A Gift for You
Before the party kicks off with my first guest, I have a few presents to offer you. Extra excerpts from recently released books and maybe some upcoming books to peak your interest.
Whatever It Takes
Released April 1, 2016
Blurb:a Rafflecopter giveaway
It takes an eye-opening talk for Riley Gordan to realize there’s something wrong in his twelve-year relationship with Conor Flemming. He creates extravagant events for same-sex proposals and weddings to over-the-top holiday parties, but he never considered one for Conor and him. Busier than ever, he realized his time with Conor had shrunk. He decides to use his event planning skills and put them to work to rekindle the spark.
Conor Flemming creates extraordinary cakes for anything from a cancer survivor’s celebration of life to a same-sex wedding, but never one for himself. When it comes to his life with Riley, he knows it’s failing, but not sure where it all went wrong. The silence hurts and worries him. Until a flurry of text messages changes the situation.
Excerpt: (New - Not seen before)
Home. Right. Where was home? Almost forty and I’m sleeping in my office instead of facing my troubles at home. How is that supposed to be better? Conor snorted at the thought and went to the break room. He washed his hands and heated up a couple slices of pizza.
Since Patricia was all about recycling and saving the world, Conor found the water bottle with his name written on the side and filled it with chilled water from the stationed cooler. He leaned back against the counter and took several deep swallows. Okay, fine, Pat was right about this part. Of course, he wouldn’t dare tell her that since he would never hear the end of her crowing.
His phone buzzed a few times in a row. Not expecting any calls, he pulled it out, tapped in his password, and swiped across the screen. When he tapped the Messages icon, he saw Riley’s name darkened to show him as the sender.
“Riley?” he muttered and clicked on the conversation.
Riley-Party: Are u coming home tonight?
Riley-Party: What time?
Riley-Party: Please say yes. Miss u.
Going home was the last thing on Conor’s mind. He slept the last couple of weeks in his office after packing stuff in a duffel bag. He figured Riley either didn’t notice his absence or didn’t care. He set the bottle down and tapped in his message. His big fingers fumbled over the small keyboard on his iPhone. Why the hell did I splurge on this iPhone contraption? Barely use the darn thing. Screw you, autocorrect, I meant ‘tiers’ not ‘tears’! He tapped backspace several times to adjust the blasted autocorrect words.
Cakeman: Multiple tiers to finish. Consult at 5:30. Not
Riley-Party: ok Promise to come home. Please.
Riley-Party: miss u. Need to talk. Have stuff to tell u.
Couple of crazy days here
Riley-Party: fired brian the little shit
That statement made Conor’s jaw drop. No freaking way in hell did Riley say he fired the bastard. No freaking way. Brian did everything for him. Every fucking thing. Including taking my part in Riley’s life. This can’t be right. Conor tapped his finger on the tiny keyboard.
Cakeman: u did what?
Riley-Party: fire brian
Cakeman: why? when?
Riley-Party: fucked up consults n other shit. Tossed him out
yesterday. Too long to explain on this
Cakeman: whatcha do now
Riley-Party: Grady on hire search. Not too bad. Can handle
it w/fab four.
Conor smiled at his nickname for the original team of As You Wish. The original three had been together longer than Conor knew Riley with Joseph coming along a few years later. The four of them clicked together and kept the business moving and growing. Even through the darkest moments, they survived together.
Cakeman: fab four back on the stage.
Riley-Party: u know it. How bout u?
Cakeman: me what?
Riley-Party: whatcha doing?
Cakeman: pizza. Pat on my case.
Riley-Party: :( u need to eat
Conor lifted an eyebrow. Why was Riley worrying about him now?
Riley-Party: Conor? U there?
Cakeman: yeah pizza dinged
Riley-Party: enjoy. Shit. Consult here. New clients. See u
Conor stared at the last message. It shocked him to see the pair of kiss emojis. As he stared at the phone, the toaster oven truly did ding as the timer finished. He set the phone down and yanked the hot slices onto a plate. His fingers singed with the heat. As he sucked on the pair of fingers, he carried the plate to the table.
While he chomped on the first slice, Conor studied the conversation he’d had with Riley. He scrolled to the conversation right before the one that started. It had been over three weeks since Riley sent a message about how they were out of coffee. That was it.
What kick-started this exchange between them? Why would he fire Brian?
“Hey, Conor, haven’t you figured out that iPhone by now?” one of his assistants, Johnny, teased as he snatched a couple of slices out of the box. He didn’t bother to heat them up as he dropped in a chair opposite from Conor.
“Fucking contraption. No, just the basics. Why did I upgrade?”
“It was the ‘it thing.’ I know it wasn’t cheap.”
Conor glared at his younger employee, who chuckled.
Johnny nodded toward the phone. “What’s going on with it? Need help?”
“Messages from Riley,” Conor said. “I can work that part. Stupid autocorrect crap.”
“Riley?” Johnny chuckled again. “Yeah, there are some awesome autocorrect fails out there. What did Riley have to say? Been a while since I’ve seen him hunting for treats.”
Conor chewed as he scrolled the screen up and down to read through it, looking for a hidden meaning behind the exchange. There had to be something. They haven’t talked, truly talked in days, no weeks. Forget about any personal time. Lovemaking was out of the picture. The little bastard, Brian, didn’t help matters by keeping a wall between him and Riley.
“Helllooo?” Johnny waved his hand under Conor’s nose.
Conor glared at Johnny again. “What?”
Johnny pointed the end of his pizza slice toward the phone. “What did Riley want? Just asking cause it looks like you need to talk about something. Either that or you’re working on a good fart. Can’t tell with that expression on your face.”
One of Conor’s eyebrows went straight up.
“What? Old boys have to fart. Good for the colon.” Johnny lifted his pizza in celebration of manly farts.
With a shake of his head, Conor wiggled the phone. “He fired Brian.”
“That little prissy bastard. Nice,” Johnny said with a big grin.
Conor raised an eyebrow.
“Please, boss, we all hated him. Sticking his nose in everyone’s business all the while he kept a tight hold on Riley’s backside. Two faced little bastard,” Johnny said as he gestured to Conor with the piece of pizza. “Nothing good will come from him.”
“Did everyone feel the same?”
“Glad to know it wasn’t only me,” Conor said.
“When did he get the boot?”
“Damn, wish I could have been there to give him a one-finger salute on his way out. Oh well.”
Rolling his eyes, Conor finished the pizza, rinsed off the plate and washed his hands thoroughly. “Did Emily finish the cats?”
“Yeah, she finished sculpting the rice treat heads and tails for both. She didn’t know if you wanted to handle the fondant or let her do it.”
“I’ll take care of it. They wanted two different cats, so that means tinting and kneading more fondant,” Conor said as he dried his hands. He snatched his phone off the table and slid it back in his chef’s coat pocket. “Oh. And Johnny?”
Johnny looked up from his third slice.
“Don’t say anything about my colon again. Okay? Thanks. Concentrate on yours,” Conor said in a sharp tone that didn’t mean shit. As he left the room, he listened to Johnny cracking up laughing. He had a crazy bunch of idiots working for him. On the way back, he grabbed the detailed photos of the actual felines he would turn into cake for the grooms.