My sexy little novella, ‘Twice Shy’, is out on June 1st! I’m getting very excited. Well, and nervous.
Read an excerpt of it:
The weathered ‘Bandit Creek Welcomes You’ sign appeared by the side of the road. Stacy wished she had a shotgun to blow it away.
Westcott noticed her tension even though his eyes were searching for the exit from the highway. “It’s all good, lovey.”
Stacy slanted a frown at West and raised an eyebrow. He chuckled, knowing she hated the phrase. Annoying her would lessen her unease.
Stacy gritted her teeth at well-worn clichés and lies. She liked the truth, even if painful. She preferred being open and honest, but hardly ever blunt.
At first glance, she looked trapped in the 70’s: a hippy chick/new-age wannabe. Upon closer inspection, the tailoring became apparent. Gauzy or gently flowing dresses and skirts and shirts, always nipped in at the waist and molding perfectly around her bust. She was a curvy 50’s pin-up in a tailored 70’s wardrobe. West was a young man during the era, and the clothes were ugly then and tacky now. Not on Stacy. Somehow it worked on her.
“I’m reverting back to my sixteen-year-old self. Pretty scary, West.”
“We talked about this…”
She cut him off. “My head is aware I’m not being logical. You know the backwashy taste in your mouth? Not quite nausea, but close?” West nodded. Stacy continued, “I know I should be over it. I know I feel this way because it’s the way I reacted the last time I was in this hellhole. Putting the knowledge into practice is another thing, though.”
West looked over at his Stacy and wished he could have done this trip for her. “Well, fake it ’til you make it.”
Stacy punched him in the arm, and her lips curved upwards slightly. She knew he was pissing her off on purpose. Poking at the obvious buttons. West was putting her in cliché purgatory as a diversionary tactic. She forced a smile again. “Love you, you old bastard.”
West clasped her hand and squeezed with a brief pulse before he downshifted and took the first exit into her past.
They turned into the Super 8 and Stacy silently let out her breath. They weren’t staying at The Golden Nugget, where everyone gossiped about your meal choice at dinner, who you ate with, and how many times you went to the bathroom.
They had only decided a week ago the trip had to be done. She’d never wanted or expected to return.
She had become a runaway at sixteen. She had been lucky; she had somewhere to go. The new beginning turned out to be the best thing for Stace. She had found somewhere she could be herself. Not be labelled a freak.
She hadn’t paid attention when West checked in. As they were walking into the hotel room she asked, “Are we in two rooms or one?”
“Adjoining, sweet.” West made a Vanna White-like move to illustrate the door. Much campier than his normal behavior. He was doing everything to lighten the situation. Stacy’s heart melted at the thought. He put his valise on the bed and stated, “If we manage to get what we want in a day or two, Tim won’t join us. If we take longer, then…”
Stacy nodded. Tim and West couldn’t bear to be apart for long. Tim, especially, suffered in West’s absence. “How about I go next door while you give him a call? A full five bars on my phone means the coverage isn’t bad here.”