Thursday, August 31, 2017

Long Way Sneak Peek

Even though I decided to delay the release date for the second book in the Adventures, INK series Long Way until November I made a promise to reveal who the book is about on September first.... Anyone object to a day early?

The first draft of Long Way is finished, it's currently about ten thousand words longer than Match Day.... and if you haven't read Match Day, this might be a bit of a spoiler.

I plan to spend September watching football and writing something new. Not football related. I'll rewrite and edit Long Way in October as soon as I have something new finished (hopefully). 

So, anyway, without further delay....




LONG WAY
Skip’s Story
Mercy Celeste

Chapter One
“Take the Long Way Home,” Supertramp crooned out of the jukebox. Skip leaned back in his chair and watched as Rosie and Lucinda two-stepped their way around the little area in front of the bar. No one gave a shit that two middle-aged biker chicks were dancing. Least of all their husbands. Catcalls came from other patrons at the tavern. They’d seen it before. Yearly. For nearly thirty years now.
The same songs played on the same jukebox while they drank the same beer and told the same stories they’d told the first time they did this. Thirty years ago, he’d been fresh faced and green as hell when he’d stumbled into this bar. He wasn’t old enough to drink. He was free and on his own with an overpowering need to set the world on fire.
He’d dropped out of school his senior year when his folks had died. He left the compound not long after that. It was his. He could have kicked all those damned hippies out but he didn’t. They’d been family at one time. Right up until his mom got sick and his dad couldn’t go on without her.
He packed everything he owned and threw it in the beat up old Bug and drove as far as he could. He broke down in front of this dive.
And fell in with this bunch as if he’d been sent here.
Rosie and Lucinda were on spring break from Berkley. Sam and Colten were like him, just out of school with no plans for the future. Blake and Darren were up from Texas scouting colleges. And Jimmy and Norah were newlyweds on their honeymoon. They’d met as strangers that year back in ’87. All a bunch of hippies with nothing to protest. Except Skip, he’d done that his whole life. He just wanted to see what normal people did.
Over the years they added new people to their group, through marriage or just like-minded people with nothing better to do than tag along through the woods with a bunch of drunk kids wanting to set the world on fire.
They’d lost people, divorce and death were always part of life. Some just stopped coming, like Jimmy and Norah.
Skip hadn’t made it every year. He’d missed a few along the way but he kept in touch. The years when he couldn’t make it he’d host a get together down at the beach house. After his folks had passed the commune fell apart, and he’d been left there alone with a bunch of ghosts. Why the hell not. There were enough rooms in the place for everyone to have their own retreat.
The song ended and Seven Bridges Road came up next. Skip could count on that much. The songs never changed, on the juke, or with this crowd. Classic rock, all the way. There wouldn’t be a single Duran Duran song on there. Or Adam Ant or Boy George. He’d kill for some George Michael.
They’d lost George this past Christmas. The death had hit him hard. Harder than Bowie or Prince. Harder than any of the other losses of the past year. For reasons he couldn’t ever tell this crowd. Rosie and Lucinda danced as a joke. They never hooked up to Skip’s knowledge. None of the guys ever gave him reason to believe there was anything here but a yearly habit.
“Who are we missing?” Blake thumped a tub of beers down on the table and looked around the bar. His black hair had gone completely silver in the last year. He looked good, even if he was pushing fifty.
“Just Colten.” Lucinda swept a bottle from the tub and collapsed into her husband’s lap. “This was his party and he’s the one who can’t be assed to show up.”
They usually met up later in the spring. March was always too wet for hiking, and too cold. Back in the day it had always been March. Mostly because of college breaks. After they all grew up and got jobs and had kids they’d played with the schedule. Keeping up with each other as technology changed. They had their own Facebook group now. And Colten had written a few days back asking if they could meet up early this year. Skip had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach when he read the message. Something about it just seemed… like bad news.
“You’d think he would have said more about dragging us all up here on such short notice if he’d changed his mind.” Rose grabbed a beer, she didn’t sit in her husband’s lap. She sat across from him and didn’t meet his gaze. Another ending right there, Skip would be willing to lay money on it.
“He’ll be along. He’s always late. He has to come from Virginia now. That’s a long way.” Blake drained a beer and slammed the bottle down on the table. He kept looking at the door where Sam and Darren had disappeared. That seemed to be the beginning of something.
Sam had lost her husband a couple years back, and Darren… well, maybe the divorce would finally go through now that the kids were grown. Skip was sure they’d always been sneaking around. He just hadn’t cared until a few years ago. He hadn’t cared about a lot of things until Brian came into his life. One day he’d tell them about Brian.
Not this year. He checked his phone for messages. They’d be heading out in the morning and phone service was spotty on the trail. Brian hadn’t returned his messages today. Probably too busy sexing that hunk of a man he’d been mooning over for as long as Skip had known him.
He’d left two days sooner than he’d planned when Doc had shown up on his doorstep looking like a lost puppy. The love in his eyes when Brian had shown up damn near floored Skip. He’d never had anyone look at him like that. Male or female. Not from lack of trying. That boy had his heart in his eyes for his boy. And Skip had grabbed his gear and gone instead of standing around making it all awkward. Now he wondered if he shouldn’t have stayed. Maybe played daddy for the first time in his life. Maybe asked Zack what his intentions were. See if he was after Brian’s money. Or the land. Money Brian had no idea existed, or that he was going to inherit everything Skip’s mother and grandparents had passed down to him. Neither of them knew there was anything to gain. And he was keeping it that way for the time being.
One day he’d tell the boys he was rolling in it. One day he’d tell his closest friends that he had a son. Norah’s son.
Not this day.
He’d play the good natured loner and watch his friends make fools of themselves and when they were on the other end of the trail he’d head up to his cabin and write another book.
His phone buzzed. Brian sent him a double thumbs up. Skip had forgotten what he’d asked… probably something like was the house still standing? Something stupid to go with the stupid comment he’d left them with. Just don’t burn down the house. Jeez, he was an idiot.
The kid had looked at him like he was trespassing on his territory. He’d jump to a conclusion that pissed Skip off. The same conclusion another man had once come to. It had ended their friendship. Well, there was the fact that he had no idea Brian was his until the boy was sixteen and Skip had stopped in to visit his old friends without letting them know he was coming. For three years they pretended he didn’t know. For three years he’d tried to see the boy. After Brian had found him down in San Diego and gone home, Jimmy had flown out and accused him of the unthinkable. Skip had decked him. If anyone could be accused of that it sure as hell wasn’t Skip.
Brian had come home from his sister’s botched wedding with a wedding ring and a broken heart. Because of Jimmy.
No one mentioned Jimmy and Norah anymore. Or invited them. Skip looked around at the people gathered at the table, the same feeling of dread clutching at his gut. Only the faces from the original group were there. Minus Jimmy, Norah, and Colten. Next year they would be short one more spouse. The year after that might not ever happen. But he thought that every year. This year though, felt like an ending. Not just the end of a chapter.
Like they were putting a period on an era.
The door opened and everyone at the table strained their necks hoping to welcome their missing friend. A tall, broad shouldered, Jarhead wearing fatigues and a scowl filled the doorway. He was far too young to be Colten. And far too hot.
Colten Mayes had been a short earth shoe wearing computer programmer from southern California. He’d gone on to make a fortune in Silicon Valley before moving to the east coast about ten years back.
The men turned back to their beers, the women leered at the young man. So did Skip. He tried not to be obvious about it. But damn. He bet he could bounce a quarter off that guy’s belly. If he were ten years younger he’d give it a try. He caught the guy’s eye, the stare was hard and unwelcoming. Make it twenty years younger.
The guy tipped his head in a curt military style nod and started for their corner of the bar. Skip’s heart skipped a couple of beats as the ice blue gaze met his. He seriously wondered if he was reacting to a hot ass Marine or if the hot ass Marine had taken his interest the wrong way.
Fear? It had been a long time since he felt anything resembling fear. A little more than ten years when he’d stared into a pair of clear green eyes and recognized his mortality.
The Marine carried a bag over his shoulder. He seemed to have purpose as he moved through the tables. Skip wasn’t the only one to notice they had attracted the attention of a stranger. Blake was on his feet acting as their defacto leader with his pasted on politian’s smile and an outstretched hand.
Skip was willing to bet the whole hundred acres up in Oregon that the first words out of Blake’s mouth would be “thank you for your service, Marine, welcome home.”
Yep, nailed it.
Skip didn’t stand with all the others. He nodded to the boy, because damn, he wasn’t too long out of diapers by the looks of him. Certainly not old enough to have served in the military. But that’s because Skip was feeling his age. And that boy was way too young for what his dick was thinking.
 “Thank you, Mister Hamilton, sir.” The Marine grasped Blake’s hand and shook it. He looked at each of the people at the table and greeted them by name. Skip wasn’t the only one wondering why this kid knew their names. “Skip,” he said, leaving off the mister part as he met Skip’s gaze one more time. He nodded again and set the bag down on the table.
“Chad Mayes,” Skip said recognizing the boy in the man and the man in the son. The feeling of dread in his gut turned rock hard.
“Yes, sir.” He didn’t smile. There was sorrow in his eyes. “Dad asked me to give you this.” He pulled a package out of his bag and handed it to Blake with no explanation. Skip didn’t need one. He knew. “He wanted his closest friends to lay him to rest.”



About MJCPress


I have chosen to self-host ebooks through Payhip: a division of PayPal. I offer two formats: Mobi for kindle devices and epub for all other devices. I have discounted the price because I receive all royalties from this site, minus the small fees the service charges. If you do not have a PayPal account you should be able to pay with a credit card, I am not sure on this matter, but I can sell print books with the credit card option.

All books currently available will have an MJCPress buy link or you can check the MJCPress link below for all books.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Match Day is live

If you've been waiting for news, Match Day is now free and loose in the world. The sequel Long Way will follow on September 12th. I will have the print version available soon.


Amazon   Kobo   iBooks   MJCpress   


MJCpress is directly from me through payhip, I offer a choice of mobi(kindle) and epub9everything else) 

Match Day blurb

Jilted at the altar!

Doctor Zack Sorensen planned to spend the entire ten-day luxury honeymoon cruise drunk off his ass. Why not? He paid a fortune for the tickets. Non-refundable tickets. If anyone deserved to be drunk for ten days solid it was Zack. 

Brian O’Daly - brother of the runaway bride and best man - had no intention of letting his best friend spend the next ten days alone, and most likely drunk, on a ship, with no one to keep him from falling overboard.

But what exactly did one do on an accidental honeymoon? For ten days. To romantic destinations. In one bed… when one is secretly in love with one’s best friend.

Brian and Zack are about to find out.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Match Day release date

Probably going to publish Match Day in the next week or so. Almost done with it.

Stay tuned.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Working and Winding Down Summer

I know it's August 5th. I do know this. I know also that there are nearly two months of calendar summer left. I live in the very deep south, it will still be hot for another three to four months before our summer is officially, officially over. Hurricane season ends on December 1, about then. I am not even kidding. It's rare that we get actual fall temps during the fall, anymore. If we do, it's fleeting. Cool one day, sweltering the next.

We keep our 'summer' clothes out year round down here. It's not uncommon to go to the store and see people wearing boots and jackets walking beside someone in shorts and flipflops. Of course, I have one daughter who wears boots year round.

But for this post, the winding down summer part means getting ready to send the youngest back to school. Tuesday, as a matter of fact. As in this coming Tuesday. I can officially say this is the earliest any of my kids have ever started school. It's too early. The past three or so years we started around the 10th or 11th. Not much later, just a few days, but still it's nearly a week of extra summer. The trade off I guess is that she gets several full week long breaks that the older kids never got. The whole week of Thanksgiving, Christmas is more than two weeks, not quite to three weeks, we get a full week for Mardi Gras in February or March (because we do Mardi Gras here, big time) and then Spring Break. I guess it's a decent trade off.

Anyway, what's up with me? Not much. Running people to doctor appointments. Running around looking for school uniforms. Paying bills and running from snakes. It storms nearly every day. But that's summer for ya. We haven't been to the pool to many times this year. We saw two movies, one if really want to be picky, we saw Guardians of the Galaxy a couple of days before school got out in May.

Nope, no vacation this year. Maybe the week of Thanksgiving. I want to go north to see not coastal things. The kids want to go to Disney again. We'll probably go to Disney again if I can swing the admissions.

Otherwise I've been working my tail off to get two books ready to publish. I wrote most of two books this summer. I say most of, I started Match Day last year in the spring and abandoned it about 15k words in because there were too many books like it on Amazon. I finished that one in early June and started it's sequel immediately. I finished Long Way in mid-July. Took me 33 days I think. It's a bit longer than the first book. Not much, just a little. I might write a third book in that series. I'm thinking about one involving a couple of guys from MD. I might go to something completely different when I start back on new words.

Right now I'm in the middle of revising Match Day. I'm about to wrap up my final rewrite and send it to be edited. I can't set a date yet. I'm hoping to have it out by mid-August. I know I said I wouldn't have it ready until September at the earliest... yeah, about that... I kinda want to move on to new words.

I'll probably just fling this one out and then get started on the first read through of Long Way right after.  I'll most likely have that one ready by mid-September. I'll wait until then to decide if there will be a third book. Both books are HEAs with hard endings.

I'm calling the series, Adventure INK.

I still have no blurb. I'll set up the MD and LD official pages soon.

As soon as I get the kid back to school. We're moving up to middle school this year. Oh yay! sighs. Going into band, staying in baton, riding the bus with high schoolers.... JOY! BIG SIGHS! help me


So that's my summer so far. Hope yours has been the stuff of legend.

Mercy






Covers by the incredibly talented Jay Aheer.