My Parents Tried To Kill Me

As most of you know, I have a daughter named Emma. Now that she has allegedly reached the age of reason, I like to tell her little stories about my life that have a moral to them. Parables, if you will. That way she can comb the story for meaning, apply it to her life and, perhaps, become a better person for it.

Yesterday, I decided to tell her the story about how I learned to swim. I sat Emma down, put on my serious face and said, “When I was seven-years-old my stepfather thought it was time I learned how to swim. He put me in his boat and drove it out to the middle of the lake. He tossed me overboard and motored back to shore. I bobbed up and down several times, but right before I sank to the bottom I began to dogpaddle. I stuck my nose above the water and dogpaddled all the way back to shore. That’s how he taught me to swim.”

Emma raised one eyebrow and said, “Mom… he wasn’t trying to teach you to swim.”


She may be right.

So much makes sense now. Is that why I never had to wear a seatbelt in the car? Is that why he made me ride in the bed of the truck with the dog? Is that why I was told to drink out of the rubber hose when outside playing? I never owned a bike helmet or elbow pads—those were for sissies.

Remember Romper Stompers?

romper stompers

We couldn’t afford the real thing so my stepfather made me some out of old Folger’s cans and twine. I still have the scars on my shins.

How about Popper Knockers?

popper knockers


We couldn’t afford those either. He tied a string around two rocks and told me to go outside and play.

He got my first bicycle at the dump. It didn’t have a seat—just a rusty bar sticking up where the seat should be. He told me, “It rides good. Just don’t sit down.”

Yep, he was definitely trying to kill me.

I shook off the memories and finished my parable for Emma. “The moral of this story is: sometimes it’s sink or swim and that’s how you learn.”

At least I think that’s the moral. Now I’m not so sure.

Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!


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The LezBeans, Episode 9, “Meow”

“Ohmigod! This picture of a kitty on Facebook is adorable! Must share!”

1st meow_edited-1

“This video of a cat riding a roomba is hysterical! Must share!”

meow 2

“Kitty in a teacup. Like. Cat with a baby. Like. Cat eating catnip. Like!”


“A grumpy cat! Like. Must share!”


“Awww… lookit this picture of an abused cat. How can people ignore their pets like that?”

cat window

Stay tuned for the next installment of The LezBeans, Episode 10

written and illustrated by Layce Gardner

The perfect Christmas gift for the young adult in your life!

available here in print and ebook.


The LezBeans, Episode 8, “Scrabble”

There are a lot of things people don’t tell you about being a mother.  For instance, nobody warned me that I would never have another moment of privacy in my entire adult life.

Lulu and I showered together.


We went to the bathroom together.


We read books together.

go dog go

We watched movies together.


Finally, Lulu would wear herself out and take a nap.


I would collapse.


And Tini would wake up.


Stay tuned for the next isntallment of The LezBeans, Episode 9

written and illustrated by Layce Gardner

Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!

skin cover

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I Didn’t Get The Memo

I guess I didn’t get the following memo:


Dear Women of America,

We are sending this memo to every woman in America as a public service announcement. We feel that it is great news for the female of the species and we know that you will rejoice as well. What is this spectacular news you ask?

The Fashion Industry has made it official:

Leggings are pants

That’s right! The Fashion Industry has declared that leggings—formerly known as ‘tights’ and classified as undergarments—are now considered to be outerwear. Specifically, pants.

Here are the benefits of wearing leggings as pants:

  • Your cute boots will no longer be covered up by pants
  • Unlike pants, leggings do not rumple under your boots and create unsightly bulges
  • Dark leggings have a slimming effect
  • Leggings with crazy patterns disorient onlookers, making it unable for them to see your saddle bags
  • Leggings fit snugly and “iron” out your fat lumps and cellulite
  • Leggings are much cheaper to buy than pants
  • You don’t have to wear underwear—think of all the money you’ll save on laundry detergent!

