zaterdag 19 oktober 2013

Book Excerpt Just a Curtain

I'm hosting an excerpt for "Just a Curtain" today. Enjoy!

Book Excerpt

“No comment...” I heard her repeat without a pause, and probably ready to repeat it again if necessary. She did. “Again, no comment! You people really need to find another angle to your stories. Richard and Elena Drummond were our friends. End of story!” and she slammed the gate to the ranch behind her, got back into the SUV and probably sat silent until she, her kids and husband reached the safety of the house. Now it's just my house; the only one on the Drummond Ranch.
          Set in the rising lands of the Wind River Mountains along the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone in northwest Wyoming, it should be the warm and welcoming home of my folks and me. But on this occasion it is not. I heard the brakes on their car and used the distraction for the newsies to run over to the barn without being noticed. That's how I heard Mrs. Segersson's outbursts to them. Mom and dad aren't here and they, the 'news' mongers, know it. Everybody knows it; I guess. The official story is that they met an untimely end while on assignment with an NGO in sub-saharan Africa---setting up an anti-poaching campaign hoping to remedy the illegal ivory and rhino horn trade that was threatening not only the animals but the ecological balance of those areas, not to mention wreaking havoc on the local economies and such. All I know is that they missed my sixteenth birthday---the only birthday they ever missed, and now won't be the last.
          My eyes are sore from crying, my stomach hurts 'cause even though there's a bunch of food in the house---thanks to the neighbors and all---I just haven't had an appetite for the last few days. Few days. Only a few days? Seems like forever already.
          The late spring rains that brought back the verdant valley from the barren cold is also casting a pall over the land that is seeping into the hearts and minds of the folks around here trying to weed out the tragedy from the hope that has to carry forward in spite of the loss of dear friends. I know they mean well, and my folks were as close to many of them as their own family. But it was my family, and now I have none. Grandparents and great-grandparents, I have, but they never visit; I don't expect that to change... long story.
          I'm not advertising that I'm in the barn and really? I'd just as soon stay out of sight as hear people's consolations any more than I have to... But I'm still curious I guess, because I hear Reggie saying, “Mommy why do those people want to know about Dashiel now? I mean, they didn't seem too interested in him his whole life before now?” Jeremy, her little brother, adds, “I mean, they don't even know him; do they?”
          I peek out the barn door in time to see Mrs. Segersson, Marilyn, look to her husband Dave with almost a plea of help on her lips, but she answers, “The same reason that buzzards only show up after the jackrabbit's been hit by the truck; I suppose. The newsies perform a similar function. They gorge on the meat of a tragedy and clear the path for future troubles.”

The Book


Title: Just a curtain
Author: J.L. Lawson
Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director
Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson's other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.
Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential---from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.

Author Bio

I am a father, a grandfather and a "Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life" kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers' travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.


 At Voyager Press:

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