Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Thursday Excerpt

Thursdays will now feature a short excerpt from a new or upcoming book release!

Authors interested in having their book featured here, please contact me.

Spunky will kick off this first Thursday Excerpt with a piece from The Circle of Friends, Book III...James.

* James is home on Spring Break from the University of Florida...

He sauntered out to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. Small cans of juice sat on the top shelf and James grabbed one for himself. As he popped open the top, the side door opened and his father came in from the garage. He stared hard at his son as he washed his hands in the sink. James quickly finished his drink, wary of Ben’s skeptical expression.

“When are you going to cut that mop off your head?” his father growled as he dried his hands. He immediately opened the refrigerator and grabbed a beer.

James tossed his empty can into the trash. “I’m not,” he said firmly, turning to leave.

His father followed James into the living room. “You need a haircut,” Ben said in a booming voice. He set his beer on the end table and fixed his eyes on James. “Let me get the shears and we’ll do it right now.”

Upon hearing that particular tone, James knew he’d best retreat to his room. After years of scrapping in the Sheppard household, he knew when a fight was about to commence. He did not feel like dealing with his father tonight.

“You’re not touching my hair,” said James forcefully.

He moved toward the hallway, but his father stepped directly in his path. There was no mistaking the stubborn determination in Ben’s expression. Out of the corner of his eye, James saw his stepmother lean forward, her eyes on the two antagonists.

“Why, does your little girlfriend like it that way?”

James glared angrily at him, his fists clenched at his sides. “Yes, she does!” he said in defiance.

Ben snorted. “Well, you look like a damned girl!” he said, grabbing a handful of James’s hair.

“Do not!” James shot back, attempting to pull away his father’s hand.

The gesture only angered his father and he reached for James’s shoulder. Desperate to escape, he shoved back and attempted to retreat to the safety of his room. Ben had not forgotten any of his military training and instantly snapped into action. Before James could react, his father had his right arm pinned painfully behind his back. He shoved his son against the wall and leaned heavily into his back. James cried out as his father grasped a good chunk of his hair and pulled hard.

“Lynn, get me a pair of scissors!” Ben demanded.

“No!” James frantically protested. He did not want to be forced to explain what had happened to his long hair.

“Ben, stop it!” cried his stepmother, rising to her feet.

“Damn it, just get me some scissors!” he yelled.

James could see the fear in his stepmother’s eyes and knew what his father would do if she refused. His father’s head turned in her direction, James decided to take advantage of his momentary distraction. Pushing away with his free hand, he managed to place a foot on the wall and shoved back with all of his might. His sudden movement caught his father off guard and he staggered into the opposite wall. Ben lost his grip on his son’s hair, and James twisted his arm free. Before his father could react, James bolted down the hall.

Upon reaching his room, he quickly slammed the door. The second he turned the lock, his father crashed against the surface. Frantically, James yanked his bed in front of the door and wedged the headboard underneath the knob. The next time his father hit the door, the frame visibly moved. James leapt to the end of his bed and braced himself between the footboard and the wall. His father continued to pound at the door, screaming obscenities. James kept his back against the bed frame and his feet planted firmly against the wall.


  1. Poor James. Now I want to know what happens next!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  2. AnonymousJune 04, 2009

    Enjoyed this and it piques my interest. Good idea for a regular feature post, too. :)

    The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

  3. Thank you, Marvin!

    And if you want to know what happens next... good!

  4. Excellent excerpt - it really illustrates the underlying cause of James's problems. Thank goodness for his great stepmom.

  5. Oh, goody! Fun game. Thanks for this Diane and thanks for excerpt, James.

  6. Great idea! I will be contacting you when my next one comes out. :)

    Allyn Evans