Beware the Ides of March!

Yes, yes, I know, the Ides of March are actually on March 15, not today. But I’ve decided to release Training the Trainer on March 15, 2022, which will be the Ides of March.

You want a preorder link? Well, I’m working on that. I should have it for you in a day or two. As per usual, you can preorder the Kindle edition, but not the paperback edition, because Amazon still doesn’t have a way to do the latter — I just have to publish it and hope it hits around the same time as the Kindle edition. You’d think after all the years Amazon has been publishing books they’d fix this, but alas, they have not.

Now, normally I’d post a preview with some sex in it, but today I’m going to give you the first bit of the first chapter of Training the Trainer. It introduces you to Grace, and to her dog as well. I did find that the main character having a dog made me make certain choices in scenes and plot, because as a dog owner myself I know you can’t just leave a dog alone overnight and hope it’s okay — dogs need a lot more attention than cats, for example. It’s something I deal with when planning sleepovers with my partners, because if I’m not home, there’s no one here to take care of my dog unless I have a sitter or I board her for the night.

Plus, I’m so used to her presence in my bedroom at night that I find it hard to sleep if she’s not there. She also snores — not loudly, but I can usually hear it if I concentrate — so that’s part of the background noise of the night.

Anyway. Grace and her dog. Here we go.

Grace Wright turned off her Hitachi and tossed it over the edge of her queen-sized bed. Try as she might, her body wasn’t cooperating with her desire, and now she was numb and a little sore from the constant, high-powered vibration. Not a great way to finish the weekend — alone, aroused, and annoyed.

It was Roger’s fault. They’d been dating for about four months, but it had become quickly clear to Grace that Roger wasn’t strong enough for her. Sure, he was a sweet guy — ten years older than her, with a big, floofy Greater Swiss Mountain Dog — and he was conscientious in bed, but he was always happy to just go along with whatever she wanted. He never made decisions of his own, and when Grace’s desires went against his, he capitulated.

Grace didn’t want capitulation. What she wanted was someone else to make some decisions — someone else to take charge. She was in charge of her whole life, and it was exhausting. She was both a personal trainer and a dog trainer; though she preferred the latter, working as a personal trainer was more lucrative and her job at 4D Fitness paid enough to cover her health insurance and her rent with room to spare. Still, as a personal trainer, her job was telling other people what to do, and kicking their asses — metaphorically — if they didn’t. And then there was her little sister Arielle, who had shown up on Grace’s doorstep more than once with a bottle of wine and a half-gallon of ice cream, upset about something or other happening in her life, or afraid she’d have to move home to their parents’ house. Again. On top of all that, she had Kody, her rescued pitbull, who she loved dearly but who needed a strong hand — he was a big, powerful dog, almost eighty pounds, one of those rare brindle-coated dogs that didn’t have any white on him whatsoever.

She sighed. Roger had been so good at first, and she’d been happy to give control over to him, but after just a few dates he’d stopped planning things and started making suggestions. Grace didn’t want suggestions. She was twenty-nine years old; she knew what she wanted, and that wasn’t it. Still, hope sprung eternal, and so she rolled over in bed and picked up her phone Every night, even when she’d been with Roger, she’d swiped through profiles on various dating apps, looking for someone who might fit her needs. But, like almost every other night, she found herself unsatisfied again.

Frustrated, Grace got out of bed, pulled on a pair of shorts — she was already wearing a tank-top — and went over to her ancient exercise bike. If she couldn’t sleep, she needed to do something to tire herself out, and the bike would do that. Earbuds in, listening to a true crime podcast, she started to pedal out her frustration.

Kody looked up from his bed on the floor by the bedroom door, regarded her, and then put his head back down. “Good boy,” Grace told him, smiling.

At least Kody made her happy. He was the only man — well, the only male, anyway — who could do so on a consistent basis.

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