A Kick-Ass Beginning #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration #Writing

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Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Which part of your book do you spend the most time on? Beginning, middle or end? Something else?”

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I try to spend equal amounts of time on all parts of my books. Some authors prefer to write scenes out of order, but to me, it makes more sense to write novels from beginning to end. I start my stories with a hook and end with a bang. Speaking of hooks, here’s an excerpt from the beginning of my new book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, told from the point of view of sixteen-year-old Natalie. I hope this will entice you to read more.

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I hated walking with my mom and sister down that long, bright hallway in the nursing home where my grandma lived. The white tile floor and the ceiling covered with fluorescent lights reminded me of school. The only difference was that there were handrails on either side that old people could hold onto while they walked, so they wouldn’t fall.

The blare of television sets from just about every room we passed, laughter and chatter from the nurses’ station, and announcements over the PA system made me wonder why Dad called this place a rest home. The sharp aroma of disinfectant reminded me of the monthly trips I’d made to the dentist years before to have my braces adjusted. I nearly gagged as I remembered the goop they put in my mouth so they could take impressions of my teeth before the braces were put on. The stench of poop and piss from some of the rooms was overpowering.

We finally reached Grandma’s room, and for once, there was silence and only the smell of her perfume. Her bed was next to the window, and she sat in her wheelchair, wearing white pants and a blue, checked blouse. Her curly gray hair was cut short and pushed away from her face. She had a roommate, but the other lady wasn’t there. It was just us.

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How about you authors out there? Do you spend more time on one part of your books than you do other parts? You can sound off in the comment field or click here to participate in this week’s hop and read what other bloggers have to say.

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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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Beginnings and Endings #Wednesday Words

Every story has a beginning, middle, and ending. That is something on which we can all agree. But all authors have their own ideas about what constitutes a good beginning, middle, and ending to a story. As for me, I know where my stories start and end but can’t define the middle.

So, here are two excerpts from my latest, The Red Dress: one from the beginning and one from the ending. If you’ve already read this book and think you know where the middle is, you can enlighten us in the comment field below.

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Beginning

 

Finally, Charlene said, “Ugh! There’s nothing good here. If you’re not gonna go to the dance, could  I borrow something from your closet?”

“Sure.”

Eve was anxious for Charlene to leave. She turned back to her desk.

Hangers in her closet scraped against the metal bar as articles of clothing were shoved aside.

“Oh, look at this!” said Charlene.

Eve turned and could only stare at the bright red dress she’d almost forgotten.

Charlene held the garment at arm’s length, admiring the three–quarter–length sleeves, low neckline,  and gathered waist. “Oh, my God! This is beautiful! Where did you get it, and why do you keep it  way off to one side in your closet?”

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Ending

 

“Eve, come closer, dear,” said Norma. “Let me have a look at you in that dress. It turned out  beautifully, didn’t it?”

As she fastened the flower to Eve’s dress, Norma looked panicked. “Oh, I don’t have my glasses!  Jack, where are my glasses?”

“They’re right here,” said Jack, picking them up from the nightstand and placing them on her face.

Norma opened her arms to her daughter for the first time in years, and Eve walked into them.

As she held her mother and felt hot tears slide down both their cheeks, she said, “Mom, I love this  dress so much. I’ll always cherish it.”

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If you haven’t read this book, I’m sure that by now, you have a lot of questions. Where did Eve get the dress, and why does she keep it in the back of her closet? Why does Eve’s mother open her arms to her for the first time in years? Where are these scenes taking place? Well, you’d better read the book and find out for yourself.

Thanks to blogger Stevie Turner for inspiring this post. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop on the subject of beginnings, middles, and endings to stories, click here.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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