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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Few chapters of my work in Progress (Rough draft, pardon any typos or errors)

I jerk from sleep clutching my chest, my lungs taking in rapid gasps of cool night air. Panic attacks and nightmares are a way of life for me. The panic is a parting gift from my father for never being good enough for him. The nightmares began nesting in my brain the year I gave my son away and lost the only man I’d ever loved. Every night, as I reluctantly slide into the cold sheets the dream perches on the edge of my sleep, waiting to descend upon my subconscious like a vulture onto a carcass.

The dream is a cornacopia of my regrets and fears,the shrill screams of the baby, the hard look in Declan’s eyes, the widening hole in my chest where my heart once beat, I always wake sweating, sometimes screaming and forever feeling empty and alone, sobbing into my pillow, “forgive me, please just forgive me”.

Tonight the dream is interrupted, left incomplete by the braying of my cell phone. Groggily, sleep still fogging my mind and eyes I reach over and push the button.

“Hello?” My tongue is thick against my teeth.

“Ms. Coven?” The tight voice sounds warning bells in the back of my mind. I clench the sheets with my free hand, trying to hold on, fighting for that one second, the miniscule reprieve when the familiar voice takes a breath, because I know it will be the last painless moment I have for a long time.

Chapter 1

 The day it began I sat fidgeting on a stool in bio-lab. The door opened and the rest of my life came walking through. Tall, dark haired, muscular, he was a fallen angel in jeans and a denim jacket. His smile shook the room, pulling the air from my lungs. If we’d been in a movie he would have been a vampire or a bad ass zombie killing ninja, but this was 11th grade small town USA so he was just a boy, but good lord what a boy!

Mr. Rolla waved him past the desk motioning to any of the empty seats. My hand fluttered knocking my bag to the ground loudly. The entire room stifled a laugh. I froze cheeks burning, my heart beating a hole in my chest as he bent and scooped up my things with one hand, dropping his book next to me on the table. My eyes stuck to his face, even with my cheeks on fire I couldn’t look away. He didn’t seem to mind.

Rolla cleared his throat loudly pulling the class’s attention back to him. For the next forty minutes he droned endlessly on, the words fell against my ears never actually making it to my brain. I snuck looks to the right as much as I dared; he was looking at me as much as I was trying to look at him. Thus was the beginning of the end for me. School became an occupational hazard from day to day. I came, I sat, I hopelessly lusted, and above all else I tried to avoid. In the world of small town USA I was a girl without a click, a lone wolf, a loser. I dodged and weaved my way through the halls better than any running back. Declan on the other hand was a one boy show. People congregated wherever he went. I wouldn’t doubt it if they followed him to the bathroom, that’s how bad it was. Girls and boys fawned over him, and unlike the dicks that prowled the top of the high school food chain, Declan didn’t use his charm to make people feel small. Everywhere I went his laugh echoed down the hallways, followed quickly by a high pitched flirtatious, “Oh Declan you’re so funny….smart……strong…insert shallow compliment here”. As much as I hated them I wanted to be the one chirping away brainlessly at his side, but instead we sat….silently. Twenty-two and a half inches apart, body heat meeting in the middle, cologne, perfume intermixing, but our mouths never moving.

Some days I cherished the closeness even in the silence, others I wished he was a million miles away. Days when the panic would nestle down in my chest spreading cold sweat like wildfire across my skin, those days I wished he were never born.  The panic and I were old friends, going back to preschool days when teachers and even my parents thought I was just an over dramatic fit thrower. Years and many doctors later it was shown to be anxiety attacks. My father scoffed as he looked down his nose at me.

“What does a spoilt little girl have to be anxious about? Maybe God is punishing you for not reading your bible the way you should.”

Mother ignored it, because that was the best way to be ignored by my father.

Those days, the panicked filled ones, I would sit, knuckles white as my fingers bit into the lab table and pray to God not to let me pass out in front of Declan. The thought alone would often make the panic worse, but as the days past it changed into more of a calming effect. Don’t panic, don’t pass out, Declan’s right here, and that was all I needed, Declan right here with me to make me feel safe and calm.

