Today Wednesday Writers is welcoming back Elizabeth Maddrey. Elizabeth will be sharing an excerpt from her book A Dash of Daring. Before we start the excerpt, please tell us a bit about the book and how you got the idea for the story.
A Dash of Daring is book three in the Taste of Romance series. It’s the story of Zach Wilson and Amy Harris, both teachers at a Washington D.C. high school. The beginnings of their courtship will be familiar to readers of the first two books in the series, though until now, they’ve simply been friends and coworkers.
The idea for this book came from something one of my professors in college said in an introduction to education class: live where you teach. He talked at length about balancing a call to teach in the inner city with a necessity of not further impoverishing that neighborhood by coming in, taking money from them in the form of your salary, and then not spending that money within that area where local business and families can benefit from it. This becomes one of the primary conflicts between Zach and Amy.
Thanks for that intro to your book. And here’s the excerpt!
A Dash of Daring
By Elizabeth Maddrey
God doesn’t always call us to do what’s easy.
Amy Harris is the after-school care coordinator and long-term sub at the same inner city high school she graduated from. She’s always avoided the complications of dating outside her multi-ethnic heritage. Until Zach got hired.
Zach Wilson took a teaching job in a D.C. public school as part of a student-loan forgiveness program. Nearing the end of his commitment, a possibility arises to move to a magnet school in the suburbs. But will leaving the city end things with Amy before they really have a chance to start?
As Zach and Amy work together on the school’s annual holiday program, they must each decide if they’ll dare to follow where God calls.
“Got a minute?”
Zach looked up from the math test he was grading. His heart skipped a beat, as it always did, when he saw Amy standing in the door of his classroom. “For you? Always.”
She grinned and crossed to one of the student desks, pulling it closer to his desk before sitting. She crossed one long, slender, jeans-clad leg over the other. “What are you working on?”
“Gave a test today in Algebra. If I can get them turned back tomorrow, I’ll know how many make-up exams I have to put together over the weekend. It pushes off grading the quiz I gave in geometry on Monday, but I can finish that at home tonight if I need to. The Algebra kids are struggling, so I try to get them feedback faster. Give them a chance to see the problems worked through before they completely forget why they made the choices they did. And you have no interest in that. What’s up?”
Pink tinted her cheekbones. “I’m not uninterested…just preoccupied. Sorry. Have you given any thought to the Christmas—pardon me, holiday—program?”
Zach closed his eyes. This wasn’t the conversation he wanted to have with her right now. Or possibly ever. “Not really. There’s time, isn’t there? It’s barely October.”
“Ten weeks. And one of those has Thanksgiving. Plus we have report cards and a workday in there. December eighteenth will be here before you can blink. Zach, please.” Amy leaned closer, her amber eyes locked with his. “I need your help. The kids need your help.”
His math students needed his help, too. Diving in to help with a holiday program was going to eat up any of his spare after school time. And it wasn’t like he had a lot of that to start with. And yet…it would earn him points with Amy. That counted for a lot. The principal would be pleased, too, but that meant a lot less. “Fine.”
Her whole face lit. “Really? You’re the best, Zach. I knew I could count on you.”
He forced a smile. “Sure. Just let me know what you need me to do. Or do you want to get together, maybe dinner tomorrow, and talk about it?”
“Dinner’s good. I’ll bring the notes I’ve made so far. Maybe Terri can join us, I’ll have to ask her.”
“Wait, Terri’s helping? If you got the music teacher on board, why do you need me?”
“It’s a big job, Zach. We need all the help we can get.”
“Ah.” He cleared his throat. “I was kind of hoping dinner could be just the two of us. Like a date.”
She blinked, her mouth dropping open before one corner poked up. “In that case, why don’t we have a meeting with Terri after the final bell tomorrow? That way we don’t ruin a perfectly good date talking about something you don’t really want to do.”
Zach winced. “That obvious?”
“Yeah. But you’re doing it anyway, that counts. See you tomorrow.” Amy stood and pushed the desk back to its row. Zach watched her turn down the hall toward her own classroom. On the one hand, he’d finally worked up the courage to ask her out on a real date. On the other…the holiday program? What was wrong with him?
Want to read more? You can get Elizabeth’s book at Amazon
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Other social media contacts–Twitter: @elizabethmaddry Pinterest
Discover more about Elizabeth right here on this blog. For an interview click here.