QUESTION: Does anyone make a pineapple dish with Ritz crackers and is it really good? I keep hearing it’s easy and fabulous and I like pineapple but it just sounds weird to me. It’s got cheese and butter and cracker crumbs and pineapple and maybe it’s a Southern thing but hubby is from Tennessee and his mama never made this. I’m thinking I might try it for Easter dinner.
undercover mission to a place no NYPD officer dares go: the Upper Eastside.
and closer to each other. Soon Vincent and Jill are playing good cop/bad cop in and out of bed, and Jill’s falling hard. But can she convince Vincent to give her a shot as partner in life, as well as at the bureau?
One never really realized how much New York City got under your skin until you left it for a while.
It was like one minute New York was your adopted home—a little bit intense, a lot scary.
And the next, you were holding your breath as your plane landed, your entire body on edge with the anticipation of being home again.
Jill Henley smiled as the plane touched down, her eyes closing just for a moment at the realization that she’d be sleeping in her own bed tonight. Going back to her job tomorrow. Eating at her favorite gyros place tomorrow.
But none of that—not the city, nor her pillow-top bed, nor the really freaking amazing gyros—were as important as who awaited her.
Jill loved her mother desperately—it was the reason she’d spent the past three months in Florida taking care of her.
But the Moretti family had become every bit as much family to Jill as her own mom.
She couldn’t wait to see them again.
All of them.
Okay, so maybe there was one Moretti in particular whom she was especially excited to see.
Not that the excitement was mutual.
As she walked through JFK toward baggage claim, she couldn’t figure out for the life of her why she was even the tiniest bit disappointed about the fact that Vincent Moretti wouldn’t be the one picking her up from the airport.
She hadn’t even asked him. He might have said yes. Maybe. But it would have been done with a grunt and a grumble, and probably a lecture about how his workload was double because his partner had “up and ditched him.”
Besides, it made more sense for Elena to pick her up anyway.
Not only was Elena her best friend, but Elena was an attorney at a fancy-pants law firm, with access to a company car that was a hell of a lot nicer than Vin’s car and didn’t smell like old coffee.
Plus, Jill had news.
The kind of news that female friends squealed over in the appropriate, gushing manner.
So why was she so nervous?
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).
This is Reggies’s story…Part One is here.
See that picture? That’s what most people think of when they think of Virginia Beach. And part of the Tidewater area does look like that touristy ocean scene, the statue of Neptune, the boardwalk. At Christmas you can drive your car on the boardwalk and there’s miles and miles of lighted aquatic themed sculptures. It’s gorgeous, even if fish and dolphins don’t scream Christmas for you.
But that’s not where I grew up. Sure, I’ve been to the beach, especially when I was older. But I grew up in Newport News — yeah, the same place where pit bull-owning, NFL quarterback Michael Vick grew up. Near the shipyards because my dad was Navy and worked there. That’s what my mom always said, though I didn’t know him because he never married my mom and he didn’t hang around long after I was born. But most people don’t know where Newport News is anyway, so I just say I’m from Virginia Beach.
The only guy I ever called Dad was my mom’s first husband, Tom, and I think he married her when I was about two or three. He was a nice guy and was good to me and mom, but he was Navy, too. One day we stood at the docks waving goodbye to him and crying as he shipped out to the Middle East. That was the last time I saw him, waving to us in his desert camos, because he never came back. He never came back to me and mom because a sniper’s bullet took him out. And that’s when my mom started having a drink or two just to get through the nights. It wasn’t out of control or anything, she still worked and I still stayed with the nice old lady next door, Mrs. Boyd, while my mom was gone.
We were okay for awhile, but then I was about ten and old Mrs. Boyd moved away, I think in with one of her kids. We couldn’t afford a sitter, so I was a latchkey kid. I was getting off the bus and letting myself in, starting dinner, doing homework. I was always kind of old for my age anyway. So when mom got home and had a beer or two or three, it was fine cause I handled stuff. And she was never really drunk, just happy instead of crying all the time.
When I was in middle school, she got a different job making more money and met a guy at work and she started dating. And then they both were partying and drinking more and smoking some dope and I’m not really sure what all else. He became stepdaddy number two.
If it weren’t for a few friends at school, I have a feeling I’d have ended up just like my mom. But my best friend at school since fourth grade was Bobby Williams. We were in the same class and he was smart and nice and asked if I could come over and hang out. And from that moment on, we were just best friends. Even though there were some other kids who hung out with us from time to time, Bobby was my best friend. I spent a lot of time at his house and lots of times Mrs. Williams would ask if I could stay and have dinner with them. I just thought she was nice, but later I figured out that she knew how my mom was and felt sorry for me, too.
Some of my best childhood memories are of hanging out on the Williams’ front porch, drinking sweet tea and catching fireflies in the summer when school was out. We’d lay on our backs and look up at the moon and stars and just let ourselves dream. Sometimes in the summer I stayed overnight and shared Bobby’s sister’s room. I always had to call and ask my mom if she needed me to come home or if it was okay to stay. It was always okay. It got so I usually had pajamas and jeans and t-shirts at the Williams’ house anyway, so it was easy to stay.
All this went through my mind as I was sitting on the Southwest flight to Virginia Beach. It’s less than a two hour flight from Chicago and I didn’t really feel like reading so I just sat and let the memories wash over me. I must have drifted off a little, because the next thing I knew we were bumping down gently after circling over Chesapeake Bay and coming in for our landing. I got my carry on bag down and made my way to baggage claim, turning my phone back on as I deplaned. It vibrated a little and I saw Rhia Williams’ name come up. Rhiannon is Bobby’s sister and she and I are still friends after all this time. Yeah, their parents really liked Fleetwood Mac.
I’m outside waiting. Can’t wait to see you, Reggie!
Me, either, I typed. Are you in the garage or by the lot?
On the street by the lot.
Be there in a few.
My bag came up soon and I moved quickly through the airport, anxious to see Rhia. It had been a few years since I’d been home.
~Diane D. Photo credit: Pinterest
WRITERS WANTED: For my blogging friends who are writers, perhaps this would be of interest?
“Hommage” by Leopoldo Maler, Hess Collection Winery’s Art Gallery, Napa Valley (photo by Cindy Fazzi).
Two small publishers are open to unagented and unsolicited submissions within the next few weeks. Tayen Lane Publishing is seeking short stories for two anthologies until the end of March, while Black Balloon Publishing will consider manuscripts in April. Both companies publish a wide range of fiction and nonfiction books.
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