I started writing poetry in elementary school. One of my best friends and I sat across from each other and exchanged poems always keeping lookout for the teacher. By my high school years, I delved into fiction and published several short stories in “The Ridgewood Eagle”- our school newspaper. I loved the competition with Gary, one of my best friends who wrote short mysteries with surprise endings – or so he thought!
As a teacher, I wrote numerous essays and hoped to get back to fiction… someday. In 2015, I entered the Hammond Regional Arts Contest and won second place for my short story, A Sudden Reprieve, about a family in crisis, rescued by their teenage daughter. I was hooked.
I didn’t anticipate writing a novel, but when my daughter read my short story, Red Shadow, she commented that it seemed like the beginning of a novel. I thought, “Why not?” CC’s Road Home is a result of that conversation.
Reading other authors remains my favorite pastime. My current favorite authors are Shannon Thompson, Jandy Nelson, and Harlan Coben (I know, very different, but I love his novels.)
Here’s the opening from the short story mentioned above. Email me on my home page for a copy of this story. I’ll be happy to send it to you as an attachment to your email address.
A Sudden Reprieve excerpt by Leah B. Eskine
Bert rounded the corner and there it was. After all these years his house still looked the same. It was so old when he and India bought it, there was not very much you could do to change the thing. They never planned on staying here. It was supposed to be a stopover until they got their feet on the ground, but they were still living in this rickety place on the bayou.
God, I wish I had never set eyes on this old place. Bert couldn’t help thinking about it as he drove slowly up the gravel driveway. I wanted to take off in the Caddy and live in a tent. India was for that too but then we had a kid. That changed everything.
Maggie was born eleven months after they moved in. He never said it out loud but for him Maggie was the one great thing to happen here.
Maggie. How on Earth did India come up with a name like Margaret? She insisted so Bert countered with “OK, so long as we call her Maggie around the house.” So Maggie it was and still is. Everyone called her Maggie. He gave up calling her ‘Magpie’ when she turned six. Suddenly she was reading and drawing all the time and wasn’t the same talkative little girl. Pulling up to the shed at the rear of the house he parked and sat for a minute. He silently congratulated himself for not stopping on the way home and having a few beers. That oughta’make her happy, he thought. If anything makes her happy about me anymore.
Below is an excerpt from Chapter 1 where CC meets up with Bad Boy Eric for the first time.
CC felt her jaw drop. She couldn’t believe she was in the middle of this. They must think she is a silly kid and that thought that made her mad. Furious! She felt her face getting red and her heart thumping so loud she thought she could hear it. She put her arms at her side so they wouldn’t notice her fists were clamped shut. But no matter how hard she tried to hide her feelings Tall Lean boy was staring right through her. He had her number and his sneer proved it.
For the first time this summer, she was mad at somebody besides Mama.