David Allen Edmonds
David Allen Edmonds spent most of his working life as a high school German teacher, but wrote two educational TV series for the Cleveland PBS affiliate, and spent a summer in Hollywood on the writing staff of ABC-Paramount’s Out of the Blue. Teaching remained his first love, and his experiences in the classroom form the setting for the “Joe Lehrer Mysteries,” Personal Pronouns and Indirect Objects. His current novel is a distinct departure, the small-town romance Unexpected Love.
Edmonds enjoys gardening and golf and spoiling his grandchildren. Future projects include publishing The Faculty Lounge Stories, a third mystery with the working title Dangling Participles, and a sequel to Unexpected Love.
Everyone in the small Ohio town of Benton Center knows that Maggie McGrath and Brent Wellover are in love, have been in love forever, and will eventually marry and raise a bunch of good looking and talented children. The town knows this because, well, everyone in Benton Center, and especially the Ladies Gossip Club, knows everything about everybody. And with that knowledge comes the overwhelming urge, almost an obligation, to offer advice.
For the most part life inside the fishbowl is pleasant enough for the young lovers, and not wholly unappreciated. Maggie is, after all, the daughter of the town’s most famous citizen, folk rocker Terry McGrath, and Brent is known statewide for his prowess on the athletic fields and charity work. They know that being in the public eye is the price of their fame.
The price is not always fair. Maggie and Brent have returned to Benton Center after college graduation and are now expected to settle down and get going with family life. After all, the Ladies are ready for some grandchildren. Not quite, Maggie and Brent. She has the opportunity to participate in program that will advance her career in urban planning. He wants to join an NGO in Africa digging water wells. They decide to go pursue their separate interests and marry later.
Their plan might have gone well enough, despite Maggie’s abdication of the prestigious title of PumpkinFest Queen, if the two hadn’t also decided to teach the town’s gossipers a lesson. Knowing that gossipers need to gossip, the two set out to give them something to gossip about: a feud between themselves.
Maggie and Brent take opposite sides of the political battle over bringing more traffic into the small town or diverting it. Benton Center is passionate about its politics, and the conflict rages across the land, in the media and even in the air. Kennedy Phillips, Maggie’s long-time nemesis, teams up with Brent to add additional romantic spice, and Maggie is hired by the mayor to support his views. Maggie’s father, Terry, tries to straddle both sides of the issue, and manages to offend everyone before eventually solving the problem.
Maggie and Brent’s best friends, Sammi and Irving, take a different approach to both the politics and their own relationship. Not being ‘small town famous’ provides them the cover to fall in love outside of the withering gaze of gossip. They face the problems posed by their cultural differences and the trials of their BFFs with dignity, resolve, and trust. Their reward is an unexpected love.