#This&That&TheOtherThing – #BlogBreaks – #GuestDayTuesdays – #Excerpts

Time for a quick catch-up, since I’ve nothing scheduled for today, but do have a few things I’d like to mention. Here goes!


THIS

Just a quick reminder that this week, my blog break day is Friday, so while I might check my email to see if there are urgent things awaiting me, I really won’t be around much too much.


THAT

Just want to remind you again that I’m ready to start scheduling #GuestDayTuesday guest posts for those of you who have something writing-related you’d like to share. I’m flexible on content for this one. Could be a new release or a cover reveal. Could be part of an upcoming blog tour. Could be you’d like to promote one of your books via your blurb and an excerpt. And it could also be something you’d just like to share about the process of writing and publishing. As always, I’ll include your bio, photo, cover, and all Buy Links and Social Media Links, so you’ll get some exposure that way, as well. For complete info, check General Blog Rules and Various Feature Instructions


THE OTHER THING

Another blog feature I plan to resurrect in the weeks ahead is “Excerpt Week,” wherein you are invited to share a favorite excerpt from one of your books, along with all of the Usual Stuff to promote the book.  I will, of necessity, limit the number of posts per day to two, so there will only be 14 spots booked for the week. But if it’s as much fun as it used to be, I will schedule it more often. And to get you in the mood, here’s an excerpt from my 3rd Wake-Robin Ridge book, Harbinger, which deals with the legend of the Black Dog as a harbinger of death. Happy reading!


