Oooh–here’s another one that is fresh off the e-printer! Of course by now, o faithful readers, you must realize that I only blog the best–and this sounds like a real winner. Want to find out more? Why, sure you do! Read on:
Kat, a “slightly” psychic sixteen-year-old, begins having disturbingly persistent dreams. Dreams of a yellow scarf – with a seeming life of its own – which taunts her and haunts her every dream. Dreams about Della, a fellow classmate, who to this point has remained all but invisible to any and every one at school. Kat eventually comes to the realization that until she unravels the mystery surrounding that “dagblasted” creepy yellow scarf and this girl she hardly knows, she’ll not have another night’s rest. What Kat soon discovers is that she is the only person in Della’s life (including the girl’s mother and stepfather) who recognizes – or will admit – Della has simply vanished, gone “splitsville”! And Kat is helpless as her life becomes indelibly intertwined with Della’s – so much so, that she will carry the emotional scars for years to come.
Kat is surrounded by an extremely colorful cast of characters. You will meet: long-time friend and recent love interest, Em; Kat’s precocious eight-year-old brother, Gordy; her feisty octogenarian neighbor, Mrs. Harper and a chain smoking waitress named Clovis. All who, for various reasons, join Kat’s desperate quest to help a girl she hardly knows and to find answers to questions that, with any luck, will bring her the peace she seeks – the biggest question on her mind being, “Why me?”
“Remember Della” – which is predominately set in the South during the mid-fifties – is chock full of facts, trivia and slang from that era. While an entertaining read, I believe this book addresses bullying – both physical and emotional – in a fresh and unique way during a time before such issues were “labeled” as unacceptable or problematic.
This sounds intriguingly complex–just the way mysteries should be written. I like that it addresses bullying–it’s about time the light was shone on this problem.
So–anyone for an excerpt? Coming right up!
I HATED THAT despicable clock. I hated the way those two nerve-jangling, damnable bells blasted me so urgently from sleep every morning. I snatched the clock up, shut off the alarm and slammed the offending thing back onto the nightstand. Throwing the covers back and my legs over the side of the bed, I stood unsteadily a moment before aiming my body at the door leading to the hall. Destination—the bathroom. But as my fingers touched the doorknob the clock began its shrill intonations again. Oh dear Lord! That sound, so early in the morning, was the equivalent of fingernails screeeking down a chalkboard. Hadn’t I just turned the dad-blamed thing off? Maybe I jarred the lever into the ‘on’ position when I, perhaps a little too vigorously, delivered the clock back to its pocked resting place.
I retraced my steps and after turning the alarm off, again, placed the clock on the nightstand—a little more gently this time. And for more reasons than one, I moved a wee bit faster for the bedroom door. I reached it a second time and stopped cold—the God-forsaken clock was, once again, clanging for attention! With the strangest mixture of anger, fear and foreboding I walked back, turned the alarm off a third time and buried ‘Baby Ben’ not only under the covers, but both pillows as well. Then I ran back to the door, jerked it open and took off through it.
Instead of the hall outside my bedroom door, I found myself out on the street in front of my house—still dressed in baby doll pajamas and walking toward my bus stop. There wasn’t time to go home and change. The school bus had arrived and it sat idling as a half-dozen students climbed on. I waved and yelled for them to wait, but no one seemed to hear.
Running for the bus wasn’t even an option, for it was suddenly as if my feet and I were slogging through knee-deep mud. I could only watch as the door closed and the bus pulled off without me. Oddly, I felt thoroughly and utterly bereft—as if all my hopes and dreams had taken off with that big yellow bus.
As the bus lumbered down the road something yellow flew out an open window. Even from where I stood I could see it was a scarf—a yellow scarf—lifting, floating and fluttering in the early morning breeze.
My legs came unglued and I began running after that scarf like my life depended upon reaching it before it touched the ground. I caught up to it, but each time I attempted to pluck it from the air a breeze would whisk it away, lifting it just beyond my reach over and over again. I soon began to tire of the game and was about to abandon the chase when the wind picked up and blew the scarf toward me instead of away, pressing it against the lower half of my face. Slowly, almost as if caressing me, the scarf began to move along my skin. It slid over my mouth, under my chin, and down my neck. Snaking round and round my throat, it became longer and longer, tighter and tighter—and I began struggling for air . . .
Oh man–I recognize elements of that dream from those I’ve had myself. No yellow scarves though, thank goodness.
Now that the dream sequence has whet your appetite, I’d like to share where you can pick up this very excellent story:
Ms. Burroughs has also given us a chance to get to know her better:
I was born and raised in the South and to this day reside in South Carolina with my dashing husband, crotchety cat and nimble Jack Russell. My first novel, Remember Della, definitely reflects that Southern upbringing; and like Katherine, my main protagonist, I am also a child of the fifties.
I have enjoyed reading my entire life and relish childhood memories of long, languid summers spent in lawn chairs beneath shady old trees—my best friend and I devouring one library book after another. I hope to be proof of the old adage that everyone has at least one good book in them—but suppose that remains to be seen. You, the reader, will be the judge of that.
Drawing and painting have always been passions of mine, but I had never tried my hand at writing until my mother passed away several years ago. During my grieving process I found that painting was not keeping my mind as busy as I would have liked. Painting allowed me too much time to think. So in an attempt to ease my sadness, I decided to try a new creative outlet. The result was a 24,000 word children’s chapter book (as yet unpublished) and a newfound love—writing! In fact, I am in love with the entire writing process, especially the part where I get to tell really tall tales—and get away with it . . .
I agree–nothing more fun than creating a world outside your won–and then letting others into it.
Keep up with all of Ms. Burroughs’ works – including that “someday” chapter book – at these links:
Thanks for sharing your new book with us, Ms. Burroughs, and all the best to you!