A MelanieM Release Day Review: Blind Love (Sword and Silk Trilogy #2) by Sedonia Guillone

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

blind-love-by-sedonia-guilloneAfter a harrowing seventeen-year separation, Hirata Morimasa leaves his home and secure future to search for his childhood friend, Sho. Blinded by illness when they were children, Sho was sent away, apprenticed to a blind masseur (an anma) to learn his trade, and then disappeared.

Desperate to find the other half of his heart and soul, Hirata willingly sacrifices the prestige and security of his father’s dojo to find him. When an anma who looks exactly like Sho crosses his path in front of a gambling parlor one day, the man flatly denies he is Sho. Hirata knows better and is determined to get the truth… and to get back the friend he’d lost. However, even though Hirata knows in his bones this man is his soul mate, Sho has changed in ways Hirata could not have prepared for in his wildest imaginings, changes that could continue to keep them apart… forever.

The second story in Sedonia Guillone’s Sword and Silk trilogy, Blind Love is a gorgeous blend of Japanese history, culture and a romance that’s perhaps more eastern than western in its outlook on love.  I found that remarkably true in keeping to its characters, its era, and the situation the men found themselves it.

Its a heartbreaking story in many regards.  Two young boys who love each other, separated first by birth into different levels of stature.  One is the son of servants, the other the son of a samurai who runs a dojo.  Then comes a devastating illness that  blinds Sho and is destined to separate them further when Sho is sent away and disappears. Told from Hirata’s pov, the author writes  boyhood scenes of happiness that we can easily connect with them, and then of the utmost terror when the separation comes. From all that has passed before, we know that Sho has become an essential part of Hirata and now that’s been torn away.   Trust me, the tears will flow.

What follows gives you some insight into that era and into the heart of Hirata as he grows up.  Its hard to believe this story is only 95 pages long.

Its what happens when the men meet again that I think readers (some/most) will have issues with.  If any have read or watched any Japanese books or movies, then this part will not surprise you.  Its very much in keeping with the tone of the romances or writings of that culture.  I’m trying hard not to include spoilers here.  It also seemed very, well if not reasonable, then understandable when you hear Sho’s pov of the story and that scene towards the end of the novel.  I thought the scene worked.  Plus it introduced us to a character, Aoki-san, who is a link to not only the couple in the first story, Flying Fish, but who will be half of the final couple in the last tale in this trilogy.  So its suitable that he plays such an inflammatory yet gentle role here.  Yes, its possible to be  both.  He is one to excite the senses in a soft way.  Trust me.  Read the story.

There is so much here.  Not just history of the Shogunate era but all the aggregate loss, compassion, guilt and anger that has built up between Hirata and Sho. Blind Love is also how two men who have never forgotten each other learn to triumph over their past and move on.  Again, all in 95 pages.  Quite remarkable.

There is one more tale to come.  Blossom of the Samurai (Sword and Silk #3), the story of Aoki, the beautiful actor and Toho Morimasa.  Who is Toho?  Well, now that’s another pleasure to be found inside Blind Love.  This is a wonderful series.  I highly recommend both books so far.  I’m sure I will love the third just as much.  I can’t wait to find out.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I wish that the characters had a little more historical feel to them but I like the sepia tone  to the coloration.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

ebook, 2nd Edition, 95 pages
Expected publication: November 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 28th 2013)
ISBN 1634775430 (ISBN13: 9781634775434)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series: Sword and Silk Trilogy – add to your Goodreads shelf here:

A Lila Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale and Derrick McClain (Narrator)

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

let-the-wrong-light-in-audiobookAvery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

Let the Wrong Light In is a hard story to rate. This is my first Avon Gale book and I enjoyed it. The writing is good, well-paced, and the narration helps the feel of the story. The way the office works, the interactions between the characters, and how they work on the projects seems too convenient for the sake of the story.

