My new single dad/nanny steamy romantic comedy SLEEPER is now available to pre-order on Amazon! It goes live in Kindle Unlimited on Dec. 12th.
Here are the links as well as a sneak peek of all the cuteness and a bunch of f-bombs.
SLEEPER EXCERPT (copyright 2019 Kayley Loring):
SHANE MILLER SLEEP DIARY – Monday, 6:15 am
Went to bed at: Around midnight. Spent an hour and a half prepping food and packing up lunches for the kids, for the entire school week because I’m awesome.
How long it took you to fall asleep: Forever. I have insomnia. Duh.
How many times you woke up in the middle of the night: Infinity.
How refreshing your overall sleep was: It wasn’t. Fuck my life.
Number of caffeinated beverages you consumed throughout the day: Zero. Thanks for advising me to quit! Fuck quitting coffee.
Number of alcoholic beverages you consumed throughout the day: As if. I wish.
How much time you spent exercising: 3 hours. How else do you think movie stars stay in shape? My quads are on fire. Fuck my personal trainer and fuck whoever thinks adequate exercise leads to better sleep.
Your stress level before bedtime, on a scale from 1 to 5: 5000.
Your major cause of stress: On Friday, the fucking nanny quit to get married. I mean, I’m happy for her. Yay for being young and in love and I wish them all the best, but could she maybe have given us some notice BEFORE my ex-wife and her husband left for three months to shoot in the mountains of Poland? Or perhaps waited until AFTER they return? Because Margo will throw a fit if I hire anyone that she doesn’t approve of and hasn’t met in person. Meanwhile I’m still getting back on a regular schedule after wrapping my last movie and doing night shoots on the East Coast, and as we know, I do not respond well to sleeping pills. So, I AM FUCKED.
Also, I don’t have a fucking clue how I’m ever going to meet a woman that I can really love if I didn’t even like dating in Hollywood when I was a horny teenager. On-location flings are fine and all, but so far I haven’t met one woman I’d want to introduce my kids to. I may as well just buy a minivan and a blow-up doll and call it a day. Fuck dating.
And you know what—I’m still mad about the last three episodes of Game of Thrones, but I guess that’s not the “major” cause of my stress at the moment. Fuck you, HBO.
But hey, I have this fucking amazing sleep diary, so there’s that. I’m guessing this is TMI for your sleep hygiene analysis purposes, since there wasn’t enough room for long answers and I’ve continued onto the back page. But it helps to vent.
P.S. I mean no disrespect, Dr. Shaw. Please forgive the f-bombs. I’m just a little cranky because I got maybe two hours of sleep and I have to get the kids ready for school. Maybe I can just close my eyes for another fifteen minutes…
CHAPTER ONE – Shane
“Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy.”
“Summer said to woke you up.”
“I already brushed my teeth, but I’m hungry. Why can’t we have toothpaste for eating?”
There’s a forty-pound human straddling my back, and I can’t move my head to see the clock. “Wha? What time is it?”
“Summer said it’s okay.”
“Where is she?”
“In the kitchen. Cleaning up.”
“Cleaning up what? You gotta climb off me, buddy. I have to get up.”
Lucky slides off me and onto the rug with a little thud. “She said don’t tell you.”
Yeah, that sounds like Summer. It’s funny how they take turns being the good twin and the naughty one. This year, Lucky’s the good one. He’s already dressed in his private school polo shirt and khaki pants.
“Hey, you’re all dressed.”
“Good for you, little man.” I reach out to muss up his light-brown hair—perfectly tousled just like his dad’s—and with the other hand I reach for my phone. “Fuck.” Seven thirty. “Shit. Get your shoes on, buddy.” I spring to life. I got this. I pull on the jeans that I’d conveniently left on the floor right by my bed and grab the first T-shirt I can get my hands on.
“I can’t find them.”
“The ones you wore yesterday?” He has like five pairs of shoes in this house.
“I don’t know where they are.”
“Then wear another pair.”
“I can’t find any of my shoes.”
Goddamit. I bet I know what happened. Margo let Summer watch that Marie Kondo tidying up show, and ever since then, my daughter has been throwing out things that she doesn’t think we need and reorganizing everything she could reach in the kids’ rooms. Last weekend I came home to find my housekeeper Consuelo crying because she couldn’t find anything, and she was afraid I’d think she stole from us.
It’s going to be one of those mornings.
Well, the good news is I slept for an hour. Bad news is I have less than half an hour to get these guys ready and on the school property. It’s fine. There’s time. Twelve minutes to get to school as long as the PCH isn’t backed up. Five to ten minutes to make sure my kids are fed and relatively presentable, and who’s to say that today won’t be the first day in the history of five-year-olds that they’ll actually get out of the house when I need them to? Thank God I got their lunches ready last night.
“You checked everywhere in your room?” I hold out my hand to see if Lucky will take it as we walk out of my room and downstairs. He doesn’t need to, but I still like to get in a little handholding whenever I can before they turn six and really start asserting their independence. I feel his hand in mine, and my heart melts just a little.
“Is she in trouble?”
“Nah. We’ll just ask her where she put your stuff.”
“Why is she so weird now?”
“That’s a really good question, and I don’t have the answer. Sometimes girls get weird, and we just have to wait for them to be not weird again. Right?”
He’s walking so slowly while thinking about this, and I’ve got one less minute to get to Santa Monica, so I pick him up and carry him downstairs. “Summer!” I call out once we’re in the foyer.
“Don’t come in!” comes a high-pitched, frazzled, but bossy little voice from the kitchen.
“Summer, did you throw out Lucky’s shoes?”
“No! I moved them!”
“I need to know where you moved them to.”
“I—I don’t remember—don’t come in yet!”
I put Lucky down when we get to the entrance to the kitchen, and I’m too caught up in my fuck this no caffeine shit thoughts to wonder why she doesn’t want me to come in.
And now I know exactly why.
My five-year-old daughter is on her hands and knees, frantically gathering all of the fruits and vegetables that I had thoroughly cleaned and carefully sliced and cubed last night, into one large pile. The crackers and snacks are in another floor pile. The meats and cheeses are piled up on top of the soba noodles. Marie Kondo would probably approve of this, and I would love it she would come to my house right fucking now to tidy this up and make my kids lunches and get them to school on time.
Meanwhile, the hummus and guacamole are smeared all over the floor around her and on the skirt of her uniform dress, as she appears to have used her dress to wipe it up.
“Summer. Stop what you’re doing right now.”
“I was letting you sleep!”
“Okay. What can you tell me about what happened in here?”
“We’re s’posed to bring something red for art class. To paint. Something small,” she says with a loud sigh as she stands up and stares at me defiantly. Her jaw is set, like that explains why all ten of the carefully labelled bento box lunch containers I packed up for them are now opened and scattered around on the floor along with the mess of five days’ worth of food.
She exhales loudly, exasperated about having to explain this to me. “Soooo, I was looking for apples, but you got green ones! And then I kept looking for tomatoes or red peppers. But you got the yellow ones! You didn’t put any strawberries in there at all! Not even red gummy bears! And then I was looking for the round cheese. With the red stuff on them.”
“But the containers are see-through. You didn’t have to open them to see what was inside.”
“But you sometimes hide the snacks!” Her eyes are watery and her lower lip is quivering, but she is not backing down because she is just as stubborn as her mother, only she’s a million times cuter. And guess what—she’s also right. I do sometimes hide the snacks. As always, this is somehow my fault, and I don’t have time to remind her that art class is after lunch, so she probably would have just eaten any red food before getting the chance to paint it because that’s what she does. She eats everything.
Fuck you, art teacher.
One less minute to get to school.
“Am I in trouble?” she asks with a pout.
“I mean, I really wish this hadn’t happened, but no. You’re not in trouble.” I am. I’m in trouble. I take a deep breath. “I’m not mad at you, sweetie. Thank you for letting me sleep. But none of us are supposed to sleep in on a school day. And thank you for trying to clean this mess up, but we have to leave in two minutes. You gotta change into another uniform. Let’s get this one off you. Shit, have you guys eaten yet?”
“Noooo!” they both yell out.
I’m a shit dad. “Banana!” I declare.
“Banana banana banana!” Lucky chants. “Why do bananas get spots?”
“I have no idea, but we can look it up later.” This has become my go-to answer, and it fills me with shame. I grab two bananas from the fruit bowl on the counter, one for each of my spawn. I pull out two containers of yogurt from the fridge and put them, along with two spoons, on the kitchen table. There will be no time for the brushing of Summer’s teeth this morning. They can eat in the car. They will be having almond butter sandwiches for lunch, with tortilla chips and a handful of whatever fruits and vegetables I can grab and rinse and—“Hey guys, let’s not tell your mom about any of what happened this morning, right?”
I carefully remove the dress from Summer’s torso without getting any hummus or guac on her hair or face. I’m starting to think I might not suck at life by the time I’ve convinced Lucky to wear his sister’s sneakers (because they aren’t pink), and we are almost to the door to the garage, with our lunchboxes and backpacks and our clean uniforms, our bananas and yogurts and spoons, and my wallet and keys and twelve minutes to get them from the Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica.
“My pen is big…bigger the…than…you…yours.” Summer is blocking the door to the garage, staring up at my chest.
“What?” I look down and realize I’m wearing the gag gift that the crew gave me at the wrap party a couple of weeks ago. MY PEN IS BIGGER THAN YOURS “Shit.” What a stupid fucking T-shirt. I don’t have time to change. If anyone takes a picture of me in this outside the school, I’m screwed. It’ll be one of the first images to come up anytime someone Googles my name or the school’s. “To the car. Get.”
I take the shirt off and put it back on inside-out. I’m a genius, and this is totally appropriate because everything feels inside out and upside-down when I haven’t had enough sleep.
“My shoes!” Lucky points at the floor of the back seat of the Land Rover while I’m trying to get him buckled into his car seat. “I don’t want to wear Summer’s anymore.”
“You can take your shoes with you to class and change when you’re there. We gotta go.”
Summer manages to buckle herself up, but I still go around to make sure she’s all snug in there. I kiss her on the side of her head before shutting the car door. She totally smells like banana and hummus, but at least she looks clean.
By some miracle, the PCH is not backed up this morning, and we’re halfway to their overpriced private school, at a stoplight, when Summer reminds me that they need something red for art class.
“Does it have to be food?”
“No. It has to be something from home. That we can paint.”
“That sounds more like a preschool art project to me.”
“We have to really look at it and think about how it makes us feel. And then paint it when we’re feeling the feeling.”
Well, that almost makes the thirty thousand-dollar tuition worth it. “Red, huh? Can you paint that car?”
They both strain their necks to see the red Prius I’m pointing at.
“Noooo!” Summer says.
“Yes! But we can’t carry it to class.”
“Hmmm. Can you paint that lady’s hair?” I nod toward the lady who’s crossing the street in front of us.
“Yes,” Summer says, “but I don’t like her pants.”
“Well, I guess you can’t take her to class, then. What else can you find that’s red? Should I get out and grab that stop sign?”
Summer crosses her arms in front of her chest, having none of this. “It has to be all red.”
“Are you sure? Because strawberries aren’t all red. Neither are tomatoes or apples.”
I can see her rolling her eyes through the rearview mirror. I swear, she’s been rolling her eyes at me since she was a newborn. “Okay, mostly red.”
I start digging through the glove compartment. Car title, auto insurance, rolled-up script, green juice box, white and orange smashed-up packet of goldfish crackers, red condom packet—what’s that doing in there? I shove that to the back of the pile before my kids can see it.
By the time I pull up to the curb in front of the school on San Vicente, we’ve got a minute to spare and my twins will be painting their feelings about a red pen and a pair of sandy, mostly-red boardshorts that have probably been in the armrest console since last summer.
Their friend Abby and her nanny Maria are hustling down the sidewalk—thank fuck we aren’t the only ones running late today.
“Abby Abby Abby!” Summer yells out.
“No yelling at school,” I remind her. “Hey, Maria,” I say while helping Lucky get his backpack on and his shoes into his backpack. “Would you mind walking them to the door too?”
“Of course, Mr. Miller. Hello.” She smiles at me warmly, notices that my T-shirt’s on inside out, and nods politely, looking away. “Come on, kids. We’re late, we’re late!”
“See you at pickup!” I say, waving.
So that’s done.
I got them to school alive and on time.
Now that the adrenaline rush has subsided, I am so fucking tired, I’m considering parking on a side street to take a nap.
I don’t think I’m gonna make it through to Tuesday, much less another three months of this.
I start the engine and pull out onto the street, slowing down as I check out the pair of women who jog by. One of them catches sight of me through the windshield, her eyes widen, and she stops in her tracks to elbow her friend and wave at me. They look like they’re in their early twenties. They were probably fans of my Disney Channel sitcom That’s So Wizard when they were preteens, or maybe the ABC Family one, or the CW show. They don’t look like feature comedy fans. They just look hot. My fans are hot. They both start blowing kisses my way. I give them the nod and the grin they’re looking for, salute them, and drive off.
Fuck, I need to get laid.
Maybe I should go for a run on the beach.
Fuck that—as soon as I get home, I’m going to call every parent I know to ask for a nanny reference, and if Margo doesn’t like it, she can kiss my exhausted ass.
I can’t take care of our kids if my basic needs aren’t being met.
Shit, did I eat?
I need to eat.
I need to sleep.
I need to buy more groceries.
I need to clean up the mess in the kitchen because Consuelo doesn’t come until tomorrow.
I need to call my agent back and tell him to stop sending me scripts unless the projects start at least four months from now.
I need to find out why bananas get brown spots.
I need to hear my name screamed out loud when I’m balls deep in a beautiful woman, but my Dad Dick has been deprioritized, so that goes to the bottom of an ever-growing list.
I feel like the oldest twenty-eight-year-old guy in LA and I just graduated from playing college students.
Fuck you, insomnia.