(EDIT: Best Day Ever is now available on Kindle! Go here to get your copy!)
We’re less than a week out from the release of Best Day Ever! I’m so excited about finally getting this book out there for you. On September 1st, it’ll be available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. Please go show it some love over on Goodreads!
Here’s just a little sneak peek for those who are as excited as I am. Eeeeee!!!
Worst. Day. Ever.
This was pretty much the only thought I could manage the day before Christmas when my grades showed up in the mailbox. Of course, it was supremely unfair that my grades would arrive just in time to obliterate all the holiday cheer from my life, but it had been my great fortune, at least, that I was the one to check the mail that morning.
Well, that afternoon, I should say.
So, I had slept in. Until two in the afternoon. I was on a break from college, where I kept more conservative hours, of course. Kinda.
Oh, who am I kidding? I slept through most of my classes and didn’t even remember most days which classes I was even sleeping through. Which might explain why my poor grades came with a letter explaining that I had been kicked out of college.
The third college in two years, that is.
Great. Just great.
I was back home in Louisiana for… well, for a while now. I had a great, exciting life in Texas with college friends, college parties, and college boys. Lots and lots of boys. If the opposite sex could have counted as a field of study, I would have majored in it and made the dean’s list every semester. But, it wasn’t, unfortunately. And even more unfortunately, my knowledge in the classroom was nowhere close to my knowledge outside the classroom. And most unfortunately of all, I was injured.
Yes, the one thing I could do well – tennis – was something I couldn’t even do now. I had gone to college on an athletic scholarship, after years and years of private tennis lessons and what all of my coaches deemed great talent, and a semester into my first season, I tore up my knee. After extensive surgery and rehab, I was done with the sport. Forever.
And now? It appeared that I was also done with college.
“Chloe, we’re home!”
I stuffed the letter back into the envelope and stuck it in with the junk mail, throwing it all straight into the trash, smiling as my mother entered the house with grocery bags brimming full.
“Hey,” she said to me. “Glad to see you’re finally up. Late night last night, huh?”
It had been. Christmas break meant all of my friends were back from college, and there was no shortage of people looking for fun in our otherwise dull hometown. I had been out until five in the morning the night before, hanging out by the lake, drinking, and talking. It wasn’t as thrilling as my life in the city, but it sure beat hanging out with the rest of the Thibideaux clan.
“Chloe,” my older sister, Sophie, said to me, bringing in bags as well, “I got everything you put on the list for tomorrow. Praise God you’re here to cook it all, because I wouldn’t have a clue.”
“Yes, praise… Jesus and all, I guess,” I sighed, thinking of how the early morning in the kitchen would cut into my social schedule for the evening. I couldn’t complain too much, though, because my ability to cook up against my sister’s complete ineptitude in the kitchen? Made me feel like I had at least gotten some of the brilliant, successful Thibideaux genes when most of the time I was certain that she and my brother had used them all up long before I was even on the scene.
You see, the Thibideauxs are known for being successful. They were money long before my father –brilliant, accomplished, and (it must be said) geeky – engineered some sort of widget during college. He took his invention, patented the thing, and began his own manufacturing company while still in school, thanks to the investment dollars of several faculty members and distinguished alumni. In no time at all, he graduated, went on to become CEO and COO of the then booming company he had created from the ground up, and took the whole thing international, outsourcing most of his work to China.
Meanwhile, my mother, brilliant and accomplished in her own right, had finished college and gone overseas on some sort of Jesus mission to China. She came back a few years later speaking perfect Mandarin Chinese and was hired on at entry level by my father’s company as a translator, where thanks to her winning, sorority girl personality, she was quickly assigned to be the CEO’s personal translator for official business in Shanghai. Raymond Thibideaux and Trish Chenevert had never even laid eyes on one another until she showed up at corporate headquarters there in China, a petite, blond knockout, who, I’m told, caught my father’s undivided attention when her first order of business was to share the Gospel with him.
He, of course, already knew all about it, being into Jesus himself, and they spent two hoursdiscussing Christ and faith before even talking about widgets, China, or the job ahead of them, much to the confusion of the other businessmen present.
You can probably guess the rest. After just a few weeks of walking the streets of Shanghai together, my parents were sappy sweet in love. I’m sure people thought my beautiful mother was after my geeky father’s money, but after forty years together, she still seems to believe that he hung the moon. So, it must have been something significantly more substantial. Whatever it was, it was certainly enough to motivate him to bring her home to Louisiana, where they married, had my brother, had my sister, and then lived happily ever after.
Oh, and then fourteen years later, they had me. Surprise! Oh, sweet, sweet lovin’ on a long trip to Beijing, where my mother actually told my father, I’m told, that she was happy to have teenagers back home and that she was looking forward to an empty nest with him so very soon. Thoughts of having my mother all to himself again must have inspired some passion of a decidedly non-widget variety in my father (if you know what I’m saying) and because the odds weren’t good that a woman in her forties would be bearing any more children, they just went with it, caution to the wind.
She was convinced the whole first month that she just had the flu, but a woman that tiny starts showing really early, making it impossible to ignore the evidence of new life. Who knew that Ray and Trish, even in their late forties, were still so fertile? I’m a walking testimony to middle-aged passion and virility.
As you would imagine, given my surprise entrance into the Thibideaux clan, my brother and my sister have always regarded me as… well, as an oddity. And I am kind of odd, actually, up next to them. Age alone was enough to separate them from me completely, but to add insult to injury, they were also brilliant and I was… well, not brilliant.
My brother, Beau, is a rocket scientist. I mean, seriously, he is. There’s some technical term for what he does, but “rocket scientist” sums it up well enough. If that’s not enough by itself, he’s married to Melissa, who’s just as smart as he is and does some super secret government job where she blows things up. Yes, for real. Two nerds in love, working themselves to death at their respective jobs, and boring all the rest of mankind with their talk of rockets, missiles, launches, blah, blah, blah…
Then, there’s my sister, Sophie. Excuse me – Sophia Renee Thibideaux, CEO and tight-fisted dictator of her own accessories empire. Currently, she has five franchises. I know, right? She pitched the idea for Sophie’s Choice Boutique, an upscale accessories shop, to my dad before she was even done with college in an effort to get him to be an investor. He turned her down, but one of his stock holders caught wind of it, loaned Sophie her start-up money, and tripled his investment in only a year. Sophie’s Choice Boutique has since gone statewide, to the surprise of absolutely no one. As if all that wasn’t enough reason to feel miniscule up next to my big sister, she’s also beautiful. Supermodel kind of beautiful, which blinds the men she deals with in her business ventures just long enough for her to come in and masterfully and ruthlessly get hers in dollars and cents.
She’s a shark. A brilliant, beautiful shark.
And me? Well, I’m just stupid Chloe Thibideaux, who… well, who was a college student. With no job. And, soon enough probably, no life.
Great. Just great.
Want to read more? SUNDAY, y’all! The book will be available THIS SUNDAY! Check back here for more details…