So, I wanted to give you just an idea-- a taste-- of what to expect. The characters. The tone. So I am posting an excerpt from the Prologue of the book today. Keep in mind that in the prologue the character of Drew (who is a main character in the story...the hero of the tale really) is only 10 yrs old. He is older in the rest of the book. Spanning from his late teens to about his late 20's.
I hope you will enjoy this sampling, but keep in mind it is a first draft. It's not polished. Feel free to let me know what you think.
Thanks and here goes:
Getting Paid on Peyton Row by Lisa Ahne
(c) 2011 Lisa Ahne
Drew’s Grandma stood leaning against the counter in the kitchen while Drew sat at the table with his dinner in front of him. Grandma had made fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas. He mixed his peas into his potatoes and hoped Grandma would not be mad at Mama. It was Christmas. Your kids are supposed to come see you at Christmas.
“What do you want, Carly?” Grandma asked.
Grandma looked tired. Her short dark hair was just starting to have a sprinkling of gray here and there, but her dark brown eyes aged her. They showed the wear and tear of the day in them. The bags under them seemed to pull her eyes down and created a hooded effect.
Drew understood how tired his Grandma got. She had not even had a chance to change from the uniform the hotel made her wear to clean the guest rooms. He doubted she had sat down once since she had walked through the door of her house. She was using her annoyed voice, and Drew hoped his mom would understand that Grandma wasn’t mad…just tired.
“It’s Christmas, Mama. I just wanted to see you and my boy. That’s all.”
Drew wanted Grandma to believe her, but from the way her lips were pressed together, he didn’t think that was going to happen. His happy feeling was still there. He just wished Grandma would be happy.
“I thought I could spend the night, and that way I could help cook Christmas dinner with you tomorrow,” Carly said. “Besides, I want to be here when little man opens his presents in the morning.” Drew got excited.
“Did you bring me some, Mama?”
Carly fidgeted and picked at her fingernails. Grandma made her get rid of her cigarette when they came in. Grandma didn’t put up with smoking in her house. Carly looked like she wanted to take a drag off that cig. She did not want to look at Drew.
“I’m sorry, baby,” she said, “I just been broke. Don’t worry, though. I will get you some great presents when tax time rolls around.”
“I don’t have any money, Carly. I can’t give you anything if that is what you are thinking.”
“I don’t want your money, Mama.” Carly’s voice became hard. Her eyes, dark brown like her mother’s and her son’s, glared at Grandma. “I told you I just want to be with my family at Christmas. What’s so wrong with that?”
“Nothing at all,” Grandma replied. “It’s just too bad you don’t feel that way any other time of the year…except when you want something.”
Grandma stared hard at her daughter. Her weary eyes saw the raw and scabbed over sores on her daughter’s body. She saw the bones jutting beneath the skin, no muscle or fat to hide them. The dirt under the fingernails, the nicotine stains on her fingers, and the oily hair that hadn’t been washed in awhile. She sighed. She was so tired.
“Fine. You can stay tonight. Go ahead and make you a plate of supper, but you remember what I said.”
Carly grinned with yellow teeth. “Yes, Mama.”
Carly was starving and wolfed down the plate of food. Then she disappeared into the bathroom for a long time. She said she needed to take a shower, but she was gone a really long time. When she came out she wasn’t shaking like before. Drew thought she must have been really cold. Grandma didn’t say anything, but she looked especially sad when she told Drew to go to bed.
Well, that is just a taste of Drew's story. I also plan to introduce you to his two best friends, Vinny and Joey, very soon. In the book, Drew's nickname is "The King" or "Wise King"...mostly said in jest, however, Drew does prove to be a very wise leader. His friends also have nicknames. On the football field, no one can touch these guys. All three have promising futures in college sports...perhaps even the NFL. Vincent Cruz is teasingly called "Mr. Beautiful" because of the flocks of girls who are drawn to his good looks, athletic ability, and charm. Joey "Waste 'Em" Wade won't let anyone or anything get in the way of his future. His sole focus in life is a career in the NFL, and he doesn't care who he hurts to get there.
I hope you will think about going on this journey with me. I pray you will enjoy my story of three boys growing up in poverty, who will do anything to get out and have a better life. Getting Paid on Peyton Row.
PS: I have redesigned my blog page. What do you think??