Queen Alisha's Guide to Life

{April 15, 2013}   That Voodoo That You Do

Well folks, after the seriousness of Emily’s story in Crossroads, I’ve decided to write something a little more light. I’m combining many of my favorite things in this one, humor, New Orleans, and music. Here’s a sneak peek at the first chapter of my newest novel, That Voodoo That You Do.

Here’s to new projects!

Peace! I’m out!

Chapter One

            “Hello! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.”

Holy crawfish!  J.J. Jacobs thought as she looked up from the elegant front desk of the New Orleans hotel and fell head over hormones into lust.

“Checking in.” the object of her affliction said. “Name’s Rhet Rhet Butler.”

This is bad. J.J. thought. I’m about to climb over this desk and molest a customer with a fake name. J.J. blew a lock of blonde streaked brunette hair out of her face and hit some keys on the computer keyboard.

            “Oh yes, Mr….Butler. You are in the Red Light Suite. Are you here for the Voodoo Festival?”

            “Yes, I am.” He said.

            J.J. looked up at him again. Again she was hit with a white-hot wave of lust. His head was shaved underneath a black ball cap. Black tribal tattoos wrapped around arms the size of Amazonian anacondas. He wore a simple black t-shirt and fashionably tattered blue jeans. His eyes were deep brown as was the five o’clock shadow that covered the bottom part of his face. He was just her type, masculine and ragged around the edges.

            Her eyes met his eyes and the air between them sizzled. The flame seemed to burn the oxygen out of the air, leaving her feeling light-headed. She sucked in a breath, catching a whiff of his woodsy cologne. She closed her eyes as the floor felt like it shifted.

            She exhaled a breath and choked out, “This key unlocks both your room and the gate to your private courtyard. Enjoy the festival and your stay with us. If you need, anything.” J.J. inwardly cringed as her voice broke on the word anything. “don’t be afraid to call the front desk.”

            Anaconda Arms, aka Rhett Butler, pocketed the key. “If I need any…thing,” he winked at her. “you’ll be the first one I call.”

            J.J. watched Anaconda Arms as he disappeared down the hall.

            “J.J.” someone was calling her name. “J.J.” someone said again, louder this time.

            “What?” she snapped. She shook her head and looked to see who it was. J.J. instantly felt bad. Zoey, the twenty-something bartender was smiling at her from the door of the hotel’s small lounge.

            “I’m sorry, Zoey.” J.J. said.   “What is it?”

            Zoey brushed her burgundy streaked black hair out of her face. She was grinning.

            “He was hot, huh?” Zoey teased.

            J.J. frowned at her and started needlessly straightening the top of the antique desk.

            “Isn’t it time for your shift?” J.J. asked her, frowning.

            Zoey grinned again and handed her a sheet of paper. “Today’s inventory. Don’t forget Jagneaux’s delivering today.”

            “You can handle that.” J.J. said. “Just leave the invoice by the register. I’ll pick it up after happy hour.

            “No problem.” Zoey said, turning to leave.

            J.J. turned her attention to the couple walking through the door.

            “Hi! Welcome to the Gilded Lily.” J.J. said.

            The woman stood back. Her body was rigid and her face was impassive. It wasn’t the usual posture for a young couple checking in. Not in New Orleans, a  place known for romance. Usually couples were google-eyed and lovey-dovey.

            “Here you go, Mr. Robicheaux. There’s a complimentary happy hour in the lounge at six. Hope to see you there.”

            He gave her half a smile, “I sure could use a drink.”

            The woman behind him snorted, a sound that contrasted her cool, blonde appearance.

            J.J. raised an eyebrow and stifled a grin. “Well, enjoy your stay with us.”

            J.J. felt her thoughts wander to the mysterious Mr. Butler. Granted, he was not the first person to check in under an alias. There was just something about him. There was something familiar, like she knew him from somewhere. She just wasn’t sure where.

