Hi! Some good news for you loyal reader; for the next 24 hours, The Swamp is Full of Mystery is FREE OF CHARGE!! on smashwords. This is your chance to download the hell out of it, read it and leave a review; glowing or not. I have a thick skin.
Here's an excerpt:
Leo banged into the house throwing his bag behind the door and heading to the kitchen to look for something to eat. He was ravenous; this latest growth spurt was fucking with his metabolism. It was like he was Dennis the Menace crossed with Garfield he felt so out of sync with himself. Luckily it didn’t affect his coordination otherwise he would be fucked. He stuck his head in the empty fridge, waiting to hear any sound in the apartment that would indicate his mother was home but the silence was as thick as ever. Since there was nothing to eat in the fridge and he was sure they were out of canned goods he turned around and left the apartment, crossing the street to The Rusty Nail to see if Jon would fix him a burger maybe.
Jon did that sometimes and half the time, he didn’t even make Leo pay for it. Jon was a great guy, but he wasn’t running a charity. Sometimes he asked Leo to hang out at the bar and ‘talk’ to his patrons... in other words flirt outrageously and make them buy more beer. Leo’s curious charm seemed to work equally well on men and women and Jon wasn’t above taking advantage of it. Not like he had any problem singing for his supper. And it was just talking after all….
“Leo my man, how’s tricks?” Jon greeted him as he came up to the bar. The man knew well that Leo was under age but he wasn’t really sweating it. It wasn’t like the law was likely to visit any time soon.
“My kingdom for a burger brother man”, Leo replied with a smile. Jon was not immune to Leo’s charms either.
“Coming up”, he said placing the order with the kitchen. His bar might be dingy but the kitchen was clean. Jon ate there after all, he expected the food to be good. Leo watched the patrons at the bar; there was a pool table at the other end with some old timers playing a game. He wondered if he could hustle them for some cash; they didn’t look familiar which probably meant they didn’t know him and how well he played. They didn’t look exactly flush with cash but looks could be deceiving. Maybe they were a couple of truckers just passing through. They weren’t common in a small town like Le Marais but they weren’t unheard of... Leo swung off his stool and sauntered over, watching them play intently. One of them kept casting glances at him like he wanted a piece; but he wasn’t sure which team Leo played for. Leo stuck out his hip, just enough to give a taste, not enough for invitation. It distracted the guy enough that he was off his game. Leo straightened up and moved in for the kill;
“Fancy a game?” he asked smirking at both men.
The one who’d been checking him out looked up, “Aren’t you a bit young to be hangin’ in a bar pretty boy?” he asked.
Leo tossed his dark hair out of his face, his piercing grey eyes holding the old man’s; he shrugged, “I won’t tell if you won’t”, he said.
The old man smiled at him as if he really could not help himself. Leo stuck his hand out, “I’m Leo Devereux”, he said.
The old guy stuck out his hand too, “Trevor McKinney”, he said.
“Nice to meet you Trevor”, Leo said shaking his hand. His eyes cut to the other guy who was studiously ignoring him. He held out his hand to be shaken, “And you are…?” he asked.
The second guy looked up and met Leo’s eyes. That was his mistake, “Phil Carter”, he mumbled sticking his hand out briefly to make contact with Leo’s and then taking it back like he’d been burned.
Leo smiled at them and nodded his head, “Trevor? Phil? Fancy a game?” he asked again.
“Sure why not?” Trevor said.
“Say... twenty a game?” Leo proposed.
“Son if you is too young to be in a bar, you is definitely too young to gamble”, Trevor said looking up and down Leo’s five foot eleven frame like he’d like to eat him alive.
Leo searched his pockets, looking for cash to put down. He was sure Charlotte had slipped him a twenty at lunch time to pay for his food... he hadn’t used it because Miles paid for his lunch so... ah, there it was.
He put down the twenty and stared at both men, challenge in his eyes, “You scared?” he asked. It was one thing to refuse to play with him because he was too young, it was too much to expect to turn away from an accusation of cowardice. Trevor stepped forward, “Rack ‘em”, he said with a glare.