Before the fair closes up today we wanted to make everyone aware of our first New Adult Romance…and here’s an excerpt from the book..It is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/LIFES-WHAT-HAPPENS-ebook/dp/B00A14STPS/
And to taste the times here’s the trailer…We also wanted to introduce readers to a New Adult Romance, Life’s What Happens. The excerpt is on our blog at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDTibRqRL4o
FROM LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS by Bob Kat
From the outside, the coach house appeared to have undergone more renovations than the exterior of the fraternity house itself. Don pulled open the door and allowed Jennifer to enter the building and climb the single set of narrow wooden stairs. A wave of aroma from years of beer-soaked boards flowed down the stairs and hit them as they entered the building. As Don walked up the fifteen steps, he automatically counted them. The exact number had been a pledge test on oddities and trivia about the fraternity property. He also recalled the number of windows in the house, the steps leading to the front porch and how many trees were in the backyard. All critical knowledge needed to be recalled at times of duress like hell week and was, even after all this time, still stuck in his memory.
The stairs entered the second level through the center of the floor. The old basketball half court remained on the left side and the right side had been carpeted since he had been here forty years earlier. There were folding tables arranged in a giant rectangle shape for meetings. The far wall was covered floor to ceiling with the signatures of all the seniors who had ever graduated Kent State as a Phi Psi brother. Jennifer and Don gravitated toward it, drawn by all the voices from the past.
Together, they stared at the signatures written with scores of ball point pens, felt tip markers, colored pencil and even quill pens that had been the weapon of choice by those who had graduated from the very demanding architecture school.
“What’s this all about?” she asked as she walked along the wall.
“It was a tradition that all seniors had to come up here on graduation day and sign the wall. As you could guess, there are hundreds more now than when I left.”
Don slowly shuffled his way along the wall, carefully touching the inked signatures with his fingertips.
“You’re looking at those names like you’re at the Vietnam memorial in DC.”
Don turned to Jennifer and blinked against the tears that welled up in his eyes. “You really get to know someone when you go through college, growing up with them. Being with them as they met and lost girlfriends, pass and fail classes and especially the hell we all went through our senior year. They were always there for me. But we’ve lost touch.”
“Did Mr. Harrigan sign it?” she asked.
“Sure. He’s way over to the left and toward the top,” Don said as he pointed her in that direction. “He was in one of the first classes to live in this house. I guess he bought it after he graduated and got rich.”
“Whose is this?” Jennifer pointed to a mostly illegible autograph that included a rough drawing of the iconic Playboy bunny logo. “What’s with the rabbit?”
“That was Cliff Baker. His nickname was Hef.”
“Ahh, I see. After Hugh Hefner, right?”
“Yeah. Cliff used to be a photographer.”
One perfectly waxed eyebrow arched with the unasked question that would naturally follow such a confession.
“They were art shots,” he defended his brother without apology. “Remember, it was the Sixties. It was all about freedom and beauty and love.”
Don pointed to a spot about five feet off the floor and left of the window overlooking the parking lot. “Right there.”
“The one with the little rocket?”
“Yeah, that’s it.” He smiled at the memory that invoked. He hadn’t thought about that in years.
“You’re living in Texas now, aren’t you?”
“Yes, for the last few years. My wife grew up in Austin. She had to stay behind with our daughter who’s expecting our first grandchild any minute.”
“That must be nice.” Jennifer glanced at her watch, clearly moving her focus back to the meeting. “Do you know who is planning on making it?”
Don shook his head and shrugged. “I have no idea. I never even heard who was invited.”
Jennifer walked over to the meeting tables, and laid her briefcase on one of them. “I didn’t send you the list? My assistant must have forgotten to put that into your package,” she told him as she shuffled through her briefcase.
“I guess we’ll both know soon enough,” Don commented.
“I left my phone in the car. I’m going to run down and call the office and make sure the food I arranged for is on the way,” she told him. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Don turned back to the wall. He moved slowly, looking for familiar names and stopping to touch the inked signatures with his fingertips. With each one he recognized, he’d stop, smile and sometimes nod as he recalled his experiences with every brother whose name he found.
Larry Reed with a small baseball drawn over his name. Stanley Freeman. Jeff Tallmadge accented by the faces of comedy and tragedy. Frank Pucci. Ted McCoy. Barry Smith next to a drawing of two sticks that no one but the class of 1970 would understand. Ira Schwartz. Rick Rogers. Alfonso Garcia and a paw print of a monkey with the name Carlos, inked above it. Someone, probably Jeff, must have added the tiny paw print after Alfonso signed because Alfonso and the monkey’s hatred for each other had been legendary. There was Kevin Nash and Mike Anderson with an airplane drawn near his name.
Those guys had been his best friends, and yet he hadn’t heard from any of them for years, not since the day they closed the campus. He was overcome with all the memories that flooded back. It was as fresh as if it was . . .
Suddenly he heard the sound of a basketball bouncing, then something hit him in the back of his knees so hard his legs almost buckled.
“Hey,” Don yelled as he whirled around to see who else was there. “Watch what you’re doing.” He hadn’t heard anyone come up the stairs.
From the dimly lit basketball court about fifty feet away he heard someone yell “Come on, Don! A little help here. We want to finish our game before registration.”