\r\n\r\nWelcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at BookShelfery. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story. Are you an author that would like to be featured in Indie Author Excerpts? If so, check out this page and fill out the form.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n[indie-author-excerpt]\r\n\r\nSummer 2011\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNo more than thirteen years old, a girl in hand-me downs and ill-fitting shoes stomped down the sidewalk. Everywhere her plain brown eyes landed was brokenness.\r\n\r\nThe row houses that made up her run-down neighborhood were broken.\r\n\r\nThe few cars parked along the curb belonging to people who used the vehicles as temporary shelters when they couldn’t afford the rent were broken.\r\n\r\nAnd the neighbors … The neighbors were the worst. Their entire beings were broken. Their minds crumbled by choices they were pushed by life to make. Their physical bodies aged before their time by lack of access to quality food choices. Their psyches irreparably damaged by parents who were stuck in a generational cycle they didn’t have the tools to break through.\r\n\r\n Broken.\r\n\r\nEveryone who lived in this part of town was broken.\r\n\r\nAnd what did brokenness lead to?\r\n\r\nWithout a backward glance, she ran from the home where just weeks prior she had found her parents with their mouths agape, forearms corded off, and needles sticking from their veins.\r\n\r\nShe ran from her brokenness.\r\n\r\nThe teen rounded a corner and slowed her pace to a cool, unaffected gait before she approached the men who were huddled together. This was the place, the corner, in Lower Manhattan to get the best drugs, everybody knew that—addict or not.\r\n\r\nThe teen gripped the crumbled money in her pocket, a gift from the police officer who felt the need to check on what was left of her family from time to time. With a kind smile that reached his violet eyes, he’d told her to buy something just for her. Maybe he thought she’d treat herself to some earrings or her favorite ice cream—little kid stuff—but she had lost her childhood a long, long time ago.\r\n\r\nAround her, men and women with sunken, scabbed-over cheeks became the norm. The little girl stuck out like a sore thumb but had no intention of remaining an ‘other’ any longer. The euphoric smile on the faces of her neighbors, her deceased parents, and sibling—she wanted that, even for just a little while.\r\n\r\n“You got anything?” she muttered to no one in particular.\r\n\r\n“You lost, kid?” the young man in the center of the group asked, snickering to his companions.\r\n\r\n“I’m not a kid,” she said with defiance. Her face rose higher in the air and she squared her thin shoulders. Even with a mature body, the freckles that littered the bridge of her nose and spread to the apples of her baby face said otherwise.\r\n\r\nTo amuse her he said, “Okay. So you’re no kid.” He peered at her closer. “But hand to God, I swear I’ve seen your face before.”\r\n\r\nHe probably had.\r\n\r\nBefore their deaths, images of the girl’s parents’ faces hung in neighborhood stores identifying them as regular shoplifters. They had been arrested so many times they were on a first-name basis with their arresting officers.\r\n\r\nWith her face blazing in embarrassment, the little girl toed the cracked pavement. “I want your best.” Her words came out low and stammering. She wasn’t a kid, and she planned to prove it. “I want the best you have.” She shoved the formerly crisp bills into his face.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\nDisclaimer: All material and links in the Indie Author Excerpts feature have been provided voluntarily by the author, publicist or publisher. Any materials quoted before publication date may change with final copy. No affiliate links were used in this post.