Running Home To You is the second book in the Running Series. It continues the journey of Juliette and Evan that began in “Running Back to You”.
Juliette Fletcher thought she had it all – a strikingly handsome man who adores her, a new business venture with her best friends by her side, and a dream house right on the beach. But appearances can be deceiving and everything comes at a cost.
Evan McGuire has just survived a vicious attack that almost ended his professional football career. He’s on the mends now, trying to piece his life back together again, and build a life with Juliette.
But Evan’s erratic behavior has Juliette worried. She must figure out how to save her struggling restaurant, her fragile friendships, and her now unhealthy relationship with the man she loves. Juliette and Evan find that they’ve placed their trust in the wrong people and the price they pay for that mistake may ultimately cost them everything
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Excerpt from Chapter 3: Behind Closed Doors
I wake before Evan. It’s Saturday morning and today, he has no practice. Despite his previous restrictions, I know he’s been working his ass off at the training center. We got home in the wee hours of the night and Evan fell asleep the moment his head hit his pillow. The fact that he’s still asleep proves how physically exhausted he must be.
Quietly, I slip from our room and head into the kitchen. I grab my laptop and check my e-mail. Nestled between some spam mail and store ads, I find my daily Google alert on “Evan McGuire”. I know Evan would pitch a fit if he knew I was keeping tabs on the gossip, but I love seeing pictures of him. Most of the updates are pictures of him in uniform at camp and looking so damned edible. Since I can’t go to practice with him, this is the next best thing.
Among the football pictures are photographs of Evan entering Lucky Strike Bowling Alley last night. There is a young, petite brunette on his arm, and for a moment, I feel a heart-searing pang of jealousy. They look so adorable together; his strength and power contrasted by her slight frame and simplicity. The picture was taken just as the sun was setting on the skyline and the stark image of Evan set against the shadowy backdrop of skyscrapers draped in hues of orange and red is striking.
That girl in the photograph is a perfect match for Evan in every way. You can tell by the way they look at each other that they share a deep mutual affection. As my temperature begins to rise, it occurs to me that the attractive girl in the picture with Evan is no stranger. It’s me. I’ve changed so much since high school that from time to time, I don’t even recognize myself in photographs. It’s like when you hear your own voice in a recording and you’re certain that can’t possibly be what you sound like. Well that’s what it’s like sometimes when I see pictures of myself.
Sometimes, I still find it hard to believe that this is my life. It’s a life I never even dreamed possible. Meeting Evan was destiny, being with him was a gamble, but falling in love with him was way beyond my control. We met only three months ago and a lot has happened in that short time. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment it happened, when I fell under his spell. Was it our first date? Our first kiss? Maybe it was the very first time he smiled at me. He is my hope, my dream, my ambition, and my desire. The fact that he is in love with me still amazes and inspires me beyond all description.
Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Elementary Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her debut novel, Running Back to You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.
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Suzanne was kind enough to do a guest post for me today! :-)
What's In A Name?
For me, choosing the names for my characters was almost as difficult as naming my children. Of course, I had a slight advantage as a writer that I didn't have as a parent, my characters were fully formed in my mind with personalities, quirks, and a lifetime of experiences.
There are so many names in fiction that when read or spoken, conjure up very strong emotions. Names like Atticus Finch, Willie Loman, and Christian Grey, are perfect examples.
For me, the process varies. Sometimes I come across a name that strikes a chord with me, and I jot it down for future use. That tends to happen more with minor characters. But when it comes to naming the main characters, I could spend an agonizing amount of time researching and deciding.
I didn't know it at the time, but now that I sit down to write this, I've identified my five top rules for naming a character.
1. Name Meaning - When I think I have a name I can work with, the first thing I do is go online to NameBerry and research it. What is the country of origin? What does it mean? Do the answers suit my character's story and personality? Many readers have strong associations with names, and it's important to get this one right.
2. Historical Accuracy - I consider where and when my character was born and check baby name lists. I will usually be drawn to something on the bottom portion of the top 100 charts.
3. Current Trends - There are always trending names or types of names. For instance, classic names for girls are starting to resurge. Everything old is new again when it comes to fad. The same is true for names. Names like Henry and Olive are finding popularity again, and it's always a good idea to stay relevant.
4. Variety - My two main male characters' names are Evan and Adam. When I sent my manuscript to beta readers, one of the first questions I would ask was, "are these names too similar sounding and therefore confusing?" The answer was "no", so I decided to keep the names. But having names with same beginning sound can be confusing, too. It's important that the reader not be required to work too hard just to keep the names straight. I've also found that if the character is so unimportant that he or she might not be mentioned again, then there's no point in even speaking his or her name. Why give the reader something else to question.
5. Potential for Variations - my novels contain colorful characters that often come up with playful nicknames for one another. For instance, the lead character, Juliette, receives the nickname of Jepetto from her best friend. I like nicknames. They suggest closeness and intimacy among the characters.
Of course there are other factors to consider as well—sometimes, for example, characters will choose to change or shorten their names or have their names shortened for them, which often signifies a shift in the character (i.e.: Beatrice to Tris in Divergent by Veronica Roth or Augustus to Gus in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green). Other times a character will lie about their name or choose to rename themselves entirely, which also brings attention to their new chosen name.
Naming characters is a process that should be given plenty of thought, and it's not always an easy decision, but with the help of some brainstorming, research and sometimes feedback, it's easy to know when the right name for the character has been found.
Thank you Suzanne for sharing such an interesting process with us. :D
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I really like the first book, Running Back To You. This book drew me in the same way the first book did.
The same great characters were found between the pages. There was plenty of romance and sweetness as well as some angst, anxiety, misplaced trust, frustration, and oh so much more. I went through lots of emotions while reading Running Home To You.
I have to warn you, the ending is a HUGE cliffhanger. :-( It couldn't be a tiny one. Oh no, Suzanne just had to make us suffer! I NEED the next book, Running Away With You, now! I'm not even sure when the release day is or when I can expect it out. Grrrrr!
Other than that snafu, this is a great book and a great series. You will be ensnared by all the surprising twists and turns. It is oh so very good!
At the end of the book, there is a playlist, mixology section (drink recipes), and a section that gives detailed meanings of flowers. I love it!
I really recommend reading both books in order!
I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I thought it was awesome. It had me glued to my Kindle till the last word. I can not wait for more!
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