Hullllooooo, my dearest blog followers!
As you know, occasionally I invite authors to come and play on my blog. Sometimes it’s just a book blurb, or cover reveal, sometimes it’s an interview. Well, recently I asked fellow author Travis Luedke of the Nightlife Series to come for a visit. If some of you don’t know about the Nightlife Series, it features vampires (of the badass, non-sparkly variety), sex, violence, and sometimes smexy violence. And I say that with love. But, anyhoo, back to the point at hand, you know what this foolish man said to me?
“Ok… but make it lively.” – Travis Luedke
#Naughtycouch Ladies Interview Travis Luedke
(aka Travis gets what’s cumin to him)
[Parental discretion is advised, contains adult language and overt references to sex]
Gen: This interview won’t take long, my darlings, as I’ve asked a few of my girlfriends from the infamous #naughtycouch to help me keep it “lively”. Most of you know my go-to-girl on the couch, Bad Penny @Penelope_Prose, but I’d like to introduce you to a few more of #Naughtyville’s residents; Caroline, Cat, Beth, and Deidre known on Twitter as @CarolineD_13, @dbl_latte, @missb1331, and @laDeeDa51, respectively. When I asked them for help they all jumped at the chance to ask Travis some questions. Penny, very helpfully, suggested we do so while enjoying the festivities of summer. Don’t know about you, but here in the Midwest that means fairs and carnivals! That’s right, make yourselves comfortable because Travis will be “manning” the dunk booth. He will have to answer the questions truthfully and in a timely manner or he gets dunked. And to make sure he doesn’t chicken out–not that he ever would–we’ve tied him up. Naked. Sweet P, you can remove his gag now.
*Bad Penny chuckles and removes the ball gag.*
Travis: I don’t remember anything in your email that said I’d be naked! Or gagged. Or tied up–
*Gen ignores him and turns to Beth.*
Gen: Fantastic job with the Shibari knots, Beth!
Beth (blushing): Thanks, Cupcake. I wanted to try that particular design since I pinned it on Pinterest.
Gen: This makes a nice change of pace for some of us ladies, tying someone else up. But I’m not sure for Travis. That’s a great first question, come to think of it! Is this the first time you’ve been tied up, Travis?
Travis: Well, yes this is my first, and that rope is giving me a wedgy something fierce. Wait, does being handcuffed count as being tied?
*Gen lobs a ball and Travis goes down.*
Gen: Oh! Oops. Itchy trigger finger. My bad. My husband complains about that all the time! He’s all, easy there, Dirty Harry.
Travis: I don’t care about how dirty and harry you like your men, get me out of this water. This shit’s cold.
*The ladies all snicker while Penny pulls Travis back on the harness.*
Bad Penny: Let me do him… I mean it, Cupcake.
Gen: Oh, sure, he’s all yours. Caroline can have sloppy seconds.
*The #naughtycouch ladies all giggle. Travis groans.*
Bad Penny: Here’s my questions… Of all the characters you’ve written about, Travis, which one is your favorite, least favorite, aaaannnd why? Oh, and if you pick my favorite as your least favorite; I’ve got balls with your name on them.
*Bad Penny pretends to line a ball up with the target of the dunk tank and giggles like a mad woman.*
Travis: I got some balls with your name on ‘em girlfriend. Wait! Don’t throw it! Okay, characters. Let me see. Michelle is probably one of my favorite characters, because she’s so complex, twisted, loving, and yet so vicious and wicked. Most readers never really understand Michelle until the end of the third novel, Nightlife Paris. It’s in Paris where we learn the dark, gritty trials she survived during WWII. Michelle’s life until now has been very tragic, lonely, but all that changes with Aaron. She changes. My least favorite character would be Delia, Aaron’s ex-girlfriend. She’s a manipulator, petty, selfish, and has no real redeeming qualities. She strung Aaron along, playing his insecurities for her own malicious pleasure. Although many readers are shocked to learn what happens to Delia at the end of Nightlife New York, I feel like she got precisely what she deserved.
