Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway for Fantasy Novel ~ Shawndirea (Chronicles of Aetheaon, Book I) by Leonard D. Hilley II


Often the smallest unexpected surprises garner the most demanding dilemmas, which proves to be the ordeal that entomologist Ben Whytten faces. While netting butterflies to add to his vast collection, he mistakenly sweeps what he thinks is the most spectacular butterfly he has ever seen into his net. Upon examining his catch, Ben is horrified to discover he has captured a faery and shredded her delicate wings into useless ribbons.

Devastated, Ben vows to take Shawndirea back to her realm, Aetheaon; but he discovers that doing so places their lives into immediate danger. To get to Aetheaon, they must pass through a portal rift deep inside the haunted cavern, Devils Den. 

Once they cross the rift, Ben enters a world where mysteries, magic, betrayal, and power struggles await. He must adapt quickly or die because Aetheaon is filled with enchanted creatures and numerous races where chaos often dominates order. And since Shawndirea’s destined for the throne of Elvendale, opposing dark forces plot to prevent her from ever reaching her kingdom again. The faery's magic isn't enough to fully protect them, so he must trust other adventurers to aid them during their journey.


About the Book:

Shawndirea

Chronicles of Aetheaon, Book I

Leonard D. Hilley II

Genre: Fantasy (Epic, Adventure, Sword/Sorcerer)

Publisher: DeimosWeb Publishing
Date of Publication: June 27, 2014

ISBN: 9781310304965

Number of pages: 536 printed pages
Word Count: 148,000

Excerpt:

Chapter One

The early autumn sun blazed over the freshly cut hayfield in Cider Knoll, Kentucky. Ben Whytten rested his butterfly net against the rusted barbed wire fence and then wiped sweat from his brow with the back of his hand. Sweat soaked his shirt and blue jeans. Although fall had officially begun, the outside temperature didn’t indicate it. Sporting near ninety degrees, summer refused to let go of the climate and turned what should have been a pleasant Saturday afternoon into an intimidating taunt, daring anyone with partial sanity to remain outdoors in the sweltering heat.

After he unscrewed the canteen cap, he tilted it back and took a long drink of cold water. Beads of water dripped down his short brown beard. He sighed and twisted the cap tightly. His piercing brown eyes studied the sky. Not a cloud in sight. No breeze to help combat the hellish sticky heat.

Ben combed his sweat-matted brown hair from his eyes with his fingers. He picked up the butterfly net and looked across the straw-colored field at the small grove of pastel leafed maples that lined a winding stream. The shade was inviting, and he guessed a good ten degrees cooler than the open field. He took a deep breath and trudged across brittle grass stems that crunched beneath his hiking boots.

Collecting butterflies during autumn was better than spring or summer because the diversity of species increased. The fall forms of butterflies were generally brighter, larger, and fed in greater clusters on the ironweed, milkweed, and clover. Brilliantly colored swallowtails puddled along the creek beds. Plump moth larvae were also easier to find as they searched for places to spin cocoons or burrow beneath the soil to pupate before the colder temperatures set in.

“If colder weather ever settles in,” Ben thought, “Hell will have truly frozen over.”

Long narrow grasshoppers jumped and took to flight as Ben crossed the field. Their wings buzzed as the alarmed insects glided and drifted downward, landed, and propelled themselves into the air again.

Reaching the shade beneath the maple branches, Ben leaned against a thick tree trunk and closed his eyes. The shallow stream trickled softly. Cicadas hummed. In the distance a woodpecker rapped the bark of a massive dead pine. Weather had stripped away sections of the rough pine bark, revealing the smooth yellow wood underneath. The soothing sounds of nature relaxed him, and he was thankful to be outside, alone.

Dr. Isaac Deiko had planned to collect insects with Ben this particular Saturday, but at the last minute, he called and said that he couldn’t go. Deiko had to help set up tables for a gun show in a neighboring town.

The news didn’t disappoint Ben. He’d rather collect butterflies and other insects alone. The outdoors was a place where he gathered his thoughts and meditated about life. The forests, bluffs, and meadows were the best places where he felt at peace. Leaving the fast-paced, bustling technological-craving addicts for a calmer, slow-paced life without all their distractions was worth more than millions of dollars to Ben. He’d give up all the instant gadgets for the tranquility that his grandfather and great-grandfather experienced while working on their farms.

Ben kept a serious outlook on life while Dr. Deiko spent more time playing practical jokes on their colleagues and students, which often irritated and infuriated Ben. He knew if Deiko came on this field trip, the collecting possibilities would be little or none simply because Deiko was clumsy-footed and boisterous.

Ben had never extended an invitation for Deiko to join him in the first place. In fact, Deiko had invited himself when he found out about Ben’s collecting plans for the weekend. Although Deiko was a biologist like Ben, Deiko was more concerned with uncovering a discovery to make him famous, whereas Ben loved science and didn’t care if anyone other than his students knew he existed. Of course when final exams rolled around, most of his students would rather he didn’t exist. Other than giving his students field trips from Hell, his tests were considered harsher than rigorous ten mile hikes through steep mountainous terrain.

Ben looked back across the field and chuckled. He had traipsed hundreds of acres through forests, caves, and fields when he was still in middle school. He had done so voluntarily, without a word of complaint, and yet, today’s college students voiced disdain over the least thing. The challenge wasn’t getting them to learn; it was getting them to do anything that didn’t require the pacifying need for their technology.

His inner frustration brought more heat to his face. He was seconds from rehashing how he wished computers and cellphones weren’t so controlling until the soft bubbling creek caught his attention. The gentle soft sound of water allowed his mind to leave the tensions of the classroom and return to the natural calm surrounding him. He expelled a long sigh and refocused himself.

Tall narrow blades of grass covered the sandy banks of the shallow stream. Small drab satyr butterflies fluttered lazily from grass blade to grass blade. Ben shook his head. After two hours of walking the fields and woods, he had hoped to capture a few new specimens to add to his collection. But with each species he encountered, he already had at least a half-dozen of those pinned inside glass-top boxes at home. In many ways, he believed he’d have done himself a greater service by staying home.

But regardless of what he deemed bad luck, his life was about to change.

Forever.

He removed his backpack and set it down. Slowly he lowered himself and sat back against the tree trunk to rest. He set down the canteen and placed the net handle across his lap and watched the gentle stream flow. A few minnows darted back and forth beneath the water as water striders skimmed like polished skaters across the water’s surface.

Ben was drenched in sweat and drained from the heat. A cool breeze stirred along the stream, which seemed an invitation to relax a while longer. His eyes ached to close for a nap. He fought the urge to doze even though the place was so comforting and peaceful. But, if nothing interesting presented itself soon, he was going home. He dreaded walking across the dry pasture to his SUV.

Ben took his hunting knife from the sheath attached to his belt and then picked up a dried oak branch. He whittled and shaved away bark.

Perhaps it was the extreme heat that kept the most brilliant butterflies in hiding, but he still didn’t see any within the grove or along the sandy banks. Later in the evening he might have better luck, but he refused to stick around that long. He slid the knife back into its sheath and rubbed his tired eyes.

Sunlight filtered through the leafy canopy. Several birds flew low across the stream and through the trees. Seconds later two yellow butterflies glided to the edge of the far bank and landed. A larger butterfly caught his attention. At first glance he thought it was a giant swallowtail, but instead, it turned out to be an oversized tiger swallowtail.

Ben’s fingers tightened around the net handle. He pushed himself to his feet. He stepped lightly and headed toward the stream to get a better look at the butterflies. Near the bank, a blur of metallic bluish-green streaked past him.

“Damn!” he said, watching the zipping wings catch the breeze and glide.

With incredible speed, it darted up, down, left to right, and along the stream’s edge. Perhaps the sweltering heat or near dehydration was playing tricks on him, but he was almost certain glittery dust trailed behind it.

Ben hurried after the butterfly, a prize unlike any other in his collection.

Few butterflies in this part of Kentucky had such metallic colorings. One he thought of immediately was the White M Hairstreak, but this one was too large and flew much swifter. Another butterfly with similar colors was the long-tailed skipper, but the sheen sparkling off the butterfly following the stream was too bright. Its flight was also more erratic. The skipper stayed near gardens, and he doubted any strayed this far into the woods since the larvae food plant was the leaf of various beanstalks.

Ben realized he had just discovered something new. Excitement shot through him.

He hurried along the stream and jumped over a fallen tree. His sudden pursuit had not gone unnoticed. The iridescent creature darted downward and swept through the tiny branches of a shrub. But Ben moved faster.

As the beautifully winged specimen shot through the other side of the bush, Ben arced the net sharply and captured his prize. The end of the net pulled and stretched while his captive struggled to fight free.

Quickly, Ben clamped his fingers near the end of the net, but by the time he did, the struggling ceased.

He opened the net and looked inside. His eyes widened.

“What the hell?” he asked.

At the bottom of the net lay a gorgeous creature, but not what he had expected to capture. Her wings were tattered, frayed. Unconscious, he hoped, but he feared she might be dying or already dead. Broken scales and wing fragments covered her nearly nude body.

His excitement of the chase suddenly turned to regret and dread.

A faery?

Ben dropped to his knees and gently set down the net.

“God,” he whispered. “I hope I didn’t kill you.”

He carefully placed his left hand beside her unmoving form. He nudged her into the palm of his hand with the tip of his finger. She breathed, but her eyes remained closed. Her radiant face was more beautiful than any woman he had ever met.

A door slammed and echoed near the pasture gate where he had parked his SUV.

Ben looked over his shoulder but couldn’t see who had driven up.

“Ben!” Deiko shouted. “Where are you?”

“Dammit,” Ben grumbled under his breath, looking back over his shoulder. “What the hell are you doing here?”

He hurried to the tree where his pack lay. He curled his left hand gently around the faery’s limp body while reaching into the pack.

“Ben!”

Ben took a wide-mouthed dark plastic bottle, set it between his knees and unscrewed the hole-punched lid. Glancing back over his shoulder he saw Deiko’s lanky figure jogging toward the grove. Deiko smiled and waved when their eyes met. His jog turned into a sprint as he headed toward Ben.

Ben placed the faery into the jar, turned the lid, and wrapped the jar inside a white cloth before setting it back into his pack. No sooner had he placed it there and zipped the pack shut, Deiko’s thundering footsteps stopped beside him.

“Catch something nice?” Deiko asked.

“No,” Ben replied, looking up but not making eye contact with Deiko. “Not much activity out here today. I blame the heat.”

Deiko smiled broadly. “You caught something. Something special.”

Ben shook his head, picked up his pack, and stood. “Look around, Isaac. What do you see?”

Deiko glanced around but then his eyes focused on Ben’s backpack again. “I agree. Not much flying around. But you got something.”

“What makes you think that?”

“Your eyes. It’s the same with poker players who have a great hand and haven’t conditioned themselves to suppress their excitement or like kids that find money on the ground after someone drops it. Hell, I noticed people at the gun show who bought guns from people far cheaper than the owners knew the guns were worth.”

Ben’s eyes narrowed, and he chose to change the subject. He said, “How was the gun show? I thought you’d be there all day.”

Deiko shrugged. “That had been the plan. Not much going on there, either. Got a couple good deals though. Like this Ruger.”

He pulled a handgun from the back of his belt.

“Nice,” Ben replied. Carefully he slipped his pack over his shoulder and headed toward the hay field.

“Well?” Deiko said. He tucked the gun behind his belt and stepped in front of Ben. “Aren’t you going to show me?”

