Well why not? Who said lovebirds need to be small, colorful little creatures. Why not magnificent, brilliant blue, and noisy macaws?
I’ve only had small birds. Parakeets and budgies, canaries and finches–that I call beeper birds. But whenever given the chance to hold or interact with a larger bird, I’m right there. And always ready to receive bird blessings along with the occasional nip or two. Large birds have very powerful beaks!
In Birds Do It! Garr is birdsitting his mother’s hyacinth macaw–and the bird hates him. He’s pretty sure he feels the same way about Brutus, but his daughter loves the monster bird. In order to keep Rachelle and her friends safe at her birthday party, Garr calls local bird expert Birdie Simons. Here’s a short scene: Where Birdie firsts meets Brutus.
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Garr stood to the side with one hand resting on the latch. “The monster’s in here.” He opened the door slowly, backing up as he did to stay out of sight. A quick motion of his hand indicated she was to enter. When she glanced back at him, he mouthed ‘good luck.’
Another chuckle threatened to explode. Imagine, a man like Garr Logan cowed by a bird. Taking a deep breath, Birdie stepped carefully into the sunlit room. Big birds could be very intimidating when you didn’t know them.
She moved slowly into the room, placing one foot smoothly in front of the other, glancing around. Furnished casually in wicker and glass, the room exuded a quiet elegance, echoing a gracious past. Hopefully, the bird would never escape his cage. The woven furniture would make excellent chew toys for a large inquisitive bird.
A squawk drew her attention to a huge, steel cage set against the wall. Birdie took a step toward the cage, and paused, mouth open. A hyacinth macaw posed on a thick perch, wings spread slightly, feathers ruffled to increase the size of his appearance as he stomped his feet. The show of dominance—an act to gain her attention—made a smile tug at her lips. Just like a male. Was the beautiful avian male? If so, he could be the answer to her hopes and dreams.
Birdie angled her body toward Garr. “Are you sure he’s a male?”
Garr made a sound of disgust low in his throat. “My mother had him sexed not long after she got him. The beast is male, all right. I can even show you his papers if it’s important.”
“Oh, no, that’s okay. Not now.” Birdie tore her attention from the definitely male body next to her and watched the macaw. A smile touched her lips.
A magnificent bird, Brutus stretched to his full length, chattered once, and backed into the corner of his cage to eye Birdie warily. Advancing slowly, despite the sudden silence, Birdie spoke soft nonsense, telling Brutus what a beautiful fellow he was. By the time she stood next to the cage, the bird peered at her with one of his bright eyes and sidled closer.
Careful to show no fear or hesitation to set the skittish bird off again, she dug into her pocket for one of the Brazil nuts she’d grabbed before leaving Birdies. The way to a bird’s heart was often through his stomach. Wary of the powerful beak, Birdie offered Brutus the treat, softly encouraging until he climbed the side bars of the cage, moved closer, and hung upside down to accept the morsel and a scratch on his head.
Before long, she had the cage door open to stroke the large, upright bird and accept the investigative, gentle preening of the large beak. The tiny prickles of new feathers poked her fingertips; there had been a recent molt. Brutus rubbed his bottom over her hand, then along the perch, chattering happily. Birdie grinned, now she had a fair idea what the problem was. And the solution might solve one of her concerns as well.
“I don’t believe it. You’re magical.” Garr’s voice, lowered to an awed whisper, sounded from the doorway.
Turning her head to look at him, Birdie let her grin grow wider at his dazed expression. “It’s nothing, when you know what you’re doing. Move slowly, and come over here.”
Garr shook his head and remained hovering against the doorframe.
Birdie’s eyebrows lowered and she fought to make a fierce scowl. Giving up, she flashed him another smile. “Come on, you’ll be okay. Just move slowly.” The unreasonable urge to flirt with the handsome man tinted her playful words. “I won’t let the big, bad bird hurt you.” She fluttered her eyelashes at him.
