Today we have a sneak peek from author Ted Atoka’s humorous novel: Villa Paradiso.
Four college grads, with ink still damp on their degrees, form an alliance with two mature women. The plan is to build a state-of-the-art life care retirement facility for the two silver-haired gals to call home. Working closely with the retirement facility’s residents poses challenges, including misplaced ED tablets, a shotgun named Bertha, and a famous womanizer called Ziggy. Toss in a one-armed CEO, Oklahoma’s weather, incompetent employees, a maintenance man without vocal cords, and an unscrupulous attorney, and the little group has their hilarious—and touching—work cut out for them.
And now, an excerpt from Villa Paradiso….
They all ran toward the main entrance and saw a tall, bald-headed man with a silver-haired woman draped over his shoulder. He spun in a circle in the center of the reception area. “Help! Oh my good god, HELP!”
“Cosa c’è?! What’s wrong?!” Grazia shouted.
“She’s choking! She can’t breathe!” He quit spinning, bent over, and attempted to stand the lady up. But she kept sagging toward the floor, and her face was the color of her dress: purple.
Ted slung one of the woman’s arms over his shoulder, and Joe took the other one. The two young men held her upright while Grazia stepped behind her, encircled the lady’s midsection, and jerked her arms to herself in a tight compression. A dun-colored wad shot out of the woman’s mouth and attached itself to a white wall. The lady in the purple dress made a great, gasping noise and plopped into an office chair that somebody had wheeled up behind her.
“Grazie, grazie molte,” she mouthed as a pink flush returned to her face.
“You’re fine now,” Grazia said. “Although it’s a good idea for you to stay seated for a short time.”
“I thought I was a goner!” the woman gasped. “And my idiot son, the big-shot attorney for chrissakes, didn’t have a clue what to do. Someday those damnable prunes will get me. I’d quit eating them if I could, but I like them. And they keep me regular. My name’s Fiammetta Shaidy, and I’d like to thank you all for saving my life. Would you please join my son and me in the lounge?”
“Mother, we have an appointment soon…”
“Shut up, Isaiah, and give these people your thanks for saving my life.” The old woman turned in her chair and pointed at the tall man with the bald head. “This is my son, Isaiah. A poor excuse for someone who shaves every day, who has two very large flat feet, and whom the lord endowed with a little chubby between his legs. Heaven knows how he managed to become so successful. I guess he must have inherited a bunch of his mother’s genes. Isaiah, snap back to life and wheel me into the lounge. I need a large grappa, and we need to thank these people properly.”
Fiammetta nodded her head toward a comfortable room away from the reception area. As her son rolled her toward a doorway, the diamond ring on her right hand caught a beam of sunlight and exploded like a holiday sparkler. The glitter of the gem matched the twinkle in Fiammetta’s blue eyes.