It was hard to pinpoint Avery’s age and his real status within the company. Architecture is one of those professions, like medicine, in which practitioners tend to be older than average. For me, Avery read more as a young intern. He had too many layers protecting his heart, and there wasn’t enough time for them to be peel back. We get an idea of how good he can be when in a committed relationship, but not enough time to get invested in him/them.

Malin screams Christian Grey–a broken man with a hidden golden heart; only reachable by a young, sweet, and rebellious young man. He has the perfect apartment, house, cars, life, etc. but nothing makes sense to him anymore. He even needed Avery to reconnect with his family and smile again.

The BDSM aspect was something else that didn’t work for me. Unless the story is label Erotica with dub-con or non-con, I prefer to stay away. I like my relationships to be SSC or RACK. And in this case, it was none. Yes, we get to see the concern from Avery’s friends because of this, and Avery’s internal thoughts about it, but Malin having a hard time dealing with people isn’t a valid reason to ignore simple basic standards.

The last part of the story, when we get away from the wild kink and the walls between the main characters, was sweet and gave the story the little boost it needed. I think we needed a little more of Malin’s story early on to wrap it up even better. And Avery’s friends were great too.

I enjoyed Derrick McClain’s narration. He did a good job giving each character a distinctive voice. From all the characters, I think Malin was my favorite. His personality went well with the performance.

The cover by Aaron Anderson shows Avery through glass panels, which plays an important part in the story. The top part has a city line sketch.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Derrick McClain
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Published: August 25, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01KZNJCU0
Edition Language: English

A Jeri Review:To Love and To Cherish (Vows #3) by Addison Albright

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Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

to-love-and-to-cherish-by-addison-albrightA nurse practically left at the altar, a grouchy doctor and a meddling patient. What we get is a cute, kind of fluffy story that in the end, wraps up nicely.

Nash has been living on his best friend’s couch since he moved out of his fiance’s home. After said fiancé learned his “presumed dead” husband was not so dead. Two weeks before the wedding. Bemoaning his lack of love, he tells another friend and nurse that he has given up on love and would be happy with friendship, companionship and regular sex.

Dr Myles Birmingham is going through a divorce- according to the hospital grapevine. He overhears Nash and his friend talking and comes up with a plan or two. Plans that should benefit them both. Until a freak accident puts Nash in the hospital with a severely broken arm and no memories of the past four months.

This was a sweet book. Although I think it was trying to be a bit angsty, it just didn’t come off that way. There wasn’t enough of a build up between Nash and Myles/Emmitt for me to root for them one way or the other.

But it was a fluffy feel good book with a good cast of side characters- especially Grampy. I loved Grampy. But, I should have loved Nash and Myles/Emmitt more.

The third in a series, but can easily be read as a stand alone.

Cover art is bright and eye-catching.

Sales Links

JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | All Romance | OmniLit

Book Details:

ebook, 201 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2016 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN139781634862394
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://bit.ly/2dv19R8
SeriesVows #3
CharactersSam Miller-Greene, Nash Marino, Myles (Emmitt) Burlingham settingSeattle, Washington (United States)

In the Spotlight:Love & To Cherish by Addison Albright (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: To Love and To Cherish
Author: Addison Albright
Series: Vows #3
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: November 12th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Addison Albright here today.  Addison agreed to answer a few questions for us and this is how the interview turned out…just wonderful!

