Friday, 9 September 2016

Blast from the Past: Hairy Harry's Car Seat

In a couple of weeks my boys from Stormin' Norman will make a guest appearance in Morning My Angel. I thought it was about time I got my act together and updated the series information.

Ebooks: Amazon.com Smashwords : Kobo : Barnes&Noble
Audiobooks: Audible | Amazon | iTunes
Print: Amazon
Translation: Italian | German



Blurb:

Peter Mitchell walked away with from his marriage with two things: a suitcase and Hairy Harry, the family pet.

When Harry becomes ill, Peter is faced with one of the hardest decisions he's ever had to make... saying goodbye to his best friend.

Evan Wells is the locum vet who attends to Harry and Peter is surprised at how quickly they become friends. Peter finds himself looking forward to Evan's nightly phone calls and the meals they share together. He knows Evan is gay but it doesn't bother him until Evan confesses his attraction to him. Peter has to admit to himself that he's not as adverse to the possibility as he thought he would be, and that does bother him.




Series Information

Book #1 Hairy Harry's Car Seat

Book #2 Bob the Destroyer of Leads

Book #3 Hazel Takes Over

Book #4 Stormin' Norman


Excerpt:


Chapter 1

Peter sat on the carpet next to Harry’s bed. The huge dog was curled up, and barely stirred when Peter stroked his head.

“Hey, Harry boy,” Peter murmured, “how are you feeling?”

The dog leaned into the caress, but he didn’t move or lick his hand like he normally did. Harry was about fourteen. He’d been a rescue dog and no one was quite sure of his exact age or his ancestry. Harry was an Irish Wolfhound/Terrier mix, all wiry hair and oddly short legs. Peter didn’t know what made up the mix, but it had given Harry a long life. Now Harry was old, and in the last week, he’d spent more time sleeping in his bed than anywhere else, not eating his dinner, uninterested in the world around him. Peter had tried to tempt him with dog food that had cost more than his food bill for the week, but Harry ignored the bowl. He’d managed to wag his tail for Peter, even that was getting weaker as the days went on.

“Not so good, huh?”

Peter sat as close as he could and rested Harry’s head on his lap. The dog didn’t protest, and Peter was thankful he didn’t seem to be in pain. He leant back against the wall as he stroked him. Harry closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

“I’ve made us an appointment at the V-E-T.” Peter whispered as he spelt out the three letter word. In Harry’s eyes, the worst place in the world to be. At his very first visit, the vet had taken away his doghood, and from then on, Harry had hated the vet, the waiting room and even the surgery car park. Over the fourteen years Peter had owned his dog, he’d been thankful that their visits had been limited to the annual vaccinations because, despite his pleadings to Harry, every visit had left Harry muzzled but triumphant, the vet shaken, and Peter with long scratches. The vet was a saint in Peter’s eyes and the devil incarnate in Harry’s.

Peter had delayed taking Harry to the vets because he hadn’t wanted to stress him, but now it was past time, Harry was deteriorating day by day. He’d begged for a half-day from work to take him to the vets. His boss had agreed reluctantly on the understanding he made up the hours later in the week.

Peter pressed a kiss to the top of Harry’s head. “I’m going to get my shoes on.” He laid the dog back in his bed and got to his feet, stretching out stiff muscles. Harry stayed where he was, his eyes closed, as Peter got ready to go out. Even the rattle of the lead failed to interest him.

Then it came to the actual journey. Harry was a big old dog, and Peter had to carry him down the stairs and get him into the car. Peter sniffled, trying to hold back the tears as he placed Harry on the back seat of the car. Harry loved travelling in the car, finding the world endlessly fascinating. He’d always sat in the front seat if Peter was on his own, sitting bolt upright so he could see out of the window. As Peter drove Harry would give his opinion on what he saw, from a growl at the cats sitting on fences to a high whine at other dogs. Harry had an opinion on everything. If Peter’s kids were in the car he would be booted to the back seat, grumbling his disapproval, and would flop over whoever sat next to him to make his point. His hair stuck to every seat, covering anyone who shared Peter’s car, but the front was the worst. The kids called the passenger seat Hairy Harry’s seat, and laughed as unwitting passengers got covered in dog hair.

Now Harry lay still, and didn’t look out of the window as Peter backed out of the drive, the quiet scaring Peter more than anything. His relationship with Harry had lasted longer than his marriage to Toni. They had separated three years ago after nine years, two kids and one affair. Hers, not his. She’d got the kids and the house. Peter had left with the car and Harry, because, despite the kids’ protests, there was no way she was living with that flea-ridden mutt a second longer than she had to. He’d got over the divorce, just. Harry hadn’t seemed all that bothered.

The vet’s surgery was five minutes away by car. Normally Peter walked Harry to the clinic in a vain attempt to calm him down before his appointment. He drove into the tiny car park, praying there was a space available. Someone must have been listening because a large four by four pulled out of a space. The cars did the obligatory two-step, then Peter squeezed his car around a flowerbed and into the space.

Harry barely opened his eyes when Peter picked him up. Peter pushed the door closed with his arse, not bothering to lock it. The car was more rust than metal. It wasn’t worth stealing. Opening the door to the surgery with Harry in his arms was more problematic, but Peter was fortunate a lady walked out holding a small animal carrier. When she saw the huge dog in his arms she held the door open for him. He murmured his thanks and approached the reception desk.

Peter recognised the nurse on duty. She looked up with bland professionalism but when she saw Harry her expression changed. “I guess the poor lad doesn’t need to be muzzled this time. Go take a seat in the waiting room. You’re next.”

Normally Harry’s hackles would have been up before they stepped into the building, and he’d be growling at all the animals in the waiting room. This time Harry sighed as Peter sat down, his eyes closing immediately. Peter sighed, too. His back twinged every time he picked up the dog. Harry was smaller than the average wolfhound, but he was still a large solidly-boned dog. Peter was thankful for the hours he’d worked out at the gym, leaving him able to cope with the weight.

The waiting room was empty and the tick-tock of the clock grated on Peter’s fraying nerves. He stroked Harry’s head and looked around, noticing that they’d decorated since the last time he’d been to the practice.

After a few minutes, the door to the surgery opened, but instead of the cadaverous features of the usual vet, Peter saw a tall, dark-haired guy, probably in his thirties judging by the crinkles around his eyes.

“Mr Mitchell?”

“Yes?” Peter stared at him stupidly.

The man smiled, deepening the crinkles. “Would you like to bring Harry in?”

“Where’s Dr Winton?” Peter asked as he laid Harry on the table.

“I’m Dr Wells, the locum. Dr Winton is my cousin. He’s just had an operation so I’m covering for him.”

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