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IC Cafe Part One – The Problem With Men

Posted by on April 15, 2013

Vanessa here,

In honor of the new title releases by the ladies of and some of our cool quest bloggers, they let me present to you a week of phenomenal prizes and special treats. hosts: June Foster, Mildred Colvin, and me, Vanessa Riley are releasing:

DeliverUsCoverArt72dpi1_181Deborah Final 100dpiMadelinesProtector4in300


Deliver Us, Deborah’s Secret, And Madeline’s Protector,



Our guest bloggers: Angela Breidenbach and Gail Pallotta are releasing: A Healing Heart, and Stopped Cold.

official cover QuiltsofLove A_Healing_Heart blog







Our fearless blog leader: Connie Almony is showcasing one of her fabulous WIPs: One Among Men.


As much as I love the Regency, I am also a sucker for old Black and White Movies. So join us this week for our version of Casablanca’s Rick’s Cafe Americain. If you have no idea what I’m talking about click here, you youngster. (Stay off my lawn.)

Oh, Rick and Ilse are your hosts. Their voices are in red.  Take it away, Rick.


Rick Blaine manager of Rick’s Cafe: “Of all the gin joints, you show up in mine.”photoRick

“If you’re here just for the contest, scroll down to the bottom, the back of the cafe. Do what it says to do. Don’t ask questions, and don’t stare at my patrons as you move through.”

“Yah, it’s Rick’s Cafe Americain. Well, it was until it was taken over by some dames on At least, they let me keep the name.”

“Come on in. Here’s the rules. Don’t comment on the misfits that come here. Don’t stare at their outfits. We have a few ‘time-travelers’. Everyone behaves better if you don’t stare. Oh, if you leave a comment you might win some cool stuff and make your trip memorable. Seems the dames like to treat people nice.”


“I’m going to the back of the cafe. But there’s a table up front you might want to go sit at.

Characters from Deborah’s Secret, Madeline’s Protector, Deliver Us, One Among Men, A Healing Heart, and Stopped Cold have lumbered into the place.

I’m going to listen to As Time Goes By on the piano.”


With his leather boots planted on the floor, Dane Stark (Deborah’s Secret ) sits back in his chair. Like his father, his eyes are bright blue and he lets his thick, black, wavy hair lay where it wants. Wearing sturdy dark denim pants and a long-sleeved white cotton shirt, he puts a hand on his wide embroidered suspenders with leather tabs and gazes at his odd companions.

Same table, Jimmy Willmore (Stopped Cold)  hides a giggle under a heavy cough. He’s only fourteen, and he snuck into the adult cafe.  Jimmy’s wearing a pair of jeans and a light blue oxford cloth shirt with a button-down collar. It sets off his short blond hair and piercing blue eyes. His bangs fall slightly over his forehead. He has on a pair of tennis shoes with navy blue trim.

Across from Jimmy sits Riley Mathis (Deliver Us). His pale blue eyes shift as he studies the door. Being freshly out of prison, he’s wary about anything that can send him back. Riley has short, light brown hair that he parts in the middle. Since everyone here is just as odd as he, he relaxes.  The corners of his mouth turn up in a grin. He probably looks as young as Jimmy. Shifting to the guy with two names to his right, maybe he should’ve dressed up. There are grass stains on Riley’s jeans and tennis shoes from mowing the grass at church.

Joel Ryan (A Healing Heart) puts his chocolate brown wool suit jacket on the back of his chair. With just his light blue sweater and jeans,  he won’t be on the list for most over dressed. The English fellow with the beaver top hat can win the prize hands down. Joel’s light brown curly hair  is cropped very short exposing blue eyes.

Justain Delveaux (Madeline’s Protector) wipes his face, then tugs off his riding gloves. He could try and tell his companions, his new title again.  Yes, he’s is Lord Devonshire, but he’d been known as Lord Delveaux all his life. The change in title still hurts. He whips a hand through his dark hair, then straightens his thick freshly starched cravat. Righting his slouched posture, Justain smooths his wrinkled bottle-green waistcoat, then dusts his breaches and onyx boots.  Someday he’d avenge his brother. But not today. No clues await him in this foul inn.

Chris Johnson (One Among Men) studies Devonshire. Something is definitely wrong with the man, but Chris couldn’t help but let his gaze drift to the piano in the back of the cafe.  His stomach twists. His father played.  Chris didn’t love playin’ music anymore. Music stole his father from him.  Chris knocks back his shoulder length blond, wavy hair and closes his golden brown eyes. At least he is comfortable in this strange place, wearing a favorite dark-green Henley shirt and worn out jeans. Yet his brown leather Sketchers starts tappin’ to the music.

