Posted in promotion

New From Iris Blobel! Check it out!

INNOCENT TEARS
by Iris Blobel

 

I’m excited to tell you all about the re-release of INNOCENT TEARS,
The book has enjoyed a rewrite and an awesome new cover.
I hope you’ll give Flynn and Emma’s story a chance.
THANK YOU

♥♦♥ ~ OUT NOW ~ ♥♦♥
FREE for KU Subscribers

AMAZON US
AMAZON UK
AMAZON AU

 

♥♦♥ Blurb ♥♦♥

Becoming a parent can be daunting at the best of times, but for Flynn McCormack, a business lawyer in Melbourne, it pulls the feet right out from underneath him. He’s become a father to six-year-old Nadine literally overnight. He didn’t know about her existence, and the news throws him into chaos, even more so when he is asked to take over custody.

With the help of Emma, an employee at the hotel where Nadine and her grandparents are staying, Flynn tries to do the right thing. Yet, the right thing in his eyes differs from his parents’ ideas, and Emma is voicing her opinion, too, leaving Nadine right in the middle of it all, still grieving the loss of her mother. There’s no doubt she’s afraid about where and with whom she will settle.

Will a letter Flynn receives help him decide what to do?

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Posted in Guest Author

Introducing Iris Blobel and her New Release!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m sharing with you my good friend Iris’s new release, “Fresh Beginnings.” Check it out, this series is a great way to relieve stress and escape the pressures of life for a while! 🙂

 

 

 

~~  Fresh Beginnings ~~

(2nd Edition)

by Iris Blobel

 

 

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2kyJsm9

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2hWGjMh

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2xsEtF2iBooks

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2z7TPk5

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2g4b5C6

 

♥♦♥  BLURB ♥♦♥

 

Jared Fraser, a landscape business owner in Hobart, Australia, sets out for a holiday to the USA to travel along the Route 66 in a motorhome. Looking forward to his first holiday overseas, he’s excited as he prepares himself for the journey. But little could’ve prepared him for crossing paths with a beautiful hitchhiker.

 

Will he be able to put his past aside and grab onto happiness?

 

Ivy Bennett thought leaving her boyfriend would be the hard part. It doesn’t take long to figure out how wrong she was. As she struggles with making a new start in her life, the last person she expects to lead her to happiness is a laid-back Australian on vacation.

 

But she will have to say goodbye again? And not only to Jared.

 

 

♥♦♥  EXCERPT ♥♦♥

 

Ivy enjoyed being with Jared. During their drive towards the Grand Canyon he told her of his home and described as much of Tasmania as possible.

“I always imagined Australia to be hot with white beaches and beautiful water.”

“That’s up in the north in Queensland,” he explained. “We have spectacular beaches as well. Tasmania is a small island in the very south. The last step before the Antarctica, so to speak.”

“That sounds cold!”

He laughed. “It clearly isn’t Queensland.” Settling his gaze on her, he continued, “But it has beautiful beaches as well. And a wonderful marine life. And the mountains. We have some stunning mountains in Tassie.”

“Tassie?”

“Tasmania.”

“It sounds beautiful.”

He agreed. “Yes, it is. One of the best places on earth.”

Once they arrived at the National Park, they found a parking spot and walked towards the edge of the Canyon. She touched his arm to get his attention. Not that she needed to. His attentive nature drew her to him, and she couldn’t get enough of listening to him.

“I feel bad that you pay for everything,” she said in a low voice.

Jared waved his hand. “Nah. It’s only money and luckily the Australian dollar is—”

“Whether you can or can’t afford it, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like it.”

He stopped and turned towards her, causing heat inside her body. Her breath caught but she kept walking, yet, it took him only a few steps to catch up with her and, by way of placing his hand on her shoulder, to stop her.

“Wanna tell me why?”

Avoiding his stare, she lifted her shoulder in a casual shrug.

“A shrug is not really an answer, ya know that, right?”

Yes, she knew that. How could she tell him that she’d left Dylan because he’d spent all the money she’d worked so hard for? She didn’t want to be in the same situation, as in spending someone else’s hard-earned money. But deep inside she didn’t want to hurt Jared, either. She was enjoying her time with him so much, she wasn’t ready for it to end because of some silly pride.

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a little squirrel in the bushes and despite some guilt inside, it was a perfect distraction.

“Look!” she said louder than she’d intended. “A squirrel.”

