Starting over and falling in love.
Tino Robbins’s sister, Nica, and her husband, Jacob, are expecting their fifth child. Fortunately, Nica’s best friend, Taylor Cochran, is back in town, released from PT and in need of a job.
After years in the service and recovering from grave injury, Taylor has grown a lot from the callow troublemaker he’d been in high school. Now he’s hoping for a fresh start with Nica and her family.
Jacob’s cousin Brandon lives above the garage and thinks “Taylor the manny” is a bad idea. Taylor might be great at protecting civilians from a zombie apocalypse, but is he any good with kids?
Turns out Taylor’s a natural. As he tries to fit in, using common sense and dry wit, Brandon realizes that Taylor doesn’t just love their family—he’s desperate to be part of it. And just like that, Brandon wants Taylor to be part of his future.
… too quiet… (Part 1)
One of the hallmarks of watching four kids is a requisite amount of chaos. After our two eldest moved out into an apartment, Mate and I would literally look at each other and shudder in the practically obscene quiet.
A parent knows—quiet is not necessarily a good thing when you’re juggling a herd of rambunctious, clever, self-motivated human beings.
When I was pregnant with my fourth kid, I would get home from working full time and sit down with the other three to watch cartoons. The youngest was a toddler who liked to wander the house, and we would block off the living room so he could stay in “the pit” and play while I napped in front of the television. The older kids were pretty good at making sure he didn’t get into too much trouble, but that didn’t stop my anxiety levels much. To this day, my older kids tell me that the one of the freakiest things I did as a parent was sit bolt upright from a somnolent slouch on the couch and scream, “WHERE’S ZOOMBOY!”
Lucky them, they got a reprise after I gave birth to their little sister because then I’d come home from work and put both kids in the pit. Fun right? Cause watching Mom pull a full-on puppet-master-zombie has got to be high entertainment.
But it does underscore the fact that too much quiet scares us.
Now those without kids might be asking, “What’s the worst that can happen?” but I’ll tell you right now, every parent-fail picture on the net was preceded by a moment of, “My God, it’s quiet. What in the hell are they doing back there?”
I have a couple of kids stories that start with, “Too quiet…” and, hey, a whole blog tour with which to share them. For this episode of “Too quiet…” we’ll go back, way back, to before ZoomBoy and Squish were born, when it was just me and Mate and Chicken and Big T…
We’re talking prehistory—pre first novel, and, oh my God, pre- soccer. Chicken was five, Big T was seven, and they were both just old enough to let mom and dad sleep in on Saturday, and get their own damned bowl of cereal.
Except this time, unbeknownst to sleeping mom and dad, that wasn’t what was on the menu.
It started out with that delicious Saturday feeling of, “What do we have to do today? Oh my God… absolutely nothing… Mmmm…”
And then, we heard footsteps. Patter-patter-patter-patter… and then our bedroom door was slammed shut. THUMP!
Mate and I regarded each other thusly: 0.0 0.0 “That can’t be good.”
It was my turn to get it, and I staggered out of bed in my T-shirt and underwear, opened the door, and waved my arms to dissipate the choking cloud of smoke that was emanating from the kitchen.
That’s right. Smoke.
Okay, open doors, open windows, turn on ceiling fans, then get to the bottom of the smoke… which lay in the bottom of the toaster.
“Oh my God, you guys! It’s like a briquette! What happened?”
“It just didn’t pop up,” Chicken said, looking scared.
“Well, that’s okay—why didn’t you wake us up?”
Now remember, Big T didn’t speak well at this point, but he did manage to say, “You wanted to sleep in.”
“Okay, we get that—but you should still wake us up in an—“
Then Mate—who had been opening all the side windows too—spoke up. “Big T, what’s the phone doing here?”
“Where?” I asked, because I hadn’t seen it.
“In the storage room?” (Now it’s the little kids’ bedroom.)
“Oh,” Said T. “We were gonna call 911.”
Mate and I regarded him, dumbfounded.
“You were going to call 911?”
“But you weren’t going to wake us up?”
The two kids looked at each other. “We didn’t want to get in trouble,” Chicken said frankly.
Well, by the time Mate and I could actually find words for how wrong this was, we had stopped being mad. And yeah—from that moment on, making their own breakfast was prefaced by, “Cereal only!” pretty much until they were both in high school.
But oh yeah—we kept that lesson of “Too quiet…” alive and well in our house. When the next batch of kids came along, one of them brought home a book about five monkeys who were making breakfast and set the house on fire. Mama woke up the fire department in her kitchen, and was like, “You didn’t wake me up?” The little kids thought that was hilarious—
Right up until we told them that it had almost happened to us!
I worked hard to keep the “manny” parts of Manny Get Your Guy from being overwhelming—but they are there. Taylor has a lot to learn about childrearing, and one of his first lessons is that too much silence freaks him the hell out.
I figured that was one lesson every caregiver learns naturally, and my boys in Manny Get Your Guy were no exception.
Growing up and falling in love…
Sometimes family is a blessing and a curse. When Tino Robbins is roped into helping his sister deliver her premade Italian dinners when he should be studying for finals, he’s pretty sure it’s the latter! But one delivery might change everything.
Channing Lowell’s charmed life changes when his sister dies and leaves him her seven-year-old son. He’s committed to doing what’s best for Sammy… but he’s going to need a lot of help. When Tino lands on his porch, Channing is determined to recruit him to Team Sammy.
Tino plans to make his education count—even if that means avoiding a relationship—but as he falls harder and harder for his boss, he starts to wonder: Does he have to leave his newly forged family behind in order to live his promising tomorrow?
Blog Tour Dates:
June 24 – MM Good Book Reviews
June 27 – My Fiction Nook
June 28 – Open Skye Book Reviews
July 1 – Boy Meets Boy
July 3 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
July 5 – Love Bytes
July 6 – Long and Short Reviews