To read & review my upcoming release, Baby & Bump. Help me spread the word about my latest romantic comedy!
Here's a preview:
And here's the blurb:
At thirty years old, caterer Lexie Baump has a lot on her plate. With a business to run, she doesn’t have time for any added distractions. But one momentary indiscretion adds a little hiccup to Lexie’s plans. She’s pregnant. With no relationship prospects.
But if Lexie thought fighting morning sickness while running a catering business was hard, enter Dr. Fletcher Haybee. Their connection is instant, and their love of vintage rock tee shirts and Elvis music is enough to bond them for life. There are just two minor problems.
One: he’s dating her oversexed best friend. Two: he’s also her obstetrician.
With events to cater, awkward OB appointments to endure, and her ever-growing baby bump making it impossible to close her jeans, Lexie has to find a way to curb her undeniable attraction toward Fletcher and focus on her new role as a working mother. But it certainly isn’t easy when its clear Fletcher himself feels the same magnetic pull toward Lexie.
Can Lexie leave the gorgeous Fletcher for her best friend to chew up and spit out, or will she cave to her feelings and find love in the stirrups? Life is about to get messy, and we're not just talking about crumbs in the car seat...
Now how about an excerpt? Here goes nothing....
Peeing on a stick isn’t nearly as simple as the women in the commercial make it out to be, especially in a pair of four-inch heels and a pencil skirt.
In the commercials, women emerge from a perfectly clean restroom wearing head-to-toe virginal white, while carrying their positive tests across their breezy living rooms. They pause by the open windows, where air lifts the gauzy curtains and blows back their long, flowing hair. Gazing off into some distant, sun-filled meadow, they smile serenely and wrap their arms around themselves as if relishing their God-given gift of procreation. Their faces seem to say, “I am a giver of life. My husband and I have created tangible proof of our undying union.”
Never once in those commercials do the sticks drip urine all over their hands like mine did. And those women, aren’t late for a meeting with prospective clients. They don’t collapse onto the floor with their skirt jacked up to her waist crying, “No. Oh, please, God. No. No, no, no, no, no...”
And in the commercials the women don’t smell their friend’s breakfast and dry heave. “And so help me, if you fry one more egg on my stove, I will choke you with the toaster cord. Do you understand me?”
Still chewing on said fried egg sandwich, my friend and coworker, Marisol, popped her head through the creaky bathroom door. “What’s your problem?”
Upon finding me in a heap on the floor, curled in a ball with my backside covered in mint green granny panties, she added, “Good Lord, you’re never going to find yourself a man wearing drawers like that, now are you?”
Yup. That was how I found out I would be a giver of life.
“You should go see my obstetrician. He’s fabulous.”
I looked up from my plate of saltine crackers at my cousin Candace. She was stir-frying tofu and pea pods, the steam rising off the wok just enough to make her skin glisten and her wavy blonde hair dance. Candace was the only woman in the world who made being a housewife with three children under the age of five look hot. Seriously, it was a wonder we were from the same gene pool.
“I literally just found out this morning. This baby is approximately the size of the eye of a needle, and you’re wanting me to go to an obstetrician?” I shuddered at the aroma of fried tofu, and stuffed a cracker into my mouth.
“You need to get on some prenatal vitamins stat,” she announced wisely. She went back to chopping onions and tossed it into the mix.
My nostrils flared when the scent hit the air. “I really don’t want to think about seeing an obstetrician right now.”
“So, does that mean you’re giving some thought to an abortion?” Marisol asked as she emerged from the bathroom. Her glossy curtain of mahogany hair swung as she sauntered to the kitchen table and sat next down to me.
“Shush.” Candace pointed her spatula at her. “Could you be any more cavalier about this?”
Marisol plopped down in a chair and looked around, her caramel brown eyes fluttering with feigned innocence. “What? Oh, sorry. So what’s the deal, Lexie? Are you gonna keep it?”
My stomach whirled like a dryer on spin, and I grabbed another cracker. “I haven’t really had very long to think about it, but I think so.”
Candace put down her spatula and pressed a hand to her heart. “I can’t believe this is happening. You’re going to be a mommy.”
Marisol rolled her eyes. She didn’t have what some would call a “maternal instinct” like Candace did. Growing up, Candace worked in the nursery at church and babysat for all of the neighborhood kids. Marisol spent her adolescence sneaking cigarettes in the girls room and practiced “tongue kissing” with the neighborhood boys.
Me? I was somewhere in the middle. I’d enjoyed watching little kids for extra money, but also enjoyed the attention of an occasional boy, as well.
