Thursday, October 28, 2010

"It's Not Worth It" (Sneak Peek: Chapter 1)


Copyright © 2010
All rights reserved to Botta Bing.
ISBN 978-0-557-68213-3


Chapter 1:

“I know, I know,” I replied as I listened to my mother ramble on about how I had to make better decisions. Lately it seemed like having this conversation with my mom had become routine. I might have been able to recite word for word the things my mother was saying right now, “Cameron, you cannot keep heading the way you’re heading. Nothing good will come of it. I know from experience, and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. You are beautiful, young, and much smarter than the situations you put yourself in. I’m telling you this because I love you sweetheart, and I just pray that one day you will understand…hopefully before it’s too late.”
My 35 year old mother Lanett spoke with so much passion. I knew she meant well, but something in me was changing and I couldn’t stop it. My mother gave birth to me when she was 15 years old, and raised me with the help of my grandparents. My father’s name was Camden Lox, which is how I got my name; he was 17 at the time. I’ve been told that he came around every once in awhile back then, but I don’t remember him. He was killed at the age of 19 in a drive-by shooting. He left my mother and me everything he owned which was only $10,000, some jewelry, and his Honda Civic, but at least it showed he cared.
My grandparents never liked him, they say he distracted my mother too much from her school work and influenced her to do things that she shouldn’t have been doing. I’m sure my mother can understand where they were coming from now, since having me at 15 prevented her from graduating high school. She often wonders what her life would be like if she would have made better choices and went to college the way my grandparents always wished she would. She always assures me though, that having a daughter to care for gave her the drive she needed to turn her life around. She doesn’t regret having me, but she sees me as a blessing and a symbol of the changes she needed to make. She told me that if it weren’t for me she would have most likely been with my father the night he was killed.
Despite the many mistakes she made my mother was able to turn her passion for cooking into her very own catering business, Lanett’s Catering, which is one of the most popular catering companies in the Detroit, MI area. Her business is growing every day and I am really proud of my mother for making something of herself and for providing a comfortable life for me growing up.
I wanted to take my mother’s advice and stop what I was doing while I was ahead. For some reason though, I enjoyed how I was changing, and I gained a certain satisfaction from living on the edge. I was 20 years old, and I was still trying to figure life out for myself. My mom had just bailed me out of jail for a street fight outside of one of my friend’s party. We were in the car on the way home as my mother continued, “I’m just really worried Cameron. I want you to have fun and enjoy your youth but in the right ways. I don’t want to expect that every time you’re out, you will end up fighting, in jail, or dead for heaven’s sake! This is not the way to live. Don’t you understand that people are always going to be jealous of you? You can’t fight everyone who is; sometimes you have to remove yourself from a situation before it even comes to that. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it means that you are a mature adult who makes smart decisions before it leads to dangerous situations.”
I just nodded my head as I held the ice-pack Lanett brought me to my swollen lip. My head was spinning from my hangover, and at this point I did wish I would have handled the situation differently. I had a date tonight and my hair was a mess, my lip was swollen, nails broken, and blood stains covered my orange polo shirt. I just couldn’t wait to get home, take a nice long shower, and lay down to get some rest.
This was the fourth fight my friends and I had gotten into in the last 3 months, all because of one small altercation that kept escalating. This was the first time it landed us in jail. We really were too old for this, but this was the price that came with popularity among the most wanted men in the city. We were V.I.P at every party, the best dressed in any crowd, the best looking to any man who wasn’t blind, and the desire of every girl’s boyfriend or baby’s daddy. We knew it, they knew it, we flaunted it, and they hated it. My three best friends Janessa, Tamela, Marcie, and I loved the way the girls envied us, and all the attention we got from men. We were like celebrities in our city. We were living in the fast lane; the problem was there were plenty of envious girls who would stop at nothing to knock us off our pedestal. I could stop at anytime, you know, stop partying in the midst of all my enemies, stop stealing boyfriends, and start listening to my mother’s advice. I just couldn’t stop though; I was enjoying myself too much. It was crazy how much power I had simply for looking like this.
I am a spitting image of my mother, and everything that she lacks I must have gained from my father’s side of the family. I have the same flawless light caramel complexion, thick jet black hair that stops just before my waistline, noticeably brown eyes, and shapely lips. Lanett is a small woman though, only 5’2 and very petite. I’m 5’6 with more curves than her. My 38 C sized breasts sit up perfectly in my clothes, and my waistline is small enough to be measured with child sized shoe strings, which accentuates how round and fat my ass is, and the perfect thickness of my thighs and hips. Yes, I was every man’s fantasy. I put myself over any video vixen because I was born this way; I didn’t need the airbrush, the implants, or the make-up.
When we finally pulled up in front of our home, I slowly removed my sore body from my mother’s Lexus truck and followed her to the door. She unlocked the door and I was happy to be home, it was spotless as usual and smelled of cherry blossoms.
“Go upstairs clean yourself up, and lay down. I’ll bring you up some aspirin in a minute.” Lanett told me with genuine motherly concern.
“Ok mama and I really am sorry that you had to come down there and get me. I heard everything that you were saying to me, and I know I have a lot of thinking to do. I have to start behaving like an adult.” I said, trying to put my mother at ease. I could tell she was happy to hear that, when I saw the muscles in her face relax a little, and turn into a warm smile.
“I’m glad you realize that baby. Now go ahead and get cleaned up.”
I turned to continue walking up the stairs wondering if I really could change while I had the chance. I wanted to, for my mother and for my own well-being but this life was addictive and I didn’t know how to pull myself away from it.
After my shower, I lay in my bed wrapped in a robe and towel around my freshly washed hair. I felt a lot better, but my head was still hurting and I discovered a few new scratches on my body from the sting of the soap during my shower. I got up to look in the mirror at my lip. “Jealous bitches!” I said aloud, looking at the small wound on the corner of my bottom lip. Just then my mother walked in with a glass of water and aspirin just as she said she would.
“Here, take this.” She said handing them to me, so I did. After I swallowed the pill she gently raised my chin to take a better look at my lip. “Well, at least the swelling is going down. Keep some ice on that.” Then she closed my door, leaving me alone in my room.
I found my cell phone in the pocket of the vest I’d worn over my polo to the party. I put it on the charger and hit the power button, only to receive 10 voicemail alerts, and 15 text messages. They were mostly from Janessa, Marcie, and Tamela and some of the texts were from the guy I was supposed to be having a date with tonight, but I planned on cancelling. I listened to a message from Marcie. “Hey Cammy, just calling to let you know I made it home and making sure Lanett didn’t kill you. Call me when you get this. Bye.” The next message was from Tamela, “Ay dios mio chica,” she said in her spicy Puerto Rican accent, “call me as soon as you get this! Ok? My mom is so pissed at me, ugh!” Then there was Janessa “Cammy girl, you need to call me back A.S.A.P! I knew I should have waited with you until you made bail. Since Lanett was catering that big wedding I knew it would take awhile for you to reach her. Call me back. And oh yea…we beat they asses! It was so worth it.” I laughed; you could always count on Nessa not to learn anything from her actions.
I love my best friends, whom most of the time I call my sisters. Being an only child can be pretty boring, so my mom always allowed my friends to hang out at my house, or for me to visit with them. We all graduated from the same schools and are inseparable. We come as a package deal, with one comes the others. Sometimes we argue of course, because we’re girls, but I really view these girls as my sisters that I can rely on for anything.
We’ve been through just about everything together and that is what makes us even closer. Together we got through the death of Marcie’s older brother Marcel, the abuse of Tamela’s mother’s boyfriends, and Janessa’s mother putting her out of their home. We all had our problems but we always helped each other to overcome them. Janessa had to stay with me and my mom when her alcoholic mother kept putting her out on the street. She worked for my mother until she graduated and now she is a manager at a local cell-phone store and makes enough money to live in her own apartment with her little sister, Bethany, as her roommate.
Janessa is 21 years old and has basically taken care of herself and her 16 year old sister all her life. She is beautiful. Her dark chocolate skin is smooth and pretty. Any man who has ever preferred lighter skinned women surely changes his mind when he sees Janessa. She has the longest natural eyelashes I have ever seen, which really compliments her mysterious, lemon shaped eyes. You could get lost in those things. She has a slim, yet very shapely build standing at about 5’4. She looks good in anything she wears, unlike me who has to get things tailored to fit my body proportions. She wears her hair in a layered bob-cut; it’s short in the back and longer in the front. It really matches everything about who Janessa is; I haven’t seen anybody rock the hairstyle better.
Marcie is the one with the wild sense of style. She is always putting her own twist on whatever she wears. It always looks amazing on her, but there probably isn’t anyone else who can pull it off. Marcie is 20 as well, and the redbone out of the crew. Her light yellow complexion automatically gets attention, but her deep gray eyes are what locks the attention in. She is only about 5’1 with a ridiculous body, I’m talkin’ about the curviest I have ever seen anyone who was so short. She has very shapely bowlegs with big calves and tiny feet. She has perfect teeth, and she always has her hair done in some sort of new up do like a bun, a ponytail, or some other creation of hers.
Finally there’s my girl Tamela. She is like a Puerto Rican goddess. She speaks Spanish fluently and charms a lot of guys with her sexy Latin accent. Tamela is the baby at just 19. She’s just a shade lighter than me with a golden tint to her complexion. She is about 5’5 with dimples and reddish brown wavy hair that just passes her bra strap. Tammy and I, we seemed to be the most alike personality wise. Tamela has a nice shape too, similar to Janessa’s. The only thing is her chest is a little smaller. They’re always stealing each other’s clothes because they wear just about the same size everything.
I love my girls. Without them, my life would be dull. Or would it change for the better? We all needed to slow our role, or a rude awakening would definitely slow us down the hard way. This wasn’t just any territory we were claiming as queens; this was Detroit, the home of thousands of cutthroat females who wouldn’t let anyone cross them the wrong way. We could only keep our title until someone took it away or until we chose to give it up. Only time would tell what choice we would make.

39 comments:

  1. Wow, very good job with describing the characters. I am proud of you and I don't even know you! I can't wait for your book to come out. I want to buy it!

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  2. Thank you so much! That really means a lot! ^_^

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  3. that was hecka good i need more hun

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  4. I just read the first chapter. Great work! Keep it up!! Not really my genre of reading, but I support people, especially our people, who are trying to live their dreams! Search out other authors and avid readers, maybe some college professors who can give you a thorough critique of your work! Don't stop growing and don't stop writing!! I look forward to purchasing your book!! Carpe diem!!!

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  5. Thank you both...I appreciate you reading and giving feedback! Thanks for the support! =)

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  6. I thought this was very creative, good job! I am also so very proud of you, for you to be so young and focused say a lot about what you really want to do. Keep up the good work!

    I read online the other day, that if you really want your book to sell, to start advertising it at least 3 yrs before you actually publish it, so you are well on your way!

    Keep at it! You'll get there!

    I must say, I'm curious to find out what Cammy is going to do next? Listen to her mother, or keep being the envy of Detroit?

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  7. Thank you...those were some interesting facts! I'm starting now in hopes of being where I want to be as a writer by the time I'm 23, so that matches up great! Lol Thank you for reading...I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. I just finished reading the first chapter and I have to say, I'm impressed. Age is never a factor in talent, and it's obvious you have plenty. Your lead character Cameron has a distinctive voice from the mother and the few friends that left her messages. So already you've got a good sense of character development. Keep push and promoting your work. I wish you much success.

    P.S. Just a small suggestion from writer to writer. You might not want to post too many chapter previews. Always keep them wanting more.

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  9. Thank you soooo much! I really appreciate you reading and giving feeedback! It really means a lot to me! I agree with u about too much preview...that's y Im not posting any more for previewing! Originally it was only a 3 Chapter preview, but ppl wanted more...so I said two more and thats IT! Lol If everybody wants 2read the rest they will have 2download their copy January 1, 2011! =)

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  10. The introduction is very interesting. I love how you started the book off. I'm very anxious to see what happens next.

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  11. Your descriptions are so vivid! Loved the first chapter.. my fellow DETROIT sista! :) Great Job! Can't wait to read the rest!

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  12. Thanks hun! I really appreciate your support! Thank you for the feedback!

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  13. I found this by accident, but i'm glad i did. I was really getting into the storyline. I'm sure alot of the sisters can relate.We have all had a crew similar to Cam's. Keep me posted on the book release, I will be sure to pic this up! Great work and best of luck!
    drewtammylewis@yahoo.com

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  14. Keep it up miss...I really enjoyed it and I think u have what it takes to make it...just stay strong and keep pushing and never put down ur pen!!! 1realman205

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  15. Thank you both! I really appreciate the support! The book will be available to download right from this page January 1, 2011!! I

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  16. I like it already an its chapter one my type of book hunny..

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  17. This is good! I wrote for a while too and now I'm in Journalism...I never published, but it's still fun! I hope ur having as much fun with it as I did! Keep it up! It looks like something I would buy, for real! Keep advertising and use your connections to get the word out!

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  18. i read a lot of books, many of them are the street lit genre. Your book so far has impressed me. Your style of writing is just as good as/if not better then some of the more well know authors that have written in this particular genre. Congratulations on your book. I will definitely be supporting you.

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  19. God bless you! You re going to go far. I am happy to be a part of your journey. Just got done reading the first chapter. Wonderful.

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  20. Thank you all so much!! That's exactly what this is...a journey that I want everybody to follow me on! It's a journey where I can only reach my destination with your support...so I am thankful for it all!! =)

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  21. I teach a class called "Writer's Block" and one of the main things I tell my students is to make sure they develop their characters fully to allow their readers to have a relationship with them. You, my dear, have done just that in the very first chapter. You are very descriptive and vivid and I look forward to more chapters and more work from you. I am an author/publisher/public speaker and at 20 years old, you are definitely on to a long life as a professional author. Kudos!

    Cicely J
    CRJ Publishing, LLC
    cicely@crjpublishing.com

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  22. hey i write also. how did you jump start your career?

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  23. Thank you Cicely...it means a lot to me that you like what I read because you understand the craft and what it takes! Thanks for your support and well wishes.!

    Anonymous: I did just what you said! I jumped up and started it! Lol...Seriously though! The only road block between people and their dreams is the belief that they need someone to help them get started. Sometimes you just have to do it! =)

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  24. Very good work. Keep pursuing your goal.

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  25. Glad to see that I'm not alone with the urban fiction blog. You did a good job. arionataylor.blogspot.com

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  26. Thank you...I started reading yours the other day at work. It's very interesting so far...love the name "Damano Effect" for the club and how it coincides with his name.! Lol You keep it up too Ms. Lady! =)

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  27. I kinda just stumbled onto this page, I liked the book, but I more so enjoyed this->
    "The only road block between people and their dreams is the belief that they need someone to help them get started. Sometimes you just have to do it!"

    I needed to hear it as a reminder. Thank you. keep it up.

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  28. Thank you for reading! I'm glad I was able to motivate you in some way! I wish u well in all ur endeavors.!

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  29. Keep it up sister..I like your writing style!

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  30. thats a really good start keep it up

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  31. I saw all your advertising on MTO for months but never took it into consideration until yesterday. Thank goodness I finally decided to visit because I haven't read an urban book in a loooong time. This book already has what I'm looking for in a good urban book.

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  32. wow. that is amazing, you described each character with such detail that i could see the characters in my head lol. great first chapter, now to read the rest :D

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  33. I Read All Three Chapters And I Must Admit I Want To Read More. I Have To Cop Your Book A.S.A.P !
    Loved It:)

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  34. I can't remember where I stumbled upon your blog, but I bookmarked it in my phone and I'm finally just now reading. Good start...my only suggestion is to clarify early on if Cameron is a boy or girl because I wasn't so sure till the end and I'm assuming she is a girl.

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  35. @CeCi Thanks for reading! Appreciate the feedback...& just so you know Cameron is referred to as "beautiful" in the first paragraph (feminine adjective), and in the second paragraph she makes reference to being her mother's "daughter". Lol Once again tho...thanks for finally giving it a read! :-)

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