Werewolf, Young Adult, Dark Fantasy inspired by Little Red Riding Hood
Silverweed: A supernatural fairy tale will be free July 29, 2016 – August 2, 2016.
Once upon a time Granny was attacked by a werewolf. Eighteen years later her grandson, Aiden Young, arrives in Indiana for his aunt’s funeral, and his unfortunate discovery of the family secret leads to a fatal mistake. Before the weekend is over, he’s trapped by a blizzard along with his superstitious cousin, Diesel, and Scarlet, Diesel’s manipulative girlfriend. In his grandmother’s spooky, old house in the middle of the woods, the teen faces life and death decisions: who can be trusted, and who needs to be saved? However, he must first figure out what the true monster is… werewolf or fear. Because in this Little Red Riding Hood-inspired supernatural fairy tale, the roles of prey and predator become interchangeable.
Paperback and Ebook available
Chapter 1 – Once Upon a Time
Aiden Young stared out the window of the rental car. His mom, Lucy, had described early fall in Indiana as spectacular, but they’d missed autumn altogether, and she’d failed to mention that the heart of winter was so freaking bleak and bitter. He pulled a pen out of the spirals of his notebook and forced himself to ignore the poem he had written about Summer, his newly ex-girlfriend, on the previous page. On the next blank page, he wrote:
shivers through the claws
of dense skeleton branches
“What are you writing?” his mom asked from behind the wheel, rescuing him from comparing the cold poem to the way he felt. “I would love to hear something. You haven’t shared your poetry with me in a long time. You know, I still have the very first one you wrote to me. Let’s see, it went… ‘Mommy, mommy—’”
“Hey!” He cleared his throat. “Umm… are you sure you turned down the right road?” He couldn’t stomach his mom’s “when you were a little boy” stories, even if guilt did nudge at him. He knew in her mind the reason he had tagged along was so that they could spend time together. In real life, her trip on the same weekend Summer had planned to come over had been perfect timing, and that’s all. Summer wanted serious answers, and he didn’t even want to talk about it, didn’t want to think about it. “It’s been forever since I’ve seen a house. Only trees and more trees and dead trees…”
“Nervous?” She smiled as she glanced back and forth from him to the road, her new, short hairstyle bouncing to the movement.
“You not watching the road is making me a little jumpy.”
“No, I think city boy is scared of the woods.” She gave a quick laugh before saying, “Granny once told me she saw the devil out there. Pitchfork and all.”
“Well, if I was scared, that wouldn’t help.”
His mom watched the road in silence for a moment. “How much do you remember about my family?”
He shrugged. “I remember Augustus was a jerk.”
“I’m sure he’s changed by now.”
“I hope some other stuff has changed, too,” she mumbled. “There are a couple of things about them you probably don’t remember.”
“Wait!” Aiden pointed. “There’s a house down that hill. Is that it?”
“That’s it.” She made a sharp left.
As they drove down the driveway, Aiden frowned. The house was old and worn, the paint peeling like someone had raked the white two-story from the top of the black trim down to the dead bushes. The windows, with a brownish build-up on the glass, didn’t catch a single reflection. But the porch actually triggered a memory. He knew it wrapped the entire house because he remembered running around and around it when he was a little boy.
Lucy parked beside a red BMW. “I don’t remember it being so—”
“I was going to say old. Anyway, how do I look?” She sat up straight and examined herself in the rearview mirror.
Aiden didn’t say anything because after the first fifty times he had told her she looked fine, he’d realized she wasn’t listening for an answer. She was just nervous. They had almost missed their plane because she had changed her outfit a few hundred times. She had finally settled on black slacks, black leather jacket, pastel shirt, and low heels.
Aiden opened the car door. His Texas winter coat, actually a thin jacket, was no match for the icy wind. Since it had been shorts weather back home, he was thankful that at least he had worn long pants. As he walked toward the house, he tucked his hands inside his pockets and tried to look down at much as possible to keep the miserable cold from hitting his face.
Lucy knocked on the front door and looked around at the containers of flowers, plants, and condolence wreaths on the front porch. “I don’t see the one I sent.”