Bad Penny (licking her lips and fondling the ball): You know, Travis, the next time you feel like dishing out punishments—hey!
*Gen drags Penny back to the couch*
Gen: Caroline, you’re next.
*Caroline gets up and finger waves at Travis.*
Caroline: Ok, so my question to Travis, a few of your books are set in different locations. If you could pick a place to live out of them where would it be?
Travis: I think, ideally, I would choose to be a perpetual traveller. Stay in one city for 3-4 months, then move on. Each city, each country, has its own unique flavor, culture, and appeal. I would miss America at times, but then I’d come home and very quickly remember all those reasons I left. And there are many travels yet to come in the Nightlife Series: London, Moscow, Hong Kong, and perhaps Panama City (a sequel to Blood Slave).
Caroline: Why did you choose paranormal romance? Do you enjoy reading this genre? Wait… Is that two questions?
Travis: Yes, that is two questions, and I’m getting cold here. I think I might need someone to come warm me up, some warm hands, maybe a warm tongue?
*The girls snicker*
Travis: No? Just gonna sit there and stare at my junk while I shiver? I thought this was the #naughtycouch?
*Travis shakes his head as he looks down at his not-so-impressive display. Caroline raises the ball to throw it*
Travis: Paranormal Romance! … I guess I have no interest in anything normal in the way of fiction. If it’s violent, creepy, macabre, paranormal, and erotic, that pretty much hits all the happy buttons for me. And romance is the glue that binds everything together. All the great stories of the world have at least a touch of romance. Even in Greek, Hindu, and Judeo Christian mythology, the dynamics of romantic entanglements were ever present. Adam broke the rules for Eve, and he’d probably do it all over again if you gave him the chance. Helen of Troy’s romantic mess launched a thousand ships to sail across the Aegean. Is there anything worth reading that doesn’t involve romance?
Gen: Mnnn… nope.
*The girls shake their heads in agreement. Cat pops up*
Cat: Ehem, I have a question.
*Caroline elbows Cat.*
Caroline: It was my turn!
Cat: You already asked two questions!
*Cat and Caroline start tickle fighting. Beth runs over to break them up and they start tickling her, too*
Deidre and Penny: Someone needs a spanking!
*Travis grins and Gen lobs another ball at the switch. The girls stop fighting to point and laugh at wet Travis*
Travis: Ah, come on! Couldn’t you put a heater in this thing? Dunk me in a hot-tub? At least get me a couple shots of tequila. This is cold!
Gen: Oh, sorry, you looked like you were getting a little hot there. Penny and Dee, stop laughing!
*Gen hooks her arm in Beth’s and Caroline’s and they sit down.*
Gen: Don’t worry, girls, no one’s getting spanked, not even Travis.
*Bad Penny starts pouting and snuggles with Caroline on the couch. Gen plays with Deidre’s hair while Deidre massages Beth’s shoulders. Travis starts drooling*
Gen: Cat, it’s your turn.
Cat: Hi, Travis! I have read the first two books in the Nightlife series and loved, loved, loved Michelle. She appeals to my secret, hidden, inner domme–oops, did I just admit that…out loud?!! Shhh, don’t tell anyone!
*Cat turns around and vamps. The girls all giggle and stick their tongues out*
Cat (turning back to Travis): Is her character/personality based on anyone in your life or did you create her purely from your imagination?
Travis: Michelle can be very cavalier and flippant. And she has little respect for unworldly Americans that have yet to realize they are not God’s gift to the planet. I would be lying if I said I’d never met or dated a foreign woman like that. Truthfully, the inspiration for Michelle’s character came from a series of novels by Stephen Clarke, ‘A Year in the Merde’, and ‘Merde Actually.’ It’s a story of a British man fumbling through corporate Paris and his misadventures with French women. As I read those novels, I literally heard Michelle’s voice going off in my mind, cussing up a storm in French. I saw her careless Gallic shrug, and her smile that could entice a man out of both wallet and pants at the same time.
*When Cat keeps staring at Travis, Gen lobs a ball at her rear*
Gen: Cat, do you have another question for him?
Cat: Umm, let me think.
*Caroline jumps up from the couch and whispers in her ear*
Cat: Oh, good one, who is your favorite superhero, and if you were a superhero who would you be?
Travis: Okay, I admit, I am a bit of a comic book nerd. I watch all the superhero movies, sometimes more than once. Favorites? Don’t really have one, because so many of them are simply too cool for words. But, if I had the choice of being one particular superhero, I would probably go for Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine. He’s such badass. And its damn near impossible to kill him. He’s one tough S.O.B.
Caroline: Oh, I like that answer!
Cat: Me too!
*Cat and Caroline raise their hands to throw their balls at the same time*
Travis: Hey! You said you liked the answer!
*Travis sighs in relief as the balls bounce off the edge. Gen drags the girls back to the couch*
Gen: Beth, you’re up next.
Beth: Well, I don’t mind going easy on you, Travis. What is one scene from a book that was inspired by real life events?
Travis: There are several scenes in all my books that have been inspired by real life events: the ones where the guy screws the girl so hard she can barely walk, and she loved every last second of it.
*Travis winks. Beth raises her hand*
Travis: Don’t you dare throw that ball! Okay, Okay! Vegas! In the gambling scene in Vegas, I have actually used the numerical odds betting system that Aaron used. And believe it or not, it does work around 90% of the time, but only on Roulette and Baccarat. The other 10% of the time you lose your shirt.
*Travis winks again. Beth smiles and fondles the ball.*
Beth: What is the most blatant lie you ever told?
Travis: Ahh, that’s an easy one, but not very flattering: “I love you.” Those three words are perhaps the most abused words in the English language. We often think we mean it when we say it … but do we really?
*Beth lobs the ball and Travis goes down.*
Beth: I think I should get another. That was so obviously not true.
Travis: I love you! Now get me out of this water!
*The ladies all nod their heads at Beth and smirk at Travis.*
Beth: You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose?
Travis: Merde. It’s an all-purpose word in French which happens to cross over to Spanish as well. And it would seem an appropriate description of so many aspects of this life. Translation: Shit.
Beth: Speaking of, my ropes will need to be removed before you—
*Gen grabs Beth*
Gen: And last, but never least, Dee, it’s your turn!
Deidre: Okay… Probably not the naughtiest or best of questions. But with him being tied up and already so wet and that water is obviously cold…
*Everyone on the couch giggles*
Deidre: Stop it, you guys! The poor man.
*Deidre grins evilly*
Deidre: Travis, do you have a favorite scene that you’ve written, for whatever reason, and why?
Travis: I think my favorite scene was chapter two in Blood Slave, it’s a FF sex scene. When the female vampire, Lia, wets her finger and dips it in her vial of cocaine, and then slides it up between Hope’s legs … I live very vicariously through writing those scenes.
*The ladies start chanting: Dunk, dunk, dunk!*
Deidre (shaking her head): Not just yet, we know how Gen likes delayed gratification.
Bad Penny: Ooohhh–
Beth and Cat: Hee!
Gen (smacking at them): Tuh!
Deidre: Travis, did you make any one character have more of your own personal attributes, good or bad, and which one?
Travis: Sadly, it’s probably some of my villains that are closer to me in real life. But Aaron does tend to be a cynical-yet-endearing sort of smartass, and that could accurately describe one of my own multiple personalities.
*Deidre lobs the ball for one last dunk.*
*The girls all laugh. Gen and Beth pop up from the couch to start untying Travis. Cat and Caroline start whisper fighting about who gets to towel Travis off.*
Travis: Get this rope out of my crack, please and thank you. And ladies, got a naked guy here. Let’s do this #naughtycouch style.
