Click on image to enlarge.
by Ginny McBlain
Description: Never again...Paige Holbrook needs help to bring her son out of a coma. In desperation, she turns to Bidwell Bear, young Jamie's TV idol. From their first meeting, Paige and Hunter Blackwell, the man inside the Bidwell costume, each experience an attraction neither can ignore. Hunter is about to realize his life-long dream--to be a singing star. Glitz and glamour aren't Paige's thing, not after what she's been through with her playboy ex-husband. Is Hunter's love worth the glare of the spotlight?
eBook Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: August 2005
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [321 KB]
Reading time: 208-291 min.
"Ginny McBlain's special gift of storytelling is a treat to read. Her words draw you from the first to last page as the plot unfolds. Bear Hugs has a lot to offer in passion, humor, and the love of a mother for her child. The narration will have you experiencing the emotions of a person loving someone and being hurt, and the fear of trusting again. This novel is a keeper."--The Write Lifestyle Book Reviews
Hunter Blackwell jerked the bear costume hood from his head and plowed his hand through his soaking hair. Taping was over for the day--finally. He rubbed his back and flexed his sore knee. How many cotton pickin' times had he performed that flip and not gotten twisted up in his baggy vest? More than he could count. He was gonna pay for that misstep or whatever it was that sent him sprawling into the light stanchion. Although Bidwell's back flip was signature to the character, at times like this he wished he'd never included gymnastic stunts in the show.
Entering his dressing room, he yanked the soft black nose from his face and removed the contact lenses that changed his unbear-like blue eyes to a believable dark brown. As he shed the Bidwell trappings, Hunter wondered how many more times he'd don the costume and persona of Bidwell Bear. The month left before hiatus, another season, or never? It sure wouldn't be never. He was contracted for the season, which meant he'd play the character at least until hiatus, but after that...?
He stripped the bear suit from his sweaty body and headed for a quick shower. He'd rather face Monica cleaned-up.
Entering his dressing room minutes later, he frowned at the cloud of smoke emanating from the recliner facing the window. "Blast it, Monica. How many times have I asked you not to smoke those filthy things in here?"
The swivel chair turned. "How'd you know it was me?" the twiggy woman seated in the depths of the chair asked.
"Simple. You're the only one I know rude enough to ignore my repeated request. You're setting a bad example for the kids, besides injuring your health."
"The kids don't see me, bucko, and my health is my own business." Monica deWitt, executive producer of The Bidwell Bear Show, puffed on the cigarette through the silver holder clamped between her lips. She'd be pretty if she'd grow her close-cropped spiked hair to a reasonable length and wear less dramatic make-up. She levered herself out of the chair and waved a ream of paper under his nose. "You haven't signed your contract."
Hunter perched on the dressing table bench and pulled on his socks. "We've been through this before. I'm not committing myself to another season until I talk to Palmer about my tour."
"That old has-been. You don't really expect him to come up with a gig better than this." She rattled the thick contract under Hunter's nose.
"Palmer's done all right by me so far. I wouldn't have those--" Hunter tilted his head toward the Oscar statuette residing in splendid glory on the shelf above the piano beside his golden record "--if it weren't for Palmer."
"C'mon, Hunter, you got a lucky break. Palmer May didn't have one damn thing to do with it."
"Yeah, it was a lucky break, but the opportunity wouldn't've come my way if my agent hadn't greased the wheels. We've been over this before. I never intended to make Bidwell my life's work. This is my chance to do what I really want to do. I can't afford to let it slip through my fingers. I want to sing; I've always wanted to sing. If Palmer can arrange a concert tour, I'm outta here."
"You're a damn fool. One hit song does not a career make. I'm offering you a hell of a lot of money to do Bidwell for the next three years. Between your salary and your percentage from Bidwell products, you'll be stinkin' rich."
"This isn't about money, Monica. I've already got more money than I need. It's about dreams. Bidwell's a stopgap. You've known that from the beginning."
She blew a puff of smoke in his face. "So we didn't envision how big Bidwell would become. You can't leave while the show's hot." Her voice rose to a wail. "You can't."
"Can't" wasn't a word Hunter Blackwell liked or understood well. "I most certainly can. Anyone can romp around in a bear suit."
"That's not true and you know it." She dragged in another lung-full of smoke. "You're the creative genius behind the show. We can't do it without you."
He stood and shoved his feet into brown tasseled loafers. The Bidwell Bear Show was Monica's life. It started out as an amusement, financed by dear old Dad to get her out of his hair. With syndication, Bidwell's popularity had soared beyond anything either of them had ever imagined. But that didn't mean he had to stay tied to playing to a kids audience when all he'd ever wanted was a career as a pop singer.
Copyright © 2005 by Ginny McBlain