I just found out that My Boogie Woogie Bugle Guy will be out on June 1st. Better yet, I received the mock-up and it's pretty.
But a mock-up isn't final, so I can't show you that yet. But I will share an excerpt from my newest 1NightStand story. Please excuse any typos or grammar. This is still in edits.
Here, Grace meets Frank for the first time. But is he in the cemetary to have more than a drink with his dead buddy?
Grace lie on her belly, her cheek pressed into the lush grass, staring a full shot-glass of liquid, which from the fumes, was most likely whiskey. It sat at the base of her brother’s tombstone, as if someone waited for him to take a drink.
George Daniels, born June 18th, 1987, Died August 8th 2011. Hero, Son, Brother.Whoever left the whiskey, had set it on an ace of spades. Probably one of the Green Beret’s Geordie had served with. They’d liked to play that game. She smiled, remembering the stories her brother told her about his downtime while deployed, the heated spade’s matches, the stomach churning dares to eat creepy crawlers, roach races, anything to keep them entertained between patrols.
“I miss you.” She sniffed and wiped a tear from her cheek. It had been a year since she’d lost her brother, and the hole still gaped open, raw, unbearable.
She wouldn’t be off her shift for another thirty minutes, but on the anniversary of his death, she couldn’t stay away. She'd needed to talk to him. So, she’d sprawled over his grave in her uniform, getting grass stains from the freshly cut lawn, telling him about how much her life sucked without him.
“For my next number, I’m gonna play something a little more laid back,” a slurry voice rang out over the headstones, echoing through what was supposed to be a closed grave yard. A trumpet began to play. “Dah, dah, dum. Dah, dah, squawk.”
Grace bolted up. “What the hell?” Believing she’d been alone, she’d bared her soul to her brother, and certainly wouldn’t have had the conversation she’d just had if she’d known. She turned around three-hundred and sixty degrees, until her gaze landed on a mausoleum backlit by the moon. There, a man stood on the roof with brass to his lips, butchering Taps. In his other hand, he held a bottle of what was probably in the glass on Geordie’s grave.Grace swatted the debris from her pants and stomped toward the mausoleum, irritation prickling up the back of her neck. She stopped at the base of the stone structure and glared up. “What are you doing here at three in the morning? The cemetery is closed.”
“Whoa, hot chick in the audience.” He swayed, threatening to fall off the roof. “Feel free to toss your panties up on the stage in appreciation.”
She clicked on her flashlight and cast the beam on him. “I suggest you get down from there before you fall, or I have to arrest you for public intoxication.”
He gave her a shit-eating grin. “You got handcuffs?”
“Oh, God,” she groaned under her breath. “Of course I’ve got handcuffs. I’m the police.”
He rocked and blinked his eyes. “You’re hot for a cop.”
“Thank you, I think. Now get down.”
“Okay.” He jumped, hit the edge of the roof, rolled off and dropped like a stone at her feet, doing it with all the grace of a bag of potatoes. Yet he’d managed to keep hold of the bottle and not spill a drop. He put the horn to his lips and blew, but nothing more than a raspberry came from the mouth piece. “For my next number, I’m going to play....” He looked up at her. “Any requests?”
“Yeah, tell me where you’re staying, so I can take you to your room.”
“Easy, girl. What kind of guy do you think I am?”
“Drunk, cocky and full of shit.” She reached her hand down. “Come on. You either tell me where you’re staying, or I take you to the drunk tank.”
“Are you a meter maid?”
Grace sighed. “I’m an officer. You obviously knew my brother, so I’m going to cut you a break. Come on soldier, you need to sleep that booze off.”
He gave her his trumpet. She tucked it under her arm and extended her hand to him again. After several attempts, his palm made contact with hers and she pulled him to his feet.
“So you’re Geo’s sister.”
Have a great weekend!