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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Weekend Writing Warriors, and guests whenever they drop in.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

#WeWriWa - RESCUING MARA'S FATHER Father is Angry #sf #middlegrade #Giveaway

Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

I'm sharing my latest release, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl who lives in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place shortly after last week's. After Mara and her friend Jako win their fight with the Dunpus brothers, her father leads her home, lecturing her over the fight. 

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.

Father makes me sit on a chair in the kitchen because the light’s better in there. He is gentle as he cleans my scrapes and bruises. He’s almost finished when I see his lips thin and his eyes harden, he tilts my chin and pulls aside the neck of the old shirt I’m wearing.
“You have bruises on your throat. That—” he calls the bully a filthy name, I’m surprised—he never swears or calls anyone bad names.
What he does next surprises me even more, he kneels next to me and pulls me into his arms. I can’t remember the last time he hugged me. He strokes my hair, and I think this is how it used to be . . . when he loved me. Tears prickle my eyes, and my throat thickens.

Rescuing Mara's Father released yesterday. Yay! It's available in digital format at:




Available in Print: Amazon


3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.

GIVEAWAY

A $10 AMAZON e-GIFT CARD

Many chances to win.





Saturday, March 30, 2019

RELEASE DAY! Rescuing Mara's Father is live! #scifi #adventure #Giveaway


RELEASE DAY

My science fiction adventure for middle grade (3rd grade & up) is now available.

3 friends, a hidden starship, a quest


Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.


Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.



GIVEAWAY

A $10 AMAZON e-GIFT CARD

Many chances to win.




Thursday, March 28, 2019

GUEST: J.H. Moncrieff #NewRelease FOREST OF GHOSTS

I'm please to welcome first-time visitor J.H. Moncrieff. I know J.H. from the Insecure Writers Support Group, the monthly blog hop where writers need and give support to each other. A great group of writers. Here's J.H. to tell us about her story.


I’ve walked in Bram Stoker’s shoes.

Not literally, of course, but I can guess how he must have felt when he first cast eyes upon Romania.



Visiting Romania is like venturing into another world. Never before have I experienced a place that looks so much like a fairytale. With its gingerbread architecture, rolling hills, and extravagant roses, it’s easy to picture the Brothers Grimm sitting at one of the outdoor cafés, scribbling away.



Cobblestone streets. Roma women in dresses and kerchiefs selling baskets of raspberries. Rounds of white cheese cured in Christmas trees, of all things, and sold wrapped in the sweet-smelling bark. 



Castles in the clouds, their redbrick towers stretching into the sky. Tiny little houses designed for those who feel the need to pray on the go. Even the rubbish bins are picturesque.



I defy any writer to visit Romania and not feel inspired. It’s a place steeped in myth and legend, where some villagers believe in werewolves and vampires, and are afraid of cats. Where peacocks are kept on farms and estates to ward off evil. Where partly built villages stand abandoned, and no one knows why. But there are stories…oh yes, there are always stories.


While setting the latest book in my GhostWriters series in Romania was the choice of my readers, I’d always known I’d write about my experiences there one day. As I’m sure Stoker would have agreed, the country compels you.



J.H. Moncrieff’s new release, Forest of Ghosts, was inspired by her real-life experiences in Romania, including Hoia Baciu, the world’s most haunted forest.

Jackson Stone is sick of ghosts. With his love life in shambles, he heads to Romania for a horror writers’ retreat, hoping it will be a break from the supernatural and breathing space from his relationship with medium Kate Carlsson.

But as his fellow writers begin disappearing or losing their minds, he realizes he needs Kate’s help. 

When Jackson loses his own memory, Kate’s love is the only thing that can bring him back. But she’s falling for the man responsible for the evil in Romania. A man who claims to be her soul mate. Will this master of wraiths forever break Kate’s bond with Jackson?




About the Author

J.H. loves to hear from readers. To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, check out her Hidden Library.

J.H. Moncrieff's City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense.

Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure.

She won Harlequin's search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016. Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.

When not writing, she loves exploring the world's most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class.

To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to 
http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.

Connect with J.H.: Website | Twitter | Facebook



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

GUEST: Veronica Scott - #NewRelease KIERCE

I am thrilled to have Veronica Scott visiting today. Not just because she's my friend. She has a new release in the Badari Warriors series. I love these books. Such a great concept. But then I should let Veronica tell you about it.



KIERCE: A BADARI WARRIORS SCIFI ROMANCE NOVEL
BY VERONICA SCOTT

Thanks for having me as your guest today, to talk about my new book!
I’m having fun writing an actual series (although each book is written to be read standing on its own – you don’t have to read the other books first) and challenging myself to come up with new wrinkles for each successive novel.

For your readers who might not have read any of my Badari Warriors books, here’s the background:

Genetically engineered soldiers of the far future, the Badari were created by alien enemies to fight humans. But then the scientists kidnapped an entire human colony from the Sectors to use as subjects in twisted experiments…the Badari and the humans made common cause, rebelled and escaped the labs. Now they live side by side in a sanctuary valley protected by a powerful Artificial Intelligence, and wage unceasing war on the aliens.

I started this series in part because I love Laurann Dohner’s New Species and Lora Leigh’s Breeds, both of which have entirely different takes on genetically engineered soldiers, and I wanted to write my own stories using the trope, set in my future universe, the Sectors.



The blurb: Elianna McNamee, spaceship engineer, is far from her home in the human Sectors, kidnapped along with all her shipmates to be used for horrifying experiments conducted on a remote planet by alien scientists. 
Her captors decide to toss her in a cell with a ferocious predator, expecting him to kill her…but Kierce, the Badari warrior in question, has too much honor to mistreat a human woman. The trouble is, he’s trapped in a form drastically different from his own as a result of twisted genetic meddling and hiding dark secrets to save other Badari lives.

Able to become a man again briefly with Elianna‘s help, he and Elianna bond over their mutual hatred for the enemy but when rescuers finally arrive, the pair are separated by well-meaning Badari authorities.

Kierce struggles to overcome flashbacks from the torture and drugs the alien scientists inflicted on him. He and Elianna despair over whether he’ll ever be able to regain his rightful place as a man and a soldier in the pack, much less be ready to claim a mate.

Elianna accepts a risky but essential assignment far away from where Kierce is being held, working with another man who’s more than professionally interested in her. Her heart belongs to Kierce and she can’t forget their two nights of shared passion but will that be enough to lead them to a happy reunion?

The excerpt:  
The officer nodded, raised the bottle to his lips and drank deeply. Wiping his lips, he cleared his throat and tucked the now closed container into a loop on his own belt. “And the human?”

The man holding her gave Elianna a shove. “She can go back into the cell,” he said sullenly.

Weak in the knees, Elianna wanted nothing more than to rejoin her fellow humans right now, but the officer hesitated.

“We have more than enough humans for the protocol.” He eyed her.
With a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, Elianna understood she was in even more danger now. Being singled out for attention in this place of horrors could be a death sentence.

Elianna’s tormentor grabbed her by the arm and yanked her close to him again. “Exactly what we thought, sir. No one’s going to miss one female.” He cupped her breast with his free hand, squeezing painfully. “This is a lonely post—we deserve entertainment.”

With nothing to lose at this point, she kicked him in the knee, knocking his leg out from under him, and grabbed at his weapon as the man fell. Before she could get a shot off, two of the guards attacked her and tore the pulse rifle from her hands. The third guard ran to retrieve the neurocontroller. The officer held up his hand and everyone froze.

“We’re not going to stoop to the level of having sex with the experiment subjects,” he said. “We’re not like those twisted deviant scientists. The military caste has pride, discipline, standards.”

“But, sir, you said—” The guard sounded confused, and Elianna had to admit she was too, but nerves were making her tremble so hard she could barely stand.

What did the officer have planned for her?

“I’ve got something much more interesting and profitable to suggest,” the captain said as if he was reading her mind. “Bring her.”