“Gentlemen.” Justain (Madeline’s Protector) shuffles his boots as he scans the countenances of his table mates. “I’m not sure why we are all here but let’s order beverages from this coaching inn.”

Jimmy (Stopped Cold) cocks a brow. “What?”

Chris (One Among Men) started to chuckle. “Yes, I think he meant a drink. I’ll have a bottle of beer.” He looks at the teen sitting next to him. “Waitress make that two,  but could you empty them out and fill ’em back with water?

Dane (Deborah’s Secret):  “I reckon I’ll have apple cider. Long as it isn’t alcoholic, anything sounds better’n milk.”

Joel (A Healing Heart): “I’ll take some tea with honey.”

Justain (Madeline’s Protector): “Brandy. Your finest please.”

Dane (Deborah’s Secret): “Friend, don’t ya think it’s a might early.” He nodded toward Jimmy. “Should be settin’ an example.”

Justain (Madeline’s Protector): “I’m not in that habit of being a role model.” He adjusts his waistcoat smoothing over the scars to his ribs. “Can’t say I’ve had any good fatherly examples except for advice from my coachman, Mason.” Justain looks at the cracks to the floorboards  and reminds himself he is on a new path. If he works hard enough, with his own hands and force of will, his reformation will be complete. A rake no more. The Delveaux name will bear no more scandals.

Riley (Deliver Us) grabs a steaming latte from the waitress: “I don’t like to talk about my upbringing either, but I missed having my dad around. It was pretty tough losing him when I was thirteen. Then when Mom married Dexter, I just couldn’t relate to him.”

Chris’s fingers (One Among Men) tighten about his bottle. “What upbringing? You mean my ole man smokin’ dope in the living room and always accusing me of stealin’ stuff? My mom cryin’ and workin’ double shifts to pay rent after he left.”

Dane (Deborah’s Secret) offers a patient smile. “We didn’t have much worldly goods, but Mom and Dad were the best. Still are. They took us boys to church and made sure we knew the right way to live. All seven of us had chores and Dad saw that we did ’em even if he had to use a switch. My brother, Wesley, worked harder at shirkin’ work than any two of the rest of us.”

Joel (A Healing Heart): “My folks? They’re great. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters so my folks put me on ski team. I had a great time and all those bus rides up to the ski lifts, man I had some good friends.”

Jimmy (Stopped Cold): “Hmm. I can’t complain. My mom and dad like for me to do well in school and stay out of trouble. I’ve been doing that. Well, unless you count the close calls Emily, Margaret and I had with the drug dealers as trouble. But, hey man, somebody had to find ‘um. Mom and Dad also insist that I attend church. I’m glad they do. My faith’s important to me.”

Justain (Madeline’s Protector) savors the sting of the amber liquid he pours down his throat. “It’s obvious we are here for a reason. Perhaps, we should linger here a little longer.”

Tomorrow, the gentleman will continue their conversation touching on more of the things that make them tick. In the meantime, leave a comment below to enter our daily prize and grand prize contests.  For extra chances to win the Grand Prize: a luxurious Coach Purse with a copy of Madeline’s Protector and Deborah’s Secret inside, click this link.

Today’s Comment: What about your childhood would you like to forget?  Add your comment below and win a chance at a $10 Starbucks gift card today. Remember everyday this week you can win a prize and be entered into our Grand Prize. Celebrate these characters with us.

Pictures of Casablanca are stills taken from the 1942 Warner Brother’s Film.

21 Responses to IC Cafe Part One – The Problem With Men

  1. joanne elliott

    congrats goes to Deanna on this day! Childhood is usually a learning process all the way through, from bumps and bruises to not being in the “in crowd”….all lessons to strengthen us and our relationship to God. Cant wait for tomorrows prize list!!!!!!

  2. ELIZA E

    Good luck everyone on the contest tomorrow – here’s keeping my fingers crossed!! =)

  3. Patricia Bradley

    I’ll never forget the time I sang with a trio in church. Only problem…I can’t carry a tune. But, bless their hearts, no one pointed out how awful I sounded. Except my cousin. He said I sounded like a caterwauling cat. If there were a redo button, I’d go back and not do that again. lol
    pat at ptbradley dot com

  4. joanne elliott

    I would like to forget all the comments of my height, funny teeth…etc. But will say I learned to accept all from the Lord cuz He made me the way I am and through it all I became stronger!

