Hi ya folks! Today, I have Charlene Ross’s FROSTED COWBOY all nice and shined up and ready for a COVER REVEAL.
After you grin at the cover- there will be the excerpt to read- so be sure and check it out!
3, 2, 1…. Cover Reveal time!
Doesn’t this cover just look fun? PS: I would totally wear cowboy boots- but my calf muscles have other ideas.. Le sigh….
So now for the excerpt….
(Excerpt from Chapter 1)
I study the drink menu as if my life depends on it. And I guess in a way it does. It’s time to shake things up. I will not be drinking my usual margarita or cosmo tonight.
“I’ll have a Frosted Cowboy,” I tell the bartender as I look around the bar at this supposed Hollywood hot spot and wonder what the hell I’m doing here. Every woman in the room is wearing some kind of cowboy getup and bright red lipstick à la the newest Katy Perry video featuring her incredibly sexy rodeo-star boyfriend-of-the-week. And the men, sans lipstick, don’t look much different.
“What’s in this thing?” I ask the bartender.
“Can’t be giving away all my secrets.” He winks.
I bet he goes home with a different girl every night. Maybe tonight, it could be me. Oh God, what am I doing here? I’ve never gone home with a guy at a bar in my life. And where is Natalie? She’s late, and I’m already starting to feel a buzz from my new favorite drink. I should have tagged along to her work dinner instead of meeting her here.
I hope I don’t look too stupid in these satin pants and a western shirt. And this ridiculous cowboy hat has already ruined my hair for the night.
“Everybody will be wearing a hat at this place,” Natalie said when we went shopping. “You’ll totally stand out if you’re not.”
I thought standing out was a good thing.
“Don’t you think I’m a little old for this fake cowboy gear?” I asked her when I looked in the dressing room mirror.
“No way!” Natalie said. “You look hot. Thirties are the new twenties.”
Sigh. So here I sit amongst super-hip, ultra-skinny, beautiful people; a thirty-two-year-old Katy Perry wannabe, waiting for my fabulous single friend. If I had known the bar scene was going to be like this, I might have forgiven Kyle. Of course it’s pretty hard to get over walking in on your fiancé and a slutty paralegal from his office in the discovery phase. On the kitchen counter. I really couldn’t picture myself chopping vegetables there again. But honestly, spraying the counter with a little bleach and pretending I’d never witnessed him inserting his brief into her filing cabinet might be preferable to hanging out in hipster cowboy bars every Saturday night.
I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror behind the bar. Under this stupid hat, I have mousy brown hair I’ve been disguising as strawberry-blonde for as long as I can remember. My hairdresser has been trying to convince me for years to ditch my just-past-the-shoulders style, but being a creature of habit, I find that if something works, you stick with it.
The lids of my light-green eyes are caked in glittery eye shadow, and for once, my nose, which is small and turns up a bit, isn’t shiny. I rarely wear lipstick even though my full lips are probably my best feature, but tonight they’re glossy and pink.
I’m relatively thin, but I don’t have that great of a figure. Broad shoulders, small boobs, and an ass that could give Kim Kardashian a run for her money. Fortunately, I was blessed with a small waist and flat stomach, a bit of an hourglass shape. A pear-shaped hourglass anyway.
My hot bartender boyfriend slides over another Frosted Cowboy and points toward the end of the bar. “From the guy in the cowboy hat.”
They’re all wearing cowboy hats.
“That guy?” I ask hopefully, pointing to the hottie at the end of the bar. “The one with the light blue shirt with pearl snaps?”
“Nope,” the bartender tells me. “The one with the big Smith & Wesson belt buckle standing next to him.”
I look down the bar to spot my benefactor. Ugh. It figures.
He strolls over to me. “Looked like you needed a fresh drink,” he says.
“Thanks, but I was getting ready to leave.”
“But I saw you walk in,” he says. “You just got here.”
Oh great, a stalker.
“My friend’s late. I’m not into hanging out alone until she gets here.”
