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Karaoke at The Tumbleweed

Karoke at the TumbleweedPride Publishing
ISBN 978-1-906328-79-5
Genre: Contemporary
Book Length: Novella
Release Date: January 2008

Order eBook at Pride Publishing | Read an Excerpt

When small town business owner, Nicole Ashford, won the local karaoke competition, she had no idea how much her life would change. After years of putting up with a cheating no good boyfriend, Nicole finally thought her life was on track. She sure didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by the new bartender at The Tumbleweed Saloon.

Brian “Tag” Taggert came to the small town of Ulrich, to check out a house he’d inherited from his father. The bartending job at The Tumbleweed fit his needs for the short-term. When the bar hosted a karaoke night, Tag’s heart succumbed to the voice of an angel.

Nicole is more honest and upfront than anyone Tag’s ever met. Nicole may be small town but she’s just what Tag’s been looking for his entire life.


Note for Readers: You must be over eighteen to read this excerpt.

Standing on stage looking out at the audience, Nicole Ashford wiped her sweating palms on her jeans. It was her one moment to make something of herself. This was it, the performance she’d practiced for day after day. When the music started, Nicole took a deep breath and began the poignant country ballad she’d struggled with for weeks. Once she started singing, the crowd faded and she immersed herself in the song.

Tag stood mesmerised listening to the angelic voice envelope the crowd. His eyes strayed to the stage as he let the music fill his heart. He wasn’t sure of the angel’s name but he knew he’d never find a more beautiful woman. The stage lights bounced off her waist length auburn hair, creating a red haloed affect around the sexiest body in the country. The skin-tight blue jeans and fringed western-style half-shirt looked good on her. Tag however, was more interested in imagining her naked and underneath him. He noticed the small gold hoop in her belly button and his tongue throbbed with the need to taste.

He was so lost in the song that Wendy Jean had to literally shake him to get his attention. He looked at the blonde woman with an irritated scowl. “What? Can’t you see I’m listening to the song?”

Rolling her eyes, Wendy Jean popped her gum and put her hand on her hip. “Listen all you want sugar, but get me three draws and an order of nachos while you’re at it.”

Pushing himself away from the bar, Tag filled three icy mugs with beer and set them on Wendy Jean’s tray. He reached into the large box of stale tortilla chips and withdrew two large handfuls and put them in a paper-lined plastic basket. Still listening to the angel on stage, Tag filled a small plastic cup with bright orange canned cheese sauce and placed it in the basket. Putting the basket on Wendy Jean’s tray he turned his attention back to the song.

Being new in town, he didn’t know many people and that was fine by him. Some said he was in the wrong line of work for someone so closed off from the rest of humanity but that’s the way Tag liked it. He’d served his government for fourteen years before taking a piece of shrapnel in the thigh. This was Tag’s first real month of freedom since the age of eighteen when he’d walked into the Marine recruiting office.

As he lost himself once again in the song, Tag knew he needed to know the woman attached to that voice. He’d never been surer of anything in his life. She’d only been on stage for about three minutes and already his jeans were feeling too tight in the crotch. A woman who could make him feel lust again after a four-year period of non-interest, was a special woman indeed.
The song ended and Tag knew he’d finally learn the angel’s name. He waited for Bobby Jim’s announcement with bated breath.

“That was Delta Dawn by Ulrich’s very own Skeeter Ashford folks.”

The beauty on stage turned and put her hands on her hips. “Dammit, Bobby Jim. You know I hate that name.”

“Sorry. Um… Nicole Ashford folks. Let’s give Nicole a round of applause.”

Clapping, Tag smiled at the little spit-fire. She may look and sing like an angel but she had a little of the devil in her blood. Just the kind of woman he liked best. He watched her step off the stage and walk over to join a group of men and women by the dartboard.

Motioning for Wendy Jean, Tag finally got her attention. She walked up to the bar popping her gum as usual. “What do you need, sugar?”

“What’s Nicole Ashford drinking? I’d like to buy her a drink.”

Raising one eyebrow, Wendy Jean lowered her tray. She leaned slightly over the bar and looked Tag in the eye. “Skeeter drinks whiskey straight up. But it won’t do you any good to buy her one. She’ll probably send it right back. She has no use for men since Lonnie Banks left town three years ago.” She leaned a little closer, “I heard he took off in a hurry under mysterious circumstances. Skeeter won’t even mention his name and if anyone else does she’s damn quick to leave the room.”

Winking at the waitress, Tag filled a glass with a double shot of whiskey. “Give it a try will ya? Tell her it’s from a man who appreciates her singing.”