Monday, March 30, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Mug



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.




 Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Mug". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!

Wind in White Birch



           Sharing a man with his dream sucks. I spent the next twenty-seven days having a text message/phone contact relationship. While hearing his voice a few times a week was nice, it did not replace being in his arms or feeling his mouth on mine. I cursed at not only the physical distance between Jonah and I, I also placed a few hexes on that damned lodge. As soon as I would cuss the log cabin, I would feel terrible. Jonah was beside himself with anticipation.
He had managed to scrape together enough money for the down payment with some financial assistance from the government, a rather substantial small business grant from the Seneca tribal council, and his own hard-earned savings. The grant from his tribe came with one small stipulation: He must hire capable and certified guides from the Seneca nation once he was in the position to expand his guide services. A wise addendum to their cash I had thought when Jonah and I had been talking on the phone one night.  Jonah was certainly behind offering his tribesmen good paying jobs. He just had to get the clientele to be able to do so.
February was a dismal, grey, cold month in Pittsburgh. I was at work and feeling frumpy. My pants were all too tight due to water weight gain, so I was stuck in what I term my ‘Menstrual Clothes’ which encompassed anything with an elastic waistband. Cramps rolled through my lower belly, my back ached and some jackass was arguing with me about the price of a civil war anthology. The man glaring at me had no idea of just how close he was coming to having his face ripped off by the cranky cougar.
“….saying is that I can buy this for my eReader for half of what you`re charging. I think you should meet or beat the price that the online store is charging.”
I glowered at the squat man with the bulbous nose and pockmarks. He raised his eyebrows triumphantly.
            “Sir,” I said through clenched teeth. “We are not that super online store. We`re a brick and mortar business that has to charge more, but what we offer in return cannot be found in any cold, computer run-“
“What you offer? What is that? A miserable clerk that can`t even smile when I come in to plunk down my hard earned cash? Keep it." He slammed the book to the counter, making Bongo Cat lift his head from his nap as well as making my mug of tea jump. “I`ll buy it online.”
The bells over the door tingled angrily as he exited. I flipped the ass off then buried my head in my hands before my forehead hit the counter. The store phone rang. I whimpered but pawed blindly about, wondering why the hell it was taking the Midol tablets so long to work.
“Tomes A ‘Plenty, your fiction is our addiction,” I mumbled, staring through the glass counter top at the assortment of local authors books we were pushing. Do the big super online stores do that? Do they back indie authors and small presses? Do they hold book events, writers groups, or book clubs like we do monthly? Do they donate books to charities, daycare centers, or spend time promoting library book sales?
“Dana, is there a parking spot outside your store? Never mind, I see one.”
I moaned then heard the horns blaring as my grandmother cut across traffic to dive into a parking slot. The phone slid from my fingers to the floor, my grandmother`s voice asking if I knew anyone that drove a green Audi.
“Stop futzing Mary, I just bumped it with the Caddy,” Grandma `s voice rose from the dangling receiver. I contemplated making a run for it. I could slip out into the alley in back then hide in Peggy`s Fabric Hut next door. The old women could not find me and lecture me if I was hidden among the taffeta. Yes!  My mind cried for freedom much like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I lifted my kilt (It was a skirt but the Scottish theme was prevalent in my mind) for the mad dash. Then I recalled that they knew I was here. So I waited, head on counter, for the arrival. It came a few moments later with a gust of winter wind, a yipping dachshund, and the aroma of mentholated rub. 
            “….you should have left your name and number, Helen. That`s the Christian thing to do.”
            “No, that`s the stupid thing to do. And who are you to preach to me about Christian attitude, Mary Shevchenko? Wasn`t it you that charged the Presbyterian minister a dollar more per nut roll than you charged Father Wikowski?” my grandmother fired back.
Come on Midol, please?
            “That was only because nuts had jumped from one batch to the next!” Mary argued. I spotted a long dog wriggling about by my feet. Herr Poopbottom was convulsing with unbridled elation.
            “You sure did nudge the Presbyterian preacher’s nuts, Mary,” Jo-Jo snickered.
            “I`m allergic to nuts,” Aunt Elizabeth chimed in. Sighing resolutely, I picked up my head. Aunt Josephine`s dog began leaping into the air, barking wildly. I peeked upward. Bongo Cat was perched above us with flattened ears and wide eyes.
            “Josephine! It is not proper to be discussing the man parts of an ordained minister or any other men of God,” Aunt Anne gasped. Fighting the smile I slid from the stool, scooped up Herr Poopbottom, got my face washed, and then made my rounds of greeting kisses. Aunt Mary`s wrinkled cheek was hot with embarrassment when I bussed it. I hugged the sweet old thing close.
            “They`re just teasing, Aunt Mary,” I whispered past the huge gold earring clasped to her earlobe. She smiled and patted my hand tenderly. “So, did I sleep through Valentine`s Day or are we celebrating St. Patrick`s Day a month early?” I asked, eying the Jolly Green Hobbit that was my grandmother. She was emerald from her eye shadow to her plastic green Crocs.
            My grandmother carefully removed the green scarf from her flaming red beehive. “Don`t be flip, Dana Marie,” she snipped, draping the gossamer scarf around her neck.
            “We went to the mall and bought Mary beads!” Aunt Zizzy announced as I got her seated on a folding chair used for book club nights.
            “Then we went to the bulk food place so Anne could buy four cases of canned cherries. Who the hell buys four cases of cherries?” Jo-Jo asked, waddling over to the soda machine for a Mountain Dew.
            “I use them for pies,” Anne sniffed, lowering herself onto the stool I had vacated. “If you ever took the time to do something besides play bingo, shake your leg at truckers, or watch those damned dirty daytime serials you`d know what women do with canned cherries!”
            “So, is that Jonah man coming down this weekend?” my grandmother asked. I tensed. This was rapidly becoming a sore spot between her and me. “If not, why don`t you come to the Moose on Saturday night? They`re having a Valentine`s Day dance. Albert Robinson`s son from McKeesport will be there with his band.”
            “I`m sure Jonah will make it down for Valentine`s Day,” I said, moving  among the Clairton Corp, each one with wrinkled brows, bitten lips, or pinching the loose skin of their necks.
            “They play slow dance music,” Aunt Elizabeth offered, remarkably clear and lucid today. “He has red hair,” she added as an incentive. Her husband Robert had been a ginger and she was partial.
            “Don`t let her talk you into nothing!” Aunt Jo spat, glaring at my grandmother, “You just hold tight for Jonah. The man`s busy trying to get his future lined up, Helen. You want Dana here to turn her back on a man that`s working to be his own boss?” Jo-Jo hugged me sideways, my arm pinned to her ample chest.
            “No, I want Dana to find a man that will give her the time and attention she deserves,” Madame Leprechaun responded. Sadly, I was beginning to feel like maybe – just maybe – my grandmother was right. I certainly felt like I deserved more than text messages and hurried phone calls where nothing but business and loans were discussed.
 I rolled my head to the left to rest it atop Aunt Jo-Jo`s wiry silver curls. Sharing a man with his dreams sucks.



Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!



Amanda J Ward`s Viva Pan Vegas: The Misadventures of Pann Haggerty

I'm thrilled to have Amanda here as her new book, Viva Pann Vegas, releases today!






TAGLINE

Getting plastered at a wedding is the sign a good time has been had, but not when it’s the bride!

BLURB

The fun and games continue as Pann Haggerty travels around America with her ‘average’ Joe on their way to Las Vegas.  This time, Joe thinks he’s the one in charge, and able to handle his beloved quirky English rose.  
Apparently not.  Surprises, secrets and wedding bells are in store.  Has Pann given Joe the answer to his big question? Read on in the second MisAdventure of Pann Haggerty.
Laugh at Pann’s antics, thrill to the romance, indulge in copious mugs of tea and try out the delicious recipes! Above all…enjoy.

EXCERPT ONE

“You know, Pann, this hand would look so much nicer with…”
“Don’t go down that route, Joe,” Pann scolded him. “I said I would give you an answer when I knew what it was. Why, are you feeling insecure, Joe?”
The waitress came back, pouring Joe his thick, syrup-like coffee and placing a tall frosted glass of pink milkshake, topped with whipped cream and a fresh strawberry, on the table.
Pann chuckled. What was this, a drink or dessert?
“Yes, I am,” Joe replied eventually, after taking a sip from his mug. “You are the only woman I’ve asked to marry me, and you won’t give me a definite yes or no. It feels like I’m being led around by the short and curlies.”
“Joe,” Pann admonished through gritted teeth. He sounded rather like her, and one certainly did not mention pubic hair in a dining establishment.
“Well what do you expect, Pann? I love you, and you say you love me. I can’t understand why you are dragging this on.”
“Dragging this on?” Her lips thinned with annoyance. “Joel. We are at a diner surrounded by others eating. This isn’t really the place to have this conversation.” She was trying to no avail to keep her voice calm.
“Shall we go back to the van and talk there?” Joe suggested. “I’ll make tea?”
“Sounds better than shivering in the sunshine, I guess.”
As they walked toward the van, Joe placed his arm around her shoulders. Instinctively she snuggled into his warmth, breathing in his fragrant masculine scent.  Pann placed her arm around his waist, and on impulse, her hand covered his jean clad bottom.  As she squeezed it, Pann smiled an impish grin.
“Wrong pocket, Pann.”
“I beg your pardon?” She tilted her head back to look at Joe.
“If you are after my wallet, it’s in the other pocket,” Joe quipped.  

EXCERPT TWO

Pandora Haggerty, sorry…Harper sat in the back of the ambulance in a wheelchair all forlorn and feeling decidedly sorry for herself. Her plastered right leg was elevated, and despite Joe’s hand resting on hers comforting her, Pann’s spirits were low. She was jostled several times, wincing as the vehicle rode over several mountains in the road. Perhaps the pain medication was wearing off. Avoiding looking out the window, Pann kept her gaze on Joe’s steadfast one and the gleaming rings of gold that adorned her left hand. Beside her on the floor lay several packages, and from what she could make out, there was a Zimmer frame ready to be constructed.
“A zimmer frame, my arse,” Pann grumbled.
“What was that, darlin’?”
“Just talking out loud,” she murmured.
“Are you in any pain, honey?”
Pann shook her head. “Actually I’m starting to feel like a total prat,” she told him bluntly. “I cannot believe I managed to break my sodding ankle, and now I’m totally reliant on someone else to help me do everything. And I am not using a sodding Zimmer frame. What do they think I am, an elderly geriatric?” Then, turning her head…she noticed a chair behind her.
“That’s not a commode is it?” She asked incredulously in a high squeak. Joe nodded.
“You have to be taking the royal piss,” she exclaimed.
“No, that’s what the commode is for. So that you can—” Joe’s voice broke off.
“No chuffing way am I using a commode.”
“The doctor said you had to stay off that leg. This way you can use the toilet by simply lifting yourself from one chair to another,” he said soothingly.
Pann’s temper finally got the better of her. Humiliation, frustration and that nagging ache from her leg took over her usually sane-ish temperament. She squeezed Joe’s hand digging her nails in, almost breaking the skin. At this point, she really didn’t care if she hurt him or not. She was hurting. Why couldn’t he sympathize? It really wasn’t fair.
Pann sat complacently as Joe wheeled her into the now widened doorway of their motorhome. A strange smell assailed her nostrils. What on earth…could she smell?
“There’s a cat in here,” Pann announced, her eyes darting around the kitchen area. It had been widened for accessibility. As Joe closed the door, she caught a glimpse of a tray.
“What makes you think that?” Joe murmured, putting the brake on. He busied himself by putting the kettle on and preparing a drink for them.
“The litter tray behind me, and the two bowls on a mat just over there,” Pann pointed out. “You do know I still have a cat back in England, even if it is living with Mum now.” She sniffed again, wafting her hand in front of her nose. Several pots of fragrant violets lined the middle of the dining table. She hoped Joe had secured them with Velcro strips.
“Interesting and beautiful flowers, but no matter how many pots of violets you use, there is no cure for the niff of a farting feline,” she told him with a grin, using as many English terms as she could fit in. It was ridiculous, but in a way Joe had diffused her temper by diverting her attention onto something else. “So where is it?”
Joe put two steaming mugs on the table, fetched a plate of digestive biscuits and sat down next to her on the seat.
“Look up,” he suggested.
Pann’s head tilted back. On what had been her bed, two white fluffy paws and a nose with two black splotches were all she could see. All those awful feel sorry for herself feelings disappeared. Joe handed her the tea mug.
“So how did we end up with whats-his-face up there?”
“I have no idea. I picked up the van yesterday after the refit, and well, there he was,” Joe explained.
“He?”
Joe nodded. “I took him to the vet with every intention of handing him to a rescue center, but, I don’t know. There was something about him. It turns out he is a pedigree Ragdoll.”
Pann melted. “The ones that go limp in your arms. They are so soft and fluffy…Oh, Joe. Look at the splotches on his cute little nosey. Bloody hell. Is that the cat?” Her nose wrinkled. “Oh God, that’s foul,” she breathed.
“There is nothing wrong with that cat’s stomach. Apparently, some cats are prone to gas and this is one of them I’m afraid.” Joe chuckled. “So are we gonna keep him? I had him vaccinated, micro chipped and everything.”
“What have you called him?”
“I thought I’d let you name him,” Joe replied with a smile. “It’s taken you out of your bad mood hasn’t it?”
“Yes, you rat, it has.” Pann couldn’t take her eyes off the two fluffy paws and now emerging face over the edge of what had been her bed. “I’m still not using that commode, you know.”

BUY LINKS:


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY



Amanda Ward lives in Bedfordshire, England with her husband, three children and two insane cats. The expression ‘What you see is what you get’, sums her up perfectly.
She is the author of the novel Without Saying A Word with Books To Go Now and The MisAdventures of Pann Haggerty with Secret Cravings Publishing.  She is a member of the Romance Novelists Association
(RNA).  There is always some moment waiting around the corner to be written into a novel.

Her interests include a passion for history and the royal families of Europe, romance novels, cooking, and science fiction including Doctor Who.  Of course not forgetting the great and wonderful Doris Day musicals and English costume dramas.

A perfect afternoon for Amanda would be a pot of tea, plenty of biscuits with a Doris Day film on the telly. Shared with great friends and her amazingly tolerant mother in law. 

Find out more about Amanda and her manic life at www.amandajward.weebly.com
Contact Links:


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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Life on the Farm - Processing Beef



Author. Rangers Fan. Wife. Mother. Hobby farmer. Butcher? Well, sometimes.

For those of you who only know me from my writing, you`re now going to get a peek at what I do when I'm not writing scorching hot erotic stories. My hubby and I raise and butcher our own meat here on what we call "The Hillside Farm". Over the years we have processed everything from meat chickens to a Hereford steer.

