Monday, May 07, 2007

I thought perhaps I should post an excerpt or two from "Dark Ridge" on here so folks could get some idea of what the book is all about.
Some days, like so many authors, I'm sure, I feel like pulling the book from my publisher and just chucking the whole thing.
I was extremely proud of "Dark Ridge" when I finished it, but now, well, I'm just not so sure anymore.
I still strongly believe in the books potential. Someone told me that an authors first five, or was it ten books, were just practice and I am beginning to believe it. I do know that the more I wrote, the more I seem to grow as a writer.
I can tell a world of difference between my first book, "What the Heart Wants" and my second, "Dark Ridge", and even more in the third one I began shortly after "Dark Ridge" was completed.
Still, all in all I think that an authors success these days depends far more on being in the right place at the right time than the actual book.
Some of the so called best sellers I have read have astounded me. Not that they were that good, but how they ever made it on that coveted Best Sellers list to being with.
Apparently, I'm just not living right!
So, unwilling or perhaps, simply unable to give up, I keep plugging away, in the hopes that one day I will hit upon that magic right time, right place prescription that apparently defines success in this business.
So, below, is an excerpt from "Dark Ridge". Perhaps it will be sufficient to entice people enough to want to buy the book.

Harlan was having a bad night. He couldn’t get his Christmas lights to work properly, his eggnog was spoiled, Mary was giving him sass, and Molly refused to come out of her room. He had considered dragging Molly out by the hair of her head, but Mary had pleaded with him to leave her be,so he had slapped her around instead. It gave him a small measure of comfort,but the damned lights still wouldn’t work. Snarling in frustration, he threw the lights down and tossed back a beer. Belching loudly, he plopped down in his chair, and stared morosely into the fire.
Harlan actually hated Christmas. It was the time of year when his Mother had abandoned him up on Dark Ridge and the time when she had died,leaving him to care for his younger brother Pete.
It should have been Mavis’ job to raise Pete, she was after all the oldest,
but she had run off to Nashville, and no one knew where she was.
He could have left Pete to be raised by Granny Ketchum, but he didn’t want his baby brother raised up with any of those trashy Ridgers. So, he had taken Pete and raised him for the next ten years.
When Pete turned eighteen, he moved in with Bobby Purdy, claiming that Mary made him feel unwelcome in her home. This netted Mary a severe beating, but it changed nothing.
Pete was supposed to come to Harlan’s tonight and help him with the
tree, but so far he hadn’t shown, and this only added to Harlan’s frustration.
He was about to tackle the lights again when a knock sounded on front
door. Mary jumped up to open it and Harlan glared her down. She sat back
on the sofa, and picked up her knitting.
The last person Harlan expected to see at his front door was Amos Quimby.
“What the hell do you want, Quimby?” he snarled, “It’s Christmas
Amos took his hat off and held it in front of him. “Harlan, I need to talk
to you,” he began in a halting voice.
“If it’s about Lonnie Patterson, forget it. I got nothing to say.” Harlan
stuck his chin out belligerently.
Amos wanted nothing more than to ram his fist against it, but he resisted
the urge. “Can I come in, Harlan?” he asked, “It ain’t about Lonnie.”
Harlan stepped aside with an exaggerated sigh of disgust, and Amos
entered the room. He nodded to Mary, who was looking at him curiously.
“Mary,” he said.
“Amos.” She got to her feet, and stood watching her husband and the
Amos turned to Harlan, “I think you better sit down, Harlan,” he began.
“What the hell do you want, Quimby?” Harlan said, picking up his
Amos took a deep breath. “There was an accident out on the valley road
tonight. Car hit a patch of ice and slammed into a tree.”
“So, what the hell has that got to do with me,” Harlan asked, taking a
sip of his beer.
“Bobby Purdy was driving the car, Harlan,” Amos replied softly, “and
Pete was with him. They’re both dead.”
Harlan’s face drained of color and he sat down hard, staring at Amos.
“I’m sorry, Harlan,” Amos said simply.
Mary stood and looked from her husband to Amos and back again. Harlan’s eyes were closed; his face etched in pain. She said nothing.
Amos stood quietly letting the news sink in; the crackling of the fire the
only sound in the room.
Finally, Harlan opened his eyes. They were filled with sorrow. He got
unsteadily to his feet, and walked from the room without a word.
“Tell Harlan that I had Pete’s body took to the funeral home. He needs
to go down there and identify the body.” Amos told Mary.
She nodded mutely, and he turned to leave.
“Is he really dead?” The voice belonged to Molly who was standing in
the hall, in her pajamas.
Amos nodded, “I’m afraid so,” he said.
“Good,” Molly whispered fiercely, then turned on her heel and walked
Amos stood staring after her.
“She don’t mean nothing by that,” Mary said, looking at Amos.
“You sure?” Amos tried to hold Mary’s eyes, but she looked away. “Tell
Harlan I’m sorry,” he said, then turned and walked to the front door.
“Amos, wait.” Mary’s whispered words drew him up and he turned back
to face her. She reached out and lightly brushed his arm with her hand, her
fingers trembling. “Amos, there’s something you need to know about . . .”
“About what?” Harlan was standing in the doorway, swaying slightly
and Mary jerked her hand away from Amos, her eyes round with fear.
“What does he need to know, Mary?” Harlan’s eyes narrowed and Amos
saw Mary visibly shrink.
“Just that . . . nothing, there’s nothing, Harlan,” she stuttered.
Amos watched the two of them. He could feel Mary’s fear and Harlan’s
“Harlan, I’m sorry about your brother,” he said, trying to divert the other
man’s attention away from Mary.
“Save it, Quimby. If you don’t mind I’d like some time with my brother.”
Harlan said, grabbing his coat off the hook by the door and pulling it on.
“You want me to drive you over to the funeral home?” Amos asked.
Harlan nodded once and without a word or glance to Mary, jerked open
the door and walked out.
Amos looked at Mary, and she shook her head. Nodding Amos followed
after Harlan.

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1 comment:

Jeni said...

Linda - There's absolutely nothing wrong with "Dark Ridges." You just need to get the book's title and your name plastered about more to increase the public attention to it and to you as the author. I read the book and as I told you after I finished it, the last part of the book especially had me on completely on edge, to where I couldn't wait to finish one page and head into the next to see what was going to happen. It may take a while, but it will come around. Just don't lose faith in it as it is a very good story and a well-written one too.