Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

 

When Leo found a red dollar, his grandmother told him to get rid of it as it looked evil.  Red Dollar is a story about a red dollar bill that many believe has been touched by the devil.  It’s like bad luck money many hate to get and rush to get rid of when they get it because they believe so long as they have it in their possession, they’ll go broke in the worst way.  

Leo, a ex-drug addict owes money to his old dealer, Low-Blow.  In order to rid himself of the debt, Leo takes advantage of his old dealer by setting Low-Blow up to receive the red dollar.  Low-Blow who never heard of the red dollar,  finds his life whirling into a kaleidoscope of weird, awkward happenings, leading him to believe he’s in a sort of twilight zone.  Low Blow learns a whole other meaning to the term, “Money is the route to all evil.”


Excerpt from Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton

Leo did exactly what his mother told him to do. While all the kids were running in the room waiting for the pizza to come, he walked to the door and down the stairs to pay the pizza man. Knowing the guys downstairs who sold drugs robbed him on a regular basis to make up the money he stole from them in the past, he usually kept two batches of money and if he didn’t have it, he would come and go through the back door. But, when he heard his mother say that the money he had was evil money, and he knew all his problems came from those guys getting he and his friends addicted to crack when they were only fifteen years old, he decided to let them rob him of the evil dollar. So, the five dollars he usually kept for them, he swapped for the single dollar bills, including the evil red dollar.

When the pizza man came in the hallway, he quickly opened the door and when one of the guys saw it opened, they ran across the street to snatch Leo. Leo paid the pizza men and set the pizza on the step as he yelled for his nephew who always spied and followed him around to come get the pizza. Then, he came back down and pretended to attempt to close the door just after the pizza guy left. His struggle with the guys was such that any one with common sense would realize he wanted them to come get him.

“Don’t, please, you know my Mama don’t give me more than five dollars for myself.”

Snatching Leo by his shirt, Low-Blow, his ex-dealer, pushed him up against the wall, as two other guys came in and helped pin him to the wall. “You know I’m going to be robbing you for your five dollars for the next twenty five years until you pay me back my three thousand dollars. If it wasn’t for your mother and your cousin, I’d have killed you a long time ago!”

“Ok, let me get you the five dollars,” as Leo tried to go in his pocket.

“Let him go!” his nephew Beady said while standing at the top of the stairs holding the four pizza pies. He was ready to run into the apartment if they came after him. “Mama!  They got Leo again.”

“Mama know what time it is. Take ya butt in the house boy,” Low-Blow said, then he turned back to Leo, “I’ll get the money. I don’t want you holding out on me. ‘Cause if it’s six or even eight dollars, I’m taking it,” as he dug in Leo’s pocket and took out the single dollar bills.

The two guys began to walk out the door, Low-blow walked out the door behind them looking back at Leo with hatred in his eyes, hating drug addicts, even when they became so at his own hand.

After they all left out, Leo fell back against the wall. He looked up at his nephew and said, “He’ll have to do evil to get rid of that dollar and if he keeps it, it’ll drive him so broke, he’ll have to do evil to maintain a pocket full of cash, and he’ll go broke trying. Either way that evil red dollar will take him out my life,” Leo said to his nephew with a smile.

“Yeah, and he foolish enough to see the red dollar and admire it, and keep it for good luck,” he said while shaking his head at him. Both Leo and Beady laughed.

“I’m sorry he’s your father and doesn’t even recognize you anymore,” Leo said to Beady.

“I’m not. If he did recognize me, he’d be teaching me all about the drug game and not raising me proper like Mama. Then I’d be treating you badly instead of praying for you to get well so you can get back to being my uncle.”

 
( Continued... )

© 2012  All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Andrea Clinton.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

 

Purchase Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton
http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dollar-1-ebook/dp/B008U94PLS


About the Author
Previously an English teacher and high school principal, Andrea Clinton is a novelist, poet, essayist, aspiring playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker. She is a Montclair State University graduate with a degree in English, Film, and Journalism and is presently achieving her Master’s in Theatre Studies. Andrea is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People, Inc., whose mission is to help citizens become independent and self-sufficient. She is also Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper; and, is presently working on a biography featuring her uncle, Rock and Roll Hall of famer, George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and the Clinton family.

Struck with Lupus in 2002, Andrea decided that if she were blessed to live, she would publish her countless stories for the world to read. Her first novel is one of five in the first volume of “Life Knows No Bounds” series. Andrea began this chronicle to exhibit to the world and address through fiction, the many directions life leads us in, regardless of which class we belong to. Andrea also set out to express to the world that life isn’t after anyone in particular, it just doesn’t know boundaries.

With the goal of helping people to understand and accept life, Andrea is said to write with that same creative gene and knack that made her uncle George Clinton the musical great that he is. See her many book reviews that support Andrea Clinton as a creative and entertaining great writer on the rise.



Twitter:      http://twitter.com/teaclinton
Blog:           http://around-the-way.blogspot.com
Website:     http://www.AroundTheWayPublishing.com


 




Intimate Conversation with Andrea Clinton


 

Andrea Clinton is the niece of legendary George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic and is presently working on a biography featuring George and the Clinton family; she is a high school English teacher, Novelist, Poet, Essayist, and aspiring Screenwriter/Filmmaker. Andrea is a Montclair State University Graduate who’s achieved a degree in English, Film and Journalism. She’s the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, People Helping People; Editor in Chief of AMISTAD newspaper.

In  June 2011, the first novel in Andrea's "Life Knows No Bounds" series,  "One Who Loves You More" was picked up by a producer to be adapted into a theatrical production. Presently, Andrea is gearing up to put many of her short stories that were published in magazines and newspapers, up on eBooks.

BPM:  Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What impact do you want your book to make on the readers?
What drives me is my passion for story telling and entertaining the readers or listeners (I've been summoned to randomly make up and tell stories). I write to enlighten or to pull the readers coat tail to an issue or subject matter.

I pray the impact that my books has on readers is that: The upper class begin to learn and are introduced to the other classes and what they live and experience, why they make the decisions they make, etc.  and that the middle class learn to not look down their noses at the poor or lower class, but have a respect for their struggle and to recognize that they are being played in the game as well, and to not revere the upper class so much, as their problems are as great as their money; and for the lower class to reach for the stars by obtaining KNOW-HOW,  and work hard to maintain that sense of  "down-to-earthness" we posses that the other classes wish they had and seek but can't find because of the airs they put on and their ongoing evil to maintain what they have.  I want to show the poor or lowered class that we
really aren't missing as much as we believe, and we're much happier than we think.

BPM:  Introduce us to your latest full length novel, A Blessing and a Curse.
In "A Blessing and a Curse" Malika has the life every woman wants, a hardworking husband who makes it happen financially; kids, both adopted as well as biological; her career as an artist with partners who own an art gallery; nice house, nice neighbors and the gift of foresight. Malika couldn't ask for much more, until her gift of sight and infrequent ability to read minds opened her up to her husband's disgust, followed by his uncaring desire to leave her. She can't figure it out, what has gone wrong? But a well needed vacation helps her find her worth but to what detrimental end?

BPM:  What sets A Blessing and a Curse apart from other books in the same genre?
The use of the abnormal, the gift of foresight is what separates this novel from others in the genre. I like using all the devices and qualities, etc., from various genres. I don’t want to be put in a box or be so confined that I don’t explore other ideas because they are ingredients for other genres.

I made sure that nothing about the use of the main character’s gift of foresight was scary. Instead, you get to look inside the mind and goings-on of a person who can see the future. Also, although you may not be able to relate to her blessing of seeing into the future, you will be able to relate to the issues that bombard her and her family. Lastly, I made sure to give the readers a few twists and turns in the read, a sort of, “Just when you thought it was all good….”

BPM: Tell us about your new e-short Red Dollar. What inspired this story?
Red Dollar is a story about a red dollar that many believe has been touched by the devil. It’s like bad luck money many hate to get and rush to get rid of when they get it because they believe so long as they have it in their possession, they’ll go broke in the worst way. An ex drug addict owes money to his old dealer and to rid himself of the debt and them taking advantage of him, he sets him, Low-Blow, up to receive the red dollar. Low-Blow who never heard of the red dollar, finds his life whirling into a kaleidoscope of weird, awkward happenings, leading him to believe he’s in a sort of twilight zone.

BPM:  Did you put a lot of time into thinking about Red Dollar or was this something within that was ready to go?
Have you ever seen on a movie, a 3D movie, like, “Inception,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, where something broke into a bunch of pieces, and then they all do like, a rewind and come back together as a whole? Well, once I thought about a world of people all dodging or loathing this red dollar, all the pieces of the story had surfaced and were surrounding me while I stood on line in the store. It was as if they’d been there, floating mid air, and finally, at the sight of the red dollar, the cashier’s awkward reception of the red dollar and so forth, something clicked, and when it did, each of those floating pieces circled and enclosed me. I snatched out my cell phone and began emailing the story idea to myself. Then, I raced to my car to pack my bags inside, and continued laying out the blueprint of this story via email from my phone.
 
Thirty minutes in, I emailed it to myself, raced home and while my son put up the groceries, I ran to my laptop and began filling in the gaps and within 24 hours, 90% or more of the story was written. Prior to seeing the red dollar, I just wanted to go home and eat breakfast. After seeing the red dollar, I swear, it’s as if the pieces of the story were there and had gotten permission for take off, and gravitated together to form the short story, Red Dollar.

BPM:  What would you like your readers to take away from Red Dollar?
Basically that we get what our hands call for. If you live hard, life will be hard and hardships will come to you in many ways. In my 2nd novel, A Blessing and a Curse, I named a chapter title, “How we Live is How we Cry” and I want readers to understand and accept this. If you live right, are doing good, when you cry, it will be good, happy cries. But if not, you will receive the adverse affect and it won’t be pleasant; and, you will feel the pain, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc., believe me. Life is for living, but living right, not foul. If we don’t change our ways, we will feel the fire here and in the hereafter. Also, we shouldn’t run from change and reform, it’s necessary throughout life. I’m still finding out that changing for the better never stops, it’s ongoing.
 
BPM:  Will there be a sequel to “Red Dollar”?
I’ve let five people read it and all five said, “That book is an intro to a full length, thriller based novel. Since they are avid readers, I have to consider that. But, thrillers are a serious thing. You are forever chasing the thrill, enhancing it, trying to top it with another, making sure it goes over as such and is exciting and captivating, and so on. So, I have my work cut out for me. Yes, I think it’s safe to say, Red Dollar will continue on, maybe via many shorts about it’s so called evil and impression upon numerous character’s lives.

BPM: How do you view the past 20 years of Black literature?
We have made a remarkable impact in literature: you see more African American authors published by traditional publishers or starting their own publishing companies; Urban Lit has kicked down the door, so to speak, with African Americans monetarily showing and proving Urban Lit.'s worth as well as setting the tone and the schematics of what the genre is about, contains, etc.; and much of our contributions are revealing our relevance in the industry and that we do have a voice and a huge audience.

I'm noticing other impacts we've made in Romance, Horror and other genres, where it is being accepted by publishers that the writing might be a little different in the African American's world. I believe book clubs and avid readers of all races, etc. are showing via sales that African Americans DO read and that we love a good book like the rest--African American authors are exhibiting we have what it takes to make it happen in the industry and that we too play a vital role in publishing good and great books as well as contributing to great sales .

BPM: Where do you think Black literature is headed? Will ebooks change the direction?
Black literature is headed for greatness. I believe we are opening up the eyes of publishers and readers of various races and with books like, "The Color Purple," and many others, we're showing there is just as much interesting drama, mystery, etc. in African American books as it is in any other. I believe finally, you'll begin to see more African American authors published by traditional publishers and respectfully with publishing contracts that are comparable to that of great non African American publishers.

eBooks, yes, they are changing some things but much like the Internet, but things will remain a little scattered before they are put into a perspective that is great for the author as well as the publisher and/or eBook company/service. Presently, a book sold for $.99 only offers the publisher 35% (35cents) per sale, with approximately 25% of the 35 cent going to the author. So, the publishing companies aren't seeing much from the sales, nor is the author. This is one of the first issues that will be rectified as publishers have to deal with overhead and more. Authors at some point may not feel it's worth it, which may become an issue for publishers and the eBook companies (and Print on Demand).

So, before it's all said and done, big publishers being the survivors that they are, will form a sort of union or meeting of the minds and will put pricing into a better perspective that will find favor on all involved. Unfortunately, I don't think the small publishers will have an impact unless they all band together and produce a united front. But, I'm no sure how soon that will happen.

BPM:  Looking back over the past 20 years of Black literature, what have you observed?
Wow!  I've observed so many changes. With people in general now able to easily become authors and self publish due to digital printing being more affordable, along with a few other things, I've seen more African American authors than ever. However, I've noticed just as many authors leave authoring. After writing, paying for editing, layout, book cover, printing, selling, placing books on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, etc. and then committing to book tours, these authors soon retire. With the industry changing in technology, pricing, and an antiquated industry totally flipping the script, nothing is settled and there are more innovations on the rise, changing the publishing industry every day. This is hard on the new self-published author. Whether or not this trend I've noticed will continue remains to be seen, but I believe we all learn to respect publishing and authoring books after the experience.

BPM:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...
Realness with an understanding that: Our upbringing/what and how we're taught, our environment, innate qualities that we get thru genetics or are God given, instincts and drives such as Self-preservation and Desires all play a role in how we turn out, how we think and the decisions we make. We have to look at all of these things and decide who we will be, hopefully enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.

 

Purchase Red Dollar by Andrea Clinton
http://www.amazon.com/Red-Dollar-1-ebook/dp/B008U94PLS


Purchase A Blessing and a Curse by Andrea Clinton
Andrea Clinton Website:   www.AroundTheWayPublishing.com 
A Blessing and a Curse Paperback:  
www.Amazon.com/shops/cupcakestatus


 



A Blessing and A Curse
by Andrea Clinton

In "A Blessing and A Curse" Malika has the life every woman wants, a hard working husband who makes it happen financially; kids, both adopted as well as biological; her career as an artist with partners who own an art gallery; nice house, nice neighbors and the gift of foresight.  Malika couldn't ask for much more, until her gift of sight and infrequent ability to read minds opened her up to her husband's disgust, followed by his uncaring desire to leave her. She can't figure it out, what has gone wrong? But a well needed vacation helps her find her worth but to what detrimental end?

Malika finds a different type of groove in her story,  A Blessing and A Curse.


INTRODUCTION:   A Blessing and A Curse

Ghetto Embarrassing



“Lottie, li’l girl, how you expect him to want you when you ghetto embarrassing? Who would want you? Even a jailhouse, ghetto Negro as ignant as they come wouldn’t want you,” Malika said, as she stood outside her garage, with one foot in the garage and one on the edge of the driveway pavement, just under the raised garage door, looking around the floor and garage shelves.

“Malika, what you think you and ya family betta’ than me?!” Lottie said, pacing around the driveway like a maniac.

“I don’t think nothing,” Malika answered, as she glanced around, looking for one of her husband's cigars he usually leaves lying around. She was already stressed, but Lottie was so caught up in her own moment she didn’t notice.

“Oh, you think you know y’all betta’ than me? Huh!?”

“Call it what you want. But you running ‘round here, yelling and telling people all over town that you pregnant by Ba’sim and that he betta’ own up to it. You don’t care how you look to people and what makes it worse, ya' loud!”

“Move out, li’l girl! ‘Cause you ain’t seen loud yet!”

“I’m a grown woman—'bout time you act like you know, Lottie!”

“To hell wit’ you, b—ch! Who you? I ain’t gotta do nuttin’!”

“I ain’t gon’ be too many of ya b—ches,” Malika warned Lottie, spotting a cigar her husband must have hidden in the garage.

“Screw you, Malika! I don’t care how old you are. You can get served like the best of them.”

“For a young girl with a belly, you sure pop off at the mouth a lot,” Malika said as she picked up the cigar, blowing the dust off.

“My mouth! So, what?”

“Ya need to mind ya manners and get out my yard,” Malika said as she put the cigar in her mouth while looking around for a light.

“I ain’t gotta mind my manners fa' you, b—ch! You ain’t gonna do nothin’!”

“I done told you now; you ain’t got too many more times—” Malika warned, lighting the cigar.

“Or what? You wasn’t talking all that when my cousin Day’sia was here.”

“Ya cousin Day’sia wasn’t popping off at the mouth. And you the one make somebody wanna choke you, not Day’sia,” Malika replied, taking a puff while lighting the cigar.

“Hell, you wasn’t popping off at me, either! Scary ass trying to act like you all tough. I’m over here almost e’ry day cussin’ yo’ so-called son out and you don’t do nothing but pull his dumb ass in the house! What? ‘Cause you got a semi reputation from 20 years ago for beating up one ho? B—ch, please! You ain’t do nothing all them days I was ‘round here tearing the roof off the mutha’ and you ain’t gon’ do nothing now!”

“Or maybe you just didn’t come ‘round on a good day—like today. Today a good day; just had my husband, Hooch tell me we ain’t workin’ out, just had my son tell me what I believed most of my life to be a gift is really a curse, kids want us to be a family—husband wanna go. Oh, yeah," agitated, "you popping off on a good day,” Malika said, puffing the cigar and then shaking the ashes like she’s crazy, eyes bugged.

“Look, look, look, I don’t wanna hear ya damn problems and I’m tired of smellin’ ya drunk-ass cigar! Tell ya fake ass son I said ta come out here! Now, b—ch!” Lottie demanded, as she slapped her flat sandal against the pavement in the garage driveway for emphasis of her anger.

Malika lunged at Lottie’s throat. Lottie was startled out of her skin when Malika snatched her by the neck with both hands, cigar in mouth and one eye closed, making her look like a crazed, one-eyed pirate.

“Didn’t I tell ya young ass I wasn’t gonna be too many more of ya b—ches!” Still choking Lottie, she yelled, “didn’t I tell ya trouble making, stupid, ignant-ass today was a good day!” She was shaking Lottie’s neck and Lottie, helpless and in pain, was looking in shock as her oxygen began to close off. Just then, Malika’s adopted son, Ba’sim, came running out with her husband trailing behind.

“Ma! Ma! Let her go,” Ba’sim smirking, as he tried not to laugh, had finally reached them.

“Malika, girl, you crazy! Let the girl go!” Malika’s husband, Hooch, yelled out to her.

“Ma,” Ba’sim was finally pulling her off. “What are you doing?” He asked, standing between Malika and Lottie.

“I’ma kill ’er! Young skank got a lotta mouth! I told her to scat! I told you today was a good day didn’t I, skank!” Malika yelled, angered, “Didn’t I!?”

Lottie, now rubbing her throat and coughing, squeaked “Yeah, but you didn’t do that when Day’sia was here!” She was starting to cry, but trying to keep it together.


( Continued... )

© 2011  All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Andrea Clinton.  This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.



Purchase copies of  A Blessing and A Curse
ISBN-10: 0981837646
ISBN-13: 978-0981837642
Order books:  
http://www.aroundthewaypublishing.com

 

 



 

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