Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Still wondering whether or not to grab your copy...

...of Here's to Campfires and S'mores?

Check out this excerpt to wet your whistle...

I looked closely at my friends’ face. “Everything okay, Ape?”
            She smiled, but the joy didn’t quite make it to her eyes. “It’s been a long time since anyone’s called me that. Remember that summer? The one where we tried to come up with nicknames for each other?”
            “I do remember. That was the summer I met him.”
            April winced. “Gross. I hope he doesn’t come to dinner. I don’t know what to say to him.”
            “Hello is a nice place to start,” I offered wryly. “Maybe followed by how are you?”
            She giggled. “Followed quickly by you broke one of my best friend’s hearts, prepare to die?”
            “Not bad. Maybe follow it up with, I hope you suffer from erectile dysfunction for the rest of your days.”
            “Classic.” April snorted. “Is he dating again?” When I nodded, she added, “How about this? I wish you a painful itch in a private place, good sir.”
            I guffawed. “I think it’s the good sir that really drives it home.”
            April and I both jumped as soon as Jamie’s voice rang out. Looking over our shoulders, we discovered that he and Graham had approached behind us on the trail. Graham was carrying a ladder with a bemused smile on his face, and Jamie held a tool box with a deep-set scowl.
            “Oh, hey there, Jamie. Long time no see.” April’s pale face pinked and her eyebrows rose high on her forehead. She’d never been one for confrontation, and usually counteracted any nervousness with verbal vomit. “The kids and I just got here. They’re in the cabin. They’ll be out soon. Owen’s in there with them. He told them about the bear. I think they’re pretty freaked out. But they’ll be okay. That’s city kids for you. Afraid of a little nature.”
            When she stopped jabbering, we all stood staring at each other in a painfully awkward showdown. After about seven seconds of silence, Graham cleared his throat. “Owen told you about Joe?”
            April blinked at him. “Are you Joe?”
            He laughed. “No, I’m Graham, the maintenance man.”
            She held out her hand. “I’m April Salisbury. Who is Joe?”
            “Joe’s the bear.” Graham took her hand and held it for a beat longer than necessary. I watched them curiously. “He’s a black bear, I’m assuming around two or three years old. He visits the campsite down the road, and some of the cabins just beyond Chimalis’ border. People don’t appreciate him much because he makes a mess of their trash. But I kind of like him.”
            “I see.” April smiled demurely, then realized she was still holding Graham’s hand. She pulled it away. “Well, I’m not sure if I agree with you about Joe. I’ll have to let you know later.”
            Graham grinned. “Fair enough.”
            “You know sound carries really well in these woods,” Jamie pointed out, shifting the tool box between hands. April looked down at the ground. “And sorry to disappoint you, April, but my privates don’t itch.”
            She bit back a smirk. “Well, that’s a relief.”
            “Right.” With a frustrated grunt, he stalked past us toward the restrooms. “See you both at dinner.”
            “Uh… nice to meet you.” With a nod, Graham followed him, leaving April and I standing in shock.
            “Well…” I took a deep breath and leaned against my friend. “That didn’t go as planned.”
            “It sure didn’t.”