Guest Blog: Tattooed on Her Heart with Nikki Duncan

I wanted to do something great for Sidney’s blog. Something different and entertaining. Then I remembered something… You guys are used to Sidney, and she’s super interesting. More interesting than I often am. So, for your hopeful enjoyment, I decided to drag Rylie the Rowdy Clown along with me.

I hope you’re not afraid of clowns.

R: Why should anyone be afraid of clowns? It’s just a mask of makeup and funny clothes.

Says the man who clearly doesn’t see how scary masks can be.

N: Have you never seen yourself, Rylie? Those pants alone scare me.

R: What’s wrong with my pants?

N: Are you frowning right now? If you are, I can’t tell because of your makeup.

R: Guess it’s a good thing I have the makeup. Seriously, what’s wrong with my pants?

N: Nothing if you’re a killer hoping to sneak the bodies past security.

R: That’s more than a little disturbing.

N: Then my point’s been made.

R: Hey!

N: Nope. There’s no defending yourself, Ryland. You just admitted that clowns are scary.

R: Says the lady with clown hater tattooed on her heart.

N: Clown hater is not what I would tattoo on my heart. Especially if that clown could make miracles happen in my life.

R: Let’s hope my Sweet Lady assistant feels the same way.

N: I have faith your plan will win her over. She’s definitely in need of a miracle. Or twelve.

R: She is. Let’s hope your confidence is accurate. I think she’ll be a tough case.

N: Well, let’s let Sidney’s readers be the judge. I’ll give them a peak at your act. 😉

Jennalyn smiled at the kids as she wound her way through them. It was the same gentle smile she’d flashed the night before at the function. And like last night it didn’t quite manage to extinguish the sadness touching her eyes. He would see her smile for real before A Month of Miracles was finished.

“What are you going to do with me, Rylie?” she asked as she set her bag, scarf and coat aside.

“I need you to help me with a few chores.”

“Okay.” She drew out the O as if she didn’t trust where he was going with the act. He knew she’d seen it before though. It had been one that always made her laugh.

“First—” he picked up a watering can and pointed to a large planter he’d set up before the kids came out, “I need you to water that plant.”

Jennalyn shrugged and headed to the plant. Watching the kids sitting right in front of it, she tipped the can and poured the water over the artificial soil. The water flowed through the hidden tubes and poured onto the floor just in front of the kids Jennalyn watched. As it always happened, the kids shrieked and scooted back, laughing.

Jennalyn chuckled. Her smile broadened.

Rylie marched over to her and snatched the can away. “It wasn’t nice of you to try to get those kids wet, lady.”

Playing along, she shrugged dramatically, cocking her head to one side. “I wanted to see if they were really paying attention.”

“Tsk-tsk.” Rylie scolded her, shaking his finger back and forth in front of her face. “I think you should apologize to them.”

Jennalyn bowed her head and knelt before the kids. “I’m sorry you almost got wet. Though I have to say I think it’s his fault.” She pointed over her shoulder at Rylie and pitched her voice in a loud whisper. “He likes to play pranks.”

“Lady!” he exclaimed. “I thought you were sweet.”

“A clown’s first mistake,” she taunted as she stood and turned back to face him. “Asking for a random volunteer.”

“We shall see about that. Before we do, why don’t you wipe up your mess?”

“Fine. Do you have a rag I could use?”

She remembered this act well. She embellished it better than he’d hoped, adding an excitement to it no other volunteer ever had.

“I do.” Reaching into an oversized pocket, he pulled out a rag.

Jennalyn took it and began to walk toward the wet spot on the floor. The towel that had cleared his pocket had a piece of fish line hooked to it. As she moved a few feet away more rags began coming out of his pocket. Each rag was separated by another length of clear wire, sort of like fishing line but thinner and less shiny, so the effect was a row of rags floating in the air between him and Jennalyn. He gestured wildly for the kids to look at what she was doing. Pointing to the rags, tossing his hands up as if he had no idea how she was doing it and then crossing his arms as if resigned to wait until she got a clue. When she didn’t turn around, but instead made a show about blotting up the wet spot on the carpet, the line began pulling at his pants.

Ryland danced in his spot, making the rags wave more wildly. The kids howled with laughter until finally Jennalyn turned to look at him. He stopped dancing immediately and flattened his hands on his chest, shaking his head. Clearly the floating rags were all her doing.

“Naughty clown.” Jennalyn wasn’t buying it though. Carefully working the twine attaching the rags so it stayed taut until she had plucked each rag from the air, she moved back to him. Stopping right in front of him, she turned to face the kids.

She didn’t want to be in the hospital. He had seen that truth on her face when she had walked in, but she was putting her brave face on for the kids. The seriousness that had ruled her at the fundraiser was making way for the sense of humor he had seen her share with Sabrina. Rather than finding pleasure for herself though, she was doing it for the sake of the kids. It told him she was the kind of woman who would bend to the point of breaking if it meant making someone else happy.

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HER MIRACLE MAN is Nikki’s 10th book. It’s funny and sad and touching. If you give Rylie a chance she’d love to hear what you think.

Get your copy now! Samhain Publishing | Amazon – Kindle | Barnes & Noble – Nook

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