Garr took a deep breath and a single step into the room, drawn more by the need to be closer to the woman who calmly stroked the blue monster than by her assurances. The bird eyed him curiously. He returned the skeptical glance and moved forward. Brutus climbed the side of the cage to hang from the top, puffed out his feathers and hissed at Garr.
“See. It hates me.”
Her brows drawn together, Birdie eased the cage door closed. “I know.” Her expression brightened. “Take off your shirt.”
Garr took a startled step back. Unfortunately, this was not the time for his fantasies to come true. “I beg your pardon.”
“It’s your shirt. Do you wear a lot of blue?”
“Yes?” His response was slow, the word drawled from his lips.
“Brutus is threatened by you. Birds have excellent color vision and strong color sensitivity. Since he’s blue, when you wear a blue shirt and tower over him, he gets scared. He’s not angry, he’s frightened. Either take off your shirt, or get out of here.”
Garr liked hearing her order him to strip, it brought wicked thoughts that had no place in a day filled with a child’s birthday party. He tamped down his response and tried to ease the pressure of his tight jeans as he pulled his shirt free. At her signal, he tossed the shirt behind a chair.
Birdie stared at the expanse of male chest. Oh, God, that had been a mistake. The thick sprinkling of hair tapered to a thin line down his flat abdomen, disappearing into the waistband of his jeans. Heat flooded her chest and crawled up her neck to cover her face. Those jeans were fuller than before, the tightness more pronounced over his…
Whipping her gaze back to the macaw, Birdie swallowed hard. “Okay? Now move closer—slowly. And talk softly to Brutus. Let’s see if this helps.”
He stepped closer and Birdie couldn’t deny the pure male sensuality that blasted through her like heat from a wildfire. Unable to stop herself, she inhaled deeply, memorizing the mixture of spice and earth, tasting the overtones of desire.
Down, girl, get those hormones under control. You’re here to help him with a bird, not jump his bones. The crassness of her thought calmed her enough for Garr’s voice to register.
Calm, pitched low and soothing, the tone had nothing to do with his words. “Okay, monster. Let’s get this straight. You’re a bird. I…I am the master here. You will behave yourself, won’t you, you vicious beast?”
Birdie laughed, startling both the man and the bird focusing all its attention on the soothing voice. Giving a startled squawk, Brutus hopped to the far end of his perch and glared at Birdie. She dug another treat from her pocket and offered it in apology. “You’ll definitely win his confidence if you feed him. I can tell he’s a greedy thing.”
Garr moved closer, the simple touch of his hand on her shoulder turned her to face him. Time stopped and the brightly lit sunroom faded as she stared into his eyes. Birdie swallowed the dryness infecting her throat, and an appealing spark rose from the depths of Garr’s dark eyes. The pupils dilated, his lips softened. Birdie accepted the silent invitation and leaned toward him.
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Avian expert Birdie Simons is called to control a cantankerous hyacinth macaw during a young girl’s birthday party. Inexorably drawn to each other, she and single father Garr Logan share an afternoon of joy and bittersweet memories, for Garr’s wife died the same day as Birdie’s newborn child.
Something about Rachelle makes Birdie wonder if the golden-haired girl is her daughter, switched at birth. Then her child’s father returns, dogging her search for understanding and throwing her deep into fear and confusion.
Garr’s ready to bring the intriguing woman into his small family but Birdie keeps her search, the threats, and hidden relationships to herself. Will discovering the truth of events nine years in the past bring Garr and Birdie closer? Or forever tear them apart?
Find out more about Birds Do It! and read the entire first chapter here. While you’re at my website, sign up for News From The Starr to receive occasional news of new releases.
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And this is me…
*lizzie always made up games and stories to keep her company. So, a cunning witch lived in Grampa’s weather research station and was only held at bay by waving a certain weed. An ancient road grader morphed into a boat carrying wild adventurers to islands filled with fierce lions and dangerous cannibals, which really looked a lot like sheep. Now, filled with fantasy, love, and romance with a sparkling twist, the stories of her imagination swirl their way into the mundane world. When *lizzie must return to a more routine life, she’s *the Lunch Lady* at a private school.
Author and lunch lady~~what a combination!