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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guest Blog by Renee Vincent: Why Spring Clean In January?

As I reflect on the passing 2015 year, I can't help but marvel that the month of January 2016 is nearly over as well. Many of us have gotten back into the swing of things, working the nine-to-five, and braving the daily grind. Some of us have even made New Year's resolutions—that we swear we're going to keep.

I, however, have tackled some serious spring cleaning a few months early. Sounds crazy, don't it? But I figure why not take advantage of this unexpected stint of motivation so I can rid the usual excuses for why I'm not writing from my repertoire. I've been cleaning out closets, downsizing my wardrobe, and trying to get rid of things I don't need. While I'm pleased with the new organization of my house, I'm also delighted that I've been able to give to the needy in my community.

I was even able to do a little redecorating in my office. My husband added a nice little reading nook to the room (though I must admit I've been doing more writing in there, than reading—that's still a win-win as I see it.) Next to that, I arranged my grandmother's vanity with the antique chair and ottoman I had upholstered a few months ago. Everything now matches the silver and purple theme. What do you think?

Now that I've finished my spring cleaning early, I have all kinds of time to write in the months ahead. At least, that's the plan. I'm hoping to release book 2 of my cowboy series, Falling For Forester, in a few months, and then book 3, Wild for Wallace, before the beginning of summer. Here's hoping!

If you'd like to get a head start on the series, you can check out the prequel, Longing For Langston, and book 1, Made For McKinley.

In the meantime, here's a fun little snippet from the prequel. I hope you enjoy!

Longing For Langston
(The Prequel, Brody & Liv)

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As she brought her set to an end, a roar of cheers and applause erupted. Even a few piercing whistles split the joy and excitement of the meager crowd. Brody clapped as he watched Liv smile and bow in humble gratitude. It wouldn’t be long before she’d be singing in front of thousands of fans. He just knew it.

Liv hung her guitar on the wall behind her and stepped off the platform to resume her waitress duties. Brody caught her attention and pointed to his empty bottle. One more, he mouthed.

She gave him the thumbs-up and walked between tables, checking on customers and snagging empties as she went. Just like that, the atmosphere of the Wagon Wheel returned to its usual state. The local drunkard, Bob Walsh, plopped his forehead on his arm and took another snooze on the slick lacquered wood of the bar. Mr. Corinth sat beside him, puffing on his cigar and watching Denver kick Cleveland into the dirt. His wife ignored the game and the few Bronco fans who sat adjacent to her. Instead, she perched on her stool, crocheting the beginnings of a tricolored afghan. On the opposite end near the restrooms, Professor Shoemaucker hid behind his newspaper as he always did on Monday evenings.

Everything was as it should be, save for the three guys in the corner booth. Brody kept refocusing his attention on them, waiting for one of the spoiled pretty boys to act out of line. He knew they would. He’d bet money on it. Especially the guy with the million-dollar smile and the thousand-dollar wristwatch. He had more flash than a vintage mid-century Kodak camera. Guys like that loved to be the center of attention and often went to extremes to acquire it.

“You’re doing it again, Galven,” Liv interrupted, handing Brody a full one.

“Doing what?”

“Sizing them up. Finding justification for kicking their asses.” Liv seized his chin and drew his attention toward her. “Let it go. I mean it.”

Though she stood no taller than five foot four, weighing in at a buck ten, Brody adored her confidence. She embodied self-assurance in the way she turned and sashayed down the aisle of empty tables. He held his beer to his lips as he watched her drop another bucket of beers at the corner booth. Her long, toned legs flexed as she leaned forward. Her shorts barely covered that spot where the curve of her bottom met the back of her thigh. If he wasn’t so suspicious of the guys at that table, he might have bought them another round just so he could watch Liv stretch and lean again.

“Well, thank you, darlin’,” Brody heard one say. “That’s mighty kind of you.”

For a moment, Brody thought perhaps he’d judged them prematurely. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d allowed his jealous tendencies to bring out the worst in him. The last time it happened, he’d ended up spending the night in jail for disorderly conduct. He’d never forget that awful night. He only wished the folks of Meeteetse would.

No sooner had Brody given those boys the benefit of the doubt than one of them reached around and slapped her on the behind. When she scowled at him, the man laughed and pulled her onto his lap. 

Liv shrieked in surprise and writhed to escape him. Brody flipped his lid and lunged from his chair without hesitation. He gritted his teeth. Spots blurred his vision. He was going to kill that sonofabitch.