Following him like sheep, the guards marched her through the corridor, past empty cells of various sizes, all dark, until the procession stopped in front of the only other one showing a light.

A huge feline predator was curled up in the cell, easily six feet tall and maybe fourteen feet long. Elianna shrank against her captors as the beast uncurled to snarl and roar, baring fangs as big as steak knives. Tail thrashing, the creature prowled energetically in the enclosed space.

Knees buckling under her, she wasn’t too proud to beg. “You can’t put me in there. Please, don’t do that. Let me go back to the humans’ cell, I’m begging you.”

“Has he been fed today?” the officer asked in Basic as he ignored her desperate pleas for mercy.

“Not yet.” The guard holding her tightened his grip.

“We know there’s quite a market for vids of the experimental animals fighting to the death, lots of blood and gore,” the officer said. “Imagine what the fans will pay for a recording of a human woman savaged by this creature?” He raised his eyebrows. “Nice bonus for all of us, and we can clean the mess up long before the scientists and techs return from their conference at the main lab.”

One man whistled, and all the Khagrish exchanged gleeful grins.

Amazon     Apple Books       Nook     Google    Kobo

Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author
 Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”




Saturday, March 23, 2019

#WeWriWa RESCUING MARA'S FATHER: Run, You Galactic Garbage!

Each weekend, the Weekend Writing Warriors share an 8 - 10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other authors. You can find them here.

Apologies for not getting around to the blogs last week. I worked nonstop (almost) to prepare Rescuing Mara's Father for publication--final proofing, formatting, and finally uploading it to the major vendors. (More below.) I'll do better about visiting this week. Promise!
I'm sharing my newest story, a Middle Grade/YA science fiction adventure, titled Rescuing Mara's Father. The narrator is Mara, an almost 15-year-old girl who lives in a mining outpost on the Outer Rim. This snippet takes place after last week's. When Mara's friend Jako is being beaten up by the Dunpus brothers, she joins the fight. Since they've never heard the brothers' first names, she and Jako call them by numbers. 

Please excuse the creative punctuation, necessary to keep this within the guidelines. It's also edited from the original.
 
I straddle Dunpus #2, my knees grinding into his upper arms, then I grab his hair and slam his head into the dusty ground. While he’s dazed, I say, “Leave Jako alone. Hurt him again, and you’re planetary poop, understand?” I slam his head into the hard-packed dirt again.
“He understands, Mara,” Stars and asteroids, it’s Father. He lifts me off the stunned boy, while Lukus does the same to Jako who really cleaned Dunpus #1’s clock.
The Dunpus brothers stagger to their feet, take a look at the four of us, and stumble backward in their haste to get away.
Jako yells, “Yeah, run, you galactic garbage. Go back to your farm,” He looks over at me and grins, “We done good, didn’t we?” He holds his hand up in the air, and I slap it.

Rescuing Mara's Father is now available for pre-order at the following vendors:




Blurb:

Her father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he's gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately. 
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she’s furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Father is her only parent. She has to save him.
Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. An old spaceport mechanic and her mentor seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave her, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, she has to rescue her father.



Thursday, March 21, 2019

GUEST: Diana Rubino and FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET

The prolific Diana Rubino has a new release in audio format. Diana writes about such interesting historical characters--both real and fictional. Here's Diana Rubino to tell you about this story.



FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET Now on Audio with the soothing voice of narrator Nina Price


Read About FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET and how Vita Finds Love and Success Against All Odds

It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. As Vita and Tom work together against time and prejudice to clear her brother and father of a murder they didn't commit, they know their love can survive poverty, hatred, and corruption. Vita is based on my great grandmother, Josephine Calabrese, “Josie Red” who left grade school to become a self-made businesswoman and politician, wife and mother.

