The prequel to Baby Dust has begun!

The new book has begun!

Everyone loved Stella from Baby Dust so much that I decided to tell her backstory. So much happens to her in the 44 years prior to her arrival in my novel.

Book summary:

Stella is one step from leaving her honky tonk town when bad-boy Dane arrives. Their dangerous romance keeps the town talking, but when Dane is sent to prison for manslaughter after a bar fight, the couple discovers their love runs deeper than their reputations.

Stella & Dane
Chapter 1: Draft Version Nov. 3, 2011

When Stella’s pink plastic shoe slipped off a rung one-third of the way up the side of the water tower, she realized she probably should have thought through her choice of footwear for the task.

Her knee banged the cold metal as she scrambled to hang on and secure her position. “Damn. That’s going to bruise,” she called down. “And don’t scream.”

Janine covered her mouth to keep from crying out. From this height, her friend resembled a Rainbow Brite doll in purple tights with yellow leg warmers. She cupped her hands and shouted, “You shouldn’t be up there in jellies and a mini skirt.”

Stella twisted around to face out on the ladder, the flimsy shoes curling around the rung as she grasped the bar and leaned forward. “You coming?”

Janine covered her eyes. “Please don’t hang like that.”

“I’m not going to fall at this late date. I’ve done this drunk at midnight.”

Her friend peeked between her fingers. “I know. I watched you then.”

“It’s not so scary in daylight.”

The sun blasted off the aluminum roof of the shed at the base of the water tower. High noon, and she was late for work. But walking along the block, Stella just had the urge to climb the tower.

Twenty-one years in this po-dunk town, and scaling the only tall structure in the middle of the day was one thing she’d never done. Seemed like something to do before she left for good. Should’ve had Janine bring a camera. Get a shot of her underneath the giant black letters that read “Holly,” the town’s ridiculous name.

“Sheriff’s gonna catch you,” Janine called.

“Only if you keep yelling at me.” She whipped back around on the ladder and climbed to the next level. Just one ladder left until she reached the platform that encircled the massive silver tank.

“Hey! I’m going to get docked. My boss ain’t like yours.” Janine backed away from the base of the tower, crouching down to duck through the section of the chain-link fence that had been cut and pulled back decades ago by high school seniors seeking to spray paint the broad side of the tower. Stella herself had added a blood-red “Senior ’81” just a few years back.

Stella waved down at her and scurried up the last segment of the ladder. She reached the platform and pushed through the narrow opening, grasping the bar that served as an ineffectual rail. As far as she knew, nobody had ever fallen off the darn thing, and she wasn’t going to today. She wouldn’t get caught either.

Plenty of people had been up there before her. The entire circumference of the tower was defaced with “Mark loves Ellen” and hundreds of other couplings, many crossed out and amended. Stella had warned the boys never to put her name up there. That was a deal breaker, certain to seal the doom of whatever short-lived fling she was having.

But one of them had disobeyed, Carter something-or-another, a Texas boy, who moved up to Missouri when his dad started working at the bank. Full of himself and his shiny Camero. He’d been after her, thinking he was doing something romantic by scaling the tower with an eight-foot ladder to inscribe “Carter & Stella” higher than any of the other graffiti.

Stella followed the platform to the other side, facing downtown, where a huge black splotch covered his transgression. Being on the short side, she’d had to drag a TEN-foot ladder up the damn tower to get rid of it. And after blotting out his mistake, she emptied the rest of the spray can on his little red hotrod.

He’d known she had done it, but the small town was good at closing ranks to separate the born-and-bred from the newcomers. Carter’s dad hadn’t wanted to make waves in the community, so her lawlessness had been ignored. They hadn’t stayed even a year in Holly. Missouri just didn’t suit.

Mostly Stella didn’t date in her own town, preferring boys from other small cities, close enough for a booty call, far enough to not watch her too carefully.

Right now she was between booties.

Standing on the tower in the daytime was a completely different experience than all the nighttime jaunts. She wondered why she hadn’t done it before. She peeked down at Janine’s purple form hurrying along the block, heading to the grocery where she worked as a cashier. Janine stopped suddenly and pointed ahead of her without looking up. Stella followed her arm, puzzled, then saw the sheriff’s car cruising into view.

But the ticket didn’t scare her now. She wasn’t as poor as she had been just out of high school. Her job at the perfume shop got her a bit of commission, and one thing she could do was sell. Bring anyone into the shop-man or woman-and she’d have them walking out with something they didn’t need.

In fact, she’d put together enough money to get her the heck out of dodge. Beatrice, her boss, would certainly give her a good rec. Stella just didn’t know where or when to go. Nothing had prepared her for whatever else was out there. No sense going balls out only to have to come crawling back home six months later, broke and humiliated.

The sheriff’s car idled along the broken pavement. No need to court trouble. She kept her back to the tower until the squad car passed, glad for the silver lamé shirt to help her blend in. Once he’d turned the corner onto Mulberry, she stepped away from the wall to look out on her soon to be ex-town.

The school. The track. The athletic fields she’d never stepped foot on, not once.

Houses filled a few blocks, then the highway snaked through town, the artery lined with what few shops currently attempted to make a profit in the dying populace. She’d worked at a few, even the convenience store for two weeks, until old man Spiller took to showing up in an overcoat, barelegged in black socks and dress shoes. Her mama made her quit before her purity got stained. Ha.

She didn’t have much keeping her there. Her sister, eight years older, had married off and split at first opportunity. Her parents were no reason to stay and, in fact, every reason to go.

The wind kicked up as she stood there, belly on the rail, leaning over so hard she could have somersaulted around the pole. And why not. She rushed forward, her necklace hitting her nose, and the world whirled as she spun around the spindly bit of metal, the only thing that kept her from crashing five stories to the ground.

