12 Honeymoons by K.L. Brady
Publisher's Weekly calls K.L. Brady's work "comic and charming..." RT Book Reviews calls Brady's work "Hilarious!"...and says she "draws readers in immediately...and propels them straight through the drama, humor and the various twists and turns that will leave you exhausted but satisfied." Now the multiple award-winning author has a new romantic comedy that promises to be one of the funniest reads this year!
If she's addicted to beginnings, how will she find her happily ever after?
Miki Vincent's entire life stalled because she's addicted to the beginnings of things, especially relationships. She relishes in the emotional highs, first hugs, first kisses that new love brings. But sex always ruins it. That's why abstaining during the first three months of a relationship—following the 90-day rule—was supposed to help land her down the aisle with Mr. Right. Miki finds out the hard way, Mr. Wrong can wait that long, especially if his ultimate prize is her inheritance.
One assault charge and depression later, Miki devises the Honeymoon Plan, guaranteeing her a lifetime of firsts and zero heartaches. But following her own rule sends her life into an out-of-control spiral in which she's sentenced to more than perpetual break-ups. A new pursuit and a string of sexy suitors offer her the opportunity to jumpstart her life and test her new strategy. The only problem? It just might work.
Miki's best friend Pam, a repressed artist, struggles to keep her honeymoon alive but she can no longer ignore the blatant evidence staring her in the face: Her husband is having an affair. A different kind of "honeymoon plan" designed to free her from her troubles, and a chance meeting with a handsome artistic stranger, help reignite her passions. But will they destroy her marriage in the process?
Miki and Pam both learn the hard way that sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself.
Chapter Excerpt: 12 Honeymoons: A Novel by K.L. Brady
"Now, where was I...a broken nose, sprained ankle, and bruised tailbone," Judge Baxter said, pausing to lean forward in his seat, apparently eager to glimpse my expression. I couldn't wait to hear it too...because I didn't have a clue about what I'd planned to say. How would I convey this story in a way that wouldn't suggest I kicked Mitch's ass when, in fact, that's exactly what happened? How could I feign innocence when my only true regret centered on the unfortunate show of restraint that resulted in him leaving the scene in an ambulance—and not a coroner's van. Wished I could plead temporary sanity because beating him down in the street like a purse snatcher on payday served as a sign I'd finally come to my senses.
He continued. "Since your vast education equipped you with sufficient knowledge to provide me with the definition of laceration, I wonder if you'd share with the court how you would define the cause of Mr. Wiggins' injuries? If not simple assault?"
I chewed on the words like cud in a cow's mouth before spitting them out, believing my statement could be the difference between hitting a bar after my hearing--or sleeping behind bars. "With all due respect, I believe the word you're looking for is comeuppance." My response sparked a wave of laughter among the spectators. "You must...I mean, please understand, sir. We dated for three months," I said, thrusting my three fingers in the air like a Hunger Games salute. As I glanced at my digits, I realized the brief length of time might sound ridiculous to some, but wasting time with a lying dog always felt like too much time, whether three minutes, three months, or three years. "When I met him, he rolled beside me in a wheelchair. Claimed he'd been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He was handsome, seemed pretty smart, and I don't discriminate against wheelchair people, so I agreed to lunch. Truthfully, I was starving, my Jimmies were squeezing my toes, and I knew wherever he invited me to we'd be both sitting down. To my surprise, we hit it off. Shared the intimate details of our lives, including my recent receipt of a sizeable inheritance. After a few weeks had passed, he began asking me for money to obtain advanced physical therapy. Said he'd rise like Lazarus and walk again except he wasn't dead...yet. As Ray Charles could see, this so-called victim didn't need physical therapy, and the only thing he needed to put in a wheelchair was his limp—"
"Ms. Vincent!" Judge Baxter interrupted.
"Wrist, your honor. Wrist," I said, flapping my hand to mimic him. "He always did this ‘honey-child' thing with his wrist. Drove me nuts. Perhaps mental therapy would've been in order." The two-faced weasel dressed in a pity suit and he had a thick white bandage strapped across his nose like a badge of brutality. Poser. "Later, I discovered his deception in the worst way."
"Mmm hmm," Judge Baxter nodded. "Please continue."
"So, on the day in question, I'm in Bethesda, driving down Wisconsin Avenue in my new Mercedes Benz. Fresh off the lot. I was barely a mile from the dealership when BAM! I'm rear-ended at a red light. At first, I'm in shock. So I check myself in the rear view mirror to make certain I'm okay. I see a man, from the chest down, slow jogging toward my car. Imagine my surprise when I turned down the driver side window and Mr. Wiggins' face was in my face...and he's trotting around like a prized stallion." The lying sucker sat face-forward with a smug grin, looking like a black light bulb with his baldhead sticking out of a neck brace. "He had no idea I'd be the one sitting in the driver's seat. So when he bent down to hand me his insurance card, let's just say I hope he was wearing a diaper."
"I see," Judge Baxter said amidst the courtroom chuckles. "What happened next?"
I cleared my throat, you know, to cough up the lie. Then I took a long Southern-belle dramatic breath. "So, now we're face-to-face. And I'll admit I'm a bit surprised because he'd been missing in action for a month, since the day after we slept together. But I'm willing to listen to reason and discuss the repairs to my vehicle. So I decide it's best to step out of my vehicle to speak to him, calmly of course. Man-to-woman, eye- to-eye. But I, uhh, first stuck my fist out the window to uhh...to check the temperature outside. Imagine my surprise when my knuckles accidentally grazed his nose. He could've dodged me, but I think the muscular dystrophy slowed his hand-to-nose coordination." I scanned the room to see if the fish were biting this bait and, from my perspective, they were hooked on every word I spoke. That's when I held up my hand to show my jewelry. "I wear a lot of rings, as you can see. I suspect this one might be responsible for the teeny tiny lacerations around his whopping honker. It's Tiffany's—a platinum band with cushion-cut tanzanite and a double row of diamonds. Two karats. His nose? This ring? Pretty hard to miss.
"Anyway, I'm concerned about his well-being because he's bent over, yelling expletives and all. So I open my car door to check on his physical state. In all of the excitement, I misjudged the distance between Mr. Wiggins' head and the car door so it may have slammed into his skull, just a smidge. The next thing I knew he crumpled to the ground and curled into the fetal position. By now, I'm overridden with guilt to the point that my suffering was nearly too much to bear."
"Hmph. Sounds as if you weren't alone," he said.
After I had cleared my throat, I examined Judge Baxter's face for signs he'd bought this steaming pile of cow pucky, bit my bottom lip, and continued, treading carefully. "So I bend down, in my new dress and heels...and snatch him...er, I mean, grabbed...I mean lifted him by the shirt collar to help him up. But he's a big guy, as you can see, and I'm a little unsteady in my shoes. So I'm like 'oh my God I'm gonna drop him' because he's heavy, and my knuckles are still sore from when I grazed him earlier. After I get him half way off the ground, I lose my grip, and BAM! He slams flat onto the hard, cold asphalt, right next to shards of glass from a broken bottle, which also may have contributed to the teeny tiny lacerations. Maryland must improve its litter law enforcement. Someone could get killed. Anyway, by this time, he's barely responsive. So, I softly called his name—"
"Your Honor, she didn't softly say anything. She...she called me a lying son of a bitch so loud my mother heard it," Mitch hollered. "And she's in Cleveland."
Of course, those were the only words of truth to escape from his cracked, ashy, lying lips. But it wasn't his turn, and he'd interrupted my story. What's worse? Judge Baxter appeared to give his interruption some credence. So I panicked.
"I object! Leading the witness!" I responded. Unfortunately, the only phrase I could've spoken that was more irrelevant was "Pick-up on Aisle three!"
More like Strike three.
"You are out of order, Ms. Vincent," Judge Baxter said in a near growl. He turned to my accuser. "No more outbursts, Mr. Wiggins. Your opportunity to tell your side of the story will come soon enough. Now, please finish your account of what happened, Ms. Vincent."
"Well, when he was non-responsive, I softly patted his face." Translation: Pimp-slapped him so hard I left a palm print. "And then I called 911."
A stone silence settled over the courtroom as we all watched Judge Baxter's facial expression for a reaction. When he didn't budge or speak, I decided to deliver my rousing conclusion. "So I believe I've demonstrated there was no intent to assault anyone. These unfortunate coincidences were all innocent mistakes."
That's when Mitch coughed BS. Honestly, I tried to keep my mouth shut but what fell out of my lips next probably sealed my fate.
"And if you think about it, Your Honor, Mr. Wiggins claimed he suffered from an affliction that required a wheelchair. So, I believe God used me as His vessel to make an honest man out of him. He may have arrived in a Lexus but, thanks to me, he left on a gurney. I saved his soul."
The court erupted in laughter, but I didn't. Neither did Judge Baxter.
( Continued... )
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About the Author
K. L. Brady is a D.C. native but spent a number of her formative years in the Ohio Valley. Her writing career started in the pages of diaries when she was 7 or 8 years old. But it wasn’t until her 40th birthday and an Oprah “Live Your Best Life” moment that she finally answered her calling and wrote her first novel–The Bum Magnet. The originally self-published novel was picked up by Simon & Schuster in a two-book deal, and K.L. hasn’t looked back since, penning the follow-up, Got a Right to Be Wrong and self-publishing the first books in two young adult series and a spy thriller series based on her 20+-year career in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
She has a B.A. in Economics, an MBA, and is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, Sisters In Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. She is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of the series. Website: http://klbradyauthor.com