Excerpt From “The Doctor and the War Widow” by Viola Russell

Harley Michel is mourning the recent death of her mother and the long-ago death of her husband. On a dare, she ventures onto an Internet dating site and finds unexpected romance with a handsome Egyptian doctor.

Harley thinks she may have found happiness again until her memories of her late soldier husband and the appearance of the doctor’s former flame threaten their peace.


“I can’t believe you’re a Republican.” Harley said the words without rancor and gaped, mouth open. She’d seen Abisi through most of June. They were sitting on the couch in her living room on Fourth of July weekend, sipping wine. Nico lay at Harley’s feet, snoring. He occasionally flicked at a fly that buzzed around him with his bushy tail. Harley had opened her windows so they could appreciate the breeze blowing even on a balmy New Orleans night.

“It’s political.” Abisi drew her closer and took a sip of wine.

“How so?” Harley followed his gaze as he took her in. She could sense his desire, and she’d dressed to encourage it. Spaghetti strap flowered blouse, diaphanous wraparound skirt, and white sandals. She’d seen her stylist the day before and had added the auburn tints that drew stares. His arms were strong as he clasped her shoulders.

“In the South, that’s the trend.”

“I don’t follow trends.” Harley grinned at him.

“There’s something appealing about that.” He touched her cheek lightly and kissed her. His gaze met hers and lingered. His smile was so sensual that liquid flowed through every sinew of Harley’s body.

Electricity pulsed through Harley, setting her insides on fire. Her spine tingled as his breath feathered against her hair. “Yo— u…you were saying?” Her voice was hoarse.

“I don’t give them a dime because of their policies on immigration. Isn’t this country, after all, a country of immigrants?” Abisi let his hand slide along her bare shoulders.

“I agree.” Harley let her face brush his own. His beard against her lips tickled. “Then why are you a fan of such a party?”

Harley saw that he was clearly trying to concentrate, but he was losing the battle. His stare rested on her cleavage when he answered in a choked voice. “I wouldn’t call myself a fan, my darling. I guess I just wanted to be accepted down here when I became a citizen.”

Abisi ran his lips along her arm and onto her shoulder. He’d apparently forgotten about Republicans. The sensation of his lips caressing her sent an electric shock wave through her whole being. Trembling with sensual energy, she buried her own lips in his neck and moaned with pleasure as he touched her neck with his hands and then his lips. Nico glanced at them and padded down the hallway. Harley smiled to herself. Smart dog. She disengaged herself from her lover’s hungry kisses long enough to slip her tightly clinging blouse over her head.


Viola Russell is a New Orleans writer who teaches by day but spends her nights and weeks at her computer. She used a pseudonym so that her students wouldn’t find her, but they, ever computer savvy, outed her. She lives in New Orleans with her faithful dog.

Links: http://www.violarussell.com

Excerpt from “Love At War” by Viola Russell

On the beach in the summer of 1941, eighteen-year-old Nuala Comeaux reconnects with Keith Roussel, a friend of her brothers’. The attraction between them is electric, but the threat of war looms for Nuala, Keith, and her family. Nuala and Keith marry when Nuala learns she is pregnant. Nuala gives birth to their daughter when Keith deploys. When Keith is killed in action, Nuala joins the WAAC and then OSS.

While working under cover, Nuala discovers the truth surrounding her husband’s disappearance and the treachery leading to his capture and ultimate death. With the help of her brothers and a gorgeous Japanese operative, Nuala vows to take down the AXIS powers and avenge her husband even if she must seek revenge while lying in the arms of the enemy. Not all of them will survive. All will be irrevocably changed.

Who is the enemy and who survives?


Keith became a staple at 2657 Palmyra Street. Magda was famous throughout the neighborhood for her Sunday dinners. She rose early every Sunday for the first Mass, slipping on a pastel cotton dress and lace veil. Her family still asleep, she made her devotions early so she could hurry home from St. Joseph’s and prepare the noon meal. Her husband David, her daughters, and her still single son, George, attended later with her married son, Will, and his family. While the family sat in the pews at St. Joseph’s Church, Magda prepared the brown gravy, spaghetti and carefully seasoned stewed chicken. Since summer, she knew to set two extra plates because Keith Roussel and Sal Pepitone often accompanied them. Nuala and Rose joined the boys’ families later for coffee. Magda sensed that Keith preferred her cooking to his own mother’s, but she was too polite even to hint at such a thing. Sal’s mother was well-known for her cooking skills. She’d once worked in a restaurant. Magda guessed that the two young men would have eaten her cooking even if she’d produced the most terrible slop to grace a table. The draw was her daughters.

“Don’t flatter yourself, Frau. It’s the girls’ Schönheit keeps those boys gulping down your food,” she muttered to herself in the mix of German and English she often adopted when alone.

“Talking to yourself, woman?” David Comeaux stood in the doorway of the kitchen smiling at his wife.

“Just thinking.” She sprinkled crushed garlic and bay leaves into the pot. She turned to him. “Hand me that colander. The spaghetti is ready.”

“Do you mind all this mess on Sunday?” David Comeaux retrieved the colander from a cabinet. He rubbed his wife’s back as she stirred her gravy.

“No, of course not. When have I ever minded it? We always have a full table.”

“You seem nervous lately. Is something bothering you? Don’t you like these boys calling on the girls?”

“Why wouldn’t I? They’re fine young men. Our families have known their families since our kinder were small.” Magda moved to the sink to drain the spaghetti.

“What, then? Is it what’s going on in Europe?” David moved behind her and slipped his arms around her waist. His lips brushed her neck.

Magda turned and touched her husband’s face. “You always knew me. David, I remember what war was. So do you. You remember the trenches, don’t you?”

David looked away and stared at a bird pounding against the window. His eyes briefly glazed over. Then, he smiled at her. “I remember a pretty German girl who helped me while I was trapped in a church.”

“Ja, and you remember the danger. Had I not found you, you would have lost an arm. My family’s house was bombed. People on all sides lost lives and homes. Our sons talk about it like it will be a game. I remember the bombs. I remember the horror. I remember being hungern. It’s not a game. Who can describe Berlin in flames?”

“It’s going to be all right, hon.” David cupped her chin between his thumb and forefinger.

“You just want to say that.” Magda wearily tossed a dishcloth into the sink.

“We can’t do anything about it if war comes.” David sighed and poured the spaghetti into a dish. “We can only pray it won’t come to that.”

“I’ve done nothing but pray since that bastard took power.” Magda threw up her hands. “I’m sorry. I hate talking like that.”

David kissed her cheek. “You never have to apologize to me.”

“Do you think Will and George…”

“If war comes, you know the answer to that. They’ll be taken.” David looked down at his hands.

“Pieter’s last letter was censored. I’m sure of it, but what he did say was careful. That madman has done terrible things to my country. I wonder if I’d even recognize Germany anymore.” Magda bit her lip and concentrated on her gravy.


The above excerpt and blurb are from LOVE AT WAR, Viola Russell’s WWII romance available on Amazon and http://www.redrosepublishing.com. Russell is a New Orleans native who writes as Viola Russell. She love delving into the past. Historical fiction is especially dear to her heart. LOVE AT WAR was her first foray into the historical genre, and she wrote it after reading letters her mother’s brothers sent home. She is happiest at my computer, writing with her dog at her side.

Click here for an interview with: Viola Russell, Author of “Love at War”

Excerpt From “Pirate Woman” by Viola Russell

What would you do if you were a pirate woman who had to back home when your heart still belongs to the man you met years ago?

Grainne O’Malley, the legendary Irish pirate, is already defying convention, much to the chagrin of her chieftain father and conventional mother.

Enamored by a handsome Scottish gallowglass, Grainne stows away on her father’s ship when he trades with Spain proving her worth in an ensuing fight. Years later, promised to another man, Grainne still is enamored of Bruce Donnel, the young gallowglass, but she proves an able helpmate to her husband, building up his fleet with her piracy. After her husband is killed in an ambush, she returns to her father’s lands, to serve as his business partner.

Upon her marriage to the powerful chieftain Richard Bourke, Grainne proves herself his equal as they fight the British advances into their territory. Throughout her life, Grainne manipulates and outmaneuvers her enemies in order to ensure the survival of her clan and family, but her heart always beats for the early lover who remains a presence in her life.


Gráinne pulled the léine over her head and hurled herself into the freezing water. She swam as far as she could, her lungs almost bursting inside her budding breasts. The towering Croagh Patrick loomed over them, dwarfing the abbey at its base. Gráinne took a deep breath and swam further onward. The last thing she needed was one of the friars, particularly Fr. Colm, seeing this obvious disobedience.

Bruce swam beside her, taking breaths as deep as her own. Suddenly, he reached for her, drawing her to his hard chest. The waves gently lapped around them. “You’re a beauty, Gráinne O’Malley, an Irish rose. One day you’ll be mine.”

Gráinne let him support her in the water, frozen within his embrace. His taut arms clasped her close, and his gaze fell to her budding breasts. She swallowed and felt the heat spread from her forehead to her neck, but the sensation wasn’t unpleasant. When his hand stroked her rounding bosom, Gráinne only smiled.

“I don’t think Owen O’Malley would like one of his gallowglasses being so familiar with his daughter.” Donal was suddenly beside them. He tugged gently but firmly at Gráinne, dislodging her from the Scot’s grasp. “Come now, Gráinne.”


Viola Russell is the pen name of a New Orleans English teacher who loves re-creating the past in her fiction. She also loves exploring complex characters through her fiction. Viola is happiest at her computer, her dog at her feet.

Website: http://www.violarussell.com