Title: Livinâ Large in Fat Chance, Texas
Series: Fat Chance, Texas Book 3
Author: Celia Bonaduce
Published: July 19th, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Womenâs Fiction, Romantic Comedy
From ghost town to growing community, itâs been a few years since a group of strangers inherited property in tiny, deserted Fat Chance, Texas. And besides creating businesses, theyâve developed friendships and romances too. But plans to pave the town may put Dymphna Pearl and her beau, Professor Johnson, on opposite sides of Main Street. In his zeal for the project, heâs making great decisions for Fat Chance, but not for them as a couple. Disgruntled, Dymphna heads back to Los Angeles to collect the rabbits sheâs created a special place for in the hot Texas climate. But the professor is in for another surpriseâ¦
Professor Johnson didnât even know about Dymphnaâs sister, Maggie, and when he meets her in a most unexpected way, he begins to understand why. In the meantime, Dymphna is off pursuing an exciting venture to let the world know about Fat Chanceâone that will bring a talented new crew to the eclectic group. The kitschy little place they call home is clearly destined for bigger, better thingsâ-but with so many changes a-coming will the same be true for everyone in Fat Chance, including the professor and Dymphna?
Excerpt from Livinâ Large in Fat Chance, Texas by Celia Bonaduce:
Dymphna had to admit, now that Fat Chance had a road, the fact that they could get Professor Johnsonâs Outback up to the farm was pure luxury. It would have been hard to sneak off if she needed him to carry her bag up the trail.
The sun was rising over the farm as Dymphna tucked one small bag into the back of Professor Johnsonâs SUV. She felt guilty taking his car, but not guilty enough to stay. The farm was still in shadows, but she was able to make out Thudâs form shooting through the open back and climbing into the passenger seat. He was extremely agile for a large dog. Or at least, extremely determined.
âThud!â Dymphna called in a hoarse whisper. âGet out of the car.â
Dymphna tiptoed over to the passenger side and opened the door. Thud thumped his tail. She grabbed his collar. As soon as she was in range, Thud dealt her a slobbery kiss. Dymphna wiped the drool on her sleeve, grabbed his collar, and pulled. The dog didnât budge.
âCome on, Thud,â she said. âGet out!â
She was not usually this stern with the bloodhound, but there was no time to lose. Dymphna had hoped to be gone by the time Wobble, her crabby rooster, crowed. Even though it was still mostly dark, she could hear Wobble flapping around the yard. The rooster was putting his all into it this morning, looking like a vintage Kelloggâs Corn Flakes ad, perched on the fence and flapping his wings in the hazy morning light.
âIâm going to miss you.â Professor Johnsonâs voice pierced the fog.
âI was hoping I wouldnât wake you,â she said.
âYou didnât,â Professor Johnson said. âThud did.â
Dymphna knew a scowl from her would not matter in the least to Thud, so she didnât bother.
âI . . .â She paused, then started again. âI just think itâs easier this way. We said goodbye last night . . . and . . . I mean, Iâll be back. Soon.â
âI have your car,â she said, trying for a confident smile.
âAnd I guess I have your farm,â he said.
He had a point. While she was gone, Professor Johnson would be here, taking care of her goats and chickens, as well as packing the orders that came in for her jams and jellies. He would also have to keep an eye on Dymphnaâs friend Crash the duck, who remained a wild bird but would show up at the farm every now and then to let her know he was fine.
Both of them had agreed that it was time for Dymphna to return to Los Angeles and collect her Angora rabbits. Professor Johnson and Powderkeg had made a climate-controlled environment here on the Fat Farm that was just waiting for the rabbits. When she and Professor Johnson had first started discussing the details of retrieving the rabbits, their relationship was not as strained as it was now. She couldnât put her finger on it, but it seemed as if when times were tough, the entire town pulled together. When they first got word that the trail was to be paved, it seemed like the answer to their prayers. The asphalt wasnât even dry before the bickering began. While the town prospered, both sides claimed victory: Professor Johnsonâs side thought the uptick in the townâs prosperity was due to the new access to town and would only get better if they continued paving Main Street. Dymphnaâs side felt that as long as people were making their way into town, why ruin the historic nature of the place? Folks in the area were well aware of the squabbling among the Fat Chancers and snickered about Team Professor and Team Dymphna. It was idle gossip for those not involved, but tensions were running high at the farm. Neither Dymphna not Professor Johnson took things lightly.
