Thanks Vicki for inviting me today.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my work, Such is Love is the second book in my Such is Life series. Being a first time self-published author I figured today I would talk a little about the dreaded sequel. I don’t know if you guys are familiar or not with how many people feel about sequels, but usually they aren’t good. Most people don’t believe the first one could be topped. Writing Such is Love I felt that feeling over me. That people who loved the first weren’t going to feel the same about the second. That I would hear those awful words, “She should have stopped at the first one.” I don’t know if any of you have experienced this feeling, but I would have to tell ya it stopped me in my tracks.
I doubted myself for a year about the second book coming out. Would people like it? Will people bother to venture onto the third? What if I’m a one hit wonder?
The point of all this today is for those of you who have ever had this feeling I’m here to route you on. Don’t let your fear of failure stop your success. I’ve gotten an overwhelming support from my friends, family, and fans of the series. Rooting me on everyday wondering what was in store for Melissa and Brett. Wondering if they would one day be together. Posting comments on FB and emailing me. Without the support I don’t know if I would have ever continued. So if you are a writer or a reader, remember that your support could be what gets another author the push they need. I know it helped me and next week is my book signing for Such is Love and I can’t wait. I also couldn’t thank the people in my life anymore. They are the reason I continue to write.
Oh, and don’t forget every review counts!
Melissa Jones is packed and ready to go Canada with her closest friends. The good part is that after years of being the single girl, she’s finally in a relationship with old flame Shawn Edwards. The bad part is her assistant and ex-fling Brett Thomas has started dating her longtime friend Tracy Rumsey. As a last minute addition to the trip Brett is bringing not only his good looks but also his feelings for Melissa along. Tensions are high but everyone wears their smiles for the sake of the trip. Friendships and relationships will be tested in this second installment of the romantic comedy Such is Life series. By the end of the trip the good and the bad will come out. Fires and floods won’t compare to the secrets that will be brought to the surface. It goes to show all might look good on the outside even though there’s a storm brewing within.
Instead of stopping at a Denny’s or a Perkins we decided on fast food, which made Shawn very happy. It was getting late and we didn’t want to waste time with sitting down and eating. Shawn hopped in the back with Tracy to get some sleep since he spent most of his day running around New York. Shawn and Tracy are two people who get in a car and if they aren’t driving pass right out. Shawn wasn’t lying when he said we were up late. There wasn’t even the slightest bit of exaggeration there.
For an hour Brett and I didn’t speak to one another. I handed him his food and we listened to music and sang. I never really noticed his great belting voice until he started singing along to the radio. But then again why wouldn’t he have a great singing voice? Good looking guys, with a nice bodies, and a great personalities always have a great singing voices. It comes along with the package of being beautiful and perfect.
I stared at him as he continued to sing along with Maroon 5. I couldn’t help but smile at him because I never heard him belt out before. When we went to Mansfield last year he would sing but he was really quiet. Who could pass up a guy who has a great singing voice? Another reason to fall for him.
Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light came on and he practically jumped out of his seat. He turned up the radio and he commenced to rocking. I knew the song too, but I was so shocked by his excitement that I didn’t join in on the song. I was even more stunned when it got to the baseball commentary and he knew the whole section. It was hilarious watching him jam out, drumming against the steering wheel, and swinging his thick dark hair back and forth. I had no other choice but to sing along with the female part the second it came on. I think he was stunned because he stared at me while I sang. He finally sang again when the “let me sleep on it” part began.
Once the song ended we had ourselves a chuckle and a slight awkward moment due to what I assume was the lyrics. “Do you love me forever?” It was the exact question I’d been asking myself. It felt like I was really asking him. I wish I could ask him that without a song being the pretext. It’s something that I wanted to ask him for a long time and it felt like singing that song kind of lifted the weight off my shoulders although he didn’t really answer. And by some chance if I ever asked him if he loved me and he replied, “let me sleep on it” I would probably hit him. Funny thing is he probably knows I would hit him. He always tells me the two things I got from my mother was my ability to hold my liquor, and my violence. My two least favorite attributes about her.
He looked over at me again and smiled. I could tell he wanted to say something but he kept looking away every time he opened his mouth. The situation was unbelievably frustrating. I wish I was the type of person who could trust her instincts and go with what she wants, but I always fear getting hurt. I blame Derrick. He was always constantly pulling me in close and then pushing me further away. That’s why it’s hard for me to be able to take risk.
One might say I took a risk with Shawn, but it wasn’t a risk, it was a safety net. The more and more I thought about Derrick the angrier I became. And the angrier I became the more I relied on my relationship with Shawn. The more I relied on my relationship with Shawn, the further things between Brett and I slipped away. There was no risk in my decision at all. It was just like me to take the safest route.
Sometimes I wanted to stand in the middle of the desert and scream at the top of my lungs. I wish I could turn to him right now and say I want to be with you, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I panicked and ran when things between the two of us began. I’m sorry it’s taking me a year to say this. I will admit that I knew I made a mistake the minute I got off the phone with Shawn. I’m also sorry that this isn’t our trip together.
I’m so pathetic. Even I am underway of becoming bored with my constant back and forth behavior.
I also have to take into consideration one thing. What if he doesn’t feel the same way? My gut says that he does, but if I were him I don’t know if I would necessarily want to try something that broke his heart once already. To him I turned him down, and to me I chickened out. What a way for one situation to be viewed two different ways.
I debated with myself for another hour while we were on the road. It’s was nine and we were about three hours outside of Ontario. The roads were jammed which meant he couldn’t go his normal Mach speed. I could tell he was getting tired by the way he was driving. It was pretty early so I didn’t know why he was tired, unless he and Tracy stayed up all night. What was the best way to ask him if he and Tracy had sex? It took us a year to kiss I couldn’t imagine him bedding her right away. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking. He could simply be more attracted to her than he was to me. Maybe she was a better kisser than me. There are many possibilities and it seemed like none were a positive in my direction. I turned around to make sure Tracy and Shawn were still asleep. Tracy was leaning up against Shawn and Shawn’s face was up against the window. They were both most definitely knocked out.
“Aren’t you supposed to be keeping me awake?” Brett asked.
“I have been keeping you awake.” I swiveled around in my seat. “What would you like to talk about?”
He leaned forward and turned down the music just enough for the two of us to hear each other. “I want you to ask me the question you have been debating on for the past five hours.”
“What? I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I laughed out of nervousness.
“Whatever you say, but I know you want to ask me about Tracy,” he whispered.
I let out a deep breath. “Will you please get out of my head? I’m not thinking what you are thinking I’m thinking, but I am thinking what you are probably thinking now.”
With all the traffic he came to a stop.
“You do realize that doesn’t throw me off the original topic right? Maybe that would have worked two years ago, but not now baby.”
“Baby?” I spoke softly.
“You know what I meant.” He looked down at my lips then back on the road as the traffic moved. “Why is it that you have barely talked to me all week?”
“What do you mean, Brett?”
“What do you think I mean? We get coffee every morning, we eat lunch together every afternoon, and most weekends we rent a movie…if ‘you know who’ isn’t around.” He nodded back toward Shawn. “I don’t know I guess I missed you that’s all. Are you sure you don’t mind that I’m here with Tracy?”
I shook my head yes but said no, “I guess I don’t see why you would want to come? But maybe I’m thinking about this all wrong, maybe….”
“Melissa, come on now. You know why I came.”
“I really don’t, Brett, I really don’t,” I answered while looking in the side mirror to make sure Shawn was asleep. “I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out the answer, but I don’t have one. All I know is I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have ignored you this week because you were with Tracy. You haven’t done that to me and I shouldn’t do that to you.”
“I accept your apology Melissa, but…why did I come?” His expression and tone was one hundred percent serious. I thought I would answer him, but Shawn tapped me on the shoulder and I almost jumped out of my seatbelt.
Links for Such Is Life