Last week was a blast. Thanks again to KT Stevens, Joey from The Pride Anthology.

This week we welcome Louise Redmann from the anthology 

The Bowman's Inn.

Alexis and Ezra sat alone in the parlor, enjoying the opportunity to have a free moment together, but it didn't last long.

Amos enters the room with Ettie, his Father trailing behind them. He nods at Ezra before they sit. Amos puts his feet up on a box made into a footstool giving Ezra a threatening look.

Before anyone can speak, laughter fills the air and Juliette arrives with Colovere.

“Where’s Selene and Tolor?” Ettie asks. “I so love the bear-man.”

“Not a bear-man,” Juliette says irritably. “Tolor is a beran.”

Amos laughs. “It amounts to the same thing I’d say.”

Juliette opens her mouth to speak but is interrupted by a rap on the door.

Alexis jumps, “Oh my God, She’s here.”

“Whose here?” Colovere asks.

Juliette rolls her eyes. “This week’s guest silly. Alexis is doing the interview this week.” She turns to Alexis. “Sorry, he’s been moping over the squirrels taking an interest in the apples this year.”

“Would you please get the door?” Alexis demands.

Juliette reddens but opens the door. “Sorry to keep you waiting,” she says, embarrassed.

A short woman enters the room with raven hair and vivid blue eyes. She hands Ettie a tub of ice cream. 

Ettie claps with joy. “A gift! I just love presents.” She holds up the container for Amos to see. “Look darling.”

Amos grunts.

Alexis raises a hand to greet their guest. “Welcome Ms. Giordano. I’m glad you’re here. Have a seat.”

“Okay everyone, today we have Katie Giordano. Her author is Louise Redmann from The Bowman’s Inn anthology. Please tell us about your story, Ms. Giordano.” 

Alexis sits back in her chair to listen. The room is silent.

“Wait a minute!” Amos says. “What do you mean the squirrels are taking the apples?”

Juliette gives him a stern look and sighs as Ettie pulls him back into his seat.

Katie smiles at Amos. “I could do with some apples for my apple pie ice cream. I inherited an ice cream parlor not long ago, and I’m still working on funky flavors.”

“You inherited an ice cream shop?” Ettie stammers. “I love ice cream. Did you make this?”

“Yes, margarita ice cream.” Katie nods at the tub Ettie is opening. “It’s a hit in the Bowman’s Inn.” 

“Yeah, but I heard someone tried to take it from her. I know a good assassin if you need one,” Amos says.

Katie raises an eyebrow. “Thanks, I’ll bear that in mind if anyone else steals money from my shop.” 

Juliette’s cheeks turn pink. “Who cares about ice cream? I heard there’s a handsome man in the story.”

Ettie nods, “Indeed. I heard so too.”

Amos gives his wife a dirty look.

“Okay, all of you. Hush!” Juliette says, then turns her attention back to our Ms. Giordano. “You’ll have to excuse them, Jena doesn’t let us out much.”

Katie scoots back in the chair and grins. “Maybe if you give her some Margarita ice cream, she’ll loosen up.”

“Is there a handsome man in your story?” she bends forward…”If he’s single, I have a sister…”

“Uh, don’t think he’s into threesomes. Or rather, I’m not into sharing.” Katie shuffles closer. “Tell your sister to come by the Bowman’s Inn and have Val make her one of his specials.  Maybe she’ll meet the man of her dreams.”

“Um hm.” Alexis glances at a piece of paper resting in a file folder. “It says here ‘there was no furniture in the house when you got there. That must have been awful. What did you do?”

“Oh, that’s right. No furniture at all.” Katie pulls at her bangs. “May, the lady who left me the ice cream parlor, owned the apartment above the shop and she left that to me in her will, along with a gorgeous sleigh bed, but when we went to the apartment there was no bed, nothing. I thought I’d have to sleep on the floor, but then Mac insisted we pay Don a visit and force him to give us the bed. You should’ve seen his house. The staircase was littered with car and porn mags. Tasteful guy. So then I had a bed, at least. Mac was a prince. He offered to make me a table in return for free ice cream. I accepted; I mean, what else can a girl do? Hunky guy offers to make things for only ice cream?”

“No furniture,” Ezra ponders. “Where did it go?”

“I guess May gave it away to different people. She was like that, generous.”

Tell us about your Author. Jena’s pretty demanding. Does she give you room to add your own embellishments in the story or make you conform to her thoughts?”

