How about an Excerpt?

September 6, 2013

Hi there!

If you weren’t around earlier in the day, I’m Helen (aka H.B. Pattskyn) and my third novel, Hanging by the Moment was released today—and of course, I’m super excited! All day, I’ll be posting excerpts, talking about some of the behind the scenes stuff, and answering questions—so please don’t be shy. If there’s something you want to know, ask!

Since I already read part of Chapter One (if you missed it, you can check it out here) how about I share a little bit of Chapter Two with you? (Sorry, not recording it this time, the house is far from quiet in the afternoon! I don’t think you want to hear my dog barking or the neighbors mowing their lawn ;-)

AT TEN thirty, Pasha only had twelve bucks in his pocket—and five of that had come from Belinda—so when his lunch-shift partner called to say she’d be late, he told her not to worry about it. Of course she should have been here a half an hour ago, he thought as he hung up the phone. But Amy was always running late. Ivan let it slide because she’d been with them for seven and a half months, which was longer than anyone else except Samara, who was family, and Sharon, who might as well be. All restaurants had a high turnover rate, but Pasha suspected theirs was higher than normal.

The only customers he had when Amy finally showed up at eleven thirty were Art, Jimmy, and Rueben, a trio of older gentlemen who came in every day. The three were at their usual table at the back of the dining room. Jimmy made a big show of looking at his watch. “You’re late,” he told Amy gravely—but the grin on his face made it obvious he was teasing.

Ivan, who was at the counter reading the paper, turned around and scoffed. “So what else is new? She’s gonna be late for her own funeral.” Amy ducked her head apologetically, but Ivan waved it off. “Maybe for Christmas, I buy you alarm clock.” His tone was gruff, but like Jimmy, he was grinning, teasing her.

“I don’t think a new clock will help,” said Jimmy.

“I swear it was the snow,” Amy pleaded, shedding her coat. Underneath it, her uniform—a white blouse and black pants—was a disheveled mess. “It took me almost half an hour to dig my stupid car out.”

“Yeah, but what time did you start digging?” wondered Rueben.

“I plead the fifth,” Amy responded with a grin.

Pasha just chuckled and took Amy’s coat so he could hang it up on the coatrack by the restrooms.

“We’ll take some decaf when you get a second,” Rueben said to no one in particular.

“You got it,” Pasha answered with a smile. What Rueben actually meant was that he would take some decaf. Jimmy and Art never touched the stuff.

Amy leaned back against the counter next to Pasha as he got the pot started. By then she’d pulled her curly red hair pulled into a haphazard ponytail, straightened her blouse, smoothed her slacks, and tied a black apron around her thick waist. The final touches were dark-red lipstick and a pair of big silver earrings in the shape of Buddha heads. She turned to Pasha. “How was your holiday?”

“Good, I guess. Everyone was there.” Almost. “We celebrated Nadia’s birthday. She was born on the twenty-sixth,” he explained.

“That must be fun.” Her tone was ripe with sarcasm.

“Yeah. One year, Mom had put candles in the pumpkin pie.” At the time, Pasha thought it was funny. Now he wondered whether that was his mother’s odd sense of humor or the illness. He shoved his hands into his pockets. “What about you? You do the big family thing?”

“I avoid big family things.”

“Lucky you.”

“Luck has nothing to do with it.”

AT ONE thirty, Pasha had twenty-seven dollars in his pocket and there was still no sign of Daniel. Which means he wasn’t really interested.

He tried not to feel too disappointed. Why should a guy who looked like Daniel be interested in him, anyway? Or maybe he’d read the whole thing wrong and Daniel wasn’t flirting with him at all. Maybe he was just trying to be nice. After all, what were the chances of meeting Prince Charming in the parking lot?

“Pasha!” Ivan hollered from the kitchen.

“Da? What is it?”

“Come cook. I have to go to store.”

Pasha nodded and traded in his black waiter’s apron for a white cook’s apron without complaint. Dad usually left between one and two, either to go home and take a nap or to go to the store, or both. Sometimes Pasha wondered what it would be like to work in a restaurant where they didn’t run out of wheat bread and orange juice halfway through breakfast, or where the owner ran the business instead of running himself ragged. But what choice did Dad have?

For one thing, he could sell the fucking place, Pasha though irritably. But he knew it would never happen. Dad would work himself into an early grave before he admitted it was time to throw in the towel.

As soon as Ivan was out the door, Amy changed the radio station to Doug FM. Their tagline, “we play everything,” was pretty accurate. Adele might be followed by ZZ Top, who might be followed by Sara McLachlan, Lady Gaga, or Taylor Swift. Since the holiday season had officially begun, they were just as likely to play Burl Ives or Bing Crosby. Pasha could do without the latter two. Thankfully, Katy Perry was playing instead.

“Turn it up,” Pasha called to Amy. She was happy to oblige.

Samara poked her head out of the dish room and scowled. “Ivan doesn’t like that station.”

“Well Ivan isn’t here, is he?” Amy quipped back.

Samara turned her glare on Pasha. He ignored her. He liked Katy Perry’s “Firework” and hummed happily along to the upbeat lyrics as he scraped off the grill. He was so engrossed in the music that he barely heard the clatter of the bell over the front door.

“Hi,” he heard Amy say. “Go ahead and have a seat wherever you like.”

“Thanks.”

Pasha’s head jerked up. He knew that voice—but it couldn’t be.

Only it was.

Daniel.

And he looked even better than Pasha remembered.

Remember: Dreamspinner has issued a special coupon code: use it to get 25% off my books as well as all Coming of Age books To use the coupon code, just go shopping as usual and type pattskyn0906 into the promo/coupon code box at checkout. The code is good for 48 hours, starting Friday; remember, DSP operates on Eastern Standard time.

Everyone who comments on any post throughout the day will be entered to win my big Blog Tour prize: a signed copy of Hanging by the Moment and a bag o’ swag.

And just to keep the conversation going…Pasha’s father’s favorite radio station is WJR, Detroit Talk Radio. Pasha’s more partial to Doug FM (and they really do play everything, yesterday in the car, I heard Foreigner’s “Urgent”–from…what the early eighties, I think?–followed by the Rolling Stones (that song about the Devil, I’m not sure what it’s actually called), and then Lady Gaga. Pretty awesome, but kind of like musical whiplash :)

So what about you, what’s your favorite radio station?

4 Responses to “How about an Excerpt?”

  1. Theo says:

    Hmmm, I don’t really have a favorite radio station, but I always listen to one specific radio called SS when I’m working because the radio always broadcasts traffic info and other important info like fire, water maintenance schedule, etc. the music they play are usually top 40, about 10 years ago, LOL

  2. Penumbra says:

    I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t listen to music that much except when I workout at the gym and then I have select playlists I’ve put together for specific workouts.

  3. Carolyn says:

    We have a great local station in town that plays indie and local bands. Sometimes I just get tired of all the stations playing the same artists and the same songs, even when they’re ones I like. Of course, we do have one station in town that has no repeats all day, and plays a mix of anything and everything, but even that sometimes, it’s just the popular music from all the rest of the other years. The station I miss, though, is the one that had the fun 50′s and 60′s songs. I grew up listening to that because of my parents, and that is some great stuff, but that station decided to move to a lot more 70′s with a sprinkling of late 60′s, early 80′s. Yeah, that doesn’t win me over.

    Great little excerpt, by the way, really created a sense of the place and some of the characters.

  4. Emily W. says:

    Well, there’s 4 I primarily alternate between. 107.1, 105.1, 95.1, and 102.7. Though I occasionally listen to religious and oldies stations.

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