Today I am so pleased to welcome Alice Archer to Joyfully Jay. Alice has come to talk to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, The Infinite Onion. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Before I could stop him, Copper Man scooped up Kai and set him in a trailer attached to a bicycle.
“This is the ride? In a bike trailer?” I felt too weary to suppress my disdain.
“Yep. Climb in, unless you want to walk in the rain to wherever you’re headed, which can’t be close, ’cause there’s no one out this way but me.”
More rain splatted onto my head. I looked around for any option other than the humiliation of climbing into a tiny trailer to be hauled away like a load of garbage by an artistic hippie, but there was nothing except fresh, damp nature as far as the eye could see. A field of tall grass sloped down to a wall of evergreens. Though I felt weary to the bone, the beauty gave me a jolt of hope. I drew in a slow breath and wondered what bargain I’d have to make with what god to be a king in the country instead of a serf in the city.
I met Copper Man’s amused gaze. He stood beside the trailer with his arms folded, waiting for me to get my act together.
“Uncle Grant.” Kai curled into a ball in the trailer. “I’m cold.”
I shed my leather jacket before Copper Man could untie his sweater from his waist. “Sit up,” I told Kai. When he did, I draped the jacket around his shoulders.
“It’s not far,” Copper Man said. He put a leg over the bike. “Then I can give you a ride in my van to wherever you need to go.”
I squeezed into the trailer, only because my humiliation, like the cold rain, threatened to turn pervasive and bitchy. I just wanted it to be over. Kai huddled between my knees and I hugged him close to warm him up.
“All set?” Copper Man asked.
“I guess.” I knew I sounded like an ungrateful ass, but I was too disappointed in myself and worried about the impending lecture from Mitch to care what a stranger thought of me. As soon as we got out of the rain I’d call Mitch. I patted my jacket pocket, to make sure I hadn’t left my phone in the ditch.
The bike wobbled and slid in the gravel for a few yards. We bounced along at a sharp clip that rattled my vertebrae, heading farther from Mitch’s property. A lone driveway came into view on the right. 24281 Violetta Road, according to a fancy sign hung from a big mailbox. A red flag flapped on a pole beside the mailbox. We stopped long enough for Copper Man to unclip the red flag, stuff it into the mailbox, pull out a green flag, and clip it on.
The creative vibe emanating from the dude exhausted me.
“Almost there,” he said in his clear voice. “You okay back there?”
No. Rain began to seal the shoulders of my T-shirt to my skin. My butt bones hurt more with each bump of the trailer. The driveway went on forever, around curves, up and down hills.
I stared up at Copper Man’s back. He didn’t seem winded in the least. His wet T-shirt hugged the moving planes of his back. I hated him for a moment for knowing how to get things done.
The crunch of gravel, the racket of the trailer, the rush of wind and rain made raising my voice to answer his question seem like too much effort.
As we started up a short rise, the irksome man began to whistle a tune so bright with unwarranted cheeriness it made my skin crawl.
The truth is harder to hide when someone sharp starts poking around.
Grant Eastbrook hit the ground crawling after his wife kicked him out. Six months later, in Seattle without a job or a place to live, he escapes to the woods of nearby Vashon Island to consider his options. When he’s found sleeping outdoors by a cheerful man who seems bent on irritating him to death, Grant’s plans to resuscitate his life take a peculiar turn.
Oliver Rossi knows how to keep his fears at bay. He’s had years of practice. As a local eccentric and artist, he works from his funky home in the deep woods, where he thinks he has everything he needs. Then he rescues an angry man from a rainy ditch and discovers a present worth fighting the past for.
Amid the buzz of high summer, unwelcome attraction blooms on a playing field of barbs, defenses, and secrets.
Alice has questions. Lots of questions. Scheming to put fictional characters through the muck so they can get to a better place helps her heal and find answers. She shares her stories with the hope that others might find some healing too. For decades, Alice has messed about with words professionally, as an editor and writing coach. She also travels a bunch. Her home base is Eugene, Oregon.
Connect with Alice:
- Website: www.alicearcher.com
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- Facebook: facebook.com/byalicearcher
- Twitter: twitter.com/byalicearcher
- Instagram: instagram.com/byalicearcher
Join us to celebrate the release of THE INFINITE ONION by Alice Archer with this special giveaway. 3 prizes: 1 e-copy of critically acclaimed EVERYDAY HISTORY; 1 e-copy of THE INFINITE ONION; 1 grand prize of a paperback copy of THE INFINITE ONION. Must be 18 to enter and win. Physical prizes mailed only with the USA; international winners will receive e-copy.
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