Archive for the ‘a Madison Lake book’ Category

 

glamour in the forest…

 

 

I’ve never used celebrity photos before, but Kate Moss’ wedding photo immediately made me think of Phillip and Proberta meeting in the woods and making eyes at each other in my latest novel “Where Daffodils Grow Wild”

photographed by Mario Testino at the magnificent seventeenth-century Cotswolds mansion in England.

reposted from Vogue.com

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If you’d like to be a contributor to our Wednesday photo day, please email your formatted shot to madlakepages@gmail.com with all pertinent information.

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MUSICAL MONDAY

Posted on: January 9th, 2012 by Madison Lake No Comments

Happy Monday, everyone.  Enjoy the lovely Feist as you get your week started.

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from SALON ANTICS

CHAPTER 17 – WHERE SILENCE ENDS

Genevieve, Della, Miguel, and Savannah Porsche sat huddled close together in the waiting room of Cedars Medical Center, waiting for blood work and x-ray results to come back from the lab.  The emergency physician had reassured them that everything would be alright, but there were concerns as to whether the bullet had torn into ligaments in his femur, which would require orthopedic surgery then plastic surgery. They were also concerned the bullet had nipped an artery when passing through his leg. There had been a lot of blood. 

It had already been a long night. They had been awake, on and off, for almost seventy two hours. Miguel snored softly, his head leaning against the seat back of a hospital waiting room chair. Savannah stood and began pacing across the shiny, freshly mopped floor. 

“Boy, could I use a coffee,” she said, glancing around for a beverage machine.

“Me too,” seconded Della drowsily.

“Let’s go find the cafeteria, Savannah. I wouldn’t mind a hit of caffeine either,” Genevieve suggested, ready for a breather.

“I’ll stay and sit with sleeping beauty in case the doc shows up with some news,” Della said, nodding toward Miguel. “Would you grab one for me too?”

Genevieve stood up and the two of them walked toward the elevators. When they got to the cafeteria on the sub-basement level, they each filled a Styrofoam cup with fresh steaming coffee and sat down.

“Listen, G. This may not be the time to talk about this, but then, I’m not sure when would be.” Genevieve looked into Savannah’s bright blue eyes that stared back at her with such innocence – such desire.

“Well then, go ahead…shoot,” said Genevieve. “No pun intended.” They both managed a nervous laugh.

“Has Miguel spoken to you yet?” Genevieve looked startled.

“Well, no. I mean, he tried. He tried when we were at the club, before the shooting, but then all the commotion and everybody coming and going, well…”

“So I guess he didn’t manage to tell you about us?”

“You? What about you?” There was a moment where Genevieve looked very confused, not understanding where this conversation was going. Then, like a lightbulb suddenly went on, her eyes brightened.

Oh my god! You. You and Miguel are…So that’s what he was trying to say, that’s what he so desperately wanted to tell me.” A relieved and happy smile broke out on G’s face.

“So, you’re not mad? You’re not upset?” 

Genevieve stared again at her friend in disbelief. Savannah began to shift uncomfortably in her chair. G took her hand and held it between the two of hers.

“No, Savannah, I’m not mad. I’m glad. I totally get it – now. I’m just kind of daft about stuff like this sometimes, and with all that’s been going on, well…you know.”

“Oh, do I ever. I mean even with me and Miguel, it just sort of happened before either of us could actually make any sense of it. G, you know I never would have betrayed you if Miguel hadn’t told me that you two weren’t really happening anymore.”

“Miguel said that?”

“Well, once we knew there was a connection, once the sparks started flying, then yeah, he sort of reassured me that it wouldn’t be a problem, that you weren’t really together anymore. Besides, it just sort of happened.”

“That’s the best way,” laughed Genevieve, and Savannah relaxed. “I have been going through my own turmoil about how to let Miguel down gently,” Genevieve said. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy, but I realized almost as soon as we started seeing each other that we weren’t meant for one another. We had fun and all, and the sex…well, you know…” Genevieve broke off, feeling ashamed she brought that up in front of Savannah.

“Don’t worry, G. We’re women, and we’re grown ups. There’s no point pretending there wasn’t sex involved, and I’m sure pretty it was good sex, if I’m not mistaken.” She blushed, and they both laughed.

“Well, I’m glad. I’m glad you have both found each other. In fact, I can’t think of a better match. I knew it wasn’t going to be me but, and I’m sorry to say, I didn’t ever think of it being you either – until now. Now I see how perfect it is. Really.”

Just then Della came barging into the cafeteria, breathless.

“Come, come quickly. Irish is out of recovery. He’s in his room and wants to see us, or at least see you, G. C’mon, hurry.” Della turned on her heels and headed back to the elevator.

