Tough Love is Back (Soon!)

There once was an aspiring author who wrote five-and-a-half manuscripts in a romantic suspense series that she eventually called the “Tough Love series.” As was typical when an idea formed in this author’s head, secondary characters from one book spurred story ideas for another book and then another, hence the five-and-a-half books, written over the course of only a few months. (She was laid off from her day job at the time, which provided ample time for writing.)

With three of the books completed in rough draft format, the author began querying, hoping a big bad publisher with lots of clout would realize how fabulous this series was.

At the same time, this author had discovered Twitter, and on Twitter were these “pitch wars,” where you post a line or two from your book, and if a publisher likes it, they, well, “like” it, and then you reach out and send them your manuscript and then start praying and praying and praying that this is finally your big break.

So this particular aspiring author checked the first three manuscripts of this series she’d been working on and found what she thought was a clever line from not the first book, but the second. So she put it out there in Twitter-land.

And a publisher liked it.

Let me repeat: A. Publisher. Liked. It.

Naked Truth, which was supposed to be the second book in the Tough Love series, was published through Crimson Romance on June 30, 2014. That was followed by Undercover Heat on January 19, 2015, and Delicious Deception on August 3, 2015. When this author sent the fourth book to the acquiring editor at Crimson Romance, they turned it down, and since this author had already started to self-publish at that time, she decided not to offer any more books to publishers, because keeping all her royalties made a hella lot more sense than sharing with someone else, especially since she was making enough by that point to cover the costs of covers and editing.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, that author is me. This is the short version of the creation of my Tough Love series. And the reason I’m sharing this info is because I have now gained my rights for the series from the publisher, so that I can self-publish what was my debut as a published author.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been re-reading the books in the series, updating a few things, cleaning up the writing that has obviously improved over the last five years (although I will say, these books were well-edited from the get-go!). This process has made me realize a few things…

  1. My writing has changed. Improvement is obvious. It better happen. If a writer doesn’t improve, well…But aside from improvement, my style is different now. I definitely included a lot more sex five years ago. These books are heavy on plot, but also heavy on steam. I’ve noticed recently, my books have been heavy on plot and the steam has been coming more slowly. There’s more anticipation and buildup now, whereas five years ago, my characters most definitely dove into the sack as quickly as they could.
  2. I still really like this series. A lot. Of the three, I love Undercover Heat the most, but I adore all the characters from all the books, and I was a little bit sad when I finished Delicious Deception and realized I had to say goodbye to these old friends…again.
  3. That made me realize that I cannot wait to (re)share this series with you all! There’s a strong likelihood that you haven’t read it, because once Crimson was acquired by a much larger publisher a few years ago, their titles basically quit getting marketed. They were also published at a higher price-point than I usually set my books. And since I had plenty of self-published titles to market to you all, I didn’t spend much time pushing these books that were going to make someone else money and not me.
  4. Even though I’m so excited to get these babies back out there for the world to read, it looks like it will be October before they get published. There are a lot of factors that went into this decision. First and foremost, I have to wait for the current publisher to take them off sale everywhere. Even though I have my rights reversal letters in hand, it takes time for distributors (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.) to pull the original copies. And since these were available in print and ebook format, I imagine that only increases the amount of time it takes. Additionally, I already have a new release scheduled for September (the fourth book in my Taming the Dragon series, for those of you interested, comes out on September 24!), and I’ve run myself ragged trying to do too much promotion at one time in the past, and I learned my lesson. Thus, October it is!
  5. Re-reading these three books has spurred ideas for other characters who play roles in these stories. Naked Truth starts at Cullen and Sabrina’s wedding, and they are characters from the original first book in the series, which I never published. I don’t know why I didn’t, other than the decision to try to sell Naked Truth to the publisher instead of that one. So I’m definitely going to dig out their manuscript and see if it’s worthy of publication, too. Additionally, there’s a character named Court from Undercover Heat who I’d forgotten how much I adored, and I know I have at least a half-written book for him, too. And then there’s Connor’s sister from Delicious Deception. (It was her story that was rejected by the publisher, but I have an idea for tweaking it that I think will make all the difference in the world!)
  6. What’s really cool about this (to me) is that it has stirred that creative pot in my head and now I’m excited about writing more romantic suspense! It’s been a few years since I’ve written in this genre. I’ve been focused on paranormal and romcom, because that’s where my head has been. And honestly, I think that initial rejection, after the publisher accepted three other books from me, got in my head and maybe caused a little bit of writer’s block for that genre. But I’m back now, baby!

