Posts Tagged ‘series books’

FIRST KISS=TUESDAY – (FREE) – MONTANA MAVERICK by Debra Salonen

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

FREE for a short time.
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 Montana Maverick

Sparks have always smoldered between Meg Zabrinski and Henry Firestone, but falling in love with Hank and his ready-made family would mean giving up her dream. Something lone wolf Meg isn’t ready to do until…well, you know. Sometimes one kiss can change everything.

Excerpt © Tule Publishing

She shoved the phone in her pocket and took a deep breath of air. “Smells like snow.”

Her exhale created a puffy white cloud that looped around her head like a halo. “Ken ordered me not to go looking for you last night,” she told him.

“That bastard.” Hank drove his fist into the palm of his other hand. The cracking sound made Rook spin about and race up the steps. He planted himself at Hank’s feet, eyeing Meg suspiciously. “How’d he justify that?”

“Said he didn’t want to have to recover my body, too.”

Rook’s growl matched Hank’s.

Hank leaned down and stroked the dog’s wide flat head. The snow and ice felt like shards of glass against his palm. Slowly, his tension eased. “Thank God you didn’t listen to him.”

She made a sound of pure disgust. “I stopped listening to Ken Morrison a long time ago.”

He could tell there was more to the story. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a memory raised its hand, but he ignored it. Anybody who traveled the backcountry probably had a run-in with SAR’s resident megalomaniac.

“How soon is the next wave supposed to hit?”

She shrugged then stepped closer and put out her hand for Rook to sniff. “A couple of hours. Why?”

“I left a bunch of stuff in Betsy. Dog food, for one. Tools. My log.”

She nodded. “You should take a video of the crash site. Maybe you’ll be able to see what brought her down.”

They were close enough to touch each other, and it took every ounce of willpower Hank had not to pull her into his arms and kiss her. “Wow,” he said, curling his icy fingers tight. “People have always called you brilliant. Now, I see why.”

Her sardonic grin made his heart rate speed up. Had she always been this beautiful? Yes. But business dress and heels were fake beauty. No makeup, messy hair dancing in the cold breeze, a blush of chafed skin from last night’s rescue made her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

Their gazes met and held for one heartbeat…or ten. Something passed between them. A sigh. A hint of possibility. An open-ended question.

Meg was the first to look away. “Just being practical,” she said, taking a step back.

Her voice sounded different, throaty. She reached for the handle of the storm door. “I know Ken Morrison. He’ll try to turn this recovery into a photo op and pin the blame on you. I have a video camera you can use. I’ll make sure the battery is charged while you get ready.”

Video. The GoPro. “We need to finish opening gifts, first. The one I got JJ might be just the ticket.”

He followed her inside. “Are you sure you’re okay with all this? I mean, damn. I drop out of the sky into your nice peaceful life, and suddenly you’re stuck babysitting? That seems messed up.”

She hung her heavy jacket on a hook then spun around to open the cupboard above the washer and dryer. “Yeah, well, normally, I’d volunteer to hike back with you, but hauling all four kids up the mountain sounds like a really bad idea. So, you take this–” She pulled a small black camera-type case from a shelf and turned to face him. “And I’ll bake cookies with Annie and Bravo.”

She reached out and touched his upper arm. “Henry, nobody planned this. We have to roll with the situation. You should hurry.”

She turned to go but he stopped her. He couldn’t help himself. His life was upside down and in the toilet with vultures circling, but Meg made him feel as if everything was manageable. He pulled her into a hug.

“Thank you,” he said, his voice thick with emotion.

She stiffened at first, but gradually hugged him back. “You’re welcome.”

He had no idea how long they stood there. Meg in her pink and gray camoflage-print pajamas, him in sweats and a pair of men’s slippers he’d found in the guest room closet. They were virtual strangers, yet they fit together like they’d done this a million times over the years.

When she lifted her chin to look at him, he kissed her. He couldn’t not.

Her lips were sweet…and minty. The flavor surprised him at first but captivated him, too. He wanted more of this spicy wonderment. As sweet as it was, he wanted to find the flavor of Meg.

When he closed his eyes to take the kiss deeper, Meg stiffened a tiny bit. A badly needed reality check.

He let her go. “Peppermint.”

She nodded. “Annie shared her candy cane with me.”

“Annie’s the most generous soul I’ve ever known, next to her mother.” He stepped back. “I should go.”

“Yes. Quickly. You don’t want to get caught in another storm.”

“I’ll take JJ.”

“Good idea. His feet look about my size. He can use my snowshoes.”

She reached for the doorknob but paused. “What was that kiss for?”

“You…impress me. Most people would be overwhelmed by this situation. Four kids. A virtual stranger. You take charge and get things done. I respect the hell out of that.”

“Oh. Okay.” She slowly turned the knob. “But, for the record, you’re not a stranger. I feel like we have twenty years of history between us. Not easy history, but I always felt like we held each other in mutual respect. Didn’t you?”

“Yes. Definitely. And if I’d known you tasted like candy canes, I wouldn’t have waited twenty years to kiss you.”

 ~~~

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Your kind shares are most appreciated. Especially if you’re a reader–or know a reader–who enjoys older heroes and heroines. 

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And, did you know you can read more about Henry and Meg’s journey in MONTANA MIRACLE? It’s true. Don’ t you love connected series?)

Happy reading,

Deb

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Deb Salonen’s Watermelon Salad (from NOBODY’S COWBOY)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

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Food=love in my books.

Since my new book, NOBODY’S COWBOY, releases on Friday, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a recipe from the book. This strange and wonderful melange of flavors isn’t the only surprise my hero, Austen Zabrinski, has coming when he meets my heroine, Serena James. He also learns the difference between an alpaca and a llama…and he picks up a few tips on how to be warm and wonderful human being. (Important for those of you who read Cowgirl Come Home and thought Austen was a royal pain in the arse.)

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 From Nobody’s Cowboy:

Austen took his sister by the shoulders. “You can fix my life after your’s is back on track, Meeps. Not before.”

She smiled sadly. “Good point. Sorry if I was out of line, Serena.”

Serena grabbed a paper plate and served up two zucchini wedges, adding a dollop of her special sour cream dill sauce, and a serving of watermelon salad on the side. “No worries. Here. Your kids loved these.”

Mia started to shake her head, but after a stern frown from Austen, she dropped her giant purse in a deck chair and took the plate. “Even Em?”

“Even Em. And that salad is crazy good.”

Mia picked out a hunk of fruit, pausing to examine it. “Is this feta cheese? Weird.”

She popped it in her mouth and chewed. Her eyes went wide and she grinned. “Yummy.”

She tried the zucchini next.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Watermelon Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This strange and wonderful melange of flavors isn't the only surprise my poor hero, Austen Zabrinski has coming when he meets my heroine, Serena James.
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon baller or cut into 1½-inch chunks (10 cups), chilled
  • ½ pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
  • 1¼ cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small sweet onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Tabasco and pepper. Add the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently. Garnish with the mint and serve.

NobodysCowboy-MEDIUM

NOBODY’S COWBOY

A snippet from Chapter 2:

“Your neighbor? A grizzled cowboy with leathery skin and a permanent squint?”

She pictured Austen Zabrinski. “Not even close.” The distinctive banging sound of her back door made her drop the wheelbarrow handles and start toward the house. “Speaking of the devil… I have to go. Thanks for calling and thinking of me. Love you.”

She pocketed her phone and jogged across the open turn-around, her boots making a shish-shish sound on the hard ground. Her truck was parked under the sprawling cottonwood.

Three things struck her straight off. Ugly green wasn’t ugly on him. Borrowed jeans couldn’t hide his great butt. And he’d left his filthy jeans and shirt on the table as she’d asked. The small concession made her happy–even if it meant washing stinky, ‘paca poop pants.

She might have claimed environmental responsibility but the best part of washing Austen Zabrinski’s pants was being able to return them in person at some later date.

“Ready to go?”

He nodded. The cloudless sunshine made what she’d assumed were artful highlights in his hair look like the real deal. Damn, the man got more gorgeous every time she looked.

“My foreman should be getting back from Livingston any minute. When he sees my horse, he’ll call my cell. When I don’t answer, he’ll probably send out a search party.”

She motioned for him to follow. “Not memorizing phone numbers has to be the worst part of becoming dependent on cell phones.”

“Agreed. That and spending way too much time staring at a tiny screen. Believe me, it’s tempting not to replace the damn thing.”

She thought she detected an odd hint of defeat in his statement. What’s his story?

Since they’d practically had sex–in her mind–she decided to ask.

Once he was seated with his safety belt snug across his flat belly, she turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear.

“So, fill me in. You own a ranch your brother called a tax write-off. You’ve as much as admitted you’re nobody’s cowboy. You wear three-hundred-dollar jeans. I don’t see a wedding ring. Your nose is sunburned. So I take that to mean you don’t have a wife or live-in girlfriend to remind you to put on sunscreen.”

He let out a gruff cough. “Very observant. The jeans are two years old.”

“But look brand new.”

“I don’t–didn’t–come to the ranch very often in the past.”

She waited.

“No wife. Never married. My last… friend-with-benefits wanted more than I’m in a position to give at the moment. I’m not sure we’re still friends. But I’m positive the benefits have been canceled.”

She’d always been a sucker for smart men with a sense of humor. The leftover dewy feeling in her crotch–and the fact she was a stranger in a stranger land–made her bold. “So, if someone new to the area was interested in that sort of position–friends-with-benefits-no-strings-attached–how would one apply? Online? Or in person?”

He tossed back his head and gave a deep, masculine laugh that sent a stream of shivers down her spine, pooling conveniently in her already primed lady parts. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel.

Since they’d reached the end of her driveway and had no traffic behind her, she threw the shifter into park and turned to face him.

Before she could offer any slightly embarrassed disclaimer for such an obvious come on, he released the latch on his safety belt and moved closer.

“In person. I go with my gut. Usually one kiss will do. Either there’s chemistry or there’s not.”

“Chemistry. Crap. My least favorite subject in school. But I do like kissing.”

She leaned in, too.

#

Austen could have come up with a dozen–make that a trillion–reasons not to kiss this beautiful stranger. But, for all his reputed logic and claims he was a rule maker, not a rule breaker, he was lonely. And… as much as it killed him to admit the fact, he’d had reached a point where he was unsure of what to do next. Him. Rudderless. Now, living in the moment seemed like the only rational choice he had.

Besides… she offered. It wouldn’t be neighborly to turn her down. Right?

~~~~

I can’t wait to share this book with you! Please mark your calendar.  This book will go on sale Friday, 8/29/14, for the special “release date” price of 99¢ (72 hours only).

Bon appetit and happy reading!

DEB

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Lilian Darcy’s SPINACH AND FETA QUICHE

Monday, April 28th, 2014

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Food=love in my books.

I’m so pleased to share a recipe from one of my favorite authors, Lilian Darcy. I’m reading her newest release, The Sweetest Sound, right now. And loving it. The Sweetest Sound is part of Lilian’s “River Bend Series” for MontanaBorn Books.

To research the Montana setting, Lilian (right) and publisher/author Jane Porter explored neighboring towns close to fictional Marietta, including Livingston, below.

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“I’m not going to lie to you, this isn’t low-fat or low-carb, nor does it have a Spanish theme to suit the Spanish heroine of The Sweetest Sound, but it is delicious, and if you serve it with a big colorful green salad it’s even more delicious,” Lilian says.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Spinach and Feta Quiche
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Little secret in our family:- Sometimes if the weather’s cold, you don’t feel like a green salad, but we make it with a warm vinaigrette dressing and suddenly it works for winter after all. If you want to try a warm vinaigrette, just lightly fry in a big slurp of olive oil your choice of any or all of the following ingredients, finely chopped:- garlic, onion, herbs, sundried tomatoes, capers, and/or anchovies, add a bit of salt and pepper, and the vinegar of your choice. Toss well with the salad right before serving. Expect that the salad leaves will wilt a little. My kids will eat three times as much salad if it’s done this way than they’ll eat if it’s cold. And since I’m a cook who does things by eye and instinct, some of the quantities for the quiche filling fall into the “what looks right to you” category.
Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz/85 grams butter
  • 3 oz/85 grams chilled cream cheese
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons chilled cream
  • Mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter and the cream cheese into small pieces and cut them into the flour with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers, till the mixture is crumbly. Drizzle on the cream and mix in until the dough clumps together. Press into a flat-ish circle, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. (You can keep it for a day or two, if needed.)
  • Roll out the pastry to fit your desired pie dish.
  • For the filling:
  • 1 bag washed baby spinach leaves. (These come in different sizes, so use whichever size fits the amount of spinach you’d like. Remember that it will lose a lot of volume when cooked.)
  • 4 – 8 oz/100- 200 grams feta cheese. (Again, how much you use depends on how strong you like your feta flavour.)
  • 6 – 8 eggs.
  • ½ to 1 cup cream.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. (The feta will be pretty salty, so you probably don’t need this unless you’re a salt fiend.)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.
  2. Lightly steam the spinach, just until it goes limp, then let it cool until it’s not too hot to touch. Squeeze out any liquid and chop roughly. Crumble the feta cheese.
  3. Put the spinach into your pie dish on top of the rolled out pastry, and sprinkle the feta evenly on top.
  4. Mix the eggs and cream well, adding salt and pepper if desired, and then pour in.
  5. Bake until pastry is golden at the edges and filling is set. Cooking time varies, but estimate 40-50 minutes. (If the crust is getting too brown, lower temperature until egg mixture is set.)

