Friday, November 16, 2012

Penny Estelle's Short Story: At What Price?

Short story by P.A. Estelle
Today is a pretty special day. Author Penny Estelle is my guest and I stop at Penny's blog as I wrap up the Book Tour for Girls Succeed. After reading about Penny's intriguing story, hop on over to her Penny's Tales blog and discover the non-fiction e-book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. Be sure to enter the drawing by leaving a comment here and/or at Penny's blog to win prizes.

Welcome, Penny. 

Good morning J Q.  I want to thank you very much for inviting me to stop by and chat.

I would like to talk about my very first “adult” story - At What Price? 
The story is about a grandmother who steps up to take care of her granddaughter, who was abandoned by her own mother.  The little girl’s name is Rio. 

I actually have a granddaughter named Rio.  My Rio is six-years old, going on twenty-six.  The only similarities these two Rios have in common is the long, curly, wild hair.

* * * *

Katherine Gardner is awakened at 6:30 in the morning with a call from a strange woman who claims to have her granddaughter, Rio. This woman is calling the police if Katherine doesn’t make arrangements for somebody to pick this little girl up.

Katherine is a fifty-six years old woman and all alone, since her husband died over three years ago. Her life takes a dramatic turn when six-year old Rio comes to stay with her. Rio is a scared little girl whose life is filled with uncertainty and fear.

In her grandmother, Rio finds a safe haven and an unconditional love that she has never known in her six short years and Katherine has found a love to fill the void that has been absent for way too long.

Unfortunately Katherine’s daughter, who deserted Rio, has other ideas.


Rio seemed excited about the prospect of going to school, but when it was time to take her to class, she was as pale as a hen’s egg and had a death grip on my hand. The fear in her eyes was heartbreaking. I gave some flimsy excuse about school already being in session for the day so we would start fresh tomorrow.
            The receptionist said, “It won’t be easier tomorrow. I can assure you, she will be perfectly fine if you allow us to take her to class now.”
            This bitch had no heart. “I’m aware and thank you for your concern. We will be back tomorrow.”
I took Rio to the store to buy school supplies and a few new dresses, but she seemed to retreat back to the scared little girl I found in the plane.
            At dinner, I talked about the new friends she would meet and all the stuff she would learn in first grade. I was babbling about riding the school bus when she interrupted me.
“Mimi?” she whispered, “Where will I go next time if nobody picks me up from school?” She bit her lip, as if to keep it from quivering, and her eyes seemed to fill her entire face.
I pulled my chair next to hers and ran my hand down her mass of tangled curls, physically hurting for my granddaughter. “Rio, as long as you are with me, I will pick you up – always! That’s a promise. I love you and you will always be safe with me.”

Download a sample or buy At What Price? at these online booksellers:

I have written three MG/tween stories and one non-fiction story about my and my hubby’s life living “off the grid.”

Hike Up Devil’s Mountain
Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare
A Float Down the Canal
SOLAR – One Family’s Reality

I (and my books) can always be found at:
Twitter - @pennystales

Feel free to stop by anytime.  I love visitors!


Penny's Tales said...

Good morning JQ and thanks so much for letting me stop by to talk about my short story.

Hey readers, JQ is at my blog today talking about some really awesome women - check it out at

Pat McDermott said...

Poor Rio! She's lucky to have Katherine looking after her. But what will happen? Great excerpt, Penny. You captured a ton of angst in only a few paragraphs. Compelling reading indeed.

Unknown said...

The book sounds like a heartwarming read. Love and a safe haven for Rio. Gram sounds like a wise woman.

Thanks for telling us about this.

Penny's Tales said...

Lorrie and Pat, I so appreciate your stopping by today. I thank you both for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. I recently received a copy of this ebook and I look forward to reading it.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for stopping by. Penny's read sounds like a perfect one for the holidays.

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