Posted on August 29, 2014
How fine is the line between love and friendship?
Hi. I’m author Mia Kerick, and I have published 8 books (as of the fall of 2014 it will be nine, and I have more signed for 2015), but who’s counting? LOL. I write contemporary gay romance, both YA and adult, and the concept of friendship plays into many of my novels. In fact, it is very often the place where love in my stories begins.
In Beggars and Choosers, my first adult novel, Brett and Cory start out as friends, and remain so for much of the story. Each of these young men believe that their friendship is imbalanced. Cory feel that he relies too heavily on Brett for the necessities of life, and Brett feels he relies too much on Cory for providing him a simple reason to live. The deep regard that these two men experience for one another provides a strong basis for their relationship, yet at the same time makes them incredibly nervous to jeopardize their friendship by officially moving it into the realm of romance. And with Brett and Cory, the intimacy, when they finally allow themselves to push through all of their reservations and experience it, is incredibly intense. They know each other exceedingly well, better than anyone in the world knows the other, in all ways except this one. The expectations are high for their first moments of sexual closeness, the need to please the other overwhelming—providing almost an almost religious experience when they come together.
Another of my novels, Not Broken, Just Bent, a YA gay romance novel, also starts with the long term friendship of Timmy and Ben. Having met at eight years old in a playground behind a trailer park, Ben took Timmy home for dinner and he just kept on coming home with him. Best friends for nearly the next ten years, they find themselves attracted to one another in their high school years. These two boys have never held back a thing from one another, and with their sexual attraction, at least, they do not hold back. However, as the intimacy progresses, and the public denial of that intimacy becomes the rule, their communication suffers. When this love story ends, as many romantic relationships do, Timmy and Ben suffer profoundly, as they have so long depended upon each other for stability and friendship.
A fascinating aspect of friendship between men and women is dealt with in my adult novel, A Package Deal. In fact, the longstanding and deep friendship of two of the three main characters, Tristan and Savannah, led many of my usual readers to incorrectly believe that this novel was not a M/M romance novel, but a M/F/M romance novel of three people. I will leave you to read A Package Deal to find out the details, but in regard to Robby, he receives the best package deal he could ever hope for in the form of these two best friends who come to him in love and friendship, and provide him with a family. The novel examines the strong bond of friendship; a bond that is as permanent and meaningful as that of love.
My YA novel Us Three is another novel in which friendship, this time of three teenage boys, is propelled into love. It is a hard book to read in some ways, as the plot revolves around the severe bullying of 16-year-old Casey. In Us Three, three boys of very different social status in their high school must join together to complete a French group project. As they work together, each sees life through the others’ eyes, and at first, a slow respect for people for whom they originally had no use, develops. From that respect comes understanding, and soon friendship evolves. The friendship then turns into love. The relationship these boys build actually provides them with the purpose and strength necessary to survive life’s ordeals.
Have I ever fallen in love with a friend? Since I met most men I dated when I was specifically looking for men to date, often in clubs and bars, I would say no. However, I have been married for 22 years to one man and the strongest bond, the one that allows us to keep going on the tough days and push through the challenges, is the friendship we have developed.
Friendship—in my novels is a springboard to love, and in my life, friendship and love are a package deal.
Rafflecopters there are three rafters….
One is for the Kindle
One is for Just Authors a Rafflecopter giveaway
One is for an assortment of other goodies from gift cards to ebooks…
Hop around to the others that are in this hop from August 29 to August 31:
Posted on August 24, 2014
To this point, I’ve used my blog, “Mia Kerick: Love is What I See”, to discuss my books, to host “sleepover parties” where I visit with other authors and discuss their books, and to let you know what I’ve been up to. And I will continue to do those important things with my blog, but I’ve been somehow called to explore a different kind of topic. A topic that is in no way new to me–in fact, I’ve been plagued by its existence since junior high school. Maybe you’ve been plagued by it, too.
It was in junior high that I noticed I wasn’t perfect. My skin wasn’t “peaches and cream” by a long shot, my hair was a bit straggly and winged up in the wrong places. BUT the BIG PROBLEM with ME was that I wasn’t a skinny and boyishly built as was cool in my neck of the woods. I was actually quite average in terms of height and weight.