So get ready. Stay tuned for…

New covers! Ohmigod, I love what my cover artist is doing with the covers! I can’t wait to share!

Teasers. I love the teasers. When a scene makes me laugh out loud, I immediately want to share with the world!

And, eventually, links to grab the books, so you too care share my love of this series.

Oh, and if you aren’t following me on Facebook, that’s the best place to get all this info: TAMI LUND AUTHOR PAGE.

Talk to you soon!

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author who writes romance in various sub-genres, including paranormal, romcom, and (once again) romantic suspense! Here’s her website: https://tamilund.com/

 

 

No Jerks On Monday

“No, no, no. This is all wrong,” a woman’s shrill voice penetrates the quiet of the cellar. The normally echo-y building has been peaceful to this point. I lift my gaze from the emails I’ve been going over and glance around.

“This is not what I wanted. The linen is the wrong shade of white, the flowers aren’t pink enough, and you haven’t changed the menu despite my express wishes. The spot you picked out for the ceremony just won’t do. You’re ruining my wedding.”

I roll my gaze to the ceiling. Bloody drama queen.

“I’m sure we can figure this out,” Sarah, our new cellar manager, says. “How about we sit and talk about the changes you would like, and then I can show you several more spots on the property where you might prefer to host the ceremony.”

I go back to reading. Sarah was Evan’s assistant for the last few years, and while she isn’t quite where I would have liked her to be training-wise before I promoted her, she’s been part of Anders long enough that she should have this handled.

“The only good thing about this awful place is the wine,” the woman snaps. “If you can’t do the job I’m paying you for, I want my deposit back. And don’t expect that I’ll keep quiet about your ineptitude. I’ll contact every bridal magazine and tell them not to bother with this place.”

Well, that would be fine by me. The wine’s all that matters.

Except my mother would be heartbroken, and the business that comes in from weddings might suffer if the bride follows through with her threat.

I blow out a breath and shut my laptop before joining them. Sarah doesn’t have it handled. In fact, her eyes are a wide as a bunny’s, her breath speeding like she’s caught in a spotlight, and this bridezilla in her tacky orange spray tan and teensy tiny white dress is holding the rifle with her candy-colored talon resting on the trigger.

Not good.

“How’s everything going, ladies?”

They both turn their gazes on me; Sarah’s full of worry, our bridezilla shooting me a look from under heavy mascara that could intimidate someone other than myself. It sweeps over me and lights up as I take her hand. I don’t know why, but women seem to like me on first meeting. Most of them. Except one in particular.

“I’m Jake Anders. And you must be…”

“Candy St. James,” she says, the shrill replaced by a huskier tone.

“Sarah, could you please go get us a bottle of…” I scan Candy from head to toe. American. Likes to think she’s sophisticated, but I doubt that she’s as refined as she thinks she is. Definitely a bubbly drinker. Probably a three-dollar bottle of Passion Pop kind of girl, but I’m not about to suggest it. “Moscato. Sparkling. The batch from 2012.”

Candy’s lips sweep open on an “oh.”

“Are you sure?” Sarah asks. That wasn’t our best year. But her asking probably makes it sound like it’s better than it is, which works in our favor.

“Absolutely,” I say.

Sarah leaves us to search out a bottle, and with a hand to her elbow, I guide Candy toward a table at the front of the building with a panoramic view of the sprawling emerald lawn surrounded by rows and rows of vines. It’s a pretty view. One that never fails to make my chest swell. “Why don’t we take a seat and you can tell me what we can do to make your day perfect.”

“Well…” Candy pulls a binder out of her Mary Poppins-sized tote, places it on the table, and starts flipping through the pages. And then she rattles off a list of grievances so long I zone out.

I have never understood the fascination of weddings. Women become downright swoony at the idea of a white dress and vows. Obsessive. Lithe, hungry demons really. I’ve yet to meet a woman who doesn’t get a far-off look in her eye when it comes to weddings.

But it’s the commitment after that matters. Not whether it’s fucking sunny on that particular day or if the flowers are the right color. Pink is pink, for Christ’s sake.

Hell, my mother spent thirty years with a man who not only put work above her but didn’t tell her he was sick until he found out it was terminal. And my sister is trying to get a divorce from a man she never should have married in the first place.

And the one time I considered it…

Sarah comes back with the wine and glasses. I pour one for the bride and hand it to her. “Okay, let’s start with the biggest issue. Location? What would you need to make it perfect?”

“I want it outside. With the vines in the background. Your planner showed me your usual spots, but the one that would work is next to a pond. There are ducks. I don’t want water fowl waddling around, crapping everywhere.”

Is Monday the kind of girl who falls for this whole cock and bull? Probably. I shift in my chair. Who gives a shit if the auditor is a romantic at heart? It’s none of my business.

“Okay, I have a couple of ideas for you.” I gesture for Sarah to bring the photo album of locations at the vinery. “Let’s have a look at your options and then we can take a tour and check them out before you make your decision.”

“Mmm,” Candy says, sipping her sparkling wine. “One thing I know for sure is, this wine is incredible. How’d you know?”

“Call it my wine sense. It’s sort of a sixth sense for pairing people with wine.”

“Whatever it is, you nailed it. We absolutely must serve it at the reception.”

“Of course.” Whatever the bride wants, she gets.

It’s a good two hours before we finally have all her issues rectified. Sarah joined us to take notes as we went through every little detail. Now Sarah’s walking the bride-to-be to her car.

I head behind the bar to filch the bottle of scotch I keep stashed there. Wine is my world, but after that meeting, I need a proper drink. I pour two fingers into a glass and settle in front of my laptop.

Sarah joins me at the bar a few minutes later. “I’m sorry. Evan always handled the difficult cases.”

“He had a way with the bridezillas,” I agree.

She smiles and tucks a tendril of brunette hair behind her ear. “He learned from the best. Your mum is brilliant with all this stuff. I’m just…”

“It’s fine. I’ve thrown you in the deep end with this one. And that woman is a bridezilla if I’ve ever seen one.”

“Well, at least she left happy,” Sarah says, collecting the glasses and the leftover wine.

“Yeah.” And I didn’t have a drink tossed in my face.

I roll my gaze to the beams overhead. Monday wasn’t happy at our meeting. Neither was I. And I’m pretty sure I acted like a tosser during it.

Perhaps I should try to make peace with her since my business is in her hands. A little light-hearted banter ought to bring her around. Grinning, I pull out my phone and tap out a quick text.

 

Me: Clearly not all American women think I’m an arse.

 

I don’t get a response until much later in the evening while I’m in the shower. Dripping wet, shampoo still in my hair, I stumble out of the bathroom half-blinded by soap to pick up my phone. Who does that? Me. I’ll do anything for the winery, including trying not to irritate the gorgeous blonde who holds the power to stop the largest distributer in the US from dealing with my business. A deal I need if I want to grow Anders Valley Vineyard as aggressively as I plan to.

 

Monday: Sorry. Who is this?

 

I have her number and she has mine, but I suppose it would make sense that she doesn’t have my information stored in her cell phone. I consider telling her, but where’s the fun in that? I reply on my way back to the bathroom.

 

Me: The jerk.

Monday: Which jerk?

 

I raise an eyebrow as I study those two words on the lock screen through the glass shower paneling. So it’s not just me then? Either she has a thing for jackasses or she’s uptight and judgemental. It’s hard to tell. I wash out the shampoo and take a moment to dry off before responding again.

 

Me: You know more than one?

 

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Those little dots go on forever. Long enough for me to clean up the bathroom and stretch out in bed. One hand tucked under my head, I glare at the dots. Is she writing a damn essay on how all men are dicks? If so, that would explain a lot. Sure, I wasn’t having a great night when we met, but her reaction was over the top. If this is a standard thing for her though… Maybe she just needs someone to show her we’re not all arseholes.

 

Me: All women like my wine. This one drank it like a civilized being though instead of tossing it in my face.

Monday: Jake Anders????

 

That wasn’t so hard. My lip tugs up on one side. I’m never going to let her live it down. The experience was unforgettable.

