Today I am so pleased to welcome Ardy Kelly to Joyfully Jay. Ardy has come to talk to us about a new release, Troy’s Happy Ending. Ardy has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving a big welcome!

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Exclusive Excerpt

An hour later (and after three attempts), Troy managed to get the truck in second gear. Even that wasn’t preventing a line of cars from building up behind him. Afraid their horns and angry shouts would attract the police, Troy pulled out of traffic at the sight of his first hitchhiker. The truck skidded on the gravel turn-out, almost turning the stranger into road kill.

Although he expected to be berated, the friendly, grandfatherly faced man greeted him with a smile. “Masterful driving, my young buck. I thought at first you meant to do me in.”

The man’s expression grew puzzled. He leaned in and sniffed. “A fellow shifter? Wolf, I think.” Troy nodded, and the man stepped back. “I am a fox. Natural prey to your kind.”

“I’m not like other wolves. I’m an omega. I’m Troy.” He thrust out his hand as he always did after giving his name. It was a reflex gesture from working in the store all his life.

Surprised, the man stepped forward and shook it. “Ah, the rarest of all shifters. It is a true pleasure to make your acquaintance, Troy. I am Peabody Aquine Merriweather, but my friends call me Peeb. And since I expect you and I to become fast friends, you may also.”

“Do you have a driver’s license?”

“I have several.”

“Can you drive a stick shift?”

“My boy, I’m old enough to remember when automatic transmissions were a luxury few of us could afford.”

Troy sighed in relief. “If you’ll drive, I’m happy to give you a ride anywhere. Just throw your things in the back.”

Peeb slid behind the wheel and deftly pulled into traffic.

“Forgive my prying, my generous gentleman, but you said you’d take me anywhere. Am I to assume you have no destination you wish to pursue?” When Troy shook his head, Peeb raised an eyebrow. “My mind is overcome conjuring circumstances that would leave you on your own. Surely no pack would banish an omega?”

“I wasn’t banished,” Troy replied, worried Peeb would think the worst of him. “I ran away.”

The man nodded. “A case of thwarted love, no doubt. It’s a common enough tale. The pack alpha wanted to mate you himself?”

Troy nodded, surprised to find an understanding soul, as a tear streamed down his face.

Peeb allowed Troy a minute to compose himself before asking, “So what is your plan?”

Troy wiped his eyes with the jacket sleeve. “I don’t really have a plan. I just wanted to escape.”

“And so you have, my resourceful runaway. Congratulations on achieving your goal. Tonight, maybe, we shall set you a new one. A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. Constantly at the mercy of where the wind should blow him.”

Troy couldn’t think about the future. Too many dreams had been taken from him today. “What’s your goal?”

“My ultimate goal is to relocate to Florida. These winters are getting too hard on my arthritis. I wish to live in The Villages. Have you heard of it? Probably not. Retirement communities hold no appeal to the young. My dream is a sweet little cottage with a one-golfcart garage.”

“We’re going to Florida?” Troy asked.

“No one goes to Florida for the summer, my lad. No. I must spend the dog days laboring. The Villages is not cheap. Luxury never is. So acquiring funds is my most-pressing goal.”

“What do you do?”

“What do I do? Let me think on it a moment.” His fingers tapped against the steering wheel. “People have called me many things over the years, but the one word that best sums up my true talent is ‘opportunist.’ I have an unerring eye in finding opportunities to enrich myself. But enough about me. We must identify your goal.”

Troy hung his head. “I can’t imagine any future right now.”

“I understand. But moments of melancholy can often be the perfect time to reflect. Sometimes, the only way to find what we want is to identify the things we don’t want.”

“I never want to go back to Black Hills.”

“Perfect. Black Hills is off the list. Are you the type who craves a pack?”

That was the last thing Troy wanted. “Are you in a pack?”

“Mother of pearl, no! Like yourself, I am an outlier on the shifter spectrum. For I am an aesthetic. Shifter culture is too often obsessed with speed, stealth, and strength. The power of the intellect is scorned. As a consequence, I chose a solitary life.”

“Don’t you get lonely?”

“Fate always intervenes to drop some new fascinating subject onto my path. And tonight it is you! Let us pool our resources and travel together for a while. Would that suit you?”

“Oh yes!”

“Good,” Peeb said. “Now, what exactly are your resources?”

“I’ve been told I’m very creative.”

“That couldn’t please me more. But I was talking specifically about money. Do you have any? Say, enough for dinner? My funds aren’t terribly liquid right now.”

With the trauma of the day, Troy hadn’t eaten at all. “I’d be happy to buy you dinner. It’s the least I can do to repay you for driving.”

“It is I who should be repaying you. And I shall. But first, how hot is this truck?”

“It’s my dad’s.” His eyes teared again. “I mean, it was. He died this morning.”

“My poor boy. You lost two people you loved today?” He pulled the truck off the road and parked it behind an outcropping of trees.  “We are kindred spirits, my brave brother. Both of us were born shifters but destined to always be on the outside looking in. The gods have been especially cruel to you today. But sometimes, from the furnace of misery and pain, something unbreakable is forged.”

Troy’s jaw dropped. “Do you mind if I quote you?” He pulled his notebook out of his pocket. “I want to be an author.”


Blurb

troy's happy ending“When life gives me lemons, I use them as ammunition. I’ve had to fight for my happy ending.”

?Once upon a time, an outcast boy met the love of his life…which was quite a surprise considering he didn’t know he was gay.

?Troy Merton wasn’t always Lone Wolves Ranch’s resident author and busybody. He was once a pregnant runaway teen battling pack alphas, kidnappers, and snotty rich omegas.

This is his story, from coming of age in the Black Hills of South Dakota to a happy ending with his fated mate, Ryan.

It’s the kind of tale TJ Macks would write…if it happened to someone else!

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Bio

Ardy Kelly is my paranormal pen-name. I’m an accountant by day, a Netflix junkie by night, and occasionally a weekend writer of the Lone Wolves Ranch omegaverse series.

When I’m not cursing myself for taking so long to produce a book I write the kind of stories I want to read, with an emphasis on humor, heart, and heat. My favorite characters are the ones who discover they aren’t as ordinary as society has led them to believe.


Giveaway

Ardy is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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