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James Duncan
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A Changing Man
A Changing Man

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Rom-com, not chick lit but chicks might well like it. Guys might well like it too, plenty of ferocious fighting between a top London gang and the New York Mafia. It's narrated by Isabella Commarata and Archie Pope, so we got all angles covered!

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I like to mix genres, mainly because I would get bored sticking with just the one. My latest is a gangster rom-com, written with American romance writer, J Kahele. I like to write humour, action and adventure, taut and tense edge of your seat kind of stuff. J Kahele is one of the most skilled sex scene writers I have ever read - it's hot, steamy, yet compassionate and beautiful. In fact her sex writing is the best I have ever come across. That was a serious point I was making there, do not drag me down to your level. I also like to inject paradoxes, spirituality, and satire into my writing. 

Enough waffle, here's a little taster, narrated by softie tough guy Cockney gangster, Archie Pope. Please feel free to comment.

Handsome gangster, Archie Pope, may look tough but he's a softie really, the kind of sweet guy all women would like to have in their lives. Whilst his gangster father is in conference with monstrous Mafia boss, Giovanni Commarata, Archie goes on a little walkabout and bumps into the beautiful and beguiling Isabella, Commarata's daughter.

My heart stopped beating for what seemed like an eternity...

Then it was pounding harder and faster than it ever had before.

A young woman of extraordinary beauty was approaching. Olive skin, raven black hair, exotic eyes, stunning figure – this vision of an angel hardly looked at me. I had to speak to her before she passed out of sight and out of my life forever. No woman had ever made me feel like this before. Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, I never had until this moment. I had never even known what love felt like. In this moment I felt that I knew exactly what love feels like. It was the oddest feeling I had ever had. I felt like one fry short of a Happy Meal. Yeah, there had been plenty of women. I had had some dysfunctional relationships with women who got off on geezers like me, or rather, the geezer I was pretending to be. There had never been a connection with any one of them. It had all been devoid of emotion and feeling, ego driven, superficial, and so unsatisfying and empty, it was always a relief when they finally did a runner.

I stepped into her path, grinning broadly.

‘Hi, I’m Archie – what’s your name?’

She gave me a nervous little look, before replying, ‘You must excuse me, I’m in a hurry.’

And then she rushed to the other side of the foyer. I, of course, followed her. She walked towards the glass-encased wall and leant staring out at the bright sunny day. I crept up behind her.

‘You still haven’t told me your name,’ I whispered in her ear. She jumped practically out of her skin.

‘Isabella,’ she murmured as she clutched her chest, panting.

‘You’re very pretty, Isabella,’ I said with my charming Pope smile.

‘I’m sorry, I really must go.’ She turned to walk past when I placed my hand on her arm gently. A tingling shiver swept through my body, causing a light moan to slip from my lips.

‘Why, where are you goin’, babe?’

She looked at me properly for the first time. Her eyes widened and she blushed deeply.

‘Well, nowhere really...it’s just that...why are you here?’

‘Doin’ some business with Giovanni – blimey, that geezer is so uptight!’

She looked nervously around the foyer.

‘You’d better believe it. He’s my father.’

‘Yeah? Well, my old man’s a nutjob but that geezer makes him look like Mary Poppins!’

She looked puzzled.

‘I’m sorry, I’m not entirely sure what you’re talking about.’

I decided to focus on more important matters.

‘So what about you? Do you have a boyfriend?’

She smiled sadly and laughed harshly.

‘Oh yeah, I have many would-be boyfriends in the cemetery!’

That statement perturbed me somewhat.

‘What, you mean you go on the pull around hospices? ‘Darlin’, I’m too fragile to even kiss you!’ And the next day they’ve croaked?’

She frowned. ‘You make no sense. Much of what you say isn’t even English.’

‘Excuse me, love,’ I said, slightly affronted by this slur. ‘But I speak proper English. After all, my country invented the bleedin’ language. It’s you Yanks who don’t speak proper English!’

She laughed at that. She smiled at me warmly before her eyes did another nervous reccy of the surrounding area.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked. ‘What you so para about?’

‘“Para”? What’s “para”? Would you care to translate?’

‘It means “paranoid”. Para is short for paranoid.’

‘Well, stop being so lazy and use the whole word,’ she scolded me. Bloody hell, did I like being scolded by her! It sent tingles down my spine!

‘Yes, I am para about Papa or his henchmen finding us here talking. He will kill you immediately and that is a fact. Walk away now, Archie.’

