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Sample Sunday – Half Truth and Full Lye Excerpt 1 November 6, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in beta reader, NaNoWriMo, Sample, Smashwords, work in progress, Writing.

This year for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I’m trying a women’s fiction story with a sampling of paranormal and romance called HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE. What follows is a sample of the opening. The first chapter focuses more on when the lead character is younger, which is what you will see part of below. If you like what you read, I’ve taken advantage of an opportunity provided by Smashwords (not in conjunction as a NaNoWriMo sponsor,  just as a service) to make the novel accessible as a free download while it is in progress. If you like what you see, consider downloading the free book at Smashwords now and grab the updates as they become available, and then giving feedback as a beta reader after seeing this story unfold. Thank you.


Truth Knox always knew she stood out. Her name didn’t help much either. In actuality, the name on her birth certificate read Firinne Solas Knox. Her mother explained that Truth’s grandmother came from a Gaelic background, and that her name meant Truth Light Knox. Of course no one could pronounce her name, so as she explained to people her name meant “Truth,” inevitably she would be called that. She didn’t know anything about her father or his side of the family.

It turned out Truth wasn’t sure what her mother’s real name was. She knew that Knox was her mother’s birth last name, and that her mother’s parents married and divorced. On all the paperwork sent home for parental permission, her mother’s signature scrawled so poorly Truth never could make it out. When she pressed, her mother found ways to dodge the question. Everyone in town just called her “the fortune teller lady”. For that, in fact, described Truth’s mother’s line of work. She specialized in tarot readings and palm readings, and might do other things but Truth wasn’t sure what. She sort of steered clear of all that.

Truth’s best friend growing up became the preacher’s daughter, Myanna. Myanna focused first on getting to know Truth as a person, emphasizing it is important to love everyone, even though the Bible mentioned that people like Truth’s mother should not be communicated with. Fortunately Myanna didn’t start out pushing that point down Truth’s throat, but it did come up after a while – and only because other kids growing up Christian gave Myanna a hard time in front of Truth.

One day, when they were both in fourth grade, Truth and Myanna walked home from school together when a group of several kids – some boys and some girls – flanked either side of them. Truth just didn’t know what to think, but she saw that Myanna looked very nervous.

“Hey Myanna,” said one of the girls. “You not been listening to your father lately?  Or is that Father with a captial F?”

“Yeah, you big hypocrite,” butted in one of the boys, whose size was as big and forceful as his voice. “Didn’t he just preach that whole bit from Leviticus?  You know, about not turning to mediums and psychics and wizards and all that?”

Truth saw Myanna clutch her books tighter. She didn’t understand what made Myanna frightened.

“Leave her alone!” Truth yelled at the kids. “She’s not doing anything to you.”

“You’re right,” said another girl. “Myanna isn’t doing anything to us. We’re just trying to get her away from your evil influences.”

Truth blinked at the girl puzzled. She didn’t even know who the girl was, and really had only just seen her around school. She couldn’t even remember if this girl came from another fourth grade class, or might be older.

“Don’t play stupid. You tell fortunes. You pretend to talk to the dead. Myanna shouldn’t be caught up in any of that.”

“I don’t know how to do any of that,” Truth insisted. “That’s my mother who does that. I’ve never asked her to teach me. I don’t want to learn how.”

“Is that so?” said the first girl again, flipping her finger under a pendant Truth wore and causing it to hit her chin. The necklace pendant bore the image of a Celtic Cross with ornately carved work into the silver, like something that might have come from Ireland. “Then explain this.”

“My family heritage is Celtic. My mother gave it to me as a birthday present,” defended Truth.

“Why do we see all those non believers in that dark clothing and stuff wearing something like this that desecrates what we believe in?” piped up another boy.

Not Myanna spoke up. Truth never saw Myanna quite this mad before.

“You people are stupid! That’s the Celtic version of the cross, like from Ireland. It’s used all over churches and cathedrals and stuff. Go look up your history.”

Myanna put her books under one arm and then with her remaining hand, linked arms with Truth.

“Also, we learn not to judge people by the sins of their parents. Truth is not her mother. Truth is truth, and we are to show her love and respect. Come on, Truth, let’s put these losers in the dust.”

Truth felt overwhelmed as Myanna led her away from the scene. Myanna stuck up for her, and for that she felt grateful. Yet she didn’t fully understand why Myanna needed to do that in the first place.

“Myanna,” Truth asked after they’d gotten a bit of a distance from the kids, “I don’t understand. Why were they making fun of me and my necklace?”

“Because you’re not like them and those bullies are just afraid of what they don’t understand.”

“But why am I not like them? I mean I wear the same clothes as them. We go to the same school. All of us live in the same neighborhood. I don’t understand what makes me different.”

Truth saw Myanna look at her with very sad eyes.

“They think you are a bad person because of who your mother is. She does things that our religion doesn’t agree with.”

Truth quickly pulled her arm out of the lock she had with Myanna.

“So you think I’m bad too,” Truth said sadly.

“No, no, I don’t,” Myanna insisted. Truth saw Myanna become increasingly uncomfortable. “It’s just that some people in our church – in our faith – do that when it really isn’t the right way to act. At least that’s what my Daddy teaches me. Do you want to come meet him? The church is just a few blocks away. We can borrow the books where he’s shown me that cross on your necklace and I can tell you more about it. Or do you need to go home and ask your Mom first?”

Truth knew the reality of the situation would be that her Mom took palm reading clients until well into the evening and left her fending for herself. While she didn’t understand everything, Truth knew Myanna stuck up for her in a bad situation and maybe getting to know her better would be good. After all, they’d been friends in school for months now.

“My Mom doesn’t expect me to be home for a while,” Truth told her, not lying when she said it. “Sure, I’d be happy to go with you.”



Copyright 2011 Shannon Muir. All rights reserved. Please feel free to direct people to this webpage but do not copy this creative content in whole or in part without permission.




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