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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Favorite... Cover Reveal and Sneak Peek

Okay, I don't have a hard release date yet, but this is the cover to my upcoming novel, The Favorite, which will be available online wherever books are sold.



This is the cropped version of the front.  Classy, huh?

And this is the full-on hardcover dust jacket.

And... here's a sneak peek of the prologue.  Enjoy!!


Prologue

Last night…


The tapping of the smooth silver ballpoint pen against the notepad sounded like a metronome gone out of control.Crumpled balls of paper littered the handsome wooden desk, a graveyard of bad ideas growing larger as the pad of paper in front of him grew thinner. The paper’s watermark – a green-tinged lion’s head
logo – stared at him, mocking him, daring him to try again to write something poignant. Or even just intelligent. In fact, at this point, the lion would even have settled for something merely coherent.

He reached for the tiny bottle of vodka from the mini-bar and emptied the last of the clear, caustic liquid down his throat. He felt his face flush as the liquor burned a path into his stomach. He closed his eyes and enjoyed drifting off to drunkenness. When his mouth and throat cooled he reopened his eyes. The
lion still looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to begin this manifesto, this great work that would make her understand why. He tentatively put the pen to paper and scribbled out the letter’s opening line.

To whom it may concern…

He had barely formed the final “n” when he tore the page from its pad. To whom it may concern, he thought. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

He tossed the balled up sheet of paper to the side and started again, dating the top of the page. He went over in his mind how letters were supposed to start, with Dear Someone, or Dearest Whomever. He wrote: I don’t even know your name.

He smiled as he finished writing that one line. He cracked open another tiny bottle and sucked it down. He was drunker than he had been in a long time, but at least the words were flowing.

My name is Michael Dane. I’m your father. A little Darth Vader-esque, he thought, but it worked. If you’re reading this then I’m dead. 

He paused a moment after he wrote that; the finality of those words made his stomach gurgle. Doubt, nervousness and fear crept into his mind for the first time since this crazy thing started. He wondered if this whole deal was such a good idea after all.

Drunkenness helped him rediscover his resolve. He had no choice after all. He wrote: And of course you’re reading this, because I know I’m going to die.

Metamorphosis

It snowed the other day in Bellingham and I turned myself into a shut-in.  This was the view from my patio.



So weird, isn't it?  I lived in New York for the first 30 winters of my life, and we'll say that New York's winters aren't known so much for their mercy. The Blizzard of '96 is still legendary for it's inch per hour accumulation over 2 days. Yet the first -- and likely last --two-inch snowfall in Bellingham this winter has me freaking out.  It's the biggest fear of my life: I've acclimated.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Oh the agony, I've gotten used to quiet nights and nature, to occasionally seeing deer grazing out my bedroom window.  I've gotten used to friendly people and cheap rents and getting a cab when I need one.  I've learned to live without the subway. So, so sad.

There was a point, exactly half my life ago, when the thought of living outside the five boroughs was like forced exile, and gave me hives and cold sweats.  I thought I would die on the block where I grew up.  (No, not in the negative way, either.  I thought I would grow old and die there once. ) I thought it was my inalienable right to be an a**hole if I so chose.  Not that I ever did choose, but still.  Now, I've grown accustomed to space, to mild winters, to kind hellos and cordial goodbyes.  I've gotten used to spoken conversations instead of grunted greetings and handshakes.

Now, I'm conscious of other people's presence.  I wave hello and smile to strangers, despite a lifetime of instincts to the contrary.  I've forgotten how to scowl.  I go back to New York at least once a year to get my re-up of my New York-ness.  I've been back two or three times this year already, and it didn't take.  My god, what's next, tourist neck?

What's happening to me?!