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Special Sale from Oct. 26-30 – Capture Me is FREE, and Crush On You is only $1.99!

Hidey-ho there, Precious Readers!

I have a super-secret-squirrel sale I wanted to let you all know about! My Roxy Summers Mystery Series will be having a special sale on Amazon between October 26-30th.

For anyone who has, ahem, perhaps procrastinated in obtaining their copies of my books, this is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with Roxy Summers and the gang, and read up on all of their adventures! Don’t delay in taking advantage of this amazing sale before my third Roxy Summers Mystery book releases in June 2018!

 


Capture Me will be FREE to anyone on Amazon KDP!
Photographer and sassy Seattle-lite Roxy Summers swears off men after catching her ex-boyfriend, a.k.a. her ex-boss, in a compromising position. Newly single and facing eviction, Roxy puts all distractions (men!) aside as she begins her new job assisting an international fashion photographer and notorious playboy.

No one told Roxy her new job would entail dealing with her new boss’ fiery temper, his emotional girlfriend, his conniving ex-mistress, his partner who has a melt-the-polar-ice-caps blinding smile, have her stumbling over a body, become an amateur detective and find herself annoyingly attracted to Detective Charlie Bennett, who seems determined to put Roxy in handcuffs!

Crush On You will be only $1.99 on Amazon Kindle!
Someone is dishing up trouble.
Seattle sweetie, Roxy Summers, kicks off her new career as a magazine feature photojournalist and blogger with her first assignment, covering a Seattle favorite restaurant while they compete in a televised food competition! Next thing you know, with her besties in tow, Roxy hops a plane to Los Angeles.

Temperatures are rising.
With national fame and fortune on the line, the competition is deadly. With sabotage, a stalker, and a devastating secret that could destroy them all, Roxy soon finds her simple assignment has turned into a twisted labyrinth of betrayal, death threats, and murder.

Things are boiling over.
Even worse, Roxy’s personal life is… complicated. Her sort-of-kind-of-but-not-quite relationship with the sultry and brooding Seattle Detective, Charlie Bennett is on the rocks. To add salt to the wound, her former crush and now boss, joins her on the trip. The cherry on top is the reemergence of her cheating ex, crawling back and begging for another chance.

Roxy needs to sift through the chaos of her relationships and find the culprit destroying the competition before it gets too hot in the kitchen.


Get your copy HERE between October 26-30 for this one-time-only, special deal!

Why? It’s because I love all of you.

Hugs and fantastic fall deals to you,
KB

Status

CRUSH ON YOU Book Release Party – Aug. 21 @ 6:30pm (PST)! Win prizes, including a FREE KINDLE!

Attention, Precious Readers!
Attention, Precious Readers!

This is not a drill! It’s PARTY TIME!  Whoo hoo!

On August 21st, my second bookCapture Me, a Roxy Summers Mystery #2 releases out to the world in both print and e-book! I’m so excited to bring Roxy Summers‘ next adventure to you. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the twists in store for her.

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, Trifecta Publishing House will be hosting a Facebook Live Eventon August 21st, at 6:30pm (PST). I will be there LIVE to chat and host some online party games for you. All you have to do is comment and you’ll be automatically entered for some prizes that will be given away. One lucky winner will receive a FREE KINDLE! That’s right! A KINDLE! FOR FREE! 

What could be better? I have no idea! I’ve entered these contests before for other authors and have won free books this way. I haven’t won a Kindle yet, and I can’t win my own prizes, so your odds just got better!

I know that day is the eclipse, but keep in mind that if you’re on the road or away from home, you can keep tabs on the Facebook Event via your tablets and smartphones as well.

I look forward to seeing you and perhaps seeing some of my faithful blog readers win a prize!

You can access the Facebook Event here: http://bit.ly/2wbW3kl

My first book, Capture Me is available here: https://books2read.com/u/3nOO29
My second book, Crush On You is already available for pre-order in both print and e-book here: https://books2read.com/u/bapznQ

 

Lots of love,

KB

*Facebook is not a sponsor of the event and/or prize(s) distributed. Please do not contact Facebook for any prize(s) distribution you may incur. Please contact Trifecta Publishing House directly.