Sweat dripped from his Deiko’s black hair and beaded on his brow. Ben studied the determination set in his colleague’s dark eyes and his firm muscular jaw. Within seconds, Deiko’s boyish face had hardened into that of a fierce murderous villain. Physically, he had no weight to put behind his facial threat. He was tall and quite bony with slender arms. And although Deiko was probably fifteen years younger, Ben had no doubt if he was forced to fight that Deiko would be the one sitting on the ground looking up and rubbing his jaw. But, then, there was the gun issue. Isaac was armed and all Ben had was his knife. Even those odds didn’t stand in Isaac’s favor.

“Show you what?” Ben asked.

“Your prize. It must be something nice since you still refuse to show me.”

“How many times have I told you that I haven’t found anything?”

“You and I should play poker sometime,” Deiko said. “I’d make a fortune.”

“Being as I don’t play cards, you’re probably correct with that assumption.”

“Oh, come on, Ben,” Deiko said. Hostility loomed in his voice and darkness narrowed his eyes. “Why are you afraid to show me what you found?”

Ben studied him for a moment. Never had he seen Isaac behave like a demented spoiled brat. He had his moments, but Dr. Deiko generally didn’t keep a quiet and intimidating tone. But out here, away from others, Ben suddenly saw the violence that hid deep within the botanist, and it was creeping to the surface. Knowing that Deiko lusted for fame, for a discovery beyond what man had seen or could fathom, Ben knew he could never show the faery to Deiko. The second he did, something horrible would happen. To Ben and the lovely faery.

Deiko had not only shown the gun as his grand prize from the gun show, he had established his subtle threat by revealing he had brought it into the field. Hunting season was still a few weeks away, and no one needed a gun to collect butterflies. He had shown the gun for a reason—either as a bullying tactic or simply to exhibit dominance.

“I think the heat is getting to you, Isaac,” Ben said, shaking his head and stepping around his colleague.

“Put down the pack,” Isaac said.

“What?”

Ben froze when Isaac inserted the magazine into the gun and snapped the gun’s chamber back and forth.

“Put down your pack. I want to see what you’re hiding inside.”

Ben turned. He looked in Isaac’s eyes, then to the gun.

Isaac shook his head. “Uh-uh. Just set it down.”

Ben frowned and slowly lowered his pack to the ground. He held his hands before him in surrender. “You’re making a big mistake.”

“So you did find something.”

“And if I did? You going to kill me for it?” Ben asked.

Isaac chuckled. “Depends on how good a find it is.”

“Seriously?”

Amazon Purchase Link:

About the Author:


Leonard D. Hilley II currently lives in the mountains of Kentucky with his wife, Christal. He is a biologist that has also earned his MFA in creative writing. Having a passion for books at an early age, he knew he wanted to author his own creative works. He wrote his first novel at the age of eleven and has never lost his love for books.

Blog: http://deimosweb-hilley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @Deimosweb

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1194774.Leonard_D_Hilley_II

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/leonard-d-hilley-ii/32/bb2/760

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leonard-D-Hilley-IIauthor-page/157289854329916

GIVEAWAY:
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Blog Tour~ Excerpt & Giveaway: Becoming Lady Lockwood (A Regency Romance) by Jennifer Moore

 


 About Becoming Lady Lockwood:

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

Excerpt:

He finally stopped and pulled his chair closer to her, raising her chin. “Amelia. I cannot begin to thank you for what you did. It was brave and brilliant, and it terrifies me to think that you put your life at risk for—”

“For my shipmates, Captain.” She kept her eyes lowered.

“I would never have forgiven myself if anything had happened to you.” He wiped the tears from her cheeks with his thumb.

“I would never have forgiven myself if I had not tried. These men, this ship, it has become . . . I care for them, William, for all of you.”

He raised her chin even higher, so that she was forced to lift her gaze his face. He stared at her for a moment. Then his eyes dropped to her lips, and Amelia’s pulse began to race. Would he kiss her again? They sat, frozen for a heartbeat, and then William stood, stealing with him all of the warmth in the room.
Praise for Becoming Lady Lockwood:

"Moore does a lovely job of showcasing sizzle in this must-read for fans of regency and historical romance." ~ Foreword Reviews

Purchase Links:

Amazon ~ Becoming Lady Lockwood

 Barnes & Noble   
Deseret Book
About the Author:

 
Jennifer Moore is a Passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at authorjmoore.com. The author's first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.

Find the Author Online:

Website * Twitter * Facebook

GIVEAWAY DETAILS & RAFFLECOPTER FORM:

 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/7/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover & Book Trailer Reveal: Young Adult paranormal thriller - Death Knocks by Miranda Hardy & Jay Noel

Who knew a knock at the door could rupture your entire world? They don’t demand money or possessions…they want much more than that, they want your life.

Maverick is preparing for senior year: he’s no longer stuck in the “friend-zone” with the girl of his dreams, he’s looking forward to choosing the right college and being on his own, and he plans to have a blast along the way.

But a knock on the door changes all of that forever.

Maverick begins a mind-altering, life-changing journey to discover the truth—a truth that certain individuals will do anything to keep hidden.

Death Knocks is a Young Adult paranormal thriller about the strange global phenomenon known as the Black-Eyed Kids. Take a creepy and exciting ride in a world where myth meets reality.

Death Knocks is scheduled for publication on September 26, 2014 by Quixotic Publishing.


Book Trailer:


Online Links to Publisher & Authors:



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Lovely, Dark, and Deep" ~ First Book in New Romantic Thriller Series - The Collectors by Susannah Sandlin

From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House.


About the Book:

When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives.

To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templars, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago.

Book Details:

Lovely, Dark, and Deep
The Collectors, Book 1
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Romantic Thriller

Heat level: moderate; language; violence

Publisher: Montlake Romance
ASIN: B00H27TJ6U

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 95,000



Book Excerpt:

He wasn’t sure what woke him, but the first thing Shane Burke saw when he cracked open his eyelids was the bottle of Jack Daniel’s, tipped over and resting on its side. He could’ve sworn he finished it off last night but there was at least an inch of rich amber liquid still resting inside.

Good. Now he didn’t have to wonder what he’d have for breakfast.

The second thing he saw was a great pair of legs. Well, technically, a great pair of ankles above a pair of leather sandals, and then the legs.

Obviously, he was starting his Saturday morning with hallucinations.

Only one good solution for that. He dangled an arm off the side of his bed and almost had his fingers wrapped around the neck of the bottle when one of the leather sandals kicked his buddy Jack Daniel’s under the bed, clipping his hand in the process.

“Ow.” Hallucinations didn’t take his booze and kick him in the knuckles.

Ignoring the throbbing in his hand and the stabs of hangover agony behind his eyeballs, Shane rolled onto his back and squinted at the rest of his non-hallucination.

Shoulder-length hair that fell in a sheen of dark chestnut brown, fair skin, fierce brown eyes, red lips compressed in a tight line, black skirt and white blouse, big briefcase-style purse. Had he picked her up at Harley’s last night? If so, he had to cut back on the sauce.

“Sorry,” he mumbled. “I forgot your name.” Pity, ’cause she was a hot little number, way classier than the regulars at Harley’s. It’s not like he got laid so often that he could afford to forget it when he did.

“We haven’t met.” She propped her hands on her hips and muttered something that sounded like, “And you’re supposed to help me?”

Help her with what? Wait, maybe she was a charter. Had he chartered The Evangeline out to a tour group or fishing party today? Surely he’d remember if there was money coming in.

Color him officially confused. He struggled to a seated position and gave her another look. “What am I supposed to help you with?”

She crossed her arms and raked a ball-shriveling gaze the length of his body. “I came here to offer you a job, but I don’t think you’re up to it.”

He tugged the sheet up in self-defense. “I’m not at my best. Ever consider making an appointment? Not dropping in at the crack of dawn?” He had no idea what time it was but it couldn’t be that late.

“It’s past noon. And I didn’t figure, given your financial situation, that you’d be so picky about what time of day someone offered you money.” She shook her head. “Never mind. This was a mistake.”

She banged her head on the low doorway out of the master cabin, which served her right, the sanctimonious shrew.

Amazon Purchase Link:

About the Author:



Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning this month with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, is currently nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine.

Website and blog www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SusannahSandlin

FB: http://www.facebook.com/SusannahSandlin

Book Feature: Strangers on a Bus by Rob Manary (Romantic Comedy)


Genre: Romantic Comedy

About the Book:

If you liked When Harry Met Sally, you’ll fall in love with Robb and Gertrude from Strangers on a Bus…

Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.

At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter and heartache streaming down your face.

Is this girl Robb’s real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?

This is a true story.

Excerpt:

The sun started to come up as we crossed into Canada, and Gertrude told me we wouldn’t be making out once it was daylight. Lip dancing on a brightly lit bus was too “tacky” for her, and besides her lessons were having a not entirely unpleasant side effect on her.

I find it best to try not to understand women at all. But, there is one phenomenon that causes me more confusion than any of the other baffling behavior women indulge in.

When you tell a woman something and she doesn’t believe you, so you tell her the opposite, and she doesn’t believe that either, I like that.

So, you tell her the first thing you said was, indeed, the truth, and she doesn’t want to believe that one either.

Confused?

So am I. Here is the latest incarnation of this occurrence.

Gertrude: “All this kissing isn’t bothering you? You’ve got more restraint than any guy I’ve ever met. I thought you would have been trying to feel me up hours ago.”

Me: “Would it have worked?”

Gertrude: “Maybe, probably not. I think it’s nice. You’re a gentleman.”

Me: “Not really. Every time we stop I take care of that in the bathroom.”

Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You washed your hands right! You’re so gross! You didn’t! Did you?”

Me: “I thought I was a gentleman! I lie! I lie! I lie! Of course I didn’t.”

Gertrude: “You’re such a pig! You did! Didn’t you? You’re so gross!”

Me: “Stop laughing at me if I’m so gross! I didn’t! I didn’t!”

Gertrude: “You did so! You’re such a pig!”

Me: “Okay. Fine. I did.”

Gertrude: “No you didn’t! You’re not that big a pig. Close. But no. You didn’t.”

Me: “I tell you I didn’t and you say I did. I tell you I did, and you say I didn’t. You’re such a weirdo.”

And then I kissed her, because the sun was rising quick, and because I couldn’t see another way to end that conversation. It is possible that debate could have gone on indefinitely, and there was no way I could prove conclusively what I had or had not done in a bus stop bathroom.

After what might be our last extended lip dancing lesson Gertrude whispered in my ear, “I was horny and wanted Dicky-bird…that is fun to say, so in the bathroom… I did.”

Amazon Purchase Link:

About the Author:

Robert Manary is an international playboy and man of mystery, with the charm and sophistication of James Bond shaken not stirred with a couple ounces of Cyrano de Bergerac, a dash of Rasputin, and garnished with the rapier wit of Thurston Howell the Third.

That’s how he sees himself, anyway.

The truth is Robert Manary is a construct created to protect the dubious reputation of his Clark Kent like mild mannered writer/puppeteer/the man pulling the levers and breathing life into the Great and Powerful Oz (don’t look too closely behind the curtain).

Robert Manary’s alter ego dropped out of Radio Broadcasting College to pursue a lucrative career bartending at a seedy gentlemen’s club, played around stocking shelves at a small grocery store until he screwed up badly enough to be given a promotion, and finally left the glamorous life of fighting with Parmalat representatives over the quantity of soy milk required for a small Northern Ontario town to function adequately, for the bright lights of New York.

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