Monday – December 3, 2012

Today and tomorrow you can download the Kindle version of “No Commitments” for free during a special promotion by going to the Books section of and typing in ‘Val Sharp’ to read reviews and descriptions and receive your free copy. You may also use this direct link:

Amazon also offers a free application for downloading the book to the iPad and iPhone. If you like it, any kind words in a review would be appreciated. To encourage your visit, I’ve included a sample scene from the book (along with last week’s prologue).                                          PARTY SCENE

Marianna was standing on a street corner in front of a neon sign flashing the silhouette of a zebra as Chuck and Clay drove up. She was smoking a cigarette and pacing back and forth. She jumped into the Corvette as soon as it pulled up to the curb. “Say, I like your car,” she said with a bouncy exuberance as she wedged herself in next to Chuck. Clay introduced them as they sped toward the bridge that would take them to Arlington.

They arrived at the Powers’ at one-thirty, and Darcy greeted them at the door. “You’d better watch yourself,” she apologized to Marianna. “The girls have all left, and it’s getting raunchy inside. Sammy Powell’s been dropping his pants and mooning everybody.”

Marianna was horrified by the spectacle. Six of the pilots were still there; six drunken louts. One was beating a bongo aimlessly off in a corner, another passed out, his legs over the back of the sofa. Clay started introducing her around, and she made an effort to be a good sport. She met “Swinging Sammy” Powell, as he was called, Clay’s wingman; then “Stinger” Thornton, who came up to her, grinning, singing a little ditty: “well, it’s Saturday night and I just got paid, so why don’t you and me go get laid.” At the same time, Sammy pinched her on the ass. She slapped him and stormed off in a huff. Sammy was indignant.

“Hey, Stoner! Where in the hell’d you get such an uptight broad?” he bleated.

“She’s a debutante,” Clay joshed. “They’re all like that.”

Marianna went into the kitchen with Darcy. “Are they always like this?” she asked, shocked and still incensed. “Look at them! Who would think anybody would trust them to fly airplanes. Why…why they’re just a bunch of animals!”

“You’ve just got to learn to understand them,” Darcy said.

“Understand them! Are you serious, Darse? Look at that slob in the corner. Are you going to tell me he needs some understanding?” A loose, limp form of a body was slumped in the corner, leaning against the wall, too drunk to move. His legs were spread in a semicircle around a puddle of vomit.

“That’s Jimmer Jones,” Darcy said in a sympathetic tone. “I’ll have to clean his mess up later. He’s the one who had the mid-air with Duke on cruise.”

Marianna had no idea what she was talking about. “What are you talking about?” she asked. “Who’s Duke? What’s a mid-air?”

“Duke Dawson. He was a squadron mate. Jimmer and Duke’s planes ran into each other one night over in the Med. Jimmer was able to eject. But Duke and his RIO never got out. They never found them. BNR, it’s called. Body not recovered. Jimmer blames himself for it, so you shouldn’t be too harsh on him.”

Marianna stared at the pitiful creature in the corner, and her anger softened a bit. “How do you stand it, Darse?”

“Stand what?”

“The fact that Vic will be gone for almost a year – that he won’t even be home for the baby – that…who knows what might happen to him.” She looked at Darcy, staring back at her, clear eyed.

“Why don’t you just say it…that he might never come back? We all know that,” Darcy said, showing no emotion. “We just try not to think about it, that’s all. I keep hoping something will happen and Vic won’t have to go. But I know he will. So will Clay and all the rest of the guys out there. We learn to accept it.”

“Accept it! Why?” Marianna said, shaking her head in disbelief.

“None of us can tell you why, Marianna. We just do. We’re part of a family. If you were part of it, you’d understand.”

Thanks for stopping by.  VS




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