Castle of Dreams

Thanks to everyone who commented on our blog last month. The winner of the two free books is Jenna Blue! Congrats, Jenna, on your win, and thank you for being a loyal reader! 

Welcome to the special June edition of the Violet Femmes blog. To mix things up this month, we’ve decided to depart from offering our usual words of wisdom ;), and instead, offer you a short story, co-written by us all. It’s a story round robin, with the jumping off point a picture prompt. Jaye starts us off. Thanks for visiting. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this month’s prize…a tin of specialty tea and a mug, from Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee and tea company (

Fiats were not designed for girls with hips.

As Amelia put one wedge-sandaled foot out onto the drive, a small pouf of dust rose up, then swirled off to join the full-on storm of grit that had materialized behind the miniscule car as she had driven up the road leading to the imposing structure now before her. She twisted in the driver’s seat, attempted to put the other foot out. No luck. Reaching down in front of the seat, she grasped the lever and wrestled it to the side. The driver’s seat shot back, causing her thigh to slam into the car’s door frame. “Sugar beets!” she swore. Amelia rubbed at the spot, knowing that when she got ready for bed later, there would be a nasty bruise on her leg.

Able now to swing her other leg around, she found her footing on the uneven ground, and used the armrest on the car door to push herself up out of the car. She gazed up at the octagonal turret, its crenellations reaching toward the sky like fingers trying to harness the clouds. She suppressed a shiver, and drew her hooded capelet tight around her shoulders. If it weren’t for the sunny Italian countryside surrounding the austere facade of the castle, Amelia would be convinced she had just stepped into an animated feature film, complete with dancing candlesticks, singing tea kettles, and a big hairy beast.

She retrieved her oversized Fendi knock-off purse from the back seat, and picked her way across the dusty drive and along the cobbled walkway to the front door of the castle. If you could call a cross-section of a sequoia a door, because that is what the oversized portal reminded her of. Amelia lifted the heavy bronze ring at the door’s center and let it drop. “Knocker” was too tame a word…the force of the metal hitting the door sounded more like a battering ram.

Immediately, the door cracked open, and a pair of watery black eyes under bushy grey eyebrows peered out at her. “May I help you?” a weak masculine voice asked in Italian.

“I’m here to see Signore Buzzino,” Amelia replied. Italian was second-nature to her, thanks to her Nonna…and a year spent in the passionate arms of the man of the house.

The eyes looked her up and down, and the man’s upper lip curled up in a sneer. “Signore Buzzino is not at home. Good-bye.”

The butler, or whatever he was, tried to shut the door. Unfortunately for him, Amelia thought, he didn’t know whom he was up against. You didn’t mess with a girl from Jersey. She flat-palmed the door, and, catching the man off guard, she pushed the door open farther.

“I’ll just wait, then,” she said, and stepped inside onto the worn marble floors.

“You cannnot…” the man sputtered.

“Si, signore…I can. And I will. Please tell Rafaele I am waiting.”

Resigned to do her bidding, the butler led Amelia through the cavernous foyer of the castle, into a small library off to the side. He indicated a large, velvet-upholstered chair. “You may wait here. It may be awhile.” He left her to find his master.

Amelia removed her cape and hung it on the back of the chair, then made her way to the shelves along one wall. She perused the titles, running her fingers along the spines of the leather-bound books, trying to glean some insight into their owner…a man she had thought she knew quite well, only last fall. It was five months since she had seen him. Had he changed as much as she had?

She caught her reflection in a mirror hanging on the wall. My, she looked a wreck! Reaching into her purse, she looked for the comb she always carried. With it in hand, she returned her gaze to the mirror, and froze. Electricity shot through her, from her toes to the top of her head, as her green eyes met Rafaele’s deep mahogany ones. His hand grasped hers, and she dropped the comb she held.

He turned her around to face him. “Don’t, cara mia. I like your hair wild. It reminds me of how you look, right after our lovemaking.”

Amelia gasped, and in a breath, she was in his arms, his lips crashing down on hers.

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  1. Jenna Blue

     /  June 4, 2012

    Oooh, Jaye, I love starting my day out with a good teaser! Awesome beginning–I’ve got my eyebrows raised from all the questions you brought up, a smile on my face for this tough & funny Jersey Girl, and my heart’s all a flutter after Raffaele showed up. Phoooee!
    Also, Jaye, I adore that line “If you could call a cross-section of a sequoia a door.”