 

Me: That’s the one. Knew you’d be able to figure it out.

Monday: Why are you telling me this?

 

Good question. I guess I want to prove I’m not as big a jerk as she thinks I am. It’s as a good excuse as any to text her. And come on, it’s funny.

 

Me: Thought you might like to know most women don’t find it necessary to douse me in rosé.

 

I wait for her to respond. Or send a laughing emoji or a winky face or something to suggest she finds it as funny as I do. I get nothing.

What if she didn’t find it funny at all?

No Jerks on Monday

 

^^^That is a tidbit from my latest release, NO JERKS ON MONDAY.

Here’s what it’s about:

Jake Anders looks like he should be on the cover of an Australian firefighters calendar;

instead he owns a winery that makes a fabulous rosé.

The first time I met him, he was a jerk.

And then he became my client.

And he started acting distinctly non-jerky.

So I set out to prove it was all a ruse.

My ploy didn’t work.

And now, we’ve slept together.

If this is nothing but a one-night stand, I am so screwed.

You can grab it on Amazon. Happy reading!

~Tami Lund & Misti Murphy

Wine Country and Wine Books

I’ve just returned from a trip to northern California, where I visited both Sonoma and Napa Valley. My trip can be summed up in one word: Fantastic. Maybe one more word: Wine.

However, blogs were not meant to be short and sweet, so let me expound.

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It was my twentieth wedding anniversary (I know! Can you believe it? Yeah, we were babies when we tied the knot. Babies, I tell ya!). My husband joined me, of course. (Might have been a tad awkward if I’d gone for our anniversary without him.) The best man from our wedding (and his wife) and my bestie-in-the-whole-wide-world, aka maid of honor (well, she was technically matron since she got married first, but that term sounds lame, so we stuck with maid) and her husband, and the parents of our flower girl and ring bearer (Who are also super amazing besties of ours–the parents, I mean. The kids are cool, too, though.) all joined us.

(Side note – yes, another one – we suggested the ring bearer and flower girl join us for the next trip, since, crazy enough, they’re of age, which is so weird considering they were these two totally adorable toddlers walking–and maybe a little bit of running–down the aisle at my wedding. But then again, I guess that whole thing did happen two decades ago!)

Anywhooooo, so we vacationed in Cali, these four couples who have known each other for far more than two decades. Which is crazy, because are we even old enough to have friends that long? Okay, okay, maybe I’m referring to the way we act. But hey, if you can’t have fun with your besties…

I won’t bore you with every single detail (not that a single detail was remotely boring–not even that morning three of us woke up early and went hiking, legit hiking, on a mountain that just happened to be at the end of the street on which the house we were renting was located. Of note, we are not from states in which hiking on mountains at the end of the road is a thing, so yeah, we may have been a tad excited.)

I will tell you that it was magnificent, every single aspect, from the wine to the food (we highly recommend Brix in Napa Valley and the Depot Hotel Restaurant in Sonoma) to the company (the laughs, oh my gosh, the laughs!) was utterly and spectacularly perfect.

I will also leave you with a funny story from our trip (and a reminder that I just wrote a book about wine country–okay, okay, it’s based in Australia, but it’s still about a winery, specific a super hot guy who owns a winery, and it’s well worth the read if you’re into, well, wine country, and also romantic comedy or maybe just my books in general. It’s called No Jerks on Monday in case you want to check it out.).

No Jerks on Monday

So here’s the story: My bestie and her husband started their vacay early–they flew into San Francisco on Monday and on Wednesday, when the rest of us arrived, we picked them up and headed north to Wine Country. While we were at dinner on Wednesday, they told us a story about a food tour they’d gone on in downtown SF. It was quite the pleasant experience, until a presumably homeless man stepped in the middle of their group while the tour guide was giving details about whatever building they happened to be standing in front of.

She didn’t miss a beat, keeping her cool and nodding at the guy as he talked gibberish while gesturing wildly. She carried on as if this was a completely normal part of the tour. And then, after he muttered something about someone named “Steven,” she said, “Oh, yes, I know Steven.”

At which point the homeless guy shouted, “STEVEN IS A BITCH.”