We sat silently for weeks watching one another in class, he seemed so confident when other girls spoke to him in the hall, the cafeteria, class; you could bet if Declan was somewhere girls were talking to him, and he would smile and flirt, girls falling over themselves and his mild Irish lilt. But sitting next to me in class he was a stone. My stomach fluttered in anticipation, wanting, needing internally begging him to speak to me, to just hear his lips form my name would have been enough. I instantly loved every little detail that made up this strange boy. His half smile, his dimple, his beautiful sea green eyes that laughed even when his mouth refused. The cocky way he spoke to Hilary Eastman, the prettiest most popular girl in school. The annoying way he sat next to me every day, so close I could feel the heat coming from him but never making a sound. In his defense I didn’t speak either, as much as I hated the silence I was afraid to break it, afraid once it was gone there would be nothing clinging around us, holding us together, or as together as two people can be that don’t speak.

The silence was torn down not by a word but by a touch, a simple one in a million right place right time moment that would change everything. The bell was aching to ring as I darted up the stairs to my English class, praying to the tardy Gods to let me make it in time. Instead of a free pass they must have thought it was far funnier to give me an amazing excuse to be late, because Troy Mallard came barreling down the stairs at me, laughing with one of his football buddies and tossing a ball back and forth. I saw it almost before it happened, his fat fingers fumbled against the leather and laces, sending the pigskin towards the railing where a straight drop to the main hall awaited. He lunged, I stutter stepped, my feet fighting gravity and fate and losing, my books flew like angry birds through the air as Troy and I collided. The railing moaned but held as he fell against it, my arms cart wheeled my fingers grasping in vain at the air as I fell backwards. Before I could fall to my death, Declan’s arms closed around me, my back falling against the warm solidity of his muscular chest. My heart choked me, hiding in my throat and although I had not fallen even one single step my entire body quaked with adrenaline and fear. One arm still holding me up, he ran a hand through my hair, his lips so close to my ear I could almost hear his thoughts before he said them.

“There now I have ya. I won’t be letting you fall and ruin those gorgeous legs of yours.” I smiled through the tears, but couldn’t find the strength to move away from him, I never wanted him to let go. 

Chapter 2

“Cassandra, are you ok?”

 I lose my moment of Zen to the hunger of the present. My breathing becomes choppy and ragged as I put the name to the voice and pray it’s all a dream.

“Yeah, how can I help you Janice?” the tangled bed sheets pull at me as I fight to turn on the bedside lamp and sit up.

“Cass we need to meet, something has happened.” Her voice is different than I remember, it sounds small and weak, not at all how I recall. Janice Penbroke was my lawyer years ago, before the nightmare, before Declan walked out of that room and my life forever. The bedside clock shines up at me, 5:00A.M., but there is no choice, if Janice needs to see me this early it must be important.

“Ok, I’ll meet you at the diner on 10th. Gimme a few to get dressed.” My heart triple beats and I nearly drop the phone. My brain shakes free from the fog of sleep it’s been hiding in.

“Janice! Is Connor ok?” My chest tightens, my heart rattles against my ribs.

“Everything’s ok right now, I’ll see you there in 5.” Without another word the line dies in my hand. The phone clatters to the floor and, I‘m in the car and on the road before I remember shoes, but I can’t even think about turning around. As I speed towards an unknown future an unforgettable past nips at my heels.

The diner parking lot is a ghost town as I pull in. The bar crowd having driven sloppily home after hours of merriment, drinking and the neon promise of hot coffee and greasy eggs.

Janice leans nonchalantly against the trunk of her maroon caddie. She looks exactly the same as she did 5 years ago standing tall and strong enough for both of us in the court room, shielding me from Declan’s icy glare. Her eyes slip down taking in my bare feet, a smile pulls at her lips but the burden of whatever news she has beats it back down.

“Hey Cass. Wanna try and slip inside or do you just want to sit out here?” I think on it a moment, the lines and dark circles around her eyes scream to me that I need the strength of a booth beneath me before I listen to her. I follow behind her trying to hide the nakedness of my feet; we slide into a blue booth in the far back where I tuck my feet under me. Criss cross apple sauce my mom use to say.

