Tag Archives: forever

Favorite Hero Friday

Today is a departure from our usual Fun Fridays, although I hope that it will still be fun for you!

My friends at eHarlequin asked me to blog about my favorite hero from THE CALLING Vampire Novels. Now I know most of you would expect for me to say my favorite hero is Ryder, but there’s a surprise dark horse that’s come out of the pack.

So join me over at eHarlequin to find out who is the mystery Favorite Hero and get into his brain.

If you leave a comment on either this blog or the eHarlequin blog by Midnight EST Saturday, October 10th, you’ll be eligible to win a SINS OF THE FLESH T-shirt!

Click here to visit My Favorite Hero or cut and paste this link: http://community.eharlequin.com/node/125987

Wicked Wednesday – Behind the Scenes Philadelphia

SINS OF THE FLESH Grand Central Publishing Forever November 2009I love Philadelphia. Went to school on the Main Line and now have been visiting pretty regularly. There are so many interesting and fun things to do. Historical things like Constitution Hall and the Liberty Bell. Educational things like the Art Museum and Franklin Institute. Funky things like South Street and creepy things like the Mutter Museum. Tasty things like Pat’s Cheesesteaks and the Italian Market.

Loving Philly so much, I knew it was time to pay it homage in a novel and so I set some of the early scenes in SINS OF THE FLESH in Philadelphia.

Copyright has expired and work is in the public domainCaterina Shaw, the heroine, is a celebrated cellist who plays with an orchestra in the Kimmel Center and lives not that far away in a townhouse just off South Street. She also has spent time playing at the Academy of Music. The Academy is one of the oldest opera houses in America that is still in use for its original intent. It’s a National Historic landmark which sits on the corner of Broad and Locust Streets in Philadelphia.

One of the early scenes in the novel describes a chase through the Academy of Music building where the heroine has sought refuge. Here’s a little excerpt from that scene.

*****

He continued down the section of Broad known as the Avenue of the Arts until he stood in front of the plain red brick facade of the Academy of Music.

The building was quiet tonight. The only life was the muted glow of the gas lanterns glimmering light onto the empty sidewalks surrounding the building.

The gated entrance near the front of the building was too conspicuous, even though the recessed stage door lay in the shadows, providing some protection from prying eyes.

Mick had downloaded the blueprints for the building from the Internet and knew just where to go. Turning onto Locust, he proceeded to a narrow alley behind the building. The light from the street lamps illuminated the mouth of the alley, but beyond that only darkness lingered.

He looked around.

The cobblestoned street was empty of any pedestrians, so he slipped into the narrow alley and paused a few steps in to allow his eyes to adjust to the lack of light and to check for signs of anyone else.

The long slender alley was also empty.

Time for him to move in.

He stole down the alley while hugging the wall, the ground uneven beneath his feet. The area lit only by the small beam from a flashlight he pulled from his pocket. He moved quickly, every action efficiently cautious, until he located the entrance shown on the blueprints.

Pointing the flashlight at the door, he prepared to jimmy the lock but found that someone had beaten him to it. Rather inexpertly at that. Large sharp gouges along the seam of the door and at the lock gleamed silvery bright in the beam from his flashlight.

He reached behind him, withdrew his 9 mm Glock from beneath his leather jacket and released the safety. With a gloved hand, he slowly opened the door and risked but a sharp glance inside before he cleared the entrance.

The interior was almost as gloomy as the night outside, but since his eyes had adjusted already, he could make out the tangle of shapes before him.

Large lockers and an assortment of equipment lined the edges of a hallway, but a fairly wide and navigable path existed down the center. Slowly he inched along, pausing well before the low light cast by an illuminated exit sign so that he would remain hidden.

He recalled from the building plans where the stairs would be that led to the manager’s office and dressing rooms, as well as the stairs to the basement level and trap door area. Crouching, he rushed past the dim circle of light cast by the exit sign.

As he did so his foot brushed against a cable housing on the ground. It slithered and shook like an angry rattlesnake. The rattle bounced loudly off the walls in the quiet of the hall and he stilled, waiting to see if anyone would respond to the sound.

Only silence answered.

Mick released a low grateful sigh and proceeded, decidedly more careful of the objects littering the floor and sides of the hall. More cables. A Klieg light. A box brimming with colored gels for the spotlights.

Muscles tense, every inch of him on alert, he skirted all the items until he neared the stairs to the basement level.

Pausing, he peered down the darkened stairway, vigilant for any signs of life.

As before, the space was empty and the area down below was deadly quiet.

