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About the author:
Ashley M. Hardy is from Buffalo, New York.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was taking a creative writing class in college, and the professor was a poetry hound! I slacked on that class because I was not a fan of poetry at all. Then, one chilly night in April, I seen this young lady that I went to high school with at a bar. I was so spellbound that night, but didn’t know how to talk to her the next day. I sat down and wrote a poem about her, hoping to produce it to my professor. It was a hit! I told the lady about it and she was flattered. Said that I could write poetry about her and use her as a creative muse. I constructed a storyline based on the events of my life, and the lives of others around all of that poetry that I wrote to her…
Here is a short sample from the book:
The police were gathered in front of Kendra’s residence waiting outside of their cruisers, as the lead officer and his deputy approach the door and knock.
“Police, open up!”
All was quiet inside so the officer banged much louder. The door cracked open and Kendra poked her frazzled head out, peering through bloodshot eyes:
“Can I help you officer?”
“Yes, are you Kendra Smallwood?”
“Officer Benson and Officer Mackley, can you step outside please?”
Kendra slammed the door and locked it behind her. The cop rapped on the door again:
“Ma’am, we will come back with a warrant if necessary.”
The banging subsided. Kendra shuffled to rouse the remaining girls in the back room:
“Wake up, lazy bitches!”
One girl rubbed her eye with a tight fist:
“The cops just left. I don’t know if they’ll be back so I need you hoes to get going.”
The girl that had just awaken looked over, and noticed another girl sprawled across the floor in a pool of blood. She screamed:
“Oh my God! What happened to her?”
Kendra looked over. Hesitating for a second she said:
“Everybody get the fuck out! Don’t worry about her, I’ve got this!”
The ladies that were standing on shaky legs started helping the others to stand and collect their things; quite a few of them had terrible headaches. The girl who initially saw the injured lady sat frozen, cross-legged and crying. Kendra put a firm hand on her shoulder:
“Listen sweetie, these girls come in to my parties and do whatever the hell they want to do. They’re not children, but I’m going to look out for her, take care of her and she’ll be fine, you’ll see her in a few days’ tops. I promise.” Kendra patted the girl on the shoulder and helped her to stand. They both gathered her belongings and headed towards the back door. Kendra stopped short of letting her out:
“Remember honey, these girls have minds of their own and get themselves into these situations. For whatever reasons, I don’t know. I’m gonna get her some help and you forget about this, okay?”
The girl nodded, and then vanished out the door. Kendra regrouped and went to retrieve the money collected from the party, but everything turned up empty; her wallet, the lockbox for the cover charge, the safe in her closet—there was nothing. She checked the belongings of the injured woman; she carried $8. Kendra tucked it and began to think of possible thieves: Drea? No, not likely. She was liquored up with her crew running trains on the same two girls. Desi? Nah, her attention span was rather short so stealing didn’t seem likely.
This made Kendra think long and hard about where Juanita was the whole night. Juanita is able to move fairly unnoticed because of her girlish looks and body type. She was kind of standoffish at the party, yet socialized with her regular circles. And how could the lockbox and the safe turn up empty? Kendra then wondered if Parks had something to do with this and the tone of Juanita’s mood—that fuckin’ bastard! He probably didn’t want to implicate himself as a co-conspirator, so he left the house early to raise no suspicions and sent Juanita in to raid through her stash. She was probably with him now. Kendra grew angrier at these thoughts. Last night there was something definitely unusual about Juanita. She vowed:
“That son of a bitch thinks he can play me for a fuckin’ fool? Oh, I’ve got your fool, bitch!”
She raced to the bedroom upstairs and grabbed two unused condoms, then ran back downstairs and stood over the injured young woman. She removed the condoms from the wrappers, and placed the empty foils beside the woman’s legs. Packing the condoms in her bosom she said:
“He’ll never try and make a damn fool of me again!” Then left the house.