Today, I’m thrilled to bring you the first stop of the
“Modogamous Holiday Hop”!
(Be sure to see other stops and enter to win prizes in the links below!)
“Modogamous” by Karen Martin
Blurb of “Modogamous”: Kate Adams has it all figured out. Five years out of college, she’s got a steady job, a home she loves in the big city, and good friends who always keep her laughing: her stylish but nosy roommate Evette, happily-married Cecie, and of course, good old Mitch, her seriously cute co-worker who’s been stuck in the Friend Zone since the day they met.
Everything is going just fine—until the night Kate crosses the line with Mitch, and the boundaries between friendship and love begin to blur. Things get even more complicated when hunky JP enters the scene. What’s a girl to do? Add to the mix a spunky little pug Kate never expected to fall for, and her neatly-ordered life is starting to look more like a dog’s dinner. Maybe her roommate has the right idea after all: forget the men, and stick with a canine companion instead.
It’s time for Kate to figure out what she really wants in life. But can she dig her way out of the mess she’s created before she ends up permanently in the doghouse?
Chapter 1 tease
Cecie slipped into the booth at Norm’s Eat-In, where Evette and Kate were already waiting.
“Sorry I’m late, guys. I had to drop Brigid off at the library, but she didn’t want to get out of bed to get ready. You know how it is…” she trailed off, distractedly fishing her cell phone out of the grandma-worthy purse strapped across her torso. She slid the phone onto the table in anticipation of the inevitable interruptions that continually reminded them that Cecie was a parent first and a friend-slash-person second.
“No worries,” said Evette. “You haven’t missed anything good. I was just getting ready to grill Kate about her date last night with Mr. Bowtie.”
“Ugh, Mr. Bowtie,” Kate winced. “Do we have to talk about him before we eat? I’d hate to lose my appetite.” She arched an eyebrow and made a face. “Turns out he wasn’t just Mr. Bowtie,” she said, referring to the online profile picture in which her blind date sported a scarlet bowtie. “He was also Mr. Schnauzer.”
“Mr. Schnauzer?” teased Evette. “Another dog lover? You do know how to pick ‘em.”
“I don’t see what you’ve got against dogs anyway, Kate,” said Cecie. “Dogs are great companions—everyone should have a dog! You should have a dog,” she advised in a matter-of-fact tone, flipping over the breakfast menu to view the daily specials.
“I think not, thank you very much,” said Kate. “And yes, Vetta, another dog lover. This one was a real piece of work. He spent the entire date talking about his dog, Scotch,” she rolled her eyes. “We weren’t even halfway through the first round of drinks when he pulled out his phone and started showing me this endless slideshow of the dog. Every single photo showed him and the dog on a bunch of boulders. Get it? Scotch on the rocks.”
The girls groaned audibly.
“Yeah, that was my reaction, too. ‘Look, here’s Scotch on the rocks at Red Rocks. Here’s Scotch on the rocks at the summit of a fourteen on the Rocky Mountains. Here’s Scotch on the rocks at Rock City, Tennessee.’ I didn’t even know there was such a place as Rock City, Tennessee, but apparently there is, ‘cause I saw fifty zillion pictures of the place, dog’s eye view. Black and white. Very artistic,” she deadpanned.
Cecie wiped away a tear as the girls finished laughing. “Okay, Okay, so he was a little dog-obsessed. Maybe he was just nervous and needed to talk about something he felt comfortable with.”
“Oh, don’t give him that much credit,” Kate grumbled. “I’m pretty sure that man was a one-dog show.” She winked, and the girls erupted into giggles again.
“Well, I adore dogs,” Evette sniffed. “If I were ever going to date again, I’d tell you to send the guy my way.” Two pairs of wide eyes turned to her.
“What do you mean, if you were ever going to date again?” said Kate. “Since when aren’t you going to date again?”
“It’s something I just decided recently,” she said in a chilly tone, meeting the stares of her friends with a defiant, upturned chin. “You know what it’s been like for me since that day.”
Kate and Cecie exchanged a glance, remembering ‘that day’ in June, not quite a year ago. It was Evette’s third wedding anniversary. That was the day Micah had served Evette breakfast in bed—and then served her divorce papers. As if the breakfast would cushion the fucking blow. What an asshat. Kate clenched her teeth and silently fumed, remembering the countless hours she and Cecie had spent comforting Evette in the aftermath.
Even now, poor Evette had to endure Micah’s unforgivably happy presence at Pine Grove Elementary, where she taught fifth grade. His mistress-cum-wife, Louisa, had a daughter in first grade there, so it was impossible to avoid them. They were there for every pageant, every art show, every parent-teacher conference.
And to think, he met the tramp at the school’s Spring Social! Apparently, Micah and Louisa had gotten a bit too social during the behind-the-scenes tour. And then Louisa wound up pregnant. Evette was devastated when she found out. It was all downhill to a quick divorce after that.
“I’ve decided that I’m through with men,” Evette continued. “I don’t think it’s in man’s nature to be faithful. They simply can’t be monogamous. And I…well, I couldn’t bear it if a man ever cheated on me again.” She lowered her head into her coffee cup to hide the morose tears that welled up in the corners of her eyes. Blinking rapidly and drawing in a breath, she lifted her head again and continued. “Nope, from now on it’s going to be just me, myself, and I. And maybe a dog.” Her eyes lit up. “Yes—a dog! A man may not be loyal, but a dog sure is.” Evette looked delighted with the idea; Kate, less so, since it was her condo they shared.
“So much for monogamy. I guess you’ll be modogamous instead,” Cecie wisecracked.
“Yes,” said Evette resolutely, then she smiled broadly at her friends. “Modogamous.”
“Well then,” Cecie raised her coffee mug, “here’s to being modogamous.”
“Modogamous!” the girls said in unison, knocking their mismatched cups together with the earthy clank of glazed pottery.
**About Karen Martin: Karen E. Martin, M.Ed. is a full-time freelance writer/editor. She has been in the publishing business since 2004, working on books and publications for major and independent publishers, universities, businesses, and private individuals. Prior to entering the field of publishing, Ms. Martin worked as a Senior EFL Fellow (English as a Foreign Language) for the U.S. Department of State in Romania, a Junior EFL Fellow for the U.S. Department of State in Jordan, and a teacher-trainer for the U.S Peace Corps in Mauritania, Jordan, Romania, and Morocco. Ms. Martin served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years, teaching English in the Errachidia Province of Morocco.
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**(Click HERE to see other stops on the Modogamous Holiday Hop, and be sure to check out the Facebook event by clicking HERE!)
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Join the Modogamous Holiday Hop Giveaway to win a fabulous Swag Pack full of prizes! The Swag Pack winner will receive a signed copy of the paperback, tote bag, coffee mug, Christmas ornament, and more! Additional prizes include a copy of the e-book, a signed paperback, and a limited edition, signed art print of the book’s cover art…Click HERE to enter!