When a Complete Back Story Works #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpt

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I like the idea of letting the reader discover the back story as the book progresses. For example, I’m currently reading Hello, Summer by Mary K. Andrews. After her job in Washington D.C. disappears, an award-winning journalist is compelled to return to her small hometown in Florida and work in her family’s newspaper after so many years away. Why did she leave her hometown? I get the feeling it’s not because she wanted a higher-paying job. Will just have to find out.

But in some instances, providing the back story at once is necessary. Take, for example, the prolog of my latest book, The Red Dress. My main character, Eve, ends up telling her college roommate, Charlene, the history behind the red dress she keeps in the back of her closet, a dress she hasn’t worn since her disastrous prom night. Charlene is someone who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and she wants that dress. In the following excerpt, I’m providing the full back story to emphasize Charlene’s selfishness. This will be important later in the book.

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Eve found herself blurting it all out.

“Mom made that dress for my senior prom. I had a date with Trent Boyer, the cutest boy in school.  He was the captain of the football team, and I loved watching him play.”

“Wow, just like Alex.”

“Yeah. Well, at the prom, we danced to that song, and I felt like I truly loved him, and I thought  he loved me. Afterwards, he said he had to use the restroom. Other boys asked me to dance, and I  got to talking with my friends, and when I looked around the gym later, I couldn’t find him. I  asked my friends if they’d seen him, and they just shook their heads.”

“Oh, gosh.”

“Like I said, I thought he loved me. I didn’t think he’d leave me. I decided to go out to the  parking lot to see if his car was still there. He’d dropped me off at the entrance, so I didn’t  know where he’d parked. It took me a while to find his car, but I did, in a dark corner up against  the fence by the football field. I looked in the window and saw two figures in the back seat.”

“Oh, my God.”

“I thought I was imagining things. I was on the driver’s side, so I opened that door, and of course  the light came on, and there they were, Trent and my best friend, Adele Matthews. Or at least I  thought she was my best friend.”

Eve paused to fight back more tears, and Charlene asked, “Were they actually having sex, or were  they just necking?”

“They were totally naked. Of course they stopped when I opened the door, and they both looked at me  like I was from another planet or something. I said a few choice words I’d learned from my dad,  then slammed the door and ran back into the building.”

“Good for you.”

“I went to the restroom and cried my eyes out. Fortunately, no one was there. Then I washed my face  and put on more makeup so I wouldn’t look as if I’d been crying. I went to the pay phone in the  hall near the main office and called home. Mom answered, and she could tell something was wrong, so  she came and picked me up.”

“I’ll bet you didn’t want to go back to school after that.”

“I didn’t, but Mom and Dad said it wouldn’t do any good to hide from my problems. I had to face  them head on.”

“What did you do when you saw Trent and Adele at school?”

“I didn’t speak to them, and they never spoke to me. Other kids knew, I think, but nobody said  anything to me about it. Boy, was I glad a few weeks later, when graduation came.”

“I’ll bet. Have you heard from Adele or Trent since then?”

“No. Adele was planning to come here with me and major in drama, like you, but I heard that Trent  got her pregnant, and they ran off to Las Vegas to get married.”

“So why did you bring that dress with you?”

“Mom insisted I take it in case there was something formal here.”

“Like the homecoming dance.”

“I’m not going to the dance. You can borrow the dress if you want.”

“You know, I can see why you put this dress off to one side. It’s only hurting you now. Let me take  it off your hands. You don’t need it anymore.”

“But my mother made it. Of course I wanted a store–bought dress, but she wanted to save money and  make me one. She worked long days at her job as director of the public library. There were only two  weeks left until the prom when I told her I wanted a new dress, so she stayed up nights and  scrambled to get it done.”

“Oh, you poor, homesick baby. Now you miss your mommy, who made this beautiful dress for you. Are  you gonna cry now? Go ahead, crybaby. Cry.”

***

Thanks to Stevie Turner’s Open Book Blog Hop for inspiring this. To participate and learn how other authors handle back story, click here.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service 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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Keep Others Safe #It’s Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link-Up

It’s sad that too many people are so selfish that they won’t change their behavior in order to prevent others from contracting the coronavirus. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, many people traveled in order to be with loved ones, inadvertently picking up the virus in airports and other establishments and passing it on. As a result, the number of cases has risen. Yes, there’s now a vaccine, but not everyone will get it right away, and it doesn’t mean we can stop doing all we can to prevent the spread of the virus. So, this Christmas, I encourage all my readers to make the ultimate sacrifice by staying home, limiting your gatherings to six people, wearing masks, and keeping your social distance at all times during such gatherings. For those used to large holiday family gatherings, this can be hard, but believe me when I say you’re doing a wonderful thing by keeping your loved ones and others safe from this dreadful virus and know that it won’t last forever.

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Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence story prompt for this week. If you’d like to participate on your own blog, click here.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service 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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My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Vain Teenagers #excerpts #Thursday Book Feature

“Mom, where’s my Sugar Shack shirt?”
On a Saturday afternoon in June, Eve Sawyer turned from her computer with a sigh and faced her seventeen–year–old daughter, Julie, who was standing in her home office doorway, fresh from the shower, clad only in a long t–shirt.
“Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy with the proofs for Always that I haven’t gotten around to putting away the laundry. It’s still in the dryer.”
Julie rolled her eyes. “God, I hate having a bestselling author for a mom.”
As she flounced away to the basement to retrieve her shirt, Eve turned back to her computer.
Julie reappeared a few minutes later, the garment slung over her arm. “I found it, Mom. Thanks. I’m running late, so can I use the car to get to work?”
“Sure. I’ll be busy with the proofs this afternoon, so I probably won’t be going out.”
“Thanks, Mom. By the way, the mail’s on the hall table.” Julie gave her mother a quick hug before hurrying upstairs to dress.
Eve shrugged. The only reason Julie had brought in the mail was that she was expecting the monthly issue of a teen magazine she enjoyed reading. Then again, Eve was proud of her daughter. Julie did well in school and would be starting her senior year in the fall. This summer, she’d found a job at a local ice cream parlor.
A few minutes later, Julie came thudding down the stairs and hollered, “See you later, Mom.”
***
Leaving the dog tied outside the store, Eve purchased hamburger and other items. After returning home and putting Ginger in the yard with a bone, she walked into the basement laundry room and groaned. Clean clothes were scattered on the floor and on top of the washer and dryer. She could never understand why the kids couldn’t put everything back in the dryer once they found what they needed.
She’d discussed this with them many times. Julie’s response had always been, “Mom, if you’d only put the clothes away when they’re dry, we wouldn’t have to hunt for them.”
Often, Eve had explained that she wasn’t the maid. She’d reasoned that her writing provided most of the income that paid for the house, food, clothing, and entertainment, and that when there was a deadline, that took priority.
Ashley and Thomas had always promised to try to do better, and Julie had always shrugged and said, “Whatever.”
***
The above excerpts are from my latest, The Red Dress. See below for more information. Thank you for reading today.

 

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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Keep Your Distance But Help Others

After hearing about people hoarding toilet paper and other essentials in response to the Corona virus’s threat, I thought surely this wouldn’t happen here in Sheridan, Wyoming, where people seem to care about one another. Evidently, I was wrong. On Monday afternoon, when my groceries were delivered from Albertson’s, I had no milk, bananas, or lettuce salad mix. I was told these items weren’t available. It’s so sad that so many people are so selfish.

If you have extra supplies, please ask friends and neighbors, especially those unable to get out, if they need anything you can give them. If they need something you don’t have, you could offer to shop for them. I know social distancing is recommended during this time. But if you know a person isn’t sick, there’s nothing wrong with helping. Just be sure to wash your hands afterward.

The next time you go to the grocery store, please don’t buy more than you need. Since there’s no official word stores will be closing, you don’t have to stockpile. Think how you would feel if you couldn’t find a specific item you needed. Thanks to blogger Carol Farnsworth for inspiring this post, and thank you for reading and following my advice.

 

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.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.