Hi! Today I’m celebrating the release of my friend Tiffany’s book, BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE, which came out last Tuesday. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! Tiffany writes incredible characters, and I saw a lot of my teenage self in Brighton, who is desperate to be liked and be all things to all people in her life. In fact, thinking about that is what sparked my post. As part of the BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE blog tour, I’m responding to the following prompt: One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.
One night, fourteen years ago this May, I was at a senior week party. It was the night before graduation. Not mine; I was a rising junior. I was sitting on a bench outside and crying over a boy who was not worth my time. A year before, after a similar party, I’d let the boy walk me back to my dorm and kiss me. I’d had a crush on him all year. He was older – already graduated – and had a girlfriend. Thank God I was sober and smart enough to tell him to leave when he asked to stay, no matter how many pretty things he said. But I wasn’t smart enough to realize how drunk he was, and I still believed he meant all the pretty things, and when I came back to school for sophomore year, he was engaged. By the time I saw him again, he was married.
I was small and bouncy and soprano-voiced and “cute.” I had lots of boy friends, but never boyfriends. I was not the kind of girl – I thought – that boys said pretty things to. So a year later, I was still feeling small and stupid for believing them.
Another boy came over to my bench. Cheered me up. We’d done a play together that spring. After rehearsals, we’d stand outside the theatre and talk – him smoking cigarettes, me leaning against the warm brick walls. He made me laugh – and I made him laugh, because he didn’t let me play small or nice. With him, I could be smart. Witty. When I complained about people calling me “cute,” he told me I was more like a mix between Cruella de Ville and the Dalmations. It was one of the best compliments I’d ever gotten.
We went to find the friend I was staying with that week. She was trashed. She was also half a foot taller than me, and there was no way I could shepherd her the mile to her off-campus apartment. The boy helped me get her home. I got her settled and then he and I sat on her front porch. We talked for hours. All night. About all sorts of things. Our favorite books and plays we’d each been in and what we wanted to do with our lives and places we wanted to travel – New Orleans, I remember. When he left at dawn, he moved to kiss me. I – remembering the mistakes of the year before – turned my head, and his mouth landed on my cheek instead. But I gave him my email address.
The next day, I went home to my parents’ for the summer. And we emailed – a few times a week at first, then every day. We read each other’s favorite books that summer – his was Stranger in a Strange Land, and mine was Gone with the Wind. Both writers, we fell in love over email and snail-mail letters. He wrote me riddles. He made me think. He never followed the pretty romantic script I set out for him – but he never said things he didn’t mean, either. We both had a lot of growing up to do still. But we grew together. We challenged each other.
In fact, my dedication in my second book – STAR CURSED – is: To my brilliant husband, Steve, who loves me as I am but challenges me to be better.
What about you? Have you had one night that changed your life?
Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone … but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won’t give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel’s energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.
About Tiffany Schmidt:
TIFFANY SCHMIDT lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. And while she thinks sunrises are quite beautiful, she’d rather sleep through them. Send Me a Sign was her debut novel. Find out more about Tiffany and her books by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt or visiting www.TiffanySchmidt.com.
I loved BBS so much that I’d like to give away a copy. Fill out the Rafflecopter to win a signed copy from Tiffany – AND a signed ARC of the third book in my trilogy, SISTERS’ FATE. Open until Tuesday March 4 at midnight. US & Canada only.