Liv saw Brody stalking forward. She froze. She looked more frightened than the two guys who tried to warn their friend. Upping the effort, she threw an elbow into the man’s chest and slipped from his grasp. “Galven, wait!” she said, throwing herself at Brody. “Listen to me. He isn’t worth it.” She frantically pointed toward the bar behind him. “See, Jethro’s coming. He’ll throw them out, and they won’t be allowed back. Please, Brody, listen to me. Don’t do this.”

Brody could hear Liv pleading, but nothing registered. He moved her aside and barreled forward. All three guys had squeezed out of the booth, securing their spot in a defensive triangle. The biggest of the three stood in the front.

Brody scoffed, unimpressed with any of them. “I don’t know where you’re from, but around here, we treat women with respect.”

The entire bar fell silent. No one dared to move a muscle with Brody cocked and loaded.

“You don’t want to mess with me,” the stranger stated, crossing his arms. “I’ll have you know my father is the—”

“I don’t care who your sperm donor is,” Brody interrupted. “Apologize to her.”

Brody felt Liv’s hand on his shoulder. “It—it’s okay.”

“No, it isn’t.” Brody stared the man down. “Apologize. Now.”

One of the three muttered to the guy in front, “Apologize already so we can get the hell out of here, Carlton.”

“Your friend’s a smart man,” Brody added. “You should listen to him.”

Carlton shook his head. “I don’t have to listen to you or anybody in this Podunk town. And I sure as hell don’t need to apologize to a waitress. It’s her job to serve me. Besides, I think she liked having a real man’s arms around her for a change.” He leaned forward and looked Brody in the eyes. “What do you think about that? Hillbilly.”

Brody reared back and threw the first punch, knocking Carlton and his high-dollar hat into next Sunday.

Connect With Renee Vincent:

RENEE VINCENT is a USA Today bestselling author who also pens humorous, sweet contemporary romance (with a smidgen of spunk) under the name GRACIE LEE ROSE.

From the daunting, charismatic Vikings, to the charming, brazen Alpha male heroes of modern day (which now include cowboys) readers will be whisked away to a world filled with fast-paced adventure, unforgettable romance, and undying love.

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Melissa Keir said...

I love the reading or writing nook. It is great to clean out. We often do that after the holidays because we've brought in some new things and it's time to let some go. My husband is adamant about not letting things sit around so if we don't use it, it's gone. Hopefully someone else will!

Cara Marsi said...

I love your reading nook and your grandmother's vanity. You make me feel like a slug because I'm not doing my "spring" cleaning now. I do clean my closet and drawers twice a year and throw out a lot of stuff. If I could only convince my husband to throw out all the stuff he says are "collectors items." Your excerpt is great.

Rose Anderson said...

Very nice. Spring cleaning always sets my mind straight. Now I'm itching to start early!

Judy Baker said...

Hi Renee, I love your reading nook. The color is great. I too have been spring cleaning while the snow drifts down. I already emptied my closet to drop off at a community church for others. Now I've rearranged my office and I'm thinking about painting! We'll see. Best of luck with your new western.

Paris said...

What a fabulous husband! I love the new reading nook and your grandmother's charming vanity. Getting a jump on your spring cleaning is a wonderful idea. It will probably take me until spring to get all of my closets cleaned out. Thanks for the inspiration!

jean hart stewart said...

Great decorating. Love the purple touches. Also a great excerpt...thanks.

Renee Vincent said...

Melissa:I wish my hubby was more like yours in that respect. Mine's a pack rat.

Cara: Thanks for reading my excerpt! And my husband sounds a lot like yours. He can't get rid of anything. He swears the second he throws it out, he'll need it. Ugh.

Rose: I'm glad I could get you motivated!

Judy: Painting is always so much work but I love what it does to a room. Post pics when you're finished!

Paris: haha I know what you mean. Most times it takes me so long to get motivated to clean, so when the bug bites, I take advantage.

Jean: Thanks so much!

Krista said...

Your room looks gorgeous Renee! I'd never want to leave that little nook :)
I definately did some of my spring cleaning already, the dresser was over flowing with clothes I just don't wear so they went bye bye. Congrats on your book, i can't wait to read this cowboy series! Will be a good one to get in print to add to my Renee shelf :)

Renee Vincent said...

Krista: Oh have a Renee shelf of my print books? Oh my goodness, I don't know what to say and "thank you" isn't enough. But I hope you know I'm so very honored that you like my books that much! ♥ ♥ ♥

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