Blog Tour: An Excerpt of Kaleidoscope Me

What’s a book tour without a home stop? For this week’s blog tour, I’m sharing an excerpt on my own blog. This is a key scene between the main character, Jadyn, and her best friend. Don’t worry, no spoilers! Enjoy!

I took a giant bite of my taco as I watched the people wandering around the food court, particularly amused at a dad who looked totally out of his element as a little girl dragged him into a jewelry store.

“Good?” Ellie’s mouth was half full as she asked the question. We had a few traditions, Ellie and I, one was movies and smoothies, the other tacos at the mall. She already knew they were good.

I nodded, reaching for my pop to wash down the spicy aftertaste that made my mouth water.

“Are you doing okay?” she said, a little quieter. This time, she didn’t already know the answer.

“Fine,” I said swallowing.

“No, I mean really. You seem, well, you seem kind of distant.”

I looked around, wishing she hadn’t brought this up here, but then again, no one was close enough to hear over all the noise anyways. I took another bite, thinking about what I wanted to say and what I could say, watching the way her blue eyes waited for my reaction. “Dad hasn’t been home much,” I said softly, “which makes things that much harder.”

She took a drink of pop, sticking the straw in the side of her mouth and looking sort of like she does when she chews on a fingernail while she’s thinking. “It’s probably hard for him to be home, but that’s not fair to you either.”

“I know,” I said, half sighing. “It’s hard seeing Mom’s stuff all over the house, but not coming home isn’t really a good solution for that.” Another pause. “Do you think maybe it’s me? That I’m why he doesn’t come home much anymore?”

She set her cup down with a loud hollow thud. “Absolutely not. Do you remember when my mom’s dog died a few years ago? The Yorkie?” I nodded and she kept going. “Well, after that she was really ornery, and I thought that maybe I did something, with the way that she snapped at me.” I listened to her talk, with her over-dramatized enunciation, and my shoulders felt just a little lighter as I remembered a few years ago, back when a dog dying was a big deal, before I knew what it felt like when a person died. “When I asked her about it, she just started crying and said she wasn’t mad at me, she was just sad.”

Logically, she made sense; but the problem wasn’t logical, it was emotional. “Yeah,” I said softly. “He’s even stopped going to church.”

“I noticed he hadn’t been there in a while. It’s nice that your aunt can take you though.”

I shrugged, deciding not to mention that, technically, my Dad drove us to church and dropped us off, since Aunt Nadine wasn’t really supposed to drive anymore. “I guess. Ever since he stopped going I’ve started to wonder why I’m still going.” I took another bite, noticing my taco was nearly cold, but I didn’t really care.

I finally managed to capture the words that had been bouncing around in the back of my head for weeks and shove them out of my mouth before they could protest: “What are you supposed to do when the person who has taught you everything you know, suddenly doesn’t even believe what they’ve taught you?” My throat started to knot up as I tried to keep the tears out of my voice, swallowing another bite and almost enjoying the way the hard shell sliced down my throat, like it was opening it back up so I could talk a little easier again.

“Oh, Jadie. I don’t even know what to say.” Her eyes softened as she tried to search for words. “I guess if we were always 100 percent sure of what we believed in, there wouldn’t be such thing as faith. What your dad thinks shouldn’t affect what you think. Besides, maybe he’ll start coming back, you can never really know what he truly thinks.” She tried to laugh, but it was strained. “Just think if you liked everything your dad liked, you’d be singing oldies, wearing t-shirts two sizes too big, and watching black and white movies.”

I smiled a little at the thought. “Yeah, I guess so.”

She picked up her purse, which was covered in so many pins I wasn’t sure what color it was. She twirled it around, then stopped it suddenly, unhooking one button. She held it out to me without saying anything. I took it as she started folding up her wrappers. There was a bumblebee on the bottom, and the top said “Just bee you.”

Ellie stood up, picking up her tray―something I loved about her, she always knew when I wanted to change the subject, though she didn’t always change it―and slinging her purse over her shoulder (which, with one missing button I discovered is pink). “Ready for more shopping?”

Want to read more? Kaleidoscope Me is available on Amazon.

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