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Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for All. Losing It All by @marshacornelius #excerpt #atozchallenge



One week only

April 1 – April 7

Losing It All

Only 99¢ on Amazon


by Marsha Cornelius





Cover links to Amazon


The latest novel by Marsha Cornelius, (AKA M. R. Cornelius) is on sale for the first week of April. The story is about Frank Barnes, a homeless man who helps Chloe Roberts and her two small children get off the streets of Atlanta.

Because the book is written in two different POVs – Frank’s and Chloe’s – we are posting a bit of each introductory chapter.

Chapter One Excerpt


Pain’s a bitch.

The doctor at the VA called it phantom pain, nerve trauma that would eventually go away. Yeah, right. Frank was twelve years and counting.

This morning, he woke to a cold, sluggish fog that had his foot throbbing before he even stood. His only relief was to shift his weight to his toes and keep pressure off the heel. Of course, the gimp-walk didn’t do much for his appearance. People already shied away from his long hair and shaggy beard. The shuffling limp and tortured expression convinced onlookers that he was a derelict.

They should have seen him twelve years ago at the VA. The pain was so intense all he could do was lie in bed, groaning and thrashing, his hospital gown soaked in sweat. Once he was up and around, he’d rolled down the hallway in his wheelchair, ranting at other Vietnam veterans with missing legs and arms. His rage seemed to ease his pain, but like a drug, he needed more. So he started ramming into other wheelchairs, then chasing after those who could walk, bruising their ankles with his metal foot-plates.

On his feet, Frank was a regular fighting machine, wielding a crutch like a club, or throwing sucker punches when least expected. It never occurred to him that those guys were battling their own pain.

In desperation, he pinned a doctor to the wall with his own clipboard, threatening to decapitate him if he didn’t up Frank’s morphine dosage. An orderly put him out on the street.

Then the pain really took hold. The dribble of morphine still in his system wore off while he slouched in the back of a city bus headed for downtown Atlanta. When he threw up in the aisle, the driver tossed him off. Unable to stand, much less walk, Frank crawled into an alleyway and passed out.

A wino rummaging through a trashcan woke him. Frank offered the bum some dough for his bottle of Thunderbird, and slugged the wine down in one long gulp. From there it was all downhill.

Chapter Two Excerpt


Clutching a metal cash box, Chloe slipped into her checkout lane at Foodtown, a pitiful excuse for a grocery store, with rusty stains on the floor tiles, and the rancid odor of old meat. She slid the box into her drawer and turned on the light.

In the next lane over, Jennifer popped her gum as she swiped food items across her scanner. “You’re late again.”

“Sorry.” Chloe gave a weak smile. Just because she worked in a rundown part of town didn’t mean she shouldn’t look her best. It took time to find just the right shade of eyeshadow to coordinate with her lavender blouse from K-Mart. Chloe wasn’t the type to just smear a quick coat of lipstick on her mouth. She outlined her lips with a deeper shade, like she’d seen in the magazines. And after what she had paid to get her hair colored, she wanted to make sure it was teased and sprayed to look just like Lucy Ewing on Dallas.

Jennifer’s Foodtown smock was unbuttoned enough to show a peek of the red bra she wore. Chloe bristled as a construction worker buying a sub sandwich and a quart of beer bent in for a closer look. His hands were filthy. Was he going to wash those hands before he ate?

Puffing out her chest, Jennifer grinned at him! Sure, Duane loved to see Chloe dressed in short skirts and low-cut blouses. But not the whole world.

Once the construction worker left, Jennifer leaned against her register, and dug something out of her teeth with a polished fingernail. “So, what’s your excuse today?”

Chloe reached under the counter for a bottle of glass cleaner and spritzed her scanner. “You know how my niece Staci has been babysitting for me? Well, she was late because she had to stay after school to meet with a teacher.”

“Yeah, right.” Jennifer snorted a laugh. “You believe anything, Chloe. That’s why you’re in deep shit.”

Chloe glared at her. “I do not.”

“Right. Your husband took off, and you think he’s looking for a better job in Chattanooga.”

“He is!” Chloe felt the heat rising up her neck. “He should be back any day now.”

“Back my ass.” Jennifer’s glossy red lips curled into a sneer. “It’s been three months.”

“He’s training for a career,” Chloe repeated what she had been told. “Not just a job.”

Jennifer wasn’t buying it. “Wake up. He hasn’t even called you. And as close as Chattanooga is, surely he could get away to come home some weekend.”

Chloe’s bottom lip quivered.

One week only

April 1 – April 7

Losing It All

Only 99¢ on Amazon

http://ow.ly/iG2wP (US)
http://ow.ly/iG4jm (UK)

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