Monday, February 09, 2009

Family Feud

I had excellent intentions of editing today. I had the computer in the car. I had my diet Coke in the cup holder. I was in the car getting ready to back out of the drive and head to Borders for a few hours to work. And then my oldest son called and dropped his bomb. He was going to bring his grandpa to his brother's birthday party tonight. That doesn't sound like a big deal. Right? It sounds pretty normal. That is unless there's been a huge family feud where they haven't spoken in twenty years, where there's been an ocean full of heartbreak and anger. Then it's not so normal. My son didn't ask if he could bring the enemy. He told me. Worse, he barely gave me three hours to get the house in order. My editing plans went the way of the dodo. So did announcing to my various loops that I have a new book coming out tomorrow. I freaked out. I went into a total frenzy. I practically went into melt down. I wasn't too thrilled with my son or with my husband. The hubby didn't say a word to me. I don't know if he was freaked out or scared that I was going to kill him. I expected nothing short of Armageddon, so why I bothered to try to spit shine the house, I don't know. What does it matter if the house if clean if the world is going to blow up? Anyway, none of the fireworks I feared happened. Other than my father-in-law making a remark to me in private about us not contacting him for so long, it wasn't too bad. By the way, I've written to the man 3 or 4 times over the years. Hubby has called him. And we either got no answer or were told never to contact them again. Ever. And now he's blaming all this time with no contact on us? I let it drop. For now anyway. But if he brings it back up like it's our fault, watch out. Maybe it was my hubby's step mom or half sister that got the letters. Maybe they didn't tell my f-i-l about them. Or about hubby's phone call. We'll try to move forward from here. The step mom is gone. I don't know what will happen with the two half sisters and half brother. They weren't part of tonight's deal. I feel some measure of relief that maybe we're finally moving forward, that there will finally be some healing and maybe a reconciliation. But why didn't my first born give me more warning? Why did this all come down during the middle of an edit I've awaited two years to get? And the day before my book is due out? Murphy's Law, right? Soooooooo, I honestly can't NOT mention my new release today (Oh, hush up. So I used a double negative. I've had a rough day so sue me.) Be a dear and be sure to check out my newest release just in time for Valentine's Day "Secret Admirer" at Total-E-Bound. A Valentine's collection of secret liaisons... A long-time secret admirer of star pitcher Blake, geeky nerd Wes asks Blake to make him over into his fantasy man - for someone else. Geeky nerd Wes Donovan has a secret crush on Blake Kirchner, star pitcher of his baseball team. Unfortunately, the only time Blake seems to notice him is when he's making the last out for their team and losing another game. With Valentine's Day and the team's annual Valentine's Day party coming up, he can't stand the thought of going dateless again. So he asks Blake to make him into a new man and help him make their coach Clay, jealous. In reality, Blake's the one he hopes to make jealous and to win after he's transformed into Blake's fantasy man.

Excerpt from: Secret Admirer

Wes Donovan was never lucky, but today it seemed his luck had changed.

Blake Kirchner, the object of his fantasies, stepped onto the treadmill two rows in front of Wes, just enough to the right to award a perfect view of Blake’s toned, beautiful body and let Wes do the secret admiration thing.

The way Blake’s tight-sculpted gluts flexed and strained against his skin-tight shorts made Wes’ mouth water. Blake’s broad, well-muscled shoulders made Wes long to be swept into Blake’s arms.

Wes vowed anew to work out until he was so buff Blake’s mouth would water for him, too.

Light refracted off Blake’s shiny blue-black fall of hair, and Wes made out blurry images of the exerciser behind Blake in its silky fall. His breath hitched in his throat and his palms became clammier.

Again he wiped his hands on his towel then mopped away perspiration dotting his brow. The heart-rate monitor on his machine jumped from ninety-six to one-forty-five although he needed no external acknowledgment that he couldn’t breathe.

He’d give anything if Blake returned his affections, but the man had never been more than cordial if he saw Wes at all, so he was still very much a secret admirer.

Exhausted, he knew he’d pushed himself to his limits, but he was loath to leave as long as Blake remained. Maybe, just maybe, Blake would turn, catch his gaze and think him the hottest guy in the world.

He caught himself staring hard at Blake and wondered what he could do to win his affections when Blake suddenly stopped, turned and pinned him with a steady look.

Wes’ heart stopped, and he gulped. Guilty heat flooded his cheeks and dust coated his throat. The earth quaked beneath him as his feet were dragged out from under him, and he stumbled off the equipment.

The woman beside him caught him, but he cringed to the soundtrack of loud snickers, snorts, and even a few scathingly muttered, “Geeks.”

Raging with humiliation, he mumbled a raspy, “Thanks,” as he grabbed his towel, ducked his head and bolted.

Damn! So he wasn’t such a ‘secret’ admirer after all.

“Some piece of work you are, dude.” He was so mortified he didn’t think he could ever show his face in the gym again. Worse, he wondered how big a dork Blake must think him.

When he reached his car, he flung his soaked towel on the passenger seat and lifted his eyes to the heavens. “Why?”

The sun floated peacefully on the horizon as if everything was cool with the world.

“Why of all men I could have a thing for, why him?”

Wes would have a better chance of winning the next United States presidential election than getting Blake to look twice at him.

Still, he yearned only for Blake. Worse, he dreaded going to his baseball team’s Valentine Party stag—again.

There had to be something, somehow, he could do to trick fate and get his man.

* * * *

Later that night, his mind kept flickering between the gym disaster and the disastrous ballgame earlier in the week. Remembering how he’d made the final out, serving victory to the opposing team, he cringed. As nice as he’d been, Blake obviously had itched to escape the minute Wes had mentioned going for pizza—just as every other guy had since Freddie. Even though he was on a gay baseball league and had, in fact, joined in the hopes of making sympathetic friends and perhaps find his perfect someone, he’d found more heartache and was about to call it quits. He didn’t need more rejection heaped upon what he got at the day job and just about everywhere else he went.

Mad at himself, Wes hit the junk food and popped in one of his favourite musicals. Afterwards, tired of the same old thing, he put on Gidget.

He so understood the skinny chick. Although she was smart and cute and had a lot of spunk, the guys thought she was a puny little midget who reminded them of their annoying little sisters and never thought of her as a full grown, desirable woman.

A geek all his life, it sure seemed men saw him as a pesky little kid instead of a full-grown man.

A growl arose in his throat, and he cracked his knuckles. So what was he supposed to do? Grab a surf board? Catch a wave? Although he only lived about five miles from the beach, there was barely a surfing community. What else he could do to win Blake? Wes’ gym workouts merely kept off the weight. He still looked like a hundred-pound weakling.

When Gidget decided to make Moon Doggie jealous by hiring another dude to be her date at the big clambake, his muscles contracted. He let out a howl when Moon Doggie showed up to take the guy’s place and be Gidget’s ‘date’.

He hooted at the Gidget’s scared to death expression.

Then he sobered as an absolutely brilliant thought rooted in his brain.

Why couldn’t he be Gidget?

Well, not sprout tits like a girl, but become an irresistible, mouth-watering hero Blake would fall for?

If such a snip of a girl could get her man, so could he!

The Rocky theme song blared through his skull, and he jumped up, flung back his head and howled. Then he thumped his chest. He was going to get his man or die trying!

Just in time for Valentine's Day "Secret Admirer" available at Total-E-Bound Monday February 9th.

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

13 comments:

Tina K. said...

Is Secret Admirer book a m/m? It doesn't say that on TEB's website, or here, but then the characters are male and Wes has a crush on Blake...^^

lastnerve said...

I loved the excerpts and can't wait to read them!

Brynn Paulin said...

Congrats on the new release!!!

barbara huffert said...

Perhaps he was trying to make the wait as short as possible so you weren't upset for very long as you waited for you f-i-l to arrive?

Ashley Ladd said...

Yes, Secret Admirer is an M/M. I'll have to check the TEB website...

Tina K. said...

Okey, awesome! I just bought it, together with the other two m/m Valentine stories, so now I have to figure out which one to read first! ^^

I haven't read anything of yours before so I'm looking forward to reading this one! ^^

Molly Daniels said...

Happy Release Day, Ash:)

Amarinda Jones said...

Hey - tried to email you - I get a message that says your email if full - please un-full it

Ashley Ladd said...

Tina and whoever else reads my story (or any of my stories) I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for trying them. :)

Ashley Ladd said...

Amarinda, I emailed you. My email fills up way too fast. It's so hard to keep up with since I can't get on aol at work all day.

Ashley Ladd said...

Yeah, Barbara, you're not the only one who said that - my dad, my friend Jo...had the same idea. Actually, I've wanted this for years - while still dreading it if it turned out bad. Luckily, it wasn't bad, but we all kept the meeting so low key and didn't get into the old issues that I'm not sure they won't come up later. But then life has no guarantees, right?

Ashley Ladd said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

Tina K. said...

Ashley, I finished Secret Admirer, and I enjoyed it immensely! It was an awesome story! :)

Do you have any other m/m stories I can read? :)

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