I am so excited to be able to announce that Running Back will definitely be available sometime this month. I wrote the rough draft for this in November 2012 during National Novel Writing Month anyone who is inspiring to write a novel I encourage you to challenge yourself to this. It challenges one to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The whole point is to just get the words down. Don’t worry about the details just write. It is easier to edit crap than to edit a blank page. I would have to say that I only ended up keeping 10% of the rough draft, but that rough draft help me figure out who my characters where and the plot.
I now look forward to Nanowrimo which they have three times a year. April, July and November. April and July are a little different and they are called campnanowrimo, but the concept is the same.
I am now in the middle of revising Overcome which is a companion novel to Here Comes the Light and Running Back and I hope to have it out this summer. It will be about Carly, which if you are not familiar with my stories she is a supporting character in Running Back. I can’t go into too much detail because it will spoil Running Back for everyone.
I have not decided yet what I’m going to be working on for Campnanowrimo starting tomorrow, but hopefully something comes to me in the next twenty four hours.
I finally will leave you with the first chapter of Running Back as I wait for the final edits to come in.
Sweat poured from Garrett’s brow under his silver helmet. Eight hours of football conditioning for five days. He loved the game, but he was always ready for the week to be over every year.
The whistle blew, letting everyone know they were done, at least until Monday evening. Colten pulled his helmet off his head as he jogged toward the fence with a smile Garrett had come to know as his ‘player face’.
Garrett looked towards Colten’s gaze. Carly, the captain of the team’s sister stood with her fingers curled through the holes in the metal fence and her eyes blinked brightly when Colten headed towards her. She tucked her curly blond hair behind her ear and kicked her leg behind her.
Garrett shook his head. Colten had been fooling around with Carly all summer. He wasn’t sure at this point if Carly was playing him or he was playing Carly because both messed around with other people.
That is when Garrett noticed the brunette again. She’d shown up with Carly a few times that week. She gazed longingly at Hudson, Carly’s brother, though Hudson didn’t seem to know she existed. At least not while at practice.
Garrett knew he should stay away from her, for one he wasn’t supposed to date and second he didn’t feel like being in competition with Hudson.
Colten shook the sweat out of his blond hair, gripping his silver helmet in one hand while placing his other next to Carly’s through the metal rings. Carly gazed up all batty-eyed and flirty smile.
He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her as the rest of the sweat soaked team jogged past him to the locker room. Her long brunette hair blew away from her sun-kissed face in the breeze, her denim shorts exposed most of her long slender legs… If only he could get the nerve to just talk to her…
“Hey Garrett.” A voice brought him out of the trance the brunette had him under. Garrett turned to see the bouncy cheerleader, Paige, who had been trying to go out with him since freshman year.
Her blond pony tail swung behind her head as she rocked on the tips of her toes in her white tennis shoes. She chomped on her bubble gum and her silver and black pom-poms hung at her side. “Hi Paige.” He tried to be polite.
“You going to the party tonight? Maybe you could pick me up…”
“Uh,” he glanced behind him to get another look at the brunette, but to his disappointment she was gone and Colten was jogging towards him.
“He can’t Paige. When are you going to get the hint he’s not into sluts?” Colten said slapping a hand on Garrett’s shoulder.
Paige rolled her eyes and huffed. Colten should know, he’d been with her more than once at the occasional party. “You’re such a jerk.” Colten tended to get that reaction from girls when he wasn’t trying to get into their pants, or after he actually had been there.
“You weren’t complaining last night,” he said with his normal cockiness. Another huff came out of Paige before she stomped off. “And you’re welcome.” Colten did a half-bow as he jogged backwards. “Trust me you don’t want that, loose as a goose.”
Garrett shook his head as he followed Colten to the locker room. “So who’s that girl that’s always with Hudson’s sister?”
“Bree?” he laughed and shook his head, “you don’t want her either, all talk and no action.” Colten tilted his head back in exaggeration. Garrett didn’t want to even know how Colten knew that one. “She and Carly have been friends all their lives, but that’s where the similarities end.” He turned and fell into step beside Garrett.
“All the team’s going to a party tonight. You comin’? Haven’t seen you at one.” Lewis Miller snapped a towel at Garrett as he shoved his practice jersey in his metal locker.
“Yeah, you’re missing out, Gare.” Colten chimed in as he pulled his shoulder pads over his head. “Come on.” Colten leaned down just enough so only Garret could hear him. “Sneak out. Your parents don’t have to know.”
“Where is it?” Garrett asked, keeping his jaw stiff.
“Guys, Garrett won’t come. He’s a Jesus boy!” Hudson hollered as he stepped out of the shower with his hair dripping wet and a black and silver towel wrapped around his waist. As his words echoed through the locker room, Garrett’s blood boiled. He was tired of Hudson thinking he was God’s gift to girls and the game of football.
“Oh yeah! That’s not what your girlfriend, Miley, said last night.” Garrett stood to his feet. Miley was really Hudson’s ex-girlfriend. She was best friends with Garrett’s brother, Declan.
