Thursday, December 18, 2014

[Book Tour] Love, Albert by Lynda Simmons #Flashfiction #Giveaway

Love, Albert
By Lynda Simmons



Sometimes all love needs is a road trip, a rubber chicken and a touch of magic

Vicky Ferguson loves her husband Reid, always has, always will. But with two kids to think about, it’s time for the free-wheeling, sports car loving pilot to put his feet on the ground and lay down some roots. Reid can’t imagine life without Vicky but neither can he see himself pushing a lawn mower or driving a mini-van. They’re on track to a divorce neither one wants until a last request from beloved Uncle Albert puts them on the road together one last time. 


 “Which brings us to the issue at hand,” the lawyer said and opened a file. “I have here the last will and testament of Albert Ferguson. Handwritten but perfectly legal.” He leaned down and picked up Albert’s old leather suitcase. It was the only thing the old man ever carried – the true master of travelling light. Lyle set the case on the desk, undid the straps and slid back the zipper. Reached inside and came up with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses, complete with bulbous pink nose, bushy eyebrows, and a formidable mustache.

Reid sat forward. “Not the glasses,” he said, a smile already tugging at his lips.

Lyle nodded solemnly and put them on, carefully adjusting the nose over his own before picking up the paper again. The lawyer’s delivery was perfectly straight, if a bit nasal. “I, Albert John Ferguson, being of sound mind and body— ”

Reid glanced over at Vicky. She was staring at the lawyer, eyes wide, lips pinched tightly together, holding back her laughter.

“Do hereby bequeath all my worldly goods to my favorite nephew and niece, Reid Allan Ferguson and Victoria Ann Ferguson, to be used as they see fit. This includes one hand buzzer, one whoopee cushion, one pair of Groucho glasses.” He reached into the suitcase again. “One rubber chicken –”

“I’ll take that.” Vicky’s face turned pink when the lawyer paused and looked at her over the nose of the glasses. “For the kids,” she added, and turned to Reid. “Unless you want it.”

“Not at all.” He pointed to the suitcase. “But I’ve got dibs on the fl y-in-the-ice-cube.”

“One fly-in-the-ice-cube,” Lyle continued, and set it in front of Reid. “One can of worms—”

“Snakes,” Reid cut in. “They’re snakes.”

The lawyer slid the can toward him and Reid popped the lid. Three long colorful snakes sprang from the tin and flew over the desk, squeaking as they bounced against the walls. “They were always his favorite.” Reid smiled at Vicky. “Do you mind if I take them?”

She held up the whoopee cushion. “Not as long as I can have this,” she said, and Reid understood why Albert had loved her, too.

“You can go through the rest on your own later,” Lyle said, taking off the glasses and setting them aside. “But in return for his worldly goods, Albert has a favor to ask.”

Reid raised his head. “A favor?”

“More of a decree really.” Lyle cleared his throat and resumed reading from the will. “In return for my worldly goods, Reid and Vicky must promise to take my remains to Seaport, Oregon. ”

The chicken’s head bobbed as she sat up straighter. “But I thought he’d already been buried.”

“Not quite.” Lyle lifted a plain white shoebox out of the suitcase and set it on the desk in front of them. “He’s been waiting for you.”

Reid stared at the box. “That’s Albert?”

“Ashes to ashes.” The lawyer picked up the box. “I know it’s not much to look at, but it’s practical, sturdy, and holds up to five pounds of loved one, no problem.” He looked from Reid to Vicky. “The point is Albert didn’t want a fancy urn because he wasn’t planning to spend much time in it anyway.”

Reid shook his head. “I don’t understand.”

Lyle smiled. “Your Uncle Albert wants to fly one last time.”



Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

Amazon Author Page:


If this is your first time reading this serial story from Lynda Simmons, you can catch up with all the segments here:

New Kid On The Block
(With new Executive Director, Alicja Banas)