            J.J. shook her head and checked the slim gold watch on her wrist. Five o’clock. She had an hour to go to her room, shower and change for happy hour. She gave the lobby one last look. Every detail from the antique crystal chandelier, to the wall hangings, to the flower arrangements that were delivered weekly from a local florist was chosen by J.J, or a former Jacobs. The hotel had been in the family for generations. Her mother had grown up here, her grandmother. She smiled with satisfaction and headed to her suite.

            Zoey polished the last of the glassware and surveyed her bar. Well, not HER bar but she took care of it like it was her own. She took pride in her job. She loved it and she loved working for J.J.

            Zoey checked the clock overhanging the bar. 5:30. In thirty minutes, Sam and Dean would be by before their nightly ghost tours. Zoey checked her image in the mirrored wall behind the bar. She smoothed a wayward dark hair into place.

            Dean, she thought. Those eyes. That smile. He had no idea she was crazy about him.

            A rattle in the cooler where they kept the frozen mugs interrupted her thoughts.

            “Already” Zoey asked. She pulled a mug out of the cooler and went to the Abita beer tap. She filled the glass and sat it on the corner of the bar.

            Zoey finished getting ready for happy hour. She loved these quiet moment before the bar was busy. Before six, the only customers she would have would be a few hotel customers in for a beer or two. And Ernest, but he didn’t count.

            She checked her hair one more time then started her 5:45 ritual.

            Watching the door.

            God, she hated him. Caroline thought as she watched Rod move about the room. The romantic surroundings, the lacey curtains, the four-poster bed, was lost on the two of them.

New Orleans, Halloween, VoodooFest, it was their favorite bands on their favorite holiday. It was supposed to have been a romantic getaway.

Caroline snorted. Some romantic getaway.

He should’ve been a gentleman when they broke up and sold her the ticket. Noooo. She should’ve gotten another room. But she had paid for the room and if he wasn’t giving up the tickets, she wasn’t giving up the room.

So, they were stuck.

The ride from Lafayette to New Orleans had been two hours of silence. They spoke only for the most basic reasons. And apparently, that’s how it would continue for the remainder of the weekend. At least if they weren’t talking, they weren’t fighting. And fighting would only make the weekend worse.

She let out a frustrated sigh and grabbed her make up bag. It was time for a drink.

J.J. donned a soft robe and stepped out of the bathroom. Her blonde hair was wet and floating around her shoulders. She thought again of Rhett, or whatever his name was.  This man was already taking up way to much parking space in her mind. She didn’t have time for this distraction. She was still in men-o-pause after the last disaster.

She tossed the towel off her head and started blowing her hair dry. Mark, the last man, had done a number on her. She had met him at a Chamber of Commerce function. He was a hotel owner also. They had drinks and discussed the nuances of the business. Then, she’d fallen headfirst into a love affair. Only later did she find out he was married. And he didn’t own the hotel, his wife did. J.J. had sworn off all men for a while then, and hadn’t regretted it. Until now. It didn’t help that Anaconda Arms was in the suite across the courtyard.

She switched off the hairdryer. With her sliding glass doors open to the courtyard, she could hear music. Guitar music. Someone was strumming a guitar in the courtyard. It was Anaconda Arms. He started to sing and J.J.’s knees went weak.

She now knew who Rhett really was.

{January 20, 2013}   It’s Criminal


Criminal Minds is absolutely one of my favorite shows. Hey, what girl wouldn’t love a show full of eye candy like Morgan, Rossi, Reid, and Hotchner? One of my favorite debates with other female fans is “Which one is the hottest?” I don’t think it’s ever been decided. :)

Not only is the cast easy to look at, the show is superbly written. Rather than being a show just about evidence, clues, and motivation, Criminal Minds delves deeply into the psychology of the criminal. It’s a roller coaster ride through insanity.

Along with the witty dialogue, the psychos, the cast, and the drama, there’s incredible music.  The lyrics and the music that goes with some of the scenes can be downright haunting at times. I could create a whole playlist simply based on tunes I’ve heard on this show. And probably will.

