Ann Leslie Tuttle for taking the time to critique these entries. And a shout out to the brave authors whose work will be on the blog this week. You are awesome!
Entry 5: The Hollow
Genre: Adult Historical
In 1882 a man who soon calls himself Urato settles in rustic Tuckaway Hollow. First stop, the orphanage, where he swaps the infant he carried into town for a little blond-haired girl and a business arrangement.[ALT1]
He hopes his little blond can fill the void that drove him from the Five Points, where stolen love had turned him into a murderer. As for the business arrangement, the matron is too desperate for funding to ask questions, but Urato sells the other children for profit.
Beginning with a ripple, Urato soon shatters the Hollow’s tranquility by unleashing corruption and vice throughout several sectors of the town.
Over two generations Urato’s actions unsettle Tuckaway Hollow institutions. Besides the orphanage he extends his grip to the town’s newspaper, railroad, and local government. He blindsides the unsuspecting first generation of locals with his devious methods, but Dennis Cade finds himself uniquely positioned to right Urato’s wrongs and heal Tuckaway Hollow’s soul.
Dennis Cade was six years old when Urato came to the Hollow.
Dennis was the only child at the orphanage raised by his own mother, the matron who didn’t realize she’d made a deal with the devil before Urato had even secured an address. Dennis never knew his father, but Herald publisher Big Jim Hanna was close enough. Big Jim gave Dennis his time and love, plus a good job and a sense of right and wrong. Urato takes Big Jim’s newspaper—and then his life.
Urato keeps on taking, seeming unstoppable until Dennis comes into possession of his mother’s ledger. These records shock Dennis, but he overcomes his shame and leverages them to rob Urato of some of his power. Not all of it by any means though.
THE HOLLOW is a 118,000 word[ALT2] adult historical novel/family saga set between 1882-1905.
First 250 Words
Irato clutched the infant tight to his chest while battling to plant his rear to his seat as the train fought its way off the track. It was a minor derailment, an accident moving as slow as this sun-scorched day, at a sharp bend in the track not two hundred yards north of Tuckaway Hollow station. Irato was relieved to feel his seat submit wholly to his weight once the horrible screech of metal on metal was overcome by the more familiar farts and hisses of steam and smoke. It was over and he was safe. So was the baby.
He wondered at his instinct to protect the child. He supposed that if he had meant to have killed the little bitch, he would have done so with the others. She was blameless, granted. Too young for guilt, but that left her all the more years ahead for vengeance. Ignorance was the answer for that though, not murder. Even if the inconvenience of protecting her had forced his testicles into his throat for a few harrowing moments.
Irato noticed the few other passengers beginning to rise from their seats to exit the train. He preferred to wait for more official word from a conductor, even a porter, but supposed they were all busy tending to the now lopsided train. He was the last one in his car to exit. Irato now wished he had packed a case rather than having opted for a long coat ...
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