The blurb to MA (get used to the shortened name,) needs to be changed. It WAS:
Two best friends, one huge secret, and a wedding that stands in the way.
Flynn Brewer has a secret, (two secrets)—he’s gay and he’s in love with the boy next door. Flynn’s known for years how he felt, but he’s kept his secret because he’s convinced that telling his best friend, Zach, could destroy their relationship. And then, when Flynn finally works up the nerve to tell him, Gwendolyn and her sister enter the picture and mess up everything. Flynn couldn’t say the words now. Not when “I love you” sounded like a lame attempt at hiding his jealousy over Gwendolyn. Besides… so cliché.
Zachary Mitchell is every girl’s heartthrob and every boy’s wet dream. Quarterback from high school turned horticulturalist, Zach has a personality that could sell anything, do anything, or be anything. Except, he can’t sell the truth—to himself. He's been living a lie ever since his best friend Nate, Flynn’s brother, died ten years prior. And just when he thinks he’s ready to talk about it, and tell Flynn how he feels, he meets a girl and gets swept away.
Months later, both friends stand ready at a wedding neither one wants to go through with. The best man, dying on the inside as the only man he’s ever loved commits himself in marriage—to a woman; and the groom, going through the motions of what is expected of him, even though, in his heart, he’d rather be saying “I do” to someone else. At this point, only God could intervene to avert disaster.
Although this sounds good, it's not exactly accurate. AND this only reveals the romance side of the story. What about the angst? What about the grief? What about the abuse, fear, and religious contention? Have I mentioned that this novel is what Beth and I coined a "Wade Kelly Special?" For those who don't know the definition, it is on my WEBSITE.
… A "Wade Kelly Special" is any novel I write which contains:
4) character soul searching,
5) multiple POVs, and
6) flashbacks or time jumps with dates to keep the reader straight.
Basically, the Wade Kelly Special rakes a reader's heart over a roller coaster of turmoil and emotion before the end. Concentration is needed. These are not "fluffy" reads. Not every novel I write can boast ALL 6 points of my criteria. My Roommate's a Jock? Well, Crap! is a fine example. 1) It is not painful. 2) It does not provoke an ocean of tears. *It's too funny for that! And the biggest discounting factor: the reader's heart is not ripped to shreds reading it. Sorry, JOCK, you don't qualify as a Wade Kelly Special. And Names Can Never Hurt Me doesn't even come close.
Novels that fit that category:
When Love is Not Enough
The Cost of Loving
Notice the ones that do not qualify! On my "books" tab, I have an angst scale. (Like the one below)
I made this chart to help readers KNOW what they are getting into BEFORE they read. I will update it when I write another book. And in looking at my feeble list of books, I DEFINITELY NEED TO WRITE MORE!!
Today I hope to update the "BLURB" to fit more of the other things in. But how? And how much should I give away? More than likely the prologue and possibly chapter 1 would be up as an "excerpt." Do readers read the excerpts? If you read the blurb and then the excerpt, you (as a reader) would see there is more to this book than a love story. I will think on it. Comment below if you have thoughts.
Here is the Prologue, and later today CHAPTER 1, of Misplaced Affection. My current Work In Progress (WIP). A=Oh, and BTW, get used to the acronyms because they are faster to type. Hence, JOCK, NAMES, WLINE, TCOL…. This one is MA!
(And for all you people reading this on Goodreads, I'm sorry it smushed everything together like it does. Maybe you can hop over to the blog post.)
August 16, 2014 – The Day
She loves him. I could see it in her eyes—that deep sense of longing—as she peered over her shoulder toward the ushers, family members, and friends who gathered to prepare for the day’s festivities. As workers from the cottage set chairs in rows on the grass and hung strings of white lights in the trees, “Ophelia”, as Zach called her because she looked like she had stepped out of a painting by that title, wandered farther away picking flowers and occasionally wiping the tip of her nose. Why had I noticed? Why had I cared? Because I felt the same disconnect as she wore in her expression. Only, my reaction wasn’t to pick flowers it was to sit on a folding chair on the edge of the activity and sulk.
