Introducing Real Stories for Real Girls

I’m pleased to introduce my new site for readers of Just Claire. This site is currently a work-in-progress. Please, feel free to make suggestions for a better site for my audience: women ages 12 & up.

For now, a little more about Just Claire.

One mother damaged. One family tested. One daughter determined to find her place.

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.

With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Just Claire Excerpt

Thirteen-year-old ClaireLee shivered in the snowy night,
regretting she had only a cotton gown and thin robe between her
and the cold. She leaned against the porch rail near the cabin’s open
front door. Daddy had forbid her to stay any longer at Mama’s
side. “Not enough room,” he’d said.

She didn’t believe his excuse.

Yelling louder, Mama had twisted about in more pain than
with sister Lolly’s birth. Why is the baby taking too long?

ClaireLee stuck a fingernail in her mouth. She bit and pulled.
It ripped with her skin and stung. I should be holding Mama’s hand.

In the back-drop of the wilderness, the Rushing River
rumbled and at first muffled Mama’s groans. Her cries intensified
again, and ClaireLee’s neck prickled. Mama’s not doing good.

At three-year-old Lolly’s birth, ClaireLee had witnessed Mama’s short
labor and delivery. ClaireLee now peeked inside the cabin to see if
Lolly was okay under all the excitement. She and their two brothers
huddled together in a corner of the bed in the small living room.

Sucking on the tender fingernail, she no longer cared
whether or not the baby would be a sister rather than a brother. She
clasped her hands under her chin. Please, God, help my mother. Keep
her and the baby safe.

First chapter of Just Claire here.

Until next time . . . read Just Claire.