28 Aug 2015 5 Comments
Today I’m turning my blog over to author Sylvia Massara and her bad girl heroine, Mia Ferrari.
This is Mia Ferrari:
- She’s an acquired taste
- She’s got an attitude
- She likes coffee, younger men and Ferrari cars.
For the rest, you make up your own mind through these three excerpts taken from each of her adventures so far.
If you wish to find out more about Mia Ferrari please visit: www.sylviamassara.com
Novel 1 – Playing With The Bad Boys
I took a deep breath to calm myself on the way down to the lobby, and when the doors opened upon arrival, I stepped out looking cool, confident, and official. Let’s face it; I felt like I was going to puke at any moment, but to all outward appearances, I looked in control as I made my way to the bar. My black pantsuit, sleek and elegant, made a stark contrast to my almost white-blonde and scruffy, short hair. All that was missing was a badge and a gun. Damn it! I should’ve joined the cops when I’d had the chance. Now it was too late.
Thankfully, I had no time to ponder on this as I neared the bar and its hive of activity. The police had already arrived and cordoned off the area with crime tape to keep onlookers away from the scene, and from what I could see over the top of people’s heads, it wasn’t pretty.
I started to push my way through the throng as I called out, “Excuse me, duty manager. Please make way.”
It took me a few minutes to reach the perimeter of the tape, and as I went to duck under it, a uniformed police officer placed a restraining hand on my arm. “I’m sorry, madam, but this is a crime scene. You can’t come in here.”
I snatched my arm from his grip and threw him a look of disdain. He seemed to be in his early twenties and, though cute, a bit dumb. He obviously hadn’t had time to take in my name badge.
“First of all, boyo,” I addressed him firmly, “I am not a madam. Madam is for whorehouses or for Driving Miss Daisy. Second of all, if you take the trouble to read my name badge, you’ll see that I am in charge of this hotel. So move it.” The officer looked stunned, and I took full advantage of the situation. “Mia Ferrari,” I introduced myself, “duty manager of the hotel.”
Before the officer had a chance to respond, Guy Dobbs, the hotel’s security manager, appeared next to me. “Mia,” he said uneasily with a strong American accent. “Let Constable Johnson get on with his job. I’m handling this with Smythe.”
I wrinkled my nose at the name. Detective Sergeant Phil Smythe couldn’t stand my guts, and I hated his.
Novel 2 – The Gay Mardi Gras Murders
I took a sip of my now cooling coffee and glanced briefly at my watch. “Time to get back to work,” I informed him. “Not much to tell about the female impersonators,” I added as we made our way out of the staff restaurant and headed down the corridor toward the lobby area. “All I know is that there are four of them plus their manager, and the show is called The Tit Elating Follies,” I raised my eyebrows at the name while Dobbs simply grinned. “They’re checking in on the same day Mandy arrives and unfortunately, I have to be on duty.”
“I can watch the pager for you,” Dobbs offered.
I gave him a grateful smile. “As tempting as that sounds, I have to be here to greet them personally. They’re on the VIP list. But once I get them settled, I could take you up on your offer so I can rush to the airport and pick up my friend.”
We reached the lobby, which was rather quiet after the morning’s checkouts. “Done deal,” said Dobbs. “Well, I’m off to my operations meeting.”
“Okay,” I replied. “I’ll probably catch you at lunch.”
In the days that followed, we were so busy that I often worked double shifts to help out with the volume of work generated by the continuous full occupancy leading up to the gay mardi gras. Each day blended into the other, and before I knew it, the day arrived when the female impersonators were due to check in.
I greeted them at Reception and was surprised to see three young males, all of them slim and with an effeminate look about them. They were accompanied by a short and stocky middle-aged man who I assumed was the group’s manager, and a breathtakingly beautiful, young woman who looked around thirty. I had no idea who she was, but she was a real head-turner. She stood at approximately five feet ten with long, auburn hair, large hazel eyes and supermodel looks. She was truly stunning, and I felt dwarfed when I stood close to her, being five feet nothing.
I introduced myself. “Welcome to Rourke International. I’m the senior duty manager, Mia Ferrari.”
The woman extended a hand to shake mine and I couldn’t help but notice the elegant, slim fingers with long, pink fingernails. Her grip was firm as we shook hands. “My name’s Ophelia,” she said in a husky voice, “but on stage, I’m known as Clee Torres.”
My stunned face must have caused amusement among the group because I saw the merriment in their eyes as they regarded me. “Don’t take any notice of my darling Clee,” the stocky, middle-aged man stated as he stepped forward and shook my hand. “I’m Jim Casey, the manager. Clee likes to shock people,” he explained, and seeing the puzzled look on my face, he added, “Darling, Clee is the real McCoy.” He eyed me knowingly.
Understanding dawned upon me. “Oh, you mean…”
“Yes,” one of the young men jumped in and shook my hand. “Clee’s got herself a real clit.”
It took every effort for me to keep a straight face. “That’s nice to know, and you are?”
“I’m Ayna Liscious,” he said with a naughty smile.
I wasn’t amused and could only pray the bikies didn’t get to these primping, young men who were dressed in skin-tight jeans revealing—unlike the gorgeous, young Clee—that they had not had “the snip” and, therefore, were not the real McCoy.
The other two impersonators introduced themselves by the stage names of Felle Ashio and Zsa Zsa Lahore.
Novel 3 – The South Pacific Murders
“Who the hell invited Smythe along?”
Dobbs winced at my enraged tone and did his best to give me a placating smile. “Now, Mia, you know you agreed to be good where Smythe’s concerned. Don’t forget he saved your life.”
I banged down my cup and the items on his desk rattled. We were having coffee in the security office of Rourke International Hotel Sydney, where Dobbs was the security manager.
“Honestly, I can’t believe you’re standing up for the guy. It was his friggin’ job to save my life,” I exclaimed indignantly. “Besides, I was the one who once again had to solve the case for the cops because they were too stupid to listen to me in the first place!”
Dobbs did not respond immediately but regarded me for a while until I had time to settle down. He knew me too well to try to push a point when it concerned my archenemy, Detective Sergeant Phil Smythe of the Kings Cross police.
I took a deep breath in order to calm myself. There was no point in losing my temper with Dobbs since the whole thing was now a fait accompli. I therefore remarked after a few moments of silence, “I just don’t understand it, Dobbs. What made you invite him on the cruise?”
Dobbs’s large, dark eyes gazed back at me from a chocolate brown, crinkled face topped by grey, frizzy hair. He spoke carefully lest he should provoke another outburst from me. “Mr Rourke told me I should invite someone in his place seeing as he couldn’t make it,” he explained in his deep voice with a marked American accent. “The reason I thought of Smythe was because he managed to keep the press off our backs after the drag queen murders. When I suggested this to Mr Rourke, he agreed it was a good idea, especially to maintain a cordial relationship with the police.”
I sniffed and felt myself relent, albeit reluctantly, but I wasn’t about to admit it to Dobbs. He should suffer a little longer for what he’d done, even though it was a good move on his part to invite that prick, Smythe. I had to take another calming breath to remind myself Smythe had cut me a lot of slack during the gay mardi gras murder investigation.
Taking another sip of coffee, I put down my cup gently this time to rest on its saucer. “Very well,” I answered grudgingly. “I guess we all have to sacrifice in the name of professionalism.” I felt more than saw Dobbs’s sigh of relief at my comment.
Dobbs ventured an encouraging smile. “I’m glad you see sense, Ferrari. The boss will be happy to hear it.”
Thanks for reading.