Snippet #1: Octagon Girl

Dear Reader,

More exciting news coming in October, in celebration of the Violet Femmes 1st Anniversary!  Did someone say contest?  With a great giveaway? And a fabulous blog make over? And how our unofficial Femme has joined us, rounding us into a quintet of writers just in time for our second year?  Keep checking back for additional information.

This month, as the Violet Femmes  prepare for the New Jersey Romance Writers conference, we thought readers might enjoy snippets from our current works in progress. Remember, you’ll have five short scenes by each Femme  for your reading pleasure.




Snippet #1:  OCTAGON GIRL by Michele Mannon

In this mixed-martial arts romance, notorious ex-ballerina Logan Rettino finds that hanging up her ballet slippers for a ring card takes some getting used to—especially with six feet two of ripped, brooding, oh-so-tempting welterweight standing between her and her plans.

The mass of bodies on the ramp parted.

Logan fell silent at the sight of the fighter. Shirtless and sweaty, the planes of his abdomen flexed as he moved. A sculpted mass of chest, sprinkled with dampened hair, rose and fell with each rapid breath.

His biceps tightened, drawing her attention, as he wiped a grey towel through short, cropped hair. An errant bead of sweat escaped and journeyed across a sharp cheekbone to pool onto lush lips.  With the back of his hand, he wiped it away.

Logan froze as awareness of his imminent proximity made her pulse race. Too late, she realized her mistake. She was standing smack in the middle of the ramp. And the fighter stalking toward her seemed preoccupied with drying himself off.

Suddenly, she felt so small. Fragile, even. Though not small enough to get out of the way of the raging bull bearing down on her.

She blinked as he abruptly halted in front of her.

He looked up through long, wet lashes and narrowed crystal blue eyes at her. With a final swipe of the towel to his head, the fighter bunched it up in his fist.

The grey ball was sent hurling in the air, spiraled once, and hit her boss square in the face.

Jerry sputtered, and swatted away the offensive material.

How could she forget her boss, rooted in place next to her in the aisle? Yet it was the indignant expression on his face that was a keeper.

Perhaps it was the long build up of tension from this problematic year, or perhaps it was the nervous flutter in her chest at her undeniable attraction to the fighter, whatever it was, Logan did the unthinkable—she laughed.

Jerry sputtered some more, this time turning a bright shade of red. Raging red. Blood hungry red.

She took a step away from him, inadvertently closer to the fighter. An uncomfortable moment lingered where she fell under the scrutiny of both men. One furious, and the other full of . . . intent. Watchful. Unreadable.

The welterweight’s gaze felt like a caress as it lowered to her chest, then downward to her exposed stomach, pink short-shorts, long expanse of leg, and hesitated on her pink Nikes. Until it shifted to her forearm, and he scowled.

She jumped as two fingers lightly caressed her arm, running across the reddened fingerprint marks Jerry had made. For a split second, something flickered across his pale blue eyes before they narrowed on her boss.

“That’s it. I’m done. My final fight. Meet me in the locker room in twenty—you owe me some money.”  The fighter’s voice was low and husky, and deadly serious.

The touch of his hands at her waist sent a jolt of excitement through her. Easily, with no effort at all, he lifted her and moved her around. Gently, he set her on her feet, off to the side and out of his way.

“What do you mean, you’re done?” Jerry squeaked, finding his voice as the fighter brushed past him. “You can’t just come in here, win one lousy fight, and disappear.”

The fighter grunted and stalked off up the ramp.


OCTAGON GIRL is a finalist in the New Jersey Romance Writers Put Your Heart in a Book contest, as well as the Sheila and the Catherine.

Castle of Dreams Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of our round robin short story month. I hope you enjoyed reading Jaye’s great start with Amelia & Rafaele’s story. This week, I get to pick up where Jaye left us hanging. So pull up a chair, a glass of wine, and enjoy!

Before I start, though, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Femme Michele Mannon for her first contest final. Her story, OCTAGON GIRL, finaled in the Sheila Contest in the Single Title category. Best of luck in the final round Michele! We’re all rooting for you!

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 (

Okay, without further ado, here’s Part 2 of Castle of Dreams. Enjoy!


Amelia thought the time and distance apart would lessen the heat of their passion, but it was even more explosive than before. Rafaele’s mouth commanded hers and she opened her lips, desperate to taste him. And oh, did he taste good. Like the Malbec wine he drank, sweet and rich in texture.

He broke away and kissed along her neck. “I’ve missed you, cara mia. Please tell me you missed me, too.”

Miss him? She’d done nothing but over the past five months. What wasn’t to miss when she’d found her perfect man…and then had to let him go.

“I did, Rafaele.”

He slid his hands under t-shirt and was working his way up her back. In no time he’d unfastened her bra and filled his hands with her breasts. She nearly fainted from the pleasure. But she wasn’t ready for this…yet. They had things to discuss first.

“Rafaele,” she gasped.

“Yes, cara,” he whispered before simultaneously claiming her mouth and rubbing her nipples between his fingers.

They were moving now and before Amelia knew it, he’d led her onto the couch. Things were happening so fast, her mind couldn’t catch up with the brigade of sensations hurtling towards her.

She jerked away from his embrace. “Rafaele, we must talk.”

“Later. Now I want to make the most passionate of love to you.”

Yeah, he’d made that pretty much clear as his fingers slid under her skirt and were making their way up towards her…

“No. You need to stop.” She used all her strength to push at his broad chest. When that didn’t get a reaction, she did the only thing she could think of. She yanked a few chest hairs.

“Dios mio! What are you doing, cara?”

“Don’t you want to know why I’ve come here?”

“Your reason doesn’t matter now that you’re here.”

The familiar smell of his cologne filled her nostrils, making her want to do nothing more than straddle him on that couch. She took a steadying breath and rose to get some space.

He sighed. “Fine, cara. Tell me why you’ve finally come, after all these months.”

She felt him behind her and when she turned, he handed her a glass of wine.

Amelia took a deep sip and enjoyed the way the sweetness of the wine exploded with flavor in her mouth before sliding smoothly down her throat. “Made in your vineyard?”

He nodded.

She was procrastinating and based on the look he gave her, he knew it.

“I finished my master’s degree this semester,” she blurted.

“Wonderful, cara. Congratulations and a celebration are in order, then.”

After eight excruciatingly long years, she now had both a B.S. in Interior Design and Master’s in Architecture. It was a both a relief and a worry, now that she needed to get herself a job and pay off all those loans.

“I want to apologize for what I said to you when you left last year.”

“The part where you refused to come here to live with me or the part where you said you never wanted to see me again?”

A blush crept up her neck and stained her cheeks. “Both.”

He pressed a hand to his chest. “You broke my heart, cara. I’ve been lost here without you.”

“Your visa to teach at NJIT was up and I still had over a semester left to finish there. I was so close, Rafaele, I needed to finish. And you needed to get back to your family and run the vineyard. How is your brother?”

Pain flashed across Rafaele’s face. “He passed at the beginning of the year.”

Tears filled her eyes and she reached for his hands. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you let me know?”

He stiffened. “Because after you mailed me back the unused airline ticket I sent you, I didn’t think I’d ever hear from or see you again.”

She flinched. She had no right to attempt to step back in his life. But there was still one thing she hadn’t told him.

“I may have come if you offered more than a warm bed.”

He raised an eyebrow at her. “What do you mean?”

“I wanted to be more than your lover. You asked me to come to live with you, in Italy, with no long-term promise.” She took a deep breath. “I thought you were going to propose to me, Rafaele. And when you didn’t…well, it hurt.”

He cupped her face. “I had planned on doing just that when we arrived here. I wanted you to see my house, my vineyards. I wanted you to be sure before I asked you.”

Her heart jumped into her throat. “Really?”

“Really. The question is, would you have said yes?”

She thought for only a fraction of a second. “Hell yes.”

He kissed her then, a slow and deep kiss that held the promise of an eternity of love and passion.

Suddenly, there was a crash behind them. Amelia jumped and grabbed onto Rafaele.

A woman Amelia had never seen before stood across the room, a tray of food and broken plates now on the floor, hands on her hips. “Who the hell are you, puttana, and why are you kissing my fiancé?”

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