With great relief, she noticed how her devious plan had worked. Jared quickly grabbed his camera and kneeled down to get the best shot possible of this little creature.

Kneeling next to him, she asked, “Don’t you have squirrels?”

Still trying to get that perfect photo of the little creature, he whispered, “Nope.”

 

 

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

 

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

 

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

 

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Click here to subscribe to Iris’ Newsletter

** Website ** Blog ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Goodreads ** Amazon Author Page **

 

Posted in Guest Author

Please Welcome Linda Sienkiewicz as she Shares her Novel with Us!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’ve got a guest today and she’s sharing her writing experience with us! Please welcome award-winning author Linda Sienkiewicz! And check out her novel, In the Context of Love!  Take it away, Linda!

Thinking Outside the Box

Do you ever “think outside the box”? What happens when you do? It can be daunting. As time goes on, insecurities creep in, and you begin to question yourself. You wonder if the risks are worth the gamble.

I want to tell you about my experience with my novel, In the Context of Love. It has an unusual point-of-view that’s not commonly used in book-length stories. During my search for a publisher, self-doubt caused me to take a big step backward.

In the novel, Angelica Schirrick is a mother with two young children who must reassess her life when her no-good husband lands in jail. As an overprotected teen, she suffered heartache after the sudden disappearance of her first and only love, Joe Vadas, a boy her parents disapproved of. This was followed by an unexpected betrayal within her family that derailed her life. After a succession of wrong choices, including a bad marriage, she realizes she needs to speak without shame about this devastating family secret. It’s her only salvation.

I had this wild idea—what if Angelica tells her story to her first love, the one who got away? I’d studied second person point-of-view while in an MFA program and even wrote my thesis on it. I figured I had nothing to lose by trying it, right?

Second person address, or apostrophe, has a strange and contradictory effect on readers. They understand Joe is a character in the novel, but they can’t help but step into the role of “you” simply by the nature of the second-person pronoun, as if Angelica were talking directly to them:

ContextofLove.jpg

Nights were shadowy and deep with no stars, and I felt disoriented and exhausted in the morning, as if I’d been pushing my way through drifts of snow to get to the other side of something. The same old fears that began in high school, after you disappeared as cleanly as if you’d been tied to an engine block and dumped in Lake Erie, came back. Sheathed in blue ice, I had no more substance than the frosted air that eked from my lungs.

Late at night, when the children were in bed, I would turn to your old tattered notebook, tucked safely in a box in the back of my closet. Reading your poems was one of the few things that gave me solace:

You cannot pass from child to adult
without falling into holes of doubt,
broken wheels of trust
and traps of betrayal.

In what ways had you been betrayed? What holes of doubt did you have? I was certain you and I felt the same sadnesses, even though our childhoods were vastly different. This thought made me feel close to you, as if, even in your absence you understood all I’d been through—my horrible secret, my mother’s pain, my family’s betrayal, my husband’s disloyalty, and my own unfaithfulness.

Through the use of you, the reader is drawn into the relationship, and an intimate story (hopefully) becomes an intimate experience for the reader. It isn’t easy to pull off second-person in a novel length piece, though. I worried I was crazy for even trying it. People would hate it. It would never sell. My fear was so great that midway through my search for an agent, I switched the entire manuscript to a typical first person narrative.

After I did, I found an agent, but she was unable to sell the manuscript. Then I suffered a personal tragedy and didn’t touch my writing for two years. When I finally picked it back up, I returned the narrative to the second-person address. I also consulted an author/editor and made some structural changes. Energized and confident, I submitted the revamped manuscript to small literary presses that are more likely to take a chance on something outside the mainstream. Shortly after, Buddhapuss Ink LLC offered me a contract.

In the Context of Love is an Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist and has an Honorable Mention in the Great Midwest Book Festival.

So, there are times when you just have to trust yourself and the process. I’m glad I didn’t give up on my original concept. I believe the use of “you” contributes to the positive way readers tell me they relate emotionally to the narrator. Bunny Goodjohn, in Mom Egg Review, says  “Sienkiewicz’s decision to cast the narrative as a loose address to Joe affords the layer of suspense that remains wonderfully unresolved until the novel’s very end.” Until then, readers aren’t sure if Joe is alive and if Angelica’s heart will ever be mended.