“Hmmm, since we’re now sharing secrets, is there something you want to tell me?” Savannah asked, looking at Genevieve suspiciously. Genevieve smiled.

“You’ll find out soon enough. We’d better get upstairs now.” Before Savannah had a chance to grab her coffee, Genevieve was there. She put her arms around her and gave Savannah a warm hug. 

“That’s for all the things we’ve been through together.” 

* * * * *

Liam’s eyes flitted open and closed for the first half hour, while Genevieve held his hand and stroked his warm, rosy cheeks. She’d never had a chance to inspect his face for such a long period of time before, so she enjoyed getting to know this man even more intimately. By studying the curve of his jaw, the shape of his earlobe, the breadth of his brow, she was able to get a sense of who this mysterious, sexy, gentle giant was. His skin, although often covered with a two-day growth, was actually very smooth and rich in color. Her index finger followed the inked green, blue and yellow skin of the Indian Cobra whose tail ran from Liam’s left shoulder all the way to rest its head on the soft veins of his wrist, tongue spitting red. She could almost feel its scales they looked so realistic. He had other tattoos too; roses, so delicate she felt she could smell them, dancing skeletons symbolizing life and death, a face of a woman, and the word truth spelled out above his heart. She had never seen his body before, so all this art fascinated her and intrigued her even more than she was already. Bravely, Genevieve bent down to kiss him, his lips inviting her. The door opened before their lips touched, as did Liam’s eyes, meeting Genevieve square on. They held each other’s gaze while their hearts pounded like conga drums in their chests.

“Well, Mr. Irish, you had quite a close shave last night.” Dr. Hodgson, who looked old enough to be Liam’s father, put his stethoscope in his ears and approached the bed. Genevieve got the message and pulled back, but she didn’t let go of Liam’s hand, nor did he let go of hers.

“Everything sounds fine. How’s the leg feeling?”

“A little painful, I have to admit,” Liam sighed. “What news do you have? What did the tests show?”

Doctor Hodgson, white haired and slight of frame, walked around the bed and sat on the edge near where Genevieve was standing.

“So far we think the bullet just grazed your femoral artery. This was a serious concern for us at first, but the bleeding seems to have subsided for now. That doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. You must remain bedridden for at least another twenty four hours, is that clear?” Liam nodded. “That way we’ll be able to monitor the bleeding to see if any other issues flare up in the meantime.” The doctor cleared his throat and continued. 

“As for the torn ligaments, we’ve had our orthopedic surgeon take a look at the x-rays. He seems to think you might not require surgery after all, but again, nothing is set in stone. You’re going to have to stay here for a few days minimum. You’re okay with that, aren’t you Mr. Irish?” Liam nodded again, agreeably. “We don’t want to send you home with some unforeseen problem that might occur later.” Dr. Hodgson looked at Liam seriously. 

“That bullet went right through your leg, young man. At close range. You are very lucky, you hear me? Very lucky.” He stood up. 

“So, I’ll be back to see you again tomorrow, after my morning rounds. Until then, you have good staff taking care of you here. Make sure you ask for help if you need it and please, do yourself a favor. Don’t get out of bed.” 

“By the way,” he said before exiting the room. “Apparently someone from the Miami Metro is going to be paying you a call in the next while.” He turned and the door automatically hissed shut.

Liam looked at Genevieve’s worried face.

“Well, that man doesn’t mince words, does he?” She laughed, then buried her head in the crook of Liam’s arm. He wrapped his strong arms around her and brought her body close enough to his so that he could feel the soft fullness of her breast, hear her heart pounding against his own. Gently, he lifted her chin so that her face was close to his. One look melted her into submission and their lips were locked in a warm and passionate kiss before either one of them realized what had happened – that Della, Miguel, Savannah, Mitch, and Fran were standing in the doorway watching.


…stay tuned…chapter 18 of Salon Antics will be posted next Tuesday, November 15…



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CHAPTER 14 – TURNING TRIX

When Liam arrived at the salon just before ten the next morning, Genevieve had already opened. The smell of freshly brewed coffee swept out from the back room to greet him. He smiled. He felt happier than he’d felt in a long time, even with all the drama going down at the club. He dropped his appointment book at the front desk and walked to the back of the salon. To his surprise, Fran was sitting in the last chair wrapped in foils and draped in a maroon robe. She looked up as he approached. 
      “Hey Irish, how’s it going?”  
Liam did not hide his surprise. 
      “Aren’t you a bit early, Franny? I thought we all agreed to meet at noon.” 
      Genevieve rounded the corner from the staff room, carrying a mixture of bleach for Fran’s hair. She looked so perky and radiant it took Liam’s breath away. He just stood there like a dummy until he was brought out of his stupor by the women’s laughter.
      “What’s with you, Irish? Fran said jovially. “Cat got your tongue?”