  5. Maxie Anderson

    I am really enjoying this, but somehow missed getting a notice for this..I can’t really think of anything to wish hadn’t happened but our house burning down when I was in first grade. It was scary and made us lose everything and we didn’t have much, except a happy home with lots of love. Oh yes, there was one bad experience. I was staying the night with a cousin when I was 9 , and her dad touched me improperly when she went to a store and told me to come to his bed when she went to sleep. I went to meet her in the yard and said I had to go to a phone and call my dad to come get me. He did right away. Shortly after that My sweet aunt (who was out of town at the time) and her family moved to another town. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  6. Ginger solomon

    I’m amused that most of your leading men have blue eyes. :). What is it about blue eyes that lures us in?

    Loved reading about your leading men.

  7. Deanna Mundy

    I would like to forget all the pain I went through after my parents’ divorce when I was 17. People were so cruel and rather than pray for you and try to help, they just said nasty, hurtful things. I have forgiven them without their asking but that does not take away the sting and memories. This experience has taught me to be more understanding with other teens and children who might be facing the same circumstances.

  8. Angie Breidenbach

    You know, it’s interesting how many people had to muddle through teasing. It’s a nice term for bullying. I dealt with that too. I developed before most of the other girls. You can imagine the cattiness. But to get it from both boys who had no idea how to handle girls yet and girls who wanted to develop, let’s just say it was like being slammed between a pair of cymbals in a really long parade. There wasn’t any safe corner. I finally came into my own as an adult.

    I think that’s what a bullied person feels like. There’s no safe place to get away and feel like you’re accepted for who you are. Like Vanessa, I’m so grateful God likes me. I think he likes you all too 🙂

  9. ELIZA E

    What an interesting question for sure…and tough for some I imagine…I guess we all would like to forget something …for me it would also be the ‘awkward’ times…the teasing or embarrassing moments

  10. karen

    I’d like to forget all the teasing from classmates.

  11. Vanessa Riley

    Oh, I’m not up for any prize other than seeing you all enjoy this, but I will be as transparent as you brave souls. For me there is not one specific thing but more a betrayal that really made me question love and my self-worth. How can a father say you’re the apple of his eye, then disappear, not caring if you ate or lived? Thank goodness for Abba, my daddy in heaven. He got me out of those awkward years and molded a new self-image.

  12. Jackie Layton

    That’s an easy one….when I was a kid I challenged my brother to race down my grandparents’ driveway. It was a hill, and Chris is two years younger than me.
    I always looked after him. So we raced and somehow I caused him to fall off his bike toward the bottom of the hill.
    He ended up in the ER 30 miles away getting stitches.
    Dad was at work, my grandmother and mom took Chris to ER, and my poor granddaddy got stuck with me.
    I think he didn’t know what to do with me, so he took me to the local ball park to watch a baseball game.
    That was probably more info than you wanted, sorry.
    I enjoyed your post today.

  13. June Foster

    I’m not up for the prize either, but I’d like to say thanks for all the comments today, and to Vanessa Riley for working so hard on these posts this week. I’d like to forget how I grew up not knowing the Lord as my savior in those days. I often wonder how different my childhood would have been, but then better late than never.

  14. Angie Breidenbach

    I’m not up for the prize as one of the participants, but I like the question:
    What would I like to forget from childhood?
    Seeing my mom shake from the anti-psychotic drugs in the mental institution. She was in for several months for severe schizophrenia. I was taken for a visit when I was 11. It hurts to think of the pain that disease caused my mom and our family.

    But I’m glad I can help others with what I’ve learned and experienced. It’s a part of the ministry God designed out of that pain.
    Angie Breidenbach

  15. Rhonda Nash-Hall

    Probably some abuse…..Rhonda

  16. Kathleen L. Maher

    What a fun post! nice to meet Dane, Chris, Riley and the gang. And the dames sure are generous!
    What would I like to forget? hmmm, probably when I transferred into the third grade class at St. Casimir’s Catholic school and I was the new kid=picked on. I learned bullies even come in patent leather shoes! 🙂
    Thanks for the chance to win one of your fabulous prizes. Good luck on the launches, everyone!

  17. Karin Beery

    Wow – great question! I’m having a hard time thinking of anything. If I could forget something from my childhood … probably the time the neighbor boy played Tarzan and swung from a tree branch. He fell, hit the steps, and split his noggin. Pretty traumatic for a seven year-old to watch!

    Thanks for this chance to enter!