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My Sunday chill! Always with a book in my hand.
On October 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Amanda's BVS Book BLOG

My Sunday chill! Always with a book in my hand.

A new book out from Dee S. Knight, first in The Good Man series, called Only A Good Man Will Do. I will share Chapter one in a moment.

Last chance to get e-book Secret Santa by Keren Hughes at the bargain price of $1.99

I had an interesting day Wednesday, The studio, where the BVS offices are is a very versatile space, Ric teaches there, it is also a photographic space and a gallery.  On Wednesday we filmed video clips, which we hope to use in forthcoming book trailers.  We had a very talented model, god I wish I looked like that. Lol.  The filming took longer than I thought.  You might think, that making 3 – 4 second clips would be a rapid thing to do. I was struck by how detailed, but slow the process was. It was just a new and different experience. I hope I will be involved with more filming.

Only A Good Man Will Do

Chapter One

“Look! It’s Mr. Goodman.” The young boy stage-whispered but didn’t bother to hide his incredulity. “I wonder why he’s sitting out here? He looks like he’s sleeping.”

The man on the bench knew his long legs stretched almost to the middle of the sidewalk, and he judged the kid stood practically on the toes of his boots, exposed below worn and faded jeans. His bristled chin rested on his flannel-encased arms, folded high on his chest. “NASCAR: Then, Now, Forever” emblazoned the cap pulled low on his face, and his hair brushed the back of his neck and tickled his ears. He figured he didn’t look too bad for someone who’d been up all night traveling to New Hampshire from South Carolina, but he wasn’t what these rich kids were used to.

“No, it’s not, dufus. Mr. Goodman wouldn’t be caught dead looking like that in public, and this guy looks too old. Besides, the first form boys haven’t been let out yet, so Mr. Goodman’s still in class.”

Firm, commanding. This kid sounded older—at least nine or ten.

Damn. Mr. Goodman wouldn’t be caught dead looking like him? Had no one ever arrived on the campus of Westover Academy dressed in jeans and flannel? Maybe he was blazing a trail.

And old? Hell, as one of triplets, he and Daniel were the same thirty-six years of age. The kid obviously needed glasses.

Meanwhile, the man fought the urge to smile as he listened to his two examiners.

One of the boys advanced to bend over and peek under the brim of the cap. His breath smelled like butterscotch.

“It is too Mr. Goodman. He’s my dormitory master, so I guess I know what he looks like,” the less fervent voice intoned with more confidence.

“Is not! Why would Mr. Goodman be sleeping outdoors on a bench like a bum? Headmaster wouldn’t allow it and Mr. Goodman has too much pride to look so … so … shabby.”

Why, the little shit! He’d like to bend the twerp over his knee and

“Quite right, Mr. Wainwright. I certainly would not be sleeping on a bench dressed thusly.”

The man heard at least one gasp and the rapid shuffling of feet.

“Ha! I told you, Torrington, that this wasn’t Mr.—”

“And you were quite right, Mr. Torrington, when you insisted this poor example of a gentleman is Mr. Goodman. It’s not your fault you have the wrong Mr. Goodman.”

There, Wainwright! Take that, you big bully. Jonah Goodman thumbed the brim of his cap up high on his head to gaze at the boys and the tall man—his mirror image as far as facial features were concerned—standing behind them.

The boys shifted their stares between Jonah and his brother, Daniel, who was dressed in a way that surely pleased even young Mr. Wainwright. Trim, short hair gleamed in the sun. Although the afternoon wore on, there was no five o’clock shadow marring the sharp angles of his jaw. A black, wool, three-piece suit covered a pristine shirt, with a blood red and gray striped tie knotted under the chin. A flowing dark blue silk gown, opened in the front, topped all of that. Three orange velvet chevrons piped in dark blue satin striped the gown’s sleeves. Last but not least, if the sun shone just right, they could all be blinded by the reflection from Daniel’s shoes. And the hell of it was, Jonah suspected Daniel dressed like this every day.

What a way to live!


“Gentlemen,” Daniel said, addressing the boys. “May I present my brother?”

“Hello, sir.” The taller boy bowed slightly. Wainwright tended to push the propriety envelope, but Daniel had always felt the boy’s heart was in the right place. Lucky for him he wasn’t as much of a bully as his father, though he had all the tendencies.

The smaller boy practically bounced with unconcealed excitement.

“Is your hat about the racing cars, sir?”

Daniel hid his smile. He loved Torrington. The boy’s enthusiasm for life and adventure always reminded him of Jonah, in fact. But, in all things, Westover Academy demanded proper behavior. He lightly touched the boy’s shoulder and pursed his lips when Torrington looked up. Having been reminded he’d once again stepped out of bounds, Torrington heaved a sigh before turning back to face Jonah, this time more sedately.