“Yeah...” My voice shook, and I took a sip of the ginger ale sitting in front of me.
I couldn’t believe it, either. Not that I didn’t want to be a mother. I’d spent my fair share of time gazing at baby booties and bassinets as my thirties approached. But when my marriage went down in a ball of flames before I’d even hit twenty-five, I’d assumed my chance at motherhood was permanently out of reach.
Candace gasped, jerking me out of my thoughts, and back into her steamy kitchen. “Have you told your mom yet? Oh, Aunt Patsy is going to love being a grandma.”
I felt the color drain from my face. “She’s going to love being a grandma after she gets done raking me over the coals for being a single, unwed mother to her only grandchild.”
My mother had been waiting for entirely too long for grandchildren. I have two brothers, and she’d expected procreation from at least one of us a long time ago. Since my brothers hadn’t reproduced yet, all of the pressure fell onto my own thirty-year-old eggs. My little brother, Darren, who is five years my junior, is less interested in children and more interested in dating every single woman in eastern Washington. His job selling cell phones at the mall pays his bills just enough to keep the electricity on and a plentiful supply of beer in his fridge.
My older brother, Corbin, who is five years my senior, has already conquered the business world, after having opened his own successful house-flipping business with his wife of eight years, Andrea. Now that their business was thriving, thanks to their eye for detail and the local buyers’ market, and their own home was completed and designed to perfection, Corbin and Andrea longed for a child of their own, and had been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for years now.
Reason number 462 why telling my family that I was pregnant would be almost as unpleasant as dipping my face in acid: though my mother craved grandchildren with the same urgency of someone fighting to stay out of the electric chair, she certainly didn’t want me to go about having them outside the bonds of holy matrimony. Patsy Holiday Baump was nothing if not traditional. She was the choir director and Bible study teacher at the First United Presbyterian Church, after all, and Pastor Irm—whom everyone in the family knows my mother has a crush on—expected better choices from us Baump kids.
“Oh, yeah.” Candace grimaced. “I guess she will be a little disappointed in you, won’t she?”
“Disappointed?” I snorted, and some cracker crumbs flew. “When she found out I lost my virginity in college she cried for a solid week and sent me three copies of The Scarlet Letter.”
Marisol snickered. “In college?”
I cast her a dirty look. “Not everyone can develop as early as you, Mar.”
“I remember.” Candace smiled sympathetically at me.
Candace had lived at home with her parents while I’d gone to stay in the dorms, so she’d
been there for the entire melodrama. When I’d told Candace over the phone that I’d finally “done it” with Bo Anderson in the Phi Beta House over Halloween weekend, my mother’s sister, Aunt Dory, had eavesdropped overheard the conversation. She’d promptly called both my mother and Pastor Irm. The aftermath of those stolen thirteen minutes lasted approximately two weeks longer than the relationship with Bo Anderson had, and my mother still brought it up every Thanksgiving over pecan pie.
“So what if you’re not married,” scoffed Marisol, tossing her hair. “You’re thirty years old. It’s not like you’re going to be on an episode of 16 and Pregnant. Er, unless the dad is sixteen.” She looked at me pointedly. “He’s not, is he? You dirty cougar, you.”
“Geez, no! Give me some credit.” I rubbed my stomach. It ached like it was empty, despite the seventeen crackers I’d eaten.
Candace set down her spatula and sat down across the table from me. “Listen, about that. You need to tell us.”
The crackers in my stomach curdled like milk. “You need me to tell you what?”
“Well, who the lucky daddy is, of course.” Marisol stole one of my crackers and started chewing.
“Come on, Lexie. Spill it.” Candace nodded. “I didn’t even know you were dating anyone.”
“I’m not.” Looking down at my plate, I avoided their heavy stares.
“You’re not dating anyone?” Candace asked. I could practically feel her frown on the side of my head. “But you’re pregnant.”
I nodded. “Precisely.”
“Way to go!” Marisol held up her hand for a high five, but I didn’t move. “I told you that you should cut loose more often.”
Candace shook her head. “This is really out of character for you.”
I nodded and pushed my short red hair behind my ears. Candace was right. It was out of character for me to have gotten myself pregnant outside of any sort of relationship whatsoever. Actually, that was the understatement of the year. It was out of character for me to forget to set the timer when I make a soufflé at work, or to misfile a CD in my classic rock collection. To sleep with a man, and consequently get knocked up, even though I have no interest in having a relationship with him... now that was a departure.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're a book blogger who would like to read & review BABY & BUMP for me! I can't wait to share these characters with the world! :)