‘No, I won’t walk away,’ I replied stubbornly. ‘Your old man must be bonkers!’

‘“Bonkers”?’

‘Crazy.’

Isabella sighed deeply. ‘Yes, he is crazy.’

‘And you’re a right little sort.’

‘Are you being offensive?’

‘No, not at all. I mean I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen!’

She blushed again, looking very pleased.

‘Would you like to go on a date with me, I mean, if you could?’

‘I would very much like to. But it’s impossible – it can never be.’

I looked down, feeling absolutely gutted. I must have been looking very sad, because Isabella touched my arm gently and said, ‘I would like to go on a date with you more than anything else, Archie. You’re a lovely man, I can tell. You’re different. You’re like me, trapped in a world you don’t belong in.’

There was something about her, something that tugged so deeply at my heartstrings, drawing me to her, needing her, wanting her. I knew now what love at first sight felt like, because when I saw Isabella for the first time, I was hooked completely and hopelessly taken in by her.

Our eyes met and we shared a communication of emotions that told us both everything we needed to know. It was like telepathy. It was a moment I would treasure for the rest of my life.

‘Hey, you! Get away from her!’

Commarata’s henchmen had appeared and they closed in on us, guns drawn. One of them shoved me away from Isabella, knocking me off my feet. I scrambled to my feet, overloaded with rage, ready to punch the asshole’s lights out. He put his revolver against my temple and shook his head vigorously.

The conference room door flew open and Giovanni and my family came out; guns were immediately pointed at my crew.

‘What the hell is going on?’ yelled Giovanni.

‘He was talking to your daughter!’ shouted back the henchman who had discovered us. ‘There was physical contact!’

Giovanni’s face contorted into a horrible visage of twisted hatred and anger.

‘You!’ he screamed at Isabella. ‘Upstairs – now!’

‘No!’ screamed back Isabella. ‘You’re not to kill them! Do you hear me? No more killing!’
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James Duncan - updates and latest news and book deals
Hello, sorry I have been a bit quiet of late. I will be reviewing four new books over the next two weeks on this blog. Currently reading at breakneck speed and enjoying every minute of it! I am writing the sequel to 'Crazy On You' with J Kahele. We are both...
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One Of Those Days by Samna Ghani - touching, funny, tender rom-com.
This is a charming, beautifully written, funny romance that cheered my heart immensely, Elizabeth, a gorgeous young woman, smart but clumsy advertising agent bumps into a handsome man, Neil, as she is on her way to present her latest advertising campaign. T...
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Crazy On You - the transatlantic rom-com!
Just imagine if you will for a moment. An English comedy-thriller writer and a popular American romance-suspense writer, write a novel together over the internet! We are now good friends but at the beginning we didn't know each other. But because I love a c...
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Crazy On You taster.

Handsome gangster, Archie Pope, may look tough but he's a softie really, the kind of sweet guy all women would like to have in their lives. Whilst his gangster father is in conference with monstrous Mafia boss, Giovanni Commarata, Archie goes on a little walkabout and bumps into the beautiful and beguiling Isabella, Commarata's daughter.

My heart stopped beating for what seemed like an eternity...

Then it was pounding harder and faster than it ever had before.

A young woman of extraordinary beauty was approaching. Olive skin, raven black hair, exotic eyes, stunning figure – this vision of an angel hardly looked at me. I had to speak to her before she passed out of sight and out of my life forever. No woman had ever made me feel like this before. Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, I never had until this moment. I had never even known what love felt like. In this moment I felt that I knew exactly what love feels like. It was the oddest feeling I had ever had. I felt like one fry short of a Happy Meal. Yeah, there had been plenty of women. I had had some dysfunctional relationships with women who got off on geezers like me, or rather, the geezer I was pretending to be. There had never been a connection with any one of them. It had all been devoid of emotion and feeling, ego driven, superficial, and so unsatisfying and empty, it was always a relief when they finally did a runner.

I stepped into her path, grinning broadly.

‘Hi, I’m Archie – what’s your name?’

She gave me a nervous little look, before replying, ‘You must excuse me, I’m in a hurry.’

And then she rushed to the other side of the foyer. I, of course, followed her. She walked towards the glass-encased wall and leant staring out at the bright sunny day. I crept up behind her.

‘You still haven’t told me your name,’ I whispered in her ear. She jumped practically out of her skin.

‘Isabella,’ she murmured as she clutched her chest, panting.

‘You’re very pretty, Isabella,’ I said with my charming Pope smile.

