I decided to switch things up and offer an excerpt from Hustled To The Altar. I lowered the price to $2.49 so if you're in the mood for a comedic beach read over your Memorial Day weekend, check it out.
This scene is from late in the book, but it's one of my favorites. Con, the irrepressible game player, and Renny, the reformed con artist, are trying to get to the root of their failed relationship. They wind up in an elevator with a bunch of drunk therapists.
It was crowded with people wearing sloppy grins, suggesting they had enjoyed the martini specials at the hotel bar. “Where did you get that lame plan, anyway? The pot-head cameraman? I expected better of you,” Renny muttered. “Like what?” he asked with irritation. “Because I’m having trouble figuring out what your expectations are. Do you want me to be sensible or a super-hero?” “Marital problems?” one of the strangers asked. He offered his card. “I’m a thamily ferapist.” Renny plucked the card out of the man’s hand and smiled a dismissing thanks. She turned to Con. “I expect you to be what you are: a man who finds a way to win.” “I did win. You’re still alive.” “Trauma survivor?” A woman dug in her purse. Renny accepted another card with another stiff smile. The elevator stopped, but no one left. The doors shut and it began to rise again. “So I’m alive,” Renny said. “Big deal! How am I supposed to live with this kind of failure?” “Depression,” the group agreed with a nodding of heads. Several people reached for pockets and purses. “I don’t need help. I know what I’m dealing with,” Renny insisted, refusing the cards. Con took them, amused by the group. Breathing deeply, Renny faced him. “What I’m saying is, I know you have to be one step ahead all the time, that it gives you a sense of control. I’ve figured out how to live with that aspect of your personality—” “Co-dependent. That’s you, Charlotte.” “Oh, right.” The elevator stopped as the woman extracted her card. Renny snatched it and held the door, shooing all the people off the elevator. “But I’m three floors up,” a heavyset man complained. “Ask one of your friends to help you get over it.” Renny pressed the button to close the doors and leaned into the wall, scowling at the red dots on her inner wrist. Con took her hand, frowning at her marred skin. “Authority figures give me hives,” she explained. “That explains your rash behavior.” “It’s not funny.” It was, but she obviously needed help to laugh about it. Handing her a couple of the business cards he still held, he fanned out the ones he’d kept. “I’ve got a pair of substance abuse counselors,” he said in an inviting tone. She let her eyelids droop in disdain, like she was going to ignore him. “Can’t beat it? Too bad,” he mused. She peeked at her cards. “Three family therapists. I win.” “Wait. I’ve got a child welfare. That’s like an ace.” “Is that how we’re playing? ’Cause I’ve got an aroma therapist, which would be a joker.” “You do not. Tell me you’ve got a sex therapist and I’ll fold.” She showed him a card. “Trauma. Same thing.” They both laughed. He couldn’t wait any longer and pulled her close to kiss her. It was heaven.