<— Regarding West JUST WENT LIVE!!! 😀 So to celebrate, Ashley Simmons is today’s newsletter sponsor, and she’s sent over a Five Fun Facts about the book, an excerpt AND she’s giving away a $10 gift card (and it’s open to International)!! 😀 YAY US!!!!
Five Fun Facts about Regarding West…
- I actually started this book before Corduroy, a Boy, and a Mostly True Story and scrapped it. I loved Weston’s character in Corduroy so much and decided to make a whole book about him.
- I obsessively binge watch old teen sitcoms. You can probably pick out bits and pieces of 90’s teen sitcom characters in my book characters if you really look. Pacey Whitter for life, y’all.
- I will not, under any circumstances, allow my husband to read my books. He loves sci-fi/fantasy and classics. I don’t want to be compared to Chaucer!
- My nine year old loves to read and edit my books. She was my original beta reader. She gets my first advance copy, minus the sexy scenes, and takes her job seriously!
- I’m from the south and love College Football – Go Dawgs! I’m already working on my third book, but I think my fourth book will be about a football player. Swoon!
Dammit all to hell. Why did I let Tim talk me into taking summer classes? Oh yeah, because I am a gigantic wuss who can’t think for himself. A far cry from the guy I was a few years ago. I’m standing outside the locked side entrance, trying to figure out how to explain my tardiness again when I see Uncle Tim walking out of the front door to the school.
F*ck. He probably got called in because of my “slacker attitude.” I swear the Headmaster has it out for me. He’s the only person who knows why I’m really here and I know he wouldn’t allow me to stay if Tim hadn’t paid such a large sum of hush money to get me accepted to George Walton Academy. I can practically see that asshole looking down his nose at me.
I curse again under my breath and figure I might as well get it over with. I walk towards Tim and he looks up, his surprise immediately turning to anger. He is normally a soft-spoken guy but his temper will flare over anything school related. He is a complete workaholic and he expects perfection from me as far as my schoolwork goes.
Actually, he expects perfection from me pretty much all the time. That wouldn’t have been a problem for me at one point in my life, but these days I have trouble concentrating and making good decisions. Hell, if I’m being honest with myself, I can’t even sleep without those little blue pills my best friend Taylor keeps selling me.
“Hey, man. What brings you here so early in the morning?” I decide that a laid back approach will deflect my obvious guilt, but I am not really expecting Tim to buy it.
“Weston, you know how I feel about tardiness. How can you expect to make it in college, or the real world for that matter, if you can’t even be on time to high school? It’s eight thirty for God’s sake. Do you know how much work I get done before eight thirty every morning?” He sighs and rubs his hand over his eyes. I notice, for the first time, that he looks tired and his eyes are bloodshot. He is usually so put together that it startles me to see him so disheveled. I start to offer some sort of lame excuse but he interrupts me.
“Go ahead and follow me back home. I need to talk to you about some things and it might as well happen now. I will call Headmaster Kelley and let him know that you will be taking a personal day.”
Without another word, Tim heads to his car and I turn back towards the parking lot. I can feel my heart pounding in my ears and my hands turn clammy. This is the conversation I have dreaded for over a year. He has finally decided that he is better off without me and he is sending me home.
It’s the only explanation I can think of for his behavior. I climb in my car and decide that I might need to go ahead and take another little pill before this conversation. Better to be numb if we are going to go back down this road.
After fighting morning rush hour back up the interstate, I pull in the garage of Uncle Tim’s gigantic colonial house, the house that has been my home for the past year.
Slowly, I trudge into the mudroom and drop my backpack on the floor. I hear Tim in the kitchen making coffee and I walk in to accept my fate. He turns to look at me and I see the tears in his eyes. For the first time, it occurs to me that this might not be about me. He wouldn’t cry over me.
“What happened? I ask cautiously, not sure I really want an answer.
“I got a phone call this morning that Tina was killed in a botched robbery last night. I will be heading to Flint tomorrow to make her arrangements.” Tim is nothing if not direct. I stare at him, having a hard time comprehending what he is saying. Damn, I shouldn’t have taken the pill.
I can feel my brain getting a little foggy. Tina is Tim’s fiancé, the woman who stole his heart as he says. He has been seeing her for the better part of a year after they met during some sort of bank merger. She lives in Michigan but they have been doing the long distance thing. He proposed to her a few weeks ago and they had planned for her to move here with her daughter next month.
“I am so sorry, man. What can I do? Are you ok?” Immediately after the words leave my mouth I realize how stupid they sound. Of course he isn’t ok. This woman was the love of his life and he had planned to bring her here to live with him. Now he is stuck with just me again.
“We hadn’t had a chance to tell her daughter, Mallory, about our relationship. She was insistent that she had brought enough men into Mallory’s life before and she wanted to make sure it was permanent before we met. She was at basketball camp this summer and we planned to tell her this week when she got home.” He sighed.
“Now I have to go down there, introduce myself to her, and hope she will still want to come live here with us.” My head jerks up at his words.
“Live here with us? You want her to live here with us? What about her family? Doesn’t she have a father?” I’m speaking about a thousand words a second and I need to tone it down before I have a panic attack right here in the kitchen. No good can come from Uncle Tim knowing that those little bastards still overtake me from time to time.
“She does, but he has been mostly absent in her life and he isn’t a trustworthy person from what I understand. Her mother wanted so much for her to go to school at Walton and be able to get into a decent college. They never had any money and Mallory assumes that she won’t go to college unless she can get a basketball scholarship. I was at the school today to make sure everything was still set up for her. I want to help her.” He looks at me and I see the desperation in his eyes.
“Are you going to be ok with this, Weston?” We both know what he is asking me but I am not about to be the one to say it out loud. I look at the floor and he continues talking.
“I will still be traveling as much as I do now so you and Mallory will be here alone for a good portion of the time. I am asking you to tell me now if you aren’t going to be ok with this.”
I look in his eyes again and I know there is only one answer I can give him. She doesn’t have anywhere else to go, and her mother was the love of his life.
“I’m fine. Go there and bring her back here. We’ll make it work.”
“I will be leaving in the morning and hopefully coming back by the end of the week. I’ll give you a call once the arrangements have been made. I also need to let your caseworker know since we promised to let him know about any household changes. Do you plan to call your parents?”
I think for a moment before answering.
“No, I don’t have anything to say to them. I’ll be eighteen in six months and there is no reason to rock the boat now.” Uncle Tim nods in agreement and sits down at the table with his coffee and his laptop. I guess the conversation is over.
The author says:
“I am giving away a ten-dollar Amazon gift card (hello free books!) to one lucky person who comments on this post!”
How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below and by 10pm EST, Sunday November 24th, 2019, I will randomly select one lucky commenter as the winner.
The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond confirming their email address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. The signed book will be sent to the winner directly by the author.
Giveaway open to International!!!