    To all: I’m so thrilled to discover I’m last month’s winner! Can’t wait to get my hands on those books–a win that’s right up my alley. Thank you, Femmes! Also, this month will not go fast enough–I am so looking forward to seeing where you other ladies take this story!

  2. Thanks, Jenna! I got to marry my two loves…Italy, and New Jersey…for this one. I had such a hard time choosing a picture for a prompt…I finally gave my son a choice of three and he picked for me! Then the only choice was, go contemporary, or historical? Once I got the Fiat idea, the rest came, lol!

    Glad you won, too…you’ll have to give us your critiques of the books!

    Have a great day!

  3. Oh, I’m so glad we’ve got an Italian hero!! Yum! And I also liked the line about a Jersey girl. Well done! I can’t wait to see what Maria does next….

  4. Nicole Doran

     /  June 4, 2012

    What a nice retreat for my mind on this miserable rainy day..thanks Jaye! Can’t wait to read more.

  5. Italy, a castle, and a Jersey Girl. You can’t go wrong with those three. Great blog. made my day. As you can see, I married my Italian hero.

    • Ha, Pat! Definitely three of my favorite things! Italy has a special place in my heart, so that was the first place I went when it came to searching for a photo for inspiration.

      So clad you came by for a visit, and that this little post brought you some cheer!


  6. I like the part where Amelia flat-palms the door. Yeah, that’s not TOO jersey. I do LOVE an Italian hero-did somebody say Joe Manganiello? Joanna, I know YOU were thinking it. I LOVE that I get to pick it up at the kiss. Hmmm…so many possibilities to go. Great start, Jaye. I better get writing.

  7. LOL, Maria…about the flat-palming. She’s not about to take any crap from anyone. I wanted to leave you with something juicy to work with…I can’t wait to see where you take this!


  8. RoseAnn DeFranco

     /  June 5, 2012

    I love that you started with a picture prompt, Joe M. as the hero (I guess that has been decided), and so many open questions. Can’t wait to see where Maria takes this next.

    • You know, I have to watch Joe M in something…he’s hunky, for sure, but I don’t know much about him otherwise (I know, I know!). I actually was picturing Gilles Marini. Did you know he’s actually Greek and Italian (but was born in France)?

      I agree with you…I can’t wait to see where Maria goes with it!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  9. Hi Jaye, I’m late replying on this – writing like mad right now.

    So happy you started this story and WOW, great job. Love the hero, heroine, and setting. Made me smile how wicked you are leaving Maria to address that last hook (or should I say hook up)!


    • Good for you, Michele! Keep writing!

      I really wanted to give Maria something to work with…and yes, I did it with a twinkle in my eye, knowing how she would react! You know me so well!


  10. hieubietusa

     /  June 6, 2012

    “His lips crashing down on hers.” That’s how you end it? Talk about a tease. It is about time you post your fiction.
    Details abound in your descriptions…you see and feel the scene.

  11. Well, I had to give Maria a jumping-off point for next week, didn’t I?
    More fiction to come…and on my website, also. Thanks for the encouragement!


    • Hmph, I have an idea where I’d like to take it but will have to wait and see what passerotto mio Maria (my little bird Maria) has in store for me.

      • I’m sure it will be good…she sent me an e-mail today for some details about the photo. This is fun! I’m glad we decided to do this!

  12. Nicole Doran

     /  June 8, 2012

    Speaking of Joe M..isn’t True Blood starting again soon (I know I’m off topic..but he’s great in that as Alcide and it got me to thinking…always a bad thing.LOL)
    Happy Friday all! Can’t wait to see where Maria takes the story.

    • YES! True Blood starts back up tomorrow night (Sunday 6/10) at 9PM. You just reminded me that I need to set my DVR. Joe as Alcide…my heart be still. Loads of man candy in that show. I LOVE it. Can you tell?

  13. Maya

     /  June 20, 2012

    I think you have every Jersey girl applauding your take on us. It’s a great opening. I needed to be put in a good mood before writing some. And because I’m so late I don’t have to wait to read part two, I can just scroll down.

    • Oops, thought I replied to you, Maya. Glad you like my Jersey girl…we are a tough lot, aren’t we? I hope you enjoyed the rest of the story…the Femmes took this opening and RAN with it!

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