Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome Voss Porter to the blog. She’s here to share about her book, The Wrong Time. If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find a buy link below and pick up a copy or two.
Swept away by desire at the wrong time, Mal Davis and Raina Greer have already proven to make a royal mess of commitment. When life presents a second chance, will they throw caution to the wind or will they let the chance meeting of a lifetime slip away?
When farmer Lorraina “Raina” Greer happened upon recently widowed Deputy Mallory Davis one spring evening, sparks hurriedly flew and both women were consumed with the flames of raw passion, at all of the wrong times. As news of Mal’s past surfaces to put a stop to their burgeoning romance, both vow to move on. The trouble is, neither can seem to stop reliving those fiery nights of desire, the taste of pure lust, and the hours whiled away in one another’s arms. Neither has managed to forget. But when life presents the women a second chance, a better time, will they be brave enough to take that leap of faith into the future?
Voss Porter is the author of The Right Kind of Woman. Married to the woman of her dreams, mother to two human children and four canine progeny, Voss is an educator, holding a degree in International Studies from Francis Marion University. She is a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community in her home state of South Carolina, a passionate storyteller, a little bit of a nerd, and a complete badass. An avid writer from the age of six, she prides herself on her ability to create realistic, modern heroines that deal with realistic, modern problems, while stumbling through life to find love, happiness, and organic groceries.
Voss can reached via email, at [email protected], via website at vossporter.com, on Twitter @vossporter and on Facebook.
Voss can also be found on Goodreads
Lorraina “Raina” Greer had been working in a field, with her fingers snaking through the nutrients of the midnight black soil, for as long as she could remember, for as long as her brain had been cognizant of its varied surroundings. Her earliest memories were haunted by images of the corn stalks and the cotton fields and the soybeans, by the aroma of the sweet tobacco and the brush of the cotton in the late summer breeze as it whispered, somehow forcefully, through the pine forest that flanked all sides of the property. Growing, fostering, farming—it was all she had ever known, as the daughter of a farmer, the granddaughter of a farmer, and so on and so forth. The Greer family was agricultural royalty in South Carolina, having planted roots in the southern soil, so to speak, back when Francis Marion was askance in the swamp lands, evading the British troops on the backs of the stout Marsh Tacky horses that brought the area so much acclaim.
Growing, fostering, and farming were like appendages to her.
Tugging hard on a weed, she wiped her hands on the knees of her faded, denim jeans—her farm jeans. As if she owned clothes anymore that were not fodder for the collectors at the Goodwill. Everything she owned was coated in dust and mud and organic pesticides that cost three times the amount their chemically-laced varieties charged. They were rubbed with green grass stains, or torn from the briars in the rose garden she cultivated all on her own; the one her older sisters thought was ridiculous because it yielded nothing that could be sold for money.
Damn them and their stringent sensibilities.
Mira and Hazel were ever-practical, ever the penny-pinchers, money-crunchers, the spreadsheet-makers. They were the bargainers.
Horrible farmers, though, she thought, grinning. There was no accounting for natural abilities.
As children, she reminisced, brushing a strand of her midnight black side shave from her furrowed brow, Mira and Hazel had shown no interest in it. They understood it, the necessity of the tasks, the order of the motions, but only from a scientific perspective, from the perspective of the analyst. One seed plus sunlight plus rain equaled produce. But passion? Drive? The love of the mother earth and the appreciation for the bounty she unwittingly provided? That bit had been left solely unto Raina after her father’s death. Her mother, a Mexican native with an equal passion for cradling the nutrients surrendered by his native land, was gone now, too. Heart disease both times.
I guess there are just some things you can’t control, the easy glide of the trees told her in an audible sigh.
She was kneeling in the south field, the one beyond the main farmhouse where she still lived, sleeping in a renovated version of her parents’ old room, which was a mere three feet from the window she shimmied back into after sneaking off in high school. She still shit in the same downstairs bathroom, near the back screened porch, and cooked in the same kitchen where she had first learned the art of a homemade tortilla shell. Hazel and Mira were long gone, moved into the town proper, paired up and procreating, not that it stopped them from meddling in her affairs. Just yesterday, Mira had blustered down the dirt path that connected the sprawling acres to the main road, bitching about profit margins and overages spent on the new pesticides. She railed for a good half an hour before petering out and leaving Raina in her wake with a pan of homemade cinnamon buns and an ego still stinging. Why they wouldn’t just leave her to what she knew best—farming, duh—was beyond her.
God bless them, those eldest Greers. They were well-intentioned, but they were flying blind as far as the family business went. Explaining anything to them that strayed from their black and white knowledge of income and expense, or required more from their individual wheelhouses than adding and subtracting, was like swimming against the current with an anchor on her back, though they were loath to admit their shortcomings. Stubbornness, thy name is Greer.
