Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday's Featured Author

The Naked Groom
Will Zeilinger

THE NAKED GROOM is a quirky love story told from the other side of the bed.
In this tale, Richard Granger buys a humongous engagement ring for his girlfriend Tiffany.  Then, like most young men in love, he rashly promises her the ultimate Tahitian honeymoon, in front of her intimidating father. Richard knows there's no way he can afford any of this, but to keep the promises he’s made, he secretly takes a job moonlighting as a nude artist's model.  He truly loves Tiffany, but Richard’s life gets more complicated when he meets and falls in love with his true soul mate at the art school - and she's naked too.
Being in love with two women causes some wacky problems, but with time running short until the wedding, Richard has to find a way out of this mess before everything blows up in his face. He's an honorable guy who knows there's no turning back. Whatever choice he makes will change his life forever. THE NAKED GROOM tries to show what good guys really think.

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When we reached the market, I tied his leash firmly to a parking meter.  "You sit here while I get some dog food for you." He barked when I turned toward the door.  I spun around and shushed him when my cell rang.  "Richard here." I turned to hear the phone and naturally Lardass barked when I turned my back.  "Quiet down, I'm trying to talk."
"Richard, sweetie?" It was Tiffany calling from pregnant Julie's.  "Richard, who are you yelling at?" Lardass continued barking unless I faced him.  "The dog."
"What dog?" I explained Dwayne's visit. 
"As long as he comes back to get him, I guess that's okay."
"Excuse me?  Did I need your approval to get a dog?"
"I just think we should've talked about this first."
"I told you what happened. It wasn't a matter of discussing it first.  I now have a dog, temporarily, I hope."
"Well, I called to tell you I found the perfect wedding dress here in Florida so please don't meet me at the airport Friday, because I don't want you to see it."
Her instructions sounded like another case of me having no say in this affair, and Lardass kept barking over Tiffany.  I finally turned to the dog and yelled, "That's enough Lardass!"
In my ear I heard "What?  What did you call me?  Why are you acting like this?"
"Tiffany... Don't go ballistic on me - it's not you."
"Then what are you talking about?"
"The dog's name is Lardass, but I didn't name him."
"Maybe we can call him something else - let's talk about it when I get back.  I gotta go - luvya."
I put my phone in my pocket and looked at Lardass.  "Don't give me those big puppy eyes.  You may be able to hypnotize women with that look, but it doesn't work with me.  Now sit here quietly.  If I hear one bark out of you, you're getting the cheap dry stuff."
  Even after the doors closed behind me I could hear him whining and barking.  Why did I agree to take him in?  In the long run, it would probably be better for him and for me if I put him in a doggie hotel for a couple of weeks.  Note to myself: research on doggie hotels when I get home.  The checker noticed the giant sized bag of dog food I dropped on her conveyor and glanced at me over the top of her glasses.  "That wouldn't happen to be your dog doing the car alarm imitation outside, would it?"
I swiped my ATM card, "No, I'm just watching him for a friend - he's going through separation anxiety." She nodded knowingly, "Yeah, my kids got a puppy from grandma a couple of years ago and all that dog did for a solid week was cry, pee and poop. Lotsa luck." She tore off the receipt and handed to me.
Of course Lardass shut up as soon as he saw my face.  Or maybe it was the giant bag of dog food I had on my shoulder.  Whatever the reason he was quiet now. He'd gotten his leash wrapped around the parking meter so I untangled him and walked back to my apartment.  I seriously wondered what I was going to do with this dog.  I didn't really want to dump him on any of my friends, but what am I gonna do with him while I'm at work?
I called the cell number that Dwayne left for me but he had his phone off.  Keeping Lardass on a short leash was a real challenge.  He pulled hard and with only one hand free, I had to fight his urges to chase everything that moved and pee on everything that didn't.  Leave it to Dwayne to screw up my life.  And after all the time I spent with him when he broke his leg in high school?  He was always the guy that yelled, "Hey - watch this!" just before he landed on his head... or face... or ass!
My cell phone rang again and it was in my pocket.  I had a handful of Lardass in one hand and a twenty-five pound bag of dog food in the other.  While I hung onto the leash I dropped the dog food on the sidewalk and reached for my phone.
"Hi Richard sweetie... Listen, I'm sorry I snapped at you about the dog.  I know you have a good heart - you're always trying to help someone else - That's why I love you."
"Thanks Tiff, I love you too, but right now I've got my hands full with this dog.  Can I call you later?
"Are you blowing me off?"
Lardass had now wrapped his leash around my legs four or five times.  "No Tiffany, I just have to get this... Hang on." The dog started off down the sidewalk, spinning me around.  I folded my phone shut and stuck it in my pocket, grabbed the bag of dog food on the second revolution and lurched off down the street.

I’ve been writing for over twelve years. During that time, I took novel writing classes and joined writer’s groups, but what helps me most are published authors who mentor, encourage, critique  and listen to me while I continue to learn my craft.  I live in Southern California with my wife and we are currently working on a crime novel together. Finding time to write while life happens is a challenge.


Twitter:  @Will_Zeilinger

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