He took the first step down the stairs.

A muffled thud sounded in back of him.

Copyright 2009 Caridad Pineiro Scordato

Wicked Wednesday – Behind the Scenes: The Pine Barrens

sinscoversmallOne of our last Wicked Wednesdays was a Behind the Scenes look at Bradley Beach where our hero, Mick Carrera, has his home in my November paranormal romantic suspense release, SINS OF THE FLESH.

This time I’m going to give you a little Behind the Scenes look at another pivotal location in the novel — The Pine Barrens in New Jersey, also known as the Pinelands. Also known as the supposed home of the Jersey Devil.

The Pine Barrens is an enormous area of coastal plain, over 1 million acres large in South Jersey. It contains one of the state’s largest water aquifers and is both a National Reserve and a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve.
Lake Atsion in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Taken by User:Mwanner, 9 September, 2005 Used under GNU  Documentation License

Because of its size and location close to the Jersey Shore and Camden, not to mention its protected status, it became the perfect place for me to locate the buildings for Wardwell Laboratories, the company that is supposed to provide Caterina Shaw, our heroine, with her gene therapy. The Wardwell buildings are right on the edges of one of the Pine Barrens’ non-developed areas and because of that, there are several scenes which take place in the woods nearby.

Today’s Wicked Wednesday is about Mick’s first visit to the Wardwell offices and a meeting with one of the company’s founders.

Chapter 1

Mick Carrera understood what kind of man he was.

Ruthless.

Determined.

Skilled in the art of killing.

People came to him when no one else could handle their problems because Mick either solved them or eliminated them — if Mick thought elimination was justified. Some scruples remained buried in his soul, a secret he closely guarded. In his line of work, having scruples equated to weakness.

Dr. Raymond Edwards had presented him with the kind of job that possibly ended with elimination, although Edwards hadn’t come right out and said so during their short telephone conversation. The doctor had skirted around the subject with the skill of a ballroom dancer, insisting time and time again that all he required were the services of a security specialist to assist with a problem at their facility.

Mick’s initial misgivings made him wonder why he had even come to the doctor’s office for this additional discussion. His typical clientele preferred meeting places that were much less visible, but then again, maybe such transparency meant that the doctor had been truthful about the nature of this assignment.

He scoped out the office as he entered, taking note of the fact that there was only one entrance in and out. Not good in case of the need for a quick escape. As he passed a credenza located beneath a wall filled with diplomas, framed news articles and photos, he noticed a small bronze statue of a horse mounted on a heavy marble base.

The size and weight of the statue would make it a handy weapon for either cracking open a man’s skull or breaking through the plate glass windows which lined one long wall of the office. The clear windows were now darkening, the color becoming as deep and dense as squid ink and likely for the same reason – concealment.

Mick had noticed all the high tech security on his way through the entrance of the building. He had expected it even while worrying about it. He knew his image would end up saved on a hard drive somewhere from the assorted cameras throughout the offices, but if Dr. Edwards was on the up and up, this was one job that was too good to not consider.

“I thought you might like some privacy,” the man behind the desk said as he rose and offered his hand.

“Dr. Raymond Edwards,” the man said.

Mick shook his hand and with a nod said, “Mick Carrera.” As Mick sat, he caught a glimpse of another security camera behind the desk, aimed directly at his chair. When Edwards tracked his gaze, he said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Carrera. I’ll make sure all traces of you are erased from our systems.”

“I appreciate your understanding,” he said, even while wondering again why a supposedly distinguished scientist like Raymond Edwards seemed compelled to seek out the services of a man like him. Wondering what else the good doctor had erased from the company’s security videos.

Dragging his attention to the man seated behind the desk, he listened as Edwards offered a rather lengthy introduction about the work that his biotech company did and their many accomplishments. Edwards’ manner was outwardly confident and business-like, but Mick couldn’t help but notice how the doctor kept his right hand on the face of the file on his desk and fiddled with one corner of the thick folder, thumbing it again and again. The curled corner of the papers confirmed that Edwards had opened up that file more times than the good doctor wanted him to know.

When Edwards paused for a breath, Mick seized the opportunity. “Your mission is clear, Dr. Edwards. Your company specializes in developing gene therapies for the terminally ill.”

The man stiffened and immediately corrected him. “Our present group of patients is terminally ill, but we hope that what we learn from our current research –”

“Will help all of mankind in the future. So why do you require my services?”

Copyright 2009 Caridad Pineiro Scordato – All rights reserved.