Thanks for having me today, Cynthia! I’m the featured Author-of-the-Week over at the Secret Cravings blog, and anyone who comments here or on any of my guest posts between now and Thursday will be given a chance to win a free download of their choice of my back list.
When I sat down to write Endless Love, which is the 5th book in the Arbor University series, I pictured the ‘Barbie and Ken’ story of the series, you know, the golden couple who meet and fall in love in high school, then marry after they graduate college and go on to live HEA. My college roommate and BFF seemed destined for that course of action, until our senior year. Suddenly Life dealt her and her boyfriend a double blow. First came a brush with the law, which took six months until his name was cleared, then another more damaging charge, which literally shook the foundation of their relationship and tested the strength of her love for him. After I wrote this, I sent it to my BFF, who called me first in tears, since some of the conversations between Caitlyn and either Amy or Peter actually took place, wondering why she wasn’t told certain truths. Sometimes, when a person has their mind made up, they don’t hear advice because they simply aren’t ready to hear it or face it. The second time she called me, she said it was “nice to know how my life would have turned out, had I stayed on track.” Isn’t that true of everyone?
Caitlyn McCarty plans to marry her high school sweetheart, Bryan Johnson, and teach elementary school after graduating from Arbor University. But after Bryan's life turns upside down with an unexpected turn of events, Caty begins to question her goals and every decision she’s ever made.
Peter Criswell fell for green-eyed, opinionated Caitlyn when he first met her. However, her determination to hold onto a dream frustrates him. Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time, and falling for a woman who’s caught between her parents’ wants versus her own desires isn’t always easy.
When the foundation of Bryan Johnson’s relationship with Caitlyn is tested not once, but twice, he faces the possibility of losing the only girl he’s loved since high school. When Caty does make up her mind, will she stand by her man or run into the arms of another?
“No, we didn’t have a fight. It’s just, right before Halloween, things were back to normal for us, and this afternoon, I called, and he was at the doctor’s office with Valerie, playing concerned daddy. It just slapped me back to reality, that’s all.” She ran her hands through her hair. “And watching Amy getting over Matt, and seeing Gretchen so happy, oh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Maybe it’s just PMS.”
“Sounds more like you’re jealous.”
“Me? Jealous? That’s ridiculous.” Caty snapped her head around to face him. “I’m happy Amy’s moving on with her life, Gretchen’s got her life mapped out, and even Keri’s going out, although I’m not sure she’s really looking for anyone. I just...I don’t know.”
Peter moved through the late-day traffic. “Do you think you’re standing still? You keep saying that every one of your friends is moving on. Sounds to me like you’re trying to hold onto the idea of you and Bryan as this perfect couple.”
“We did get called ‘Barbie and Ken’ a lot. We used to joke about our fairytale romance, and one year, dressed up as Cinderella and Prince Charming.”
“But…” Peter prompted.
“But, I guess maybe you’re right. My life is on hold. I used to believe I would graduate, get married, teach school until I started having babies, and be happy the rest of my life.” Caty shook her head. “Now, I know I’m going to graduate, but the rest is all up in the air. Amy’s going to graduate sometime in the summer and do God knows what. Keri’s got so many job offers, she doesn’t know which to choose, and Gretchen’s going into the Peace Corps, if she gets accepted, then marry Troy and live happily ever after.”
“She wants to teach P.E. somewhere. She wants to stay in Evansville, or at least in the area.”
“And where does that leave you?”
“In limbo until April.”
“Why does your happiness depend on Bryan?” He hit the wheel, causing Caitlyn to gasp. “I can’t understand it. You’re young, beautiful, you’ve got what it takes to be a successful teacher, yet you persist in clinging to this dream of marrying a guy who’s not even sure if he’s about to bring a child into the world with someone he doesn’t even remember sleeping with.” He sounded exasperated. “It’s 1988, Caitlyn. You’re not in 1958...you have the right to make your own happiness, not depend on any man.”
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No, thank you! Enjoyed the behind the scenes snippet and the excerpt. Until next time . . .