Misty’s Misadventures


Overview of Misty’s Misadventure

Misty’s Misadventures has been described as Gilmore Girls meets Northern Exposure. What can I say? Having set the book in the fictional community of Charlie’s Cove, Newfoundland, I can draw upon the natural humour that is such a warm part of our culture.

And then there is my main character, Misty Muldoon (who can take anyone named after a weather pattern on the east coast of Newfoundland seriously?), who returns to Newfoundland by default. De fault of a failed marriage, a failed business and a non-existent bank account.

Ticketssunlifestadium.com helps you with Tickets at Sun Life Stadium, Miami Garden for Jazz In The Gardens at Sun Life Stadium Tickets also for One Direction.

What she expects to be a humbling and dismal home-coming, morphs into an unexpected adventure that renews her faith in herself and her ability to survive, and even thrive under the most hilarious and heart-warming conditions. Fun and funny, I believe that Misty’s Misadventures is filled with characters you’ll love.

And you’ll also get an inside look at our province and its wonderful culture as seen from the eyes of a woman whose favourite view of the island used to be the one in her rear-view mirror.

In this excerpt, Misty has some alone time and calls her love interest, Steve the dentist, who is living back in Toronto. Everything begins to unravel from there…

During quiet moments like this, when she had too much time to think, she seriously wondered what she was doing moping for a man who lived thousands of miles away. It was unlikely he would ever move here. Eventually, they would run out of things to talk about but until that happened, she would try to enjoy every minute of their friendship.

She took a sip of wine and savoured the taste for a moment, then swallowed it along with her concerns and hit the phone button with his pre-programmed number.

While she waited, she opened a column she had written a couple of weeks ago when she was feeling particularly isolated and single. The one she had never given to Phonse. It was far too personal to share.

But here, by herself, she could dare to read it again and let her imagination soar. What if I send it to Steve? Would it make any difference?

“Hello?”

It was a woman’s voice. Misty almost disconnected but her up-bringing prevailed and she politely inquired for Steve, expecting to hear she had a wrong number.

“He’s in the shower. Can I take a message? Is this Pansy? He got your message to call.”

“Yes, I mean no. No, it’s not she.” In the shower? What did that mean? Where was the part where she said this was the wrong number? Misty could barely think.

“Oops, sorry. I never know when to shut up.”

No kidding.

“Who shall I say is calling, then?”

Misty caught her breath. This could be anything. This did not mean Steve was seeing someone else, except maybe the part about the shower. What was he doing in the shower with another woman in the house?

She had to say something. “Tell him Misty called. You know…like the weather. Misty, rainy and all that.”

“Misty. Cute name. Wait a minute. You’re not the one who writes that column, are you? It’s in the paper every week.”

What are you doing reading Steve’s paper every week? Misty grabbed her wine glass and this time took a sizable gulp before she managed to respond. “Yeah, that’s me. So…you read my column do you?” Funny he didn’t mention that you were reading it with him.

“Read it? I love it. You’re so funny. You people from Newfoundland can sure laugh at yourselves. We’d be too embarrassed to admit to the things you do.”

Misty scratched her head and made a face. She wasn’t warming up to Miss Chipper for a number of reasons, the least of which was her opinion of Newfoundlanders. “That’s how it is around here. We know when we’re doing stupid things.” Unlike some other people who shall remain nameless, but not blameless. “Right, then. Just tell him I called, okay?” She cut the connection.

This is crazy. I’m acting like a jealous teenager. So someone else answered Steve’s phone. Big deal. Don’t Liberty and Vivienne answer my phone every day? It’s probably some relative. Maybe even his sister. Christ, I don’t even know if he has a sister. Still, I hope he calls back with an explanation. No, let me rephrase that. He’d better call back with an explanation.

Her computer screen went into sleep-mode. Something not even remotely possible for her to do at the moment, she was so hyped. She ran her finger across the mouse pad and Minerva sprang to life again.

The thought that Steve could have someone else in his life gave her a renewed interest in what she had written. Maybe she should publish it. She seriously needed to look out for herself instead of pining for a man who let other women answer his phone. As she read, the more sense the whole article made.

Misty’s Misadventures
By
Misty Muldoon

True love can arrive in the most unexpected of ways.

But never when you want it, and almost never when you expect it.

At least that’s been my experience.

In fact, if I’m being brutally honest here, and I most always am, I couldn’t have made true love more welcome than if I’d left a dozen beers on the stoop and a bottle opener hanging from the knob. Invitation issued. So where the heck is it?

I’m tired of waiting and, quite frankly, I’ve had enough of leaving my key in the door. If true love wants to find me, it’s going to have its work cut out. That’s right. You read me correctly. Those are brave words for someone who spends Friday nights cuddled in the arms of a Lazy-Boy, feels bad about it all day Saturday and then turns around and hugs into the same unfeeling lover that night, too.

