Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway - Good Morning Bellingham by Marina Raydun

Good Morning, Bellingham by Marina Raydun
Series n/a; standalone
Genre Literary Fiction
Publisher Independent
Publication Date September 9, 2019

 When Peta goes missing, a two-decade old secret threatens to rip at the seams and come out in the open.

Relationships are tested as one dysfunctional family comes together in search of their daughter, sister, and wife.
What they find instead will change each one of them forever.

Enjoy this excerpt and come back on 1/18/2020 for my thoughts on the book!

A Standalone Novel
© 2020 Marina Raydun


Monday: October 1st 

She does not get off the 4:05 train. I wait. And I wait. A long time I wait. My teeth chatter from the harsh autumn breeze. My eyes burn from the fine dust it picks up, but I wait. My knees are locked, my feet are cemented to the platform, my throat is getting uncomfortably tight. I blink and I swallow. I check my phone and reread her messages. And I wait.
I wait for the next one—the 5:05. And then the 6:05. I crane my neck and look up and down the tracks more often than logically necessary, intensifying the headache that had taken root in my temples when my sister hadn’t gotten off at 4:05. But nothing. She’s not there. She’s not here. And so, committed to my spot, I vow to wait for hours. To stand there like a school girl waiting for her pick-up when everyone but the teacher had already gone home for the day. I should know what that feels like from experience—mostly you feel silly to have ever expected any better.
I watch as the sun begins to set now. It’s growing colder and emptier by the minute, but I keep waiting. My clothes, still mostly hand-me-downs from my sister’s high school days, aren’t doing the job. I eventually must button up my denim jacket and stuff my fisted palms into its wasteful pockets. I continue to wait in remote comfort. I’m patient. Or stubborn. This doesn’t feel like a choice.
Fewer people disembark off the 7:05. Fewer still at 8:05. That’s when I fold and call Peter.
“She definitely left,” he tells me between carefully spaced breaths. “She’s not here at any rate. She texted me on her way out, that’s all I know. Maybe she missed the train? Was— I thought she— she was supposed to arrive hours ago?” He sounds vaguely irritated. Busy. I hear Gwenny cooing in the background. She is yet to say her first words, but she sure is babbling up a storm from what I understand. Or is it called jargoning? I call Peta every day and so I hear Gwenny in the background every day. So I know. I imagine Peter now, phone wedged between his ear and his shoulder, swaying over his daughter seated in her playpen surrounded by a plush family of Winnie the Pooh characters—her favorite. He must’ve just gotten home, I remind myself. He’d have to go to bed within minutes in order to be up in only seven hours for work. I should not have worried him. I want to kick myself.
It’s 8:30 and I haven’t eaten since noon when I’d grabbed a yogurt after psych with Gael. Well, I also had a cup of coffee before I got here, but that’s it. This is against protocol. I’m getting lightheaded and turning my head to look up and down the platform every few minutes sure doesn’t help. I call Gael. He’s in organic bio lab, I think. But I need a juice, a Snickers, something. I can’t afford to step away in search of a vending machine for fear of missing seeing Peta finally disembark one of these trains. The film forming before my eyes is obstructing my vision as it is.
“Something must’ve happened,” I tell Gael. I’m not sure why I say this, but now that the words are out my voice box has tightened and become strained when I wasn’t paying attention. This feeling is all too familiar. This is exactly what my throat did that dreadful morning when Peta called to tell me that Harry died. Obviously, it naturally follows, something dreadful must’ve happened to her now. Otherwise I wouldn’t feel what I’m feeling. I wouldn’t have said what I said. It may not be rational but there it is. She wouldn’t leave me standing here in the cold, darkening night. She was so excited when she called to tell me she’s coming. Just yesterday! She wouldn’t just leave me hanging now and not pick up the phone or answer my myriad text messages. No, that would never happen.
Great, now I’m thinking about Harry, which isn’t helpful. The day Harry died, to be more specific. I don’t remember much else about him, to be honest. It seems so long ago now, though it wasn’t really. Not objectively. I was just about to take my SATs when my phone rang with the news. Of course, once I was brought up to speed, I had to reschedule. While my mind was at once crystal clear with the adrenaline of the information shocking my system, my entire body went numb and began to pulse, lightly, within seconds. I simply couldn’t hold my number 2 pencil, it was that simple. I had to reschedule. It was a no brainer to leave. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise—the timing of it all, not the fact of the matter of his untimely passing, obviously. As a result, I got to retake the test and wound up scoring in the 97th percentile. Though Harry unlikely knew what the SATs were, I imagined him smiling down at me when I finally received my score, clicking open the e-mail with my heart heavy and my stomach soft. He did have the goofiest smile, all four teeth visible, from what I remember. There are no pictures.
Well, there are no SATs now, but I do have midterms next week. I’d have to get extensions from my professors, I catch myself thinking. If she never disembarks, that is. I hate myself for thinking any of this and screw my eyes shut against the sun descending further, practically invisible on the horizon. I want to smack my forehead to stop. I almost do, but it wouldn’t help. The logistics aren’t important, I lament, pointlessly, already having buried her. This would be considered eerily prophetic if I weren’t so prone to overdramatizing uncertainties on a daily basis. Mommy can tell you. Or Gael. Or Peta.
The clock tower ticks mutely, as if mocking me with its pronouncement of time—9:05. My throat begins to hurt now. 
“Is Peter sure she left?” Gael ventures, finally at my side with a mason jar of cooling mate.
And then I finally cry.

To celebrate the tour for GOOD MORNING, BELLINGHAM by Marina Raydun, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!

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About the author:

MARINA RAYDUN’s published works of fiction include a compilation of novellas One Year in Berlin/Foreign Bride, a suspense novel entitled Joe After Maya, and a two-part series, Effortless. Born in the former Soviet Union, Marina grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a B.A. in history from Pace University. She is an avid music fan, a cat lover, and an enthusiastic learner of American Sign Language. Whenever she is not writing, Marina enjoys spending time with her family, catching up on Netflix, and baking.

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