Friday, April 10, 2015

Author Spotlight - Ginger Ring

The Gangster’s Kiss (Love Is A Dangerous Thing 1)

John O’Malley’s sister is missing. All the clues of her disappearance lead to Hayward County, Wisconsin and the crooks and questionable sheriff that reside there. Pretending to be one of them, John takes a job as bodyguard for the sheriff’s beautiful sister, Grace. It seems like the perfect way to investigate their crimes and corruption, but when someone threatens to kill Grace, the job proves harder than he thought. Is she an innocent witness to a crime, or just as guilty as everyone else? 

Grace Sullivan just wanted a normal life: find a good man, get married and have a family. She has had enough of looking the other way while her brother hides behind his sheriff’s badge to conduct shady dealings. Hiring a gangster named John to watch her is the final straw. When a face from the past threatens her life, she is forced to put her life in John’s hands, but as time goes on, all she really wants is to be in the gangster’s arms.

John slid into the shadows. He watched as the stout man threw a cigarette on the ground, snuffed it out with the toe of his shoe, and gave the fallen man a swift kick to the ribs. “When you’re done, go check out the action at Zelda’s. There are some new girls coming in tonight. Report back to me later.”
“Sure thing, boss.”The two thugs grabbed the unlucky man under the arms and dragged him in his direction. Without another glance, the big guy returned inside and slammed the door shut.

John hid further as they hauled the man past. He didn’t need this and didn’t need to get involved. It was his biggest flaw, but his mother praised him often for it, ‘a good soul will always help those in need, even when the battle seems unwinnable.’ He needed to stay out of trouble, save his money, and find his sister. He wasn’t a hero, one able to fight what looked to be like professional hit men. What if they had guns? He gazed at the stars, and searched for an answer, when the sound of a scuffle brought him back to Earth. The lone man was fighting back. John leaped from his hiding place. He had to help. It was two against one.

John grabbed the nearest guy from behind and spun him around. Pain shot from his knuckles to his elbow as they connected with the thug’s jaw. The impact shook him to his shoulder. His opponent stumbled and hit the ground with a thud. The man’s head connected with the concrete curb and he was down for the count. It was a lucky punch. John flexed his aching fingers and returned his attention to the other men.

The two struggled on the ground and were breathing hard. John grabbed the bully from behind, and with his already aching hand, hit him in the gut. This man wasn’t going down as easy and managed to throw a counter punch that had him seeing stars. He fell to the ground. His head was spinning. The man landed on his chest and his arm rose for another blow. Before he could brace for the second hit, the man was gone. The injured man on the ground had gotten the upper hand and smashed a bottle over his opponent’s head. He turned his attention on John, broken glass in hand.

John rolled to sitting and held his hands up in the air. “I’ve no quarrel with you.” The man with the bottle advanced. He tossed the bottle to the ground and held out his hand.

“Name’s Flynn. Mickey Flynn.” The man pulled John to his feet. Flynn was a large man with a firm grip. Mickey was at eye level of his six foot height and just as wide in the shoulders. He appeared out of place wearing glad rags in this neighborhood. The man must have been asking for a fight. A wide grin flashed on his face.

“John O’Malley.” He shook Flynn’s hand and brushed the dirt from his trousers. John bent to retrieve his favorite hat from the sidewalk. It was the last thing he had of his father’s. The wool, driving cap he always wore. A split second of melancholy twisted in his heart. It was none the worst for being in the scuffle and he adjusted it back on his head. 

The Gangster’s Woman (Love Is A Dangerous Thing 2)

Now that prohibition was over, FBI agent Michael Flynn hoped to enjoy the quiet life and a chance to finally concentrate on finding his best friend’s sister. He’d been in love with her since he first laid eyes on her picture. Unfortunately, the more he searched the more he realized she wasn’t just missing. Eryn was hiding from one of the most notorious gangsters around. One who wouldn’t rest until he knew she was dead.

