Wonder Boi Writes

Love All – Excerpt

Hi Friends,

I won’t make you wait around. I know what you’re all waiting for, so without further ado, the winner of last weeks’ drawing for a free autographed copy of Love All, is Stacy!

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But fear not, I am so excited about the release of my thirteenth romance novel, and I wanted to give all of you a little something, so I’m going to share with you an excerpt of the entire first scene from Love All.

Prologue

“Sadie, you can’t do this all by yourself.” Tad echoed the refrain of her parents, her brother, and every one of their friends. The only difference was, he held a golden ring between his trembling fingers. “I enlisted. I’m going to have insurance and housing and a steady paycheck. I’ll be able to take care of you both.”

Both.

She glanced down, surveying the face so small it was nearly lost in the sea of pink swaddling blankets and the oversized hospital gown obscuring her own features. The two of them were a unit, a package deal, tethered together now every bit as much as they’d been when connected by a cord. She didn’t need him to tell her. She felt the tie tugging at her core the same way she’d felt every kick, every shift, every hiccup.

“A baby needs a dad.” He pressed, the anguish making his voice raw.

“She’s got a dad.” She cupped one hand gently around his cheek, marveling at the contrast of her dark skin stark against the paleness of his.

Black and white. That’s how he saw the world. Right and wrong. So clear-cut. He would make a good soldier. His righteousness would give him strength, but so would hers. She held the sleeping baby closer in the crook of her arm, noticing for the first time that her eyes were the same shape as his. Would they hold her color? Retain the proud bridge of her nose? The little dimple of her chin mirrored his, but the shape of her tiny mouth clearly came from Sadie. She inspected the strangely familiar face, then looked back up at his, unable to tell which of them seemed more vulnerable in that moment. “I’m glad you’re her father, but I don’t want a husband.”

A little muscle in his jaw twitched under her fingers. “You don’t want a husband, or you don’t want me for a husband?”

She sighed softly. That was the question on which all their futures hung. She could add it to the long list of ones she couldn’t answer. “Tad, I don’t know how to explain, much less make anyone understand, but I have to do this on my own.”

“You’re sixteen.” Emotion cracked in his voice.

“I’m almost seventeen.”

“You haven’t finished high school.”

“I will.” “You don’t have a job.”

“I’ll find one,” she said matter-of-factly, partly because this wasn’t the first time she’d had this conversation, and partly because each time she said the words, her certainty grew.

“And who’s going to take care of her?” He nodded toward the sleeping infant, his smooth face contorted with a worry so discordant with her youthful features. “You can’t be everything she needs.”

She let her hand fall from his cheek as the final break between them was cemented. “I will be.”

He rose, tears shimmering over the cobalt eyes she’d been so drawn to so many months ago. She’d never seen eyes like his, not on anyone who’d ever looked at her the way he had.

“I’m trying to do the right thing, Sadie.”

“So am I,” she said resolutely.

He stared down at them for a long, heavy moment before bending to place the lightest of kisses across the baby’s smooth brow, but he made no attempt to repeat the gesture with her. She could feel the grief radiate off of him in waves with each exhale, but she managed to feel only relief as he straightened.

“I left my enlistment details with your mom. I’ll send my address as soon as I get to basic training in case you change your mind.” He sighed. “Or maybe if you want to send me pictures at least.”

She nodded. “Be safe.”

A strangled sound escaped his throat. “You too.”

She didn’t want him to go, but she didn’t want him to stay either. She didn’t feel anything at all from his absence, except maybe a hint of finality. Perhaps she should’ve felt scared, but she couldn’t summon any fear. Did that make her unrealistic? With all the doctors and nurses and social workers gone, had he been the only sensible one left in the room? When it came to her prospects as an unwed teenage mother, everyone she knew agreed with his assessment of her fitness.

Everyone but her.

She lifted her sleeping daughter to her chest, gently easing back the blanket to drop a kiss atop the wispy black curls. The scent of baby shampoo and fresh powder overtook the antiseptic tinge of the hospital air, and peace settled through her aching body. She didn’t know why she couldn’t share everyone else’s concern. She didn’t have answers to all their questions, but she knew with the same certainty she had had since the moment she’d first felt life growing inside her that she would find a way. This was her life, her child, her destiny.

“Destiny,” she whispered, and the baby’s eyes fluttered open, so big and round and beautifully full of awe. A smile built in Sadie’s chest and spread slowly until it stretched her cheeks.

“Do you like that?” she cooed softly.

The little girl blinked up at her, then furrowed her brow as if trying to focus on something complex.

“I think you do,” Sadie continued. “I think it’s going to stick.”

Sadie cradled the baby’s head in the palm of her hand and stared into the wonderment reflected there. “Everything’s going to work out. I don’t know how yet, but I know it will. You’re just going to have to trust me on that, because I’m your mama, and you are my Destiny.”

The baby blinked, and Sadie grinned. “Just me and you, kid. From here on out, everything I do, it’s going to be for you.”

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And there you have it!  The prologue to Love All.  If you want to see how we get from there to the wide world of professional tennis, you’ll have to go to http://www.bywater.com and get your own copy of Love All in print or eBook.

 

 

 

 

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September 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Love All – Exclusive Early Release!

Hey All,

I am super excited to announce that while the official wide release for Love All is still three weeks away, you can get the book in print or in ebook right now, exclusively at www.bywaterbooks.com!

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How awesome is that? 3 weeks early!

What’s more is I received my author copies in the mail late last week, and let me tell you, they are so pretty.  There’s nothing like holding your new baby, all wrapped up in an Ann McMan cover. It never gets old!

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And our good friend, Will Banks (aka Big Papi), who happens to be the person who inspired my son’s jump into the world of tennis, just happened to be visiting when the books arrived.  It seemed fitting that he get the first autographed copy.

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But now who wants the second autographed copy? ‘Cause I feel like I need to give one of these babies away!  How about anyone who comments on this blog, either here or on my social media pages, will be automatically entered to win a copy of Love All?  And if you want to enter but just can’t wait to go ahead and start the book now, go ahead and buy your copy today, then if I draw your name, you can pick one of my other books to have signed and sent to you!

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Go ahead, go get one, and get to reading!

 

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September 19, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Love All – A Tennis Romance

Have I mentioned I have a new book coming out at Women’s Week this year? Have I mentioned that Love All will be available exclusively from Bywater Books even before then?

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Of course I haven’t, at least not lately.  Between back-to-school time for my wife and son, and being on a deadline for both writing and edits, and being in total denial that summer had ended, it sort of slipped my mind.

That is to say it slipped my mind until this past weekend, because holy crap did you see the US Open?  That women’s final is something we will be talking about for years!

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I won’t rehash all the details. If you want my take on the ins and outs of the explosion inside Arthur Ashe Stadium this article from Sally Jenkins and the Washington Post is actual pretty close to how I feel.

The reason all that reminded me that I have a book set for wide release in less than a month is that book, Love All, actually ends at the US Open!  Yeah, way to whiff on the cross marketing there, Rach.

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If I were better at keep up with these things, I would have made that connection here much sooner.  I should have been running all sorts of ads all through the tournament.  Now it looks like I’m scrambling to catch up, which, in fact, I am.  Though not just because everyone is talking about tennis right now, and my book happens to be about tennis.  The connections go much deeper, and I hope you’ll indulge me in listing a few of them.

  1. My main character, Jay, is veteran tennis star in the midst of a tumultuous come-back. Despite being cool and controlled off the court, she has a bit of a temper when losing.  There are multiple rackets broken and fines levied throughout the book. It even happens in the first chapter.
  2. There is a history of player-, media-, and fan-abuse of said player, some of which was brought on by her own temperament, but the vast majority of which was heaped on her by others (sorry, you have to read the book to find out more!).
  3. There is an younger, biracial, upstart player in the picture.  She is not the love interest, mind you, but she’s a major side character who pushes our main character on and off the court.  Their relationship is at times contentious and at times caring, but always complex.
  4. There is a super-hot, and all around wonderful tennis mom.  Okay, this doesn’t actually relate to Saturday’s match (Or, I mean, maybe it does. I don’t really know either players’ moms). Still, Sadie is a woman trying to raise a well-rounded daughter in a competitive world that would much rather eat them both alive. She is fierce and determined. She has faced every stereotype imaginable with her head held high, and she refuses to let anyone short-change her or her daughter. Okay, actually that last part absolutely relates to the US Open match.
  5. Love All showcases an epic match at a major tournament (Wimbledon), and while it doesn’t involve any sexist chair umpires, it does have a massive misunderstanding, a bloodthirsty crowd of spectators, and a media maelstrom.  Seriously, you could have taken my players out of that scene and dropped them in Arthur Ashe stadium Sunday, and they wouldn’t have batted an eye at anything other than the court surface.
  6. There’s some hot sex.  Okay okay, maybe this isn’t an exact parallel to the match we all saw, but it’s worth mentioning when promoting a romance, right?

So there you have it.  A ripped-(sort of) from-the-headlines tennis romance featuring action, competition, and two wonderful women trying to find to find love in a cut-throat world we’ve all read so much about lately.  What do you say? Want to give it a shot?

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If so, you can pre-order your copy Love All today from www.Bywaterbooks.com

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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