-AWARD WINNING AUTHOR-
Melissa J. Cunningham
What I'm Working On
Right now I'm working on a new story that I'm calling Racing the Shade. It's a coming of age YA romance and I'm really loving it!
I am also writing a Christian romance novella. Each member of my critque group is taking a different couple, all friends, and telling their stories! It should be fun too, but I'm only at the beginning of that one.
I also have a book called Toy Soldiers that is pretty much finished but it has a few technical difficulties and I'm not sure what to do with it! LOL
Here is a teaser from my current Work In Progress~
The teacher stood before the class, tall and lean, like a basketball player. Her smile sincere as she gazed out over her students. “Class, we have a new pupil, Indigo Kinkaid. Would you mind standing and telling us about yourself?”
Holding in a groan, she stood, balancing one knee on the chair as she leaned against her desk. She hated her full name, Indigo. It was too unusual and for someone who craved normalcy. Every time someone said her full name it was a reminder that she was different, and so was her family. Her mother had picked it, claiming it reminded her of that twilight time of night that felt like “velvet”, whatever that meant.
“I go by Indi,” she said. “We just moved here from Arizona.” She looked around, nodded, and then sat back down in her hard, acrylic chair, all eyes still riveted on her.
“And what brought you clear across the U.S. to our small town?” Miss Bingham smiled, her arms folded over her chest in a relaxed manner. She wore Wrangler jeans and Nike running shoes, her sweater cute, fitting her curves just right. She could have been a model with those high cheek bones and thick, blonde hair.
These were thing Indi noticed. Not because she was shallow and liked to judge people by their looks and the clothes they wore, but because she loved style. She loved the flow and drape of fabric, and those little things that made a clothing line stick out and be loved more than another one. She wanted to be a designer and had an eye for detail and color. Just in this small classroom the diversity in taste was amazing.
This had become her passion.
Indi let these thoughts flit through her mind as she tried to decide on a story to tell the class. She wasn’t about to tell them the truth. That her family had snuck out of Scottsdale in the middle of the night when the mayor himself had threatened to sue them after Indi’s mom had revealed to the Mayors wife’s that her husband was having an affair, and that they were two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars in debt from gifts he’d bought his mistress from a secret account. It didn’t matter that it was all true. The Kinkaids were guilty of psychic babble and a figurative lynch mob had started assembling.
“My parents wanted to buy a small farm and raise goats.” It sounded plausible and was actually kind of true. Her mom did want to try her hand at going completely organic and vegan, which they’d never totally been able to do, and still probably wouldn’t, since they planned to milk goats and goat milk wasn’t vegan.
Farming—or something like it—was something they’d do on the side, since her mom’s main entrepreneurial business was a little more woo woo. Not that there was anything wrong with the strange and abnormal, but Indi had had enough of it. She was ready for boring and ordinary.
“Well, that sounds wonderful,” the teacher said gazing out over the rows of bored students, her eyebrows raised as though trying to get the class to come alive and agree. “I know of only a few farms that are for sale. Which one is your family interested in?”
Did everyone know everyone around here? This was definitely not the big city. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t look like a farmer,” a girl somewhere behind her said.
Indi turned in her seat. The girl was a tiny thing that should have been sitting on the front row if she wanted to see the board. Her blonde hair was spiked to little points all over her head and black leather clothing covered her from neck to toe. She definitely did not fit the “farmer” mold either. And despite the over-done Goth look, she was really cute. There was something deviant in her eyes that intrigued Indi, because she knew better than anyone the kind of guts it took to dress differently.
“I’m not,” Indi continued. “It’s my mom who wants to try it.”
“Farming isn’t something you try,” a dark headed boy on her left said. “You’re either a farmer or not. There’s no in between.” His tone wasn’t unfriendly, just direct and honest, like Goth Girl’s. It was actually refreshing, but at the same time, with everyone staring, she felt different. Here she was trying so hard to be the same and already her parent’s weird idiosyncrasies were setting her apart. Indi wasn’t a farmer or even a country girl. She wasn’t rich or classy either, but an imposter who was trying to be something that felt impossible to achieve.
“I know.” She didn’t know what else to say, so she turned back to the teacher, her pulse pounding as everyone assessed her agricultural ineptness.
The teacher nodded and then took a deep breath. “Okay then. Let’s get back to writing.” She turned to the smart board and the rest of class zoomed by in a blur of Shakespeare and dramatic dialog. It wasn’t until the bell rang that Indi realized how quickly the time had passed. She’d made it through first period.
Grabbing her backpack from the back of her chair, she began throwing her notebook and pencils inside.
Not two seconds later, Goth Girl stood beside her. She was even shorter up close. Not even five feet tall, wearing black leather boots with clunky silver buckles on the outside. And even though they weren’t her style, Indi found herself admiring their fine craftsmanship.
Let me know what you think!