An Excerpt:

As Vita gathered her soap and towel, Madame Branchard tapped on her door. "You have a gentleman caller, Vita. A policeman."
"Tom?" His name lingered on her lips as she repeated it. She dropped her things and crossed the room.
"No, hon, not him. Another policeman. Theodore something, I think he said."
No. There can't be anything wrong. "Thanks," she whispered,  nudging Madame Branchard aside. She descended the steps, gripping the banister to support her wobbly legs. Stay calm! she warned herself. But of course it was no use; staying calm just wasn't her nature.
“Theodore something” stood before the closed parlor door. He’s a policeman? Tall and hefty, a bold pink shirt peeking out of a buttoned waistcoat and fitted jacket, he looked way out of place against the dainty patterned wallpaper.
He removed his hat. "Miss Caputo." He strained to keep his voice soft as he held out a piece of paper. “I’m police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.”
"Yes?" Her voice shook.
"I have a summons for you, Miss Caputo." He held it out to her. But she stood rooted to that spot.
He stepped closer and she took it from him, unfolding it with icy fingers. Why would she be served with a summons? Was someone arresting her now for something she didn't do?
A shot of anger tore through her at this system, at everything she wanted to change. She flipped it open and saw the word "Summons" in fancy script at the top. Her eyes widened with each sentence as she read. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”
I hereby order Miss Vita Caputo to enter into holy matrimony with Mr. Thomas McGlory immediately following service of this summons.

How FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET Was Born

New York City’s history always fascinated me—how it became the most powerful hub in the world from a sprawling wilderness in exchange for $24 with Native Americans by the Dutch in 1626.

Growing up in Jersey City, I could see the Statue of Liberty from our living room window if I leaned way over (luckily I didn’t lean too far over). As a child model, I spent many an afternoon on job interviews and modeling assignments in the city, and got hooked on Nedick’s, a fast food chain whose orange drinks were every kid’s dream. Even better than the vanilla egg creams. We never drove to the city—we either took the PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) train (‘the tube’ in those days) or the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

My great grandmother, Josephine Arnone, “Josie Red” to her friends, because of her abundant head of red hair, was way ahead of her time. Born in 1895 (but it could’ve been sooner, as she was known to lie about her age), she left grade school, became a successful businesswoman and a Jersey City committewoman, as well as a wife and mother of four. She owned apartment buildings, parking garages, a summer home, did a bit of Prohibition-era bootlegging, small-time loan-sharking, and paid cash for everything. When I began outlining From Here to Fourteenth Street, I modeled my heroine, Vita Caputo, after her. Although the story is set in New York the year before Grandma was born, I was able to bring Vita to life by calling on the family legends and stories, all word of mouth, for she never kept a journal.

Vita’s hero Tom McGlory isn’t based on any real person, but I did a lot of reading about Metropolitan Policemen and made sure he was the complete opposite! He’s trustworthy and would never take a bribe or graft. I always liked the name McGlory—then, years after the book first came out, I remembered that was the name of my first car mechanic—Ronnie McGlory.

I completed the book in 1995, and my then-publisher, Domhan Books, published it under the title I Love You Because. The Wild Rose Press picked it up after I gave it many revisions and overhauls. My editor Nan Swanson did a fabulous job making the prose sparkle.

Changing the Title

When I proposed the story to Wild Rose, I wanted to change the title, since it went through so many revisions. I wanted to express Vita’s desire to escape the Lower East Side and move farther uptown. I considered Crossing 14th Street, but it sounded too much like Crossing Delancey. After a few more hits and misses, the title hit me—as all really fitting titles do.

A Bit of Background—What Was 1894 New York City Like?