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Talks to Addison Albright~

  • That plot has a little of everything in it.  Why the overabundance of plot threads?
I’m not sure whether you mean tropes/themes or major events the MCs face. Theme-wise, two are primary (marriage of convenience and memory loss) and are intertwined, and some others are incidental (doctor/nurse, hurt/comfort, gay virgin, unrequited love). The basic plot—which is hinted at in the blurb—is that Nash is disillusioned with love but longs for a committed, monogamous relationship. He embarks on a marriage of convenience scheme with a like-minded man. They each have things going on in their lives that would be simplified by this plan. The amnesia trope was added because there needed to be some drama along the MC’s journey toward love, and this made for a fun twist. The un-jaded Nash who has no bitter memories of his broken engagement wouldn’t have considered entering into a loveless engagement and naturally assumes it must be a love match. Event-wise, there’s not much I can give in the way of details without introducing too many spoilers. I’ll simply say that the events of the story are interrelated and flow along together.
  • Which was the one major trope that launched the inspiration for the story?
Marriage of Convenience. I love the trope, but I wanted to do a story that didn’t have a contrived reason for the marriage. No billionaire about to lose an inheritance if he didn’t get married within the next week, etc. I wanted it to truly be for the convenience of the two main characters. That being said, I do enjoy reading this trope no matter the reason it’s employed.
  • Ditched groom is always a great storyline, as is lost memory and marriage of convenience.  Which is your favorite of the three if you had to pick a favorite?
That’s a tough one. I’d say it’s between memory loss and marriage of convenience. I suppose if I have to narrow it down I’d have to go with memory loss. There are so many different ways it can be handled, although my personal preference is for MC1 to forget MC2 (with whom he’s currently in a relationship), rather than it being an excuse for MC1 to get back together with an ex (whom he may or may not remember is in fact now an ex).
  • Did you read romance novels growing up?
Sure did. I read a mix of cheesy romances, classics, and science fiction.
  • What did you want to change about them and do you make those changes in your stories if any?
Oh, goodness. I’d be hard put to remember specifics, but generally speaking I spend more time thinking about my favorites rather than what I’d do differently in books I didn’t care for. If I love a story, I end up thinking about “what if” scenarios as well as “what comes next” in the characters’ lives. Or maybe flesh out the lives of favorite side characters. I can’t think of any that I’ve gone on to base one of my own published stories on, though.
 
I can’t help but think of one of my favorite books (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) and how there are now dozens of published stories that do just that. I’ve enjoyed the continuation stories, but I think I prefer the “what if this had happened instead of that” stories that change some pivotal scene then continue from there.

Thanks, Addison, for that terrific interview.  And now  more about To Love and To Cherish by Addison Albright

BLURB

Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual manner? Now that’s another story entirely.

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | All Romance | OmniLit

Find To Love and To Cherish on Goodreads

Find the Vows series on Goodreads

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EXCERPT

“Fuck dating. Let first impressions rule. I could’ve saved myself a world of hurt and heartache if I’d done that over the years. I don’t know why I stuck it out with some of my shitty boyfriends either. Wishful thinking, I guess. But you’re right, I knew practically instantly that my husband was going to be the love of my life. So yeah, don’t bother dating…simply ask him to marry you five minutes into the conversation. I’m sure it won’t scare him off or anything.” She accompanied that final instruction with a cocked eyebrow and one of her trademark smirks, as if the scornful tone she’d used wasn’t enough to keep the sarcasm from going over his head. Subtlety wasn’t Angela’s strong suit.

“Sage advice.” He raised a spoonful of soup in salute, then brought it toward his mouth.

Someone bumped his chair from behind. Nash rocked forward, and soup spilled down his chin.

Angela stifled a snicker, and a male voice he recognized said, “Sorry about that.”

Nash snatched up his napkin to wipe his face, and turned. “No problem, Dr. Burlingham.”

Although it was, of course. He felt like a fool with chicken noodle dripping down his neck. Dr. Burlingham stood there looking at him with an odd intensity. Probably thinking Nash had a screw loose or was some kind of man-whore if he’d overheard much of Nash’s rant. Whatever, it was none of the man’s business, and Nash would hopefully not be working at this hospital—where the doctor’s opinion would affect him—for much longer anyway.

After gazing at him for an uncomfortably long couple of seconds, Dr. Burlingham turned back to Dr. Gilbert Wilson, a friendly and outgoing pediatrician whose close friendship with Dr. Burlingham had long stymied the hospital grapevine. Dr. Wilson gaped at Dr. Burlingham with his own less-squinty version of Angela’s earlier side-eye. Except Dr. Wilson’s version was accompanied by a comical upturn to one side of his mouth, indicating his enjoyment of the scene—rather than concern for his friend’s mental health, as Angela’s countenance had implied.

As soon as the two doctors walked around the corner, Angela burst into a fit of the chuckles that would have been better suited to the set of Dumb and Dumber.

“Hardee-har-har,” was the best he could come up with in reply. Nash grabbed her napkin and crammed it down the front of his uniform to mop up the rest of the soup drippage.

“Did you see the look on his face?” Angela managed to gasp between giggles.

“Which one? The repugnance on Dr. Burlingham’s or the glee on Dr. Wilson’s?”

The guffaws coming from across the table intensified and drew some curious glances as well as several censorious glares. “Seriously, Angela, you’re going to give yourself a hernia. It wasn’t that funny.”

He nudged her bottle toward her and she took the hint, a couple deep breaths, and a slug of water. “Wasn’t repugnance,” she wheezed.

“What are you talking about?”

“The look on Dr. Burlingham’s face. It wasn’t repugnance. Closer to yearning.”

“Don’t even.” Nash froze. “Right now your position on the hospital grapevine is scaring the shit out of me. Don’t. Even.”

She held up a hand. “I wouldn’t. Calm down, sweetie. I’m stating facts, is all.”

“There’s nothing remotely factual about that statement, so don’t start with me. And so help me, don’t even hint at joking about something that stupid on the pediatrics floor where Dr. Wilson might get wind of it.”

She pointed a finger—or rather the finger—at him and bit out, “I’m not a fucking idiot.”

No, she wasn’t. Nash eased back in his seat. And she was a good friend. He sighed. “Sorry. I know you wouldn’t. Just put it down to the stress, okay?”

She gave his hand a squeeze and the tightness that had appeared in her shoulders visibly relaxed as well. “I’m sorry, too, sweetie. I shouldn’t tease you right now. I promise I would never start or feed any rumors about you, stupid or otherwise, but there truly was something in his look. I just want you to have a heads-up on that.”

Nash closed his eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath. It was doubtful, and so not a complication that would be appreciated right now in his life.

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY:

An amazing grand prize including 1 signed paperback of To Love and To Cherish, 1 signed paperback of ‘Til Death Do Us Part and $25.00 Amazon Giftcard

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About the Author

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Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with three peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tour Stops:

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November 8th: The Purple Rose Tea House | Nerd Girl Official

November 9th: Joyfully Jay

November 10th: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

November 11th: The Novel Approach

November 14th: Drops of Ink

November 15th: Tharandian Thoughts | MM Book Escape

November 16th: Socially Awkward Book Nerd

November 17th: Slashsessed | Diverse Reader

November 18th: Nell Iris | My Fiction Nook

November 21st: A.L. Boyd

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December 1st: Bayou Book Junkie | Loving Without Limits

December 2nd: Alpha Book Club

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M.A. Church on Writing, Characters and her release ‘A Country Boy at Heart’ (release day guest post and excerpt)

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A Country Boy at Heart (States of Love) by M.A. Church
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Maria Fanning

Release Date: November 9, 2016

Sales Links

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have M.A. Church here today to talk about writing and her latest release, A Country Boy at Heart. Welcome, M.A.!

~

On Planning, Plots and A Country Boy at Heart by M.A. Church

I had a plan.

Oh yes, I did… and it was mostly thrown out of the window, lol. One question I’m often asked is do I have characters who take over my writing and make the story go somewhere I didn’t originally have in mind.

*Snort* Is it hot in the South?

A better question would be when do they not?  If only I had a dollar for every time a character informed me he wasn’t interested in what I’d plotted, or I’d misunderstood his motivation, or he decided not to be the good guy because the good die young or some diva crap like that…. Gawd.

*Rolls eyes* There’s usually screaming involved.

Talk about shooting my pretty outline to hell and back, lol. On the other hand, when I try to force it, I end up wishing I hadn’t. I learned that the hard way. This happened with A Country Boy at Heart.

I started with one idea and ended up going in a totally different direction. I knew I was going to do the opposites attract trope and one guy had to be interested in hunting and fishing since the story was going to start off at Bass Pro shop in the Memphis Pyramid.

Nick was going to be my country boy, and he was going to work at a farm—a good ol’ Southern boy. I *had* planned for his love interest to be from somewhere up north. So, the two would be struggling with the whole North versus South thing, along with the heat found in the South compared to the coldness of the North. I’ve always said I could tolerate heat better than the cold. (It’s only been since I’ve reached a *certain* age that’s changed, lol.)

I was all set up ready and to go… and then Sandy, my other main character, tossed my entire plot out the window. He informed me right quick he was from South too and had gone to high school with Nick. There was something between the two of them, but because of small town attitudes—and an incident between him and Nick their senior year—things didn’t work out. Sandy also informed me that he much preferred the city to the country.

Annnnnd there went the whole North vs South thing and hello country boy vs city boy.

Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to come up with the title after that. Because this was a States of Love story for Dreamspinner, and I’d picked the state of Tennessee, I had Sandy living in Memphis.

Fortunately for me, the hubby and I lived there for ten years until we moved to a little rural town across the state line in Mississippi. Plus, we’ve gone to Bass Pro right after it opened and several times since. It helped to have been to the place I was writing and to have lived in the city Sandy lived in.

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About A Country Boy at Heart

Hot damn, what more could a country boy want? Bass Pro Shop is finally opening in Tennessee. Nick plans to check out all twelve indoor acres chock-full of hunting, fishing, and boating in the Memphis Pyramid on the Mississippi River.

City boy Sandy wonders yet again how he let himself get talked into attending a grand opening for a hick hunting store. His geeky heart prefers the energy of the city. Little does he know all that is going to change due to a freakishly tall glass elevator—and Nick, the high-school crush who’s suddenly taking a second look at him.

A moment of panic while trapped in the elevator leads to a spark neither expected. Getting out is the least of the challenges they’ll face if they want to try to put their differences aside and find out if love is possible between a city boy and a country boy.

Excerpt

AHHHHH WHHAAAAAHH whahhh whhhhaaaa!

“Oh my God, is that a woman screaming?”

Nick barely resisted rolling his eyes. Could the wedding guests not tell the sound came from the giant bird currently displaying his magnificent feathers as he strutted? The peacock did a little dance, squawked again, and then stopped.

Oh. Oh damn, that’s not good. It turned its head, almost as if searching for him. He swore he saw an evil gleam in its eyes. Okay, now what? He tried to sidle farther back out of the way, but the tiny woman who stood at five feet nothing even in those lethally spiked heels clamped onto his elbow.

He winced. Jesus, she’s got a grip on her. He wasn’t sure which of the two—her or the ornate wall mount—concerned him most. Yeah, right. Nick eyed the ornery bird. Mister Peacock and he had been in an ongoing battle for supremacy for the last several years.

Damn. What was the menace on two legs doing nowOh fuck, it spotted me. It made a funny sound, then shook its body. If he didn’t know better, he would’ve sworn it smiled when it spotted him. It certainly tossed its head as it… oh, shit.

Literally.

The wedding coordinator grabbed the back of Nick’s shirt and yanked, hard. What the hell did she eat for breakfast? He stumbled backward, and only sheer luck kept him from going down on his ass. The peacock squawked again—only this time it sounded like laughter.

“Your peacock just shit all over the runner! The runner that leads to the trellis! That’s where the pastor is going to marry them!” she whispered furiously.

While he thought that lovely shade of fire-engine red was an interesting color for her, he was a little concerned. He didn’t have time for yet another apocalyptic temper tantrum.

As tempted as he was to cover his ears, he was afraid that would get them boxed by Mrs. Big City Wedding Planner. Why didn’t the lady comprehend wild animals were wild and tended to shit whenever the urge hit? Although he did wonder if it did that just to spite him.