COVER REVEAL – Capture Me: A Roxy Summers Mystery – Releases Fall 2016!

Cover reveal for CAPTURE ME, a Roxy Summers Mystery #1!
Soon available in print and e-book from Trifecta Publishing House coming Fall 2016!
 
Nothing ends a first date faster than finding a dead body.
 
Photographer and sassy Seattle-lite Roxy Summers, swears off men after catching her ex-boyfriend, a.k.a. her ex-boss, in a compromising position. Newly single and facing eviction, Roxy puts all distractions (men!) aside as she begins her new job assisting an international fashion photographer and notorious playboy.
 
No one told Roxy her new job would entail dealing with her new boss’ fiery temper, his emotional girlfriend, his conniving ex-mistress, his partner who has a melt-the-polar-ice-caps blinding smile, have her stumbling over a body, become an amateur detective and find herself annoyingly attracted to Detective Charlie Bennett, who seems determined to put Roxy in handcuffs!
 
#CaptureMe #GoRoxy #RoxySummers #RoxySummersMystery #KatherineBacher #NewAdult #NewAdultMystery #Mystery #HumorousMystery
 

Cover reveal for CAPTURE ME by Katherine Bacher! Soon available in print and e-book from Trifecta Publishing House coming Fall 2016! Nothing ends a first date faster than finding a dead body. Photographer and sassy Seattle-lite Roxy Summers, swears off men after catching her ex-boyfriend, a.k.a. her ex-boss, in a compromising position. Newly single and facing eviction, Roxy puts all distractions (men!) aside as she begins her new job assisting an international fashion photographer and notorious playboy. No one told Roxy her new job would entail dealing with her new boss' fiery temper, his emotional girlfriend, his conniving ex-mistress, his partner who has a melt-the-polar-ice-caps blinding smile, have her stumbling over a body, become an amateur detective and find herself annoyingly attracted to Detective Charlie Bennett, who seems determined to put Roxy in handcuffs! #CaptureMe #GoRoxy #RoxySummers #RoxySummersMystery #KatherineBacher #NewAdult #NewAdultMystery #Mystery #HumorousMystery www.katherinebacher.com http://www.trifectapublishinghouse.com

BIG NEWS! Seriously, I am about to tell you some big news!

Alert! Alert! This is not a drill!

Annyeonghasaeo, Precious Readers! (Hello, Precious Readers!)

I’m in South Korea right now, which is pretty awesome and amazing in itself. (Are you following me on Instagram? There’s Seoul pictures there.)

But… that’s not my news…

MY BOOK IS GETTING PUBLISHED!

I was literally stepping off of the plane into Incheon International Airport when I received the news!

I’ve had to stay quiet until the contract was fully signed. Now that it is, I thought you should know immediately after family was contacted!

Are you doing a happy dance? I am.
Are you dancing with me? Awesome!

It is slated for publication by the end of this year, but we’re pushing to have it ready by the time Emerald City Writer’s Conference 2016 arrives. (Are you going to the Passport to Romance Reader Appreciation Event for #ECWC16? You should be.) I was planning on just attending to get more advice, but now I’ll be attending as a newly published author!

Years and years of hard work have paid off, and you’ve been with me and this blog. So THANK YOU! Whether you’ve read this blog from Day 1, or are a newbie reader (helping me go GLOBAL), I appreciate you taking the time to check out my website, blog, and keep up with my misadventures.

Keep an eye here, on Facebook, Twitter, and my Instagram over the next few months as more details come out.

Thank you to everyone at Trifecta Publishing House for taking a chance on an unknown writer! I look forward to working with you!

Love and hugs to all of you. Gamsamnida!  (Thank you!)

– Katherine

keep calm and continue sleuthing! / spooky little girl

“Do act mysterious. It always keeps them coming back for more.”

– Carolyn Keene

Hello again, Precious Readers!

<Looks at Precious Readers through a magnifying glass.>

Have I ever mentioned that I love mysteries? I know in the past, I’ve mentioned I love romances and spy novels, but my number one go-to genre will always be mysteries/suspense!

