Brenda Maxfield just released her novel, The Lance Temptation, with Astraea Press and was sweet enough to come hang out at my blog and tell us about it. Check it out!
Blurb for The Lance Temptation by Brenda Maxfield:
Sophomore Emili Jones has had it with being a boring, straight-A student. Itching for excitement, she sees plenty of it in classmate Farah Menin’s life of frequent dates and edgy adventure. Hoping the popularity will rub off, Emili latches onto Farah and manipulates herself into best friend status. The connection helps her land the hot new guy, Lance Jankins, but there’s a catch. Now a pawn in Farah’s dating games, Emili is on a crash course to betrayal. Will she realize it in time to save herself?
Interview with Emili Jones, the main character of The Lance Temptation:
Give us a few brief facts about yourself.
My name is Emili Jones. I’m sixteen years old and a sophomore at Bates Academy.
Is Bates a private school?
Yes. I’ve gone there forever. All my friends are there.
Who’s your best friend?
Right now, my best friend is Farah Menins. She’s gorgeous and all the guys like her.
And how about you? Are you popular with the guys?
Not so much. I figured if I hung out with Farah, it might help me get more popular.
Did it work?
I managed to snag one guy all on my own. His name is Marc and he’s really nice. You know, a sweet guy. But there’s this new guy at school named Lance, and I start sweating the minute I look at him. He’s fine. But I don’t think he’d ever look twice at me.
What’s your favorite thing to do?
I make perfume. It can get kind of spendy though.
What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Is it okay if I don’t really answer that? It’s embarrassing and I’m still mad at myself. I will say this—it had to do with Marc.
What do you wish you could do over?
Wow. There are a couple major things. I dumped my friend Jeannie, and sometimes I regret it. Especially because of the reason why I dumped her. The other thing is the same as the last question you asked. It’s about Marc.
What’s hardest about being a teen in today’s world?
The pressure on you to be hot and smart and beautiful and popular. It’s impossible. Who could live up to that? Well, maybe Farah. But the pressure makes you do stupid things. Even when you try not to be an idiot, you end up doing things you know you shouldn’t.
What are your future plans?
Hmmm, I’m only a sophomore so I’m not sure. I want to graduate from Bates and go to university. I’m worried, though, because something’s going on with my dad. He has some big announcement, and I can tell by the look on his face I’m not going to like it.
I hope the announcement isn’t too awful. It was nice talking with you today, Emili. All of us can read about your story in The Lance Temptation, correct.
Yep. Thanks for talking with me. It was nice to be here.
Emilis' Diary Entry
Tuesday, August 28
I wish I could take a fat eraser to my brain. You know how some things stick to your mind no matter how much you hate them? I guess a shrink would diagnose me as wounded.
Maybe that’s a bit overboard. But the thing is, I can’t forget what happened. No, it wasn’t death or abuse or anything so awful.
Except to me.
I was in eighth grade. Skinny as a stick — well, that part hasn’t changed. I was growing my hair out so it was kinda jagged with split ends. I was at the mall minding my own sweet business when two guys came up to me.
One of them tapped me on the shoulder, which was weird because I didn’t know him. But he was cute and in that quick second, I could feel my face grow hot and hope bubble up in my heart.
He was laughing. At first, I thought he was just a happy person, but then I realized he was laughing at me.
“You’re ugly,” he said.
He turned to his just-as-cute friend, gave him a swift jab in the side with his elbow, and they both cracked up.
My mouth froze up in shock and I couldn’t have talked if someone paid me. The second guy gawked at me and tried to bite back his grin. “Don’t listen to him. You’re not ugly. He’s being stupid.”
Then he laughed, and they both sauntered off.
I pivoted to the right and caught my reflection in the glass window of Gracie’s Boutique. I had no curves, my chin was too pointy, and my clothes hung on me like an orphan child. I was ugly.
Later, I told Jeannie what the guy said. She got mad and told me guys were idiots and not to listen.
But how do you turn your ears off?
Anyway, I knew he was right.
Thursday, August 30
School starts next week. Tenth grade. I can hardly believe it. NOW FOR THE BEST NEWS EVER! I have a boyfriend: Marc Rounder. He’s cute and tall and nice. And he likes me.
I got him without Farah. She was my ticket to getting a guy, but I got Marc all by myself. I wish he was more popular, but it’s okay. I’m not popular, so I guess we’re even.
It sounds shallow, but I want to be popular like Farah. All the guys like her. I wonder what it’d be like to walk down the hall and know all the guys were staring at you. Farah laughs about it.
I’m not laughing. I just want to know what it feels like. I want to know so bad I can taste it.
Jeannie doesn’t like Farah. She doesn’t like me much anymore either. Which is sad. Sometimes I miss Jeannie. But with Farah, it’s exciting. There’s always something going on. I never had that with Jeannie.
I wonder what my classes will be like this year. Maybe Marc will walk the hall with me. Wow, that’d be so cool.
Farah slept over last night. She spent about two hours griping about Marc. He’s too nice, too calm, too BORING. Why can’t she like him? I like all her boyfriends. I defended him, but I wanted to scream.
Farah major sucked-up to my mom. And Mom went right along with it. Made me mad because my mom came off looking stupid.
Later when we went to bed, Farah did her teacher impressions and we cracked up so hard I thought we’d pee our pants. Turned into a fun night after all.
Yesterday was the first day of school. Jeannie barely said hi. I tried to talk with her and goof around, but she wouldn’t have it. Marcella had her nose so high in the air I’m surprised she didn’t get frostbite.
Marc walked me to class! Score!
He’s so nice. I wish he’d kiss me already.
I think I saw Jeannie watching us, but I’m not sure. Maybe she likes him, too. Hey, maybe Marc is popular.
There’s a new guy at school. Not sure what his name is because I don’t have classes with him. I snooped, so I know he’s a sophomore like me.
He’s drop-dead gorgeous. My hands go clammy when I look at him. This morning in the hallway, he glanced my way and I think he winked. I hope I’m right. But then I was walking with Farah, so maybe he was winking at her.
I didn’t dare say a thing. First of all, I have a boyfriend. Second of all, if Farah found out I thought he was hot she’d bug me till I’d want to strangle her. She’s always after me to do something even when I don’t want to do it. She usually gets her way.
I wonder if I’m cute enough for a guy like him? I think my hair is good. But guys don’t think I’m cute. Proof One: Those two jerks in the mall. Proof Two: Never had a boyfriend until now. Proof Three: I have eyeballs and every time I look in the mirror I see myself as that stick 8th grade girl.
Find out what happens when Emili gets suckered into a new, daring relationship. Order The Lance Temptation now!
Astraea Press: http://tinyurl.com/bac9er8
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/bdoacd8
Brenda Maxfield loves writing novels for young adults. She explores teens’ heartaches and triumphs—and always with a bit of romance thrown in to complicate matters. Brenda is a high school teacher and spends most of her waking hours with teens. She loves hearing their views on love and life, and is honored to be part of their lives.
Brenda has lived in Honduras, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. Presently, she lives in Indiana with her husband. They have two adult children and are grandparents to one precious little guy, special delivery from Africa.
When not writing or teaching, Brenda can be found at her lake cabin with a book in her hand and her dog Lucy on her lap. If you’re looking for good, clean teen reads, check out Brenda’s books! She loves getting to know her readers better, so stop by and say hello at: www.brendamaxfield.com