I got Patchouli On Retreat posted on All Romance Ebooks so it is available there free now, as well as on Smashwords. It will soon be distributed to Barnes & Noble and other sites via Smashwords. I’m a little frustrated that Amazon forces you to put a price, and will only lower the price to zero if there is a price match to another site. So I put in the Smashwords and All Romance ebooks links on the “tell us about a lower price” link, but it hasn’t changed the price yet. Soon, I hope.
Patchouli On Retreat: When a neo-hippie artist drags a New York City party planner to a yoga retreat in the Catskills for a week of togetherness, it could be the end of their relationship. Or the start of something new.
It’s just a fun little story that I want people to enjoy. It can be read as a standalone, but falls between Patchouli for Christmas 1 and 2.
The release date for Patchouli for Christmas 2 is Dec. 3rd. Can’t wait to get the cover art. Anne Cain did the first Patchouli for Christmas cover, and it’s one of my favorites, so I’m looking forward to seeing the new cover.
I thought I would post an excerpt from Patchouli on Retreat. This is from the hike that Jude and Michael go on after they get to the retreat in the Catskills. As usual, Michael is having a hard time leaving work behind.
Back in the real world, it was Monday. His accountant—aka his brother, Doug—was supposed to do the monthly review of Michael’s business today. Michael had left all the paperwork and receipts with him, figuring that would at least be one thing accomplished this week. But what if Doug had questions?
He pulled out his phone then noticed Ross watching him. Instead of calling, he did a quick check for texts and confirmed he had cell reception out here in the back of beyond. Then he put it back in his pocket and looked around again, doing his best to enjoy the scenery or at least to give that impression.
When Ross started talking to another member of the group, Michael looked over at Jude. Still busy with his photography. No one was paying any attention to Michael. Feeling equal parts ridiculous and irritated at himself for trying to hide the fact that he was making a phone call, he stood and then strolled casually off to the edge of the clearing. Okay, he so didn’t want Jude mad at him again—anyone could understand that. He couldn’t figure out why the hell he cared what Ross thought.
Anyway, he’d promised to change his voice mail, right? He did that first, just in case Jude asked him what he was doing on his phone. When he’d finished, he looked around again. Still alone, so he called Doug.
His brother answered right away. “Michael? Something wrong out there at the ass end of nowhere? Are you lost? Is a bear trying to eat you?”
“There aren’t any damn bears.” Were there?
“So the hippies converted you into their cult. If you’re calling because you want me to give them access to your accounts—”
“Quit being a dick.”
“I’m just checking in.”
A long moment of silence. Then, “Checking…in?”
“Yes, dammit. Checking in. Touching base. Getting the scoop, the 411. For God’s sake, have you even looked at last month’s transactions yet? The invoice for that awards event is—”
“Where’s Jude?” Doug interrupted.
“He’s taking pictures. We’re on a hike, but we’re on a break so I thought I’d—”
“Check in. Yeah. I got it.”
He recognized that tone of Doug’s. Proceeding with caution, he said, “So…um…did you have any questions?”
The silence this time seemed endless. He braced himself.
“Idiot!” Doug exploded.
Michael flinched before he remembered that even Doug’s arm wasn’t quite long enough to give Michael his usual smack on the back of the head.
“Get off the damn phone,” Doug snapped. “Go commune with nature or sing ‘Kumbaya’ with your boyfriend or whatever the fuck you queer hippies do. Don’t call me again unless a bear is chomping on your balls.”
“How the hell Jude puts up with you, I don’t know.”
Then silence. The bastard had hung up.
Michael glared down at the offending phone. Then up at an even more ferociously glaring Jude.
“It’s Doug,” Michael said instantly. “That doesn’t count as business. That’s family.”
“Didn’t sound like family conversation.”
“He said there might be bears.”
“There are bears. Didn’t you listen to Ross this morning?”
He’d been too busy marveling over his cargo pockets. Michael looked around cautiously.
Jude rolled his eyes. “Come on. We’re ready to go.”
The group gathered at the bridge, then set off along the trail again.
“I changed my voice mail,” Michael said, hoping Jude would take the comment as a peace offering.
Michael tried again. “The bridge was pretty. Did you get some good pictures?”
Jude contemplated him for a moment, and then sighed. “Yeah, the light through the trees gave this dappled effect that reflected from the…”
Relieved, Michael did his best to nod in the appropriate places and ask questions that he hoped didn’t sound too stupid. And that was the thing Michael lo—liked about Jude. His temper flared, but it disappeared just as quickly. And he forgave Michael far more often than Michael deserved.