It was no surprise to me that Amelia is in love with Zachary Mitchell; after all, he had the kind of smile that lights up a room and personality enough to power a city. Zach was vivacious and charismatic and able to draw people in with a glance. Everyone loved Zach, so I couldn’t blame her for falling hard. The only trouble I foresaw rested on her assigned position as Maid of Honor. How would the sweet “Ophelia” handle walking down the aisle on “Prince Hamlet’s” wedding day only to step to the left, and allow room for his bride to join him at the altar? I didn’t know.
I could imagine how hard this was for her. I had been there at the restaurant last July, expecting wings and an exchange of college stories, when out of the blue our annual birthday dinner turned into an engagement party. I certainly hadn’t expected it. I distinctly remembered Amelia’s squeal of delight because it pierced my ears and caused me to promptly cup them, but her high-pitched cry and enthusiastic joy had been immediately followed by vain attempts to hide her tears. I’d had my own issues that day, my own internal debates and misgivings, but I would never forget the look in Amelia’s eyes as she caught me watching her. Her joy had been as bittersweet as mine.
Luckily, Gwendolyn mistook her sister’s sadness and jealousy for happiness and hugged her until she smiled again. Poor girl. She should have said something. I should have said something. But the words got stuck in my throat as I watched the happy couple, Zach and Gwendolyn, hugging and toasting. Gwendolyn asked her sister to stand beside her at the altar two seconds before Zach turned his charm my way. Keith kicked me under the table as I helplessly agreed to be his best man. I had never been able to refuse Zach any request in the past, so it stood to reason that I wouldn’t have been able to change the course of history now. Of course I accepted.
Acceptance—fuck—look where it had gotten us months later; an outdoor wedding straight out of a Shakespearian play complete with strolling minstrels, flutes, mandolins, Victorian gowns, puffy shirts, and poet hats. Stupid hats, they messed up my hair. I didn’t want to be here. My only solace was that Amelia was just as unhappy.
As I watched her stroll along the opposite edge of the wooded garden, picking flowers and sampling wild raspberries, I thought to myself how beautiful she was. Her luminescent auburn locks tumbled down her back, tendrils lifting in the slight breeze, and beckoning those around her, including me, to touch, caress and become lost in the alluring tresses. She had tucked flowers in her flowing mane as a weaver might include jewels among his threads, which made her even more stunning. She looked remarkable in her billowing white gown, and I knew without asking that she longed for Zach to notice. But he wouldn’t. Zach’s eyes were set on the fiery redhead who waited beyond the willow tree for the minstrels to start their strumming.
Our “Ophelia” would never garner “Hamlet’s” attention as she did in the Shakespearian play, which was why she chose to pick flowers instead of attending to her sister, the bride-to-be, Gwendolyn Pierce. Amelia gathered her skirts and created a basket in her arms and filled it as she went with red poppies, white daisies, and blue cornflowers. Oh, to be so carefree and peaceful at a time like this. She looked so serene, but on the inside I knew she was falling apart. Amelia was a casualty of war in a sense, mourning the loss of her heart with the impending words “I do”. So as she stepped barefoot through the grass weeping in silence and collecting flowers like a child, I watched and shed my own tears, mirroring her sorrow, empathizing with her pain, and dying inside because the same woeful revelation suffocated me—I was in love with Zach as well.
Fuck! The revelation hit me like a truck on a highway. Keith had been right all along.
I curled forward over my legs and cradled my face in my hands. What a mess. Less than two hours to go before this stupid wedding and I realize I’m in love with the groom, Amelia’s in love with the groom, and the poor bride is obliviously readying for, possibly, the world’s most clichéd wedding, and the worst part, if it could get any worse, was the unsettled notion I had that Zach was actually gay.
What was I supposed to do with that?
I sat back and scanned the scene again after rubbing the weariness from my eyes and cheeks. Most people seemed joyous. My dad was talking and laughing with Zach’s aunt, one good by-product of this event, but those of our core group seemed to feel the tension. Kelly and Grace weren’t laughing; they were texting. Keith, my ex, was sitting on the opposite side of the chaired area near them but not with them, arms folded, scowl firmly affixed to his face. I wasn’t even sure why he’d come today except that maybe Grace had threatened him.
Tom and Greg were most likely with Zach, my best friend, where I should have been since I was supposed to be his best man. But how could I look Zach in the face after what had happened after the bachelor party last night?
Oh God. “I’m probably going to hell,” I whispered, thinking about what we had done. As a tear forced its way from the corner of my eye I asked aloud, “How did things get so fucked up?”