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text 2016-07-29 21:14
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is one Amazing Story"

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5.0 out of 5 stars This is one Amazing Story,  


Eddie Garcia

"...very intense. Early in the Book I knew I had to put my seat belt on, I was sure this was going to be one hell of a ride, and boy it was. One thing I especially appreciated in this author's Book is just how he was able to bring the story across with so many twists and turns that all came together masterfully. I'm glad I purchased the hard copy, anything else could not have handled the grip I had on the book as the plot thickened. Political thrillers have always interested me, unfortunately most of the one's I have read were big let downs or just mediocre. I also can appreciate the sense of reality in Jack Canon, He's absolutely a character I feel I can relate to in so many ways, His moral's and positive traits, the things he believed in like the redistribution of wealth being hoarded by the few. I'm sure others who have read this book felt the same unless you are the Koch Brothers or somebody like them.
Long story short, Best book I have read so far this year, I remember one of the reviews I read before getting this book for my self and just how true a comment was in that review. I actually remembered this comment as I was nearing the end of the book it was..

(Finishing the book, your heart aches because you know Jack Canon isn't real--he's an ideal, made magically alive by the sheer talent of Greg Sandora.)

As I a read into this book and got further and further in to it I found my self really rooting for Jack and hopeful that he would succeed in his mission, then I had to remember he was just a made up character. That's when that review I read previous to getting the book hit me and how tru it was. However like that review also said..

(But that doesn't mean we cannot aspire.)

Cudo's to the Author, and thanks for the great book. I will surely be putting this one in my book case to revisit one day."




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text 2016-07-28 21:54
FREE TODAY! Grab Your Copy Now...


Adriana LG "Unsurpassable, this story is darn good a real work of art."

Get Your Copy Here


...Greg Sandora has been written with a vibrating "passion" if that terminology didn't exist before - it does now....I found that Jack was the kind of guy I liked immediately while Sandy was just perfect - I chose to review it because of the mystery behind it.

Tip is very meticulous and possibly has the very best dialogue attributed to him. A must read. (in my humble opinion)

Jack is not just in politics - he has courage. He has respect and values. What I liked the most is that all the characters were believable. Greg Sandora did his job and he did convince me - this story is darn good a real work of art. I feel that we are going to hear more of Greg Sandora. On this note, I would like you to read it and tell it like it is.

