High school junior Andrea Jamison, self-proclaimed change-o-phobic and, incidentally, a fabulous pianist in her own right has lost faith in herself and her abilities. At the exact moment when her parents begin pressuring her about an opportunity that just might lead to Julliard, Andrea’s friend Amy meddles in her personal life trying to pair her up with the cute, transfer jock Luke Ryan. Will Andrea learn to accept her parents often repeated word FOCUS or will she finally start trusting in God’s strength instead of cowering in her own weaknesses?
Targeted Age Group:: 12 & Up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’d always wanted to write a YA novel and when a certain publisher I was working with decided to open a YA line I knew this was the time to write mine. Andrea & the Five Day Challenge is very much based on several instances in my own personal life growing up. It all started with an idea about Homecoming and morphed into this story about having the courage to be yourself and to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The four main girls in the book (and there will be a book for each girl) came to me so real and fully fleshed out from the beginning. They are all so different and I love that readers will not have a problem keeping them all straight in their minds. Andrea is the most like me and so she was very easy to write.
“Well, looky there.” Amy lifted her glasses and peered down the hall before returning her specs back to her nose. “Is it me or does Luke look like a mild- mannered reporter type?”
I glared at her. It was as though she’d read my mind. ”It’s you,” I snapped back. Seven thirty-eight in the morning was way too early for all my synapses to be able to process this information. I was being rude and didn’t even know why.
“He’s like your Romeo in cargo pants.”
“He’s not wearing cargo pants. And don’t compare him to Romeo. That story is way too depressing.”
“OK, then he’s Mr. Darcy come to sweep you away from your mundane existence.”
“Amy, seriously, it’s time to lay off the romantic fiction. Besides, didn’t you tell me that crushes were for immature adolescents?”
“Crushes maybe, but Luke might just be the one for you. You know, the One.” She did the quotes in the air thing to emphasize her statement.
“Are you missing your macaroons or something? I’m only sixteen.” I must have been missing mine because I hadn’t used that expression since sixth grade. I covered my face with my hands.
“Whatever, Andi. Here he comes. If you ask me, he’s trying to woo you. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” She tapped my shoulder before she traipsed away.
I barely took notice of her absence because I had mere seconds before Luke Ryan arrived. He didn’t even give Stephanie a glimpse as he passed by her down the hall. His gaze remained focused on me. I swiveled my stance to face my locker and pulled out the daisies, forming a half-dozen bouquet in my hand. How did he know daises were my favorite?
Had I mentioned it?
More importantly, was Amy right?
Could Luke really be trying to woo me like some totally romantic gesture straight out of medieval, courtly love? I must have accidentally inhaled window cleaner or something because that just wasn’t possible. His note had only been meant as a thank you. Yes, that was it. He’d even said just that.
Sneaking a peek out of the corner of my eye, I could see he was almost upon me. My evil, impossible heart did a somersault in my chest. Oh, my gosh! Did I remember to put on deodorant this morning, because I was really starting to sweat. As if suffering from some horrifying form of hysteria, I stuffed my books into my locker as fast as I could. I had to get out of this hallway before he caught up to me.
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