Today I have a dear friend stopping by to chat – Molly Daniels from Secret Cravings Publishing. She will be talking about her book Love Weighs In.
Hi, Molly! Glad you could be here!
Thank you so much for having me today Tricia! I’m the featured Author-of-the-Week over at the Secret Cravings blog, and anyone who comments here or on any of my guest posts between now and Thursday will be given a chance to win a free download of their choice of my back list.
When I first dreamed of creating the Arbor University series, I knew one book would have to deal with the issue of eating disorders. Enter Susan Best, who was not based on any specific person I knew, but rather a compilation of overweight girls I’d met and spoken to on campus. I also find it amusing that when I first wrote this story, I personally did not have a weight issue. However, fast-forward ten years, and now I’m struggling for the first time in my life to lose fifty pounds. But I’m choosing to do it the safe way!
I hope you enjoy Susan’s story. She’s the middle child, caught between a perfectionist older sister and rebellious younger brother. Labeled ‘The Good Child’ by her parents, Susan finds herself sharing a dormitory suite with two slender girls and a third whose major is Sports Education. When Travis Freeman discovers she can sing, and encourages her to join his friend’s band, Susan slowly spirals out of control as wrong assumptions are made. Her friends try to help her, but in Susan’s rebellious mind, she’s under attack.
“And when was the last time you ate a regular meal? I’m talking all the four major food groups, including dessert.”
“Yesterday.” Feeling triumphant, Susan raised her head and looked Amy in the eye. “The cafeteria served us turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, plus I had a salad and had strawberry yoghurt afterwards.”
Amy looked at Travis, who shook his head. “She moved it around and may have put some of it in her mouth, but I heard her vomiting in the bathroom. She didn’t know I was listening at the door.”
“That’s not true,” Susan cried. “You were already in your room. No, you were in Bill’s room.” She corrected herself, recalling the events. She directed her question at Gretchen. “So that’s why you came into the bathroom with me? Didn’t see me do anything, did you?”
Gretchen shook her head. “But you tried to get me to leave several times. Do you realize you can severely injure your throat by too much self-induced vomiting? You can rupture blood vessels, impair your gag reflex, even cause damage to your gums and teeth.”
“Not to mention malnutrition,” Amy added.
Caitlyn slapped the palm of her hand on her leg and gave her chair a shove. “We’re not getting anywhere. If we can’t get through to her, then it’s time to call her advisor, the resident advisor, the dorm director, or her parents. Nothing we’re saying is going to stop her from trying to freaking starve herself to death.” She moved across the room, and Susan moved out of her way. Caty wrenched the door open. “I’ve got better things to do than babysit someone so damned hell-bent on destroying herself.” The door slammed hard behind her.
Shaken, Susan sank onto the bed beside Gretchen. “Please don’t call my parents.” She shook her head and rocked forward. “Don’t call my parents.”
“Why not? Cait’s got a good idea.” Amy stood in front of her. “There’s only three weeks of school left. I imagine they would not appreciate you killing yourself in front of us and not warning them.”
Susan jerked her head up. “I’m not killing myself.”
“Okay, what do you call it? Do you know you’re also putting yourself at risk for a heart attack? That’s what happens, you know. Your heart can’t handle the stress, and you go into congestive heart failure.”
Something inside of Susan snapped. “You don’t understand! Not one of you do!”
“What don’t we understand, Su? Tell us.” Gretchen touched her on the shoulder.
Tears streaked down her cheeks. “None of you have to watch what you eat. All of you have good-looking boyfriends. Every single one of you has no trouble getting dates, even you, Gretchen. Even when Troy’s not down here, you still have Shawn to hang out with. Nobody wants me around. Nobody offers to dance with me if Travis isn’t around. And I’ll tell you why. It’s because I’m fat!”
Travis recoiled like he’d been slapped. “I want to be with you, Susan. I keep telling you I love you. I want to be with you, but you act like you don’t believe me.”
“I see you laughing with Tina several times a day. I know you’re laughing about me behind my back.”
“That’s not true. We’re friends! She’s envious of you, because you’re in the band and singing at the bar.”
Gretchen cut in. “About that, you always have a group of guys hanging around the stage while you’re on. Doesn’t that tell you something?”
“Oh great. So now all I can attract are drunks? Thanks a lot, Gretchen. Thanks a fricking lot.” Susan stood up and shoved her way out of the room with a bang.
This isn’t your typical love story, and it does have a happy ending. So who does Susan finally find happiness with? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Or read another excerpt tomorrow.
Love Weighs In can be purchased here:
Again, thank you sooooo much for having me today! Don’t forget to leave your contact information in your comment! I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday, Jan 17th.