Hudson threw his arm back as he advanced toward Garrett to attack.
“Hey, hey now.” Coby Jenkin’s dark hand wrapped around Hudson’s wrist. “Don’t let some chick come between the team.” Coby said as he turned to Garrett. “Hey man, if you don’t come to this party it’s your choice, but you’re the one missin’ out.”
Garrett would be there. He was done with all the grief for not going to those stupid things. He unlaced his pants and turned back toward his locker. His heart still pounding from the adrenaline floating through his veins.
“I’m supposed to pick up Carly and Bree. I’ll swing by and pick you up too.” Colten said as he grabbed his Axe body wash off the shelf.
“I’m coming, I’m coming.” Garrett’s mom, Robin gushed as she scurried down the hall. His dad teased her as he waited his elbow was propped on the kitchen counter. Garrett retrieved a blue Gatorade from the fridge.
“How was conditioning?” His dad, Randy asked turning towards Garrett. With the same blue eyes and light brown hair as Garrett.
“Coach thinks we’re going to have an undefeated season.” Garrett tipped the Gatorade back.
“Awesome.” Randy nodded. “I think my senior year was the last time the Raiders were undefeated.” His dad gently rapped his fingers on the wooden counter top. “Can’t wait to see the team this year.”
“I mean we don’t have Ethan.” Garrett said. Ethan was the captain last year he was only going to be a senior, Declan had informed him that Ethan attacked Miley and was kicked off the team.
“Well, you still have Colten, Coby and Hudson.” Randy nodded.
“All right, you ready?” Robin rushed into the room in her little black dress.
“Wowza, I got one hot date tonight.” Randy exaggerated with a head-bob. Garrett groaned at the thought of his mom and dad. She pushed on her high heel as she leaned up and planted her lips on his dad’s.
“Garrett, I left pizza money for you boys, there is popcorn, and I believe Isaac plans on a Commander Cooper marathon.”
“Commander Carter?” Garrett corrected his mom on the name of his little brother’s favorite videogame.
“Yeah that.” She waved her hand in the air. As she threw her hair over her shoulder. Her long silver earrings made a dangling sound. Garrett was relieved his mom and dad had date night. It would make it easier to get out of the house.
He could hear the war music playing from the living room, sounded like Isaac was already in front of Commander Carter. “We’ll be back later.” His dad winked.
Garrett made his way into the living room where Isaac was on the floor with videogame controller in hand, his feet curled underneath him. Declan had the second player controller and he leaned forward his elbows resting on his knees. Isaac’s blond hair stuck out in every direction when he played he constantly gripped his hair and pulled on it if he was losing.
Garrett was surprised his mom let him get so attached to a game at only eleven years old. He rolled his eyes at Isaac and lowered himself on the couch, propping his feet up. “When do you want to order pizza?” he tried to act casual.
“Whenever.” Declan said, not taking his eyes off the game. Isaac bounced as his character jogged in the dark forest.
“Calm down, Zeke.” Declan laughed at him while tossing the pillow at his head. The collision made Isaac jerk, resulting in his character dying. He turned around with a red face.
“Stupid.” He screamed at Declan.
“Whoa, what did mom say about your temper.” Declan held his hand with the controller hanging from it in the air letting out a chuckle. Garrett couldn’t help but join in the laughter.
“You guys are buttholes!” He said while clenching his jaw and tears forming in his eyes.
“Don’t cry, little Zeke.” Garrett teased as he leaned up.
“I’m not.” He snapped back at Garrett. “You guys are stupid. Stop making fun of me.” He held his hands in tight fists at his side as he screamed at them. Only making them laugh harder.
That was when Declan’s phone chimed. His attention diverted as he lifted his cell to his ear and walked out of the room. Garrett was sure that was Miley.
“What’re you going to do about it, Lil’ Zeke.” Garrett sat up straighter, not ready to ease up on him yet.
“Stop calling me that.” Isaac’s nostrils flared. Garrett didn’t know why he found his little brother’s short fuse so amusing, but it gave him something to do.
“Well, guys.” Delcan said, as he carried his faded black chucks in his hand, “Sorry, I’m out tonight. Miley needs me.” He sat on the sofa and began to push his feet in his shoes.
“What? You aren’t bailing. I had plans with Colten.” Garrett stood up.
“Sorry, man, she’s having a crisis. Looks like you’re babysitting on your own tonight.” He replied as tied his shoe.
“I don’t need no babysitter.” Isaac chided as he crossed his arms in front of him.
“You need an English teacher.” Garrett raised an eyebrow, receiving a scowl from Isaac.
The thought did cross his mind, all Isaac would do was play games the whole time, it wasn’t like he would get into anything.
“Miley isn’t even your girlfriend.” Garrett pointed out.
“And Colten isn’t your girlfriend.” Declan stood up with a smug smile. Garrett had to look up at him being a few inches shorter than his older brother. “Your point is?”
“You’re stupid.” Was the best comeback Garrett could think of at that moment.