______________________________________________________

 

Linda K Sienkiewicz

 

Linda K Sienkiewicz, award-winning author of In the Context of Love, attributes her creative drive to her artistic mother, who taught her to sew, and her father, who let her monkey around with the gadgets in his workshop. Her poetry, fiction and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals. She has a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press, Pushcart Prize nomination in poetry, and an Eric Hoffer Finalist Award for her novel, In the Context of Love. Linda grew up south of Cleveland, Ohio, and now lives in Rochester, MI. She is a volunteer for Rochester Area Neighborhood House Inc., a nonprofit human service organization.

In the Context of Love is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

ContextofLove

Website: http://lindaksienkiewicz.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaKSienkwicz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindasienkiewicz.author
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-K.-Sienkiewicz/e/B00JNEX4T8

 

Posted in Writing

Writing for Different Publishers: Nell Dixon

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’ve got Nell Dixon here as a guest and she’s explaining what it’s like to write for different publishers. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her thoughts! Take it away Nell!

Writing for Different Publishers

 

Photo credit: sullen_snowflakes via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

I didn’t begin my writing career intending to write for lots of different publishers. Back in 2006 when I sold my first book I sold two books in one week. My first was to a small – now sadly defunct – US sweet romance specialist, Moonlit Romance. That was on the Monday, on the Friday I sold another story to a UK print company. I went on to sell several books to Moonlit Romance and then they asked if I could write something short for an anthology for their Inspirational sister company, By Grace. So of course, I did. This took me up to three companies.

I still had rights from my UK print sale, so I sold large print rights to another UK print company and e book rights to Samhain. It helped that the book, Marrying Max, had won a major UK prize. Samhain also bought one of my chick lit titles too. By then I was up to five different companies in two different countries and three different formats. I began to worry, maybe it was better to concentrate just on a couple of companies. I was told it made it easier for readers to find my backlist.

Other authors told me it was good to diversify, to spread my risk in case anyone folded. I’d just sold my first single title to Little Black Dress, part of the Hachette publishing group when Moonlit and By Grace folded, returning my rights to me. It looked as if the diversify group were right. I went on to sell four books to Little Black Dress who in turn sold my books into Turkish, Bulgarian, German, Spanish and Indonesian before that line too closed.

Undeterred, I’ve since sold to Myrmiddon, Freya’s Bower, Clean Reads and E-Scape Press and in audio format to Audiolark. I also had an agent for a while but at this point in my career it isn’t what I need right now. As publishing houses and lines closed and different rights returned I launched my own press house.

Brierley Rose Press publishes some of my stories and some for other authors. It also acts as a promotional company and helps other writers find editors, cover artists etc. I now have twenty-nine books in various formats, I have won two major UK national awards and several US awards. Some of my titles have been Amazon best sellers having hit the top 100. What have I learned from all this?

Photo credit: danielmoyle via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Check your contracts carefully – always look to see what rights you are selling – if the company wanting them aren’t going to do anything with them then keep them and sell them yourself. Large print, audio and foreign rights can be lucrative. Check that you can get your rights back if the company folds. Check the standard of editing, book covers and marketing. Make sure you understand cover price, gross and net and third party sales.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. You need time to meet deadlines, promote properly and ensure the quality of your writing. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from other authors. Always remember that money flows to the author and not the other way round. Be realistic about setting your advertising budgets. Most of all enjoy the ride – you’ll meet some great readers, bloggers, reviewers and fellow writers on the journey.

 

Fliss is running away from her past. Jack isn’t looking for anyone in his future.
This short novella was first published in the anthology 2003 Hardin Way

Click here to buy.

 Nell Dixon is a Black Country author, married to the same man for over thirty years she has three daughters, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo dog and a cactus called Spike. Winner of the RNA’s prestigious Romance Prize in 2007 and 2010, she writes warm-hearted contemporary romance for a number of publishers in the US and the UK. Her latest titles include Christmas Ever After, A Chance to Heal and An Uncivil War. Her latest release, A Chance to Heal is available from Amazon for just 99c or 99p You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and all over the internet. Stop by and say Hi.

