1. Guilty pleasure?
Easy. Fast food. Lord have mercy, I love the stuff. It’s totally bad for me, I know, but when those salty, golden fries call my name, I have no choice but to listen…and order some nuggets to accompany them on their journey to my stomach…which absolutely must be washed down by a soda, Super Size.
Hmm. Really must work on curbing this addiction…ooh, a McDonalds! *pulls through drive-through*
2. 1 book you could read over and over?
Oh my gosh, this is SO impossible!!! Okay…I reckon it depends on mood. If I want to go back in time and relive those wonderful summer days as a little girl with my mama, I’ll turn to Charlotte’s Web, Anne of Green Gables, The Boxcar Children, or James and the Giant Peach. If I’m in the mood for sexy vampires, I’ll turn to the Sookie Stackhouse novels (Um, hello, Eric); and if the need to escape calls, the incomparable Harry Potter series is where I’ll wave my wand and fly my broom.
3. Fictional character you would love to spend the day with?
Um, that would have to be Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I wouldn’t complain if you sent me Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary. Aw, just send me Colin Firth and we’ll call it a day (or a lifetime?). Sigh.
4. One thing you cannot leave the house without?
My jumbo handbag…which carries ALL the things I cannot leave the house without—notebook, pen, phone, lip gloss, floss (don’t laugh), gum, money, comb, Band-Aid (What? You never know when you might need one, right?), etc.
5. Fav song/singer?
Agh! Another tough one!!! I grew up on the Great American Songbook, so my heart will always be with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Glenn Miller, etc. I also love Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall.
Still, I’m a Texas gal, so country music is a BIG deal with me—Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, George Strait, etc.
And, of course, I do love me some good old R&B, but mostly throwback/old school, including Mariah Carey, Tamia, Vanessa Williams, Janet Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Silk, SWV, etc. Marvin Gaye, anyone? Ooh, how about some Robin Thicke?
Some days a girl needs the lyrical genius of Alanis Morissette, Carly Simon, Carole King, Sarah McLachlan, and Sara Bareilles.
And I can't forget about James Taylor and The Beach Boys…
Um, I guess this is another one that depends on mood.
Drawing. Even though she’d never admit to her talents, my mom used to draw the cutest things when I was little—pretty sure my love of bringing sketches to life came from watching her do the same.
7. Fav movie/actor and or/actress?
Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, and Sandra Bullock can do no wrong in my book. Adore them all.
I’m not so good at narrowing these types of questions down to a single favorite, huh? *cowers and turns a thousand shades of red*
8. One place you would love to visit?
I’d love to say something exotic like Tahiti…or somewhere devastatingly romantic like Paris, but…
For me, I’d really, really, really love to see a NASCAR race in Charlotte, North Carolina…and visit JR Motorsports in Mooresville. Please don’t laugh at me…you’re laughing…I can hear you…seriously.
9. Fav food?
As much as I love my fast food, nothing compares to my mama’s garlic roast. Just the smell waffling through the house on a Sunday afternoon is enough to make your mouth water and your stomach growl. And then there’s the chicken fried steak with white gravy…YUM.
10. Fav color?
Ooh, I only have one answer for this one!!! Hurray!!! It’s totally cliché, but…pink, pink,
and more pink!
Excerpt from Chapter Four, A First Date with Tricks & Treats, of FINNED, The Merworld Water Wars, Wave One (You can read the first couple chapters at Amazon)
Troy Tombolo slipped into a seat at the table directly behind me; I could feel the heat coming off his body. Unfortunately, he brought Katrina with him. She looked like one of those overly made-up dolls from the clearance bin of an outlet toy store.
“What’s your beef with Troy?” I whispered.
Trey leaned low over the pumpkin and ghost centerpiece and whispered, “I think he and Katrina know where the other Normals are. I sense it.”
“You’re saying they know where Earl, Ophelia, and Odette moved?”
“Something like that,” he said, backing away. “Anyway, I had a bad feeling the week Earl moved. I just couldn’t zero in on anything specific.”
“Did your granddad talk to his parents about it?”
“He didn’t have parents. Earl lived with his aunt. Normals don’t have two-parent families. Meikle lives with her mom, Polly with her mom, and Ophelia and Odette lived with their older sister.”
“And I live with my mom.”
I sat there, staring blankly at my napkin, quietly trying to digest this high cholesterol information, when I felt a hand in my hair. I whipped around to find Troy removing a strand of hay from behind my ear. Once again, the eye contact felt otherworldly—deep, dark, and a little frightening. I could hear Ula’s bell-like voice, but she sounded miles away…or maybe I was miles away.
“Would y’all like some dessert?
“Oh, God, yes…I mean, NO!” I said that much too loudly.
“Uh, okay. Would you like one of our take-home treat bags? We have chocolate, lollipop, candy corn—”
“CANDY CORN!” Geez, hyper much? “I’m so sorry. I just really, really love candy corn. Would have a bag a day, if I could.” There goes my nervous laughter; I can’t control it to save my life. Ick. I sounded like a demented hyena.
“All right,” said Ula slowly.
“You want to go to the beach?” asked Trey.
“Sounds good,” I said, nervously wringing my hands together, desperately wishing Ula would return with the candy corn. No doubt, I’ll have the bag eaten by the end of this date.
When Ula returned with our candy bags, Troy whispered over his shoulder, “Looks like we have something in common—candy lovers.”
I didn’t even acknowledge him. I grabbed my candy corn, tore open the bag, shoved a handful in my mouth, grabbed Trey’s hand, and virtually dragged him out of Harbor Haunts. By the time we reached the beach, all of my candy corn was gone, and I was feeling gassy.
“So, here we are,” said Trey, leaning closer, the full moon and stars sparkling off the water like thousands of twinkling Christmas lights.
Dear God, he wanted to kiss me. I haven’t done this in a while, and I’m not convinced I was any good at it to begin with. Besides, every kiss I’ve ever had (which amounts to, like, four) leaves me looking around the room, wondering when it will move me. Aren’t you supposed to close your eyes when you kiss? Wasn’t the perfect kiss supposed to make you forget where you are? Yeah, I haven’t had one of those.
Oh, hello, Trey’s mouth! Crap. My eyes weren’t closing. I was busily looking at the moon…and the ocean…and the waves…and—uh—something huge flipping out of the water.
“Did you see that?” I yelped, pulling away.
“No. I was kissing you,” said Trey. Thankfully, the dark concealed my reddening skin. “What did you see?”
“Well, I saw a fish tail and…I don’t really know,” I said, shaking my head. “It was large, long, lean—”
“It was probably just a dolphin.”
“Or a mermaid,” I said gleefully, clapping my hands. Am I seven? Idiot. “Uh, I mean, my imagination is working overtime, I guess.”
He looked like he didn’t know whether to pity me or laugh at me. “So, my kiss sparked your imagination, huh? Well, that’s something,” he said, working his hands through my hair, tenderly kissing me.
That must be it! His kiss ignited my imagination! What a relief! Enough, Marina. Focus on the joy of kissing Troy…er…Trey. Oh, no.
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