Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

THE STREET SINGER
8/2/2019 1:00:00 AM by: KATHLEEN NEELY

PLEASE WELCOME

KATHLEEN NEELY

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

The Street Singer is the first of three stand-alone novels that I have launched this year. I’m happy to have the opportunity to share this story of a friendship that crosses generational and ethnic lines. I hope you enjoy reading the excerpt and viewing the book trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE48R-IGzwY .

AN EXCERPT FROM The Street Singer

Adda sat on the mattress to catch her breath before lifting the lid off of the remembering box. It was the fullest. There was a lot more to remember than there was to eat. Some of the rememberings were good. But mostly it was hard.

Adda picked up a photograph of her family. She never questioned where they got it, or how they had afforded such a fine picture. It was black and white with a white border around the whole thing. Little curvy cuts made up the white paper frame. There were her mama and daddy, standing straight in the middle, all nine of their children surrounding them, everyone smiling for the picture.

She started with the one on her left because that was the way she was told to read—left to right. Leila, Jamal, and Rosa were first, next to Mama. Then Daddy was standing with Berta, Kande, Kioni, and Luther, beside him. Adda and Minny were in front of Mama and Daddy. They were the littlest. Adda figured she must have been around four years old, and Minny just a tad younger.

Adda looked beyond the people and saw her growing-up home. There was that old house with the two windows that always stayed open, trying to get some air inside those three rooms. The front porch had big rocks pushed under the corner poles to keep it level. Adda remembered the time Luther slithered under that porch, hiding when he was a’feared that Daddy was gonna whoop him. Didn’t take Daddy no time to find him cause that dry old dust started Luther coughing. Daddy whooped him, once for disobeying and twice for hiding.

The big pole furthest from the door had the clothesline attached. Then it stretched out to a big old Elm tree. There were no clothes hanging on it, which was a strange sight. Adda never remembered the clothesline being empty.

She placed the picture face down and pulled out a frayed piece of fabric, no bigger than a hand towel. The floral pattern was faded beyond recognition, but Adda saw it clearly. She had those tiny pink roses burned in her mind, their green swirly stems all sewed with hand stitches. Mama had sewn the blanket when Berta was a little child, but when she tried to hand it on down, Berta threw a fit. Adda kept sneaking to use it, and Berta would snatch it back. That was about the finest thing inside that little old rough wood building. Adda held the scrap to her face and brushed its softness against her cheek. Mama. Why didn’t you help me?

ABOUT THE STREET SINGER

Trisha Mills is in her final year of law school. She’s planning her wedding and is cleaning out the home of her deceased grandparents—the home she grew up in after her parents were tragically killed. With no siblings, she is alone in the world, except for her finance, Grant Ramsey. His family is privileged and in the political limelight. As Trisha sorts through her grandparents’ clutter, old phonograph records bring poignant memories of her Pap. They loved the music of Adaline, a famous artist of his generation. Through a friend who is helping her, she learns that Adaline is now a street singer in the town of Asheville, NC, close to where she lives. Trisha goes to hear her, bringing back fond memories of her grandfather. But what would cause this Grammy nominee to fall so far from fame that she sings on a street corner for donations? Trisha longs to know.

She discovers that Adaline, who now uses her real name, Adda Marsh, has a box labeled, Things to Remember. Trisha’s certain that the box will tell the story. Adda agrees to show her the contents, one item at a time. Trisha learns that Adda has been cheated by the record company. She convinces her to seek retribution with the help of Rusty Bergstrom, an attorney who will represent her pro bono. The unlikely friendship between Trisha and Adda crosses racial and generational lines but fills a void in Trisha’s life. They’ve both known pain, loneliness, and heartache. But does a street singer, racially and socially different, fit into the plans of Trisha’s prominent fiancé? Trisha finds herself comparing her new attorney with Grant Ramsey. 

ABOUT KATHLEEN NEELY

Kathleen Neely is the author of The Street Singer, Beauty for Ashes, and The Least of These.  She is a former elementary teacher. Following her years in the classroom, she moved into administration, serving as an elementary principal. Kathleen is an alumnus of Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and Regent University in Virginia. 

Among her writing accomplishments, Kathleen won second place in a short story contest through ACFW-VA for her short story “The Missing Piece” and an honorable mention for her story “The Dance”. Both were published in a Christmas anthology. Her novel, The Least of These, was awarded first place in the 2015 Fresh Voices contest through Almost an Author. She has numerous devotions published through Christian Devotions. She continues to speak to students about writing. Kathleen is a member of Association of Christian Fiction Writers.

She resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, two cats, and one dog. She enjoys time with family, visiting her two grandsons, traveling, and reading.

Website – www.KathleenNeely.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/kathy.neely.98

Twitter - https://twitter.com/NeelyKneely3628

You can order your copy of The Street Singer at: Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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