 

 

Posted in promotion

Please Welcome Mary Ball as she shares her new release with us!

ecover_redemptio n

Redemption in Big Fork Lake

Can he be forgiven? Only after Robert Turner hurts a woman does he realize how much of a hold alcohol has on his life. For Robert, a chance meeting with an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor offers hope. A new devotion to the Lord and a relationship with Belle McBride gives him expectations for a better future. His life appears to be on the right track, until he comes full circle with his past and faces the one mistake that haunts him daily. Can forgiveness-free Robert? Or will heartache drive him to return to the life he once had?
PUBLISHED BY PRISM BOOK GROUP

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Redemption-Fork-Lake-Mary-Ball/dp/1503267962/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Barnes Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/redemption-in-big-fork-lake-mary-l-ball/1120795836?ean=9781503267961

2gastonia2015-001

Mary L. Ball is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in North Carolina and writes about real-life problems, blended with romance or mystery.

Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel Ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake.  She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith.

When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions.

Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter. https://twitter.com/inspires4mary

https://www.facebook.com/authorMaryL.Ball

Watch for Mary’s new release, Sparks of Love tentatively scheduled for summer 2016.

Posted in promotion

Please welcome Tamie Dearen and her New Release: Alora-The Portal

Cover Reveal for Alora: The Portal

The compelling story of the young soulmates, Alora and Kaevin, continues…

The adventure begins with Alora: The Wander-Jewel.

Fifteen-year-old Alora has visions.

Only while in the shower. And only of one stranger: a handsome boy with long brown hair, intense green eyes, and the oddest clothes. A boy who vanishes whenever she opens her eyes.

And then one day, he doesn’t…

Alora’s safe world is soon turned upside-down as she’s thrust into another realm where her soulmate waits, magic abounds, and unfathomable evil seeks to claim her.

The epic fantasy continues in Alora: The Portal.

Cover design by StunningBookCovers.com

If one of them dies, they both die.

Bound together as soulmates, something compels Alora and Kaevin to abandon the safety of their refuge for the dangers of Kaevin’s realm.

The soulmates arrive in the midst of a raging battle as Stone Clan warriors defend their capital, an attack made more deadly by the pervasive evil of her father. Alora and Kaevin face mortal danger as they fight against man and magick to preserve Kaevin’s home and heritage.

For Alora’s father will have her allegiance. Or her death.

Praise for Alora

“…I have to admit – I wish the book had not ended! …The romance is sweet rather than steamy making this a clean read for young adults, but the action and adventure is thrilling enough to keep any age reader turning pages…” Today’s Visions

“I found Alora to be a breath of fresh air in the YA fantasy genre! … A YA fantasy with characters you will adore and cheer for, Alora is a book I would recommend to any of my friends!” Books Are Sanity

Alora: The Portal is available on Amazon for the special pre-order price of 99¢ through the August 31 release date! As a bonus, Alora: The Wander-Jewel will be FREE on August 30 through August 31!

Find Tamie Dearen on her websiteAmazonFacebook, and Twitter.

Excerpt from Alora: The Wander-Jewel

Alora fought the urge to beat on the tile wall. He’d disappeared again. Who was this
boy she kept seeing? Why did he only appear when she was in the shower? He seemed so
real, and she could have sworn he looked as confused as she felt. As if he was trying to
figure out who she was, as well. Was he a figment of her imagination? His eyes were so
unusual. They were green. Not an ordinary green, but a deep, intense jade, the color of
her aunt’s emerald ring. He was really cute, although he wore his wavy brown hair a little
long for her taste. Yet she could only see his head—never his clothes or the background.
Today he’d tied his hair back in a ponytail. Surely the fact he’d changed his hair was
significant. Wouldn’t a figment of her imagination have his hair the same every time?

She peeked around the shower curtain at the clock on the bathroom counter. It was
five a.m. on a Saturday, and she had chores to do, feeding the horses and letting the
chickens out. But it was winter, so she had plenty of time to spare before the rising sun
tolled the beginning of her responsibilities. Living on a ranch in the backcountry of
Montana meant cold winters, lots of work, and little time for leisure. It was the only life
she’d ever known, and she usually enjoyed it, despite the heavy work involved.
But right now, she wanted another stab at seeing that boy. The image was always so
fuzzy. If only he wouldn’t disappear when she opened her eyes. She couldn’t summon his
visage at will. He didn’t come every time she closed her eyes in the shower; it seemed to
happen when she was relaxing and letting the water beat down on her head and shoulders.
Maybe, if she were soaking in the tub, she might see his image again.

She pushed the curtain back, put in the stopper, and turned the faucet on full blast. As
an afterthought, she added bubble bath, filling the tub with fragrant suds. Soon the bath
was full, with aromatic bubbles foaming on top. She eased into the soothing water,
closing her eyes at the blissful caress of the heat on her tight muscles. And she waited.
Anticipating. Would he come? She tried to stay alert, but the relaxing warmth seeped into
her skin, lulling her to sleep.

Awakening with a start in the cold water, disappointment formed a knot in her
stomach—he’d never appeared. She released some water down the drain and added hot
water, swirling it around until the temperature was comfortable again. She had five more
minutes before she had to abandon her bath to start her workday. She lay back down,
sinking below the water with her eyes closed, swishing the fresh water over her skin to
remove the bubble bath film, her face floating above the surface to breathe.

He appeared. She held her breath, clamping her eyes shut tight, trying to hold the
image as long as possible. Though the apparition was still slightly blurry, she could see
all of him, head to toe. She took advantage of her increased perception, thoroughly
studying his image. She almost clapped her hands when her mental measurement
estimated his height at over six feet. At five feet ten, she was taller than most boys her
age. But she scolded herself for examining him as if he were a potential boyfriend. He
wasn’t even real. His clothes were made of supple-looking brown leather. The attire was
odd—held together with ties and toggles rather than buttons or zippers. The fit was close
enough that his well-formed muscles were evident. She noted his long hair was tied back,
as it had been earlier. She could only see the front of him as he stood frozen, stock-still,
with his mouth agape, his jewel-green eyes wide and… moving. His eyes were moving, up
and down, as if he were scanning her body as she had done. And it occurred to her if she
could see all of him, he might be able to see all of her.

She gasped, opening her eyes to dispense with the specter. But his image remained,
now sharp and clear. And he seemed to be standing in her bathroom. She cowered under
the water, attempting to hide under the few remaining bubbles. His eyes dropped down to
her navel, and as they widened, he whispered, “Wendelle?”

Lunging for her towel on the floor, she screamed at the top of her lungs. Hastily
covering herself and preparing to leap from the tub, she looked up, only to discover the
vision was gone—if indeed it had been a vision.

Read the first two chapters of Alora: The Wander-Jewel here.

Posted in promotion

“Lark Singer” is here!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today is release day for “Lark Singer!” The second book in the Starlight Chronicles! Here’s an excerpt just for you!

Continue Lark’s journey toward a bright future while she finds answers to questions of her past.

LarkSinger 500x750Lark Singer is seventeen years old and already on the way to a brilliant music career. As she and her band, Starlight, gear-up for an upcoming, life-changing band competition, though, life seems to be throwing her a few curve balls. The mysteries of her past seem to be unraveling, and she’s no longer certain she wants to know those answers, or how knowing about her past will affect her difficult relationship with her mother. And when her best friend, Bean, changes things between them, all her plans for a musical future are placed in jeopardy. How can she balance her unraveling personal life to keep her musical goals on track?

