I’m sort of on a writing break–not really because I’m starting the first book in the Weaver Sisters series, but I’m not pushing. Mostly, I’m doing other stuff. I fall cleaned my house, went to a gala fund raiser for Nickel Plate Arts (my first foray into the world in almost two years), I watched a couple movies, I’m reading like crazy, I took walks, I had lunch with my sister for our birthdays… you know, real people stuff. I’ve also been working on promotion for The Valentine Wager, writing to reviewers, etc. and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Jasmine’s book–the first Weaver sister to get her story told. Hoping to get into writing sprints and early-morning writing soon here.
But this weekend, I’m not worrying. It’s my birthday–it’s a hard one for me. Turning 68 feels so close to 70 and I saw a picture of myself last night that made me shudder. My face was soooo lined and wrinkled, I hardly recognized me. I don’t like it. However as Liz so rightly points out, what can I do about it? It is what it is.
So, enough whining already. Here’s a quick snippet from The Valentine Wager: setup is that Rye has just been bowled over meeting Kitt for the first time, so he stops by the fire station to see if his brother Becker has any information about this new intriguing woman in town. After all, Beck is good friends with one of Kitt’s cousins, Brendan Flaherty. Beck is no help at all…in fact, he’s just the opposite:
Beck stopped polishing and crossed his arms over his chest, the rag dangling from his right hand. “Okay, clearly you’re headed somewhere with this, so talk.”
“I’m not headed anywhere,” Ryker denied. “She’s very pretty, that’s all. And she has an Irish accent. Man, it was cute.”
Beck gazed at him for a moment, then sighed. “No, Rye. Don’t.”
“Do not go after her.” He returned to his task. “She’s the Flahertys’ cousin. You mess with her and you’ll have all four of them on you like ducks on a June bug, as Mom would say.”
“I’m not going to mess with her. What does that even mean anyway?” Ryker shoved his hands into his jacket pockets and shifted uncomfortably against the cold metal support. “I just thought I’d ask her out. Maybe meet for a cup of coffee. She can accept or not.”
“I thought you were dating that new front desk clerk at the Cotton Mill. What’s her name?”
“You know her name is Tracy. You had dinner with us a couple of weeks ago. It was just a couple of dates…not a relationship. We decided we were better off as friends. I just thought you might know something about the cousin since you’re friends with Bren and Tierney.” Ryker had had exactly four dates with Tracy Knox. She was fun, but they’d both realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t meant to be. He was glad they had ended it before they got too entangled.
“I haven’t seen Bren in about a month—he’s been out of the country. Just got back.” Becker stooped next to the rear bumper. “How long has this cousin been here?”
“Just a couple of weeks, she said.”
“Well, that’s why I don’t know anything about her”—he straightened—“and even if I did, I wouldn’t share it with you because you are a dirty dog when it comes to women, Rye.” He said it with a teasing grin and a head shake, but still, it stung.
“Thanks a lot.” Rye didn’t bother denying the accusation because in his heart of hearts, he knew there was a grain of truth to it, although he didn’t truly believe he ever offered any woman anything more than he was willing to give. As he got older, he’d realized that he simply enjoyed the company of women—didn’t matter if they were short or tall, slender or curvy, young or old. He was just as inclined to tease Paula Meadows at the Bread and Butter Bakery when he stopped by for the free doughnut she offered all first responders each day as he was to flirt with Tracy Knox. He wasn’t a dirty dog about it—at least he didn’t think he was. Not like his father—never like that. He appreciated the attention, relished the back-and-forth, but he was never inappropriate with any woman. And he never made promises he had no intention of keeping. He always told the women he dated the truth.
“Just calling ’em as I see ’em. You go through women like most of us go through a bag of chips.” Becker headed toward the firehouse kitchen, indicating with a head tilt for Rye to follow. “Want some chicken casserole? Just made it this morning.”
Ryker wasn’t sure he wanted to have a sit-down with his older brother at the moment. He was only on a lunch break and this was getting him nowhere anyway. Clearly, Beck knew nothing at all about Kitt Boynton. Besides, Rye was in no mood to deal with Beck’s gloomy rambling about women and relationships and loves lost. “’Preciate the invite, bro, but I’ve got to get back to work.” He turned to go out the service door next to the tall overhead at the front of the firehouse, when Becker’s voice stopped him.
“Rye, seriously. Just no to the Flahertys’ cousin, okay?”
Ryker grinned over his shoulder. “Whatever you say, Beck.” He waggled his fingers over his head and walked out of the firehouse.
There you go–hope you enjoyed and that it whetted your appetite for a new story from River’s Edge. The Valentine Wager is available for pre-order and releases on February 1, 2022, which isn’t all that far away.
Stay well, stay safe, wear your mask, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful,