Thursday, 23 January 2014

Tegon Maus: My Grandfather's Pants

Please help me welcome, Tegon Maus, to Heart of Fiction.

When I met Tegon, the first thing I asked was if this was his pen name, because it was a great one if it was. To my surprise, it is his real name. I've always had a 'thing' for unusual names, which Tegon thought was a bit funny.

Fast forward a few months and I've gotten to know Tegon and learned about his exciting life which he shares with his wife, whom he calls Dearheart. A gentleman and a romantic, is our Tegon! They've been married for 43 years and by all accounts, it's been a match made in Heaven.

Today, Tegon joins us to introduce us to his latest book, My Grandfather's Pants. This is a unique story and is set apart from his usual genres -- the fantasy series, The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield from Netherworld Books, and the soon-to-be-release sci-fi series, The Eve Project from Tirgearr Publishing.

My Grandfather's Pants is the story of Jack Laskin. He lives an ordinary life, has an ordinary job, and sees his future as gruelingly . . . ordinary. Until the day his mother asks him to try on an old pair of pants. Initially, Jack refuses. They pants shabby, worn through, and has a poorly stitched hole in the leg. Frankly, he wonders why they haven't been thrown out.

Then his mother tells Jack about his late grandfather and the day he was shot while wearing the pants. Something in the story changes Jack's mind and he takes the pants home to try on. This will be the best decision he's made in years, as suddenly, as if my magic, everything in his life starts falling into place. Including his love life. He's so happy that not even his mother and her meddling lady-friends can put a damper on things.

It's when a woman from his grandfather's past comes to him and tells him he has something she wants that his life takes yet another turn. He has no idea what that 'thing' is, but sets out to find out the connection his grandfather had to this mysterious woman, and what she thinks Jack has that she wants.

My Grandfather's Pants is a lovely, heart-warming read. It's full of so many things going on that it's hard to classify its true place within a single genre. This story will make you chuckle. It will make you sigh. It will also keep you turning pages as the suspense builds to see what will happen next. There's romance, too. And the grandfather's magical pants. My Grandfather's Pants a fabulous read. Tegon tells a wholly believable tale which plays on most of the emotions. At the very heart of it, this is a family story and shares the importance of family history. I say 'well done, Tegon.'

Before we get to an excerpt, be sure to drop Tegon a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of My Grandfather's Pants.

• • •
Jack Laskin is an ordinary man. More than ordinary according to some. Running the family hardware store and a life that would bore a snail, nothing exciting ever seems to happen to him. 
Then, at his mother’s urging, he tries on a pair of his late grandfather's old pants and everything changes -- most importantly his emerging love life. It's not long before his mother and her meddling friends get involved.

When an old friend of his grandfather’s tells Jack he has something she wants, his new-found life takes another turn. Having no idea what he is supposed to have, Jack looks to his girlfriend, Connie, and her brother, Robert, for help.

In the end, the answers will all be found in his Grandfather’s Pants.
"Mom, I really don't want them."
It was always the same. Even now that I was well over thirty, she spoke to me as if I were still ten. Once she started down that track there was no turning around the train. It was best to allow her to run her course, always straight ahead, full bore, and the world be damned.

"No one wore them after Henry. Not really. Your father tried them on once...just the once for a moment or so and he knew," she said softly.

Folding them over her arm, she stroked them gently as if lost in some personal memory.

"Mom," I protested half-heartedly.

"Just take them, Jack. If you don't feel you're ready, if you decide you don't want them for someone who will," she said, pushing them into my hands.

I held the pants for a moment, trying to ignore the tears welling in her eyes.

"They look like they might fit," I offered cheerfully, holding them out in front of me. A light beige gabardine, nice for their time but obviously dated, the cut and lines were all wrong for today's fashion. "Connie will be back this weekend and I want to put my best foot forward."

I wanted to change the subject, to get her on a different track. The only other two she traveled with any regularity since dad died was my search for a wife and then, with that accomplished, children.

"They will, trust me. If they fit anyone, it will be you." She ran a sentimental hand over the belt loops. 

