Today it's my stop on the blog tour for Vanessa Ronan's debut novel The Last Days of Summer which is published this Thursday.
Vanessa Ronan was born in Houston and in her 28 years has lived in Texas, Mexico, New York, Edinburgh, and Dublin, where she now lives with her Irish husband. Among other things, she has been a dancer, a PA, a barmaid, a literature student, a dance teacher, and now, a writer. Home-schooled by her literature teacher parents, Vanessa began writing as soon as she learned the alphabet. The Last Days of Summer is her first novel.
Goodreads: Vanessa Ronan
After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she's letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.
Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by her new uncle. Jasper says he's all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door...
As a teaser I have a short extract from the opening chapter for you to enjoy.
But this crack is something different altogether. No artist's rendering, just time. Just a mark of how very long he must have been here, the walls decaying around him as he's felt himself decay within them. He isn't a young man any more.
'Jasper Curtis, rise!'
The warden is calling him, standing at the bars with a guard on either side. Sad fat bastard stuck in here with all these killers and madmen and thieves. 'Which one of us do you think is really the lunatic, Warden,' he'd asked the man once, years ago. 'I may be locked in here, but you chose this prison.' His answer had been solitary confinement for a week. it'd been worth the price.
Reluctantly Jasper tears his eyes from the crack. He wishes he'd been there when it first formed, had been able to see the cheap wall split. He rises and walks to the bars, wrists through them, handcuffs clicking on for the last time. Down the hall a button's pressed and the heavy bars slide open. Creak and clink and slam as they do. He meets the warden's eyes. Not defiant. Not aggressive or remorseful or even curious. Just meets them to meet them. Goodbye, girls, he thinks, stepping for the last time from the cell that has been home. The warden looks at him. Cold, dark little eyes, thin and narrowed. He spits a wad of tobacco onto the concrete. In the summer heat the moisture starts to evaporate the moment it lands.
'Should have fried you while we had the chance.' Jasper smiles slightly. Nods. 'Well, Warden, I suppose I'll miss you, too.'