Cat: Oh, we’ll show you #naughtycouch style, alright!
Deidre: Let’s put him in the kilt!
Bad Penny: Wait! Let me show you some fun gear I picked up at Tribal Fire…
Caroline: Dirty martinis, everyone?
*Beth opens a jar of olives*
Gen: Ok, my lovely blog followers! That’s it for today because the guy I got the booth from has to get it back to the Fair…
Bad Penny: I thought you said it fell off the back of a truck?
Gen (clearing her throat): Anyhooo, thank you for joining us today as we interviewed Travis. Please check out his books and social media links below!
AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS
TW Luedke is a husband, father, and writer of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.
Social Media links:
Facebook author page
I have an important question for the Dom & Kate fans. Would you like the next dose of Dominic and Katelyn to be another short story (hopefully done this summer) or a full length novel (which will, of course, delay its release until after Downey #3 is out). The poll is geared towards fans so there is no options for none at all. HA! #HatersToTheLeft
NOTE: I took out the PollDaddy poll because I was having embed issues with it. NOW I put it back and I hope it works, I realize not all of you have Goodreads accounts. I wish I could figure out how to embed it on the side but the code isn’t working for me like the Goodreads did.
Hulllooooo, my peeps! I have another treat for you, a guest blog from my author colleague Dianne Harman. She’s here to tell us a bit about how her book Blue Coyote Motel came to be.
BLUE COYOTE BACK STORY
by Dianne Harman
I’ve been a reader since before kindergarten and was an English Major in college, but I never felt I had the “necessary credentials” to become a writer. I’d never gone to numerous workshops, joined critique groups or anything else that I thought “real writers” needed to do. Nevertheless, whenever someone would ask me what my dream thing would be I always pictured myself at a computer with a large window looking outdoors next to it and me writing. And so I sit here today at the computer, the large window next to me and a hummingbird nest in my tree! So much for visualization!!!
My husband read a review of Stephen King’s ten-year old book, On Writing, and suggested I read it which I did. It changed my life. Stephen said I could write. I didn’t need to do all the things I thought an author had to do to write. But now what to write?
We were at a wedding in Palm Springs, California where our son was the best man. It was being held in an old renovated downtown hotel. The temperature outside was 106 degrees in October. The air-conditioner was silent, and for what reason I will never know, I turned to my husband as we were getting ready to go out to dinner and said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if someone put a ‘feel-good’ drug in the air-conditioner and everyone felt good all the time?” He looked at me and said, “There’s your book.” That was the genesis of Blue Coyote Motel.
At dinner that evening a large priest with a huge cross was seated at the table next to us. It was about the time of the Penn State – Jerry Sandusky scandal. The priest became an alcoholic pedophile in my book. At the wedding dinner the next evening I was seated next to a couple who owned gold mines in Brazil. They became characters in the book. And so it went.
I wrote the book on my iPad as the California State Senate was in session and I was in Sacramento, California with my husband without a convenient computer. It went fast. The characters dictated what was going to happen and I simply wrote it down. I thought it would probably go in the bottom drawer of my nightstand and that would be it but I would have fulfilled my dream. My husband asked to read it. Three days later he told me it had to be published. I couldn’t have scripted the rest. I self-published it and a few months later Blue Coyote Motel was chosen as a quarter finalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Then, unbeknownst to me, it was chosen as Goodreads Psychological Thriller of the Month. Who would have thunk? Not me. And it’s still selling well after all these months!
I never intended to write a sequel or a series, but the Beta readers and others kept asking me what happened to Maria. The next in the series, Coyote in Provence, is in the final editing stages and the third book has been written and should be out by the end of the year.
I guess the whole lesson is to “bloom where you’re planted.”
BLUE COYOTE MOTEL SYNOPSIS
You’ll never look at motel air conditioning the same way after you read Blue Coyote Motel.
Blue Coyote Motel is a suspense filled thriller about six travelers who stop and spend the night at a remote California desert motel. Each of them leaves the following morning “feeling good,” but unaware that they have inadvertently become addicted to a gaseous drug piped into their rooms.
Jeffrey, the owner of the motel, is a scientist who was recently fired by a prestigious Southern California drug manufacturer for giving an anti-aging hormone he discovered to his beautiful Latina wife. Spinning slowly into the depths of insanity, he decides to test the effectiveness of another of his drug discoveries on unsuspecting motel guests. He calls the drug Freedom because it frees people from depression, anger, stress, grief, and aggression. Jeffrey has grandiose plans to make Freedom available throughout the world in order to bring about peace and harmony, but instead it causes grief and chaos in the lives of the motel guests. The cast of characters includes a defrocked priest, a Native American pediatrician, a wealthy widow, a Brazilian couple who owns gold mines and a salesman intent on finding himself.
Blue Coyote Motel presents an engaging look at the human frailties present in all of us.
ABOUT DIANNE HARMAN
Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, leaving that industry and opening two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. Dianne has traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach, California and Sacramento, California, where her husband is a Senator. A gourmet cook, she has entertained Governors, Congressmen and numerous other political figures in her homes. An avid reader, Dianne brings the richness of her life experiences to her novels, Blue Coyote Motel and Tea Party Teddy.
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Author Page
I wrote the following this morning as a thank you to everyone that’s helped get the Facebook Page to 1500 likes!! THANK YOU! You guys are THE best fans in the universe!
Conversations at 30,000 Feet
(A Maeve Downey and Ginny Sommers missing moment from Second of All)
by Genevieve Dewey
“Have you ever done something that seemed to be the practical sort of thing to do, and you did it thinking, no big deal, maybe it wasn’t a nice move but surely everyone would see it was not sinister. And when you did it, you were totally oblivious to the connotations it might have in another’s mind or the potential ramifications? And even after you did it, you’re thinking, what’s the big deal? And they’re thinking, deal breaker?”
Maeve Downey knit her brows together and tapped her index fingers without unlacing her hands. She tilted her head to look at her blonde row mate. Never in her nearly eighty decades on this planet had she ever met such a balled up bundle of energy and tamped down emotions before like this Agent Sommers. ’Cept, of course, when she looked in her own mirror.
“Well, tis my experience people often see sinister things when they go lookin’ for ’em,” Maeve answered.
“I don’t think he was looking for them, per se, but…” Ginny trailed off, frowned, scooted a bit in her seat then started twirling the tiny straw in her cocktail again at break-neck pace.
Maeve was of the opinion that the girl ought to try something a bit stronger than vodka and tonic. She would offer her something, but, was fairly certain that wouldn’t go over well, seein’ as the girl was a Federal Agent and all. Seemed to be one of those that actually took the job seriously, to boot.
“I just… and true, maybe I’m just tired, not at the top of my game, I mean, clearly not, here we are, aren’t we?” Ginny babbled on.
“Where? Thirty thousand feet above the Atlantic? Or were ye speaking more metaphorical like?” Maeve asked.
Truth be told, she too, was feeling too weary to keep up her usual level of banter. There was an irony to gaining exhaustion through helping one’s son retire from a game one was still playing. Children weren’t supposed to retire before their parents any more than they were supposed to die before their parents… but God never did play by human rules.
Agent Sommers’ school ring clacked as she slapped her hand flat on the snack tray. She drummed her finger tips a few quick times, took a deep breath, then seemed to calm a bit. A very small bit. She turned counter clockwise, pushing her elbow into the seat behind her to brace herself and stared Maeve down. She had that hardened female copper look in her eyes and her mouth turned down just slightly, so as to say, ‘I mean business’, yet not be off-putting. Maeve smiled. Ah, maybe she did have a round or two left in her. This was always Maeve’s favorite part of the dance, the rare occasions when law caught up on the race track enough to have a friendly chat with her. Pauli and Mickey had always hated it. Maybe that was the Downey in ’em—rapscallions all of ’em—but when they’d been caught, nothing but a bunch of red-eared little boys. Not Maeve. Chess had always been her favorite game. There was nothing more exhilarating than having a chat with someone who could actually keep up with her. ‘Twas a shame it happened so rarely.
Agent Sommers finished her examination of Maeve’s face and must have decided it wasn’t worth it because she drooped back against the seat and went back to staring out the window as she had while making her decision to carry on to Ireland instead of going after Tommy. A smart decision on her part, smarter than she knew.
“Isn’t there more than one St. Brigid’s well in Ireland? Why fly into Dublin when there must be one closer to Galway?”
Maeve chuckled. “That’s the tack your ship’s sailing? There aren’t always flights into Galway from the States. Call yourself an investigator?”
Ginny’s mouth pursed a bit in obvious amusement but she kept staring at the shut airplane window.
“Seemed better than asking Tommy’s grandmother if she thought he’d forgive me for handcuffing him to a bed. I like to ease into things.”
“Handcuff—oh ho!” Maeve chortled so loud people’s heads started to turn.
Ginny grinned at Maeve but her eyes still seemed haunted.
“I honestly thought it wasn’t that big a deal, I swear. I left the key, and his phone in reach. I just wanted a head start. I knew it’d make him mad, sure, but I was thinking mad enough to say ‘screw it, I’m staying home’, not…not…”
Maeve fought through her chuckles and reached in her purse for her flask. She picked up the girl’s plastic cup and poured her herb-infused alcohol in the cup. Agent Sommers stared at the cup with her mouth parted and her brows furrowed.
“Exactly how many people did you bribe to get that through?”
“Now don’t be gettin’ yer nickers in a twist, what’s the point as we’re halfway round the world already?”
“The point is, if you can get something through, a terrorist could—”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, lay it down, woman, and take a drink.”
The stunned look on Agent Sommers’ face was worth breaking her own rule against unnecessary cussing. And swearing was almost always unnecessary, in her opinion. Ginny laughed a bit and took a sip of the concoction. She let out a wheeze.
“Wow! What is in that?” Ginny squeaked out. She took her paper napkin and dabbed her eyes.
“Ah, just a few herbs. Just a garden variety tincture, no pun intended,” Maeve smiled. It was one of her ‘don’t mind me, I’m just a dotterin old lady’ smiles.
She was pleased to see the girl’s eyes narrow. Yes, this one had a sharp mind.
Ginny took another tiny sip. “Wormwood? And… is that anise? No… it’s…”
Maeve watched Ginny wipe her brow and blink her eyes, frowning intently into her cup. She set it on the tray with a shaking hand, and with a resigned sigh, turned her head back to Maeve.
“Dammit,” Ginny whispered sadly. Maeve patted her leg under the tray.
“You’re a good Agent. I just have a few decades on ye, that’s all,” Maeve said kindly, and she did mean it kindly. “Have a good rest now. Tommy’ll prob’ly forgive ye anything. He’s more like his father than he wants to admit.”
“I know…” Ginny replied in a breathy mumble, eyes drooping.
Maeve watched the girl finally succumb to sleep then leaned her own head against her chair and closed her eyes. She hoped the two would work their handcuff problem out. Seein’ as how they were about to have a lot more pressing problems than a lover’s quarrel.
–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey All Rights Reserved.
Yep! Poor, long-suffering Officer Anderson–oh alright, cheeky, laid-back Officer Anderson–has been helping his old friend and former partner Detective Tommy Gates while he was away from the Omaha Police Department.
And as you know, Kyle’s mom Bridgette mentions that Kate once went on a date with Tommy in Bird Day, which is set just a few months before Tommy heads to Chicago for the human trafficking joint task force.
What you may not know is Claire Underwood from First, I Love You–Agent Jack Underwood’s wife and Mary Gates’ best friend–is an Anderson by birth. Her brother, Tom Anderson, is Kyle and Katelyn Anderson’s father. So, if you’ve read the Tommy Flashback, when Kyle Anderson refers to his Aunt Claire she is literally his Aunt, versus the fictive use of the moniker by Tommy. Despite their instant rapport, Tommy and Kyle only rarely saw each other growing up but quickly re-connected when they discovered they would be in the same training class at the Police Academy.
All that aside, the reason I drug you all in here is to give you a sneak peek at the next Dom & Kate short story! This is partly the same teaser I put up on Facebook a week or so ago…only with a little more meat and potatoes added, as we say here in Nebraska.
(Remember the final version will be subject to editing and proofreading and editing, etc etc, of course!)
Katelyn set her pencil down on the spreadsheet she was double checking—old school style—and took a deep breath.
“Yo?” she replied and finally raised her head. What part of ‘I’m working’ was he not grasping? “Are you Rocky now, Dom? Is this another role play thing?”
Dominic grabbed the back of her chair and rolled it away from the desk.
“Hey! I can’t—I’m almost done—at least let me save my work.”
“No, it won’t! What if the power goes out or something? I’ll lose all the stratigraphy data I just input.”
Dom reached up and scratched his head, scrunching his eyebrows.
“Are the dead things still going to be dead? Yes. Still buried in dirt? Yes. Are we going to be dead and buried in dirt if we don’t leave now for the engagement party my mother is throwing? Yes.”
Dom grabbed her hands and yanked her out of the chair. Katelyn glared at him.
“I don’t excavate ‘dead things’. Pottery is made of clay, sometimes—”
“Let’s goooo,” Dom drawled. When she started to pull him back towards the computer he looped an arm around her middle and hitched her over his shoulder.
“Oh. Em. Gee. You did not seriously just do that!” She pummeled his butt while he laughed and carried her down the hall.
“Oh, em, gee, I can’t believe a twenty-eight year old woman just said ‘Oh. Em. Gee.’ And please, babe, I’ve known you since infancy. You’ve backed that file up in at least three places and obsessively after each entry.”
She blew the hair out of her face and glared at him after he set her down by the front door. He grinned unrepentantly and handed her purse to her.
“Besides,” he continued, only slightly breathless. “Speaking of role playing… Didn’t you just say the other night you like the ‘caveman thing’?”
Katelyn flushed magenta. “Not when the caveman’s dragging me next door to his mother’s. I usually like to ignore the fact she lives next to me.”
“Well, I usually like to ignore the fact my fiancée lives a town away instead of moving in with me like she promised,” he replied as they walked across the freshly cut lawn.
“A suburb away, technically speaking,” Kate muttered.
“What’s that? Something about a Swingline stapler, Milton?” Dom asked, turning around and walking backwards. He smirked and waggled his eyebrows.
He’s damn lucky he’s so sexy, Kate thought.
“If you trip over a hose and land on your ass, don’t expect sympathy from me,” she said playfully. “Don’t worry, we all know your mommy will kiss it and make it all better.”
“Oh, burn!” Kandace shouted, leaning off the rail on Ramona’s porch. Her husband Steve chuckled and pulled her towards the door.
The smug smirk disappeared from Dom’s face and he froze mid-gait, wrinkling his nose. Katelyn grinned and smacked him on his firm rear as she walked past him. Her sense of victory was short lived, though, because not only was every member of both their families crammed into Ramona’s tiny living room—and looking quite sour about it—but judging from the mischievous gleam in Dom’s eyes as he sat down, he’d be paying her back… intimately… and soon.
“I would just like to start the festivities by getting the most important thing out of the way,” Kandace said as soon as everyone had sat down. Ramona looked affronted. It was rather sassy to upstage the hostess, Katelyn thought.
