Joke’s On Me

Remember way back at the start of this year when I had a plan to release a short story about Owen and Toma (who you met in Faux Ho Ho), and their adventure on April Fools’ Day with a prank gone wrong? Then my tendons got wrecked and everything fell to pieces and April Fools’ Day went by?

Yeah, me too.

But! Said short story did that thing so many of my short stories do and get longer, and longer, and then suddenly they’re a novelette and then they’re a novella and… Well. Next March? Ahem.

Book cover: The title, "Village Fool" is made up of a white card covering "April" with the word "Village." A bearded man walks in the rain while another man sitting under an awning at a coffee shop called 'Bittersweets' texts on his phone.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Another fantastic cover from Inkspiral.

Owen is only confident in two places: at work, supporting clients through IT woes; and when he’s sitting around a gaming table playing the role of his smooth and charming bard, which is why he’s never acted on the crush he’s had on his physiotherapist—and total cubcake—Toma. Even though they’re not patient and client any more and Owen’s crush hasn’t dialled down in the slightest, he can’t figure out the right plan to do anything about it.

When a friend decides to play an April Fools’ day prank involving Owen’s contact list, Owen spends most of his morning on April Fools’ Day inadvertently texting smooth and charming thoughts about Toma… to Toma himself.

By the time Owen discovers the April Fools’ prank, things are completely out of control. Discussions of thighs and awards for the World’s Best Chest have been handed out—not to mention they’ve set an accidental coffee date—and there’s no taking that sort of thing back, no matter how smooth or charming he might pretend to be. When this joke finally gets told, Owen’s convinced he’s going to be the punchline, but with a little luck and some nudges from his friends, the last laugh might still be worth it.

So, yeah. Coming next March from Bold Strokes Books, the next holiday trip to the Village. (And can we just agree to gush about that damn cover? Because it’s so perfect. The little coffee beans in the E’s of Bittersweets, the lights on strings like on the cover of Faux Ho Ho… GAH!)

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