My first novella without any supernatural elements is now available from MoonHowler Press. It’s called Inheritance. It is the story about a mother who comes home from the grocery store to find her daughter’s boyfriend and two other guys raping the girl. The mother spent almost her whole life as a victim and her one goal in life was for her daughter not to become a victim like she was.
This is the novel that was originally going to be published by Stone Threat Publishing, but with that company folding soon after announcing the publication of Inheritance, I decided to stick to the April 1 publication date and release it under my own MoonHowler Press imprint. The novella is not yet available in print, but it is available in just about any e-book format you could possibly want. It is my first release through Smashwords and should be blasted through B&N, Sony, Apple, etc. And, yes, if is available for the Kindle.
Would you like to read the first chapter for free? Great! Here it is:
The grocery store was cold and Lynette Cook began to wish she’d taken the time to put on a bra before leaving the house to do the week’s shopping for herself and her teenage daughter. Outside, the weather was unseasonably warm for so early in the northern Oklahoma spring. To celebrate, she’d left the house in shorts for the first time of the year, and had decided to forego the bra too. She’d never liked brassieres; when she’d been in junior high school and just developing she had taken joy in the exasperation of her mother when she’d get caught going out of the house braless.
Her father… that was a different story. Her bad behavior in public gave him something to talk about at night.
Lynette was in her late thirties now. Her boobs were no longer the perky attention-getters they’d once been. Gravity, age, and lack of physical exercise had allowed them to sag a little, but her nipples still responded to the cold air just like they’d done when she was younger.
She tried adjusting her hands on the handle of the shopping cart to see if she could discreetly cover her plucky nipples. Makes me look retarded. She had to reach for a jar of peanut butter anyway, so trying to cover her nips was pretty useless. It’s a natural reaction to cold. Fuck ‘em if they don’t like it.
She put the jar of Peter Pan in the cart and moved on up the aisle. She knew the store manager, Kevin Hennessy, deliberately kept the store cold precisely to elicit the reaction now visible beneath her shirt. “Womanizer and an asshole, always has been,” Lynette muttered. “Even when he was just a pimply-faced bagboy.”
She left one aisle, rounded an end cap displaying yet another new energy drink, and faced the frozen food aisle. As a working mom with a teenage girl who liked to eat but didn’t like to cook, most of her grocery budget was spent on frozen food. There was nothing to do but proceed up the aisle, opening doors to blasts of cold air. At least it’s Sunday morning and most of the busybodies are still in church and not here to cluck their damn tongues at me.
Frozen pizzas. Frozen macaroni and cheese. TV dinners. Frozen tater tots. Frozen burritos. Frozen chicken nuggets. Lynette threw the bags and boxes onto a foundation of canned goods she’d made on the bottom of the cart. She paused and studied the items, her nose wrinkling. “It’s my day off. I want steak,” she said. She turned the cart around and headed for the meat counter, but stopped at the end of the aisle in front of the ice cream. Kari loves mint chocolate chip ice cream. I worked overtime last week. We can afford it. She pulled open the freezer door, ignored the icy blast, and grabbed a half-gallon of ice cream. She dropped it into her cart and moved on to select a sirloin big enough to feed them both.
The woman at the checkout was already old when Lynette’s mother had brought her to the store as a little girl. And yet, Lynette could never remember her name. She looked at the nametag on the woman’s smock: Claudia. Oh, yeah. Claudia gave Lynette’s nipples a stern look, then began taking items from her cart and running them over the scanner. The teenage boy sacking groceries gave Lynette a completely different kind of look. She tried to ignore them both.
She put her purse on the counter and opened it. When she reached into the bag for her wallet, her hand brushed the butt of her Smith & Wesson snub-nose .357 revolver. She’d had her permit to carry a concealed weapon for almost five years. Every time her hand or eyes brushed over the gun she had visions of stopping a bank robber or terrorist with a well-placed shot between his beady blue eyes. Her target was always a man, and he always had blue eyes. Like Kari’s eyes.
Lynette pulled out her wallet and removed the Oklahoma Access welfare card that would cover most of the cost of her groceries. She took out her debit card to cover the rest. Claudia gave the welfare card another stern look before snatching it and swiping it through the card reader. She then swiped the debit card. The carry-out boy ogled Lynette’s breasts, grinning vapidly, and followed her out of the store.
They had to skirt deep puddles of standing rain water and walk through the shallower ones. The teenager attempted to make small talk while trying to keep up with Lynette’s brisk pace. “We finally got a few hours without rain.”
Lynette nodded. “Yep.” It had been the wettest spring and early summer anyone could remember in Oklahoma.
“They say it’ll rain again tomorrow though.”
“I saw that,” Lynette said as they came to her pickup. “Just put them in the back.”
The boy loaded the bags into the bed of the truck. “Thank you, Ma’am,” he said, staring openly at her breasts.
Lynette read his nametag. “You like ‘em, Ron? You gonna go home and think about them while you touch yourself in the bedroom of your parents’ house? You gonna fantasize about the day you get to touch a real titty on a real woman instead of just pulling on your little dick?”
The boy’s face reddened and he finally raised his eyes to Lynette’s face. He looked like he was going to speak, then just shoved the cart away and almost ran back toward the store, splashing through the puddles, his cart bogging down in the deeper ones.
Laughing, Lynette got into her truck and drove away.