Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Friends & Family Plan with Guest Blogger: Cathy Yardley

Meet Harlequin Blaze author Cathy Yardley
today at the Book Boost!

She's here to chat about her family of friends and here's what she had to say...

Friends: The Family You Find

I love my family, don’t get me wrong. But we don’t exactly match.

Where they are conservative, I’m a Berkeley “hippie.” I’m a writer – they’re accountants. They read the Times, I read Tarot cards.

And every now and then, they look at me, then murmur to each other with a sort of puzzled affection: where did we get this one, again?

They say friends are the family you choose for yourself, and I’ve got a big, lovely extended family that looks at me, then murmurs: what took you so long?

When I was in college, I wound up camped out on my best friend’s floor quite a bit. We joke that her Mom fed me lasagna and I never left. It was her Mom, her little brother, and her, living in the three bedroom apartment. Her little brother’s best friend also spent a lot of time there, another “adoptee.”

One day, I was doing a big batch of laundry in the apartment building’s laundry room. As I loaded it, a fellow resident (who wasn’t really aware of our “family”) chewed me out for leaving clothes on top of the dryers. “Now they’re dirty again! I’m going to have to do them over, and it’s all your fault!”

I went back upstairs, feeling shaken. Her Mom took one look at me, and asked what happened. “She yelled at me,” I said, still a little stunned.

Mom’s eyes lit with unholy Irish fury, and she headed downstairs. She then tore into the person who yelled at me, pointing out where she was wrong (I hadn’t put her clothes on the dryers) and that she’d better never yell at “my daughter” again.

“Your daughter?” The woman blinked. “Little girl? Asian?”

“Yes,” Mom said, and walked away, leaving her gaping.

It gets better.

She then sent my little brother – the other adoptee – back to the laundry room with two dollars in quarters. “Tell her your mother said this is for the laundry she needs to re-do… and apologize for the inconvenience.”

Keep in mind: my other brother’s about six foot tall, and black.

“My Mom said this is for your laundry,” he said, perfectly politely.

“Your Mom?” Her jaw was now on the floor. “Little woman? Glasses?”

“Yup.” He grinned, put down the quarters, and left.

I still keep in touch with my “family.” We’re still brothers and sisters – and Mom’s still Mom to a large and diverse group of people. They’re the family I found.

I wrote The Player’s Club trilogy based on that philosophy: that even if your blood family loves you, sometimes you need to find the family that fits you, as well.

And once you find them, you’re suddenly unconditionally supported… and able to do just about anything.

A Note from the Book Boost: What a neat family you've found, Cathy! And now you're a part of the Book Boost family. We are also a diverse group and welcome you with open arms--and open books. :-) Please share more about your latest.


The Pledge: Scott Farrell, recovering Boring Guy.

The Goal: Membership in an ultra-secret consortium of urban adventurers.

The Conditions: Select three insane challenges. Tell no one. Survive.

The Complication: Amanda Wheeler, sexy girl next door.

Scott never mentioned The Player's Club, but Amanda's onto him. She'll keep quiet and help him get in…if he'll nominate her for membership.

It's a dirty little deal that launches the normally nice neighbors into a world of skydiving, burlesque—and adrenaline-soaked sex that gets better every single time.

Not everyone's happy about the new recruits, however. And initiation may be a lot tougher than either of them expected….


What are they doing out there?

Scott peered into the darkness. It was three o'clock in the morning on a Saturday. Most of his little neighborhood was sleeping.

Scott had been wrestling with insomnia for the past three months, which was how he noticed the strange goings-on at the closed Chinese grocery store across the street. Men had been showing up for the past hour, and disappearing into the alley. The funny thing was, none of them looked like criminals—unless thugs were starting to wear suits and ties.

There was definitely something strange going on.

He craned his neck, trying to get a better view, but the angle from his window didn't give him a lot of options. He considered going down to the street. But what if they were criminals, and they decided they didn't want some Good Samaritan type snooping?

No, he needed to observe a little more. From a distance.

Abruptly, he realized the perfect vantage point, and without a moment's hesitation he left his apartment.

Padding out into the hallway in bare feet, he opened the window and climbed out carefully onto the fire escape.

Now, almost the whole street was in clear view. It'd be better if I were just a little higher, he thought, then glanced at the fire escape stairs. The metal felt cold under his heels as he climbed up as quietly as he could. It was June, but it was San Francisco—which meant it was brisk, with wisps of fog licking at him. He regretted not throwing a shirt on, wearing only a thin pair of sweatpants.

There were only a few men going into the alley now: stragglers, from the look of it. He barely made out one man ribbing another one as they disappeared into the darkness. He squinted.

One of them looked like…was he wearing a tux?

Who were these guys?

"Nice night."

Scott spun around. There was a woman standing in the open window behind him, wearing a large T-shirt with the slogan Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History. She was also holding a golf club like she meant business, which was at odds with the casual greeting she'd given him.

Scott cleared his throat. "I'll bet you're wondering why I'm out here," he said in a low voice.

Her full lips quirked with amusement. "It did cross my mind."

Want More Cathy?

Visit her on the web here: http://cathyyardley.com/

Follow her blog here: http://rockyourwriting.com/

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.


Rebecca said...

Loved the family story! LOL! That was one smart woman!
Book sounds great too. Very intriguing!

Cathy Yardley said...

Thanks, Rebecca. My families are the absolute best. (That was one of the safer stories I could tell, LOL!) :) And I loved writing the books, as well!