Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Blog Hop (and Giveaway)!

I've joined up with Sable Hunter in her Halloween Blog Hop.  Christina Ratliff from Nice Ladies, Naughty Books has snailed me a boatload of Halloween-themed swag including horror movies, coffee cups, and scary tales that I'll give away along with a copy of my latest chart-busting MMF ménage, Three For All.

Here is a pic of some of the loot--"Young Frankenstein," "Dracula," socks, candy corn, margarita flavorings...the bottomless box just goes on and on.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win this haul!

Here in Chapter One of Three For All, innocent widow Hannah O'Loughlin attends a Halloween party naively dressed as a genie.

"This isn't your average Delight Hardware crowd."
Boy, did Lacey make an understatement. Of course, Hannah O’Loughlin had expected a colorful bunch of people at the Hardscrabble Ranch party. It was Halloween. But the extravagance presented here went beyond a few devil, Frankenstein, or Charlie Sheen masks.

A few men even were clad in My Little Pony costumes, complete with plumed tails swishing from their rumps. Muscular gladiators wearing leopard skin capes clanked by in chains. A life-sized Barbie had the dolls glued to every conceivable part of her body. A six-headed hydra spewed sequins from three of its mouths. One fellow was half man, half woman, depending from where you viewed him. The crew-cut, leather-clad lesbian bikers seemed almost homespun next to the razzle-dazzle that paraded in this barn.

“I feel so simple in my costume,” Hannah told Lacey. “And when I picked it out at the store it felt so daring.” We’re not in Montana anymore.

Lacey clutched Hannah’s arm. She seemed to genuinely fear for Hannah’s comfort level now. “Oh, I hope you don’t feel out of place. Believe me, these folks are just cutting loose. They’re normally just everyday people. See that gal dressed like the Statue of Liberty? She’s really Miss Teen Buckeye County. And that guy wearing nothing but a giant book—see, he’s got binoculars for eyes?—well, he’s just the Hell’s Delight bookstore owner.”

Since Lacey was married to one of the owners of Hardscrabble Ranch, many people were trying to gain her attention. It was nice of Lacey to go out of her way to brush her other friends off and stand with the newcomer Hannah in the straw by the beer keg. Lacey didn’t really owe Hannah anything. They’d only met two months ago, when Lacey had walked up to the counter at Delight Hardware where Hannah worked to buy some nylon rope and duct tape. They had bonded over the fact that Hannah had taken Lacey’s old job at the store. Lacey had invited Hannah for a drink at the Bit o’Honey bar and they’d been solid friends since. Lacey was a godsend for Hannah, who knew almost nobody in town. She had just moved to the area after penning a deal to buy a ranch, but the deal had fallen through, so Hannah was stuck selling people nails, washers, and clothesline rope. She knew a bit about many hardware items from having owned a ranch in Montana, so it was a natural fit.

“Didn’t you tell me that bookstore owner was a flasher?” Hannah asked. The people of this Sierra foothill town certainly were festive and colorful. The most picturesque anyone in her Montana town got was the feed store clerk with a lacey bra cup peeking out from under his shirt. But Hannah didn’t want to make Lacey feel uncomfortable, either. “Oh, look at that pretty hat made of butterflies.” Hannah inadvertently gasped when she realized the Carmen Miranda hat wearer was a man in a flouncy blouse with clown-like, garish makeup. Get over it, Hannah. It’s Halloween. You’re never going to fit in with these people unless you start relaxing a bit. It’s California, not Montana. Of course people are going to be a bit more unconventional. That guy probably doesn’t normally wear hoop earrings. But Hannah started to wonder what some of these citizens were really doing with the O rings and lashing straps that they purchased in her store.

Lacey shook Hannah’s arm. “Seriously, my dear. If you want to go back to your apartment I’ll understand. In fact, I’ll go with you. We can hang out, have a couple glasses of wine. Catch up on that Longmire marathon.”

“Of course not, Lacey! It’s your husband’s party, after all. You can’t leave, and neither will I.” Lacey’s husband Devin was currently on a makeshift stage playing guitar with his country and western band. Hardscrabble Ranch was the largest outfit in the area, and Hannah hadn’t hoped to compete with them, but if she still hoped to be a rancher again someday she would have to deal with Devin at various events in both a social and business setting. It behooved everyone if she stuck it out here, even if she did feel like a complete and utter skank in the harem costume. She had felt like a gorgeous, exotic genie putting on the sheer, ballooning harem pants. Now she just felt like a dork. A naked, fat dork with her midriff exposed. She really wouldn’t mind going home and seeing her dog, Blackbeard. “Look, here’s Cal.”

Cal Zhukov was Lacey’s stepbrother. Tall and gangly, he normally wore nothing fancier than a Black Sabbath or Megadeth T-shirt when they worked together at his father’s hardware store. Cal liked to let his freak flag fly, though, and tonight was no exception. He was dressed, appropriately enough, as some heavy metal hair band member, complete with black and white face paint and a Phil Spector fright wig. “Dudettes!” he exclaimed in his usual jovial manner. He was out of breath from running in tall patent leather platform boots. “This party is off the hook, Lace! Did you see John Sansing with an actual peacock on his head?”

Hannah frowned. “I thought that was a peacock headdress.”

Cal elbowed Hannah. “Nope, an actual live peacock. That’s almost as good as Jenny Gardner coming as Casey Anthony. Did you see her? Her mask is custom-made, and she’s smoking a cigar, has a bottle of chloroform, and carries her own pole to dance with.”