***

Early June, 1994
North Carolina Mountains

~~~ 

           With a loud whoosh, the doors pulled closed on the big, yellow bus, and it rumbled down the old, two-lane highway, leaving the shrieks and laughter of the last few kids hanging in the muggy air. Sissy Birdwell stood on the dusty berm, waving goodbye to friends she wouldn’t see again until the fall, and watched the bus disappear around the curve.
          Reluctant to start the mile-long hike up the narrow, red clay road toward her home, she kicked aimlessly at some pebbles and twigs. Part of her was happy her mother had finally agreed she was old enough to walk home alone. After all, she was eight years old now, and certainly able to find her way to their house, which waited at the very end of the steep track. Another part of her shivered at the thought of the lonely, winding road ahead, which curved higher and higher through the thick woods, until it reached their clearing near the top of the ridge.
          She would never tell her mama this, but the dark beneath the trees scared her. She was afraid of bears. And coyotes. And snakes. And lots of other things that might want to share the road with her on an early June afternoon. But nobody in the whole Birdwell family would understand that, not even the women. They’d been part of these mountains forever, and she was sure nothing scared them at all.
          Of course, she could wait around for the second bus, then walk home with her brother—but that would be like admitting she was still a baby. No way she’d do that. So she squared her shoulders, and trudged up the drive toward home, refusing to look at the dusty trees and bushes that crowded close on either side. Instead, she pictured the litter of tiny pups their hound had presented them with last week, and tried to guess if any might have opened their eyes today.
          Thinking about cuddling those precious babies with their sweet puppy breath warm on her face made Sissy walk a bit faster, kicking up puffs of reddish dust from the dirt road. As she rounded the first broad curve, she saw a lone figure coming toward her. Even from a distance, the way the sun glinted on his coppery hair told her it was Cadey Hagen, the son of their nearest neighbor, but what he was doing on their drive, she wasn’t sure. The Hagen cabin was a good ways down the eastern slope of the ridge.
          “Hey, Sissy. You just gettin’ home from school?”
          “Hey, Cadey. Yeah. Sorry you missed the last day party.”
          He snorted. “Who needs them ol’ cupcakes, anyway? ‘specially if you gotta eat ‘em in a room full of stupid little kids.”
         “Wasn’t all little kids. All the grades were there, an’ the cupcakes were pretty good, too. Why’d you skip it?”
         He scowled, kicking at the dirt in disgust. “Didn’t skip it. Ol’ Lady Bratton suspended me for the last three days, just cuz she found me smokin’ behind the washroom.”
          “Oh. Didn’t know you got suspended. I heard you were in trouble, though. Only I heard it was because you had you a knife at school, and then you smart-mouthed Miz Bratton when she caught you.”
          “Well, she deserved it, dang ol’ biddy. Was only an ol’ Buck knife. Everybody carries ‘em. It don’t matter none to me, though. She’s the one gonna be sorry.”
          Sissy wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but she’d heard the bigger kids say Cadey was a boy you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of, so she kept quiet.
          Oh, he looked innocent enough, with his gap-toothed grin, freckled face, and jug ears poking out from under a thatch of hair that was more red than blond. He reminded Sissy of Opie Taylor, from the television reruns of the Andy Griffith Show, except older. Maybe twelve. She didn’t really believe he’d hurt anyone. Still, something told her not to ask any questions.
          They talked about school a moment or two, then Cadey made an announcement. “I got a secret. I’d tell you, but you ain’t old enough to trust with it.”
          Of all the things he could have said, implying she was still a little girl was the one guaranteed to get a rise out of Sissy. “Am so old enough! Ain’t nobody can make me tell a secret, Cadey Hagen. Why’re you grinnin’ like that? I wanna know.”
          “Just thinkin’. How old are you, anyway?”
          “I’m eight, an’ I know how to pinkie swear, an’ everything. I ain’t gonna blab your old secret. Probably isn’t all that good, anyway.”
          Now, Cadey was insulted. “Is so. Might be the best secret I ever had. You’d be pretty surprised, I bet.”
         They stood, indignant, in the middle of the dirt road, hands on hips, glaring at each other, then Cadey cocked his head. “What’s your real name, anyway?”
          “Cecelia Ann Birdwell. Why?”
          Cadey looked her up and down. The two of them were a study in contrasts, and Sissy scowled at the boy, as he took in her long black braids, tied with red cotton bows, and her smooth, tan skin, so different from his pale, freckled complexion. Even her tip-tilted black eyes, which clearly showed the Cherokee heritage in her family, contrasted sharply with his bright blue ones. When he finished his inspection, he seemed to have come to a decision.
          “Well, Cecelia Ann Birdwell, do you swear you’ll never tell? Hope to die? Lightnin’ strike you in the eye?”
          She huffed out a breath. “Yes. I swear I won’t tell nobody, hope to die, an’ lightnin’ strikes, an’ all. Now what’s your big ol’ secret?”
          “Come with me, then, an’ I’ll show you.”
          Without a moment’s hesitation, Sissy Birdwell took Cadey Hagen’s outstretched hand, followed him into the woods … and never came out again.


And there you have today’s This & That & The Other Thing
Hope you’ll start thinking about doing a #GuestDayTuesday soon,

and consider some excerpts for an upcoming #ExcerptWeek post, too.
Have a great day!

 

52 thoughts on “#This&That&TheOtherThing – #BlogBreaks – #GuestDayTuesdays – #Excerpts

    • That was my sneaky intention, in case you didn’t figure it out, Priscilla! 😁 So glad it worked, and I hope you’ll enjoy the entire book if you get a chance to read more. Thanks for stopping by! 😀 ❤ And think about being a guest one of these days. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What a great excerpt, Marcia! You’ve captured my interest, and I’m heading to Amazon. I’m so glad you shared this particular section — I need to read more! 💗

    Liked by 3 people

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Gwen, and hope you’ll like the rest of the book, too. (It follows right on the heels of A Boy Named Rabbit.) Crossing my fingers it will pull you in. 😀 ❤ And thanks so much for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Yvette! Thanks for letting me know. And I’ll be glad to feature you on a #GuestDayTuesday when you’re ready. Just email me and we’ll hold a date for you. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Can you say hooked? That was so engaging, Marcia. I read Wake-Robin Ridge, but I have yet to read A Boy Named Rabbit. Are these books stand alones, or do they build off one another?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for being “hooked,” Pete. All of my WRR books would be “understandable” as stand-alones, but not nearly as meaningful as they are if read in order. I highly recommend reading Book 2 next so you better understand just what Rabbit’s been through and why he can do things that not many people can. Plus, his developing relationship with Sarah and Mac is crucial to who he’s becoming, too.

      I can honestly say, Rabbit is hands-down my readers’ favorite character, right from the beginning of his tale onward. Don’t know if this is enough to encourage you to read A Boy Named Rabbit first, but I honestly think you’d enjoy Harbinger more if you did. It’s not that you’d be lost without reading ABNR, but it’s meant to be the next step in Rabbit’s ability to use his gift.

      Whatever you decide, though, I’m happy that the prologue to this one pulled you in, and hope you’ll enjoy it if and when you give it a try! THANKS!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Sorry for the ramblings above. I get even wordier than usual when I’m tired and can’t focus on what I’m trying to say. But I’m pleased to know you plan to give A Boy Named Rabbit a try, and I really hope you enjoy it. I’ll be eager to hear your thoughts! Thanks, Pete! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, Rabbit is an amazing creation and I’m part of his fan club. I loved the first WWR but once Rabbit arrives in the second one there’s a real magic that hooks you in.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan. I’m so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and the This and That, too. 😀 Thanks for taking the time to let me know, and here’s to a great Tewe’s Day! 😀 ❤

      Like

    • Oh, glad your interested has been piqued, Harmony. That’s just what a prologue should do, right? 😉 And thanks for the well wishes, too, my friend. I’ll take those any time! Hope all is going well with you, too. Have a great Tewe’s Day, and big hugs back atcha! 🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Pam, and I’m looking forward to hosting #ExcerptWeek before too much longer, so be thinking of a good one to share! 😀 And I have a whole bunch of those “me” animations from back in the day when I used an email client called Incredimail. So glad I saved them all, as they come in handy now and then, even if my hair color has changed somewhat drastically since then! 😁 Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to sending you an excerpt, Marcia, but now I have a problem – that one of yours has made me want to dig the book out and read it again. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny, it made ME want to do the same thing, Trish.😂

      Do you ever reread any of your own books to see if they still work for you? Once in a while I do, and I see so many things I wish I’d worded differently! This time, I decided I needed to re-connect with Rabbit so I know I’ve not “regressed” him when I get back to Cole, Cole, & Dupree. He’s grown up a lot and learned so much (both about the world and about himself) over the previous 3 books he’s in, and I figured it couldn’t hurt.

      If you DO reread Harbinger, I’ll be interested in your take the 2nd time around. And I’m happy the prologue made you even think about it! Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know! 😊 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that I have some mistakes and formatting issues in my first book that I need to address, but I haven’t read any of them since publication. The way my memory is at the moment I think I’d be surprised at the content! I may well read Harbinger again if I can grab enough time before the Easter holidays kick off!
        I’m so looking forward to meeting Rabbit again!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just posted a brand new random series idea, “Question of the Day,” and it’s on this topic of rereading, Trish. Hope you’ll weigh in on that one when you have a chance. I’m really curious about how many writers do read their own books once in awhile.

          And I’m so glad you love Rabbit so much. I’m halfway through my annual (or so) reread of Harbinger myself, and remembering some little details and personality quirks that I want to be sure I retain in CC&D. Happily, I’m a very fast reader when I can find the time to get TO it. 😀 It helps me immerse myself in Rabbit’s world again before proceeding with the next book.

          Thanks again for all your support and encouragement, my friend. YOU are one of the big reasons I love our blogging community so much! 🤗💖🤗

          Liked by 1 person

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