So, join thousands of other women—young and old, fat and slim—as they enjoy the benefits of a freedom-from-pants lifestyle!

Stay tuned for our next memo when we reveal that bras are really shirts!


The Fashion Industry

Paid for by The Leggings Corporation


Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!

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Skin: a sweet & steamy short story

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The LezBeans, Episode 7, “BFFs”

Before Lulu, I had another baby. His name was Stanley. He was my four-legged furbaby.


Tini didn’t like Stanley. The feeling was mutual.


I was worried about introducing Lulu to Stanley. Would my two babies like each other?

Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried.

It was love at first lick.


From that moment on they were inseparable.

They played together.


They ate together.


They slept together.


They even did their business together.


They were Best Friends Forever.


Stay tuned for the the next installment of The LezBeans, Episode 8, “Scrabble.”

written and illustrated by Layce Gardner

Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!

CLT new cover

Haven’t read it yet? What’re you waiting for?

Buy or  borrow it here!

The Magic 8-ball

Because I am a mother I know all the answers to all the questions in the world. At least my daughter thinks I do. She asks me approximately one million questions a day. She asked me this question ten seconds ago:

Emma: What is the texture of the igneous rock that forms around magma?

Me: Hard.

Emma: Mom… puhleez.

Or this question from last night:

Emma: Why do kangaroos have three vaginas?

Me: (stunned silence)

I have gotten so tired of answering questions that I decided to use something that would answer for me—the magic 8-ball.


Remember those from when you were a kid? You’d go to a slumber party and Janet would ask, “Am I going to marry Jimmy?”

Janet would shake the magic 8-ball and its answer would float to the top. Inside that little circle were the words: It is certain.

I went online and bought a magic 8-ball. Now I was armed for any question.


Emma woke up. Walked into the kitchen, bleary-eyed. She asked, “Are you fixing me breakfast?”

I shook the magic eight ball. Looked into the little window. I answered, Don’t count on it.


Emma came home from school. Started her homework. She held a paper under my nose and said, “Mom, is this punctuation correct?”

I shook. I looked. I answered, My reply is no.


Emma’s room was a friggin’ mess. I yelled at her, “Clean it up! Now!”

She glared at me and crossed her arms over her chest. “What if I don’t?”

I shook. I looked. I answered, Reply hazy.


Emma asked me, “Mom, can I go skating Friday night?”

I shook. I looked. I answered, Concentrate and ask again.



Saxon and I were cuddling on the couch. She asked, “You know how much I love you?”

I answered, Signs point to yes.

“What’s that mean?” she asked.

“I mean… My reply is no?


“I mean… Outlook good?”

“Why do you sound so weird?” Saxon asked.

I smiled and said, My sources say no.

“You know what you sound like?”

Better not tell you now.”

“A magic 8-ball,” Saxon said. “That’s what you sound like.”

Hmmm, Imagine that…

Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!

Family washing

Magic 8-ball says Go buy this book!

(You can also borrow it for FREE!)


The LezBeans, Episode 6, “Music Tames The Savage Beast”

The main difference between adult human beans and baby human beans is that adult beans sleep at night.

Baby beans do not sleep at night.

Lulu wah!

Baby beans are also louder. 

Much, much louder.

I couldn’t sleep because Lulu screamed all night.

dark waa!

Tini, however, slept like a Girlfriend in a Coma. (FYI: That’s an obscure 80’s music reference)

I don’t know if Tini slept so well because of the pitcher of martinis she ingested at bedtime or because of the sleeping mask and ear muffs.

sleepy tini

I tried everything to get Lulu to go to sleep.

I walked Lulu.


I rocked Lulu.


I even gave her a bottle. 


Then I remembered that music tamed the savage beast.  So I put on a classical cassette tape.

boom box

The music worked!


I fell asleep.

Stay tuned for the next installment of The LezBeans, Episode 7.  Written and illustrated by  Layce Gardner.

Making the world a happier place, one book at a time!

CLT new cover

Buy it, borrow it, laugh your ass off!