At a young age, I was quite curious about abnormal things. At eight years old, I read Frankenstein, and by age ten, I’d read Dracula. Not light, or positive reading there. One of my all time favorite films was Beetlejuice, and I adored the cartoon version that Nickelodeon had based on the film. I recall for a brief period of time there was a series of Clue mystery novels based on the board game, which were the only books I checked out of my elementary library. I was also a religious Scooby Doo watcher, Shaggy being my favorite. (I must have a type considering I married quite the goofball in Pilot.)

For proof, here’s a (somewhat embarrassing) photo of me last Halloween when I dressed as Velma Dinkley:

Velma

I think I nailed it. All the way down to the orange socks.

However, out of all of these, my all time favorites will always be: Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes. For those who know me, this should not come at a surprise. I inhale anything Nancy and Sherlock practically daily. Something about Nancy Drew was always empowering, and made me believe I wasn’t weird for my odd fascination with science, skeptical attitude, and somewhat of a sassy wit. (If there ever was a real Sassy Detective magazine, I would have definitely subscribed!) One of my favorite pastimes is to play the Her Interactive Nancy Drew Games, created locally in my home state in Bellevue, Washington. I’m going on 31 next month, and they just released Game #32, Nancy Drew: Sea of Darkness, which of the 32 has become one of my Top 3 favorites. They feature other characters like the Hardy Boys in some of them. (I love Frank and Joe!)

The things I love about Nancy Drew, although the books are quite outdated now (some of them even being a bit racist, but I skip those), are her confidence, proof that she studies hard to learn her skills and trade, and doesn’t let anything prevent her from feeling as feminine as she’d like to on any given day. Along with this, she’s close to her father, has some kind and loyal friends, and plans on making sleuthing her career at a time when women weren’t given the choice to have a career if they wished. It’s not just puzzle solving skills, but she keeps a cool head under pressure and is skilled in many mechanical things. I aspire to be more like her every day – except with more wine and no mom jeans.

If you’d like to learn more about the games themselves, I’d recommend a particular YouTube channel. (I may have spent several hours watching them over the years.) Arglefumph’s walkthrough videos, created by a man named Michael Gray in Oregon, not only provides great tips for getting through the games if you’re stuck, he also gives running commentary that runs on hilarious. (You can check out Michael Gray’s YouTube videos here.)

As far as my Sherlock Holmes obsession, I’ve always gone a bit weak in the knees for the various English accents out there. Like one of my favorite authors, Katie MacAlister, I’m a bit of an “anglophile,” though not as strongly as my friend, Obi-One-Pin-Obi. She embraces English culture on a much more soulful level. She’s even traveled there several times in her life, of which I will always be greatly envious of. (Someday Pilot and I will take our Europe trip. I know it!) There’s something about the dark, dank, foggy environment mixed with bits of chemistry and carriages while solving a seemingly impossible riddle that fascinates me to no end. He is able to pick out the minutiae and combine it together to create a fully realized conclusion. Unlike Nancy Drew, I enjoy Sherlock Holmes because he is a greatly flawed character. He is an opium addict, smokes, might have a touch of Aspergers blended with narcissism. He’s also a talented in music, his violin skills often being referenced in the multitude of novels.

There’s no point to this post, only to share a love of all things sleuthy with the troves of people out there on the internet. I bid you all good day.

Who are your favorite mystery, suspense, thriller, all things spooky authors?
What series do you follow?
Which Nancy Drew is your favorite?

Stay sleuthy!

Check out Obi-One-Pin-Obi on her blog: https://crumpetsncream.wordpress.com/

grab your rulers and whip those suckers out! it’s measuring time!

Does size really matter?

You know, there are several people out there who wonder: What’s the difference between a short story and a novella? Also, what makes a piece a novel vs. a novella? Are they the feminine and masculine versions of a written work? Or is the English vs. French version of the naming?  WTF?

Let’s explore, shall we?

Believe it or not, short stories and novellas are actually different from each other. Additionally, novels and novellas are separate entities.

Unfortunately, Precious Readers, as with many things, what is the key variable that separates all three?

Drum roll please…

Length!