It's been a busy couple of days here. Mister took Friday off to begin the long process of butchering our oldest steer, a brown Swiss. Now I know that folks aren`t into seeing the gruesome stuff, and none of that is going to be shown. What I thought I would share is how we processed the meat after it was off the bone. There shouldn`t be anything that upsets anyone, but if you are of a tender nature or don`t like to see beef before it`s all packaged up in the grocery store keep on truckin'.






Let`s kick things off my explaining that the steer was humanely dispatched and hung for a week. On Friday, Mister and my brother-in-law Dave spent 13 hours cutting all the meat off the bone. Hubby said to pass along to any who are thinking of trying to butcher a steer at home to allot at least 25 hours for the job. It is a time-consuming project to say the least, but the results are well worth the time spent, at least we think so.

We'll pick up on Saturday. Hubby and I started around nine. The guys had cut the roasts, cubes, and steaks out on Friday. We're guessing about 50 pounds worth. Saturday was grinding day. We are huge fans of the Food Saver vacuum sealers. They really do keep meat fresh in the freezer for much longer than butcher paper.



We started out with two totes filled with cubed meat. Mister would carry in a dishpan full at a time then grind it.






Then it came to me to bag and seal. We generally put about a pound or so into each bag, which works well for just three people. I sealed and dated each bag then I placed them into my old laundry basket to be carried out to the freezers by Mister.



Hubby and I spent about 7 hours grinding and bagging 290 pounds of ground beef yesterday. Yes, you read right. 290 pounds! Our freezers are now packed solid with homegrown beef. Yes, it is a big undertaking but the knowledge that you know exactly what has been put into the meat you're eating makes it all worthwhile for us. Talk about a tasty reward for all that hard work:  medium rare filet mignon with a lovely baked potato. Beef. It's what`s for dinner on this farm!








Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



This song was something special back in the day.  I also quite liked the variety show that Mr. Orlando and Dawn had. Yep, aged myself nicely on that one didn`t I? ;)


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Final Shifts Release Day!




You can grab your copy of the last To Love a Wildcat book today! 

It has been a wonderful ride with this team and the characters. Each and every couple is special to me and I hope to you as well. This series has taught me so much that to list everything I have learned would take hours. I will say that I have grown in my craft and that is in direct correlation to writing the Wildcats. 

Thank you for all embracing the `Cats as you have. I hope you stick around because some great stories are headed your way when The Venom debut in August! 

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. 



The only constant in life is that things will change when you least expect it. On the day of Derrick Andersson`s retirement ceremony, a late-season tropical storm parks itself over the City of Brotherly Love. The women who love the Wildcats will not only have to deal with the deluge outside, they will have to struggle through some of the greatest personal storms they will ever weather. 

Liz and Veikko receive devastating news, Maggie and Derrick face a shocking announcement, and Isabelle and Philip receive the verdict of Philip's court battle. Can Viviana and Alain work out the problems that have torn them apart? What has life dealt young lovers Petro and Margarite? The answers to those questions, as well as a surprise that will rock the Houseman, are revealed in this final book of the To Love a Wildcat series.



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Monday, March 23, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Catch

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



Today we have the next chapter for Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Catch". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!