What are some songs I would include? Definitely these three awesome songs. Enjoy!

“Far From Home”  by Five Finger Death Punch

“Broken” by Lifehouse

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

There’s so many more I could list, but these three have to be my favorites.  :)

Here’s to great shows with great music!


I’m out!

{November 28, 2012}   Hark, The Hair Band Rockers Sing!

While playing around yesterday and looking for new rock versions of old Christmas songs, I stumbled upon another list of Christmas carols. Monster Ballad Christmas songs! Anyone who loves 80′s hairbands like I do, will love these next songs. Check them out!

1. Skid Row, “Jingle Bells”

2. Janie Lane, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

3.  Twisted Sister/Lita Ford, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

4. Cinderella, “Blue Christmas”

5. Firehouse, “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”

Want to hear more? Buy the CD! I’m definitely hoping that Santa puts one in my stocking this year!


For now, I’m out….The Queen is being domestic today. I think I’ll bake something. :)

Peace and Love,

I’m out!

{November 27, 2012}   Rock the Halls

I’ve decided to have a little fun this morning and talk about my second love, music. I’m taking a little break from all the serious novel writing. I’m putting the revisions, the query letters, the revised synopsis aside for a moment.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Or Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” But, where are all the really rockin’ Christmas songs? Mariah Carey is no Aaron Lewis. Sorry Mariah.

I did some research this morning and I’ve come up with some Christmas songs that would put any rock fan in the Christmas spirit.

1. Metallica “Carol of the Bells.”

(This song actually has been debated as to whether or not it is Metallica. Me? I just love it. And since it’s my blog it stays.)

2. U2 “Baby Please Come Home For Christmas”

3. Weezer, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

4. Weezer, “O Come All Ye Faithful”

5. Aaron Lewis, “Silent Night”

Of course I had to fit Aaron Lewis in there! So, that’s a few songs for rock fans like myself to enjoy this holiday season. Know some I didn’t list? Feel free to add them. I’m always excited to listen to new music.  Want more ideas? Check out the links I have below.

For now, stay tuned. A hair band version of Christmas songs is coming up soon!

Peace and love this holiday season!

I’m out




{November 16, 2012}   Must Love…..

Ahh, movies! Beautiful girl meets handsome guy. They click. Then fate, family, fidelity, or some other problem gets in the way. They overcome it. They kiss and then live happily ever after.

Must Love Dogs is an example of this and one of my favorite movies. Shhhh…Don’t tell anyone, this jaded lover does not like cheesy romantic comedies.

Must Love Dogs is about Sarah, a thirty-something woman who enters the world of dating again. Her family puts her on an online dating site, and she goes on some very interesting dates. She meets Jake while walking her dog. They have a spark, but their insecurities and doubts get in the way. In the end, Sarah goes after Jake. She jumps out of a canoe into the cold water and after Jake. He’s there to lift her out of the water and into safety and security.

Maybe I like this movie so much because of my star crush on John Cusack. He’s cute, has a great sense of humor, he’s quirky. He’s my idea of my perfect man. I’ve been in love with John since his radio raising romantic scene in Say Anything.

Or maybe I like this movie because I can so identify with it. It’s real. It’s not some catastrophe or unrealistic event that keeps the two lovers apart. It’s the LOVERS that keep themselves apart. It’s their insecurities, their doubts, their fears, their baggage.

If I had to choose a movie that resembled MY love life, this would be it. So many times I’ve let the same doubts and insecurities get in the way. I am Sarah. I am a thirty-something woman in the dating world, both online and offline. I have my baggage. And I have let these things stand in my way.

When I first started writing this piece several weeks ago, my life was dramatically different. After watching this movie, and writing and thinking, I had decided that I was going to take my own risk and jump into the icy water and after what it was that I wanted. I was hoping that Jake would be there to lift me out. I had even taken that one step out of the boat.

Circumstances change, my life changed. And just like a movie on tv, my life stopped for a commercial interruption. So here I am, stuck on pause, with one foot out. I’m waiting for the commercial to be over or for someone to change the channel.

