Tami Lund Makes Mafia Romance Funny

Trapped by the Mob Cover

I posted this on my personal blog last week and decided to reblog it here… Enjoy a sneak peek at my latest release!!

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Why yes, I did take a beloved trope and put my own spin on it. Because that’s what authors do, right? That’s why you keep reading; because we keep introducing new stories, new ideas, new ways to enjoy a storyline you’ve read before.

Such as the mafia. Or better yet, mafia romance. Like this one. Which is mafia romance a’la the Tami Lund special. What does that mean?

It’s means this book is gonna make you chuckle.

Here’s the premise:

TRAPPED BY THE MOB

Sure, Antonio Sarvilli is the money man behind his brother’s criminal empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He’s not the one out there killing people. All he does is make greenbacks and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

That attitude changes when his brother assigns him to get to know Phoebe Cavanaugh, a Good Samaritan who witnessed something she wasn’t supposed to.

Now, all Antonio wants is to get out so he can be with Phoebe.

Except that’s not how it works when you’re part of the mob.

 

And here’s the first chapter, even before Amazon will offer it to you:

Chapter One

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

 

“I swear, I’ll never do that again,” Phoebe Cavanaugh muttered to her reflection, which stared back at her with mussed hair—and not the sexy bedhead kind, either—and bags the size of Lake Michigan under her eyes, accentuating a horribly pallid complexion.

“I am not a bad girl,” she added before shoving the toothbrush into her mouth and attempting to scrub away the cotton and lingering taste of tequila. Or maybe that was worm. God, the end of the evening was hazy, but she suspected her evil co-workers had convinced her to eat the damn thing when the last shot had been poured.

“Why did I think I could keep up?” She hadn’t been a heavy drinker when she had been in college, let alone in the five years since graduating. “And on a weekday, no less.”

She trudged back to her bedroom and huffed out a sigh. The digital clock on her bedside table flipped to 8:02.

Phoebe should have been to work an hour ago, and she hadn’t even showered yet. Hell, she was still wearing the jeans and boatneck, striped shirt she’d worn to the bar last night.

Not to mention the roiling in her stomach. Ugh. How the heck did one cure a weekday hangover?

She kicked a running shoe out of her way, and for the first time since dragging herself out of bed, something inside her body perked up. “I’ll sweat it out.”

She nodded, stripping out of last night’s clothes and reaching for her favorite pair of running shorts. “Thirty-minute jog, ten-minute shower, bare minimum makeup, and I’ll stop at McDonald’s on the way to work. I’ll be two hours late, but at least they won’t be able to say I couldn’t hang.”

Hell, she was feeling better already.

A swath of oak trees with massive, sprawling branches lined up on either side of a narrow, winding drive that separated Phoebe’s apartment complex from the main road. The natural barrier helped cut down on the city noises that slammed into her as soon as she hit the sidewalk, running along the road that normally took her to her job, the grocery store, the nearby bar she never intended to step foot into again.

She passed a gas station and hung a left, running along the gravel shoulder of a residential road that cut through a swampy area, which meant it was underdeveloped and thus much quieter with far less traffic. Lots of school buses, though. Usually she was already at work by this point, so she didn’t have to share road time with the big yellow vehicles with their flashing red lights and the stop signs that popped out from the side every time the gears ground to a halt to take on yet another kid.

The bout of nausea hit when she was jogging through a particularly quiet stretch. A wall of eight-foot tall cattails swayed in the gentle breeze to her left, and a gravel path jutted from the main road to her right. A two-story house with dust-covered, white siding stood sentinel, with a smaller cottage tucked behind it, like maybe it was a servant’s quarters or, more likely, a guesthouse. A dark-haired girl stood at the end of the dirt road, presumably waiting for the bus. She kicked pebbles while fiddling with the straps on her purple backpack.

“Oh God.” Phoebe’s stomach had about two seconds before she expelled whatever contents were left from last night, so she dove through the wall of cattails. She preferred to puke in private, thankyouverymuch. Her running shoes sank into muck as she bent at the waist and hacked up what looked like she might very well have eaten that damn worm from the bottom of the tequila bottle.

