A mint Julep with a twist of lime rested in the hands of both twin sisters as they had their monthly phone chat. It was a tradition--chat and liquor, the only way they could keep in touch other than email. Dorian Tobias, a reporter with the Pine Bluff Farmer's Voice, stayed in Arkansas while her jetsetter sister--romance author, Adrian Stone dialed all the way from Los Angeles. Though they were identical twins in every physical respect, there were major personality differences. That was the main topic of conversation that Friday night after a small amount of chitchat.
"Well, enough about Preston, mom, Uncle Will and other family members straight out of the movie Deliverance."
"They're not that bad, Adrian," Dorian added with a bit of levity in her voice.
"But to more important things, nonetheless. I told you last month that I had a great idea for my next book, right?" Adrian flipped several strands of reddish-brown hair from her face. "I'm thinking another interracial set in England. Sound good so far?"
Dorian, the more levelheaded and cynical of the two, took a sip from her much needed drink and then sat it down to listen to another torrid, lust-filled extravaganza soon to be in print with her sister's name blazing across the cover. "Another interracial? Wasn't your last one like that with some ditz traipsing off somewhere in Transylvania to land a rich super-stud vampire?"
"Always one to shoot down a sensual idea, aren't you? Well, for your information, this one is in England and the guy is a baron. I'm calling it, Vixen, Story of a Bored Housewife. My last one was nowhere near the erotic escapades that will happen in this one. Besides, the hero in my last was a prince and not a vampire. I'm taking a new spin and going with another gauche, filthy rich noble."
"Adrian, this scenario is sounding awfully familiar. The hero in your nobility series, A Royal Pain, But In All the Right Places, was an exact replica of Prince Nicolas St. Duvalier. And besides, weren't you warned to stay away from doing your research in parts of England? I really worry about you and your trips abroad to do 'research' for these heroes. Can't you ground yourself and stick to a regular African American hero like a lot of African American romance authors do? My goodness, there's such a pick in Los Angeles and even here in Pine Bluff--"
"Oh, you can't be serious!" Adrian barked out. "Pine Bluff? If there's so many great guys there, why haven't you snagged one?"
"Because I'm not looking for one. Besides, you know my situation with men now."
"Yeah. I know that sob story. Get over it! Are you also forgetting that I left Pine Bluff because nothing was happening there? No, I want my books to be different from everyone else's. I happen to like the jetsetter type and all of those princes, dukes, earls and whatever they happen to be are what my books consist of. Readers have come to expect this from me." Again, she flipped the long lock of hair from her face and downed the rest of her almost too tart mint julep. "How can I disappoint my readers now, let alone my agent? She'd smack the hell out of me if I didn't deliver some damsel in sexual distress with some rich prick!"
"Alright already! Give me a break. We can't have weeping dames all across America ready to kill themselves because you didn't have Debbie Do-It or some other twit in compromising sexual circumstances with King Long-Dong."
"Poke your fun but I know you and mom read my books. And you enjoy them so don't deny it, Dorian."
"Who's denying anything? I think your stories are wonderful. I just don't like how you gallivant across the world just to get story ideas. You're going to get in some real trouble one day, Adrian." Dorian also downed the rest of her drink and looked around for the mix to make another one. Adrian was the kind of woman who could make any twin resort to becoming a lush. Dorian only cared about her sister. She rested the cordless on her shoulder while pouring the contents of a package into a portable mixer and continued her fruitless conversation. "You were lucky two years ago with that prince. Once you got all the info from him you needed, you left him high and dry, wanting to know why his piece of tail was leaving him to return to LA."
"He was a bore and even he knew that. He let go gracefully. Besides, I've got something completely grand in store for this new book. Stuart Westlake! He's a dreamboat and a perv all in one basket. I think he'll make a great hero that I can transform into a real man by the end of the story."
"Well, if trouble is what you're looking for, you'll surely get it with him. Don't do it, Adrian. He's a dog--a regular Doberman."
"He's a kitten."
"Adrian, the man can't stay out of the tabloids. Every camera in England is waiting to see what pub he's going to stagger out of with his penis in his hands. He's a British viscount hood rat!"
"I'm counting on it." Adrian relaxed on her French designed daybed and smoothed a hand across the diamond-studded neckline of her Escada pantsuit. "I'm going to England again to do research on Stuart, Dorian. You can't stop me, and I don't want to talk about it anymore. I'm going."
"Stop using the line from Carrie. I know it's the only movie you watch for some reason but think about this for a second. You were told to steer clear of England and I think you need to listen."
"I'll be careful. Besides, I already got in touch with Stuart and he has welcomed the opportunity."
"I'm sure he has. Any excuse to get into someone else's panties, especially those of an erotic romance writer." Dorian paced the floor of her small living room, barely touching her drink. "When are you planning this new excursion?"
"Two weeks. He's planning a birthday party and soon after that, he's doing some benefit for the Royal Army Medical College. We should have plenty of time together."
"Just be careful, will you?"
Adrian put on a fake heir, buffed her finely polished pink fingernails and smiled into the receiver. "Darling, being careful is never fun, but for you, I'll try my best."
"Let me know when you get there," Dorian continued to plead.
"Will do. Ta-ta for now."
The two disconnected and Dorian slumped onto the couch, saying under her breath, "She won't be satisfied until she's lying in a pine box. That'll kill mom...and me, too!" She downed the rest of her drink and pressed play on the DVD player. And what movie was on? Yes, Carrie. Seemed the two had more in common than they realized.