Book blurb and excerpt for romantic comedy “Love, Albert” by Lynda Simmons

Today’s
special feature is the romantic comedy Love,
Albert
by Lynda Simmons.

As
she does a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Lynda will be
awarding one randomly chosen winner with a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift
card. To be entered for a chance to win, use
the form below.
 To increase your
chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there,
too.
Blurb about Love, Albert:  
Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber
chicken and a touch of magic


Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with
two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving
pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine
life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or
driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a
last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last
time. 
Excerpt from Love, Albert:
“Which
brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have
here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly
legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the
only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle
set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached
inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous
pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.
Reid
sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.
Lyle
nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own
before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly
straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and
body— ”
Reid
glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched
tightly together, holding back her laughter.
“Do
hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid
Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This
includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He
reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”
“I’ll
take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her
over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid.
“Unless you want it.”
“Not
at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl
y-in-the-ice-cube.”
“One
fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of
worms—”
“Snakes,”
Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”
The
lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful
snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced
against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do
you mind if I take them?”
She
held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and
Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.
“You
can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses
and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a
favor to ask.”
Reid
raised his head. “A favor?”
“More
of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will.
“In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains
to Seaport, Oregon. ”
The
chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already
been buried.”
“Not
quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the
desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”
Reid
stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”
“Ashes
to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but
it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.”
He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn
because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”
Reid
shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
Lyle
smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”

Author information:

Lynda
Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on
weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray
cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her
family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred
cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it
was.
With
two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey
mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While
the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes,
there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.
When
she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the
treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long
enough, something urgent will pop up and save her – like a phone call or an
e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more
attention!
Special Flash Fiction
piece:
SEVEN
Mother’s Day
(With Grace’s
daughter, Margo)
            “What time is it?”
            That line belongs to Edna. So does
the sentry position by the main door. Yet for some reason, my mother has taken
over both.
“Four o’clock,” she says, answering the
question exactly as she has for ages. But where is Edna? And why are uniformed
officers taping off a square in the snow out front?
Willow Tree Long Term Care is usually quiet,
gentrified. But the lot is full of police cars, the front desk looks abandoned
and every staff member I’ve seen so far has been running.
“You can’t do this to me!” someone, somewhere
hollers loud enough to have my mother heading for the hall.
“Mom,” I call.
She turns and stares at me. Starts wringing
her hands, something she’s never done before.
            “Karen comes at four,” she says.
            Karen’s the golden-haired girl,
mom’s favourite. The one who got away.
            “Mom, it’s me, Margo.” I unbutton my
coat and walk toward her. “Karen’s not here,” I add and try to take her hand
but she jerks away. Points past me. “Who died and made you king?” she shouts.
            That was Edna’s line too. Said it
every time the poor doctor came into sight. And sure enough, there he is,
coming through the front door on a blast of cold air. No one seems to know what
Edna had against him. Then again Alzheimer’s never explains and never asks for
permission.  Just takes what it wants,
when it wants and leaves the rest of us to catch up as best as we can.
            “I know you,” my mom shouts.  “I know who you are.”
            I raise a hand to hail him, to find
out what’s going on. But he lowers his head and scurries off, heading toward
the raised voices at the end of the hall. Unlike Edna, my mother follows, her
own addition to the show. But I don’t imagine he’ll appreciate the extra
attention.
            “Mom, wait,” I say and this time she
lets me take her arm. “Shall we have a cup of tea?”
            “Quite a circus we’ve got here this
morning,” Joyce, the Bingo Lady, says, hurrying toward me, hand extended. “Good
to see you, Margo. How was your holiday?”
            “Fabulous. How could two weeks in
Maui be otherwise?”
It was my first vacation in two years. “Go,”
everyone said. “Your mother will be fine.” But the way she’s wringing her hands
makes me wonder.
“Did my sister visit at all?” I ask.
            Joyce shakes her head. “I’m afraid
not.”
            Figures.  I don’t know why I thought she would. 
My sister hasn’t set foot inside this
building since we moved mom in two years ago, even though she was the one who
insisted on Willow Tree. “It’s the closest place,” she said.  And also the most expensive. “My mother loves
it there,” she likes to say. But I think Karen loves telling people her mother
lives there, more. Loves to let them know which well-heeled resident her mother
is rubbing polyester shoulders with this month. 
            But mom does seem happy and the
visiting pets are hypo-allergenic, but more importantly the staff are well-paid
and lovely. Except Joyce. She’s a volunteer, but equally lovely. A retired
therapist of some sort, she comes five days a week to run bingo games. The idea
seemed crazy to me, but she must know what she’s doing because all the
residents love her games, my mother included. 
If Joyce pokes her head into a room, the residents follow like she’s
some kind of Pied Piper. It’s wonderful to see, a real testament to what
kindness and empathy can do. And unlike the doctor, no one ever shouts at Joyce
or tries to chase her away.
            “What time is it?” My mother smiles
at me. “Karen comes at four.”
            “I’m not Karen, ma. I’m Marg—”
            And naturally she turns away,
distracted by shouting at the end of the hall again. A man hollering, “This is
an outrage!”
            “Don’t let your mother get you down,
dear,” Joyce says, her voice as gentle as her hand on my arm. “Somewhere
inside, she knows it’s you.”
            I almost laugh. My mother hasn’t
known me since I was a teenager. But she’s sick and needs someone, end of
story. “What’s going on around here, anyway?”
“All hell is breaking loose,” Joyce says,
letting me change the subject and motioning me to the dining room. “They’ve
cancelled all activities for bit. Let’s have that cup of tea, and I’ll fill you
in.”
Once my mother is settled with tea and warm
chocolate chip cookies, Joyce starts in.
“Strange things have been happening since you
left,” she says. “Started with Edna’s death last week.”
“Edna?” I throw my coat on a chair and sit
down. “But she always seemed so healthy.”
“Exactly. And after she was gone, out of the blue,
your mother started saying everything Edna used to say.”
“What time is it?” my mom says, as if on cue.
“Four o’clock,” she answers and starts wringing her hands.
Joyce takes those hands in hers. “Relax dear.
Everything’s okay.”
And just like that, my mom stops wringing and
picks up her cup. The Pied Piper in action.
“Then last night,” Joyce continues. “Your
mother’s roommate, Bernice, got outside and froze to death.”
The cookie stops halfway to my mouth. “Got
out? How?”
“No one knows. And with no video
surveillance, they can’t trace her movements. Privacy has always been a
priority here, but that’s bound to change now.”
            “Take your hands off me!” a woman
shouts.
            I turn to see police dragging Gina
Baron, the Administrator, past the dining room.
            “Help me!” she screams.
            Instinctively I leap up and Joyce
touches my arm again. “This isn’t your fight, dear.”
And then I’m sinking back into the chair as a
couple of nurses slip through the door, heading for the coffee maker.
            “What’s going on?” Joyce asks.
            “Another body,” one says.
            “And Gina’s going to the nuthouse,”
the other one adds.

(If this is your first time reading this serial story from
Lynda Simmons, you can catch up with all the segments here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-Simmons-Author/149740745067442)

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