Book Blitz - Excerpt & Giveaway - Paris, Adrift by Vanda

Paris, Adrift

by Vanda 
Publication Date: May 9, 2018 
Genres: LGBT, Historical, Romance

She wanted a safe harbor for their love. But rough waters could destroy any hope of starting over… Paris-bound, 1955. Alice “Al” Huffman can’t wait to reach the City of Light. As soon as their ship arrives, Juliana’s singing career will get the spotlight it deserves and the two women will finally bring their relationship out of the shadows. Or so Al thinks. Before the SS United States hits land, a stranger approaches Al with a Broadway contract for Juliana. But the offer comes with a threat that can’t be ignored. And unless Al can find a way out, Juliana’s comeback could come crashing down before it even begins… As she hides the awful truth from Juliana, Al searches for an answer before another obstacle destroys their last chance for happiness… Paris, 

Adrift, 1955 is Book 3 in a breathtaking LGBT historical romance series. If you like pulse-pounding suspense, characters who tug at your heartstrings, and true-to-life portrayals of 1950s Paris, then you’ll love award-winning writer Vanda’s stunning series of novels. Buy Paris, Adrift and set sail on a harrowing journey of love today!


The dining room was quietly opulent with white columns and a two-story vaulted ceiling. The floor was a glistening polished black. Each table had three red roses in the center, along with highly polished silverware and folded linen napkins with the imprint of the ship’s logo. A huge sculpture of four women who looked like they might be goddesses extended toward the high ceiling. I’d heard that the art work and the furnishings had all been designed by two women. Women! The thought made me proud. The orchestra in the balcony played softly in the background.

Our waiter guided us toward a table, but before we reached it, a few people hurried over to Juliana. “Oh, Juliana,” one chubby woman in a pink gown that showed too much cleavage said. “When I heard you were going to be on this ship, I thought I’d perish, just perish. I told my husband, Oscar—oh well, you don’t want to hear about him. Will you be singing on the ship?”

“No, I’m a passenger like everyone else, and right now I’m a hungry passenger, so if you’ll excuse me. . .”

I tried to get between Juliana and the woman, but the woman’s elbow somehow made its way to my stomach. “I must have your autograph,” she oozed.

“Certainly,” Juliana said. “Do you have something you want me to write on?”

“Of course,” the woman giggled. “You’d need that, wouldn’t you? Can’t write on the air. But I don’t seem to have . . . I left my purse back at the table with Oscar.” She flapped her arms around. “Oh, there must be something, something . . . Yes!” She whisked a folded linen napkin from one of the tables. “This.”

“Oh, uh, well, mightn’t someone need that?” Juliana asked.
“Oh, poo, they can get another. When do I get a chance to have the real Juliana give me her autograph? Won’t you, please?” She held the napkin toward Juliana.

“A pen?”

“Here you go,” Scott said, taking one from his inside pocket. What a terrific idea inside pockets were.

Juliana quickly scribbled her name across the napkin, trying to stay calm when I knew she would’ve rather bopped the woman.

“I loved you at the Latin Quarter two years ago,” the woman said, taking back the napkin.

“Thank you.”

“And so did Oscar.” She flexed her eyebrows up and down. “If you know what I mean. You gave us a such a nice night that night.”

“Glad I could be of help,” Juliana said. Scott took Juliana’s arm and moved her away from the bottleneck of people who were beginning to gather.

We had almost made it to our table when the captain of the ship appeared. “Miss Juliana,” he said, standing at attention. “I’m Commodore Jonathan Black.” He was a slender man, not too tall, with gray hair. His uniform was an impossibly spotless white. “I wonder if you would do me the honor of joining me at my table tonight.”

“Well, that’d be lovely,” Juliana said, “but I’m here with . . .” She turned toward us.

“Sir,” Commodore Black said, eye to eye with Scott. “Would you mind terribly if I borrowed Miss Juliana for a mere hour or two?”

“Uh, me?” Scott said, shrugging. “Sure. Why not?”

“Thank you, sir.” He nodded at Scott and me and put out his arm for Juliana to take. “I saw you, my dear, at the Copa last year and I was whisked away.” Then he whisked Juliana away.

“Why’d he ask you?” I said to Scott as we were about to take seats at our assigned table.

“Because I’m a man. Sit down. The waiter’s waiting.”

“But I hired you.” I said as the waiter pulled out my chair for me. “Doesn’t that make me your boss and Juliana’s, too? Shouldn’t I be deciding these things? She needs rest.”

Scott shrugged his shoulders as he sat and opened his menu. 
“Technically my boss is Richard. Juliana’s too. He’s the one who signs the checks.”

“But you know it’s me who does the work.”

“But Captain Black doesn’t know that.” He studied his menu.

“So, he assumed you, of course, were in charge.”

“Of course.”

“That makes me livid.”

“Al, forget it. It’s not a big deal.”

“Not to you, it isn’t. You’re a man, but . . .”

“Calm down. You’re going to burst something. Look at this delicious menu. It’s just the way things are. You can’t change it. Be glad you’re on this beautiful ship with this wonderful air-conditioning and not sweating in New York.”

The waiter still stood at our table, waiting—I guess waiting for us to take a breath. He turned toward Scott. “Would the lady and gentleman care for an aperitif?”

“You want something, Al?”

“Not now.”

“No thanks,” Scott said to the waiter. “We’re going to look over your entrèes.”

“Very well, sir.” He nodded his head and left us.

“The smoked Irish sturgeon might be a nice appetizer,” Scott said. “What’s important is that Juliana is getting noticed. Isn’t that why you put this whole thing together? To rebuild Juliana’s confidence and career?”

“Yes,” I sighed, taking off my gloves. “You’re right. That’s what’s important.” I opened my menu. “What do you think about the braised smoked ox tongue?”

“It makes me want to be sick,” Scott said.

“Well, that’s not good.”

“No. I’ll stick with something I know like the salmon steak.”
I watched Juliana flirting with all the men at the captain’s table. I worried she wouldn’t pay enough attention to the women, but they were oohing, aahing, and giggling over her, so I figured she had the situation under control.

“Is that Cary Grant sitting at the end of the captain’s table?” I asked.

Scott turned in his chair to look. “I think so.”

About Vanda

Vanda has been writing since she was fourteen. She spent twenty years as a Playwright before she began writing her Juliana Series about LGBT modern history in New York. She has completed three books in the series and is hard at work on the fourth. From 2014 to 2016, Vanda produced a show based on her novel, Juliana, at the Duplex Nightclub in which actors performed chapters from the book every month. The show included singing and dancing from the 1940s. There is talk about bringing this show back and expanding it. As a playwright, Vanda has received numerous honors, among them an Edward Albee Fellowship. Her play, Vile Affections, published by Original Works, was a finalist for a National Lambda Award. She is a professor of psychology at Metropolitan College of New York.

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