“And that is to say…” Kandace continued, pivoting in her seat to look Katelyn in the eyes. “I told you so. And you’re welcome. No really, there’s no need to name your first child after me. Just knowing I am his or her distinctly cooler Aunt will be enough payment.” She leaned back against Steve’s chest, crossed her legs on the coffee table, and smirked. Steve grimaced and checked his watch. Three-fourths of the room sent their eyes to the ceiling.
Dom nodded at her with a faux-smile and a falsetto ‘aww’. He flicked a baby carrot at her.
“Stay classy, Kandy.”
Kandace raised her middle finger.
“Quit it, you two!” Ramona and Bridgette said in unison. There was a beat of silence then both Kandace and Dom laughed.
Katelyn leaned forward in her chair and pushed Kandace’s feet off the table.
“Mrs. Valentini—Ramona—I appreciate you having us, but obviously, we’ve all known each other for many years so there’s no need for the ritualized meeting of the families prior to nuptials—”
“What she means to say, Mom, is we’re glad to be here, thanks.”
Ramona’s confused and glazed expression cleared up and she beamed adoringly at her only son.
“Wonderful!” Ramona clapped her hands together once. “I thought we could discuss how each of us can have a part in the wedding. Everyone here is delighted you two kids have finally decided to tie the knot.”
Katelyn looked around the room and ‘delighted’ wasn’t the adjective she’d use to describe the occupants. ‘Bored’ and ‘indifferent’ were more accurate descriptors with a heaping scoop of ‘smug’ from Kandace.
“Mom, actually we—” Dom began to say but Kellie interrupted.
“I’m quite certain I’ve faxed over the information on the venue to you. I’ve managed to reserve Dundee Bar and Grill for the rehearsal supper—”
“Oh, nonsense, it’s so small and such a run-down area,” Ramona said.
“Actually, no, it’s not. And it’s quite a trendy area for weddings these days,” Kellie argued.
“You know, we don’t need—” Dom began again.
“And easier for the out of town guests to see the sights of Omaha,” she continued over him.
“That may be, but it’s nowhere near where any of us live!” Ramona waved a piece of celery at Kellie.
“The point being, it’s close to the park where Kate and Dom will have the ceremony,” Kellie gritted out while glaring at the drooping celery stalk. Kellie’s voice was beginning to get that brittle and pert tone that everyone in the Anderson family knew signaled her digging in her heels.
“Kellie, while I appreciate you—” Katelyn started to placate but Ramona plowed over her.
“I see no reason why they can’t get married at Mahoney Park. It’s much closer. No need to hassle with downtown traffic. Am I right, Bridgette? Right?” Ramona asked Kate’s mother in an equally brittle, slightly hysterical tone.
Bridgette merely puckered her lips while slathering peanut butter in an agitated manner on the poor, battered celery.
“Pick your evil, I guess. Deal with tourists or deal with the Dundee DINKs,” Kandace drawled, placing her feet back on the coffee table.
“Watch your language, Kandace Marie!” Bridgette said and pushed Kandace’s feet back off.
Kyle snorted. “It means dual-income, no kids, Mom,” he said without looking up from his phone. “And can we wrap this up please?” He was still in his Police uniform and unsubtly standing right next to the front door.
Dominic’s sister Demetria laughed softly and somehow it captured everyone’s attention. Katelyn could never figure out how she did it. It was a sort of breathy, tinkling ‘ha-ha-ha’ that resonated on a different existential plane. Like the dog-whistle of laughs. She was perched in a zen-like position on an ottoman at the edge of the dining room, forcing most of the occupants of the living room to crane their necks to look at her.
“Forgive my interruption,” Demi breathed—because she never spoke like a normal person—she imparted wisdom…breathlessly. “Has anyone enquired what Dominic and Katelyn would like to do?”
Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved