The odds were stacked against us, two games, 30 mins apart in 98 degree heat but we pulled it off! North Charleston is 2021 Dixie Majors World Champions! Bittersweet win as my guy's grandson won't play again for this particular team. We'll see what next year brings though.
Meanwhile, please welcome brand-new-to-me and our blog, Kregel author, Angela Ruth Strong with her book, Husband Auditions!
Excerpt: Meri #16. Work as a waitress or nurse. Men love being taken care of.
I hated My Best Friend’s Wedding. No, I’m not talking about the ceremony I just took part in, which was absolutely beautiful despite that the bridesmaid’s dress I’m still wearing makes me look like an origami swan. I’m referring to the movie with Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz.
Okay, honestly, it was a good movie until the end. Spoiler alert: The rich, beautiful blonde gets the guy, while the heroine is left alone.
Granted, Julia’s character had been conniving and selfish at times, but since she learned a valuable lesson through the story, I can’t help thinking that both she—and I—deserve a happy ending. As for Cameron being jilted at the altar—who cares? Again, rich, beautiful, blonde.
But I’m none of those, so what hope do I have? Not only am I still wearing this ugly grass-green dress, that’s uncomfortably strapless and slipping dangerously low, but . . . I caught the bouquet! To make the situation even more embarrassing, my competition was a gang of eight-year-olds.
That’s right. I’m the last of my nursing-school friends, or any of my friends for that matter, to be single.
Hmm . . . Maybe I’m glad Julia Roberts is still single at the end of the movie because now we have something in common. Me and Jules.
I wish I could claim to also be a tall redhead with a toothpaste-commercial smile. I’m actually an ordinary thirty-one-year-old woman who still looks twelve due to an exorbitant amount of freckles. And my boring brown hair is neither as curly as Julia’s hair when it’s curly nor as straight as Julia’s hair when it’s straight. My hair is wavy. Which sounds nice, but really means it can’t be considered sleek nor bouncy. No, Julia’s character and I are only bonded by the bare ring finger.
Said finger cramps as I grip my luggage tighter, juggle it with my other belongings, and struggle up the one step in front of my younger brother’s townhome located in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon. The dum-dum can afford such a place because he’s a workaholic, which has left him single as well as successful.
Scratch successful. Having your fiancée leave you because you prioritize your career over loved ones does not make a person successful. Let’s call him prosperous. And maybe a little stingy too. Which is why he’s rented out the spare bedrooms to a couple of his classmates from film school.
Of the three of them, he’s the only one I wouldn’t consider a starving artist. Though they must all be starved for affection, judging by their singleness. Unfortunately, I’m about to join their Bermuda Triangle of relationships.
I’d usually go right in, but my hands are full. Stupid bouquet and such. I kick the door a few times in attempt to sound as if I’m knocking.
I don’t want to live here for the summer, but I currently have nowhere else to go, and three months will give me some time to figure out what I do want to do. The only thing I know for sure is that I can’t keep all my stuff in my old garage indefinitely, since Anne lives there with a husband now.
I stare at Charlie’s trendy, cranberry-colored door. So misleadingly cheerful. And still closed.
Music drifts from inside.
I kick again and add a “Hello?” for good measure.
Nothing. My brother’s Subaru Legacy is in the parking spot behind me, so I know he’s here.
I do an upright row with a tote bag to press my elbow to the doorbell.
No footsteps tap to the beat. Fine. I’ll perform a juggling act and open the door myself.
I slip the tote up to my elbow until I’m tilted sideways like the patient with back problems who came into my doctor’s office last week, but at least I’m able to grip the doorknob. I twist and release. The door swings open to reveal the far windows with a view of the city skyline underneath the snowy white peak of Mt. Hood—like a Facebook frame on an Instagram filter.
This image is not picture perfect, however, because sitting on the kind of black leather couch you’d expect to find in a bachelor pad like my brother’s is Kai Kamaka. Feet up on one of the two cube-like coffee tables, MacBook on his lap.
I’m surprised the guy is awake during the day. Five years after graduating, he still works at the same place where his school counselor got him an internship and, like a nocturnal college student, he prefers the night shift. He’s a prime example of the shortage of mature men in the world and why I haven’t been able to find one yet.
He grins at me and my charade of a pack animal. He has one of those grins that would have gotten him out of trouble for pulling the fire alarm as a kindergartner but can only be considered childish after the age of five.
“Hey, Meri,” he says in a voice much too deep for elementary school. “Why are you wearing a dinner napkin?”
Now that I think about it, the folds in my bodice do resemble the aforementioned part of the table setting during today’s reception dinner, but that’s not the issue here. “It helps soak up all my sweat when I’m left standing in the burning heat by a lazy roommate who refuses to open the door.” Okay, the heat actually feels warm and inviting. I always appreciate sunny days in Oregon. But again, not the issue.
Kai lifts his phone. “I’m not lazy. I checked my phone to see if anybody texted to say they were coming over. No texts.”
The hipster definition of hard work. Though I’d consider Kai more of a skater than a hipster. Even though I’ve never seen him on a longboard, I’m sure he has one. He’s lanky, wears baggy clothes, and his shiny, dark hair hangs almost in his eyes. If we lived in the state of his heritage, Hawaii, I’d call him a surfer. We do have some surfers here in Oregon, but due to water temperature, they must wear wet suits and be real diehards. Kai is not a diehard. So, we’ll stick with skater.
“Dude,” I speak his language. “You’re not the only person who lives here.”
“Oh, that’s right. Welcome home.” He turns his attention to his computer screen. “Why’d you even knock if you live here now?”
Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong. Published by Kregel Publications.
Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about.
Strong’s books have since earned Top Pick honors in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Her book Finding Love in Big Sky recently filmed on location in Montana and will air soon. She also writes articles for SpiritLed Woman.
To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at Write That Book.
Besides writing, Strong teaches exercise classes, works for an airline, and enjoys Harley rides with her husband and camping with her three kids.
Oh my, Angela this sounds like a wonderfully funny book! Wishing you the best of luck and God's blessings on this new chapter in your life.
Thanks for stopping by friends. Hope to see you again next week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God bless.