As soon as the words leave my mouth I realize my rookie mistake.
“Why don’t you hang out with us until she gets here?”
Mr. Pearl Snaps smiles and raises his glass.
Well, well, well. Maybe I will stay. But I need to figure out a way to lose Mr. Smith & Wesson. Pretty tricky considering I’ve been out of the game for seven years, but I’m always up for a challenge.
“Thanks,” I say, picking up my Frosted Cowboy. “Why not?”
“Hi,” I say to Mr. Pearl Snaps.
“Hi yourself,” he shoots back. Wow! This guy is even better looking up close. He looks exactly like Chris Pine. Except with darker hair and brown eyes. “I’m Tom, and I see you’ve already met Bill. What’s your name?”
I shake my head and realize I’m staring. “Sorry. For a minute you kind of looked like someone else.”
“I know. I look just like Chris Pine but with brown eyes. I get that all the time.”
Did he say, I look just like Chris Pine?! Ha! What an ego! Is this what single guys are like these days?
“That’s quite a coincidence,” I say. “People are always telling me I look just like that chick who was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this year. We both have green eyes, and we are both women. Of course I’m not an emaciated lollipop with a boob job, and we have different color hair, but other than that…”
“Touché,” Tom says to me, tipping his hat.
“Zing. She got you there, buddy,” Bill says. “I’m gonna like hanging out with you.”
“I haven’t decided if you guys get to or not.”
Tom looks at me with those deep brown eyes and says, “You’re feisty. I like that.”
Oh my God. Tom may have quite the ego, but he is so sexy. Feisty. No one has ever called me feisty before. I was just trying to be funny. I don’t know if I can keep all this feistiness up.
I see Natalie walking toward us. I might have to kill her. She’s so beautiful with her blonde hair, pale blue eyes and perfect figure. And she’s not wearing a cowboy hat!
“Hey Tom, hey Bill. It didn’t take you two players long to swoop down on Laney. You can smell new meat a mile away.”
“Natalie is the friend you’re waiting for?” Bill asks.
“Yeah,” I say, a little confused. “How do you all know each other?”
“From the clubs,” Bill answers.
“Sure,” Natalie answers. “You go to a different club every night of the week. You get to know the people. I bet these two spotted you the second you walked in the door. They’ve probably got a bet going to see who gets to go home with you tonight. Don’t be too swayed by Tom’s looks. Bill’s smarter and funnier. And he makes a hell of a lot more money. He’s a screenwriter. Tom’s a writer too, but unless things have changed, he hasn’t sold a script. How is it you pay the rent, Tom? Painting rich women’s toenails?”
My head is spinning. I don’t know where to start. Do they really have a bet over who gets to sleep with me? Should I be flattered or insulted? And a different club every night? How do they get up and go to work the next morning?
Trying my best to sound feisty, what I manage to say is, “You’re a pedicurist?”
“I’m a writer. My day job is massage therapy specializing in reflexology. You’d be surprised what you can find out about people’s health by massaging their feet.” He says this in a way that makes me want to rip my boots off so he can show me exactly what he specializes in.
“Oh,” I reply. So much for feisty.
I don’t know whether I should be grossed out or intrigued. Who doesn’t love having their feet massaged? But maybe this guy is some creep with a foot fetish.
“Come on,” Natalie says to me. “My friends from work are over there.”
As Natalie grabs my arm and pulls me across the floor, I turn to Tom and Bill and thank them for the drink. Tom winks at me and my heart melts a little. Arrogant or not, that guy is sexy.
Charlene Ross, a Los Angeles suburbanite, is co-author of The Making of a Picky Eater and has been featured in Skirt! Magazine and on NPR’s This I Believe series. Before life in the suburbs she backpacked through eighteen European countries, lived in London, worked in the music industry, and became engaged on stage at a U2 concert in Verona, Italy. (Bono even kissed her!) Now she drives carpool, embarrasses her children by dancing “in the pit” at free cover band concerts, and works hard at keeping the spark of her 20-year marriage alive.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T