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Curious about my books? Like drama, suspense, or romance?


The Downey Series consists of The Downey Trilogy (First, I Love You; Second of All; and Third Time’s The Charm) as well as the spin-off romances featuring Dom & Kate (The Bird Day Battalion , The V-Day Aversion, and The Good Life).

The Downey Trilogy novels are contemporary drama/suspense with a romance subplot set in Chicago and Omaha. The Dom & Kate stories are contemporary romance set in the Omaha-Lincoln area of Nebraska. It is not necessary to read The Downey Trilogy to understand the Dom & Kate stories OR vice-versa.

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[Start reading First, I Love You for FREE here on my website: Chapter One]

birddaycover(Free!)  valentinescover (Free!)  TheGoodLifeDigitalCover

KikibannerHow are the books connected?

For starters, both Detective Tommy Gates and his criminal-mastermind father Mickey Downey from The Downey Trilogy are mentioned in The Bird Day Battalion.

Not only that, but Officer Kyle Anderson (who is in all three Dom & Kate books) is briefly mentioned at the end of First, I Love You and shows up again at the end of Second of All. Tommy Gates also makes an appearance in The Good Life.

The Bird Day Battalion  occurs before First, I Love You chronologically, but The V-Day Aversion occurs the same month Tommy heads to Chicago for his human trafficking task force in The Downey Trilogy. The Good Life is set after the end of Third Time’s The Charm

It’s not just Kyle and Tommy that connect the books; Mary Gates’ best friend Claire Underwood from First, I Love You–Agent Jack Underwood’s wife–is an Anderson by birth. Her brother, Tom Anderson, is Kyle and Katelyn Anderson’s father. When Kyle Anderson refers to his Aunt Claire in the Tommy Flashback, she is literally his Aunt, versus the fictive use of the moniker by Tommy. Claire also makes a cameo in the Mickey & Mary Flashback.

You can read MORE about the characters from the Downey series here:

CHARACTER TIDBITS

MICKEY’S FAMILY TREE

You can read the free supplemental Flash-fictions here:

NEW BEGINNINGS (A Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy.

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SPIN THE BOTTLE (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a look at the spin the bottle game that Kate references in Bird Day Battalion. Little Tommy Gates makes a brief cameo at the party.

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT KNEES (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a short holiday scene between Dom and Kate set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is very fluffy and G-rated. Published in A World of Joy Anthology.

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HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another.

~~~~~

CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Scene)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Scene)

A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman missing love scene from First, I Love You set shortly after they “hook up” for the first time as Kiki puts it. Published in A World of Romance Anthology — (Warning! 18+ For Sexual Material!)

~~~~~

SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

A flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades her to be his mistress. — (Warning: 18+ For Language and Brief Sexual Material)

~~~~~

LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in The Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as periodic blog posts. Check back as I add more.

~~~~~

 

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Fluffy, frisky, angsty!


No, they’re not Snow White’s naughty dwarfs, just missing scenes!

If you’re new here and you’d like a no-commitment taste of my books, or maybe you’re just bored, below are links to the free supplemental scenes from my novels. Some are fluffy, some frisky, well, you get the idea…

(And FYI: In between writing on my super angsty work-in-progress, and real life, I am working on another Downey/Anderson outtake set the Christmas AFTER all the books!)

~~~

NEW BEGINNINGS (A Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy. Rated G.

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SPIN THE BOTTLE (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a look at the spin the bottle game that Kate references in Bird Day Battalion. Little Tommy Gates makes a brief cameo at the party. Rated PG.

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THE GOOD LIFE PROLOGUE (A Dominic Valentini and Kyle Anderson Flashback)

This is a wedding jitters scene between Dom and Kyle set before Dom’s wedding to Isabel Alesio, about three years before Dom and Kate get together in Bird Day Battalion. It’s not technically a missing scene, but I’m including it here anyway. Rated PG.

~~~~~

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT KNEES (A Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

This is a short holiday scene between Dom and Kate set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. Published in A World of Joy Anthology. Rated G.

~~~~~

HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another. Rated PG.

~~~~~

CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Scene)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on. Rated PG.

~~~~~

SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Scene)

A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman missing love scene from First, I Love You set shortly after they “hook up” for the first time as Kiki puts it. Published in A World of Romance Anthology – Rated R, For Sexual Material.

~~~~~

SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

A flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades her to be his mistress. – Rated R, For Language and Sexual Material.

~~~~~

LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in The Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as periodic blog posts. Check back as I add more. Rated PG-13.

~~~~~

NEW RELEASE! A funny, sexy #summerread from Nebraska: The Good Life


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Author’s Note: Contains both shorts The Bird Day Battalion and The V-Day Aversion as well as the full length novel The Good Life.

Genre: Contemporary Romance> Romantic Comedy.

Purchase a digital copy at:

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Purchase a paperback copy at:

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~~~

“The Good Life”

 

Detective Kyle Anderson is a man of simple tastes and reasonably low expectations. Give him a juicy steak and no homicides, and he’d call it good. When his sister Katelyn got engaged to his best friend Dominic, he’d figured the worst of the unnecessary drama in his life was over. But that was before Dom’s free-spirited, twig-eating, exasperating sister Demetria came back to Nebraska and completely hijacked the planning of the wedding, starting with inviting Dom’s ex-wife Isabel. Now Kate’s so determined to prove Isabel is up to no good that she insists Kyle date her to keep her away from Dom. Soon Kyle is so knee deep in Anderson-Valentini dramatics, he’s thinking of changing his name and moving to Tibet. If he could just get Demi the impossibly sexy granola-flake off his mind long enough to do it…

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Enter to win a paperback copy (ENDS JULY 1!!):

goodlifegoodreads

The following are two excerpts from the novel,

one you can listen to, and one you can read:

Excerpt #2:

“I can’t stay with you!”

“Why not? It’s not like we didn’t start the evening in bed together. All joking aside, I’m not in the habit of molesting my girlfriends while they sleep.”

“Kyle! That’s not—Err…” Demi growled, flailing her hands as she paced. “How—I mean why—I just…” she stopped and drew in a large breath. “How did you go from thinking I’m an idiot to deciding to hound me for a relationship?”

“Correction, I have never thought you’re an idiot. I think you are the farthest thing from an idiot. You are an intelligent, successful woman with an incomprehensible hatred of bacon who occasionally pretends to be a flake. Hence the nickname granola-flake. Which is way worse than actually being an idiot.”

She huffed.

“That’s my point though. Underneath all this,” she waved her hands again. “…is still that undercurrent of disapproval from you.”

“So change my mind. You’ve already proved me wrong on one major thing. I’m more open minded than you give me credit for. You seem determined to still see me as a narrow-minded bigot. This is a two-way street, woman,” Kyle growled.

“What was that one thing?” she asked, blinking in consternation.

“Let’s put it this way… I can tell when a woman hasn’t had a lot of sexual experience. Either that or you have shitty ass taste in men who are selfish in bed. But you deliberately cultivate this flower child, free love, come-and-get-it, sex goddess persona.”

Her mouth worked for several seconds. “I have too had a lot of sex!” She cringed and looked side to side, then spoke in a lower tone, “I mean, not a lot…but plenty.” Of course, most of it had been in the same calendar year, but he didn’t need to know that.

“So shitty taste, then,” he shrugged. “Alright, fine. Mystery solved.”

“Uh,” she huffed. “What’s that say about you?”

“Nothing, since I picked you.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did. I am currently the only person in this relationship who’s done any conscious picking.”

“We are not in a relationship!”

“Says who?”

“You are a maddening man…” she replied, utterly flabbergasted. “It takes two people to be in a relationship. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide you’re going to be with someone.”

“Sure you can. Technically speaking, it was you who made the first move.”

“No, I didn’t!”

“I guess that’s just how us Andersons roll. When we decide to do something, or change our minds about something and go in a different direction we just…” Kyle skipped his hands together, making a clapping sound, “…do it. Some, like Kate, take forever to get to that decision, but there’s no hesitancy on the course of action once the decision’s been made.”

Demi narrowed her eyes, mouth slightly parted. “You wouldn’t be saying that if you’d participated in any of the wedding planning with her.”

“That has never been about doubting her decision to marry Dominic and everything about Kate’s bad habit of trying to please everyone even knowing it is simply not possible to please everyone at the same time,” he said, then stood up and grabbed her again, scooping her off her feet.

She gasped and reflexively grabbed his shoulders. He sat back down on the chair and tucked her head with his again.

She sighed with a sudden realization, “You’re just trying to distract me, aren’t you?”

He smiled at her, “Maybe. A little bit.”

She reached up and gently traced his swollen lip again then laid her head back against his shoulder.

“That’s what boyfriends do,” he continued.

She laughed and smacked his chest, “Are not.”

“She says while sitting on my lap… hours after having exchanged bodily fluids—”

“Stop!” she laughed and smacked him again.

He chuckled and squeezed her.

“Thank you,” she whispered after a moment.

He answered with another kiss to her head. She was willing to admit the ‘solid, dependable type’ did have its benefits.

She sighed and squeezed him back. “You’re a good man, Kyle Anderson.”

“Eh, I’m alright,” Kyle kissed her again. “I just wanted to let you know… I mean, I try to ease my girlfriends into this, but… my family’s sort of insane. Just so you know.”

She laughed so hard she started crying, and that seemed so silly that it made her laugh some more. He rocked her a bit and it wasn’t long before she dozed off again, held tight in his arms.

–The Good Life © 2014 by Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved.

Purchase a copy at:

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Purchase a paperback copy at:

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A little About the Author (Me!):

Genevieve lives in Nebraska with her husband and three children. She has a Master’s Degree in Anthropology and a passion for reading, writing, and research. Her favorite subjects are organized crime, anthropology, and Chicago where her family is from (she still hasn’t quite forgiven them for leaving). Her books include:

The Downey Trilogy

First, I Love You

Second of All

Third Time’s The Charm

Dom & Kate

The Bird Day Battalion

The V-Day Aversion

The Good Life

 

Feel free to connect with me online:

Twitter: @GenevieveDewey

Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Google+ * YouTube

And PLEASE, join my Fan Newsletter to get exclusive deals and first glances!

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Here’s a peek at the characters from The Good Life (coming soon!)…


So, sometimes as a writer you see models or actors who remind you of the characters you have in your head. Here are some who remind me of the characters from the Dom & Kate romances. I hope their agents don’t sue me, that would be sad for them as I’m very poor. ;p

dom4 Dominic Valentini, football coach and PE instructor, former professional football player, loves socializing, sports of all varieties, doing anything with an element of danger, and everything about Kate Anderson. Mama’s boy with a bit of a temper.

~

 kate Katelyn Anderson, archaeologist, works part-time for the Midwest Archaeological Center, and part-time for the Nebraska State Museum. Homebody, loves reading, museums, science specials on TV, and running. The family pacifist and people pleaser, she avoids confrontation “the way everyone else avoids paying taxes”.

~

demi Demetria Valentini, outspoken vegetarian who makes occasional exceptions for cheese and eggs, pagan gift shop owner, created her own body-care line, prides herself on being a professional free-spirit. Loves Star Wars, hiking, and provoking reactions from people just for fun.

