Daddio is now available in paperback or e-book version. Three buy links on my side bar (Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and All Romance ebooks) will take you directly to my author page.
Here’s an excerpt that’s not available anywhere else. It’s a conversation between Lil, Grier, Jody and Clark…
After realizing that Lil and Grier were also shopping, they had arranged to meet. Choosing to leave the crowds behind, they hooked up around six at The Snuggery, a sports bar located on Roselle Road in Schaumburg. Pulled- pork sliders, a platter of loaded fries, and a bucket filled with bottles of Coors Light were the popular pick. It was comfort food and much appreciated after the madness at the mall. “I hate Christmas,” Grier remarked. “It’s so damn stressful.”
“He hates forking over the plastic,” Lil quipped, shoving a slider in his mouth. “Oh, that is heavenly,” he sighed, licking the barbeque sauce off his lips.
“Don’t get Jody started on that subject,” Clark snapped. “I already got my lecture on excessive spending.”
Jody and Grier stared at each other. “Do you have to monitor his spending?” Jody asked, pointing at Lil. “Leave Clark to his own devices and he’ll buy out Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
“Nordstrom is Lil’s guilty pleasure,” Grier complained. Turning to his partner, he asked, “How can you justify spending one hundred and fifty dollars on a shirt when you can get the same thing at Penney’s for sixty-five?”
Lil rolled his eyes. “You can’t possibly compare a Façonnable shirt with a JCPenney brand.”
“Why? They look the same.”
“My love,” Lil said softly. “If you’re going to be a success in interior design, you have to set your sights a little higher and separate quality from quantity.”
“I can tell the difference between a badly made sofa and a good one,” Grier griped. “What do clothes have to do with ID?”
“It’s all in the fabric, sweetheart,” Lil said patiently. “Egyptian cotton is much better than a poly blend.”
“Whatever. Did you have to spend three hundred dollars on a cashmere pullover for Ali? He’s not worth it.”
Lil clicked his tongue against his teeth. “Your brother is into name brands and will appreciate the Armani.”
“And the Juicy Couture purse for Jillian? They’re going to think you’re trying to bribe them.”
“I am,” Lil admitted, unapologetically. “Money talks, and since they’re obviously not falling for my charms, waving a little green in their faces can’t be a bad thing.”
“Why do you need their approval?” Jody asked.
“So they don’t block us at every turn.”
“Fang, for one.”
“Fang?” Clark asked.
“That’s what Luca’s calling his puppy.”
“You would find it cool,” Lil said saucily.
“Sheath thy tongue,” Jody frowned.
“What did I say?” Lil asked, surprised at Jody’s reaction.
“You’re being bitchy.”
“Sorry…didn’t mean to be.”
“No worries. Back to your in-laws,” Jody stated. “What’s the problem with Fang?”
“We were supposed to run it by them before we got a new pet.”
“He’s not even going to live in their house.”
“Precisely. It never occurred to us to ask their permission.”
“They don’t like Luca calling me Daddio.”
“Why? It’s so cute.”
“Jealousy,” Grier said. “My brother would prefer being called something other than uncle.”
“But he is his uncle,” Clark interjected. “Do you realize that if Jillian was to get pregnant, her kid would be Luca’s cousin and half-brother at the same time? How weird is that?”
“It’s like a country western song,” Grier mumbled. “Hopefully, she won’t get knocked up.”
“That would take some of the pressure off you and Luca, wouldn’t it?” Clark asked.
“How do you figure?”
“She’d have something else to obsess over.”
They all laughed, a little drunk, and a lot relaxed. “We sound like a bunch of gossiping queens,” Jody said, trying to catch a breath.
“We are,” Lil shrieked.
For some reason they found the remark hilarious and were leaning against each other in laughter. “Dude, no more beer or we’ll have to sleep in the motel next door,” Grier said, gasping for breath. Holiday Inn Express was right beside the bar, so that was an easy option.
“So we’ll sleep in a motel,” Lil remarked. “It wouldn’t be the first time. Order another round.”
“How many motels have you slept in?” Grier asked Lil, giving the waitress the signal for more.
“For work or play?”
“I don’t give a shit about work. How many quickies have you had in a motel?”
“Probably enough to circle the moon and back.”
“You slut,” Grier smiled.
“How about you, Jo?” Clark asked. “Were you a motel hopper?”
“Jody!” Lil remarked, “Your language has deteriorated drastically since you moved back to this town.”
“Like you don’t cuss?”
“He cussed plenty when he saw the first snowfall,” Grier tattled.
“Shush, love.” Lil said. “That was a momentary lapse.”
“Well, it worked. We’re moving to a house with a garage,” Grier admitted.
“No way,” Jody and Clark exclaimed.
“In Elk Grove for now,” Lil said.
“You guys should move out to Barrington.”
“Too rich for my pocket,” Grier remarked.
Lil gave him a look and Grier said, “Don’t start.”
“I’ll never understand why you have such issues accepting my largess.”
“Your large ass?”
“You bastard,” Lil said, smacking his lover on the arm. “My ass is perfect.”
Grier burst out laughing, and soon the others joined in, even Lil. They were making a scene, and everyone in the bar was glancing their way. “I really think we should take this next door.”
“What about my hot tub?” Jody pouted at his lover. “You promised.”
“I did, didn’t I?”
“Okay,” Clark nodded, “But you guys come with us. We’ll take a cab and baptize the Jacuzzi.”
“Baptize?” Grier queried. “What did you have in mind?”
“Whatever you’re thinking,” Jody smirked, recognizing the look on Grier’s face. He’d seen it often enough whenever the brunet looked at Lil. Not for the first time, Jody thought about the early days of his relationship with Clark. He could remember having sex on every flat surface of his house in Berkeley. Lately, things had gotten a bit stale, and he supposed it had to do with time, familiarity, and their crazy schedules. Now that football season was officially over, and he’d taken a much-needed vacation to spend some quality time with Clark, he hoped to rekindle the spark. Maybe having Lil and Grier around would make the difference. He’d never been an exhibitionist, and didn’t think Clark was either, but they did need something to boost their libidos which seemed to be hibernating the past few months.
“I’m on it,” Clark said. Standing and walking over to the bartender, he asked them to call a cab, paid the bill, and came back looking like he’d just swallowed a canary. “It’s a done deal.”
“What about our cars?” Grier asked.
“Leave ‘em,” Clark said. “This isn’t the first time people have left their cars in the parking lot. We’ll come back for them tomorrow.”