Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweet Sat Sample: "Laid to Rest"

This is the debut weekend for "Laid to Rest." At this writing, it is the  Amazon #1 Hot New Release in Comedy and on Amazon's top 100 Best Sellers list in Comedy.

However, this Saturday, I'm going to share one of the more serious moments in the story featuring Darlene Higginbottom, the town bad girl with dreams of Hollywood, and Tommy Ray Petty, one of her slow-witted accomplices.

The short story take place one summer night in 1957 and the underlying theme of "Laid to Rest" is never give up on a dream because sometimes dreams come true.

“Thanks.” I slumped against the trunk of the Cadillac and hooked my arm over the fin. A couple of frogs and a hoot owl joined in with the summer chorus of katydids. Overhead, stars sparkled. They were little pinpoints of bright light. Granny Higginbottom always said the stars were stepping-stones to heaven and each one was home to an angel. 

I gazed upward. “You ever wished upon a star?”

Tommy Ray shook his head. “Nope. Don’t reckon I have. Have you?”

“Yes. A long time ago. When I was little, I’d crawl up in the barn loft at night and look out at the night sky and make a bunch of wishes.”

“What did you wish for?”

I shrugged. “I wished for brand-new clothes instead of second-hand ones. Shoes, too. Once I wished for a doll with both arms and both legs.” I ran my hand over the chrome trim on the Cadillac’s rear fin. “And, I wished there would be plenty of food in the kitchen and that folks in town wouldn’t call us poor white trash anymore.”

After a moment of silence, Tommy Ray asked, “Did your wishes come true?”

“Course not. Wishes don’t come true. I found that out as I got older.”

“They never come true?”

“Never.” I pushed away from the Cadillac. “You can wish all you want on a star and never get it. But, I believe your dreams can come true.”

“You do? Sometimes, I have bad dreams.”

“I’m not talking about those kinds of dreams. I’m talking about something you really want or something that you hope to do in life. What’s your dream?”

“Oh, I don’t got no dream.” He shoved his hands in the pockets of his overalls. “Fellar like me don’t have dreams.”

“You must have a dream. I can’t imagine life without a dream.” I couldn’t think of anything emptier. “Surely, there’s something you’d love to do. Something you dream of doing.”

He studied on it. “I’d like to go to Florida. I saw some pictures of Florida at the bus station. They say the weather is always real nice and they never have a winter there. I don’t like winter much,” he said. “In the pictures, the sand on the beach was so white.” He smiled. “And the water was bright blue. Bluer than anything I’d ever seen and there were big waves. I’d like to go to the beach and let them big waves wash over me. That’s my dream.”

I started to point out a dream should be more than big waves washing over you. Then again, for Tommy Ray, it was his dream and everyone was entitled to their own dream.

“You can make a dream come true,” I explained. “Just look at Elvis. He came from a poor Mississippi family just like us. He had a dream. He loved his music and he didn’t give up on it. You see, that’s the key. Not giving up,” I said. “Now, he’s the most popular singer in America.”

If you'd like to read more about "Laid to Rest," check out its page on my website:  or you can find it on Amazon:

Please check out other authors and samples at   Samples are suitable for all ages.

Thanks for stopping by and comments are appreciated! 


Jenna said...

I absolutely love this story and am downloading it as soon as I leave this comment. It will be great beach reading in a couple of weeks! This serious moment is so poignant--lovely writing. The characters are perfectly drawn. Congratulations on your new hit!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Lovely snippet! I like the narrator's voice and can feel myself right there in the moment.


Elaine Cantrell said...

You got me. I'm getting it today.

Elaine Cantrell said...

You got me. I'm getting it today.

Sarah Ballance said...

I love your voice here. The characters are so real, I feel as if I'm watching instead of reading. Big congrats on a successful debut!

Sandy Nachlinger said...

Terrific scene. I felt like I was in the middle of the scene with Darlene and Tommy Ray. The dialogue was perfect too. Good writing.

Patricia Preston said...

Thanks so much to all of you! I've been in the kitchen putting up peas and squash. Had to take a break and really enjoyed your comments. I hope you will enjoy the story. It's just a funny story that I hope will be entertaining. Plan to do more with these characters.

Sherry Gloag said...

Loved your sample. I felt I was right beside them, and fully 'got' Tommy Ray's dream.
Glad to know there's more of this to come.

Mirriam Smyth said...

What a great snippet. There's a strong undercurrent of bitterness, maybe a bit of dismay, that just grabbed my heart and made me feel for Darlene. Love it, gonna get it :)