Today I am so pleased to welcome SJD Peterson to Joyfully Jay. Jo has come to share an exclusive excerpt with us from her upcoming release, My Hometown. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Jimmy had been back in town for two days and he hadn’t bothered to give Eric a call. He wasn’t sure why he was so surprised, considering Jimmy hadn’t even told him he was moving back home. Only reason he knew about it was from his mom.
Growing up they had been inseparable, their friendship the one thing that broke up the monotony of working the farm. Hell, when he and Jimmy did chores together, it had hardly felt like work at all. Sure, he still ended up with blisters on his hands, a sore back, and stinking by the end of the day. But they’d kept each other laughing, pulling foolish pranks on each other and made what should have been a miserable job fun.
That was a long time ago, he reminded himself.
Jimmy had moved on to fulfill his dream of being a doctor, and Eric…. Well, he was still here doing what he’d always done, but with much less enthusiasm than he once had.
“Hey, Eric, you want to come give me a hand?” Eric’s dad called from outside the barn.
“Be right there,” he yelled back. He finished coiling the ropes at his feet, hung them on a nail, and joined his dad, who was fiddling with the old tractor.
Dad pushed his cap back on his head and wiped his brow with the back of his forearm, his hands covered in black grease.
“I can’t figure this darn thing out. I’ve changed the plugs, checked the battery, and I can’t get it to turn over.”
“Did you check to make sure there’s gas in it?”
“It’s got a full tank, you smartass. I filled it up before I put it away last week.” Dad set his hat back on his head, pulling it down over his brow and shading his eyes from the bright afternoon sun. “Damn thing’s so old it’s probably best to put it out to pasture.”
Eric pulled up the hood and checked the tank. “It’s out of gas, you old fart,” Eric teased. “Maybe it’s you who needs to be put out to pasture.” He jumped just in time to avoid the hand his dad aimed at his head.
Dad didn’t chase him, instead he looked beneath the tractor and stood up with a scowl marring his brow. “I don’t get it. I know I filled that damn thing up and it ain’t leaking.”
“Did you happen to notice the mud on the wheel well?” Eric pointed out and ran his finger over the back tire, picking up a glob of it and holding it up.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“That ain’t no week-old mud. It’s fresh. My guess is that Josh has been mud boggin’ your tractor again.” Eric wiped the mud on the seat of his jeans.
“What the hell is wrong with that boy? I done told him I’d beat the tar out of him if he did it again,” Dad countered, his frown deepening.
“Nothing wrong with him. He’s sixteen, disobeying your parents is mandatory.” Eric patted his dad on the back. “Besides, your threats don’t hold the weight they once did. You’re getting soft in your old age.”
“Old age, my ass,” Dad grumbled. He pulled a bandana from his back pocket and wiped his hands. “You never gave me half the trouble your brother does.”
“Only ’cause I was a lot sneakier than he is,” Eric muttered and went and grabbed the gas can from the shed.
“What was that?”
“I got your gas,” Eric announced with a smirk, ignoring his dad’s question.
Regardless of what Dad said, he was going soft or maybe he was just plum tuckered out. Josh was the youngest of five boys and he and Josh were a lot alike, both getting into the same kind of trouble and neither of them could imagine ever living anywhere else but Hale.
It still boggled Eric’s mind how he and Jimmy had become such good friends. They might have been in the same grade, but Hank was only a year older than them and he had the same types of goals as Jimmy did. Hank was currently doing his residency up in Michigan. Or why Jimmy hadn’t been drawn to Phillip or
Garrett who were both nerds too, but of the computer type.
Didn’t matter the reasoning, he and Jimmy weren’t the best of anything anymore.
Jimmy Brink and Eric Halter grew up together in a small country town. While Eric has always been content with life as a rancher, Jimmy wanted more and moved to Chicago early on to pursue a medical career.
Life has a way of coming back around. When Jimmy’s parents decide to retire in Florida, Jimmy returns to his hometown to finish his residency at a local hospital. Flamboyant boyfriend Oliver in tow, Jimmy bumps into his old friend. Eric quickly takes a disliking to Oliver, though, and for good reason. Oliver proves he’s not only self-centered but also a cheater.
To complicate matters, Eric finds it more and more difficult to hide his attraction to his best friend. When the opportunity arises, he needs to decide whether to risk their friendship to pursue his feelings… but maybe Jimmy will see there’s more for him now than ever before in his hometown.
My Hometown is coming December 7th to Dreamspinner Press.
SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.