I’m so excited that Phoenix Comic Fest is coming up in 10 days! I spent some time Sunday getting books sorted and boxed up to take with me. Luckily, I don’t have to order anything. I also bought a red cloth wagon to carry everything. Last year I was using a luggage carrier and I had a heck of a time keeping everything on it as I moved my stuff around. The wagon is much better. I got the wagon at Walmart, this one, https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-Folding-Wagon-Red/437376731, if you’re looking for something similar. It’s going to be a blast!
Just a reminder, Mystery at the Fair is in a book bundle called Cozy Winter Reads and has five other authors in it with me. The Bundle Rabbit link is: https://bundlerabbit.com/b/cozy-winter-reads and you can get the bundle in whatever format you’d like. I can hardly wait to read all of these new to me other authors. Hope you enjoy it. Just $7.99 for six books!
The wildlife in my yard, especially my back yard, has been very active. My hubby got a picture of one of the ground squirrels, lounging on the back fence. Then, a couple of days ago, he spotted a snake, getting a drink from the bird bath.
How, you ask? It had climbed up the rose bushes. He got a quick shot of the snake’s head from the kitchen window, backing up from the water. Then he went out and got some pics of it in the roses. Crazy!
I’m still working on It’s All About the Music. I managed to write a couple of new chapters last week. I like where this story is going. So, for fun, here’s an excerpt that may or may not make it to the final book.
The next day at lunch, Dot showed up at his table. “Mind if I sit?”
Rob didn’t know what the feeling was that shot through him. Relief? Joy? Gratefulness? Whatever it was, he was happy to see she was talking to him. “Sure.”
She sat, putting her tray of bottled water and salad in front of her. “Word is your video is almost done.”
“Yeah. Mister Barry and I saw it yesterday. They have a couple of other things to do with it, then it will be ready. I pick up my still shots today.”
“Good.” Dot opened her water and drank. “Are they making you copies?”
“Yeah.” He put his grilled cheese down on the plate. “A couple of everything. For my records, they said.” Rob picked up his sandwich and took a bite. It was nice sitting with her again. He’d missed her yesterday. “I should have the package for the admissions office out by Friday.”
Dot stirred her salad around in the bowl. “I heard that Ned is bad-mouthing you to anyone who’ll listen.”
The bite of grilled cheese Rob had just taken tasted like ashes all of a sudden. “I heard.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
Rob shook his head. “Nothing. He has a right. I did rat him out.”
Dot sighed heavily and put her fork down. “It’s best for him, you know. You too.”
Rob wiped his hands on his napkin. “I guess.”
She turned to look at him. “It is. You’ll get help. He’ll get help. It will be worth it.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. But he’s my best friend and I,” he shook his head. “I just totally narc’d on him.”
She sighed again. “It feels that way now. But you may have saved his life.”
Rob pushed his tray away to the center of the table and put his elbows on it. “Who knows.” He scrubbed his face with both hands. He’d heard about Ned all morning. It was like everyone in school was enjoying telling him every word. The snide looks, the snickering as he passed in the halls had hurt. Wait until Mr. Barry heard. That wasn’t going to be a good conversation. “What should I do about it?”
“Ask him to stop.”
Rob had to roll his eyes at that suggestion. “You don’t know Ned. He doesn’t like being told what to do. If I ask him to stop, he’ll just shout it out in the middle of the quad.”
Dot pushed her tray away and rested her head on one fist. She studied him. “So you’re just going to let him tell everyone in school about it? What about the teachers. They’re going to hear sooner or later.”
He threw his hands up. “I’ve thought of that. It’s a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Mister Barry wrote me a letter for my admissions packet. What if he asks for it back?”
She folded her hands on the table. “Talk to Mister Barry.”
Eyes wide, Rob turned to Dot. “Are you kidding?” The very thought made his stomach clench.
She put a hand on his arm. “I’m not kidding. Get in front of the rumors. Fess up.”
