Friday, 27 March 2009

Those, Lies, Those Little Lies will Catch you Out!

Maybe once in a while, a girl takes a chance. It might only be that one time, because usually it's way out of character for a girl to do that – especially when that chance involves a one-off fling with a handsome, slightly dangerous stranger in a crazy and exotic city like NYC.

Well, NYC probably is crazy and exotic to a London girl....especially a girl like Maggie Lawless, who’s used to ending her relationships before they’ve barely begun. 'Taking chances’ isn’t something she does, even when it’s odds-on nothing could go wrong. But put yourself into Maggie's shoes for a moment. A crazy city far from home, no-one would ever know. Add a dangerous stranger into the mix, and guess what? Irresistible.

In fact, so irresistible that you figured it was best to keep a little secret from him. Because telling a guy with underworld connections that you really were a British police officer – a Detective Sergeant, to be exact – would have frightened him off, wouldn’t it? And he was far too gorgeous to resist. One night, one fabulous night, and then it’s goodbye forever.

Forever? Well, until the day you’re sent back to NYC on police business, that is. And guess what? You run into him once more. And it turns out, you weren’t the only one telling a few half-truths. Your dangerous stranger was pretty adept in the untruths department himself. Being an undercover FBI agent, it rather came with the job....

Enough with the fibs already! It’s about time you ‘fessed up. Here’s the scene from A Different Kind of Honesty where Maggie Lawless confesses all her little indiscretions to best friend and colleague Danny Chang.

'Leaning her chin on her hand, Maggie looked at him for a moment before she decided to take the plunge.
“Danny, when I was in New York, I, um...had a fling. A brief thing, a one-nighter.”

“What?” He looked incredulous. “You told me you were only actually in New York for one night! Bloody hell, you didn’t hang about, did you?” He started to laugh. “I thought you gave up one night stands after the college days.”

“I did,” she squirmed. “But this was different. Sort of.”

“Ah.” He nodded in an annoyingly superior, knowing way. “A head over heels, caution to the wind, never to be repeated special offer, eh?”

She gave a short, embarrassed laugh. “Something like that. Actually, a lot like that.”

“Aw, so sweet, my little chicky!” He reached out a hand and patted hers. “But it’s not as if it was your first time, or your last, let’s hope. So why all the panting ingĂ©nue stuff?”

Maggie sighed, a mix of wistfulness and longing that surprised her. “Because here’s the thing,” she said, her thumbnail between her teeth. “And you are not going to believe this.”

“Try me, girlfriend.” He took a swig of Bud. “There’s something hot about this one, I can tell.”

“It was him.”

Danny creased his brow as he pretended to think hard. “Nope. I’m going to need a little more than ‘him’, I’m afraid.”

Maggie cleared her throat, suddenly feeling nervous. “ was the guy we met today. Valentino. Tony Valentino.”

Danny’s lips wiggled around an ooo. “You are kidding me! Absolutely no way!”

“Yes, way,” she said miserably.

“I don’t believe it! Are you sure?”

“Well, of course I’m bloody sure! It’s not like I do it every day!”

He opened and closed his mouth in delight. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? You spend one night in New York, sleep with the FBI, and you keep that to yourself? You selfish cow! I may never speak to you again!”

She shook her head and kept her voice low. “No, Danny, listen. The reason I didn’t tell you is because I shouldn’t have done it.”

Danny’s elbows slipped off the table in mock astonishment. “What are you talking about, you shouldn’t have done it? What, with that hunk?” He curled his lip in disbelief. “Hell, I’d shag him and I’m straight.”

Picking up her water, she paused with the bottle at her lips. “Somehow, I suspect you’re not his type. What with not being a girlie and all.”

“For a guy like that, I’d change. And I’ll pump you for the sordid details in a minute, Lawless. What the hell do you mean you shouldn’t have done it?” He pulled a face. “C’mon, he’s gorgeous, even more gorgeous than me, if that’s possible. I don’t see the problem.”

Maggie flopped against her seat and heaved a sigh that came right up from her boots.

“Think about it. I meet this guy called Joey Pescolloni. He won’t tell me what he does for a living, says he has bits of business here and there. The guys he knows all have shiny suits and signet rings.”

She peered at him to see if any of this was sinking in. It wasn’t. She tried again.

“Look. He takes me to a place called, oh, I don’t remember, La Speranza or La Gondola or something. Everybody in the place is flashing big bundles of cash.” She tipped her head to one side. “Is this waving any flags at you yet?”

