Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

SONG OF SUGAR SANDS
Friday, February 19, 2021 by DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

PLEASE WELCOME

DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

TO

FICTION FRIDAY

 

READ AN EXCERPT FROM SONG OF SUGAR SANDS

Malibu, California

My acne finally cleared up about the time I started college. By junior year, I had come into myself, into my comfort zone so to speak, and was having the time of my life. Or so I told myself. Then I met Peter. Something about him jarred me out of this zone so completely that, try as I might, I simply could not find my way back.

The first time I saw him, I was at an off-campus party. Bored, I looked around for a cute guy to talk to. With his long blonde hair, intense green eyes, and especially the way he laughed—as if all the joy of the universe radiated from him—he certainly fit the bill.

I made my way across the room toward him. The record player blasted “We are the Champions” by Queen. Pretty coeds in miniskirts and wedge-heeled boots or knee socks were everywhere. Peter was absorbed in conversation with a classmate of mine named Greg and paid me no attention as I edged into his path of vision.

I’d recently learned the power of eye contact, having gained enough self-confidence to take risks—once my acne cleared up. Today, though, not only Peter, but Greg as well, seemed oblivious to my approach. Peter gestured with a wave of one hand to emphasize a point while Greg listened intently, his eyes on Peter. I was about to back away when Peter’s words caused me to pause. “If you really believed in everlasting life or punishment, if any of us really believed, why wouldn’t we do everything in our power every minute to ensure the one and not the other?”

Hadn’t I once accused my parents of exactly that? Or maybe he was putting the words to something I had been trying but failing to communicate. “Are you saying they’re all fakes?” I pivoted to confront Peter. “That nobody really believes at all?”

Both guys turned to gape. Greg’s eyes flickered over me, taking in the details of my appearance in one practiced sweep. Peter, however, looked directly into my eyes. “No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying we’re weak, and it’s a good thing God has such a generous, forgiving spirit. Don’t you think?”

I stalled, hoping he would keep talking so I wouldn’t need to answer. He waited, his eyes intent on mine.

“I—uh …”

Greg saved me. “Acadia, pardon our manners. Peter O’Neil, this is Acadia Powers. She’s a pre-med major.”

“Pre-med,” Peter echoed, holding out his hand and offering a lopsided grin. “Impressive.”

“Only if I pass.” I took his hand, and my heart performed a peculiar little leap.

“I get carried away sometimes,” he said, “when I think about how awesome our God is. Forgive me.”

Clearly this guy was some sort of religious nut and not my type at all. My best bet was to contrive a fast escape. My feet, however, seemed glued to the floor, cooperating about as well as my tongue. “O’Neil? Funny, you don’t look Catholic,” I said at last.

“I’m not.” He smiled with his eyes. “I think I’ll get some popcorn. Do you want some?”

I nodded. The food at these types of parties was all over the place. Kids with trust funds might have catered dishes like shrimp cocktail or fondue. Other times, like tonight, there was nothing fancier than chips and salsa. And, of course, the popcorn, which did smell tantalizing.

A couple of sorority girls approached, and Greg slipped away with them. Girls who looked like these two beauties still made me feel like my clothes were all wrong and my hands were put on backward.

All through high school, I failed to get so much as a date to the prom—though I was known to be the one to ask about rock bands or for help with homework. A lot of the kids called me “the brain,” which wasn’t true and definitely not a compliment. None of the cute guys ever came close to asking me out. By high school graduation, I wondered if anybody ever would. When I arrived on a college campus and started to get attention from the opposite sex, I gobbled up the change like a kitten with tuna fish.

The girls’ eyes lingered on Peter as they moved off. He took my hand and steered me through the crowd.

“Acadia,” he murmured as we worked our way toward the salty aroma. “I think I’ll call you Cadi.”

 

ABOUT SONG OF SUGAR SANDS

A deeply committed young man falls in love with the beautiful but troubled Acadia, who knows herself too selfish, too sinful, and too skeptical in her faith to marry a preacher.

SONG OF SUGAR SANDS recounts Acadia’s struggle to come to terms with issues of faith, while also telling the story of Peter and Acadia’s falling in love and the traumatic first year of their marriage. When one of her students attempts suicide after confiding her problems in Acadia, Acadia almost quits.  Can she find what she needs to keep on trying, or has she made too many mistakes already?

BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Song-Sugar-Sands/dp/1951080335

 

ABOUT DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

A Professor Emerita at Vanderbilt University, Debra Coleman Jeter has published in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. She earned recent acclaim when Song of Sugar Sands, was named a finalist in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She loves to be in the water—whether snorkeling, water skiing, boogie boarding, or just floating around—which may explain the setting for the Sugar Sands series.

The Amazon page:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1941103863/

Author website:  www.debracolemanjeter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebColemanJeter

Info on Song of Sugar Sands http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/christian-romance/17332

 

 

 

 

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