Hamilton, where I grew up, was a preppy town, and in regard to that, simple classic clothes were the ideal–pastel-colored Izod polos, your brother’s worn Levi’s boot leg jeans, khaki-colored Chino’s, wrinkled white button-collar oxford cloth shirts. Thin was in. Narrow hips like a boy’s, flat chests, skinny thighs. And voluptuous curves were OUT. In fact, all curves were undesired. We, as preteen girls, lived in fear of the time we’d have to wear a bra. Nope, boobs were NOT COOL.
Popular culture further enhanced our craving to be thin. Naturally, Seventeen Magazine spotlighted absolutely NO FAT GIRLS and MTV featured waifs. The lifeguards at the local beach rated us. We held our breath, and ate nothing but lettuce and water, until we received our ratings.
The message “skinnier is better” assaulted at me on the home front too. A sincere belief that good mothering meant keeping one’s children thin was responsible for years and years, and I’ll say it one more time, YEARS, of discouraging me from eating until I was satisfied. I had no idea when I’d had enough. I also had no idea that my body was already perfect and beautiful, just as it was. I just dieted my way from the time I was ten, until the day before yesterday. Trying to solve my body problem was all I knew.
That’s right. The day before yesterday. I don’t know how it happened, and I hope my commitment to end my quest to diet my way to the “perfect” body remains strong. (It has only been 48 hours.) My mind blurs a bit when I try to remember where I got this miraculous inspiration. All I know is that when I left to drive my daughter to college on Tuesday, I was on yet another diet. On Wednesday morning, I ate fruit and a bit of cottage cheese for breakfast before I helped her move into her dormitory. But then, on the way to the parent/student meeting in the performing arts building, I took a bad fall–I fell flat on my face. I was hurting and mentally shaken. (Not only is my wrist sprained, but my breasts are bruised, if that tells you anything about the harshness of the fall.) And my resolve to eat salad for lunch and soup for dinner wavered. It slipped, and then it just plain old left my heart and my mind and maybe every part of me.
In the hotel that night I came across a board on Pinterest about plus size bodies being beautiful. And when I looked at the women-not skinny and angular, but full and lush-flaunting their beauty, their confidence, their BODIES, it hit me that I could BE ONE OF THOSE WOMEN if I allowed myself.
And so I am starting on a journey to the acceptance of my body. I invite you to come along with me. I don’t think it will be an easy trip, as the picture below suggests, because I am so very far from my goal. I am forty years’ of every kind of diet you can conceive of, endless critical examinations of my unclad body in various dressing room mirrors, and dreaming of when I’m finally skinny, away from my goal. But I really want to find the freedom that will come with the love of self.
“Really want?” I am a writer, and I know those words are too feeble for the passion I will bring to this endeavor.
I hunger for the conviction to accept myself as I am, as in, right now. Today. Just as I am in the pictures below.
Join me on my rocky path. Say hello. Tell me how you feel.
Mia ❤ ❤
LOVE IS WHAT I SEE…including love of MYSELF and MY BODY!!!
Posted on August 21, 2014
I heard that tonight’s guest, author Mari Evans, who wrote Trusting Love, just returned from an amazing trip to California. So, I ran right out to the furniture store and picked up a California King bed (you’ll see the way I decorated the guest bedroom in a second so SLOW DOWN, readers) to help make Mari feel like she’s back on vacation. Hehehe…
(Places tray on table in hallway.) Check out what I’m feeding her.
Yes, indeed…straight from California Pizza Kitchen. There’s California Veggie Pizza (Mari knows how important it is to eat her veggies), a sweet California Fields Salad and for dessert…well, for now we are going to skip the sweets and have some of these.
(picks up a drink and takes a sip)
I’ll give her a fair chance to hop under the covers and pull them up to her chin, if you catch my drift. (knocks and picks up the tray)
Oh, wonderful. Mari is inviting me in… Follow along behind me, please. (enters the bedroom and places tray on the corner table)
Oh, don’t you look cozy, my adorable little sis, Mari. With those covers all pulled up to your chin… Are you ready to eat, or would you rather talk about your book, Trusting Love?
Okay, here, sweetie, start with your salad, it’s a California Fields Salad FYI… I’ll show your cover pictures and tell our little audience about your book.
Mari’s first publication is called Trusting Love, published by Dreamspinner Press.
