Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Love, Albert by Lynda Simmons ♥ Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Romantic Comedy)

Love, Albert
Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic

Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time.
“Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.

Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.

Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”

Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.

“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”

“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”

“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl y-in-the-ice-cube.”

“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”

“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”

The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”

She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.

“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”

Reid raised his head. “A favor?”

“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”

The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”

“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”

Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”

“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”

Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”

Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”
 

TWO
Round and Round the Mulberry Bush
(With Janice Hudson)

“What time is it?” I ask, heart thudding, feet already on the floor. Stumbling through the dark hotel room to the dresser and my ringing cell phone.
“Three oh nine,” Nigel says, switching on a lamp, making me squint. “Can you see who it is?”
“Don’t have to,” I tell him.
I Love A Parade is my mother’s ringtone, played by a brass band of course – my fifteen year-old daughter’s tribute to her grandmother’s love of all things loud and obnoxious. I liked it at first, but these middle-of-the-night calls are making it easy to consider resetting it to crickets.
I slide the button and the trumpets fall blessedly silent. “Mom, you have to stop calling at—“
“Who is this?” a voice asks.
Not mom, but the voice is soft, feminine and familiar even to my half-awake brain.
It’s Bernice, my mother’s roommate at Willow Tree Long Term Care. A small place, a few hours north of the city with a good reputation, great food and a caring staff. As an added bonus they allow a phone in the residents’ rooms, arrangements for long distance calls made in advance, of course.
I bought my mom the kind with extra large numbers. Even put my picture on the speed dial button to make things easier for her. Press here and we can talk any time, I told her, and she did at least two or three times every day for the first year which was great because in-person visits are hard, what with work and the kids and now Nigel.
He’s as new as these late night calls, and I’m hoping he’ll be around a lot longer.
“Bernice,” I say gently. “Can you give the phone to my mom?”
“Who is this?” Bernice asks again.
“This is Edna’s daughter, Janice.”
“Edna’s daughter, yes, yes. How are you dear?”
“I’m fine. But Bernice, please give the phone to my mother.”
“What’s going on?” Nigel asks and comes to stand behind me. Still naked, as I am too, I realize when he wraps a robe around my shoulders. One of those thick terry ones the hotel provides along with chocolates, turndown service and more pillows than any two people need. We’ve been meeting here every other weekend for two months. Getting to know each other when both of our exes have the kids.
He pulls me closer. “Is everything alright?”
“I don’t know,” I whisper, leaning into him, only now aware that the room has grown cold. We should have left the fireplace on, but Nigel worries – about fires, floods, natural and man-made disasters of all kinds. Tragedy strikes when you least expect it, after all.
I take a calming breath and try again. “Bernice? Are you still there?”
“Yes dear. Who is this?”
“I’m Edna’s daughter. Bernice, listen carefully. Did you call me? Or was it my mother?”
“I don’t know dear, you’ll have to ask her. Bye-bye now.”
“Bernice, don’t hang up. Give the phone to my mother.”
“Is she here?”
Nigel presses his lips to the side of my neck, distracting me, making me wonder if it’s time to take the phone out of her room. “She’s probably in bed. Can you look?”
“Certainly, certainly. Hold on. . . No, I don’t see her in the bed. . .Oh there she is.” Bernice laughs. “She’s lying on the floor.”
“Not this again,” I say.
Nigel turns me around to face him. “What’s going on?”
“My mother is camping. She hasn’t done this in while.” He slips his hands inside the robe and around my waist. I feel his erection against my belly and smile. Can’t imagine we’ll be sleeping again for a while.
“Bernice,” I say. “Please give her the phone.”
“Give who the phone, dear?”
“My mother.”
“Is she here?”
“She’s on the floor.”
“Well, so she is.” She laughs. “Hi Edna.”
“I’m sorry,” I whisper to Nigel. “Bernice, can you get a nurse?”
“Oh I don’t think so, dear. This hotel doesn’t seem to have –”
“Bernice, stop. Just give the phone to my mother. “
“Is she—”
“She’s on the goddamn floor.”
“Well, so she is.” When she laughs I swear I want to smack her. “Hi Edna.”
“Can I do something?” Nigel asks, his breath warm against my ear.
“You could call Willow Tree. Tell them to get someone down to my mother’s room.”
Mercifully, he nods and goes for the phone in the pocket of his jeans. I consciously relax my shoulders, and try again. “Bernice. I need you to give the phone to Edna.”
This time she doesn’t ask where my mother is. Instead she says, “Oh here come the other guests. Hello, hello. Welcome everyone. Your rooms are all ready.”
“Bernice? Bernice?” But all I hear is the sound of the receiver hitting the table, perhaps the floor. In the background, a flurry of activity. Footsteps and raised voices, one calling “Bernice, go to your bed.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I say to Nigel. “Someone is finally there.” I raise my voice, call into the phone. “Helloooo. Pick up the phone. Yoo-hoo.”
Someone does grab the receiver. “Who is this?”
Not Bernice this time, thank God. “This is Edna’s daughter, Janice. My mother called me –”
“This is the night nurse, Olivia. When exactly did she place the call?”
“Ten minutes ago, maybe a little more but I haven’t been able to speak to her.”
“Janice, listen. I know you have a DNR on her file but –”
“What are you talking about? What’s going on?”
She hesitates and my heart thuds, my knees weaken.
“I’m sorry,” she says at last. “But you should come right away.”
♥ If this is your first time reading this serial story from Lynda Simmons, you can catch up with all the segments here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-Simmons-Author/149740745067442 ♥ 
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!
    