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text 2016-06-30 18:22
Want to Read something Fun? Ever wonder what it would feel like to go back to High School?
In this Excerpt Bo travels back to his Freshman year...he visits with his deceased grandmother and is unwittingly reunited with a first love...that's when the trouble starts:
“Bo, are you getting up? It’s a school day. Come down now, I’ve made you some breakfast.”
Gabby told me thoughts would be popping in and out, that I’d be disoriented. She told me to stay in bed and acclimate to my surroundings, let my brain adjust. What she didn’t figure was a boy’s life isn’t his own, and my parents had already planned my day.
It was my mother’s voice, even sweeter than I remembered. I was tickled to hear her radio playing and Mom humming along. What would it be like to see her? She’s been gone ten years, but her kindness lingers in my heart and in my memory. I wasn’t going to waste the day going to school, not with only one day to be with Sally.
Gabby told me, “No matter what else happens, be back in your childhood bed the day after tomorrow, or your mind might not let you come back. Twenty-four hours is the absolute maximum. I can’t guarantee what happens after that!’
“Mom, I’m not going today,” I yelled back.
“Young man, you get up out of that bed this instant! You can’t miss school, today of all days. The coach has you suiting up with the Varsity tonight!”
“Why wouldn’t he,” I thought, shaking my head against the pillow. Tiger’s ears perked, hearing mom filling his bowl, he jumped up and ran down the stairs as if the house were on fire.
“Your father called, he’s so excited! His whole office is coming to the game!” She called as I descended the stairs.
Tiger set a land speed record getting to his bowl. He was gulping his food so fast he couldn’t possibly taste it. I was so excited at the mere prospect of seeing my mother that I wasn’t prepared for the reality of seeing her when I entered the kitchen. I didn’t remember her being so beautiful.
“Good morning, Dear.” Her voice was music to my ears. I wanted to tell her how badly I’ve missed her. Instead, I stood staring with my mouth open.
“Come sit down to breakfast, Honey. I made your favorite, dropped eggs on toast.”
“Mom, you’re so pretty!” I blurted.
“Bo, Honey,” Mom sounding a bit surprised, motioned her eyes toward the table. “Come now, you don’t want to be late.”
I was mesmerized seeing her healthy again. Cancer had ravaged her so badly before her death that I’d forgotten she was once so young. I remember mom always looked neat, but I never realized she had a cute figure and pretty brown eyes; people said I got her eyes, but today hers were big, healthy, and clear.
I wanted to scream, “I love you, Mom!”
She was alive again, standing in front of me dressed in her pretty blue pleated skirt, matching pumps and favorite fitted white cotton blouse.
“No, Mom, I’ve never said it, you’re stunning!”
She looked amused, but stern. “Sweetheart, you’re still going to school.”
“Mom, what are you like thirty-five?” It was surreal; that mom and I were the same age.
“Bo, you know how old I am. Now, stop playing and sit down for breakfast.”
“No, I mean it, your hair’s pretty, too.” She had the shoulder length brown bob I remembered, and heavy blonde highlights she called her frosting.
I walked over to hold her. “I love you, Mom. So much!” I hugged tighter. “I hope you know it. I don’t tell you often enough.”
I could barely believe I was seeing her again.
“Bo, I don’t know what has gotten into you today. I won’t say I don’t love it and wish it would last.”
“Dance with me, Mom.” I twirled her around to the song playing on the radio.
She smiled, “Bo, where did you learn to do that?”
“You taught me, Mom.” Thinking she forgot, before realizing I was remembering something that hadn’t happened yet. Mom taught me to dance for my wedding. Luckily the side door opened, and my grandmother popped in.
“Morning you two, how’s my handsome grandson?”
“Gram! It’s great to see you!” I reached for her with both hands. “Let me hug you! I love you, Gram.” I said, kissing her forehead. “Let me help you to a chair.”
“Oh, foolishness, I can find a seat.” Gram returned my affection with a pat on the arm and a kiss to my cheek.
I exclaimed, “Gram, you’re so young!”
My mother and grandmother looked at each other with raised eyebrows, not knowing what to make of my behavior.
My mother shook her head, “I don’t know what to do with him today, Mom.”
“You’ve got a good son, Janine. For goodness sakes, enjoy him.” Gram responded happily, “Anytime one of my grandchildren wants to hug me they can go right ahead.”
Mom led me by the shoulders to sit. “Eat your breakfast, I’m taking the day off to bring your grandmother to the doctors, afterward we’re stopping off at the florist to pick up your corsage for Homecoming tonight.”
“A corsage for Sally?”
“Sally? Who’s Sally?” Mom asked, raising her eyebrows in surprise.
I huffed out a breath. “My girlfriend, Mom! Duh!”