Breathing in the soft, spring air, Raina slowly relaxed and tried to force the tension from her shoulders with a yoga technique gleaned from late night infomercials. Around her, life rumbled continuously forward and she was mentally at peace, and majorly alone. There had to be benefits to living alone. Less laundry, no one to tell her what to do…
There were decided drawbacks, too, not that she would ever admit them out loud. There would always be drawbacks, less the general populace shed its theory of monogamy and get with the millennial program. There were countless dinners for one, countless nights spent sleeping alone in an empty house, listening as the rain hit the rusted tin roof with a repetitive, yet unpredictable cadence. There were holidays spent looking on from the couch of one sister or the other while her nieces and nephews and brothers-in-law made family life look so effortless and enjoyable. They loved her, they included her, but somehow that inclusion, that overwhelming welcome, just made her feel all the more overwhelmingly alone, far more so than any table set for one ever had. Watching them happy, watching their faces alight and the joy within… It was heartbreaking, and isn’t this just a pleasant train of thought…
Grimacing, she rolled her eyes to an audience of negative ten.
What you need, Raina, my dear, her subconscious dictated, is a good roll in the hay.
Staring down at a beetle as it traipsed over the threadbare fabric of her pants, she closed her eyes. A good roll in the hay, as if it were that mind-numbingly simple. A good roll in the hay, as if locating a woman who was A) also a lesbian and B) not someone she had dated before, were that mind-numbingly simple, like it was just as simple as selecting the perfect spinach and mushroom pizza from the frozen aisle at the BiLo. Shit, if that were the case, she would not lie awake in bed at night, pining for Mallory.
“Stop,” her voice came out in a hoarse command that nearly startled her. Stop thinking about Mallory.
Again, as if it were that easy.
Mallory, Mal, Officer Davis, her month-long amor—Mallory had been a one-time thing. Well, she had been a one-time, month-long thing, nothing too serious between them, nothing more than the cursory, after-sex texts, the obligatory cuddling, and the shared emotional connection.
Shared emotional connection? Rising, Raina dusted the earth from her pants and stretched. “Seriously, stop. This will get us nowhere productive.” Us? What the hell? That’s creepy, to refer to yourself as us.
The sun was only beginning to set, and she had worked from dawn, and her bones were tired, and plodding about in the muck while weeding by hand would only wear her out further. Plus, being alone with her thoughts was a dangerous game where Mallory was concerned.
Originally, they had been nothing more than an ill-fated, one-night stand, blooming, as they all seemed to do, from too much frivolity and too little inhibitions and an excess of loneliness. Downtown, some trivia night, pitchers of domestic beer had been four dollars, and Mira and Hazel had been ragging Raina to get out and mingle. They were totally supportive of her “lifestyle,” although they still referred to her homosexuality as a “lifestyle,” and they only wanted to see her happy and married off to someone she could share clothes and books and a life with.
“Come out, you never know,” was Mira’s go-to line, though to pretend that the lesbian dating scene in their town was existent was farcical. “You never know who you’ll run into. I met Brian in a bar.”
“You are a heterosexual,” Raina would quickly contradict. “You can literally find others of your kind anywhere.”
Still, she had gone, trailing behind, washing her hair, pressing her shirt. The good news was, they mopped the floor with the other trivia teams and walked away with a giant bar credit. The bad news was, there had been zero lesbians present, until the rough and rowdies got a little too rough and rowdy and Officer Davis of the Greentown County Police Department showed up on the scene. Medium height, muscular build, and eyes that were like staring down into an abyss of onyx, it had taken Raina all of thirty seconds to fall facedown into that thick, black pool and struggle to the surface of her own desire. Mallory Davis was everything Raina had been looking for, everything she had always wanted, if she were at liberty to design the ideal Sapphic sister. Her long, brown shock of hair was tied tightly up in a bun, off of her neck per department guidelines, and the bulk of her Kevlar vest had not even been enough to conceal the harsh lines of her arms and the ridges of her muscles.
In action, she had been sublime.
She had been so sublime, in point of fact, that Raina had done the unthinkable, broken the cardinal rule of Raina-life, putting her neck irrevocably out on the line.
Raina had propositioned her, slipped her the digits, put all of her wants right out there. Thankfully, Mira and Hazel were long gone by that point. Mira’s youngest daughter was only a few months old, and Hazel was “born forty-five.” She had never had much of a penchant for the wild side, and liked to be in bed by nine PM, curled up with her husband and a new episode of Game of Thrones on HBO Now. Had they remained behind, Raina knew she never would have been brave enough to go after what she wanted. Who could rev the engine of a hookup in front of her sisters?
The look on Mal’s face had been positively sweltering, though, as if she, too, had been starving, as if she, too, had been adrift and alone for far too long, always passed over and never doted upon. A thick heat burned in her eyes. Her want for Lorraina was palpable.
“Maybe I’ll come by after my shift.” She smiled, which, too, seemed like a hungry expression. Maybe I’ll come by after my shift… Her voice had been heavy and tinted with sex, expectant and needful in a way that touched the deepest corner of Raina’s soul, connected with her, bonded with her on a level she had not been expecting on this awful, hetero-normative experience.
Maybe I’ll come by after my shift.
Of course, she had come by after her shift. Tentatively at first, tiptoeing around their mounting attraction to one another, Officer Mallory Davis, who went by the informal Mal, just as Raina preferred the less formal, shortened version of her own name, came over, still dressed in her city’s finest, still in the patrol car, still oozing competence and wearing the power of her position like mantle.
What followed bloomed, sweetly, slowly, into the most intense sexual experience of Raina’s life. Mallory had been so attentive to her needs, so in tune with her passion, almost as if they were one. Her toes curled up in her Keens, all gooey and encrusted with mud in the present, just thinking about it.
“I said stop, and you just didn’t listen,” she muttered to herself. “You never listen.” Striding through the stalks of burgeoning wheat that she had agreed to foster under contract with a brewer down in Myrtle Beach, she rolled her eyes to an audience of zero. Statistically, hops never germinated correctly in the muggy humidity of the south’s greatest armpit region, so she had mediocre hopes for the haul, but the south fields were in an off year (under the crop production plan Raina had designed, all by herself), and every little bit of cash helped to keep Mira and Hazel at bay, with their ledger books and their spreadsheets. “I told you to drop the Mallory thing…” There was an incoming late frost, one that she needed to protect her seed babies from, and that necessitated most of her attention be turned away from the ‘Mallory Thing,’ only the trip of her subconscious decided not to listen to her reasons.
The ‘Mallory Thing’ had been gnawing at her for quite some time, though. At least, the whole “might have been” aspect of their relationship had been gnawing at her for quite some time. It was just that Mallory had been so good for her, so good to her.
Mallory, being a dedicated officer of the law with an intense work schedule, had been so understanding when it came to her beloved farm’s demands on her time—working late, and then working early, attending trade shows and building sweat equity. Mallory had never gotten angry, never raised her voice, never been pissy. She had never been hurt by the absurd, 4:30 AM alarm clock, or her ridiculously early evening curtain call. Mallory had never been intimidated by the scope of her responsibility, the responsibility that came from owning and operating an enterprise like the Greer Family Farm. For fuck’s sake, there were only two other employees on the place, and they were partly part-time, just kids from the local university in search of work-study credit and free room and board in the old barn across the bridge that bisected the Holloway River.
Officer Mallory Davis had really seemed like the gold-gilded answer to all of her lesbian wishes and dreams when she materialized in that cruiser downtown. Officer Mallory Davis was gainfully employed, single, beautiful, well read, and, most importantly, also gay.
Then again, Officer Mallory Davis had not been entirely open about all of that, not her sexuality, and not her single Facebook status.
Coming up to the back door of the farmhouse, Raina kicked the sand and loose dirt from her shoes, rubbing them against the bricks of the back staircase, and then pulled them off, leaving them in the fading sun beneath the hanging spigot of the outdoor shower that only ran cold water. The pavers she had put down to act as natural drainage were holding up well, and she was looking ever forward to making use of the apparatus come warmer weather. She would need to build a stall, in order to circumvent the work-study kids from getting a free peep show any time she shunned the modern formality of indoor plumbing, but she would worry about that later. Admitting to herself that Mallory hat not been entirely single—that was what consumed her at the moment.
Trudging up and onto the screened-in porch, she hung her head low.
It was not that Mallory was actively seeing anyone. She had not been actively involved, not in the sense that she went home to a warm body and held and was cradled, but Mallory had been more than hung up on an ex still.
Do we say ex? Raina wondered. We don’t say ex when a partner has died. And the dead partner—that seems like a pretty big detail to leave blank, doesn’t it?
For the six weeks of their fledgling relationship, Mal had proceeded without mentioning anything about that aspect of her life, really. There were nights spent together, when their schedules permitted. There were nights spent making dinner, Raina’s second real passion was cooking, and then they ate dinner, and watched old movies on Netflix, and swam in the open oceans of lust when the moon backlit the expanse of Raina’s property and the stars were small beacons in the inky vastness of the sky. They spoke of childhoods and interests, favorite books, favorite movies, favorite foods, key lesbian moments. Mal taught Raina about the legal system, Raina taught Mal about the simple pleasures of eating what you grow with your own hands, and vice versa.
But then… When everything changed in a blink, everything shifted.