Monday, May 11, 2015

Charmed, I'm Sure by Lynda Simmons Short Story & Giveaway

Laugh Out Loud Funny...With Just a Touch of Magic

One minute Maxine Henley is the happy bride-to-be and the next she’s the girl who gets dumped over the phone. Max has never believed in magic and fairy’s tales, but if wearing a love charm can warm her fiancé’s cold feet, she’s happy to stuff that little wooden heart next to her own and wait. The charm came with a promise that the right man will find her, guaranteed, but how can that happen when her teenage crush Sam O’Neal keeps getting in the way!

The Ballad of Jimmy James:
A Serialized Novella by Lynda Simmons
Chapter Six

            There’s no point extending the conversation by being rude, not when I have a much bigger problem outside, already attracting too much attention. So I take her hand and shake it. “Nice to meet you, Lucy, and thanks for the offer, but I don’t have time for a reading today.” I turn and head for the door. “Let yourself out the back way to avoid the police.”
            Instead, she darts around me and stops dead.  “In case you’re wondering. I don’t work with a partner and I wasn’t part of any pick-pocketing scheme.”
            “Good to know.”
             I try to move around her, but she does a quick two-step and keeps on talking, while outside, more people stop to inspect those blasted bins. “I only ran because someone hollered, ‘It’s a scam. They’re pick-pockets,’ and I figured it was time to go. At least until things cool down a little.”
            “Very wise. Now if you’ll excuse me—” 
            She moves with me. Right, left, left, as though we’re dancing. “Where do you have to be in such a hurry anyway?” she asks, never missing a beat.
            Left, right, right. “Why does it matter?”
            “Because you seem like a nice guy, and I want to like you. But a nice guy wouldn’t blow off a promise made to a friend about to be carted off in an ambulance unless he had something really important to do.” Her eyes widen. “Oh my God, are you delivering organs? Because that would be really important.”
            “If you must know, I’m going grocery shopping. While that’s not as noble as organ delivery, there are people counting on me to do the right thing.”
            This time, I feint left, deke right and manage to get past her.
            But she’s right beside me when I reach the door. “And the right thing can’t wait a while?”
            “They’re expecting me back at noon.”
             “Or what? They’ll turn into pumpkins?” She smiles when I glance over at her. “Sorry, but you make it sound like Cinderella for seniors, where everyone turns into a pumpkin at noon instead of midnight.”
            I don’t expect her to understand, and I don’t have time to explain. Not when there’s still lettuce to buy, and chicken legs, and Kraft Dinner on special. And God help me if they’re already out of stock. 
            “I need to bring in the Loonie Bins. Keep an eye on Ginger, will you.”
 “You’re making a big mistake.”
            The earnest expression on her young face makes me smile. “It won’t be the first time,” I say and pull back the door.
            “Good timing,” a woman about my own age says, then smiles and squeezes past me with an armload of paperbacks; followed closely by two men, a kid and a young woman who could be his mother.
             “Someone said you also sell old albums here.” The woman with the armload of books blows silver bangs out of her eyes and looks from me to Lucy and back again. “Where will I find those?”
            It takes me a moment to catch up, to realize what’s happening. “I’m sorry, but you can’t –”
            “Beat our prices for books or records,” Lucy says, cutting me off as she waves the woman to the counter.  “Just set those books down here next to the cat. The LPs are right over there and if anyone has any questions, I’m sure Jimmy can help you.”
            “I’m looking for a copy of Portnoy’s Complaint,” one of the men says to me.
            I point to the left. “Third aisle, third shelf down. If it’s not there, try the window. But we’re closing –“
            “Do you have anything by Gordon Korman?” the kid asks.
            “Children’s literature. First row, near the front. But really, you should come back tomorrow.”
            “Cookbooks?” his mom says.
            “Same row, closer to the end.” And they’re gone before I can tell them again that we’re closed.
            The bell above the door tinkles. Three more people stroll in, all with books in hand. I watch as they go by. Tell one where the mysteries are, another what’s new in Horror and Sci-Fi, all the while wondering what I’ve done to deserve this. 
            Just when I’m sure it can’t get any worse, the lady with the silver hair says to Lucy, “I’m looking for one album in particular. Carole King’s Tapestry. Been all over the internet and anything I’ve found comes with a horrible shipping cost attached.”
            “I’m sorry, but we don’t have that one,” I tell them, confident that Tom’s inventory will back me up. He always made a point of keeping that album off his shelves, something I appreciate.
            But of course Lucy says, “It’s worth a look,” and starts flipping through the albums behind the letter T. “Nothing here. Let me try K for King.” She moves along. Flip, flip, flip. “Maybe over here in folk music.” And my heart all but stops when she calls ”Found one!” and holds it up like she’s struck gold.
            “Here you go,” she says and hands the album to the woman. “Shipping included.”
            “This is wonderful, I’m so glad I stopped in.”
             “Would you like to hear it?” Lucy motions to the turntable beside her. “Make sure it plays?”
            “No!” I shout, making heads turn and eyebrows lift. I smile and try again. “The turntable’s broken.” I hold out a hand to the woman. “Let’s get that checked out for you.”
            Behind her, Lucy is watching me, head tilted in that way of hers.
            I shake my own head just once. Please.
            But there are clearly no Guardian Angels or lucky stars on my side any more, and my stomach drops when she says, “Let’s just give it a try,” and flicks a switch on the turntable.
             Sure enough, it turns smoothly round and round. “Tom must have had it fixed,” she says and holds out a hand to the woman as well. “How about we give that puppy a spin?“
            As always, puppies win.
            I turn away as she places the record on the turntable. Close my eyes at the scratch of the needle. And when the familiar piano opening begins, just like Carol King, I feel the earth move under my feet. Everything falling away, leaving me stranded, trapped in the summer of 1971. The summer I killed my father.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman. If you’d like to read the legend of Birman cats click here. If you’d like a link to allergy relief, click here.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Twitter @LyndaMSimmons

Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The intriguing excerpt is what I like best!

  2. Holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that's a cliffhanger ending!!!!!!! Wow!!! Didn't see that coming. And Tapestry is without a doubt, still one of my favorite albums. :)

    1. Me too! I still remember all the words to every song! Cheers

  3. Wow...what an ending! Never expected that, but that's why I love your writing so much. Really looking forward to reading the next chapter 😀

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Little Munchkin! See you at tomorrow's tour stop! Cheers

  4. What a fascinating and unique excerpt.

  5. I have to agree with MomJane! Great excerpt, sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Eva and Momjane! Stay tuned for Chapter 7 on tomorrow's tour stop! Cheers

  6. I loved the novella posting! Thank you. It gives us a look at Lynda Simmons' writing style! Thank you.

    1. Thanks Ree Dee. Stay tuned for more at tomorrow's stop. Cheers

    2. Thanks Ree Dee. Stay tuned for more at tomorrow's stop. Cheers

  7. Really enjoying each day's part of the novella, and the more I read about the book the more I want to have it!

    1. That's what I like to hear! Thanks Grandma Cootie. Cheers.

  8. Ahah!!! The plot thickens.