by Sammie Jo Moresca (Sherry Morris)

“Have a tall drink of water handy to put out the fire when you read Smolder, Sammie Jo Moresca’s poignant story of the after effects of September 11th.

Johnny Newman is one of New York City’s finest; the Fire Department’s most eligible bachelor. He’s been in love with his best friend’s widow for years. In fact, Johnny was the one to introduce them. When September 11th made her a widow, who was it she turned to for strength? Johnny was always there, fixing things in her home, helping her through her grief, finishing all the projects in the house that Susan and Brandon had planned to finish. Now, after two years, it’s time to let her know how much she means to him. Johnny feels he has given her enough time to get over Brandon, but will his playboy reputation ruin his chances?

Susan Cervini is caught up in trying to locate a missing cousin through a website for an aging pop star. When Susan begins to have irrational feelings for her best friend, Johnny, she is afraid she will ruin their friendship, but she can’t seem to stop feeling an overpowering need for his touch. Can they have a smoldering affair and go back to being friends, or will the feelings they have for each other change Susan’s mind about love and marriage again?

Johnny Newman is a real American hero; strong in his beliefs, dedicated to helping others, and loyal to the woman he loves above all others. He is sexy but unaware of his appeal, chivalrous without being conscious of it, and a wonderful friend; the way he unselfishly dedicates himself to Susan’s needs, even the times she took him for granted, brought tears to this reader’s eyes a time or two. Susan was a little tougher for this reader to warm up to, but once her secret misgivings came to light it was a pleasant turn-around. She is a very caring woman who is afraid of losing again. Her restoration of faith was a long and hard journey but was well worth the wait. Her love for Johnny is a beautiful thing to behold, culminating in a climactic coming together. For fans of a sultry and emotional love story, Smolder is a good choice. Bravo, Sammie Jo Moresca, a brilliant way to tell a poignant story of the day that changed many of our lives. Smolder is another keeper to add to my ever growing library.”

–Fallen Angel Reviews

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Excerpt from Smolder

By Sammie Jo Moresca:

Brooklyn New York, The Day After Thanksgiving, 2003

"I brought you a turkey with Swiss on white. From Vinnie's." Johnny Newman placed the sandwich and a half pint of skim milk on the rough granite tombstone. Squatting, he ran his soot-stained hand over the lettering.

MARCH 21, 1970--SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

His eyes halted on the Maltese cross. He bowed his head and crossed himself.

"Two years ago today, Brandon. We found you ... your hand." He cleared his throat as he fought the saline escaping from both eyes. "Susan's okay now. Man, it was bad on her. She wanted to join you. We had to do an intervention. She spent a couple weeks in the hospital. Your mom and I, we took turns staying with her when she got back home.

"Anyhow, I just wanted to bring you the sandwich. I haven't eaten at Vinnie's anymore since..." He exhaled.

"And I wanted to let you know not to worry about Susan. She's gonna make it all right. And, um, I'm gonna keep lookin' out for her. What I'm tryin' to say is, I love Susan. Well, of course you already knew that. But I mean ... I'm in love with her. It's not the September Eleventh widow syndrome thing either. I didn't move in on her a couple weeks after..."

An ambulance wailed by. Johnny sat back on his heels. He picked a thick blade of grass and entwined it in his fingers, pulling it so tight the tips turned red. "Did ya know eight guys left their wives and kids for the widows? Jesus. Shunned one family in favor of another. The psychologists they sent around tried to explain the phenomenon. They warned us there would be affairs. I swear I haven't touched her. And I've kept the wolves away. Johnson and Caruthers. Friggin' bastards. Can you believe it?" Johnny yanked a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose. "She's a beautiful woman and all, but they should've had more respect for you ... and Susan, than that." He stood up and unwrapped the sandwich, straightening it on top of the headstone. The white paper flapped under it.

"Anyhow, I just wanted to have a talk with you first. I wanted to let you know my intentions. I've got no idea how Susan feels toward me. But I'll tell you one thing, buddy. I plan on standing in Times Square, watching the ball drop and kissing my fiancée to ring in the New Year." Johnny opened the milk container and placed it next to the sandwich. He crossed himself and walked down the path.

A nun called out, "You can't leave trash here. Remove it."

Johnny smiled and closed the gate behind him.

©2007 Sammie Jo Moresca

For Adults Only!

Complete novel contains graphic love scenes.

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  1. Mona Risk // September 14, 2007 at 9:20 PM  


    A story based on 9/11 will touch all our hearts. My uncle had a business meeting on the 80th floor and my young cousin was working on the 18th. They are two living miracles. My uncle's secretary didn't make it.


  2. Joanne // September 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM  

    Lovely characterization, Sherry. September 11th touched us all.