Alexis shakes her head.

“I want a new Author,” Amos says.

“Oh stop, Love. Jena treats us just fine.”

Amos stares. “She murdered you.”

Ettie’s lower lip pops out. “Well yes, but I forgave her.”

“Louise is cool. She doesn’t rule us, we rule her.” Katie lets out an evil laugh. “I know Egon, one of her historical knights, gives her the right old run around. He’s the kind of guy you love and hate, gorgeous, but a bad dude. I dare you to interview him; he’ll probably not even bother to turn up.”

“Does your author have any new stories coming out?” Juliette asks.

Colovere moves forward. “Or gossip. Is there any good gossip where you come from?”

“In a place like Anteros there’s always gossip.” Katie leans forward and puts a finger to her mouth. “Rumor has it that Val, the guy I mentioned before, mixes special drinks for people he thinks should be together. A love potion, I guess you could call it.” She winks at Colovere. “I needed a couple before my heart began to melt.”

Alexis huffs. “Well, thanks to these guys our time is up. Is there anything you would like to add or share with us before we all leave for the day?”

“Sure. Let’s eat the ice cream.” Katie accepts the bowl Ettie hands her and digs in. “I don’t eat while I’m working, the cream and sugars smell too sweet. This margarita has a good twist of lime. What do you think?”

Juliette closes her eyes and moans. Amos insists she needs to make it with scotch next time. Alexis shakes her head and laughs.

"Thank you for joining us today Ms. Giordano. Good luck with the ice cream shop."

Katie Giordano left Anteros at sixteen to follow the love of her life, but after ten years of hard work and nothing to show for it except a heart calloused by Jeb’s continued betrayal, she discovers she has inherited an ice cream parlor and returns to the city of her birth, only to find someone has usurped her inheritance.

Don, the grandson of the previous owner, May, seized the parlor after her death and insists it’s his. Once she has signed the documents transferring the parlor into her hands, Katie fires him. His easy acquiescence fools her into thinking everything will be ok, but the apartment above the flat is devoid of furniture and all she has is a suitcase with some clothes and a single pink towel May gave her ages ago. Don has even taken the bed, which May left to her in the will. With no furniture and no money, Katie resigns herself to sleeping on the floor since she is unable to retrieve the bed by herself. 

A handsome, rangy guy called Mac offers to fetch the bed, and she views him with suspicion, wondering what his motive is. He tells her that May often gave him free ice cream when he was a poverty-stricken kid, and if Katie can make the sort of ice cream May used to make, he’ll be happy with that. Mac volunteers to build her a table and Katie agrees to pay him in ice cream. 

Two weeks later Katie is exhausted from working her butt off in the parlor and doing the finances on top, hasn’t seen hide nor hair of Mac, and then discovers Don has been stealing from her.

When Mac finally turns up with a beautiful table, he realizes she hasn’t been eating or sleeping properly, and waltzes her over the road to The Bowman’s Inn for a good meal. Valentine Archer, the sexy, unusual bartender whips them up one of his trademark drinks. Katie confides in Mac about Don, and he agrees to wait up with her to catch him. Sparks fly.

An excerpt
Mac shrugged. “They owe me a favor.”
“Hnh.” She cocked her head to one side. “You’re still here, so what do you owe me?”
He grinned. “Nothing.”
“Then why are you still here?”
“To make sure you owe me. Then I get free ice cream.”
“As long as you realize that’s all you’ll be getting.” Katie tugged on the door handle to go upstairs and, after a thought, held it open for Mac to go through first.
He raised an eyebrow. “You being polite?”
“Well, you know, roaches down here, might be one up there, too.”
“Ah. Don doesn’t live here, you know.”
“A man doesn’t have to live somewhere to leave his mark. Territorial beasts.”
He snorted with laughter. “And by letting me go first, you’re ceding the territory to me.” He paused in front of her, eyes crinkling at the corners. “I find that very interesting.”
His closeness kindled images of being pushed up against the wall and being thoroughly and slowly kissed. Her mouth dried. She swatted at him. “Go on. You’ll get the cobwebs first. I hate spiders.”
He climbed the wooden stairs. The magenta runner needed replacing. What else needed updating? Regardless, she had a home. What if it was full of her things? She shivered, and set off behind Mac, trying not to stare at his tight backside.
He whirled and threw something at her. 

Available April, 2015

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