“Bo, don’t be ridiculous, you’re taking Cassadee!”
That threw me for a loop. “Who’s Cassadee?”
“Bo, stop, you’re acting more like your father every day.” She smiled, playing along, “Our next door neighbor, you asked her to go with you a month ago,” she added humorously as if stating the obvious.
“I’m taking Sally Campbell, Mom.”
“Nonsense,” her tone turned serious, “Mrs. Cohen is driving you both to school this morning. Hurry now, eat, and get dressed, she’ll be honking the horn any minute. You know how she hates to be kept waiting,” Mom added, cleaning the counter.
“Good, I’ll run out and tell her.”
“Tell her what?” Mom asked, opening the fridge.
“That I’m not taking her.”
“What? Not taking her?” Mom’s voice turned shrill and she placed her hands on her hips, “Don’t you dare, young man! What’s gotten into you, you’ve both been looking forward to this.”
“I don’t remember asking her.”
“Bo, you’ve been over there studying every night for weeks.”
“Anyway, I’m driving myself, I’ve got things to do after school Gram can I borrow your car?”
Gram looked at me as if I’d escaped from an asylum, “You’re not taking my car anywhere, Bo!”
“Gram you said to grab your keys anytime!” I said aloud, thinking, ‘off the antique dresser Mom gave Brooke for her room... after you passed.’
“Janine, has the boy gone daft?”
Mom shook her head and looked at me with disapproval, “Bo, you know your grandmother doesn’t live with us.”
“She doesn’t?” I was becoming concerned with how mixed up my memories were and how things already seemed to have changed in the past.
“What in heaven’s name are you talking about? You know she lives on Craigie Street. Besides, you’re only fifteen, you don’t have a license!”
“What year is this?” ‘Mom doesn’t know Sally. I vaguely remember dating the neighbor girl in my freshman year... “Oh my God I’m a freshman. Shit!”
“Watch your language, Young man!” Mom reached out to feel my forehead. “He feels fine, Mom.”
Gram pooh-poohed my question, “Bo, you know very well it’s 1993.”
“Bo, be serious, Dear. The Cohen’s are your father’s biggest client. You’re going to treat Cassadee nice and apologize for upsetting your grandmother.”
“I’m sorry, Gram,” I said running upstairs to change.
“You have clean jeans folded in the closet, and remember coach wants you to wear your jersey.” Mom hollered to remind me.
Gabby said I shouldn’t try and change the past, what she didn’t mention is how difficult it would be even if I tried. My mother and grandmother seemed entrenched to play out the version of history that was. Short of me telling them that I was from the future, which would surely backfire, I was doomed to repeat it.
Besides, I felt sad, Mom didn’t need to put up with the additional stress. She worked her entire adult life to make a happy home for my dad, and me and here I was back giving her grief. I felt selfish.
Gabby tried to tell me last night, “Bo, try and get Sally alone, have a casual conversation, maybe spend some time with her if you can, but try not to disrupt anything else.” She warned me, “Whatever you do, don’t tell her about the future! Promise me.”
The sound of a car horn honking interrupted my thought, “There’s Mrs. Cohen,” Mom called, closing the refrigerator. I moved to say goodbye, thinking there’s always the chance I may not see her again.
“Mom.” I looked deep into her eyes. “You taught me to live with an open heart, and I really want you to hear me.” Pangs of tenderness came over me and I shivered as I kissed her forehead and cheeks. “I love you so much, Mom, my heart hurts.” The horn honked again.
Mom stood back, brushing the front of her skirt, fixing herself. Her eyes were misty. She cleared her throat before speaking. “You’d better run along, Bo, you know how impatient she can be.”
“Have a nice day, Grandson,” Gram chimed in. I hugged her again and then kissed her hands before I reached for the door handle.
While running toward the car and brushing the bangs out of my face, I spotted Cassadee. She was in no particular hurry walking toward her mom’s anxiously awaiting car; like it was her own private limousine service. She had a backpack slung over one shoulder and her cheerleading uniform over the other. She moved like a girl who had it all. I half expected to see paparazzi as I jumped into the back seat. I left shotgun for her because it was her car.
“Morning, Mrs. Cohen,” I trumpeted, a little out of breath.
“Good morning, Bo. Are you excited for today?”
“Yeah,” I answered politely, trying to hide my excitement to see Sally.
“You’ve got your big speech today, don’t you?” she quizzed.
“What speech?” I cross-examined, taken aback.
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text 2016-06-28 15:35
Adriana LG Unsurpassable,
this story is darn good a real work of art.
...has been written with a vibrating "passion" if that terminology didn't exist before - it does now....I found that Jack was the kind of guy I liked immediately while Sandy was just perfect - I chose to review it because of the mystery behind it.