Win a $50 Amazon or B&N gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

@LyndaMSimmons @GoddessFish http://goo.gl/cgD3ue pic.twitter.com/MoYr3zO7Dt

26 comments :

  1. With Lynda, you can always expect a rubber chicken in the story. Watch for them and enjoy. She's a clever writer. In this piece of flash fiction, I thought, ha, ha, this is why you never let an Alzheimer's patient near the phone; let alone paste your photo on the speed dial.( When my mom still lived independently, she used to call me five times a day at least, desperate to buy bread when she had seven molding loves in the fridge already.) I'm enjoying this string of flash fiction, can't wait to see where it takes us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sylvia! Glad you're enjoying the flash and hope to see you at tomorrow's stop! Cheers

      Delete
  2. Thank you to Romance Novel Giveaways for hosting this leg of the tour! Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great promotion and love the flash fiction!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great stuff! Looking forward to tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow - love the realistic phone-call and the cliff hanger ending. Can't wait until tomorrow's next excerpt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's a fun excerpt!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ahh...the DNR. Looking forward to finding out what's up at the Willow Tree. Great suspense!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh-oh. Sounds like bad news is coming.
    I really like this flash fiction idea. I'm looking forward to the next instalment

    ReplyDelete
  9. I swear, I swear, I know Bernice. Man, you do that well, Lynda. Looking forward to three!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for joining the tour. Stay tuned for more of A Good Building tomorrow! Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm sensing a theme here. Keep 'em coming, Lynda.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The Synopsis & Excerpt sound great, Thx for an awesome giveaway! I could really use the GC$$....Need some medical stuff (New TENS Unit), and this book to read while I heal.
    So thx again😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck, Angel, and thank you for joining the tour. Cheers

      Delete
    2. Hope the tour is going well, and thx again. (My extra daily entry).

      Delete
  14. Love the chance to win! thank you very much.. awesome excerpt!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I want to read this. The excerpt sounds great. I love the cover too !

    ReplyDelete
  16. The synopsis this really sounds like a good read, I deff gotta scoop it from AMazon for my Kindle!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I always enjoy learning little tidbits about the author. The book sounds interesting!

    ReplyDelete

♥ Thank You for Your Comment! (It's how I know you stopped by!) Good Luck in the Giveaway!!! ♥