Answering the overwhelming demand for professional editors, I am now available for hire to edit manuscripts, journalistic articles and white papers.
For more information on services, prices and scheduling, please send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I've also created a separate blog for freelance editing. Visit me at Freelance Editing By Mason
There are times you can’t resist picking up a book just because the cover is so adorable. That’s the case with author Kelly Preston’s children’s book, MISTER SPUNKY AND HIS FRIENDS.
Welcoming your new four-legged family member home can be a heartwarming experience and this is exactly how Kelly felt each time she opened her home to another special need dog. Writing about them in her book, REAL DOGS DON’T WHISPER, is the inspiration behind her latest children’s book, MISTER SPUNKY AND HIS FRIENDS.
Here’s a brief synopsis . . . . . .
MISTER SPUNKY AND HIS FRIENDS is the creation of award-winning author, Kelly Preston. She has taken the story line from her book, REAL DOGS DON’T WHISPER, placing it in a picture book format for children to enjoy. MISTER SPUNKY AND HIS FRIENDS is about the importance of love, friendship; and, helping those with special needs. Follow Mister Spunky along his journey to the beach, where he meets three new friends; teaching him important life lessons along the way. Parents, if you enjoyed REAL DOGS DON’T WISHPER, your children will enjoy this book for them. There are several pages at the end of the story for coloring activities. Recommended for ages: 5 and above.
MISTER SPUNKY AND HIS FRIENDS can be found on Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kelly is, first and foremost, an animal lover. Raised on a ten-acre property in a small town in Pennsylvania, she grew up with horses, rabbits, and – of course – dogs. When she left home after college, she acquired Gizmo, an irresistible Lhasa Apso that started her on a journey full of joys and sorrows, hopes and tribulations, frustrations, endless lessons in patience, and above all else, love. All of this has come at the hands (more precisely the paws) of Gizmo, Betty Boop, Buffy, Carla Mae, and the inimitable Mr. MaGoo.
Mr. MaGoois a nine-year-old Lhasa Apso and the book’s co-creator and co-writer. He is, in his own words, “the alpha and omega of all dogs – in the cutest and sparkiest, most fun-loving package ever.”
Ignoring Kelly’s persistent eye-rolling, Mr. MaGoo has forged ahead with this project in an attempt to, as he puts it, “present the facts from a dog’s perspective. In other words, the correct, most accurate, most interesting, only-one-that-matters perspective,” to which he adds, simply, “Woof!”
For more on Kelly and her writing, visit her website.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. How do the animals in your life impact your day-to-day activities?
It’s always a pleasure when I get to meet ‘new-to-me’ authors and share their works with you. Today I’m happy to welcome author Eleanor Sullivan to Thoughts in Progress to talk about writing and GRAVEN IMAGES, the second book in her Singular Village Mystery series.
I’d like to thank PJ Nunn from BreakThrough Promotions for introducing me to the lovely Eleanor and her intriguing stories.
When unruly vagabonds face rigid religiosity, anything can happen. Even murder. After an itinerant artist is found hanging in a barn, local villagers are quick to blame an Irish traveller conveniently passing through town. Only his broken leg keeps him from being delivered to the authorities immediately. Adelaide, a young midwife in the 1830s settlement, suspects the killer is one of their own. At the same time, she’s struggling with her own secrets and fears she’ll be caught violating the society’s strict religious rules. Unbeknownst to Adelaide, her husband, Benjamin, is facing threats of his own. Then suspicion falls on Adelaide’s sister for the murder, and Adelaide must risk her own life to find the killer before the traveller is delivered to the authorities where he’ll surely be hanged.
Eleanor offered up two motivating topics to discuss today. Since I thought you’d find both of interest, she agreed to talk about both. First, she’ll talk about ‘Turning Ideas into Stories: The First Steps” and then ‘How to Write a Historical Mystery.’ Welcome Eleanor.
Turning Ideas into Stories: The First Steps
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a question fiction writers are often asked.
Contrary to what most civilians (non-writers) believe, ideas are plentiful. They are all around us. The Law & Order TV series, for example, says that their stories are “ripped from the headlines.” News, past and present, offers an infinite source of story ideas. History, too, provides ideas too numerous to name. Finding ideas isn’t the problem. Turning those ideas into stories, that’s the challenge.
Doing my family genealogy gave me the idea (!) to turn my ancestors’ lives into fiction. How, you ask, could some boring family history provide story fodder? I wondered the same until I’d uncovered the truth behind my ancestors’ lives.
I learned that in the early 19th century, my ancestors, for refusing to follow the state religion, were beaten, imprisoned, their property was confiscated, and their children sent to orphanages before they escaped to Ohio in 1817. Out of the Ohio wilderness they carved a village, named Zoar for the town where the Biblical Lot had found refuge much as they had in America. To survive, they became communal, sharing all alike. So that the women could work without the burden of child bearing, they practiced celibacy until they could pay off their mortgage in 1829. By 1833 their community, known as the Society of Separatists and led by my distant grandfather, was prospering.
Imagine a thriving 19th century village in Ohio filled with hard-working, courageous German immigrants. All would be well, wouldn’t it? History says otherwise. Petty jealousies emerged. Families moved about to avoid contact with their sworn enemies. Arguments over who worked harder and who received more food or blankets or clothing plagued the town, no matter how pious they intended to be. Ideal setting for a murder!
For me, characters are the centerpiece of any story. I started with my ancestor, the town’s leader. Traveling to Zoar, I learned that he was revered among the historians and interpreters populating the museums and shops there. Well, I thought, that’s not good. He has to have some undesirable characteristics! And he did. Among other artifacts, I found a letter from a Quaker woman in Philadelphia disparaging him. “He has them so fooled,” she said, “They think he’s another Moses.” Additionally, I learned that he’d kept the title to the entire town’s property (more than 10,000 acres) in his own name until he was on his deathbed.
Here’s what we now know about him. A natural leader, he bravely faced persecution, steering a group of believers to freedom. On the other hand, he was domineering and ruled with an iron hand. A perfect foil for my protagonist. Time to create her.