The Metropolitan Police was a hellhole of corruption, and nearly every cop, from the greenest rookie to the Chief himself, was a dynamic part of what made the wheels of this great machine called New York turn. 
The department was in cahoots with the politicians, all the way up to the mayor's office. Whoever wasn't connected enough to become a politician became a cop in this city. They were paid off in pocket-bulging wads of cash to look the other way when it came to building codes, gambling, prostitution, every element it took to keep this machine gleaming and efficient. They oiled the machine and kept it running with split-second precision. The ordinary hardworking, slave-wage earning citizen didn't have a chance around here. Tom McGlory and his father were two of a kind, and two of a sprinkling of cops who were cops for the right reasons. They left him alone because he was a very private person; he didn't have any close friends, he confided in no one. He could've made a pocket full of rocks as a stoolie, more than he could by jumping in the fire with the rest of them, but he couldn't enjoy spending it if he'd made it that way. They knew it and grudgingly respected him for it. He was here for one reason--his family was here. If they went, he went. As long as they needed him, here he was. Da would stop grieving for his wife when he stopped breathing. Since Tom knew he was the greatest gift she gave Da, he would never let his father down.

Meet Vita: An Interview With Vita Caputo, Heroine of FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET

Vita, we know you and Tom overcame astronomical odds to stay together. It’s like Romeo and Juliet. I can imagine how torn you felt when you wanted to be with Tom, but didn’t want to defy your father. Tell us, what was your family and homelife like when all this was going on?

Well, I loved my father and brothers more than anything, and didn’t want to defy them. Yet at the same time, I felt they weren’t respecting my wishes. I was in love with Tom, and they hated him for two reasons, which to me, were irrational—he’s Irish and he’s a cop. But you have to understand their underlying reasons—cops always gave Italian immigrants a hard time on the Lower East Side. They didn’t give Italians a fair shake. Many of them were bullied, arrested for crimes they didn’t commit—and of course if you know my story, you know that the police framed Papa and my brother for the murder of Tom’s cousin, also a cop. I can understand their hatred of the police force for this heinous act. But not the entire police force is corrupt. Teddy Roosevelt, the Commish, certainly wasn’t, and Tom certainly isn’t. But when you face this hatred and injustice every day, it’s easy to be bitter. Our homelife, before I met Tom, was the usual Italian household—we struggled to make ends meet and didn’t have much, but I always made sure we had more than enough to eat, and to share with those who had less. I went without new clothes, shoes, coats, to buy groceries so we wouldn’t go hungry. We argued over petty things—like who left the stove on—but we always made up in the end. We were very affectionate, and gave each other a lot of hugs and kisses. We sometimes felt the world was against us—and at times it was.

What did your childhood home look like?

Did you ever see the classic Jackie Gleason sitcom The Honeymooners? They had a walk-up flat in Brooklyn. Well, ours was on Mott Street in Manhattan, but our flat looked much like that—it was called a ‘railroad flat’ because all the rooms were in a row—kitchen sitting room, bedrooms in back. We shared a toilet on the landing. But compared to other Mott Street tenements, we had it made—we had indoor plumbing. No bathtub, but a sink with running water. We didn’t have to go to a backyard privy. The bedroom was partitioned off by a curtain that I’d made—one side was mine, the other side my brother’s. Papa and his wife Rosalia had another bedroom to themselves.

What is your greatest dream?

To be a Senator or Congresswoman, but I’m happy enough as a committeewoman for now.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

I wish I could be calmer and slow down. I do too much—run the household because I refuse to hire help, raise our 3 kids, work and invest our savings. I follow the stock market and purchase stocks that have long-term growth potential. What’s stopping me is my drive to get ahead.

Who was your first love?

Tom, of course. My father tried to throw me together with ‘a nice Italian boy’ Roberto Riccadonna whose family owned a music store and was ‘well off’ – but he was arrogant and controlling. He threatened me when I told him I wasn’t interested in him. He and Tom got into fisticuffs when I found Roberto under my boardinghouse window singing “O Sole Mio” with a mandolin. He had a nice voice, but Tom was hardly impressed.

What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

When Papa and my brother Butchie were arrested for the murder of Tom’s cousin Mike. It tore me into pieces, because Tom didn’t want to believe Papa and Butchie were the killers, but evidence pointed to them. We made it our quest to find the real killer, and we did. It created a huge rift in our relationship of course, but we overcame that as we got through all the other hardships and prejudices that tried to keep us apart. 

What was your first job?