‘I’m sorry, I really must go.’ She turned to walk past when I placed my hand on her arm gently. A tingling shiver swept through my body, causing a light moan to slip from my lips.

‘Why, where are you goin’, babe?’

She looked at me properly for the first time. Her eyes widened and she blushed deeply.

‘Well, nowhere really...it’s just that...why are you here?’

‘Doin’ some business with Giovanni – blimey, that geezer is so uptight!’

She looked nervously around the foyer.

‘You’d better believe it. He’s my father.’

‘Yeah? Well, my old man’s a nutjob but that geezer makes him look like Mary Poppins!’

She looked puzzled.

‘I’m sorry, I’m not entirely sure what you’re talking about.’

I decided to focus on more important matters.

‘So what about you? Do you have a boyfriend?’

She smiled sadly and laughed harshly.

‘Oh yeah, I have many would-be boyfriends in the cemetery!’

That statement perturbed me somewhat.

‘What, you mean you go on the pull around hospices? ‘Darlin’, I’m too fragile to even kiss you!’ And the next day they’ve croaked?’

She frowned. ‘You make no sense. Much of what you say isn’t even English.’

‘Excuse me, love,’ I said, slightly affronted by this slur. ‘But I speak proper English. After all, my country invented the bleedin’ language. It’s you Yanks who don’t speak proper English!’

She laughed at that. She smiled at me warmly before her eyes did another nervous reccy of the surrounding area.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked. ‘What you so para about?’

‘“Para”? What’s “para”? Would you care to translate?’

‘It means “paranoid”. Para is short for paranoid.’

‘Well, stop being so lazy and use the whole word,’ she scolded me. Bloody hell, did I like being scolded by her! It sent tingles down my spine!

‘Yes, I am para about Papa or his henchmen finding us here talking. He will kill you immediately and that is a fact. Walk away now, Archie.’

‘No, I won’t walk away,’ I replied stubbornly. ‘Your old man must be bonkers!’

‘“Bonkers”?’

‘Crazy.’

Isabella sighed deeply. ‘Yes, he is crazy.’

‘And you’re a right little sort.’

‘Are you being offensive?’

‘No, not at all. I mean I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen!’

She blushed again, looking very pleased.

‘Would you like to go on a date with me, I mean, if you could?’

‘I would very much like to. But it’s impossible – it can never be.’

I looked down, feeling absolutely gutted. I must have been looking very sad, because Isabella touched my arm gently and said, ‘I would like to go on a date with you more than anything else, Archie. You’re a lovely man, I can tell. You’re different. You’re like me, trapped in a world you don’t belong in.’

There was something about her, something that tugged so deeply at my heartstrings, drawing me to her, needing her, wanting her. I knew now what love at first sight felt like, because when I saw Isabella for the first time, I was hooked completely and hopelessly taken in by her.

Our eyes met and we shared a communication of emotions that told us both everything we needed to know. It was like telepathy. It was a moment I would treasure for the rest of my life.

‘Hey, you! Get away from her!’

Commarata’s henchmen had appeared and they closed in on us, guns drawn. One of them shoved me away from Isabella, knocking me off my feet. I scrambled to my feet, overloaded with rage, ready to punch the asshole’s lights out. He put his revolver against my temple and shook his head vigorously.

The conference room door flew open and Giovanni and my family came out; guns were immediately pointed at my crew.

‘What the hell is going on?’ yelled Giovanni.

‘He was talking to your daughter!’ shouted back the henchman who had discovered us. ‘There was physical contact!’

Giovanni’s face contorted into a horrible visage of twisted hatred and anger.

‘You!’ he screamed at Isabella. ‘Upstairs – now!’

‘No!’ screamed back Isabella. ‘You’re not to kill them! Do you hear me? No more killing!’

#romance   #valentinesday2015  
 

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I am sure that there are quite a few of you who have heard of the American romance writer, J. Kahele. She recently wrote to great acclaim the "Mine" books (1&2). Not only is it one of the greatest romances told, a handsome attorney saves a young woman from the abusive and sadistic clutches of her wealthy Senator husband. Sizzling but tasteful sex and unconditional love are in abundance,  as well as skilfully tackling the endemic issue of domestic abuse. She has written the other fine romance series, "Facade" (1&2). I am a UK comedy and thriller writer, so we collaborated and produced the gangster rom-com thriller, "Crazy On You". Again, unconditional love and steamy but loving sex feature.
Check out J Kahele's blog: www.janellekahele.com
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