Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Speak Easy tour hosted by AToMR Tours. Today, I have an excerpt and an event-wide sweepstakes/giveaway for you. This book is getting some great reviews from tour participants so if you would like to check out the rest of the tour stops, just click here to see what everyone is saying about this book. Thanks for stopping by and happy Friday to you 🙂
July, 1923. The ‘20s are roaring, and twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara is desperate for a little anything-goes excitement. But when her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit’s exploding organized crime scene, she’s shocked to find herself caught up in the bootlegging wars of Prohibition—and torn between two gorgeous gangsters on opposite sides.
To save her father’s life, she’ll have to choose between them. But deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.
Temptation is everywhere.
Several hours later, the ringing telephone jarred me awake. I stumbled down the stairs and into the darkened hallway to answer it.
“Tiny,” a male voice rasped. I thought it might be Daddy, but he’d spoken so softly I couldn’t tell for sure.
“Daddy? I can’t hear you. Hello?”
“The garage,” said a smooth new voice. “Come alone. And bring the money or he’s dead.”
“Who is this?” The phone went dead before I could get an answer, and my stomach turned over. Trembling, I set the receiver back on the switch hook. What money? Or who’s dead—Daddy? Racing up the steps up two at a time, I opened his bedroom door. The moonlight streaming through the window illuminated an empty bed. I dashed back into my room to dress without turning on any lights. The first outfit I got my hands on was the red blouse and black skirt I’d worn today, which I threw on over my chemise while questions pummeled my brain. Who was that? Should I really go alone? Should I call the police? Is this about a gambling debt? Does it have something to do with the letter?
Damn it, Daddy! What have you done?
I didn’t have any money at the house, and my tip envelope was at Bridget’s. The last thing I wanted to do was to alarm her or put the kids in danger—I’d have to see who it was and find out what they wanted first. If I ignored the instructions and involved the police, I might put Daddy in more danger than he was already in.
I shoved my bare feet into shoes and moved quietly down the stairs. As I let myself out the front door into the warm night, I tried to place the voice I’d heard. Daddy’s usual bookmaker was a cock-eyed sleaze called Ralph the Bookie, but he had a distinctive nasally whine. This voice was deep and smooth, with a slight accent. Was it Italian?
My stomach churned. The cops found unidentified bodies in the Detroit River all the time these days. Almost nightly, said the papers. Guys who’d been shot, beaten, drowned. I fought off the nausea by quickening my pace.
As I ran past darkened houses, a memory surfaced without warning—Daddy surprising me with a new Hawthorne bicycle on my ninth birthday and teaching me how to ride it. Running alongside me down this very street shouting encouragement. Clenching my fists, I dug my nails into my palms as I reached the end of the block and stopped to catch my breath.
Then with fear lodged like a hatchet in my chest, I turned the corner and inched through the alley toward the garage, my feet crunching on the gravel. At the back door, I closed my right hand around the handle and twisted—unlocked. I pushed it open and stepped in, hearing nothing but my own quick breaths. Seconds ticked by.
I was beginning to wonder if it was all a joke when I heard a rusty voice behind me. “Glad you could make it.”
The door slammed and a meaty hand clamped over my mouth. An arm snared my waist. Cackling, the man walked me deeper into the garage, pushing my legs with his own. Too terrified to resist, I moved forward like a rag doll in his grip.
When we reached the office door, he kicked out a leg and it creaked open.
I was struggling to make sense of the shadowy shapes in front of me when someone switched on the lamp—I gasped behind the sweaty, smothering palm.
On the chair was my father, slouched and bloody.
At his temple, the barrel of a gun.
Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. SPEAK EASY was inspired by her cocktail culture obsession,
her affection for good gin, and the view from the end of her street. She lifts her glass to NA readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.
Link to find/buy Speak Easy: Amazon
The author is offering some very cool stuff for this tour sweepstakes. All you need to do to enter for your chance to win is click on the Rafflecopter link below. Be sure to check out the sweepstakes terms and conditions for all the rules and such. Good luck!! Up for grabs is:
US ONLY: One grand prize swag pack which includes: Valentine Vodka Swag, JewelNinjas Agatha Bracelet, Chrome Cocktail Shaker, MAC Lipstick, Great Gatsby Soundtrack or $10 iTunes gift card, Gatsby Style Flapper Headband, Signed Copy of Speak Easy, $25 Amazon Gift Card: Total Value: $150 USD
INTERNATIONAL: Eight (8) eCopies of Speak Easy: mobi or ePub only; value $3.99 USD