“Whatever, Gare.” Declan said as he rushed out the door. Garrett followed him, ready to argue.
“That isn’t fair.” Garrett grumbled. “What if I would have left before she called?” He shouted out the screen door as Declan jumped in his truck.
“You didn’t.” Declan shouted back before his truck roared to life. Garrett took in a deep breath and stalked back to the kitchen. He could hear the music to the game start back up. He stared at the pizza money. What if he just called in the pizza, made sure it was delivered, and then left?
As soon as he was off the phone with the pizza place his phone rang. “Hey.” Colten said from the other end. “I got Bree and Carly and we’re on our way to pick you up.” He could hear girls giggle in the back ground.
“Well, I can’t leave yet. I have to wait for the pizza guy for Isaac first.” He glanced into the living room where Isaac’s eyes were glued to the television.
“Sweet, man we’ll just hang out until you’re ready to go.” Colten said. A pang of guilt stabbed his chest, if his mom and dad ever found out he would be dead. That meant he really had to pay attention to the time at the party so he would make it home before the parents. He didn’t figure Declan would be home anytime soon.
“Zeke, I got pizza coming then I’m taking off with Colten.” Garrett said as he walked back in the room.
“Okay.” Isaac nodded to the television.
“Don’t tell mom and dad or Declan.” Garrett gave out a slow warning his fingers curled around the back of the sofa. The little angel on the right shoulder told him it was a bad idea. The little devil on the other told him to go for it.
“I’m not stupid.” Isaac growled right before he banged on the buttons of his controller and bounced.
The front door swung open. A loud giggle filled the air. He didn’t realize Colten was going to bring the girls inside he rushed out to the kitchen where Colten, Carly and Bree were wandering in.
“Colten.” Garrett whisper shouted as he glanced back at the living room. “They can’t be in here. Isaac.”
“He won’t say nothin’ if I talk to him.” Colten laughed as he draped an arm over Carly’s shoulder. Garrett couldn’t help but stare at Bree. He couldn’t believe she was actually standing in his house. She followed Carly and Colten to the sofa.
“Hey, Zeke, my man.” Colten drawled out as he lowered himself on the couch.
“Girls aren’t supposed to be here when mom and dad aren’t home.” Isaac said without missing a beat.
Garrett’s face burned when he noticed Bree staring at the gigantic canvas portrait of him and his brothers when they were little. Garrett sat tall with a big gapped toothed smile and brown cowlick. Declan had little bald baby Isaac on his lap. Declan was smiling so big half his eyes were hidden. Garrett could never figure out what his mom liked about that picture so much she just had to get a giant print and plaster it right above the fireplace for the whole world to see.
“And you aren’t going to tell them are you?” Colten spoke slowly.
“Why? What’s in it for me?” Isaac continued to play his game while speaking.
“You get to live.” Colten spoke flatly as he kicked his feet up on the coffee table.
“Wait a minute…” Bree spoke turning her attention from the embarrassing photo. Garrett’s heart sped up even more at the sound of her voice. “You’re not leaving him here by himself are you?” She glared at Garrett. Out of all the things he imagined her saying to him for the first time that definitely was not one of them.
“Well…” he looked at Colten for a little bit of help. Colten just shrugged. Carly sat on his lap. Bree, who stood directly in front of him, blinked her big chocolate eyes up at him, waiting for an answer.
“He wasn’t going to this was supposed to be a brothers night, but Declan got a call from his girlfriend.” Isaac said as he continued to play his game and if Bree wasn’t there Garrett would have smacked the back of the head.
“Miley isn’t Declan’s girlfriend.” Garrett corrected him.
“Miley Davis? She’s a bitty.” Carly chimed in as she reclined back onto Colten. He mumbled something in her ear to get her to giggle.
“You can’t leave him here.” Bree was still on that subject.
“Well,” at a loss for words, he stared at Colten. Who was still no help spending all his efforts flirting with Carly. The doorbell chimed, he was somewhat relieved for the interruption. But what was he going to do now?
He grabbed the money off the counter. He couldn’t leave with them and look like a total jerk in front of the only girl he ever wanted to impress. But if he didn’t go he wouldn’t get to see her anymore tonight.
He paid and thanked the delivery guy before making his way back to the living room with the boxes. “All right, Zeke. Dinner is here.”
Garrett didn’t understand when he stepped back into the room how that happened so quickly. Bree sat on the floor with Isaac playing the game along with him. “I didn’t know girls could play.” Isaac said. “Miley can’t.” he added. It’s sad Miley is the only girl he has ever really been around.
Bree giggled, warming Garrett’s insides. “My step-brother has this game. We play it all the time.”
Garrett glanced over on the couch long enough to catch Colten groping Carly. “Dude, my little brother is here.” He threw the stack of napkins at Colten. He chuckled and pulled away leaving Carly all giggly. “You guys want some pizza?”
“Pizza sounds great.” Bree said. Well at least he did that right tonight.
Hope you enjoy. I will keep you updated on when it will finally be released.