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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Seashore Seduction

July Birthstone: Ruby (Promoter of friendship and love)
July Flower: Larkspur (Levity and hilarity) -- FICKLENESS
Theme: Beach scenes/scenarios; music, movies, plays, books with beach settings

Beach scenes and swimming come to mind in summer time, especially in July. The birthstone and flower for July are ruby and larkspur.

In addition to levity and hilarity, the stately looking larkspur also represents fickleness. Did you know it is poisonous?

In addition to friendship and love, ruby also represents power and wealth. These dynamics can often get complicated.

I started writing a short suspenseful murder mystery including these themes. At the beginning I knew who would be killed off and who the bad guy was, but as the story unfolded it morphed and several equally fascinating endings occurred to me.

So, I thought I’d invite you to have some fun here. The story is dangling at a crossroads. Anyone could be the murderer and anyone could be murdered. There are equally strong potential motives on all sides, although some have not yet been revealed.

I’m also contemplating the idea of writing more than one “last chapter” with different outcomes. I’ve never done that before, and would love to know your opinion. Would you enjoy a story with two different endings/victims at the end?



A brunette bombshell in an expensive bright red bikini reclined on a chaise lounge at water’s edge. The thin solid gold chain hugging her waist glinted in the sunlight. Warm turquoise water lapped gently at her heels and over her pedicured, red-tipped toenails.  The scent of coconut wafted on the tropical breeze, as palm fronds swayed overhead, offering occasional shade.

She let out a slow, sensual sigh. It was so liberating to be free of her unhappy life for a fleeting weekend of secret pleasures. The impulsive getaway to this idyllic tropical resort had turned into an unexpected sensory feast.

Giorgio was everything her bruised ego needed. For two months he had been her personal trainer, coming to her mansion three times a week to guide her workouts and help sculpt her body.  

Rolling over onto her warm belly, Ruby’s eyes scanned the hotel swimming pool area where the beach bar was located. His back was to her as he ordered a chilled bottle of pink champagne for them from the vivacious bartender Colleen.

Her lover’s physique was outrageously perfect. He stood a head above all the others. Sun-streaked raven hair caressed his broad shoulders and his long well-proportioned legs were planted firmly apart. All he wore on his bronze body was a black racing brief that left nothing to the imagination, and the invisible trail of kisses, licks and bites she had placed on him that morning.

The sun hit her jewel emblazoned wedding band at a certain angle, and the rubies and diamonds flashed like fire. Ruby cursed beneath her breath. She didn’t want to be reminded of her farce of a marriage. Nor did she want to return to it.

Her seven year union with Syd had been dominated by money, power and sex, and was built on a bed of indiscretion. Syd had made it his business to bed every woman in their social circle, which was vast considering they moved in high circles, both politically and with the international jet set. She had turned a blind eye to one affair after another, and had never once cheated on him.

Until last month.

Syd always made sure she knew about his paramours. The day she found out he had screwed her sister-in-law was the day her inner fire awakened with a vengeance.

When Giorgio arrived for their workout, he’d found her in a sexy black and scarlet negligee with passion in her golden topaz eyes. Instead of their usual workout in her private gym followed by laps in the Olympic length pool, she had taken him upstairs to her bedroom suite.

He had become her willing captive, taking her in his arms and peeling the sheer material away from her skin. Their yearnings and pent up desires of the past month exploded and rippled out through exquisite love making. He was so strong and powerful physically, but his hands were gentle and his nature was unassuming. Instinctively he seemed to know where to touch her and how to play her body like a flute.

One by one he had uncovered all her deep dark doubts about her body. Why did her husband need to bed every other woman in their world? What was wrong with her? Soon Giorgio taught her the problem was not her – it was Syd.

As the full moon rose over silver tree tops, they had slipped downstairs to skinny dip beneath the stars. Violet and pink larkspur flowers were visible in the moonlight, and the scent of night blooming jasmine intoxicated Giorgio and Ruby as they made love in the pool. She had never been happier.

Any time she had considered walking out of her marriage she had given up the thought. It wasn’t a lack of courage so much as a deep-seated dread in the pit of her stomach. Syd had told her many times that if she ever tried to leave him, it would be in a box. He would consider her abandonment like the loss of a personal asset he had invested in for years. 

Nobody else was going to benefit from his investment. He owned her, in his sick and twisted mind. A piece of paper made her his legal courtesan, but in truth she was his slave and that piece of paper gave her no rights.

Giorgio slid onto the chaise lounge beside her, pulling her out of her depressing thoughts as his cool hand caressed her sun-glowing skin.

“Champagne is coming,” he whispered playfully into her ear. He nibbled her ear lobe, his warm tongue sending shudders of pleasure rippling up and down her body.

She rolled sideways to face him, rubies blazing on her ring finger in the bright sunlight. She rested her head on her hand.

“Let’s not go home.” Her eyes watched his features carefully to gauge his reaction.

“Cara mia, what a beautiful fantasy, but you know as well as I do that it’s not possible. Syd would kill us both.” Giorgio reached for his dark shades and placed them on the bridge of his straight nose, concealing his eyes.

“Maybe not,” Ruby replied hesitantly. “Did you know Syd is right here in the hotel, in a penthouse suite? He’s watching us this very moment.” Giorgio’s head started to turn to look upwards, but Ruby stopped him. “Don’t! He mustn’t realize we know he’s here. Listen…I have a plan.”

An excerpt from Seashore Seduction © 2015 Gemma Juliana. All Rights Reserved.


I hope you’ll join in the fun, or perhaps you can share the name of your favorite summer read. Or what you consider the perfect summer vacation.

Thanks for reading my blog post. I wish you a very happy summer with a multitude of fabulous stories to read while you lounge beside the pool or ocean, or in the cool sanctuary of your own home.

GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon. 
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Paris said...

I've never thought about writing a story with more than one ending but now the idea intrigues me:) thanks for the great post!

Paris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose Anderson said...

Great imagery! I agree, choose your own ending sounds fun. And i loved that mermaid door picture. Wow.

Cara Marsi said...

Gemma, I love your story. What a great idea to write a story with different endings. So creative. I think the bartender Colleen kills Ruby because she wants Giorgio for herself, then she marries Syd and keeps Giorgio as her lover/trainer.

I love the beach, but the only beach movies I can think of are the ones with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. Such silly fun!

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful story. I know one author who had three different endings to her story. I read all three. I had to know how it ended. Good luck with the story.

jean hart stewart said...

I wanna know what happens, not have to choose between endings. Guess it's the same impulse that makes me tidy up wherever I am. So please, just tell me how it works out that they get together at the end....

Polly McCrillis said...

It would be a challenge for me to write different endings. My mind is pretty clear about how a story of mine is going to end so I don't think I could do the different ending thing, but if you can, have fun with it!

Gemma Juliana said...

Thank you for visiting my blog post, ladies, and for the valuable insights. There are many opinions on a story with different endings. I'm going back to my writing den now to chew them over. Wishing you all a delightful summer.

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