Wind in White Birch



           Sunday dawned bright and cold. By eleven AM I was huddled beside a barrel stove in Andy`s garage, my toes frozen inside my boots, watching Jonah and Rhett tinkering with a snowmobile. I could not believe how cold it was, even with the stove throwing out heat. The sides were close to cherry red but step a foot away from the barrel and the temperature dropped like a rock. In all honesty, even if the guys did get the sled running, I doubted I could manage to take a ride. Sitting on the back of that snowmobile going however fast they go? No thanks, I`ll pass. Of course, the alternative would be to be locked up with Julia who would be coming to gather her sons after church. Good thing my grandmother didn`t know Rhett and I had skipped services or her eyebrows would be permanently knotted.
“This isn`t looking good,” Jonah said, lifting a wad of what looked like cotton batting from somewhere inside the engine. Rhett sat on the sled, a toolbox beside him. He was the official tool-hander. My son studied the mass of stuffing and seeds intently. “Mice have packed every nook and cranny full of bedding. I hate mice,” Jonah sneered then threw the nest at the stove. I watched it float to the cement floor gracefully. Suddenly there arose a clatter from the sled. I glanced up in time to see my son, the toolbox, and Jonah all leap into the air. I screamed and headed for the nearest exit when the mouse raced over Rhett`s lap, fell from the Ski-Doo, and made a beeline for its old nest on the floor.
Out into the snow I went and I didn`t stop to admire the snow-frosted pines or the cardinals flittering from Andy`s feeders to the trees. Nope. I ran straight to the double-wide and slammed the sliding doors soundly. Whipping around to plaster my shoulder blades to the door I smiled at Andy who had been pouring himself a cup of coffee.
“Sasquatch?” he asked.
“Mouse,” I panted.
“Ah,” he smiled then poked around inside the box of doughnuts Jonah had picked up for another dunker. “Nearly as bad,” he teased then shoved a powdered doughnut into his mug. A gentle rap on the glass door behind me startled me terribly. I peeked over my shoulder. Rhett and Jonah were on the other side, trying to look composed. I sniffed then moved aside so they could enter.
“Mom, I never saw you move that fast!” Rhett exclaimed with pride. Jonah patted my back comfortingly but wore a sly smile.
“I can run. I just choose not to unless something`s chasing me. Like a mouse.”
“So I guess sledding is out. How about we find some skates and play some hockey. What do you think, little man?” Jonah asked while chewing on a chocolate-coated. I was in awe really. The man ate like a horse yet was in perfect shape. I look at a doughnut and my ass swells.
“AWESOME!” my child shouted.
“Indoor voices please,” I chided gently, moving from the door to the doughnut box. “We don`t have skates and he`s never played hockey.”
“You live in Pittsburgh and don`t play hockey?” Jonah was quite incredulous.
“I don`t play football either,” I countered quickly.
“You know what I meant. Isn`t it like some sort of law that if you live in Pittsburgh you have to have your kid enrolled in a hockey program by the time they`re six months old?” Jonah teased.
“He`s never expressed any interest so….”
“Rhett, go round up the others and tell them to grab the skates out of the garage,” Jonah said. Rhett ran off. The thunder of young boys on a mission enveloped us. Within ten minutes we were inside Jonah`s truck with sticks, skates, a puck, and some very exuberant young men. The boys were chattering like magpie`s in the crew seat. Even Rhett, who had never held a hockey stick in his life, was keyed up.
We pulled into the spot where the carnival had been. Nothing remained of the festivities but the snow sculptures. The guys piled out and ran to the pond. I slid to the ground and wrapped a scarf around my neck and head, pulled some thick mittens on, and was trying to locate some tissues in the glove box. Rhett would need them as cold as it was. A hand on my rump brought me up and around in a hurry. Jonah grinned down at me like a loon then tipped his head to the side. That long fall of ebony hair slid over his shoulder. I love it when his hair is unbound.
“Are you in there?” he asked, gently plucking the scarf away from my lips to catch a quick kiss. “You`re playing, right?” he asked then pulled a pink pair of skates off his wide shoulder. I stared at the things as if they were spitting cobras.
“Have you been drinking?” I asked incredulously. Had he lost his mind? Did I look like a hockey playing kind of girl?
“Don`t you even want to try?” He shoved the skates at me. I drew back.”If you make one pass around the lake I`ll take you out for a fancy dinner next time I`m down.”
I leaned back and stroked my scarf-covered chin. He huffed and rolled his eyes.
“I`ll wear a suit and tie.”
“Deal.” I took the skates and proudly strolled to the pond. I won`t say how long it took just to get the skates on, tied, and me upright. Jonah gently pulled me along, skating in reverse, the damned showoff. The boys were impressed. Rhett took a few tumbles but picked it up with speed and what looked to me like natural grace. Of course, anyone not lying on the ice with a towering Seneca man over them trying to make them get on their feet looked graceful to me. The last time I went down, I went down hard. My legs flew out and my ass hit the ice jarringly. My teeth clacked together. I whimpered as the kids raced around me with sticks slapping at the puck.
“Okay, I think we now know your skill set and it is not ice skating” Jonah said while heaving me, once again, to my skates.
“I tried to tell you,” I moaned, rubbing my rump as we tripped and slid to the edge of the pond. I fell to my knees when I stepped off the ice.
“Man, you`re just as bad on soil as you are ice,” Jonah chuckled, slid his arm around my waist and hoisted me upward. He got me to the truck, unlaced my skates, fished in the back for the thermos of hot cocoa, kissed me long and hard, and then left me for a rousing game of hockey. I sipped hot chocolate, listened to the radio, and thanked God for nicely padded seats. If I had brought a book, I would have been perfectly content.
The guys played for a good hour or so. When they came back, their faces were wind-chapped. I passed the cocoa around. The truck was warm from me running it periodically. Rhett was blabbering about some awesome shot he made. Jonah`s nephew`s were also telling me about the game and each play they were involved in. I smiled and nodded. I was genuinely happy that Rhett was fitting in with the boys so well, and that he had someone like Jonah to take him out to do sporty stuff. Lord knows Rhick was too busy humping his new wife and snapping photos to spend time with his son. Gracious, someone was bitter.
“Bad swig of chocolate?” Jonah asked.
“No, just thinking of the ex,” I said tartly.
“That`ll do it.”
“Indeed. So thank you. For this,” I waved at the boys crammed into the back, “And for the weekend. For everything I guess.”
“It was my pleasure,” he said, glancing from the road to me. I sorely wanted to kiss him. Instead, I gave his knee a sharp squeeze. I was scared seventeen shades of shitless and my words were weak.
“I`m willing to try sharing you with your dream,” I whispered. Jonah`s smile warmed me better than any cocoa ever could. The whole way back to Andy`s house I prayed my heart wouldn`t get broken again.




Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

Click on the link below to return to the Tuesday Tales main blog for more great reads from the talented authors of Tuesday Tales.


See you next week!



Early to Rise Cover Reveal & Exclusive Excerpt!



For those of you who love M/M romance, cats, and farm critters the next release in my Toms & Tabbies series is sure to please!

