Colorado teenager Wade Summers wants nothing more than to go on his date tonight with high school hottie Glory Schoonover.
Unfortunately, a fierce February blizzard has blown in
and a couple of first-time heifers are calving
early. Way too early.
And Wade’s never delivered a calf on his own before.
Simmering under the teenage hormones and unexpected birthing
is a conflicted son who finally confronts the abuse of his shady stepfather and a betrayal by his somewhat disengaged mother.
Publishers Weekly said “Brown offers an engaging exploration
of young person’s search for his sense of self.”
Kirkus Reviews called it “An exciting, elegant debut.”
♥ Bio ♥
When he’s not directing, trading stocks, or hiking with
his dog, he shoots stills and still writes. “I write and take pictures because I cannot not. For me, they are a testament to, a celebration of, and a prayer for life.”
Calves in the Mud Room is his first novella.
Brown lives in Teton Valley, Idaho with his way cool wife
and their collie, Max.
♥ Excerpt ♥
Visions of Glory Schoonover -- head cheerleader, honor student, student council secretary, Spud Festival Princess; her juicy fruit lips, dark chocolate eyes, honey-streaked corn silk hair with the chamomile-lavender scent; the thick, erotic syrup of her Emeraude perfume; the outline of the wispy, white lace peek-a-boob bra beneath the flimsy cream top with the pearl buttons; the way her round, rubbery breasts rise and fall with each breath; the sling of the slinky, burning-pink thong panties clinging to the soft band of baby fat that rides the low-cut, hip-hugging, crotch-squirming, tight-ass-affirming jeans –- all disappear, vanish the instant the truck lights sweep through the pin streaks of snow and gunmetal fog and land on the smoky blobs of rump roast, rib eyes, t-bones, tenderloins, flank strips, hot dogs and moo-burger piling up at the gate and blocking Wade Summers’ way.
Stupid cows. Stand in cow shit all day cows.
God, he hates cattle.
They’re waiting to be fed. They’re always waiting to be fed. All the light bred out them. All the efficiencies injected into them. His grandfather never did it that way. No protein supplements, antibiotics, growth hormones or corn. He was old school and rejected chemical farming. Take care of the animals first, he would say, and they’ll take care of you.
God, he misses his grandfather.
The gate screeches as he pushes it into the herd. The chain clanks against cold metal. The cows snort, stumble and bellow in retreat.
He watches so none blunder out before he can drive through, close it back up, then slog through the red clay mush to the house.
It’s barely four and already as dark as six. The mountain, fat snowflakes, and dense ground-hugging fog blot out the low-arcing sun of late winter.
So where’s the Buick? His mom’s car. She said he could use it for tonight’s date.
Why Glory Schoonover asked him to the Valentine’s Day Sponge Dance, he could not fathom. It was too good to be true. They had never spoken. Not really. Twice in Contemporary World Problems she had caught him staring at her. Both times she smiled that smile. The one that gives boys pleasure and the girls power.
Wade was so shocked and swirling in disbelief, excitement, elation, unworthiness, and suspicion of a joke being played, of being punked, of not being enough, that he almost blurted no. But it was her, Glory Schoonover in person, in a yellow tank top and sassy jeans, not a text or email, standing there in front of his locker right before American History, asking him to the tolo. So instead he blurted why.
“Why? Why not?” Glory asked.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know why not, or you don’t know if you’ll go with me?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. I’m so stupid, I know, yes, thank you, yes.”
“Well, you can’t be stupid any more. You’ll be with me.”
Glory pecked him on the cheek and spun away, the kiss and her smell euphoric.
“Glory?” Boy, saying that sounded good. “There is something you should probably know. I’ve never been to a dance.”
“That makes it even better. I’ll be your first.”