I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Excerpt: Reinventing Mike Lake

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
Special guest post by R.W. Jones, Author of "Reinventing Mike Lake"
Plot Summary:
When Mike Lake’s wife unexpectedly passed away, he needed a change to help overcome his despair. He chose to hit the open road with his faithful dog, Bahama, as his co-pilot. During his travels, Mike rekindled with estranged family members, soaked up some sun in the Florida Keys, and got lucky in Las Vegas. Along the way Mike searched for his direction in life, reinventing himself to be the man he was meant to be.

First of all, I would like to thank Charlene and Bookish Whimsy for allowing me the opportunity to share with your readers a brief excerpt of my debut novel “Reinventing Mike Lake.” Following the excerpt I will leave links to my website, twitter, contact info, and where you can purchase the book if you think it’s something that may interest you.  The following comes from the fifth chapter of my book.  Mike Lake, the main character has stopped at his sister’s house and the niece he had never met. Because the niece, Cassidy, had taken to Mike’s dog Bahama so swiftly, the group (including Bahama) head to a local SPCA in hopes of finding a new best friend for Cassidy before Mike and Bahama hit the road again.
I have never had the experience of taking a child to Disney World, but I imagine an SPCA is a close alternative. Especially after you tell her she can have her pick of the litter, so to speak. To an adult the SPCA resembles a prison. The sad commercials you see while flipping through the channels late at night don’t help either.
                At first she ran through the hallways of the SPCA scaring most of the dogs, while some of the other ones scared her.  During all this her mother was trying to explain to her that we need to make sure she doesn’t pick a dog that is too big, and that it has to be a bit older. She explained to Cassidy that by picking one that was a little older she’d be doing a good thing because everyone else would be picking the puppies, so they would be sure to have a good home. I didn’t want to see Cassidy have to turn down a puppy she really liked, but luckily the puppies were in a separate section of the facility and Cassidy never asked about them, so we were never faced with that decision. The only thing I added was that we also wanted to make sure the new doggy got along with Bahama since we would be visiting often.  Bahama was currently in a “meet and greet” room in the front of the building garnering the attention of a handful of volunteers. While all the humans involved in the decision of bringing a new dog home for Cassidy held an important say, Bahama held the biggest. Her reaction to the potential new addition would make or break the deal.
                The first dog Cassidy took outside was a Chihuahua named Killer that didn’t stop barking from the time we took him out of his run with the help of a reluctant volunteer. Chloe shot me a look that said, “If she picks this dog, I will never forgive you.” Unfortunately for the Chihuahua mix, Cassidy was pretty fearful of the dog once she got a closer look, so Killer’s outside portion of the talent show didn’t even make it to the Bahama part of the program. Cassidy said something to her mom about being afraid of the dog, and Chloe, trying her best not to look to thankful, whisked the dog back to his run. 
                The second dog, who had yet to be given a name from the staff, had potential right from the start. We took the beagle-mix to the side of the building where they had a fenced in section. I then walked back inside to get Bahama to see if we would be getting her approval. Cassidy, Chloe, and I all knew that the decision rested solely in her paws.
                When I walked back to the yard I saw Cassidy and the no-named pup playing with a rope, with the beagle-mix taking it easy on her end of the toy. I took it as a good thing that the dog knew her own strength when playing with a child as small as Cassidy. 
                When Bahama saw the beagle, her tail beat against my leg. Her fur didn’t stick up, so I knew she wasn’t scared, like how I had seen her react around some of the dogs in my neighborhood. Bahama was so excited to go play with Cassidy and the new dog that I thought there was a chance she’d break the leash on our way over to them. The commotion got the attention of the beagle-mix, so the volunteer met us halfway, trying to not lose hold of the leash. After preliminary introductions, they both ran back towards Cassidy, with what can only be described as doggy smiles. 
                “So does Mommy have any say in your new addition’s name?” I asked Chloe.
                “No, I’m going to let Cassidy name her. Isn’t that exciting?”
                After paperwork that took an hour, and waiting for a long line of volunteers to say goodbye to the no-named beagle they had fallen in love with, we headed back to Chloe’s place. I didn’t have much time to get to know the newest member of the family because there was food, leashes, and a crate to be bought. I went to the pet store solo, and the entire trip took about an hour. When I returned to the house the no-named beagle-mix was still a no-named beagle-mix.
                “She wants to name it ‘Uncle Mike’,” Chloe reported as I walked back into the house with an armful of bags.
                Holding back laughter, but feeling flattered, I dropped the bags on the kitchen table and said, “I’m not sure she would appreciate that,” emphasizing the word “she,” as in the sex of the dog.
                “I told her she’d have to change it, she’s thinking about it now. The whole clan is in the yard playing.”
                Around the dinner table that night, our feet surrounded by worn out doggies, Chloe asked Cassidy if she had come up with a name.
                “Ummmmmm, how ‘bout Bahama?” she asked, causing Bahama to perk her head off the floor, hoping for a table scrap.
                “Well that’s her name, how about something else?” her mom asked her, while pointing to my confused dog.
                “Okayyyyyy, how about Pink,” which I guessed was her favorite color based on the color scheme of her bedroom and most of her clothes.
                “What about Pinky?” her mom suggested.  She later told me she suggested this name because it flowed off the tongue better. I mentally tested her theory in my head – “Here Pink, Pink, Pink” versus “Here Pinky, Pinky, Pinky.” She had a point.
                Throughout all of this the beagle kept an eye on her, and tilted her head every time someone mentioned the name Pinky.
                “I think she likes it” I said around the same time Cassidy ran out of the living room with Pinky and Bahama in tow yelling “Pinky” over and over.
                “I guess that’s that,” said Chloe.
                And, that was that.
Thanks for checking this out, and if you are interested in purchasing the entire book you can purchase it on Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Mike-Lake-ebook/dp/B0084P3W1M
For more information about me you can check out my website at http://rwjonesauthor.com/
Additionally you can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RWJonesAuthor

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  1. Thank you Charlene for allowing me to do this. It's an honor you would allow me to post this on your awesome blog and it would be an honor if you would allow me back another time.

    Thanks again,

    R.W. Jones

    1. You're very kind and I would be happy to post more about your work in the future!