Skip to main content

Excerpt - Ruby Unscripted by Cindy Martinusen

Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



Ruby Unscripted

Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sometimes the best moments in a girl's life are the unscripted ones.

Ruby Madden moves to an affluent town in Marin County, California, believing her dreams are coming true, but her hometown life is drawing her back. Her not-so-secret crush finally likes her. Her older brother decides to stay behind with their newly remarried father. And her best friend gets a boyfriend who's all wrong for her.

And Ruby's new life isn't as easy as she envisioned. Marin High School is a place for the rich and famous with their BMWs, chic clothes, and liberal beliefs-a place where she clearly doesn't belong. Even with her new job at the Underground Coffeehouse & Cinema, she is unsure of how to act and feels insecure about who she is.

When she tries out for an amateur film group, the puzzle pieces finally begin to fit. And who is this mysterious guy who's messing with her heart?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Cindy began writing around 1988, working on story ideas and writing plays. Her first book was contracted in 1998. Since that time she's written 8 novels, 1 nonfiction and over 100 articles, short stories, and curriculums.

Her critically acclaimed novels have been nominated for the Christy Award and Reader's Choice Award (Romantic Times), and chosen for the List of Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal.

Her first three novels have been translated into Dutch, German, and Norwegian.

Her newest novel is now a bestseller! ORCHID HOUSE

Cindy is the co-owner of METHOD 3AM WRITING & MEDIA SERVICES a newly created media service company (www.method3AM.com). She offers both aspiring and experience writers services in book doctoring, content editing, manuscript review and critique.

For the past ten years, Cindy has been speaking and teaching in different locations nationally and internationally. Her roles include conference leader, featured speaker and workshop leader at numerous women's gatherings, retreats and writers conferences most notably Litt-World 2004 in Tagaytay City, Philippines.

Monthly, she co-leads and teaches a workshop at Quills of Faith Writers Group in Northern California.

Look for Cindy on Facebook and on Twitter!

Visit the author's website.



Product Details:



List Price: $12.99

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 256 pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1595543562

ISBN-13: 978-1595543561



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


“Now he likes me?” I say aloud as I drop my phone to my lap and my heart does a strange little tuck and roll within my chest.



My ten-year-old brother, Mac, gives me a strange look from the seat beside me. With the top down in my aunt’s convertible, he can’t hear my words that are cast into the air to dance with the wind.



The orange towers of the Golden Gate Bridge loom toward us, with the darkening blue of sky and water filling the spaces between. Aunt Jenna is driving, with Mom talking beside her.



So it’s finally true.



Nick likes me.



I think I’m happy. Everyone will expect me to be happy. It’s not been a secret that I’ve liked him for . . . well, ever. Or at least for a few months.



And yet I have a very good reason for being completely annoyed about this.



The text stating Nick’s indirect admission of love, or at least “like,” arrives as we’re leaving an afternoon in San Francisco behind. But we aren’t driving the four hours home to Cottonwood. We’re driving toward our new life in Marin County.



Everyone at school knew that Nick liked me for a long time. His friends and my friends knew it. I knew it. But Nick apparently didn’t know his own feelings. Why can’t guys just trust others on these things?



I pick up my phone and reply to Kate’s text.





ME: Is Nick still standing there?



KATE: No. I think it freaked him out to wait for your response. The guys went to play Alien Hunter III before the movie starts. So what do you think? Patience paid off.



ME: I’m trying not to think that guys are really as dumb as most of us say they are.



KATE: Huh?



ME: Really now. I mean NOW. He says this on the day I move away?



KATE: Well you’ll be home most every weekend so it’s not that bad.



ME: But think about it. What made him decide today?



KATE: Who cares? He finally figured out he can’t live without you.





The car cruises along the bridge, and I stare up at the massive orange beams over our heads. Then I catch sight of a sailboat as it dips and bows on the evening waters of San Francisco Bay.



My brother is shout-talking to my mom and aunt. And with one earbud pulled out, I catch bits of the discussion being tossed around the car as the wind twists my hair into knots. The topic is “If you had one wish, what would you wish for?”



What poetic irony. Five minutes ago I would’ve wished that Nick would like me . . . and like some psychic genie working even before I wished it, the text arrived from Kate: “Nick said . . .”



So Nick likes me after I move four hours and a world away.



He likes me the day after I say good-bye to him and all my friends in Cottonwood.



I scroll back through my saved texts to find what he sent me after we said good-bye.



NICK: I wish you weren’t moving.



NICK: Next time you’re up visiting your dad let’s hang out.



NICK: How often will you be back?



NICK: So you don’t have a date for prom?



Men. I mean seriously.



So it’s like this. I’m moving to one of the coolest areas of California—Marin County. I’m going to live in this cool, quirky cottage that my aunt Betty gave us after she headed off on an extended Mediterranean honeymoon with the man, now her husband, she found online.



Since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to live near San Francisco. Aunt Betty’s house was one of my favorite places. Kate and I plan to attend college down here. So now I get to live my dream sooner than expected.



Mac taps my arm, but I watch the little sailboat lean toward the open Pacific and wonder at its journey ahead, far or near, some California marina or faraway exotic isle.



My brother taps on my arm persistently. “Ruby-Ruby Red.”



I really dislike it when he calls me that. Then he reaches for my earbud, and I push his hand away.



“What?” I ask loudly, wiping strands of hair from my face. The sun falls easily into the cradle of the sea. It’s eventide—that time between sunset and darkness, a peaceful time of wind and bridges and dreams except for one annoying brother and an incoming text that could disrupt the excitement of a dream coming true.



“What do you wish for?” Mac asks earnestly.



My phone vibrates again, and I nearly say, “Don’t bug me, and don’t call me Ruby-Ruby Red,” but Mac’s sweet pink cheeks and expectant eyes stop me. I rub his hair and tickle him until he cries for mercy.



He laughs and twists away from my fingers, then asks me again what I wish for.



“Wait a minute,” I say, and he nods like he understands.





KATE: He said he’s been miserable since he said good-bye last night.



ME: So why didn’t he like me before?



KATE: He says he always did, he just kept it to himself.



ME: Or he kept it FROM himself.





Everyone said Nick said I was hot, that I was intelligent, that he’d never met a girl like me—which can be taken as good or bad. Everyone told him to ask me out, but he just didn’t. No explanation,



no other girlfriend, just nothing. For months. Until today.





KATE: He’s never had a girlfriend, give the guy a break. I always thought he’d be the bridge guy! Maybe he will be!



I rest the phone in my hands at that. Nick has been the main character in my bridge daydream—only Kate knows that secret dream of mine.



We’ve crossed the bridge into Marin County with signs for Sausalito, Corte Madera, San Rafael. The names of my new home, and yet I’m still between the old and the new.



“What are you smiling for?” my brother asks.



“Nothing,” I say and give him the mind-your-own-business look.



Mac stretches forward in his seat belt toward the front seat, and I’m tempted to tell him to sit down. But for once I don’t boss him around. He’s so happy about this wishing talk, with his wide dimpled smile and cheeks rosy from the wind. His cheeks remind me of when I loved kissing them—back when we were much younger.



“Remember, no infinity wishes. That’s cheating,” Mac shout says to Mom and Aunt Jenna, but he glances at me to see if I’m listening.



“This is really hard,” Aunt Jenna yells back. She points out the window to a line of cyclists riding along a narrow road parallel to the highway. “I bet those guys wish for a big gust of wind to come up behind them.”



Mac laughs, watching the cyclists strain up an incline.



Now they’ll probably start “creating wishes” for everyone they see.



I bet that car wishes it were as cool as that Corvette.



I think the people in that car wish they had a fire extinguisher for that cigarette . . .



Mom and her sister often make up stories about strangers while sitting outside Peet’s Coffee or, well, just about anywhere people watching is an option.



My phone vibrates in my hand, and then immediately again.