Then she continued. “I don’t think         Irish is too happy to see me today? Wonder what that’s about.” Genevieve smiled.

      “We just decided to touch up Fran’s color before our meeting, Irish. Is that okay?”
      “It’s a little late to ask permission, isn’t it?” He laughed, and the two women joined in, Fran’s cackle filling the morning stillness. “No worries ladies, I have plenty to do before the rest of the bunch arrive.”
      Liam disappeared into the staffroom but heard their giggles through the closed door. What is it with women when they get together? He thought, shaking his head. He was just glad to be alone, to gather his thoughts and get a handle on what was going on in his life. And what was  going on? He was suddenly in the throes of undermining one of the city’s most notorious low-life crooks, while at the same time, was falling for his employee, who was dating one of the salon’s clients. Meanwhile, it was business as usual at Snippets, where he had to ensure that through it all, his many customers remained happy. He wondered if things could be any more complicated, but then he remembered his past life and relaxed. This was a piece of cake.
      Still, he didn’t understand the fluttery feeling that had been rumbling around in the pit of his stomach every single day since he and G had connected in a special way. It was with him all the time, but was heightened when he was around her. What was he to do? Even with his first love, Simony Chiavary, he hadn’t felt the way he did now. Perhaps it was because of his and Simony’s youth and vagrancy at that time in their lives. 
      He had met Simony when he was twenty four, living the life of a street-wise thug, teetering on the edge. He was a bad boy, with a reputation that carried a lot of respect back in those days, respect earned by carrying out certain requests by those higher up the food chain, otherwise called misdemeanors. Simony had liked that about him. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was looking for someone cleverer than her, or her father, someone she could feel that common bond with. What she didn’t realize was that Liam was getting tired of being ‘in the business’. Between the street life and prison he’d seen too many things, had done too many things. Since he was a lad of twelve he’d been making his own way, and had hooked up with the only people who gave him a sense of family – street gangs. 
     From there he moved up to working with the big time thugs who ran the streets, and by the time he was eighteen, he was expected to up-the-ante from petty crime to jobs that carried some weight. As the money increased, so did his desire, and before long he’d served his first of two sentences in the Pen, the first for petty theft, the second for robbery. Even to this day he wasn’t sure what happened to make him shift, but one day he simply made the decision to move on. He had turned a corner in his life and there was no going back. This shift was happening right around the time he had met Simony, which, he thought in retrospect, was probably why it didn’t work – couldn’t work. 
      Simony wasn’t any trouble. In fact, she was extremely intelligent, and wanted more out of life just like he did. Her wants and needs were fed to her by the same hand that had fed his, however, Simony had chosen to work that system not just for her survival, but for her strength and benefit. Liam knew she had been taught to go out and do better for herself, and that was what she did. When there was something she wanted, she found a way to get it. What Liam didn’t realize at the time was that she was looking out for number one. He was just a pawn in her plan, their falling in love a mere, and unexpected glitch. That aside, they had fun together, and despite the circumstances, it had been love.
      Liam sat down on a stool, lost in the memories of days gone by. It had been a long time since he’d let his mind take him back to those days. He had left them behind so long ago it seemed, and would just as soon pretend they didn’t happen. But, he thought, whatever this was, stirring between him and G, he knew he would have to look his past demons in the eye to reveal the truth – the whole truth – to her. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
      Liam was jolted back to reality when the door opened and in walked Miguel.
      “Hey, man. I didn’t know you were here.” Miguel seemed uncomfortable. “G asked me to grab her some toner, said it was on the middle shelf on the right.”
      Liam rose, reached around and took down a purple bottle labeled Toner Tonic. Miguel thanked him but didn’t let his eyes stay on Liam’s for long. When he was gone, Liam took a coffee mug from one of the hooks, poured himself a cup of now strong Colombian coffee, and sat back down to wait. Fran, G and Miguel were already there. That just left Mitch and Della. From what she had told him on the phone that morning, it had taken several hours last evening, and several more that morning, for Della to reorganize things at the club. Staff had to be rescheduled to come in later than their usual two o’clock check in time, and deliveries had to be cancelled or changed to another date or time. She had told everyone some electrical work was being done, so the place was off limits until early evening. The six of them were expected to congregate at the salon around noon, where they’d have a short meeting to go over their plans before heading to the club. Any last minute changes or adjustments could be made then. 

