Off Season (Book 15 in The Blake Boys Series) Excerpt II


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The Sleepover

Seth & Morgan’s romantic plans are interrupted by the Blake brood.

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        Seth rattled off his fifth campfire story, hoping to lull the energetic crowd to sleep. It didn’t help that after the cotton candy and the funnel cakes, Morgan got the fireplace going and made S’mores for them. It wasn’t an easy task to scare this bunch, which had him wondering if his spooky storytelling skills were getting rusty. They questioned the plausibility of half the scary scenarios he’d conjured up.

          Jake gave him a suspicious look. “The Boogie Man sure shows up in a lot of your stories dad.”

          “What can I say? He’s versatile,” Seth shot back.

          “Can we watch a movie now?”

          “I guess so.”


          Seth picked up the remote for the plasma and scanned the cable menu guide until he found the latest kid-friendly movie about animated dinosaurs and pressed play. “Your mom and I will be right upstairs. Call me on the walkie-talkie if you need anything.”


         As soon as the six pairs of eyes were glued to the screen, Seth went into the kitchen to get a few things, then sprinted upstairs. Morgan was gently closing the door to the nursery.

        “They’re asleep.” She gave him a thumbs up. “So how did it go downstairs?”

        “They’re watching a movie.” He held up the items he’d taken from the kitchen. “It’s time for a slumber party of our own.”

       “I already ran a bubble bath.”

        They scurried into the bathroom and set the goodies on a tray, stripped, and sank into the warm tub. Seth poured the wine into the glasses and handed one to his wife. Morgan took a sip, then nestled against Seth’s chest.

        “Cheers to another successful sleepover.” Seth clinked his glass to hers.

        “I heard the boys giving you hard time about the campfire stories. You need a new villain. The boys decided a long time ago that if the Boogie man showed up they were going to beat him with a baseball bat.”

        Seth kissed her neck. “I do have to come up with some new material.”

        The door handle jiggled. Seth and Morgan froze. They looked at each other, then at the door. It jiggled again but this time the knob was doing a full turn. Seth squinted at the doorknob. The little button in the middle wasn’t in the lock position. Morgan gasped.

       “If we’re quiet, maybe they’ll go away,” Seth murmured into her ear.

        “I don’t think playing possum is going to work.”

        Colby came in and marched up to the tub. Morgan scrambled to strategically place the suds so he couldn’t see anything.

        “Mom, where’s Geri?” Colby yawned.  He needed his favorite stuff animal to fall asleep.

        “Check your room.” Morgan gripped the sides of the tub and stilled herself in an effort to stop the water from swishing about. “I cleaned him up after you spilled milk on him this morning and put him back on your bed.”

        “OK,” Colby said and was on his way.

       “Hey Colby, can you hit the latch for your dad?” Seth yelled, but it was too late. His son had closed the door.

        “You forgot to lock the bathroom door?” Morgan said.

        “I can remedy that.” Seth moved to get out of the tub, but the handle turned again. This time it was Connor. Seth plunked back down and splashed water on the tiled floor.

       Connor rubbed his eyes. “Can we have some juice?”

       Seth gave his son a suspicious look. “I gave you juice before the movie started.”

       “I’m thirsty again. Matt and Jack want juice too.”

        Morgan interrupted. “There are juice boxes ready to go on the top shelf of the refrigerator. Everybody gets one, and we’ll do another march to the bathroom before you get tucked back into your sleeping bags.”

       “Thanks, Mom.” Connor smiled and headed for the door.

       “Connor, can you do your dad a solid and–” He almost got it out, but Connor had shut the door. Another son had totally tuned him out. Morgan’s giggles brought him back to the matter at hand. “This is funny?”

       “Tremendously.” She turned her ear in the direction of the door. “Wait for it.”


       It was Jake’s turn to visit. He had the baby monitor in his hand.

       “You left this downstairs.” Jake handed Seth the baby monitor.

       “Thank you, baby.” Morgan smiled. “Did your sister fall asleep yet?”

        “Yeah. I put her in my sleeping bag with her bear.”

        “We’ll come down and get her in a little bit.”

         “OK,” Jake said as he sprinted out of the bathroom.

         “Jake! Can you–”

          It was too late.

         “I’m afraid they’re going to keeping coming in here until we get out and go tend to them.” Morgan waded through the water and rested her chin on Seth’s chest. “You get an A for effort, though.”

         “I refuse to let it end this way.” Seth got out of the tub and in all his wet, naked glory opened the bathroom door, stomped through their master suite and locked that door.


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 The love story continues!  This will be Seth & Morgan’s 6th book in the series.  Current playlist has 75 songs!  I hope you enjoyed the pre-edited excerpt!  Release date May 27th!


In case you missed it!

Check out

Seth & Morgan’s Playlist

Seth’s Character Profile

Morgan’s Character Profile

The Blake Kids

 Happy Reading,


Banner photo credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / kosmos111 / Orla

Copyright © 2016 Rhonda Laurel.  All Rights Reserved.

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