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Melinda St.James, one of the younger (and more innocent) characters from the Valentine series, has decided on what she wants to do, when summer arrives. Here’s a snippet from the upcoming Valentine 5, which features a conversation between Melinda and Jo Fuentes. Enjoy!

 

 

“Hey, I know what I want to do this summer,” Melinda said. “I heard someone at school talking about the Pride Parade in June. I wanna go!”

Veronica, Val and Jo all turned to her in surprise. “The Pride Parade?” Val asked.

Melinda set her bowl on the coffee table and nodded enthusiastically. “Yes!” she said. “Can we go this year?”

“Uh, sweetie, do you know what the Pride Parade is for?” Jo asked.

“Sure,” Melinda said. “It’s about celebrating who you are, and being proud of yourself and your friends.”

Jo turned to Val and Victoria and smiled. “She’s so innocent, it’s too adorable,” she said. She turned back to Melinda, and said, “Well, you’re not wrong. Pride celebrates the LGBTQ community. It reminds people to be tolerant and open-minded, and embrace everyone’s differences. It helps the community be more aware of people like me.”

Melinda blinked at her in surprise. “What, do you mean, like, other Marines?”

Jo raised her eyebrows. “You’re really adorable, do you know that?”

Melinda beamed, and picked up her bowl of cereal. “Thank you.” Victoria leaned over and whispered something into Melinda’s ear.

Jo smiled at Val and Veronica. “This year, she should lead the Pride Parade.”

 

          “You know, I read about you, before I came up here,” Jo said. “I read all about how you like to sleep with young women who get speeding tickets in your town. And I read all about that little incident involving the under aged driver, who didn’t want to sleep with you in order to get out of a ticket. I also read about the massive number of complaints that have been filed against you, for sexual harassment, misconduct, and racial profiling. Black suspects and Latino suspects being questioned by you and beaten by you. It seems like a lot of the men and women in your precinct don’t like the things you’ve done.”

            Rennick laughed nervously. “So, you think you know about me?” he said. “Right now, a speeding ticket is gonna be the last thing you have to worry about!” He turned to leave, and placed his hand on the doorknob. When he tried to turn it, it wouldn’t open. He tried it again, and again, but it still wouldn’t open. “Hey!” he shouted through the door. “Dowd! Michaels! Open this damn door!”

            Dowd and Michaels could see their chief through the small window on the door to the interrogation room. They looked at him, then turned away from the door.

            “Hey!” Rennick shouted again. “I said open this damn door! I know you can hear me!”

            Dowd and Michaels ignored him. So did every other officer who walked by.

            “You think they locked me in here, with you,” Jo said. She raised her hands, and placed them on top of the table, just as Rennick turned to face her. “But that’s not it. The truth is, they locked you in here with me.” She stood up from the table, and walked around it. Before Rennick could draw his gun, she had him in a choke hold.

“Rowdy”, part three of the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series, is coming out at the end of the month. Here’s a little preview: Chapters 1-2. Enjoy!

 

Chapter One

Amy

 

            I was sitting on the couch inside the recording studio at Urban Collective, scanning an article in Alternative Press magazine. If anyone had asked me what the article was about, I couldn’t have told them. I wasn’t reading it; not really. There were words and pictures on the page, but all I could see was red. I’d never been so pissed off in all my life. My friends and I had been busting our asses to make a name for our band, and my idiot ex-husband was working to destroy it all! Who the hell does that?

            “Did you know Kurt Cobain died on my sixteenth birthday?”

            I looked up from the magazine to see Aidan, sitting across from me on a stool, scrolling through his phone. He looked up from the screen and smiled at me. “That’s pretty trippy, right?”

            I shook my head and sighed. “I’m sorry, Aidan,” I said. “I completely forgot you were here. I’m still so angry about this whole thing with David.”

            “I know,” Aidan said. He slid his phone into his back pocket, and clasped his hands in his lap. “So, what are we gonna do about him?”

            “I don’t know yet,” I replied. “Nick said he wanted to talk to David, one on one. And Rob…well, Rob just wants to kick his ass.” I set the magazine down on the cushion next to me. “So does Jon.”

            “Well, you can add my name to that list, too,” Aidan said. “Piece of shit. What was he thinking?”

            I shook my head at the idea. “To think we used to be friends,” I said. “I mean, I always believed we would still have that, you know? I believed, even if we didn’t work out as a couple, we could at least hold on to our friendship. I guess I thought wrong.”

            Aidan smiled at me. “David never knew what he had when he was with you,” he said. “That’s why he’s so pissed off. He lost the greatest thing that ever happened to him.”

            “Aidan?” I said, feeling my eyes becoming watery. “Dude, don’t say stuff like that! You’re gonna make me cry.”

            “It’s the truth!” Aidan insisted. “Losing you fucked him up.”

            At that moment, Nick walked in, and plopped down beside me. “Hey,” he said, with a sigh. “What’s up?”

            “The ceiling,” Aidan replied. “What’s up with you?”

            Nick smirked at him. “Trying to figure out what to do about this David situation,” he said. “I could just have him killed, you know. The Lianetti name carries a lot of weight in Sicily, and all I have to do is make a phone call and pay for a plane ticket—”

            “Stop,” I said. “We’re not having anyone killed. We’re going to be rational adults about this.”

            “I don’t want to be a rational adult,” Aidan said, flicking his tail. “I wanna put my foot up David’s ass.”

            “So do I,” I said. “But that’s not the way to handle this.”

            Nick reached up and scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “What we need to do, is keep doing what we’ve been doing. We need to keep making music.”

            “We need to release another album,” Aidan said.

            Nick nodded in agreement. “I’m going to start working on some songs. If you guys come up with anything, let me know, and we’ll work on it.” He paused for a moment, then added. “I did try to call David, but he wouldn’t answer his cell or return any of my calls. I know he got my voice mails.”

            “Don’t worry about him,” I said. “Like you said, we need to focus on making music.”

Chapter Two

Nick

 

 

 

            It’s always the ones you least suspect, who screw you over. If a total stranger had been behind all of our problems, I could live with that. But my cousin? My own family? How am I supposed to feel about that?

            When I left the studio, I went home. Nyda wasn’t in yet, so I had the place to myself. With so much idle time on my hands, I figured I could get some writing done. We needed a new album; one that would blow all of our haters out of the water. I had a lot of work ahead of me.