They say bigger is better…

Anywho…

That’s right, Precious Readers! It’s all about size: the number of words in the piece, specifically.  To help, here’s a guide (from smallest to largest):

SHORT STORY
A fictional prose narrative shorter, and more focused, than a novella.
It typically is a single “episode” and often a single character.
Average length is generally only up to around 12,000 words.

NOVELLA
A fictional prose narrative often set during a brief period of time,
such as a day, week or month.

It concentrates on character study.
Average length is around 16,000-40,000 words.

NOVEL
A fictional prose narrative of considerable length.

This usually has a plot is driven and unfolds through actions,
dialogue and thoughts of varied characters or a singular character.

Average length is anywhere from 40,000-100,000+ words.

The reason I love short stories is it can allow a quick introduction to a character who will have a much larger work (novel) down the road.  Short stories open up all types of possibilities.  Another way to think of a short story or novella is an additional epilogue for some of your favorite characters, just to get a sneak peek at how they’re doing.

Think along the lines of a romance (of course, my go-to genre) and checking in with your hero/heroine after they ride off into the sunset. Well now what? A short story or novella allows authors to go back and visit them, perhaps during their honeymoon, an upcoming birth of their first child, etc.

Short stories and novellas also allow multiple authors to work together to create an anthology.

Excuse me, while I shift my librarian-like glasses and provide you with additional (sidebar) information:

An anthology is a published collection of poems or other pieces of writing.  (This term can also be applied to a collection of musical work.)

Ahem. Now back to our topic… again.

I just finished reading an anthology called The Undead in My Bed an anthology of vampire short stories by three authors, and Seeing Double Trouble (Deadwood Shorts).

It’s always difficult to rate a book that has multiple authors.  Your rating could be hindered because one short story could be amazing while another sucks.  It’s a judgment call.  I’m glad Goodreads allows me to go back and adjust a rating if I change my mind.

BOOK REVIEW:
The Undead in My Bed
Anthology

Katie MacAlister – Shades of Gray: I am a serial reader of KM’s stuff. Loved that Noelle finally got her Dark One! I’m a huge fan of all of the characters and it was heartbreaking to see Noelle get pushed on to each new novel without her story being resolved. Can’t be upset about it though, the muse is there when the muse is there. One hilarious scene with the ‘ghost whisperer’ had me reading it over and over, giggling like crazy!  The only thing that prevents a full 5 stars is an earlier short story introducing Grayson (See Lifestyles of the Rich and Undead) wasn’t free and I had to pay for both LOTRU AND SOG.  However, I did find myself “snarfing” along with her work and I can never put her stuff down!

Shoutout to Pacific Northwest authors! What up?!

Molly Harper – Undead Sublet: Oh MH, how you crack me up in the most inappropriate manner! I wish I had best friends like Jane, Andrea and Jolene.  Even though this was a short story, MH really makes the reader feel that the characters are fleshed out and provides enough environmental detail without being overdone. The prank war is hilarious and makes me think of my own husband’s ongoing prank war with his brother. Plus, always a bonus when an author provides a recipe at the end! It followed a somewhat predictable formula, but had so much heart the reader is completely engaged from beginning to end! (Especially the easter eggs of the diner patrons’ romantic encounters carved into tabletops, could it be one patron is Molly Harper?) It was nice to see Jolene get a best friend since Jane and Andrea tended to view her as a little loony.

Wish I could move to Half-Moon Hollow!  I love how much I actually laugh out loud from her work. I can only hope my work is as belly-laughing inducing!  Oh, but beware of gift baskets…

Jessica Sims – Out With a Fang: I wasn’t familiar with JS’ works prior to this anthology, so it was great to be introduced to a new author. This story was a fun read, and brought a new twist on vampire lore and the many ways they can be destroyed.  It was a little confusing hearing about newly turned vamps who had difficulty talking around them. The earlier description of the vampire fangs provided an image along the lines of walrus-length teeth, creating a comical image rather than seductive one. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the walrus-people out of my head, even during the midway point when the teeth were described as being only 2 inches in length.

I still have thoughts of the were-jaguar being a were-jaguar/walrus.  Eep!