“Ok Janice, just spill it, I haven’t heard from you in years and now you call me up in the middle of the night and drag me to this 24 hour diner hell, for what? If everything’s ok what could we possibly need to talk about?” My entire body tingles as if my soul had fallen asleep and is just beginning to shake off the deep slumber. The sadness in her eyes washes over me; I sit in its wake and wait for the rest of the flood.

“Cass I don’t know how to tell you this, but Connor’s very sick.” She pauses letting the words fall on me like hail. My eyes blink slowly thinking of Connor and the Eliots.

Chapter Three

 I fell in love with Mrs. Eliot the first time I saw her. She stood before me, not intimidating or forceful, instead she looked scared and shy. At 16 I couldn’t fathom how I could scare anyone.

“Hello Cassie, can I call you Cassie?” her slender fingers trembled as she held out her hand.

“Yeah, um I guess, sure call me Cassie.” I took her hand, felt it shake in my grip. No one called me Cassie except Declan, but once he found out I was here he would be calling me something completely different. My hands went automatically to my swollen belly, rubbing and soothing the mistake it held.

“Cassie I am so glad you’ve given us the chance to meet you and to talk about this.” Her eyes brimmed with tears; she fought to look me in the eyes but hers endlessly wandered down to the swell beneath my shirt. Twice I caught her hand twitching as if trying to reach out and touch me. My heart beat faster, causing a kick fit inside. Without thinking I grabbed her hand and held it a little to the left of my belly button. The maternal dam inside of her broke as she sobbed. Mr. Eliot whispered in her ear and looked at me with hope and suspicion. I placed his hand next to hers as the kicking became a long stretch, pushing outwards as if trying to make more room inside me. His face broke but went hard before tears could form in his steel gray eyes. He stood abruptly jerking his hand from my stomach as if it were on fire.

“No, no we won’t do this again. Come on honey.”

“What?” we spoke in unison, the same tone of shock and anger coating the word.

“Sarah,” he pleaded, “we’ve been through this before. She’ll change her mind! She’ll take him back and where will we be? Heartbroken and childless same as before.”  He began gathering his things, but she remained next to me.

“The last girl changed her mind, decided to keep the baby after she held her at the hospital, we...we had everything ready at home. I spent all week painting the nursery pink and finding the perfect bed sheets, light pink and soft as clouds, I painted her name on the wall above the crib.” Her lips barely moved as she recounted the pain.

“Emma.” She whispered.

“That’s a beautiful name.” I swallowed; these were the people I wanted. They had so much love pouring from them. So much want, and need and they had the money and the years to do this right, they had everything I did not, except for a baby, and that I would gladly give them.

Chapter Four

A tear falls cold onto my hand and I stare at it perplexed. Janice touches my hand pulling me back to the diner.

“I’m sorry Cass. When was the last time you spoke to them?”

“I, I don’t remember. Years. Sarah writes me every few months, without fail. She sends pictures and copies of report cards, even after I stopped responding there’s new pictures of Connor and even sometimes a drawing he did.” The sob crawls up my throat, choking the words. Janice clasps my hand patting it for good measure.

“I’m so sorry Cass; I know this must be hard.”

“How did you find out? When did this happen? What happened?” I cradle my chipped coffee mug, cringing at the acrid cold taste, I drink it anyway.

“I got the call earlier; I’ve been at the hospital waiting to find out more. He’s been sick for a few months now but late last night they rushed him to the E.R.” I shift uncomfortably on the vinyl seat, cold sweat washing over me like a tidal wave.

“So how sick? Like the chicken pox? What exactly are we talking about here Janice?” I can hear my mouth machine gunning the questions into the air but I can’t stop it, even though I don’t want to know the answers.

“It’s leukemia. They’ve been treating him but so far it’s not working as well as they would like.”Tears threaten to break through her eyeliner and pull rivers of charcoal black down her cheeks. I can’t breathe. Leukemia…no they’re wrong. Leukemia ? The more my mind mulls the word the less it feels real, I try wrapping my lips around it but it still doesn’t fit.

