Welcome to Michael's. I'm happy to have Pender Mackie back on today with a guest post, please enjoy and give her your undivided attention.
Hi everyone, and thanks to Sharita for having me on her blog. This last month has been a busy one for me. I’ve had two short stories released only three weeks apart. I’ve been busy with contests and promotion, and for a while, I lost track of time. So I was shocked the day after Halloween when I walked into my local coffee shop.
All traces of Halloween were gone. The place was decorated in red and white and advertising peppermint hot chocolate and eggnog lattes.
Christmas is back and this time, it’s here to stay.
Maybe it’s different here in Canada, but it seems as if Christmas comes earlier every year. I guess if I didn’t frequent an international coffee chain I wouldn’t be encouraged to browse a selection of Christmas CDs and ornaments while I wait for my dark roast, but the closest independent coffee shop is too far away to make it there and back on my break. So I’ll just have to put up with a Christmas that’s two months long.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas. I really get into it—around mid December. Before that I might do some shopping. I pretty much have to if I want to send those pressies off to Australia on time. Even so, I don’t want to be bombarded with images of the big bearded guy or subject my ears to non-stop Christmas carols in November.
I’m not sure what prolonged exposure to Christmas carols will do to me. After two months of hearing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, I might be tempted to rock someone myself—and not in a good way.
So I have a plan. I’m taking back November. I will not be baking or shopping or gift wrapping before December 1st. I will abstain from eggnog—but not rum, let’s be realistic—and all things flavored with peppermint until the Canada Post deadline for shipping overseas has come and gone. Then it’s, hey ho the mistletoe!
At that point I will whip out the Christmas lights and throw on my James Brown Christmas CD. Or maybe I’ll watch Diehard. Technically, it is a Christmas movie.
So enjoy November, everyone. It comes but once a year.
Pender Mackie lives in Canada though she spent her childhood years in England.
An imaginative child, Pender wasn't a willing student and didn't learn to read until her father—deciding some incentive was needed—promised her a pony as a reward.
Properly motivated, Pender picked up a book and discovered the joys of fiction. Though her infatuation with ponies didn't last, she still loves a good story.
Pender’s most recent release is Right Street, Wrong House, which is not a Christmas story. It’s not really a Halloween story either, despite the cover. It is however, a story about two people, a party, and what can happen when someone find’s out you like to be on the naughty list.
Right Street, Wrong House Blurb:
Lewis goes to a party to meet someone new and get over his feelings for his friend Dylan. At the party, Lewis discovers the real reason Dylan holds himself back. But Lewis has secrets too and they’re more compatible than Dylan thinks.
Lewis looked at himself in the mirror. He was showered and shaved and wore a clean, neatly pressed golf shirt and jeans. He frowned at his reflection, frustrated. He looked so damned…nice.
Except for his sandy blond hair, which was a little too long, he looked like the typical boy-next-door. Maybe he shouldn't have shaved, but he didn't have enough facial hair to pull off the rugged look. He tried a sexy smile then grimaced. He'd only managed to look pleasant.
Lewis pulled the golf shirt over his head and put on a tight, silky black t-shirt, enjoying the sensuous brush of the fabric against his skin and nipples. He swapped the comfortable jeans for a pair that was much more form-fitting. The outfit was new and not a style he usually wore, but he was trying to make a statement.
With his blue eyes and wholesome, clean-cut looks he still looked like the kind of guy that would help his neighbors carry their groceries, but at least he didn't look like he'd forgotten his pocket protector at the office.
His cell phone buzzed. Lewis grabbed the phone from his dresser and checked the message.
Where are u? U are missing all the fun.
Lewis typed rapidly. On my way.
He took one last look at his reflection then headed to the kitchen to grab the cookies he'd made for the party.
Tonight's Halloween party was being hosted by a coworker's friend. Lewis had purposely waited 'til the party had started before leaving home. That way, his coworker Rob, the only other guest he knew, would already be there. Thank God costumes were optional. If he'd had to dress up in a costume he wouldn't have gone.
He wasn't shy. His dad always said he could talk the hind leg off a donkey—whatever the hell that meant—but he didn't normally go to parties. Hanging around some stranger's house, watching people getting drunk and acting stupid wasn't his thing, but tonight was different. Tonight he would go to the party and if he saw someone interesting, he was going to flirt.
Rob had told him everyone was bringing snacks and that there'd be soft drinks provided, but if he wanted alcohol he should bring his own. Lewis had considered taking some beer, but he'd decided to stick to soft drinks. When it came to alcohol he was a lightweight, plus he was driving.
He hadn't been sure what to bring for snacks so he'd made sugar cookies and decorated them with orange and black icing. He'd taken some to work and they'd been a big hit at the office. His best friend Dylan had eaten three or four, one right after the other.
Lewis laid the cookies on a large plastic plate shaped like a pumpkin. He frowned as he wrapped them with cling wrap. Dylan was the reason he'd agreed to go to the stupid party in the first place, damn it.
He'd known Dylan had been invited, but after Lewis had already accepted, he'd found out Dylan had other plans and couldn't make it.
He wondered what Dylan was doing instead. He'd asked when they were eating lunch in the break room, but Dylan had looked at Lewis, and shrugged. "Just stuff."
Lewis had been frustrated but he'd known he wouldn't get anything else out of him. Even though they were best friends, Dylan could be secretive.
"Come on, Dylan. I already said I'd go and if you don't come too, I won't know anyone but Rob," he'd complained.
"Oh, please. You make friends everywhere you go. Within half an hour you'll be on everyone's Christmas card list."
Lewis had rolled his eyes. "No one has Christmas card lists anymore."
Dylan had thrown his balled-up napkin at him.
Lewis grumbled to himself as he grabbed the cookies and his keys from the kitchen counter. He was disappointed Dylan wasn't going to be there, but if he had some place he'd rather be than at the Halloween party with Lewis, that was fine. Lewis squared his shoulders. In fact, that was all the more reason to go.
It was time to meet some new people and try to get over his feelings for Dylan. They'd known each other for six years, but no matter what he did or said, Dylan refused to see him as anything other than a good friend.
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. If you’d like to stop by my blog and say hello sometime here’s the link. http://pendermackie.blogspot.com