'Love and Diamonds' is a fantastic collection of short stories by Astraea Press authors.
Sherry Gloag wrote 'Queen of Diamonds', one of the stories in the collection. I asked her to tell us a bit about it.
Tag Line: Will Sybil Diamond’s future be determined by diamonds?
After four months of denying his feelings for Sybil Diamond, Culley Maccailin enlists her brother help to set up a poker game between them. He knows Sybil learned the game from her professional poker-playing father, and is just as good.
If he loses, he’ll fold. If he wins… The sky’s the limit.
As far as Sybil is concerned, love sucks. She’s been burned once and isn’t interested in a repeat performance. When her brother sets her up – again – she’s surprised to learn it’s against Cully Maccailin, the only man who’s stirred her heart since her ex-fiance walked out on her.
Let the game begin.
Back Cover Blurb:
If Sybil Diamond wins this poker game, Culley Maccailin risks losing the love of his life.
Top-level poker player Sybil Diamond isn’t phased when challenged to play against Culley Maccailin – until she loses. The stake is astronomical… Her heart.
“How could you do this to me — again?” Sybil Diamond stormed round her brother’s living room.” I told you I wasn’t interested, and it’s the third time you’ve pulled this stunt without my permission.” She whirled on Ritchie and aimed her fist low into his gut. It did nothing to appease her rising fury when he deflected her punch. Ritchie worked out more hours daily than she spent shopping.
When she nearly tripped on his discarded shirt she swore, bent to pick it up, and threw it on top of the pile of clothes on a nearby chair. “When are you going to shovel some of this lot into the washing machine?” she demanded; hiding a satisfied smirk at her brother’s wince. He may be a world champion surfer, but much as she loved him, the guy was a slob when it came to his living quarters.
“Instead of trying to fix me up with all your friends, you should concentrate on clearing up this mess and getting a girl of your own.”
“Aw, Sis, don’t be like that. Culley’s okay.”
“Culley! Culley? What sort of name is that? Are you telling me this guy has the same name as on that TV show?” Sybil struggled to recall the name and gave up. She was too busy expanding her own party planner business and didn’t have time to watch TV.
She’d met the man four months ago, but decided to keep that information to herself. It couldn’t be the same Culley, she’d not heard from him since that meeting, and she admitted now she’d expected to.
“Do you realise how busy I am next week? I have three children’s birthday parties, an engagement bash, a baby shower, and a massive Valentine party to organise for Aila Metaxas on the14th, Friday night. And before then,” she addedbefore Ritchie could interrupt, “I have my normal weekend rush of venues to deal with starting this afternoon with a fiftieth wedding anniversary.” Sybil stalked into the pocket-sized kitchen, dug a bottle of cool water from the fridge, and, unscrewing the bottle cap, stalked back again. “I don’t have time to play some stupid game of poker with this Culley just because you and your buddies think it’s cool to ‘play for the girl.’”
“So, you’re making excuses because you expect to lose?”
Sybil whirled round so fast, water spewed from the bottle and soaked Ritchie’s shirt and the pile of clothes on the chair, her satisfaction rapidly morphing to irritation when she recognised her brother’s tone. And knew, too, he’d won.
It sounds a fun story, Sherry!
To add to the fun, Sherry interviewed Sybil Diamond of 'Queen of Diamonds' to find out what other stories are in the book.
“Hi Sybil, thanks for agreeing to this interview…”
*Sybil cuts in. “I didn’t agree to an interview, you promised to tell me about the other stories in the anthology.”
Shaking my head I tutted at my heroine from Queen of Diamonds. She likes to get her own way does our Sybil. This was no exception she went straight for the nitty-gritty.
“Tell me about the other authors,” Sybil demanded. “Who are they?”
“Well…” Partly to annoy and partly to get my mind into another gear I kept her waiting for a moment.
“Let’s start with Patricia Kiyono her story is called Operation Rhombus…”
“What’s it about?”
“Not telling. If you want to know you’ll have to buy the book, it’s available everywhere.”
I ignored her.
“Heather Gray’s story is called Even When It Hurts.
“The next one I can remember is Engagement Ring by Kathy Bosman, and Jennifer Rae Gravely’s story is called Love and Diamonds
“Including my story, that’s five,” Sybil counted on her fingers. “That means there are ten more. This is so exciting.”
“J. L. Salter’s story has a wonderful title – No Love, No Diamonds: The Story I Couldn’t Write, Amy Mullen’s story is called The Flood.”
I love the variety of titles, this sounds exciting. I can’t wait to read them all.” Sybil chuckled. “Have you read them yet?”
“No, of course not. Don’t interrupt, now where was I? Oh yes… “Vivian Roycroft’s story is called Treasure Hunt, and Liz Bott’s Delusions of Love…”
“Those titles are so different, the images they evoke are awesome.” Sybil rubbed her bottle of cool water against her cheek and smiled. “Such adventures… Go on, I’m interrupting. Tell me the rest.”
“Zanna Mackenzie’s written One Of These Days, and E.A.West’s title is The Heart of Africa.
“Brenda Maxfield’s story is Meet Me in the Copy Room. Kelly Martin’s The Best Catch…” I took a moment to count the titles on my fingers – two more to go.
Kristine Cheney’s called her story Facets of the Heart and Nicole Zoltack’s All for Love rounds up the count.”
“Wow, Sybil said, her eyes wide and shining. That’s some roll call of authors. When will it be released and where can I get it?
“Love and Diamonds is due for release on the 5th of February, and you’ll find it at all good online stores.”
“Thank you. “Sybil beamed at me. “I bet I can persuade Culley to buy me a copy.”
“I don’t bet on certainties,” I replied, “and certainly not with a professional level poker player like you. Go and get your own, but get in line :).”
It sounds an amazing selection of stories!
Best-selling author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs "thinking time" and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel. While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office. She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.
Sherry loves to hear from her readers. email@example.com