#MondayMorningMusic (on a Tuesday) – Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups

So, even with the best of intentions, I got sidetracked by a weekend of 50th Anniversary festivities. Some of us got together and planned a surprise party for my parents. My mom’s sisters sneaked in from out of town, and I told so many lies I’m pretty sure I earn a sizeable basket, complete with a big, red bow.

So, in honor of my parents and their huge milestone (according to my dad, only 7% of married couples make it to their 50th wedding anniversary in this day and age), I share another of my favorite songs: Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups.

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#MondayMorningMusic – MTV’s 120 Minutes Tour of 1992

Photo Courtesy of EW.com

Miami. Bayshore Ampitheatre. MTV’s 120 Minutes Tour with Blind Melon, Live, PIL, and Big Audio Dynamite.

If my memory serves it was the summer of 1992 – shortly before Hurricane Andrew decimated South Florida. I was, at the time, working at the Ramada Inn on Singer Island as the Pool Girl (aka hand out towels to tourists) – one of the many jobs I took over the years to support my clubbing habit.

Some memories aren’t ready to be shared, even if the songs are. These, however, are some of the songs I listen to when I miss my people.

Happy Monday!

Blind Melon – “No Rain”

Live – Operation Spirit

PIL – Rise

Big Audio Dynamite – The Bottom Line

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#MondayMorningMusic – Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield

By Photobra Adam Bielawski (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

My first rockstar crush was Rick Springfield. I had posters of him on my walls, as most girls did back in the early 80s.

I also changed clothes in my closet because it freaked me out, the way Rick’s eyes would follow me wherever I went in my room.

What can I say? My freak flag has flown for a long time. 🙂

Last week, I was reminded by a Facebook post by Billboard that Rick’s song “Jessie’s Girl” went to #1 on August 1,1981.

And it’s the song that taught me the word, “moot”. Ha!

I actually wrote about my relationship to “Jessie’s Girl” in “Connection: Temporary” a numbered parts essay in Fractured: essays on love, friendship, and the nightmares in between.

 

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From “Connection: Temporary”, copyright 2011 K.J. Pierce

I’m sitting in the Louisiana mid-day heat melting to the vinyl of my parents’ day-glow orange Vega — the one with the twice-rebuilt engine, courtesy of my father. My family is beyond technologically challenged, so I’m outside listening to the radio. Waiting. Crickets play their own brand of music while I swat at flies with lazy flicks of my hand. Finally, the familiar strains of the tune I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting to hear come tumbling out of the speakers. The absolute joy I feel makes me want to laugh and cry, all at once hysterical and calm. In the few seconds before the vocals come in, I think to myself:

Tons of people are listening to this song at exactly this moment.

It’s such an overwhelming thought, the feeling it evokes frightening in its intensity. The world seems so big, and I feel so utterly small — a modern day Thumbelina in a giant’s world. Dissolving further into the seat, the contradictory emotions cascade through me, over me, under me, around me. My entire body tingles until I am nothing but the song.

The year is 1981, and I’m ten years old. The song I’ve been waiting to hear is Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”

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I never got to see Rick play live until I was well into adulthood – I think I’ve managed 5 or 6 times since then. And I still feel the same way whenever I heard “Jessie’s Girl”. The minute I hear the opening guitar, I’m transported back to feeling completely overwhelmed.

And I love it.

Happy Monday!

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#MondayMorningMusic – Lucretia My Reflection by The Sisters of Mercy

I’ve been to a lot of concerts in my life. Some, like INXS (before Michael Hutchence passed away) and Depeche Mode, I’ve seen multiple times. Others, I’ve only seen once.

This is one of the latter.

And, sadly, it’s also the only show I can honestly say I was pissed off about.

See, I’m not a huge Sisters of Mercy fan – I have a few favorite tunes, and have heard enough to know they sound awesome in a club and make great dancing music. I’d always wanted to see them live, but since they don’t tour in the US often (as far as I remember), I’d never had the chance. When they played a club tour back in the earlyish 2000s, you can bet I jumped at the chance to go.

If memory serves, it was Fall of 2005 – I had moved back from Los Angeles to Florida earlier that year – and decided to move back up to Atlanta after giving teaching a try (not one of my best fits work-wise.) It was also the year that I got to see Bauhaus in Ft. Lauderdale before I moved and Front 242 in Atlanta within weeks of Sisters of Mercy.

