Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Lynda Simmons and her story Charmed, I’m Sure, along with a chapter from her serialized novella: The Ballad of Jimmy James!
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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!
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~ * ~ BLURB for Charmed, I’m Sure ~ * ~
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!
~ * ~ SPECIAL EXCERPT ~ * ~
The Ballad of Jimmy James
A Serialized Novella by Lynda Simmons
Susan slides off the table. “I should go.”
George shoves me out of the way and points a finger at her. “I remember you. You’re that bitch that talked my brother into running away. The one that caused all the trouble.”
“Back off George.” I wedge myself between them. “What are you doing here anyway?”
“Looking for you, you little pissant.” He jabs that finger into my shoulder. “I called the grocery store to add something to the list but you weren’t there. Or at the bakery, or the bank. You weren’t anywhere, so she sent me to find you. And trust me, the timer is running for real this time.” He turns to Susan. “As for you –”
“George, this is between you and me. Just let her walk away.”
His jaw works back and forth. His right eye twitches and he’s still sweating and breathing hard. My brother isn’t merely angry, he’s scared. But why?
I look over at her. “You should leave.”
She lifts her chin. “Will I see you tonight?”
“No, you will not,” George shouts. “Now get the hell out of here.”
“Everything alright out here?” Lucy asks, strolling around George to stand beside Susan.
“Everything’s great,” I tell her. “But Susan has a luncheon to get to.”
Still, Susan doesn’t move. “What about dinner?”
Lucy folds her arms. “Yeah, what about dinner?”
I don’t know what she thinks she knows, and right now I don’t care. What matters is getting Susan out of the way, and George home.
“Another time,” I tell Susan.
“Sure,” she says softly. “Another time.”
She turns to go and Lucy smacks a palm against her forehead. “You’re doing it again. Making a big mistake.”
George rounds on her. “Who the hell are you?”
“Doesn’t matter.” I turn him around, aim him at the front door so I don’t have to watch Susan walk out of my life again. “Let’s go,” I say, moving him along. “I’ll get my things and we’ll go home.”
“You bet your ass you will. What time is it anyway?”
“I don’t know.” And the strange thing is, I don’t care.
“Ten to twelve,” Lucy calls after us. “Still not too late.”
I have no idea what she’s talking about and no desire to find out as I escort George through the door and up to the counter. The place is still crowded with Michael Jackson on the turntable and the Pay What You Can ice cream container overflowing into a second, larger container. Tom will be pleased, even if I do have to shut things down now.
“Where’s mom?” I ask, sliding the money containers out of George’s reach.
“At home, where else? And you are in more shit than you can imagine.”
“You’d be surprised what I can imagine.” I cross to the turntable, am about to lift the needle on Billy Jean when the front door opens again. Making a mental note to lock it, I glance over and see a young man stepping inside with Lucy close behind.
“We’re closed,” George hollers.
“I don’t think so,” the young man says and smiles at me. “You must be Jimmy James.” He hurries forward, arm outstretched. “I’m David and I can’t thank you enough for holding down the fort.”
His handshake is firm and quick. “I like what you’ve done with the place. Loud music, lots of singing, dancing. I’ve never seen it like this.” He walks with me back to the counter. “I should send a picture to my dad.”
“How is he?” I ask, wheeling the bundle buggy closer.
“He’ll be okay, thanks to you.” He glances over at George then lowers his voice. “He’ll be really happy when I tell him you stayed. I don’t know why he was so afraid you’d leave before noon.”
“I didn’t either at first. But you can tell him I saw Susan, and we talked and all is good.”
“An old friend.”
“Tick, tock,” George says.
I wish David well, take one last look around, and go to join my brother at the door. “Let’s go.”
“Not so fast.” He takes a note from his pocket. “Read it and weep, bro.”
I unfold the square of paper. See two rows of my mother’s neat handwriting.
Jimmy James, you never fail to disappoint and are now stripped of Friday errands.
George will perform that important duty from now on. Mother.
“Give me the debit card and the list.” George snatches the bundle buggy out of my hand and checks the clock above the door. “And you better pray they still have KD on the shelf.”
I know now why he’s scared. He’s on the timer as well. Now that she’s discovered how well it works, my mother will start monitoring him by phone. He’ll likely have to check in from each store on her list, like punching a clock, in and out, for the rest of his life.
And me? I’ll be at home. Probably washing my mother’s hair or clipping her toenails. She’s been complaining about how hard those tasks are for her now, and since I’ll be right there, it only makes sense.
I glance up and see Lucy with the cat in her arms. The two of them watching me, heads tilted, waiting. The clock on the wall reads eleven fifty-nine. In one minute, it will be noon and whatever this is will be over. My choice will be made, my future decided.
And that’s when I know exactly what to do.
“Tell mom I won’t be coming back,” I say to George and open the drawer beneath the cash register. Fumble with the lid on the box then scoop up my bank book, my debit card, the cell phone I can’t wait to use.
“What are you doing?” George demands.
“I’m going to find Susan.”
And a place to live, and if I’m lucky, a job here with Tom.
I slap the list and my mother’s debit card into my brother’s hand. “It’s your turn in the tomb, bro.”
I head for the door, my heart beating too hard, too fast. But even if I die this very moment, it will be better than living one more day with my mother.
“Get back here,” George yells and comes after me, but he trips over a box I hadn’t noticed before and ends up sprawled on the floor.
Lucy and the cat follow me outside. “It’s going to be good,” she says. “I promise.”
I pause long enough to give her a hug. “Even if Susan and I only have dinner, I’m happier right now than I’ve been since that road trip.”
“God speed,” she says, waving me off. Then she and the cat stroll closer to the curb, and her voice carries to me on the breeze, “You there. You will face a great challenge tomorrow.”
And I thank those lucky stars that I was on her list today.
~ * ~ BUY Charmed, I’m Sure ~ * ~
~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~
Lynda Simmons will be giving away to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter givewaway Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
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Lynda Simmons, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