We’re gearing up for the release this week of The Stone Boy. A bit later in this post I’ll paste an excerpt that isn’t in the free view or the Sneak Preview.
The heroine in The 13th Step is in her forties when she finds love.
Book blurb: A former career soldier finds herself unprepared for civilian life and the emotional attachment she develops for a new AA member.
That’s all I’ll reveal for now.
In The Stone Boy, the main characters are teenagers.
Dialogue excerpts from the book:
Like a deer sensing danger in the forest, Nicole’s head lifted, wondering where the sound of her name came from. She heard it again, just outside her door. It was her mother. Adina had come home early. Derek’s eyes got wide, and he mouthed “your mom?” while she nodded, rising off the bed softly. When he started to get up, she put out her hand, stopping him.
“You need somebody like him right now. With everything you’re going through, you need someone to love you hard,” was all her grandmother said next.
“Wow, Nicole. If your dad and Mrs. Robinette had stayed together, you and Deijanna would be sisters,” Regan said.
Mulberry Avenue was a historic street in need of attention, with century old maple trees forming a leafy canopy overhead as their roots erupted through the sidewalks, causing any number of tumbles and scrapes. Jamesetta Torelli was almost a victim as she frantically ran up and down the winding path full of sturdy, two story brick homes. Wild eyed and almost incoherent, still wearing slippers and wringing her housecoat to the point of popping off the buttons in distress, she imagined all types of scenarios that could befall a man in Dom’s condition. Dominic Torelli was loose in a neighborhood controlled by young thugs, an elderly male suffering from the onset of early Alzheimer’s. An easy target. That thought had her blood pressure progressively rising with each step. First her grandson, and now her husband missing. Lord, how much more could she endure? Her heart almost stopped when she saw Dominic being physically escorted back down the street by that boy, that kid next door to them. That criminal.
“What are you doing with my husband?” she demanded, not waiting for an answer as she clamped a hand on Dom’s frail wrist, yanking him away from that tall hoodlum whose name she couldn’t remember. The teen stepped back, throwing both his palms up while quietly stepping aside.
“I’ve got to walk little Nicole to the bus stop,” Dominic whined. “I’ve got to get her to school-”
“Oh Dominic, Nicole isn’t in elementary school anymore,” Jamesetta sighed, her body sagging in relief. “You just about gave me a heart attack. Come on now, come on home so I can take care of you. Don’t you worry about Nicole ‘cause she’s already left for school. She’ll be back this afternoon.”
Looking at the strange male by his side with a mixture of confusion and fear, Dom still had to ask, “You’re not one of those boys who ganged up on my son? Are you sure?”
“Naw, cuz it’s like your wife says, Nicole’s not little anymore, and your son’s a man now. So whatever you’re talking about happened a long time ago,” Derek said. “I saw Nicole this morning when her friend with the little blue car picked her up again. Guess she didn’t need to wait on the bus.”
“I told those boys to stay away from my son. They never bothered Anthony anymore after that.” Six foot three and meek as a lamb, Dominic timidly apologized to his barely five foot tall wife. “I didn’t mean to worry you, Etta.”
“Well, you did whether you meant to or not. But I married you for better or for worse, so I guess I’m stuck with you,” she grinned, linking her arm with his. Derek was forgotten as the tiny, gray haired woman tugged and pushed her husband towards the path back home. Fumbling for the cigarette lodged between his ear and his temple, Derek lit it, chuckling as he watched the couple teeter and veer from the sidewalk to the grass, then back again. In the time it took them to finally get to their driveway, he was already on his porch. Jamesetta looked up at him, her mouth flattened into a pinched line. “Thank you,” she mumbled. He just nodded. She paused, then snapped her roller clad head around to glare directly at him. “You’re too young to be smoking so much. You need to quit”
“Yes, ma’am. I sure do,” Derek agreed, exhaling slowly, his eyelids narrowed and lashes lowered in order to avoid the smoke caressing his face.
“But you won’t,” Jamesetta said.
“No, ma’am. I sure won’t no time soon. Been tryin’ to quit though.”
Dominic Torelli smiled at him as if he still couldn’t quite figure out who he was. Then he looked down at his wife with the same expression. But he followed her into the house, grumbling about how the grass needed to be done. Derek leaned back in his chair, using the rear legs to rock off of while his own pushed against the porch post. Some days he’d alternate by sitting on the steps or taking a seat on the porch. Either way, just sitting in the front was a given ever since he’d dropped out of high school. This was his second year on Mulberry, and just as Dominick Torelli’s health had progressively gone down, the same was true for Mulberry Avenue. Even worse, two happy little kids who never did nothin’ to nobody had just vanished, and here he was sitting around waiting on that bullet with his name on it, cuz he sure as hell wasn’t gonna live to see twenty-one. Life really sucked.
Plus he was out of cigarettes.
A multiple chapter excerpt can be viewed here