“Both Rob and I tried to explain to you that could happen, Mrs. Smith,” Nick whispered fiercely back to her. “Several times over, as a matter of fact, and in several different ways.”

Fat lot of good it did. The woman refused to budge. The bride’s colors were the same beautiful iridescent blues and greens that were in the peacock feathers, and she just had to have a peacock walking down the runner before her.

Rob, or Robert Gatlin, was actually the owner’s son. Dr. Ernie Gatlin had recently retired from his medical practice, and he and the missus planned to do some traveling, so he’d turned operations of the farm completely over to Robert.

Nick scratched his head as he stared at the steaming pile of shit on the stark white runner, as did several horrified wedding guests who’d already been seated. “What do you want me to do?”

“Go get it!” Mrs. Smith exclaimed as quietly as she could.

“Um, okay. The shi… I mean the poop, right? Ah….” Nick took a step back from the wedding planner, whose eyes were bulging. “Do you have anything I can use to—”

The sound that came out of the tiny woman next to him made his hair stand up. Which was quite a feat, considering his hair was short. Man, even the peacock hadn’t sounded that deranged.

“O-oh, okay, then. Wow.” He assumed she meant for him to get the poop, but now he wasn’t so sure. “Ah, guess not. I’m open to suggestions, just in case, you know, you got any.”

Mrs. Smith fanned her face, her eyes promising death, as she hysterically tapped the headphones she wore. “Art? Art? Are you there? Come in. Come in. Oh my God, sweetie, please answer.”

Seeing an opportunity to escape, he edged away from the wedding planner.

Mrs. Smith grabbed Nick by his shirt again and jerked him down to her level. “You listen to me, young man. Go get that runner out of there right now. That bride’s wedding gown cost ten thousand dollars, and I am not having her walk across bird shit just to get to the altar. Ten thousand dollars. Do you understand that?”

Nick gulped. Ten thousand? Who the hell spent that kind of money on a dress? Was the bride insane along with her wedding planner? No, he didn’t understand that. Not for clothing. Now, for a four-wheeler? Oh yeah, he’d drop that kind of cash on a four-wheeler in a heartbeat.

Once Mrs. Smith released him, Nick raced out there and shooed the bird out of the way. He quickly removed the runner, hissing only slightly when Mister Peacock pecked him on the ass. Damn pain-in-the-ass bird. He was going to pluck the bastard clean one day. He stood, and the peacock pranced out of his way.

Smart bird.

Art, the guy Mrs. Smith had been harping at on her headset, magically appeared right behind Nick, laying down a new runner. This runner wasn’t as spiffy as the first one, but it was missing a very important element in its design—peacock poop.

Nick pulled Mister Peacock’s favorite treat out of his pocket and held it out. Luck was on Nick’s side. The birdbrain followed Nick back to its pen. He threw the treat inside, and Mister Peacock followed after it, no problem. Of course. It preened, looking entirely too pleased with itself. Stupid bird was going to be the death of him, if he didn’t kill it first. Okay, he was joking. Sort of. Maybe.

“Blasted pain-in-the-ass bird,” he muttered as the first sounds of the wedding march drifted to him.

“Ahhhhh whhaaaaahh whahhh whhhhaaaa!”

“Right back at you, you overgrown dust buster.” Nick sincerely hoped no more birds shit on this damn event.

Springtime was their busy time for weddings. The dogwoods were in bloom all over the farm, the weather hadn’t turned melt-your-face-off hot yet, and the air carried the fragrant scent of flowers. Even though it was just the end of April, he was still sweating buckets.

The standing joke was that if you didn’t like Memphis weather, just wait thirty minutes and it would change. They’d already had a few days with the temperature pushing ninety degrees. The humidity wasn’t bad yet, but it was coming. By August the humidity would be as thick as his aunt Sally’s soup and just as deadly.

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About the Author

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, runner up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards, and is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Links: