Victoria Powers (the redhead on the right) is the only child of Brenda Powers, a single mother who lives in a trailer park on the edge of Belford (the town where Hometown is set). In 1994, at the time Hometown begins, Vicki is just shy of eighteen years old. Brenda is thirty-five.
In stark contrast to Angelina, Vicki is one of Belford’s Bad Girls. Not that she’s ever hurt anybody (okay, there have been a few brawls, but they totally started it, and she only ever fights people who can fight back) or stolen anything, or done anything unduly destructive (at least by the standards of a bored small-town teenager). She does like to drink and smoke (smoke what? What’ve you got?) and screw (more on that later), but those things are incidental, really. She’s the daughter of a drunken trailer park slut and an unknown or run-off father. She was always going to be one of the Bad Girls. People (mostly her classmates, but they’re certainly not alone) have been calling her a whore since she was in seventh grade. Authority figures from teachers to police officers consider her a troublemaker who needs to be put in her place.
Angelina Santos-De La Cruz (seen on the left above, with the leg injury) was born in late February of 1977, nine months to the day after her parents’ June wedding. At the time the Hometown begins, in the fall of 1994, she is seventeen.
Angelina is just a Good Kid in pretty much every dimension: she’s a shoo-in for valedictorian, she’s an athlete (captain of the field hockey team), she’s in the school choir, and she’s in all the school plays. The eldest of seven children, she got used to taking on responsibility early on, and she helps out a lot at home – once all those school activities are done, of course. She’s also an active participant at her family’s church, though she’s maybe not quite as devout a Catholic as they are (more on that later).
What’s more, she doesn’t fall into the trap of many a Good Kid and become self-righteous. She has friends among all strata of Belford High School society, and she doesn’t judge people for having a different life than she does. Many of the school’s bad girls – including Vicki – have waited for quite some time for the slut-shaming to begin before they realized it wasn’t going to.
And for those who do become her friend, there are certain benefits. She is fiercely loyal and fiercely protective, and while she’s not unusually large, her physical strength as an athlete and the self-defense techniques she was taught by her father – Belford’s chief of police – make her an effective protector indeed. Yes, this becomes an issue during the course of Hometown.
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Check it out!
The brave young women you see before you are Angelina Santos-de la Cruz and Vicki Powers, the heroines of my novel Hometown. I can’t tell you exactly what they’re facing because, well, that would be telling. This scene is from the end of the novel, and Angelina and Vicki are facing the final horror with nothing but a flathead screwdriver, an injured leg, and their indomitable wills.
The thing they’re facing might be in more trouble than it thinks.
Thanks to the talented MJ Barros for this marvelous interpretation of my two heroines.
The $0.99 sale on Hometown downloads is now a go! Head on over to Amazon and check it out!
It’s the Fall of 1994 in the small milltown of Belford, New York. The leaves are turning, the kids are going back to school, and the heat of Summer is giving way to a cool, misty season. It happens every Fall. Only this Fall, people are disappearing into that mist. Some people are found torn apart, some people are found dead for no reason, and some people aren’t found at all. Other people see strange things in the mist: ghosts and campfire stories. There’s something out there in that mist. Something old. Something that has slept for a long time, but has now woken up hungry. Maybe the people of Belford could resist it, but as the terrible Fall wears on, more and more of them start…changing. Acting bizarre and violent. In the end, only a small group of teenage defenders are left to make their stand.
Just in time for the season of dark magic, the story of the hometown you can never escape and the things from the cold fall mist is going to be on sale at Amazon for a mere $0.99 per download. Don’t miss it!
This is going to be the last excerpt from Hometown I’m going to be able to share here. Any more, and I violate my terms of service with KDP Select (it doesn’t count as selling it exclusively through them if I’m giving it all away, after all), so I’m afraid you really will have to get the rest at Amazon. And as always, while you’re there, check out the rest of my work. You’ll like it if you like this. I promise.
In this passage, we get our first real look at Belford’s underclass. Granted, everyone we met at the field party was a member of that underclass, but that was, well, a party. This is where we see how two girls from the trailer park have to deal with the way their surroundings and the people around them try to grind them down.
Sadly, Vicki and Val’s travails are neither made up nor exaggerated. They’re based on the girls I discussed in this post: “In their world, this was the natural order of things. As girls, they were legal prey, especially if they lived in the trailer park and wore too much makeup and tight clothes, and had zero social status.”
That’s the time and place Vicki and Val live in. But they’re tough and brave anyway. I think that’s why I love them.