Sneak Peek: Lime

LimeToday we have a sneak peek from author Melda Beaty’s new novel: Lime.

Fashion Week, cover of Vogue, haute couture fashion, international appearances, and product endorsements propel Lime Prince into Supermodel icon and temporarily away from the realities of her past. Her Ethiopian and Jamaican genes, accented with piercing lime green eyes and a runner’s physique, are the object of every man’s desire and take the New York fashion world by storm. But when the fantasies of beauty collide with the realities of domestic violence, will her sordid past shame her out of the glitz and glamour of the modeling world?

Lime is available from Amazon US and all Amazon channels.

And now, an excerpt from Lime

7:15 a.m. every morning from that day on the gate, I climbed the steep steps to AJ’s second floor flat so AJ and I could take the bus to school together. I can’t recall how many times Ms. Henning, a full-figured woman, would answer the door in beige bras, oversized panties, gold house shoes, pink foam curlers, and a Kool Mild Light cigarette dangling from her lips. Ms. Henning was busy getting ready for work at the post office, so putting on clothes just to open the door for me was not part of her daily routine. She was comfortable in her skin and basic attire. Embarrassment was a luxury she could not afford as she dressed for work.

As I took my usual place on the plastic wrapped couch in the living room, Ms. Henning would resume her breakfast of sausages, rice and nicotine at the kitchen table. Her offer was always the same.

“Have some breakfast, Lime?”

“Oh no thank you, I’ll eat at school.”

AJ would emerge ten minutes later rushing past Ms. Henning with a quick “bye mama.” Ms. Henning would always grab her arm and turn her around for a final look over before tapping her finger on her cheek for a kiss.

“Behave yourself, and hey, be aware of your surroundings. I’ll call at the usual time.”

I was the constant voyeur spying and learning from this womanly community of two that I had adopted as my own. In their home and presence, I felt safe.

AJ and I were two refugees. I was abandoned in Europe and rescued back to United States. AJ and her mum were from Memphis, Tennessee fleeing to Chicago, Illinois on a Greyhound bus in the middle of the night. Ms. Henning had had enough of being Mr. Henning’s sparring partner. The day AJ jumped on his back to help her mum, Mr. Henning flung her so hard across the room she hit the back of her head on the kitchen floor.

Ms. Henning grabbed for the cast iron skillet on the stove and swung with all her might knocking him out cold. There were still pieces of hot water cornbread in the skillet. They’ve been protecting each other ever since and now AJ has chosen to protect me.

As AJ’s new best friend, I went from being the school oddity to someone you knew not to mess with or else. Despite AJ’s popularity and quick wit, we had more in common than what the eye could see. We were both the only child with only one parent. The unconditional love I received from living with my dad made up for Asmeret Amde’s negligence, but no matter how hard he tried, it couldn’t replace female guidance. So, I spent all my free time with AJ and Ms. Henning learning what girls needed to know. I just wish I could remember the exact moment when AJ and I both stopped learning.

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