The door opened abruptly. Aiden had been seven the last time he saw his cousin, but he recognized the guy with dark, slicked-back hair and swollen eyes, one green and one blue, as Augustus. He wore jeans and an unbuttoned black shirt, which revealed a chain that dangled down a muscular chest.
“What?” His cousin’s voice sounded groggy, like he had been woken from a nap.
“Augustus? Hi. Remember us? Aunt Lucy. And this is Aiden.”
Augustus remained unenthused. “Oh,” he said, walking away. He left the door wide open, presumably for them to follow.
Aiden had half expected the inside of the house to look as unkempt as the outside. Other than the sheet-covered frame that hung on the wall with only a tarnished corner peeking out, there was nothing wrong or special about the spacious foyer. He glanced at the formal dining room, which was to the right, and at the hallway, stairs, and ramp on the left.
As they followed his cousin into a warm living room, Aiden noticed Augustus’ hair wasn’t short like it had first appeared but hung down in a pony-tail.
“Whoop,” Aiden said as he tripped on the corner of the rug.
Augustus turned and glared at Aiden. “Watch your step.”
Aiden smoothed the rug with his foot in case it was expensive or something. “Sorry, man.”
“The last thing we need around here is more bad luck,” Augustus said.
“Oh, everything is fine,” Lucy offered. “Aiden’s just real clumsy.”
She looked at Aiden sternly, as if to say, “Please, play along.”
“Right…” Aiden said with full sarcasm. “I’m a klutz. I fall down all the time.”
Augustus shook his head and walked to a chair that faced a blazing fireplace. A dozen or so pillar candles, at all stages of being burned, lined the mantle. A sofa, a wooden console television that looked so ancient Aiden doubted it received cable, and a small end table furnished the rest of the room.
They stood behind the sectional like two dummies. Slowly, Augustus swiveled around. “Sit down,” he said.
After they made it to the front of the couch, Lucy only sat on the edge, clearly uncomfortable. “Augustus,” she said. “I don’t know how to express how sorry we are.”
“Diesel,” Augustus said.
“I’m sorry?” Lucy replied.
“My name is Diesel.”
“Oh! Your middle name. When did you start going by your middle name?”
“Five years ago.”
“Oh,” she nodded. “How… are you?” She smoothed her hair. “Are you doing all right?”
“The funeral was yesterday,” he said.
“Yeah. I know, and I’m so sorry. I hoped we could drive out to the gravesite.”
“You missed your own sister’s funeral.”
“I know. I know. We really tried to get here on time but the airport, you know, and Christmas. It’s insane. Trying to rent a car was…”
Diesel shifted in his seat.
Lucy cleared her throat. “How’s Granny?”
“She’s sleeping. Do you want to see her?”
“Nooo, not if she’s resting.”
“I’ll be right back.”
When Diesel jumped up and walked out of the room, Aiden tried to exhale the tension with a silent whistle. The fire crackled as they sat waiting.
They both turned when they heard a loud knock coming from above. A railing supported by carved wooden balusters edged the open landing. “Gran,” Diesel said loudly. “Aunt Lucy and Aiden are here. Finally.” The bedroom door creaked open.
After he heard the door shut, Aiden leaned over to his mom and whispered, “Man, he sure did get weird.”
“Well, he’s been through a lot. He just lost his mom.”
“Sorry.” Aiden felt bad for a second. But still… “What was with the rug and bad luck stuff, and you making me look like such a dweeb?”
“I didn’t mean to. I was trying to make him feel better. It’s so strange. I had no idea Augustus believed in all that stuff, too.”
“Diesel,” Aiden corrected with a smirk.
She nodded. “I mean Diesel. They’re all a little different… a little superstitious, old-fashioned.”
“How do you mean, superstitious? Black cats and stuff?”
She nodded. “It seems like every little thing. You see, the reason Diesel got upset earlier is because stumbling is suppose to be bad luck in general.”
“How do you know that?”
“I grew up with all of it.”
“But you’re not superstitious.”
She leaned in closer to Aiden and whispered, “Because I knew all the old wives’ tales, omens, and folklore Mom told me and Rose were only make-believe, like fairy tales. Now Rose, she soaked it all in and actually believed. But she didn’t go all,” she waved her hands, “you know until…”
Aiden shook his head because he didn’t know. His mom rarely brought up her sister in conversation.
“Well, when she was pregnant, her boyfriend, Harley, ran off and left her. I think something completely snapped. Even though I had already moved out by then, I heard she took it hard. At least that S.O.B. left money for Diesel when he died.”
“She’s not feeling very well,” Diesel said from directly behind them. They both jumped. “She wants to know if you guys can go up there.”
“Sure, sure,” Lucy said, her face bright red.
They followed Diesel into the foyer and up the stairs. After a few steps up, the stairs turned to the right. Aiden could see over the banister, down into the living room.
When they arrived at Granny’s door, Aiden’s heart thumped in his chest. He hadn’t seen her in ten years. His own grandma, a stranger. He could also sense his mom’s anxiety; she took her time walking inside the room.
Granny sat in a recliner covered by a worn quilt. Her grey, bushy eyebrows went all the way across and met in the middle of her brow. Her cheekbones sank in, and her long, silver hair draped over both of her shoulders.
“Lucille, you came,” Granny said, her voice ungrateful.
“Mom,” Lucy said. “How are you?”
“I’m hanging in there.”
“I’m so sorry about Rose.” Lucy leaned over and gave her mom a distant hug. “I can’t believe she had a heart attack.”
“I don’t believe it, either. Doctors. All of them, money hungry. Hmph, it doesn’t matter, anymore. She’s gone. Rose is gone.”
Aiden heard the door close behind him. Diesel had left the room.
“She was a good daughter,” Granny said. “I could count on her. Always here for me.” She looked at Aiden. “My, my look at you. Come give Granny a hug.”
Aiden walked over to Granny’s stretched out arms and hugged her, smelling the scent of grassy earth. He pulled away, and she smiled warmly.
“It’s so good to see you in person,” she said. “I’ve been sent pictures, but it’s not the same. Look at you. You remind me of your grandpa; he was tall and thin.” She looked around Aiden. “Where’s my new grandson? How old is he now, two? Seems a shame, a grandmother never even getting to meet her own grandson.”
“He’s three and… he has a cough, and I thought it would be easier.” Lucy cleared her throat. “Mike stayed home with him.”
Granny eased her attention over to Lucy. “I see. So when are you running off? I guess it’s just as well, anyway.”
Lucy straightened and smiled curtly. “There’s something I need to talk—”
“You can stay in your old room if you want,” Granny interrupted. “It’s the same. We haven’t changed a thing in case you ever decided to come home. Aiden, honey, you can take the guestroom downstairs. I’m feeling quite weak. Please ask Diesel if there’s some leftovers from Rose’s friends that I can have for my supper tonight. Rose always made supper…”
“I’d be happy to cook,” Lucy said.
“I suppose that will do. Turn the light out when you leave.”
Lucy stood for a second, wringing her hands, and then took a couple of steps to the bedside table and snapped off the lamp. The room went dim but not dark because of the daylight sneaking in from the window. Lucy turned abruptly and left the room. Aiden smiled at Granny, feeling awkward. “See ya,” he said before following his mom’s exit and shutting the door behind him.
Aiden caught up with Lucy on the stairs, mid-ramble. “She chose to live with Rose, and now she’s acting like I abandoned her or something. She wouldn’t even give me a chance to ask her. What makes me even think she would want to move in with me?”
“It was a little soon to ask, don’t you think? Hi. Condolences. Want to pack up and move across the country?”
“Shhh. Why don’t we go to the car,” she said as they reached the foyer, “and we can talk.”
Once in the car, Lucy placed her hand on her cheek as she stared out the front windshield. “I hope you can understand why I need to do this.”
“I know, you and Dad explained it all at home. I mean, she’s old, and you don’t think a college kid like Diesel can take care of her.” Ever since his mom had brought up her plan, he had been apprehensive, especially since his mom suggested she extend the invitation to Diesel, too, at least until after the holidays. However, after seeing Diesel, he didn’t think he had to worry about him wanting to bunk together. He didn’t seem the type. And, since Diesel was legally an adult, he could have the entire house to himself. Aiden knew what he would pick if he was given the choice.
“I didn’t realize it would be so hard,” his mom said, speaking more to herself than to Aiden. “I can’t believe she’s saying I ran off. I didn’t run off. I got married… I couldn’t bring myself to come back very often because every time I did, Rose acted and looked so strange, like a witch or gypsy or something. I couldn’t stand to see her like that. She used to be so pretty. The last time we came here, I swear she was in the kitchen making some kind of potion.”
“Cool, magic potions.” Aiden imagined his aunt standing over a black cauldron, stirring it with a long wooden spoon.
“She wasn’t normal,” she whispered and wiped her eyes. “I tried to tell Mom that I wasn’t sure Rose should be taking care of anyone and to come live with us. Of course she wouldn’t hear anything bad about her Rose. She chose her over me… So it’s not my fault. But I really didn’t mean for ten years to pass. Now I feel like a terrible daughter and sister.” Lucy inhaled a long breath and let it out quickly. “I’ll never see Rose again, you know.”
“I’m sorry.” Aiden pulled a t-shirt out of his duffle bag from the backseat and handed it to his mom to wipe her tears.
“I know it’s too late to make it up to Rose, but maybe I can help Mom and be there for my nephew. He doesn’t have a mom or a dad now. We’ll sit down and have a nice dinner and discuss everything with them, as a family. I’m sure they’ll see that it’s the best solution. Right?”
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to get all into that.” She nodded and patted him on the leg. “I’m so glad you decided to come with me. I can’t believe you chose to spend your holiday with me. It means a lot to me.”
“Let’s just get the bags—”
“Wait a minute,” he said. “You’re not suggesting we sleep here, are you?”
“We don’t have a choice. After dinner it’ll be too late to drive very far. You saw downtown. Did you see a Holiday Inn?”
They had driven straight through Kingwood, Indiana. Surrounded by worn-down shops sat an old, two-story courthouse, complete with bell tower and soaring front steps that led to a columned porch. Unfortunately, he hadn’t seen anything that even resembled a modern hotel.
Lucy said, “Anyway, aren’t you the one who told me I should take my time?”
“Yeah, but I meant during the day and after we checked into a hotel that had room service.”
“It’s only for the one night.” Lucy sighed and stared at the house. “How bad could it be?”
He didn’t look forward to being in the house at night; it already had a creepy Poe atmosphere during the day. He imagined Diesel looming over his bed with a butcher knife chanting, “You’re bad luck. You’re bad luck…” Aiden shuddered. “Right,” he said.
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I’m thrilled to announce that my romantic comedy, The Trouble with Snowmen, is now available in paperback. This is the first book in my Trouble with Men series, which has fun, new dating terms and concepts, outrageous shenanigans, a touch of magical realism, twists and turns, broken hearts, chemistry, fashion, seduction, food, and of course romance.
Characters move in and out of a downtown Houston multiplex – a 1920s house (some say it’s haunted) that has been renovated into four separate apartments. And my favorite trope “opposites attract” is the theme that also ties these books together.
The books from the Trouble with Men series are published by Soul Mate Publishing. I’m having so much fun writing this series and am super excited to share the stories. I hope you will find them fun, flirty, and entertaining.
Soon, I will announce a giveaway of the paperback plus an awesome creation by the fabulous JFay of Studio 3B.
Here are some links to the books on Amazon in case you want to mosey on over there to check them out.🙂
Love and Laughter,
Posted in author, book, Contemporary Romance, Dorlana Vann, releasw day, romance, Romance series, romatic comedy, RomCom, soul mate publishing, supernatural, The Trouble with Snowmen, Trouble with Men, writer, writing
Tags: amazon, book, books, comedy, contemporary romance, dorlana vann, ebook, funny romance series, novel, paperback release, paranormal, print book, romance, romance in Texas, romance series, romantic comedy, story, Texas romance, The Trouble with Snowmen, urban cowgirl, writing, writing life
I’m very excited to share my latest contemporary romance, The Trouble with Scarecrows. I have posted the first chapter below. I would love to know what you think. And if you leave a comment, you’ll be in the drawing for a copy (Kindle or Pdf – winner’s choice). I’ll post the winner on Saturday – April 16, 2016.
Love and Laughter,
The Trouble with Scarecrows
by Dorlana Vann
Brenda Fisher hesitated at the door of the multiplex as if she stood at the entrance to hell. The long corridor was faintly lit by electric candelabras that hung between ordinary doors; the numbers One, Two, Three, Four were their only difference. “Who in their right mind would find this place quaint?” she grumbled as she forced herself to walk inside and shut the door.
The 1920’s brick home had been renovated into a four-apartment multiplex years before she’d bought it, and only one resident, Zadora Hart, lived there now. She had taken over the monthly payments from a previous tenant, and that lease was almost up. But Brenda had never intended on being a landlord and sure as hell wasn’t going to reside there permanently. Unfortunately, she did have to live there for a couple of weeks while her apartment was being remodeled and so she could get the old house ready to sell. She planned on staying in the former owner’s apartment, which was the largest of the four. More importantly, it held no personal scars . . . like Haley and Larry’s apartments did.
Brenda held her breath as she grabbed the glass doorknob and opened the apartment Haley Monroe, her former assistant, had lived in. Even though only a few pieces of generic furniture had been left behind, Brenda’s memories brought every miserable detail to life. This apartment had been the beginning of the end for her and Larry. She had outwardly kept it together the day she’d walked in and discovered that Haley and Larry had slept together. But on the inside, she’d had this sinking feeling that nothing would ever be the same again. She’d been right.
Brenda closed the door to Apartment Two and went across the hall to Larry’s old apartment. In that few seconds, her hurt transformed into anger, and she hated herself for buying the house for that ungrateful son-of-a-bitch in the first place. She nodded. “Good.” Resentment was exactly what she needed to open that door and to get on with her life. Facing the apartment was the next step in getting over Larry White. “I can do this,” she said as she eased the door open.
The apartment was arranged and decorated exactly the same as it had the day she’d surprised Larry with the expensively furnished writer’s retreat. But why did it look as if someone lived there now? Dishes had been left on the coffee table, shoes on the floor, the air-conditioner ran, and a lingering smell of bacon filled the air—all of which was strange because Larry had moved out months ago.
Her heart did a little flip. Perhaps not everything had gone the way Larry thought they’d go. Maybe he had left Haley and hadn’t had a chance to call or didn’t have the nerve to come crawling back. She’d told him he would come back. He always came back. A huge smile broke across her face. She would make him pay . . . but just for a little while. She still loved him, no matter what kind of jerk he’d been to her.
When she heard a noise coming from down the hall, she hurried toward it. “Larry? Larry, are you here?”
Brenda stood at Larry’s open bedroom door. Sure enough, clothes were everywhere. Larry had always been somewhat of a slob. Ever since college, she had to get after him to pick up his plate and to use a clothes hamper.
She heard the shower running and Larry whistling. She missed him so much. She wished she had done so many things differently. But everything would be okay now. Everything would go back to the way they had been. No, things would be better. Larry knew what she wanted now. He knew that she loved him and wanted a real relationship.
Forget about making him pay, she thought as she set her purse on the end of the unmade bed. She would give him a homecoming he would never forget. She removed her heels and then unzipped and slipped out of her dress. As she crossed the bedroom, she unfastened her bra and let it fall to the floor.
Brenda eased the bathroom door open, the steam from the shower blasting through the coldness of the bedroom, and walked inside. Her heart pounded with anticipation and excitement as she stood beside the shower and removed her last piece of clothing, her black panties. She gave her hair a quick tousle and struck a pose before pulling the curtain back with one swift yank.
“What the f—!”
A second of confusion past as Brenda realized he was not Larry. But he was a man all right: a muscled, tattooed, naked man. She sucked in a breath as tiny splashes of water sprayed her face and breasts, bringing her head up to speed with her eyes.
“Whoa.” The guy eyed her up and down.
She shielded her body the best she could, turned and ran. A few seconds later, she was in the hall, stopping just shy of the apartment she’d be staying in.