What happens now? I guess I wait. I wait for this interruption to pass and then figure out what I want to do. Will I hit “play” and continue where I left off? Or will I give up on this storyline and start a new one?

I guess we will see.

For now, I have a novel to finish……

Peace! I’m out!

Queen Alisha’s Rules for Online Dating

Since I’ve had a little more time on my hands lately, I’ve decided to try online dating again. Lately, I’ve been using a free site, (more time means less money for the Queen) and apparently you get what you pay for.

 I won’t say the name of the site, but let’s just say it has to do with fishing. Now, fishing is a great metaphor for dating. And actually this site is probably pretty symbolic of an actual dating pond. You have the bottom feeding catfish, the throw away shad, and the hard to catch trophy bass.

One of my favorite fish (dating) stories comes from my dad. I was fresh out my divorce and chasing a guy I had fallen madly into rebound love with. I was talking about this guy in the kitchen while me and my mom were cooking dinner. My dad was listening.

 Dad tells me, “Alisha, there’s this fish out there, it’s called shad. You can dress it up, you can fry it, cook it, bake it, broil it, basically you can do whatever you want with it, but you’re not going to be able to eat it. It stinks. You can’t do anything with it. You might as well just throw it back.”

I’m looking at him with my confused Pug look, head cocked sideways, “Okay.”

 “Alisha,” he says, “Stop trying to bring home shad.”

 A decade later, I’m still trying to dress up fish. And I’m still trying to figure out why I’m single.

 But, as always, I digress.

 I’m determined this time to catch a good one. One that I don’t have to dress up. One that doesn’t stink.

 So, back to the point. I’ve been online for about three weeks now. And not a single date. I must say, I’ve had a few bites, but nothing reel in worthy yet. But after these three weeks, I’ve decided that maybe I should revamp my profile. Maybe I should be very specific as to what I want (or don’t want) So in true Queen Alisha style, I’ve come up with five rules.

  1. Read my profile first.

Alisha is looking for a relationship.It says it right there. A RELATIONSHIP. I do not consider a booty call a relationship. I don’t think friends with benefits is a relationship. And a one night stand is for darn sure NOT a relationship.

  1. I do not want to see any pictures of you that you wouldn’t show your mother.

Please do not text me pics of your twig and berries. That’s not attractive. It’s almost down right scary. It might not always be a good idea to show your “bait” that early. And while we’re on the subject of pictures…..

  1. Please stop taking pictures of yourself in your bathroom mirror.

There are people who will gladly take pictures of you for you. Take a pic of yourself in your car. Or out with friends, or anything without a toilet in the background. If you must, do not make this your primary pic.

  1. Please do not text repeatedly throughout the day.

Do not be too available or too needy. And do not text me, “Are you not interested anymore?” if I don’t respond. Doing so WILL make me lose interest. Immediately. You will not pass go, you will not get a date. And onto dates……

  1. Ask for a date.

I want to be treated with respect. I don’t want to come to your house and “hang out”. We all know what that means. Dates don’t have to be dinner and a movie. Ask me to go to lunch, or a walk in the park, or a local event. It can be coffee at a bookstore. Respect me enough to call or text me and make time for me. Time that doesn’t involve your couch and Netflix. At least not in the beginning.

Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so. I think I’m a fish worth catching. And I think it’s time I switched my bait and started fishing for something substantial. A fish I want to keep. :)

For now, it’s nap time for me. The Queen needs her beauty sleep if she’s going to catch Fish Charming.


I’m out!

{September 2, 2012}   Play It Again Sam

Like most people, I am not a fan of remakes when it comes to music. If the original was good, leave it alone. However, every once in a while, a band will remake a song and it’s as good (if not better) than the original. Here are some of my favorites.

1. “Bad Company” Five Finger Death Punch

2. “Come Together” Godsmack

3. “Turn the Page” Metallica

4. “Behind Blue Eyes” Limp Bizkit

5. “Sympathy for the Devil” Guns n Roses

There’s just a few of my favorites. Check them out! And please, post some of your favorites, I can always do a part two!

