I like character-driven stories about kids in difficult situations—stories about trust, self-discovery and loyalty—so that’s what I write. I believe that humor can enhance any book, and I use it liberally. As a racer and car builder, I draw on my thirteen years of experience to provide the authentic details that bring my writing to life.
Running Wide Open
Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it’s landed him at his uncle’s trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?
What Cody doesn’t expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he’s been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he’s come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he’s ever dared to trust.
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Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track, but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him.
A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary reputation as a driver. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep his uncle in the dark until he can convince his dad racing’s safe.
Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy.
16-year-old Jess DeLand believes in making her own luck. But if she were the type to waste time on wishes, there’d be three things on her list: a mom who didn’t drink, a dad who hadn’t deserted her, and a job working on cars. Then Teri Sue Cline, one of the only female drivers at Eugene Speedway, loses her crew chief and asks Jess for help.
A loner by necessity, Jess can’t resist the pull of the racing world, where family is everything, and if you lack one, someone’s sure to take you into theirs. Someone like Kasey McCormick, a woman who owns a restoration shop and may hold the key to Jess’s automotive ambitions, or Cody Everett, a wisecracking teen racer who won’t take no for an answer. And then there’s Teri Sue’s little brother Rhett, who understands why you can’t stop loving your parents, even when they hurt you.
For the first time in years, Jess is surrounded by people who care. The question is, can a girl who keeps her personal life locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets let her guard down enough to risk friendship and her first romance?