Book Excerpt Just a Curtain

5 Nov


We’re happy to share a snippet from a literary fiction / adventure / coming of age novel entitled “Just a Curtain” with you today. Enjoy the snippet!

Book Excerpt

Naota only shook her head and tears welled up into her eyes again. “No!” and she choked back a rising sob. “I didn’t have shoes on! And everybody else did! I was a freak!” She exploded in a fit of crying that wasn’t letting up too soon.

          Rose clucked and tsked and patted her shoulders. Eliot reached across the table to hold her hands. The kettle whistled and Naota blew her nose again. “I was so embarrassed I couldn’t move. I just froze there; standing like a stupid statue in the lobby with people staring at my bare feet! Oooh! How could I have forgotten that people wear shoes on this planet!?!” and she erupted in sobs again.

          Rose filled cups with hot water and put the tea ball into the kettle. “What did you finally do?”

          Naota took a deep breath. “I ran back upstairs and slammed the door behind me.” She looked up at Eliot, “Then I ripped that outfit off of me and accidentally knocked over a vase on the side table. When it crashed onto the floor… Something in me snapped. I started throwing things on the floor on purpose.”

          “Just things, dear. No real harm done there,” Rose encouraged. “So you spent the whole rest of the afternoon trashing the apartment? Is that the long and the short of it, then?”

          Naota nodded timidly. Eliot offered, “Darling? We can stay wherever you want to stay. It doesn’t have to be in the city… or even on Earth if you wish.”

          Rose put her foot down. “Nonsense! You two most certainly will stay in the city and you will like it!”

          Both her ‘guests’ stared up at her in shock.

          “Listen carefully, I’m only going to say this once,” Rose began, “Grow up!” she poured the hot water out of the cups and began pouring tea for them. “Yes, you are going to have some adjustments to make. Yes, everything isn’t going to be sweet and wonderful every minute of the day. Yes, it’s going to be a strain—on both of you!” and she emphasized the ‘both’ to Naota in particular. “I don’t know what sort of success you are used to achieving with throwing tantrums like this, but I can tell you it’s for little spoiled girls not married women, and certainly NOT proper behavior for a Trustee of the Selena Trust on any planet! And I’ll tell you right this minute that I won’t abide having someone I rather admire acting like a brooding, sulky dog!” Her voice had risen to a pitch neither Eliot nor Naota suspected from MamaMacLaren. It worked.

          Naota looked up to Eliot, “I’m sorry…” She looked up to Rose, “It won’t happen again. Promise.”

          “I know it will!” Rose retorted. “You aren’t going to turn it off like a tap! Behavior like that won’t evaporate because I gave you one dressing down for childishness. It’s going to take a lot of work on your part and it won’t be quick or easy or fun. It will happen again; but…” and she smiled warmly again and the room seemed brighter all of a sudden. “…You are not alone. Eliot here had just as silly a habit of ranting and pouting when he first showed up on my doorstep. Naota, I want you to do something for me.” Rose stood and left the room still talking but loud enough for them to hear her. She went to an actual closet in the hall and came back. “I have been saving these for when I could fit into them again, that probably isn’t going to happen and I might as well face facts. Here…”

          She laid on the table in front of Naota a shimmering colorful shawl and a skirt of the same material. Then she set a pair of dainty slippers on the floor at Naota’s feet that were clearly selected to complement the ensemble. “And here’s a clutch to finish the outfit. Try them on. I want to see them for myself.”

Just a Curtain

Curtain coverTitle: Just a curtain

Author: J.L. Lawson

Genre: Literary Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age

“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group Director

Just A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson’s other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.

Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential—from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.


Author Bio

DSC04684I am a father, a grandfather and a “Came-to-Writing-Professionally-Late-in-Life” kinda guy. After rewarding careers as a Land Planner, Standards Engineer, Technical Writer/Graphic Designer, and as an Educator (High School and College Literature/Composition) I settled down at the laptop and began storytelling for a living. My wife and I live in the Cross-timbers country of North Texas and spend as much time seeing this amazing country, its National Parks and Forests, as we can manage.
My own journey has taken me both far afield and deep within. It is a journey, no doubt, similar in nature to many seekers’ travels who have come before me. However, an unconditional commitment to the work is the trait of only a handful of those who set their aim very high indeed, and then to find a guide who knows the way through this rarely known land, is without question what all others have equally sought. Some gave up the search, some became distracted by the lure of other interests, many became satisfied with the knowledge they had already gleaned from their initial searches. There is, in the end, only so much gold.



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