Adelaide (an old-fashioned German name) is a midwife and herbalist. Unusual for the times, Adelaide is an independent woman, chafing at the town’s rigid rules and regulations. Her husband, Benjamin, on the other hand, hopes to quell her independent ways so that they’ll not be banished from the town, a town they’d worked so hard to create.
See how the background and the characters begin to take shape? Now all I need is a murder or two, several suspects, and a reason for Adelaide to try to solve the murders!
The two books published so far in the Singular Village Mystery series show Adelaide as a courageous, but flawed human being. In the first, COVER HER BODY, Adelaide is the only person in her village who believes that the dairy maid found in the river didn’t drown, and her efforts to solve her murder bring an invasion of outside authorities to town before she faces down the killer. The second book, GRAVEN IMAGES, was released in September. After an itinerant artist is found murdered, the townspeople are quick to blame an Irish traveller conveniently passing through town. Adelaide, certain he hadn’t killed the artist, must find the real killer before the man is hanged. The third book, TREE OF HEAVEN, due out in 2015, challenges Adelaide to defend her leader against a charge of murder. With their leader in jail, the village plunges into disarray. Surprisingly, Adelaide’s mild-mannered husband, Benjamin, emerges to quell the confusion. But can he help Adelaide save their leader’s life?
These are only the first steps of story building. In the New Year, I will be writing a series of blogs (www.EleanorSullivan.com/blog) about turning ideas into stories. Included will be how I create a story world, populate it with supporters and antagonists, construct the murder scene, reveal the culprit in the climax and much more. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into using history to turn ideas into stories.
How to Write an Historical Mystery
Writing an historical mystery is easy. Just start with a time and place, add a few interesting characters and culprits, inject a murder, toss in a few clues, and add a twist at the end. Voilà, you have an historical mystery!
How hard could it be?
Answer: Very. Not only must you create a compelling, tension-filled mystery, you must build an accurate story world.
Contemporary mysteries require research, too, of course. Murder details must be accurate. The weapon’s action must correspond with the victim’s wounds, for example. So you need to know about firearms–how far does a bullet from a nine-millimeter or a revolver go? Can a bullet hit someone under water? (The answer is no.) How long would it take to die from a drug overdose? And how would you know if it was accidental or murder? From TV we know that COD is cause of death and TOD is time of death. Neither expressions would be used in historicals in the 19th century.
How do you build an accurate story world?
Here are some suggestions:
Begin with primary sources such as letters, diaries, and photographs. Here’s an example of a letter I found in the Ohio Memory Project, a division of the Ohio Historical Society. Fortunately, the letters were transcribed. See some photos in the Ohio Historical Society collection. Next search for legitimate research sources. I found a dissertation by an Ohio State doctoral student chronicling the life of the Separatists, beginning with their experiences in Germany in the early 1800s. Then I found a book by Kathleen Fernandez titled “A Singular People: Images of Zoar”. Finally, I met a German historian whose area of expertise was the Separatists’ lives in Germany, and he shared his dissertation with me. Priceless, all of this!
Travel to the site, if possible. I made several trips to Zoar, Ohio, discovering a research library where I was allowed to copy materials including several masters’ thesis on the community. Take lots of photos. You can see a few of these in the photo album on my website. My files contain 500+ images from the Ohio Historical Society as well as my own. I use them constantly as I write-what did the stove look like? How did a woman dress? Where’s the door into Adelaide’s cabin? Planning a future book with parallel stories that take place in 1800 Germany and 1830 America, I traveled to Germany last year. There I traced the Separatists’ lives, visiting the prison where they were incarcerated, the lake they dug when sentenced to hard labor, and their small hometowns, where their descendants still live today. I even met some distant cousins! Unfortunately, they didn’t speak English and I can’t speak German, but we smiled and gestured a lot.
Create a map of the location if you can. Then, as you write, you’ll be able to imagine your characters as they move about.
Eleanor, thanks so much for joining us and sharing both of these wonderful topics. You’ve answered a lot of questions here.
Now, here’s a bit of background on Eleanor.
She is the award-winning author of books for nurses, the Monika Everhart medical mystery series, and now a historical mystery series set in Zoar, Ohio, the 19th century religious settlement of her ancestors.
Thanks everyone for stopping by today. If you’re a writer, do you use any of these tips already? If you’re a reader, have you ever considered becoming a writer to tell about a story from your family’s history?
I’m happy to be a part of Liz’s Book Publicity Services Virtual Blog Tour. Liz will be sharing an excerpt from her new novel, which was published by the Sartoris Literary Group.
Things are not always what they seem in this fast paced book of murder, mystery, and intrigue. When the "breakfast club" ladies of idyllic Mount Penn see bruises on Clare Ballard's pretty face, they suspect her hot-headed husband of abusing her, but the truth is much more complicated. When violence disrupts this Appalachian village's lazy routine, the ladies, led by the irascible Lillie Mae Harris, jump feet first into danger as bodies appear, neighbors disappear, and Clare is arrested for murder. Follow Lillie Mae and the other "breakfast club" ladies, who, armed with casseroles and pastries, help the police uncover the deep secrets this town hides beneath its perfect facade.
After some thirty years writing everything from political encyclopedias to software manuals, Liz retired from corporate life to write fiction, travel, and play on the beach.
Since that time, she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world. She lives most of the year in Hollywood (FL) with her two doggie best friends, Mattie and Jakey, where she owns and manages a vacation rental business.
