Hiya peeps, we have Kris Ripper stopping by today with zir new release As La Vista Turns, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~
As La Vista Turns
Zane Jaffe has almost lost track of what conception cycle she’s in. (That’s a lie: this is cycle thirteen.) She’s fake-dating her pal Mildred to get her best friend off her back, but judging by how hot it was when they accidentally kissed, her feelings might be somewhat less platonic than she’d thought.
And she’s decided that healing the fractured local queer community can only be accomplished through a party. Or maybe it’s actually a wake. Whatever it is, it’ll take place at Club Fred’s, and there will be alcohol.
Trying to conceive is an unholy rollercoaster of emotions, and Mildred won’t let them kiss again until Zane figures out how she feels. Between the wake (exhausting as hell, and that’s just the fun stuff), the constant up-down cycle of trying to get pregnant, and saving the world in the meantime, Zane has no idea. Fall in love with Mildred isn’t on her list, but maybe it’s time to let go of that rigid future she’s been working toward, and instead embrace the accidents that can lead to something better.
Hi, I’m Kris and welcome to the blog tour for As La Vista Turns, book five in my awesome queer soap opera! Enjoy the blog tour!
I didn’t mean to kiss Dred. It was an accident.
I was a little hungover after the wedding, and the sunlight was, like, glaring through my windshield, and when she got in the car I was happy to see her, so I kissed her. Okay, so “kiss Dred” wasn’t on my list of things to do, but it was an accident. And we were grown-ups. It was no big deal.
Except for the way neither of us pulled back.
Except for the way I really wanted to kiss her more.
Except for the look in her eyes—all open and warm and eager—when she started to say, “Whoa, Z, that was—”
Then: “Fuck!” She glared over my shoulder. “Damn it, Emerson. Z, will you roll down your window for a minute?”
“Okay . . .”
I hadn’t noticed Emerson calling her, but she’d heard him, so he must have been. I was in “accidentally kissing Dred” land. No external forces need apply.
Also, what had she been about to say? Whoa, Z, that was—what?
Emerson was wheezing and leaning on his cane when he got to the car. “Swatches. Jesus, that’s a long haul when my leg’s being a bitch. Obie wants to know which one of these they want to buy.” A manila envelope landed on Dred’s lap.
“Do I look like his errand boy to you?”
Emerson offered one of his crooked smiles. “Pretty much, yeah. You girls have fun now.”
“Don’t think I won’t beat you with that cane.”
“I’m pretty sure you won’t. Bye, Zane.”
“See ya, Emerson.” I pulled away from the curb, trying to decide if the silence in the car was awkward, or I was imagining things. Not that it mattered. “So I’m not pregnant.”
“Big fuckin’ negative, yep. Yesterday, before the wedding.”
“Wow, and then you spent all day smiling and making nice with people. It’s like God really hates you or something.”
“Shut up. I actually enjoy smiling and making nice with people. Plus, it’s better than sitting in my condo staring at the walls wondering why I’m such a failure.” I couldn’t talk this way to everyone. But I could to Dred, even after accidentally kissing her and crossing all the made-up lines we’d drawn around fake-dating.
Fake-dating had seemed like a good idea to get my best friend off my back about “getting out there” and “staying open to relationships.” And it had done its job. Dred and I had fun, no one got hurt, and for six months I’d been free of friendly nudges toward any lady with a pulse.
Damn it. I shouldn’t have kissed her. No. I should kiss her again. All the time. Or never. Hell. I blushed even thinking about kissing her again. If she saw the blush, she’d probably kill me; I made sure I kept my face pointed away, and turned up the radio. “I haven’t heard this song in months! Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne. Listen to her voice, it’s amazing.”
Jesus. Way to compound the awkward, Zane. I’d just drawn our attention to a song all about how there was no place the singer would rather be than with whoever she was singing to.
I turned it down again and tried to come up with a distraction. “You want to hear the other thing that happened at the wedding? Or no, after it. I may have cried all over the grooms.”
“Poor you.” Her voice wasn’t exactly sympathetic.
“They, uh, offered me sperm.” I repeated it in my head, but no, that was the correct sentence. “Tom’s sperm.”
“No fucking way.” She shifted, and even though I didn’t look over, I could tell she was facing me now. “No way.”
“Shit, Zane. You gonna take them up on that? I mean, it’d be cheaper, but then you’re stuck with . . . men.”
She knew from being stuck with men. Her ex had every other weekend with Baby James, after skipping out on the first five months of his life. Shit was complicated.
“They know I’m not looking for co-parents. But I don’t know. There’s a lot to think about.”
“Genetics-wise, it’d be a solid match. Tom’s all kinds of perfect specimen of blond, blue-eyed Aryan man.”
“Okay, thanks, now I’m totally creeped out. I’m not trying to have baby Hitler!”