As the time approached for her to leave for Los Angeles, Dymphna felt she was escaping. Her thoughts turned more and more to her life in Santa Monica, the days before Fat Chance, the years before Professor Johnson. Sheâd had a good life there, living in the guesthouse of her best friend, Erinn. Erinn was a Broadway playwright who had reinvented herself as a TV producer and documentarian. Erinnâs family had become Dymphnaâs family. Fat Chance had completely overwhelmed Dymphna and sheâd somehow never made it back to Southern California. Now she was homesick, daydreaming about long walks along the coast, drinking tea at Erinnâs sisterâs tea shop in Venice, catching up with how her rabbits were doing from Erinnâs mother, Virginia, who had been watching over the three rabbits that remained in her care. Virginia had moved into Erinnâs guesthouse when Dymphna made the bold move to Texas, but Erinn had said Dymphna would always have a room in the large Victorian on Ocean Avenue that Erinn somehow managed to hang on to, even with her feast-or-famine career.
Although unspoken, neither Dymphna nor Professor Johnson was sure she was going to come back immediately. Dymphna kept pushing away the thought that she might not come back at all. Tears pricked her eyes. This farm was as close to âhomeâ as any place in her life.
Of course Iâll come back, she scolded herself.
âThe rabbits will love it here,â Professor Johnson said.
The sun had made its way over the hills. She could see him clearly now, his T-shirt and sweatpants wrinkled from sleep, his hair wild from last nightâs passionate goodbye. Dymphnaâs heart lurched when she saw that he was barefootâhe had obviously run out of the house as soon as he understood what the empty side of the bed meant.
Of course Iâll come back.
âWere you going to say goodbye?â he asked.
She knew if she looked at him, she would see the little boy who no one got to see but her. The little boy who trusted her not to hurt him.
So she didnât look. Instead, she tugged again at the dog.
âThud, seriously,â she said. âOut.â
âDo you want to take him with you?â
This is why she had wanted to leave while he was still asleep. He could be such a dear manâwhen he wasnât infuriating her.
No,â Dymphna said. âHeâs been at the farm for years now. I donât think heâd want to go back to Los Angeles.â
âBut you do?â
âFor a little while,â she said softly.
âGet out of the car, Thud,â he said evenly.
The dog jumped out of the passenger side and Professor Johnson closed the door with a solid thwack.
âItâs a long drive,â she said. âI really better be going.â
âI washed the car,â he said.
âOh?â Dymphna looked at the Outback. Now that the sun was up, she could see it was sparkling clean.
âThank you,â she said.
She started to put her arms around him. She wanted to hold him and say all the things that she never said. She loved him. He was the best thing that ever happened to her. She would be back. She took a deep breath, but he was the first to speak.
âIf Main Street were paved, the car wouldnât be completely trashed by the time you got through town,â he said.
Dymphna kissed him on the cheek, gave Thud a squeeze, and got in the car.
Celia Bonaduce is an award-winning producer whose credits cover a lot of ground â everything from field-producing ABCâs Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeonâs animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone. If Celia Bonaduceâs last name is any indication, she is proof that TV talent runs in the family.
An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been a lifelong ambition. She is the author of the Venice Beach Romances, including The Merchant of Venice Beach, A Comedy of Erinn, and Much Ado About Mother. Her dream continues with The Fat Chance, Texas Series. Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas, and Slim Pickinsâ in Fat Chance, Texas are available now! The series continues with book three, Livinâ Large in Fat Chance, Texas, on July 19th, 2016.
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