Life has two rules: number 1, Never quit!; number 2, Always remember rule number 1 ~Duke Ellington
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Monday, October 17, 2005

This Week is Excerpts Week

This week is excerpts week. If you're interested in women's fiction,
then this is the place to visit on a daily basis this week. Today's
excerpt comes from my first novel--Roses are thorns,
Violets are true.

Excerpt from Chapter One


“How much do I love me, let me count the ways? I love that song. I know it
sounds a little vain, but if you had to spend every day competing for your
own identity because of your sister, you wouldn’t say that. Are you writing
all of this down? Well, I hope when she reads this, she’s not too upset, but
knowing Rose she will swear I only did this interview to embarrass her.
Where do you want me to begin?

First let’s start with the name Rose. Rose is such a pretty name representing
a beautiful flower. Everyone sees Rose as not only this tall, beige beauty
with hypnotizing sparkling eyes, but also as a woman with a heart of gold.
Yes, Rose is physically attractive, but if you knew her true character, you
would see her thorns. I will share with you several incidents to back up
my statement.

Many would be surprised Rose and I have issues with one another, because
she makes us seem so perfect. When your magazine called to set up this
interview, I was hesitant on doing it, but then it dawned on me; it’s about
time the public got an inside look at the real Rose.

Anyway, back to what I was saying, our parents owned a landscaping company
and named us Rose and Violet for their favorite flowers. Our parents were
great parents, but growing up it seemed as if Rose was their favorite.
Fortunately before our dad died, him and I were able to make amends
concerning the special treatment Rose got.

While growing up, Rose always came across as the good twin, and I was
labeled the bad twin. She would do things and made sure I was to blame.
I remember when we were around sixteen years old; she stole my Mom’s
pearls, pearls that my grandmother gave her before she passed away. Rose
wore the pearls to school and instead of returning them to my mom’s jewelry
box, she casually brings up the subject of pearls over dinner one night. The
next day, my mom realized her pearls were missing; she searched the house
and guess where she found the missing pearls? Rose had hidden them under
my pillows. I tried to explain to my Mom that it was Rose who took them, but
she wouldn’t hear of it. I was grounded for two weeks. I missed my junior
prom because of Rose.

I can’t count the times in which I got punished for some of the pranks she pulled.
She would cheat on tests by trying to look on my paper, teachers would think
we were in cahoots together, and we both would be punished. She would
pretend to be me when she wanted to date more than one guy at a time, which
caused my boyfriend and I to break up a few times.”

The interviewer changed the cassette in her tape recorder when Violet stopped
to take a sip of lemonade. A hazy look flashed across Violet’s face as she
continued to tell her story.

“I was married for seven years. I remember the day I met David. I was on my
way up to a potential donor’s office. I worked at one of the community centers
here in Los Angeles and my job was to raise money for the center’s after school
programs. I was so nervous about meeting this client. While on the elevator,
I met this friendly guy. He stood over six feet tall with the sexiest grayest eyes
I had ever seen. He had a milk chocolate smooth complexion, which somehow
made me feen for a hersey bar. Even in a suit he had a body like a Nubian
knight. His smile brought me comfort as I waited for the elevator to stop on
the fifteenth floor. When I exited the elevator, to my surprise he was right
behind me. I was even more surprised that he was the man I was scheduled
to have my meeting with.

After we both laughed at the coincidence, he gladly signed over a nice check
for the community center. As he walked me out, he asked me if it would be
okay if he called me and I said yes of course. At the time, I thought he meant
call me at the center for business reasons. When he called me two days later,
he asked me out on a date.

We were inseparable. My parents loved him, and even Rose liked him and she
normally didn’t like any of the guys I dated. She would always find something
wrong with them.

We married and were happily married up until that ill-fated day I decided to
play hooky from work. I had it all planned out. I would go home, take a nice
long bubble bath, cook David’s favorite dinner, chicken Alfredo, and put on
our favorite Nina Simone CD. I had no idea I was going to be the one surprised.
When I pulled up into our driveway, David’s car was home and he normally
worked until seven. I called out his name a few times. When he didn’t respond,
I ran up the stairs. As I got closer to our bedroom, I heard this strange sound,
sounds that reminded me of a screeching cat. When I opened the door, I got a
picture perfect view of him and Rose together wrapped around my favorite
burgundy satin sheets.”

The interviewer had a shocked look on her face.

“Don’t be shocked. I am used to her antics, because she’s always been
underhanded. I have to say out of all the things she’s done, that one hurt me
the most. Yes, how could you deliberately sleep with your sister’s husband?
She knew exactly what she was doing. She would stop by his office, posing as
me, and seduce him.

This went on a couple of times before David realized that it wasn’t me, but by
then, he had gotten too caught up in it and continued their little affair. When I
caught them together, I almost lost it, but something inside of me made me just
walk away. I haven’t laid eyes on either one of them since my divorce. I found
out they were getting married when sweet little Rose sent me an invitation to
the wedding. What nerve! She’s a bold one, that’s for sure!

It took me at least a year before I could hold a conversation with her on the
phone. The only reason why I communicate with her at all is because I
promised my mom. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be talking to her.

I really don’t have too many nice things to say about Ms. Thing. I guess this is
not what you expected for your Sisters In Hollywood issue. I’m sure Rose will
be surprised with this interview, but she’ll probably find a way to weasel her
way out of this story, she always bounces back.

To conclude our interview, I will say that I will probably always love Rose, but
I just can’t trust her. I don’t want her anywhere near me. My friend, Janice,
is more of a sister to me than my own twin.”

The interviewer for Noir Magazine turned off the tape recorder and her face
showed that she was utterly surprised with what Violet had revealed. Violet
could only think that she had opened her eyes to the real Rose Purdue. As
the interviewer prepared to leave, she turned around and asked Violet one
last question. “Do you think you’ll ever be able to forgive your sister?”

As she walked the interviewer to the door, Violet responded, “That’s a million
dollar question. Maybe one day, but not today.”

Am I my sister's keeper?
Reviewer: The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers (see more about me) from
Being a part of a set of twins has got to be one the hardest situations for children
as they grow into adulthood. In ROSES ARE THORNS VIOLETS ARE
TRUE, Shelia Goss takes a very in-depth look at the lives of twins, Rose and
Violet. They are identical twins and that's where the similarities end. They are
as different as night and day. Rose is very self-centered, jealous and devious.
Violet, on the other hand, is sweet natured, attentive and cares very deeply for
others. Even as little children, Rose was allowed to cast Violet in an unpleasant
light using childish pranks that only twins can play. Violet, however, was always
expected to forgive Rose and move on. Their parents and Rose expected her to
always have her sister's back no matter the circumstances. As they grew into
adults it was easy to see that Rose coveted everything that Violet was and had.
But, there are some lines that sisters just don't cross. Once that line is crossed,
forgiveness becomes a little too hard to carry out.

In her debut novel, Ms. Goss weaves a fascinating tale that had me reading well
into the night. This was sibling rivalry at its worst. The ending was not what I
was expecting. Instead, I received a lesson in familial love and forgiveness. It
left me rooting for both sisters to find that elusive happiness they both craved
and a way back to each other. This was a great read and I recommend it

Reviewed by Brenda M. Lisbon
of the RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

To order your copy, visit your favorite retail store or enjoy a
discount by purchasing online at AMAZON.COM or
BarnesandNoble.COM or

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