Monday, September 23, 2013

Take the Train Autumn Blog Hop

Join the authors of Wild Child publishing and Freya’s Bower as we Take an Autumn Train Ride through our blogs.
Prizes will include
  • Four $50 gift certificates (two for Wild Child and two for Freya's Bower)
  • An awesome swag package that includes:
    • Bookmarks
    • Books
    • Wild Child T-shirt and mug
    • Wild Child and Freya's Bower bags
    • Four handmade, crochet coasters by Kit Wylde
    • An autographed copy of Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
    • A rare DVD copy of the Matheson/Furst classic "Up The Creek" (lovingly used)
    • One ebook copy of Nita Wick’s short story, The Dream (previously published as part of a Freya’s Bower anthology.)
    • Book trading cards
    • Signed Dangerous Waters poster
    • copy of "Battle for Blood: The Blood Feud"
    • the winner’s name as a character in Kissa Starling’s next sweet romance story.
    • A Yankee Candle
    • and more...

The train from Rome arrived at the armpit of Italy, also known as Naples. Luckily, Gabriella only had to stop in Naples long enough to transfer to the
Circumvesuviana, the train which would take the dark-haired beauty to Sorrento. Then a ferry would whisk her away to her final destination--the beautiful and serene Isle of Capri just off of the Amalfi coast. Although she could’ve taken a longer ferry ride directly from Naples, Gabriella opted to detour via Sorrento just for pizza. The wood-burning oven at Ristorante Pizzeria da Gigino makes the best Neopolitan-style pizzas. She licked her lips, tasting the Quatro formaggi with a glass of chianti already.

The train’s engine expelled its exhaust as it stopped, and the doors opened. She retrieved her pink suitcase from the chrome luggage rack, extended the handle, and pulled it down the narrow aisle of the first class car. A woman dressed in a cobalt blue suit and matching hat exited her first class compartment. Gabriella did a double take because the lady reminded her of Queen Elizabeth II. Only this woman appeared as a platinum blonde in her fifties instead of the white haired monarch. The queen’s younger clone retrieved two pieces of her matching Louis Vuitton luggage, while a young Italian man helped her with the other three. The dark haired man didn’t resemble a relative. Man servant? Boy toy? Shaking off the notion, Gabriella vowed to mind her own business.

After patting herself on the back for not packing so much crap, she gingerly descended the three narrow steps. Setting foot onto the cement platform at Napoli Termini, she met with an early autumn breeze. Gabriella pulled her pink suitcase and briskly traversed the platform to the main terminal. Checking the enormous round clock at the station, her stomach grumbled. Ignoring the hunger pains, she bypassed purchasing a sandwich at the stand and followed the signs to the
Circumvesuviana. She avoided the ticket window and its long line thanks to the Italy Rail Pass next to her passport which safely hung in a pouch under her shirt. Pick pockets and Gypsies lurked at train stations, just waiting to steal from careless tourists.

Gabriella stepped onboard the third car of the train and couldn’t find a seat anywhere, at least not a seat with any available room in the luggage rack above. Not wanting to let her luggage leave her sight, she placed it against the wall by the bathroom and sat on it. The thought of risotto, Limoncello, and a swim in the Blue Grotto beneath the Isle of Capri tonight with her lover got her through the next two hours of the hell train. That, and the beautiful scenery--the ocean on the right and Mount Vesuvius on the horizon.

She arose from her perch on the suitcase as the train pulled into the small Sorrento station. Gabriella promptly found the WC, relieved to have held her bladder for the last two hours and to have avoided the putrid bathroom on the train. She freshened up her appearance before meeting her handsome Italian lover, Giovanni, for the weekend. Excitement filled Gabriella at the thought of great food, wine, and toe-curling sex on the beautiful Amalfi coast.

Before descending all of the steps from the train station to the streets of Sorrento, she spotted the lady she’d seen on the train from Rome to Naples who resembled the queen. Only this time, the lady stood alone without her five matching pieces of Louis Vuitton luggage and boy toy.
The lady scanned the train’s platform as the Circumvesuviana prepared for its return trip to Napoli. Making eye contact, the lady walked towards her with a waving arm and a look of panic.
“Excuse me, do you speak English?”

“Yes, are you okay?”

“No, I can’t find my porter. This nice Italian man helped me with all of my luggage back in Naples. He said he’d get it on the
Circumvesuviana for me and I could pick it up once I arrived in Sorrento.” A tear dropped onto her cheek as the realization sank in.

Gabriella’s heart broke for the woman as Rick Steve’s words of warning rolled off her tongue. “Ma’am, there aren’t any porters at train stations in Italy.”


Take the Blog Train and Visit These Blogs for more chances to win

Copper Cauldron
Penelope Manchester, a good witch with one green and one blue eye, awaits her destiny: a warrior of God with the face of an angel, the heart of a saint, and eyes which match her own. St. Michael the Archangel flies into her life and sweeps her off her feet. Meanwhile, an evil sorcerer captures witches, steals their powers and most of their nine lives, and shrinks them to the size of a doll--a Nuremberg doll. But when he turns two of the Manchester witches into dolls, the Manchester clan fights back with St. Michael and divine intervention. Armed with the legendary copper cauldron, a fire breathing dragon, and an arsenal of spells, good battles evil.
Available from Wild Child Publishing


Carbon Copy

Lilly Allen has brains, beauty, and a trust fund. She's living in New York City and her career as a reporter is taking off. She's hoping the love of her life, Grier, will propose soon. She has it all, or so she thinks.

Grier Garrison, Create Life executive, is running the company while his father, Dr. Michael Garrison, is in the ICU awaiting a heart transplant. Grier knows the truth about Create Life and its shady side business. He fears Lilly and her twin brother, Luke, are in danger.

While working on two unrelated stories, stolen newborns and cloning, Lilly discovers a shocking connection. Horrific things are happening, but who is behind it all?
Available from Wild Child Publishing


Tin Roof
the sequel to Carbon Copy
In the sequel to Carbon Copy, Lilly Allen returns to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, to be closer to her mother, help with her injured brother, and heal from the disappearance of her fiancé Grier Garrison. While she awaits Grier's return, she busies herself with her mansion renovations, her best friend's wedding, and her job as a news reporter.
But even her busy schedule cannot stem the worry over her brother's persistent amnesia and changes in personality. Is he her real twin? Or did they rescue a clone?
On top of this, the months of pining without a word from Grier begin to take their toll. She finds herself growing closer to her favorite cameraman, Joe. His confession of undying love, followed by a passionate kiss, has her questioning how much longer she can wait, and whether she wants to.
To further complicate matters, two unrelated news stories drag her into the seamy underbelly of the Charleston Police Department where murder and drugs are common occurrences.
In the chaos of a hurricane, another body washes ashore, and Lilly comes face-to-face with the murderer.
Available October 16, 2013 from Wild Child Publishing


  1. I always enjoy your short stories, Terri. Nice :) And I can relate to the gypsies and pick pockets in Rome. I may have even traveled that train :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Carol! Glad you enjoyed my story. We rode that train in 2008, fortunately the luggage story is fiction. But someone tried to rip off my grandmother in the 50s

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Kenzie! I had to tell my husband that Giovanni is fictional=)

  3. Love your short stories and your books. Long shall the Queen of Elements reign.

  4. Glad you enjoy my stories Cassie! I love your quote . My ego inflated to be called the queen=)

  5. What a great, funny, unexpected end of the story. Congratulations! I also enjoyed the vivid description of the train in Italy. It resembles trains around here too!

  6. Thanks Carmen! I enjoyed writing it. We really sat on our suitcases fearing someone would steal our luggage.