TRIP, Desert Phantoms 2 – 1st chapter

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A VERY NAUGHTY MC CHRISTMAS is LIVE!!!!

It includes 10 awesome MC tales including a shortened version of TRIP, Desert Phantoms MC 2.

Go check it out, but first stick around and get a peek at chapter 1 of TRIP.

Normally, Trip would spend the holidays with his Phantom brothers and a lovely lady or two. Instead, he navigated snow on his sled, freezing his balls off in Tahoe. Why? Because his prez hammered home the importance of family.

The club was all the family Trip needed, but when Granite gave an order, they obeyed it.

Not that he didn’t want to spend time with his sister and the twins; he did. It was just seeing Meri at Christmas brought up some shit—someone—better left in the past.

He could see the family cabin from the road. Multicolored twinkling lights taunted him through the fat snowflakes that were coming down harder and harder. It wasn’t the weather causing his anxiety to skyrocket, though.

It was thoughts of her. They caused a physical ache in his chest. One he tried to rub away. Stupid move to take a hand off the bar on snow and gravel. He lost control, but he was riding up the driveway at a snail’s pace when he laid it down. There was minimal damage to the bike. Him, not so much. It was his instinct to protect his baby that dislocated his shoulder.

“Fuck!”

Fighting through the pain, he walked it to the side of the cabin under the carport. With minimal light sources that were steady and not twinkling, it was impossible to inspect any damage. He knew there would be scratches. He just didn’t know how bad.

“Fuck it. It’ll look the same tomorrow as it does now.” His arm was a different story. The shoulder was throbbing. Meri could put her nursing skills to work and help him pop it back in tomorrow when she arrived. For tonight, he planned on getting so drunk memories wouldn’t faze him and pain couldn’t touch him.

Grabbing the bag strapped to the bitch bar, he headed inside. Meri had come up earlier and outdid herself. The tree was enormous, and the entire interior looked like Kris Kringle threw up. Her kids, nine now, would love it. His sister was a great mom. She had to be since the jackass who knocked her up took off.

The same man who crushed his fairy tale love story ten years ago also ruined his sister’s life. Hell, that fucker hit a trifecta of dick moves. Talk about strained holidays, but Granite was right. Family is everything, and not just his club brothers. Meri and the twins were all he had left of blood.

That didn’t mean being sober and in emotional and physical pain was called for. Trip made it to the couch before he dropped from exhaustion. However, that wouldn’t be enough to keep the ghosts of Christmas past at bay. Johnny Walker would do that.

Two healthy swigs in and his eyes wandered to the framed photo on the coffee table. Setting the bottle down, he picked up the picture with the arm that wasn’t throbbing. The ache in his chest returned with a vengeance. Deep and excruciating.

It was the four of them right before his world went to shit. That was the last time he’d visited the cabin or even truly celebrated Christmas. Smashing the frame on the table, he wrenched the picture free. Folding it over, so himself, Meri, and fucking Jake weren’t visible, only Jessika.

It was the last time he saw her smile. Hell, it was likely the last time he’d smiled, too. Genuinely smiled. The kind that reached the soul.

Three days later he was off to boot camp, leaving behind the woman he’d been minutes away from proposing to when she’d cheated on him… with his sister’s boyfriend.

God, if only his sister knew the truth, she wouldn’t have that picture on the table or even in the fucking cabin. She would’ve burned it. Instead of telling his sister that her boyfriend was a cheating piece of shit, he held back his pain and congratulated her on her pregnancy announcement later that same day.

In the years that followed, Trip saw no reason to cause her or the twins any undo pain. Jake was long gone, bolted before the kids were even born, and Jessika was still her best friend. Who was he to impart details to destroy shit? Meri knew something bad happened between them, but not what. Crissy and James never knew their father, for good or bad, and that was enough for nine-year-olds to deal with.

Speaking of… Trip looked around and found a pic of them on the sofa table. Chrissy looked just like Meri at that age and James, well, unfortunately, he looked just like his dad.

Tossing all the pictures aside, he snagged the bottle again, put his feet up and proceeded to drink himself into a stupor.

Somewhere in a passed-out, drunken haze, he heard his phone ding. The blinding light that scarred his retinas told him it was daytime already.

Grabbing it off the table, he squinted at the screen.

  • MERI: Sorry little bro, got stuck with holiday shifts. Should arrive in time to make Christmas breakfast, though. JJ should be there tonight or early tomorrow to keep you company. Be nice. No peeking under the tree. Presents have to wait. Love you.
  • TRIP: I’m always nice.

Trip was both relieved and annoyed. Relieved to have some time alone but annoyed to have company soon. Company he didn’t know. Who the hell was JJ, a new boyfriend Meri forgot to tell him about?

Forgot my ass. “She never tells me anything anymore, not since I ran off every fucker who got near her since Jake.” Trip may not be the most regular presence in her life, but as soon as he found out she was seeing someone, he always made an appearance. Usually with a brother or two at his back.

Threats weren’t needed. Most of those pussies ran off at the sight of a couple of Phantoms staring him down. JJ would be no different.

He’ll be history in no time, too. Easy peasy, nice and sleazy.

At least JJ could help with his shoulder before he ran his sorry ass off. Once it was back in place, he’d be able to ride home a day or two after, with minimal pain.

He sat up and scrubbed a hand down his face and winced at the tiny cuts plaguing him. How the hell… oh, his eyes drifted to the bits of glass on the table. He snagged the picture again and stared into the brandy-colored eyes of the woman he hated that he still loved. Her smile was blinding, and rich chocolate curls framed her perfect, heart-shaped face. The longer he stared at the picture, the more details he noticed, like a snowflake stuck to her right eyelash. He caressed the image with his finger as if he could thumb it from her eye.

Goddamn it.

Being alone here at Christmastime would destroy him. At least drinking was still a great option to occupy his time. Not only had he brought his own, but it also looked like his sister had stocked the cabin just for him.

After he cleaned up the broken glass, he folded and tucked the picture into his wallet. He settled his gear into the first of the smaller rooms before heading to the attached bathroom for a shower. It wasn’t like he could get too clean with one arm. So pretty much he stood with his back to the water, drinking and smoking.

After he was semi-clean, drunk, and stoned, he wrapped a towel around his waist and settled in on the couch. He planned to binge-watch some series on Netflix until the combination of alcohol and pot made him forget.

Easier said than done. Everything reminded him of the last Christmas he’d spent there. The smell, the sights. Hell, even the damn show on TV made him think of her and the pain that followed her silence.

Everything changed that year, for all of them. The sad part was he seemed to be the only one holding on to it. He cursed out loud at how it had affected his life. A string of women who all melted together. No face stood out. No encounter memorable. It was years of meaningless sex and pretense. Trip was fucking tired. Tired of living with one foot in the past. Tired of pretending he was happy and didn’t want to settle down like some of his brothers.

Tired of tripping and landing dick first into pussy he had no business being in, as his brothers described.

He was just plain tired.

© 2021 Verlene Landon/Rusty Halo Books

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None Book Post – Product Testing

Okay, so sometimes I just see something on Amazon and I’m like, why haven’t I tried this yet?

I have no idea if it will be a shitshow or a diamond in the rough, but it’s always fun to find out either way.

When it arrives and I give it a try, I’ll let you know how it worked out for me.

Of course, I got the one with the cute mini grill because, why not?

You have to make your own mix and freeze the barrel, I could just make coffee can vegan ice cream quicker.

Dash My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker Machine for Gelato, Sorbet + Frozen Yogurt 0.4qt-White & Mini Maker Portable Grill Machine + Panini Press for Gourmet Burgers, Sandwiches, Chicken – Red

HOT TOPIC: A non-book Post

Let’s start this story by saying, it’s no secret I’m vegan. Almost 2 years of being consciously vegan. That doesn’t translate to perfect, better than you, or anything other than the words themselves. I make a conscious and dedicated effort to not ingest animal products. However, I respect everyone’s right to choose their own path.

Yes, I am vegan.

No, I do not throw it in people’s faces.

Yes, I do ask people to pick a place where I will eat too.

No, I don’t preach at my friends if they eat and order meat in front of me.

Yes, my friends say how can you not eat…fill in the blank.

No, I do not respond with, how can you eat that.

Yes, friends say, oh, you can’t eat that, can you?

No, I can, I just choose not to.

Yes, I do get asked questions…A LOT, and I answer as honestly as I can.

Annnnnnd this is where things go sideways.

People ask and ask and ask, but then take personal offense at my answers. It’s like they ask, but they only want certain answers from me.

Sorry, that’s not how questions work. You either want an honest answer or you do not.

They get upset when I say how I don’t believe my diet or appearance has to involve killing or cruelty. I don’t just randomly spout this to the table at large between my very tasty salad course and cauliflower steak.

THEY ASK.

Immediately everyone’s an expert in all aspects of meat and dairy production, and registered dieticians, but I’m “judgy” since I became vegan.

When that fails to get me to “admit I’m just following a trend,” they start with the impossible scenarios.

If you can only save a person and let a dog die, what will you do? Will you starve to death in the zombie apocalypse before you eat meat? Etc, etc, etc.

I decide not to tell them that I like dogs more than most people, so who knows in the moment. I also don’t explain how life and death versus diet and wardrobe choices are not fair comparisons. There are other things to eat right here and now, there may not be after Negan bashes in skulls and Hilltop is destroyed, I don’t know what will happen then. You bet I will choose to live in a life and death situation, but ordering a cow at a bar & grill, versus a plant is hardly life and death for the diner.

It baffles me further as my vegan chocolate raspberry cake with dairy-free ice cream arrives, while they are still explaining how killing an animal for a burger is tasty and humane murder, but I remain silent. Mostly, because they don’t want an honest opinion from me, and my mouth is full because my cake is fucking amazing.

“But don’t you miss steak?”

“I literally just ate one, Karen, you saw me do it.”

“No, I mean real steak.”

“It was real, trust me, it’s wasn’t an illusion. My scale will tell me so.”

“Now, you’re just being difficult you know what I mean. Don’t you miss real food.”

It’s usually at this point that I realize there is no correct answer that will satisfy someone with this stance. Real food is code for animal products. I then say the most real thing I can think of in the moment because it’s so fucking true.

“No, I don’t miss it, what I miss most is being (ignorant) unaware.”

Annnnd, now I have a vacancy in a friend position, so if any vegans need a bestie

But it’s true and I can’t take it back. Once you see things through a different lens, and this applies to many aspects of life, you can’t unsee them.

Ignorance really is bliss, or at the very least, it has more friends.

Once you notice how your choices can impact something or someone else, you think twice when you make them.

And that folks is a LIFE THING, not a VEGAN THING.

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Release Date: November 30th

Stories from…

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Verlene Landon

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Thunder is LIVE!

When the ghosts of the past live rent-free in a man’s heart, there’s no room for anyone else.

For Nick “Thunder” Taylor, flying and the military meant everything. When life took an unexpected turn, he replaced one Hawg with another, embracing the brotherhood he found with the Phantoms. However, burying his past doesn’t mean it won’t come back to haunt him.

After he patched in, Thunder had an unforgettable encounter with an amazing woman only for her to ghost him.

Three years later, he’s outraged when she walks into his clubhouse and pretends the whole thing never happened. Now he’s torn between discovering her game or playing a more pleasurable one with her.

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