Thanks readers, I am now over 16,000 views! Keep reading!


I’m out!

{April 21, 2012}   Crossroads (Chp 1)

For those of you following my novel……..

Chapter One

Oscar whimpered, interrupting Emily’s thoughts. She had loaded up the demented dog with her suitcase. She couldn’t leave him with Eddie. Eddie couldn’t take care of himself, much less the dog. After riding around for a couple of hours, the dog probably needed a break about as much as she did.

She saw a sign “Snappers Bar and Grill.” Her stomach growled in response. Food would be good too.

She took Oscar for a quick walk and she walked up the wooden steps to the bar’s entrance. The smell of hamburgers grilling made her mouth water. She was starving. Emily kept her eyes down, not wanting to attract any attention from the small crowd of older gentlemen. She found a place down the bar but not on the other side. She did not want to encourage eye contact. She wanted food, not a man. That was the LAST thing she wanted.

Emily’s eyes darted around, taking in the décor. Basic hole in the wall was the theme. Neon beer signs lowed on the wall. A pool table sat in the middle. A classic Southern rock song played on the jukebox. And a small group of middle-aged, working class men clustered around the L-shaped corner.

Hi!” The thirty-something blonde behind the bar greeted her and handed her a menu. “How are you today?”

Emily snorted.

The blonde smiled, “One of those, huh? What can I get you to drink?”

Crown and Seven would be awesome.”

I can do that.”

The bartender returned with her drink, Emily reached for her money, now secured in her pocket.

This one’s on the house. Looks like you need it.”

Emily half-assed smiled for the first time, “I definitely do.”

You want something from the menu?”

Yes, not sure what yet.”

I recommend the seafood gumbo. Made from scratch and from tfresh seafood. I’m Carly, by the way. I own this little piece of paradise. Well, co-own.” She smiled and held out her hand. This woman could be a double for Drew Barrymore, Emily thought.

I’m Emily, and the gumbo sounds great.”

Great, I’ll get that started. And welcome to Snapper’s”

Emily sipped her drink, still careful to keep her eyes averted from the cluster of men at the end of the bar. She could feel their eyes on her, and knew it was only a matter of time before one of them approached her. 

{April 6, 2012}   My Winning Entry!!!

For those of you who have asked to read my entry…….

2012 Jambalaya Writers’ Conference contest winners:

Novel Excerpt Contest Winners
First Place: Bonnie Rehage for Inconvenient Promises
Second Place: Charlotte “CJ” Parker for Murderous Visions
Third Place: Alisha Vincent for Crossroads
Honorable Mention: Bridget Erin for Bullet Points

I can’t believe it! I actually won something! I’m so excited! :)

Some of you have probably already read this piece. I’ve been working on it for a few months now. I guess this definitely teaches me a lesson about that word I’m not too fond of….REVISE! :)

For those of you who haven’t, I hope you enjoy…..Please feel free to add comments!


She was crying.

She was staring at a fast food billboard, stopped at a red light. She had tears streaming down her face.

The tears had nothing to do with the newest hamburger. It had everything to with the foreclosure notice sitting there on the passenger side. Six pages of papers with one simple message. She was homeless. She hadn’t told Eddie yet.

Two more turns and she’d be home. Ten more minutes at the most.

What would she tell him? It wouldn’t matter really. It would all be her fault anyway. It always was. It was her fault she wanted to go back to school to finish her degree. It was her fault business had slowed down at the diner where she worked the night shift. It was her fault the prices on everything had gone up, yet her income hadn’t.

One turn, five more minutes.

She brushed a tear away and absently brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. She was tired. Bone tired, her mom would say. She glanced into the rear view mirror. Her brown eyes were red and bloodshot from an all night shift at the diner. Her face was drawn and pale. The extra hours had one advantage. She’d lost a few pounds and it showed. Her face was more angular, her cheekbones pronounced. She glanced at her eyes again, red, puffy. She needed to squeeze in a nap before her classes at the university.