Typing up a storm on her on her new Apple laptop, lost in the world of her own tale, Lillie Mae was jarred back to reality by the chime of her doorbell. Peeking out the window by her desk, she saw Clare at the front door, fidgeting like a two-year-old boy who needs to pee. “Coming,” Lillie Mae called. “Is it Roger?” Clare spurted when Lillie Mae opened the door. “I don’t know, Clare,” Lillie Mae said, knowing exactly what Clare was asking. “I was never close enough to the body to see who it was, and when I asked Charlie, he wouldn’t say. Come in and sit down.” Lillie Mae reached her hand out to Clare and guided her into the room. “Sit, dear,” Lillie Mae said. “Let me get you some coffee.” “Don’t leave me, please,” Clare said, taking hold of Lillie Mae’s arm and pulling her down beside her on the sofa. “I’m crazy with worry. Too much has happened the last couple of days, and now this.” Clare’s eyes filled with tears. “Roger hasn’t been home since yesterday, Lillie Mae. He hasn’t talked to Billy at all. Not even a phone call. There is something terribly wrong.” “That doesn’t mean that Roger’s dead,” Lillie Mae said. “Don’t jump to conclusions.” “But it’s the other things, too. The phone calls. Billy. Just everything.” Lillie Mae suspected by everything she was referring to Dale Beavers. “What’s going on Clare? Tell me.” “You were there when Mabel Goody stopped by the house yesterday looking for Roger.” Lillie Mae nodded. “I went home shortly after she left.” “Then Billy went out,” Clare said. “He thought he knew where Patrick might have gone, so he went up the mountain to check.” “Did he find Patrick?” “He said he didn’t, and he had no reason to lie.” “Where did you go, Clare?” “How do you know I went somewhere?” “I saw you. I remembered I was wearing your apron and was bringing it back.” Clare stared at Lillie Mae as if deciding how much to tell her. “Where I went is incidental,” she finally said. “It’s what happened after I got back home that’s more important.” “What was that?” Lillie Mae asked, her curiosity piqued. “Billy was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. Believe it or not,” Clare said a half smile on her lips, “the boy likes to cook. Anyway, he was stirring the gravy and asked me to mash the potatoes.” “You said he had gone looking for Patrick Goody but didn’t find him.” “That’s right,” Clare said. “He went up to the old hangout close to High Mount, but nobody was there. It’s an old shack half falling down. You’ve seen it.” Lillie Mae nodded. “Billy was sure somebody had been there recently, though. Said there been a scuffle. Blood was everywhere.” “Roger?” Lillie Mae asked. “I don’t know, but I thought the same thing,” Clare said. “Billy wanted to call Charlie Warren, but I told him no, saying it might look bad for Patrick.” “Makes sense,” Lillie Mae said. “Billy agreed. Said he guess he watched too much TV. He’s such a good boy, Lillie Mae.” “Billy’s a wonderful boy, Clare. You should be proud.” “We had a nice supper. Billy talked about school and then reminisced about his high school years. I guess his father not being at dinner brought up special memories from the past.” A frown furrowed Clare’s forehead. “It was at the end of supper that the phone rang. I thought it might be Roger, so I rushed to answer it. But it wasn’t.” “Who was it?” Lillie Mae asked. “I don’t know,” Clare said. “But it wasn’t Roger. The voice was weird, muffled. I’m not sure if it was a man or woman.” Clare paled as if reliving the experience. “I saw you, the voice murmured. You’re going to be sorry.”
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you get together with a group of friends once a week or so for a meal or drinks?
I’m happy that Thoughts in Progress is a stop on the WOW Blog Tour for Bonnie Milani and her sci-fi love story, HOME WORLD.
Bonnie is joining us today to talk about dealing with rejection. She is also offering a giveaway of her book. Please see the end of the post for those details.
HOME WORLD is a fast paced well written story about the power and the price of love. This story takes place amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki. Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he has found a way to restore Earth – HOME WORLD, to the other worlds of the human commonwealth. His goal is to restore his home to her lost glory. Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible: he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth's ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies. Not only will the treaty terms make Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth's next ruler. Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samurai-trained woman he loves. Everything’s set. All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan's alpha warlord in marriage. Before, that is, the assassin she's put on his tail succeeds in killing him. Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising another rebellion. Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason. But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule. He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth. And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.
The 400-page HOME WORLD (ISBN: 10: 978-1927559246) is published by Promontory Press. It’s available as a print and e-Book at Amazon. The Twitter hashtag is #HWorld.
Now here’s Bonnie to talk about ‘how do you deal with rejection’.
Rejection. That has to be the most feared word in the writer’s vocabulary. The very fear of having a story rejected is enough to stop many an aspiring writer from even submitting a perfectly good story. Left uncontested the fear of rejection becomes paralyzing: it’s SO easy to be so afraid of hearing that despite all the sweat, blood, and tears you poured into your story, it still just isn’t good enough. Alas, there’s only one way through this particular barrier, and that’s damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
There simply isn’t any way to bypass the fear of rejection. You simply have to confront it and bull your way through. Trust me on this one. I know whereof I speak: I’m an insurance broker. You want rejection? Try cold-calling: if you’re very good and very determined, you get a 1% response rate. That means 99 out of every hundred people you call hang up on you. If you’re lucky. If you’re not, they tell you what they think of you first. Now THAT’s rejection up front and personal – often very personal.
However, there are a number of upsides to enduring that kind of rejection. First thing you learn is: DON’T COLD CALL! Just don’t. It’s sort of like the old Rodney Dangerfield line:
Dangerfield: ‘Doctah, it hurts when I do this!’ He lifts an arm. Doctor: ‘So don’t do that!’
The second thing you learn is to do your homework. Figure out who your most likely prospects are. For a writer, that means scouring resources like Writer’s Market: what magazines buy your kind of stories? What agents are looking for your kind of book?
Once you’ve got your basic market outlined, start winnowing: what are the word length parameters those editors set? Are there any genre sub-sets they’re particularly seeking? Any genres they loathe? What are the submission guidelines? Find them. Read them. FOLLOW them. Doing your homework gives you the best chance of earning that wonderful ‘we want your story’ letter or call.
The thing to remember is that even a best chance is still only a chance. Editors everywhere are underpaid, understaffed, and overworked. Most editors run slush piles that are taller than themselves. Agents are worse. (And less responsive to boot!) So you have to keep in mind that the fact you got another rejection slip may mean nothing more than that the editor or reader had a migraine the day she picked it up and NOTHING got accepted that day.
There’s only one word for that situation: NEXT! Just file the rejection slip and move on. More than anything else, keep your focus on the fact that it’s your story being rejected, not you. This is essential, because sooner or later you’re going to run into the kind of rejection letter I once got from (if I recall correctly) Asimov’s magazine. Roughly, it went something like this:
‘If you’re getting this letter it’s because we’ve rejected your story. Maybe we rejected it because you don’t know how to write a sentence. In this case, learn grammar before resubmitting. Or maybe we rejected it because you don’t know how to write a story. Or maybe your language and story were both grammatically correct. In that case we rejected it because it simply isn’t good enough’.
