Welcome to the blog tour for Winter Flowers by Tani Hanes! It's the second book in The Flower series. Please enjoy an amusing excerpt that anyone who has ever had kids or worked with kids will appreciate, and then be sure to enter the giveaway! Also check out the rest of the tour for other excerpts, reviews, and more.
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Winter Flowers (The Flowers Series #2)
by Tani HanesGenre: NA Romance
Release Date: July 20th 2018
What ever happened to Pete and Daisy?
When we left them, their daughter had just been born, and some momentous decisions had been made.
It’s now four years later. Their family has grown, as has their love for each other. Clio is a rocky smart, precocious four year old, and she’s been joined by baby sister Francie. Pete’s career as a musician is finally taking off, and things should be rosy; however, fame and fortune bring their own pitfalls, and a voice from the past arrives in their lives, threatening to upset everything they’ve worked for.
Can they survive Pete’s success, and the long shadow cast by Daisy’s past? How will Pete deal with groupies, temptation, and prolonged separation from his family? And how far is Daisy willing to go to protect those she loves?
Join the Santangelos on this rollicking roller coaster second installment of their journey.
Clio looked dubiously between her parents. “Hunh? It what?”
The three of them were sitting in her parents’ bedroom, on their big, fluffy bed. It was Clio’s favorite place in the entire house, as it smelled like both her mother and her father. It was a cloudy afternoon, with rain imminent, though none had hit the ground yet. Francie lay sleeping in the room she shared with her sister, the sister who was presently doubting the sanity of her mother and father.
Pete had just finished explaining how the baby had gotten in her mother’s tummy, and he and Daisy were looking expectantly at Clio. Her response to this was huge. It would color their home lives for the next six months.
“That sounds like the biggest load of crap,” she finally said. Pete and Daisy looked at each other and resisted the urge to laugh.
“You’re telling me that something from Daddy joined together with something from Mommy, and it turned into a bunch of tiny cells, and they’re inside Mommy’s tummy right now, growing into a baby? No, sorry, her, um uterus?” The unfamiliar word rolled off her tongue.
Clio was nothing if not precocious, both of them knew that. Her aptitude tests, placement tests for pre-school, and frankly every kind of test they’d ever given her was off the charts for intelligence; she was the smartest, the most articulate four-year-old most people had ever encountered.
That fierce intellect was now focused on her mother and father, her go-to source for anything and everything, as if she could no longer understand their accents.
“How did it happen?” she finally threw out into the huge silence. “How did the, um, sperm get to Mommy’s egg? Did it just fly through the air?” And she made a jumping motion with her hand to clarify her meaning.
Pete sighed and rolled his eyes, running his fingers through his hair. Daisy swallowed, looking around the room as if for inspiration. They again looked at each other, both utterly at a loss as to how to proceed.
“Well, no, it didn’t fly through the air,” Pete finally answered. He blew out another breath, making his cheeks huge. “You know how Daddy has a penis? And Mommy doesn’t, right? Well, there’s an extra opening down there that women have, and we fit together, and that’s how my sperm and Mommy’s egg met, inside Mommy’s body…” he trailed off to see the effect his words were having.
“And when you guys do this it’s called ‘sex,’” Clio said, brows drawn together, just like Pete. Clio wore a searching look, her “detective look,” Pete and Daisy called it. It was the look she got when she needed to know something, and was going to find out, no matter what. “So that’s how you got me? And Francie? By fitting yourselves together?”
Pete and Daisy both nodded, relieved. The end might actually be in sight.
“So what about Uncle Evan and Uncle Bjorn?” she asked skeptically. “They have Molly and Ethan, but they don’t fit together, do they? They’re both boys.”
She looked from Pete to Daisy, her face one big question mark. “How did they get Molly and Ethan if they can’t do what you guys are saying? Sex? Or can they? Can one man put his penis in a different opening on another man and make a baby?”
“No, only a man and a woman together can make a baby, though any grownups who want can have sex; but it wouldn’t be fair if only man-and-woman families could have children, would it?” Daisy asked. “So when there’s a woman who wants to be a mommy, or a man who wants to be a daddy, they can adopt children, from anywhere in the world. You remember how Molly has dark skin? The man and woman who made her are from Africa, and they couldn’t take care of her, so they let Uncle Evan and Uncle Bjorn adopt her, get it?”
And thankfully, Clio was nodding, beginning to smile.
“So you guys are just lucky that you can make a baby with each other,” she said. “Right? Otherwise, you could adopt, too? From anywhere?”
“Esattamente,” Pete said, relief all over his face. “Sometimes people get sick and die, or they can’t take care of a child. Sometimes people make a baby by accident, and aren't ready for it or whatever, and other people who want a family can adopt those children.”
Oops, too far. Clio’s look of dawning comprehension was replaced by another question mark. What now?
“Hold on, Daddy, how do people do that by accident?” She looked between them again, and Daisy wished the bed would just open up and swallow her. She always prided herself, as did Pete, on being completely forthright with their kids. “As much truth as they can handle, always,” had been their motto, and it had been going gangbusters until this major pileup.
Clio, mistaking her parents’ silence for a lack of comprehension, proceeded to elucidate. “How do people ‘accidentally’ have sex?” she asked, even putting air quotes, which she knew Daisy hated, around the word “accidentally.” “Is that something that can happen in, like, a car accident or something? Or when people aren’t paying attention when they walk?”
Fuck. Fuck fuck.
Daisy pursed her lips, and bit the inside of her mouth, hard. She mustn’t laugh at her daughter’s very legitimate question. Pete wasn’t having as much success, and was grinning.
“No, baby, the sex isn’t the accidental part. People like to have sex.” He looked at his wife, who was hanging on his every word, eyebrows so high they were in danger of disappearing into her hairline.
“People like to have sex,” he repeated, trying to figure out how to continue, “but they don’t always want a baby, you see? The baby is the accident, the lovely surprise.”
“So the new baby is a surprise?” Clio asked, gesturing at Daisy’s tummy.
“Yes, it’s a lovely surprise,” Daisy agreed. Pete had, for once, hit upon a wonderful turn of phrase. “It’s something we didn't even know we wanted until we got it.”
Clio, ever the practical creature, had more questions for her floundering parents. “So when do you guys do sex?” she asked. “Have sex, have sex, I mean,” she corrected herself, and Daisy again marveled at the human brain, which could hear a phrase once and learn it and use it correctly. Clio looked around the bedroom, eyes finally coming to rest on the bed upon which all three sat.
Her eyes widened and she jumped off the bed. “Here? You guys do that here?” she asked, hands spread wide. She looked like they’d just told her they liked to drink from the toilet. She looked at the bed carefully, as though it might accidentally impregnate her.
She again looked from Pete to Daisy. “I’m not doing that for a long time, okay?” she said, shaking her head, making her ponytail swing from side to side. “I’m too little, right?”
And at those words Pete did laugh out loud, holding his arms out to his amazing four year old daughter. “Yes, you’re definitely too little, Topolina, you don’t have to worry about anything like this for years and years, I promise.”
“I think that’s enough talking, you guys, okay?” she asked as she hid her head in her father’s neck.
“Yes, yes, definitely,” Daisy said, laughing herself.
As they were leaving the bedroom, she thought of one more question. “So you guys had to do that thing, that ‘sex’ thing, two times?” Her voice indicated that she was very impressed. “Wow, you must’ve wanted Francie and me a lot, hm?”
Also available: Pete and Daisy (Book 1)
About Tani HanesMy name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I'm from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!
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