At any rate, it was an exciting time, because I never thought I’d get to see any of the three live. Ever.

I ended up going to the Sisters of Mercy show by myself, which isn’t a big deal – I’ve done that plenty and have zero qualms about it. (I always say, I’d never do anything if I balked at doing stuff alone.) I paid for my ticket, and between that and Atlanta parking, I paid near $70. I was running late (thanks to not being able to find parking), so missed part of the opening song (SOM is one of the only bands I’ve ever heard of who started a show exactly on time). None of that would have been a big deal had the show blown me out of the water.

But, nope.

I go to live shows to hear the music, yes, but to also watch the musicians do what they do best. I love watching them interact with their audience and watching the audience adore them in return. The love definitely spreads, and so I leave any concert feeling happy and fulfilled and upbeat.

I walked into the club and the smoke machine was in full force. All you could see onstage was smoke, an occasional glimpse of Andrew Eldritch’s bald head, and a balloon tied to the neck of the bass player’s bass. I thought surely the smoke would dissipate, but nope. I paid way too much money to sit and watch smoke for about an hour.

For all that, I could have stayed home, shut myself in my bedroom, put on Floodland, chain smoked, and spent the $70 on something else.

I still love the Sisters of Mercy songs I love, and Lucretia My Reflection is one of them. Despite the crappy live experience, I have great memories of Respectable Street Café and hearing the strains of Lucretia, or This Corrosion, or Dominion filter out over the speakers, and hitting the dance floor with my friends.

And despite the fact I keep in touch with very few people from the Respectable days, those memories are among the best, drama-filled, chaotic, and emotionally-charged memories I have.

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Somewhere My Lady by Beth Trissel

I’m excited to welcome the lovely Beth Trissel to the blog today, with her newest release Somewhere My Lady, Book 1 in the Ladies in Time series.

I had a chance to read this, and it’s wonderful, full of romance and laughs, and the hero on her cover looks kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch. 😉 (which I wasn’t the first to notice, but still…)

Somewhere My Lady is a fun supernatural romance that will have you slipping in and out of the past and future as if you were a spirit yourself.’’ ~Colleen’s Book Reviews

Somewhere My Lady is available from all major online booksellers. In Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Somewhere-Lady-Ladies-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B071VTNC7V

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White Phlox at Dawn, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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And Here’s Beth…

Thanks for having me on your blog, K.J., (ed. Thanks for being here! ~ K.J.) to share my new release, Somewhere My Lady (Book 1, Ladies in Time). The meld of fantasy, history, and paranormal I include in time travels intrigues me. My fabulous Wild Rose Press editor, Nic D’Arienzo, has given me a free rein, and I enjoyed writing Somewhere My Lady.

Two things that most inspired me were Edith’s Theme, the hauntingly beautiful song from the Crimson Peak soundtrack, and my love of old homes. I’ve lived in them most of my life, and visited plenty. I also love gardening  and have sprawling beds filled with heirloom flowers and herbs. Some plants have been here for ages and our farm-house was built in the 1870’s. Old homes exude an indefinable sense of place, and are never really empty. Perhaps the spirits of those who once dwelt there come back and visit, or leave a part of themselves behind. I don’t know, but I like a good ghost story.

Harrison Hall, the colonial era home in Somewhere My Lady, is loosely based on Shirley Plantation, a magnificent 18th century home, built along the James River in Virginia. In the story, this wonderful manor sized house is a paranormal hot spot, concealing a deadly mystery Hart and Lorna must solve.

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Brilliant coreopsis and Queen Ann’s Lace by Elise Trissel, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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Story Blurb

Lorna Randolph is hired for the summer at Harrison Hall in Virginia, where Revolutionary-War reenactors provide guided tours of the elegant old home. She doesn’t expect to receive a note and a kiss from the handsome young man who then vanishes into mist.

Harrison Hall itself has plans for Lorna – and for Hart Harrison, her momentary suitor and its 18th century heir. Past and present are bound by pledges of love, and modern science melds with old skills and history as Harrison Hall takes Lorna and Hart through time in a race to solve a mystery and save Hart’s life before the Midsummer Ball.~

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double apricot hollyhock, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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Excerpt

 Something about him held her spellbound…the tilt of his head, arch of his brow, glimpse of his profile… She followed his every move with the fixity of an owl.

He turned blue-gray eyes toward her and sensuous lips curved into a smile on his handsome face. Hands down. No contest. He was the hottest guy ever. Her heart beat a thrilling new rhythm.

He circled closer to where she stood rooted in the foyer, not moving a toe, scarcely drawing breath. Did he truly see her backed tremulously against the wall, or did it only feel that way?

Unlike the others in the ghostly assembly, his eyes didn’t skirt past her. He paused in the dance. Bending at the shoulders, he tipped his hand to her in a genteel flourish.

 He’d freakin’ bowed. Her jaw dropped. He most definitely saw her. And she sure as heck saw him.

A sparking sizzle jumped between them, awakening her as she’d never been roused before. Even more than when the house charged through her at her arrival. It was as if she were plugged in—to him.

How that could be, she had no idea, but when he gazed into her eyes, time seemed to stop. She spiraled into moonless stars, and back again to this dizzying realm. To him. Even if she were dreaming, she’d never forget this moment.~

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Bunch of Abraham Darby Rose, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

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About the Author

Author Beth Trissel in the old family home place — Chapel Hill, Photo Courtesy of Beth Trissel

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. I’m especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. And I love a good ghost story. In addition to Young Adult and New Adult fantasy romance, I also write historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

Beth Trissel Online

Her Website, One Writer’s Way

Facebook Beth Trissel

Facebook Author Beth Trissel

Twitter @BethTrissel

Amazon Author Page where all her books reside

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#MondayMorningMusic – Tainted Love by Soft Cell

Frankfurt skyline at dawn – Image By DXR (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As mentioned in the #MondayMorningMusic featuring I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston, I started clubbing at an extremely young age. Of course, I did more age-appropriate things than not (if you count having the HUGE city of Frankfurt, Germany as my playground – that’s an entirely different story) but I loved dancing.

After we moved from Frankfurt to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, it took a bit to get settled in (two words: culture shock) but my brother started DJing at an under 21 club (which was a laser tag venue during the day, so there were lots of cool cubbies and nooks and shadowy places in which to dwell) in Louisville and he used to schlep me and the other KP, out for all-nighters, which I couldn’t do unless I was with him. (I also didn’t have my license, so driving myself was an impossibility).

Anyway, somewhere along the way I started dating a guy named Jeff S., who I met at the under-21 club. After I turned 18 and he turned 21, we had to find another place to go since he couldn’t go to our usual dancing spot. As such, my first adult club was a gay bar. I quickly learned to love it – I could dance to fantastic music, flirt shamelessly without anyone taking advantage, and just be myself.

Fast forward months later when Jeff and I parted ways due in part to my move to Florida and the fact that I was a horrible bitch to him (seriously – how I treated him resulted in a long stretch of bad relationship karma. I would have apologized profusely long ago if I knew where to find him. He was a great guy!)

Anyway, after I made a few friends in a town that was, at the time, made up of mostly retirees (a fate worse than death when I was an 18-year-old freak with a penchant for black clothing, black eyeliner, and red lipstick… lol) I got dragged to a small, hole-in-the-wall-if-there-ever-was-one gay bar called, “Scores”. It’s been out of business for years, but lots of fun was had before it closed down.

One night a gentleman, whose name escapes me, and who is long-since deceased, insisted we foxtrot to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” I protested – mostly because I had no idea how to foxtrot – any sort of ballroom dancing type stuff was (and still is) way out of my comfort zone. He laughed, swung me on to the dance floor in a move worthy of Fred Astaire, and said, “Just follow my lead.”

For less than three minutes, the stars aligned and this one moment in time was absolute perfection. For less than three minutes, I did exactly what was asked of me without question. For less than three minutes, I felt like Ginger Rogers in a pair of combat boots and thrift store clothing, as he expertly led me across the dance floor.

The perfect moment threaded among the day-to-day imperfections.