Try reading that one through without reaching for the tissue box! But the beauty of that kind of sadistic response is that it ought to make you mad. Mad enough to SHOW that editor you CAN do it. You CAN write a knock-your-socks off good story. And you know what? Once you reach that point – you’ll do it.
So hang in there! Line your walls (or wallpaper) with your rejection slips! Because eventually, you’ll start adding ‘acceptance’ letters. You just have to get past the rejection wall to reach ‘em.
Bonnie, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight look at how to deal with rejection. Getting past that first rejection has to be difficult, but just keep thinking about what the reward will be in the end.
For those not familiar with Bonnie, here’s a bit of background on her.
Bonnie vividly recalls the book that helped her decide she could out-write another writer: it was a junior reader's biography of Sir William Harvey, the 17th century English physician credited (in the West) with discovering how blood circulates. After about 30 pages of telling herself "I can write better than that!" she grabbed a crayon that just happened to be blue and started editing. She was all of seven years old at the time. Unfortunately for her juvenile bottom it was a library book.
She followed the dream through college and after grad school, freelancing feature articles for newspapers along the East Coast. Bonnie even wrote a cover story for Science Digest! Alas life and grown up responsibilities caught up with her and by her late twenties she put writing away with so many other dreams while she followed a ‘career track’. After losing her entire family, she realized story telling just a want but a need and a gift God gave her. So here she is, a self-declared “middle-aged pudge” working on getting back into a writer’s kind of real life!
This giveaway is for a print copy (U.S. residents only) or e-Book (International) of HOME WORLD.
To enter, just send me an e-mail(email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win Home World.” Residents of the U.S. can select either a print copy of the book or an e-Book. Your message should include your name and mailing address for the print copy or the email address you’d like the e-Book sent to. If you are an international visitor entering the giveaway, please include your name and the email address you’d like the e-Book sent to in your message. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a copy of HOME WORLD is 8 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to stop by today. If you’re a writer, have you had to deal with rejection slips? If you’re a reader, what advice would you give writers struggling to have their first book printed?
In celebration of the release and this tour, Rosemary is giving away one print copy of THE BITCHES OF BROOKLYN to a lucky visitor to Thoughts in Progress. Please see the giveaway details at the end of the post.
Now, I’m sharing my thoughts on this tantalizing story.
The issue of trust always makes for an intriguing plot focus and author Rosemary Harris knows how to take it to the limit.
The five have been friends since high school and have been called bitches and witches. As they gather at a secluded Cape Cod bungalow for their annual summer all-girls weekend, things take a drastic turn when the fifth doesn’t show up.
Rachel, Clare, Tina and Jane aren’t so much worried that Abby is a no show. That is until her note arrives instead. It reads - “I’ve run off with one of your men.”
The ladies aren’t sure what to do. Did she really run off with one of their men or is it a prank? Can they enjoy their weekend without her and not start making phone calls? The friends reevaluate their lives and what they thought they knew.
Harris will have you smiling and shaking your head as she takes you on an amusing journey dealing with friendship. Her characters are eccentric, witty and likable. They are well-developed and may remind you of your own friends.
THE BITCHES OF BROOKLYN moves at a steady pace, grabbing your attention at the beginning and not letting go until the very end. It’s filled with romance, fun, friendship and laughter. There’s a touch of suspense thrown for a well-balance tale. A fascinating start to a captivating new series.
The Bitches of Brooklyn by Rosemary Harris, Chestnut Hill Books, @2013, ISBN: 978-0989697019, Paperback, 322 Pages, ASIN: B00E3XMPN0, 469 KB
FTC Full Disclosure – A digital copy of thisbook was sent to me as part of the author's blog tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Rosemary Harris is a native Brooklynite, like some of the characters in The Bitches of Brooklyn. A former bookstore manager and television executive, she’s the author of the Dirty Business mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Paula Holliday. Her debut novel, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies(Minotaur), was followed by The Big Dirt Nap,Dead Head and Slugfest.The Bitches of Brooklyn is the first in a new series.
Rosemary is past president of Mystery Writers of America’s NY Chapter and Sisters in Crime’s New England Chapter.
To enter this giveaway, just send me an e-mail(firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject line, “Win The Bitches of Brooklyn.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of THE BITCHES OF BROOKLYN is 8 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Dec. 15.
TOUR PARTICIPANTS . . . . . . .
A number of blogs participating in this tour will be hosting a giveaway. Three blogs are offering a Special Giveaway that includes: Bitches goody bags made up of insulated tote, plastic champagne glasses, Bitches tank top with a copy of the book. Here’s the tour schedule.
Christmas can be a magical time of year. At least that’s the way Noelle Perkins sees it, especially since her store – The Christmas Attic – is booming.
The charming voice of narrator Tanya Eby enhances this story of family, friends, love and Christmas magic. She gives each character their own unique voice and beautifully articulates their emotions.
Given a second chance at life, Noelle tackles each day with a positive outlook. She’s happy with her life just the way it is until she encounters Gabriel Boylan. The handsome Army doctor is visiting his brother in town for the holidays. Recuperating from a hand injury, Gabriel tends to look at life in a negative way.
Not wanting to be around his family any more than he just has to, Gabriel goes to work for Noelle helping out in her shop. As the holiday quickly passes, the sparks fly between Noelle and Gabriel. Knowing he’s leaving soon, Noelle can’t stop falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Gabriel battles his own demons of why love would never with Noelle.
CHRISTMAS ON 4th STREET is another installment in author Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold Romance series, but is a standalone story. New readers/listeners to the series aren’t left in the dark by references to characters from earlier stories.
This is a lighthearted Christmas story blended with romance and humor for an enchanting adventure.
Do you enjoy contests and giveaways? I do, as long as the guidelines for entering don’t take an hour to complete.
Well, one of the things I enjoy about blogging is being about to host giveaways and tell you about intriguing contests. Today I have one of each. First let me tell you about a wonderful giveaway the PartnersHub Family is offering, followed by an interesting contest Sourcebooks Landmark is hosting for a fun book they’re releasing in February.
MOVIE MAGIC . . . . . .
The wonderful folks at PartnersHub Family is offering a great Blu-ray Movie Magic giveaway. They’re offering a copy of one of the following titles (chosen at random from the list below) to award one lucky reader!
• The Little Mermaid - Diamond Edition • The Lone Ranger • Monsters University • Angels Sing • Rise of The Guardians • Despicable Me 2 • Turbo • Grown Ups 2 • Wizard of Oz 3D • The Wolverine • Star Trek: Into Darkness • White House Down • Fast 6 • Pacific Rim • After Earth • Man of Steel • Red 2 • World War Z • 2 Guns • Weeds: The Complete Collection • Predator 3D
You haven’t seen your favorite movie until you’ve seen the special features!
This holiday rediscover the #MovieMagic behind your favorite films. Blu-ray offers exclusive special features that put you in the filmmaker’s chair, with a behind-the-scenes access to all of the magic: special effects, talent interviews, alternative endings, unreleased scenes, bloopers, and more!
With a Blu-ray combo pack, you can enjoy your favorite films in high-definition whenever and wherever you want. You can keep the Blu-ray disc in the living room, DVD in the car, and the digital copy on your phone for when you’re on the move!
Highlights of a Blu-ray combo pack: • Blu-ray lets you to watch your favorite movies with unmatched sound and video that is SIX TIMES the quality of DVDs! • Blu-ray offers the most premium possible in home entertainment experience • You don’t have to worry about the buffering that happens with streaming videos
By using the Blu-ray #MovieMagic Blog App below you can discover:
• Behind-the-Scenes #MovieMagic GIF Grid - Mouse over each of the GIF squares and click to view a behind-the-scenes clip exclusively from the film's Blu-ray special features.
• The Next Generation of Blu-ray - Don't get left behind with old tech! Check out what's next for Blu-ray in 2014 and beyond!
How many Blu-rays do you have in your movie collection? Which one is the most watched? Which Blu-ray would you love to get this year in your Christmas stocking? Is there a movie (or two) you’d love to see re-mastered and re-released on Blu-ray?
This giveaway is for ONE Blu-ray combo pack. PartnersHub Family will make the selection from the list above.
To enter this giveaway, just send me an e-mail(email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win Movie Magic Combo.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win one of the Blu-ray Movie Magic Combo packs is 8 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Dec. 13.
PartnersHub Family ask that I remind those entering the giveaway that each household is only eligible to win ONE #MovieMagic title via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
FTC Full Disclosure - I am working with Blu-ray in making this announcement. Blu-ray, through PartnersHub Family, is supplying the combo pack as a promotional giveaway. I am hosting the giveaway without compensation solely for the purpose of providing visitors to my blog the opportunity to win a Blu-ray Movie Magic Combo Pack.
To celebrate the release of author Sharon Sala’s newest novel and first work of commercial fiction, Sourcebooks Landmark has a special offer for her fans in the U.S. and Canada.
CURL UP & DYE is a humorous and intriguing read you won’t be able to put down. To share the news, Sourcebooks Landmark is sponsoring a pre-order campaign and the grand prize is a $100 basket full of goodies for any lady’s bad hair day — I don’t want to give too much away, but there will be a brand-new pink blow-drier included.
Sharon’s novel will be released in February 2014, but if you pre-order the book now, Sourcebooks will send you a bookmark signed by Sharon! One lucky winner will receive a Curl Up & Dye prize basket filled with brand-new hair care and styling accessories in honor of the Curl Up & Dye, put together by Ruby Dye herself!
Here’s how to get your bookmark and enter to win the Curl Up & Dye Hair Care Prize Basket:
1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.). 2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve already pre-ordered —not a problem! Send them your receipt!
3. You will get an email back confirming when your bookmark was sent out. 4. In the meantime, download the prequel and novella, COLOR ME BAD, available now on e-book through any digital retailer!
COLOR ME BAD is a fun and quick read that will have you laughing out loud. You can click here for my thoughts on the book.
Well, thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope I’ve entice you a bit with these offers. If you know of other offers available, please feel free to share in the comments. Thanks again and have a great weekend.
With MY YEAR AS A CLOWN, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero—imperfect and uncertain—fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.
Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex.
Edited by Joy Johannessen (Alice Sebold, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom), MY YEAR AS A CLOWN will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
Since leaving the music-biz executive ranks, Robert has put in his 10,000 hours. His first novel, MY YEAR AS A CLOWN, released on the indie imprint Against the Grain Press, received the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013.
Robert was also a finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and was awarded the Squaw Valley Writers Community Thayer Scholarship. His short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, The Orange Coast Review, and the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories Volume II.
He was the executive producer of the critically acclaimed BOOM! Studios CBGB Comic series. He wrote story seven in Book 3. In August of 2011, the series was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Anthology.
He’s attended Bread Loaf, Sewanee and the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conferences. He’d worked closely with the esteemed fiction writer, Barry Hannah.
Robert’s work has also appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine, Billboard, USA Today and LetterPress, a newsletter for writers. He is co-author of the best-selling business book, The World’s Largest Market.
Robert is also a musician and songwriter. In 2005 he released the critically acclaimed CD “I Am Not My Job,” featuring Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter) and Sloan Wainwright. He studied songwriting with Rosanne Cash, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and several top country writers. The song, The Jersey Cowboy, was featured on NPR’s Car Talk. Robert was the subject of the documentary by Jason Byrd Round Peg, Square Hole.
Now here’s an excerpt from MY YEAR AS A CLOWN for your reading pleasure. Thanks so much for stopping by today.
I dash out the front door, tossing a dozen supermarket roses on the backseat. I gun the Toyota. Claudia’s flight is due in an hour, and I’m ninety minutes from the airport. I stop at the exit 12 rest area for a double espresso, down it like a whiskey shot, and hop back on the highway. Midday traffic is light, and I push the car to its eighty-five-mph limit, backing off when the steering wheel shakes like my washing machine in super-spin mode. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m always this way when I haven’t seen my wife in months.
The espresso jolts my senses. Hyperalert, I scan side and rear view mirrors. I weave through traffic pretending to be a fighter pilot. The a/c is busted and the windows are down; humid air swirls. I turn on the radio to cut the roar. It’s Mike and the Mad Dog debating the opening day losses of both the Giants and Jets. It makes no difference to me. I’m a diehard Philly fan. Tonight the Eagles make their debut on Monday Night Football in the first regular season game at our new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field.
The George Washington Bridge is clear, as is the turnpike. I zip past the Meadowlands, and twenty minutes later I’m juking through the International Arrivals lounge, dodging and feinting like O. J. Simpson in the old Hertz commercial, back when his claim to fame was as an NFL rusher. I’ve got to hurry because Claudia’s flight landed forty-five minutes ago and I don’t want her waiting.
I burst through the line of limo drivers holding signs with passenger names. I sidestep immigrant families waiting for loved ones. I spin around janitorial crews. I cover the entire arrivals lounge in record time. Claudia must not have cleared customs yet.
My wife is returning from another twelve-week archeological dig, this one in Denmark. The separation is never easy, and her first week back is always awkward. Like quarterbacks and receivers at an off- season minicamp, we need time to rediscover our rhythm, but it rarely takes more than a few days. My brother says most men would kill for a three-month vacation from their wives, and if it was during football season he might be right, but at forty-nine and still single, Jimmy’s hardly an expert.
Friends often ask how I get by without Claudia. Some wonder if I just shut down. Do they really want to hear that I beat off to Cheerleader Sex Addicts III? Still, there’s nothing like the real thing. In our early days, Claudia and I couldn’t keep our hands off each other, but today she’ll shower, eat, and hit the hay, zonked from the flight. At least tonight I’ve got the Eagles game. I’ve been looking forward to it since that devastating NFC Championship loss back on January 19, which incidentally was our eighteenth wedding anniversary. Claudia’s still sore that I went down to Philly for the game, but we were favored. We should have won and gone on to the Super Bowl. How could I have missed that?
In the arrivals lounge, passengers leak out of customs in a slow trickle. Clusters of dark-haired Spanish-speaking people come out, followed by a ragtag collection of Eastern Europeans with suitcases wrapped with duct tape. In the waiting area, kids run around making loud obnoxious noises. Families chat as if they’re at a backyard barbecue. Finally, fair-skinned Nordic types parade down the ramp neatly dressed in casual wear, even the children looking like they’ve stepped out of a Nordstrom’s catalog.
I met Claudia backpacking across Europe in 1982. Most guys brought back photographs and souvenirs, a beer stein or an ashtray. Not me. I was the luckiest man alive coming home with the British-born, twenty-year-old Claudia. She wore a tie-dyed dress and Birkenstock sandals the day we met; now she emerges from customs with a Barbour jacket draped over the handle of her luggage cart, blue eyes peering through Gucci frames, her long chestnut hair tied back in a ponytail. I enjoy seeing her like this from afar, as if noticing her for the first time, falling in love all over again. After her nine-hour flight, men’s heads still turn as she passes.
Claudia takes the left ramp, forcing me to bob and weave through the crowd. “Hey,” I say, touching her lightly on the shoulder. I bend to kiss her but she twists away.
“Don’t you still have that cold?” she says. “I can’t afford to catch anything.”
I know she’s a germ freak, but this is beyond even her obsessive self. She steps aside and I push the cart, squeezing the handle until my knuckles turn white.
Derailed in less than ten seconds, a new record.
A lump settles in my gut as if I’ve swallowed a football. Why, when I try to make things right, do they turn wrong so fast? Do I unconsciously undermine myself? Just like the Eagles? In last year’s championship game, they scored a touchdown in fifty-two seconds, but after that it all went bad. They never scored another, blowing lots of opportunities with unforced errors. What might my next unforced error with Claudia be?
She and I silently walk to the car. I toss her suitcase into the back, feeling like a limo driver.
“Can you turn on the air?” she says, fastening her seat belt. “It’s hot.” “Still broken.”
She hits the passenger window button hard. She takes a map from the glove compartment and fans herself. I point to the roses in the back- seat next to my gym bag. “For you.”
She waves a hand in front of her uptight English nose. “How long have those dirty clothes been in there?”
“A few days.”
We weave through the maze of airport ramps and onto the turn- pike. The traffic north is thick and greasy.
“How was the dig?” I ask. “Were those animal bones you found significant?”
Claudia continues to fan her face with that map. “The temperature was far more pleasant there.”
“Actually it wasn’t a bad summer,” I say. “And I made great progress with my book, got a solid draft, start to finish.”
We chug past oil refineries, and the stench hits the car like a tidal wave. “Ugh,” she says as if I’d just farted. She puts the window up and rolls her eyes.
I inch the Toyota forward and reach for Claudia’s hand, hoping physical contact will ease the tension. “We’re always a bit on edge when you come back,” I say. “Was it a rough flight?”
“Actually, it was. I didn’t get much rest because—look, there’s no easy way to say this. I met someone on the dig. I have a job in Wisconsin. I’m leaving Thursday.”
I wake up in a fog on the futon in my basement studio. I dimly hear Claudia rustling around upstairs. Is she packing? I pull the covers over my head and shut my eyes tight. I want to restart this morning as if yesterday didn’t happen.
The rest of the ride home from the airport was a blur. Things came back into focus at the house. I carried Claudia’s suitcase to the bedroom. She disappeared into the bathroom. When she came out I was on the bed, head in hands. She touched my shoulder. “It’s for the best,” she said.
I wiped my tears with the back of my hand and looked into her eyes. I saw the same azure sparkle I’d fallen for in Europe all those years ago. I pulled her toward me as I’d done a million times. There were tears in her eyes too.
At first it was like any kiss, warm and soft, our tongues gently touching, almost playful, but hers stiffened. She pushed away. “This isn’t a good idea.”
Part of me wanted to put a fist through the wall, smash a guitar, or throw her out the window, but there was no risk that our household would make the eleven o’clock news. My anger simmered, but I wouldn’t let it boil; a rash act could let her off the hook. I had to answer her betrayal with kindness and understanding. It was the cruelest response I could muster.
Claudia’s big announcement had put a damper on last night’s game. Still, I kept half an eye on the TV flickering in the corner of my studio. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were trouncing us in this much-anticipated rematch after January’s NFC Championship upset by these very same Buccaneers. The Eagles were laying a fat goose egg on national television.
I eyed the joint I’d rolled earlier, sitting unlit in the ashtray. One of our cats, Guinevere, the calico, rested on my chest. Arthur, the black one, was upstairs snug in bed, asleep with Claudia.
The first half of the game came mercifully to an end with Tampa Bay up 10–0. The score should have been worse. Guinevere was still on my chest, our breath moving in tandem, in, out, in, out.
Guin suffers from cardiomyopathy, a hardening of the heart. She was diagnosed at the same time I got laid off five years ago. The vet said she’d be dead by now. She requires pills three times a day, but with me at home working on a novel, it’s not a burden. Perhaps my love for her has slowed the hardening. If only she could return the favor.
In the third quarter, the Eagles still looked like a high school team. It was embarrassing after that last beating by these guys, but it was something Eagle fans expected—bearing the cross of failure was part of the job.
Claudia could never understand why I stuck with them. “I don’t know anything about your American football,” she said shortly after we were married, “but I do know they will lose. Why don’t you support the Niners?”
At the time we were living in San Francisco. Montana had already won two of his four Super Bowls. It was a reasonable question, given that all our friends were SF fans. I explained that it wasn’t that easy. I’d followed Philly for over three decades. She laughed and said something that resonates today. “I guess you’re destined for heartache.”
The Eagles haven’t won a Super Bowl, but I remain hopeful.
I should have shut the game off, but I watched to the bitter end. Tampa won 17–0. I caught the postgame interviews and the subsequent recap on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Another cycle of football news rolled by, and I forced myself to witness every replay. Then it was on to celebrity poker. I know Gens X and Y love the cards, but I can’t think of anything more boring on television besides bowling, yet there I was at four a.m. watching B-list TV stars playing Texas Hold’em as if they were the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
September 8, 2003: a day that will live in infamy.
Claudia used to complain that there wasn’t enough space in our bathroom with only one sink, the vanity crammed with her bottles, lotions, and whatnots. I rifle through the drawers. All that’s left is a single tampon. But her smell lingers—the eucalyptus shampoo, the jasmine facial cleanser, her aloe vera skin cream. These scents have embedded themselves in the tile the way smoke settles into fabric; no amount of scrubbing or disinfectant will remove them.
I join the cats in the kitchen. Guin is on the countertop licking her paws. Arthur prances back and forth by the water bowl, meowing. I crack open a can of organic cat food. Four furry ears perk up. If only Claudia and I could have lived in the moment the way they do. Look at Guin, she’s not worried about her heart. I chug the remaining half a pot of coffee, ignoring the bitter taste of the brew I made three hours ago, the last pot Claudia and I would ever share.
I’ve spent my first hours as a separated man cleaning the house. I’ve swept the porch, trimmed the hedges, and raked the leaves. These chores cleared my mind, cleansed the wound of betrayal, but each time somebody drove by, I glanced up hoping to see Claudia’s green Mazda 626. I’m back in the house now, vacuuming the living room, an eye still on passing cars.
A Ford Taurus pulls into the crescent driveway. A bearded man in a baggy dark suit exits the vehicle. Admittedly, I’m a paranoid wreck, but anyone can see that this is a man carrying a summons. Claudia’s lawyer is having me arrested. I’ve got to run, gather the cats and head north for the border. I ricochet around the house, ending up back in the living room. I gape through the bay window. The bounty hunter is now halfway up the drive, his walk slow and confident, his black wingtips shining. I kneel down behind the window shade. With a better angle I realize this is no representative of the law, it’s Simon Godfrey, the rabbi I met at an open mic last month. My heart slows. Simon hired me to help him make a CD. I forgot he was stopping by. The suit threw me. I open the front door, much relieved.
“Shalom, my friend. I’m on the way to synagogue.” He loosens the knot of his red-striped tie. “I promised to drop off these CDs.” He hands me a plastic bag filled with his favorites. “Listen to this first,” he says, pulling out a Rebecca Levy CD. “She’s the daughter of the famous Rabbi Mordecai Levy, you must know him.”
I know little about contemporary Jewish music, but I smile as if I do. Rebecca’s wearing a low-cut evening dress, her long blond hair cascading across her left shoulder. She looks more like a Victoria’s Secret model than the offspring of a religious luminary.
“She’s hot,” Simon says. “Yes?”
I don’t know what to say. Is this a values test? My hesitation betrays me.
He slaps me on the back. “We’re not Catholics, for chrissakes.” “Right,” I say, still feeling awkward in the way I felt when my father gave me the birds-and-bees talk. Simon’s clearly not your typical rabbi, but I’m in no mood for jocular humor. I’m in mourning, sitting shiva, as the Jews do when someone dies. Good thing Simon has to be elsewhere. Before he leaves he asks if we’re still on for next week. “Sure,” I say, but I can’t see past the next five seconds, let alone the next few days.
Back in the house, I set the CDs aside and unload the dishwasher. The cats join me in the kitchen, eyes wide, meowing. Their bowls are empty. I can’t remember if I’ve fed them. I open a can and dole out half to each. They eat as if they haven’t seen food in a week.
There’s another knock at the door. This must be Claudia. I rush to answer it, but it’s Siobhan, my Irish neighbor, holding a covered dish that smells heavenly. “Strawberry-rhubarb,” she says with her emerald accent.
Last night, Claudia went over to say good-bye at my insistence. Siobhan and Paddy moved here five years ago. He works for an Irish bank and does something with derivatives. They were one of the few couples we’d socialized with, and I was hoping that seeing them might bring her to her senses. When she returned, she said nothing. I was dying to know what happened, but now it doesn’t matter, I just want to sulk in solitude. Still, the pie does smell delicious.
“That wasn’t necessary,” I say, feeling obligated to invite Siobhan in. On this warm, muggy day, Siobhan stares at me through bookish glasses, wearing a frumpy sweater, a long skirt, and stockings. She’s pale, like Irish cream, and sprinkled with freckles. I offer to make fresh coffee. She insists that I sit and serves me a slice. The pie has a glazed, crusty, homemade shell. The filling is sweet and tart.
“This is fabulous,” I say. “Claudia never baked.” “The English rarely do.”
I swallow another mouthful and feel more in the mood for company. “Tell me everything.”
Sitting beside me, Siobhan whispers as if Claudia is still upstairs. “I couldn’t credit the nonsense coming out of her mouth. She told me that you’ll never finish the book, that you made a mistake leaving the business world. She said she couldn’t wait to get out of here.” Siobhan removes those thick-rimmed glasses to rub a few tears from her freckled cheek. “I told her she was mad.”
I grab a Kleenex from the box by the sink and hand it to her. She sniffles. “I came to console you.”
I force a smile. “What made Claudia lose faith in me?”
Siobhan pats my arm; the warmth of her touch is comforting. “Have you filed for divorce?”
I look at my brown boat shoes. The frayed leather laces need re- placing. “Yesterday. Claudia’s being fair, I’m keeping the house.”
“You must be relieved.”
“Well, my lawyer says I’m lucky, but I can’t say or do anything that might upset her until the judge approves it. Can you imagine? I have to be nice while she’s off with him. Bartholomew. What the hell kind of name is that?”
“It’s all terribly unfair,” Siobhan says. “Here, have more pie.”
It’s a hot, sticky September afternoon. The sky is low and purple, like a fresh bruise. I sit in one of our Adirondacks, staring like a zombie into the backyard. We got a great deal on these chairs in Lake Placid two years ago. We’d gone camping over the Labor Day weekend and picked them up on the way back. Now the damn armrests have splinters.
The cats are chasing birds and voles in the yard. The trees are still mostly green, only the chestnut by the pond is bare. I shut tired eyes and drift away. Someone is shaking my arm. I must have dozed off. It’s the first real sleep I’ve had since the big announcement.
“Mommy wants to know if you’ll come to dinner,” says Erin, Siobhan’s seven-year-old.
“Sure,” I say, wondering how long I’ve been out.
Erin drags me from the chair, her ginger braids swaying. “Come on, sleepyhead.” She leads me past the azalea bushes and into their gar- den. “I never liked Claudia.”
“Oh,” I say, surprised that she knows. “Well, she wasn’t used to kids.” Erin shrugs. “What’s there to get used to?”
We go up the back steps and into the kitchen. Two columns of steam rise from the stovetop. The air is heavy with garlic chicken. Declan, the five-year-old, sits in a booster chair at the dining room table. “Hi, Chucky Cheese,” he says, laughing, his Ninja Turtle T-shirt already splattered.
Paddy is working late. Siobhan sits me at the head of the table next to Erin, Declan to my left. “Wine?” she asks, pouring red into a glass.
The kids devour French fries and poke at the chicken and peas. I joke around. We laugh. We talk about the Scooby Doo movie they just saw.
After supper, Erin does homework in her room. Declan sits in Siobhan’s lap, sucking his thumb. “You’d make a fine dad,” she says.
“Really?” I sip my wine. “Not sure why we didn’t have kids. Guess it doesn’t matter now.”
“Funny,” Siobhan says. “I was a lot like Claudia, not interested, and then I got pregnant, and now I wouldn’t change things for the world.”
This was news to me, Claudia not wanting children. Whenever we discussed it, though it hadn’t been often, she’d never dismissed it, and yet she’d told Siobhan she didn’t want kids.
“Do you have a therapist?” Siobhan asks.
I swirl the wine in my glass. “Why? Do you think I’m crazy?”
“It couldn’t hurt to talk to someone who can provide objectivity and guidance.”
Siobhan pours more wine. Declan yawns, revealing a missing front tooth.
“Paddy and I saw someone this summer,” she says. “I was tired of him working late. It was as if he were looking for reasons not to be home. He promises things will change.”
I squirm, wondering why she’s telling me this. Is it because she has a front-row seat to the most humiliating experience of my life? Or is it because her marriage is headed for disaster and she sees possibility now that I’m available? A weight settles in my gut. It never crossed my mind, me and Siobhan, but now that I’m single, I guess I’ll have to pay attention.
Declan pouts. “I’m hungry.”
“You just ate,” she says, plunking him back in his booster seat. She goes into the kitchen and returns with a mini ice cream for her boy and the number of that therapist for me.
Back home, slightly buzzed, I head downstairs to my office in hopes that Claudia has sent an email: nothing. On the wall is a picture of us on our Hawaiian honeymoon. We’re standing on the beach at the end of the Na Pali coast’s Kalalau trail. We’d just completed the twelve-mile, two-day hike. I’m looking at youthful faces shining with belief that together anything is possible. There’s no hint of the huge fight we had about pushing back our honeymoon a day. It was just one day. What was the big deal? We eloped Saturday in Reno, I caught the Super Bowl on Sunday in Palo Alto, we left for Hawaii on Monday. But it was a big deal for Claudia. If I could have scored a second ticket, I would have.
I take that Hawaiian picture down and shove it in a drawer. Siobhan is right, I probably do need help. We’ve lived next door for years, and tonight was the first time the thought of screwing her came to mind. Is this how it will be from now on? A woman speaks to me and I’m gonna think, Does she want to fuck?
Well, I might be in desperate need of assistance, but so might Claudia. She could be anywhere at this very moment. What if she’s in trouble, then what? I grab the phone and punch in the first three numbers of her cell, then hang up. Someone needs to make sure she’s okay, but that someone’s not me. I’d like to think that it’s my last shred of dignity that keeps me from calling, but really it’s the fear that she’ll say, If I was in trouble I’d call Bart, you idiot.
Hi, I'm Mason Canyon and I love reading and that is why I do reviews. I post them here, as well as several other sites such as Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are an author who would like for me to review your book or you would like to guest blog here, please contact me at email@example.com These reviews are done for the love of a good book, not for monetary rewards. I'm also a freelance editor. For more on my services, drop by Freelance Editing By Mason