Sneak Peek: The Beginning (Warning: Contains Spoiler)

As we know, Amazon makes the first 10 percent of a Kindle book, as well as the first pages of a print version (although not nearly so many pages as for the Kindle), available for free reading online. I suspect that is gradually altering writing; I know it’s impacting mine. For given that potential readers get to sample only the beginning of your hard work that could stretch on for several hundred additional complex pages, it seems increasingly important that novels commence with “a bang.”

That said, and as you also may know, I don’t do “gunfire”; but I always seek to grab. Passports opens with an optimistic, pleasant, meeting in a college class, but one also loaded with various signs lots more is gonna happen here from every direction and then some. Frontiers starts with something of a “shocker” that is deliberately meant to lead a Passports reader briefly to think: “Wait. What?”

Now, given the reality its first pages will again be visible online anyway eventually, I thought I’d share the planned beginning to Distances.

Passports (Part 1), Frontiers (Part 2), Distances (upcoming Part 3).
Passports (Part 1), Frontiers (Part 2), Distances (upcoming Part 3).

A word of warning: There is a substantive “spoiler” in this “sneak peek.”

So, to borrow from a television sports reporter who says before revealing a final score for a game that will be broadcast only later on “tape delay,” if you are interested in reading the first two books and have not, and don’t like “spoilers,” CLICK HERE (and I’ll redirect you safely to yesterday’s post). 😉

Whether or not you choose to read on, have a good weekend, wherever you are. 🙂

* * *

Okay, you clicked “Continue reading.” So, you want to know what happens. Here we go.

An important character dies near the end of Frontiers. As a result, Distances commences at a U.S.-style, Roman Catholic wake. At one, the body has already been prepared for burial, is usually dressed smartly, and is available for viewing in the open casket by mourners for one day or two depending on the family’s wishes.

The book’s very first line comes from extroverted “Maria Lombardi” (“Uncle Bill’s” tabloid news producer daughter), whom we’ve heard lots about in the first two books. However, we had not actually met her. Now, we do (and, another warning, there is some foul language in this “peek”):

A sneak peek into "Distances." Click to enlarge.
A sneak peek into “Distances.” Click to enlarge.

A wake was once held in the family house. For generations now, they have been in a funeral home. After the wake finishes, the deceased is moved to a church for the service and afterwards the body is taken away for burial or cremation.

I recall my grandfather‘s funeral procession detouring by my grandparents’ house. The hearse paused outside of it, all of us in following vehicles naturally halting also. I vividly remember my great-aunt (my grandmother’s sister) unexpectedly emerging from the house and holding open the front door.

She had not been at the church. Standing outside, she appeared to be waving the hearse off, but then just as quickly changed her stance and seemed to be beckoning someone to come inside. She then turned around and disappeared into the house and the procession resumed the journey to the cemetery.

Then a mid-teen, I didn’t get what had just happened. My mother explained later on. My great-aunt had wanted to stay behind to bid my grandfather’s earthly remains farewell and welcome his eternal soul into the house.