~

kyleKyle Anderson, police detective, moderately conservative Catholic, loves bacon, dark beer, hockey, and no drama. Especially no drama. One of five siblings from a family that’s “made an Olympic sport out of having children” as his partner Tommy says. More outgoing than his twin sister, Kate Anderson, but leagues less adventurous than his best friend Dom Valentini.

 

Read how Dom & Kate got together in these FREE short romances:

The Bird Day Battalion (Dom & Kate #1):   thCA82U60G thCACNXHNIthCA2WYIQ9 thCAHYUWN0 thCALCVTPI

The V-Day Aversion (Dom & Kate #2):   thCA82U60G thCACNXHNIthCA2WYIQ9 thCAHYUWN0 thCALCVTPI

 

Then check out this excerpt from The Good Life and enter to win a copy at Goodreads!

Enter to win a paperback copy:

goodlifegoodreads

Preorder a digital copy at:

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Purchase a paperback copy early at:

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Want a peek at The Good Life (coming June 30)? Listen to a scene!


So, you know I am not a professional audiobook person, hats off to those amazing people, but here is me reading part of a scene from the upcoming novel The Good Life.

If you haven’t read my FREE short romances The Bird Day Battalion and The V-Day Aversion, you can grab a copy at all major eBook retailers!

Have you entered to win a paperback copy yet?:

goodlifegoodreads

 

Can’t wait for The Good Life to get here? Listen to the Playlist while you wait!


These are the songs I either referenced in the Dom & Kate shorts or The Good Life, or just songs that I listened to while writing the novel. It’s sort of the soundtrack, if you will, for the novel.

Enjoy!!!

The Good Life Playlist:

 

Have you entered to win a paperback copy yet?:

goodlifegoodreads

 

Dom and Kate fans, thanks for making V-Day a chart topper too!


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The month of February, V-Day Aversion has been FREE at all eBookstores!
(It goes back to $.99 March 1st)

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And Bird Day Battalion is always FREE!

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The V-Day Aversion has charted decently well in the paid short romance category at Apple, but not since its initial release last year have I seen it in the top ten short romance at Amazon. Of course, that’s only on the free chart this month, which matters to some, but not to me. Why? Because I’m happy new people are reading it! And I’m happy because it means YOU have been spreading the word! I do so love it when people fall in love with Dom & Kate enough to recommend it to their friends. That’s the best kind of endorsement there is!

And I hope that means you are getting excited for The Good Life!

In case you were unaware, you can also read some free flashbacks here on the website:

New Beginnings (A Kyle Anderson & Tommy Gates Flashback) Rated G

Spin The Bottle (A Kate Anderson & Dom Valentini Flashback) Rated PG

All I Want for Christmas… (A Kate Anderson & Dom Valentini Flashback) Rated G

And today I made a little tiny kinship chart (It’s the Anthropologist in me, LOL! Kate would understand.) to maybe help some sort out who’s who to whom… and whatnot. You’ll probably need to click on it to read it better.

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And you can learn more about how the Andersons are connected to the Downey Trilogy here:

More About The Downeys

Happy reading!

Gen

Another excerpt from #TheGoodLife (Dom and Kate #3)


In case you missed the excerpt last night on Facebook, here is another scene from the Dom & Kate novel, The Good Life.

On a side note, I know many of you are anxious for this novel, and I apologize for the slow-going nature. “Real life” responsibilities have an annoying way of interfering. I am still working on it, and hoping that I will catch up to where I wanted to be soon.

Thank you for your patience.

~~~

An excerpt from THE GOOD LIFE (subject to editing, all rights reserved, etc):

 

 

“Change of plans,” Kandace began.

Katelyn groaned. “Kandy, even with me being worried, I’m pretty sure whatever you’re going to say is a bad idea.”

“Forget about the cake, I’ve pretty much had it picked out for you since you announced the engagement,” Kandace plowed over her. “We are going to go on the offensive.”

“No, no we are not…” Kate’s heart plummeted. When would she learn? One went to Kandace for shopping and baking advice, not relationship advice.

“Caroline? Hold my calls,” Kandace said into the intercom.

There was silence for a few beats as Kandace grabbed her coat and purse then, “Sure thing,” Caroline’s voice finally responded, barely concealed laughter in her voice.

“Kandace, this is a bad idea,” Katelyn argued as Kandy dragged her out of the building.

“You don’t even know what the idea is yet.”

“I don’t need to. Besides I should get back to Lincoln and help Becky finish digitizing the new archives.”

“Perfect! We were headed to Lincoln anyway.”

“We—we were?” Katelyn’s heart started racing at the determined, slightly maniacal look in her sister’s eyes.

“You and I are going to Open Harvest.”

“Open—why? How is organic produce going to help us? Is this for the wedding?”

Kandace frowned intensely as she weaved through I-80 traffic westward, but she didn’t reply. They were past the Gretna outlet mall before Kandy finally responded.

“Phase one of my plan is we’re going to get some things to bribe her with. Then, while she’s distracted with that, we’ll research her weaknesses. By the time I’m done, Isabel will love you so much she’ll be more likely to try and steal you away from Dom rather than the other way around.”

“What? How?” Katelyn smacked her head at the absurdity.

“Well, you heard Kellie! Demetria and Isabel are apparently friends. And since hippies stick together, that means she must be one of those urban-apologists. You know, completely unaware of where their food comes from, but determined to judge us mid-westerners about it just the same.  And how does one disarm a wanna-be-tree-hugger? Toss hard-to-find vegetables and hemp products at them. And if that doesn’t work, gift them with homemade herbal tinctures and salves that cause them uncontrolled itching.”

Katelyn snorted. “Truly you have a dizzying intellect,” she drawled.

“Nice. Princess Bride,” Kandace acknowledged with a grin, then continued in her Vizzini voice, “but never go in against an Anderson when marriage is on the line!”

“Ok, first flaw in your ‘logic’, for lack of a better word; Demetria is not a hippie. Liking non-GMO products has nothing to do with a social movement of the 1960s. And to assume that Isabel is a hippie by association is too ridiculous to even be addressed. And for Exhibit C, I present Dominic Valentini, who would never in a trillion years marry a hippie or urban apologist. From what I hear she’s a pediatrician who volunteers at women’s shelters. With mad cooking skills and a Master Gardener certificate.”

Kandace had her lip curled in disgust. “This is worse than I thought. She’s either a Stepford wife or a great con-artist,” she paused, tilted her head, and put up one finger in the air, “but the most salient point in our favor is Dom still left her for you.”

“Ooo, a big girl word. And used correctly even,” Kate mocked.

Kandace smacked Katelyn’s leg. “It was the word of the day on the Trophy Wife App on my iPhone,” she admitted.

The sisters met each other’s gaze and laughed in unison.

Kate grabbed Kandy’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “You’re the best, you know that?” her voice choked with emotion, “the way you always have my back…”

Kandace gave her a flummoxed side-eye. “Are you getting… weepy on me?”

Kate sighed and looked out the window. It had to be the stress of everything making her so emotional all of a sudden. She wished the wedding could just be done and over with already.

She frowned as Kandace took the Waverly exit without warning. “Thought you said we’re going to Open Harvest?”

“We’ll loop around on the south side. Gotta pick up the critters from school first.”

“How’re you and Steve doing?” Katelyn asked.

“Better than ever,” Kandy replied with a cheesy grin. “Proof you should never give up fighting for your man.”

Katelyn snorted and laughed heartily. “Kandy, I love you, but you have easily got to be the most un-self-aware person I know. If it weren’t for Kellie and Kyle, or me and Dom for that matter, you’d still be squatting at my house.”

“And if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be with Dom.”

“Uh, noooo,” Katelyn argued, “he told me he was going to go for it with me anyway.”

Kandace dramatically rolled her eyes and took the 84th street exit towards the south end of Lincoln. She hadn’t gone but a quarter mile past the gas station before she screeched to a halt. She put her arm out in front of Kate as the seatbelt locked in place. Kate looked down at the redundant restraint.

“Sorry. Mom reflex,” Kandace said sheepishly as she took her arm back.

“What the what?” was all Kate could say as Kandace actually backed the car up half on the side of the road, and half in her lane.

“What are you doing?” she squeaked in horror. She waved awkwardly at the furious drivers screeching around them, honking their horns and waving obscene gestures.

“Look over there!” Kandace pointed to the other side of the street.

“I see… a gas station?”

“No,” she pointed emphatically, “over,” she gritted with another furious jab in the air, “there!

Katelyn’s eyes scanned the parking lot south of the gas station and finally caught the sight of a long legged, stylish looking woman with luxurious honey-colored hair laughing with a dark-haired, middle-aged man next to a silver and black Bugatti Veyron. The woman turned her head enough for Katelyn to get a full view and finally recognize her.

“Huh. Speak of the devil,” Katelyn whispered. She wondered if the high-end sports car was Isabel’s or belonged to the Italian guy she was flirting with.

“What are the odds?” Kandace whispered back.

“Fairly high,” Kate managed to reply drolly. “We’ve established she’s here for a long visit and Omaha and Lincoln are practically attached at the hip these days. It’s not like we ran across her in York or some place.”

“Actually, York would make more sense. I read an article once in one of Steve’s law journals that said it’s a huge crossroads for truckers and drug traffickers,” Kandace argued, nodding her head up and down, eyes bulging.

Kate’s mouth worked a few dumb-struck times, then she shook her head to clear it.

“Holy spurious conclusion, Batman! How did we correlate Isabel with truckers and drug runners?”

“Katelyn,” Kandace sneered, turning Kate’s head back towards the window, “that is a million dollar car. At the frickin’ Kum and Go. Do I have to spell this out to you?”

Kate moved her eyes left and right, then slowly pried Kandy’s fingers from her jaw.

“I guess you do. First of all, it’s a Phillips 66; there aren’t any Kum and Gos in Lincoln anymore.”

“Oh my God, who freakin’ cares what it’s—”

“And so what, she knows a rich guy,” Katelyn continued with shrug. “Or maybe it’s her who’s rich. Don’t you have to be at least a little bit flush in the pockets to get married at the Heinz chapel? That’s where she and Dom got married, remember?”

“It’s not hers,” Kandace nudged her head towards the window again. Kate watched the man get in the car on the driver’s side and Isabel on the passenger’s. The man pulled out of the parking lot and headed south on 84th.

“Her second day in Nebraska and she’s meeting a Mafia king pin,” Kandace clucked, shaking her head in derision as she pulled out after it.

Katelyn’s laughs filled Kandace’s mom-mobile. She laughed so hard that tears escaped and she actually had to gasp for breath.

“Kandy, that’s so stupid I don’t even know where to begin! First, there are no Mafia kingpins in Nebraska, and second, speaking as someone who is about to marry a man of Italian-American descent, it is extremely offensive that you assume he’s some sort of mobster just because he’s Italian.”

“Excuse me, I did no such thing! I assume he’s a criminal because he has a car that costs more than my wealthy husband’s house—”

“By a few thousand dollars…”

“A few hundred thousand dollars. At a gas station people only go to for Pick 5 tickets and drugs—”

“And gasoline and food.”

“And he’s hanging out with a woman half his age from where all the mobsters live in Pennsylvania.”

“She’s from Pittsburg, not Philly.”

“Same difference!”

“Yes, that’s why they put them right next to each other and named them the same thing,” Kate retorted sarcastically. “Besides, if he was a wealthy drug lord he wouldn’t actually be doing some drug deal at a gas station, you know that, right?”

“Why are you being so difficult?”

“Why are you being so insane?”

Kandace didn’t answer, instead she just kept following the Bugatti when it turned west on Havelock.

“I thought you had to pick up the kids?”

Kandy tapped an icon on the screen on the dash of her car. “Carm? Can you tell Steve I’ll be running late and he’ll have to take the boys to peewee football?”

“Sure thing, Mrs. Cheney.”

Katelyn smacked her forehead for what felt like the twentieth time this afternoon. “You are seriously going to make your lawyer husband take time off to pick up your kids when you’re a stay-at-home mom?”

“I am a business owner now. We share duties.”

“Translation: Steve is back to overindulging your whims and fancies. And you are not currently giving me whiplash and breaking traffic laws for business purposes,” Kate said, white-knuckling the Jesus-handle over her door.

“Carmela would have said something if he had a conflict. And Steve likes pampering me. You should consider letting your man do the same every once in a while or you’ll end up as puckered as Kel.”

“Uuuugh! How is it possible you can be so talented at baking and finances, yet be such a flighty idjit all at the same time? I’m telling you, Kellie was right, and I was worrying for nothing.”

“And I’m telling you she has a hidden agenda!”

“Please stop following them. Please.”

“Nope.”

“If you get us arrested or killed I will seriously hurt you.”

“Exactly how could you hurt me if you’re—”

Katelyn’s phone belted “Ring of Fire” and she gave her sister the ‘talk to the hand’ gesture.

“Hey Dom,” she answered, still gripping the ceiling handle and closing her eyes so she wouldn’t have to watch the traffic.

“Whatsa happenin’ hotstuff,” Dom answered, Sixteen Candles style.

“My sister’s trying to kill me. What’s up with you?” she answered shakily.

Dom’s deep chuckles tickled her ear. “Speaking of Andersons with a death wish, your brother has invited us over to watch the game. That’s three date nights in a row, in case you’re counting. Don’t say I don’t know how to treat my laaaday,” he drawled in a comedical deep voice.

Kate laughed at his smug, yet goofy tone. “Which game?”

“Do you care?”

“No,” she admitted with a little shrug. “Who all’s coming?”

“Mmn, his partner for starters.”

“Wuuuut? No,” she whined. Tommy Gates was always so broody and quiet. Getting conversation out of him was like squeezing blood from a turnip. She far preferred the daring, brash extrovert type like Dom. Well, obviously.

“And who else?” she asked, thinking it was odd that Kyle would invite Tommy when he was inviting Dom. The two never hung out together.

“Well, Kyle said Izzy was going to stop by.”

“Isabel?”

“Yeah, so I said, hey why don’t you invite Tommy? To even things out,” Dom replied in a rush.

“How is that even? Three guys and two women who don’t know each other?”

“I just mean, you know, one of my exes, one of yours… maybe they’d hit it off…” he trailed off.

“I’m pretty sure Tommy’s involved with someone, and surely you would not be so clueless as to compare one chaste date with Tommy with a marriage to Isabel. In which sex was involved.”

There was pointed silence on the other end.

Kate plowed ahead to cement the point. “And did you consider maybe Kyle wanted Isabel to come over to spend time with him alone? Unlike Tommy, Isabel is not currently involved with someone.”

“I doubt that’s it,” Dom continued, tone still infuriatingly oblivious. “I mean, why would he?”

She wanted to argue the point, but she couldn’t very well admit that Kyle was supposed to be schmoozing Isabel because she asked him to.

“Besides,” Dom continued, “when Kyle first asked her, she said she’d be spending the whole day with her great aunt in Papillion baking for some charity thing, but when she heard I’d be there she insisted she could make time for the game. I guess she has something she wanted to give me.”

“Reaaally,” Kate drawled.

She opened her eyes to look over at a smirking Kandace. “Papillion?” Kandace mouthed.

“I mean we don’t have to go…” he said, his voice finally seeming to catch a clue something was wrong.

“Nope, it’s fine. Sounds like fun,” she chirped.

“Kaaay,” Dom replied doubtfully.

“Loveyoubye,” she said quickly and tapped ‘end’.

She tossed the phone in a drink hole on the console and met her sister’s grim and smug countenance with narrowed eyes.

She’s going down.”

Kandace laughed and floored the gas pedal.

–“The Good Life”, Copyright 2014 by Genevieve Dewey.

How would you like to read First, I Love You (Downey #1) for free?


