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ACROSS THE WAY
BY AMY K. MCCLUNG
Marie has her twenties planned out. Her dream to see all fifty states before she turns twenty-five finally comes true. With a two-year trip ahead of her, she says good-bye to her family and her best friend Jayce. Though fearing the trip could change their friendship forever, a pact is formed. They’re determined not to let distance impact on their relationship.
Amidst triumph and heartache, new relationships and friendships, Marie soon discovers her journey is so much more than an adventure. Instead, she finally realizes where she truly belongs.
Character Interview, Marie
1. What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
My name is Marie, most of my friends call me Mo for short.
2. Who is your best friend? What kinds of things do you do when you’re together?
My best friend’s name is Jayce, we’ve been friends since high school. From the day we met we’ve been inseparable. I work a lot, but in the few moments I take time to myself we talk, watch movies, talk about our dreams. We share everything.
3. If you have a family, how do you get along with them? If you don’t, are there people in your life that you consider family? How do you get along with them?
My mom and I have a great relationship. She practically raised me by herself. My father has been too busy spending his time in Nashville working on a music career for most of my life. He left my Mom and I behind in Chattanooga because the rent was too expensive in Nashville to support a full family. He had a tiny studio apartment instead. His career never amounted to anything more than a few spots at local bars. Besides my mom, and my grandparents, the only other person I consider family is Jayce.
4. Do you have a birthmark? Scars? Where are they? How did you get them?
Only a few internal scars, mostly from missing having a dad in my life more.
5. When you’re angry, what do you do? Where do you go? How do you deal with your anger?
Talking through the anger helps me. Whether it’s calling Jayce so he can talk me down or laughing with my friend Connie about things Jayce did as a child. She’s his cousin so she has all kinds of dirt to share. I try not to dwell on anger too much, life is too short. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
6. If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us?
Yikes, some moldy cheese and chunky milk most likely. *laughs* With all the time I put into work, I eat on the run most days, grocery shopping is not something I can always work into my schedule. I’d probably have to order you pizza if you want to eat something that won’t kill you or make you physically ill at least.
7. What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing?
*shifts uncomfortably in her seat* my friend Connie, she was born with a bad heart. I worry about her constantly. But she’s amazingly strong and my life has been so much fuller with her in it.
8. What makes you laugh out loud?
I have a pretty great sense of humor. I find ways to laugh any chance I can. While I’m on my road trip, once Connie joined the fun, we laugh about everything. I love a great slapstick comedy. When I met Brady we watched a few great old slapstick comedies and those usually make me laugh until I’m in tears.
9. Has anyone broken your heart? Who was he?
I don’t really feel comfortable talking about that yet. My heart has been broken and pieced back together, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet.
10. What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have? Why can’t you have it?
A family. I work so much and have dedicated my life to fulfilling this dream of traveling that I’m not sure I’ll find the time to have the family I dreamed of. And I’ve never met any guy that I’ve considered spending my life with. I believe I’m destined to be a workaholic.
“Where is he?” I asked in a panic.
“He’ll be here soon, Marie. I checked on his flight a few minutes ago, and it is still showing on time. He should be landing any minute now.”
“I need him here! He’s the reason I’m in pain right now. He should experience this!” How was it that men got to do the fun part of making a baby, but didn’t have to go through any of the pain and suffering?
My mother chuckled.
“Yes, he should. He will, don’t worry. Just breathe.”
I wanted to smack this woman for trying to calm me in my time of pain. On the other hand, I wanted to hug her for having gone through this agony with me twenty-eight years ago. Once I finally dilated to ten centimeters, the doctor asked me to push, but I wasn’t ready.
“Wait, I can’t. Not until he’s here!”
“Who are we waiting on?” the doctor asked impatiently.
“The father. He’ll be here soon,” my mother promised Satan, squeezing my hand as though she thought it would help. Truthfully, I wanted to be knocked out instead of knocked up right now. Couldn’t they put me in a nice slumber while the alien creature exploded from my nether regions? I knew it was the miracle of birth and all that hogwash, but I was good with not remembering the moment.
“Well, we can’t wait for him. This baby is coming now. So give me a good push.”
“Augh,” I screamed with each push. More cursing spewed from my lips. I couldn’t believe how far I’d come in the last few years. Three years ago, my only goal in life had been to take a trip around the United States. I’d never even had a serious boyfriend. My travel dreams came to life, and along the way, I found my dream of a family. I was married to the love of my life, and we were having our first child. My husband wanted four, but we’d negotiate that once I got over the pain of this one ripping me apart. It was hard to believe all of this began with a bucket list dream.
Amy McClung was born in Nashville, TN. She is the second oldest of four girls and occasionally suffers from middle child syndrome. She met the love of her life online in August of 2004, on his birthday of all days, and married him in September 2005. They have no human children only the room full of colourful robots that transform into vehicles and the large headed Pop Funko’s who represent their favourite characters. Collecting movies, shotglasses, Pop Funkos, and dust bunnies are some of her favourite pastimes. She began writing in September of 2011 and independently published her first YA novel called Cascades of Moonlight, Book one of the Parker Harris Series the following May. Her first book was a means of therapy for her as it enabled her to escape reality for a while during a difficult transition in her life. She has 6 self published Young Adult novels. In 2016 she joined the team of authors at Hot Tree Publishing. With Hot Tree Publishing she has released seven books with a eight book on the way, and has been involved in two anthologies with the publisher as well.
Links to Amy’s website, blog, books, etc.
All Author: https://allauthor.com/profile/amymcclung/
Thanks, Amy, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!