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Thursday Quotables – The Dame Has a Taste for Crime

DESTINATIONS (Sherilyn Decter) An experienced dame and a guy just out of the joint. What might they be up to? 1920s Philadelphia sure offers a lot of possibilities

“The first steak when you get outta the joint is always the best. Tender and juicy.” Still hanging onto his knife and fork, he rests his elbows on the table. He watches her to gauge her reaction.

“The joint, eh?” She lays down her own knife and fork and fixes him with a stare. “For what and how long? Should I be warried?”

“Naw, I don’t claim to be an innocent man, like everybody else in Eastern. It was a fair cop. I was doing a bit of thieving and things went wrong. Somebody who was supposed to stay down got up, and I got three years less one month for assault.” He shrugs. “You do what you gotta do.”

“Pretty honest there, Mickey.”

“Well there’s just something about you, doll. I figure I gotta be straight with ya. I am who I am, take me or leave me. But let’s make the decision sooner than later. Time’s a wastin’.”

Edith narrows her eyes, debating with herself about honesty. She leans forward. “Same. Take me or leave me. I’m twenty eight years old and no wall flower.”

“I noticed last night. And this morning.” He winks.

Edith blushes. “Well, like you was saying, take me or leave me, but do it sooner than later.” She takes a sip of her champagne.

“You like the bubbly?” he asks.

“Liquid sunshine. It reminds me of my youth and a good friend, now gone.”

He watches her and smiles.

“So, we’re both still sitting here. That must mean something. Tell me about why you came to Philly. What’s my line supposed to be? Oh yeah, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” Mickey says with a chuckle.

Thursday Quotables Meme

Destinations is a spin-off novella from Sharilyn Decter’s Bootleggers’ Chronicles series and presents two of the main characters, how they met long before the series starts.

It is almost a characters’ study more then a true story. There’s no big action or unfolding of events. We rather have two charming characters interacting, getting to know each other – and so giving us the opportunity to know them better too.

Still, even in such short piece, there is a strong sense of time and place. We are transported there and then, with Edith and Mickey. It’s a nice place to be.

THE UNSTOPPABLE JENNIE JUSTO (Sherilyn Decter) And they said that a young flapper could not manage a speakeasy

Like a lot of speakeasies, our place was a family business in the basement of our home. At the start of Prohibition, Mama and Papa hadn’t let opportunity pass them by – a bit of paper wasn’t going to stop them from pouring the best darn beer and whiskey for their customers.

After Papa’s murder, it took a lot of talking to convince Mama to let me try my hand at running the joint. It ran contrary to her notion of what a girl should be doing. But the business was in my blood. More so than my brothers; much more.

Dom, Pepe, and Joe ran a small time bootlegging operation; all my hooch was bought at the family discount price. The boy drank most of their profit or spent it on fast dames and even faster cars.

Before I was sent up, business had been booming. I could stand behind the bar and look out over a line of customers three deep. Good looking college boys, all waving money and shouting to get my attention. Those boys were full of sass. I loved it.

There was even a special guy, the local football hero, Art. He played on the University’s baseball team, too. Rumor had it he’d be called up to the big show at the end of the school year. Might have been pro-football. Maybe it was both? He’d started coming around a lot, getting my heart all twitterpated. I always made sure to give Art one of my extra-special smiles.

Our ‘speak’ was beyond popular for all the college kids. Dames included; smart, spunky dames with minds of their own. My biggest regret was that I never got a chance to go to school and be one of those kind of girls.

But I had the business. Gosh, I loved running a speakeasy. Even though I was just seventeen. The original place, with some changes, was mine, and so was the one around the corner. The business, my business, meant the world to me. I never got struck in regret about school for too long, especially when I heard the band playing a great tune, especially when I couldn’t even see the band through a crowd of dancers and the haze of cigarette smoke. Another hopping night at Jennie’s.

The Unstoppable Jennie Justo is inspired by a true woman who really ran two speakeasies in Milwaukie in the 1920s. This novella takes inspiration from a few true events, but above all it is true to the life in that time. Once again, we find the world of bootlegging in its different incarnations and the path women were creating for themselves, away from their traditional roles.
Jennie sure is a young woman who has very clear ideas of what she wants and how to get it. Sure, some things don’t really turn out as she intends, but then others definitely do.
It’s a short, quite straightforward story, with great characters, a fantastic historical setting and great interaction that will win your heart.

Both novellas are free for subscribers of Sherilyn’s newsletter, so in case you fancy reading them, head here.

Sherilyn will be stopping on this blog on the blog tour for the lauch of her first novel, a tense crime fiction set in Philadelphia in the 1920s. Bootleggers, mysteries, cops, traitors… and a ghost!
She will be my guest on the 20th and 21st. Stay tuned!

Check out all the dates!

Innocence Lost by Sherilyn Decter Book Launch Blog Tour

In post is part of the Thursday Quotables meme. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies

DESTINATIONS and THE UNSTOPPABLE JENNIE JUSTO are two novellas by Sherilyn Decter. Both crime fiction, both telling of a strong woman cuttin her way in a male society, both set during the 1920s (book review)


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 14:19

    This has such a strong sense of place and time, Sarah! And it can be really interesting to find out how characters met, etc.. You picked a fine bit to share with us – thanks!

    • Post Author
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 14:43

      The sense of time and place is really very strong in all of Shari’s stories I’ve read so far.

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