Anticipation by S.D. Thomas YA Christian Contemporary Romance - Guest Post and Excerpt

Anticipation by S.D. Thomas
Genre: YA Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 2017

Cassie Smith wasn't expecting to fall in love with her best friend, Mark Santos, or the emotional turmoil she encounters in the relationship. But, this newfound love has her questioning the only commitments she's ever made: to God and to leaving her hometown. Will she change her mind and stay with Mark? Or will she risk everything she's ever known and loved to continue with her original plan?

A Guest Post by S.D. Thomas

What is a dream date?

At first, I wasn’t sure if you meant for me, or for Cassie, but then realized we’d probably answer very similarly.

My husband started his own IT company a few years back with some friends, and works from the home. Being a small business, he never has consistent work hours, and can rarely plan time off. Therefore, my dream dates include any time we get to spend together. I don’t care if we’re walking our dog, binge watching a TV show, or actually go somewhere—if I can spend some uninterrupted minutes with him, I’m a happy girl. Dreamily, I’d love to say out to dinner and theatre, but he’s not into either of those options—which is okay, because we’re both homebodies.

Cassie would (and has) picked just spending intimate time with Mark. When going out, they typically chose hiking. (You will not catch me hiking!) Her dream date would probably just be some alone time with Mark on the beach.


Chapter 8

We were about five weeks into our senior year, and I was getting anxious with the dragging of time. It was another Friday night and Mark and I had decided to skip the football game and hang out at the house.
“I just want the year to end. I’m so done with high school,” I complained. “You know, if I don’t get into the University of Georgia, I’m gonna flip. I can’t go to Armstrong, and that’s my back-up, per my dad’s
request. I just want to leave this town, move on, experience life, you know? The only good thing about staying is that Shells will be at SCAD.”
Mark sat quietly, only half-listening, fidgeting in his seat. He pretended to be reading the magazine he was flipping through, but I knew he wasn’t. He’d been on the same page for fifteen minutes. 
“Why are you so quiet tonight? You’ve got to be more excited than me. You’re probably going to the Philippines in August. You’re getting FAR away from this town. I’m a little jealous of you. Sometimes I don’t think nine thousand miles is far enough away,” I confided. “Aren’t you excited? You’re going back to where you grew up, seeing old friends, your brother, your grandparents. Think of all the people you’re going to meet, the new adventures, the stories you’ll have to share. It’s settled…I really am jealous.”
He threw the magazine onto the coffee table with too much force, as it slid off the other side and fell to the floor. “Why do you hate it here so much? What did this town and the people in it do to you that you are miserable here?”
I pulled back. Where was this coming from? “What? I’m not miserable…I just want a change, and that’s not going to happen here…”
“If you want a change, then make a change. You don’t have to move 200 miles away for change to occur. I have to go now.” Mark lunged off the couch, almost running out the door.
“Mark! Mark…wait up!” I chased him. I couldn’t imagine what had him acting so strangely. It wasn’t like him to shut down or walk away from me. Did I upset him somehow that he didn’t want to talk to me?
He stopped and hung his head, staring at the ground. Something was truly bothering him, and I was worried. He sighed as I put my hand on his arm.
“Mark, what’s going on? Talk to me. You’ve never shut me out before. I’m a little freaked out.”
“Don’t you see, Cassie? You’re the one person I can’t talk to about this.” He groaned as he moved to walk away. I grabbed him by the arm again, forcing him stop and face me.
“Why? What did I do?” A horrible ache started in the pit of my stomach, afraid of what he was going to say. “Mark…” I pleaded as tears welled up in my eyes, “please.”
“Cass…” Reaching out, he grabbed my hand, and pulled me toward the steps. There was a little flutter in my stomach at his touch. A good sign. At least he was willing to try to talk to me. “It’s just that—how do I say this? You’re so excited to leave, and I’m not ready to let you go.”
“What? You’re afraid we won’t be friends? Mark, you’re my best friend. I’m never going to leave you—” I was relieved. He was afraid I’d leave and forget about him. That’s sweet. Sometimes he acted like the girl.
“It’s not that we’re not going to be friends that bothers me; it’s just the opposite…”
I didn’t understand. What was the opposite of not being friends? Being friends? That didn’t make any sense.
I heard him chuckle at the confusion written on my face. I looked at him, as his eyes danced a bit with his laugh.
“Cassie. Don’t you see? No, of course you don’t. You can’t see past our friendship.” And with that a shy smile formed on his lips.
“Don’t you want to be friends anymore? Did I do something?”
He leaned his head into mine. I could feel one hand around my neck and the other hand on my cheek, wiping away tears I didn’t realize had spilled out. He was inches from me, when he whispered the
unimaginable, “I don’t want to be your friend—”

About the Author

S.D. Thomas has a B.A. in Journalism from Penn State University, and has always enjoyed creative writing. It wasn’t until after heartbreak that she accepted God’s calling and began writing according to His Word. She’s the co-founder of Coffee With Christ, a bi-monthly blog regarding topics and stories from the Bible. She is an avid reader, coffee enthusiast and studies
her Bible daily, doing her best to live her life as a disciple of Christ. She lives with her husband and their fur baby in West Virginia.

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