Christine S. Feldman
When financially-strapped actor J.J. McKinney responds to an unusual Help Wanted ad on the bulletin board outside his theater class, he has no idea that he’s in for an evening of improv like no other: posing as the hitherto fabricated boyfriend of one Erika Mills for the duration of a single family reunion. But hey, a job is a job, and if it will help get J.J. back in the good graces of his landlord, he’s completely on board. After all, how bad can one family reunion possibly be?
Enter Erika Mills: only child of one meddling mother, reluctant darling of several devoted yet squabbling aunts and uncles who are sure they know what’s best for her even if none of them can agree on what that is, and beloved grandchild of the tiny white-haired family matriarch who might just be more imp than invalid when it comes to managing family matters in spite of appearances to the contrary.
Throw in a suspicious cousin, an obnoxious ex-boyfriend who is determined to erase that whole “ex” thing from Erika’s vocabulary, and a rash deathbed promise that turned out to be less deathbed and more just a bad case of indigestion, and you get the reunion from hell—at least until the sparks begin to fly for real.
It ain’t Off-Broadway, but it still might turn out to be the role of a lifetime…
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“Hi.” It took J.J. a moment to think of the next step in making introductions, partly because the woman standing in the doorway was strikingly pretty with delicate features and an almost pixie-like haircut and partly because there was such a look of panic in her expression that he half-wondered if he’d managed to interrupt an emergency situation and was about to be trampled flat by stampeding evacuees trying to escape a house fire or perhaps a Tupperware party gone horribly wrong. “Are you Erika? I’m J.J., and we spoke—”
“Oh, thank goodness!” And to his utter surprise, she actually threw her arms around him in a hug that was unmistakably one of relief. A quick hug, though; she released him almost immediately, flushing slightly in a disarmingly attractive way that made J.J. think impromptu hugs from strangers were highly underrated. Certain ones anyway. “Sorry. I just wasn’t sure you’d show, and you were the only one who called about the ad, and—” She broke off mid-sentence and shook her head before resuming talking in a veritable flurry of words, yanking the front door closed behind her and wringing her hands. “Never mind that now. J.J. was it? Okay, listen, we don’t have much time because my mother was hot on my heels when she realized you’d arrived. I actually tipped over a potted plant to slow her down—which I’ll pay for later I’m sure—but in the meantime: you’re Oscar, got it? Oscar Dwyer.”
Christine S. Feldman writes both novels and feature-length screenplays, and, to her great delight, she has placed in screenwriting competitions on both coasts—and has even won a couple of them. In 2012 one of her screenplays was featured as a staged reading in New York City at the Gotham Screen International Film Festival, and later that same year she signed her first publishing contract. When she is not writing, she is puttering around in her garden, ballroom dancing with her husband, or doing research for her next project.
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