I started out as a sweatshop worker sewing ‘shirtwaists’ (blouses), and now I’m a committeewoman, with a view to being New York City’s first female mayor.

What’s your level of schooling?

I left school at 16 to go to work in a lampshade factory.

Where were you born?

Sassano, Italy, near Naples.

Where do you live now?

Greenwich Village, in a brownstone on East 14th Street.

Do you have a favorite pet?

They’re all favorites, two mongrel pups, Charlie and Shirley, two cats Romeo and Juliet, and assorted goldfish whose names we can’t keep up with!

What’s your favorite place to visit?

Coney Island, to sit on the beach, frolic in the ocean, eat those delicious hot dogs and fried dough, and stroll the boardwalk!

What’s your most important goal?

To see my three children become successful, respectable citizens. Doing all right so far—my daughter Assunta (Susan) owns a clothing store, my son Virgilio (Billy) writes Broadway musicals and my youngest Teresa (Tessie) wants to be a baby doctor.

What’s your worst fear or nightmare?

That the stock market will crash again or some other disaster will plunge us back into poverty.

What’s your favorite food?

My homemade lasagna with my grandmother’s sauce recipe (it’s a secret)

Are you wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? 

We’re finally members of the solid middle class.

What’s your secret desire or fantasy?

To sing in one of my son’s musicals.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

I’d buy my own airplane and give the rest to charity.

A Review From Romantic Times:
Immigrant Vita Caputo escapes New York’s Italian ghetto and secures a job in a Wall Street bank, along with a room in a Greenwich Village boarding house, thanks to Irish police officer Tom McGlory. With her new beginning, Vita even joins the Industrial reform movement.
Tom is an honest cop, with little interest in women until he meets Vita. When Tom’s cousin is murdered and Vita’s father and brother are arrested for the crime, the two team up to investigate and soon discover that they are falling in love.
Vita and Tom face economic problems, prejudice, and cultural differences. Ms. Rubino’s research is obvious.—Kathe Robin

From Rhapsody Magazine:
FROM HERE TO 14th STREET by Diana Rubino is all that and then some. Everything about this book is what writing should be--original and wonderfully executed. Bravo!—Karen L. Williams 

From Book Nook Romance Reviews:
Diana Rubino has done a masterful job of researching the life of Italian and Irish immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York, its society and politics and crime. She paints a vivid picture of the degradation immigrants of Italian descent suffered, particularly at the hands of the earlier Irish immigrants they succeeded. Barred from all but the most menial jobs, forced to live crammed into the worst slums, she makes it easy for the reader to understand why many of them turned to a life of crime and violence. Not only can the reader see what Vita and Tom see, they can smell it, hear it, and taste it.
Vita is a delightful heroine, as full of vivid life as the city she lives in. Stubborn, determined to escape the ghetto in which she lives and make something of herself, she never loses her commitment to and love for her family. That very devotion, however, threatens her growing relationship with Tom, since the Irish and Italians are the Capulets and Montagues of 19th century Manhattan. Although she cannot help falling deeply in love with him, she knows that her father and brothers will never permit her to spend her life with him. And, in a departure from the usual super-masculine hero, Tom is a sensitive, secret poet as well as a cop.
If you like vivid characters and a book that carries you effortlessly back to an earlier time, FROM HERE TO 14th STREET is a good choice. –Elizabeth Burton
MORE ABOUT THE LOWER EAST SIDE:

One fascinating place to visit is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum
at 97 Orchard Street, once an actual tenement. They have tours describing life as it was back then, with each floor of the building decorated (if you want to call it ‘decorated’) to depict each time period when immigrants lived there.

I read a lot of books to research this story. One book I remember reading as a kid is How The Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis, a photographer and reformer of the time. The photos in his 1901 book vividly illustrate the poverty and deprivation of the times, for adults and children alike.


ABOUT ME (Diana Rubino):

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre. Visit me at www.dianarubino.comwww.DianaRubinoAuthor.blogspot.comhttps://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor, and on Twitter @DianaLRubino.

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