Sorry if this in conveniences people, but this was the fastest way to get the word out to the people who above all others might be interested in my novel.
'Me and Mine', a story I hope you all enjoyed, has now been refined, lengthened to double its original size, with new content throughout and an extended, detailed ending.
Available for under a dollar (and under a pound) on the Amazon kindle store – there is a link to the page on my profile. This book has ruled my life for the past few months, and I am hoping to use to proceeds to find my masters degree in Creative Writing.
You can follow me at JollySnidge on twitter for more updates on the novel or on my other stories.
Thanks for reading this.
Here is a sampler – the beginning of chapter one.
It is known as 'Old town Folsom', what more can be said? The house is everything the newly married Samuel and Anne Walker imagined it would be when they moved to the town; neat and square and plain. This is the place, they decided, that their children would be born and raised in. Their eldest son is now almost eighteen and the house has not lost its charm for them; Samuel still walks up the short, straight path to the front door after work, the grass is kept a regimented two inches high and the three white columns by the front door are repainted every year to match the rail on the wraparound porch.
Anne and Samuel have enjoyed the sunset on that porch on almost every summer evening since they moved in. Even the fights they've had over college funds and missed anniversaries have been relocated to the porch in summer, so as not to waste the evening light.
It's the very latest part of summer now, edging closer to fall by the day. As when they were first married, tonight they share a jug of lemonade and watch the yellow disk dip below the horizon. In their younger days they'd watched their sons play on the lawn as the sun went down. Jude, then still a light brown haired blur of energy, had chased his younger brother across the grass at breakneck speed. Aaron had never seemed to mind the pointless game, tearing away from his older sibling and giggling fit to bust.
Now though, the lawn is empty, both Jude and Aaron are inside, ostensibly doing their homework.
"It's getting late." Anne comments, looking up at the indigo stained sky through her blond fringe.
"It'll be light for a while." Samuel is studying a dusty Ford car manual; his job selling second hand cars requires a certain amount of familiarity, though for his part, Samuel takes an extreme interest in knowing the ins and outs of every car on his lot. He's as broad and dark as his wife is fair and slender, a mixture that has come out well in their children. Both Jude and Aaron have light brown hair and clear skin, their adolescent growth spurts already promising a bulk that will rival their father's.
"We have church tomorrow. It's an early start." His wife remarks, Samuel sighs and closes the book, fingers rising and working to remove the creases from his brows and flatten his dark brown hair.
"You're probably right."
They take their glasses and the empty pitcher into the kitchen. Inside, the house is light and filled with the evening air. The tiles of the slanted roof over them are still exuding the day's heat, making the white painted hallways comfortably warm.
Standing at the bottom of the stairs, Samuel calls up to his sons.
"Boys! Time for bed!" He hears the rustling of pages and the shifting of feet. They're up rather too late, but he's inclined to give them some leeway, given the warmth of the night and the slowness with which the summer sun has set.
Upstairs, Aaron puts aside his comic books and looks at the hastily completed homework on his desk. He'll probably have to pay for that, come Monday. At fifteen he's not really at the age where forgetting or blowing off homework is acceptable, at least according to his Dad. Still, the lure of a new Spiderman edition was too much for Math to even compare.
He slides out of his weekend clothes, jeans and a new red T-shirt, straight into his pyjamas and then into bed. He clicks the lamp off within five minutes of his Father calling up to him. The walls of his room, bedecked in national geographic posters and pictures from the Harry Potter movies, are cast into shadow.
Across the hall, blanketed in semi-darkness, Jude is thinking of his own school work, neglected for a rather more pressing reason than a need to keep up with the adventures of Spidey.
Jude's room is the polar opposite of his brother's, the only posters to be found are old ones from his Father's extensive record collection. His unfinished algebraic equations are balanced on the glass cover of his very own record player, itself balanced on a rudimentary table composed of paperback novels.
Jude sits on the floor at the foot of his bed. Before his Father called up to him to get into bed, he had been playing a lengthy tournament of solitaire. The cards are still laddered in front of him, missing only very few, which he still holds in his hand. He hasn't turned the light off, having neglected to turn it on in the first place. He'd been too absorbed.
The game had taken maybe one tenth of his attention, the rest was all tied up in the fact that he could hear his parents talking outside of his window. The porch table and chairs were just outside and he could hear his Mother's voice, "We have church tomorrow." The reason Jude could not concentrate long enough to tackle his work, was that he knew very well that they had church tomorrow. It was Sunday, they'd been attending Mass at St. Matthew's each Sunday for as long as he could remember. The thing taking up his mind was the way in which he was stuck between dreading the morning, and longing for it.
On the one hand, it was a chance to get out of the house, to gain some measure of peace whilst entrenched in the rituals of the church. It also meant seeing Father Gray again.
On the other hand...it meant seeing Father Gray again. Like a razor edged chalice, it was both a blessing and a surprising hurt.
This Sunday, this particular Sunday, was also the day Jude had promised himself, had promised God even, that he would confess. Of course he confessed every Sunday, he went into the wooden booth, breathed the incense laden air and confessed his sins to Father Gray in confidence. Jude had taken penance for lying, for selfishness and laziness; this however, was a far greater confession.
This was the heart of him.
The blurb is here –
When seventeen-year-old Jude Walker confesses to his priest that he's gay, and in fact has an unhealthy attraction to the priest himself, the last thing he expects is compassion. Father Gray surprises him with his understanding and Jude accepts his offer of help in overcoming his condition.
When Sebastian Gray extends an offer of help to a troubled teenager, the last thing he expects is that it is Jude that will save him. Yet Jude steadily breaks through the priest's barriers, bringing him out of his self-imposed exile and into the world.
As the two find surprising parallels between their lives and obsession gives way to affection, both men begin to understand that their love may cost them their souls. Jude stands to lose his family to the truth of his affections, and Sebastian could fail in his original task; saving Jude, no matter what the cost.