Chasing Stardust




Chasing Stardust is the story of a young woman who dares to hope for those good things in life… the dreams that seemingly elude her.  She persists, even in the face of obstacles that seem to thwart her at every turn.

Here I will share excerpts, character interviews, and thoughts about the book.


In this excerpt from Chasing Stardust, Colin (the bad boy) meets Carly (the bad girl).

At sixteen, Colin looked much older than he was.  His muscles were hardened by his compulsive workouts at the gym; he went there to escape the control of those in authority, especially his mother.  Everyday, he checked himself out in the mirrors, flexing his muscles, taking his measure, so he knew that he looked every inch the Bad Boy.  And he could tell that she wanted him, just by looking at her tight little walk as she tried to pass him by.

“Hey!”  He reached out, lightly touching her arm.

“I’ve been watching you,” he continued, grinning charmingly, and running his other hand through the rakish curl that hung over his forehead.

“Are you some kind of creep?”  She stared back at him boldly, but she didn’t seem offended at all.

“Yeah, right,” he laughed, matching her steps with a shorter stride.

He headed in the opposite direction, just so the two of them could walk side by side.  “I’m Colin…Colin Winslow,” he offered suddenly, grinning again, and then blatantly stubbing out the cigarette on the wall.

Her eyes widened at his open gesture of defiance.  And then she laughed.  “Oh, I’m supposed to be impressed by how bad you are,” she laughed, and then stared straight at him as if wondering just how cool he really was.  And then, as if satisfied, she grabbed his arm and leaned in toward him.  “I’m Carly Santos,” she purred.

He didn’t need any more information than that.  He’d heard the guys talking about this new girl, this Carly Santos; she was supposedly as wild as he was.  She’d even been in the juvenile detention center a couple of times already.  He also knew that she was only fourteen and a freshman.  But despite that obstacle, there was no way that he would let this one get away.

They walked silently for awhile until they reached the chain-link fence surrounding the campus.    “Got another cigarette?”  She reached out, slipping her hand into his pocket.  As she retrieved the pack, she let her hand linger there over his chest, slightly stroking him while gazing into his eyes.  Her eyes seemed backlit, burning with a flame that could not be extinguished.

He grabbed her hand, and then held it while he flicked the lighter, leaning in to connect with the tip of the cigarette.

The gesture reminded her of a scene from a movie.  She inhaled, and then blew the smoke into little rings, showing off, hoping he would be impressed.
He lit his own cigarette, and they silently smoked, leaning against the fence, barely touching.


In this excerpt from Chasing Stardust, Merrilee ponders their very different lives when her sister shows up unexpectedly.

Guiltily probing the mysteries that made up her sister’s world, Merrilee thought again of the differences that separated them even as she remembered their camaraderie so long ago.  How could two graduates of such a crazy family life have turned out so differently?  But before she could ponder the question, Melanie breezed into the room, looking somewhat cleaner, her hair freshly shampooed and clinging to her head in soft waves.  Once blond, her hair now seemed to be striped with varying shades of burgundy and pink.  She wore a semi-clean pair of jeans, torn at the knees, with an oversized T-shirt emblazoned with the logo:  Sisterhood is Powerful.

Noticing Merrilee’s glance, Melanie laughed and opened the fridge.  As if she owned this place, Merrilee thought with annoyance, but watched curiously as her sister sorted through the variety of offerings, coming up with a handful of raw vegetables and a block of cheese.  She set it all down on the counter and began to nibble, matching her sister’s curiosity with her own.  As they stared at each other, Merrilee squirmed while Melanie persisted, obviously more comfortable with the scrutiny.

“So, tell me about your life, Big Sis,” Melanie zeroed in on Merrilee’s existence, as if to take control.  Gesturing around, she went on:  “Obviously you’ve done quite well for yourself, if you define success by material possessions.”  She wore a judgmental look of scorn that left her sister scrambling to make justifications, even as she wondered why any of this bothered her…