“Saving Grace”

savinggrace

Last year, my publishing company, Bienvenue Press started an annual charity anthology. Hometown Heroes was the title and we included short stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. A portion of the proceeds go to the Cajun Navy Foundation.

This year, our stories are about rescue animals, a subject near and dear to my heart. Donations from Finally Home, will go to various animal rescue programs. I had originally planned to do a Chateau Rouge story, but no ideas just jumped out me. Then it hit me, Grace, from Running on Empty had a story to finish. Her happily-ever-after wasn’t complete yet. Her sidekick is Furby, a dog she rescued, and a perfect subject for a story.

Furby was actually one of my dogs, as was Sammy, and Oscar, all who have passed on. Furby, the last one, crossed the rainbow bridge just a little over a year ago.  And man, did I struggle with this one. It was tough to write. However, I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I was also pleasantly surprised when it took the Boonies in a different direction. You’ll have to read it to find out what this is though. 🙂

For now, I have an excerpt for you. Release date is set for December 10th, so you don’t have to wait long!

“Saving Grace”

Grace hesitated a moment before sliding her key into the apartment door. She took a breath to calm herself before facing Gabe and his sweet but concerned eyes.

He always had that look when she came home from visiting with Dr. Melancon. As if he wanted to ask what they had talked about even though he already knew. These sessions had been his idea when her random outbursts of anger had almost caused them to break up at one point.

It was all Brent’s fault, she thought. Although Dr. Mel had told her that it was reactive thinking and she needed to be proactive.

Grace rolled her eyes. Proactive would be driving to New Orleans, finding him and punching him in the throat.

She heard a bark from inside and knew she had been discovered. With a sigh, she opened the door and pasted a smile on her face.

Furby, the little white ball of fur she had rescued years ago came running up to her. His paws tip tapping on the hard wood floors of their small Austin apartment.

When he reached her, he jumped, then did his welcome home dance on his back paws. She laughed then, as she always did, and picked him up. She buried her face in his soft fur and squeezed him tight.

Gabe wandered in behind Furby, his lanky form filling the entry way. His green eyes were soft when he smiled at her. “He’s been watching the door for you.”

She held him out so she could look him in the eyes, “You did, Furb? You’re such a good boy.” With that, she placed him back down on the ground gently and he ran away. Back to the comfort of the dog bed they’d placed beside the sofa. He liked to turn it around so the high back faced the front. He looked like an overgrown rat defending the Queen’s castle.

Be sure to be alerted on release day!

Follow me!

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/a-l-vincent     

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/A-L-Vincent/e/B016X3YYW2 

Peace! I’m out!

A.L. Vincent

The Shoes!

Red Shoes

As I write Once and For All, which is Carly’s story, I find her story really and truly starts in Tangled up in You. She is still in mourning after her brother’s death, and she comes home one day to find her fiance’ in bed with another woman. It’s then that she becomes “stuck”. She doesn’t really move forward with her life. Fear becomes her constant companion. She’s afraid of change of any kind. Her routine is her comfort. Little does she know that a hurricane is about to come and shake up that routine and completely force her out of her comfort zone.

Here’s the scene in Tangled up In You, when Carly comes back from Biloxi. The shoes? They become a very important part of Carly’s new story.

-from Tangled up in You

Emily sipped the drink and considered getting another bowl of gumbo, or jambalaya, or red beans and rice. She was eyeing the table when the door opened again.

A younger blonde walked in, followed by a dark haired man of the same age. Carly and Joey. Grace and Ryder followed. Now everyone was here. Everyone except Noah. And Benjamin, Emily thought, wincing as her heart contracted. A year later, Ben’s loss still hurt.

“If he thinks I’m going to sit here and be sad, he’s got another thing coming. He can be replaced,” Carly said, flopping down on one of the couches.

“What are you talking about, cher?” Daniel asked, getting up from the table.

“Don’t get her started,” Joey said. He went to the bar, poured himself a big shot, then fixed a drink.

“Drink this,” he said, handing the drink to Carly.

Uncomfortable, Emily grabbed her own drink and went to stand beside the fireplace.

“Well, isn’t she a ray of sunshine,” Ryder said to Gabriel as they shook hands.

“Who is?” Carly said, blue eyes flashing. “You didn’t just walk in on your fiancé all fragrance de lecto.”

“Do you mean in flagrante delicto?” Daniel asked.

“Yeah, whatever,” Carly said. “I caught him naked.”

“I’m assuming not alone,” Daniel said.

“No! He wasn’t alone. He had a woman! With shoes!”

Carly started pacing the room, grumbling to herself. Her blonde ponytail bounced behind her, flip-flops slapping on the hardwood floor. Emily caught the words “douche bag” and “throat punch. The others left her alone, so Emily did too.

Have you read the first book in the Bon Chance Boonies series? If you haven’t, you can find it on Amazon. And it’s FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2TsN4Hx

tangledteaser

 

Rescue Me!

Screenshot_20190310-200232

I love Mardi Gras! As an Oklahoma transplant, it’s not something I grew up with. My first MG experience actually happened many years ago, and I was in New Orleans for the first time. First NOLA experience and first MG. It was then that my love for Louisiana began to blossom. Years later, I would end up moving down here and have experienced many parades and celebrations. I even rented an apartment on the parade route here in Lafayette so I wouldn’t miss a thing! I’ve ridden in a few parades. Want to feel like a rock star? Ride in a Mardi Gras parade. Everyone is vying for your attention for those precious throws.  Throws can be anything from fake roses, to stuffed toys, to the coveted plastic beads of all colors and shapes. These things usually end up in a storage container after the season is over, but for the Carnival season, they are displayed with pride.

One of my favorite parades is the Krewe de Chien parade. This is a day when the dogs get to strut their stuff. There are best costume awards and the royal court gets to ride in awesome looking cars and be celebrities for the day. The best part of this is that the money raised from this event goes to pet charities. Adoptable dogs are shown off before the parade starts, and get to walk in the parade in hopes of finding their forever homes.

Rescue dogs are near and dear to my heart. My last three dogs were rescued. Sammy the dachshund was being shifted from vet to vet to keep from being euthanized. She had been in a very abusive situation and had her moments when she was hard to get along with, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a better protector. Oscar was next. He was given to a family who left him out in the cold on a chain without even a dog house. He was quite the character. Then there was Furby, named because when we got him, he looked like a little furball. Furby had been headed to the shelter when my son grabbed him up and brought him home. I had just lost two pugs, bonded brother and sister, and had sworn never to have another dog. I immediately told my son to find Furb a new home, but that new home turned out to be ours. These three eventually became characters in my Boonie books. Sammy is Carly’s dog, Oscar is Emily’s, and Furby became Grace’s rescue in Running on Empty. 

If you’d like to read more about these “characters”, I’m including pics and the links to the book they star in. 🙂

Tangled Up In You 

Oscarpromo

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2VYMTQU

Running on Empty

furbypromo

 

 

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2JvVcmf

Catch and Release

sammypromo

 

Amazon Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2Fj0blV

Are you a writer who would like to help out with rescue charities? Bienvenue Press is looking for submissions for Finally Home, a charity anthology benefitting pet rescues. Click the link for more information! 

https://bit.ly/2SdDcAJ

finallyhome2

 

 

 

A Boonie New Year’s Eve

Mark Twain

I love New Year’s Eve, there’s something about saying goodbye to the old and ringing in the new. It’s no surprise that I have scenes that take place during this time of the year. This is one of my favorites, one from Running on Empty. Enjoy!

New Year’s Eve

Grace and Gabe walked into Snapper’s. Carly’s eyes lit up as she saw the two come in. She hurried from behind the bar to envelop them in hugs.

Joey came in the bar through the swinging wooden doors that separated the bar from the kitchen area. “Grace!” He, too, came around from behind the bar to shake Gabe’s hand, then he hugged Grace close. He left his hands on her arms so he could take a good look at her. Seeing her happy, the anger in her face gone, he smiled and hugged her close again.

“Austin’s been good to you,” Carly said.

Grace smiled and looked at Gabe. “Yes, yes, it has.”

“Did you text Ryder? What about Em and Noah?”

“They’re all coming,” Grace said.

Emily and Noah were the first to arrive. Then Ryder. Soon they were all gathered around the corner of the bar. The guys were playing pool, and Carly, who had ended her day shift, had taken charge of playing the jukebox. It was all like old times.

Cheech, as they all called him, approached the girls who sat in the corner, surrounded by whichever guys weren’t playing pool at the moment. Always the protective barrier.

“Hey, ladies,” he said. “Wanna hear some music?”

“Would love to,” Carly said, “but I have an idea. Why don’t we get Gabe and Grace to play a few? Would you guys do that? We’d love to hear y’all play.”

Gabe glanced at Grace, who nodded. “I’ll go get the guitars,” said Gabe.

“I’ll hook up the sound system,” said Grace.

Gabe stepped out to get the guitars and gear. Ryder set down his pool cue and came over to her.

“You look good, Grace,” he said.

“I feel good,” she said.

He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. He took his black cowboy hat off and shoved it on her head. “Good.”

She leaned in and rested her head on his chest for a moment. Then looked up at him. “Thank you,” she said.

“No thanks necessary. Now, get that ass up there and sing. We’ve missed that voice.”

Grace and Gabe made quick work of the equipment and soon were sitting on the makeshift stage of Snapper’s.

“First up, we’re going to play an original song that Gabe and I have been working on. You guys are going to be the first to hear it,” Grace said into the mic. She motioned to Gabe, and he began to play.

After a few chords from Gabe’s guitar, Grace began to sing, “Deepest are the wounds without a scar at all.”

It was a slow song. Emily grabbed Noah and they headed to the area in front of the band that was used as a dance floor. Carly grabbed Joey. And Ryder, not to be left out, found Allison.

Grace’s eyes met Gabe’s, and she smiled.

Want to read more of Grace and Gabe’s story? Buy Running on Empty on Amazon.com.

Link: http://a.co/fD4jCzj