So, I wanted to create a space where you can find out all that you ever wanted to know about When the Real Thing Comes Along. Here, you’ll find a general overview of WTRTCA, a bangin’ soundtrack, excerpts and a Reading Group Guide! I hope you enjoy. 🙂
Jacelynn loved and lost…Will faith give her the courage she needs to love again?
Jacelynn appears to have it all together: a great relationship with her boyfriend Jason who is truly a man after God’s own heart, a decent career and the love of family and friends. But when an unwelcome reminder from her past shows up, her previously uncomplicated world is turned upside down. Will she jeopardize what she has with Jason in an attempt to rewrite the mistakes of her past?
They say you never forget your first love…no matter how hard you try. So far, Jacelynn has done a pretty good job of forgetting Taylor, the boy who had her heart first. When Taylor returns several years later as a man requesting a second chance, what’s a girl to do…Especially when she already has a new man?
The hidden issues of Jacelynn’s heart come to light and she’s forced take a hard look in the mirror while making choices that will change her future forever. Will she be able to reconcile who she was then, with who she is in Christ now?
Living and loving in faith isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. That’s what happens…
When the Real Thing Comes Along
Check it out via Amazon here.
Check out the WTRTCA Soundtrack via Spotify! It’s got some romantic songs, some why-did-you-do-me-wrong whining ballads, some soul-stirring gospel and some plain old feel good music. Take a listen, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And I know you’ll hear some of Jacelynn, Taylor and Jason’s story in these lyrics. Click here to listen.
Here are some excerpts from WTRTCA that I think give an accurate impression for the overall feel of the book.
My eyes were wide open the night I invited Taylor into my life. It was at the end of one of those parties that starts out with what seems like hundreds of people, but turns mellow before midnight. I was ready to go but my best friend, Kim, wasn’t. She was trying to finalize the hook up with a guy from her history class. Meanwhile, I was waiting on a ratty couch in the dark living room with a guy I knew I would never see again, wishing that I was at home watching Lifetime movies. That’s when I saw him.
He walked past me through the sliding glass doors into the backyard. Something about the gracefulness of his long strides, made me get up and follow him while the guy on the couch was still running his mouth.
The sound of Usher singing about how to tell if you got it bad muffled to a slow thumping bass as I closed the patio doors behind me. I waved away the sweet smell of weed as I stepped around a few people smoking and lounging on the mismatched patio furniture.
I trailed him across the large backyard where the only sound was the loud swishing of the dozen or so palm trees waltzing in the fall winds. Both of our steps were silent in the soft mushy grass. I felt strange following him without saying anything, but I wanted him to sense me behind him. I wanted to know if the crazy magnetism I was feeling was working on him too. But there was a different force drawing him that night. One that I would contend with at a later time, in another place, with a lot more to lose.
She struggled to absorb all that he’d told her.
“Why should I believe what you’re saying? How do I know that you’re not here because of your ego?”
He cringed. “I understand your reasoning. If I were you, I’d think the same thing about me. I’d think that I was running another game on you, and if you had accepted my explanation without any reservations, you wouldn’t have been the girl I remember and love.”
Her airway momentarily constricted. She took a shallow breath. “Don’t . . . don’t say that. You never loved me. Love doesn’t behave the way you did.” She had to believe that, had to believe that no man who ever loved her could hurt her so badly.
“You’re right. Love is patient, love is kind, it seeks not its own, it is not boastful, it does not envy. See, I didn’t know about what love truly was back then, but now I do. I know that love never fails.”
Her mouth dropped. This man across from her quoting scripture couldn’t possibly be the same person who stepped all over her heart.
He grinned. “I see I’ve got you speechless. Jacelynn this is no game. I’m for real. My love for you won’t fail this time around.”
“I-I have a boyfriend.” She held her head in her hands, eyes wide with shock. “I have a boyfriend.” She hadn’t thought of Jason once since she’d sat down. And here was this good-looking man, saying all the right things. The man who had her heart first, stirring up all kinds of feelings inside of her.
He nonchalantly stated, “We’ve met.”
“What am I doing here? What am I doing here? I don’t need this drama.” She reached for her purse. “Taylor, I’m ecstatic about your conversion. If you’re sincere, I wish you the best in your walk with God. But as far as you and I go, we’re history. I forgave you a long time ago and I have moved on. I have a beautiful relationship with a man who is established and rooted in God. I’m not jeopardizing that because someone from my past shows up with a few poetic speeches. If you were ever in love at all, it was with a naïve girl who didn’t have sense enough to see you for what you really were; a jive talking immature little boy. I have grown up, and I suggest you do the same.”
She stood to leave and he took her hand as she attempted to pass him. “I won’t pretend that hearing what you think about me doesn’t hurt. But I’ve grown up. You’re rejecting me based on my past and that’s fine. I’ve rejected it too. But I need for you to give me the chance to show you’ve I’ve changed.”
She glared down at him. “I don’t owe you anything.”
“You’re right, you don’t. But I owe you so much. If you didn’t see my flaws, it was because you were looking at my heart. You saw what I could be and you loved me.” He stood up and his proximity to her made it difficult for her to breathe. When his lips touched her ear, she turned her head away. “I’m not going anywhere Ja. I don’t mind proving who I’ve become to you. And as far as your little boyfriend goes, you never said you loved him.”
He waited. She knew he was giving her time to confess her love for Jason now. When she only lifted glittering angry eyes to him, he continued, “I don’t mind if he’s holding you now. Go ahead and lean on his shoulder for a while. But it’s me you’ll be thinking about and it’s me you’ll be remembering.”
She snatched her hand out of his and stepped back, hoping to diminish the heat ricocheting between their bodies. “Your so called love won’t fail this time around, because there’s never going to be another chance for us. Never.” She turned and walked out of the restaurant without looking back.
“I’m sorry Jason. I don’t mean to hurt you, but I’ve got to be honest.” She gripped her hands tightly. “I don’t know which end is up anymore. I’m so confused. I need time to get myself together. Whether you believe it or not, this is not only about him. It’s about some things I haven’t dealt with.”
His voice was levelly controlled. “Don’t sit there and tell me that this is not about him, when you got next to him and now you want break up with me. What am I supposed to think?”
“I didn’t say that I wanted to break up with you.”
Defensively she asserted, “I’m telling you the truth. When I allowed myself to do that, I had to admit that I’m not ready for the level of intimacy and commitment you want. I’m still trying to find out who I am. I’m still trying to get over past pain and regret. It’s not fair to you. You deserve more than a broken woman.”
“Don’t tell me what’s fair. It’s not fair that I love you the way I do and you keep pushing me away. What do I have to do to prove to you that I’m for real, that you can trust me?” He stood up and walked out onto the balcony
Jacelynn watched the muscles in his back ripple slightly as he breathed deeply. She knew that she was doing the right thing but the pain she felt on his behalf was almost physically disabling. She stood up and went into the bathroom. She ran a towel under cold water and pressed it to her eyes, willing herself to regain control of her emotions. Her behavior wasn’t making it any easier on him.
When she came out he was hunched over the railing, his forehead resting on his folded arms. She stood next to him and draped her arm over his back, leaning against him and gently pressing her lips to the back of his neck. He raised himself up and folded her into his arms in one smooth motion, burying his face in her neck and pulling her tightly to him.
She closed her eyes running her hands along his shoulders and his arms, trying to remember him before he was a memory. She absolutely treasured being in this man’s arms. Even now, the craziness she had been feeling all day started to evaporate the longer she stayed close to him. He was so solid, so much of a rock for her. But how long could he carry her? How long could he be her hero before he got tired?
“Don’t do this,” he murmured into her neck. “Don’t do this Lynn.”
She gently pushed him away. “I have to.”
They stood there. A mere two inches apart, but separated because of her fear and indecision.
He leaned forward and kissed her tenderly. “I still love you.”
She flashed back to Taylor saying the exact same words earlier that day. There he was again. Always coming up between them at moments when he should be the farthest thing from her mind. That was exactly why she needed this time to get it together. If Jason really cared about her, then he would wait. God knew she hoped he was for real. She wanted to commit to him whole heartedly. She couldn’t do that if she was still caught up in her past. So even though his eyes begged her to say the words that would make this whole fiasco a distant memory, she kept silent.
He turned to leave and she bit down hard on her bottom lip to keep from calling him back. When the door closed behind him, she walked back into the room and collapsed on the bed. Through her pain and her tears she heard the Spirit whisper, unto everything there is a season.
Spoiler Alert!!!!! You may not want to read the following reading guide/discussion questions if you haven’t read WTRTCA yet. I like to be surprised when I read, so I’m just saying…you’ve been warned.
Jacelynn struggled with insecurity issues and she sometimes came across as harsh or insensitive, especially to Jason’s feelings. Have you ever mistreated someone as a defense mechanism? How did that work out for you? Do you think there are other ways Jacelynn could have handled her feelings?
Jacelynn convinced herself that she had forgiven Taylor years ago, but when he shows back up in her life, bitterness and anger surface. How do you know when you’ve truly forgiven someone for past mistakes? Does forgiveness look different in various situations?
Jason made it clear that he was ready for a serious commitment, despite Jacelynn’s obvious reservations. Have you ever pushed for a relationship with someone who wasn’t ready? Have you ever been pressured in a relationship to move faster than you were comfortable with?
Taylor felt as though his new-found faith in God gave him a pass for previous mistakes. Jacelynn felt as though her faith made her more accountable and provided less room for mistakes. In what ways were both their views skewed in the context of their relationship?
Abortion and unplanned pregnancy is a recurring theme in WTRTCA. How do you feel about how each of the characters reacted to such a situation at various junctures in the book?
Do you feel as though the character’s commitment to abstinence is a realistic goal for Christian singles in today’s society? Especially Christian singles that are not virgins? What did you think of how the characters handled intimacy temptations? If you’re a single person pursuing abstinence, how do you set boundaries and hold yourself accountable?
Jacelynn buried a lot of her pain and emotions under a façade of make-up, hair and designer clothes. Do you think that a lot of women use fashion as a shield? Do you think that her evolution to someone comfortable in her own skin came about largely because of her willingness to face the pain of her past? What are your defense mechanisms? How can you work on keeping balance in all things?
Well, that’s all for now folks. Please follow this blog to stay in the know about my future books and general life shenanigans. Thanks for stopping by!