Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Buy the World A Coke With Astraea Press Author: Brenda Maxfield

Welcome author Brenda Maxfield 
today to the Book Boost!

**All month long at the Book Boost we're featuring my fellow Astraea Press authors. Come back each day for more and be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize Pack (see below for details)!**

Coke in the Wilds

No indoor plumbing. No electricity. No supermarkets. No running water. But right there in front of you shines a massive billboard boasting Coke in all its glory.

I’ve experienced this more than once overseas.

The rest of the sign is often undecipherable — I never did learn to read Thai or Burmese or Lingala. But the traditional packaging logo and the letters C – O – K – E are readable everywhere in the world. A caveat here: This is not to say there is no indoor plumbing or electricity or supermarkets or running water in Thailand, Myanmar and The Congo. Of course there is! But I have been out in the boonies there where the only evidence of “modern” life has been a sign announcing Coke.

Although come to think of it, since Coke was introduced in 1886, I don’t think we can consider this world-wide elixir a symbol of “modern” life anymore.

This March, Coke is more than a hundred years old – 127 years to be exact. I was pondering that piece of trivia when I began to wonder what drink the characters in my new release would prefer. As a writer, I’ve given my characters likes and dislikes, fears and favorites, hair styles and body shapes, but I’ve never once delegated specific drinks to them.  Hmmm, this could be fun.

I’ll begin with Emili Jones, the protagonist in The Lance Temptation. Until her better judgment went down the toilet, she was a steady, consistent predictable girl. Like Coke, she had staying power. No surprises. Not too many risks taken. Maybe she would be a Coke girl.

Then there’s Farah, the gal who will do anything to get her way. She knows how to flirt and connive until she gets any desired end result she wants. Farah is never above using her wiles to get there, either. Somehow, Coke seems much too tame. Farah would choose something with more fire, maybe one of those super-charged sports drinks.

Marc Rounder is an all-around nice guy. He plays basketball. He’s a good student, conscientious, and loyal. He was Emili’s catch. (Again, until her better judgment went down the toilet.) Marc would be the guy ordering a tall glass of orange juice. Without ice.

Then there’s Lance. Lance comes on pretty strong, so no tame drinks for him. He swaggers around making sure everyone notices his muscular physique. He winks and smiles and magnetizes every girl within a two-mile radius. Being the hot guy on campus, I’m thinking he might go for a Red Bull. Or perhaps a Mountain Dew? Anything with a major kick.

After considering my four characters, I became curious about whether there were any articles on what choices of drink say about a person. I found a snappy article which made me smile. You might enjoy reading what it had to say:  click here to read.

What is your drink of preference? What do you think it says about you? If you’re a writer, what do your characters drink?

Me? I prefer dark chocolate almond milk. Delicious. A bit quirky. Smooth. Spendy.

Hmmm… now what does that say about me?

A Note from the Book Boost:  Well, as a Pepsi girl myself...I smile when I read your blog about Coke.  Hubby is a Coke guy and we jest about it all the time.  What it says about me?  I need the caffeine to stay up and write and I'm not a coffee drinker. :-)  Second fave drink?  Sweet Southern Iced Tea (well, that's cause I'm a southern belle, of course).  Thanks for joining us and please tell us more about your latest.


Sophomore Emili Jones has had it with being a boring, straight-A student. Itching for excitement, she sees plenty of it in classmate Farah Menin’s life of frequent dates and edgy adventure. Hoping the popularity will rub off, Emili latches onto Farah and manipulates herself into best friend status. The connection helps her land the hot new guy, Lance Jankins, but there’s a catch. Now a pawn in Farah’s dating games, Emili is on a crash course to betrayal. Will she realize it in time to save herself?


Farah carried her tray with its plate of green beans as if it were the royal jewels. She sashayed toward our regular table in the corner of the cafeteria, her hips lightly brushing the backs of the entire high school football team who’d already grabbed the table in the nearest the food. The catcalls began immediately.

“Hot stuff,” one player yelled, and then whistled.

With practiced innocence, Farah paused, and turned to face the guys. She rolled her green eyes and shook her head, feigning annoyance. A smile played on her lips. Then she fluttered her thick lashes and continued on, skirting her way to our table in the back.

Oh yeah, she’s a master at everything I’m not. All Farah has to do is show up and the boys follow, frolicking like puppies around a bone. So, shameful as it sounds—I made it my business to become her friend, even if it meant dropping everyone in my tight circle. I was done being the boring, straight A girl. I wanted the hot guys to drool around me for once, and I figured the connection couldn’t hurt.

Watch and learn, Farah had said. Right.

I stood with my tuna sandwich stuffed inside my crumpled lunch sack, sighed heavily and followed her, trying not to let my shoes clack out my progress. Nobody’s eyes followed my every move.

Well, there’s a surprise.

I slid onto the bench across from her. It was Monday—the only day Farah’s halfway civilized because she’s tired from the weekend—and we were eating lunch together as usual.

Farah opened her milk carton, and took a drink. She tipped her head, letting her thick red hair cascade down her back. The loose curls nearly touched her waist. Farah’s well aware how flat-out gorgeous she is, and she quickly glanced around to see who might be watching. 

The table of girls to the side of us stared at her. When they spotted me looking at them, they huddled together in one big gossip head. Farah saw them laughing, pointing, and whispering. Her expression hardened. “What a bunch of wannabe’s.”

“They’re jealous,” I said.

Farah leaned across the end of our table toward them. “Talk about me all you want, you sad groupies.”

Their heads jerked apart and each one of them glared at her. Farah scowled, and then turned her attention back to me.

I heard a yelp behind me, and someone hollered, “You’re disgusting!” A burst of raucous laughter filled the air. I could see Farah watching the whole scene over my shoulder. Wide-eyed, she jumped from her seat and flew to a table of freshmen girls. I swirled around to observe. Farah lunged across their strewn trays and stuck her face against a shocked girl’s nose. “Leave her alone! Do it again, and you’ll deal with me.” 

Her harsh voice echoed across the cafeteria. The freshmen girls were shocked into silence, but their lips fairly curled into snarls.

A choked sniffle came from a girl cowering at the end of the table. Macaroni was splattered all over her uniform. Farah stood up to her full height, her cheeks blotched red. She regarded the sniveling girl. “You okay?”

There was no answer.

“Want help cleaning up?”

The girl shook her head, picked up a napkin, and started wiping at her shirt.

Farah squared her shoulders and returned to our table. I stared at her. “What was that?”

“Bullies. I hate them. And where are the lunch monitors, anyway?” She picked up her fork and took a bite of green beans.

“You know, sometimes you’re actually nice.”

Farah grimaced. “Don’t let it get around."

I laughed and picked up my sandwich. Right then a tender feeling of protectiveness toward Farah washed over me.

And that’s when he descended upon our table. The New Guy. The one I’d secretly been panting after since he transferred to our school two weeks earlier.

Want More Brenda?

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jeff7salter said...

Well, I grew up calling any carbonated beverage a "coke".
I believe it's always been my favorite, though I used to like RC Cola and Dr. Pepper a bit.
I've developed more of a taste for root beer since some of it has no caffeine (& I've tried to cut back on caffeine).
but Classic Coke is still my overall fav. soft drink.
Coffee is my life blood.

SherryGLoag said...

Sorry, tea is my beverage of choice. But loved your post.