Monday, May 17, 2010

A Pen & Muse Review: First Date

The Author: R. Ann Siracusa

Author Website:

Genre: Contemporary Romance (A "bridge" short story between first and second books in a humorous romantic suspense series) Sub genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Sapphire Blue Publishing, visit

Info: ISBN: 9781934657461
Price: $1.50 (e-book)


The prologue for this incredibly funny story is a hoot! A nice set-up, my Gods (read the excerpt, below, and you will understand.) The story is filled with humor and some healthy, hot sex between two people intent on finding out more about each other. Told in the first person (not my favorite) it worked well, here. The author skillfully melds sex and humor as in this line...
“He pulled me into his arms and gave me a long, deep kiss that peeled the polish off my toenails.”


Stripping off your clothes in a restaurant: NOT a good idea on a First Date
Tired of celestial politics and wanting some fun, Fate brings together two young people who would have never met. A your tour director, Harriet Ruby, whose biggest problem is that she has no real problems, and Will Talbot, Europol spy with a dark and troubled past.

Wham! Bam! Sparks fly! Fate smiles. "They'll never know what hit them."

After teaming up in Morocco for outstanding sex and hilarious adventure, Will and Harriet agree to see if their relationship can develop beyond mutual lust. Now, they're having their first real date. Things are heating up nicely when they learn the "getting to know you" process, while on-the-job, is fraught with interruptions, frustrations...and the promise of an unforgettable adventure
First Date by R. Ann Siracusa is a tour Director Extraordinaire Story

Excerpt from FIRST DATE by R. Ann Siracusa
Sapphire Blue Publishing

"Political assassinations...spiritual wars...hostile takeovers! And now this!" Heaving a frustrated sigh, Fate threw down the most recent cd-mail from the Celestial Department of Interspecies Mediation and the sheaf of protest petitions containing a billion energy imprints.
Hitching up her robe, she stomped to the edge of her intergalactic dust cloud. "What idiots came up with the idea that they could enslave the djinni's souls to generate power and solve a galactic energy crisis? Some of these species are seriously strange."
Leaning on her staff, reminiscent of a drop spindle on steroids, she pursed her lips and stared into the void beyond. Maintaining a balance within the universal realm required her constant vigilance and divine intervention in the big-ticket affairs. Necessary, but she hated ignoring the ordinary beings and leaving their individual development to a gaggle of untrained staff.
"Besides, that's the fun part of the job," she murmured wistfully. She'd paid her dues. Wasn't she entitled to enjoy herself every now and then by bringing together unlikely beings and causing unexpected events at the personal level? "I wonder what's happening down on Earth? Now, there's an interesting species."
At the edge of an ethereal rift, Fate whipped out a heavenly instrument like a telescope from under her flowing robes and aimed it at the Milky Way Galaxy, located in the most distant reaches of her jurisdiction within the Celestial Department of Predetermined Destiny.
"I'll just take a quick look." No one would miss her for a few minutes. She'd relax a bit, then get back to the task of freeing the souls of one billion djinni.
Preset on random scan, the instrument hummed as it examined millions of human beings in all walks of life and came to rest on a young woman living in a quiet town in a place called California.
"Well, let's see who we have here." She looked through the telescope and focused it. "Harriet Ruby. Ow! We don't see many Harriets these days. But she seems smart enough and honest. What else? Trusting, dependable...those are good, but she hasn't found what she wants to do with her life." Fate shook her head with resignation.
Kids! They're all alike, no matter what species.
Then she did a double take. "Hmm, this one is too well balanced." Concerned, she fined-tuned the instrument and studied the readings. "Well, of course she is. Her life has been stable, predictable and good. Nothing really bad has ever happened to her."
Fate frowned. This kid must have completely fallen through the cracks.
"No hangups? No fears or phobias? No tough choices? What has my staff been doing? This girl hasn't been challenged at all!" Clearly, someone in the Earth Division had been sleeping on the job. "I'll have to speak to the intern who's assigned to her case."
Disgruntled and suspecting the worst, Fate reset the scanner to search for other anomalies in the system. The djinni would just have to wait.
Every now and then, when the divine intervention scanner slowed, she glanced through the eyepiece, but each time the machine moved on. Finally, it stopped again and didn't budge.
"Uh-oh. We've found another one?" Exasperated, she gritted her teeth and peeked. This time the subject was a young man on the other side of the world living an unpredictable life filled with mystery and excitement but also hurt, disappointment, and distrust. He faced danger on a daily basis, fighting for what was right in spite of a turbulent and troubled youth.
"Ouch! That's bad." Shaking her head, Fate recalibrated her equipment for more detailed information. "Oh, my. This poor Will Talbot fellow has a shitkicker of a caseworker with an overactive imagination. He is one seriously troubled human."
Irritated by such incompetence, she paced back and forth across the diffuse intergalactic medium, comparing his situation to that of the young woman whose biggest problem was that she had no real problems.
"Why in the name of dirt and earthworms can't these interns get it through their thick skulls that our interventions are supposed to create choices for these corporal beings? Opportunities to exercise free will. How else can they define their lives and eventually become civilized? That can't happen when some beings don't have to make any choices and others are slammed with too many. No wonder the universe is such a mess!"
Fate pounded her staff on a nearby cloud, stirring up puffs of ionized hydrogen. "I'll be glad when these budget problems ease up and I can get some trained staff. I'll have to keep a closer eye on these interns from now on. In the mean time, what if I give this girl a life-altering decision to make?"

First Date/publisher excerpt


  1. As always, Ann Siracusa leaves every writer with the thought, "I wish I'd written that." Seriously funny, adventure addictive and just a wonderful read and only flaw is that it's too short. Of course, she does have several books out so all is not lost. Enjoyed the fun and frenzy!

  2. What a delightful premise.

    I think if hunky Will took me out to dinner I'd feel like stripping my clothes off, too.


  3. I just read a book by Siracusa with a hero named Will... and a heroine named Harriet. This must be the first book in the series. I agree that the first-person was not my favorite. I felt like I never really got to know Will. But I did like the heroine. She's spunky.