Snark and Stage Fright by Stephanie Wardrop
Release Date: 03/10/15
Happily-ever-after isn’t as happy or forever as Jane Austen makes it look. Just something Georgia Barrett learns when her sharp tongue costs her the only guy she’s ever really cared about: Michael Endicott.
Determined to move on, Georgia lands the lead role in the school’s fall musical. But to survive on stage, she’ll need to learn to express herself without her protective shield of snark. She soon discovers being honest with others means being honest with herself, and the truth is she’s still in love with Michael.
But from the looks of Michael’s new girlfriend, Georgia isn’t the only one who tried to move on. Apparently, some people are just better at it than others. And when Michael and his girlfriend join the cast of the fall musical, Georgia finds out that snark and stage fright are the least of her worries…
The most senior Mrs. Endicott pulled out the chair and sat, hands folded, as if she were about to interview me for a job or a scholarship I would never get, though she would enjoy watching me squirm and supplicate myself in false hope. She waved me over to the chair across from her and nodded as I took a seat. “What does your father do—Georgiana, is it?” “Um, yeah. My dad teaches Victorian literature at Meryton College.” It occurred to me that this was an acceptable answer, one that indicated a certain amount of culture and intellectual merit in my parentage so I said it kind of brightly. “A decent regional school,” she conceded. “And what is it you want to do, Georgiana, when you graduate from Longbourne High School?” There was something in her tone of voice that made me forget my promise to Michael from a whole seven minutes earlier about not upsetting his family. The imperious way she looked down her nose at me—literally—and held her jaw set so firmly made me form the words, “I plan to find a rich boy, get myself pregnant as fast as possible, and live off his family’s money for the rest of my life. Maybe open a little boutique in town, too, just for something to do because I do not think I want to be a fulltime mommy.” My face flushed as I finished because I knew it was wrong to voice her unspoken fears to her, but I couldn’t help it. She didn’t think I was good enough; Catalina didn’t think I was good enough; probably ninety percent of the Cape’s population didn’t think I was good enough to walk their beaches. And if I couldn’t prove my worth to them, I would at least give them a little discomfort, kind of like a bee that stings the arm that swats it. And then dies. She pushed herself away from the table and stood up, a little shaky on her legs but her facial expression carved in granite, a bas-relief of displeasure. She started to walk away, but then turned and asked, as if she had just recalled something that gave her great delight, “You write editorials for that alternative newspaper the school board keeps trying to shut down, don’t you?” “Yes. Last year I actually got the school board to agree that vegan alternatives to lunch needed to be offered every day. And not just wilted lettuce in the salad bar.” She leaned forward and studied me so carefully I thought I would crack into pieces under her gaze like a clay pot stuck in the kiln too long. She said, “You think yourself a very clever girl, don’t you, Georgiana? Clever and amusing?” “I, um … I don’t have an answer to that, Ms. Endicott.” She stepped carefully up to the little ledge at the doorway to the living room, then turned back for a moment to warn me, “Sometimes clever people are not as clever as they think they are,” before walking out the door. I just sat there alone for a few minutes, catching my breath. I’d been on the Cape for fewer than fifty hours and already I had: (1) been molested by a literary lion (2) taken a spectacular fall off the deck in front Michael’s entire family, and (3) made two sworn enemies, one old and one young but both ready to place my head on a pike next to the compound flagpole. And the real party hadn’t even started yet.
About the Author
Stephanie Wardrop grew up in
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