Something About Tuesdays by Barbara C. Doyle

Something About Tuesdays
Barbara C. Doyle
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

They say nothing exciting ever happens on a Tuesday, but that’s far from the truth in my life.

It’s a Tuesday when I almost hire a male escort to attend my brother’s wedding with me.

It’s a Tuesday when I get brutally dumped by my boyfriend.

Annnnd it’s a Tuesday when I catch my dog impregnating the neighbor’s mutt.

Needless to say, it’s also a Tuesday when I meet the silver-eyed Chase Newman—who is none too pleased with how I come crashing into his life based on the sexy scowls he sends my way.

But that doesn’t stop me from getting more than puppies in our sudden involvement.

Because behind those angry eyes is lust, and if I’m going to get a date before desperation has me calling a 1-800 number, I need to convince him to help me.

And if sex is the language he speaks, I am more than happy to become fluent.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

One

Chase

If the redhead leans any further across the bar, her tits are bound to pop out of her shirt. I’ve been bartending long enough to know that’s exactly what she wants, along with a free drink and a quickie in the backroom. While I’ll probably take her up on the sex at some point before the sun rises, my shift doesn’t end for another two hours and the Black Oak is packed.

She waves a manicured hand in the air to get my attention like my eyes haven’t been plastered to her chest this entire time. We both know where my mind has gone as I poured everyone else’s round.

“What can I get you, sweetheart?” I shoot her the same crooked grin that gets me a jar full of tips and phone numbers every night.

Red straightens and lets her green eyes rake down my front like I’ve been doing to her tiny frame since she strutted up to the bar. From up close, I realize her hair isn’t natural. Shame. I have a thing for redheads.

“What do you recommend?” she purrs.

The smart thing to do is let her have more time to decide, because the line hasn’t subsided since rush hour started. College kids from Oakland University are here to get screwed up and make stupid choices, and they’re not patient about it since they just got back from Thanksgiving break where they pretended to be good little kids for Mommy and Daddy.

But nobody said I’m smart.

“Depends on what you like.” Leaning my elbows on the edge of the bar, I prop my chin on the back of my hands. She doesn’t seem like a beer type of girl. I’d guess martini or one of those shitty fruity drinks that I spend half my shift making.

She bats her overdone lashes at me. “What if what I like isn’t alcohol right now?”

Someone from behind her yells, “Then move out of the fucking way,” and gets a reaction from at least three other people that makes me chuckle.

Her full lips pull into a tight scowl as she glances over her shoulder.

“They’re right,” I say, shrugging.

The green eyes once narrowed at the other patrons shoot back to me. “What?”

I gesture to my side of the counter. “Do you see any other help right now? Even if I wanted to fuck you in the stock room, I’ve got nobody to cover me.”

Her lips part at my bluntness. Guess my reputation for being an asshole didn’t make its way to her like the one about me being easy.

I grin. “So, alcohol?”

The lust drains from her hopeful eyes once she realizes I won’t be peeling that tight dress off her. I’m ninety-nine percent sure she’s not wearing panties under it, since it clings to her hips without showing any sign of the scrap.

Her throat clears. “I guess my table will just have tequila shots. Five of them.”

My eyes wander over to the back corner where she sauntered from. There were only four of them when they came in, all dressed to impress in skimpy dresses and knee-high boots that demands most of the male attention.

There’s now a fifth girl with her back to me laughing at something the others say. My eyes narrow on her short blonde hair that stops just above her shoulders. It’s not straight or slicked with products like the others seem to be, and she’s not dressed up like them either. Her tight jeans cling to her long legs, flared hips, and perky ass, and the coat she’s still wearing makes me wonder if she’s sticking around.

When she turns her head to glance over at the bar for her friend, I suck in a sharp breath.

“Emily?”

Red’s brows pinch. “Who the hell is Emily?”

Her bitter tone makes me want to roll my eyes, but I’m too stuck on the blast from the past to pay her attitude any attention. It’s hard to find similarities between her and my not-so-distant memory from this far away. It could be Emily, but the lighting in here sucks. After how she left almost eight months ago, it wouldn’t surprise me if we both found ourselves in a new town while still avoiding each other.

My chin tips toward her table. “Who’s the girl that joined you?”

Busying myself with the shots so she doesn’t get pissy (well, more pissed than she already is for turning her down and asking about her friend), I glance up to see the blonde already focused back on their group.

Red crosses her arms over her chest, which is probably for the best. It may be warm in here with all the bodies crammed together, but it’d be a shame if they caught frostbite when she steps outside since none of them felt jackets were necessary in twenty-degree weather.

“Why do you want to know about Sam?”

Sam. Not Emily.

Tension rolls off my shoulders as I place the shot glasses onto a tray. “Just curious.”

She produces the money from some unknown part of her body that I don’t care about so long as it’s in my hand. Passing her the change, I let myself shoot one last look at the blonde. She’s a good couple inches taller than the girls she stands beside and she’s not even wearing heels. Normally, tall chicks don’t do it for me. But her laid back demeaner is refreshing to see in a room full of people willing to sell their soul for cheap liquor and one-night stands.

When Red makes it back to their table, she whispers something to the blonde that makes her tense. Neither one looks back at me as they take their shots. Someone calling out for a drink snaps my sudden infatuation in two.

A hasty look from Red tells me she won’t be waiting for me to finish my shift like she planned to.

In my short six months in Mayfield, I’ve been deemed the town Grinch from my lack of enthusiasm over the events they host for the holiday season. Despite feeble attempts to get me to join in on the fun, the only time anyone sees me is if people come to the Black Oak to get drunk, laid, or vent their frustrations like I’m part of the clergy.

Probably a good thing, because some of these people would shock even a priest.

The weekend following Thanksgiving started the initial town frenzy with its annual Christmas decorating competition. Once Black Friday was done and over with, people got crazy over the cash prize and media coverage that comes with winning. It’s why the row of businesses stretching across Main Street and Central Avenue are covered in lights, fake snow, and wreaths, with trees displayed in their windows.

Mayfield looks like Chris Cringle just barfed all over it after a bender. But I’m not the only one who doesn’t have lights strung up based on the neighbor’s house. I’ve seen a car parked out in the driveway when I leave for work at night and a dog barking from behind the fence attached to the backyard. But no human that belongs to either.

Once Chris finishes hiring more bartenders, I won’t be stuck working from three in the afternoon until two in the morning six days a week. The entire town is asleep by the time I get home at three, my mystery neighbor included.

I have theories of who they are. The car is gone from the basic nine to five job period, which means the person works fulltime. And it’s not a particularly nice car, in fact I want to hold it hostage in my garage and fix the shit out of it. It’s a mechanic’s wet dream, so I assume the owner doesn’t have a lot of money since the Nissan has rust coating the bottom and dents rutting the side.

They’re a pet person, based on the dog I hear yapping every so often. Probably patient, since my dog drives me nuts with how much she wants to go outside and play in the snow. Whether it’s a man or woman is beyond me, but based on the single car, I’m guessing it isn’t a couple. That little nugget of information interests me the most.

Something wet licks my face, pulling me out of the Guess Who mystery game. Normally, I don’t mind wakeup calls that involve warm, wet things first thing in the morning. But I never left the bar with anyone after closing last night, which means the culprit isn’t a sexy redheaded vixen, but an oversized pooch.

I try pushing Bailey’s mouth away from me and flop onto my side, but she doesn’t relent. For someone who knows she’s not supposed to be on the mattress, she finds herself up here more times than not. Then again, I never shove her off whenever she demands attention when I get home at stupid o’clock from work.

“Bails,” I groan when her cold nose burrows into my neck. Cursing, I peel my face from the pillow and adjust my eyes to the brightly lit room.

Bailey is usually good about letting me sleep in. Lately, she hasn’t been acting herself. I’ve woken up twice to vomit on the kitchen floor over the past two weeks, and she sleeps more than usual. But when I called my old vet, they told me it was just a stomach bug and not to worry since she was still eating, drinking, and using the bathroom regularly.

She nudges my neck again.

“Do you really need to go out?”

Her soft whimper is all I need to hear before I throw my blanket off and stand up reluctantly. Hissing when my bare feet touch the cold hardwood floor, I rub Bailey’s side and pull on a shirt and pair of socks.

Glancing at the time on the microwave when I follow Bailey out of the bedroom, I all but curse her name. It’s not even eight in the morning, which means I’ve only been home five hours and sleeping for less than three.

Being a dog owner with no roommates means letting her out when nature calls. I just wish nature had respect for the do not disturb sign I obviously taped to my forehead when I dragged myself inside smelling like tequila and bad decisions early in the morning.

Does that bitch care? No.

As soon as I chain Bailey up so she can do her business, I slip back inside. For it being so early in the winter season, it’s been a consistent bitter mid-twenties. The flurries we’ve gotten produced heavy, wet snow that sticks to everything and becomes a pain in the ass to clear off. Despite that, I love winter. Living in New York my whole life means being used to the bipolar fifty degrees one day and ten the next. I swear Mother Nature hits the bottle more than some of my regulars do.

Scrubbing a palm across my tired face, I scan over the truck calendar my dad gave me that hangs on the fridge. We’re supposed to be getting more help at the tavern in the next week, which means my schedule will be open to picking up more projects for what I want to be doing—jumpstarting my automotive business.

The vehicle repairs I do on the side currently take place in my garage until I can build a larger client list to apply for a business loan. It’s the only means of getting a bigger place to work out of, because the small workbench in my add-on doesn’t offer much room to get shit done.

Every day is a step closer to that dream when I’m not stuck bartending at a place barely any better than a rundown dive bar. I just need to work on gaining more people to get out of there. The clients I do have are steadily growing by word of mouth. Unlike the last garage I worked for, I don’t play games with anyone. When people see the difference between me and Todd Crenshaw, they make the shift.

It’s why I refuse to work part time in a different garage after leaving Oakland. Bartending isn’t what I want to be doing, but it’s better than working for a grade-A asshole who only cares about the money instead of getting a job done right. At least where I work now gives me time during the day to get my projects done before getting groped and bitched at.

Thoughts of the Crenshaw family makes my blood boil. Not just because of Todd’s fucked up business methods, but her. Emily. My best friend since childhood. And ex-girlfriend.

We weren’t proud of ruining a perfectly good friendship by succumbing to everyone’s belief that we’d be perfect for each other. Turns out, just because two people make good friends doesn’t mean it translates to dating. We stopped confiding in each other when we smacked a label on it and found excuses to stay out late until we were nothing more than strangers.

Instead of walking away from each other while we had the chance to mend our old friendship, we chose to settle. I thought we were both too afraid to lose each other if we decided to end it, which is why we stayed. Why I stayed. Emily didn’t think the same way.

It’s why she left a note at her brother’s garage for me to find when I came in to work nearly eight months ago. I’m sorry. That’s all it said. There was no explanation or anything else scripted on the ripped paper she tore from my billing ticket.

Todd told me Emily left town with some guy she met months before the split, which explains why she distanced herself from me leading to the breakup. Honestly, I was relieved when she ended it. I didn’t have the balls to hurt her by admitting I was miserable, so I stuck it out and busied myself with work to cope. But when she ran off and cut me out of her life, going as far as blocking my number, her name became a bitter pill to swallow.

I can deal with her moving on, even deal with her brother kicking me out of the garage I liked going to every day. But being ghosted by the only true friend I had for most my life still hit me hard. It makes me glad I got out of west bumfuck and away from the memories we built there.

Seeing Sam, the blonde look-alike, last night brought back memories I don’t want to have anymore. Moving to Mayfield and starting my own business is supposed to be my fresh start. I just hope she doesn’t become a regular.

Bailey barks at me to let her back in.

“Come on,” I call. “It’s time for bed.”


Author Bio:

Hey! I’m Barbara Celeste Doyle, although my middle name should be awkward. My life is a romantic comedy gone wrong, so I’ve become obsessed with four-legged felines and chocolate–not necessarily in that order.

My love for the written word led me to obtain a bachelor’s degree in English and soon a master’s in education to teach college classes.

I love connecting with readers so find me online!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram


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Grinders Corner By Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel

BookCover_GrindersCorner-RomCom.jpeg

Grinders Corner

by Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel

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GENRE:   Romantic Comedy

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BLURB:

Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity.  Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills. Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.

In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemen’s clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejection—for about fifteen cents a minute.

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EXCERPT:

Downtown Los Angeles

Romanceland, 1969

The jukebox was playing Close To You.  The lights were low and romantic, the red candles on the intimate little tables for two flickered seductively, and the many-faceted, mirrored chandelier reflected tiny droplets of shivering, shimmering light onto the dance floor.  His strong arms were about me, and he was lightly kissing my ear.  Then he spoke in a throaty whisper.

“Hey, baby, you wanna make a quick twentyfive bucks?  Let’s go to a motel.”

Oh God, I thought, as I looked at the clock.  One more hour to go.  I’m going to have to put up with this clown for sixty more minutes unless he runs out of money.  Maybe I can get him to sit down and have a Coke.  Then I won’t have to endure this tortuous ritual known as dancing.  If we get a Coke, I’ll have to make conversation with him and that might be worse than dancing.

The only good thing about dancing is that I don’t have to talk to him.  I only have to hear about the motel.

He was staring at me as if waiting for a reply, so I asked, “What did you say?”

Okay, that isn’t particularly original but it used up a couple of seconds.  Then he had to repeat it all.  That took a few more minutes.

I started to think maybe I could make it to the two o’clock finishing line, but I was wrong.  He wasn’t slobbering on my ear anymore.  Now it was my bare shoulder.

“Hey, I’m kind of thirsty,” I said.  “Why don’t we sit down and have a Coke?”

“Baby, I don’t want a Coke.”

“Oh, hell,” I said as I deftly stepped out of his reach.  “Let’s go to the desk so you can check out.”

He retorted with, “How about fifty bucks?  I’ll buy you a steak besides.”

I smiled, thinking how delicious that can of beans at home was going to taste.  “I’m sorry.  I’m not in that line of business.”

“Whaddya wanna do—get married?” he yelled.


About the authors…

Author Ferris Craig.jpgFerris Craig is a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and writer. Her credits include The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Golden Girls and many TV commercials. In the 1970s she performed with The Hollywood Hoofers in Las Vegas, later establishing The Burbank Academy of Performing Arts where she taught dance and acting. More recently, she choreographed and performed for The Broadway Seniorettes, and with Recycled Teenagers (dancers over 50). Currently she lives in Southern California with her three delightful dogs. Connect with Ferris on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecricketdance

CharKeel-RedSkyAuthor.jpgCharlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressman’s Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.

Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Brideand Black Elegance.  She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.

Keel’s editorial assignments include The Health of Nations, a book on political philosophy, and That Nation Might Live, a moving tribute to Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother. Her TV credits include Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives, and her book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. She also produced (for Romantic Times) the first annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant.

Buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Grinders-Corner-Saucy-Occasionally-Romantic-ebook/dp/B0725ZQ243/https://www.amazon.com/Grinders-Corner-Saucy-Occasionally-Romantic-ebook/dp/B0725ZQ243

The book is on sale for only $0.99.

Giveaways

 

Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel will be awarding two winners, a free copy of Grinders Corner (print or ebook). (U.S. only for print, International for ebook) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Click her to enter now!

Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats by Carla Rehse (Review)

Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Carla Rehse

Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Gracie Mason is homecoming queen, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and a member of the student council. She’s also a budding burglar. While attempting her inaugural break-in, Gracie blacks out and wakes up far away from the scene. It turns out she accidentally intruded on a male witch’s “circle of power,” and now she’s bonded to him for life. To break the bond, Gracie must delve deeper into a society of witches that involves a secret club, a shadowy council, and all sorts of magical mischief.

Gracie quickly learns that dissolving the bond with Asher, admittedly a very handsome and charming witch, is more complicated than she initially thought. And right when it seems things can’t get any worse, witches start turning up dead. It’s clear that Gracie is out of her depth as her quest to sever the bond magically turns into a murder investigation.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT:

New Hobbies

Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.

My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?

I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.

The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.

Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.

Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”

Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.

“Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.

The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”

Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”

This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.

Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.

Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.

I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.

“You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.

There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.

Author Bio:

Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of “y’all” and “bless your heart.”

Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter


Review for Pink Locks and Sequined Witch Hats

I absolutely adored heroine Gracie Mason! She was so full of spunk and wit that it made turning the page that much more interesting. Adding to the mixture is the attractive and handsome Asher, a male witch whom she finds herself bonded to, quite literally. Asher’s world is full of magic and mystery, pulling Gracie (and myself) into the wonder and amazement and then reveal all in a whirlwind of emotions. Pink Locks and Sequined Witch Hats is labeled YA, but I was so compelled to review this after reading the blurb that I was not disappointed in the romance and storyline flow and arc. I look forward to the sequel, should Carla Rhese write one (hopefully soon!)