Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore


Cover design by Tugboat Design
Hi all,

Widow, Virgin, Whore is the first novel I published in December 2011. Since it was my first attempt at self-publishing, I decided it was time to make a few updates to it. The original cover was sort of a make-shift cover, so I had Deborah at Tugboat Design create a whole new cover for Widow. (Read more here.) I LOVE the new cover. It gives the book a whole new feel and, I believe, gives the reader a better interpretation of the story. I also went through the story again to make sure there weren't any blatant errors in the story or typos that just jumped off the pages. I found a few missing commas and a few sentences that needed tightening or clarifying, but that was about it. But I was happy I took the time to look over the manuscript one more time.

I am currently getting Widow ready to publish in paperback through CreateSpace. It is time to have a paperback copy available, if not only for readers who might enjoy it in paperback, then at least for my mother-in-law who doesn’t own a Kindle, computer, or an iPad to read it on. At least I know of one person who will enjoy Widow in paperback. J  Deborah is fast at work at finishing up the CreateSpace cover as well as adding page numbers and headings to my file, and soon I'll be able to upload and publish it.

Until then, I'd like to share a new excerpt with you from Widow, Virgin, Whore. Widow is a dramatic tale of family and friends dealing with a devastating diagnosis of AIDS. The story is not dark, it is not filled with sex, and it is not just sad. While it has it's heartbreaking moments, it is also funny, uplifting and heartwarming. If you read the many reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, you will see that the majority of people love how real and human this story is while it also makes them smile and cry at the same time. If you love a story full of real emotion – you will love this novel!

 

Excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore

This excerpt is from the middle of the book. Darla has already been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and has just recently found out she also has cancer (very common in AIDS patients). Katherine and Darla have always had a shaky relationship, and Darla doesn't make it any easier for her when she is sick, as you can see from this excerpt.
 

 "I hate this shit!" Darla swiped at the cup of pills before her, spilling them on the kitchen floor. Katherine tightened her jaw and stared hard. It had been a month since she was diagnosed with cancer, and Darla had been on an aggressive program of chemotherapy, going to the hospital for treatments twice a week. It had been hard on her body from the start, and Darla had transferred her pain into anger, taking it out on everyone in the house, especially Katherine.

"I hate all this shit," she repeated. "I hate taking these pills ten times a day, I hate chemotherapy, I hate it all!" She grabbed her glass of orange juice and hurled it at the wall. The glass shattered and juice trickled down the flowered wallpaper.

"Stop it," Katherine demanded. "You're acting like an idiot!"

"I don't care. I can act any way I want. I'm dying. I'm allowed to be an idiot."

"You're not dead yet, but keep this up and I might help you along."

Two sets of eyes met and clashed.

"I might as well be dead than live like this. All I do is throw up. If I'm not throwing up, I feel like throwing up. I can't eat and I can't drink anything. And look at my hair! Look at it!" Darla ran her bony fingers through the thin strands of orange left on her head. "I'm going bald, for Christ's sake. Bald!"

She was ranting and raving so loud, using what little energy her emaciated body had left, that Katherine thought for sure she'd have a heart attack right on the spot.

"Calm down, Darla, before you make yourself sicker."

Darla's eyes burned. "I don't want to calm down. I'm sick of it, you hear? I'm sick of it all!"

Weeks of Darla's outbursts had taken its toll on Katherine. Angrily, she snapped. "Fine then. Die. Go back up to your room and hide from life, like you've been doing for the past month, and just drop dead! You've been worthless the way you're acting anyway, pouting, throwing fits one minute, depressing everyone in the house the next. Your room is filthy, you stink, and your attitude is horse shit!"

"What am I supposed to do? Thank God for making me miserable?"

"God damn you, Darla. You're still alive. Be thankful for that. You can still walk and talk and think. Yes, you feel like shit most of the time, but it could be worse. So instead of sitting in your room, waiting to die, why don't you join in on life until you do die? Dammit! Get off your dead ass and make something of the life you still have left!"

Darla's eyes bulged out so far she looked like she was going to explode. After a brief stare down, she turned and went up to her room, slamming the door.

"Good riddance," Katherine muttered as she fell to her knees and began picking up the shattered glass.

 ***

 

Katherine was at her computer working on the last of her AIDS articles when she heard Chelsea shriek from across the house. In a flash, she was down one flight of stairs, through the kitchen, and up the other flight to join Denise, who had already responded to Chelsea's cry. Chelsea and Denise stood with their mouths wide open, staring at Darla. Katherine took one look at Darla and her mouth dropped, too.

Darla merely smiled back at them, amusement in her eyes. Her hair was shaved off, leaving only a peachy film over her entire head.

"Mom. Why?" Chelsea screeched.

Darla ran a hand over the fuzz. "It was falling out anyway, so I shaved it off. What's the problem? I think it makes me look buff."

"But Mom, you're bald!" Chelsea shrieked.

"It's no big deal. It'll grow back, eventually. Besides, I was only doing what Katie said I should. Making a change."

All eyes fell on Katherine.

"I told you to stop acting like a jerk. I didn't tell you to shave your head," Katherine said defensively.

Darla ran her hand over her head again. "Well, this is a start. It makes me feel tough again. Like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. In control. And look, I cleaned my room. That should make you happy."

Katherine and the others looked around them. For the first time in weeks, they could see the floor. She'd piled her dirty laundry in one corner, made her bed, and opened the windows to let in fresh air. It was a major improvement.

"Now," Darla announced, "the next thing I need to do is get out of this house. What about that AIDS group you keep telling me about, Kathy? Do they have anything going on tonight?"

Again, everyone stared at Darla as if she'd just flown down from Mars. What happened to the moping, depressed Darla from only a few hours ago?

"I thought you weren't interested in being a part of any AIDS group," Katherine said.

"Well, now I am. Is there anything going on with them or not?"

Katherine stared at the others with raised eyebrows. Surely, Darla had gone schizophrenic. "I think they have a fundraiser going on tonight," Katherine finally answered. "They have Bingo every other week at a place in Fremont."

"Great, then that's where we're going. Bingo."

"We?" Katherine asked, surprised.

"Of course. You don't expect me to go there alone, do you?"

"But I hadn't planned on going."

"Well, now you can plan it. You were the one who said I needed to do something, right?"

Katherine closed her eyes and sighed. Me and my big mouth, she thought.

 ***

 

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Widow, Virgin, Whore. If you'd like to read more, it is available on Amazon Kindle and will soon be in paperback. In March, it will also be available for Kobo and B&N Nook.

 

Cheers!

Deanna

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