KATE: Hello?? No comment on Nick being your mysterious bridge guy?



ME: Nope



JEFFERS: So beautiful, are you there yet?



ME TO KATE: I just got a text from Jeffers.



KATE: LOL He’s sitting beside me and saw me talking to you.



JEFFERS: When can we come party in Marin?



ME TO JEFFERS: Almost there. Ten minutes I think. Uh party?



JEFFERS: Yeah, party! How could you leave us, I mean what could be better than us? You’ll be too cool for gocarts and mini golf after a month w/ the rich and sophisticated.



ME: I hate mini golf.



JEFFERS: See? One day and already too good for mini golf.



KATE: You’re having us all down for a party?



ME: Uh, no



JEFFERS: Kate’s yelling at me. Thx a lot. But bye beautiful, previews are on with little cell phone on the screen saying to turn you off.



ME TO JEFFERS AND KATE: K have fun. TTYL.



KATE: Write you after. Bye!



It’s a significant moment, this.



One of the most significant in my fifteen years.



Not the “wish discussion” between Mac, Mom, and Aunt Jenna; not the text messaging back and forth; not the music playing in one of my ears; not even Nick liking me.



The significance comes in crossing bridges. Not the bridge in my dream, but the ones that take me into Marin. The many bridges that brought my family here with my dad still in Cottonwood, and my older brother, Carson, driving soon behind us. And though we can turn around and drive back to the small



town I’ve always lived in, I wonder if, once you cross so many bridges, you can ever really go back.



The music in my one ear and the voices of my family in the other make a dramatic backdrop for this moment—one that will shape the rest of my life.



I feel a sense of wonder, but also of fear. It’s beautiful, this time of long evening shadows. The sky in the west where the sun has fallen turns from a subtle to defined sunset of red and orange.



The hills of Marin County rise to the nighttime with their myriad dots of light. The salty breeze is cool coming off the Pacific.



“What’s your wish?”



I jump as Mac shouts at me, leaning to get his face close to mine. I nearly throw my phone out the open rooftop.



“Mac! Mom!”



“Mac, leave your sister alone. She needs time to think,”



Mom calls back with a worried glance in my direction. She was more worried than I was about this move to Marin . . .well, until I said all the good-byes this week and especially now. I realize it’s the last remnant of what is, taking us from the past and what has been to the new place, the new life, and the what will be.



“Do you know what I wish?” Mac says in a loud whisper that only I can hear.



The innocent expression on his face soothes my annoyance.



He motions for me to lean close.



“I wish I was six again.”



“Why?”



“Promise you won’t tell Mom or Austin or Dad and Tiffany, ’cause I don’t want to hurt their feelings . . .” He waits for me to agree. “I wish I was six ’cause Mom and Dad were married then. But then that would make Austin and Tiffany go away, and I don’t really want them to go away, but I sort of wish Mom and Dad were married still.”



I nod and glance up toward Mom, who is staring out toward the bay. “Yeah, I know, Mac. But it’ll be all right.”



“So what do you wish for?” he asks again.



We’re almost there now, and I still have no singular wish. How do you make such a choice when your whole life is upended—for the good and the bad? I wonder if San Francisco Bay is like one giant wishing well, and in the coming years I can toss as many pennies as I want into the blue waters and have all the wishes I need.



I hope so. And maybe wishing that the bay would become one giant well breaks Mac’s rule about infinity wishes. But regardless, this is what I wish my wish to be.



It was my choice to move to Marin with Mom. But now I wonder if these bridges are taking me where I should be going. Or if they’re taking me far, far away.



“I wish for infinity wishes!” I say and kiss Mac on the cheek before he protests. “No one can put rules on wishes.”



And this is what I truly want to believe.