It is absolutely gorgeous, sis. Don’t you all agree?
And here’s the blurb. I’m going to read it out loud so listen up.
(sits in the chair against the wall and crosses her legs)
Laurie Stallon isn’t like other high schoolers. After suffering years of abuse at his father’s hands, he now lives in a foster care facility and finds solace volunteering at the local animal shelter. Laurie’s had to grow up fast, and even though his eighteeth birthday is still weeks away, he’s more adult than most adults he knows. When he meets Dr. Sam Davies, the new shelter veterinarian, the attraction is instant. They become friends at work, but Laurie knows Sam will never go for someone like him. No matter how Laurie tries to prove his maturity to Sam, Sam continues to reject him as too young.
Needing a distraction, Laurie goes out dancing for his birthday and finds his life in danger yet again. When Sam is called to the hospital, he realizes Laurie needs someone to care for him. Sam takes him home, and they slowly build a relationship. But more than their age difference works against them. Facing the disapproval of friends and the scars from Laurie’s past, they’ll need to put all their trust in love for a chance at a future together.
Well, that sounds like a MUST-READ, Mari!! (a murmur of agreement rises from the crowd)
Now that your stomach is full and the audience has been introduced to your book, Trusting Love, let’s chat for a while. May I sit on the end of your bed?
(stands up and crosses the room, then sits down gingerly on the edge of the bed)
Truthfully, I’d be much more comfortable if I just climbed right up there and leaned on the headboard right beside you. Move over, sis.
(climbs to the top of the bed and sits on the pillow next to Mari)
Mari, I will apologize in advance, but I have a tendency toward nosiness. So here are some overly personal questions from your nosy big sis.
(And guess what folks? This is my FIRST EVER INTERVIEW!)
Mia: I am in awe of you because you wrote a book in your SECOND language (or third, not sure.) How did you learn English well enough to write a book in it??
Mari: It’s my second language. Although I live really close to the German border, I hardly speak a word German.
We all get English in school here. I started at the age of ten or something, but it’s all very basic then. Nowadays there are schools that start teaching it in kindergarten already.
I don’t know why my english is pretty okay, it just always was. In high school I always had reasonable grades until I was a senior, then it became all A’s.
Then of course there is tv, music and movies that are all english, or subtitled. You learn a lot from that. But recently––past years–– I started reading only in English and that helped with my grammar and spelling a lot, although they still kind of suck compared some.
Mia:I know you said the editing process was challenging. Was it a challenge to do all of the specific edits because of the language or was it other things you found challenging. I said challenge a lot, didn’t I?
Mari: The challenge was first of all the amount of edits. The fact that my English isn’t perfect made it that I had to edit a lot of tense mistakes. Also the comma and semi-colon rule and stuff. But most of all, it was all the explanations for the grammar and stuff…they made my head swirl. But once I got the hang of it, everything went fine.
Mia: Now we’ll get a bit more, um personal…How did you meet your husband?
Mari: His friend was dating my friend, but we didn’t really hung out until one day at a typical Dutch holiday ‘carnaval’ he lost track of his buddies and just trailed along with me and my friend.
In the end he said; “You’re not that much of bitch as my friend always says.” (he was drunk) Then we started hanging out from time to time, and our friends did the whole, ‘are you dating yet’ routine, over and over again. Until one day the hubby said ‘yes’. It wasn’t true at the time so I protested. The he said very romantically, “Do you want to make it official?” Me: “Um, do you?” Him: “Sure.” Then h got on his bicycle and left my house. I was eighteen at the time and he was twenty one….
Mia: Tell us about your daughter. We want details.
Mari: She’s very social, talkative and active. She loves attention and will do anything to get it. Her urge to share is overwhelming, you don’t get to say no 😉
She just turned eight on the summer holiday, when we were in California. It was her first time traveling, and she did extremely well. She loves her mommy (no idea why). Oh yeah, he hobbies are; Ballet, dancing, crafts, talking, talking and watching tv.
Mia: How did you get the idea for your book?
Mari: A friends was trying to sell her horse when she met this boy. He had an knack for training and riding horses. She told me a little about him. Like that he lived in a foster care facility, still had a great relationship with his mom, was caring (he wanted to be a nurse). then she showed me a picture and he just clicked in my head…Laurie was born. Sam came along naturally after that.
Mia: Which three M/M books most inspired you to write? (a hard one, I know)
Mari: Pfff really hard. I love everything by Cardeno C, so her writing style inspired me a lot. I know that’s more than three books, but her books hold so much warmth, romance and emotion, I could only hope to ever write that way.
Seeing as you are all cudled up in bed, I’d like to find out about your sleeping habits…Do you have a recurring dream? Tell us all about it.
Mari: Recurring dream? No, not really. I used to when I was very young. I dreamed I would walk to school and would fall down or into the bushes. Then a handsome boy would help me up. Sometimes I would see some things first when I was lying in the bushes. It would be scary and the boy would comfort me.
Here’s a random question from my daughter, Demi: tell us about your ideal vacation.
Mari: It doesn’t really matter where––although an English speaking country could be nice––as long as it’s sunny and warm. I want relaxation but I don’t want to just be lazing around. So nice towns around, ocean, nature, or culture is a must. I just came home from California and it was amazing….
And a random question from my youngest daughter, Sisi: Where do (or did as a girl) you hide your diary?
Mari: Don’t have one, never did.
Mia: What are your future goals as a writer. Lay it on us. In other words, WHAT’s NEXT FOR MY LITTLE SIS?
Mari: I’m writing a series with Violet Joicey-Cowen. It’s about a little town in England, and it centers around a thrift shop. It will have stories in every genre, my first two will be a paranormal and a YA.
I’m also working on a fantasy kind of story. It’s not paranormal or anything, but a mix of historic and fantasy.
I’ve also been asked by Andi Van to co-write a story.
Well, Mari. That was an incredibly enlightening interview.
(Climbs off bed and moves to center of the room, faces the audience)
How about a little teaser? I’ll read our friends a little sample, how does that sound Mari? And meanwhile, I hope you are in the mood for pizza. (removes salad plate and replaces with pizza) Oh, silly girl—yes, of course I expect you to eat it all. It’s all for you!! And don’t forget to use your napkin, dear. You have a piece of a strawberry stuck to your lower lip. Just saying.
“OH FUCK, not again.” Laurie Stallon muttered while reaching down to pick up a clean towel from the stack on the floor. “It’s just the door closing, Billy. Nothing to be afraid of, and especially nothing to pee all over your entire cage about… again.”
Laurie opened the door of the little cage and lifted up the small, scared dog that was shivering and cowering in a corner. After setting the dog on the floor with a soft “stay,” he removed the old newspapers from the bottom of the cage and wiped it down with the towel. Usually Laurie would put a dog on a leash that was hooked onto the wall, but Billy was such a good dog, he would stay if he were told. Obviously Billy had been trained. The fact that he was so scared, indicated he might not have been trained with a soft hand.
Billy was a small dog with a lot of curly hair in multiple colors. There were at least three different breeds in there. One must be poodle, because he had poodle-like hair. If you looked at the eyes, there was probably shih tzu in there somewhere. The rest was indecipherable.
Laurie disposed of the wet newspapers in the corner garbage bin and fetched a bucket of antiseptic cleaning solution. The rags he used to clean all the cages were ratty but did the job just fine. Laurie finished Billy’s temporary home using an extra thick layer of newspapers to cover the bottom, just in case. Billy was one of the almost thirty dogs and fifty cats that lived at the shelter and needed new homes.
Laurie was a volunteer at the shelter––along with many others–– yet still they were always shorthanded. There was so much to be done every day and only a handful of paid employees—and even those were a strain on the tight budget.
After putting Billy back in his cage, Laurie cleaned out the other cages in the room. The shelter was housed in an old building. The building was big but dilapidated, and it was hard to keep up with all the repairs. There weren’t many volunteers who wanted to spend their entire day fixing up the building—when as soon as they turned their back, something else would immediately break down.
After he cleaned all the cages, got the garbage bag out of the bin, and put it in the dumpster next to the back entrance, Laurie straightened his back to get the kinks out. With a deep sigh, he went back inside. He wanted to get the other dog room cleaned out this morning too.
A new vet was coming in today. The old one had retired the week before, and his replacement had graciously agreed to continue the shelter work. Laurie hoped the new guy was just as nice and cared as much for the animals as the previous vet. He was going to miss the old doc.
