Sneak Peek for this week

Evidently, I was too late for this week’s Sneak Peek Sunday, so I’m posting it here. I just finished writing this scene from my upcoming holiday novella, “Tasteless Holidays.” In this scene, the holidays are over and Scotty has just taken a temp job working for the government. His new bride, Lorrie, is jealous because he’s working with an old girlfriend. Lorrie’s also expecting their first child…

Scotty sat at his desk, or rather, “Tingle” table, as desk with all kinds of cubbyholes and sections named after a guy named Tingle. He could sort documents and place them in the cubbyholes. As he sat there, date-stamping document, he heard the cacophony of the other stampers. A woman in the back of the room spoke in a loud (very loud) voice. He’d been on the temp job at the IRS for about three weeks now. He’d also worked overtime just to make sure he had enough money for when the baby came.

            Ramona sat at the desk next to his, a bundle of nervous energy. He could barely keep up with her rapid-fire date-stamping. He noticed that when she leaned down to retrieve documents from a bucket, some fell out. He didn’t know how she could work at the IRS during the day, and then work at the restaurant at night and on weekends. He did know that if that’s what he had to do to support Lorrie and the baby, he’d do it.

            Although he wasn’t working as a paralegal right now, he felt more secure and confident.

            “Scott?” Ramona asked, in her breathless, always-in-a-hurry voice. 

             “Yes?”

            “Want to have lunch with me? I brought leftovers from the restaurant, and there’s no way I can eat all of it myself.”

            Lorrie wouldn’t like it if they had lunch together, but Scotty didn’t want anybody to say he was henpecked. Besides, poor Ramona had all that food left over.

 

I went over the six paragraph limit, but I figure it’s okay since I didn’t get my name in on time to be on the Sneak Peek Sunday site. Maybe next week, I’ll remember sooner.

My Favorite Things

In the tradition of “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” and continuing on from the guest blogs I did last week (thanks to Delaney Diamond and Zee Monodee for having me on their blogs), I give you a few of my favorite things. I tried not to repeat the same things that were on the blog:

 

My favorite:

Animal—cat

Cab driver—Greg M.

Sport: Baseball

Team: Cincinnati Red Wolves (fake) Cincinnati Reds (Real, even though they lost Tuesday night’s game)

Player: Jackie Fenelli (fake) Shin Soo Choo (real)

Expressions: “Greg says…”, “Oh my God!”

Book(s): You didn’t think I could pick just one, did you? (and this is the short list) “Rhett Butler’s People,” “Certain Girls”/”The Next Best Thing” by Jennifer Weiner

Movie(s): “Gone with the Wind”, “Singin’ in the Rain”

Beauty Product: Italian Beauty from HSN—I like Bath & Body Works, but it is not the same

Song: “Tasteless” by Jay & the Cincinnatians (fake) “There’s no Business like Show Business” (real)

Holiday song: “The Miracle of Chanukah” by Jay & the Cincinnatians (fake) “White Christmas” (real)

TV cartoon: “The Flintstones”

Comic strip: “Garfield”

Breakfast: Egg biscuit and wild berry smoothie from McDonald’s (and eating it in the cab with my parents and Greg)

 

Nancy Goldberg Levine is the author of “Three Strikes—You’re in Love,” a short story anthology, “Sweeter Than W(h)ine,” “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny,” and “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless.” These books are available on Amazon. You can find Nancy on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on this blog, “Laugh with Me,” nancygoldberglevine.wordpress.com.

 

Sneak peek

Today I am participating in a “Sneaky Peek” blog hop. I am sharing the first six paragraphs of my WIP, my upcoming holiday novella, “Tasteless Holidays.” It’s the sequel to “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless,” and I created it because I paid attention to the feedback I got on the book. So thanks to those of you who read it and commented…

Here goes…

Tasteless Holidays

A holiday novella (Practically Perfect Heroes series)

By Nancy Goldberg Levine

 

Chapter One

            Lorrie Caldwell paced the floor of her kitchen, the family cat, Ariel, pacing with her. She had the feeling that Ariel was more hungry than sympathetic, but she wasn’t giving in until Scotty walked through the door. Of all nights for her d/h, the love of her life, to get home late from work. She had something to tell him, and she wasn’t sure how he’d handle the news. Of course, the news had to arrive two weeks before the holidays. Naturally, fine, barely visible snow had started falling outside. Lorrie liked big, fat snowflakes, not something that looked more like a kosher salt.

            “Oh, I don’t know what dad will think about this, Ariel,” she said. “I guess we can get by, but it won’t be easy. Your grandma did it, though. I don’t know how she managed…” Lorrie sighed and remembered when she and her older brother, Jay, were growing up. Their dad worked as a truck driver, but sometimes he’d get laid off. Then their mom had gotten sick and there were medical expenses. Jay had had to grow up fast after she died. When their dad had died, too, things had gotten even crazier.

            “It’s bad enough that I got laid off during the holidays,” Lorrie said. She worked as a beautician for Wellstone Village retirement home. At least she had—until today. She didn’t voice her other statement—that she was still insecure about her marriage to Scotty. They’d gotten married a month ago and sometimes Lorrie thought that maybe her new husband had felt pressured into it. He’d assured her that he’d always loved her, but had never said anything because she’d had a strict policy against dating friends. Especially not her brother’s best friend.

Her brother’s hot, sexy, tall and tan best friend.

            “Meoowwwww,” Ariel said, stretching to her full height and running her paws against the handle of the refrigerator.

            “Enjoy it now,” Lorrie said, scooping some of Ariel’s favorite cat food into a blue plastic bowl. “Soon I’ll have to get even cheaper cat food.”

            Ariel cocked her head to one side, regarded Lorrie for a second, then chowed down.

Nancy Goldberg Levine is the author of “Mr. Short, Dark…& Funny” and “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless,” as well as “Sweeter Than W(h)ine” and “Three Strikes–You’re in Love,” a short story collection. She is now working on “Tasteless Holidays,” as well as a sequel to her print book, “Tempting Jonah.”

Shopping without my parents

I just got back from Wal-Mart. The last time I was there, my parents were with me and my friend and our favorite cab driver, Greg, took us there. Today, I had to shop alone (and without the ride from Greg).

First of all, I shouldn’t be alone in Wal-Mart. Even when my parents went with me, I never got out of there without spending at least $100. The same thing happened today, but I really missed having my mom and dad with me. The worst part (besides them not being there) was that I really needed all the stuff I bought. And it was sad to tell the driver, who asked about them when she took me home, that they were now in a nursing home.

I miss going to the McDonald’s with them (there’s one inside that Wal-Mart). And just shopping with them. My mom liked to shop; my dad always found a chair or bench somewhere and sat down. Of course, I thought of them while I was doing my shopping and bought them some things I thought they’d like such as dark chocolate truffles and flavored Tootsie Rolls.

When I got home, I looked at the old photos I found at their old house last week and thought of how much I love them. I love the old pics of my dad because he looks like Edward Hermann (who played Richard Gilmore on “Gilmore Girls.”) And in some of the pictures my mom looks like…me. I wish we could go shopping again…and to McDonald’s.

“His Brother’s Bride” by Rose Gordon

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Today I’m featuring an excerpt from Rose Gordon’s new book, “His Brother’s Bride,” as well as a picture of her cover. I love Rose’s humorous historical romances because, as you can see from the title of my blog, I love to laugh. I’m looking forward to reading this book. Here’s the excerpt.

Her lavender dress appeared to be well-taken care of. It didn’t have any signs of wear or stitches where it had been mended, even if it was plain with no lace or frippery.

Say, how is it that you managed to keep your dress so nice while traveling all the way here?”

I do own more than one gown.”

He frowned. “I never suggested otherwise.”

Yes, you did. You asked how I managed to keep my dress so nice while traveling, thus implying it is the only gown I own.”

He blinked at her. Beautiful, tart-tongued, mindful of her appearance and intelligent, she was a combination that could prove deadly to a gentleman’s pride, to be sure. “You arrived with nothing more than that dress and bonnet and the papers in your hands. What was I supposed to think? That you’d already had all of your earthly possessions moved into Watson Estate last week?”

She didn’t so much as frown at his sarcastic remark. “Perhaps I should have done that.” She lifted her hand to stare down at her flawlessly manicured fingers. “Instead, my items are being delivered to your cottage right now, I expect.”

Henry pulled the horses to a halt. “I beg your pardon.”

She lowered one hand then brought the other up for inspection. “My things, they’re being delivered to your cottage. Since it’s you I’m marrying and not your brother, there’s no reason to have them delivered to his house.”

Henry tried not to grind his teeth but could help it no longer when she shrugged and dropped her hand as casual as could be.

Where are we going?” she asked, her hand clutching the fabric of her skirt as if it were a lifeline.

Back to the house,” Henry bit off. He steered their horses into a large patch of thick green grass and then turned them in a slow circle, heedless to how much it jostled Her Highness as she sat mounted atop Lightning as if she were a queen waiting to be presented before all of her subjects.

There’s no need to rush back. I’m sure Brutus and Alfred have it well in hand.”

He was bloody sure they did, but he didn’t want her things in his house. He came to an abrupt halt. “Do you plan to spend your nights in my house—and in my bed—too?”

Absolutely not.” She lifted her chin a notch. “I am still a lady. I shall sleep at the main house until our wedding, but there was no sense in moving all of my things twice.”

Or once. The next time he saw Elijah, he was going to box his ear for this. “Won’t you need your clothes—” The rest of his sentence died on his tongue as a truly wicked thought formed in his mind. “Perhaps it’s for the best your things are being moved to my lodgings and not Alex’s house. As it would be, Alex and his wife, Caroline, are in London right now, leaving Watson Estate with a skeleton staff and no lady’s maids. At least if you stay with me, I can help you dress each morning.”

If that’s what you think you need to do.”