It’s still June?! (Updated, and yes, it’s still June. :))

My swag came yesterday, but between studying and getting my first sunburn of the season (which only took as long as reading the last 25 pages of Country Mouse on my nook!), I didn’t get any pix until a few minutes ago. For my first attempt I’m pretty happy with the result!

This is just a taste — more to come later. If you’d like this little bit o’ swag just comment with an e-mail address and it’ll probably be yours! 🙂

This has been one crazy month—and it’s only a few days old! I feel like I’m running in three directions at once, so the mixed-weather pic seemed appropriate. I had other plans but that’s life, you make do.

No pretty pictures of swag yet, the first shipment is due at Casa Des tomorrow—you bet I’m tracking it! I thought I might have some by now, but the lovely and talented Megan at Swagmaster Designs was under the weather for a little while. I’m glad she’s well, and as soon as she sends me the pretty-pretty things the pix will be all over this blog. But that’s the second shipment and so far I don’t have an ETA. I’ll start giving away her creations toward the end of the month, on the Dirty Birdies Flock hop and on the Cup O Porn blog on the 27th!

Last week I said I’d have a giveaway this week, and I will, but you’ll have to bear with me on the pix. How about if we call it a mystery swag pack for now?

Just comment with an e-mail address and you’re in the running.

So, without any more whining, here is this weekend’s snippet for Seductive Studs & Sirens, Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Eight more sentences from my upcoming Dreamspinner Press release, Directing Traffic.


Setup: This passage doesn’t directly follow last week’s but it’s not too far beyond. Neil is still on the beach, starting his observation of the second anniversary of the worst day of his life.

Just as guilt over not answering his phone began to get the better of him, a thin spot in the cloud layer let enough sunshine sparkle through to show the contrast between the gray of the water and the tops of the frothy whitecaps. He sat down, not caring whether he got sand in his shorts, and watched until the clouds regrouped to turn the ocean back into a gray-on-gray damask. 

Neil sat there so long the waves lapped at his toes and the skin on his nose felt tight and itchy even though the sun hadn’t quite broken through the cloud cover. He rose slowly, like a man twice his age, and went into the lobby of the B&B without even dusting himself off. Check-in had been hours ago, and he hadn’t answered his phone when the staff tried to call, so his suite with the Jacuzzi and the ocean-view balcony had been given away. Neil thanked the too-handsome young gentleman behind the desk and got back into the silver two-seater. He found a third-floor room a few blocks away, facing the parking lot. A “hill view” room, they called it. Instead of toasting a memory in a Jacuzzi, Neil took a quick shower and fell asleep atop the bedspread before it had even gotten dark.


Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to comment with an e-mail address for a shot at the mystery swag pack (US only this time, sorry! I’ll have something for the International crowd soon!). This will probably be the only contest with such an easy entry, so if you like swag and don’t like to work for it—this is your weekend!

And once you do that, hop around and visit more blogs for more great fiction!

25 thoughts on “It’s still June?! (Updated, and yes, it’s still June. :))

  1. Charley, this is awesome! You have some nices touches in your writing style that give me a sense of place and time. I especially like “hill view,” as I’ve stayed at hotel in North Carolina that had just a billing for one of its rooms. And the double entrende of “toasting a memory” in the jacuzzi! I love it. Good writing throughout

    • Hi Linda, thanks for commenting! In Oregon it doesn’t really matter if the weather’s nice — you’ll still pay $300+ a night for a high-end ocean view room, if you can get one without 2-3 month’s notice! I know, it sounds strange, but it’s true! 🙂

  2. I missed last week’s snippet. I may have to go back. He seems melancholy and I’m intrigued to know why. Megan’s creations are awesome, aren’t they? She does excellent work! Love the cover, by the way. 🙂

    • Hi Joanne, thanks for stopping by! The reason isn’t in last week’s snippet, but it’s in the blurb–don’t want to beat everyone over the head with it if they’ve read it. 🙂

      Yep, can’t wait to see what she’s cooked up for me! Thanks — my two summer releases both have a-may-zing covers!

  3. Still waiting to know what the anniversary is really about, but losing his hot tub is just icing on the depression cake . . .

    (too handsome clerk? hello? Neil’s not dead, yet?)

  4. Hi Sarah, thanks for commenting. The anniversary is of Neil’s long-time partner’s death–so maybe that helps his mood (& observations about the clerk) make more sense?

    Now I wonder if I should’ve posted the blurb here, or more set-up . . . I try not to wave promo in everyone’s face all the time, but don’t want you to feel lost either. It’s not always easy to see where that line is between setting the scene and obnoxious promo! 🙂

  5. Wow, grief has taken away even the enjoyment of the simple things. Nicely written and poignant, Charley. 🙂

  6. This caught my mind’s eye. “… watched until the clouds regrouped to turn the ocean back into a gray-on-gray damask.” Lovely snippet, his grief is palpable without being maudlin.

    • Thanks, Sharon! That’s one of the few sentences that survived almost intact from the first draft. I remember sitting on the beach after I wrote it and thinking maybe the story would turn out okay after all. 🙂

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