I know how impatiently all of you are waiting for Susan Miller’s book to come out. Well, I can’t write a book in a couple of days, but I’m working hard on finishing it in a couple of months. For now, let me cheer you up with revealing the title and blurb of book 5 in the Grover Beach Team series. ;)
When bookworm Susan Miller hurts her leg playing soccer, she has no idea it could be the start of her very own love story—a story specked with trouble.
Trapped on the sidelines watching her friends practice for the winter season, all her anger is directed at the player the team captain replaced her with. And yet, her replacement has the sweetest smile she’s ever seen.
Against all odds, the guy charms her into a date. But when Susan sees him at school the next day, he acts as if he’s never seen her before and even makes fun of her in front of his friends. Worse, he’s very obviously trying to hook up with another girl.
Embarrassed and hurt, Susan decides to forget about this moron. Not too difficult of a job—until she runs into him again. She is already confused enough because, without his friends, he’s completely different. But then, on top of it all, she starts to see double.
Are you hooked? ;)
I’m spending a lot of time right now finding the right pictures for a possible cover. It’ll take another little while, but as soon as it’s done, I’ll let you catch a glimpse and will also put up the book for preorder. As of now, the tentative release date is Valentines day, 2015. But you know me, once the book is finished and edited, I’ll move the release date forward as far as possible.
In the meantime I have a little teaser for you. Enjoy! <3
I BANGED MY head against Ryan Hunter’s shoulder. “Kill me now!”
“Aw, why so tragic, booklover?” Hunter wrapped an arm around me and dragged me through the gate of the soccer field behind our high school. “It’s only for ten weeks. Grab a nice tear jerker, drool over Edward Twilight, and time will fly by.”
“His name is Edward Cullen, not Edward Twilight.” I rolled my eyes. “And I’ve read that one years ago.”
“Right. Whatever.” He patted my back. “I’m sure you’ll find another great book to keep yourself busy until you can play soccer again with us.”
I cast him a sharp sideways look, meeting his encouraging one. “Do you honestly want to know how many books I’ll have to read in that time to keep me sane?”
Ryan grimaced. “Um, no.”
“Probably five-hundred and seven—and then some. Gah! I hate Doctor Trooper. How could he do this to me?”
A laugh escaped Ryan. It was that typical for him chilled sound. “Come on, Miller. It’s really not the end of the world.”
“You say that because you don’t have to sit over there!” I pointed a thumb over my shoulder at the bench at the sidelines. But at Ryan’s helpless look and shrug, I forced the drawer of my frustration closed again. It wasn’t his fault that my leg was out of order for the winter season. That was courtesy to a girl player from the Riverfalls Rabid Wolves. She’d nearly kicked my kneecap to outer space during a recent soccer match. Boy, that had hurt. I’d wanted to throw myself on the ground and bawl like a baby. But then there’d been too many guys around; I couldn’t do that.
Ryan released me, stooped down, and pulled his right white sock higher to cover his shin guard. While he re-tied the laces of his cleat, he angled his head to look up at me and squinted against the sun on this late November afternoon. “Will you stay and watch the training? Lisa’s supposed to show up later.”
I grinned. “That was my plan.” His girlfriend, Lisa Matthews, was one of my best friends, and we’d talked on the phone before I came down here.
While Ryan jogged over to Tony Mitchell, Alex Winter, and Nick Frederickson—all members of the Grover Beach Bay Sharks—I only wiggled my fingers at them, then I headed for the single bench at the sideline in front of the bleachers. I did bring a book today, and it was not Twilight, but I also wanted to watch my friends practice.
The coming ten weeks were bound to be pure torture. Since last summer, soccer had become a solid part of my life. Not that I was any good at it, but I loved the team sport. It was also nice how I had turned from a lazy bookworm to an athlete who could actually run three miles without dying of breathlessness due to Hunter’s excessive training schedule—and still be a bookworm. But speaking of physique, there was one thing better than all the rest, even if it might not have a lot to do with soccer training after all. Straightening my light blue shirt that was a tight fit, I looked down at my front and smiled, because I’d finally grown the curves I’d been praying for over the past couple of years. Phew. I mentally wiped my forehead. No girl should get her driver’s license before her boobs. That’s just cruel.
As I reached the bench, I looked up again and, what the hell— I stopped dead.
A guy was sprawled out across the seating, with his arms folded behind his head, gazing at the sky. Or maybe he was asleep, I couldn’t tell, because he’d pulled his ball cap deep down his forehead. Headphones were plugged in his ears. The sound of Volbeat drifted loudly to me, even from five feet away. Hmm, he had good taste in music. In clothes…not so much. Dark brown sneakers, brown shorts and a yellow tee gave him a crazy Peanuts look.
I didn’t know who this guy was, or why he occupied my seat, but since I was still part of this soccer team and he was not, it was only fair to shoo him away. There were enough empty seats on the bleachers where he could continue his Tuesday afternoon nap.
I walked up to his side, slapped his knee with the back of my hand, and waited until he pulled the earphones out; well, one of them at least. “Hey, Charlie Brown, this is my seat,” I said with a voice that left no room for discussion. Or so I hoped. I wasn’t the typical commander. That was my friend Simone’s job; she had that down to the last bat of her eyelashes. But today I thought I’d pulled a pretty good imitation.
The guy angled his head to my side, took off his cap, and ran a relaxed hand through his short hair that was the color of sunlight hitting glass. He blinked his steel gray eyes a couple of times. A slow smile crawled across his face. “Sorry, I didn’t know this bench had your name on it.”
Hah! Bad mistake! “Well, if you look again, I’m sure you’ll find it carved somewhere into one of the laths.” Simone Simpkins and I had eternalized ourselves here sometime last summer. We’d tried to talk Lisa into it, too, but she’d only rolled her eyes. She’d always been the most reasonable one of us.
The guy’s smile ceased to an intrigued expression, where one of his eyebrows wandered upward. “Is that so?” he drawled.
I dumped my backpack next to my grey vintage boots and crossed my arms over my chest. Charlie Brown finally worked up the decency to sit up. The longer I looked at his face, the more it seemed familiar. I might have seen this guy at one of Hunter’s parties already but, for Christ’s sake, I couldn’t fish his name from my mind.
However, he didn’t leave, which grated on my nerves, because my leg always hurt the most when I was standing and I really needed to sit down soon. Now, he pulled out the second earpiece, scooted down to one end of the bench and, without words, offered me a seat beside him. With a snort, I accepted the offer.
Eight days after the accident, I didn’t need crutches any longer, and I could even climb stairs again without dragging my injured leg in an awkward way after me. But sitting down proved a little complicated after all, because my knee still hurt when I bent it in a full right angle and over. So, as usual, I kept my right leg as straight as possible and slumped in slow motion down on my bench.
The Peanut copy had put his cap back on and the cable of his headphones around his neck. Right now he ogled me in a peculiar way—I could see that from the corner of my eye.
“You’re Susan Miller, aren’t you?” he mumbled over the noise still coming from his headphones.
My gaze got stuck on the red shark that grinned from the ten by ten foot poster at the other side of the soccer field and I nearly choked on dry air. Slowly, I turned to his side. “And just which little bird told you that?”
“Not a bird. Your knee did.” He rubbed his neck and tilted his head in a way that made me think of how Mom had told me I’d fried my ant farm at age six, because I’d let them take a sun bath on my window sill on a dramatically hot August day.
“And unless I’m totally mistaken,” he continued and managed to even look sweet when he grimaced, “I’m your replacement player.”
“You. Are. What?” I jumped up as gracefully as I could, which wasn’t graceful at all, and stemmed my fists to my waist. “Hunter!” I blurted across the field, then I turned back to Charlie Brown, blowing air out of my nose like a bull in an arena. I all but scraped a booted hoof on the dirt ground. “Listen, just because I’m temporarily out of order, it doesn’t mean you can come and take my place. Hunter!”
The guy rose to his feet, placating me with his palms up, but I didn’t give him a chance to speak as I already raved on. “I’ll be back to my awesome normal in just a few weeks, and then I’ll be able to play soccer again, just like before. No need for anyone to jump in for me. HUNTER! Get your sorry ass over here, now!”
Charlie Brown bit his bottom lip. “Ryan said the news probably wouldn’t go down well with you. I’m surprised he didn’t tell you yet.”
Oh no, he hadn’t told me. What the hell? I was unable to play for a while, not for forever. No need to run off and find the next best guy to replace me. “What’s going on here?!” I screeched, as Ryan drew up beside me.
Ryan Hunter sucked in a breath between sheepishly clenched teeth. “Ugh, did I forget to tell you that I found someone to play with us for the time that you can’t?”
“Obviously so!” At my killer gaze, Ryan took a step back. Wow, I didn’t know I was that good. I could have let a sly grin slip right now, but I didn’t.
“Calm down, Sue,” the guy in brown shorts said in a soothing sort of way and reached out to touch my arm. He cast Ryan a boy scouts look and a subtle nod—gah, did he really think I hadn’t seen that?—and the next second, Ryan shot off, back to the others.
“No one calls me Sue,” I growled at Charlie Brown and pulled my arm away.
“Okay, then let me be the first and let this be our secret.” He winked at me and, to my total surprise, he cut me silent with it.
With my head slightly cocked, I gazed up those few inches that he had on me. He smiled all the way to his ears. Because of his looking so sweet when he did, I was ready to give him ten seconds to say whatever was on his mind.
“I’m not going to take your place. I used to play soccer a few years ago, and when Ryan asked me to play for a while, I said yes to do him a favor.” Carefully as not to be too intimate it seemed, he placed his hands on my shoulders and moved me back to the bench. Then he helped me sit down again and squatted in front of me, elbows resting in his thighs, so we were eye to eye. “I promise to be gone the day that your leg is fine and you can take over again. How’s that?”
He smelled like lemon grass and Coke popsicles. Awesome.
I drew in another deep breath and finally let my frustration sail off on the ship of a sigh. With my index, I shoved my glasses farther up my nose. I normally didn’t bring them to soccer practice, but since I wasn’t going to play but read today, I had no choice. “I guess that’s okay.”
“Great.” He clapped his hands once, stood up, and placed his white iPod on the bench next to me. “Take care of this for me?”
I nodded and noticed that he hadn’t turned the music off.
The guy headed away, but after only a few steps, he twisted to me again, walking backward. “I’m Ethan, by the way.” He shrugged and grinned. “Just in case you wanted to know.”