My last question, do you want me to read from Third Time’s The Charm got very little response so I’m just going to table that idea for now. I know everyone’s been busy with the holidays and getting back into the swing of school, etc.

What did get a nice response was posting The V-Day Aversion here chapter-by-chapter. Tons of new Bird Day fans came out of the woodwork! THANK YOU so much! It warms my heart that Dom & Kate have brought a smile to so many people. I’m still writing on the novel, The Good Life, in which you’ll get Dom & Kate AND a romance for her brother Kyle (Tommy Gates’ detective partner).

Speaking of Tommy and the Downey-verse, I thought maybe I’d do a similar thing, post a chapter at a time of First, I Love You. While I’m not sure I’m comfortable posting the entirety of that novel on the blog, I would be happy to post a very significant sample of it, say at least half of it–that’s around 150 pages of the paperback book. I think this would give people a feel for the different style of writing I have in that book, which is written almost like a third-person memoir and each chapter is from the point of view of one of the six main characters. That’s tough for some to swallow as a concept, but a significant majority of those who’ve read First, I Love You have said they ended up enjoying it.

I really wanted the reader to get to know the thoughts and personality of these people in the first book before I hit the ground running with the story I had to tell. Second of All (Downey #2) and Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3) have their own “feel” and “tone” but the chapters are not constrained to each person as in First, I Love You.  Second of All contains a lot of flashbacks, and is more introspective and romantic than First, I Love You. Third Time has a more suspense feel to it. First, I Love You was the first book I ever wrote and telling that story was both cathartic and emotionally wrenching. As many authors have found out, there is a difference between having a story to tell and actually writing it. I have learned a great deal since the day I sat down to write First, I Love You in January 2012.

ANYWAY, that’s enough blither-blather. Suffice it to say, I’ll start posting a chapter at a time of First, I Love You starting tomorrow January 5th, and see what kind of feedback/traffic I get. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up posting the whole thing for a limited time like V-Day Aversion. 🙂

As always, THANK YOU for your wonderful support!

Gen

Have you read the Dom and Kate Christmas flashback?


The following is a short holiday scene featuring Dominic Valentini and Katelyn Anderson, and is set the Christmas before they get together in Bird Day Battalion. It is G-rated and fluffy.

birddaycover (Free!)   valentinescover ($.99!)

Originally published in A World of Joy by Grey Mouse Publishing.

aworldofjoy

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Knees

by Genevieve Dewey

Dominic Valentini dropped his Steelers bag next to the front door inside his parents’ house. He sucked in a deep breath, coughed a bit at the overwhelming scent of Christmas potpourri, then locked the door behind him. If he was lucky, he’d be able to catch a few hours of sleep on the couch before anyone woke up and wondered what he was doing in Nebraska instead of Pennsylvania.

After all, big shot pro-football players fly their parents over to see them; they don’t slink home with their tail between their legs… even if they were legs with blown-out knees. One season as a fourth round draft pick and he was already on injured reserve. That was demoralizing on its own, but Dom suspected being on reserve was a mere courtesy on his way to ‘released from contract’.

He grimaced, thinking about how he was going to break the news to his parents:

Hey, Mom, Dad, won’t be getting you that fancy mansion I promised. I’m soon-to-be unemployed and I filed for divorce. Merry Christmas!

Dom wrinkled his nose as he stretched out on the couch. He cupped the back of his head and crossed his ankles.

Nah, better to lead with worse news.

The loss of a football career was nothing compared to the fact that Dominic would be the first person in his branch of the Valentini family to ever get a divorce. To a Valentini, the ‘D’ word was way worse than unemployment, back taxes, and a proctology exam combined.

“Yay, go me,” Dom whispered at the ceiling.

He never should have married Isabel. She deserved better than a husband who was still hung up on his childhood crush. Even more ridiculous was the knowledge he and said unrequited love, Katelyn Anderson, had never been more than friends. Who left their wife for a friend and neighbor they had never actually been in a romantic relationship with? Especially one who seemed determinedly oblivious to his feelings?

Tap, tap, tap.

Dom crooked his head to look out the living room window. He could see movement, but the rainbow lights reflecting from the Christmas tree made it hard to distinguish what had made the noise. He looked around the room for a security bat then stopped and chuckled. What would be the point? This was Small Town, America. More than half this town never locked their doors, yet still left the living room drapes open so everyone could see their tree.

He got up from the couch and winced as his knees briefly buckled. He yanked the door open dramatically, expecting to shoo off some bored kids.

Except it was Katelyn Anderson, frozen mid-knock.

“Hey,” she whispered, her breath caressing her face in the frigid air.

She smiled and rubbed her hands together. “Can I come in?”

When he continued to gape at her, she poked him on the chest, and nudged her head towards the house.

“Uh, what are—I mean, yeah,” Dom replied and tugged her inside. “What are you doing here?”

“Saw you pull up and wondered why no one knew you were coming home for the holidays. Or is this a Christmas present for your folks? I mean, of course, it must be, no one in their right mind takes a flight in the middle of the night unless they want to surprise someone or there’s an emergency. Wait,” Katelyn paused.

Her eyebrows contracted and she suddenly grabbed his arms, “There’s not an emergency is there?”

He couldn’t help but grin; he’d missed her tendency to babble.

Her worried frown deepened.

“Naw,” Dom finally said and shrugged. “You were right the first time.”

“Was I?” Kate asked in a concerned tone.

When he didn’t answer, she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes.

He sighed and walked back over to the couch. Knowing someone your entire life had its drawbacks; they tended to know when you were lying.

“Not that I mind visits from pretty women at three in the morning, but I could ask you the same question; what were you doing spying on the neighborhood in the middle of the night at your mother’s house?” Dom deflected.

