I'm a sentimental sap. I mean, I write (and on occasion read) romance novels after all. I get pretty misty eyed around the holidays, mainly at the thought of all the money I'm about to spend. But as I move through my 40s I have had a lot of changes occur in my life year over year. Thought I'd take a moment and reflect, with you.
Three years ago I became part owner of a craft microbrewery. The Wolverine State Brewing Company has grown from a simple contract brewed one-product little-engine-that-could by anyone's standards to a company on the cusp of serious expansion and regional distribution of 4 bottled products with a Tap Room (a.k.a. beer bar that only serves our beer) that is SRO about 5 nights out of 7 and one that I'm about to expand to include a private rental hall.
Exactly one year later, a very handsome fella showed up on my doorstep. Hans cut a tall figure, with an impish twinkle in His deep blues, and was busy cracking his knuckles and nodding towards the computer while I stared at Him-openmouthed at His physical perfection and what He was proposing. Me? Write? Romance books? Nope. NO thanks Dude. I mean, c'mon in and let me pour You a beer and everything but...I have zero time to manage a small business, teenagers, a busy executive spouse, 2 dogs...You get the me. But...let me just touch Your strong, lightly stubbled jaw...and draw a finger down and across those amazing shoulders...hold onto Your ...oo my that is quite a bicep.....and...huh? Oh sure, I'll follow You into the office. Sit? Sure. Write? Why not? Just don't..you know...leave me or anything.
Yes, I met my Muse and He is a hottie. And demanding. And a bit high maintenance as relates to His ego. He is content to play on His own when I'm immersed in my beer life, or "life life" as it were. But when He gets a thought, an idea, a plot, He is flipping relentless...tapping my shoulder, inserting His sweet arse between me and whatever else I'm attempting to do, until I give Him some Special Attention. In the form of one-on-one with the keyboard.
This time last year Hans and I were struggling. I considered couples therapy. He had ideas. I had no time. He would disappear for days on end, when I need Him only to return when I was busy again.
But long about November, just before my second book (XXXMas Ale from Breathless Press) was about to release, He stumbled up onto my doorstep again, disheveled, desperate.. and hugely pissed off.
"Here!" He flung an armload of that silly parchment paper He uses to make notes at me.
"Take these! I'm outta here. Good luck."
I reached out for His arm (ooo...what a bicep). "Wait, Hans. Don't go...I...I'm sorry."
He kept His back to me, his shoulders heaving with emotion as I admired His ass in the tight jeans He wears to humor-slash-inspire me. He whirled around, His eyes dark with anger and something...else.
He gripped my arms, pulled me close and brought His lips to my ear....and here I am.
I swear it was the work of a moment (and an overly active imagination--I'm a writer. Sue me). But He poured the concepts for 2 amazing novels, a series of short stories and a couple of fun romps into my soul right then, ALL of which I've had published in 2011.
Now, we've been on a break. One can only stand so much of His presence. And He gets all grumpy during editing and promoting which has been what the last 3 months have been a nothing but. But...just last week...as I wallowed in self doubt and cried out for His strong comforting arms or at least for Him to share the bourbon bottle he was holding....He whispered a little something in my ear....
Something that I've started. And It's gonna be great.
Menage A Brew
Marko: Authentic Viennese hunky blond Brew-master of Prufrock Brewing in Grand Rapids Michigan, hiding from a central truth about himself, has just won National Brewer's Association brewer of the year honors, has bedded his boss, and hired....
Jonas Calone, young, hip, dark of skin and hair and eyes as his second brewer.
Jonas is hot for teacher.
Helena is the widowed owner of Prufrock, who fights the demons of doubt and in-law pressure to continue her husband's legacy of success with their brewery.
Prufrock is on the cusp on national distribution. Helena and Marko have a very hot, very physical relationship. But nothing more. He provides her with the proof she needs that she is beautiful in her curvy, womanly body, with her amazing gift for business. But when Jonas steps between them figuratively, literally and inadvertantly they all discover something about themselves--something that will blow apart everything they thought they knew about love.
Let's talk Muses...does yours demand? cajole? pout? blackmail? Insist on you using Capital Letter for His or Her name/references?
I wish you ALL a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend!