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Desert Heat

I know Dannie and was excited to hear she had written a book. When I first started to read Desert Heat, I did so with a critical eye because it was...
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Desert Heat

Our book club had the opportunity and privilege to meet and have a lively discussion of "Desert Heat" with Dannie Marsden...a great story with strong...
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Dannie Marsden's book Desert Heat

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Circus,Circus

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We're Not In Kansas Anymore Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - Excerpt 

 

I walked into the cavernous hotel lobby with my on again, off again girlfriend grumbling behind me. Although I was a con virgin at the time, this was five years ago when it wasn’t called RLS, the Rainbow Literary Society and they didn’t offer any support for newbies like myself.

 

I wasn’t an author, but I’d mustered up every bit of courage I could find to convince Dara, my girlfriend, to attend the event. I was enamored with a new novelist whose debut novel left me wanting more of whatever Kool-Aid she wanted to distribute. Her name was Silver Lining, it was such a great name for a writer and I created an image in my head of what she would be like. It bordered on Goddess-she certainly looked like one in her pictures.

 

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was about to meet the love of my life. Five years later when we crossed paths again, it became evident to me after a few short days, that I was in love for the first time. Unfortunately, both of us were unavailable at the time of our first meeting. She had an adoring wife and I had a domineering girlfriend who dictated nearly every aspect of my life. It was my fault, because what you permit, you promote.

 

“Let’s just get checked in and then we can grab some dinner. I’ll ask the concierge where we should go. The hotel restaurants are notoriously overpriced,” Dara remarked.

 

“Thanks for coming with me. I know this isn’t really your cup of tea.” I let my backpack fall to the floor and stepped up to the counter. Dara had already pulled out her wallet and was handing the hotel clerk her credit card.

 

“Dara Stevens. Please make sure the room was upgraded. I made the call myself yesterday morning.” Dara was tapping her fingers on the counter and I cringed at her tone. She turned to me and almost as if it was an afterthought announced, “I couldn’t let you go to this thing alone, with all these predatory lesbians just waiting to hook up with someone.”

 

I hadn’t wanted her to pay for everything, but when I’d registered for the conference and politely asked if she wanted to attend with me, she’d taken charge. Again.

 

I could tell she didn’t want to go, but ever since her third moment of indiscretion, she was pulling out all the stops to worm her way back into my good graces-promising me it would never happen again and offering to do whatever it took to repair the damage. I’ll admit I used her guilt to finally attend the conference.

 

After the clerk handed her the keys to the room she ended up paying for, I trudged after her with my backpack securely fastened to my body. Dara’s grimace showed her distaste for my choice of luggage, but I preferred the more compact option to the designer set she’d bought me last year.

 

“I really wish you hadn’t brought that raggedy old backpack. People will think I don’t take care of you,” Dara chided.

 

“My backpack has nothing to do with you. It’s not like I’m a kept woman, or am I?” I ventured.

 

“No, of course not. It’s just embarrassing.”

 

I didn’t respond. I preferred to end the fight before it got started.

 

When we entered the hotel suite, I had to admit it was lovely and probably more spacious than the room I had initially reserved. I had a bad habit of accepting her generosity in these circumstances, but sometimes it made me feel cheap, like a piece of eye candy whose only purpose was to look good on Dara’s arm. I hadn’t mustered up the nerve to stand on my own two feet at this point in my life, but when I finally developed a backbone, I’d lost a great deal of respect.

 

“I suppose this will do,” Dara announced. I prepared myself for four days of mild complaints. It would all be worth it if I got to meet Silver Lining and she signed her book for me. Certainly I could endure Dara’s subtle jabs for three days.

 

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