“You haven’t heard?” Kate asked, her eyes suddenly alight with enthusiasm. “I bought the house from my parents after they retired! I’m moving back.”

“Huh. There’s a lot of that going around,” he mumbled, enjoying the flush that excitement brought to her cheeks.

She raised her eyebrows and pressed her lips together. Then she walked over to the couch, sat next to him, and rested her head against his shoulder.

“Spill,” she coaxed.

Just rip the bandaid off, Valentini, so she can be disappointed in you, too…

“I’m getting a divorce,” he replied, trying to sound cheerful about it.

She took a deep breath then patted his leg.

“I’m sorry…” she said with a long sigh. “I’ve been a terrible friend, so focused on my Thesis and school… I’ve barely kept in touch. I didn’t even know you were having marital problems.”

“We weren’t really,” he answered honestly.

It was the truth. He and Isabel got along great, but it was a hollow sort of rapport. He had never felt so empty in his life than when he was living his perfect life with her. There was no reason for it, except his heart seemed stubbornly addicted to the girl-next-door with wild curly hair and an unnatural fondness for libraries.

“I don’t think you came home just because of that,” Kate prodded. “Does this have to do with the game last month? You looked pretty hurt when they took you off the field. Are your knees starting to feel better? I thought for sure you’d play in the last game but…”

“Nope, that’s the joy of being injured reserve on top of special teams.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means… there’s a very good chance I’ll be released from contract.”

“Oh, Dom… I’m so sorry. To have it end over a stupid torn ACL,” Katelyn replied.

Her tone was certainly more genuine than her expression of sympathy regarding his divorce.

She rubbed his knee.

His brain jammed and his heart clutched. The rest of him tried desperately to remember she had friend-zoned him ages ago.

“I didn’t realize you watched my games, or knew what an ACL is—”

Katelyn pulled away, raised her hand, and smacked him on the forehead.

“Ok, a), I’m an anthropologist; if I don’t know human anatomy, I need a new career. And, b), I watch and record every single game of yours including the pre-season clips and the highlights on ESPN. That’s what people do when they’re proud of their loved ones.”

She looked genuinely astonished and affronted that he could doubt her devotion.

Loved ones? How am I supposed to kill these feelings when she said stuff like that?

“All I want for Christmas is my two front knees,” he sang, in an effort to cover his sudden confusion.

“As opposed to your two back knees?” she countered sarcastically with an eye roll. “It’d be more like your middle knees, anyway. And please don’t try to sing again. You seriously stink at it.”

“Ok, a),” Dom mimicked her, “Why you gotta be such a know it all? And b), you seriously stink at football, yet you insist we play in the back yard every major holiday.”

She scooted on the couch until she was fully facing him.

“That’s for your sake!”

“My sake? You think I enjoy playing with amateurs who sulk when they lose?”

“Maybe if the winner didn’t enjoy rubbing it in…” she said with a glare.

She crossed her arms and pursed her lips, eyes so narrowed her lashes joined at the edges.

He chuckled. It was hard to take Kate seriously when she got upset. She looked like a freshly toweled kitten, more prone to eliciting a desire for kisses than ire.

He loved getting her riled up.

“I guess playing with amateurs is something I’ll have to get used to now,” he conceded with a rueful smile.

Her face cleared. She tilted her head again and clicked her teeth in a sympathetic manner.

“Forget professional football. You have a degree in Physical Education, and a great family, and my huge family by extension. Not to mention, selfishly, I’d be glad if you chose to move back here. I’ve missed you… crazy lots.”

Kate’s voice broke a bit at the end and Dom’s heart started galloping in response. He’d no idea she felt that way, even as just a friend. In truth, it was his fault they’d lost touch in the last few years. She thought it was her myopic tendency for studying, but he had made a concerted effort to create distance out of self-preservation.

“I’ve missed you too, Skate,” he confessed.

“Ugh, that dumb nickname…” she responded.

She pushed her unruly hair behind her ears and rolled her eyes. Then she slapped him on his thigh in an impatient manner.

“Pittsburg and Isabel didn’t deserve you anyway. If you move back here, you could consider it a public service. You’ll be raising the Good Men per capita of Nebraska. It’s our slogan and all.”

“Huh,” he managed to say around the growing lump in his throat. “And here I thought it was ‘The Good Life’.”

“Same difference,” she said with a cheeky grin and a quick shrug.

He looked down at her hand still resting on his knee. She snatched her hand back with a quick, soft huff, like an unformed laugh. He looked back up. Her cheeks had flooded red but she didn’t drop his gaze.

He deliberately turned his head and studied the Christmas tree; cheerful yet lonely with just a few presents underneath. There was something different in her eyes, and paired with her affectionate words, it gave him the stirrings of hope. Hope was something he hadn’t allowed himself in years. And if he was being honest, he hadn’t made it clear since they were teenagers that he wanted to be more than friends. Now that he thought about it, maybe moving back to Nebraska wouldn’t be about hitting bottom. Maybe it could be about new beginnings.

He looked back at her and grinned, not one of his we’ve-known-each-other-for-years friendly grins, but one of his how-you-doin’ grins. It always made the ones who were interested flustered, and the ones who weren’t, at least snort in good humor. He had never actually tried it on Kate.

Her flush deepened and she sprang up from the couch. She rubbed her hands on her legs and laughed slightly. Then she looked around the room in an absentminded manner.

Huh… how about that, he thought.

“I better get back next door before we get the local tongues wagging,” Kate said breathlessly. “You coming over for Christmas dinner?”

His grin got wider and he nodded.

Her brows contracted briefly. “Why are you smiling at me like that?”

He just shrugged, saying nothing. He was enjoying her discomfort. She looked not just flustered, but confused, and confused was something he could work with.

Yeah, there just might be reason to hope, after all…

