Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Book Excerpt: DANCING BACKWARD IN PARADISE BY VERA JANE COOK






Jane Cook, Author of Dancing Backward in Paradise:  On Tour







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Winner: Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction!  5 Star Clarion ForeWord Review!
Publisher: Musa  (November 16, 2012)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Southern Fiction
Tour Date: April/May, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook,  347 Pages
Life for Grace Place is all about sucking on “meat jerkys” and Lenny Bean, her handsome lover. Grace’s mother has loftier plans for her daughter. She insists that Grace save her money and move to New York City so she can find fame and fortune as an actress.
Grace works as a cleaning lady for wealthy Betty Ann Houseman so she can pool her pennies for the trip north. Betty Ann has a passion for men more pronounced than her overbite, and it isn’t long before she’s parting the sheets for Lenny Bean. But just before Grace leaves Hixson for New York City, she uncovers an insidious plot: the Bean family is trying to steal Betty Ann’s estate.
Grace flees to New York, where she faces her darkest hours. In a world of surprises, Grace truly discovers paradise.


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EXCERPT


     I turned around and there was that lanky Ginny Jo trying to catch up with me. She was breathing real hard and running toward me, finally making it to my side.
     “You sure can walk fast. Where you going?”
     “I’m not going anywhere,” I said. “Well, maybe under the creek. I like it there.”
     “What are you going to do there?”
     “Masturbate. What’s it to you?”
     She laughed. “Oh,” she said. “Can I be of some assistance?”
     “I knew it,” I said. “I’m not queer,” I added.
     “That’s ’cause you don’t know any better, Grace Place.” She laughed and put her arm through mine. “Do you mind?”
     “You lay a hand on me,” I said, “and you’ll be missing a tooth.”
     “You’re a tough one.” She laughed harder. “You don’t scare me but I scare you, don’t I?”
     “What?”
     “You think you might like it.”
     “Go fuck yourself,” I said, but I let her walk with me to the creek ’cause I thought she was kind of bold. I liked that and I hadn’t ever known a queer woman before. I wondered what in the hell she was doing with my brother, but she was just quirky enough to hold my interest.
     While we were walking, she told me all about a girl who lived on Collingswood Street. She had a fake penis. I could go feel it for a buck. I laughed so hard I thought I’d die. “I’d rather put my hand in moose dung than go feel that dumb dyke’s fake penis,” I told her.
     Ginny Jo laughed so hard I thought she was going to split a gut. She didn’t stop laughing until we sat ourselves down by the creek, and I tore open some left over jerkys I had in my back pocket.
     I always loved the sound of a stream. The water ran away and left a song behind, all playful, like it went somewhere special. I followed Miles Canyon Creek once, and I wound up two towns over, but the stream just disappeared and as hard as I looked, I never found its end.
     “Nice here,” Ginny Jo said after gnawing that jerky away to nothing.
     “I come here with my boyfriend to get laid.” I smiled and looked at her playfully.
     “I know you’re straight. Don’t worry, I have a girlfriend.”
     “What the hell you doing with my brother?”
     “We did it once. He was my first experience with a man. Nothing against him, but he was also my last experience with a man, if I can help it. We’re best friends now.”
     “He seems to like you,” I said. “I don’t get it.”
     “No, you don’t, Grace Place. We’re friends and I was curious, thought I should try it at least once, just to say I did.”
     “Come on,” I teased. “What’s my brother into, weird sex? He must be to have screwed you.”
     She laughed and threw her jerky wrapper in the creek. “Your brother is just great. He likes women. He’s a typical guy, you know. He tells me I turn him on because I do it with girls, and just the thought of that makes him so horny he comes in his pants.”
     I laughed. “I knew it. He’s weird.”
     “No, no, he’s not weird, he’s cool, real cool. He’s the only man I really like. I could marry him, I guess, if I had to marry someone. No sex though. It would bore me after a while, but it’s not bad with men. It’s just that women are better.”
     “Wow, you’re strange,” I said.
     “No stranger than you, Grace Place.”
     “I don’t get off on a woman’s tits.”
     “Neither do I. I’m in to asses, nice, tight, little asses…and pretty eyes shaped like almonds, like yours.”
     “God, you’re weird.”
     “Do you know that all pussies are different?”
     “What? Stop talking about pussies, weirdo.”
     “Really, I don’t understand it, but they’re all different. A penis is just a penis, you know, I mean, I guess some are longer and thicker, but a penis is really just a penis. But pussies are shaped differently, and they react differently, and have different smells and colors. Penises just do the same thing over and over again. They go up, they go down.”
     “How many pussies you seen here in Hixson, Ginny Jo?” I giggled.
     “Well, not many here in Hixson, but I spent three weeks in Memphis. There’s lesbians there.”
     “So pussies are like snowflakes?” I laughed harder.
     “Yeah,” she said. “It’s as if God showed favoritism. Everyone thinks because penises stick right up in the air that they’re special, but they’re not. They’re obvious. Now, pussies are these little hidden treasures. We got the better deal, being women.”
     “Lenny Bean has a nice penis. It’s long and lean. Tommy’s is short but thick. I know ’cause I’ve seen him naked.”
     “No big deal, the penis thing.”
     “Ha,” I said, “I like Lenny Bean, and I like his penis too.”
     “You’re retarded, that’s why.”
     “I just ain’t a queer,” I said. “I’m normal.”
     “You’re sexy.”
     “What?” I sat up straight and looked at her. She was lying on her back grinning at me, challenging me.
     “I dare you to kiss me, Grace Place,” she said.
     “What? I’d rather kiss the sow in old man Mooney’s pigpen.”
     “Old man Mooney’s got pigs?”
     “He’s got chickens, a couple of cows, and fourteen or so dogs.”
     “C’mon, Grace, I know you’re dying of curiosity.”
     “All right, I’ll make your day,” I said. “But don’t you ever tell anyone and it don’t mean a damn thing. I wouldn’t even consider kissing you cheating on Lenny Bean, it’s so inconsequential.”
     “You up for a good time, Grace Place?” she asked.
     “Best time you’ll ever have,” I said and I leaned down and kissed her. I put my tongue right in her mouth, and I kissed her long and slow moving all over her like I was sucking a jerky. When I pulled away I noticed that my pants were wet and my heart was pounding.
     “Wow, Grace Place,” she said. “I envy your boyfriend.”
     I smiled and threw back my head. “You ain’t ever going to get anything more than that, Ginny Jo, and don’t you ever call me sexy again, you hear? Only men can call me sexy.”
     “Shit, no,” she said softly, “I won’t ever call you sexy again, sexy, Grace Place. No, never again. Sexy, Grace Place. Oops, sorry, sexy.”