          * * * * *

Liam, Genevieve, Miguel, Fran, Mitch, and Della arrived at The Lady around two o’clock, ready to set up their trap for Dom and his goons to walk into later that night. They accessed the club through an entrance in the back alleyway, walked past a string of dressing room doors, and entered through the the backstage doors. It was dark. Since she knew the layout best, Della went first, feeling her way to the main light panel beside the bar. All of a sudden there was a loud crash. 
      “Shit!” Cried Della. “What the hell was that?” The group heard her shuffling around. 
      “Della, what’s going on?” Asked Liam, concerned. He made his way forward, but he too  stumbled on something that was lying across the floor. Able to right himself, and trying to maintain his balance, he crawled over to where he thought the light panel was. He reached it at the same time Della did. They flipped the switches and the place lit up, enlightening them to what had happened. Chairs were toppled over, tables were turned, bottles of booze were broken and strewn across the bar, leaving shards of glass and sticky liquid everywhere. If the place smelled like a bar before, now there was no question about it.
The stage sets were scattered across the stage, and across the partly drawn curtain MiTch’s WHorE HoUsE was emblazoned in orange metallic spray paint. Strobe lights were shattered on the floor, costumes were ripped and randomly tossed around the room. Nothing was left untouched. The place was trashed.

…stay tuned…Chapter 15 will be posted next Tuesday, October 25th…





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TITILLATING TUESDAY

Posted on: October 11th, 2011 by Madison Lake No Comments
Chapter 13 – TACTICS
Miguel stepped through the backstage door into the dimly lit club. It was three am but he could hear The Way You Look Tonight sung by Billie Holiday, playing softly in the background while a second rate dancer performed an impromptu pole dance for the few stragglers that remained. It didn’t take much for Miguel to realize this was the time of night for young women vying for a job at The Lady got the opportunity to do their thing. Some made the cut, some didn’t. Judging from what he saw, this girl didn’t have what it took. She was young and beautiful, but had no rhythm, and lacked the moves and finesse that made a good dancer, stripper or otherwise. 
He walked over the bar and ordered a bourbon, neat. As he looked around the near empty room he saw Della, so he grabbed his drink and made his way over to where she was standing. As he approached she looked at him suspiciously, and he realized she was talking to someone in a low whisper. He stopped. Then he saw Liam and Genevieve tucked in the dark corner of the table and he understood Della’s hesitance. He turned to go, but Liam stepped out of the booth and stopped him.

