Dude. DUDE. My dude.

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I love the beginning of Pure Dumb Luck. It starts with what was originally a flash fiction. At the time, I didn’t have names or a place in mind, but the personalities still managed to shine through so strongly.

You learn so much about Eddie and Woody in just the first few paragraphs of Chapter One. There are so many hints at their potential for the future and what came in the past. I love their banter and the taste of longing between two best friends.

It’s definitely where I fell in love with the two of them.


“Go inside. Buy your lottery tickets. Shoot the shit—all calm and natural-like.” Woody gripped the steering wheel of his pickup truck tightly, trying to talk himself into getting out of it. A familiar pep talk. Familiar and oft repeated. “You’ve known Eddie since elementary school. You’ve been staring at his ass since he played quarterback to your running back in junior high. No point in getting all fucking weird around him now.”

Patting the bobblehead football player on his dashboard for good luck, Woody reluctantly slipped out of his truck. He slammed the door and plastered a grin on his face. Lottery tickets wouldn’t buy themselves.

And Eddie had already seen his truck. If he ran away now, he’d never hear the end of it. The temptation to get back into his vehicle was strong.

C’mon.

This is not even close to the hardest part of your day.

Except it had definitely become the most difficult daily event. Woody had never considered himself a coward, yet every single morning, he walked into the gas station to see his best friend, the person he’d been in love with for years, and said nothing beyond small talk.

He never told the truth of the ache in his heart growing too painful to ignore. He couldn’t. What if Eddie rejected him?

“Your usual?”

Woody grinned at Eddie, who ran the family-owned gas station in their little country town nestled in the middle of a national forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains. “You know me. Boring as shit. I’m consistent, at least.”

“One large coffee, one pack of powdered donuts, and three lottery tickets. Two for you, one for me.” Eddie rolled his dark brown eyes and held out a large hand for the card Woody held out to him. “You never change, dude. You’ve been doing this for twenty years—since high school. I know Coach said you were full of dumb luck, but I don’t think he meant with the Mega Millions.”

“Have a little faith, Eddie.” He grabbed both his breakfast and the lottery tickets, winking at his oldest friend, who hadn’t changed much in the thirty years since they’d known each other. Still as fucking hot as the day I first saw him in the shower at the gym. His warm brown skin had glistened under the shower. Maybe stop thinking about Eddie naked in the middle of the gas station. “We still on for fishing this weekend?”

“Unless you get lucky with your numbers. If you do, we’ll go fishing on a yacht instead of your granddaddy’s rickety old boat.” He tapped a finger against the ticket stub in Woody’s hand. “Go on. Get your ass out of here. You’re ruining the atmosphere. Plus, I like watching you leave.”

For the past twenty years, they’d danced around each other. Woody had given up on anything happening between them outside of harmless flirting. Maybe it was too clichéd—two former jocks who fell in love on the football field finally getting their chance in their late thirties.


 

Don’t Lick The Rocks

Or, five things Eddie and Woody shouldn’t have done while travelling the world.

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In Pure Dumb Luck, Eddie and Woody go on a long adventure. I thought I’d share some fun things they only slightly regret having done.

  1. Lick rocks…or each other after a long hike through a rocky mountain. Level of regret? 5%.
  2. Sex in a frozen lake. Level of regret? 15%, mostly from Eddie who came close to frostbite in places one should never have frostbite.
  3. Trying Muktuk in Alaska. Level of regret? 45%.
  4. Eating fried insects. Level of regret? 75%, Woody swears he keeps pulling legs out of his teeth
  5. Sex on the forest floor. Level of regret? 2%, despite finding grass and dirt in uncomfortable places for days.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Book Excerpt: At War With A Broken Heart

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Excerpt

Would you stop ignoring me?”

“No.”

“Morrie.”

“How about you quit butchering my name? If you insist on using my first one that no one else uses, stop making me sound like a five-year-old schoolboy. It’s Morogh, though you know I prefer Fie.” Morogh Fie Russell scowled at the former love of his life over the top of his reading glasses. He hadn’t seen Edmund in close to eight years, not since Fie’s return from Afghanistan. War hadn’t been kind to him, leaving him a changed man in many ways. “I’ll ignore you if I want, as I didn’t invite you inside.”

“I refuse to call you by a name that sounds like it belongs in Jack and the Beanstalk. What were your parents thinking?” Edmund took a few steps towards Fie, grimacing when he stepped into a stray bit of wet clay. “I wanted to talk. How do you stand it out here in Bideford? I’m surprised you didn’t move back to your family’s farm in Scotland. Devon doesn’t seem your sort of place.”

“You refused to call me anything at all for years. And how is where I live any of your business?” Fie honestly didn’t want to revisit their failed relationship. “What’s changed? Did your latest fling kick you out?”

“I missed you. Us, even.” Edmund gestured towards Haggard, Fie’s blue merle border collie service dog, stretched out across a blanket in his corner of the pottery shed. “I can help. What can your old mutt do that I can’t?”

“Help? You broke me. You lost the right to put me back together.” Fie wiped absently at the sheen of sweat on his brow; he hadn’t even gotten close to his kiln yet. Why am I suddenly overheating? “Sod off with you back to your posh London penthouse.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Hell.” Fie dragged a hand roughly through his greying hair. His dark brown eyes examined Edmund and found him relatively unchanged. Still as selfish as ever. He’d missed seeing the fault in his ex-lover’s personality until far too late. “Well, I hope the apology made it all better for you. I still feel like shite.”


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Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2BvQQE7

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Apple Books: https://apple.co/2DwNovA

B&N: http://bit.ly/2S7gXIr

 

What am I reading?

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I have not read as many books this year thus far as I hoped. Well, I’ve read a lot of cosy mysteries, but not much else. Sometimes with my reading, my autistic obsessive passion kicks in, and I’ll fall down a rabbit hole of reading ALL the same things over and over.

And usually, throughout a year, I’ll read a lot of non-fiction.

Not so much in 2019.

But I thought I’d share my top three so far, which might change.

I wouldn’t say these are my favourite non-fiction of all time. I did enjoy them for different reasons, though Jason Fox’s book probably makes it into my top ten non-fiction of all time. Or, maybe top twenty. (I’ve read A LOT of non-fiction over the years.)

  1. Battle Scars by Jason Fox – Solid 10 out of 10 read. Not a book everyone will enjoy, but I found his battle with PTSD to be inspiring.
  2. Newsletter Ninja by  Tammi Labrecque – makes the list because not only was it highly useful but it made me laugh.
  3. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind edited by Jocelyn Glei – so, I have mixed feelings about this book. It did give me a powerful new perspective on adjusting my daily schedule in a way that works for me and encourages my creative process. On the other hand, I found a lot of it to just…be nonsense (from my perspective.)

I’ve read a lot of military memoirs up to this point so far in 2019. One was because my hubby got it for himself and I wanted to read it. He’s a slow reader so I got it first.

How about you?

Do you read a lot of non-fiction?

An Excerpt from The Misguided Confession

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An exhausted Alim had been bouncing from country to country, sorting out issues with several of their family businesses. He’d returned to London feeling utterly spent and decided to head out of the city to the estate he owned in Kent.
He’d missed Elaine. They’d been together steadily since their Christmas tea. Each date had further cemented his desire to have her in his life.
It had started out with meals after work or the occasional weekend excursion. Elaine disliked crowds, a fact that made dating complicated. He’d gone so far as to book out an entire convention as a surprise for Valentine’s Day.
The little quirks of Elaine’s tended to make others uncomfortable around her. Alim found them charming. It dragged him deeper into love than he’d ever imagined possible.
 Travelling for an extended period had only reinforced it for him. He hadn’t been satisfied with phone conversations, particularly when Elaine hated them. Their attachment to each other had grown until they were far too intertwined to be apart for long. His niece, Alicia, had escaped to his home, but she wouldn’t mind him returning there. The house itself was large enough to allow her whatever privacy she wanted. Alim had no doubts Josh Withers would be with her. The man never seemed to leave his niece alone these days.
Striding through the front doors the butler opened for him, Alim paused at what sounded like an immensely large animal racing through one of the nearby rooms. He frowned at his butler, then froze at the loud roar that echoed through the mansion. His heart started to race while he grabbed one of the hunting rifles from a nearby cupboard and ran in the direction of the roar.
“No!”
Alim stopped short when his niece darted in front of what had to be the largest panther he could ever recall seeing. “Alicia?”
“You can’t shoot him, Uncle.” Alicia rested a hand lightly on top of the animal’s head.
“Him?” Alim frowned at her with the weapon held tightly in his hand. “Did Minxie suddenly grow while I was away?”
Alicia laughed behind her hand for several minutes while the panther made what sounded like a grumbling sort of snarl. “Play nicely, Joshua.”
“Joshua?” Alim stumbled backwards as the dots started to connect in his mind. His arm fell to his side letting the weapon point harmlessly towards the floor. “How is this even possible? Is this a joke? I am not amused, Alicia.”

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