Now, check out The Sweetest Sound. I’ve been waiting to meet Charlie ever since I read The Sweetest Thing. I can’t wait to see what happens when…if…he goes back to Marietta.

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EXCERPT

Ramona sang with her eyes closed. Charlie had noticed this before. Oh, she opened them sometimes, but when she was in the midst of a soaring section of music, they drifted shut and she lifted her face like someone blind, or praying.

Today, though, two days after she’d turned him down for coffee, she was closing her eyes for a different reason, as he came past.

Because of me.

She wanted to pretend she hadn’t seen him, and it was a good and clever little ruse, but he wasn’t going to accept it. Deliberately, he let half a minute tick by – enough for her to presume that he would have gone by her and entered the hospital’s main building – then he dropped a noisy handful of rustling notes and clinking coins into the dark red velour hat that sat on the pavement in front of her, and waited.

Sure enough, she instinctively opened her eyes to thank whoever had been so generous. As soon as she saw him, her eyes widened in shock, then narrowed in resistance.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hi, yourself,” she retorted. If she’d been a cat, her fur would be standing on end. “And thank you.”

“For…?”

“For your contribution.” It sounded very distancing and formal. Intentionally, he knew. She knew how to use good manners as a weapon.

Was this a game? He didn’t like it. He didn’t want her to think any of this was about games.

And yet a part of him did like it.

Liked some of it – the bite of her resistance, the strength in her. He liked what it said about her. She was clever, he could tell, and she was strong. There was something that she wanted, and it was very clear to her, and this… thing… between them would get in the way of it, so she was saying no. Apparently she knew how to stick to her goals. He wondered what the goals were.

“I can’t decide which I like best,” he said now. “The singing, the guitar or the violin.”

“And you haven’t even seen me dance.”

Okay, now that was flirting, and would have been even without the saucy, crooked little smile and the lift of her hip.

He felt a kick of satisfaction.

So, Miss Ramona with the twenty syllable name, I’m not wrong about this, despite how you’re pushing me away.

As he’d done on Monday, he found himself feverishly shifting his schedule around in his head, wrangling a way to squeeze an extra half hour out of a day that already needed twenty-five hours in it if he was going to have a hope of getting everything done.

But then, just as quickly, he re-thought. If he didn’t ask, she couldn’t say no. If he didn’t push, she had nothing to push back against. She might find that harder. He could simply stop and talk to her for a few minutes every time he saw her here, and she’d eventually have to admit that she – Eventually?

I don’t have time for “eventually.” I don’t have time for messing around.

His intentions did another screaming one-eighty degree turn, although he wasn’t normally this indecisive. “Is there a class today?” he asked. “Fencing, or voice, or modern dance?”

“No, no class.”

“Have coffee with me, then.”

But she shook her head.

“C’mon…” He growled the word, sure of his pull on her. He was not wrong about her awareness, he knew it. They’d virtually admitted to it the other day, both of them.

Now, her pupils had darkened, and she was breathing faster. Her body couldn’t decide if she was a trapped animal or a female in heat. Maybe both at once.