Brenda glanced down at herself. She had to go back in there! She forgot her clothes on the bedroom floor. She had more clothes, but she had left them out in the car. For a second, she actually considered going outside instead of back in there with that man.
She hurried back through the apartment to the bedroom and gathered her things. Her Chantelle bikini undies were in the bathroom . . . a $32.00 sacrifice.
Brenda heard the guy banging around before appearing at the bathroom doorway. She held her head high and trotted away.
“Hey! Hey, wait!” The guy chased after her.
She didn’t stop running until she reached Apartment One; thankfully the door was unlocked. Once inside, she stood there with her back against it, catching her breath.
Zadora Hart was supposed to be the only tenant in the house. Everyone else had moved out. So who was that guy? “What do I do?” Her heart thumped behind the retrieved items she held against her chest as her mind went crazy with thoughts. The guy could be an ax murderer. Zadora Hart might be all chopped up in little pieces and stashed somewhere in the house or buried in the yard. Or the guy could be some bum or a druggy who had found out that the house was practically empty. She had to call the police. She fumbled inside her purse until she found her phone.
Brenda pressed the nine and then let out a quiet sigh as she remembered the bum’s body. He sure didn’t look like someone who lived on the streets. More like someone who lived at the gym. His head was clean shaven, and he seemed to be around her age, thirty. He had huge, ripped, tanned arms and legs, a body-builder’s chest and stomach and . . . tattoos. He had a lot of tattoos.
“Wait a minute.” Was that Larry’s assistant? It had to be. She was sure of it. She’d met him at Larry’s book signing months back. The one she’d dropped everything to attend, and then Larry had dumped her right there in front of all his fans. What an ass.
She jumped when she heard a knock at the door.
“Hey naked lady, are you in there? I’m not complaining about seeing your boobies, but who are you?”
“Just go away,” Brenda shouted, heat rising to her face.
“This house belongs to a buddy of mine, and if you don’t open this door right now, I’ll be forced to call the cops.”
“What?” Brenda dropped her things to the floor. She stomped into her dress, heaved it up, and then swung the door open wide. “Call the cops on me? You’re the trespasser! I’m Brenda Fisher, and I own this house.”
“Oh, okay,” he said and turned to walk back down the hallway, wearing nothing but a towel.
“Excuse me, Mr. . . .?”
He stopped, turned around, and smiled, making him seem a bit less intimidating. “I’m Neal. Neal Parker.”
“Larry’s assistant.” She’d been correct. She rarely forgot a face or body like his.
Neal frowned. “Have we met?” He studied her for a second before his eyes widened. “Ooooh, I remember you. You cut your hair. You came to Larry’s book signing that day. You’re Larry’s friend, the ambulance chaser.”
“I’m a corporate—”
“So what was that?” Neal interrupted, pointing to his apartment and then back at Brenda, his finger and eyes then sweeping up and down her body before the devilish smirk appeared.
That’s when she realized she wasn’t wearing any underclothes, and her dress wasn’t zipped up in the back, but she wasn’t about to fidget with it.
He was saying, “It was a nice morning surprise. A bit unexpected. You should have called first.”
She folded her arms over her chest. “Mr. Parker, is it? I thought you were . . . I thought you were someone else. What were you doing in there, anyway?”
“You thought I was Larry.” Neal now folded his arms and seemed satisfied that he’d figured this obvious thing out. “And, by the way, I’m not his assistant anymore. His fiancée took over, so you know.”
The word fiancée didn’t play fair. It kicked her in the stomach, making her realize how utterly stupid she was for thinking Larry had left Haley and had come back to her. Her humiliation teeter-tottered between a scream and tears, and she fought to keep control with everything she had.
Neal whistled. “Wow. Hit a nerve.”
“You didn’t answer my question, Mr. Parker,” she spat. “What are you doing here?”
“Larry’s letting me stay in his apartment since he doesn’t need it anymore. Didn’t he tell you?”
“We’re not exactly on speaking terms.”
“I see. No talking.” He raised his eyebrows. “Only body language.”
She did not appreciate the way this man, this stranger, made a fool of her. “I haven’t received a rent check for his apartment. I do not have a signed lease, and I did not agree to a freeloader.”
