Countdown to publication of Animal Cracker, my comedic novel set in a pet shelter, that debuts in just a few weeks. To whet your appetite, here's another excerpt. Scroll down to read two more.
I headed to the lunchroom for some late-morning mud. Who was this? Philosophy major/would-be rock star/poet judging from the milky pallor, height of around 5’6,' black geeky/cool rock star glasses, and a hairline inching backwards. Andrew in everything but hair.
“Where’s the sugar around here?” he asked as he poured some java into an APA mug featuring our logo and a trio of basset hounds.
I obligingly opened the cabinet above the sink, inquiring “One envelope or two?”
He took three, saying “It’s gotta taste like coffee ice cream.”
“Hey, me too,” I replied.
“So, I guess you work here?”
“Writer in residence. PR, brochures, stuff like that. You?”
“Actually, I write too. Working on a novel.”
He laughed. “I manage to put food on the table.”
“All legally, I hope.”
He laughed. His teeth resembled perfectly formed Chiclets.
“ Since I left Colgate junior year, I’ve been lifeguarding, bartending, rewriting unintelligible Japanese appliance manuals.”
“You sure have lots of variety in your day.”
“You could look at it that way. I look at it as a bunch of checks.”
I took a slug of coffee.
“So, what’s your interest in APA?” I asked.
“My dad works here. I’m picking him up for lunch.”
“Really? What department?”
“Actually, he’s the big gun. You know, Hal?”
Nothing came out of my mouth.
“You look like you just swallowed a bug.”
“I did, I did.”
But of course he was Hal’s son. He had his eyes, though the mouth definitely hailed from the Joyce side of the family.
Let’s take inventory here. My boss’s son appeared to be flirting with me.. A boss about whom I was starting to harbor some serious doubts. Rule Number One in that great workplace manual in the sky: No dating the boss.* *Or his offspring.
“I’m Diane Salvi, the Communications Director.”
“Well, I guess I must go do some communicating,” I said, giving him a cute little grin. Yikes, was I actually sorta, kinda interested in a man?
I texted Genie.
guy in lunchroom flirted with me, semi-adorkable. p.s. he’s hal’s son.
She texted back, You finally show an interest in someone and that’s who you pick???? Stay away.
I let my imagination take a brief and unexpected stroll down romance lane, picturing Mark and me ambling along the Esplanade on a warm spring day, arms entwined. Dining in a candlelit North End Italian trattoria. I told my fantasies to take a hike, played a quick game of online Boggle, and probably would’ve played a few more had Betty not interrupted me to reschedule my next meeting with, who else, Mark’s father.