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#MondayMorningMusic – Queen – We Are the Champions

A Man and his Skull…
Sklmsta [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I had a dream about Mike Rowe the other night. Wasn’t a sex dream (though I wouldn’t have complained about that), but rather a dream about acceptance. He was who he was (or, rather, how I imagine him to be, that is not exceedingly different from his public persona – witty, and charming, and the teeniest bit crass. The type of person who what you see is what you get.) As for me, I was my usual goofy, scatterbrained self, easily sidetracked down rabbit holes.

Anyway, in this dream Mike (why wouldn’t we be on a first name basis?) and I lived in an apartment building, but the apartments were more like upper-end-of-affordable hotel rooms, but much larger. Anyway, Mike and I hung out, flirting the way you do when you like someone but no haven’t admitted it to the other, and he ultimately asked me out on a date. (I *so* wouldn’t complain about this, either… Ha!)

For some inexplicable reason, he waited in his car while I went to go put shoes on. I went from adding shoes to changing clothes to looking for a restroom – which involved walking down a city street and finding a place marketed for mothers and their children, which led to playgrounds and an inability to find my way out – forgetting about poor Mike sitting in the car waiting for me. At some point, I checked my phone and he’d sent text after text of funny memes and jokes and the like, poking good-hearted fun at my squirrel chasing and encouraged me to meet him back at the apartments. I felt awful about forgetting him, but felt even worse when I looked down and realized I was wearing two different shoes (a Doc Marten on one foot and a Chuck Taylor on the other, for what that’s worth).

In the end, I raced back to the apartments to meet Mike. We hugged and went a bit curly (K.J. speak for getting cuddly) and just laughed and laughed and laughed.

When I woke up, feeling decided much more like myself, I realized two things – 1 – I should always fall asleep watching something Mike Rowe narrates (in this case, an episode of How the Universe Works) if it means I’ll have dreams about him, and 2 – this dream is a variation on a recent theme.

See, I got to watching the Pitch Perfect movies recently – I’d seen bits and pieces of the first, but had never gotten around to watching the whole thing. And I’d wanted to see the second, because of Flula Borg (I don’t watch his videos often, but when I do, they always crack me up, having grown up in Germany and all.) It was after seeing the Pitch Perfect 2, and through the snot tears and happy feels, that it reminded me of one of my favorite movies from back in the day, Revenge of the Nerds

Obviously, the two don’t have the same story line, but I love fun, clever movies where the underdogs come out on top after struggling against what seems like insurmountable odds.

The end of Revenge of the Nerds where Louis and Gilbert and the crew rock out at the talent show is one of my favorite movie scenes ever.

But it’s the song that plays after the Lambda Lambda Lambdas drop from their absolute high to the lowest of the low that always gets me. I always think of the movie when I hear the song, and I always think of the song when I watch the movie.

I’m including the final bit of the movie, so it’s a bit before the song comes in, but seriously… who doesn’t love We are the Champions by Queen?

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#MondayMorningMusic – I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston

photo: marfis75

Books were definitely my first love, but running a close second – and actually overtaking books for a number of years in the early 1990s – was music. I was too busy hitting the clubs to read much, though I kept my connection with the written word by keeping a journal, handwriting all the drama and insanity that went hand-in-hand with the constant go-go-go.

Back in the 1980s, when I lived in Germany, I spent a few years conning my way into a club in Oberusel, two years underage (14, as opposed to 16 to get into the club). I still have zero idea how I pulled it off, given that I still can’t pass for my age on a good day.

At any rate, a German friend of mine – who I had a huge crush on – used to dance with me and once saved me from being in the middle of the very first bar fight I ever saw (as opposed to when I was in the thick of things, but that was years down the road). He kept an eye on me and made sure I didn’t do anything too stupid. He was three years older than I was, and was a saint for putting up with me for any number of reasons.

I don’t remember how Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” ended up being what I associate with CMR – I do know it was popular during this time, and we must have danced to it somewhere along the way.

I won’t make this post all maudlin – there will be a time and a place for me to write more in depth about CMR and the “too short while” and the only regrets I have in life and sadness, but it won’t be today. Today I’m content to tap my foot and sing along, love on him the only way I can, and wish he was here to dance with me.

K.J.


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Lapses of Memory by M.S. Spencer

Please welcome M.S. Spencer to the blog. She’s here to share her new release, Lapses of Memory.

I’m a relatively seasoned traveler, but M.S. Spencer puts me to shame, and I bow at her place-hopping prowess. 🙂

In any case, I’m glad she’s here.

