July 8, 2008

Welcome To Redemption Blurb and Excerpt

Welcome to Redemption is my first published work, co-authored with my friend and critique partner Donna Marie Rogers. (Not to sound like a broken record, but a purchase of this title also qualifies you for TWRP Sony e-Reader contest.)
We've been blessed with wonderful reviews, and one of my favorite characters is in this book; Sugar, a "lactose-intolerant, Harley-riding, fireworks-chasing, psychotic dog who can’t be left alone." Those are Wes' words, not mine. I love Sugar! :)

Here's one reason why (warning, not for a weak stomach):

Wes Carter took another bite of his hamburger and surveyed the baseball diamond in front of him as he savored the flavor of his cheap burger with ketchup and mustard. If the number of men on the far side of the field were any indication, they were planning quite the pyrotechnics display for later tonight. He might just have to hang around for that, he hadn’t watched fireworks in years.

He’d had a feeling about this town when he’d seen the business listings on the Internet—and not only because of the name. Further research revealed Redemption to be just what he was looking for.

Well, except for the stalker with the dog. A wry grin lifted his lips as he scanned the immediate area. It looked like he’d finally lost her. During the few glances he’d snuck, he’d noticed her trim figure in shorts and sexy tank, with just the right amount of curves up top, and a bouncing ponytail of shiny black hair that would reach almost to her butt when set free. He loved long hair.

But, whoa, he was getting off track. Between the bikers he’d seen her chumming with and the tatts on her arms, she appeared to walk farther on the wild side than he was comfortable with these days. Hell, she even had one on her neck…her slim, delicate, tanned neck. Wild. Maybe crazy was more like it the way she’d followed him around with that hulking monster of a dog.
Wild and crazy, and pretty to boot…he felt a little zing in his pulse. Yeah, he was the crazy one now. He was done with women like that. And, yes, he knew all about them, he’d grown up with them. A twinge of pain in his back made him wince, despite the fact it remained only in his head. Though the wound had healed, it kept reminding him of all he’d left behind—the big-city fast
track with the crime and the gangs. No more looking over his shoulder, and wild women didn’t fit into the nice, quiet, stable life he planned to build in this town.

No matter how pretty they were.

“Sugar! Heel!”

Wes started to look over his shoulder at the sound of that sharp command called out so close behind him, but he never made it past the pitching mound. Next thing he knew, he lay face first in the grass, his hamburger smashed against his chest and a heavy weight on his back. He turned his head to the side so he could breathe and something wet and warm doused his face from chin to eyebrow.

“Ugh,” he managed, concluding pretty quickly that a dog stood on his back—a large, whining, panting monster of a dog. He hunched a shoulder and wiped the slobber as best he could, but the beast did it again.

“Oh, God, I’m sorry.”

He twisted his head to look in the direction of the voice and caught a glimpse of slim ankles and tanned legs before that side of his face got swiped. That’s it—he preferred to eat dirt.

“I’m so sorry,” the woman continued, “she just pulled right—”

“Get it off me,” he said into the grass.

“What? I’m sorry, I didn’t—”

Wes turned his head with a frustrated growl, which only excited the dog into a licking frenzy. Its paws dug into his shoulder blades as Wes clenched his teeth to keep its tongue out of his mouth.
“Get. It. Off.”

“Oh, right, sorry.” He felt her tug on the leash. “Sugar, heel.”

He mentally rolled his eyes. Obviously, that was a useless command.

“Sugar, come on, here baby. Sugar.” The dog went still and made a sound deep in its throat. Wes frowned when it did it again. That’s when it dawned on him the woman’s pleas had become urgent. “No, Sugar. Off. Sugar! Come!”

That didn’t sound good. He fought to free his arms and succeeded just as the animal made a horrible retching noise and something spilled onto his back—something very liquidy and warm that spread even as it seeped through his clothes.

“Sugarrrrrr,” the woman groaned.

Silence fell except for the dog’s panting.

“Tell me a dog didn’t just puke on my back.”

“I am so sorry. She’s lactose intolerant and some kid just gave her an ice-cream cone. I was trying to get her home, but then she saw you and…well…”

He realized the dog’s weight no longer held him down and pushed up onto his knees before sitting back on his heels. As he looked down at the ketchup and mustard semicircle staining his white shirt, he heard pieces of upchuck plop onto the grass behind him. The dog began to
gag again.

Wes shrugged out of his suit jacket and held it up to survey the damage as he stood. The woman shoved her sunglasses to the top of her head and leaned to the side to look with him. Her eyes were wide as she held a hand over her mouth—and nose—and stared at the puke dripping from his jacket. He gave an uncomfortable squirm at the feel of his shirt plastered to his back,
because he hadn’t been sweating that bad.

“Well, this is just great.” He shook his head. “Now what—”

The dog lurched forward. Wes jumped back, flinging his arms wide, but not before more puke streamed onto his dress shoes. Suddenly hands batted at his left arm so hard his jacket went flying.

“Eww…oh, God.”

When he’d tried to avoid the dog, he’d swung his wet jacket against the front of the woman. Now she looked like she might get sick herself. “Sorry,” he muttered, though it served her right.

“Not your fault.” She tried to hold her tank away from her skin with a thumb and forefinger.
“Oh, man, I can’t believe this.” She put her other hand on her hip and glared at the dog. “Sugar, bad dog.”
The dog barked and rose from her sitting position with her tail wagging.

The absurdity of the entire situation finally struck him, and Wes burst out laughing.
For more of Sugar's antics, (not all so gross LOL) check out the book! There's also excerpts from all 4 stories of the anthology on my website.
Stacey Joy Netzel


Liza James said...

I realize I'm sort of partial, but I LOVE this excerpt...LOL

'That didn't sound good.' makes me chuckle everytime I read it. *G*

windycindy said...

Great excerpt! What a way for two people to meet. Whatever works!!!!!
Thanks, Cindi

CrystalGB said...

Great excerpt. :)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Yeah, you are a little partial, Liza. :) (aka, Welcome to Redemption co-author, Donna Marie Rogers.)

Cindi, it worked all right. Sugar is a great dog, despite the puke. In the next chapter, Wes strips down to his boxers before going to Tara's house for a shower. Honestly--it's a sweet romance. LOL

flchen1 said...

How funny! Thanks for the excerpt!

Jane said...

I have a feeling Sugar will be cracking me up.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Sugar is very popular, Jane. :)

In the sequel, (currently in the works), you'll get a little of Sugar, but more of her brother Bo, from my co-author Donna Marie Rogers.

Beth Caudill said...

Oh the poor ice cream. Nice excerpt.

Estella said...

How funny!
This has to go on my Wish List.

LuAnn said...

I can't believe how good this book sounds! Thanks for the excerpt.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Luann, and that excerpt is only from the second story! :) There's three others that Donna and I had just as much fun writing, and they all connect in the same small town. We did every other one, Donna first, then me, Donna, me.

Thanks so much to all who've commented so far.

Beth, the poor ice cream? LOL

Janet H said...

Wow, I can relate. My favorite dog is named SUGAR. She's pretty wild and spastic. Such a cool excerpt.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Thanks, Janet. And here I worried the 'puke excerpt' would gross people out. LOL

Sugar does redeem herself--she gets the credit of bringing Tara and Wes together.