The one other volunteer here today was in charge of the cat rooms. Maybe if he finished early, he could help her so they would be done when the new vet arrived. Laurie wanted the shelter to make a good first impression, or at least the best one possible under the circumstances.
Laurie tended to talk quietly or make soothing sounds at the animals when he was working. There were quite a few abused or neglected animals that were easily scared. Today was no different, and when he bent down to pet one of the more nervous dogs through the bars of her cage, he made all sorts of shushing sounds. “Shhhh, sweetie, nothing’s going on, just cleaning, see? Hmmmm, you’re a beautiful girl, aren’t you? Yes you are….”
When Laurie heard someone clearing his throat behind him, he almost jumped through the ceiling, squealing like a little girl. Well, that was nice and manly.
“Oh my God, you scared the crap out of me! Nobody is supposed to be back here. How did you get in?” Laurie snapped. When he turned around, he went completely still.
In the doorway stood a man who took his breath away. His blond hair was long enough in the front to fall onto his forehead, though not long enough to reach his eyes, and it was shorter at the sides. It looked tousled by the wind, or maybe by his hand. His eyes were a beautiful blue, with some darker specks. His nose was straight and thin, his jaw strong and masculine. When Laurie’s eyes landed on his lips, he started getting a warm feeling, beginning in his belly and spreading to his fingers. Those lips looked firm, yet soft, not too thin and not too thick. Realizing he’d been staring for at least ten full seconds, Laurie snapped out of his weird fuzz. That beautiful mouth tilted into a small, amused smile, and he knew he was busted.
“I’m sorry, but you didn’t hear me knock. I just wanted to come in to introduce myself and ask for directions. I’m Sam Davies, the new veterinarian.”
Even though Dr. Davies said he was sorry, the guy didn’t look very sorry at all.
Laurie was mortified. Not only had the man caught him staring, he’d also snapped at the new doc. Way to make a good first impression.
“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here. I thought you wouldn’t arrive until later. I didn’t hear anyone come in, and you scared me. I never meant to snap like that. I’m so sorry, really I am.” Oh God, please let me stop with this rambling.
Laurie didn’t dare look into Doc Davies’s face, until he heard a soft chuckle. Sam Davies was watching him with obvious mirth, his eyes twinkling and his lips spread in a wide grin. “That’s okay,” Sam said. “I’m not offended that easily.”
Laurie blushed a deep red and shuffled his feet. Why did this have to happen to him and not to Steffi, who was just two doors away in the cat room? He had totally embarrassed himself with the new vet. And why did the guy have to be so gorgeous? Not only did he have a beautiful face, he also had a body to drool over—long and muscular, but not too buff. He had more of a lean but strong build. Long, strong legs were clad in fitted jeans. His shoulders pulled the shirt tight at the top, but it was looser at the bottom due to his small waist. The man must be at least six foot three.
Laurie’s own body wasn’t anything like that. He was barely five foot six and had no visible muscles. He’d always thought of himself as scrawny, though his friends said he was slender. His hair was dark, almost black, and he had a fine bone structure and delicate features. People told him he had a “pretty” face, but pretty was for girls, not men. He had bright green eyes, which he considered kind of cool with his dark hair—maybe the only really cool thing about him.
His eyelashes were thick and long, enhancing the pretty appearance, and his lips were too full and too pink, and his nose too pointy. Laurie always hated it when girls commented on any of those things, saying how they wished they had those lashes or lips. He wished he could look like Doc Davies over there—manly and strong.
Laurie flicked his bangs out of his eyes before speaking, “Um, hi. I’m Laurie Stallon and I’m one of the volunteers here. I was just finishing up. Would you like some coffee or tea? Or water… we don’t have anything else.” Laurie fell silent after that, at a loss for anything else to say. He nervously chewed his lower lip, which had a little ring in it. He had developed the habit of playing with it, or with his tongue piercing, when he felt shy or uncomfortable.
Thank God Sam wasn’t shy. He simply stepped into the room and started looking into the cages, checking the dogs. When he had checked the last one and scratched the dog’s ear through the bars, he turned back to Laurie.
“Most of them look quite well. They don’t appear to be in bad health, but of course I would have to do a full physical examination to be sure. Do you have any charts on them? Did Doctor Benson examine all these dogs already?” He was instantly all business, and Laurie had to switch gears fast to keep up.
“He did most of them, except for those two over there.” Laurie pointed at two cages at the front of the room, near the door. “They came in yesterday and have only been fed and gotten some sleep. They aren’t malnourished, and they’re pretty friendly. This older lady found them tied up to a tree right outside her driveway. She brought them here in the hope we could locate the owners. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that would probably never happen.”
After blurting all that out in one go, Laurie had to take a big gulp of air. When he glanced at the new vet, he saw that the man had gotten a hard look in his eyes. Oh, shit. I think I pissed him off. But then Doc Davies walked over and opened the door of one of the cages. He reached inside and picked up the dog that looked a bit like a basset hound. Laurie had to use both hands to lift him and had still struggled to get him back into the cage, but Dr. Davies lifted him easily. It made Laurie feel like a bit of a wuss, but he also almost drooled at Sam’s strength.
Sam looked into the dog’s eyes and lifted her lip to look at her gums. Laurie watched as the vet gently stroked her back and murmured in her long ears. The dog softly wagged her tail, her droopy eyes full of trust. Laurie wished Sam would pet him too. He bet it would make him wag his tail as well. He felt a tiny stab of envy in his gut for the dog, but he quickly pushed it down.
“How often do you work here?” Sam asked, never taking his eyes off the dog.
“I come in about three or four times a week. On Saturday I’m here for almost the entire day, but on Mondays and Thursdays I can only come in after school, usually around four. When they need extra help, they call me sometimes during the rest of the week.” Laurie shifted from foot to foot, nervously. He didn’t know what the doc was getting at with this question, and it was making him feel defensive.
“May I ask how old you are?” Sam was looking at him now, still stroking the dog in his arms. When Laurie didn’t answer immediately, Sam turned and lifted the dog back into her cage. When the dog whined, a sad little sound, Sam petted her head and told her, “It’s okay, girl. We’ll check you out later and then find you a good new home.” After that, he closed the cage and turned back to Laurie, raising one eyebrow as if to say “Going to answer me?” Laurie reluctantly said, “I’m seventeen, but I’ll be eighteen in three months.” He didn’t want to look into the doc’s face any longer, so he dropped his gaze and stared at his shoes.
He was never shy like this anymore—never timid or at a loss for words—but this man, this new vet, had him tongue-tied and flustered. Laurie’s usual bubbly and energetic personality was suddenly completely gone.
“Isn’t that a bit young to work here that often?” Sam sounded surprised more than disapproving. “I know you must be a senior in high school, and you need to study for your finals soon, right?” This time there was a note of concern in his voice. Laurie blinked, not knowing how to interpret that concern. “Huh…? I guess. I mean, yes of course I have to study, but not all the time. I use Sundays to study almost the entire day, and the rest of the week I do my homework at school during breaks and in the evenings at home.” He blushed again at how defensive he sounded.
Before he could say anything else, Steffi barged into the room. “Laurie, have you seen the keys to the file cabinet? I can’t find them and I need an adoption form for—Oh, hello.” Steffi stopped abruptly in her tracks when she spotted Sam. She gave Laurie a quizzical look over her shoulder. “I didn’t know you had company. Who have we here?”
Steffi held out her hand to Sam, and Laurie could imagine her gray eyes sparkling mischievously, the way they always did when she was interested in other people’s lives. The wavy brown ponytail pulled high on her head bobbed up and down as her head moved. It only added to her playful appearance.
Sam shook her hand and gave her a smile of his own. “I’m Sam Davies, the new veterinarian. How nice to meet you…?”
Steffi gasped in shock. “Oh God, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it. We usually don’t let people back here at this time of day, so I thought you were visiting Laurie. If I’d known you were the new doc, I would have never been so forward.” She looked over her shoulder again and said in an exasperated tone, “You could have warned me the new doc was here, you know.”
At this, Sam burst out laughing. “Relax guys, I’m a little early because I wanted to check out the shelter and the treatment room. Laurie here was just as surprised as you when I walked in. He hasn’t had time to warn you because I’ve only been here a couple of minutes.” He chuckled some more. “If all the volunteers are this funny, I’m going to love working here.” At this he finally dropped Steffi’s hand. Somehow Laurie found it very annoying that they’d held hands that long, but he couldn’t quite figure out why. He shoved the feeling to the back of his mind and got back into the conversation.