Comments

  1. Cindy spoke at the last OCW conference. I was amazed at her testimony and how God uses her writing. Great excerpt. Captures the teenage angst and ambivalence so well!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 7

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

Camy Tang's November newsletter

My Camy Tang (Christian Contemporary Romantic Suspense) newsletter went out this week, but in case you missed it, the link is below. In my newsletter this month, there’s an update on my personal life and publishing schedule, and I also linked to a blog post about what the TV show Supernatural has to do with GONE MISSING, the 6th book in my Sonoma series Click here to read my Camy Tang newsletter for November. I also forgot to post the link for the October newsletter, so you can click here to read it.

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

Lady Wynwood's Spies, volume 4: Betrayer is here!

The latest volume in my Christian Regency epic serial novel is released! Here’s the back cover description of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer : A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with romance and a supernatural twist Part four in an epic-length serial novel Beleaguered spies Lady Wynwood’s team of spies are trying to heal from the physical and mental wounds recently dealt to them. However, their investigation into Apothecary Jack’s mysterious group has turned up only a few strange, disjointed clues, and the dangerous Root elixir continues to circulate in the London underbelly. It is only a matter of time before the Root is sold to Napoleon, which would give him overwhelming dominance in the war. Sudden threats Then Laura, Lady Wynwood, is unexpectedly attacked by a man she had trusted. Although Phoebe and her household staff manage to protect her, her life is now in danger and she must go into hiding. Dangerous mysteries Laura uncovers more

ひとり寿司第25章パート2

「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** ビーナスはベンの視界をさえぎった。「ここは大丈夫だから、もう帰っていいわよ」 「でも——」 ビーナスは、また彼の目の前でドアを閉めた。 「何——」 ビーナスはレックスの言葉をさえぎり、ドアの隣の窓から外をのぞいた。「よかったわ、レックス、エイデンが来てくれて。あなたの巻き爪を全部切ってくれるわよ」ビーナスの声が小さい部屋に響き渡った。 どうやって礼儀正しく答えようかと決めかねているように、エイデンの表情は少し硬くなった。多分、(そうなの?)とか(それはおもしろいね)とでも言う

Join Camy's Patreon!

At the moment, I’m releasing all my books in Kindle Unlimited, which requires my books to be exclusive to Amazon. However, I wanted to accommodate readers who prefer other ebook distributors and also reward my fans who might like my books a little ahead of schedule. ​So I started a Patreon where patrons will get BookFunnel links to download my latest ebooks about 2-3 weeks ahead of the release date. The ebook files are DRM-free and BookFunnel is great about helping you to load it onto your ebook reader or phone/tablet or computer. My Patreon is “per creation,” which means you won’t be charged every month. You will only be charged when I’ve posted a new book. For example, if I post a book on April 15th, you’ll be charged on May 1st. But if I don’t post a book in May, you won’t be charged on June 1st at all. This is because with my health problems, and since some of my books are over 100,000 words each, I’m not able to write a book a month, and I certainly don’t want to charge my

One-Skein Pyrenees Scarf knitting pattern

I got into using antique patterns when I was making the scarf my hero wears in my Regency romance, The Spinster’s Christmas . I wanted to do another pattern which I think was in use in the Regency period, the Pyrenees Knit Scarf on pages 36-38 of The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, volume 1, by Jane Gaugain, published in 1840. She is thought to be the first person to use knitting abbreviations, at least in a published book, although they are not the same abbreviations used today (our modern abbreviations were standardized by Weldon’s Practical Needlework in 1906). Since the book is out of copyright, you can download a free PDF copy of the book at Archive.org. I found this to be a fascinating look at knitting around the time of Jane Austen’s later years. Although the book was published in 1840, many of the patterns were in use and passed down by word of mouth many years before that, so it’s possible these are p

Camille Elliot's November newsletter

My Camille Elliot (Christian Regency Romantic Suspense) newsletter went out this week, but in case you missed it, the link is below. In my newsletter this month, there’s an update on my personal life and publishing schedule, and I also announced the release of my new book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies 4: Betrayer ! Click here to read my Camille Elliot newsletter for November. I also forgot to post the link for the October newsletter, so you can click here to read it.

Happy Thanksgiving!