The object of Torrington’s curiosity stretched his arms over his head, then scraped his hand over his roughened chin and leaned forward, elbows on his knees. Even sitting, Jonah and the boy didn’t meet gazes. Torrington was a long way from his growth spurt and his small size often earned him scorn even from those the same age. Another reason why Daniel had a soft spot for the boy.

“Hello, sir. Pleased to meet you.” Like Wainwright, Torrington dropped a quick bow before staring longingly at Jonah’s cap.

“Hello, men,” Jonah said in his deep, clear voice. The voice that sounded exactly like Daniel’s, but without the cultured tone and sophisticated verbiage. He addressed Torrington. “What’s your name, son?”

For a moment, the boy looked puzzled. “Torrington, sir.”

Jonah smiled. “No, I mean your real name. Whaduz your mama call you?”

Torrington’s face brightened and he opened his mouth to speak.

“Sweetie pie,” Wainwright interrupted in a taunting tone.

“Mr. Wainwright, please go to the dining hall and inform Miss Nilson that I will be absent for the evening meal.” There was no sharpness to Daniel’s tone, but the dismissal was unambiguous.

Wainwright looked unhappy that he would miss the remainder of the conversation, but he said, “Yes, sir,” turned on his heel and marched off.

“Now, Mr. Torrington, I believe you were asked your name.” Daniel touched his shoulder again, this time as a sign of support and permission.

“Yes, sir.” Torrington looked first to Daniel with respect in his eyes, then to Jonah with open interest. “It’s Jeffrey, sir.”

“Well, Jeff,” Jonah replied, removing his hat and handing it to Torrington to study up close. “You were right about this hat. It is about the racing cars and stuff. Do you like racing?”

“Oh, yes, sir.” His eyes glowed and he touched the satin-stitched, embroidered words with reverence. “I’ve only been to a race once. My Uncle Neil took me when we visited family down in South Carolina.”

“Why, Jeff, I believe you were at the racetrack near where I live, in Darlington. Did you like the race?”

“It was … wonderful! So loud, and fast. And my uncle bought me hot dogs and candy and even let me sip his beer—”

He jerked around and stared at Daniel in wide-eyed shock.

“I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone that.”

Daniel nodded sagely. “I can see why; it wasn’t a very good idea. But I don’t believe we need to say anything, do we Jonah?”

“Absolutely not.” Jonah winked at Torrington. “It’s a secret between us men.”

Torrington’s shoulders relaxed, and a grin crossed his face.

“Mr. Torrington, my brother is an ace mechanic. He works on those race cars. In fact, teams fight for him, he’s so good. So, when you visited Darlington, Mr. Goodman was most likely in the pits for one of the famous drivers.”

“Wow!” Torrington regarded Jonah with something close to hero worship. “Gosh, wow!”

Jonah chuckled. “I don’t do that work anymore, but I’d sure be happy to introduce you to a few of the drivers.”

He didn’t do that work any longer? Had Jonah left yet another position? The man had no staying power. Sighing inwardly, Daniel clucked his tongue.

“Yes, well. I suppose you’d better go along now. It’s almost time for lacrosse practice and you still must change.”

At the boy’s obvious reluctance to leave, Jonah added, “Hey, Jeff, you know how important sports are to us guys. Lacrosse is fun—you don’t want to be late.”

“No, sir—I mean yes, sir.”

He slowly handed back the cap and began to turn when he cast a quick glance at Daniel. Standing straight with hands folded in front, he looked at Jonah and politely said, “I enjoyed meeting you, Mr. Goodman.”

Jonah held out his hand, and, with another grin, Torrington took it for a manly shake.

“It was a pleasure, Jeff. You know, if I had another cap with me, I’d leave you this one. But I promise to send one up to you. And if your uncle ever brings you back to Darlington, let Daniel—uh, Mr. Goodman—know, and I’ll find some time to show you around.”

“Oh! Oh, sir.” In a rush, Torrington threw his arms around Jonah’s neck then dashed off before the surprised man could hug him back.

Jonah stood to face his brother squarely at last. He held out his hand again, and Daniel took it then pulled him up for a quick pat on the shoulders.

“What a kid,” Jonah said, watching Torrington flee across the grass fronting the administration building.

“His parents are deceased. His uncle has custody but he lives out in Oklahoma and the boy doesn’t see him often.” Daniel sighed and shook his head. “He shouldn’t be running, and he especially shouldn’t be running on the grass. And if he was going to run on the grass, he shouldn’t be doing so in front of the administration building. He’s a good boy, but I see extra duties in Mr. Torrington’s future.”

“You won’t turn him in!”

“Lord, no! But there are eyes everywhere, and there are standards. At Westover Academy, as in life, there is a proper way to behave. Parents send their sons here for consistency, to have those standards of behavior applied and instilled, as well as to receive a first-class education.”

“Sounds boring as hell,” Jonah muttered.

“Yes, well…” Daniel turned away from the retreating figure of Torrington and led Jonah toward the dormitory where he had a kitchenette, a small sitting room, a bedroom, and bath in a building with thirty lower form boys.

Jonah jammed his hands in his pockets as he strolled beside Daniel. “What’s lacrosse, by the way?”

“A game with a net at the end of a stick. The ball moves down the field by being tossed from net to net. It can be pretty fast and sometimes kind of violent.”

Jonah’s face creased into a frown. “Jeff looked too young to be involved in something like that.”

“He’s not very good at it,” Daniel admitted, “but then none of the boys in his age group are, so they’re all equally safe. Mostly they miss the ball and spend their time simply running from one end of the field to the other.”

Jonah’s frown disappeared. Nothing bothered him for long. “That’s okay, then. You know, it’s pretty up here in the fall.”

“Yes, isn’t it? You came at the perfect time, too. Good thing you can stay with me. During foliage, when the leaves are turning, you can’t get a hotel room from here to Connecticut.”

“Oh, I can’t stay, Daniel. In fact, right after dinner I have to make the train to Boston so I can catch the six a.m. flight back to Charleston.”

Daniel stopped and spun toward his brother in amazement.

“What? Jonah, your note didn’t say you’d only be here a couple of hours. I would have made arrangements for someone to take my classes. We could have had more time. Jesus, it’s been two or three years since we’ve seen each other.”

With a concerted effort, he refrained from raking his hand through his hair, a nervous habit from childhood it had taken him years to break. His near relapse must be due to the emotion he felt seeing Jonah again. If it was true that a special bond existed between twins, then an even stronger tie bound the set of rare, identical triplets. And while he, Mark, and Jonah had gone their separate ways since high school—almost twenty years ago—he always felt incomplete when they weren’t in contact, as though a small piece of him was missing. Being with Jonah now made him realize how alone he was. Not for companionship, but for someone who understood the soul of him, without words or judgments or questions. No one did that but his brothers.

Jonah laid his hand on Daniel’s arm. “I know. I feel the same.” Their telepathic communication always surprised, and in some cases frightened, friends and relatives. But Jonah and Daniel took it as a matter of course.

They began walking again.

“What do you hear from Mark?” Daniel asked.

“Nothing much.” Jonah frowned. “Why don’t we stay in better touch?”

“Because we’re guys? I don’t know.”

“Well, as far as I know, Mark is still in Richmond, being a nerd.” Jonah flicked a leaf that had drifted into his hair to the ground.

“Still with that same finance company?”

“Hell, you probably know as much as I do. But gossiping about Mark is not why I came up. I came up to deliver a message. It’s something I didn’t think you should hear over the phone. It’s about Mom and Dad .”

Daniel stopped again and grabbed Jonah’s arm to halt his progress. “Oh, my God! They’re not—”

“No, sorry, no. Nothing like that.”

Daniel blew a breath of relief. “Then what could be so important you’d fly all the way to New Hampshire to tell me?”

Jonah grinned. “Well, Daniel, it’s like this.”

He pulled himself to his impressive full six feet two inches, clasped his hands in prayer and recited, “Friends, we are gathered here in the presence of God and this company, to witness—”


“Yeah! Isn’t it great? This November we can give thanks that our parents are finally getting married.”

Jonah, the idiot, grinned even wider, like a puppy who’d just been tossed a big old steak bone. Obviously, he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

“And they’re not keeping it quiet, either. Nope, they’re doing it up right. Turns out, one of the men who knew Mom from her days in show business—”

Daniel closed his eyes. “She was a stripper, Jonah, not a movie star.”

Jonah flapped his hand. “Whatever. Anyway, he’s arranged for them to use the country club. And you know Dad’s old friends at the bank never held his troubles against him—”

“His troubles? He stole money, Jonah. It was only because the bank president liked Dad and the money was returned that he didn’t spend hard time in federal prison.”

Jonah put a hand on his shoulder, thinking to calm him, no doubt. Too late for that.

“I know. But the fact remains, Dad’s well-liked, so they’ve got a big bachelor party planned.”

The groan he heard had to have come from him. His brother was having too much fun to make a sound filled with such angst.

“They’ve scheduled the whole shebang for over the Thanksgiving holidays. I don’t have to work and you won’t have school, so we can both be there. The local paper’s already featured them in the society section. Couple Finally Ties Knot After Thirty-Seven Years Together. Sons Serve As Witnesses. You should see them, Daniel. They’re like kids.”

