It's day 13! *throws streamers* Today we have the utterly awesome Cara Covington aka Morgan Ashbury. I had the luck to be able to meet Ms. Ashbury at the RT convention last year! I was so excited and overwhelmed. I just by chance stopped at the Bookstrand table never dreaming that Morgan Ashbury was sitting RIGHT THERE! Yup, I went total fan girl. I could barely form a coherent sentence. It was one of the many highlights of that day! And it has only gotten better. Since the day I met her, Ms. Ashbury has been kind enough to make several blog appearances here. I just knew I had to ask her to be part of my Birthday Bash! As usual she came through with a fun and entertaining blog post.
Valentine’s Day, Lusty, Texas Style
(Copyright 2013 by Morgan Ashbury.)
“I wonder if you can do me a favor, hon?”
Chloe Rhodes looked up from the nails she was shaping at her manicure station. The woman sitting across from her was certainly no stranger. Although she hadn’t seen her around town a great deal, Chloe had come to understand that her influence in Lusty was not to be denied—or underestimated.
“Of course, Cara. You know I will, if I can.”
“Oh, I’m sure you can. I have a friend, Ursula, who’s having a birthday this month. She has a blog and she’s been very generous to me, hosting me there—not to mention the reviews she’s posted of my books. Anyway, she was wondering if someone could write a blog entry for her, talking about what everyone in town, here, was going to be doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
Chloe blinked, because she was pretty certain that Cara Covington had not yet asked for that favor.
“Um...okay. What do you want from me?”
“Well, who better to know what the romantic rumblings are here in town than the owner of the Lusty Glow Day Spa? I’ve seen you in deep conversation with just about everyone who comes through the doors since opening day. I bet no one—well, no one except for Grandma Kate—has her finger on the pulse of what everyone’s up to as much as you do. We women love to talk to our estheticians.”
“Me? You want me to write the blog?”
“Aren’t you the one who told her baby sister she was going to attempt to write a memoir about their parents?”
Chloe exhaled heavily. She tilted her head to one side and said, “Doesn’t that fall under the heading of ‘spoiler alert’?”
“No, it’s a teaser, and I’m allowed. You’re good at changing the subject, Chloe Diane.”
One thing she could depend on with Cara—the woman never missed a trick.
“Yes, I did.” She continued to work on Cara’s nails. They’re a mess. Who knew that spending your day working a keyboard could be hazardous to nail health?
She looked up and encountered a very patient look. Chloe exhaled again. “Okay, I’ll give it a shot.”
“Thanks, Chloe. I knew I could count on you.”
Her next client for the day was Ginny Kendall. Chloe really liked Ginny. She was down-to-earth, honest, and caring. She’d had a rough go of things earlier on in her life, but since coming to Lusty, Ginny had once told her, her life took a turn for the best.
“Any big plans for Valentine’s day?” Chloe asked her.
Ginny sighed and her grin looked as sweet as anything. “Oh, yeah. Adam and Jake just told me about it this morning—because of the babies, they didn’t want to wait till the last moment and just spring it on me.” Ginny blushed. “The twins are growing up so fast! They’re four months old already. I never knew my heart could hold so much love.”
“I bet it’s hard to find romantic interludes with three children in the house,” Chloe said.
“Not so much, really. The little ones sleep through the night and Benny, of course, has always been a real easy boy to get along with. Boy howdy, he sleeps fast and deep.” Ginny sighed. “Still, it is hard to carve out an entire evening for lovin’ when you’re tired or been rushed off your feet all day.”
Chloe smiled. “I bet it would be.”
“That’s why my men arranged for Samantha and her husbands to take all three of children for the entire day. Adam and Jake are both taking the day off. We’re going to play a bit of a game.” Ginny blushed as she looked left and right to ensure that no one else could hear her. “I used to dream of going on a cruise ship—being one of the beautiful people, you know? Like you see on those TV commercials? And while we’ve discussed taking just such a vacation sometime in the future, when the children are a bit older, my men are going to give me a taste of that kind of life right here in Lusty, tomorrow.”
“You’re going to pretend to be on a cruise?”
“Yes, ma’am. I don’t have all the details, but I do know there’s going to be champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and dancing. Why, I even heard Jake talking to Richard Benedict about borrowing Maggie’s “surf machine”—you know, that little sleep machine that has the sounds of the ocean recorded on it?” Ginny sighed. “Mostly, though, I’m just looking forward to being alone with my men for the entire afternoon and evening. I love my children, but I love their daddies, too.” Ginny blushed. “And, I love the way they love me. Really? It could just be the three of us and nothing more, and I’d be content.”
Chloe only had a moment between clients all day long in which to jot down her notes.
Susan Benedict Evans-Magee arrived on time for her pedicure, sighing as she sank back on the divan. “Colt and Ryder have something up their sleeves,” she confessed. “I think we’re going into Houston tomorrow. I know they reserved one of the Penthouses at Benedict Towers.” She grinned. “I think I’m going to be wined and dined. They know I love the symphony, so I wouldn't be surprised to find myself there, too—although I would be grateful, since they’re not such big fans.” Susan moaned as Chloe massaged her right foot. “The most important thing, of course, is that we’ll be together, just the three of us. Candles in the bathroom, soft music on the stereo, and my two husbands lovin on me, as only they know how to do.”
Chloe grinned as woman after woman told the same story—there might be a night out, or a night in. There could be wine and chocolate, or beer and pretzels, the symphony or a movie on the DVD. The trappings were as individual as the men planning the evening.
But the one thing every woman’s heart seemed to melt at was the prospect of spending time alone, just her and her men.
Even Abigail, Bernice, and Pamela—the mother of her two hunky firemen—glowed as they spoke of looking forward to a private, intimate evening with their husbands.
“It’s not the trimmings, though those can be wonderful,” Pamela Jessop said. “It’s the heart. It’s the love that burns as brightly between us after 40 years of marriage as it did in the very beginning. Brighter, in a way,” she corrected, “for that love has been polished and tempered by the daily business of living, week upon month upon year.”
“What about you?” Tasha Garwood, one of Chloe’s estheticians asked near the end of the day. “Are you planning on anything special with those Jessops of yours?”
Good question. Chloe had been so busy with the opening of the spa this week, she really hadn’t made any plans. But she’d been thinking, some, and she thought that there might be something she could do for her men—something she was pretty certain they’d really, really love. She just had to find the nerve to finally do it.
Then she noticed the sparkle in Tasha’s eyes, and she wondered what secret her employee was privy to.
“Did Grant and Andrew say anything to you? About wanting to do something special for me for Valentine’s Day?”
Tasha grinned. “Maybe. But I’m not telling. You’re just going to have to be patient.”
Chloe shook her head. She didn't know if she could wait that long, even if it was only the next day.
She guessed she didn't have a choice. She would just have to wait and see.
Hope you enjoyed the look into what some of our favorite Lusty, Texas residents are doing for Valentine's Day! It was fun to see what's going on. In honor of Ms. Ashbury's post I am giving away one book from the Lusty, Texas series to a lucky commenter. (It has to be available at Amazon so I can Amazon gift it) So don't forget to comment and leave your email!