And the tour guide, still without missing a beat, said, “And we’re walking,” and herded her group down the sidewalk and on to the next stop.

We found this story outrageously hilarious, and proceeded to insert “Steven is a bitch” into every conversation we possibly could. It became our “That’s what she said” of the weekend.

Oh, but it gets better.

Thursday morning, we went on the Sonoma Food, Wine & History Tour (if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it, and ask for Abby because she’s amazing, as you’ll learn in just a moment).

Our tour guide, as I just noted, was Abby. Friendly, bubbly, made a point to get to know every person in the group. We were comfortable with her in probably less than twenty minutes.

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The tour started right outside the Depot Park Museum in downtown Sonoma. Abby was giving us a bit of history about the area, including the fact that the now-defunct tracks we were standing next to used to carry a train full of basalt (which was excavated from the mountain right there in Sonoma) into San Francisco to be loaded onto boats to be carried who knows where in the world.

An elderly woman who clearly worked or volunteered at the museum happened to be walking by at the precise moment Abby mentioned San Francisco, and the woman snapped, “No, that’s not where it went. It went to blah blah blah [I don’t even know what she said, to be honest]. You should come into the museum so you can learn something.” And then she stuck her nose in the air and stomped away.

At which point someone in our group muttered, “Annnnd Steven is a bitch.”

And then we collapsed against each other, laughing hysterically, while poor Abby looked on, quite mystified. Until we filled her in on the joke.

Which she proceeded to use to her advantage for the duration of the tour.

So, yeah, we had a marvelous time. I can’t wait to go back.

~*~

No Jerks on Monday

 

Tami Lund is an author and wine drinker who writes books about sexy winery owners. Take a peek at No Jerks on Monday HERE.

Run with the Wolves (aka discounted PNR books!)

WP Run June 2019 4.jpg

Have you ever checked out these Wolf Pack Runs before? If you’re into paranormal reads, it’s well worth your time.

There are mountain lions and spirits and dragons and faeries and wolves and aliens and witches and gargoyles and a phoenix and vampires and magic and cyborgs and surely there’s something on this list that makes you curious!

Click here to learn more>>>WOLF PACK RUN

PS – There’s also a giveaway. A couple of Amazon gift cards. So yeah…click the link above and grab your summer reads!

into-the-light-tami-lund-final

PSS – The first book in my Lightbearer series is in this Wolf Pack Run, and it’s only 99 cents!      ~Tami Lund

Too Much Fun Scheduled…

It’s graduation/wedding/end of school season. For me personally, it’s also wedding anniversary-slash-daughter’s birthday season. Oh yeah, and summer; trying to get in every single possible second of glorious sunshine-filled days because I live in Michigan and fully understand how few and fleeting those days are.

This summer, so far, I’ve only received one wedding invite; scheduled for the last day of my vacation, no less. But I do have plenty of high school graduations. In fact, I had two invites for last weekend and two more for this upcoming one. There’s also my brother-in-law’s birthday party and my niece’s horse show, my daughter’s last day of school, and prepping (mentally and literally) for the vacation my husband and I are taking for our twentieth wedding anniversary (!!). And as soon as we return, it’s my daughter’s birthday, and after that, I think summer slows down for a few weeks until our annual family vacation (and that wedding) toward the end of July. Thank God.

Oh crap, and I just realized Father’s Day falls in there, too!

Meanwhile, I’m riddled with guilt as I try to juggle two jobs, a teenager, nurturing my garden so I can have fresh salsa by the end of summer, attempting to lose a few pounds so I actually don’t hate the way I look in my swimsuit; on top of all those obligations listed above. Which, by the way, ultimately, will be fun, so honestly, calling them obligations isn’t the correct term, but that’s how I feel at the moment.

Because it’s too much. And yet I want to—or at least feel obligated to—do it all. Two of the grad parties are for children of cousins whose parents are brothers, so optimally I’d like to only do one, but is that really fair? Truthfully, I may not be able to do either, which only adds yet another layer to my constant companion, Guilt.

And then there’s the reality that my husband and I chose to get married on Father’s Day weekend all those years ago, so we have to figure out how to celebrate that special event, honor three fathers (my husband and both our dads), as well as make my daughter feel special on her birthday, which is also right there in the mix. Oh, and three of my five nieces have birthdays all that same week as my daughter. This summer in particular, I am so grateful we enrolled my daughter in the school she currently attends if only because they end their school year a week before her old one does; otherwise, that grand event would be happening right smack in the middle of everything else listed in this paragraph.

