Riding with James Dean by David-Matthew Barnes

Riding with James Dean         
David-Matthew Barnes
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Blue Dasher Press
Date of Publication: November 7, 2017
ASIN:
Number of pages:
Word Count: 12,500
Book Description:
When seventeen-year-old Johnny moves to a sleepy new town and meets the enigmatic Marco, the glamorous Mary, and the punk princess Jemma, his summer nights are soon filled with friendship and love.

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Excerpt:
From a distance, I could’ve sworn
I saw the ghost of Marilyn Monroe.
            There
was a beautiful woman standing next to Marco in the parking lot of the 50’s
hamburger palace. They were leaning up against the side of his vintage car,
waiting and doused in the shadows of slow pulsing neon lights. His arm was
draped around her shoulders. It appeared she was propping him up. She laughed
when she steadied him and the sound was sweet and melodic. She was a platinum
blonde, dressed in a black pencil skirt and a low-cut white angora sweater.
There was a red chiffon scarf tied around her neck. She exuded power in her
black stiletto heels. She was a movie star in the making, a glamorous goddess
just waiting for someone to discover her and catapult her to fame. If anyone
had been born for a life on the silver screen, it was her.
            She
pried herself away from Marco and stepped in my direction. “You must be
Johnny,” she said. I nodded in reply, mesmerized by the seductive green color
of her eyes and the tenderness of her voice. She leaned in, kissed my cheek,
and then spent the next few seconds trying to wipe her lipstick off my skin.
Her touch was soft and comforting. 
 “Are you Marilyn Monroe?” I asked. My words
fell into her cleavage.
            “You’re
close,” she said. “I’m Mary.”
            “Yes,”
I said. “Marco mentioned you.”
            “He’s
like a brother to me,” she whispered. “Be gentle with his heart.”
            Marco
moved to us, wrapping an arm around us, connecting and cementing us as a trio.
“I’m a lucky guy,” he said. “I get to spend the night with my two favorite
people.”
            “Marco
doesn’t have many favorites,” Mary explained. She was clearly his interpreter.
“So, I guess that makes us the lucky ones.”
            Marco
gently guided us in the direction of his parked car. “I wish we could go to
Vegas,” he announced.
            “Why
don’t we?” I challenged.
            He
shook his head. “We wouldn’t make it there until dawn.”
            “Dawn’s
a lovely time to arrive in Vegas,” Mary said. “You can sleep all day and then
be ready for the night.”
            “Are
we vampires?” I asked, with a small laugh.
            “In
another life, yes,” explained Mary. “In this one…”
            Marco
glanced up to the dark, starlit sky and said, “We’re the ones everybody else
wants to be.”
            Mary
shook a finger at him, reprimanding. “Careful, Marco,” she said. “You almost
sound smug.”
            “Do
you think they know?” he asked. “About how much we’ve been through?”
            They
looked into each other’s eyes when Mary spoke. “If they did,” she said, “they
wouldn’t care. But our sorrow would ruin the façade.”
            “Façade,”
he repeated. “I like that word.”
            Mary
insisted on sitting in the backseat, but not before pulling me aside. “You
belong up front now,” she explained, in a hushed tone. “Next to Marco. He needs
you by his side.”
            “But
you were here first,” I reminded her.
            “I
appreciate your chivalry,” she said. “But you’re new.”

 

            I
slid across the bucket seat and into the shelter of Marco’s arms. He pulled me
closer to him.  “There,” he said. “That’s
better.”
 
 

About the Author:

David-Matthew Barnes is the award-winning author of several novels and collections of stage plays and poetry. His acclaimed screenplays have earned many accolades including a 2017 Los Angeles Film Award. David-Matthew has written over fifty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in ten countries. His literary work has appeared in over one hundred publications. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He has been an educator for more than a decade.
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