That’s right, folks. Stay tuned because I’ll be releasing book two and three of the Emily Series: Emily Calls It and Emily’s Calling. Look for Emily Calls It early this fall and Emily’s Calling following shortly behind.
My work is done. Well, not really. I now become the project manager of the world’s most personal project. The writing is finished, but now it undergoes one final round of editing, cover design and interior layout. And I have people for that – thank goodness.
Many of you have already purchased a paperback copy or downloaded Call Me Emily. And I thank you for that. I hope you’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. As you probably already read, there’s a little bit of Emily Calls It tacked on to the end of Call Me Emily. But for a little treat, here’s a little more.
This scene is one I really enjoyed writing. Emily is home for a week trying to regain her balance after a very tumultuous first year of college. Her good friends feel the need to throw a little distraction Emily’s way in the form of a very good looking, tan, green-eyed guy.
Chapter Three . On The Mend
I pulled up to the restaurant and saw Scott’s car immediately. Inside, he was at the bar talking to the bartender.
“Hi.” I slid onto a stool.
“Hi Emily.” He pivoted toward me. “You look nice.” He touched my hand as he had before and leaned into me, kissing my cheek. The bartender went back to drying glasses but kept an eye on us and a smirk on his face.
“Thank you,” I said a little nervously. He looked good too, but I didn’t think to say it. He wore jeans again; this time rip free, and a white, button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His white shirt set off his tan, and the green of his eyes seemed even more vivid. He was a good looking guy, and I was noticing.
“Should we get a table or would you like to have a drink here first?” He tapped his finger on the bar.
I was actually pretty hungry. “Oh, I think I’m ready to get a table if you are.” He swung his legs around and hopped off his stool with ease. Something that I could never have done. I scooted off my stool, trying to be as ladylike as possible. While we waited for the hostess, I felt Scott rest his hand in the middle of my back. I mentally replayed my “relax” mantra a few times before it took effect.
During dinner the conversation came with ease. I wondered once or twice what we were doing there. He knew I was leaving in a couple of days, and I knew it, too. Our date seemed superfluous. Yet, here I was enjoying his company. I learned a few things about him that evening.
He was majoring in Business at San Francisco State. He knew Doug, Shayla’s boyfriend, from football. He was from a small neighboring town where he lived with his parents (still married) and two sisters. He seemed to have all of the northern California qualities including the summer pear orchard job. But there was something else about him I couldn’t quite pin down. Maybe it was spending the school year in San Francisco. Maybe living in the city had added something to him and I was picking it up. I wanted to know more, which kind of surprised me.
After dinner I was completely stuffed. I ate everything on my plate, not the least bit self-conscious about it. That whole act of eating a little green salad on a date never really appealed to me. Scott was a good eater too, but that wasn’t unusual for a nineteen- year-old guy. At least not in my experience. We both relaxed after our plates were cleared.
“I was thinking, Emily, maybe we could go out to the lake?” He paused and played nervously with his napkin. I thought it was cute.
“That sounds nice.” And it did. It was a warm night and a walk by the lake sounded like a pleasant idea. I hadn’t been back to the lake since the summer before, and I always enjoyed being there. The lake was manmade and had once been a deep valley. It was a couple miles below the highway surrounded by camping spots. Leading to the lake was a long expanse of lush, green lawn spotted with purple clover. During the day you had to be careful not to step on the bumblebees, but at night you could run around without the threat of a sting. I’d spent every summer there since grade school.
“Come on,” he said playfully taking my hand. We passed my car on the way to his.
“Hang on a second.” I paused by the passenger door of my car and reached inside for my sweater. It was a warm night, but you never know.
“Nice car.” Scott commented with a smirk. Why did everyone have to make fun of my car? Yes it was old, big, and bright turquoise, but come on.
“What?” I love my car.” I swung the door shut waiting for its creak and slam as older cars do. Scott just smiled, running his hand along the roof. He was making fun of me, but I didn’t really mind.
He opened the passenger’s side door of his car and rested his folded arms on the top of it while he watched me sit. It seemed I always lucked out with the chivalrous dates. And who was I kidding, I loved it. I reached across and unlocked his door for him, nestling into my seat and fastening my seat belt. His car was smaller than mine, but that’s not news, as mine’s kind of a tank. Scotts’ car was a Saab of some sort, a car I’d never ridden in before. The ignition wasn’t up by the steering wheel like you might expect, but instead lower on the console. Pretty cool.
On the way to the lake we talked more, mainly about school. I listened to him, of course, but my mind started to wander. Would he try to kiss me? If he did, how would I react? Usually I knew the answer, but tonight even my own emotions, as they came, were unexpected.
The heat hadn’t dissipated at all, even by the lake, so no need for my sweater. I guess I’d become used to living by the ocean and the whole “breeze off the water” thing didn’t apply here. I slipped off my sandals as we walked across the grass. The cool grass felt almost cold underfoot. I watched each step for the bees even though I knew there wouldn’t be any lurking. Scott looked at me sideways with a grin.
“You know there aren’t any bees, right?” How did he know that’s what I was thinking? I let out a half-sigh, half-laugh and started walking normally. We reached a picnic table, and Scott sat on the top resting his hands beside him.
“What’s interesting,” I used the table seat as a boost to sit next to him, “Is how still and tranquil the lake looks. I don’t remember it like this, and I’ve been coming here for years.”
“You probably haven’t seen it at night recently.”
“I guess you’re right.” I leaned back resting my hands behind me. “It’s really pretty here. I almost forgot.”