He walked her to the door and indulged himself with an extra-long hug. Then he relaxed on the couch again and let his mind mull over Katelyn’s tell-tale flush. Maybe she didn’t think of him as boyfriend material yet, but there was definite potential to change her mind.

“So you’re moving back home, huh?”

Dominic rolled over so quickly he fell off the couch.

“Fmpblllltsh!” The carpet muffled his curse; a good thing since his father didn’t tolerate cursing in his home.

“Haaaah,” Dom finished his moan of pain as he rolled over. “Hey, Dad. What, uh, what makes you say that?”

“Well, that’s what the little Anderson girl was saying.”

“Yeah, Dad, she hasn’t been ‘little’ in quite some time,” Dom countered.

“Ok, youngest of the gaggle. Whatever,” Vincent Valentini waved a dismissive hand. “Guess if there’s gonna be all this yakkin’, might as well start the day.”

He walked towards the kitchen, flipped the light on, and started brewing coffee. Dom limped after him.

“Hey, son, what a nice surprise. Good to see you,” Dom muttered under his breath.

As soon as he sat at the kitchen table, he said a little louder, “I haven’t actually decided to move back. Exactly how much did you hear?”

“Enough to offer my congratulations.”

“Con—what?”

“I’m glad you finally saw the light. Would have preferred it to be before the wedding, but, hey, better late than never, eh?”

Vincent turned around and popped Dom on the shoulder.

“So… you’re ok with it?” Dom wondered.

“I’m ok wit’ it,” Vincent said gruffly.

He handed Dom a coffee mug.

“I was thinking you and Mom were going to freak out about the divorce…”

“Oh, your nonna’s gonna freak, sure, but me and your mother? Nah. You know what’s disappointin’, son? Watching you let your dreams slip away.”

“What do you mean? I was playing for the Steelers! Most college players don’t even make it to the Draft. I didn’t choose to have a knee injury—”

“Don’t be dense,” Vincent interrupted. “I don’t care about that. I’m talking about that girl who just left. The one you’re never able to keep your eyes off of. I don’t understand why you’re content to moon after her like a martyr instead of just puttin’ a ring on it already.”

“Put a ring…” Dom paused, pinching his nose.

He took a deep breath, reminding himself his father was from a very different generation.

“Dad, Kate and I are friends. Even if I were to—”

“No, here’s what you do,” Vincent interrupted again. “You take this week to start laying the ground work with her and then you get your affairs in order, and move back home. It’s not defeat if it’s something you want anyway.”

“Dad, I don’t even have a job lined up…”

Vincent clapped Dominic on the shoulder and chuckled.

“Son, the world’s full of signs if you’re just open to them. This is a sign it’s time to move back home and go for it with her, I’m telling you.”

Dom opened his mouth, but his reply was cut short by the sound of his mother’s voice.

“Vinnie? Who are you talking to?” Ramona shouted from down the hall. “Turn the oven on, would ya? I have to get started on the casserole I told Bridgette we’d bring for Christmas dinner.”

Vincent and Dominic shared a grimace and got to work. Valentini-Anderson joint holiday dinners were a tradition of chaos, overeating, bickering and insanity—insanity because they all kept doing it year after year despite the first three components. Everyone by this point knew never to stand in the way of Ramona Valentini and Bridgette Anderson’s deeply competitive friendship.

Dom managed to make it through his mother’s fussing and nagging in the morning, and the crazy Christmas dinner next door, all on zero hours of sleep. Feeling punchy and mellow, Dominic ducked the rest of the guests and waited by Kate’s back door for her to try sneaking out as she did every year.

“Going somewhere?” he asked, grinning at her guilty flush.

“Just to my office to take advantage of no one being there and fight through this stupor. I swear our mothers always feed us like they’re going to eat us later.”

“Yeah, nothing says ‘tis the season’ like gluttony,” he agreed.

He grabbed a football from a box in the mud room, tossed it up briefly, then tucked it under his arm. He stepped so close she had to tilt her head up to keep his gaze.

“Wanna help me burn off those calories instead?” he asked with a suggestive tone.

She flushed and blinked. Then her eyes dropped to the football and she laughed.

“Dom, honestly… you’re such a flirt. A girl might accidentally take you seriously,” she replied with a finger waggle.

Dropping her satchel, she snatched the ball out of his arms, and walked out the door.

He shook his head at her back. It was looking like getting out of the friend zone was going to be harder than getting into the end zone.

She stopped abruptly and pivoted back around. “Are you sure? Are your knees up to it?”

“If not, you can always nurse me back to health…” he bantered.

She snorted and rolled her eyes before heading out into the yard.

As soon as he shut the door, his phone buzzed. He fished it out and saw a text from his old high school coach:

Hey Dom, heard from Mrs. D you were back in town. Can you come over later? Have a job opp. next fall here at the school I wanted to float by you. Before you say no, just hear me out, OK? Dave

Dom raised his eyes to look out across the yard at Kate, squinting from the glare of the snow reflecting the sun.

The world’s full of signs… he heard his father’s voice whisper.

It would take him time to sell his place, but if he played it right, he could be here for the start of the school year. Then he could begin his campaign to win the Girl Next Door’s heart.

“Ready for the sweet taste of defeat, Valentini?” Kate asked. She had an adorable and not at all intimidating sneer on her face.

He shook his head with a chuckle. “My first order of business when I move back will be teaching you how to talk smack properly.”

Her face lit up. “So you’re coming back for sure?”

“For sure,” he answered softly.

“Eee!” she squealed, tackling him.

He deliberately let their bodies hit the ground, hugging her tight and enjoying the feel of her pressed against him.

“Best Christmas ever!” Katelyn continued breathlessly.

Snow speckled on her hair like tinsel in the bright sunshine. Her cheeks had a rosy glow against her porcelain skin.

He smiled and tucked her hair behind her ears.

Sweet taste of defeat, indeed.

“Merry Christmas, Skate,” Dominic said. “You realize, of course, even without my two front knees, I’m going to kick your—”

He broke off as her delighted laughter filled the yard.

No, the ‘Best Christmas Ever’ is yet to come, babe. I promise, he thought with a grin.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey.

~~You can read a flashback to teenage Dom & Kate here on my website: Spin The Bottle. (Rated PG)~~