Hi guys! We have Sean Michael popping in today with the wonderful cover to their upcoming release Daddy Needs A Date, we have a short intro from Sean, and a great excerpt so you can meet some of the star players! So check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Daddy Needs A Date
With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining—he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off-guard when his mother and daughter conspire to play matchmaker.
Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world for extended periods of time, helping others. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt happy.
Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date. Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon family needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first they’ll have to decide if they even want to….
The story of Daddy Needs a Date had a title before it had the actual story written. This is unusual for me, usually titles are so very hard. But for this one poof, there it was. I don’t know, maybe that’s why the story didn’t go the way I expected it either. I thought the guys were headed in one direction when in fact they went another, different conflict from what I’d been expecting and all.
I don’t mind, I like that the characters still want to do their own thing.
smut fixes everything
“DAFFY? CAN you bring me that bowl with the paper towels in it please?” Fried chicken. Seriously?
“Popsy? Can I have fried chickens for my birfday?”
Obviously he’d let Rosie watch too much Cooking Channel.
Ryan nodded to Daffodil, keeping one eye on his blonde, hazel-eyed seven-year-old and the other on the bubbling chicken in his pan.
As if deep frying chicken on the stove wasn’t enough, his phone began to ring, buzzing against the counter where it sat, playing his mother’s ringtone. Frank Sinatra’s tenor got progressively louder as he ignored it.
“Will someone please answer my phone?” he hollered. Four girls in this house and no one was answering? That didn’t bode well.
It was his fifteen-year-old Mel who finally came into the kitchen. Rolling her hazel eyes, she picked up his phone. “Hey, Gran.”
“Tell her that we’re having dinner in twenty if she wants to come,” Ryan said. The birthday party was planned for Saturday, but every little girl deserved a special dinner on her own birthday.
“Daddy says if you want to come for dinner, it’ll be ready soon. If he doesn’t burn the kitchen down.”
“I will beat you, girl,” he teased. “Or make you starve!”
Daffy cracked up, and Daisy and Rosie came running. “Popsy?”
“Yes, baby girls?” He gave them his best innocent look.
“Is that fried chickens, Popsy?” Rosie’s eyes were huge.
“That is what you asked for on your birthday, right?” He was not the kind of daddy who denied his girls without a good reason. Especially on their fifth birthday.
She nodded. “I did.”
“Well, there you go.”
Mel was still on the phone, and she kept shooting him looks. Honestly, it was a little suspicious.
“Is your gran okay, Mel?” He didn’t need drama. His hands were full—100 percent full.
“Uh-huh. She’s fine. She’s not coming for supper, but she wants to talk to you.” Mel handed him the phone. “You have to say yes.”
“Okay….” He wasn’t sure what to make of that, but if he was going to be concentrating on the call, he couldn’t be looking out for the kids. “Can you take the girls into the other room so there’s no popping of grease onto tender skin, please?”
“Sure—but you have to say yes.” She gave him the eagle eye, the way only a fifteen-year-old girl could, then gathered the girls and took them out.
He shook his head and put the phone to his ear. “Mom? I’ve got chicken frying on the stove, so I don’t have long.” It would break Rosie’s heart if it burned. And hell, he couldn’t afford to throw away all that grease and two birds’ worth of chicken.
“Hello to you too, son.”
“If you were a good grandmother, you’d be doing this. Isn’t this your job?” He loved teasing her. His mother could cook anything that involved dialing a phone for takeout. He adored her.
She snorted. “Danny and I have plans. We’ll be there on Saturday, with bells on. Speaking of plans, though, you remember Ada Powell?”
“Uh….” Ada Powell? The name was vaguely familiar, but it could easily have been because it was one of those common-sounding names.
“One of my friends from church—you remember her. She’s got the hair teased all the way to heaven? Dyed blue?”
“Okay….” It wasn’t ringing any bells, but his mom liked to show off her grandchildren, so they’d met most of her church friends at one time or another.
“Well, her nephew has just come back from Africa. Building wells. Or schools. Or maybe it was wells for schools. Roads to get to schools. Oh, I don’t know, but it was definitely something in Africa. Anyway. He’s single, and he bats for your team, and now he’s new to town and doesn’t know anyone, so I thought you should have dinner with him. That way he’d know someone. And you could tell him all the best places to see and stuff like that. Before you say no, he really doesn’t know anyone else in town.”
“Mom….” A blind date? Him? Seriously? He hadn’t been on any sort of dates since he’d adopted Rosie, Daffy, and Daisy. “I have the kids.”
“Melly has already agreed to babysit Thursday night. It’s all set—she’ll even help you with your outfit. Besides, it’s not a blind date. You’re doing the guy a favor.”
Yeah, he could tell even she wasn’t buying that.
“What is this all about, really?” Why the sudden interest in his love life? And if they had a date and time, then it had clearly already been set up on the other end. Why was he the last to know?
“This is about you not leaving that house unless it has to do with the girls. It’s about you being celibate for fifteen years. You deserve a life too, Ry.”
“Fifteen years is a little extreme, Mom.” Seven years? Maybe eight. It was probably eight. There hadn’t really been any dates, but quickies in the corner stall totally counted as not celibate.
“Well, you haven’t been out since the girls came to live with you, and even Mel’s noticed it. This was her idea, you know.”
“Mom….” Dammit. Just. Dammit. His fifteen-year-old conspiring with his mother? This was not a good precedent.
“What could it hurt?” she asked.
He rolled his eyes. He was sure he could come up with a dozen reasons why it was a bad idea. Starting with the four girls in the other room, three of whom were under the age of ten.
“She’s going to be disappointed if you don’t go. She’s pretty proud of herself for coming up with the idea.” Emotional blackmail, that’s what that was. His mother had just resorted to emotional blackmail.
It was going to work too. “Fine. Mom, I have chicken frying. Birthday chicken.”
“I’ll text you the details. Don’t burn the house down.”
“Pray for me.” He hung up and shoved his phone in his pocket. At least she’d done this today and not on Saturday during Rosie’s party. He was going to need his wits about him with a houseful of five-year-olds. Even if it was only for a few hours and he planned on them watching Frozen for the umpteenth time for one and a half of those hours.
Mel peeked around the corner. “Everything okay, Dad?”
Little sneak. He did love her.
“Uh-huh. You have something you want to talk to me about?” Like why she was setting him up on blind dates.
She stepped into the room. “Did you say yes?”
“Yes, but I’m not sure I appreciate you going behind my back, honey.” He dumped the potatoes into the colander and let them sit for a minute, draining into the sink.
She stepped from foot to foot. “But you wouldn’t talk to me about it. Besides, it’s… icky. You’re my dad.”
“But you can talk to Gran? Get me the milk and butter.”
She went to the fridge and grabbed both for him. “Yes. It wasn’t easy, but it was important. Can we drop it now and finish Rosie’s birthday dinner?”
“Uh-huh. Sure. I need the potato masher.” He dumped the potatoes back into their now empty pot. “Carrots or green beans?”
“Rosie likes carrots best.” She grabbed the masher and handed it over. “I could set the table for you.” Ah, nobody was as helpful as a teenage girl madly trying to change the subject.
“You can. And get me a can of carrots.”
“You think the cake looks okay?” Mel asked, worrying her bottom lip.
He nodded absently. Okay, fried chicken. Mashed potatoes. Carrots. Rol— “And I need the brown-and-serve rolls.”
“I’ll get them if you tell me the cake is okay.” Mel had made it herself, the pink so bright it was going to blind them all. It also had copious amounts of pink edible glitter on it.
Rosie was going to love it.
“I think the cake is perfect.”
She beamed at him and handed over the rolls. “I can’t believe you’re frying chicken.”
“I just hope it tastes all right. She’s so excited.” And it was his youngest’s birthday.
Who would have thought this was his life? He wouldn’t trade them for anything, though.
“It’s fried chicken. As long as you don’t burn it—maybe even if you do—she’s going to love it. I’m going to go get them, okay?”
“Okay.” He had presents for after supper. Rosie had this doll she’d seen at the store—strawberry blonde hair and hazel eyes, just like her. Most of the blonde dolls were blue-eyed, so it was quite special.
The girls came in, Rosie squealing and excited. “Popsy made me fried chickens!”
“I most certainly did. Everyone sit!” Somehow, wonderfully, magically, he had figured this out. It was a little dark and maybe the potatoes were a little lumpy, but the look on little Rosie’s face was worth it.
“Happy birthday, baby girl.”
There was a chorus of “Happy birthday, Rosie!” and his girls all started to eat.
For a second he sat there—exhausted and proud and wanting a beer—then he smiled and grabbed himself a piece of chicken. Not bad. Not bad at all. It didn’t even taste a little bit burned.
“Huh. This is pretty good.” Mel managed to sound surprised.
“It’s good, Popsy. So good. My popsy is a chef,” Rosie pronounced.
Daffy grinned and Daisy snorted, and Mel started to laugh because she’d been there the longest, back when all he could make was scrambled eggs and toast. They’d lived off that and rice cereal quite literally for months when she’d started to eat solid food.
“For you I try, Rosie. Now what do you want to do when you’re finished here? It’s birthday girl’s choice.”
Rosie answered without hesitation. “Presents and cake and snuggle movies!”
“Yes, ma’am.” They’d been having snuggle movies since Mel was little and he was still living at home with Mom and Pop. They’d get onto the sofa and snuggle together and watch a cartoon or animated movie, just be together under the covers.
Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.
Where to find the author: