PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TWO SCHEDULED BLOGS TODAY. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY, THAT POST PRECEDES THIS ONE. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!
Hello and welcome to February, the shortest month of the year and the one dedicated to lovers. Each Wednesday a group of talented authors share snippets from their current work with you. Most of them write far steamier stuff than I do, but diversity is what makes us so great.
As a Christmas present for my eldest granddaughter, I wrote a YA romance suspense with herself and her closest friends in the starring roles. Prove It! is now available in paperback, so if you’re looking for the perfect gift for your tween and teen, why not give it a try.
High school sports can be more dangerous than you think!
Ivy Hill’s track star, Liam Howard, has his future all mapped out: date Hannah Connors, win the New Horizon scholarship, get a spot on the next Olympic team, and then go to medical school. Sounds simple, especially when he’s well on his way to achieving his dream. But someone else has other plans. Ignoring the most recent threatening note, Liam goes out for his regular practice run and is struck by a vehicle and left for dead.
Hannah refuses to believe Liam will never walk or run again, especially when she learns the person behind the accident may be her own track coach. Working with Erik Jenkins, Liam’s best friend, she searches for proof, but Erik vanishes on his way to see the coach. Now, it’s up to her, Liam, and their friends, to find Erik and the evidence they need to put a hit and run driver behind bars. But time may be running out for both Erik and Liam as someone tries to finish the job they started, regardless of collateral damage.
You can pick up a copy from any Amazon retailer
Going through his stretching routine, Liam forced himself to tamp down the apprehension today’s note, the conversation with Erik, the sounds around him, and his mother’s concern had raised. This kind of weather didn’t help either and brought back another unpleasant memory. It had been a day a lot like this when his older brother had gone fishing and drowned. Had that really been five years ago? Strange, he’d never really thought about it, but at the moment, he was the same age Mike had been when he died. Maybe that was why his mother seemed to be in such a heavy Mama Bear mode these days.
He shook off the uneasy sensation. Instead of worrying about non-existent dangers and idiots who liked to mess others up for the fun of it, he let himself dwell on Saturday and Hannah. If she agreed to go to the maze with him, he would be the envy of all the guys in the 4 H club, most of whom attended Central like she did. Well, they’d missed their chance. He had it on good authority that Malcolm had made a play for her and had been shot down. Of course, she could do the same thing to him, but Mari had told him to go for it, and he would. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If anyone wanted to see him fail, both with Hannah and in a race, it would be Malcolm, but there was no way he could be behind the threats. As Erik had pointed out, getting into the locker room was as hard as getting into Fort Knox, so the chances were a guy from Central certainly couldn’t. So who did have access?
Liam shook his head. Here he was obsessing on it again. This was his year, and an idiot with a computer and a printer wasn’t going to ruin it for him. He could win this scholarship, and if Hannah agreed to go out with him, well, he would have it made.
Setting the timer on his watch and the fitness app on his phone, he jogged down the farm lane, and as soon as he was out of sight, put in the earbuds, and turned on his music. When the laneway met the county road, he turned east into the wind, letting the tension roll off of him. His mind emptied and while his eyes focused on the road ahead, he listened to Mrs. Strange’s latest release. Soda Music was right up his alley. He loved the whole kaleidoscopic rock and roll scene, and the tempo suited the pace he preferred.
Enjoying the adrenalin rush he got from running, feeling the cold wind caress his face, and pleased with the way his muscles worked effortlessly, he was surprised when the alarm went off to show he’d run forty minutes straight. He wasn’t even breathing hard and had barely broken a sweat.
Knowing his mother was probably pacing the house and checking the clock every two minutes, he crossed the road and turned west, heading back to the farm. With the wind at his back, he would be home well within the time he’d allowed himself. He’d only gone a mile or so when the skies opened once more, showering him with a cold drizzle, but he barely broke stride. Running in the rain was nothing new, but at the moment, it felt as if he were caught inside a cloud, making visibility poor. If Mom was looking outside, her anxiety meter had gone sky high.
He was less than a hundred yards from his own driveway when the bright LED lights of an approaching vehicle blinded him. There weren’t many of the newer trucks or SUVs in the area, and given the height of the lights, it had to be one of those. Blinking rapidly since the beams pierced his eyes with their intensity, he slowed his pace and relaxed. Despite the mist, there was no way the driver could miss him—his jacket had to be lit up like a Christmas tree.
Liam chuckled softly. Whoever was behind the wheel probably thought he was some kind of idiot. He didn’t care. There was something exciting about braving the elements. The lights vanished as the vehicle disappeared in a trough on the hilly section of the road. Lost in the music, Liam was startled when the lights appeared again, moving toward him faster than they should be. What kind of fool sped under these conditions?
His inner sense of preservation warned him, and after yanking the earbuds out, he inched farther to the side of the road, but the dark pick-up increased its speed. Liam sucked in a breath, surprised by how cold he suddenly felt. The tension in his gut increased. Terror filled him as that note came back to him. Who knew he would be running tonight? Everyone. As Erik had reminded him, his routine was well-known.
Tamping down his panic, Liam moved as far to the edge of the ditch as he could. Unless the driver were under duress and had lost control of his vehicle, which was unlikely given the road conditions, whoever was behind that wheel was aiming right for him. If this was some crazy game of chicken, he wasn’t interested in playing. And if that’s what this was, then the jacket his mother had thought would protect him had just made him a target—a great, big, neon-orange bullseye.
Waving his arms frantically and screaming his lungs out, he stopped within a few yards of his own laneway, standing as close to the slippery edge as he dared, praying he wouldn’t end up at the bottom of the embankment. It was a moot point when the dark-colored truck caught him in the stomach, veered away from the edge of the road, and tossed him into the air as if he were nothing but a rag doll. The full frontal impact with the pavement snapped his head back uncomfortably, his melon bouncing twice before coming to rest on the blacktop, blood pouring from his nose and mouth, his chest on fire, filling him with agony.
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