I've got fellow Astraea Press author Brenda Maxfield here for a return visit. It's only been a few months since she was here with her New Adult novel The Lance Temptation. Brenda is back with another release, a semi-autobiographical story called Someday You'll Laugh. Here's her explanation of how the book came to be:
When I heard that Astraea was looking for true love stories, I jumped at the chance. Traveling back to the 1970’s was a ball! Or should I say “groovy!” The more I wrote, the more I remembered. It was like being courted all over again. What fun.
Until I really got to thinking about it:
The angst of having to dump one guy for another, dealing with a jealous stand-by, recovering from a crushed heart — whoa, I think I’m glad to be in the present!
Yet, it was fun writing about it.
Stunned when her boyfriend announces they should be free to see others when he leaves for college, Brenda pastes a smile on her face and walks away. Far away. Only to find herself irresistibly drawn into the arms of another guy.
Brenda’s previous boyfriend finds out, claims he made a huge mistake, and wants her back. She will receive a marriage proposal, but from which one?
Later, on her wedding day, Brenda awakens knowing something is wrong. Will she make it through the ceremony?
By Friday, all arrangements had been made. I was to fly out on Sunday afternoon and audition for the girls’ ensemble on Tuesday morning. I had set up a practice session with Paul for three o’clock on Friday, which was perfect timing. I had two songs chosen — both of them from high school choir the previous year.
When I arrived to practice, Paul was waiting at the entrance of the rehearsal room. He leaned against the doorframe and watched me approach. His eyes roamed up and down my outfit. At first, I worried I’d spilled a blob of food down my shirt, but then my cheeks grew warm as realization dawned. He was admiring me. No matter. Soon I wouldn’t be around, and he’d never see me flush hot again. I’d be tucked safely away in California with Greg.
“Hey, Greg’s girlfriend, how’s it going?” His voice was smooth, yet I could sense an underlying excitement.
“The name is Brenda.”
“Okay then, Greg’s Girlfriend Brenda. How’s it going?”
He was teasing me now, and I was surprised to find I wanted to join him.
“Maybe I should be calling you So-and-so’s Boyfriend Paul? Seems only fair.”
He took a step forward and his blue eyes were playful. “Nope. Nobody’s boyfriend.” He ushered me into the rehearsal room with a gallant sweep of his hand.
“You were fishing, I assume?” he asked, sitting on the bench and scooting himself up to the piano.
He twisted around, looked at me over his shoulder, and winked. “Trying to find out if I have a girlfriend.”
I stepped back. “Hardly! Whoa, you’re conceited.” But of course, he was right — I had been fishing. I did want to know if he was attached — a senseless move because I’d be leaving soon, probably for good.
Paul looked at the music. “These aren’t songs from your lesson.”
“I know. I’m trying out for an ensemble in California, and these are my audition pieces.”
Paul shifted on the bench and stared at me. “An ensemble in California? That’s quite a commute isn’t it?”
I smiled, but for some reason my heart didn’t join in. “If I make it, I’ll be moving.”
He nodded with slow deliberation. “Moving, huh? Well, that is news.”
“Greg attends there, so it makes sense. Getting into this ensemble means a sizable scholarship.”
Paul’s eyes narrowed. “Ah, I see. It’s the money.”
The way he said it, I felt like I needed to defend myself. “It’s not the money. I want to be with my boyfriend. As I said, it makes perfect sense.”
As the words came out of my mouth, I knew I was lying. It was the money. Being with Greg was part of it, but I hadn’t made any big effort to follow him south before the scholarship came along.
We glared at each other in silence. Then Paul scooted over on the bench to make room for me. “Sit here. You’ll be able to see the music better.”
I sat down, and his closeness made my heart quiver. Our faces were only inches apart. He gazed at me with such intimacy I involuntarily scooted backward and nearly fell off the bench.
“Maybe I shouldn’t sit since I’ll be standing for the audition.” I scrambled to get up. My legs shook and for a brief second, I thought I was going to fall right on top of him.
“Whatever you say.” Paul turned to the music and his hands slid over the keyboard with smooth grace. He was the best pianist I’d ever heard, and I became mesmerized as I watched his strong fingers play over the keys like a caress.
I botched my entrance and Paul stopped and swiveled around to me. “You missed your cue.”
“I know, sorry. Can you start again?” A shudder passed through me. Why was I so flustered? I’d already sung in front of him. I was being ridiculous.
Someday You'll Laugh is available at Amazon.