Danny did his worst Robert de Niro impression, lifting his shoulders right up to his ears, his hands open in front of him in supplication. “So whaddya know, he’s Italian, he likes pasta? Badda boom, badda bing!”

“Exactly! Badda...whatever. That thing you said.”

Danny’s jaw dropped halfway to the table. “Oh, my giddy aunt,” he said, leaning on each word as realization began to dawn. “You thought he was Mafia! Some wise-assed wiseguy!”

She covered her face with her hands. “Yes, I did, I did...”

”So why the hell didn’t you just walk?” He couldn’t contain his laughter now. “You know, ‘excuse me while I powder my nose’ and just leg it through the bathroom window?”

Maggie squeaked. She opened her hands a tiny gap and peeked out. “Danny, you know why, you said it yourself! He’s gorgeous!”

“Ah.” He folded his arms and looked down at her in smug satisfaction. “I get it. You were already too far gone in lust and Lambrusco. Lawless, you total trollop!”

She slumped onto the table, her head on her arms. “I’m not,” she said in a small voice. “I’m female and breathing, any woman would have done the same.” She looked up, trying to retain what little dignity she had left. “And it was a rather nice pinot grigio, thank you. Not Lambrusco.”

“Whatever. He plied you with booze and had his wicked way. Or you plied him. Stop kicking me under the table.”

“You deserve it. Anyway, it wasn’t like that. I just fancied him like mad and when I realized he felt the same, well, you know…”

“There was no stopping you.”

“There was no stopping either of us.” A sudden pang of sweet memory made her gasp. “Oh, Danny, it was quite a night.”

The waitress arrived with their order and an enthusiasm that had by now tipped over into dementia. Maggie wondered if she would tell them to be sure and eat up all their vegetables because it would make them nice and strong. She fired a look at Danny, telling him in no uncertain terms to shut up until they were done. She smiled her thanks at the waitress, who beamed beatifically at them one more time and went off to bestow her blessings on some other lucky customers.

Danny attempted to lift up a burger as big as the plate it sat on without losing any of it. “So, am I getting the gory details? Coz I want to be sitting somewhere cozy with another beer in one hand and a ciggie in the other.”

“I’m not telling you anything else, you dirty sod.” She pushed her salad around the plate with her fork, then stabbed a chunk of tuna and peered at it before she dropped it.

“Are you going to eat that or just torture it?” he asked, chewing happily. “Anyway, there is one thing you absolutely do have to tell me.”

She looked at him, eyebrows raised. ”And that would be what?”

“That would be, what are you going to do about it now?”

“What do you mean, now?” She stared at him in horror. “Nothing!”

“Aw, do me a favour.” He licked mayonnaise from the side of his hand. “I twigged the way he was looking at you when the lights went back on in that room. I thought it was coz he was looking forward to an introduction. I didn’t know he’d already had the pleasure.”

Maggie dropped her fork on her plate with a clatter. “You’re making that up.”

“I bloody am not. You think I don’t know how a bloke looks when he’s thinking about rampant sex? I see it every time I look in a mirror. Trust me, he’s got the same fond memories of your sordid little adventure as you.” He dipped a French fry the size of a house brick in some ketchup and munched, speaking with his mouth full. “Possibly even fonder.” '

A Different Kind of Honesty is available in print and e-book from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and The Wild Rose Press.


Lindsay Townsend said...

Wonderful blog, Jane! A highly topical, modern dilemma, given a twist of passion and adventure - in your own words, irresistible!

Linda Banche said...

What a great excerpt. And I don't usually read contemporaries.

LK Hunsaker said...

Jane, this was a fun book to read and I enjoyed revisiting this wonderful scene. When do we get more of Danny? ;-)

Sarah Simas said...

Lovely excerpt! I love the concept of how each character didn't give full disclosure!Great idea and great tension! I really enjoyed the dialogue between Maggie and Danny. My interest is snagged. Thanks for a fun read!

Kaye Manro said...

Great excerpt, Jane! What a great blog post today! I agree, this sounds so irresitible.

Kaye Manro said...

Or rather irresistible! Sorry about the typo! But you get the picture...

Savanna Kougar said...

Jane, fabulous excerpt. And I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the cultural differences in speech and behavior.
My goodness, she is a naughty thing. The Mafia!
But, irresistible is just that when it comes to passion.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Thanks, everyone! Yes, Maggie was uncharacteristically naughty. I do hope it worked out alright for her in the end....;-)!! Danny may well have a short story of his own soon, I'll keep you posted.
Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

Jane x

Chelle Cordero said...

This excerpt is mouthwateringly-fantabulous!