Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fractured Palace - Unedited Excerpt

As I have been going through the first round of edits on Fractured Palace, I've realized I haven't posted a whole lot about it. So many of you are probably like...okay? What is it about? It is a New Adult Romance. It is also a stand alone. The blurb (which still needs some tweaking) can be found under the "BOOKS" tab at the top. But basically, I'll explain it like this...

We have all had those people who drift in and out of our lives. Sometimes when you run into them, they act like they've known you forever while other times they act as if you are a stranger on the street. It doesn't change the history or erase those moments where they have had an impact on your life or vice versa. 

For Ashton and Reed those moments were life altering even if they both didn't realize it at the time. 

The story takes place in present day where they are college students living very different lives. But there are many glimpses into their past to show their history and the importance it holds on their future. 

I am far from final edits on this. So I apologize in advance for typos, grammatical errors, etc. But here is a look at Ashton at age 8. I would love to hear what you all think!

**Warning, if you are at all sensitive to violence or domestic abuse, you may not want to read further. I don't believe this scene is too graphic but everyone has different tolerance levels. No, the abuse is not directed at Ashton as a child but she is present. This book is intended for those 18 or older. 

"How could you do this to me, John," Ashton's mother accused from beyond her closed bedroom door. 

Ashton hurried over to flick off the light switch on her wall before she jumped into bed. She grabbed her thread bare and faded pink comforter to drape over her head and wrap around herself as she pulled her legs up to her chest. If they didn't see her...if they forgot she was there, maybe she wouldn't get caught in the middle as she had sometimes in the past.  

"Don't you dare turn your back on me! Answer me!"  

Now if she could only block out the yelling.  

She pressed her hands into the comforter over her ears. 

"I had to find out from the neighbor that Ashton had walked home from school today. She's eight years old!  You let an eight year old girl walk down a divided highway while you went to pick up your whore in my car!" 

Ashton dropped her hands, since it wasn't working. They were only screaming louder. She didn't really see the big deal about walking home other than it was cold and slushy out. Cars would sometimes splash icy water on her as they passed through puddles. But if she walked far enough away from the road it wasn't that bad. She had walked home down that busy road every day for the past two weeks. The only reason she hadn't mentioned it was because she didn't want to hear the fighting.  

"Fuck this! I don't need to put up with this bullshit!" John yelled right back. 

"I said, don't you dare turn away from me!" her mother screeched 

A moment later there was a loud thud which vibrated the wall behind Ashton's back. She jumped up from her bed with her comforter and scurried across the room to huddle down on the dirty brown carpet underneath the drafty window. The yelling continued but she focused her attention on the dust, the bent Q-tip, the broken red tip of a crayon and the Barbie shoe which had collected in the crevice between the carpet and the floorboard.  

Her gaze shifted over to a brown cardboard box which sat on the floor across the room. The limbs of her Barbies could be seen above the edge. A head with matted and tangled blonde hair...a bent arm with a ring pressed into her fingers...perfectly shiny brown hair...two straight legs with pants pulled up halfway...Ken, with his painted on hair, wearing nothing but shorts... 

They all had smiles on their faces.  

She no longer played with Barbies, she thought sadly as she rolled the shoe between her fingers. 

Ashton winced when she heard a deep grunt followed by a crack and another thud which vibrated her wall. One of her stuffed animals which sat on the shelf above her bed, fell to her mattress.  

"Jesus Christ, Cora! Look at you! But I'm the problem?" 

"I'm calling the police!" her mother cried. 

"Go ahead!" John roared. "I'll claim self-defense. I'm the one bleeding here!" 

There was a brief pause in the yelling. Then some mumbled words before Ashton heard her mother's sobs. "No! Please! Please don't go!" 

Ashton turned away when she heard laughter coming from outside. As she rose to her knees, she wiped away the condensation on her window just in time to see a couple figures carrying sleds dart through the darkness and into the thin patch of woods which ran behind all the houses on the street.  

The laughter faded the further away they ran. She wanted to follow.  
More yelling drew her attention to her bedroom door. Her coat and boots were out in the living room.  

She was scared to leave and she was scared to stay.

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