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Lewd Behavior

When Michael Slater, an investigative reporter for a TV news magazine is assigned to cover a story on a stage hypnotist accused of exploiting women, he discovers that the real show begins once the curtain comes down. However even more intriguing is the hypnotist's manager lingering backstage. She's mysterious and beautiful, and knows much more than she's willing to tell.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


Francesca Vrattos

    Francesca Vrattos has been exposed to the craft of writing since she was a child. Her father was a published chemical engineer and her mother, a newspaper reporter. In 1992 she began writing novels. However in August 1998, she turned a different direction on the road to literary success, and focused her attention on her new business, Writers' Showplace Inc., an online literary referral agency she cofounded with another author. As if that and her writing aren't enough to keep her busy, she and her business partner travel to writers conferences, speaking and holding workshops. Francesca is also employed part-time as the assistant to the Regional V. P. of Penguin Putnam, Inc.
    Francesca came up with the idea for Lewd Behavior after attending a stage hypnotist's show at the state fair and witnessing an otherwise shy acquaintance committing outrageous acts. What would happen, she thought, if a hypnotist chose to use his skills in a diabolical way. A half-smile appeared on her lips as a plot unfolded. Let the show begin echoed in her mind.
    Married to her supportive husband, John, since 1979, they have a daughter Alexia in her first year of college.

Reviews

"The title does not begin to convey the quality of this very enjoyable novel with a complex story line and interesting characters. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader going while at the same time providing plenty of action. It is worth noting that while the book is very good, children or young teens should not read it ... this book deals with mature themes."

Kevin Tipple -- Amazon reviews


"Though there is no true mystery--the bad guy is apparent from the start--Ms. Vrattos penned an intriguing hunt for justice. Diane is a compelling heroine. She is not sure who to trust with her secret, yet she realizes she is in over her head. Her emotions shine during her inner conflicts. Slater is a typical hero, determined and charming, however he has just been dumped by his girlfriend, which adds a unique viewpoint. He is looking for stability and marriage, and can't find a willing woman! Lewd Behavior will appeal to fans looking for a gentle suspense with a bit of romance and no graphic violence."

Tracy Farnsworth -- The Romance Readers Connection
Excerpt

Prologue
Daytona Beach, Florida


SHE STOOD WITH her long blond hair hanging wet and limp, blinking against the bright fluorescent lights of the hotel lobby.

"Ma'am, are you all right?"

The bellman's face was a blur. She wrapped her arms around herself, desperate to shield her nakedness, but she was dressed, covered in clothing. She drew back and stared, praying everything would come into focus. For a few brief seconds, she couldn't remember her name. And then it came to her and she sighed with relief. Still, fear and dread crawled through her intestines. Her body ached, not just the muscles, but down deep inside her, and the odor wafting up from her armpits was enough to make her sick to her stomach.

"Ma'am, why don't you sit down?"

She didn't move.

"Are you staying here at the hotel?"

She shook her head, making the room spin. When she swooned, he reached out and grabbed her by the arm.

"No," she cried weakly. "Don't touch me."

He drew back. "I'm only trying to help. What are you doing here?"

"I -- I came to see the show. Last night, I think."

"Grant Maxwell, the stage hypnotist?"

She bobbed her head.

"But the show ended hours ago," he said. "It's nearly four in the morning. Perhaps you were in the bar? Had a little too much to drink?"

Her mouth was dry as sand. Besides, she didn't drink alcohol. She was allergic. She shook her head.

"Would you like me to call someone?" he asked.

Yes, she thought. Oh, yes. She nodded, the dizziness not quite so bad this time.

"Who would that be, ma'am?"

She thought for a long moment. Finally she parted her lips and whispered hoarsely, "The police. Please, call the police."