Early to Rise releases on 4/1/15 exclusively from Torquere Press. It`s a romantic-comedy about a city boy who packs up and moves to his uncle`s farm after being stood up at his own wedding. It has tons of laughs, gay romance, action in and out of the bedroom, and a heaping helping of rural flavor!

You can preorder Early to Rise here:

Torquere Press Store - Early to Rise

Amazon - Early to Rise


Check out this adorable cover!



And below are the blogs that have signed up for Pride Promotions Book Blast for Early to Rise. If you can, stop by these wonderful blogs for a visit on March 25th.

Blurb:

There are few things worse than being left at the altar by the man you thought loved you. Just ask Simon Wilder. He knows all about it. He also knows a thing or two about getting fired. It`s been a rotten week for Simon and making major life decisions during such turmoil may not be the wisest thing Simon has ever done. Or is it?


Packing up his clothes, his collection of Tony Orlando CD`s, and his cat, Sambuca, Simon leaves the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia behind and heads out to live on his uncle Tiberius` farm in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Starting over on the farm where he vacationed once as a child is a going to be just what the doctor ordered, as long as that doctor is the good-looking large animal veterinarian, Gentry Martin. Is a sexy country vet the cure for a love-sick city boy?




PG Excerpt: (Mature Language)


"Hello, my name is Simon Wilder and I was told that your employer may be looking for a temporary employee with some medical office or admitting experience?"

She snorted, leaned back in her office chair and rubbed the mammoth belly hidden under a blue maternity top. The duck quacked loudly.

"Temporary? God, I hope not." She patted the mound of baby under her maternity blouse then pushed to her feet with a groan. "This will be my third. I'm planning to start homeschooling my older two, so this will be fulltime if you're hired." She waddled around the desk, took my resume, read it, which I found rather forward, and then dashed (or what one would call a dash were she nine months less pregnant) through an adjoining door. I stood there looking foolish while Willie Nelson lamented being on the road once more. A dog sneezed. Someone coughed. I smiled at the humans who were staring at me openly. Within a minute Jemma returned, looking quite like a cat who had just found out how to get into the aviary. "Go right in. He's got a patient, but he can talk while he examines."

With her hand firmly planted in the middle of my back I was shoved into the doctor's office. The man running his hands over a goat kid was not Old Doc Jepson. I'd had this vision of an old, doddering country vet with a big belly, white hair, and round glasses on the end of his nose: Saint Nick with a degree in animal care, if you will. This man was about as far from that as one could get. The gorgeous man who had freed me from my car outside Donna's Diner blinked, clearly as stunned as I was. He looked damned good in that white medical coat, I must admit. He was trying to examine the goat.

"So we meet again," he said at the same time the goat blatted. It was a cute little thing with black and white spots.

"Yes, we do. I have to say that I'm not sure if I'm actually qualified for... That goat just pooped on the exam table." I pointed at a rather runny looking mess splattered on the stainless steel tabletop.

"Yeah, he has diarrhea. And a slight fever. I'm thinking it might be a case of coccidiosis. Would you hold him so I can grab a fecal sample?"

"Sure?" What the hell was I doing? I took the speckled goat's collar in my fingers. "This is my best suit," I pointed out. The doctor made an "uh-huh" sort of sound. "So why are you here? You're not Old Doc Jepson."

"No, I'm not. Doc Jepson passed over a year ago. I was his associate. Now, I'm the chief cook and bottle-washer. Gentry Martin." He held out a hand covered in a rubber glove. My nose wrinkled as we shook quickly.

"As well as collector of runny goat poop," I said while trying to keep the runny goat's butt away from my trousers. Gentry chuckled at me. I liked the feeling making him happy made in my gut. Damn. What was with the fuzzy-warms already?

"Yeah, and collector of runny goat poop," he agreed as he gathered his sample and put it on a slide. "I'll just be a few minutes. Try to keep Dwight calm."

"But I--"

Just like that, Gentry, the handsome vet, was gone. The door remained cracked open. I looked deeply into Dwight's funny goat eyes. "Do not even think of shitting on me."

"Blahhhh!" his tongue stuck out when he bleated. He had terrible breath. People kept these things as pets?

"Long as we're on the same page."

"Sounds like you and Dwight are getting along well." I looked from the goat to the vet to find Gentry smiling at us. My pulse picked up at the flash of even white teeth. "The results will be back in a bit, so if we can take Dwight back to the last holding pen in the sheep/goat barn, we'll grab a minute to talk between patients."

He had a stray lock of golden hair that was playing coy with his eyebrow. What I wouldn't give to move that lock with a warm puff of breath, then drop a soft kiss to his bristly cheek.

"Simon? If you let go, I'll take him out." Heat flooded my face.

"Of course," I said as I dropped the collar. Gentry swooped the poopy goat up without care for his lab coat, which is why he wore one, probably. I fell in behind him as he pushed through the back door from the exam room. We walked through a long corridor with several doors, then we stepped outside. Another goat ran up to us, as well as a pack of sheep. Now that they were closer I could smell the sheep. Gentry gently placed the tiny goat into the pen. The kid walked out of the shade of the barn to lounge in the sunshine. Gentry turned to me and leaned his backside against the weathered barn boards. I didn't dare look at the man any longer. I had already pushed the boundaries with my fascination with that lock of hair. I started talking to break the sudden verbal stranglehold both of us seemed to be caught in.