“Leukemia.” My eyes travel the table top and up to Janice’s, there nestled in her dark round pupils is the truth. LEUKEMIA.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

REVIEW: Passion and Purity

Passion and Purity

Loving Life Series

By: Angela De Souza

Synopsis: "God made us girls for extravagant, wild, imaginative, adventurous, fantastic loving!"

Angela openly shares of how her search for passion ended up in adultery and how she managed to find a way back to purity. Today Angela has the wild, passionate adventurous living that she always craved but within the boundaries of purity.

Those of you, who know me, will know this is not the kind of book I normally read, that being said you also know I don’t like to refuse to review a book because of its genre. This book made me glad I stick to that rule.

Passion and Purity isn’t so much a book as it is a long chat with a dear friend. Author Angela De Souza puts herself and her reputation on the line to share with the world her many trials and tribulations with staying on God’s path.

She shares honestly her life and her many mistakes, her dark times as well as those that brought her back to God. With no personal reservations of how others might perceive her after reading of her wild party animal days, or how she evolved from a happy young newlywed into an excessively drinking adulterer she opens up completely to help others learn of the forgiveness God has in his heart for all men and women.

Beautiful and honest full of scripture and faith Passion and Purity is a wonderful book for those who’ve lost their way as well as those who never knew it to begin with.

Find it on Amazon today for just $9.99.

·         Format: Kindle Edition

·         File Size: 154 KB

·         Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

·         Language: English

·         ASIN: B004YKZM6Y

·         Lending: Enabled

Review: Always a Bridesmaid

Always a Bridesmaid

By: Anna Pescardot

Synopsis: Nicole Turner is a single girl; worried she'll be left rotting on the shelf forever while less attractive girls are getting snapped up by gorgeous guys. She starts to feel there's something seriously wrong with her.
Desperate to change her life from boring to brilliant she enlists the help of her eccentric best friend, Patsy. Together they use cosmic ordering to help conjure up Nicole's perfect man. When Nicole's life suddenly gets more complicated she soon realizes that it might not have been such a good idea after all. Chick lit meets soap opera in this humorous romp.

Nicole Turner is every woman who has ever stood at a wedding and hated the bride. With her clock ticking and everyone around her finding the perfect match, Nicole begins to doubt herself. When her crazy friend Patty talks her into doing a love spell to help her find Universe Man, Nicole thinks they’ve both lost their minds.
Suddenly there are men everywhere, and they all have eyes for Nicole. As her world brightens, everyone around her seems to suddenly be failing. How will she know which man is ‘Universe Guy’? How will she help all the people around her while she tries to finally do something with her life? And what the heck is she doing on stage at a comedy club?
Full of quick wit and rowdy humor, Anna Pescardot weaves a tale any woman can relate to. With male characters so wonderful, so attractive, they must be fiction. But you’ll be rooting for them all!
In the beginning I was worried about the “Britishness” of the novel. I was afraid there were be references that I didn’t understand or slang terms that would be lost on my American ears, but it was never a problem. Well written, funny and full of honest feeling this romantic comedy is one for your must read shelf! Check it out TODAY for just .99 cents!
·         Format: Kindle Edition
·         File Size: 314 KB
·         Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
·         Language: English
·         ASIN: B00589W1DC
·         Lending: Enabled

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Almost done revising!!!!!

Excerpt/Sneak peak

When No One was Listening

Synopsis: Burdened with the guilt of her twin sisters death Sloane wanders through her existence doing everything possible to be invisible. Back in her home town she's forced into the spotlight when she catches the eye of the star quarter back, Eric Rainer, the boy who saved her so many years ago.Can she let go of the past enough to live? Is Eric really the hero everyone thinks he is? What will happen when no one is listening?

