Book Excerpt From “A Fine Line”

A Fine Line,” a sequel to Courtney Brandt’s first marching band novel, “The Line,” continues into Lucy’s senior season and promises to solve the age-old question: Can jocks and band geeks really get along? Here is an excerpt from Chapter Nine.

Forest Hills HS band director, Mr. Izzo, addressed his musicians, “Well, I’m sure you all noticed the new addition to the show on Friday …”

Lucy looked over and rolled her eyes at Tom, who understood the gesture.

“… I didn’t tell all of you because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go forward with things, but now that I’ve seen the crowd’s reaction, I want to officially include Tom and Lucy’s choreography into the halftime show. I think it will give us an edge at some of the competitions.”

There was a small round of applause and murmurs of approval through the crowd.

“Furthermore, I’d like to announce I’ve decided that we are going to attend the Lincoln County Marching Band Invitational. As some of you seniors can remember, this competition is far enough away that we will be incorporating it into an overnight trip. We will be passing out permission slips and information after practice.”

With that announcement a cheer went through the band. The seniors had been doing their best to pass along the traditions and legends of the overnight band trip. It wasn’t that the band never went on trips, it just made the competition that much more intense. Lucy remembered back to her freshman year and how outstanding the show had been. Mr. Izzo only took the band on overnight trips when he thought they had a chance to compete against the region’s biggest and most talented bands.

Tom had joined Lucy, “No pressure on us, huh?”

Lucy swallowed as the enormity of the situation hit her. It was one thing to showboat in front of an excited football crowd, but it was another thing entirely to dance at a major marching band competition—especially with judges directly on the field.

Mr. Izzo finished up, “Okay, gang, let’s all get into the set at the end of the first song. I worked the drill over the weekend to make Tom and Lucy’s transition easier.”

For more information about “A Fine Line,” visit

About author

Courtney Brandt

Courtney Brandt is an American author and expatriate living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As a former drumline and marching band member, Courtney enjoys bringing a fictional voice to band geeks worldwide. She has written numerous young-adult and adult novels as well as adult fiction under her pen name, Ann Benjamin. In her free time, Courtney enjoys travel, writes about food on her culinary and travel blog, A to Za’atar, and speaks about social media on her podcast, CSR of One.