Chapter One

THE GUYS ARE impatiently waiting for me. Bean’s foot jiggles so fast; it appears as if a current of electricity runs through him. We have to be down at Pearl’s by seven.
We’re all geeked about playing on stage, I can tell. Performing at Pearl’s gives us the face time we need for when it’s really going to count. The real event — the competition — is only a few weeks away. I pick up my pace, we have three hours to jam and grab some food before we go on stage.
“Come on, Chickie,” he says, gesturing with his sticks as he settles into position behind his drums.
Rushing forward, I plug in my amp. As I crank out a few chords to warm up, that old energy buzzes through my veins. After a couple of licks, I’m ready and my nimble fingers tingle. I’m wired. I love playing in front of a live audience. “Which one are we jamming on?” I look over at Bean and wait for his answer.
His brow creases as he tries to decide. “This one here.” He holds up the lead sheet and waves it impatiently in the air.
I squint to see it. It’s the one we titled “Secrets.” Pointing to the lead sheet sitting on Stevie’s stand, I get into position. I had taken a few minutes and titled Stevie’s lead sheets for him the other day.
He nods. “Thanks.”
Bean slams his sticks together and counts out. “One… two… three.”
We’re off, filling the garage with musical energy. My body’s rigid, as if every muscle’s flexed and ready for action. Screaming chords fill the air, as my nimble fingers crank on my Gibson. I feel like I’m a live electrical wire, popping and snapping with unrestrained energy.
When we’re done with that song, no one speaks. Instead, Bean holds up another lead sheet and then we’re off again. Tonight’s performance is going to be epic. I can tell just by how we’re coming together. I grin in spite of my intense concentration; my confidence is growing by leaps
and bounds. We are so ready for this competition that I can feel it all the way down to my bones.
After the second song, I hold up my hand and say, “Our sound smokes. But don’t you think we should play some of the music we’re going to be performing tonight?”
Bean snorts. “Yeah. Probably.”
We take a few minutes and discuss some of the songs we want to play. We usually crank out tunes that were big hits in the seventies and eighties, a lot of Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and Rolling Stones. They’re more mellow than what we’ve been playing, but they’re still good melodies and the crowd at Pearl’s digs that classical sound. Playing this type of music broadens our musicianship, but there’s nothing like cranking out our own songs. After choosing a few of the harder tunes we immediately start jamming.
We’ve chosen “Hotel California” by the Eagles. It’s a dark tune about moving to California and I love the melody. My guitar howls out the chords and I feel that quiver inside as I sing the lyrics. After cranking out three more Eagles’ songs, we change it up for a few Fleetwood Mac and Rolling Stones songs. They’re great dance tunes and we know we’ll get people out on the floor with these.
After the last melody, we take a break. The garage seems to hum with the absence of our music. As if it was vibrating at a rapid rate and is slowly winding down because the music stopped. We all take swigs from the water bottles Bean brought out earlier and then sit in the folding chairs by the wall.
“What time is it?” Stevie asks, screwing the cap back on his water bottle.
“Time to get going,” Bean answers after a quick glance at his watch. “My brother should be here any minute to help me get my drum set down to Pearl’s.”
“Cool. I guess I’ll ride down with Francine.” I grimace as I say this and Bean exchanges a look with Stevie.
“I’ve got my parents’ Toyota for the night. You could ride with me,” Stevie offers with grin and a shrug.
“Awesome.” I smile at him as my heart swells with gratitude for my band mates. The truce between Francine and me has been extended, mainly because I’ve been
avoiding her and there hasn’t been an opportunity to wage another war. So I welcome any opportunity to keep the avoidance plan going.
A horn sounds off in front of the house. Moving to the garage door opener, I press the button. The Brown Turd sits in the driveway, rumbling and vibrating.
“There’s my ride,” Bean says. “Can I get some help?”
No one talks as we all gather around Bean’s drum set and help him disassemble it. It takes us about fifteen minutes to get everything in the car, but when we’re done, Bean’s satisfied with our work. He gives me a wink and says, “I’ll see you down there, Chickie.” Shifting his focus to Stevie, he says, “Later, dude.” They exchange a quick knuckle bump, and then Bean jumps in the car.
As they pull out of the driveway, Stevie gives me a nudge. “Come on. Let’s get going.”
I follow him back to the garage, where we grab our equipment and stow it in the backseat of his parents’ green sedan. Then we hustle inside and grab our coats. On my way out the door, I glance at my watch and realize we’ll just have enough time to eat before we play. Since we don’t charge for our performance, the owner of Pearl’s gives us our meal on the house. We’re okay with that because we need the face time and the food at Pearl’s is epically awesome.
After we climb into the car, Stevie starts it and pulls away from the curb. “What’re you going to get?” he asks after adjusting his mirror.
I tilt my head and think about it before I answer. “Probably a wet burrito.” I smile and face him. “How about you?”
“That does sound pretty good. I’ll probably get one of those too.”
We share a giddy laugh and then zoom down the road. I love Friday nights at Pearl’s, the relaxed atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. The owner of the bar, whose actual name is Marge, always welcomes us with a smile. Her grandmother, the original owner, was Pearl.
Marge is a rotund woman with big boobs and an even bigger heart. When I was a young girl, I’d been afraid of her. Afraid that I’d get lost in that big pillowy chest and suffocate.
I snicker every time I think about that now and chalk it up to irrational fears of childhood.
As we pull into the parking lot behind the bar, I turn to Stevie and say. “Hey, did Bean tell you we have a name for the band?”
Stevie shakes his head as he puts the car in park and shuts it off. “Nope. What is it?”
“Starlight.”
Stevie grins and fiddles with his glasses. He repeats the name a couple of times, then turns to me, and says, “I like it.”
I let out a squeal of delight. “I do too.”
Stevie laughs because I’m not the type of girl that squeals. I’m much more levelheaded, but I can’t help it. We have our songs picked out and we have a name for the band. And the fact that we’re getting face time tonight is just frosting on the cake.

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