The Coffin Hop is well under way and many folk are giving away prizes and such on their blogs. Make sure and check them out as you go along. You can check out all the links here. Since I’m giving away two Kindle versions of Southern Bones I figured I should at least give you a hint of what you could win.
The following excerpt is from one of the stories in the collection, titled, Beneath the Sycamore Tree. Enjoy.
I told Cassie I loved her as I pushed her on the swing that hung down from the tall sycamore at the edge of the field behind my parents’ house. There was a pond not too far away where fishing was good and swimming in the summertime was a rite of passage. It was the perfect scene for any kid growing up in the south.
“What?” she asked and brought the swing to an abrupt stop, her feet kicking up dust as they dragged the ground beneath her. She looked at me with her crystal blue eyes, her head cocked slightly to the side, her light brown ponytail dangling. “What did you say?”
A lump caught in my throat, my palms began to sweat and tears formed in my eyes. My chest swelled with fear. “I said I love you.”
She nodded as if satisfied, turned around, and placed both hands on the ropes of the swing. “Okay. You can push me again.”
I stood there for a moment, not sure what to do; not sure I liked or disliked her reaction. I had expected more. Like maybe Cassie hopping off the swing, hugging me, and saying she loved me. Leaning forward, I placed my hands on the small of her back and pushed.
I was eight. It was the first—and only—time in my life that I knew love and how strong it could be.
She left my house that afternoon, skipping the way she always did, that ponytail swishing from side to side. At the end of the driveway, she turned, cupped her hands to her mouth. “I love you, too, Joshua Turner.”
It was the single greatest moment of my life.
Three days later Cassie was dead, her mangled body found on the other side of our property, not far from Grover’s Pond. Momma told me someone had done something bad to her, but didn’t go into details. The truth is—and I found this out some time later—some pervert grabbed her on the way home from Mr. Hartnell’s grocery store the day after our conversation, and raped her. He couldn’t leave it at that—violating her and taking her innocence away. He stabbed her sixteen times. I won’t go into the details of where several of the wounds were. You can figure it out on your own.
Cassie—my Cassie—was gone forever.
Now that you have a taste of one of the pieces in Southern Bones, don’t you want more? Leave a comment on any of the blogs here at Type AJ Negative during the Coffin Hop and you are entered into the contest. Don’t forget to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.
Thank you for dropping by and happy hopping.
Until we meet again, my friends…