I just put the finishing touches on another novella set in one of my favorite time periods—1920s, and I wanted to share a glimpse with you that's taken from a little further inside the book. Hope you enjoy!
The smoke hung low in the air, detracting from the already dim lighting. Grace made her way around behind the bar, pausing to talk to the regulars and even accepting a kiss on the cheek from Arnie, a half-cut old man with a stupid grin and a glass of gin in his hand.
“Ya done a good thing here, Grace Lawrence,” he slurred.
She picked up a damp rag and began wiping the counter while she flicked glances toward the secured door. Though she’d have plenty of warning should a raid befall her bar, the mere thought of the bulls overtaking the place was enough to shake her out of any complacency. She liked to be on top of things, and running into the police officer last night had left her more than a little uneasy.
It shouldn’t bother her. He couldn’t know her nor could he have any knowledge of what she’d really been doing the previous night. On top of that, she’d never been arrested before, had never even set foot inside the police station so he’d have no reason to know her.
God willing, she intended to keep it that way. As long as she kept her nose clean in public, she had no reason to get nervous now. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the officer. She’d even dreamed about him, though, it hadn’t had anything to do with him catching her running the joint. Her cheeks ran hot at the memory.
One of the patrons clanged the keys on the upright piano in the corner of the bar, and while the bourbon and whiskey flowed interminably, Grace’s customers began to sing a rousing tune. She leaned her elbows on the counter and smiled at them.
Knowing she was breaking the law didn’t change her determination to keep her bar afloat. And thanks to these good old guys, it looked like she’d be in business for a long, long time. They didn’t seem to mind that a dame ran the place, as long as they got their drinks on time and had a safe place to enjoy them.
“So, Grace.” Harriet McGrath sidled up to the bar next to Grace and nudged her with her elbow. “I noticed Bill Sanders has been watching you all evening. Why don’t you go lay one on his kisser?”
She pushed her friend aside then continued washing the counter. “I’m not interested in romance right now. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little busy.”
Harriet snickered. “Who said anything about romance? A little necking, maybe some petting, well, the last I heard, it hadn’t hurt a single soul.”
Getting dizzy with a fella wasn’t in Grace’s plans. Keeping Bennett out of the hospital and the dough coming in was. “Aren’t you worried about what could happen if we get caught?” Although against her better judgment, Grace had allowed Harriet to talk her into a partnership once Grace had decided to open the bar. While Harriet was one of Grace’s closest friends, she didn’t have a mind to keep secrets. But after a few months without a raid, Grace had allowed herself to get comfortable. Maybe a little too comfortable.
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!