BOOK REVIEW:
Seeing Double Trouble (Deadwood Shorts)
Ann Charles

Side Note: Yes, the cross outs are intentional. To know Ann Charles’ work is to embrace the cross outs.

I have been a huge Ann Charles fan since I read her first Deadwood series novel, Dearly Nearly Departed in Deadwood.  After finishing Seeing Trouble (Deadwood Shorts) I am now ready to start on novel #3: Head Dead Case in Deadwood.  It was great having more background on her protagonist, Violet Parker, and how she had cut certain people from her life.  The first novel in the series didn’t go into much detail as to why these people who were significant to Violet’s life decisions were quickly crossed out of her life. The short story also provided an “author interview” of the character. I am a huge method of letting the characters be interviewed as a way of getting to know them.

Bonus! There was a separate short story thrown in called Candy Lover.  Not as great, but since it was a bonus, I’ll let it slide.

What are some of your favorite anthologies? Do you prefer anthologies to focus on a form of writing (such as poetry), or for the works to have a common theme, (like the vamp theme, above)?  Do you even like anthologies, or prefer singular works?  Do you find short stories and novellas worth the price?  Or should short stories be free?  (We’ll go more in-depth on book pricing at a later time.)

he may not wear red underwear, but i’m ok with that

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait… Yeah, it IS a plane. Never mind. <Shrug.>

Although it may technically be Sept. 15th at 1:00am, I’m still living in the past 24-hours of it being Sept. 14th. Sept. 14th marks one of the greatest days in history.  It’s Pilot’s birthday.

There are many reasons why I love Pilot, but this post would never be finished. So, instead, I thought I would write about why Pilot excels far beyond Superman.

1. He’s a sexy nerd.  Clark Kent was a mild-mannered English nerd. Writing for The Daily Planet, Mr. Superman himself was the geeky guy of the office, just short of Jimmy the photographer.  You may think that the reason I call my husband, Pilot is because his job is being a pilot. Well you’d be wrong.  Pilot is actually a special-education teacher. To this day, he amazes me his ability to connect with students who experience an exceptionally difficult time with learning, or developing the skills needed to improve. His love for science and math knows no bounds, to which I thank God for because I can’t succeed in science and math to save my life (although he and I did very well in an astronomy class together.

Me: What a great night! Ellensburg’s skies are so clear!

Pilot: Yeah! Here, let’s go to this field and setup. I’ll pour the hot chocolate.

Passerby 1: Hey! Is that a bong? It’s huge!

Me: <indignant, setting hands on hips and frowning.> No, it is not a bong. It’s a telescope. See? <points to eyepiece.>

Passerby 2: Sweet! Party time! <calls to friends in distance.> Hey! Check this chick out! She has the biggest bong I’ve ever seen!

Me: It is NOT a bong! It is a highly functional TELESCOPE! Look! You can see Venus and Mars, right there!

Passerby 1: Cool! It’s multi-functional!

Me: <shakes fist, screeching at Passersby 1 & 2.> Listen, cretins! Just because you’ve lost some brain cells does not mean you need to corrupt mine with your incessant insistence that my telescope is a device for drug use!

Passerby 2: Way to party little lady <pats the top of my head.>

Me: Argh!

Pilot: Sweetie, I think it’s time we move to a different field.

Just as Superman disguises himself to be a simple and plain man, but is all super-hunky man of steel in reality, my Pilot is a seemingly boy-next-door guy, but is superhero to children and helping them have a fighting chance in this world.  Plus, listening to him explain space’s gravitational patterns for each planet with his toothy-white grin is sexy as hell.  And besides, I’m the (maybe not-so-mild-mannered) English nerd in this relationship.

2. Ok, so he does fly a little bit. Like Superman, my Pilot is also, well a pilot. Before Washington changed its laws of age limitations for obtaining a pilot’s license, he took his first flying lesson at the tender age of 13. He literally flew a plane before ever driving a car. The way he’s better than Superman, is that for me to go flying with him, I don’t have to worry about someone looking up m nightie and freezing my crumpets off from the high altitude because I’m contained inside an ACTUAL airplane.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button> Wow! I’m flying an airplane… And I’m scared shitless right now. You can take the steering back now!

Pilot: <laughs.> You only had it for two seconds.

Me: <holds down ‘push-to-talk’ button and glares at Pilot.> Two seconds too long… Ooh! Nice yoke-work, Bacher! Why don’t you use those hands somewhere else?

Pilot: Sweetie, you need to stop pressing the ‘push-to-talk’ button because you just announced that to all local flying aircraft and the Tower.

Tower: Cessna 5210-AML, you’re clear to land… If your hands aren’t too busy.

Random pilot sharing airspace with us: <chuckles.>Yes, please keep your hands to yourself, Sweetie.

Me: <holds ‘push-to-talk’ button> Umm… I think they heard me.

Pilot: You’re still holding the ‘push-to-talk’ button, Sweetie.

Me: <still holding ‘push-to-talk’ button.> Oh. Sorry.

3. He has superpowers. No not actual, born an alien or dipped in toxic waste superpowers. But with one look he can provide a multitude of things: reassurance, giggle-inducing hysteria, empathy, one of the few people who can make me shut up once in a while if I’ve said something [insert favorite word here, such as weird, odd, annoying, ridiculous, etc.], and the occasional heat-induced glance that magically makes my clothes disappear. (Hey, don’t judge. I’m married and Superman had x-ray vision.  You really don’t think that Superman didn’t use it to his advantage just once?)

4. He’s talented. As Clark Kent was a journalist and fairly decent reporter, my Pilot is also extremely gifted.  Separate from his teaching and flying gigs, my Pilot is also an aviation photographer. Even better, he’s a good one!  Pilot has been published in a few magazines over the last couple of years, and also has written several blurbs on the aircraft subject in question.  He has a successful Facebook page and YouTube account where he also posts videos of his work, narrating and adding factoids to the videos for viewers to enjoy.

5. Lastly, but not at all in the least, he’s romantic. Superman had ladies drooling for decades, most of all a Ms. Lois Lane. And in this case, this little writer wised-up and realized that a kind, quiet and talented man was interested in me and I jumped at the chance at love, never regretting a day since. Thankfully, Pilot has made this relationship really easy on me by being just completely wonderful and supportive, even if I post stuff like this on the all-knowing interwebs. Even if the first Valentine’s Day card I ever received from him was signed, “I don’t care what they say. I think you’re pretty nice,” causing a temporary 2-hour argument between us.

Happy Birthday, Pilot! And I don’t care what they say, I think you’re pretty nice, too.

<blows kiss.>

Daily Writing Challenge

Day 14: FREE DAY! Write any scene you want!

Dear Diary,

Today I met the most impossible of all human beings! There I was, walking through the bookstore trying to keep my nonchalant, “Yes, of course I’m in the self-help section-there’s-nothing-wrong-with-that-it’s-a-perfectly-normal-thing-to-do” face. So what if I’m pushing into my latter-thirties and newly single? If someone wanted to excel in their profession, they would study for it. If someone was to perform a self tune-up of their car, they would buy a guide. So why not buy a book to help accelerate changing my single status?

While wandering the bookstore, trying to find a decently large covered book to disguise my purchase with, I bumped into a man at the mysteries/thrillers section.

“Oh! Excuse me,” I said slightly blushing at the blatant lack of focus on where I was going.

“Not at all, pardon me,” he replied. I took in the light hair and blue eyes framed by some very nice looking professor’s glasses. He was tall, wearing a slim fitting navy blue sweater and jeans. Hellooo Dr. Jones!

His head tilted slightly as he tried to glance at the title of my self-help-for-singles book, Single? So What? guide which had decided to hide itself behind my back.

“You know, if you want a really good read, you should try I’m Single and I Know It, instead.”

I blushed at the recommendation.  “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I said tucking a strand of my plain brown hair behind my ears. “I’m looking for a thrill- I mean, looking for thrillers. Oh look, there’s a great one!” I say as I pluck a random book from the shelf to the right of me.

He tilts his head to the side. “Hmm… So you’re into swashbuckling pirates who stealthily rip the bodices off of young maidens, huh? I would’ve pegged you more knights-in-shining-armor kind of woman.” I raise my eyebrows at the book I had just selected.

