Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Long Thaw - an excerpt

There are just a few more days to get my novel, A Long Thaw, for 99 cents. This is a multi-generational story about the power of secrets and the unbreakable bonds of family.Here's an excerpt: 

             Abby hasn’t seen Juliet in ten years. That summer, they had both been thirteen and had that special kind of girl-love that precedes the insecurity and competition of adolescence. They could spend an entire afternoon balancing precariously on rocks at the edge of the ocean, looking for starfish and empty crab shells and other beach treasures. They wore bathing suits that had been stretched and faded with overuse. They pulled snails from the rocks, slowly as not to harm them, and sat with them on their hands waiting for them to suction to their palms. They took turns burying each other in sand and then washed themselves off in the bone chilling Atlantic, squealing as they bent their knees so that the water rose to their belly buttons, their armpits, and finally, their throats.
            They’d had no way of knowing it would be the last summer. If Juliet knew her parents were bound for divorce, she hadn’t let on. By fall, Juliet would be starting school somewhere in California. The exact address was never given. There would be no postcards between cousins, no more family outings to the beach.
            Their parents sat low in beach chairs, talking and giving out snacks periodically. Juliet’s mother was still breast-feeding Lilly. Hannah sat at her feet, the architect of a primitive mud castle. She was four then, too young to want to follow her older sister around.
            “Stay where we can see you,” Abby’s mother would remind the girls whenever they were in earshot.
            “They’re fine,” Juliet’s father assured. “Juliet's a good swimmer, aren’t you Jules?”
            Juliet beamed and puffed out her chest, nodding.
            “They’re both good swimmers, Allen.” Rachel was squinting up at her brother with her hand against her brow like a visor. “This is the ocean.”
            “Just be careful, girls.” Abby’s father sat under an umbrella, reading a book about the Civil War.
            Abby nodded and Juliet took her hand, pulling her back to the frothy water’s edge.

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