BLOG TOUR – Growing Flowers
The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS column on Mondays and Wednesdays is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website showcasing books from a variety of fiction genres, with an emphasis on interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better. Today, we look at the GROWING FLOWERS collection.SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by YA Bound Book Tours. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.
About the Book
Guest Post by the AuthorTypical Writing Day I’m sure that most readers, upon seeing the title of this piece, are expecting a pithy, funny, missive a la I Don’t Know How She Does It, filled with humorous anecdotes about juggling a full-time job as a corporate lawyer with raising a child and churning out novels in my spare time. I myself have read lots of those, about free-basing coffee to stay awake while the magic flows from my fingertips to my iPad. If so, this is bound to be a disappointment, and I’m sorry. To be sure, when I first started writing, we were still living in California, and I was a substitute teacher, so I mainly wrote after I’d given my high school kids their assignments, and in between telling them no, they couldn’t be excused to “run to Starbucks real quick” (yes, they really asked me that). So I kind of know what it’s like to multitask. Two and a half years ago, though, we moved to New York City, and through laziness and happenstance, I found myself unemployed. And we’re lucky enough to be able to afford that, at least for a little bit longer. So here’s my typical day of writing: Wake up. Push cat off bed, get dressed, get coffee, and pretend to pay attention to the news while my husband has his coffee and gets ready for work. Try to stay awake until he leaves for work (one hour after I wake up). He finally leaves, and ahh, now the fun begins. Get more coffee, pull out crocheting (or knitting, if I’m feeling ambitious), find a channel that’s showing Friends all day, and settle down on the couch. Push cat off my lap from time to time. Eat a bagel. Head for my iPad after I’ve lit some candles to create “ambience” (did you know there are two ways to spell that word?) and gotten more coffee. Begin typing. Or writing, if you prefer. Push cat off keyboard. Spend ten minutes deciding if I want Friends in the background, or my go to writing playlist (One Direction). Take a break for lunch, which I eat while watching Friends. Look over my completed work (three paragraphs), decide it’s crap, and delete all of it. Sit down to really write this time. Push cat off keyboard again. Decide to read over some of my old stuff to see how it holds up. Settle down on couch to read. Fall asleep. Wake up when cat sits on my face. Oops, it’s getting dark already. Too late to get any writing done today. Whip up some dinner, watch some more Friends, and sit back in front of iPad when vestibule bell rings, so spouse thinks I’ve been working hard all day. And there you have it! Obviously I’m exaggerating, since I have managed to write twelve novels, but an awful lot of nothing does happen in the meantime. Only Moss, my cat, knows the whole story, and he’s not telling.
ExcerptThe living room was a happy mess of wrapping paper, toys, books, a ukulele, clothes, baby things, a new guitar for Pete, and all manner of sundry gifts by lunch time, when Daisy called Pete into the front hall. Pete looked around, grinning. “This is an odd place for us to be,” he remarked. “Did you want some privacy?” Daisy smiled back. “I’m in labor,” she said. “What?” Daisy nodded. “You heard me.” “Is this a joke?” he asked, putting a hand on her belly. Daisy shook her head. “No joke, Pietro. I’ve been having contractions for the last couple hours. I didn’t want to interrupt the presents and stuff, but yeah, I’m sure.”She grabbed his hand and put it down low on her abdomen. “There, feel that? How tight it just got? That’s a contraction for sure. I’ve done this a few times, Daddy, I know.” They had planned for the girls to go to the Spencer’s house when it happened, but this was extenuating circumstances if ever there had been such a thing, between the puppy, and the snowstorm, and the fact that it was Christmas Day. “I’ll call Ellen and see if Audrey can come over here, okay?” Daisy said. “Relax, Pete, please, I need you with all your faculties.” So Pete went to change clothes, and Daisy followed him into their room a few minutes later. “Okay, all is well, so relax, Pete. Audrey and Ellen and the baby are on their way now, I sent a car for them.” She stopped and sat on the bed, eyes closed. “Oh my god, is it a contraction?” Pete knelt next to her. “No, I was thinking about how I wanted pizza for dinner,” Daisy replied, eyes merry. “Of course it was a contraction, you idiot.” “I think it’s so unfair that you’re making fun of me, cara,” Pete said reproachfully. “This is so hard for me, veramente.””Hard for you?” Daisy repeated, laughing. “Okay, okay, I’ll let that one go, you poor guy.” She pulled on her wool maternity dress. “Come on, let’s go tell the monkeys what’s going on.” Twenty minutes later they were in a cab on their way to the hospital, and Daisy wasn’t laughing anymore. Her contractions were much stronger, and much closer together. “Jesus, can you go faster?” Pete asked the cab driver. And the cabby, who wasn’t exactly thrilled that he had to work on Christmas Day, did try to keep his temper as he explained to Pete that the streets were a little slippery because of all the snow. “I know, I’m sorry to be so abrupt, but my wife, she’s in labor,” Pete replied. “I can see,” the cabby said nervously. “We’re nearly there, okay? Just hold on.” They pulled up, and Daisy and Pete walked carefully through the snow and into the hospital, where people were waiting for them. There was hardly any time to get Daisy into a gown and examined. “My goodness, you’re completely effaced already, and nearly all the way dilated,” the nurse exclaimed during the exam. “You got here just in time, Mrs. Santangelo!” Pete came into the room in his gown then, and he heard the nurse’s last words. “Is Dr. Bernstein here yet?” he asked. “She just pulled in,” the nurse said, patting his arm. “Don’t worry, she’ll be here in five minutes, Mr. Santangelo.” “This is happening too fast,” he complained, taking Daisy’s hand. “Is this normal?” Daisy nodded, smiling. “You know that later labors can go quickly,” she reminded him. “We were told it could be this way, don’t you remember?” “But it’s only been what? Five hours? Six hours?” Pete asked. “That’s amazing.” “I think we may have jump started something last night,” Daisy confided. “I’ve been feeling little twinges since then.” “Twinges?” Pete repeated, horrified. “Oh my god, really? We shouldn’t have done it, then!” “Pete, stop!” Daisy gasped. “You’re making me laugh, and it’s hard to breathe–oh, a contraction–” And she breathed through it.She began pushing as soon as Dr. Bernstein walked in, and less then fifteen minutes later, Pete and Daisy’s son had arrived. “Oh my god,” Pete whispered, looking at the tiny newborn. A little steam was rising from his warm, pink body as the doctor cut the umbilical cord. “What color is his hair?” Daisy asked, turning her head so Pete could wipe her face. “Um, dark, it’s dark, like mine,” he replied, leaning in to press a kiss on her damp forehead. “And not super curly, just wavy, but a lot, like all the others,” he added. Daisy nodded, her lips curling up in a smile as she heard his tiny cries. A few minutes later, Pete helped her sit up so she could hold him, and put him to the breast. She reached for him, leaning into Pete as he put his arm around her, the two of them gazing at their son togetherfor the first time. He did indeed have dark hair like his father. His hairline swooped at the temples like Pete’s, and his eyebrows arched in the same beautiful way as Pete’s as well. It was too soon to tell the color, of course, but as he gazed quietly back at his parents, it did seem like they were too dark to be the blue of Daisy and Francie and Sabrina’s eyes. Daisy lowered the side of her gown as Pete stroked his son’s forehead, and the side of his face, and turned him expertly so he could suckle. Of course there was only colostrum for him to take from her; she would have no milk for a few days yet, but he latched on immediately to satisfy his need to suck. Pete smiled, as he always did when he watched his babies perform this basic, primeval act. It moved him at such a basic, elemental level, like almost nothing else. They could hear their baby making small sounds of effort as he nursed, his little hand placed on his mother’s breast, tiny fingernails reflecting the lights of the delivery room. His eyes began to close, slowly, and Pete sighed, a sound of complete and utter contentment and joy.”Welcome, passerotto,” Pete said, leaning down to kiss his son’s head as it nestled next to his wife’s breast. “What does that mean?” Daisy asked, looking up at her husband. “Little sparrow,” Pete replied, smiling. He kissed Daisy. “Thank you, thank you so much for this, my darling wife,” he whispered.
Individual Books in the Series: