Sample Sunday – Excerpt from Nelson and Cora: The Beginning


CHAPTER FOUR: Cora’s Breakfast

The Ross Family Home, Alberdeen, Kentucky, 1866


Cora stood next to the wood burning stove and waited for the water in the kettle to boil. It was still dark outside. Her father and brother had been out late last night at the meeting. Her mother had stayed with them until midnight. Her brother had not come home.

Cora knew that they were disappointed that she didn’t accompany them, but she wasn’t ready yet. Everyone knew it. When talk turned to the politics of Reconstruction or to what was remaining of the soldiers and the War, Cora, as much as she hated to admit it, lost interest.

President Lincoln had preserved the Union, and then John Wilkes Booth had assassinated him. It was devastating. It had been only a year’s time since then. People needed time to grieve. That was what Cora kept coming back to, over and over again, that people have to have time to grieve. War was a horrible, tragic thing. Even though Kentucky had always fought on the side of the Union, as a state, so many things had happened, so many Confederate supporters. Neighbors turned on each other, didn’t trust each other. Those things need time to heal. People need time to recover and get back to being people.

The whistle from the kettle startled her and she thought again of the task at hand. She could hear her mother stirring in the back of the house. Cora started cooking breakfast. Even when their evenings were irregular, Cora always made a point to get up at the same time every day and make breakfast. It helped her if she could have a routine.

Her mother came into the kitchen just in time to sit at the table before Cora made her a plate. Cora pulled the biscuits from the stove. She sat across the table from her mother. It depended on her mother’s mood as to the amount of conversation they would have this morning.

“Everyone there?” Cora tapped her foot against her chair beneath the kitchen table.

“No. No, the Jenkins were not. And, it looks like they will never be back again.” Her mother was never much for tact. It was something that had always been the case, even Cora’s father said that she had always been that way.

“Why not? What happened?” Cora asked.




This is from my NaNoWriMo novel – Nelson and Cora: The Beginning. This is Book One of a trilogy about the founders of Hefner Falls. For those of you keeping up with this for the pop quiz later 😉 , Hefner Falls is the setting of my debut novel, Josephine – Red Dirt and Whiskey ,and the short story, When I Met Crazy in the Morning.

If you did NaNoWriMo in 2011, how are your revisions and edits going?

About melindamcguirewrites

The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ------ William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, 1950
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5 Responses to Sample Sunday – Excerpt from Nelson and Cora: The Beginning

  1. DM says:

    I love it. Very interesting story. Are we going to find out what happens next?

  2. Roger Lawrence says:

    Nicely done. Are we going to get some more soon?

  3. Jerry says:

    I think your writing is very intense. Almost like i’m there. i hope nothing but happiness in your life and your writings.

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