He shrugged his shoulders, calling attention to the huge scorpion tattoo on his left pectoral. “Larry said it wouldn’t be a problem since he wasn’t paying anything anyways.”
“Well, Larry was wrong. You have two weeks to get out,” she said with pleasure, watching his smug expression transform into a one of confusion. “You’re lucky I’m giving you that long.”
“Why? Hey, I’m sorry I was in the shower instead of Larry. And I’m sorry I saw you naked. Okay, that last part not so much, but you walked in on me. I didn’t do anything!”
“It has nothing to do with earlier. I’m selling the house.”
“What? You can’t!”
“I can do what I want.”
Neal took a step forward.
Brenda put her hand up to indicate he’d better not take another step.
He stopped and frowned. “I’ve used everything I have to pay for culinary school,” his voice boomed, matching his physique. “If you sell this place, I’ll have to quit before I even get started. I’m barely scraping by as it is.”
“Not my problem. My penthouse is being redecorated, so I’m going to be staying here until then. So you have about two weeks before it goes on the market.”
“F—,” Neal said through his teeth. “You’re a real bitch, aren’t you?”
Brenda didn’t flinch. It was hardly the first time she’d been called that. “Is there anyone else living here that I don’t know about?”
“Just Zadora in Three. She’s a psychic, so she probably already knows you’re here to pull the rug out from underneath us. I don’t see why you couldn’t have given me some sort of warning, lady. It’s not right, you strutting in here all f—”
Brenda turned and marched back inside the apartment, slamming her door, shutting out his barking. “Warning? Ha! He doesn’t even belong here.”
She breathed a sigh of relief that at least she had turned the situation around to her favor. Nevertheless, the morning had shaken her up a quite a bit, and she didn’t rattle easily. But being here already had her on edge. Fiancée. Larry and Haley were engaged. “Whatever.” Brenda wiped her eyes and tucked her hair behind her ears. “It was a mistake to come here,” she whispered and then immediately shook her head. No. She refused to let Haley or Larry or even that caveman, Neal Parker, get the best of her. She listened now, seeing if he still stood out there. Thankfully, she didn’t hear anything.
Had Neal said culinary school? Wasn’t he a bit old to be a student? Very mature and very masculine. Too much testosterone for her taste. The way he’d stood there in the hallway, all confident, wearing only a towel, not even checking once to see if it was secure around his waist, told her exactly how full of himself he was. Plus, he was obviously a button pusher. A button pusher who would never let her live it down that she had stood naked by his shower. A button pusher who was friends with Larry and had probably already heard all kinds of lies about her that he would bring up in the future. She had to stay far away from him.
She took a couple of deep breaths and took in the apartment. She winced at the zebra striped chairs, the tribal and animal print pillows and lamps. The tall fake trees probably had more dust on them than real plants. And she had to carefully step around a dead animal skin on the floor. “Please don’t be real.” She could almost hear drums and jungle sounds. “This is going to be a long two weeks.”
Here’s what I’ve been up to with my writing.
Young Adult Fairy Tale Inspired Book:
I’m pretty much finished with the first 10 chapters. I’m working on rewrites/edits through the middle of the book, and I’m satisfied with the way those are going. But the end, yikes, it is still a mess … I hope to have a good solid manuscript in a couple of months.
Trouble with Men Series:
The Trouble with Scarecrows (book 2) will be released in eBook in a couple of days! April 13th Yay! (It is available for presale now.) I will be posting the first chapter soon. For those of you who read the first book, you’ll recognize a few returning characters (Brenda, the antagonist from Snowmen gets to tell her side of the story.) And if you haven’t read it, that’s okay, too. Scarecrow is its own story.
The first book in this series, The Trouble with Snowmen, will be released in paperback in May or June – so that is exciting!! And Book 3 is in the works.🙂
Don’t forget to join my mailing list: You’ll receive info about the series, as well as exclusive contest and more fun stuff. Also, you’ll be entered to win a paperback copy of The Trouble with Snowmen. More info here –> https://dorlanavann.me/new-series-trouble-with-men/ (at the bottom of page)
Love and Laughter,
Image (writing/rose) Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_denis83′>denis83 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>
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