"Promise me you’ll wear them this Friday."

As she spoke, I spotted my escape from this unwanted, thirty year old, hand-me-down: a small repair in the left leg, just above the knee. Repaired with a thread of exact color, the patch seemed to run against the grain of the material, making that spot rough to the touch.

"Ah, look. What a shame. There's a hole," I said, turning them to show her.

"Used to be a hole. That's where Grandpa Henry was shot," she absentmindedly fingered the mend.

"Shot?" I exclaimed, dropping them. "Why haven't I heard about this before?"

"You would have to know Henry. He never liked to talk about himself."

"He's been dead for nearly fifteen years, and it's never come up before now?"

"Force of habit, I suppose. I thought you knew."

"So, tell me now," I said, sitting on the couch.

"To hear Henry tell it, it was nothing really. Before the hardware store your grandfather worked as a mechanic. He was on duty at the station late on a Saturday afternoon. The night guy called in sick and asked Henry to pick up his shift. Shortly after dark, a man showed up with a gun, forcing Henry to surrender the money.

In those days a cashbox sat next to the pumps. Everything was full service. People were more honest, not like now."

"Mom, please."

"It used to be nice. People were happy to be of service. That's all I'm saying."

"Mom." I sighed.

"The little bastard took the money from the island and then put the gun in Henry's back and told him to open the office so he could get to the safe. When Henry opened the door he went through first and slammed the door closed on the robber's hand.

"Well, the gun went off, hitting your grandfather in the leg. It made him so angry, he threw the door open, took the gun from the man and beat him within an inch of his life.

"The police, the fire department, and an ambulance came. Henry made them all wait while he continued to pump gas, check oil, and wash car windows because he was still on duty. He let them treat him between customers, saying it was his responsibility, refusing to close the station until someone came to take the keys.

"The police threatened to arrest him if he didn't cooperate but eventually even they relented. Soon they were pumping gas and washing windows for him so the medics could do their job."

"That's crazy. He was shot, a bullet in his leg, and bleeding and he refused to stop pumping gas because it was his job? Mom, that's nuts."

"That was your dad's dad," she patted my knee as she stood.

"That's why he limped?"

"Yes, it is. You're a lot like him, Jack. More than you know. Wear them on Friday, for me. Connie Johnson will appreciate them," she offered before closing the door.

For a moment, the silence that filled my house was laden with guilt. Mom was good at that. All women are, I guess.
• • •
 Married forty-three years to a woman he calls Dearheart, Tegon Maus lives a contented life in a small town of 8,200 in Southern California. By day, Tegon is a successful home remodeling contractor, but his passion is storytelling.

Tegon's progatonists are frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place, but manage to work things out through the story. Like most when pushed into a corner, it only brings out the best in his characters and become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. Tegon's signature style is creating characters who are driven and believable, and who strive to find happiness.

Tegon is the author of The Chronicles Of Tucker Littlefield series.
Find Tegon online --
Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!


  1. Welcome to Heart of Fiction, Tegon, and congratulations on the publication of My Grandfather's Pants.

    This is such a clever story. Wherever did you get the idea to write about a pair of magic trousers?

  2. My mother is a firm believer in hand me downs. The part I wrote about my Grandfather being shot and continuing to work is true. Also true… those pants made it into my closet. I’m just glad I was the oldest of three and had no sisters !

  3. Awesome. This is such an amazing story, and it sounds a lot like my grandfather. I have stories of some of the things he did even after he was an amputee that I witnessed and can hardly believe.

  4. Wow, that's really interesting about your grandfather. Funny about the pants. When you put them on, does magic happen? ;-)

    1. Oh yes… the magic is that I can wear his pants at all ! As a kid I saw my Grandfather as a giant of a man. He was the head of the family and ruled without question. The idea that I now am that man is magic indeed… at least for me.

  5. What a very unusual story, Tegon - really enjoyed the excerpt and what a great cover. All the best with this!

    1. Thank you Rosemary... very kind of you to say.