Her First Knight Excerpt
He’s the one, isn’t he?” Her mother's eyes lit with a strategic fire. “Isn’t he, Lana Jean Calloway?”
Buffy couldn’t help but smile. She hadn’t heard her full name in that tone of voice since she was eight. “No one’s keeping anything from you, Mom. I’m sure if you ask Ridge right now if he’s the one, he’d back out of here quicker than you could say gumbo. Please don’t blow it.”
“You knew about this, Mother,” Pamela said, calling Lillie by her affectionate nickname, to make her point of why she shouldn’t have been left out. It didn’t sound very affectionate.
“Mom, it’s just not quite time to go shopping for a wedding dress, ‘ya know?” She hugged her mother who relaxed, but Buffy could tell she wasn’t about to give up. She gave Lillie a what now? grimace and Lillie just patted them both on the back.
“Come on, girls. They could talk until next month about the wars and your Mr. Romano’s project but I think they could use a distraction. Buffy, grab the potatoes, and I’ll call your father to get the ham.”
Lunch proceeded without a hitch. Luc said his goodbyes and took off. Ridge made the rounds thanking everyone for their support and promised to come back one day. This concerned Buffy. It sounded too much like the distant future. Shaking Earl’s hand he said, “Sir, my company has a more advanced prosthesis. I can arrange it for you if you’re interested; it’s lighter and more flexible than the version you have.”
Earl narrowed his eyes and said, “Son, I’m ninety-three years old. This old arm has become like my real arm over the years, and we do just fine. Getting a new one at this stage of my life would be like a woman gettin’ fake boobs when she’s past her prime.”
“Old coot,” Ridge thought he heard Lillie say under her breath.
“Watch it, Dad,” said Robert who just put his arm around a steaming Lillie and hugged her. “Ignore him, sugar.”
“Now, Earl,” Roberta said, and her look seemed to be the only thing that made him quail.
Then Buffy’s great-grandfather shook Ridge’s hand and, looking around him at Buffy, said, “You chose a fine man, youngin’.”
Ridge turned slowly to look at Buffy. She shrugged and shook her head. It wasn’t me.
Then she watched with an impending sense of doom as her mother put her hand on Ridge’s shoulder and said, “Might as well buy the ring, dear. When a Calloway tells you, you’re the one, it’s like that old saying, “If I tell you the moon is made of green cheese, get your crackers.” She nodded, yep.
“I—” Buffy’s head sank into her hands. Why had she thought this picnic could take place without a bomb going off?
Take These Broken Wings Excerpt
Inez and Mr. Jackson became a number after Tempe zapped him back to life in book 1. Well, there's a problem in river city, folks....
I drove onto Mr. Jackson's street, trying to figure out how to broach the subject Inez had confided to me. He was standing by his mailbox in a stance reminiscent of my encounter on that fateful day when my powers had come alive, but he wasn't mad, bent over, or smoking like a chimney. He stood straighter, looked healthier and acted almost respectful and I realized, he'd been a very unhappy man before Inez. Though…he didn't seem very happy now.
He smoothed his sparse hair in place over his ears and rocked foot to foot, his impatience palpable. When I pulled to a stop, he seemed at a loss for words, totally out of character for him. "Ms. Pomeroy." And it was only the second time he'd ever called me that.
"Mr. Jackson. Um, hello. Was there something you needed? I haven't been to your box yet."
"No, it's nothing to do with the mail." He looked at the sky, his eyes traveling across the clouds absently, "It's… that is, I was wondering if…" his eyes came back to mine and I saw the worry in them. "Have you seen my Inez today?"
Oh, what to say. Who was it who'd told me recently the truth was best? "She was at her house this morning."
His shoulders sagged at the news. "I was afraid of that. Okay, thanks." He turned away.
Zeus' tears! He was pitiful. "Mr. Jackson, wait. Um, I asked her if she was still living here with you and she said yes, she was just er…visiting…" well, not exactly the truth but close enough. "Do you mind if I ask what's going on?" I for sure wasn't going to tell him Inez' tale but before I could take a breath he launched into the enhanced version complete with a strip show.
Jerkily tugging the hem of his shirt out of his pants, he ripped it open sending buttons flying. His upper torso didn't look like I expected. He was actually rather buff for a man his age. His index finger landed on his left pec. "See that? You did that and ever since you zapped me, my flag stays up."
I wished that phrase was a reference to his days as a mail carrier, but the tattoo on his chest was clearly an image of a woman's head with rainbow streaked hair. No one had ever told me this would happen and as far as I knew he was the only one it had happened to.
"Ever since you brought me back from near death, and don't get me wrong I owe you for that, because if I hadn't wound up in that hospital I'd have died and never met my lovely adorable Inez, but I'm wearing her out. I'm not a bounder, and I'd never cheat on Inez. I love her, but I'm afraid my constant—"
My eyes went wide and I placed my palm up, "I got it. No need to explain. I'm just not sure what you think I can do about it."
His eyebrows rose. "Well, Inez and I were talking…" I knew what they'd been talking about. "Inez thought maybe you could increase the juice in her…"
"Mr. Jackson! I understand what you're asking, okay? Inez mentioned it but as I told her, it's not that simple. I didn't even know the uh, flag thing was a side effect. And I wouldn't know how to, well… we're going to have to come up with another solution. Have you seen a doctor?"
He threw up his hands and stomped around, a bit like the old Jackson. "How am I supposed to make a doctor believe I can't get my flag to go down at my age?" He had a point.
"I know but maybe he could give you something to counteract it…" like anti-Viagra? Right. "…A tranquilizer? Let me think about it. And talk to um, someone I know." Like who?
"If you can't help Inez, can you fix me? Put me back like I was before? I wouldn't care if I couldn't get it—" I made the signal again and he said, "Inez would be happier, and if Inez is happy, that's all I care about, Ms. Pomeroy. Please." The puppy dog look on his face made me make a false promise to fix it, for the second time today, though I had no friggin' idea what I was going to do. I couldn't manage my own love life, how was I supposed to fix theirs?