Chapter Ten

     By the time Ginny Jo and I left the creek, we were real friends and we’d talked about a lot of different things. We understood each other. I told her I’d kiss her any old time but the buck stopped there. I never had a real woman friend before. I just never thought any woman could be as much fun as fooling with men, and I didn’t really have much time to sit around talking about all those silly things girls talk about. Then they go kind of stupid on you. I mean, they like you one moment and hate you the next. I remembered that from high school. There was this one girl
that thought I was the living end, and then one day she started snubbing me. She never spoke to me again and I could never figure out why. I asked Ginny Jo about it. I figured she was the expert on weird female behavior.
     “She had a crush on you, Grace.”

     “Nope, she didn’t. I always know when someone has a crush on me.” I grinned and winked at her.

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About Vera Jane Cook:

Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women’s Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.

Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan.
An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She’s Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,

Vera Jane Cook’s Website: http://www.verajanecook.com/
Vera Jane Cook on Twitter: https://twitter.com/verajanecook
Vera Jane Cook on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vera.j.cook
Buy Dancing Backward in Paradise:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

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Dancing Backward in Paradise Web Tour Schedule


Indie Reviews Behind the Scenes Mar 29 Interview- Listen to the Recording
So Many Precious Books Apr 14 Review & Giveaway
Open Book Society Apr  15 Review                                                          
Wall to Wall Books Apr  16 Review                                                           
Sapphyria's Book Reviews Apr 17 Guest Post  & Giveaway
Manic Mama of 2 Apr  18 Review                                                             
Rantin' Ravin' and Reading April 21 Review                                                          
Rantin' Ravin' and Reading April 22 Interview  & Giveaway
Vicky Deal Sharing Aunt                Apr  23 Interview & Giveaway
Being Tillys Mummy Apr 25 Review & Guest Post
Rebecca's Writing Svcs             Apr 28 Guest Post
Networking Witches May 1 Review                                                         
From Isi May 5            Review & Giveaway
Romance & Inspiration May 6 Review                                                   
Room With Books May 8 Review & Giveaway
Margay Leah Justice May 9 Guest Post  & Giveaway       
Carole's Book Corner May 14 Guest Post
Bound 4 Escape                May 26                Review                            

   


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