Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lipstick & Bolsheviks: A Teaser

I know I ask a lot of my readers: writing in my unorthodox way, switching things up on you, asking you to accept that the story isn't just about Rocky but the mystery that ties the three families together and all that. 

So...to reassure you (read: to tease you), I give you this. 

Lipstick & Bolsheviks
The von Strassenberg Saga
~book three~


“Miss von Strassenberg, I am sorry, but as I have stated several times now, Mr. Drexler is not available to meet with you today.”
Mrs. Sampson, formidable in her pink and pearls, stepped in front of Raquel. She was a good six inches shorter than the young woman who had been waiting for nearly an hour to see intern William Drexler II but no less imposing. Raquel tried not to falter beneath the stony glare that had surely been honed during Mrs. Sampson’s fifty some odd years of employment with Drexler, Drexler and Westhoeler. “I would leave, ma’am, if you would just tell me if you know where William is. William the third.” Obviously, because who besides corporate criminals would care where the first and second were?
Mrs. Sampson’s birdlike eyes flicked away and back, peering noncommittally at Raquel through her precariously perched reading glasses. “The younger Mr. Drexler, as I have already stated, has been sent to assist his grandfather with some business in Los Angeles. Now,” she placed her bony fingers around Raquel’s arm. “I’m asking you to leave. If you don’t I’m calling security.”
Allowing herself to be propelled toward the door, Raquel protested, “I know he’s supposed to be in LA but that doesn’t explain why he isn’t answering his phone.”
They reached the door. Mrs. Sampson released her grip. “I am the senior administrative assistant for this firm. I am not,” she stressed, her tiny, perfectly straight teeth showing like a feral cat’s, “The younger Mr. Drexler’s personal romance coordinator.” She pointed at the door and strode away, the lush carpet muting the purposeful stride of her kitten heels. Groaning and with a final sneer at Mrs. Sampson’s rigid back, Raquel pushed the door open.
Raquel stumbled out as she hurried to help stop the avalanche of coffees and pastries she had inadvertently caused. “I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed, helping to right the cups. The carrier tray was soaked with coffee and her hands stung where the hot liquid had splashed out onto her skin. “I’m so sorry,” she said again and looked up into the green eyes of the youngest of the administrative assistants at Drexler, Drexler and Westhoeler.
“No worries,” Abbie smiled, shifting the cups and bags of pastries to a more secure position. “I think we saved them all.”
“I should have been paying attention,” Raquel looked down at Abbie’s white skirt. Coffee spills formed an abstract pattern on the ruffle near her knee. “It’s all over your skirt,” she moaned.
“Don’t worry, it’ll come out. I spill on myself all the time. You just beat me to it.” Her tone was so unbothered and honest that Raquel caught herself feeling instantly put off. She couldn’t tell if it was jealousy toward the girl who got to spend time with William everyday or if it was just her general lack of trust and understanding for people who smile too much. “Was there anything I could help you with,” Abbie asked as though she were comfortably sitting in her chair in the air conditioning and not standing in the early morning humidity with the sun already beating harshly down on her while she struggled with coffees and pastries.
“Uh no,” Raquel shrugged and nearly walked away when it occurred to her that perhaps Abbie would know more about William’s whereabouts than the older woman had. “Actually, have you seen William at all this week?”
The bright smile faltered and worry crept into the sparkling eyes. Several different emotions washed through Raquel as she watched the transformation. The concern that made itself so evident on Abbie’s face showed a connection to William that Mrs. Sampson had not shared. Jealousy surged through Raquel followed quickly by fear; fear for William and fear that maybe Abbie and William were more than just first year law intern and newbie administrative assistant. She was desperate to know the truth of why William wasn’t answering his phone and just as desperate to run from whatever truth there might be concerning his relationship with the petite and curvy Abbie.
Abbie tried to put her game face back on but it was transparent as glass. “He was supposed to go to LA on Saturday to assist his grandfather with a case.”
“So I heard. But I’ve been trying to call him and it just goes straight to voicemail. I’ve been calling every day,” she looked away. “Several times a day. It always goes to voicemail.” Putting it that way made her feel a little desperate and a bit like a stalker. “I was just concerned because it isn’t normal for his phone to be off all the time. I mean,” she admitted. “He always ignores my calls, I’m used to that, but it’s not normal for his phone to be off. Not for five days.”
The game face was gone. Abbie was beyond just a little concerned. She looked scared. “I know.” Her eyes darted toward the glass door and back. She whispered quickly, “Sampson’s coming. I’ll call you later.”
The door swung open and Mrs. Sampson stepped out into the sunlight. “Miss McClellan,” she snapped. “We have been waiting for our coffees and I have already dealt with Miss von Strassenberg.” She pointed through the door she held open, silently demanding Abbie go in at once.
“Yes ma’am. So sorry, I didn’t beat the rush today.”
Mrs. Sampson hmmphed.
With one quick furtive glance that said, “I’ll call you. I’m worried too,” Abbie hurried through the door.
“Come here again without an appointment and I will immediately call security.”
Raquel turned her back on Mrs. Sampson and walked toward her Audi, wondering how Sampson had not burst into flame when exposed to the daylight and if she could break into William’s loft without drawing attention.   ©2012 Gwenn Wright
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Read Filter: Book One and The BlueStocking Girl: Book 2 to find out! Available for Nook, Kindle and in paperback!


  1. I guess the question here is: Do I still call her Rocky or do I call her Raquel? Because on Facebook people still want to call her Rocky. Even though she's moving beyond that.

  2. I've just discovered your blog through WLC, and haven't read the first two, but I very much enjoyed the teaser. And your title is great :)

    Rachel @ http://books.rachelcotterill.com

    1. Thanks Rachel! lol I'm afraid I've outdone myself with the title! Hoping book 3 will live up to its name!