Tip is very meticulous and possibly has the very best dialogue attributed to him. A must read. (in my humble opinion)
Jack is not just in politics - he has courage. He has respect and values. What I liked the most is that all the characters were believable. Greg Sandora did his job and he did convince me - this story is darn good a real work of art. I feel that we are going to hear more of Greg Sandora. On this note, I would like you to read it and tell it like it is.
"Thank you, Daddy," Martha said, bolting out of the office victorious. New clothes, makeup tips from a beauty, a personal shopper, and a party – not a bad day for a kid. Especially one who should have been punished. 
I looked at Sandy, "I hope you know you're planning that party with her. Sarah's getting ready to go to Appalachia… she won't appreciate getting this dumped in her lap… and, I wouldn't know where to begin." 
"There's nothing to it, Jack. I know you feel like we gave in, but she's sixteen – you were going to show her those awful letters. I didn't know what else to do." 
"That's okay, have fun shopping – but, keep in mind, anything you buy has got to make it past her mother. She can't wear anything like that." I pointed to Sandy's short hemline. "Martha was right about one thing, if you ever walked into her school the boys would be following you around," turning to Tip, "wouldn't they, Tip?" 
"You'd be like the Pied Piper of sex appeal," He answered, his eyes glued to Sandy's milky thighs. 
"Thanks, Tip, I guess that's a compliment –right?" 
Tip was looking like he wanted to ask her a question. 
"Tip, is there something on your mind," Sandy asked, being nice. 
"I wanted to ask you… I mean see if you would tell me, why I have so much trouble…"
"With women?" Finishing his question, stating the obvious. 
"This should be good," I said, handing Sandy my card, "Get something nice for you, too." 
"Tip, you watching? – Jack knows how to treat a woman. It's a wonder you haven't picked up anything—being around him all this time." 
"I thought he had some sort of special charisma or something I don't." Tip answered. 
"Well, you're right about the charisma, but really, there's something else – and I think it would help, but you've got to be honest." 
"What," Tip asked anxiously—genuinely wanting pointers. 
"The first time I met Jack, he didn't mention he was a Senator. I walked into an old mattress store – not knowing what I was going to find—Jack looked into my eyes… like an equal. Sure, since then he's put me on a pedestal, but let me ask you, Tip. What's the first thing you see when you look at a woman? Be brutally honest – just this once, I won't mind. " 
"I don't know – it's different every time, I usually focus on something that catches my eye—like boobs, hair, legs –Tip explained like he'd be getting extra credit for being thorough. 
Sandy shook her head, "It's worse than I thought. You know what I felt the first time Jack looked at me?" "What?" Tip asked, curious. 
"Like… he saw me – as a person – a whole person, not an object." 
"Tip, when I look at a woman as parts, it's intimidating for me, too," I said, trying to make him feel better. 
Sandy crossed her leg and starting rolling her ankle, "Tip, what do you see when you look at me?" 
"You want me to be honest?" 
"Of course—I can't help you if you're not." 
"Well, today I noticed your hips, but I always love your soft doe face." 
Sandy looked puzzled, "Soft doe face? What is that?" 
"He means you have a feminine, pretty face – there's no hardness in it." 
Tip added, "The women I see usually have rougher facial features." 
"Where are you meeting these girls, Tip?" 
"Strip clubs mostly." 
"That's nasty Tip! Ewe!" 
"Good-looking woman are intimidating – at the clubs the girls are really friendly, easy going." 
"They're friendly because it's their job – they're easy because you're paying them—would you want to marry a girl from one of your clubs?" 
"No, but I feel comfortable. I know it's a job." 
"Gross, Tip, that's so sad." 
"A lot of agents have trouble meeting women." 
"You need some serious help!" Sandy sounded like a concerned sister. 
I coaxed, "He needs a good woman, – do you think you could introduce him to one of your girlfriends?" 
"I'd really appreciate any advice you could give me, Sandy." Tip was sincere. 
"Tip's not ready for one of my friends – seriously the girls I know are needy emotionally – he'd be lost." 
Trying to help persuade her, "So, you're basically resigning him to a life of strip clubs and hookers?" 
Sandy looked at me wide-eyed, raising her eyebrows, "Crude, Jack, you're enjoying this aren't you." She turned to Tip, "You're a good man, – you deserve to be happy. Tell me Tip, what do you think women want?" 
"I don't really know – I guess – to be made happy?" 
"So how would you do it then – make a girl happy that is?" 
"Agree with her, make her feel important, give her things I guess." 
"That's a start, but a woman needs so much more. She wants someone who can share in her emotions without being swallowed up by them. A man who will take his time with her and make time for her—She doesn't want to be rushed, but still likes spontaneity and excitement. She wants to feel like your equal and be respected for what she brings to the relationship. And, I'm only scratching the surface here." 
"Men… do all this?" 
"Some do—Jack does this stuff—he's kind… caring—he listens. Jack enjoys what women are all about—He looks with great passion. Tip, —she wants to know you're desirable to other women and she didn't get stuck with you." 
"What about…?" Tip stopped himself, embarrassed. 
"The bedroom... She'll forgive you. Don't worry, she'll follow your lead. Don't make her feel bad by talking about it later. That's the one place you can sort of be yourself... I can't believe I'm saying this—the poor thing… take it slow." 
"Are there classes?" 
"A good woman will teach you." 
"Did Jack know all this?" 
"Are you kidding? All he had was a smile when I met him – and a wandering eye. It's taken me years of subtle clues and hints to train him." 
"Some not so subtle," I said, poking fun. 
"She wants a friend – but not a guy that makes her feel responsible to make the first move or like she's a locker room pal." 
Tip looked puzzled, "I'm lost." 
"Jack, for fun – tell Tip what you're really thinking… right now." 
"You're serious –now? No holds barred – what I'm really thinking?" 
"Yes, something you'd normally never share with me." 
Tip chuckled, "This oughta be good." 
"Before you do… let me guess." Sandy squinted and looked up to the left, then to the right – "Something about my bikini?" 
"Close—what was left of those cutoffs you were wearing that day by the lake." 
"I was really close then. Tip, what did you think Jack was thinking?" 
"I would have said World peace – you know to make you happy." 
"Coward- okay tell the truth, what are you thinking right now?" 
"The truth… really? – what it would be like – you know… if you were my girlfriend." Sandy rolled her eyes, pursing her lips. 
"Not going to happen - but I'll help. We have to start really slow." 
"Jack gets to say what's on his mind and you're okay with it?" 
"There's a lot of trust built up you and I don't share. Stop whining – that's a deal killer for sure." 
"You asked, though. I thought you wanted honesty?" 
"Sometimes… oh, forget it…" 
Tip cut her off, "Am I a lost cause then?" 
"No, I didn't say… don't feel like that – we've got something to work with. You're good looking – dangerous – you might be a girl's worst mistake, at least for the first few, but you'll learn as you go." 
"So will you set me up with one of your friends? One who looks most like you—preferably?" 
"Sweet, Tip…, but wrong. Not when you don't understand the first thing about a woman. They'd thank me at first, but you wouldn't last two weeks with one of my friends – try to imagine flying too close to a supernova. They'd burn you up and drag you into an emotional black hole. You'd never escape!" 
"I can keep a woman safe, at least." 
"Of course you can. A woman wants to feel safe, understood, but she also wants a man who isn't afraid of her -someone who can be honest. Tell her the truth once in a while. Then grab her and make love without asking. A woman wants to live the full range—she wants you to be able to feel her emotions with her – from misery to elation. Can you do that?" 
"I can try." 
"That-a-boy, let's go out sometime and find you, someone suitable. A starter girlfriend." 
"That will be great, are you free tonight?" 
"Tonight? I guess so – you don't need for anything, do you, Jack?" 
"No, I'm good – take him out – it's on me." I was happy to make the offer. Sandy would have a project and I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving her behind. 
"We'll find you a girl with a doe face. You'll have to show me – but once I know – I'm sure we can find you one. If that's what you want." 
"Really? This will be great. Sandy, I'll owe you!" 
"You'll owe me big time!" 
Martha burst into the room, "Daddy, Daphne told me Sandy was still in here." Martha turned to Sandy, "Can we go?" 
"Yes, go – you girls have fun." 
"Jack, are you sure? I thought you wanted me to stay and listen to Harry Winston." 
"No—Tip and I have this" – turning to Martha, "Honey, call me if you find something." 
Martha beamed, "I will, Daddy – let's go," she said pulling on Sandy's arm. The girls were halfway out the door when I asked, "Honey?" Martha turned. 
"What, Daddy?" 
"Oh, sorry, Honey, I meant Sandy, Sweetheart." 
"Yeah, Jack?" 
"I forgot to ask you – Timlin told me she got me something – a gift. What can I get a woman who has thirty billion dollars and her own jet?" 
Sandy looked back like 'you've still got a lot to learn', "An invitation, Jack. A bottle of wine and an invitation." She smiled and turned to Martha. "Ready?"
Martha grabbed her hand, "YES!" And they were gone.
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text 2016-06-21 20:05
Excerpt from: The Protector (Meeting an Angel)