"Hopefully once you look over my resume and compare it with the other candidates you'll see that-- I'm sorry, did I say something funny?" I asked when he chuckled softly.

"You're the only candidate." He pulled my folded resume out of the back pocket of his faded jeans, his lovely eyes moving over me. I shuffled uncomfortably. "And a very nicely dressed one at that. You might want to dress down when you come in tomorrow. Bring some barn boots. I always take my new office staff along when I make house calls. Gives them a real feel for the practice."

"You make barn calls. That's quaint," I remarked wondering if this was actually happening.

"Well, it's kind of hard to find a pet carrier big enough to hold a Hereford bull," he teased. I felt a slight easing of that uncomfortable knot of anxiety. "I have to ask." His blue eyes were twinkling with mischief. I tipped my head to the left then cocked an eyebrow. "Have you ever palpated a cow?"

"A gentleman never tells." Gentry threw back head and laughed. I rocked up to my toes. Yep. I had amused him. His laughter was the kind that would make me say stupid things just so I could hear it again. Deep, rich, genuine. I suspected I might be somewhat smitten.

"You'll do just fine. That is if you still want the job, Mr. Wilder. Or can I call you Simon?"

"You most certainly can call me Simon. Thank you!" I enthused, grabbing his hand and pumping it rapidly. "I'll be here at eight tomorrow! Sans tie and jacket."

"I look forward to working with you," Dr. Gentry Martin said, his fingers clinging to mine.

The feeling was entirely mutual.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Beatnik Ideals & Folk Songs

People never cease to amaze me. Just when you think you may have possibly moved past a chunk of illogical thinking sitting smack dab in the middle of the tracks of understanding, you find another chunk of illogical thinking just down the rails a bit. I know that I have addressed this absurd notion before in a blog post, but gosh darn it; someone keeps dropping this dumb rock right in front of me as I ride the train of a harmonious existence

Stop it people! I'm trying to make the remainder of my journey in this life a peaceful one. I envision Cat Stevens and me riding on the Peace Train, singing songs about love, harmony, and girls named Ruby, until we pull into the heavenly train station in the sky. Sounds pretty far out, doesn`t it? It would be if it weren`t for people always tossing rocks onto the rails. So, let me just say this again and maybe it will stick this time. Then Cat and I can continue our journey of beatnik ideals and folk songs.



People of the world pay heed!

It is okay for authors who are not gay to write gay romance. It is okay for authors who are not black/white/tan/pink/purple/green or blue women married to black/white/tan/pink/purple/green or blue men to write interracial romance. It is okay for authors who are not women to write romances. It is okay for any author to write in any genre they wish. Authors make things up and are not always what they are writing about. A few cases in point--

I doubt that Stephen King is a vampire, rabid dog, or dresses as a clown that lives in sewers. (Note I used the word "doubt")

As far as I know, J. R. Ward is not a badass vampire king or one of his band of fighters.

I do not think that J.R.R. Tolkein was an elf, dwarf king, or talking dragon.

It seems unlikely that J. K. Rowling is a young boy wizard.

Chances are slim that George R. R. Martin is a svelte blonde dragon princess.

I have strong suspicions that Mark Twain ever visited King Authur`s court. 

It`s highly unlikely that Suzanne Collins is a young female archer that overthrows a government.

V.L. Locey does not have to be a burly male hockey player to write about them. (I just wanted to see my name up here with the greats. Forgive me.)

It`s called fiction and it is okay for people who are not dragons to write about dragons. It`s actually easier for humans to write about dragons because dragons have a hard time holding a pen or typing on a laptop.

Why this prejudice keeps popping up all the time is beyond me. You do not have to be what you are writing about folks. If that were the case then we would have no books aside from how-to manuals, biographies, and non-fiction historical accounts of battles of yesteryear. Imagination is a wonderful thing. As long as the author treats his/her subject/subjects with respect then he/she can write about any darn thing, and in any genre, that tickles their tootsies.

Now, can we please move past this so that Cat and I can continue our placid jaunt?

Peace out.















Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday Tune



Living legend. Inspiration for so many that followed him. Is there anyone out there that doesn`t know at least one Hendrix song well enough to sing along to?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Romancing the Jock - Old Fans, New Fans . . .





My first post on Romancing the Jock is up and I am just thrilled to be a part of this elite sporting blog!

In today`s spot I share my thoughts on new fans and how, at times, some long-time fans tend to look down upon the newer fans. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic. I hope you can join me every third Wednesday of each month. While you`re there check out the other talented contributors for some interesting and entertaining reading by some of today`s biggest sports romance writers.



Romancing the Jock - Old Fans, New Fan . . .




Monday, March 16, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Random

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales.



 Today we have the next chapter in Wind in White Birch and our word prompt is "Random". Don`t forget to visit the other talented Tuesday Tales authors. Thanks for stopping by!