Lapses of Memory can be purchased at the following retailers:

The Wild Rose Press / I Tunes / Amazon
Barnes and Noble / KOBO / Bookstrand

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Lapses of Memory

Wild Rose Press, 3/15/2017, Imprint: Champagne Rose
Contemporary romantic suspense/Action Adventure; M/F;2 flames
Ebook (70,560); Print: 296 pp.

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And Here’s M.S. Spencer…

Old Town Alexandria

 

Thanks for having me at your wonderful site, K J. I’d like to talk about my new romantic suspense Lapses of Memory, in which two romances intertwine as a mother recounts her life-long love affair while her daughter juggles two lovers. The setting is Old Town Alexandria, one of my home towns, where both Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, and The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower take place as well.

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Blurb

Every few years from the age of five Sydney Bellek meets her true love Elian Davies, but while he remembers her, she doesn’t recognize him. Only after surviving wars, revolutions, and years of separation will she realize they are meant to be, but this time it is Elian who has lost his memory of her. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

In the frame narrative of Lapses of Memory, Sydney Bellek’s daughter Olivia is writing the story of her parents’ life together.  While Olivia labors to get her mother to cooperate, she has little time to concentrate on her own dilemma.

Poor Olivia! Forced to choose between two handsome, accomplished, loving men. Men who represented polar opposites. Rémy, dashing, rich, world traveler—French. Benjamin, dependable, reasonable, domestic, American to his Pilgrim core.

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Excerpt (G):  Sydney Interferes

Olivia opened the door to the dining room and stopped. A tall, thin man stood awkwardly by the table, his long, patrician fingers nervously tapping the back of the chair. He stared at Olivia, mouth twitching in what could have been a rare attempt at a smile. Olivia spat out, “Benjamin!” Hands on hips, elbows out, she swung around, barely skimming her mother’s solar plexus. “Mother!”

Alice appeared from the kitchen door with a tray. “Dinner is served.”

The meal couldn’t have been jollier. Olivia spent most of the time scowling at her mother whenever she thought Benjamin wasn’t looking, and Benjamin spent most of the time examining his plate. Sydney gave up on small talk after the first ten minutes. As Alice cleared the dishes, she poured coffee into her grandmother’s delicate Wedgewood cups.

“Shall we take our coffee into the living room?” The other two diners nodded mutely. Sydney reflected that perhaps she had miscalculated the teeniest bit. She preceded them and surreptitiously poured a thimbleful of brandy into her coffee before turning to face them. “Well, it’s so good to see you, Benjamin. How’s the senator?”

Benjamin sat on a spindly chair as far from Olivia as possible. “Look, Mrs. Davies—”

“Sydney, please.”

“Uh, Sydney. I appreciate your invitation, and I’m ready to talk, but I think”—he glanced at Olivia—“she feels differently.”

Olivia’s eyes grew wide. “Me? It’s you who told me, and I quote, ‘I guess there’s nothing more to be said.’ ”

Benjamin stood and began to pace. His light gray eyes glinted in the lamplight. He dug under his mop of rich brown hair with a finger. “But you said—no, you announced—that you intended to go with Rémy.”

Olivia flounced onto the sofa, spilling her coffee. “I did no such thing. I asked you what you thought, and you—”

“You could care less what I felt, Olivia. You’d made your decision. I know only too well that there’s no changing your mind once you’ve settled on a course of action.”

“Well, I—”

At this point, Sydney slipped backwards out of the room, taking care to grab the brandy bottle. Her work was done. With luck, not temporarily.

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About the Author

Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

M.S. Spencer Online

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Pinterest / Google+ / LinkedIn

Her Calendar of Events can be Found at:

Romance Books 4 Us

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#YoursTruly Release Day is Here! #TWRP Rocks!

Mornin’, y’all.

It’s going to be a normal, busy work day around these parts, but I’m excited release day is *finally* here, thanks to the hard work of my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. They’ve been awesome (shoutout to my editor, Leanne!) helping me get Yours Truly (re)ready for publication.

If you’re so inclined, here’s where you can purchase Yours Truly:

The Wild Rose Press (E-Book) – The ebook is 50% off!
The Wild Rose Press (Print)
Amazon (E-Book)
Amazon (Print)
Bookstrand (E-Book)
Kobo (E-Book)

I have no idea why it’s not at Barnes and Noble, but you can find the epub version at any of the above, except Amazon. Obviously. 😀

Blurb

Izzie Greene never wanted the limelight. As a caterer for Poe, the top-rated U.S. TV show, she had background player down pat. Her main focus was to spoil the cast and crew and fantasize about her celebrity crush, Scotsman Cardwell Bennett, while navigating the daily chaos.

Izzie’s professional life takes a sharp left turn when her ex-boyfriend unexpectedly arrives on set. Her personal life spirals into Hell when she runs afoul of an unethical paparazzo. Thrust into the public eye, her notoriety is fueled by equal measures of constant scrutiny, speculation, and half-truths. Her rumored romance with Cardwell further stokes the flames.

Held captive by the media, accident-prone Izzie struggles to keep her privacy, secrets, and sanity intact—not to mention her sense of humor. With help from her best friend Delly, her temperamental cat Edgar, and unexpected backup, Izzie might withstand the onslaught. And survive the season.

Excerpt

Not to be deterred, I shoved a pile to the floor, sat in the small space I’d created, and burst into tears. My hand jerked spasmodically, and coffee sloshed onto my lap.

“Jeez, Izzie.” Delly took the cup and the mutilated donut and set them next to the laptop. “Please tell me you’re not wasting any more emotional space on Ritchie.” She threw an armful of the clothes I’d bulldozed to the floor in a box and crammed the top shut, glancing up long enough to see me shake my head. “Then what’s the problem?”

My breath hitched in a succession of gasps. “I knew this would happen.”

The sound of packing tape stopped mid-scritch. “Knew what would happen?”

“That he would finally decide I wasn’t good enough.”

Delly’s eyes narrowed. “You said this wasn’t about Ritchie.”

“It’s not,” I choked out. “This is what always happens. I’ll live the rest of my life single. Alone. With dozens of cats.”

“You only have one.”

“There’s still time. I’m like Typhoid Mary. A carrier of the dysfunctional relationship gene. I. Am. A. Pariah.” More clothes tumbled to the floor, propelled by my kicking feet, before I curled into a ball.

“Oh, no, you don’t.” The tape clattered to the floor. Delly grabbed my arms and pulled until I was back upright. “Your biggest problem isn’t that the men you choose to date don’t think you’re worth the effort. You’re just dumb enough to believe it.”

I threw her my most hateful look. “Screw you!”

Delly stomped her foot. “Damnit, Izzie Greene, you listen to me. You are amazing. You’re smart and beautiful and funny.”

“You’re my best friend. You’re supposed to love me.” My bottom lip jutted out, quivering.

“And you’re an incredible baker.” Her voice rose smugly over my protestations. “Cardwell B. loves your chocolate and cranberry scones.”

“That’s rich.” I snorted my disbelief. “If Ritchie doesn’t think I’m good enough, then Cardwell’s sure as shit not going to.”

“Don’t be stupid. Cardwell is nothing like Ritchie. He’s a nice guy.”

“Riiiiiight.” Nice guy didn’t translate to much in my dictionary. Ritchie had been nice, too…once upon a time.

Delly ignored my sarcasm. “No joke, Izz. He cornered me yesterday while everyone scrambled for that stupid bird, raving about those damn scones.” She shoved a fistful of tissues into my hands. “I know you’re upset, but get your shit together.”

I teared up again and motioned to the clothes-covered futon. “I was trying.”

“Feeling sorry for yourself isn’t trying.” Delly sat next to me and threw her arm around my shoulder. “Let’s finish packing. Then we’ll have girls’ night. Tomorrow morning, we’ll work the gig then head to the shop, and you’re prepping scones to bake first thing on Monday morning. They’ll be freshly made. Hot and steamy. Butter will drip off those scones.”

“Only you could make food sound like porn.” I sniffled and wiped my nose.

“Would porn with Cardwell really be bad?” She jabbed at my bare feet with the toe of her boot, forcing me to tuck them out of harm’s way.

I shot her a death glare.

“What?” Delly pulled her innocent face. “At least he can act.”

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In the instance of something I find really cool, I stumbled across the following this morning. Any fans in Japan? 🙂

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