Oh, Pervy reader! I can’t wait for you to meet Liam and Cooper. I had so much fun with these two and I’m hoping you’ll enjoy them as much as I did. They’re almost ready and should be available on Amazon soon.
I’ll take a few weeks to relax and “enjoy” my kids and family while everyone’s off for the summer but I wanted to leave something fun for your reading list. Here’s a mostly edited peek at my new guys and what I think is a fun nod to two classics- The Shop Around The Corner and You’ve Got Mail. I loved the idea of taking something we all know so well and making it modern and recasting it with two of my guys. I decided we needed a snarky, blunt shop owner and a cocky and delightfully mischievous writer then let them torment each other.
For your reading pleasure, I thought I’d share the first chapter:
All authors are egotistical. Some more than others. Nothing made Liam roll his eyes harder than hearing a fellow author say they were in it for the sake of the writing and they just wanted their words to be read. Not that he didn’t get an incredible rush when he learned another million words of his books had been read electronically. But even the most modest author would be lying if they said they didn’t love seeing their books on a store’s shelves or their name high on a list of bestsellers.
The small shop tucked on a side street along the newly rejuvenated plaza district that was part of Southport’s urban revival efforts caught Liam’s attention and he whistled casually as he pushed open the door. His upbeat mood dimmed as he squinted into the dark interior. The relaxed, inclusive hipster vibe he was expecting was absent. It was literally just books. And a good amount of dust. He wandered around the shelves on the right half of the store and frowned as he scanned. So far, he couldn’t decipher any logical arrangement. The shelves were stuffed with books and there were piles on the floor. He peeked around a shelf, hoping to find an employee and his brow rose as he watched a petite waif with dreads in a shapeless dress hug a book against her chest as she followed a tall, slender, handsome yet pale man as he made his way toward a desk at the back of the shop. His dark hair stood in wild tufts as if he was constantly pulling at it as he did his best to avoid her.
“If you had a few chairs and at least one of those Keurig things, it would do a lot for the store,” she suggested and he gave her a flat look as he reached for an open book among the numerous stacks on the desk.
“Would that make you want to stay longer?” He asked and she nodded. He snorted as he looked down at the book and began to read.
“Those machines make shit coffee and why in the world would I want people lingering in my store? You’re not likely to buy the book if you’ve loitered about reading it all day. Which would make paying the rent on this dump even more difficult,” he muttered and Liam bit his lip to keep from laughing. He couldn’t argue with his cranky observations and it was clear this man did not believe the customer was always right.
“Don’t expect to see me in here again,” she said loudly as she slammed the book on the desk before she turned on her heel and stalked out.
“Don’t expect me to give a shit,” he mumbled as he flipped a page and Liam had to smother another laugh. There was a soft buzzing and the guy with the book sighed as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. “What do you want, Jared?” He asked wearily and Liam stepped back behind the shelf before he could be noticed. “I don’t need to think about it. Just get all of your clothes and shit out of my apartment,” he said then snorted again. “You wouldn’t have suggested an open relationship if you loved me…” He said and Liam winced as he pretended to study the books in front of his nose. “Saying you just want to have sex with other people doesn’t make it better,” he added and Liam found himself nodding in agreement. “I don’t know. Move in with your parents or one of the other guys you want to have sex with,” he said before Liam heard the phone drop on the desk.
Awkward. Did he pretend he hadn’t overheard the conversation and wait a few minutes before approaching him or quietly slip out of the store? Liam decided it might lighten the mood and get the unfortunate man’s mind off the phone call if he approached him. Liam cleared his throat gently as he turned the corner and he looked up from his book. Liam flashed his brightest smile as he pushed his hands into his pockets.
“Do you carry any Thorn Majors books?” he asked. Casually asking if someone read or if they’d heard of Thorn Majors was usually a good opening move for Liam. The other person would gush about how much they loved the last Majors’ book and Liam would lean in close and confess he was actually Thorn Majors. Which often resulted in a quick fuck in a bathroom or a date followed by a quick fuck in a hotel room. He looked at the other guy expectantly and he rolled his eyes.
“His books are complete garbage. You could try one of the chain stores downtown,” he grumbled and Liam’s head pulled back.
“They’re pretty popular and I was hoping to give one as a gift,” he lied and the other guy shrugged.
“If you actually cared about them, you’d buy them something decent,” he said and Liam crossed his arms over his chest.
“Such as…?” He asked and the other guy shrugged again.
“I don’t know, maybe Wilde. Or if you’re looking for something more modern, Brent Shore is a good choice,” he mumbled and Liam’s eyes went to a stack prominently displayed on a table in the center of the store and his nose wrinkled.
“Brent Shore is wildly overrated. His books could only be more interesting if they were tossed in a dumpster fire,” he said and the other guy shut his book and set it on the desk.
“As I said before, the chain stores are full of inane, worthless books. Feel free to visit any one of them,” he said as he waved toward the door and Liam’s tongue pressed against his cheek as he considered. There were about a million unlikable things but for some reason, Liam was drawn to him.
People are also very shallow. They might fight the shallowness within themselves but inside each of us is at least a kernel of shallowness. Liam was willing to admit it was a great deal larger than a kernel within him as he stared back at the shop owner. He was possibly the biggest ass Liam had ever met, which was saying a lot because Liam was considered by many to be an unbearable ass. But this cranky, judgmental and impatient man was also really hot. He was a bit on the lanky side and his hair, wrinkled t-shirt and black jeans made him look more like a rock star who’d fallen on hard times. He had several days worth of stubble and deep green eyes that seemed far softer than the face carrying them.
“Despite your very obvious bad taste, I find myself a bit curious. Would you like to go out for drinks?” He asked and the other guy groaned as he pushed his hand through his hair.
“No, I wouldn’t but I suppose I should,” he said and Liam laughed.
“I’m not twisting your arm and I’m used to a little more enthusiasm,” he said and there was yet another shrug.
“I’m going through a break up and it’s a serious pain in the ass. Going on a date now is only going to complicate things. But, I’d have to be out of my mind to say no. So, we’ll go for drinks,” he stated and Liam knew that was as close to a compliment as he might ever get.
“I’m new in town. I think it would be best if you suggested a place,” Liam said as he pulled a card from his wallet and drew a large X on the front of it, discarding the original content and wrote his name and number on the back. “Sorry, I haven’t had a chance to have new cards made,” he murmured as he held it in front of him.
“I’m Cooper,” the store owner murmured as he read then held out his hand. Liam took it and smiled.
“It’s nice to meet you, Cooper,” he said then winked before he looked around. “I won’t keep you, I can see you’re busy. Text me a time and a place,” he said and Cooper shook his head as he pushed the card into his pocket.
“It’ll just be the wanna be pub around the corner but I’ll send a text in case you get lost,” he said and Liam waved as he turned and exited the shop.
That’s all I got. Kidding. I’ve got a whole book and I’ll be posting a link to Amazon as soon as it’s live and ready for you. While you wait, I’ve got so many lovely guys for you to meet, if you haven’t already.