This post is Way overdue! I started to write this last spring when my friend and former writing group partner Lori Johnson’s first novel, After the Dance, was published and life got in the way, but timing is everything. A few weeks ago when I began a new post I saw this post and said I’ve got to get back to that and talk about After the Dance but I’m always leery of posting about things that are pretty old, I guess that’s the journalist in me.
Well congratulations are still in order for Lori as the audio book version of After the Dance was recently released and Amazon is offering a special on the purchase.
After the Dance is the fresh modern love story of Faye and Carl. The two are neighbors in a townhouse development and Johnson takes us through their courtship from the vantage point of each of the main characters.
Faye is a strong “big boned” girl in her mid-thirties with her own standards for relationships and she’s definitely not seeking a long term arrangement. As the fellas are often accused of, Faye is ready willing and able to “hit it and quit it”, allegedly with no regrets. Here’s a little excerpt letting the reader into Faye’s view of relationships as she explains her single status, “Yeah, I’ve heard it all before and really couldn’t care less. It’s not hard to get a man – if that’s what you want. I just don’t happen to want one – not to keep, anyway. To me, having a man is about as emotionally satisfying as having a fish in an aquarium or some other kind of pet. I’m not into pets. That’s not to say that I don’t have, well, certain needs and desires.”
Carl is a forty-something brother working days at UPS and studying for his MBA in the evenings. He’s a man trying to get ahead. Recently divorced, Carl has become a homebody and good Friday evening to him is relaxing with a cold brew and watching movies. He’s also basically a good guy despite the indiscretion that led to the demise of his marriage.
The tension between Faye and Carl is evident from their first meeting, and Johnson really brings it home when Carl decides to offer his assistance to a slightly stranded Faye “Instead of thanking me with a big pretty smile and a few kinds words, she said-without even looking up, mind you-“I’m perfectly capable.” Can you believe that?! “I’m perfectly capable.” You know I wanted to cuss, man, but hey, I played it off like a gent.
I said, “Well, I can see that, Ms. Fix-it, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a couple more hands on the job. Or would it?” “
That’s just a taste of Johnson’s down home use of language and situations to present an enjoyable story of a modern romance between tenured adults.
So, stop by your local bookstore or library and pick up After the Dance I’m sure you’ll enjoy this debut novel as I did. To learn more about Johnson stop over to Lori’s Old School Mix.
To hear an excerpt of After the Dance, the audio version. Click here.