“I can’t,” she said. “You must know that I mean it.” She looked miserable, but he had to take her at her word. He might have quite a healthy dose of self-confidence, but he wasn’t the kind of guy to bulldoze a woman when she didn’t want it.

All he could do was to beat a strategic retreat. “Okay,” he said. “I won’t push.” He showed her his palms like a criminal wanting to prove himself weaponless, and then turned to leave.

When he reached his office, the phone was ringing on his desk and he grabbed it, already irritated before he even knew who the caller was. There’d been a couple of them this week – or maybe the same caller, more than once – who hadn’t left messages. This wasn’t a number that received a lot of junk calls. So who…?

His impatience clawed higher as he put the phone to his ear and barked out a greeting. Something else to squeeze in, when Ramona had already kept him too long out in the freezing February air?

Whatever this call was about, he’d deal with it quickly if he possibly could, because he was already running behind.

Ten minutes later, his whole world had changed.

He had changed. His plans, his intentions, his sense of himself.

Two thousand miles away in Montana, his birth mother wanted to get in touch.

 

Click here to buy: AMAZON. (It will be out soon at other ebook venues.)

~~~

Oh! Will he or won’t he? I have to find out.

Maybe tonight.

Bon appetit! And happy reading, my friends!

Deb

 

EAT=LOVE=TUESDAY Deb Salonen’s Chocolate Cracked Earth (flourless chocolate cake)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

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Food=love in my books.

Eek, I ran out of friends. 🙂 LOL.

Actually, I forgot to put out the call for more recipes/excerpts. Easy fix (I hope). So, improvising today, with a yummy recipe from my daughter-in-law, Ruth.

And since Smashwords is promoting “Read An eBook Week,”

I’ve put a bunch of my ebooks on sale thru March 8. Here’s an excerpt from Are We There Yet, which you can pick up for 50% off by using this code: REW50 Click here: Smashwords

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Me. Happy. Rain is here. Spring to follow. 😉

Chocolate Cracked Earth (flourless chocolate cake)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
(adapted from the foodnetwork.com/Tyler Florence by my daughter-in-law, Ruth Smiley)
Ingredients
  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • (I used 1(one) 8-oz package of semi-sweet chocolate and 2(two) 3-oz 70% dark chocolate candy bars...because I failed to read the recipe before I went shopping. But, this worked. Simply use less sugar--see below.)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 9 large eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar , plus 1 Tablespoon (I used ½ cup because of the candy bars.)
  • 2 C heavy cream (I like to whip mine with ½ teaspoon sugar and a few drops of vanilla flavoring)
  • confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. ~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 9-inch springfoam pan.
  2. ~Put chocolate and butter into the top of double boiler and heat over about 1" of simmering water until melted.
  3. ~Whisk egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs. (This will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate.) Then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.
  4. ~Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture.
  5. ~Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake is set and the top starts to crack.
  6. ~Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. It should come out with moist crumbs clinging to it.
  7. ~The recipe says: 20-25 minutes; mine took 35-40 minutes.

 

bn DEBRA SALONEN 7-1

Excerpt:

A sex addict? Me? Judy swallowed her laugh for fear it would lead to a full-blown crying jag. The effort was painful. Her grimace must not have been pretty because he lifted his hand toward her shoulder in a gesture of support before changing his mind. Maybe cops weren’t allowed to show their human side. He left without another word.

Since nothing was required of her for the moment, she escaped to the bathroom. She put down the toilet lid and sat, dropping her head to her hands. How the hell had life gotten so screwed up?

Why me?

“Why not me?” Judy said aloud.

Her voice echoed off the walls of her compact potty room, bringing with it the memory of her final conversation with Shawn. “Face it, Judy, you’re a slut. Why else would you take back your maiden name after our divorce? You grew up a Banger, and now you’ll die a Banger. Good luck with that.”

His caustic cynicism and stated conviction that she’d never find another man to love her still made her bristle.

She scrutinized the card she held. Nice thick paper with raised letters. No expense spared. The name Wendy Wiggman was followed by a plethora of letters, some capped, none that mattered to Judy. In her book, “Ph.D.” stood for “Pay here, Daddy.” Some people had money and advantages, others didn’t. Judy had a doctorate in being screwed–first by her demanding, judgmental mother, then by her selfish, hedonistic husband. She was an equal opportunity scapegoat.

She’d always been a bit naive and trusting, but when exactly had she turned into a gullible fool? Why had she believed Buddy when he told her he was healthy enough to have sex? Because she’d trusted him not to risk his life on one quick thrill, she supposed. Who would do such a thing?

An old man with nothing to live for.

Her chin quivered as grief threatened to return, but she sternly closed off her tears. Anger felt more empowering. Buddy was dead. Tears wouldn’t change the fact. But the way he died left her with a big fat mess on her hands–and a tarnished reputation she’d probably never live down.

“I am sick and tired of being the screwee,” she muttered, crumpling the elegant card in her fist. She didn’t even care if screwee was a word. The Universe knew what she meant. “I ought to just say, ‘Screw it!’ and start living up to my name.”

She squared her shoulders and sat a little straighter. I could, you know. The sex part was downright awesome right up to the moment she realized Buddy was dead. She wasn’t getting any younger and the only men looking for women her age weren’t exactly spring chickens. If not now? When?

She knew what her mother would say. “Why can’t you be more like your sister? Live a normal, respectful life. God is going to punish you for your willful wildness. Just you wait ‘n see.”

Ironically, Mom had slacked off on her criticism after Judy married Shawn. Ironic because Judy’s marriage was anything but normal and respectful of those holy vows her mother held so dear. The fact they’d never been able to have children was viewed as God’s judgment. Judy’s divorce had added ‘disappointing loser’ to her catalogue of faults.

But Judy called her divorce a step in the right direction. And, although she’d never told anyone–especially her mother, the main reason she’d taken back her maiden name was to honor the only man who never judged her–her father.

While some might argue that Cecil Banger didn’t live long enough to get to know his daughter well–a belly full of gin and a poorly marked train crossing took care of that when Judy was eleven, she preferred to believe he would have been her champion to this very day. After all, Mom had been hypercritical of Dad, too. Some even speculated Cecil chose the train over his wife’s constant nagging.

And while Judy may have made her share of mistakes over the years, she’d learned one lesson well–life didn’t give do-overs. Drink and drive, you die young and your family suffers. Marry the wrong man and watch your youth disappear. Wait too long to take that magic pill and…poof!…it’s lights out.

Buddy’s death might prove publicly humiliating for her, but at least she was alive to deal with the fallout. She could whine and moan or she could embrace this tragedy as a wakeup call to snap out of her complacent rut. The time had come to accept her failings and stop apologizing for her name, her weight, her sexuality.

She’d been a virgin when she married Shawn. He introduced her to sex then called her a slut when she had the audacity to enjoy the games he made her play. After her divorce, she’d let guilt and low self-esteem–augmented by her mother’s fanaticism and her sister’s unwavering criticism–steer her into another role: neutered martyr.

Well, screw that.

She shifted back and forth on the toilet seat. She still could feel a faint tingle of arousal–Buddy’s parting gift to her. She’d feared her sensuality had burnt up in a flurry of hot flashes, but Buddy proved otherwise. She had a vagina and she knew how to use it.

For the first time in hours, a smile started to form on her face. She stood and walked to the mirror. She fluffed up her hair and re-applied the lipstick she’d bought for the occasion. Maybe the snippy cop couldn’t see it, but Judy Banger was a sexual being. From this point on, she planned to do exactly what she wanted, with whomever she wanted whenever the opportunity arose. If society–and her family–blushed…so what?

“I owe it to Buddy,” she said, faking a saucy smile. “If I learned anything from this–besides what a 71 is–then he didn’t die in vain.”

She’d made resolutions in the past, but this epiphany felt different. She’d already started down a more proactive path just by working out at the gym. Where this new road would take her was anybody’s guess, but she was going to have fun getting there.

 Remember: this is the “less naughty” version. If you want to pick-up all of the Screw Senility novellas for FREE, here are the links:

Bang! You’re Dead  Free Screw Senility #1

In With A Bang! Free Screw Senility #2

More Bang For Your Buck  Free Screw Senility #3

Big Bang Theory Free Screw Senility #4

And my sweet short story, 100 Years or More is also free this week, in case you missed it.

A Hundred Years of More Free – a short story

Happy reading!

Deb