Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
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Dude Looks Like A Lady
A comment from a Carmel reader --
I picked up this collection because of a writer local to my home town of Carmel by-the-Sea, California. Kemberlee Shortland's story, "Tutti-Frutti Blues" and "Dude Looks Like a Lady", brought back memories of the small town I grew up in. Shortland's style of writing is both fun and creative; I look forward to reading more of this authors work in the future!
~ T. Lande, reader
TUTTI-FRUTTI BLUES, book one
Town therapist Maisie Daniels is having a bad day. A failed alarm clock makes her late for work, she's locked herself out of her house and worse, she's half way across town when she realizes she's wearing her bunny slippers. A double scoop of tutti-frutti ice cream is just the ticket to boost her mood.
When Sergeant Jake Hennessey spots a woman in bunny slippers muttering to herself in the park, he wonders if she's one of the local eccentrics. When she steps from the ice cream parlor with her double dip in hand, Jake decides not to cite her for eating ice cream on the street, a recent ban, but invites her to dinner instead.
When Jake arrives at the restaurant and sees Maisie in her bunny slippers, he knows instantly that he could love her.
Devendorf Park was the diamond in Carmel’s crown. Named for one of Carmel’s developers, James Frank Devendorf, the park encompassed an entire block of prime real estate in the heart of the town.
Open to Ocean Avenue, the town’s main street, the park was flanked on its remaining three sides by oaks and pines, like those around her cottage. Paths meandered under heavy tree limbs which hung over flowerbeds growing vibrant with colorful blooms, the scents of which were heady in the warm air.
The center of the park boasted a field of grass so verdant it looked like shimmering emerald velvet in the sunshine. It was the kind of grass one would slip out of their shoes and run across, knowing that even on a day like today the coolness of the green blades would pacify the flesh.
Well, bliss unless you missed one of the many signs posted at each entrance into the park:
Eating or drinking
Keep off the grass
And Maisie’s favorite: No loitering.
The town designed an oasis in an otherwise bustling little town then made it an offense to use it. She sometimes wondered about the logic of the town council. They always seemed to come up with some crazy regulations.
With the threat of prosecution, Maisie hurried through the park lest she be cited for dallying.
Midway across the park, her mind on getting to the office, she stepped in something that shouldn’t have been on the path, let alone in the park.
When she looked down, two things crossed her mind. The first was how thoughtful the dog had been to stay off the forbidden grass. The second was total, utter and complete embarrassment as her gaze slipped down her bare legs and saw what else was on her feet.
Not just any slippers, but her pink bunny slippers!
She shot a quick glance around, suddenly panicked. Had anyone seen the town’s therapist traipsing through the park in her bunny slippers?
The answer was a resounding yes.
One of Carmel’s finest stood on the sidewalk with an open-mouth stare. She might have been attracted to his handsome tanned features and his obviously toned body if she wasn’t so damned mortified! The quicker she got to her office the better.
Without thinking, she rubbed her foot in the grass to remove as much of the fetid mess as possible then raced for Ocean Avenue. She paid little attention to the stares she received and prayed she didn’t meet up with anyone she knew. Especially a patient.
DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY, book two
Pamela Howard can't believe what she let her friend Maisie talk her into - a charity costume contest where she's made to dress as King Louis XVI. Her partner, dressed as Queen Marie Antoinette, reminds her of a man she's spent five long years trying to forget.
Hank Delacroix is ready to throttle his friend Jake. Hank is a great clown around his 49er teammates, but six-inch heels and a poodle on his head are a bit much. He has to be the tallest drag queen in the state. When he meets his Louis partner, he can't keep memories of the only woman he ever loved from waking in his mind.
When Hank realizes Louis is his ex-fiance, he has to find a way to make her stop running away from him so he can finally apologize.
The competition itself was simple. The event was being staged in the gardens of La Playa Hotel and each contestant had been given a suite in which to get ready, which was where Pam and Maisie were now. Each couple dressed as a famous romantic couple in history. The twist was that each couple had to wear the other’s costume. Each couple would parade up and down a runway and play up to their chosen characters. The audience would vote by donation for their favorite couple. The couple with the highest donations would win the competition and receive a token prize. All donations were going to each couple’s chosen charity.
Win-win for everyone.
But Pam couldn’t remember ever being so nervous. Normally she enjoyed crazy stunts like this. She could be a bit of a clown at times, and the competition was for charity. So why did she feel she was the only one not winning here?
The thing bothering her, though she couldn’t say why, was she had never heard about Hank Delacriox until a few days ago. She and Maisie were close friends, which meant Jake was her friend now too. She’d met a lot of their friends, so why hadn’t she ever met this Hank before? Or heard of him, for that matter.
The last time she’d heard the name Hank was five years ago when she’d kicked Hank Higgins’ sorry butt out of her apartment. She’d left San Francisco soon after that and never heard from him again. She knew nothing about this new Hank, but she was certain there was more than one man with that name in the world.
So why didn’t this feel right?
And that there hadn’t been enough time to meet this Hank and build some kind of rapport she could play off while they were on the runway also bothered her.
What if he didn’t appreciate her clowning around?
What if he was too serious?
“Don’t look so glum.” Maisie’s voice cut through the fog in Pam’s mind. “It’ll be over in a couple hours.”
Maisie just laughed again, handing her the walking stick. “Yes, says me. Now, turn around and look in the mirror.”
Pam did as she was told. She thought her heart stopped beating. Her breath stuck in her throat. The image staring back at her was eerily male—eerily overstuffed, frou-froued, and pompously male. She’d always thought her features were feminine, but now she wasn’t so sure. She couldn’t remember the last time she wore so much satin and lace.
Brilliant! ~ Isabo Kelly, author of The Naravan Chronicles
•Wonderful! ~ Vivian Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews
•Tutti-Frutti is a special love story filled with romance between two people that is so unique in its own way. A little ice cream with no spoons could turn out delightfully wicked with that one special person. Ms. Shortland crafts an adorable little romance! It had a certain flare to it with the slippers and such a zany day, quite uplifting! ~ Linda, Romance at Heart Magazine
•Well-written and entertaining . . . hilarious . . . My only complaint is that the stories weren't longer . . . Dude Looks Like a Lady was my favorite. ~ Cynthia Whitten, Romance Reader at Heart
•You are in for an unbelievably rollicking good time! . . . One unforgettable, funny and sensual delight. This book comes highly recommended! ~ Marilyn Rondeau, Amazon
•A marvelous collection of romantic tales about how love conquers all, despite or because of a silly law. ~ Diane Davis White, author
•Wonderfully romantic, fun, and entertaining romance stories. ~ Kristi Ahlers, Romantic Times
•Very highly recommended! ~ Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews and Amazon