Today, author Pia Manning is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Finding Home, book one in the Caveman Creek series, an erotic romance. Don’t forget to check out the excerpt.
I Want My Bionic Badge by Pia Manning:
Nothing matches the thrill of having your first book published. When SirenBookstrand accepted Star Brides: Procured I yelled, texted my spousal unit a pic of the front page of the contract, and danced around the living room. When Siren released my book’s front cover, I forwarded it to my spousal unit, and my mom. And that was about it. No big cover reveal, no screaming from the twin peaks of Twitter and Facebook, no blogging, nothing.
A few weeks ago, Siren accepted the first book in the Caveman Creek series, Finding Home-scheduled for release on April 20th. (See how I snuck that in? I’m learning.) I was wrong. Having my fourth book published is pretty thrilling too. But then I got to thinking about what else I don’t know. Or should be doing. It’s a daunting list. Understand that I’m not an editor or an English major of any kind, nor here to pitch my new online I-can-help-you-become-a-writer business. (There isn’t one!) I’m ‘taking stock’ of the past few years, and well, sharing.
Writing has always called to me, but like so many others the demands of the real world didn’t just call, they screamed. Many years flew by, my time consumed with family and career concerns. There wasn’t much personal time back then and what little there was I probably spent catching up on my sleep.
Having osteoarthritis didn’t sound all that threatening at first. Things like hip, knee and disc replacements are commonplace these days. Folks stay overnight, recover, and continue with their lives. My first surgery involved fusing four lumbar vertebrae. Full recovery time: one year. My hips were replaced next. Yes, both of them. Last December the neurosurgeon fused eight vertebrae in my neck and chest-four plates, five rods and twenty-five screws are shoring up my crumbling infrastructure. Although I am recovering with the help of a wonderful physical therapist and a rehab doctor, this won’t be the last surgery. Where there are joints, there are joint replacements. I think I have earned my bionic badge!
In many ways this has been a blessing. No, I can’t return to traditional employment. But I do have time to write. I began to wonder: who am I writing for? Several Facebook friends recently engaged in an ‘are you a writer or an author?’ debate. While I didn’t realize there was a difference, they decided that if you have been published, you are an author. If not, a writer. Or maybe it was the other way around…If writing solely for yourself delivers a cathartic release or just makes you happy, that’s great. Do it! Plenty of folks keep diaries and journals and this fulfills their need for expression.
While in yet another waiting room it occurred to me that there had to be other people out there who needed a vacation but, like me, couldn’t leave the room. These folks did not have to be patients. When a serious medical situation happens to one person in a family, it really affects everyone else. The friend or family member holding someone’s hand might need a break too.
Then I thought of all the different times I’ve had to wait for something, or someone. I’m not talking about the standing-in-line-at-the-grocery-store kind of waiting. (Besides, there’s all those fun magazine headlines to check out!) I meant the sitting-in-the-car-outside-the-school-gym-waiting- for-the-Coach-to-end-practice kind of waiting. Depending on the length of the pep talk you could be there for thirty seconds or thirty more minutes. Wouldn’t a good story help pass the time? Anyone whose kids are involved in activities can, I’m sure, relate.
Sometimes that waiting encompasses more than just time. Sometimes the emotional and mental aspects of a situation are so hurtful and so overwhelming that the person caught in its midst needs a mental break. This is not an idle daydream or passing fantasy, it is a gut level need. I know; I was there. I needed to get away.
So, I wrote. I wrote for myself at first. Then I tried writing for all the others. Is it a thrill for me when a book or story is accepted for publication? Sure it is. I just hope it is also an escape for someone else who needs one.
Title: Finding Home
Series: Caveman Creek, Book 1
Author: Pia Manning
Genre: Erotic Romance, Menage (MFM)
Heat Rating: NC/17, X
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Length: 37,600 Words
Can new vet Elizabeth Faulkner love two men?
Blurb: New veterinarian Elizabeth Faulkner needs to build her practice so she can afford to provide a decent home for her young, disabled sister, or risk losing the little girl to the foster care system. But the only house available sits on land that a greedy developer wants and is willing to kill for. Can her new clients, ranchers Brent and Luke Callahan, help her fight the greedy man while keeping Elizabeth and her little sister safe?
Newly licensed vet Elizabeth Faulkner only needs two things: New clients for her practice and a decent house for herself and her disabled little sister to live in. But a greedy land developer will stop at nothing to get her land and her new clients, Brent and Luke Callahan, are more interested in a relationship than her vet skills. Can Elizabeth provide a home for her sister before the little girl becomes lost in the foster system? Will her heart allow Luke and Brent in?
“Oh, look who it is. Girlie”—McCready’s shadow fell across the back of the truck bed—“what you got in there”—a fat hand with stubby fingers pushed Elizabeth’s purchases around—“is a waste of time and money.”
“And none of your business.” Elizabeth felt her temper rising.
“Ohhhh, she’s mad,” McCready mocked.
The man with McCready laughed too. At a nod and smirk from his boss, he began taking her things out of the truck and dropping them on the ground. “Looky here, pink paint. Bet that’ll be pretty.” The man dropped the gallon of paint and laughed as the top popped off and pink splashed against her truck. “Sorry. Not.”
Elizabeth’s hands clenched into fists so tight her nails left crescents in her palm. She looked around and tried to calm down. Yup, Main Street, but not a soul in sight. This meant no one was racing to her rescue but also meant no one to stop her either. In one quick motion, she scooped up the paint can and flung what remained at McCready.
“God damn it! You bitch!” he spluttered as the paint soaked into his shirt and ran down his legs. “Do something, Trag!” McCready screamed at the man.
Trag lunged at Elizabeth. His calloused hands landed on her shoulders, pushing her into the side of the truck. She just managed to keep from falling by grabbing it. Elizabeth turned in time to watch Trag slip in the paint puddle.
“Fuck!” he yelled as he fell and landed on his ass.
Elizabeth started giggling. “Pink’s your color.”
“Listen to me, bitch. You’ll be sorry—” A car door slammed, and McCready’s eyes flickered in alarm. He took a step back, his hands held out in front of him, placatingly. “We’re sorry girl…er miss. It was an accident.”
“Glad to hear it, cuz you’re going back to the hardware store and replacing whatever the fuck you ruined,” said a voice from the other side of the truck. “Got it?” Luke’s question didn’t require an answer. “You have ten minutes, asshole. And me and Brent are timing ya, so move it.”
Brent moved beside Elizabeth and put his arm around her. He pulled her into his hard body. “Hi, darlin’. You okay?” Brent felt Elizabeth rest her head against his chest. He kissed her hair as he inhaled her scent. Apples. His stomach growled.
Elizabeth resisted the urge to bury her face in Brent’s shirt. She felt safe next to him. Cared for, protected. All the things she wasn’t. In her life, she’d always been alone, on her own, or the one to do the protecting. In a few short days, LaJoie arrived, and she’d need everything Elizabeth had to give. And she’d give of herself wholeheartedly, willingly. Maybe someday, she thought, but with a medically fragile sister and a pile of hospital bills, it won’t be anytime soon. So don’t get used to this.
A squad car pulled in behind the group, red and blue lights flashing. A big bear of a man with a kind face strode toward them. “McCready. Causing trouble, are you?” The sheriff—his nametag read Reed—stood over the shorter man. Reed did not look amused.
“Stay out of this if you like that shiny badge you’re wearing.” McCready straightened and glared up at Reed. “This ain’t your business.”
“Oh, that’s where you’re wrong, McCready. Everything that happens around here is my business. On account of my being the sheriff and all.” Sarcasm oozed from every word. “Now, unless you want to be arrested for vandalism and destruction of property, you will pick up everything that your boy threw out of this truck and put it back. If anything’s damaged, you will pay for it.”
McCready and Sheriff Reed stared at each other, neither man willing to back down.
“Now, McCready.” Reed’s voice, although quiet, was not to be ignored. “And if I see something like this again, I will make arrests and you will be sitting in jail.”
Smothering a curse, McCready tossed several items back into the truck and turned to leave.
“Boss! Boss, wait!” Trag put a new can of paint into Elizabeth’s truck and ran after McCready, his pink pants sticking to his ass.
Are you all right?” The sheriff’s voice pulled Elizabeth back to earth. “I’m Josh Reed, the sheriff around here.”
She shook her head, hoping to clear it. “I’m Elizabeth Faulkner. Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you.”
“You boys know what this is all about?” Sheriff Reed asked.
“Yeah, that damn creek water,” Luke answered. “McCready thought he’d get the Webster place and block the creek. Run us out of business then he’d buy our place cheap and develop the land. Elizabeth showing up has screwed up his plans.”
“You made a fool of him and his man, and he won’t forget that. So, be careful. You’re so far out of town he can pull anything and no one would know. Take my card. Call me if you need anything.” The sheriff handed Elizabeth his card and accepted her thanks.
Pia Manning lives in deep in the Northwoods territory of Wisconsin with her spousal unit, one big yellow dog and three spoiled felines. When not writing she enjoys dog walking-a required activity according to her big yellow dog. While walking the dog, she collects monarch butterfly caterpillars and takes care of them until they become butterflies.
Pia also enjoys crocheting-She make afghans for people whether they want one or not. Pia has been known to volunteer at animal rescues doing anything from grant writing to washing doggie blankets.