Sure enough, there was a shirtless pirate and a young wench who apparently had no problem or apparent discomfort from having her breasts shoved up to her chin, while the pirate’s swarthy hands were undoing the ties to the back of her very cumbersome looking satin corset. Quickly glancing up to the empty space that held the damning evidence of my random selection, I realized the shelf on my right had been historical romance instead of mystery/thriller. Shit and double shit!

“You know, all you need is a glass of wine and you’re probably set for the night,” he said winking of me.

Eyes narrowing, “Why of all the nerve! I-” I pause to straighten my back at this very nosy and appalling man.  I closed my eyes for a moment taking a deep, calming breath.

“Once again, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I am merely grabbing some reading material as a gag birthday gift for my friend, Lizzy, if you must know.” No need for him to find out that Lizzy is actually my dog named after my favorite romantic heroine, Elizabeth Bennett.

“Of course, my mistake,” he said, having the nerve to smile at me.

“Well, thank you. Now, if you don’t mind. I need to have these presents gift wrapped. I’m very busy and important, and must be going now. Ta!” Turning on my heel, I pause at the sound of his voice.

“Fantastic! I was busy getting this for my brother. We’ll go to gift wrapping together!” He said grinning at me.  Of all the rotten luck. Two years without a man and now I can’t get away from this one!

Together, we both walk to the gift-wrapping center’s counter and hand our items over to the customer service rep.

“Sorry about your friend. Is she going through a tough breakup right now?”

“Huh?” I blink at him.  “Oh! Yes!  Um… Right… Well, she’s recently gone through a divorce, which she’s very happy about, and is throwing herself a divorce shower,” I quickly spat out.  We both take our nicely wrapped presents, his book in pretty forest green with a gold ribbon, mine in a patterned wrapping paper covered in random letters of the alphabet and red ribbon.

“A divorce shower?” he says amused at my frustration.  “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.  What exactly does one do at a divorce shower?”  Oh come on! Can’t I just live this humiliation in peace? It’s bad enough I resorted to self-help guides, but does it really need to have a commentary squad like Mystery Science Theater 3000?

“Well it’s- um…” I sigh and throw my hands up in the air, waiving my ‘gift’ in the air. “Oh, hell. We both know the book is for me.  Look, it’s been a little nerve-wracking catching my bloody husband in my bed with my sister and I haven’t had sex in two years, all right?”

The man’s eyes widened as he stared at me.  A woman who had been waiting in line for the gift-wrapping services looked extremely uncomfortable.  “Um… I think I forgot to comb my cat…” she said as she inched away from us slowly, and then bursting into a slight sprint towards the main door.

I felt my face burning as red as a hooker in church.  Also waiting for him to run away from the crazy-cat-lady vibe I was giving off; to my surprise he actually was pretty nice about the whole freak-out scene.

“Wow. That must have been awful. Are you ok?” he spoke softly, his eyebrows slightly furrowed, deep in thought. All they did was focus on his glasses which were straightforward black frame, emphasizing the blue-ness of his eyes.

Another deep sigh escaped my lips. “Yeah, I’m good. Sorry about that. I had just moved here for him because he was offered a job at Boeing. We were living with my sister until we could find our own place.  Then… Well, you know…” my voice drifted off as I felt tears prickling at the back of my eyes.

“I’m really sorry.  Was just teasing before, but if I’d known…” he gave a slight shrug and palms up gesture of apology.

“It’s all right. Sorry for going all berserker on you,” I smile slightly.

He stifled a snicker, “Berserker? You’ve seen Clerks?”

“Of course, hasn’t everyone? I mean, Kevin Smith may be raunchy, a little out of my comfort zone sometimes, but nonetheless is an insightful writer and commentator of life in our generation,” I state matter-of-factly.

The man stares at me again, this time in wonderment. “Wow, I think I may have fallen in love with you a little bit. Most women can’t look past goofy comedy movies like that.”

“Oh… Well, that’s just, really nice,” I say flustered at this man’s response.

“I’m Elliot. Elliot Helmsworth,” he says sticking his hand out to me.  Grasping his palm, I reply, “Claire. Claire Whitmore.”