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/

A V Day Chat with Characters from Tami Lund’s Book

I know, I know, Valentine’s Day was yesterday. But considering this post is about Gavin Rowan from Of Love and Darkness, the first in my Twisted Fate series, I think you understand why it’s acceptable to post it on February 15th.

What’s that? You haven’t read Of Love and Darkness, so you have no idea what I’m talking about? You don’t know anything about Gavin, the cursed Light One, and Sydney, the Chala-who-has-no-idea she is one? Or how about William, the cross-dressing Fate who’s built like a linebacker?

No?

Well, what are you waiting for? Today through Friday it’s only 99 cents. Hurry and grab it!

In the meantime, here’s a typical Valentine’s Day in the Rowan household….

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OfLoveandDarkness (large).jpg

“I suck at this Valentine’s shit.”

William glanced up from reading the newspaper on his iPad. Gavin Rowan, that incorrigible cursed Rakshasa shifter who happened to be in love with William’s Chala, towered over him, a scowl on his unshaven face, his pale blue eyes glaring at the Fate as if it were his fault the man was lousy at being romantic.

“You suck at a great many things,” William obligingly pointed out. He was stuck with the often surly shifter because Sydney loved him, but that didn’t mean he had to play nice. Besides, playing nice rarely worked for Gavin. He tended to speak one language: asshole.

“Not nearly as good as you do, I bet,” Gavin shot back, a typical derogatory comment about William’s preference for sharing his bed with men instead of women.

“I will never understand what Sydney sees in you.” William dropped his iPad onto his lap and brushed a bit of lint off the lacy lapel of his red wrap blouse. It was a recent find and his current favorite shirt. He’d been thrilled when he discovered they made it in his size. It was often a challenge to buy women’s clothing in sizes large enough to fit a six and a half foot tall, two hundred and sixty pound man built like a linebacker. And don’t even get him started on shoes.

“I think you understand quite well,” Gavin replied with a leer. “Now, help a guy out. What should I get her?”

“You to realize it’s four o’clock in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day, right?”

“Yeah, so hurry up about it. I haven’t even acknowledged the day yet. I’m sure she thinks I have some kind of surprise up my sleeve. So tell me what to do.”

William would like to tell the man to jump off the highest cliff he could find. But that would devastate Sydney, and William hated it when his Chala was upset. He sighed and said, “You seriously can’t think of anything? You have no idea what she wants, what she likes? Her favorite pastime? Her favorite restaurant?”

“I don’t want to take her out to dinner. Everybody does that. It’s boring. I want… something different. Better. Something she’ll remember, and tell all her friends about.”

“How does the asshole in you manage to live with that giant ego? Seems like they’d be fighting for dominance all the damn time.”

“You’re a funny Fate,” Gavin replied with a smirk that said William was anything but.

“Not nearly as funny as the comedians at the Comedy Castle.”

Gavin gave him a blank look and then shook his head. “Whatever, dude. You gonna help me or not?”

“I’m trying,” William grumbled. “She does like to laugh, you know.”

“So you think I should just tell her jokes all night?”

“You really are an idiot, you know that?”

“And you’re a fruitcake. We all have our burdens to bear. So about that Valentine’s Day idea?”

With a long-suffering sigh, William reached into the V on the neck of his blouse and pulled out an envelope. He offered it to Gavin, who looked at it as if it might bite him.

“Did you seriously just pull that out of your cleavage? What the fuck is wrong with you? And what is it, anyway?”

“Tickets, you dolt. To the comedy show. Seven o’clock seating. A lovely wine bar recently opened down the street from the comedy club. I think she’d like it.” He made a show of looking at his watch. “So I’d get a move on, if I were you.”

He watched realization dawn on Gavin’s face. If he weren’t such a repulsive creature, William might even go so far as to say it lightened his face, made him almost attractive.

Gavin snatched the envelope. “Sweet.” He bolted from the room without so much as a thank you, but William had expected no less. A moment later, Sydney stepped out from where she’d been hovering in the kitchen. Unlike her mate, her enthusiasm and appreciation was clear as day, as she pulled William to his feet and squeezed him until he couldn’t breathe.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, William. You’re a doll. I’m so excited for tonight.” She clapped her hands like a three-year-old.

“You’re welcome, but tell me, why didn’t you just tell him that’s what you wanted?”

Sydney’s pink rosebud lips thinned and she crossed her arms over her chest. “Gavin probably would have refused to do it, if I’d suggested it. You know how he likes to think it was his idea. And I knew he’d come to you, because he wouldn’t be able to think of anything. And whatever you suggested is what he’d do. This worked perfectly. Now, I have to go track him down so he can tell me about our plans, so I can get ready for my hot date. Thanks again, William. I owe you one.”

She trotted away, happy as a lark, and William was once again reminded of the complexity and convolution—and sheer genius—of the female mind.

***

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes quirky characters, often with a strong sense of humor. She’s a big fan of bad boys who really have a heart of gold, and unexpected secondary characters who sometimes have to bash the hero and heroine over the head to get them to realize they’re in love.

Busy, Busy, But There’s Always Time for a Party

Yes, Christmas is a few short days away, and yes, it’s a busy, busy week. Wrapping gifts, planning for holiday gatherings, wrapping gifts, oh, and the daughter has midterms and of course basketball practice. Let’s not forget basketball pics. Then there’s the day job, where I’m trying to wrap everything up so I can enjoy eleven straight days of no hellacious commute without worrying I’ve left some project incomplete. Oh yeah, and I need to wrap gifts.

But wait, there’s more. Yeah, lots going on in my writing world, too. Here’s a rundown:

  1. Remember that vampire novella I wrote? It’s called RESIST, and it’s part of the Blood Courtesans series. It released on November 15 at 99 cents. Well, it’s going up to $2.99, so if you want it at the discounted rate, grab it quick.
  2. My witchy novella, ALL’S FAIR: LOVE & WARLOCKS, is now in KU, so if you’re a subscriber, grab it for free.
  3. I dropped the price on MIRROR, MIRROR, my funny, gypsy novella, to 99 cents through the end of the year.
  4. FIRST LIGHT, the prequel to my Lightbearer series, which happens to be a freebie, is going to be part of a boxed set of “series starters.” The set will be called YEAR OF THE WOLF PACK and will be two parts, and comes out in January. Yes, you read that right: two full box sets of *free* series starters.
  5. I have a new release coming out on January 31. It’s called SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR, and I’m co-writing it with Misti Murphy. it’s been soooooo much fun to write, and I cannot wait to share it with you all! The super sexy cover will be revealed in mid-January. Signup for my newsletter so you’re one of the first to see it: http://www.subscribepage.com/Tami_Lund
  6. I have another new release coming out on Valentine’s Day. Actually, it’s a short story that’s going to be part of an anthology. The anthology is called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE, and it’s 14 shifter shorts, and all proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Oh yeah, and my short is called BROKEN LIGHT, and it’s the second prequel to the Lightbearer series. I couldn’t resist writing Xander’s story. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, refer to #4 and download FIRST LIGHT, which happens to be f-r-e-e.
  7. Geez, isn’t that enough??
  8. Oh yeah, tomorrow, I’m doing a takeover on my Facebook page. It’s part of “Ellie Master’s 12 Days of Christmas” party. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s worth the time, I promise. There are a bunch of authors who have been writing something along the lines  of flash fiction. One “nice” version, which somehow didn’t end up very nice (but in a good way), one “naughty” version, which is so naughty I’m a little nervous for my turn, and one “surprise” which ended up being a KINKmas poem and was hilarious to write. On top of all that, each day, multiple authors are doing takeovers on their own pages, which translates into goodies and prizes galore. It’s a fun, fun, fun way to meet new authors and find new books to fall in love with. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1797208247205677/. And don’t forget, I’m doing my takeover at 7pm EST on 12/22. You can get to it through the link above, or here’s my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund/.
  9. Okay, now I think I’m done. And I’d better get back to work. A lot going on, as you can see.
  10. PS: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, and writer of happily ever afters. She also occasionally hangs out at Facebook parties. Don’t forget to join her Thursday at 7!

 

Tami Lund is Writing a New Book-And There’s a Contest!

You will undoubtedly be *shocked* to hear that I’m working on a new book. Actually, two. One’s a sexy, fun contemporary, which I’m co-writing with the incredibly talented Misti Murphy. It’s called SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR, and it’s a hilarious story of two unlikely neighbors who of course end up falling for each other. Oh, and there’s a goat involved, but not like THAT (although there may be jokes to that effect…).

The other book I’m working on is a paranormal. Shifters. Not surprising, I know. I write a lot of shifters. I clearly have a thing for sexy, hot guys who can transform into the shape of an animal.

The reason I’m working on another shifter book actually has nothing to do with the two series I currently have available (Lightbearer and Twisted Fate). I had planned for this one to connect back to one of the two, but now that I’m writing it, it just isn’t going to work out that way. But that’s okay. Who knows? It could turn into yet another, entirely separate series…

Anyway, I’m writing this book because I was invited to be part of an anthology. The antho is called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE, and it’s fourteen authors, each writing a Valentine’s Day, shifter-esque happily ever after (get it? Fourteen? Valentine’s Day? yeah, we’re cheesy like that…). The reason I decided to join this particular antho was because we’ve decided all proceeds will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Definitely a worthy cause, and I love writing shifters, so why the hell not?

And here I am, juggling two couldn’t-be-more different books, both that are due to release within weeks of each other. Yeah, call me crazy. Although I will say, it’s not too bad flipping back and forth between them for that very reason. They are two totally different worlds, totally different genre, so it’s like flipping a light switch. Okay, time to work in the real world. Flip. Okay, time to work in the shifter world.

I got this. I hope. No, really, I do. And while SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR isn’t yet up for pre-sale, CLAIMING MY VALENTINE is. Remember, it’s for charity. And it’s only 99 cents for fourteen different shifter stories. If you wanna grab it, here’s the link: AMAZON.

Oh yeah, and let me sweeten the pot for you. This group of authors is also running a Rafflecopter contest, which means you can win stuff. Click the link, enter, win. That simple. We also had a cover reveal this past Sunday. Here’s the link, if you want to see what sort of fun, cool, sexy stuff these authors plan for this anthology: COVER REVEAL.

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And last but not least, here’s one of my current fave scenes (unedited) from my contribution to the anthology, HUNTING A VALENTINE:

She eyed the glass-front fridge under the counter behind him. “What’s the most interesting craft beer you carry?”

He grabbed a can, popped the top, and placed it on the cocktail napkin. She eyed it as if waiting for it to perform tricks.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon? Are you serious?”

“Have you ever had one?”

“No.”

“Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” He nudged the can closer to her.

“Don’t you at least have it in a bottle?”

“Nope. We’re all out of glasses, too,” he said, despite the rows he’d just stacked sitting right in front of her.

“I’ve clearly fallen down the rabbit hole.”

“Actually, you’ve tumbled into the wolves’ den.”

She smirked. “I see what you did there.” Lifting the can, she used it to indicate the glowing sign affixed to the wall behind him. “The Den. Clever.” And then she took a tentative sip.

Want more? Grab the antho for only 99 cents. It releases on, duh, Valentine’s Day!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, and joiner of anthologies. She also likes supporting charities like St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. You should, too, by grabbing a copy of CLAIMING MY VALENTINE.