Rob covered his face with both hands, fingertips pressing into his eyes. This couldn’t be happening. His hands dropped to the table, his head drooping. What a mess. All because he couldn’t keep his word to himself. He wanted a drink. Bad. “What if…” all the things that could go wrong flashed through his mind.
“What if what? That he finds out by over-hearing a bunch of kids talking about you? How’s that going to look—you hiding it? What do you think he’ll think of that?”
She’s probably right. Look at how Mom and Dad reacted to me hiding my drinking. “Fine. I see him after school. I’ll tell him then.”
“Good. You want support? I can come with you.”
He desperately wanted her to come. To know there would be someone in the room on his side. “No. That would look strange. You’ve never come before.”
Dot nodded. “Okay then. I can walk down with you though.”
A small life preserver. “Thanks. I appreciate it.”
She stood up and grabbed her tray. “Good. I’ll meet you at your locker.”
“Good. See you at three.” With that she left. He watched as she took her tray to the window. She gave him a wave as she left the lunch room.
At three, he was pulling his flute out of his locker when she tapped him on the shoulder. “Ready?”
He wasn’t ready. His stomach hurt and he felt like he was walking to his execution. “I guess.” He zipped the flute into his back pack and put it on. “Let’s go.”
She strolled along beside him. He realized the top of her head only came to his shoulder. He sniffed. “Lavender.”
Dot smiled at him. “Yeah. I thought you could use a little calming.”
Rob nodded. He did need some calming. “Nice of you to think of it.”
“I figured you wouldn’t want to walk around smelling like flowers. You’ve got enough issues.”
He chuckled. “Yeah. That would be perfect. Getting beat to snot for smelling like perfume.”
At the music room, Dot stopped. “You can do this.”
Rob wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, staring at the door. “Yeah. I can do this.”
“Thanks.” With that, he opened the door. Best to get it over with fast.
Half an hour later, he left. He was surprised to see Dot at the end of the hall. “Hey.”
“Hey. How’d it go?’
Rob took a deep breath. Held it for a moment and let it go. He’d been so nervous he could feel the sweat trickle down his back. “He was disappointed. But he told me he’d been hearing the rumors and was glad I’d come to him and told him the truth.” He stopped at a water fountain and drank. His mouth felt like old leather. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “He didn’t ask for his letter of recommendation back. I’d been afraid he would.”
Dot walked with him out of the building and to the street. She handed him a piece of paper. “You get home, and you want to talk, call me.”
All Rob could do was stand and blink at her.
She waved it at him. “Take it. You can’t talk to Ned anymore. So call me.”
He reached up, slowly, and took the paper. “Uh. Thanks.” He jammed it in his pocket. I might.”
She smiled. “Good. I go this way. Take care.”
He nodded as she walked away. Rob watched her until she got to the corner and lost sight of her behind a building. He turned and headed home, grinning. She was helping him. He didn’t even have to ask for her number. That was good, right? At home he grabbed a quick sandwich and a glass of milk and headed to his room. He ate quickly and turned on his keyboard. Happy tunes made his fingers dance across the keyboard. Maybe everything didn’t suck after all.
The 2018 Authors/Bloggers Spring Giveaway at https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ has started. So many free books and prizes, you’ll be amazed. Click the link to get to the Rafflecopter.
Shout out to my friend C.A. Asbrey. She’s getting ready to release Innocent as Sin, book 2 in her Innocents Mysteries series. Like mysteries? This is a western, historical mystery set in Wyoming. It’s a page turner, I tell you. Want to know more? She can be found at:
Blog – C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period http://caasbrey.com/
The Innocents Mystery Series Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/937572179738970/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mysteryscrivener/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CAASBREY
Where Will I Be?
Check my website, https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my future engagements.
My next event is Phoenix Comic Fest. I have costumes this year! Come on by my tables in Artists Alley, AA928 and AA930 and we can take selfies!
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Newest Book Release:
Tested released January 31st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on https://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.
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