She laughed. Dred’s laugh was low and sharp, like if you got too close it’d make you bleed.
“You’re so mean.” I may have huffed.
“You’re the one who wants to have baby Hitler with Tom of Finland.”
“Oh my god, stop it, Mildred!”
Her hand ghosted over my knee and withdrew. Would she have done that pre-accidental-kiss? I didn’t think so. Did that mean the kiss had been good for her, too? How could I tell? A sentence that starts with Whoa, Z could be going anywhere.
“Well?” This time she poked me. That was definitely the usual way of things. “Are you going to think about it?”
“Of course I’m going to think about it. It’s been twelve cycles. Twelve BFNs. And I’m supposedly healthy. And all of those donors I tried had other positives, so it’s not them.” I blinked a few times to keep my emotions from taking over. The thing about trying to get pregnant is that it’s a constant pressure, a weight on your skin, and even if your awareness of it drops for a few minutes, the smallest thing can remind you that you’re compressed on all sides by an inability to do this very basic thing.
I cleared my throat. “Anyway.” I pulled the car into a parking spot that may or may not still be a red zone from back when the drop-in center was a warehouse of some kind. “Hey, that’s interesting.”
I gestured to the car in front of us. “Cam Rheingold’s car. He’s been down here a lot lately.”
“I thought you were only allowed to make people into a soap opera at Club Fred’s.”
“What? I’m not! I’m just saying, you know, that’s interesting.”
She poked me again, and when I turned she was smirking. “I know exactly what you’re saying, gutter brain.”
“Shut up, I’m so not. I’m not.”
The smirk. Oh jeez. I wanted to kiss her smirking face.
“Let’s off-load all this junk,” I mumbled, and got out of the car.
Cam and Keith were in the kitchen when we walked into the center, standing at closer-than-regulation distance. Not that I inferred anything from their apparent intimacy. Except that they were . . . close. Physically. In the kitchen.
Keith waved. “Please tell me you come bearing food and I can eat something other than peanut butter and banana today.”
I gestured to the car. “So much food. You guys want to help unload?”
“Definitely.” Oh look, he casually touched Cam’s arm. Because they were close. Physically. “If you can tempt Josh away from the computer, I’d appreciate it. He’s gonna go blind if he keeps staring at that spreadsheet, willing it to tell him something different.”
“Sure.” Cam smiled at us. “I’ll be right back to help.”
I shrugged. “Oh, three of us is enough, don’t worry about it.”
Dred kicked my ankle, which I took as: Stop making them into a soap opera. Which I wasn’t, kind of, though what Cam was going to do to tempt Josh away from the computer was intriguing.
My brain tried to tag that thought like I was entering it in my notebook app: blowjob, kissing, massage. I could go into the temptation business. That was a list I could keep going with: dirty talk, handjob, kissing.
Why was I thinking about kissing?
I performed a forced shut down on my mental processes and led the way to the car.
Donating all the leftover reception food to the Queer Youth Project’s drop-in center was Carlos’s brilliant idea (“I mean, the last fucking thing we want is to start married life with half a ton of goddamn catered food”). I’d volunteered to do it as my final wedding-planning-job duty, and man, I was glad to see the last of it emptying out of my car.
“Good riddance to bad rubbish.” I shut the hatch with a flourish.
“That bad?” Keith carefully balanced huge portions of cake in each hand.
“No. Well, yes, though I’d do it again. For Carlos, not for just anyone.”
He batted his eyelashes at me suggestively.
I pointed at him. “I’m not going to trip you out of respect for the cake. Why, are you guys getting married?”
“No way. Well, maybe someday, but not anytime soon.”
Dred poked her head out the sliding door. “We good?”
“We are so good.” I did not stare at her lips. Or, okay, I made myself stop staring at her lips.
“Does that mean it’s time to eat cake?”
Gah, stop making me think about lips. I swept an arm through the air and called, “Let them eat cake!”
“You’re such a nerd.” She grabbed half of Keith’s armload. “But we’re going to eat this now, right? You better not be teasing me, Zane.”
“Are you sure you don’t like it when she teases you?” Keith slid past her, evading a clumsy kick in his direction. He laughed (and didn’t see her getting ready to kick him again). “The lady doth protest too— Oof!”
He managed—barely—to not drop the cake. My heart was pounding like crazy until all the cake was safely on the counter.
That cake was wildly expensive. It’d be like dropping a Fabergé egg or something.
Keith shook out his arms and spun around. “Totally uncalled for, Mildred! Plus, you know it basically proves my point, right?”
She glared at him. “Are you having sex with Cameron?”
His jaw dropped.
“What are we interrupting?” a new voice asked.
I turned to Josh with relief. Despite being a mere twenty-four years old, the boy had the kind of calm control that immediately soothed a room.
Keith shook his head, still looking flummoxed. “Uh, I pissed off Mildred. Or something. And hell yes, I’m having sex with Cameron. It’s not a secret.”
Poor Cam. His face was crimson and he had busied himself picking through food, maybe trying to sort it, or just trying to pretend he was somewhere else.
“It’s definitely not a secret,” Josh agreed.
“Sorry.” Dred glanced at me. “Anyway, can you guys take all this?”
“As long as it was at food-safe temperatures between last night and right now.” Keith started picking through. “We probably can’t serve the hot food.”
Josh grabbed a stack of plates. “More for us.”
“Josh! It hasn’t been at temp. It’s not safe to eat.”
“It was refrigerated and I’m reheating it. It’s no different than if we made it at home and then—”
“Except that like a hundred people breathed on it and it sat out for hours.”
Keith rolled his eyes. “Fine. You get salmonella. I’m sticking with things that are safe to eat.”
Since I wasn’t pregnant, I went ahead and joined Josh and Dred in eating potentially toxic leftovers. So that was a perk. Kind of.
Cam notably stuck with Keith in avoiding potentially toxic leftovers, even leaning next to him against the counter. At least his blush had calmed down a few threat levels.
“Where’s Mister James today?” Josh asked, when our initial feeding frenzy had died down.
“With Obie and Emerson.” Dred felt around in her pockets. “Oh, and Obie sent you swatches.”
Keith and Josh exchanged a glance. Keith shoved the manila envelope in a drawer. “Thanks, we’ll, uh, get back to him later.”
“Swatches?” Cam asked.
Josh waved a fork. “We’re commissioning a piece. It’s no big deal.”
Oops. I caught Dred’s eye and mouthed, Oops.
“A piece.” Cam studied the two of them. “That’s interesting.”
“It’s not that interesting,” Keith said quickly. “Anyway. Um. Let’s talk about something totally unrelated. How’s the baby thing going, Zane?”
“Er, sorry, never mind.”
“It’s fine.” I executed an oh-so-casual one-shoulder shrug. “Future Kid continues to be elusive. There is one development, though, which is that a friend recently offered to donate sperm.”
“Whoa.” There was something charming about Keith’s excitement. “That’s really cool, right? I mean, is that a thing people do? Should we have done that?” He appealed to Josh, who answered by kissing him. Keith accepted the kiss, but not as an answer. “No, but seriously, should we have?”
Dred tossed her plate and went to open one of the cake boxes. “Plus, you’d want to be daddies. Zane doesn’t want daddies.”
“We wouldn’t have to be.” He paused. “Actually, that’s probably a lie. I think if a kid was running around with my genes—or Josh’s—I’d probably, you know, want to kind of be involved.”
“Me too.” Josh smiled at me apologetically. “Sorry, Zane.”
“Hey, I’m right there with you. I couldn’t be totally detached from a kid who was part me.”
“Oh, I could.” Dred deposited the cake and a handful of forks on the table. “As long as I didn’t have to give birth to it. I don’t think I could be a surrogate. Pregnancy was way too much of a pain in the ass. But if I could just jerk off and fill a cup with eggs—” She shrugged. “I’d give them away to whoever the hell wanted them.”
Cameron cleared his throat. “I think I could as well. I don’t feel any instinctive need to father a child. But if someone needed sperm, I think I could contribute my own without being emotionally attached to the outcome.”
“That’s a difference between us, Cam.” Keith grinned. “I would totally be attached to a kid with your DNA.”
And poor Cam was blushing again.
“Anyway,” I said, taking the spotlight off his bright-red cheeks. “There are a lot of things to think about. And it’s not quite as easy as just jerking off in a cup. Like, for best results he’d have to not come for a day or two before, which is kind of an awkward thing to ask someone.” Though Carlos would probably make it into some kind of chastity game and they’d both get off on it. I turned my mind away from . . . that.
“But consider yourself added to the list, Cam.” Dred smiled a little maliciously.
I elbowed her. And grabbed a fork. “Family-style cake. You people better not have germs.”
“So many germs.” Keith dug into the cake. “Oh my god. Oh my god. This is the greatest cake that has ever been baked. Is this . . . salted caramel that I’m tasting?”
“It really is. Salted caramel filling with a chocolate ganache frosting. And it cost a fortune, so enjoy.”
Keith made a sound, something between a moan and a sigh. “I am so enjoying.”
Josh quirked an eyebrow at him. “We might have to take some of this home. It’s obscene watching you eat cake, babe.”
“Don’t listen to him,” Dred advised, closing her eyes to better appreciate the bite she was chewing. “Be one with the cake, Keith.”
“I am so completely one with the cake right now.”
Read more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/as-la-vista-turns (just click the excerpt tab)
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris: