Hiya guys, we have Sean Michael popping in today with her upcoming re-release From the Get Go, we have a fantastic guest post from Sean and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
From the Get Go
When easygoing Texas artist Dakin McBride makes his way to Ottawa, Canada, for a showing, he meets Jeff Tamrin, the fastidious manager of the Sussex Gallery. Despite coming from different worlds and being opposites in almost every way, the attraction is immediate, and soon Dakin and Jeff negotiate their own brand of diplomatic relations, forgetting all about art or seeing the sights the city has to offer. They get wrapped up in the moment, each of them intrigued by what he feels for the other.
The more they get to know each other, the more they like what they see. Dakin has a life to go back to in Texas, though, and Jeff has his own in Canada. Is there any way for their budding romance to survive the thousands of miles separating them? The relationship seems doomed, but at the same time, it feels too right to give up without a fight.
Top Ten Places to Go in Ottawa
by Sean Michael
As From the Get Go is set in my hometown of Ottawa, I thought I would share with you the top ten places, in my opinion, to go see. Although I love the winter, I’m going to stick with things to go to/see/etc in the spring/summer. On top of that, all of this stuff is either downtown or a very short bus ride to get to.
10. The Parliament Buildings – you can do tours or just check out the grounds with the peace monument up front and the various statures around the sides and back. Though, really, the library is worth going on the tour for
9. The Nature Museum – the building was once used as the temporary parliament when the original buildings burned down. So both the building itself and the exhibits are well worth it.
8. The Art Museum. With its giant spider statue, called Mother, right outside the front of the building, to the special exhibits and the cafeteria that makes yummy food, this one is a great museum for paintings and sculptures.
7. Moony’s Bay and Hogs Back Falls – our beach in the middle of the city, along with the waterfalls that force the boats into the canal, there’s lots of grounds for walking here, too. In the middle of the city.
6. Ottawa City Hall and Confederation Park. The original city hall buildings are fairly old and a new building has been added. There’s a fountain and some art installations, and a square where there’s often festivals of various sorts going on (such as poutine fest). The humanitarian monument is on the grounds and Confederation park with its fountains and statues is right across the street.
5. Chateau Laurier and Major’s Hill Park – One of the original CN railway hotels, the Chateau Laurier is amazing inside – high ceilings, carvings, marble. It’s gorgeous. Beside and behind it is Major’s Hill Park, which has the end of the canal on one side, and Ottawa river on the other.
4. Museum of Civilization (technically now called the Museum of History, but it was the other one for so long, that’s still what I call it. Technically this is across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, but it’s close enough to count. The architecture on this is gorgeous, both inside and out, and there’s always interesting temporary exhibits, as well as the permanent ones.
3. The canal runs right through the city and it’s wonderful to go down to the locks, either at Hogs Back Falls or by the Parliament Buildings to see them. Stick around to watch them working if you’ve got the time.
2. Taking a boat ride up the canal, from downtown to Dow’s Lake. This is a wonderful way to see some of the city.
1. The Tulip Festival is the first three weeks of May and it’s something that I try to get to every single year, so that shows just how awesome I think it is.
So come and visit my beautiful city!
Smut fixes everything
By the time the late afternoon sun was shining in on his desk in the little reception area, he’d crossed nearly everything off his to-do list for the day, and a few items for tomorrow were done as well.
He was congratulating himself on a day well spent when the door opened behind him, a soft clearing of throat calling his attention. “Excuse me, sir. I’m looking for a Mr. Tamrin?”
He turned, coming face-to-face with someone who looked (and sounded) like he was out of an Old West novel.
He smiled, delighted by this anomaly. “You’ve found him.” He held out his hand. “Jeff Tamrin.”
“Pleased.” The shake was firm and sure. Eyes so blue they had to be contacts smiled at him from a leathered face. “I’m Dakin McBride. I do the leather stuff? I have a truck full of stuff coming, so I reckoned I ought to introduce myself.”
“My missing art! Wonderful. It’s very nice to meet you.” And if he held on to Mr. McBride’s hand just a little too long, maybe the man would get the idea that it was very nice to meet him.
“Not missing at all. Waiting for a place to land.” Those blue eyes looked around the gallery, taking in the chaos, the lights. “Nice place.”
“Don’t judge her yet; she cleans up really well. Would you like the tour?” Or a drink? Lord, he needed to get out more.
The cell went off again and he sighed, flipping it open. “Not now, Jenni, I’m busy.” Then he closed it and gave Dakin McBride his best smile.
Dakin chuckled, took off the cowboy hat, and nodded. His dark hair was caught back in a tie, a mass of curls spreading over the back of his black shirt. “I’d love a look-see, if you have time. My boxes should be in town first thing in the morning.”
“Excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing your stuff. Jenni’s putting together an exciting exhibition.” He took Dakin’s arm to lead him into the main show area. “Oh! Do you want some coffee, Dakin? May I call you Dakin?”
“I’d love some, thanks, and Dakin’s fine.” He gave Jeff a warm, slow smile. “I’m around for a couple weeks, sight-seeing, so you might see a little of me.”
“That would be all right. I like the little I see so far.” Jeff detoured back to the counter with the pot and poured out a mug. “How do you take it?”
“Black, thanks.” There was a little hemp necklace resting around Dakin’s throat, a single hematite bead in the middle. Yum.
“Where are you staying?” he asked casually, handing the cup over and nodding back toward the main room.
“The… uh….” Dakin fumbled in his shirt pocket, squinting a little at a business card. “Capital Hill Suites? Seems nice enough, but not too harsh on the pocketbook.”
“They’re over on Albert, aren’t they? Being downtown is good—you can walk pretty much everywhere.” He strode into the middle of the large room. “This is the biggest room we have. It takes up most of the main floor, bar the reception area, a small office, and storage in the back. Upstairs are six smaller areas. You can see the large windows and skylights offer a lot of natural lighting. And we supplement with spots.”
“Yeah? I have a few entire hides—y’all realize they take up a lot of room, right?”
He doubted very much that Jenni realized it, but he’d done his homework before the invitations had been sent out. “Indeed. We’re planning on putting a few pieces from everyone down here on the main floor, and then a room for each artist upstairs. Did you want to see the room I’ve assigned you?”
He tried not to think how much that sounded like “come see my etchings.” Did people even say that, or was it apocryphal?
Dakin nodded, still looking, taking everything in. “Yeah. Yeah, after you.”
“Okay.” Jeff sauntered up the stairs, aware of the man following him.
Maybe it was the drawl, or the bluer-than-blue eyes, or maybe even the knowledge the man worked with leather, but Dakin exuded masculinity in a way that put Jeff into overdrive. Jeff swore he could smell leather on him too, rich and strong and pure, unadulterated sex.
He licked his lips as he got to the top of the stairs and turned right. “This way,” he told Dakin, smiling back at him.
Those eyes were most definitely studying his ass. He was going to have to make sure that Mr. Dakin McBride very much enjoyed his stay in Ottawa.
“This will be your space.” It was the room farthest from the stairs, but it was also the largest of the six areas upstairs, light and airy.
“Damn. This is fine….” Dakin wandered, fingers trailing along the wall, eyes shining. “I have three saddle stands coming—they can go in here just fine.”
“Excellent. I’ve got a few freestanding display cases that we can bring in as well if you need them. I didn’t know if you did boots or not. I’m afraid I never got a full inventory of what to expect from you.” Or from half the others, though he’d done his research and knew what types of pieces he could expect, and had assigned rooms accordingly. But he hated looking ignorant in front of the artists. He was the one they dealt with, and while Dakin didn’t seem in the least hoity-toity like a lot of them could be, nobody liked to think their work wasn’t important.
“No? I got some hides, some saddles. I brought a collection of Navajo tobacco bags and a beaded leather jacket.” Dakin shrugged, grinning. “I didn’t know what y’all’d want.”
He could shoot Jenni. “I can’t wait to see.” He made a gesture toward the room. “You’re happy with the space, then?”
“Yeah. I mean, it’s not my barn and workshop, but it’ll make my babies look right pretty.”
“We’ll certainly do our best. I’m going to want to go over the inventory with you when it arrives and arrange for pricing. The pieces that are sold won’t be released from the gallery until the exhibition is over, but we’ll arrange for shipping and take care of payment and all that.”
“I told the owner—Jenni, yeah?—everything’s for sale but the white tobacco bag. That’s just for display.”
“I’ll go through the inventory with you, and we’ll assign the prices together. That way I’ll be confident we’re selling only what you want sold, and at a price you can live with after our commission.” And he wasn’t going to turn down an hour or two of being forced to work with this man. “We can go over that tomorrow afternoon, if you like. Let the stuff get here and give you time to settle in a little. Recover from your flight.”
“Sure. Tell me when, and I’ll be here.” Dakin nodded, looked around one more time. “I guess I should get out of your hair, huh? You got any suggestions for a decent place to get a bite to eat?”
“Depends on what you want—you can find just about anything in Ottawa. Especially downtown.” He glanced at his watch, going for casual. It was almost six already. “I could use some nibbling myself, if you’d rather not eat alone….”
“Yeah? You wouldn’t mind?” Jeff got another slow, warm smile that almost stopped his heart. That was beautiful.
He shook his head slowly. “No, Dakin, I don’t think I’d mind at all.”
Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.
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