Yes, he could just imagine. The stripper and the embezzler. Sounded like a farce from a burlesque show. Daniel frowned. How was it Jonah didn’t see the ridiculousness of the situation? Daniel loved his parents dearly, but really, what was the point in getting married now? Why hadn’t they committed to each other when it could have served some purpose? Like before their sons were born.

Life had always been like this for him. Calling his parents free spirits would meet no contradiction. His mother had “danced” in the top clubs all over the country, and even in Paris. His dad had met her in New York where he was attending a finance conference. They always told him and his brothers that they’d fallen in love immediately. Their mom had followed their dad back to Lucky Strike, North Carolina where he handled business accounts in a regional bank, and a few months later, Daniel, Mark, and Jonah had entered the world.

Unfortunately, a few years after that, a bank audit had revealed their dad had been regularly skimming from two or three accounts. Not much, only enough to tide them over now and then. “Takes a lot a money to raise three strong ‘good men’,” their dad had declared at the trial, and their mom had smiled at his pun, telling the boys later that their father was a “good man” and so were they, and they should never forget it.

Their dad waved and made funny faces through the window of the bus taking him to Cabarrus Correctional Center in Mt. Pleasant. (“Doesn’t that sound like Daddy is going to have a wonderful time?” their mother cooed in their four-year-old ears. “Who wouldn’t want to go to a place called Mt. Pleasant?”)

In the meantime, their mom put Captain Crunch on the table by going back to New York, where she was hailed and declared to be “the greatest exotic dancer in three decades.”

As children, they thought their mama danced in Broadway plays with loud music and lots of men in the audience, and their dad was teaching arithmetic to bad men in prison and having fun in a happy place called Mt. Pleasant. Not until years later, when teased by kids at school, did they ever see a different view of their life. By then, they’d moved back to Lucky Strike, where their dad joined them in a pretty little double-wide next to an apple orchard. The boys were spoiled on hugs and kisses and lots of apple cobbler.

When kids taunted them about having a criminal father and stripper mother, and that their parents weren’t even married, the boys sat down and discussed what they knew to be true. Their dad, a smiling, hardworking man, managed the orchard next to them and three others besides, but still found time to toss a football and tell corny old jokes during dinner. Their beautiful, graceful mother made them laugh instead of cry when they had scrapes and bruises, and always sang when she cooked, using fancy little dance steps when she moved from the sink to the stove. They didn’t know for sure if their parents were married, but there was no question but that they loved each other, and Daniel, Mark, and Jonah.

Jonah settled the taunts with his fists or by brushing off the insults. Daniel blotted out the jeers by reciting a poem or the multiplication tables to himself and then withdrawing into books. Mark, genius as he was, might not even have understood the snide comments. The effect was that he looked down his nose at the bullies and blithely showed them up in every classroom subject.

As he withdrew from the taunts and jeers at school, Daniel withdrew from his family, too. Years later, he realized how different from his parents and brothers he’d become. Serious and more sensitive than he cared to admit, he found himself the lonely outsider in a family of carefree extroverts. Even Mark was more easygoing. By the time Daniel wanted to be more like them he didn’t know how, so he moved into a world where he felt more comfortable.

The strange thing was that, despite their past, his parents were well-liked—his dad respected and his mom embraced by the town. They were happy and still in love. Nothing had changed. So why did they feel the need to marry, something sure to draw gossip again? He knew no one would understand how he felt—what else was new?—but he couldn’t help wondering why now, when their actions would cause irreparable damage to his career, just as he was reaching the pinnacle of his dreams?

Daniel was so engrossed in his internal analysis that he almost missed the bombshell.

“The reporter said the story had enough appeal to attract international attention. Mom and Dad are both kind of famous, after all,” Jonah chuckled. “Won’t they get a kick out of that? Having their story on cable news?”


Daniel hoped no one saw him, looking as though he’d had the worst shock of his life. Which, of course, he had.

The blood drained from his face, his eyes popped open wide, and so did his mouth. He’d probably laugh if he could see himself. Or maybe not. This was horrible.

His parents were getting married on international TV.

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Our latest releases.

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Naval Maneuvers by Dee S. Knight.  Click here to read Chapter one.

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Love’s Promise by K.L. Ramsey. Click here to read the Prologue and Chapter one.

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Secret Santa by Keren Hughes.

Coming soon.

At the bargain price of $1.99 until the publication date 29th October.

The Christmas Wedding by K.L. Ramsey. Available to pre-order now! At the bargain price of $1.99 until the publication date 1st November.

Also coming soon.  Dates to be announced.

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