Sucking in deep breaths and wiping the snot from her nose with the back of her hand, she remained doubled over at the waist until the sound of a car door caught her attention. Glad for the distraction from the grossness at her feet, she gingerly pulled her shoes from the mud and separated the foliage with her hands so she could look out at the road.

A newer model black town car had stopped near the young girl still standing across the street. That was weird. Phoebe glanced up and down the road, but there were no other cars. Or buses. She didn’t see someone who might resemble a parent either. And that guy climbing out of the driver’s seat didn’t look like any father Phoebe would want. Not that she knew her own father or believed they all should look a certain way, but this guy, he would be a better fit in a mafia movie than in, say, a Disney princess book.

Unless the story was about kidnapper dads.

“Holy shit!” She stared through the gap she’d made in the cattails as the guy walked around the car, grabbed the kid by the strap of her purple backpack, and tossed her into the backseat of his car. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but that little girl had definitely not intended to go with that guy. She was waiting for the bus, wasn’t she?

“Ohmigod, he’s kidnapping her!” Phoebe leaped from her hiding place, waving her arms and shouting, “Stop! Stop! Help! Police! Somebody call the cops!”

The kidnapper’s head snapped up, and for a second she was afraid he was about to pull out a gun and aim it at her. Maybe she watched too many movies. Except the guy was kidnapping that kid, for crying out loud!

Instead of shooting her, he hustled around the car and hopped into the driver’s seat, the tires spinning and kicking dirt and pebbles at her as she raced across the street like she thought she was going to be able to stop him.

“Nina?”

Phoebe jerked her attention to the woman jogging toward her on the dirt road. She must have come from the smaller house tucked behind the big one. The woman wore a pale pink, scoop neck T-shirt and a pair of khaki capris. Her hair was dark, pulled back into a ponytail, and her features were dainty and elfin. Just like the little girl who was speeding away in the backseat of a black sedan with some creepy mob guy.

“Nina,” the woman said again when she reached Phoebe. “Did the bus come?” She sounded on the edge of panic, like she needed Phoebe to lie to her.

“Some guy just kidnapped her,” Phoebe said. “At least, I think so. That was your daughter, right? Dark hair, purple backpack, looks just like you?”

The lady twisted her head back and forth, looking up and down the road. “Yes. Nina. What do you mean, some guy just kidnapped her? Who?”

Phoebe tugged her phone from her shorts pocket and dialed 9-1-1. “How the hell do I know who he was? But I can describe the car and him, although damn it, I didn’t think to get the license—hello? Yes, this is an emergency. I just witnessed a kidnapping. Yes, I’ll—”

“No!” The woman jerked the phone from Phoebe’s hand and pressed the red button on the screen to disconnect the call. “Don’t involve the cops.”

“Don’t what? Are you crazy? Some mafia-looking guy just kidnapped your daughter, lady.” She enunciated the words the way people did when they were speaking to someone who didn’t understand English very well.

“Which is why you can’t involve the police.”

Phoebe’s phone rang. Emergency dispatch flashed on the screen. She took a couple steps away from the crazy lady and answered the call. “Yes, hello? Yes, I did just call and yes, I did witness a kidnapping. I’m at” —she glanced up at the street sign—“the corner of Hiller and Dirk Avenue. Yes, I’ll stay here until the police arrive. Thank you. Uh-uh. Bye.”

She disconnected the call and glanced at the woman who was now frowning at her like she’d done something wrong instead of try to help her get her daughter back. “Are you going into shock? Is that the problem?”

The lady flung out her hand and stormed away, heading down the road that, now that Phoebe got a good look at it, was actually a long, winding driveway. The mother of the year muttered as she walked. Something about ruining everything and now Gino was going to be a complete ass and probably punish her even though she wasn’t the one who called the cops and why couldn’t people just mind their own damn business.

“Hey,” Phoebe said, chasing after her. “If I hadn’t noticed that guy taking your kid, you wouldn’t even know she was gone until she didn’t get off the school bus this afternoon.”

The lady sighed and turned around. “Yes, I would have. I’m sure Gino will call, probably within the hour. He didn’t take her because he actually wants to see her; he took her because I went out on a date last night. Apparently he can screw anyone he damn well pleases, but I can’t even go on one lousy date. And that’s the best part: It was a lousy date.”

Phoebe canted her head and furrowed her brow. “What are you talking about?”

The lady flapped her hand again. “Gino. My ex-husband. I’m sure that’s who took Nina. Well, one of his minions, at any rate, since he never does his own dirty work.”

“Oh. I take it he’s her dad?”

“Of course he is,” she snapped, like the answer was obvious.

“So he won’t hurt her?”

“Doubtful. I mean, I’m pretty sure Gino isn’t actually capable of love, but whatever passes closest to it in his mind is what he feels for Nina. So no, he won’t hurt her. He only did this to torment me.”

“Yeah, you said that. Because you went on a date last night. But didn’t you say he’s your ex-husband?”

“Yes, thank God.”

“Then how is it he has any say over your life whatsoever?”

“Trust me, once you get caught in Gino Sarvilli’s web, you never truly get out again. Even though he granted me the divorce two years ago, the ground rules were clear. I’m only allowed to do whatever Gino says I can do. And having a life, enjoying the company of another man, isn’t on that list.”

“That makes no sense.”

She shrugged. “It does in Gino’s world.”

“You make the guy sound like a dictator or something.”

“You said it,” she said as a police cruiser slowed and turned onto the dirt road, inching toward them. “And this”—she pointed at the cop car— “just made it ten times worse.”

Thanks to an unfortunate situation last fall—which, by the way, hadn’t been her fault—Phoebe had lost her job as a wedding planner. One career change later and she wasn’t quite to the ninety-day mark in her current position. Now she had no idea if she’d even be able to make it in today.

Not the way to impress the new boss.

~~~

And here’s the link to keep reading when it releases on February 28, 2019: PRE-ORDER. 

PS – It will be available in KU!

PSS – The sequel, FREED FROM THE MOB, is scheduled for release on March 28, 2019.

Happy reading!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes all sorts of tropes, from dragons to witches to demigods to contemporary suspense and romcom. All all sexy, all are funny, and all will satisfy your need for a happy ever after… https://tamilund.com/

CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE

stocking candy

See that pic? That’s a sampling of what was in my Christmas stocking. Okay, yes, that’s all that’s left from what was in my stocking.

Not the point.

There’s a reason for each and every different type of chocolate, and it’s not just because it’s chocolate (although that’s certainly an important and not to be dismissed factor).

First, though, I want to call attention to the stocking itself. That baby has been around for a lot of years. I mean A LOT. My parents are divorced, and when I was eleven years old, my dad moved to the other side of the country for a job (aka so he could actually put food on the table; hello, recession of the 80s). As a result, we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of Christmases with him.

The first Christmas I did, though, this stocking was hung by the fire with care. (Actually, funny story about that; the gas fireplace in the house he was living in at the time didn’t work, so it was covered by a piece of plywood that was painted to match the walls. But still—there was a mantel, and that’s really what matters when it comes to stockings.)

When I was sixteen, I moved across the country to live with my dad. And this stocking was there, every single Christmas. Usually filled with oranges and whole nuts and—the part that teenagers actually care about—a wad of one dollar bills.

We do things a tad differently now that I have my own mantel and my own kid. (Although she’s a teenager now and it’s kind hard to find gifts for 13 year olds that fit into stockings and aren’t gift cards because I hate giving gift cards as gifts, so next year I may suggest the dollar bill bit to my husband because who doesn’t love money?)

My husband buys the “stockings stuffers.” (AKA he buys candy. He loves candy. Specifically chocolate. More specifically fancy chocolate. He’s a chocolate snob.) Several years ago I bought the candy for the stockings and he still reminds me of what I failure I am at selecting the appropriate sweet treats for one’s stocking.

(Side note, he critiques my Halloween candy purchases too, and every year I have to remind him that the sugary substance is meant to be given out to random kids approaching our doorstep while wearing spooky costumes, so WTF does he care what kind of candy I buy??)

Anyway, back to the significance of that pic of what remains of my stocking stash. There’s a reason for each and every item in that picture.

First, the Reese’s. I’d argue that who the hell doesn’t like Reese’s, but I know the answer: my daughter. Once upon a time, when she was much younger, one of her closest friends was this kid who lived down the street who had a severe peanut allergy. From their friendship she learned to avoid dangerous foods like, well, Reese’s. Considerate, yes. But he moved away and probably if she actually tried one, she’d discover she liked it, since both of her parents do and therefore she should be just like us.

Wait, what am I saying? If she continues to insist she doesn’t like them, that’s more for the two of us. And that’s exactly what my husband does: he splits the contents of the bag between he and I, so our daughter doesn’t have to bother (anymore; it took us a while to figure this out) dumping out her entire stocking and sorting through the contents, pulling out all the Reese’s and piling them on the coffee table for our dining delight.

Next is the Ghirardelli chocolate. This is, without exception, my husband’s favorite food. If you put a fancy, craft beer in front of him and then place a Ghirardelli Square next to it and tell him he can only have one, well…that’s the sort of choice no human being should have to make.

So these candies are all him. To be honest, Ghirardelli chocolate wasn’t even on my radar before I met him. Now, no holiday is complete without, well, it.

Here’s my honest opinion: Ohmigod, yes, Ghirardelli makes phenom chocolate. And my hands down fave are the dark chocolate mint squares. Those babies are crack. A reasonably close second are the dark chocolate sea salt caramel squares.

But really, any square will do.

Next are the Lindor truffles. (Those are the little red, blue, green, and gold wrapped balls of chocolate next to the dark chocolate mint square that, by the time you are reading this, has been eaten.)

Not my fave. Maybe it’s too much chocolate (probably not) or maybe it’s just not Ghirardelli or maybe it’s because every time I bite into one, I expect a gooey center (because my literal favorite candy ever is a Cadbury Crème Egg). Either way, I’ll eat ‘em because, duh, chocolate, but if my husband wanted to trade I wouldn’t even hesitate.

And lastly we have the Russel Stover marshmallow Santa.

Not a snobby type of chocolate, FYI.

But, yeah, somebody in this family luuuuuuuvs marshmallow and chocolate mixed together, and you might be surprised to learn it is not the one who actually buys all this candy each year. (No, you won’t, because chocolate and marshmallow is not a snobby chocolate.)

In fact, my husband doesn’t like the combo at all (probably because Ghirardelli doesn’t make it). I’m pretty sure he stuffs these sweet treats into every stocking except his own.

But he still buys them. For me.

Which, by the way, is a terribly, er, sweet way for a chocolate snob to express his love.

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and indulges in chocolate, often all at the same time. With her husband. The chocolate snob. Check out her website: https://tamilund.com/.

Also, check out her latest release, HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON!

 

 

What Are You Reading?

As I typed that title, in my head I heard that “What’s in your wallet” commercial, just FYI.

But anyway, wanna know what I’m currently reading?

61cIx-A4tgLFirst up is Conquer My Heart by Rachel Donnelly. I just started it, so I’m only about 10% in, but already fascinated. It’s a historical romance with a strong heroine who fits into the era. I love a good, strong heroine, so appreciate it when authors write them into historical novels, but they still have to be appropriate to the time they live in, right? And so far, Rachel Donnelly is doing exactly that with Briana. I’m looking forward to getting lost in the time of Vikings and Saxons.

The next one I plan to immerse myself in is The Lost Dragon by Debbie Herbert. I grabbed this one because another author had mentioned it was one of her favorite reads of 2018. It’s part of the Bad Alpha Dads series that I also write in. I read a few pages before clicking and I’m already totally hooked. Even though I’m thoroughly enjoying the above mentioned historical romance, I’m equally as excited to dive into this dragon shifter book.

51XNve2BBZHL

Lastly, I haven’t gotten to them yet, but I noticed I’ve downloaded a fair share of other dragon books to my phone (I read via the Kindle app or through iBooks). Apparently, I’m on a dragon kick lately. Could be because I just set up my own second dragon book for pre-order, and I’m a little giddy about it. Not only that, but I’ve already started the third book in the series (Taming the Dragon series), and I now have five total books planned. Including one in which a gargoyle will feature prominently. Which reminds me, I need to check out a few gargoyle shifter books too…

 

Happy reading! Oh, and if you’re interested in my latest book, it’s called Hungry Like A Dragon and will be released on January 29, 2019. You can pre-order here:

HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

Tami Lund writes and reads books, drinks copious amounts of wine, and occasionally wins awards. You should check out her website: https://tamilund.com/

No, Spanx.

On a recent business trip to Tennessee, I had brought a cute dress to wear. I had also packed a pair of Spanx to wear under that dress because it smooths out the panty lines.

(Who am I kidding. It smooths EVERYTHING out, not just panty lines.)

Wet from the shower, and struggling to get ready on time, I put one leg in the elastic and yanked to begin the arduous task of pulling them up. They make it look so easy on commercials, don’t they? Smiling women effortlessly roll them up, then pull shirts down over their new, svelte silhouettes.

That’s not happening in my situation. It’s not even close. I pull them up, they roll down. Pull up, roll down. I try again, more determined than ever, but have to stop to take a sip of  disgusting hotel coffee for strength. Huffing and puffing, I finally get them up where they belong and pause for breath and to rest my sore, aching shoulder. However, my victory is short lived.

The speed at which the Spanx roll down reminds me of a white windowshade in reverse.

They sit at my waist, this pretzel looking wad of elastic, and they mock me.

what are you gonna do now? they ask.

I admit defeat. That is what I do. I’m out of time and my poor shoulder (the one I have to have surgery on) is throbbing. I kick them at the wall, throw the dress on the bed and choose some dress pants that don’t require Spanx.

Later, my sister asked if I felt the earthquake in Tennessee. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that the quake seemed to coincide with me hurling my Spanx against the wall.

(Actual text with my sis below)

Screenshot_20181231-220238~2

Authors Should Be Readers Too

So I wrote this blog on my own website this past weekend, and I planned to “press” it, a.k.a. reblog it over here today, because I thought it was worth sharing … twice.

Except I upgraded my website and now the reblog option is conspicuously absent. So, instead of a reblog, you’re getting a copy/paste.

So here it is, my blog post about why I think authors should be readers too, and a few recommendations based on the last few books I’ve read. Because, you know, authors ARE readers too … or at least, they should be.

Enjoy!

https://tamilund.com/2018/12/02/authors-should-be-readers-too/

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Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, blogger, and sometimes she gives away free books as holiday presents. Like this one, which is only available for download until December 31st. Cheers!

GIFT OF THE GODS

 

Instacart, my new best friend.

So, I did a thing.

Last week, I found an Aldi Instacart order that I had abandoned a while back and peeked through it. Wow, I thought. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I actually do need, plus, I need milk for tonight. I started planning and scheming. I could order this stuff to come between 6 and 7, I thought, and by that point, I will have been home for an hour and able to clean the house while waiting for my groceries.

woman carrying basket of fruits and vegetables

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Friends, this isn’t like giving your husband a list to go to the store. No. I don’t know about your husband, but if I send him to the store for butter, I can guarantee you that he’s going to come back with unsalted and WHY WOULD YOU EVER BUY UNSALTED BUTTER to use on toast. (Not that it’s ever happened, of course.)

No, not like sending your husband or adult kids to the store at all because I order ahead of time, exactly what I want. You just click on the product, verify the quantity, and move on.  I did notice that some things were a little more than they’d be in the store, but not terribly more. Certainly not enough to dissuade me.

I chose carefully. Two boxes of slim jims. Popcorn. Half and half. Some avocados. All in all, it was about an $80 order.

I’ll admit to some trepidation here because I’m pretty finicky when it comes to picking out my produce. Was my anonymous shopper going to be as careful as I am? We would shortly find out. Spoiler alert: she did fine.

I had a $5 coupon which mitigated the approximately $8 charge. You might quail at an $8 charge. However, I am going to point out to you that the night I ordered Aldi groceries delivered to my house it was about 20 degrees and windy outside and that whole $8 was so well worth it. I wasn’t the one wheeling the cart to the car and unloading the groceries. I wasn’t the one schlepping the cart back to the corral to get my quarter back (in the cold) and I didn’t have to sit in traffic, either.

Was it worth the $8 to have this service?

YOU BET YOUR ASS IT WAS.

Also, the Instacart app keeps you updated on how many items your shopper has already gotten. If they’re out of a certain thing, the shopper texts you to find out if they can make a replacement. For instance, I wanted the peppermint ice cream that’s only out at the holidays but the shopper sent me a text that they were out, and did I wish her to make a substitution? Sure, my PMS said. Pick me up some chocolate.

I was notified when she finished and paid; I knew when she left the store to drive to my house, and I was notified when she pulled up. She was a very friendly young woman. I knew it was her because like Uber, Instacart sends you a picture of your shopper beforehand. I tipped her via the app.

Was it a little nerve wracking to relinquish control to someone else to shop for me? Yes.

Will I do it again?

HELLS to the yes.

Only the next time I probably won’t be cleaning the house, I’ll be wrapping presents.

Christine Cacciatore is a multi-published author who lives—and loves—to write. Together with her sister, Jennifer Starkman, she has published the magical novels Baylyn, Bewitched and Cat, Charmed, with the third book Elise, Evermore coming out soon. On her own, she has written Noah Cane’s Candy, a sassy holiday short romance and Knew You’d Come, a spicy paranormal romance novella.

Need a Distraction From Football?

Or really just don’t care about it? I feel ya.

Despite my ambivalence over football, I do love a fantastic sports hero. I’m talking in romance books, of course!

And my friend Christa Maurice put together a nice list of sports romance, including my own book, Sexy Bad Daddy, which is about a golf pro and his nanny and all the naughty things that occur, despite their best intentions. (Also, in this book, you’ll find an adorable three-year-old daughter, a trouble-causing goat, and possibly a duck… yeah, you’re gonna have to read it to believe it.)

Here’s a teaser:

“So anyway, Paynt here thinks I’m not nearly as good at picking up the ladies as I am,” Garrett says.

“Actually, what I said was, you shouldn’t be,” his brother corrects him. “He sleeps around too damn much,” he explains for my benefit.

I bite my lip to keep from laughing. I’m guessing they’re drunk, or at least Garrett is.

“So tell me,” Garrett says, glancing up at me with puppy dog eyes that no doubt are at least partially to blame for the whole sleeping-around-too-damn-much issue. That muscle tone under his shirt certainly wouldn’t be a deterrent, either.

“I have a boyfriend,” I blurt. Danny’s not remotely my boyfriend—he’s more like my sibling, or maybe the perfect just friend to tag along when you want to hang out at a sports bar—but I need an out here. I know my own shortcomings when it comes to good-looking, older guys who smell like money. Best to put up that wall before this conversation goes any further.

“Too bad,” Garrett says. “But for the sake of argument, pretend you don’t. If I hit on you, would you go home with me?”

Before I decided to try to grow the hell up and get my life on track, the answer might have been yes, but for all the wrong reasons. Not anymore, though. I’m a new woman. A better woman.

“She’s hesitating.” Garrett stabs his finger at Paynter. “Told you. They can’t resist me.”

“You’re such an ass,” Paynter says.

“Nah, I’m living the dream. Just because you’re tied down to a goat and a hot executive doesn’t mean you gotta beat up on my perfectly satisfying lifestyle.”

A goat and a hot executive? I can’t decide if I want to stay and learn more or run away.

***

Here’s the link to SEXY BAD DADDYhttps://www.amazon.com/Sexy-Bad-Daddy-Book-ebook/dp/B071J2K6PH

And here’s the link to a whole bunch of sports romance, for your reading pleasure: https://christamaurice.com/2018/09/30/sports-romance/

 

Happy reading!

b6f96-sexy2bbad2bdaddy2bfinal

Tami Lund writes romance, including, on occasion, sports romance. And baby daddy romance. And funny romance. And FBI romance. And dragon romance. And vampire romance. Okay, Tami writes a lot of romance. Check out her website for the rather extensive list: https://sexybadbooks.com/books-by-tami-lund/