Print Party Preview Time! Plus, enter to win your own PRINT copy of Ducks in a Row!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to leave me a comment to enter to win one of three proof copies I’m giving away! In the meantime, here’s an excerpt! (Warning: Adult language. Just once—or twice—but still.)

Cam watched her sister leave knowing she had a fight on her hands and it was her fault. She glanced around at the dirty dishes still on the table and knew she should begin loading them into the dishwasher, but she had something to do first and she needed her strength to do it. Cam glanced at the clock on her cell phone. Six o’clock. Stan would be done with work, probably at the bar having a drink with some of the boys. She bit her lip and decided it was time. She needed to let him know she wasn’t home and wouldn’t be coming back.

He answered on the second ring, laughter in his voice and the sound of a jukebox in the background. “Hey, baby, where are you? It’s payday and we’re celebrating. Come on down.”

“I’m not there.” She wondered what it was about him that made her so tongue-tied, even now. Nearly a year after they’d met and begun dating, the sound of his voice could melt her knees, short out her brain and make it almost impossible to speak a complete sentence.

He laughed. “I know you’re not here, babe. I’m trying to fix that. C’mon down, I want you.”

I want you. The words echoed in her heart. “No, you don’t get it, Stan. I’m not there and I’m not coming back. I’m here now and I don’t want to see you again.” She closed her eyes with the effort of saying the last words. How could she sound so heartless and indecipherable at the same time?

After a moment of listening to the jukebox play, in which she pictured him sitting at a table with a beer in front of him, his chair tilted back and his long legs splayed in front of him, he finally spoke. “Hold on a sec.”

She heard voices and a door slamming and then silence. She knew he was standing in the middle of the dirt and gravel parking lot of the little dive bar he loved in Brunswick, Georgia. She knew he was holding his cell phone against his ear, searching for a way to reply to her. “Cam, what’s going on?”

“I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep pretending I can be your little wife.”

“Did I ask you to be my wife?”

“You know what I mean. I’m sick of the whole thing. I had to get away.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m at my sister’s in North Carolina.”

After a moment’s silence, he burst out laughing. “You don’t want to be my wife, but you run away to suburban hell? Are you serious? I’ve heard you talk about your sister and her husband and how uptight they are. Cam, are you feeling all right?”

“Cut it out.”

“No, seriously, check and see if you have a fever. I’m really worried about you, babe.”

“Cut…it…out! I’m serious. I’m not going to stay here permanently. Just ‘til I figure out what to do next.”

“I’ll fucking tell you what to do next. Come home. Come home now. I don’t want to live without you, and I’m pretty sure you don’t mean any of these things you’re saying. Come home and tell me what’s really wrong.”

If only she could. But it would ruin everything and she’d just end up back here without him, anyway. At least this way she could do it on her own terms.
“Cam?” His voice was stern. “Come home.”

“I’m sorry.” She closed her eyes again. She hadn’t meant to say that. She hadn’t meant to apologize, as if she had anything to really be sorry for, even if she did. “I can’t.”

She hung up and thought about him standing alone in the parking lot. He’d cuss, he might throw the phone and break it, and then he’d go inside and get drunk. Stinking drunk. Maybe he’d sleep with that little barmaid that’d been flirting with him for a while. Cam tried not to care.

Today’s blog tour stops and a reminder about my Foreign Affairs giveaway.

Goddess Fish Promotions has taken me all over the net, it seems, and today we make two stops, both of which I’m enjoying very much. Over at Once Upon a Time I was asked a very simple but very intriguing question. Describe a trip that changed you. Think about that for a minute. I had a hard time settling on one trip at first, but finally I figured it out. After you read the post over at Once Upon a time, check out this flash piece that was inspired by that same trip: China.

The second stop today is actually a review! My Reading Addiction gives Where the Heart Lies four stars and highly recommends it!

This is a story of loss, redemption, second chances, and a little bit of skeletons in the closet to throw a wrench in it. Great story line and smooth transitions with multi-dimensional characters. I highly recommend it. —My Reading Addiction

Finally, don’t forget about my Foreign Affairs print giveaway! Leave me a comment between now and October 31 for your chance to win a copy of Foreign Affairs in print. In the comment, tell me why you think ALL my books should be in print. What would you use them for? To prop up that uneven table leg? Firewood? Paper the birdcage? Give me a compelling and creative reason and enter to win your copy of the first print book with my name on the front cover. Check it out:

Isn’t it beautiful? Wouldn’t you love to own a copy? Well, here’s a buy link in case you just can’t wait for the giveaway to end: Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore. And now I’m off to do some real work!

Ahh…Print. Finally!

Had to share the good news…I’m finally available in print! Yay! Foreign Affairs, the anthology with my short story “Agapi Mou”, is now available in print, so if you’re one of those who loves to hold a book in your hands…well, you can finally hold one with MY name on the front cover in your hands. Here’s what the cover looks like:

To celebrate being in print, I’m going to give away a signed copy of Foreign Affairs to the commenter between now and October 31 who gives me the most creative and convincing reason why my books should ALL be in print.

In other news, be sure to tune in early tomorrow for my TWO guest spots on My Reading Addiction and Once Upon a Time. Find out what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been updating my blog.