                “What time is it?” Grace asks.
                Fortunately, she’s only a couple of steps into the room when Nurse Dylan catches up to our roving resident.
“Sorry,” he says and escorts her back out to the hall.
I have to smile when her inevitable reply, “four o’clock,” blends with the other sounds that make up mornings at Willow Tree Long Term Care. The cheerful encouragement of nurses, the rattle of carts, the distant hum of a vacuum. Six months after our voluntary shut down, life is finally getting back to normal.
                “Let’s continue,” I say to the group seated in front of me. The doctor, the nutritionist and both the physio and psycho therapists on the left. Our newest resident, Florence Bright accompanied by her daughter Brenda, on the right. We’ve gathered in Flo’s room for the Orientation Meeting, to help familiarize her with her new home.
                “We’ll be talking about nutrition now,” I say, flipping to the next page of the Resident Experience form.  “Meaghan, over to you.”
                The nutritionist turns to the daughter. “Let’s start with your mother’s dietary restrictions.”
The doctor checks his phone, the therapists shift in their seats and I fight the urge to yawn. An in-depth discussion of gluten-free options is about to ensue, but we need to be patient and listen and sign off when this meeting is over.  At the new Willow Tree, we take care to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. There is no more room for error.
I expect resistance to each new protocol or regulation from both staff and residents. But as the new Executive Director, it’s my job to ensure that the changes are made quickly and efficiently in order to bring this facility back to its former glory. Make us the best of the best once again.
I never thought it would be an easy task. Having one resident freeze to death in a snow bank and another succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning in the cellar was bad enough. But after nearly one hundred people were hit with food poisoning it felt like we were under fire.  Then someone leaked pictures of the former director’s ritual altar and the whole thing went viral.
I’m still battling rumours of voo-doo and bad ju-ju and all kinds of crazy accusations. It doesn’t matter that Gina was a lunatic with a mother fixation. Willow Tree has been labeled Cursed, and that has not been an easy one to shake off.
“That wraps up my portion,” the nutritionist says. “Let’s move on to therapies.”
I tick the boxes, turn the page and wish the doctor would put away his phone.
“This won’t take long,” the physio-therapist promises. “While all of our programs at Willow Tree are rooted in science-based practices, we are always open to new ideas and approaches.”
“About that,” the daughter, Brenda says.  “I’ve heard that hypno-therapy can be helpful for people with Alzheimers.”
The doctor’s reaction is swift and predictable. “Excuse me, Brenda, but I have to stop you there.” His expression is compassionate and his voice silken with just a touch of condescension. “Success stories about this crop up every few years. While I’m as open to new ideas as anyone,  there has never been quantifiable scientific proof that hypno-therapy is any more effective in treating dementia than a good ice cream at every meal.” He gives her a warm, patronizing smile. “Unfortunately, you still can’t believe everything you read on the internet.”
And the discussion ends there, as always. Personally, I’d like to run a trial program, see if there is some benefit to hypno-therapy, but Dr. Martin is adamant. Junk science, he calls it. And if the rest of the medical staff won’t argue, then neither will I.
“We try to bring physical and mental challenges to our residents daily,” the physiotherapist continues. “Incorporating gentle yoga and light weight training with cognitive exercises like journaling, painting and even bingo games.”
While that has the daughter smiling, the doctor rolls his eyes at his phone. At first, I wasn’t a fan of the idea either, but the families who came back insisted that their loved ones enjoyed and needed their bingo. Who was I to argue with people who were willing to overlook the Curse label, and trust us again?
So I located the Bingo Lady, sanctioned the program and now we pay her for it. Accountability, that’s the key. Which is why I’m expecting a call any moment.
When I accepted the job, I requested a new office, one with no connection to the past or Gina’s craziness.  Corporate insisted I use the office to normalize the situation and I tried to be a good soldier, but I couldn’t sit in there without thinking of those pictures and worse.
I’d sneak paperwork to the bingo room to get away, but I wasn’t fooling anyone, and the time has come to lead by example.  Prove that I have what it takes to lead Willow Tree into the future.
And I’ll start by making that office my own.
As though reading my mind, the phone beeps. My guest has arrived.
                “Excuse me,” I say, slipping out the door and along the hall to my office.
                A man turns when I open the door. He’s short and pale and wearing a scarf around his neck, even though it’s mid-July. 
“Alicja Banas, I presume,” he says, doffing the scarf with a flourish and revealing a black and white clerical collar.
                I close the door. “Thank you for coming, Father. And for your discretion.”
                “I understand completely.” He flips open a briefcase on my desk. Takes out a vial, a jar and a braid of some sort. “Sweetgrass,” he says and shrugs. “Desperate times, as they say.”

                He lifts a stole from his case, drapes it around his neck and takes a look around.  “So,” he says. “Where are you finding the disturbances most obvious?”


  1. Thanks for hosting. Looking forward to another great day on the tour! Cheers

  2. I love a book where the characters (hopefully) fall in love with each other again.

    1. We all know marriage ain't easy. But Love, Albert is the kind of story that makes you realize the effort really is worth ii!

  3. It's a great tour thus far!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

    1. Thanks Trix, much appreciated! Cheers.

    2. The doctor did it! Who died and left him in charge anyway? All of the characters seem rather shifty. I hope they are brought to justice soon

    3. Tune in tomorrow to find out! Cheers

  4. Exorcism? Voodoo? What fun! Looking forward to tomorrow!

    1. Strange goings on at Willow Tree, that's for sure! Cheers.

  5. Can't wait until tomorrow's installment. Hell, I might not even sleep tonight, in anticipation. :)

  6. Looking forward to the end... in a good way!

    1. LOL! Endings are such sweet sorrow as somebody once said. Cheers

  7. I'm enjoying every chapter. Way to go Lynda.

  8. I like reading about all the upcoming books that I need to add to my Amazon Wishlist :)