Johanna pulled onto the road leading to her mother's estate. The heavy wrought iron gate made an imposing entrance. Twelve-foot tall, impressive and black, signaling the area was closed off from the rest of the world. An island of sanctuary meant to keep its inhabitants and possessions safe. Security was extremely tight by design. Her husband's premature death left Charlotte Kearns, "Lottie" to her friends, cautious, maybe paranoid, but gave her reason enough to build an impenetrable fortress for protection. Johanna had the gate code plugged into the visor of her new Ferrari. The Italian salesman said she looked hot. He called her, 'molto jalapeno', and added his opinion that a car should match the woman who drives her.
Johanna thought, "He's not the first; my entire life men have told me I'm beautiful in some way or another, depending on the guy – enchanting, Severine, hot – it didn't come as a surprise."
She leaned back while adjusting the rear view mirror for a quick check. "Mother can be so critical," she puckered her cherry lips, chosen to match the car, checking their reflection in the mirror.
The drive to the house took under a minute. On the way, she checked her hair because, 'Mother will notice'. It was a good thing she'd visited the salon.
"I like my new color, sassy blond with brown lowlights." She fussed with her hair.
She vowed that now that her stint as Secretary of State was over she'd be dressing more to please her man. Lower cut blouses, shorter skirts, and high heels would once again fill her closets.
She placed her hands higher on the steering wheel where she could see them. "My nails look good. I like red for a change. The Bentley's silver and the Benz is black." Johanna smiled to think her three favorite car colors were coordinated so well in her garage. She floored the pedal, enjoying the brief dash of spirited acceleration mixed with vibrating adrenaline.
"Too grand," she judged her mother for painstakingly transporting a French castle piece by piece from Charleville Mezieres to Ashland, Wisconsin.
Lottie's Springhouse, as she called it. "Mother wintered in Florida, spent summers in France, and lived in Ashland in between." Lottie thought poorly of anyone who stayed in Naples after Easter." People will think I've gone senile if I stayed in my seasonal house too long." She often told Johanna, "You must never let me do that."
Johanna swung open the door of the F12berlinetta and leaned back, maneuvering her legs out of tight quarters. Feeling for the cobblestones with the toe pad of her heels, she leaned forward gracefully pulling herself out of the low seat.
"Not very comfortable; feels like sitting on the floor," she thought as she smoothed her skirt, fixing herself one last time before stepping onto the fitted stone landing. She skipped up the stairs for exercise, then rang the bell and looked up at the camera waiting for someone to unlock the door.
A kindly voice greeted her over the intercom. "Oh, Miss Johanna, please come in. Your mother's waiting for you in the garden."
"Thank you, Elsa." She thought about how nice her mother's help was as she opened the door leading to a lavish grand hall then walked the length straight through. She enjoyed the majestic view of Lake Superior. She passed the library, commercial kitchen, and entertaining areas finally reaching the rear porch. The expansive focal point of the mansion overlooked stately gardens high above the lake.
"Mother, I've been summoned?" she called out playfully.
Charlotte's head, covered by a sheer white kerchief, turned to greet her. "Oh, Johanna, you're so dramatic. I wish you wouldn't put it like that." She pooh-poohed, dismissing the comment, removing her gloves then motioned to one of the loungers.
"What mother wouldn't want her daughter to be with the love of her life?" Johanna thought to herself as she walked closer. 'Lottie,' such a hypocrite. She married Daddy as a debutante, fresh out of school.
Lottie patted the chaise lounge for her. "Come sit, Dear."
Johanna tried to make nice. "The garden looks wonderful, Mother,” she commented, sitting sideways on the upholstered cushion, careful not to let her skirt ride up.
"Do you know what I've done to legitimize this family?" Her mother cut off Johanna's attempt at small talk.
"Getting into it so quickly, Mother? I never know if you're going to be horribly critical or vaguely supportive. I see you got a bone to pick today. "
"You're always sensitive Johanna, but today you can add selfish!"
"How so mother? I went to law school for you and then became Secretary of State to help you establish this family's pedigree to the presidency. I think I've done my fair share!"
Her mother waved a dismissive hand. "Please, Johanna. Peter did all the heavy lifting at state. Even taking the fall for that blunder you mismanaged overseas."