I’m inspired to ask, what would it be like to find your one true love? Actually, maybe I’m not inspired at all. Perhaps what I am is desperate. Desperately longing for love.

And who do I think is going to rescue me? No one, that’s who. Here I am in Charlie’s Cove where the definition of an available man is anyone not at the cabin for the weekend. I mean, come on, how am I supposed to deal with that?

Oh, sure, tell me I made the choice to come home and now I have to live with the decision. I say, phooey to that. I want true love and I want it to walk in the door right now.

If it’s wrapped up in rubber boots and a plaid shirt, that’s fine. If it’s got facial hair and a beer belly, I can take that too. If it’s seasonal, well all I can say is I’m an adapter as long as the loving is year round. Bring it on, baby.

This isn’t any misadventure. Absolutely not. This is just a clear missing you in my life. Where are you Mr. Right? I’m here in Charlie’s Cove and I’m waiting.

Ring my bell, knock my knocker, email, fax or phone.

Honey-babes, I’m waiting. Tall, short, who cares?

Come on in, I’m home!

Until next time,

Be missed, not Misty.

She took one last look at her column and closed it. Buried, along with all her good intentions in the file she had labelled Goals for the New Year. That was a nice place for it. Maybe when the New Year rolled around, she would kick it off with a new intention by finding someone to love in her own neighbourhood.

Phooey on busy dentists in Toronto. What would Steve think if that column was published? Maybe he’d discuss it with the bubblehead who’s reading his paper and answering his phone. Could it be I don’t trust him? Is this the legacy Jake Muldoon has left me? Never to trust another man again? This could all be an innocent misunderstanding. Or not.

She caught a whiff of her dinner and wondered what Pansy had left for her. It smelled interesting. She saw a pastry tart surrounded by vegetables but who knew what was inside Pansy’s Surprise. Last week it had been seal, a delicacy she was still acquiring a taste for. She got up to find out what really was cooking and was almost there when the doorbell sounded.

Could this be it? True love at last?

She gathered the blanket around herself and like Quasimodo, with her leg dragging along behind, she answered the door.

“Duff!” she said. “What are you doing out this hour of the night?” It was really only nine o’clock but she was on Misty time which was all messed up since her accident.

“Jus’ checkin’ on you. Mind if I comes in for a minute?”

She stepped back to welcome him. She had a moment of panic thinking he might be here to ask her out but he’d had ample opportunity in the past and hadn’t made a move. She made a mental note to add a condition to her column, no one over 65.

“What’s up?”

“Was wondering if you had a tree for Christmas?”

Ohmigod. She had completely forgotten.

“Got one if you wants it.”

“Now?” Tree delivery unlimited.

“Yes, b’y. It’s in the truck.”

Misty knew Duff didn’t have a truck.

“The truck?” she asked.

“Cedric’s. He bees waiting in it.”

Not Cedric. No. She made another mental note. No one without his own teeth.

“That’d be great, Duff. What do you want to do with it?”

He looked at her kind of funny.

“Get some old sheets, b’y, and we’ll put her up for you. That way, they catches the drippins.”

“You and Cedric?”

“And Stinky.”

The three musketeers. She hadn’t laid eyes on Stinky since Roxanne held a wedding announcement party in November. He didn’t look too pleased about it at the time.

Forty-five minutes later, the four of them stood back to admire the tree.

“It’s a beauty,” Misty said. And it was. It stood six feet and was full and bushy.

“Now, that’s a proper tree,” said Duff.

She’d given each of them a beer, which only left nine if her true love actually came calling.

Duff turned to her. “The boys wants to ask you somethin’.”

“Ah, sure,” said Misty. She looked at the boys. When they didn’t say anything, she turned back to Duff.

“They wants to sign your cast,” he said.

Stupid. That’s what it was. A decision not to wear pants when you’ve issued an invitation to the universe for love to walk in.

“That would be…nice.” she said. I have a marker in the kitchen. Let me get it.” She lurched out of the room, still mummied in the blanket. She shut the door behind her, flung the blanket off and headed straight to the laundry. There had to be something there she could put on.

In between all the kids’ clothes, she finally laid her hands on a pair of boxer shorts that would fit. It took her a few minutes to navigate herself into them. She grabbed the marker and went back to the other room.

In-between the lurid remarks Phonse had printed on her cast and the autographs of most of Hatty’s customers, Cedric and Stinky added their monikers.

Merry Christmas, Misty. Loves the leg. Cedric

Looks good on ya! Leave it for Santy Claus. Stinky

And, finally, Duff got in the action.

You casts a spell on we. Yes, b’y. Duff. He had drawn a little heart with an arrow at the end of his autograph.

Misty didn’t know quite what to say. This was a big deal to them. The boys poked a bit of fun at each other and were finishing up their beers when the phone rang. Misty froze. It had to be Steve. She couldn’t take a call from him with these boys still here. Then an inspired idea hit her.

“Cedric, could you get that for me and take a message? I’d really appreciate it. Just say I’m indisposed.” She smiled and feigned exhaustion. They were like boy-men in some ways. Kind and gentle and immature and perfect for what she had in mind.

Cedric walked over to the wall phone and picked it up.

“Hullo?”

Misty followed the one-sided conversation.

“No, b’y. She can’t come to the phone. She’s exposed.”

Indisposed, you idiot. There’s a big difference.

“Who’s callin’?”

What was I thinking? I deserve this. A total idiot, that’s what I am. Misty Idiot Muldoon.

“Steve. Right on. I’ll get her to give you a call.” And he hung up.

Misty was relieved to finally lock the door behind them. She felt as though she were caught in the middle of a horror story that had no ending. It was bad enough she was playing games with Steve but letting Cedric be the messenger boy was the ultimate act of stupidity. What was she going to do now?

The phone rang again. She just knew it was Steve and the caller ID confirmed it. She was surprised at the intensity of her feelings. Part of her wanted desperately to speak to him to clear up the matter of the woman who answered his phone and another part of her wanted to simply run away from what might be a painful or even deceitful situation. As the phone continued to ring, Misty debated what to do. Finally, she gave up trying to see into a non-existent crystal ball and simply pressed the button and said hello.

“So, the exposed woman decides to take a call, does she?”

Steve sounded just a bit annoyed and Misty bit back a smart retort. Her experience with her ex had left her particularly susceptible to feeling insecure and vulnerable but she wasn’t about to let those insecurities rule her mouth, any more than she wanted them to rule her heart.

“I was indisposed.” She looked down at her boxers. The heart covered shorts might have been a hit at her divorce party, but their time had passed. They looked ridiculous and too suitable a match to the way she was feeling. Further, just hearing Steve’s voice set off a ripple in her pelvis that telegraphed something much sexier like thongs or crotchless, edible drive-through bloomers. Not bad at all for someone whose brain officially ceased to function when her hormones kicked in.

“I figured it out all on my own, sweetheart. What was Cedric doing at your place?”

“I might ask the same of you.”

“Cedric wasn’t at my place,” Steve replied, with just a hint of amusement in his voice.

Misty wasn’t buying. “You know what I mean. The person who answered your phone, who was she?”

“No one important.”

“No one important? That’s your answer. No one important. Okay, if that’s the way it is. Fine.” But it wasn’t fine at all. She needed to know who answered his damn phone and why.

“So, what are you doing?”

Misty was incensed. That was it? He was going to drop the matter like that? “Nothing.” The silence on the phone was ominous and spoke volumes. Misty realized she was behaving like a spoiled child but nothing she could say to herself could convince her to change her tactics. She was angry at Steve, especially since he refused to explain what was going on. But if he was going to play this game with her, she wasn’t going to grovel and beg for him to clarify things. She’d learned a thing or two about being elusive herself in the past year. She yawned, feigning a tiredness she didn’t feel at all. Truthfully, she could have dissembled a Mac Truck with only a screwdriver in about thirty minutes.

“Not much in the mood for conversation this evening?”

“No.” Big, fat lie.

“Phone sex, then?”

Her nipples responded enthusiastically to his comment, but she pressed her lips into a tight seam and lied again. “No.”

“C’mon, Misty. Lighten up.”

Lighten up? Have I just morphed onto the planet Mars? Dear God, could a man really be this dumb? Misty took a deep breath. “Steve, I’m standing here with only my cast on. If you were close enough, I’d show you some very amazing new stretches I’ve mastered but honestly, since you aren’t, I’m going to slip into bed by myself and read a good romance novel and hope I don’t get all hot and bothered.” Take that, you idiot.

“Shit, Misty. Don’t talk like that. It makes me miss you too much.”

I’m sure. The idea of exciting him was having an interesting effect on her own libido so she decided to continue to torment him, a fitting if not slightly malicious punishment for his behavior. “If you were closer,” she said seductively, “I might be inspired to show you just how much you miss me. I could run my hands over your back and sooth you, press my lips to every place my fingers touch. I’d give you a perfect and memorable massage that you’d never get anywhere else without paying a lot of money, honey.” She waited to see the effect of her words.

Steve groaned. “You know what’s happening, don’t you?”

“Uh-huh. That’s the part when my fingers and lips get mixed up.”

“Oh, babe. I’ve got a problem, now.”

“Yes, you do,” she said simply, and hung up.

So much for being naked. Misty’s fantasy popped like a hot air balloon and she looked down at her boxers with dismay. After her conversation with Steve, she felt like she could use a little pick up herself. The baggy drawers just weren’t cutting it for her and never would again. They needed a new role in her life and she had just the perfect one for them. They were going to provide a way for her to work out her frustrations and her sexual fantasies. They were going on the tree.

It took her a couple of hours and the activity helped keep her mind from wandering to Steve and her insecurities. When she stood back to admire her handiwork, the tree looked positively festive. Dancing merrily on its branches were the world’s cutest little stuffed ornaments.

Heart balls.

Her tree was the perfect accessory for someone longing for love. She curled up on the couch, her encasted leg resting on the coffee table and counted hearts. Exhausted emotionally and physically, in no time at all she was fast asleep.

“You gets up to some stuff when you’re left to yourself,” said Pansy.

“What?” Misty’s mouth was dry. “What time izzit?” She opened her eyes and saw Pansy and the girls staring at the tree.

“Ten o’clock. Where,” Pansy pointed at the tree, “did that come from?”

“Like it?” Misty asked stifling a yawn as she struggled to sit up.

“It’s beautiful, Mommy,” said Liberty. “Let’s make some more ornaments. C’mon, Vivvy.” She took her sister’s hand and they ran out of the room.

“Sure won’t be no one else with them ornaments,” said Pansy. “They looks a bit familiar.” She pursed her lips. “Are they–”

“My boxers? Yep. Even thought of a name for them.”

“What’s that?”

“Heart Balls.”

“Looks more like Fanny Balls if you asks me. But if you’re crazy enough to decorate your tree from a bottom filled with hearts, you deserves to find true love sooner or later. I doubt you even needs Fanny Faulkner’s help with that kind of talent.”

Misty smiled. For once she agreed with Pansy but she had more pressing matters on her mind. She got up and beckoned Pansy into the kitchen.

“C’mon, I’m going to make breakfast.”

“Not a chance,” Pansy replied pushing Misty toward a chair. “You sit down. I’ll do it. I feels guilty watching you work.”

“Anything else you feel guilty about?” asked Misty, hands poised on her hips.

Pansy looked at her blankly. “Me? No. Should I?”

“Steve?” prompted Misty, raising her eye-brows.

Pansy shook her head, looking puzzled.

“Calling Toronto?” Misty prompted further.

“Oh, that. I told you I might be moving in the spring. I wants his advice on a few things.”

“Such as?”

“What is this?” Pansy asked. “You makes me uncomfortable when you looks at me like that. Giving me the evil eye or something.”

“A woman answered his phone last night,” said Misty, pointing her finger at Pansy. “Could your guilt possibly have anything to do with that? You might know something I don’t, for instance?”

Pansy smiled weakly. “I knowed this would come up sooner or later.”

“Oh, my God. He’s living with someone. I knew it.”

“Settle down. No, he isn’t. Not anymore. He was. You understands that, sure? He’s easy on the eyes, b’y. Imagine he did have a few women before you. One of the reasons he came here was to give her a chance to move out.”

“Well, I’m not sure she did. She answered his phone, she’s reading his paper. She knows who I am but I’ll be damned if I’ve ever heard of her.” Misty was unleashing all the frustration she’d held back last evening. “He invited me up there for a visit. Don’t you think that would have been rather cosy? I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.”

“He made me promise. I didn’t like her anyway. He brought her down here one time and she was a real Prima Donna. An airhead. You got no worries about her.”

“Pansy. It’s not the woman I’m worried about. This is about Steve. He didn’t tell me. That worries me. I’ve been though this before. Remember?”

“That’s why he didn’t say anything. It was over. I told him he gots to tell you. He’s stunned for someone so smart.”

“We’ve been talking on the phone for a few months now. I’ve been sharing my life with him and he doesn’t see fit to mention he was living with someone? Do I have sucker tattooed on my forehead? Do you see it because I’m sure it’s there.” Misty brushed her hair from her brow and glared at Pansy.

“That’s not true. I knows he thinks the world of you. You has to talk to him. Let him explain.”

“Oh, blood sure runs thick. I was talking to him and do you know what he said? Nothing, that’s what. He breezed right by my concerns like he was brushing off a flake of dandruff. Do I really look like a flake of dandruff to you?”

Pansy opened her mouth to make a comment, but Misty didn’t give her a chance. “You, of all people. Don’t try to cover for him. After what I’ve been through, trust means everything to me.”

“But Misty, you have to give him a chance to explain.”

Misty could see the distress on Pansy’s face but it was nothing compared to what she felt in her heart. All the hurt and misgivings she’d experienced with Jake came flooding back to her, as though they had never left.

She felt insecure and defensive. It was all wrong, really, but her feelings were doing the driving. She was just along for the ride; sitting in the backseat with her skirt hiked up around her ass to boot.

This is copyrighted information and may not be distributed. Excerpt from Misty’s Misadventures by Kathryn Taylor 2007.

© Copyright Kathryn Taylor – Contemporary Romance, Humour and Suspense Writer - Developed by Blue Wolf Design Group