Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29 Jan. 2016)
Amazon Kindle: Whippersnapper
BLURB: Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.
Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.
Oliver Crumbly watched the Salt Lick County snowplow scrape the street in front of his house with a mixture of satisfaction and relief. Ten days of complaining had finally paid off. Two feet of snow had fallen in the day or two leading up to Christmas. A week later, before plows or salt trucks had reached Thoroughbred Acres, another six inches had fallen.
He’d been trapped at home since Christmas Eve. Worn treads had kept his Taurus from getting any traction on the flat street in front of his house. Driving out of the hilly subdivision would have been impossible.
Bill Pinkley, head meteorologist for local Channel 13, said El Nino or El Nina had caused the winter storm. Oliver couldn’t remember which, or why what happened so far away made a difference in the weather in Northern Kentucky, but if Bill Pinkley said so, it must be true. Heeding his advice to stock up on groceries ahead of the first flurries had kept Oliver from running out of food.
Thirty inches was a lot of snow to have fallen in a week’s time, and Calumet Circle was in the back of Thoroughbred Acres. Still, ten days was too long to wait for snow removal. Calls to the county road department had fallen on deaf ears. The surly customer service representative had hung up on him—four times. Miss Bethany Williams, Customer Service Representative II, was about to learn messing with Oliver Crumbly was a mistake. He’d mailed a lengthy letter detailing her incompetence and rude behavior to the director of the county road department with copies to the mayor, Oliver’s representative on the city council, and the Kentucky and U.S. Departments of Transportation.
Too bad Kevin Leonard had missed the blizzard. For eight years, Oliver’s ex had complained about the lack of winter snow. But then, nothing in Kentucky had suited Kevin. He’d grown up in the upper Midwest, where life was better in every way. Eight years of Kevin’s delusions of grandeur, condescending attitude, and manufactured facts had been a good four too many.
Oliver didn’t miss him one little bit. Not anymore. He dropped into his recliner, turned on the television, and flipped to the TV Guide Channel. His forty-eight-year-old ex had returned to North Dakota last February to live with his parents, and according to a mutual friend, was still unemployed. Because Mr. and Mrs. Leonard had often driven their camper down to Kentucky for weeklong visits, Oliver knew them a lot better than he’d have preferred. In his opinion, the sorry son and his parents deserved each other.
The viewing options scrolling on the screen at a snail’s pace failed to keep his attention, and his mind wandered. Falling for the wrong guys was Oliver’s gift. The first time his heart had been broken, he’d believed he would die. But he’d lived to love again… and again… and again… and again. Five times he’d survived a broken heart and the end of yet another relationship gone bad. Getting over kicking men out of his life had grown easier with experience. After Kevin left, Oliver’s battle-scarred heart had healed in record-breaking time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Rupured loves to write. Before learning the alphabet, he filled page after page with rows of tiny circles he now believes were his first novels, and has been writing ever since. He lives in Athens, Georgia, grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, came out as a gay man at the age of twenty-one in the late 1970s, and considers surviving his wild and reckless twenties to have been a miracle. To find out what Michael’s up to now, visit his blog (rupured.com), follow him on Twitter (@crotchetyman) or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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