Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Lilike Avrill Lansing is damaged. She is also unemployed, barely surviving a loveless marriage, and hiding a secret so painful that it’s eating her alive.
The damage began when, as a student, Lily, inhabited a unique and dangerous world: Whitman College. Located in a small city with big murder and crime rates, it is nothing like the suburb she was raised in. But the harsh city is not nearly as dangerous as the predators that roam the Whitman campus, preying on innocence and leaving a trail of ravaged souls in their wake.
The damage culminates ten years later at a dinner party where in the span of an evening Lily destroys her marriage and alienates her friends. She finally realizes that she must tell everyone the truth about what really happened during her years at Whitman. But can her marriage, her friendships, survive the truth?
The Complete Lily Lansing takes you on an emotional and often humorous journey of one woman's life as she struggles to overcome the secret of her college years. But is the support of friends, the belief in honesty, the sharing of tears, the power of love, and especially the ability to laugh through the hard times enough to help her become whole again?
Lily spent Friday afternoon at the library, trying to study for a quiz on the Romantic Period. But the hours passed and she didn’t read more than two pages. The only thing she wrote was “Romance Sucks,” which she doodled on her notebook.
She returned to her room and began arranging her school supplies on her desk but her efforts were pointless. Thoughts of romance occupied her mind to the extent that there was no room for ballads, sonnets or odes. When I find a boyfriend, the first thing we will do together is study, she thought. She sat down at her desk and narrowed her list of potential boyfriends:
Her friend Ben was quiet and sweet, but she thought he might already have a girlfriend. Randy, a senior and the captain of the Whitman football team, had asked her out a few times before.
She couldn't think of anyone else to add to the list so she leaned out of her window and observed the buzz of activity at the Omega Delta Fraternity. The brothers circuited the house like ants, carrying kegs of beer in, overstuffed trash bags out, cleaning, sweeping. She smiled, like a spider admiring its well-spun web. Chances were good that she would see both Ben and Randy at the party. And if the night went well she would have a date for Saturday, maybe even a boyfriend by Sunday.
She closed the window and flopped down on her bed. It was all so confusing. If her heart belonged to Seth, how could she still be attracted to both Ben and Randy? They were all so different.
Seth kissed her greedily like he was devouring a delicious cake, losing interest when his hunger was sated. She knew it would be different with Ben, and smiled as she pictured kissing him over a bouquet of buttercups, like a scene in one of Erica’s favorite movies. The blooms would tickle their chins, sweetening the kiss.
Her face grew warm when she thought of Randy’s hands on her; she couldn't picture him kissing her chastely. It occurred to her that maybe Randy was another Seth, a taller, bolder Seth, who only wanted to eat her cake and be done with it. She would have to be careful.
Lily was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn’t hear Petra enter her room, even though Petra's stilettos cracked like hammers on the bare wood floor. A tight black miniskirt stretched to cover Petra’s ample derrière, worn with a shiny pink blouse and enormous gold hoop earrings.
“I can’t believe you’re not ready!” Petra said with a toss of her thick auburn hair.
Lily rose from the bed and went to look at herself in the mirror. “I’m ready. I just need to brush my teeth.”
“Didn’t you wear that outfit to school today?” Petra sized up Lily’s jeans, blouse, and loafers.
“So? It’s still clean.”
“I thought you might want to wear something a little more sexy. We’re going to a frat party, not the library.”
Lily took in Petra’s outfit, which seemed more appropriate for a street corner.
“I’m not trying to impress anyone,” Lily said.
“Not even Seth?”
Lily frowned, drawing her brows together as if she were in sudden pain; she had been hoping to see Seth at the party, but would never admit it to Petra. “I don’t have anything like what you’re wearing,” Lily said, and suddenly wished that she did.
“Well I don’t feel like waiting around for you to fix your face, and there’s not much we can do with your hair. What other shoes do you have?”
“I have black sneakers and tan cowboy boots.”
Petra touched three red-tipped fingers to her forehead as if it were all too much to bear.
“And sandals,” Lily added in an apologetic voice.
“That’ll work. Here, give me your brush.”
Petra wet the brush with hairspray and made a deep side part in Lily’s flaxen hair, coaxing each strand into place. “Keep this side tucked behind your ear, and let the rest fall into your eyes. That’s sexy.”
“Thanks.” Lily said, pleased with what she saw in the mirror.
Petra unfastened two buttons on Lily’s demure blouse, revealing a peek of her pale lace bra.
“Still a little Debbie Gibson, but much better. Put your sandals on and let’s go. You can put on your lipstick while we walk. Let's go.”
As she walked, Lily admired the clear sky, crescent moon, and luminous sampling of stars. She always mourned the end of summer, and knew this was one of the last soft nights of the year before the low gray skies set in. Petra marched heavily beside her, eyes fixed straight ahead, and Lily shot her a superior look, wondering how she could be so impervious to the beauty around her. And she thinks I’m clueless. She stopped walking to better smell the night air, earning a scowl from Petra. If I’m lucky, Lily thought, there will be one more perfect night like this, and I’ll have someone special to share it with. She focused on a shining star and made a wish, careful to keep walking. “Star light, star bright, please grant me a wish tonight.” Lily whispered to herself. She closed her eyes briefly and when she opened them, the star that she had wished upon blinked and appeared to be headed for Philadelphia International Airport. She cursed herself for choosing the brightest.
* * * *
Links to Buy:
Wild Child Publishing: