Hop on the Bus

Gus has always dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by becoming a Marine. A talented trumpet player, his goal is to join the Drum and Bugle Corp but he’ll need grants and scholarships to pay for college. Without a Musical Arts degree, his dreams will wither on the vine. 


When his guidance counselor advises Gus to increase his community involvement, he realizes he needs to overcome his fear of social interaction and reach out to Shannon Poplin, a talented violinist who plays in charity events for veterans and the elderly. 


Initially approaching Shannon is difficult, but nothing when compared to navigating first love.


Will Gus find the courage to build a relationship with the beautiful violinist? Find out in Hop on the Bus, a sweet new-adult romance.



Available December 10th on Amazon.


Click HERE to purchase.


2020 Romance of the Year on two different fiction sites.








Romance

 



 


 

The Montauk stories started with 180 Days in Montauk, a time travel romance, and they end here. The story is exactly 750 words, which was a frustrating exercise in precision and brevity. Trying to write while imposing such a strict word count was torturous. 


ANOTHER STORY


“You son of a bitch. There’s no way you should look that good. How old are you?”


My voice was barely above a whisper and there was a smile on my face as I teased my oldest friend. He had to be at least one hundred ten, but he looked like he was a weathered seventy-five. 


He winked and sat beside my bed. “How should we count such things, Finn? In years?”


I shrugged and closed my eyes. I must have fallen asleep. The shadows were deeper when I awoke. He was still there. He smiled as I looked his way. 


“You’ll look after her, right?”


There was always something about him, something solid and dependable. Alistair nodded. 


“Of course. You don’t need to ask.”


He was right, but I felt so powerless. Asking was something I could do. Maybe the last thing that I could gift to my Jennifer. Alistair and his beautiful crazy sister would continue to watch over my family as they had for decades. Like many others, they had been grafted onto my little clan, becoming part of my extended family. Alistair had known me since birth, and Yekong had joined us when I was thirty. 


Remembering things that happened today was difficult, but the highlights of my life shone like a beacon, every detail crisp in my memory. I remember my morning run with Dink the day we first met Jennifer. My dog falling in love with her as quickly as I had, running towards her, and then away, trying to get her to chase him. He brought unbridled joy to all of us, but Dink was there for her when she was lost and in her dark times.


The windows were open and I could smell the ocean air as it filled the room. I thought of Jennifer wearing her ridiculous waders and floppy hat when she went out with me on the clammer and later out on the yacht. That was our first date, but she already owned my heart at that point. 


Alistair and I spoke. It was a quiet, slow conversation and much was said without being spoken. 


“How much longer, Alistair?”


He inhaled deeply and blinked a few times before answering. “Not long.”


I nodded. “How… How old am I?”


“You are ninety-four, my friend.”


“Siobhan… She’s here?”


He paused. “Tommy is here. You’ll be seeing Siobhan soon.”


Laying my head back down, I was soon asleep. When my eyes opened again I was surrounded by my family. Jennifer was holding my hand; William and Cynthia stood by the bed. Pete’s children were standing near Alistair and Yekong. Roberts, our dog, was on the floor next to the bed. 


I looked at my son. “Help me sit up.” 


Staring out at the dock, I remembered taking him fishing when my back had healed and cooking with my daughter on our smokers. I kissed him and Cynthia and held my wife for the last time. She felt as she always had, both in my arms and my heart.


“Thank you, my love. You saved me.”


Tears in her eyes, she whispered in my ear. “We saved each other.”


Resting again, I awoke… somewhere else. 


Slate paving stones formed a path that was bordered by clouds that clung to the ground. I followed the path ever upwards until I met a man with a kind smile and a warm handshake. 


“Welcome, Mr. Corrigan. You are most welcome indeed. Some people are very excited about your arrival.”


He gently took my elbow and led me towards the crest on the hill. I paused. 


“I… I think I’m going to wait here.”


“That’s most unusual, Mr. Corrigan. Are you sure? Do you understand what awaits you?”


“I think so.”


Tilting his head, he smiled and seemed amused. “May I ask why the hesitation?”


“It’s not heaven without Jennifer.”


He nodded slowly and I continued.


“Is there any good fishing around here?”


“There is indeed. And this almost never happens, but I think I may be able to pull a few strings and find someone to keep you company.”


Hearing his barking, I laughed, turned, and saw Dink bounding towards me. 


A day came when he used his huge snout and pushed me back to the path. Standing, smile in place, I waited. Jennifer was as beautiful as the first day I’d seen her when she appeared in Montauk. 


Young again, I took her hand and we turned the page to begin another story together. 


*****


This story is dedicated to someone that has meant more to me than I can express. Hopefully, she knows who she is.