“I’m so sick of being awakened all of the time,” Alexandra’s mother said.

“Well, I’m, sorry to bother you, Mrs. Montgomery, but I’m just doing my job,” Hilda said, even as she wished she no longer had to do this job. Why Tom-Tom insisted on abducting newborns from a hospital rather than from a house or a park irritated her.

This new mother sounded rude. But it made Hilda’s upcoming task much easier. She’d learned years ago the necessity of distancing herself from her emotions, and she stopped giving a rat’s ass about the patients a long time ago.

“Well, how about you do your job and get me medication to help me sleep, I’m exhausted.”

“I have just what you need. This should help you sleep.” Hilda handed a container of white pills to Mrs. Montgomery and poured her a glass of water.

“This won’t affect my breast milk will it? I know my milk hasn’t come in yet, but I plan on nursing my precious Alexandra.”

“I assure you, Mrs. Montgomery, Alexandra will be just fine. I’ll change her diaper for you, so you won’t have to worry about it for a while.”

“Thank you, I appreciate the gesture. My husband, the useless piece of shit, went home to sleep. Can you believe his nerve?” Mrs. Montgomery asked.

Hilda nodded her head sympathetically. Most new mothers acted cranky, due to the abrupt change in their hormone levels. Everyone and everything got on their nerves and they believed their husbands proved totally useless. Many referred to this as the “I-hate-you phase.”

Relieved about the absence of Alexandra’s father, she turned her back to the birth mother and approached Alexandra’s bassinet. Hilda’s wide girth obstructed Mrs. Montgomery’s view of the baby.

Hilda gazed upon the tiny, helpless newborn, a Carbon Copy of a newborn she’d abducted twenty-five years before. Hilda recalled helping transition the baby the night before. Shortly after babies are born, they are taken to the nursery where the baby is washed, weighed, measured, and given numerous tests. Hilda, the nurse who fastened the security tags on Baby Montgomery’s wrist and ankle, intentionally left Alexandra’s tags looser than normal.

Hilda grabbed a diaper and some wipes from underneath the bassinet. Before she removed the soiled diaper, Hilda slowly removed a tiny medicine dropper from her sweater pocket. She administered several drops of liquid into Alexandra’s tiny mouth. This baby will sleep well tonight too.

Hilda slid off both of Alexandra’s security tags and wrapped them in the dirty diaper. She tossed the soiled diaper into the trash can and wiped Alexandra’s bottom. Hilda put a fresh diaper on the baby and tightly wrapped up the baby girl in a blanket. Alexandra now resembled a large burrito.

“Sleep well, Mrs. Montgomery, I’ll see you in the morning,” Hilda said. She turned to look at Alexandra’s mother, who’d already fallen asleep.

Hilda unbuttoned her sweater to reveal the baby sling. She picked up Alexandra and placed her in the sling. She buttoned her sweater and looked into the mirror. Perfect, she thought. Hilda’s sturdy frame and overweight midsection provided the perfect camouflage. No one would suspect her wide girth or her bulging sweater concealed a newborn.

At least Tom-Tom stopped making her steal twins like she did twenty-five years ago. But back then, hospital security barely existed. Now this particular hospital utilized cameras in every nook and cranny of the maternity ward. Everywhere, except in the birthing suites.

Hilda walked slow down the hall and pushed the elevator button. She took out her cigarettes as the elevator door opened. A young doctor exited the elevator as she got on.

“You shouldn’t smoke,” he said.

“I know, I know, I’ve been meaning to quit. But I’m a New Yorker, what can I say,” Hilda said.

Once on the ground floor, Hilda headed toward the exit and nonchalantly stepped outside. She paused and lit up the second she could. She inhaled several puffs and looked up towards the sky. She meandered around the side of the building, just out of range of the security cameras.

“You got a light, Miss?” A very large man asked as he placed his own cigarette between his eager lips.

“Sure.” Hilda retrieved her lighter. “Here, let me light it for you.”

Hilda stepped close to the large man and attempted to light his cigarette. The lighter didn’t work. “I’m sorry, sir. This is one of those cheapo lighters which apparently do not work very well.” Hilda continued with several more failed attempts at lighting the man’s cigarette.

“I’m in no hurry, Ma’am.” He reached under Hilda’s sweater and found the newborn tucked into the baby sling. He removed the precious cargo, opened his jacket, and tucked the baby into his baby sling.

“There we go,” Hilda said, as the flame finally accomplished its task.

“Thank you, Ma’am. It sure is getting cold out here.” He buttoned up his overcoat.

“It’s supposed to get down into the teens tonight, or so I hear.” Hilda puffed on the last of her cigarette.

“Winter will be here before we know it.” The man puffed away like an addict.

“Well, I better get back to work.” Hilda stomped out her cigarette.

“Thanks again, you have a good night.” Pauley walked away with baby Alexandra Montgomery carefully hidden underneath his overcoat.