Saturday, March 1, 2014

What's UP the Street Next week

Who's ready for March?
Are we getting ready to kiss winter a warm good-bye? I know there are lots of people hoping for a lip-smacking YES!
(sorry, can't help with the references after Amy's astounding Pucker Up post yesterday)
Some great books are out...and coming out in March. Love Comes Calling just arrived at my house yesterday by Siri Mitchell. Can't wait to read it! Ruth Axtell's newest is out too - A Heart's Rebellion.

Do you have any books you're looking forward to reading?

Speaking of books! We have a winner. The lovely and talented, Melissa Tagg is our winner of the ebook 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. Congrats, Melissa!!

So let's see what's coming up on The Alley

Monday - Pepper is up with a post about First Impressions - Come ready to share your hero and heroine's first meeting.

Tuesday - Sherrinda has an interview with Caryl McAdoo about her debute novel, Vow Unbroken. Make sure to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy.

Mary's keeping us prepared for Contest Season with her post on Wednesday, Why Bother Sending Thank You Notes

Thursday - Krista joins us for another thoughtful post

Friday - The Alley welcomes Linnette Mullins as our guest!


rachel said...

my current WIP pits two edwardian Bachelor Girl detectives against Toronto's 1910 crime scene-they often have to dodge the morality squad or risk arrest for vagrancy. so they dress as men:
one night,in disguise, Jemima Watts has a surprise encounter with a brash italian muckraking reporter:

I was in the process of moving some of the change from my hat to my breast pocket when I looked up to find someone crouched at my level. A man: black hair just barely contained by the circumference of a ratty old bowler and charcoal eyes piercing me straight on.
“Excuse me.”
My eyes widened. I wasn’t expecting anyone to talk to me. I growled something inaudible to test out a lower octave of voice and then added a quick “yes” hoping I sounded like a man. Instead my voice squeaked, and my hand flew involuntarily to my mouth.
“Have you been sitting here long?”
I nodded.
Shocked, I inched sideways on the step and gave him room.
“Isn’t this the way? The rich inside at a charity ball, dolling out 25.00 a ticket to aid the illustrious Tertius Montague while mostly tripping over you, poor fellow, right in front of their noses.”
I wanted to protest but was afraid my voice would give me away. Instead, I glared at him, hoping the flame flickering off the wick of the gaslight overhead would make my worried expression seem ominous, especially shrouded by the black grease Merinda had smeared over my cheeks and forehead.
“I want you to know that I advocate charity, yes; but I also want to have the voice for people like you! People who are just ordinary, under the noses of the upper crust who pass callously by…People who…” He examined me thoroughly, closely, “ People who…
The man clapped his hands on his knees…“Santo Cielo! You’re a woman!”
“You’re a woman!” he laughed.
“I’m not a woman!” I sounded very, very much like a woman.
“There are places for people like you. Safe places. Get you off the street. Do you want to get arrested?” He clapped his hands on his knees again then fidgeted in his coat pocket to retrieve a notebook and pencil stub. “Ray DeLuca of the Hogtown Herald.” He extended his free hand. The Hog, a biweekly rag filled with this fellow’s muckracking exposes on the city’s lack of social justice and reform. When I didn’t take his hand, he grabbed mine anyways and shook it hard. I studied his nails. They were coal black. As black as his eyes and hair. Ink, perhaps. “Trying to get the perspective of the street people. Especially in contrast to big parties like this.”
“Oh rats!”
“Do you find that you make more money with that disguise?”
“I am not a woman!”
“I don’t believe you!” He reached up and yanked off my hat, a lot of brown hair that had been piled on my head now fell around my shoulders.
“Your hair … it smells like lavender. You’re the oddest hobo I’ve ever met. If we could just get that grime off your face. Now, Miss…Miss…”
I buried my face in my hands. This was awful. “Jemima Watts.”


rachel said...

“Mi Scusi? You’re muttering.”
“Jemima Watts.” I enunciated.
“Ready for your interview, Miss Watts?”
“No!” I leapt to my feet and almost left my pants behind. I scurried away and hiked up the belt loops with my fingers, high over my bloomers. Ray DeLuca of the Hogtown Herald jumped up and followed. I was too mortified and angry to pay attention to the small crowd looking at us from the steps and the streets.
“Oh come now, Miss Watts. I need a story. And you need something to distract you from the fact that it is going to pour down rain any second and from the fact that you are the most embarrassingly poor excuse for a hobo I have ever seen.”
I looked to the sky. A heavy drop pierced my eyelash.
“Rats!” I was going to be soaked.
“You said that already.” There was a smile in his heavily accented voice.
“I’m going home!”
“Home? Then you’re a fraud. You’re not a street person at all! Miss Watts, I need my story! Why is a young woman dressed like a hobo and mounting the steps of the city’s most highbrow event. Are you a spy?” His black, black eyes twinkled.
“Ugh. Let me go”
I elbowed past him. What a disaster of a night this was turning out to be. Merinda would leave the soiree and probably have a cardiac arrest and melodramatically assume that my fate matched that of the poor woman Jasper had let us to earlier that day.
Finally, just as the sky broke, thunder crashed and water flooded in heavy, sheeted shards, my pants gave way. Mortified I watched as they puddled around my ankles. Leaving nothing but high-end lace and cotton (purchased with my employee discount at Montague’s) contrasting with the seedy grime of my coat. I gave a frustrated “argggh!” wiggled out of the hems and tossed them in the street. I tossed my hat on top of them and shook out my hair. This DeLuca fellow was watching me with interest. At the very least, reclaiming my identity, I asked him politely for a handkerchief, demurely accepted the one he held out and wiped the makeup off of my face. It became easier the harder it poured.
“Don’t ask!” I yelped. His eyes were a million questions. I bounded up the stairs to the covered pillars of the hospital entrance and stood, wet and shivering.
DeLuca followed and wriggled out of his overcoat. “Here.”
I wrapped it around me. Then, having gotten the frustration and humiliation out of my system, fell onto the side of the pillar and laughed.
And that’s where Merinda found me, breathless, perturbed at my new adornment, my nyloned legs sticking out from the ends of the overcoat, my makeup wiped away and my hair down around my face, while a strange, dark man looked on.
She took it in stride though: “ Jem! Jem! It’s a good thing we’re here! They’ve found another body.”