It’s Friday, folks!
You probably didn’t think I was going to post today. SURPRISE!!!!!
Just one question this week:
Shyly asked: I really enjoyed your book 'Why Rodney Never Should've Gone to the NAPIC' - when will the next book be coming out?
First of all, it makes me very happy to hear you liked the first book. I always love it when people tell me that.
Second, I’m glad you asked!! Book 2 (How to Properly Deface a Book) is set for release November 10th of this year. Which means a certain author has to get to work editing. *whistles innocently*
And… since that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject… here’s a short little excerpt from Chapter Four. Enjoy!
I stand outside of 1220 North Cross Street, staring up at the large, brick building in front of me. I’m not quite sure how Fiona talked me into coming here. One minute I was looking the place up online to see if they really (or still) existed and the next she’s got me calling her dad and Rodney to see if it’s okay if we make a trip downtown today.
She’d wanted to go right away, but they’d been closed Monday night when she stayed over, and Tuesday we both had to go to work. So, here we were Wednesday, both begged out of working, standing downtown, outside of the shop that will seal my fate.
Yes, I’m being overdramatic. But, if any situation calls for a little drama, this is it.
“Well,” Fiona says, offering me a grin. “This is it. You want to go first or should I?”
My eyes are locked on the sign out front, the one with the shop’s name written in fancy red letters with a picture of an owl perched beside it. It’s all I can do it keep breathing normally. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
I turn to face her, unable to speak.
She nods and takes my hand. “Right, we’ll go together.”
Her hand is warm and sticky in mine. I wonder if she’s as nervous as I am. I guess that’s what makes her a true friend; she cares about things that only matter to her because they matter to me.
Too bad she hadn’t gone to Rodney’s office with me yesterday. I spent a good portion of the day clicking on and off of the Owlside Books website, trying to gather up the courage to read more about the place- and the people who ran it. But, I never quite managed to click the “About Us” tab. I’d been afraid of what I would find, of the fact that the answers might be right there, all this time just waiting on a website for me to find.
Of course, the answers had just been waiting in a book all this time for me to find. I wonder if I’d have ever found them if Fee and I had never become friends.
Either way, I’m glad we did. I’d rather have her here with me now than try to face this alone.
She squeezes my hand as she pulls the door open, the bell overhead jangling. We’re assailed with a blast of cold air, sharply contrasting that of the humid July temperatures. I take a deep breath, stopping short in the store’s doorway. My heart pounds in my chest and it’s all I can do to remain calm.
This is it. Whatever I find here today could determine my fate.
I smile at the dramaticness of the thought. Maybe Oliver was right when he told me I should consider a career in the theater.
Fiona stops as well, waiting patiently by my side. Her eyes dart around the shop, from shelve of books to shelve of books, a hungriness evident in each and every glance. She wants to get this over with so she can explore.
I know exactly how she feels. Only, I have a feeling that there isn’t going to be an “over” today. Not for me anyway. Whatever I find here is either going to be the best thing in my life or the worst. There’s nothing in between.
She notices me staring at her and gives me an encouraging nod. I take a deep breath and step all the way inside, the door shutting with a soft thud behind me. Goosebumps form up and down my arms, a shiver making its way down my spine, as the air conditioning swirls around me. Reason number one why I hate summer- no matter how you dress it’s never the right choice for both indoor and outdoor wear.
Of course, that’s the least of my worries right now.
I take a small step toward the counter, which is semi-hidden by a shelf of books. Seriously, this place is packed with more bookshelves than any store I’ve ever been in before. It smells so nice too, comforting- like a clean blanket or a friend’s sweater.
But, I have no time to soak in the wonder of the place. I’m on a mission. Questions first, exploration later.
If I’m not too upset to explore, that is.
There’s a young man sitting behind the counter- which is also covered with books, by the way. His head is bent down, so all I can see of him is a thick crop of curly blond hair. He’s got a notebook open in front of him, a thick notebook with colorful tabs sticking off the sides in some form of organization. The pages are well-thumbed, the edges worn and curled. And, it seems familiar somehow.
I clear my throat, not sure what else to say. How should I start?
This is obviously not well thought through. Fiona and I should have discussed this when we first started making plans to come here.
The young man looks up and I get a good look at his face. High cheekbones, bright blue eyes, and a lopsided smile. I realize now why the notebook looked familiar.