What would she tell him?

He was going to be furious.

Last turn, the driveway.

She turned the car off. The black and white mixed breed dog barked at her as she pulled up. One of Emily’s strays, she had taken him in when no one else wanted him. She would need too feed him, she knew Eddie had not. She would walk him later, let him work off some of his exuberance. She’d scratch him behind his big ears, until he started tapping his feet. She smiled, she loved that dog.

She grabbed most of her tips and shoved them in her bra. Eddie wouldn’t look there. He’d have to touch her to do that, and heaven knew how long that had been. It had been a good night; better than usual. She wanted to hide her hard earned tips away. They were HER’S damnit. She’d worked her ass off for them. Literally. She absently hiked her jeans up. No longer snug, she would need to buy new ones soon. Another expense she didn’t need.

She opened the door. She could already hear him snoring. She held the letter in her hand. What would she tell him?

He was passed out on the sofa. The empty beer bottles scattered around him like bowling pins. Some up, some down. Eddie had never been good at bowling. She snorted. He wasn’t good at anything unless it involved drinking, sleeping, or self-pity.

She glanced into the kitchen at the dishes piled in the sink. The trash overflowing and littering the linoleum around it. Empty take-out boxes littered the counters and spilled onto the floor. Emily ate most of her meals at the diner. These were all Eddie’s, and Eddie apparently didn’t miss many meals.

Her nose twitched. She was disgusted. She liked things clean. They teased her at the diner because she was always cleaning, wiping things down, mopping. This kitchen, the entire house was anything but. It would take more than a day and a gallon of cleaner to make this house clean.

She glanced at Eddie again. Snoring so peacefully on the sofa, not a care in the world. A not so sleeping beauty surrounded by twelve brown drunken dwarfs. He let out a beer belch, and she thought of Shrek. a big green ogre in his swamp. A jack-ass for a friend. She was living her own twisted fairy tale. Was she the jack-ass or the princess?

What would she tell him?

Emily walked down the hall. Without even thinking, she grabbed her suitcase. She packed a few changes of clothes along with her toiletries. Grabbed what little pictures and momentoes she had, tossed them in too. The wedding picture mocked her from the night stand. A moment of happiness captured in black and white. They had been happy once. Before he’d been passed up for that promotion. He’d worked for ten years for that company, and they’d given his job to someone younger, a woman in an attempt to make the company more balanced. He’d self-medicated his depression and anger with alcohol. Too many call-ins, and too many drunken mornings, showing up with liquor on his breath and he had lost his job. And it was all HER fault.

She crossed the room, stepping over mounds of dirty laundry. She picked up the picture. Her smile, her youth, mocking her. She’d been 21. Now, she looked fifty-one and felt it too. Too young to feel that old. Amazing what a difference five years can make. She looked at the picture, then looked at her suitcase, should she take the picture? No, she’d leave that for Eddie. Let him be reminded. She was too exhausted to keep looking back.

She walked out of the room, carrying her suitcase. She didn’t want to wake Sleeping Beast. She walked down the hall.

What would she tell him?

She opened the envelope, threw the notice on his round belly, and walked out the door.

She was no jackass. 

{March 6, 2012}   Crossroads (Contest Entry)

For those of you who asked to read my contest entry, here goes…..Feel free to comment, I haven’t submitted it yet…LOL….


She was crying.

She was staring at a McDonald’s McRib billboard, stopped at a red light, she had tears streaming down her face.

The tears had nothing to do with the McRib, and everything to with the foreclosure notice sitting there on the passenger side. She hadn’t told Eddie yet.

Two more turns and she’d be home. Ten more minutes at the most.

What would she tell him? It wouldn’t matter really. It would all be her fault anyway. It always was.

She brushed a tear away and absently brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. She was tired. Bone tired, her mom would say. She had just finished her shift at the all night diner, now she had to squeeze in a couple hours of sleep before going to her classes at the small community college.

One turn, five more minutes.

What would she tell him?

He was going to be furious.

Last turn, the driveway.

She turned the car off, grabbed most of her tips and shoved them in her bra. Eddie wouldn’t look there. He’d have to touch her to do that, and heaven knew how long that had been.

It had been a good night, better than usual, and she wanted to hide her hard earned earnings away.

She opened the door. She could already hear him snoring. She held the letter in her hand. What would she tell him?

He was passed out on the sofa, the empty beer bottles scattered around him like bowling pins. Some up, some down. Eddie had never been good at bowling.

She glanced at the kitchen, at the dishes piled in the sink, the trash overflowing. The empty take- out boxes littering the counters and spilling onto the floor.

Her nose twitched. She was disgusted.

She glanced at Eddie again. Snoring so peacefully on the sofa, not a care in the world. A not so sleeping beauty surrounded by twelve brown dwarfs.

What would she tell him?

Emily walked down the hall. Without even thinking, she grabbed her suitcase. She packed a few changes of clothes, threw in her toiletries. Grabbed what little pictures and momentoes she had, tossed them in too.

Then, carrying, not rolling, the suitcase, she didn’t want to wake up Sleeping Beauty, she walked back down the hall.

What would she tell him?

She opened the envelope, threw the notice on his round belly, and walked out the door.  

Six months later

Who’s playing this weekend?”


What do they play?”

Swamp pop.”


Emily grinned at the ladies seated at the end of the bar. She grabbed a few more cans of Bud Light and bent over to stack them in the cooler. It had been a long shift that was finally winding down. The two ladies at the end were regulars, and had been drinking regularly for several hours. It was time to go. Her feet hurt and her belly was rumbling.

Who’s playing this weekend?” Cathy, the forty-something blonde asked again, taking an unnecessary swig of beer.

Mojeaux.” Betty, the younger brunette, answered again, a little slower and a little louder this time, causing Oscar to lift his black and white head from his dog bed where he’d been napping since sundown. He was exhausted after spending the day chasing turtles and harassing Sammie, the bar owner’s dog.

What do they play?”

Swamp pop.”


They were quiet again. Emily stocked the last few Bud Lights and started picking up and emptying ashtrays. Fifteen more minutes and she’d be able to start switching off the neon beer signs. Carly or Joey, the owners, would be coming in soon to help her close and make sure she wasn’t alone.

Who’s playing this weekend?” Cathy asked again. Emily just shook her head. She knew better than to answer.

Mojeaux.” Betty answered again, this time shouting.

Jeesh, Betty, she’s drunk not deaf. Emily thought and bit back a laugh. Thank goodness it was close to closing time.

It had been six months since she left Eddie. Six months since she’d packed up her little, beaten up suitcase and that damn half -breed dog Oscar and ran to the coast. Holly Beach. The Cajun Rivera.

There she’d been. Sitting there with Oscar on the beach, looking down the fishing pier by Snapper’s Bar. She was watching the fishermen come in with the day’s catch, mostly shrimp and crabs, and then heading to the small weather-beaten bar for a cold beer. The feel of the warm sun on her face made her feel alive.

That’s where Carly, one of the the bar owners, had found her, sitting there near the pier. Her arms wrapped around her knees, watching Oscar bark at turtles. Carly had come outside for a breather after working a shift for a bartender who had called in sick. After a half an hour of conversation, Emily not only had a job, but a new place to live. Carly rented her one of the small furnished trailers they kept for fishermen and vacationers. Emily enjoyed every bit of the peace and quiet. mMorning coffee on the small deck that overlooked the water. The fires in the fire pit on cooler evenings. The nights snuggled up on the battered sofa with Oscar and a good book.

The door chimed, signaling a new customer. She glanced up, thinking it was Carly or Joey.

It wasn’t.

Oh my God, she thought, What is he doing here?

Six months she had spent in peace, rebuilding her life, with no contact whatsoever with Eddie. But that was over, he had found her.



et cetera

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