Oy, we should have planned out our lives better!

I know, I know, that isn’t how it works, but that comment makes me chuckle because I am, while not strictly Type A, most definitely a planner, and I need to make everything fit, everything work; find order on the chaos that has become my June calendar. (Yes, I still use a paper calendar. Two of them, as a matter of fact. Because I don’t care what you say, it’s just easier.)

And so, up front, before the event-filled weekends even arrive, I have to mentally make the decisions: What will we do? What will we decline? And those decisions are, admittedly, made with my coveted writing time in mind.

If I go to the work event on Friday, the graduation on Saturday, the dinner party on Saturday, and the graduation on Sunday, when will I have time to write?  And so I start trimming obligations, so that I can sit on my backporch and work on yet another novel for your enjoyment.

Because I enjoy it too. And I don’t feel obligated to do it; I simply want to. Which is how writing ultimately is the winner in the end.

Rather, you are.

 

Dragon in Denial Cover FINAL

Tami Lund writes books and drinks copious amounts of wine to combat the guilt of choosing writing over all that fun stuff she should be doing. This book just released on May 31, if you want to check it out!

DRAGON IN DENIAL

 

 

Vote for Me! Vote for Me! Vote for Me!

Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Oh, you want to know what I’m asking you to vote for! Well, it’s a book. One of my favorites. Okay, yeah, they’re all my favorite in one way or another.

This one is special because it’s about a sexy billionaire, which, true confession, is not a trope I’m particularly fond of. But I wrote it, because my co-author, Misti Murphy, and I came up with what we thought was a funny and adorable way to write this story. Crazy enough, the fact that the hero is a billionaire isn’t even significant to the plot.

Handsome man or muscular macho

And if the review of SEXY BAD BOSS from InD’tale Magazine is any indication, we nailed it.

The review I’m referring to is what got SEXY BAD BOSS nominated for a RONE Award.

(Psst: I won a RONE Award in 2016 for my book, UNDERCOVER HEAT. Isn’t it pretty? It sits on my mantel in all its fingerprint-covered glory.)

Rone Award

Now it’s three years later and I have a chance to give my adorable (and pride-inducing) RONE a partner up there above the fireplace.

I NEED YOUR HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

I need your vote to move SEXY BAD BOSS to the final round!

Oh, speaking of, here’s what InD’tale Magazine’s reviewer thought was so awesome about this book:

“This steamy romance is hilarious and absolutely unique in that the big, sexy, rich boss man has no clue of his own allure. He is not a playboy, nor does he even have a clue that his own gorgeous assistant is in love with him. Myra is driven and talented and knows what she wants. The connection between the two sizzles, yet communication was somewhat lacking in a few parts. James was a little too straight-laced in the beginning, but once he opens up, he is all fire and passion and when he thinks he has lost Myra for good, he goes to any length to win her back. Add in an adorable little girl, a goat, a duck and a cat, and you have yourself a smoking hot, witty, adorable and heartwarming romance!”

On that note, if you could spare a moment, I’d love your vote so this [potentially] award-winning book can move on to the final round of judging!

Here’s how to do it:

1. Click the link that’s below all these pesky instructions. You must register on the website in order to vote (their rules, not mine).
2. Click ‘login’ at the top right of the page.
3. Click ‘I want to create an account.’
4. Fill in all necessary info. They do nothing with your email address so don’t worry – no spam!
5. Once you’re registered, you will need to actually log in.
6. Go to the menu and click IND’SCRIBE/RONES.
7. Select ‘2019 RONE Awards’ then week six.
8. First category is Contemporary Steamy – that’s where SEXY BAD BOSS is located!! Select my book then select VOTE!
9. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! 💖💖

https://www.indtale.com/2019-rone-awards-week-six

Handsome man or muscular macho

Tami Lund writes romance books that are sometimes nominated for awards. But they can only win if YOU vote. So, thank you for your vote!
PS – here’s her website if you want to check out her other books:

 

DC From My Perspective

My husband and daughter were recently gone for five nights and four days. My daughter is in eighth grade and we live in Michigan, and it’s an eighth grade “thing” here to go to Washington DC.

Since my husband is a history buff and also can survive on less than seven hours of sleep per night, he was a chaperone for this trip.

Which meant the dog and I were home alone for FOUR GLORIOUS DAYS.

Oops, who added that extra word in that sentence?

Here’s how the Washington DC trip went from my perspective:

I arrive home from work on Wednesday evening and my husband says, “Will you be able to pick us up on Monday morning?”

Me: “What in the world are you talking about?”

Him: “The bus is leaving tonight and is scheduled to arrive back at the school [which is a Catholic school – this will be important in a moment] at 8:30 Monday morning. Can you pick us up?”

Me: “You have a perfectly well-functioning vehicle. Why would I pick you up?”

Him: “I don’t want to leave my truck there for four days.”

Me: “In a church parking lot?” [See, told you it would be important!]

Him: “I mean, I guess, as a last resort, I suppose I’ll have to…”

Me: “I typically arrive at work at 8:15. To a job that is an hour away. If I pick you up and take you home I won’t get to work until 10 am. What, again, is your issue with leaving your truck in a church parking lot for a few days?”

Him: “I just don’t want to. But if it’s an inconvenience for you…”

Me: “It’s an inconvenience for my employer. Who pays half our bills.”

Him: …

Me, accompanied by an eye roll: “In case you forgot, your mom is retired and generally loves to help out with pretty much anything.”

Him, texting away to Mom but speaking to me: “So this means you’ll drop us off tonight at seven?”

Cue drop off. Followed by a stop at grocery store for weekend provisions. Read: wine.

Then bedtime. After putting fresh sheets on the bed. And then I lie down, spread eagle in the middle of the bed, and enjoy the utterly heavenly lack of snoring.

Single people don’t know how awesome they have it

Day two of Washington DC trip:

Go to work. Get there early because, no school drop off. Hope I can wrap everything up and leave a little early since otherwise the dog will be stuck home alone for ten hours.

10 am, mother-in-law texts: Do you think your dog would like a play date with mine?

Me, texting back: YES.

Later that evening, after work: I think I’ll have a couple of drinks instead of walk the dog…

Day three of Washington DC trip:

Go to work. Get home from work. Walk the dog. Best friend calls.

Her: “What are you up to?”

Me, pouring wine: “I’m home alone at the moment.”

Her: “Me too!”

Conversation proceeds for two hours and half a bottle of wine. Okay, okay, maybe more than half.

Day four of Washington DC trip:

It’s Saturday. My favorite writing day, usually. Except I committed to participating in a 5k race. (By participate I mean walk.) Which then leads to lunch, drinks, a visit to a nearby wine store.

Me: Single people really have no idea how great they have it.

Day five of Washington DC trip:

The house is clean, the dog is walked, the grass is mowed, the laundry is done and holy shit I still have six hours before Game of Thrones. This has been a glorious DC trip.

I suppose I do miss them a little, but damn, it’s nice to have a clean house and no snoring. I haven’t slept this well in twenty years.

Day six of Washington DC trip:

It’s Monday. Alarm goes off. That was my last night with the bed all to myself. Also, no snoring.

I’m gonna miss the no snoring.

My phone vibrates with a text.

Husband: “Bus is early. We should be there around 7:30. Can you pick us up?”

Me: Ugh. Grimace. I don’t do well with last minute changes of plans on Monday mornings, even if it means I’ll get to see them before I head to work. “I suppose.”

Him: “Great! See you soon!”

Seven-twenty-five: I pull into my parking space at the church, where a whole bunch of other vehicles are parked and appear to have been there for the last five days, and a moment later, the bus pulls up and starts belching out exhausted looking kids and parents.

Me: Heart gives a funny little lurch when hubby and then daughter step off the bus.

Okay, maybe I did miss them.

But I still didn’t miss the snoring.

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Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and really does love her husband and daughter. Although she could definitely do without the husband’s snoring. Check out her website for the latest release: https://tamilund.com/

PS – This book right here is on sale for only 99c right now, and it’s the first in a great new dragon series. And book three, Dragon in Denial, is releasing soon…