Johanna scowled at that. "That's what deputies do, Mother. Underlings take the risk for operations. Terrorism, in case you haven't heard, is unpredictable. The world is volatile, that blunder as you call it wasn't my fault."
"Maybe not," she acquiesced as she motioned for a maid to serve the lemonade. "I don't want to argue with you, Dear. That's not why I called you here." The maid brought over a tray and poured the first of two tall ice-filled glasses while pretending not to listen.
Johanna tilted her head. "None for me, Elsa." Her long hair fell and brushed the tabletop.
"What can I do for you, Mother?" she queried, brushing her bangs behind one ear.
Charlotte pursed her lips as though she had already sipped the lemonade and found that it lacked enough sugar to make it sweet rather than sour. "Johanna, there is too much at stake for even the hint of rumor about you and your brother."
"He's my cousin, Mother! Must you persist in calling him my brother?"
"The world doesn't see it that way. Do you have any idea what's at risk? Do you know who we're dealing with?"
Johanna crossed her arms over her chest. "Friends of Lottie Kearns? Lions and tigers and bears – Oh my!"
"Don't be flip with me, Daughter. I'm dead serious. We are less than a year away from your brother becoming the President of the United States. Do you understand what that means?"
Johanna smirked. "That I will be moving into the White House. Kolbe promised. Make no mistake; Kolbe will have Secret Service protection as President. He'll do as he pleases!"
Charlotte slapped a hand down on the table. "Johanna, these people killed the Kennedy's. They decide who's going to be President two terms in advance. Your brother has been groomed for years for this."
"You're delusional, Mother!"
Charlotte raised one elegant eyebrow. "Oh really? Have you ever wondered why Jacqueline Kennedy, just ninety-nine minutes after her husband was killed, stood by as LBJ took the oath of office?"
Johanna widened her eyes in mock fear. "I can't wait to hear this. Why, Mother?"
"To put an end to it! Really, Johanna, you should do the same. There are whispers."
"What are you saying?"
Charlotte's voice was at its most imperious. "You'll announce your engagement to Marshall Fairchild and put to rest any concern that you're having some illicit affair with your brother."
Johanna started sobbing, "Never! You can't ask me to do that. Kolbe promised we'd be together."
"Darling, Mommy's concerned for your well-being. How will you handle your brother's women?" Lottie placed her hands on her daughter's shoulders.
Johanna shrugged her mother's hands off her shoulders. "He wouldn't need those whores if we had your blessing. He needs your help to be President, that's why he agrees to your demands!"
"Johanna, listen to yourself."
She stood and glared at her mother. "It's disgusting that you're holding your influence and inheritance over his head. I don't fault him, I blame you."
"Do you have any idea what I've gone through over the past three decades to gain prominence for this family?" Lottie demanded. "I did it all for you, Johanna. The Derby winners, the French wineries..."
"You own a slaughter house, Mother,” she interrupted.
"That money bought you a seat in the state legislature."
"I never wanted it. That was your dream!" Johanna raised her voice.
"My work has brought us admiration in the world."
"No one cares about your status in high society mother. Least of all, me!"
"Silly girl. America is a kingdom, run by the powerful for their own benefit."
Johanna made a dismissive noise. "We live in a democracy, Mother, or haven't you noticed?"
"You think? I'm not going to debate you. I know what I know and your brother agrees with me. You'll announce your engagement this weekend. You can break it off after he's President if you wish. It's a good match. The Fairchild's are on-board. Marshall, will give you a ring and demonstrate his intentions in public. Our friends in the media are ready to push the announcement to the hilt." Lottie was clearly brooking no opposition.
"Kolbe agreed to this?" Johanna was now struggling not to break down.
"Yes, it's for the best, Johanna. You must trust your mother."
Johanna took a deep breath, but still sounded petulant. "I'm not marrying him."
Lottie patted her shoulder. "Whatever you say, Johanna dear, but you'll do this for your brother and me."
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mother."
"Alright, Dear."
A tear rolled down Johanna's cheek as she gazed at the lake. She was resigned for the moment to her fate, pouting, "Mommy, you can be so mean."
Charlotte got to her feet and gave her daughter's shoulder one last condescending pat. "It's for your own good."

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