Eryn O’Malley had been moving around for years, doing whatever legal, or illegal job she could find to survive. No time for romance or a normal life. A one night stand with a handsome man at the county fair seemed like just the ticket to escape for a moment from her troubled life. However, finding out he was a G-man wasn’t part of the plan. Now he was on her trail. Whether to arrest or rescue her, she wasn’t sure, and she couldn’t wait around to find out. If he caught her, would he forgive her checkered past or would he always think of her as the gangster’s woman?

“Hey, sir?” The woman had stepped around the counter and dessert table.

“Yes?” He smiled down at the petite woman. “You forgot your silverware. Hard to eat ice cream with your hands, unless it’s in a cone.”

Michael chuckled. “Yes, it is. Say, ma’am?” He stopped her before she could leave. “Do you see the young lady sitting at the picnic table?”

“I sure do. She works at the Loon Café.”

At least the waitress part was the truth. “Do you happen to know her name?”

“Hoping to get her to share some dessert with you?” she teased.

“Yes, something like that.” He at least had the decency to blush at his lack of trust.

“Good luck, young man.” The older woman returned to her post behind the pies.

“Do you know what her name is?”

“Of course, everyone eats at the café. It’s the only place in town.”

He waited, hoping she would take the hint and give him an answer. He lingered, looking like a love sick puppy, holding two pieces of pie with melting ice cream. By the time he’d get back to the table it would be a soupy mess. His shoulders sank and he stood, not wanting to leave. Was it her real her name or not?

“Sonny, you sure got it bad, don’t you? Go over and ask Eryn to have some dessert with you before it melts all over those nice pants you’re wearing.”

It took him a moment to recover. “What did you say her name was again?” 

“It’s Eryn and she works at the Loon Café. Now run along before some other fella asks her to share some pie.”

“Thanks, ma’am. I’ll do just that.” If it weren’t for a month of Sundays working undercover, the jubilation he felt would be shown all over his face. He’d found John’s sister. It had to be her. She looked like her and had the same name. The fact that she had walked right up and introduced herself didn’t lessen the fact that he’d finally come face to face with the one who had kept him up at night for the last several years.

His shoes collected dust as he walked the short distance from the food tent to their table. Indecision warred in his head. Did he confront her? Hint that he knew who she was? Put handcuffs on her and throw her in the car? His heart beat faster than a hummingbird’s wings and a lump had settled in his throat. Coming to stand by their table, for the first time in his life he had no idea what to do next.
“Is that sour cream and raisin?” Eryn peeked at their plates before he sat one in front of her.

“You like?” Michael hesitated before he sat and swung his legs around the bench in front of him.
“I love. It’s my favorite kind.” Her delicate hands dipped a fork in the pie before lifting it to her pretty lips. “Mmmm. It tastes almost as good as my grandmother’s.”

As much as he wanted to question her, now that he knew who she was, his suspicions kicked in. Why was she hiding? Why had she disappeared? And why was she pretending to be someone else? Hell, she could be some other woman that just happened to have the same name, but why call herself Penelope? If he started in with a bunch of crazy questions, he’d probably be wearing that pie and not eating it.

He’d hoped being united with Eryn would be a happy moment but distrust had reared its head. If he told her  who he was, she might run off. The need for more information was at the top of the list. A few well asked questions would verify her identity and then he would listen to what she had to say.
“Almost as good as your grandmother’s, huh?” Michael took a bite of his pie. Damn, it was tasty.
“Yes. She was a great cook.” Eryn took another bite, closed her eyes, and savored the taste. A soft moan escaped her lips and she seemed lost in another time.

“Was she from Ireland too?” He coaxed.

“Aye, she was.” A perfect Irish accent coated her answer and her eyes flew open.

Ginger Ring is an eclectic, hat-loving Midwestern girl with a weakness for cheese, dark chocolate, and the Green Bay Packers. She loves reading, playing with her cats, watching great movies, and has a quirky sense of humor. Publishing a book has been a lifelong dream of hers and she is excited to share her romantic stories with you. Her heroines are classy, sassy and in search of love and adventure. When Ginger isn't tracking down old gangster haunts or stopping at historical landmarks, you can find her on the backwaters of the Mississippi River fishing with her husband.

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