“Hey Miguel, what’s up? We thought you had left. Come on over and join us for a drink.” He made a sweeping gesture and Miguel followed, a bit hesitantly, and sidled in beside Genevieve. Liam climbed in beside her where he had been sitting.
“Weren’t you here earlier, Miguel, when Fran and Mitch were here? Asked Genevieve. “I could have sworn I saw you talking to Savannah and some of the girls.” 
Miguel smiled meekly. “Yeah, I was here, that was me.” He cleared his throat and continued. “I came to see you.” He paused, as if looking for the right words. “And Irish of course.” Miguel stared at Liam. Genevieve couldn’t figure out whether his look was one of spite or understanding.
“So, why’d you go, Miguel?” Genevieve now looked at him, genuinely puzzled. Miguel blushed.
“We need to talk, Genevieve,” he said.
“Okay, that’s fine, Miguel,” she said. But perhaps now’s not the time. There’s a lot going down, if you know what I mean.”
Miguel looked at Della, then Liam, and back to Genevieve, and the lightbulb went on.
“Where are Mitch and Fran now?” He asked? 
“They’ve gone home,” Liam interjected. “Fran heard about as much as she could take for one night.” He went on. “The main things is, the cat’s out of the bag. Fran knows the gist of it, and Mitch will fill her in on a need to know basis. At least they are back on track as a couple, which is the most important thing.” Liam took a deep breath. “Geez, we don’t need that asshole, Dom, ruining another relationship.” He glanced at Genevieve, who looked away. 
Miguel shifted in his seat, trying to decide whether to stick around or leave them to their private discussion, but Liam made the decision for him.
“Della, would you mind bringing us another round, and get something for yourself, will you? Your shift has to be over.” Liam shot a glance to the stage where another girl, who did not look twenty-one, had joined the pole dancer. It looked as if they were free dancing, entertaining all of six hungry eyes staring from the front row. The men were well behaved, too drunk to move their slumped bodies from where they sat. The place was otherwise empty. Della let them be and headed for the bar. They were harmless. They’d be shooed out by Derek, one of two remaining bouncers when he was ready.
“So tell me, what do you know, Miguel? Fill me in on everything G has told you?”
Miguel waited, not sure what to reveal to Liam who, so far, hadn’t proven to be much of a confidant. 
“Well, I know that Dom is a monster, that he’s been messing with everybody here at The Lady for years.” He paused. “I know that he screwed Genevieve out of money, and her life, until she took charge of it again.” He was talking directly to Genevieve now, not taking his eyes off her. She kept her gaze down now, and fidgeted in her seat. Liam put his hand on her leg to still her, or to try to set her at ease, if that were possible when discussing Dominic Diaz around her.
“Dom has to be stopped,” Miguel suddenly said. “Do you know that he truly thinks he owns the girls who work here? Not all of them, but the new ones, the young and vulnerable ones.” With a serious look on his face, he glanced from Genevieve to Liam, searching their faces for any hint that he understood what he was saying. “It starts with him offering to help them out. He gives them a job here at the club, buys them new clothes, wines and dines them at the fancy places in town, makes them feel pretty, like they’re going to have a new lease on life, then he ruins them by pimping them out on the side. He’s a first-rate pimp and he’s using some of the backstage rooms as his brothel. Not only that, he takes all the dough. Every penny those poor girls spread their legs for, or suck dick for, he takes it all.” Miguel was getting worked up with every new piece of information he shared. “Says the club has its rules,” he continued. “And until they bring in enough of a crowd with their show, which of course doesn’t happen overnight, that they owe him their earnings, like dues for him giving them their start. And if one of them questions him, she’ll come in with a black eye or a broken finger the next day and that’ll shut them all up. Meanwhile, Dom just hauls in the cash. What he does with it is anyone’s guess.” 
Miguel stopped talking and downed the bourbon that Della had placed in front of him. She shoved another one over to him, having brought a double round knowing the kind of mood the conversation would elicit. Catching the tail end of Miguel’s rant was enough for her. Liam and Genevieve sat stone still. 
“Is this true, Della?” Liam asked. 
“I don’t really know, Irish,” Della replied, her voice shaking. “Sure, there’s been suspicion, and talk, especially over the past six months or so, but there’s just no proof, and the girls that we have questioned keep tight lips, as you can imagine.”
“Why didn’t you say anything, Della? After all this time, why not tell me?” Liam was upset. “I mean, we all know that some of the girls bring men back to their rooms after the show,” he admitted a little sheepishly. “That’s been going on for years, but it’s their choice. That’s been out in the open and everybody’s fine with it. There have been no problems, nobody gets hurt, at least that I’ve known of, but now to hear this…” His voice trailed off. “Nobody has said a thing to me about this, not even Savan…”
“Savannah?” Miguel interrupted. “Well she told me, tonight. It happened to her, it happened to all of them. It happened to G. Tell him, G. Tell him how he tricked you into working, first at his old club and then here, luring you to a better life, then eventual abuse and betrayal. But hey, these girls won’t tell a soul. They know they have every chance of disappearing, if you know what I mean. No one would notice, no one would miss them. He preys on the vulnerable. It’s disgusting.”
Liam stood up and began to pace in front of their table. He was fuming.
“You’re right, Miguel,” Genevieve said. “He is a monster, and has to be stopped, but it won’t be easy. He’s a loose cannon.” She looked over at Liam, who was getting madder by the minute. “I’ve told my story, or at least the start of it, and I’ve told Dom to his face that I won’t play his game any more,” Genevieve stopped to regain her composure. She was shaking but didn’t realize it. “That doesn’t mean I’m not scared though.”
Liam turned to her and stopped. It was the first time he’d heard her say this, felt her vulnerability, the frailty of the situation. He wanted to go over to her, sweep her into his big, strong arms, and smother her with kisses and love – real love. He would protect her, and he felt she knew that. It took all his power to refrain from telling Miguel, Della, the whole world, how he felt about Genevieve. That he loved her – he adored her, and had since the day she walked into  Snippets Salon to ask for a job. At the time he thought she was adorable, albeit a bit of a flake, but she turned his head around before he knew what hit him. He learned she was as smart as a whip, caught onto new ideas and information quickly, and had that wonderful quality to be clever and edgy so that almost everyone was attracted to her, young and old. He couldn’t help think that somebody did something right in raising her, or maybe it was her ability to make it on her own that made her what she was. What ever it was, he was head over heels in love. 
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” Genevieve said. “But I have a plan. It’ll take all of us, you, Miguel, and you Della, and Savannah and the other girls. We’ll need Mitch and Fran, Harry, and the bouncers – definitely the bouncers. And most of all we’ll need you, Irish.”


…Stay tuned…Chapter 14 will be posted next Tuesday, October 18th…


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