Sunday, December 11, 2022

Christmas and New Year's Eve in THE END OF CAMELOT



THE END OF CAMELOT is Book Three of the New York Saga. Vikki McGlory Ward is the granddaughter of Vita Caputo McGlory, the heroine of FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET, set in New York City’s Lower East Side in 1894. Book Two, BOOTLEG BROADWAY, features Billy McGlory, the gifted musician who couldn’t stay out of trouble. He married his pregnant girlfriend Pru in 1933 and became Vikki’s father when he was 25. Vikki is 30 years old in FROM HERE TO CAMELOT and is desperate to find out who murdered her husband Jack Ward, on the same day, November 22, 1963, and in the same city, Dallas, Texas, as President Kennedy was assassinated. Jack went to Dallas to prevent the assassination and never came home.

The next Christmas, Vikki was growing fond of her bodyguard, Aldobrandi Po. Her godfather Rosario celebrated a traditional Italian Christmas at his Palm Beach estate:

Vikki’s siblings, Thomas and Theresa, came down, and, combined with Rosario’s family, they had the traditional Italian Christmas. On Christmas Eve, after the feast of fried eel dredged in flour and fried in olive oil, baccala and male crabs, baked mussels in tomato sauce—and stuffed with scrambled eggs, parsley, garlic, and Romano cheese—and a pincushion fish her godfather Rosario called “la ritz” in dialect, they gathered around the tree to open their presents. Rosario gave her a mahogany jewelry box with a blue Tiffany’s box in each drawer. Opening each box, she gasped in wonder at a sapphire pendant, topaz bracelet, ruby necklace, emerald choker, three-strand pearl necklace, and a diamond tiara.

She smiled over the tiara. Where would she ever wear something like that? Jackie Kennedy had never even worn one. Or had she?

Her father’s gift to her was much more practical: a shiny new .25 caliber Bauer automatic pistol fitted into a box designed to look like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. “Thanks, Dad. I was going to buy another piece.” She had to admit, it felt custom made to fit her hand.


An Excerpt:

“It’s New Year’s Eve, we’re two people intensely attracted to each other, and the moment was perfect. Can you deny that?” Al asked her.

She didn’t know what she had the strength to deny at this point. With her knees still wobbling, she looked away and focused on the huge gravy pot simmering over a low flame. Not the only thing simmering around here, she realized, forcing her breath to even out.

“No, but I don’t know if you’re aware of my situation. I’m a widow. A recent widow. I shouldn’t be doing this. It’s forbidden,” she echoed the nuns. “It’s very disrespectful to my husband’s memory, and I’m ashamed of myself.”

“Your godfather told me you’re a widow. I’m very sorry.” His timing for the condolence could’ve been better. But what else could he have said? “Are you really ashamed of yourself? Do you think you’re being so disrespectful?”

“Of course,” she shot back. “He’s not gone two months yet.”

“Don’t, Vikki.” He traced his finger along her jawline. She tingled all over. “You have to forgive yourself. You’re human. We all are.”

“This must never happen again.” But did she really mean that? God, it had been so long since she’d been kissed that way.


Vikki glanced at the clock. Ten minutes till midnight. She ducked into the ladies’ room to touch up her lipstick and perfume. When she came out, Al walked directly towards her, arms extended. Without a word they glided onto the dance floor together. Her father started playing his promised “Stardust” and she closed her eyes, breathing in Al’s mingled scents of cologne and creme de menthe. The crowd started counting off the seconds, and at the bursts of “Happy New Year!” the band broke into “Auld Lang Syne.” She swept her glasses off, Al lowered his lips to hers, and everything converged into a blur. Her arms wound around him. She wept, for her loss, for fear of the future, of the unknown, of this man whose mouth claimed hers.


A Review From Locks, Hooks and Books: 

The End of Camelot is a fabulous read. It takes place back in time when President Kennedy was tragically assassinated. The main character, Vikki, is dealing with her own tragedy when her husband is also assassinated. She is determined to connect the two murders and find out the truth of what happened. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense. It kept me intrigued throughout. I never knew what was going to happen next. I recommend it to other readers, especially the fabulous performance of Nina Price in the audio version. She does a great job!




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