Myrtle and Tillie by Tammy Bird

I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.

Today, the wonderful Tammy Bird is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Tammy is giving away 1 ecopy of The Book of Promises. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Take it away, Tammy.

Myrtle and Tillie

My parents divorced when my sister was five and I was ten. I stayed in Colorado with my dad and travelled via plane to my mom’s house each summer. When I was eleven, my dad allowed me to choose two rats for my birthday (something my mom had denied me since I was eight and fell in love with a beautiful grey rat who lived in my 4th grade classroom).

Myrtle and Tillie were well trained and went everywhere with me, usually on my shoulder. When I went for a haircut in preparation for my upcoming plane ride to visit my mom and sister, I forgot they were there, so imagine my shock when my hairdresser screamed at the top of her lungs and practically flew into the chair behind me. When I looked into the mirror to see what had spooked her so, there was Myrtle, her little pink nose twitching, looking in the mirror, as well.

My dad was not amused. In fact, he grounded my girls from my shoulder, where I thought they would ride when I travelled to my mom’s the following week. It seemed a perfectly acceptable plan in my twelve-year-old brain. My dad, of course, let me know that they would travel in their cage—end of discussion. Except, when we arrived at the airport, rats in tow in their little traveling cage covered with a towel, we were told they could not travel on the plane with me. Why we didn’t already know this is beyond me, but we didn’t.

I could not live without Myrtle and Tillie for a whole summer, I argued. I would just die. But the grown-ups just didn’t understand, and so I took the girls to the bathroom with my father’s blessing to dry my eyes and love on them one more time. When I handed the cage to my father ten minutes later, he promised to take care of them and to give me updates each time that I called.

I walked bravely onto the plane, only turning once more to wave at my dad. These were the days when your parent could watch you until you disappeared into the long tunnel and onto the plane.

In the air an hour later, the pilot turned off the “Seatbelt” sign, and I popped the silver buckle that held me in place and reached down to my tube socks. “Be still,” I whispered and rubbed gently on both legs at the same time. “No one can know you are here.”

For reference, here, the flight from Denver to Norfolk is four hours non-stop. Rats cannot stay still in a tube sock without peeing and pooping for four hours. Just sayin’. So off I went to the teeny tiny airplane restroom where I removed sweet Myrtle and Tillie from my socks and let them run around for about five minutes to do their business. On time number three, the stewardess who was taxed with making sure I made it safely into my mom’s arms, knocked on the door. “You okay in there, honey?”

“Yes, ma’am.” I leaned toward the back of the tiny room in an attempt to sound like I was on the toilet. “Just nerves.”

“Okay. Let me know if you need anything.”

Safely through that exchange, I turned back to my own little charges. Myrtle was gone. Shit. She couldn’t be far, right? It is a box of a space. And yet, she was nowhere. I even stuck my hand in the trash can. After a few minutes, I told myself she was okay, and I would come back in thirty minutes to coax her out with a peanut. I have no idea if rats like peanuts, but that was my big plan. Until I heard the scream.

What ensued was a grand comedy of adult humans trying to stay away from one little rat. I tried to stay calm as grown women and men pulled their feet up into their laps, as little kids clawed at parents like they were a jungle gym, as stewardesses chased poor Myrtle down the slender walkway.

I didn’t dare tell anyone she was mine. I already knew I was going to get blasted by my dad on the phone that night, and I wasn’t about to make it worse by having to tell him my plan was less than stellar. Instead, I sat perfectly still except for my head, which turned and stretched to try to eyeball my pet. And then it happened. My stewardess caught Myrtle by the tail and held him up for all to see. “It’s okay everyone. I think this little guy escaped a cage. He’s harmless.” And then she winked at me. Seriously winked at me.

This beautiful woman put Myrtle in a Styrofoam cup, poked holes all over it, and put a lid on it. When we were safely away from the plane and its passengers, she pulled that cup out of her bag, looked me in the eye, and said, “I think this belongs to you.” To this day, I am grateful for her kind of people. I don’t know how she knew, but I am sure glad she did.



by Tammy Bird

Spencer Price is living her best life in Denver Colorado.

But when Jordan Rohan kisses her, and her best friend writes it in their shared book of promises, she suddenly finds herself in a struggle between duty and independence, allegiance and betrayal.

Soon, two things become clear: There is far more to the kiss than Spencer first believed, and the person to whom she is most connected is hiding secrets far deeper and more dangerous than Spencer ever suspected. To uncover the secrets, Spencer must question the promises of the past. But doing so could bring death, not only to herself but to those who are her future.

  • 1 winner
  • Prize:
    1 Ebook

The Book of Promises Giveaway



To enter the giveaway, please enter your email. The author/publisher will contact you by email to arrange delivery of the prize.



Some people buy a fancy sports car or fly to far away lands when they hit middle age. Tammy started writing fiction with strong female protagonists. A literature professor by trade, she deemed it fitting to write about the kaleidoscopic prisms of human nature in her thriller/suspense stories and novels.

Be warned, her work is psychologically hard and gritty and real.



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Thanks so much for stopping by today.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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3 Responses to Myrtle and Tillie by Tammy Bird

  1. Ona Marae says:

    Oh. My. Word. I can totally see Tammy doing that…

  2. Gail says:


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