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Karen J. Cino

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East Shore Babe
By Karen J. Cino
Sunday, June 01, 2003

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The complete prologue of my novel East Shore Babe.


“This is totally out of control!” Lighting a cigarette, Katherine leaned back on the kitchen chair throwing her head back in disgust.
“I told you that you should have made a decision long ago on what you wanted to do,” Francesca snapped back while taking another gulp of Grand Marnier straight from the bottle. “You knew that this was going to eventually happen. But do you listen to me...absolutely not.”
“Look who the hell is talking. You’re acting like you have your life totally under control and that is far from the truth. I think you too have some major decisions to make before you start running your mouth about my life.”
“Come on Katherine. Did you actually think this was going to be an easy decision to make? You have been playing with fire for the past few months.”
“And like you haven’t? At least I have divorce papers out there. Maybe they aren’t signed, but they are there.”
“I see. So what are you trying to say?”
“What I am trying to say is that you have no room to talk.” Katherine stood up when she heard a car and walked to the door. Jackie is here,” she yelled into the kitchen.
“Yeah, just great. Jackie and her tarot cards,” Francesca sarcastically snapped.
“Fine. You have a problem with that?”
Jackie opened the door and came in with beer and tarot cards in hand. “Hello all,” she sang walking directly into the kitchen. “What a day I had today?”
“Before you go any further, do me a favor?” Katherine whispered.
“Sure. What?”
“When Francesca asks you to read her cards, tell her to go to hell.”
“Running her mouth again, I presume?”
“Of course.”
Rolling her eyes at Francesca, she took the limes out of the bag and announced, “I need a knife.”
“Top drawer,” Francesca pointed.
Cutting up the lime, she shoved a slice into the neck of the beer bottle and sat across from Katherine. “I hate work and I hate men. They are all fucked up.”
“Now what happened?” Katherine asked.
“The same shit. They don’t know what the hell they want.”
“Tell me about it. Men think with only one thing. Then they say that women are the weaker sex,” Katherine laughed.
“Are you two through yet,” Francesca snapped. “We have this same conversation every time we get together.”
“Shut up and hand me a wine cooler from the refrigerator. We have some serious business to discuss here today and I’m not going to listen to any sarcastic remarks about tarot cards and how much we are drinking. Okay?” Katherine growled.
“Fine,” Francesca sighed. “Let’s just get down to business and see what we are going to do to rectify the problems at hand.”
Francesca reached across the table to seize the tarot cards but stopped when Jackie slapped her hand.
“How many times do I have to tell you that you don’t touch the cards until I hand them to you?”
“What’s the difference?” Francesca asked.
“The cards are sacred. That’s why they are secured in the scarf. How many times do I have to tell you that?”
“I still don’t understand.”
Ignoring her, Jackie unwrapped the tarot cards from the black silk scarf and handed them to Francesca. “Shuffle them good.”
Unwrapping the tarot cards from the black silk scarf, Jackie handed them to Francesca. “Shuffle them good.”
“I don’t know.” Francesca waved her hand in a gesture of dismissal and continued, “I don’t think this is the answer.”
Jackie’s eyebrows rose in amazement. “Really? If I remember correctly a few moments ago you were the one that grabbed the cards.”
“She’s got you there,” Katherine commented finishing off her wine cooler. “Go ahead and cut the cards.”
Carefully cutting the cards into three neat piles, Francesca placed them back into one pile and handed them back to Jackie. Taking a deep breath, she turned over the first card. “Death…”
“What does that mean?” Francesca asked Jackie in a panic.
“It means transition. The end of one thing and the birth of something else.”


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Reviewed by Sandra Mushi 12/27/2007
Lol. Life is what we make out of it. But atleast even the tarot cards give one hope. Rich and captivating, Karen.

Merry Christmas and God bless,

Reviewed by Erik Hare 5/17/2007
Very good stuff, thanks!
Reviewed by P-M Terry Lamar 5/6/2007
I like this. I can see these three clearly in my head and am now anticipating what the "transition" is going to be..
Reviewed by Jean Pike 2/2/2007
Very powerful opening, and great characterization. I enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury 2/1/2007
Very realistic story line. Great
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 1/13/2006
A captivating beginning, Karen. Love and peace and best wishes to you,

Reviewed by Lee Garrett 10/14/2004
You have an enveloping voice and a good story flow going. The plot is off to an interesting start. As for the characters, it's scary but I think I know these women--they live next door to me!
Reviewed by Mocha Sistah 2/2/2004
Keep writing my sister. I also am working on a novel. This is rich for much explorations.

- Pam

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