Raymond Clarke, another sports star, knows the yearning . . . first hand. Raymond longs for his father’s love too, but not because his father is physically absent from his life. For Raymond, it’s alcoholism, verbal and emotional abuse that find him yearning, absolutely longing, for his father’s love. This longing haunts him, follows him throughout romantic relationships he has with the women in his life. . . . until . . . Brenda.
Love Pour Over Me, a story about restored love amid heart wrenching contrasts. The heart stirring story recounts Raymond Clarke’s tumultuous, yet triumphant life experiences. This athletic standout’s father, the only parent who stays to fend for him, struggles with alcoholism. His mother abandoned him when he was two years old. Raymond’s track and field successes earn him a scholarship to a prestigious university, where Raymond meets a motley sort of friends, some famous, each with an intriguing story of his own.
But, just when Raymond thought he was free from his alcoholic father, he finds himself pulled into an unresolved murder. His efforts to go unscathed by the pull and tug of intimacy also threaten to keep him from the one woman he’s ever truly loved, the woman he was born to love.
EXCERPT ONE (from Chapter One)
It was eight o’clock. Raymond told himself not to but he turned partway and glanced over his shoulder. It was as if he’d suddenly been plagued with dementia, because he forgot the years of abuse heaped upon him with Malcolm’s calloused hands. He wanted Malcolm to walk through the convention center doors sober and real proud like. He wanted Malcolm to be glad to call him his son.
“To the students, as I call out your name, please stand and make your way onto the stage.” Principal Jones flipped through a stack of stapled papers then he pushed his mouth close to the microphone and said slowly, “Sharon Appleseed.”
A loud round of applause, whistling and “way to gos” pierced the air. It went on like that for more than an hour, until all but two students had received a diploma – Raymond and Janice Thompson, a bright sixteen year old who sat in a wheelchair due to spina bifida.
Principal Jones sang Janice’s praises. Hers had been a stellar academic career right from the start. “She’s earned her way onto the Honor Roll every year since the Seventh Grade. She was voted to Girls State by our finest instructors. She has won three presidential academic citations. And,” Principal Jones laughed, “I’m sure her parents appreciate this most. She has earned a full scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.” Principal Jones’ hand went out. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he beamed, “Please stand and congratulate the Class of 1984’s Salutatorian, Janice Thompson.”
Janice pushed the wheelchair toward the stage and everyone stood and applauded wildly. Amid the swell of noise and the sea of people, Raymond looked over his shoulder and searched every face for Malcolm. His gaze darted in a crazed fashion.
Then he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was his friend, Paul. They sat next to each other. “Yo, Man, is your pops coming?”
Raymond turned away from Paul, faced the stage and stood tall, head up, shoulders back.
When Paul tapped him again, he jerked his shoulders hard and shrugged him off.
The auditorium grew quiet.
“And now, it’s time for us to bestow the top honor.” Principal Jones smiled before he said, “This young man has earned high commendations academically and athletically.”
In short intervals, Paul, several members of the track team and Raymond’s high school track coach turned and looked to the back of the auditorium toward the entrance doors. They prayed for Malcolm to show.
“Damn,” Paul muttered when he turned around and faced the stage for the eighth time. He bumped shoulders with the guy who stood next to him. “That asshole ain’t coming.” He lowered his head and his voice. “Ray’s pops ain’t coming.”
The chain lock was on the front door when Raymond got home that night. He jiggled the chain and tried to get it to slide open. When that didn’t work he walked to the back of the house and tried to open the rear door, the one leading to the backyard. He cursed as he realized a chain lock was on the back door as well. Then he looked for an opening. He was in luck. The kitchen window was ajar just enough to allow him entry. He grunted and pushed up. The screen didn’t even bang when it landed in the sink. He crawled through the window like a thief.
When he reached the stairs, he saw a flicker of light coming from the second floor. “Dad,” he called out softly, then louder as he made his way up the stairs. “Dad.”
A newly pressed blue striped suit coat hung across the chair in the corner of his father’s bedroom. The television was turned down so low it sounded like it was humming.
The bed was empty, covers bunched together near the foot. The shade to the room’s one lamp was tilted as if someone had punched it.
Raymond walked across the hall. He started to scream. “Dad?” He ran back down the stairs. “Dad?” he screamed as he made his way through the house.
( Continues… )
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About the Author
Denise Turney is a professional writer who brings more than thirty years of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing to a project. She has been listed in various entertainment and business directories, including industry leaders such as Who’s Who, 100 Most Admired African American Women and Crosswalk. Denise Turney’s works have appeared in Parade, Essence, Ebony, Madame Noire, We The People, The Trenton Times, The Pittsburgh Quarterly and Obsidian II.
This talented writer is the author of the books: Portia, Long Walk Up, Spiral, Love Has Many Faces, Rosetta’s Great Hope, Long Walk Up, Gada’s Glory and Love Pour Over Me. Her books can be purchased in ebook and print format from all online and offline book retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Cushcity.com, Ebookit.com, Google Books, iTunes and Ingram Books.
Get your copy of Love Pour Over Me by Denise Turney TODAY at booksellers everywhere, in ebook or print format. Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, iTunes, Ingram Books, other online and offline bookstores, etc. carry this amazing and emotionally moving book! Start 2013 with love! It’s a sure way to have a winning year!
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