“Well, now that we’re all acquainted, why doesn’t Steffi show you around so I can finish up here?” He tried to bustle them out of the room without being too obvious. He really needed some space to find his bearings again. It irked Laurie a little when he saw how easily Sam went with Steffi, and how easily Steffi flirted with him. Why couldn’t he be that relaxed when he met strangers? Oh, he handled himself pretty well when he was around people he knew, even if they were assholes and bullies. The jocks in school always had it in for him, trying to provoke him, and even beating him up once or twice. He didn’t let that get to him… not anymore. He just outwitted them––or when there were too many, kept his head down and walked away as fast as possible without looking like he was running from them.
Laurie didn’t have a lot of friends, especially at school, but he had a few real and loyal girlfriends. They hung out after school or went dancing on the weekends. On those occasions he didn’t have any trouble talking to strangers, but that was because he was prepared. He loved to dance and was surprisingly good at it. On the dance floor he became one with the music, his body moving sensually along with the beat. There was never a lack of attention when he was at a club—boys and girls alike were drawn to him, and he loved to flirt back—but he always went home with his friends.
Laurie had never specifically told his friends he was gay, but somehow they just knew from the start. They took him to the mall and asked for his opinion about clothes or makeup. They completely accepted him for who he was. Laurie never had boys for friends; even in kindergarten, he only had girlfriends. Boys seemed to know he was different—maybe too girly, or perhaps just too shy—and they didn’t have the patience to try to get him out of his shell.
Today was no different. Sam had probably already sensed he wasn’t like him and moved away because of it. Laurie sighed. Just as well. He’s too handsome and smart for me anyway. He’s probably not even gay. I wonder how old he is. He looks kind of young to be a vet already, but hey, what do I know? Shaking himself out of his reverie, he went back to the last of the dog cages he needed to clean.
When he had thoroughly scrubbed the entire room and petted all the dogs just one more time, Laurie went looking for Steffi and Sam. He found them in the staff room, drinking the god-awful coffee they brewed at the shelter. Laurie got himself a glass of water from the tap and sat down next to Steffi, as far away from Sam as he could without being too obvious or rude. Setting his glass on the table, he leaned his elbows on the wooden surface and put his chin on his hands. He quietly listened to their conversation. Steffi was talking about some of the animals that were up for adoption, telling him cute stories about them and a few of their characteristics. Sam asked questions about the treatment some of the animals had received and what the old doc used to do. Of course there was the usual neutering and vaccination, but some of the animals that came in were in bad shape. The really big operations were always weighed against the benefits to the life and happiness of the animal, but also against the chance of adoption and the costs. It was harsh, but sometimes it was more humane to put an animal out of its misery. Laurie always hated when that happened––he would be upset for hours, sometimes days after.
Laurie’s mind had started to drift into his own little world when he heard Steffi call his name.
“Huh? What?” he asked, looking at her but still feeling lost in thought. Steffi giggled, honest-to-God giggled, at his expression. “Were you daydreaming again?”
Laurie was piqued with her for making him sound like an airhead, but he let it slide. “No. Just tired I guess. I think I’ll go home early today, if that’s all right with you?” He knew Steffi would be on her own if he went home, but most of the work was done, so she’d only be handling possible adoptions. He really was tired, and if he wanted to go dancing tonight, he could use a little nap. Steffi waved him off. “Go, I can manage here. Besides, Doc Davies is still here. I’ll see you Monday, next week.”
Sam stood up from his place at the table, holding out his hand to Laurie. “It was nice meeting you, Laurie. I’m looking forward to working with you in the future.” Sam grinned at him as if to dare him to say something about his formal phrasing and Laurie found some of his usual spirit rising up to the surface.
He grinned a cheeky grin and said, “Why thank you kindly, sir.” Then he made a perfect bow. Throwing his head back, Sam burst out laughing, the sound a deep, full rumble that Laurie felt deep down in his belly, and that made a shiver run down his spine. I have to get out of here, now. He quickly grabbed his jacket and the keys for his bike lock, waved at Steffi, and almost ran out the door.
An intriguing chapter one…
Before dessert, we need to take care of some business.
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-trustinglove-1592774-149.html
Dreamspinner eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5301
Now IT’s TIME FOR DESSERT!!
And maybe we’ll indulge in some of those fancy beverages with this cupcake!!
Posted on August 17, 2014
Hi everybody. I haven’t written a blog post about what’s up for WAY TOO LONG. So, in the event you are interested, nosy, or even mildly curious, I’m going to fill you in.
KIDS. I need to repeat that. KIDS. KIDS. KIDS. KIDS.
I have been busy with my kids this summer.
My oldest spent much of the summer at a Georgetown University Spanish program in Ecuador.
I moved my second daughter home from her dormitory in Manhattan and will move her to SUNY Purchase where she will attend the Conservatory of Dance THIS WEEK!! (still busy) I also watched her dance in NYC, at Jacob’s Pillow and even got to see her teach a few classes.
Daughter number three was sweet, as always, helped me all summer by doing the grocery shopping and carting her brother around so I could edit books! Plus she took a PSAT course.
ANd child number four, my son, PLAYED TONS OF BASKETBALL- his single obsession!!
When I was not spending time with my children, I spent a bit of time with MR. MIA. Mainly, at CONCERTS!!
Zac Brown, and Phil Phillips, and James Taylor and more…
I managed to find more trouble in NYC. I went to my FIRST EVER writer’s conference called WRITERS DIGEST!!
I had a fancy hotel room all to myself.
What else kept me busy this summer? CHATTING WITH MY CLOSE FRIEND, MICHAEL BOWLER. He is an author of the highest caliber whose books kept me happily busy from January until June!!
Here I am with his newest release, There is No Fear!! (DO NOT MISS his CHILDREN of the KNIGHT SERIES)
I met my sister’s new puppy, Gent. He’s a Great Dane, and from what I hear he has doubled in size!
What did I leave out?? BOOKS. Yes, I left out all the work I am doing on BOOKS… BOOKS!!!!
***I finished editing Random Acts, which will be released in October. Wait till you guys see the cover!!!
***I submitted One Voice, the sequel to Us Three and it was accepted by Dreamspinner Press!! Woohoo!
***I finished writing His Way, a YA LGBT Christian Contemporary Fiction novel. And then I REWROTE IT!!!
Thanks to my AMAZING BETA READERS- KARI, KEVIN, STACIA, DALLAS, and CRYSTAL!! AND THE AWESOME MICHAEL BOWLER TOO!! ❤
You guys ROCK!!
***I started something new!! Here’s a clue in the picture below!! (rhymes)
No you aren’t crazy…if you looked yesterday…this blog post was much longer- but I decided that less is more…
Posted on August 3, 2014
First and foremost, we would like to thank each and everyone who took part in this giveaway… Mia and I really enjoy seeing where you took her and read her books at …
“It was blast touring the USA with my awesome readers. I got my feet wet in California, hung out poolside in Arizona, went on a road trip to Kansas, played paintball in PA, watched some A’s baseball (you guys have Jon Lester now!!!), had some cuddle time with your adorable pets who drooled on me (ew… but I did enjoy it), visited a library or two, did some rafting, hung out on a few computers, rode on a ferry, ate at Subway, made prank calls from a pay phone, hung at Buttonwillow Rest Area, went to an old-fashioned 4th of July parade, got close to Avenal State Prison, and even ate in some great kitchens and MORE.Thank you, everyone, for taking me along.”
“MY readers are AWESOME!”
Beckey created a short approximately one minute long video, showing a few of the pictures that were shared in the group:
And Now to announce the winners…
Drum Roll, please…
Betsy D won the Grand Prize and a tee (I will let my adorable daughters pick which one…)
(Mia shouts, “WOOHOOO!!”)
Sarina Won a Tee (Mia says, “Uh!! Huh!!!”)
Sabrina won a Kerick Teddy Bear (Mia yells, “Way to go!!!”)
Nikki R has the choice of either receiving another swag bag of goodies like the Rafflecopter stated or One of Mia’s paperback or ebooks. (Mia chimes in, “That’s right!”)
Beckey will be emailing everyone in a few. (Mia adds, “You go girl!!”)
Again Thank you everyone, we are really appreciative for all you do for Mia and her books.