     My fist slammed into her perfect face, pushing five grand worth of a nose job sickeningly to the right. I watched as the most popular girl in school stumbled, holding her hands over the wreck I’d made of her looks, no one would ever believe it was my dead sister’s fault.
            Oh crap! I just punched the prom queen.
Are you happy now? I’m going to be in trouble AGAIN because of you!
Don’t blame me, I’m dead.
I have these kinds of conversations far too often with myself. I think I’m crazy. There’s plenty of things that I’m not; popular, gorgeous, normal but it’s what I know I am that bothers me the most. I am alone, I am broken, I am a murderer. Some things can be pushed down deep inside of you, but if you can still hear your dead twin’s voice in your head, well then they aren’t deep enough.
 I almost drowned when I was eight years old, the day I killed my twin, a fact that had everything to do with my cold, wet fist smashing into Bitsy Ramones perfect nose. It shouldn’t have been a good feeling, her nose crunching under the rage, but it was.
Thin drops of blood stained her porcelain white skin, as it rolled, splattered and pooled at her feet. The dirty grout around the tile greedily sucked it up. The sound of the room rushed inside my ears, pounding in my head, her gasps, the jeering of onlookers, the sound of feet slapping against wet cement and loud, shrill laughter. The smell of chlorine, wet clothes and iron swam up my nose.
My perfect unbroken nose.
My sides ached with laughter. Stuttering breaths and every bit of my will power couldn’t stop the cackle rolling forth and ricocheting off the walls. Years upon years of repressed guilt and rage poured to the surface, falling from me in shrill peals of amusement.  Everyone stood and stared in utter disbelief of the chaos I created. I found very little composer in the harsh stares, and lost it again as Bitsy whined,
“My nosth sthee brothke my nosth”
OMG, look at her face.
Do they make prom dresses for raccoons? Cuz that’s what she’ll look like by this afternoon.
I learned years ago I couldn’t quite the sound of my sister in my head, so why fight talking back? Sarah was always the adventurous one, the brave one. I forever hid behind her, afraid to look people in the eyes, afraid to stand up or speak my mind. Days like today, she often pushed my buttons and forced me into actions I would never take, like punching the most popular girl in school right in the face.
I went willingly as Mr. Hawthorn led me toward his office. The resounding slam of his door brought forth thoughts of jail cells clanging closed. I needed a cell, a padded cell to hide in. One where Sarah couldn’t find me or remind me of who I really was, a broken, lonely girl who killed the only person who ever cared, who now wanted nothing more than to be invisible, or maybe to be loved.
Sloane Christianson cheerleader slayer, priceless.
Stop, you got me in trouble!
Well you got me dead so I guess we’re even for today.

I would love some feedback. I'm not done revising it needs a little polishing but I think it's a story many would enjoy. Comments, suggestions and criticism are all welcome! Thanks for taking the time to look it over! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

REVIEW: Diary of a Seventh Grade Hybrid

Diary of a Seventh Grade Hybrid

By: Lee Mavin

Synopsis: Ziggy's first year at Fuqian International school is hard enough with bullies who want to flush him, fat math teachers who make him do extra math tutoring and a strange girl who keeps following him around everywhere. But all of that is nothing compared to the secret he is keeping under his hat. The Diary of a Seventh Grade Hybrid is the first of a six part series that slowly uncovers the memories, thoughts and adventures of Ziggy, a boy with a very special secret!
 Imagine waking up with no memories beyond who you are. No recollection of last year, of school or friends or why you are who you are. Compound that with the fact that you’re the only kid in your school that has antennas on your head and you’ve fallen into the life of Ziggy. Aside from antennas and a strange new ability, Ziggy is a normal 7th grade student. He hates math, loves his English teacher and writes beautifully deep poetry. But Ziggy will soon find that antennas and impending math tests are the least of his troubles.
Follow Ziggy on this wild adventure as he learns about himself and the world he’s woken up into.
Lee Mavin has opened up a wonderful world of sci-fi fantasy and adventure that any fun loving boy or girl would enjoy. While this first installment was a little rough around the edges the quirky fresh story line had enough intrigue to keep me reading all the way to the end, and excited about the next book.

Start the adventure HERE!

  • Paperback: 232 pages

  • Publisher: Grace Publishers (July 8, 2011)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 9881922097

  • ISBN-13: 978-9881922090

  • $15.95