Wind in White Birch




Remember that song by Stevie Wonder about everything being all right, uptight and out of sight?  That was how I felt on the drive back to Andy`s doublewide. I was falling. I knew it and I just couldn`t seem to stop it. I would peek at Jonah through my lashes, trying not to let him see me admiring him. He would always feel my eyes upon him though. His lips would tweak up at the corners before he`d wink. I`d turn away flustered, making him chuckle. God above, the drive home was wonderful! Pulling into the driveway at dusk, we discovered the place had cleared out. I had a niggle of worry about Rhett that didn`t disappear until I found him and three of Andy`s grandsons sprawled over the living room furniture watching a movie.
“Hey, Mom, guess what?” Rhett called, sitting with a huge bowl of popcorn on his lap. Every lad had their own food trough on his thighs. Between the explosions on the TV, the sounds of young men hooting at said explosions, and the crunching of cheese puffs, potato chips, and corn chips slathered with salsa, I could barely hear my son.
“What?” I shouted. Jonah flopped down next to a lad of perhaps ten or eleven on the couch. A tussle over corn chips broke out. It ended when I gave Jonah my best schoolmarm look of disapproval.
“That`s Optimus Prime, Mom!” 
Ah. So the movie was about those robots Rhett likes so much. I wasn`t sure I was too keen on him watching something with so many explosions. Jonah got to his feet, gathered my hand in his then led me into the kitchen. Andy was sitting with a newspaper spread across the table and a large magnifying glass in hand. He smiled at us as we entered.
“Coffee`s fresh and I think there`s some food left." The elder Big Deer waved his glass in the general direction of the refrigerator.
“Thanks, I`m starved.” Jonah helped me out of my coat then threw his black wool duster and my parka on the back of a kitchen chair. I availed myself of the coffee while Jonah rummaged then microwaved a plate of food. I was seated across from Andy when Jonah joined us a few minutes later.
“Meatball?” he asked, holding one out to me on a fork. I shook my head.
“No thanks, we ate at the carnival, remember?”
“That was just a hot dog,” the man replied then attacked the meatball.
“See anything new at the carnival?” Andy asked, scouring the sports section. Jonah mumbled something with a full mouth that might have been no. I sipped my coffee, enjoying the heat now creeping into my cold toes.
“Nah,” Jonah said between bites, “Nothing like the gathering every year.”
“What gathering?” I asked as the boys cheered the good robots on.
“We hold a powwow at the casino every summer. Lots of fun,” Andy muttered, lifting his eyes from the paper to me. “We dance, sell crafts, try to teach our ways to those who come.”
“You dance?” I asked Jonah.
He bobbed his head. “Sometimes,” he said then pulled a paper towel across his mouth. “I compete in the drums every year. My sister and her friends, they dance.  The kids too,” he added.”Andy used to until he broke his hip.”
“Wow, that sounds fantastic,” I smiled, envisioning all the sights this powwow must hold.
“You`ll love it,” Jonah said, shoveling macaroni salad in.
I felt all sorts of toasty knowing he was so sure we`d still be together when the days were long and hot. From his mouth to Gods ears. We chatted about the powwow until Jonah`s appetite was slaked. Then we tidied up and joined the boys for the rest of the movie. It seemed that Julia`s boys were spending the night, which pleased Rhett to no end. Bath time went amazingly smoothly. No yelling, threatening or temper tantrums. Andy said ‘Go bathe’ and my son ran off to bathe.
            We slid another movie in, some random romantic comedy that made the boys twitch and run off for their shared bedroom. The night moved along in soft laughter. Before I knew it, Andy was pushing to his feet for bed.
“Say goodnight, Jonah,” Andy mumbled as he and his cane shuffled off. I looked over at the man sitting at my side with his arm draped casually around my neck.
“Goodnight Jonah,” the wise ass said.
Andy grunted loudly as he slowly made his way to the bathroom. With a sigh of resignation, we walked to the front door hand in hand. I felt like I was back in high school. I went into his embrace as if I had always been there. Up on my toes I met him halfway. He whispered across my lips, something in Seneca that I didn`t understand. Then he kissed me tenderly yet deeply. My hands linked behind his head. He shifted me slightly. I sucked in a sharp breath when my stomach ground against his erection. A guttural sound erupted from the man that turned my spine to liquid. His hands moved up and down my back, one slid under my shirt. His fingertips danced over the knobs of my spine. I dug my fingernails into the back of his neck.
“Say goodnight, Jonah,” Andy called from somewhere in the back of the house. I jerked back so quickly I cracked my head on a picture hanging by the front door. Jonah caught it before it hit the floor.
With a bemused smile, he hung the oil back on the nail, kissed me swiftly then stepped out into the cold. I smiled like a simpering dolt then closed the door on him.
“That boy is harder to get rid of then a bad case of poison ivy,” Andy commented from behind me.
“He forgot his coat,” I said, sliding the chain lock into place.
“Yeah, I figure he`ll be warm enough without it,” Andy Big Deer said with a naughty chortle then offered me his arm. I blushed all the way to my bedroom.





Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey

*~*~*

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