Sunday, 2 June 2013

Madeline Sheehan's current project Teaser

Madeline Sheehan is currently working on a short story called "Shades of Pink" which will be released in October to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Research. Here's a little teaser from the book...... I'm already sold!!!!!


Below is an excerpt of a short story I've been working on for "Shades of Pink" (an anthology of short stories) to be published and sold during the month of October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to raise funds for breast cancer research.

I will keep you updated on publishing and availability as the date grows closer.

I'm so honored to be part of this project, as my own mother battled with stage four breast cancer for years and alongside her I had the honor of watching such a strong woman persevere through all the ugliness life was throwing at her and in the end came out a survivor. She's an inspiration, her doctor's call her their miracle patient and she's my inspiration for this story.


To Be Like Her…
By Madeline Sheehan
© Madeline Sheehan Books 2013

Chapter One:
It rained the day my mother died, it rained for the next two days, and it rained the day we buried her in the town cemetery, next to her mother, her father, and her grandmother.

Seated between my father and my fiancĂ©, underneath a large black umbrella, clutching a pink rose, I stared at the dark cherry wood casket before me. Heavy rain drops were pounding the lid, running in rivulets off the sides, while my mother waited to be lowered into the ground, covered with dirt, after which grass and weeds would being to grow over-top her, nature’s way of sealing inside the earth what was no longer meant for this world. And all that would be left of my mother would be her tombstone, a light gray rock, squared and polished to a shine, inscribed with:

Abigail Mary Reed
Daughter, Wife and Mother
1954 – 2013

That’s it. Her name, her positions in life and the years of her birth and death. And that is what the world, the people who had, would never, never meet her, would know her as. A hidden box, a rock with an impersonal inscription, a name without a face…
They might of well have added, “Waitress” and “Cleaning Lady”, that is how utterly impersonal it was and my mother was more than that, so much more.

She’d been a vibrant woman, full of life, full of love, cherished by her family and friends. She’d been a devoted wife, a loving mother and a hard worker who been forced to spend the last six years of her life battling breast cancer. A double mastectomy, Chemotherapy, radiation treatment, you name it, she went through it, determined to beat the disease that had killed both her mother and her grandmother only to lose in the end. But through it all, she’d stayed true to her character, true to her faith in God that she’d win this battle, that she’d be able to chock it up as another life experience that she could add to her long list of hardships that had strengthened her throughout the years…

Born and raised in Harpswell, a small fishing village in mid-coast Maine, population roughly 5,000, my mother was born into the blue collar life of a fisherman’s daughter. She’d never lacked in fish, but she’d seen her share of struggles. There was never enough money for extras, for vacations or extravagant purchases or even for a college education. But my mother had taken what she had and made the best out of it.

As a child she worked alongside her mother, cleaning the summer homes of the wealthy, as a teenager she spent her nights studying or waitressing at the local diner. After graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, a dockworker who would later inherit her father’s fishing and trapping business, and together they pooled enough money to buy a small house on the edge of town. A year later my big brother was born, two years after that, I was born and two years after that, my little sister was born. There were two more pregnancies after my sister’s birth, both ending in miscarriages, the last one, nearly ending her life and forcing her to undergo a full hysterectomy.

Through it all she never once took a break, continued to work at the diner, while being a full time mother until her mother passed and she took over the cleaning business. Until she’d gotten sick herself and been forced to stop working.

Blinking through the rain, I caught eyes with my ex-husband. Soaking wet in his ill-fitting cheaply made suit, standing on the opposite side of the casket, hand in hand with his girlfriend --a woman we’d both went to school with, a woman I used to call a friend—he wasn’t bothering to stand under the light purple umbrella she was holding, and he was staring back at me, his I had never seen before.

I swallowed hard and glanced down, feigning interest in my shoes; four inch patent leather Manolo Blahnik pointy toe pumps. Pumps that had, an hour ago, sunk deep into the muddy ground.
I hadn’t seen him in nearly three years, not since I’d left Harpswell and never returned. Until now.

Like my mother’s childhood, mine had also been full of frugality, pinching pennies and cutting corners. In fact, my life, my sisters life, like most of the townies born and raised in Harpswell, mirrored our mothers, just as my brother had followed in the footsteps of our father, and our grandfathers and their fathers and grandfathers.

My childhood I’d spent in school or cleaning summer homes with my mother and sister and when I turned sixteen I too got a job waitressing at the local diner…

…and I too fell in love with my high school sweetheart who, like my father, and my grandfathers and their fathers, he also worked the docks.

He was a beautiful boy. Tall and broad, short dark brown hair and even darker eyes framed with thick black lashes, leanly muscled, his skin soft, his features youthful and smooth…

We were married the summer after high school. Neither of us with enough money to go to college, we used our saved earnings and purchased a small house in town one block away from my brother and his family. Two years later, after my husband’s father passed away, he quit working the docks and took over his family’s local construction business while I continued to work at the local diner.

…and he grew into a beautiful man. Tall and broad and thickly muscled, with long dark brown hair and even darker eyes framed with thick black lashes. His features matured, hardened… Tiny lines appeared next to his eyes, his hands became rough and calloused, his skin suntanned bronzed, a perpetual five o’clock shadowed frame his face…

Every morning I would wake before sunrise to make him breakfast and see him off, then I would clean the house, shower and dress, make lunch for myself, and pack a bag lunch for him. Before I left I would prepare dinner, shelverefrigerator and then I was off, a quick walk through town toward whatever job my husband was currently working to bring him his lunch. We’d talk while he ate, then he would kiss me goodbye and I was off to work my seven hour shift. By the time I got home, he’d eaten and gone to bed. I would eat quickly, usually in front of the television, then clean up and join him.

Most nights he awoke and we’d make love, then he would fall back asleep, I would read for an hour or so and… Repeat.

Our only reprieve from our monotonous cycle were on Sunday’s, during which we either went to my parents’ house for a family dinner or to his mother’s for the same.

It was a simple life. We lived frugally, we pinched pennies and cut corners, we avoided extravagant purchases and never took vacations and we were generally happy, content and in love.
I thought we had everything we needed, a place to live, food in our bellies and love in our hearts… I thought life was perfect.

Until… Him.

I turned to my right, toward the man who’d, three years ago walked into my perfect life and turned my whole world turned upside down, inside out, leaving it crumbled in pieces at my feet.

***End of Teaser***

Click on the link below to find out more about this project

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