Her feet didn’t quite make contact with the platform, and her ankles smashed into the sheet metal in another bruising connection. Damn. More purple. But the rush of it felt good so she did it again, this time tucking her knees a little higher.

She felt the metal give a little, crunching in. Panic zipped through her as she realized the rail couldn’t quite hold her weight. Her head was down, and she’d lost momentum. The town below was a blur of green and gray. She realized how easy it would be to just let go, be done with it all. Wasn’t much worth hanging on for. Start over reincarnated as a cat maybe, or a crow.

The world righted itself as she rolled the rest of the way around, the metal pinching in just enough that her lower back grazed the platform. She clutched the bent rail, feet dangling, trying to figure out how to wiggle her way backwards and up onto it without letting go of the thin bar.

Her shoulders screamed with the effort of keeping her in place. Stella looked down, imagining her body smashing into the roof of the shed below. Good God, what had she been thinking?


Guest post on managing family after tragedy over at Honoring Our Angels blog

Was YOUR family 100% supportive after your loss? Did you ignore the things they said or did you speak up? I’m guessing you stayed quiet.

I got a chance to talk about how to handle family members on Monica’s lovely blog Honoring Our Angels. She graciously stepped up as I’m doing the promotions for my novel Baby Dust and allowed me to post as a guest.

Deanna’s guest post on managing family

Monica began her blog in 2008 after her sweet daughter Devon was stillborn. She sees it as a place to put stories about your babies, and she puts together resources for managing life after losing a baby.

She’ll be writing a review of Baby Dust in the next few days. She’s also giving away a copy of Baby Dust! So go over there before Oct. 8 and comment to win it!

Baby Dust Give Away

Most beautiful bracelet ever — give away!

Robyn over at Remembering Our Babies has such lovely things for families grieving the loss of a baby. Books, candles, bracelets—and all of it supports her site, the original place for October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I’ll be giving away one of her most beautiful bracelets as soon as it comes in—sometime this week! So head over to my Facebook Page if you do Facebook and comment to win it!

And visit her site to take a look at her selection of things. Get them ordered in time for Oct. 15!

Casey’s Special Day Give Aways

My first baby Casey would have been thirteen years old today, and we’re celebrating his would-have-been birthday with give aways of some great books on loss.

Make sure you can see all the give aways below (if not, click HERE) and comment on any of the titles that you might find helpful. We’ll give away the books on October 1 to kick off Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Month.

We’re also taking today to celebrate the completion of the Baby Dust Book Trailer. Women from Ireland, London, Australia, Mexico, and the US talk about their babies, and the women of Illuminate, a photography class for grieving mothers, took the images that are used.

Book Give Away 3: About What Was Lost

Comment on this post by Oct. 1 to win a copy of About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing and Hope.

About What Was Lost is the easy reader of miscarriage books, 20 short stories from excellent writers and well edited. Virtually every situation is covered here, organized into categories of “The Search for Meaning,” “In the Thick of It,” and “Mourning and Moving On.” The gorgeous writing creates an emotional resonance that makes you feel more at peace with your own situation, especially women who are looking for titles that are less about angels and heaven and more about day-to-day lives of women facing loss.

Favorite quotes:

I always know how old they’d be. What I do not know is who I might have been, had I become their mother. ~ Jocye Maynard from “Mother of Three, Two Children Short.”

“As soon as I walked into the office, I felt my bones turning to water. Two people passed me in the hall, quickly averting their eyes, and I had to stop and lean against the wall, shutting my eyes.” ~ Caroline Leavitt from “The First Baby.”

Learn more about this book on Amazon.


Book Give Away 2: In the Company of Angels Memorial Record Book

Comment on this post to win a copy of In the Company of Angels: A Memorial Book on Oct. 1

This book is designed just like a traditional baby book, but it is meant for our babies who did not live to be born, or who died very shortly after birth. Unlike the traditional baby milestones we will never see, this book has gentle prompts asking about our hopes and dreams for baby, the moment you found out you were pregnant, and the days you were carrying the baby. It also has a section for the sadder moments, when you found out the baby was lost, and places for memorials and anniversaries.

The book is especially designed so that if you do not have sonograms or pictures, you can tug those pages out, so no page in your baby’s book is blank.

Learn more about this book in its video:

See more about this book on Amazon.

Book Give Away 1: We were gonna have a baby

Leave a comment on this post to win a copy of this book, ideal for families who had children already when they experienced their first loss. Give away happens Oct. 1.

What do you say to your children when the baby brother or sister they were expecting won’t be arriving after all?

In this lovely children’s book, We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel instead, written by Pat Schwiebert and illustrated by Taylor Bills, a little boy explains about the baby they were expecting, who became an angel instead of coming to live with them.

You can experience the entire book in this video, read by a little boy in honor of his baby brother.

Learn more about this book at Amazon.

Baby Dust book give aways everywhere!

This is just the beginning–I am so lucky the baby loss community has rallied around the novel Baby Dust. Something like ten more sites will be planning give aways in September and October.

Here are some places to go win copies in the next week or two:

Remembering Our Babies
Robyn is giving away FIVE signed copies on Aug. 26!
(And can I hug Robyn online–she told me how many preorders she’s taken and–WOW!)

Casey Shay Press
The publishing company is giving away a copy on Sept. 1, and international entries are okay there. They will ship a book to Australia or England or anywhere–I’m amazed at all the countries that are being super supportive of Baby Dust.

Goodreads is giving away five copies of Baby Dust between now and Sept. 15!
Go put your name in the hat! (And maybe become a fan? 🙂 I have four fans. Four AWESOME fans!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Baby Dust by Deanna Roy

Baby Dust

by Deanna Roy

Giveaway ends September 15, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win