Some people like to count sheep, I prefer ex-boyfriends. Bare-chested, tight boy shorts and strong thighs flexing at my command.

I usually have them leap over the bed. I enjoy the perspective. They tense muscles to my left, leap and fly over my prone form in a variety of ways, and land somewhere to my right.

I don’t watch the landings for I hate to see them strut. Few men realize it’s not the finish that makes it worthwhile, but rather the anticipation and flight in-between.

Poor Andrew, a boy I met backpacking along the border between Germany and France, loved his beer. And when he leaps over my bed, his soft belly jiggles and his freckled skin glows. But he had the gentlest eyes and the softest touch.

Diego likes to show off. His body is athletic, bronzed and trim, but his eyes are anything but gentle. He needs to dominate, his inner flame bright and hot and … captivating. Perhaps we were too much alike.

Brian was a virgin in every way. He fell in love too easily at a time when love was not what I needed. It ended badly and he averts his gaze now when he soars.

Johnny was a hockey player and he grins with bloody teeth as he glides. He was all about speed and danger and taking everything to its limit. There were times I couldn’t get enough and times I felt fear.

Salvador . . .

Brrring.

The phone makes Salvador vanish in mid flight.

It rings again as I open my eyes.

Dixie’s Tips #1: When a phone rings in the middle of the night, it’s never good news.

Trust me. It’s not Ryan Gosling, Hugh Jackman or Joseph Gordon-Levitt (young, but yummy) making a late-night booty call and getting your number by mistake. If anything, it’s some married schmuck who thinks a few slurred overtures on how he can’t stop thinking about the dimples on your ass will get him through the door — again.

And if not the schmuck, it’s your mother calling about one of her seven sisters who tripped over a rug or slipped in the bathtub and “isn’t that terrible, just think it could have been me.”

But it wasn’t, Ma.

“But it could just as easily and who would be here to find me? Why, I could be lying in my own . . . .”

However, there are always exceptions to Dixie’s tips. The main one being that if you’re Dixie, you tend not to follow your own advice, no matter how sage. Plus, if instead of getting some badly needed beauty sleep you find yourself counting seven lads a leaping, almost any distraction is welcome.

Which brings us to Dixie’s Tips #2: If you don’t have the self-control to follow Tip #1, unplug the damn thing before going to bed. Remember, it’s never good news.


You can read more about Dixie in ANGEL WITH A BULLET, the first book in the new “Dixie Flynn” mystery series.

Meet the author
ANGEL WITH A BULLET launches from Midnight Ink on Sept. 8. M.C. Grant is the top-secret pen name (oops) of Grant McKenzie, a thriller writer and journalist who has received fantastic reviews worldwide, including praise from a few notable bestsellers, such as: “A terrific novelist!” – Tess Gerritsen; “Grant really knows how to make a story move.” – Linwood Barclay; “Think Harlan Coben on speed with a heart breaking compassion that will literally have you biting your nails.” – Ken Bruen; “Suspense as tense as a switchblade opening in a dark alley.” – Rick Mofina; “A terrific thriller moving at warp speed.” – Lee Child; “A great read! The ultimate page-turner.” – William Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe (Field of Dreams); “Switch is not merely good, it’s damned good.’ – David Hagberg. Grant is currently writing the next Dixie Flynn mystery, Devil With A Gun.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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