“Yeah, I felt that way too. Now I really appreciate how peaceful it is here.” He leaned back.
“I haven’t heard many people say that, but you’re right. I can’t believe how much I took for granted around here.” It was nice we shared a respect for the area. I saw it with new eyes: I couldn’t explain it, but he knew. It was quiet between us for a dozen or so seconds. My eyes were fixed on the water, until I realized we were both quiet. I looked at him, noticing he may have been looking my way for a while. I smiled, acknowledging his look, but my smile faded I watched his stare travel from my eyes to my lips and back. He drew me into those deep green eyes of his and I felt hypnotized. I didn’t move. I don’t even know if I breathed. He moved closer. I felt the warmth of his breath on my neck, and the touch of his fingers on my hand, my wrist, my arm, until he rested his hand on my shoulder. When he moved away a little I put my hand on his arm. He paused with his face an inch from mine. He looked into my eyes waiting…just waiting. Then he swept his lips across mine. Moving his hand from my shoulder to my cheek he continued to kiss me, gentle at first. Once I responded things changed and the kisses deepened. Then I panicked. I pulled away. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but I just couldn’t. Then I saw the look on his face.
More to come…
It’s online now. Check it out! Auburn Journal
Book One – The Emily Series
Call Me Emily
To be released June 15, 2012
Long-time Auburn, CA resident, Laura Albright releases her first work of fiction Call Me Emily in paperback and e-book versions.
Call Me Emily is a young adult and adult fiction crossover drama. The story centers on a young woman’s life as she enters college: new experiences, moral challenges, living on her own—and less than perfect real-life solutions.
When Emily Parker leaves her small hometown in the late 1980s for California West University, she thinks she has it all figured out. But when manipulation, vanity, and pleasure enter her life in the form of a whirlwind college romance, will she stay true to herself?
Enter Graham: gorgeous, confident and…who needs anything else? Emily discovers the faster southern California pace and falls in love with Graham at the same speed. She changes to suit him and makes decisions that cost her, while a growing, uneasy feeling forces her to question what he’s hiding. Add the watchful eye of an older brother who also attends Cal West, friends who care too much, a strenuous class load and part-time job, then a young, interested professor. Emily’s path into adulthood challenges her at every turn.
Call Me Emily is the first book to be published in a four book series. Emily Calls It, Emily’s Calling, and Meet Emily.
Released in paperback on Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble for Nook:
Smashwords for all other digital downloads including HTML, .pdf and iPad:
That’s right! I’m happy to announce Call Me Emily will be released June 15th.
Here are four ways to get your copy:
You can purchase a paperback copy of Call Me Emily from www.amazon.com
Get the electronic copy for your kindle: www.amazon.com
For your nook: www.barnesandnoble.com
And most other devices including Apple iPad, Sony Reader, Kobo, Stanza, Aldiko, and Adobe digital: www.smashwords.com
Check back on June 15th for direct links to purchase your copy of Call Me Emily.
When I thought about the cover of Call Me Emily over the past few months I came up blank. I’ve seen a million book covers – I read constantly. I read when I’m writing and I read when I’m not. I always have a book going.
Friends suggested cover ideas. I listened and shrugged. They all seemed fine, but I don’t usually make decisions based on “fine.” Finally, a few weeks ago I had a dream and saw the cover. I woke up and I knew it was The One. And here it is!
There were a few things to think about, of course. Call Me Emily is the first of four books in the Emily Series. Maybe more – I haven’t decided yet. So my vision had to carry through the series. Enter Emily’s car. It’s a 1961 turquoise Oldsmobile. You can’t miss it and you can’t miss her in it. To Emily her car is an extension of herself and while she’s urged to get something more modern throughout the series, she stays true to her Olds. It’s a character all on it’s own and therefore belongs on the cover with Emily. I already have ideas for the remaining covers. Stay tuned.
Call Me Emily will be available in ebook and print formats.
I just spent two days in beautiful Sonoma. OK, it wasn’t exactly like the photograph mainly because I was there alone, but I did stand in the middle of that particular beautiful mineral pool with steam all around me and it was wonderful. Sorry, I digress.
With Call Me Emily on the way to publication there were many decisions to be made and Sonoma is where my In Design guru hangs her hat. We started with fonts. Fonts, really fonts. Then there were more fonts. Seriously, there’s a lot of fonts out there. There were dozens for the cover title. Then after narrowing those down, there were dozens for the content. You get the picture. That’s how it went…and for many hours. Luckily for me I had a dream several weeks ago where I saw the cover. I saw that font in my dream and we found that same font. Check, title done.
The book content was a little different. I wanted something simple and evidently there are so many simple fonts it can almost make you go blind. Again I narrowed it down and made a simple choice. I could go on about chapter title font, page number location, spacing and margins, but I want you to read my blog not fall asleep in front of it.
Then there is the cover art. Talk about painful. I would love to think with all the stock photography sites there would exist the perfect art. Oh how I was wrong. My protagonist Emily exists in my imagination and, of course, in the pages of the Emily series. She’s smart, sassy, cute and much to my dismay does not live in the eight million stock photos I just reviewed.
So I ask you, my readers, what next? It’s been suggested I find a model. That’s easy! Then there’s the problem of the other big item on the cover. It’s big, it’s turquoise and so far out of date it’s almost impossible to find. I don’t want to tell you what it is because I want your surprise when I find it.
I have my work cut out for me – and I never back down from a challenge. So here it goes. Wish me luck and feel free to comment with suggestions. You are all amazingly creative people with the world at your fingertips. If you have an idea, let’s hear it.