The Running Series
by Suzanne Sweeney
Running Back to You
Juliette Fletcher is a girl with a plan. Not one to sit back and wait for life to happen, she moves back home after graduation and begins to carve out a life for herself.
Evan McGuire is desperate for a fresh start. His career in the NFL depends on it. Years of partying and carefree living have caught up with him. After buying a beach house in need of renovations, he begins to rebuild his life and his reputation.
What Evan doesn’t expect is a chance meeting with Juliette out on an early morning beach run with her dog. A strong mutual attraction draws them together, but fear of scaring her away keeps Evan from revealing his true identity. Evan finds himself in an unfamiliar situation – forced to work harder than he ever has before to prove himself worthy of her affections.
Tragic misunderstandings and unexpected obstacles threaten to derail a fragile relationship. Someone is watching, waiting, and tormenting Juliette, desperate to destroy everything. Can they find the strength to overcome jealousy, insecurity, and fear before it’s too late?
Running Home to You
Running Home to You: 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.
Running Home to You is the second book in the Running Series.
Running Home to You 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.
It is my pleasure to feature Suzanne Sweeney, author of the Running Series, on Room With Books. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions so our readers could get to know you a little better.
Tell me about The Running Series and what inspired you to write it?
I love to read, particularly books in a series so I can watch the characters develop and grow over time. Many of my favorite books are set in places like Seattle, Seaport, and Manhattan. Thanks to some of those great writers, the setting became just as important as the characters.
As a proud resident of the Jersey Shore, I knew that my hometown would be the perfect setting for an amazing romance novel. I grew up on the beach and have often fantasized about the lives of the fortunate few who live in the beautiful beach homes that span the shore.
We have always had the occasional celebrity buy homes in our community. We are a short drive from Manhattan, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City. My mind was made up, and all that was left for me to do was to develop the characters that would live here.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
Before the first word is written, I plot and plan meticulously, taking pages and pages of notes and combing through the notes from my previous books. But once I begin, a lot of my ideas get thrown out the window. Some of my best ideas are the ones that come spontaneously
For example, in Book 3, a new character is introduced. I had it all planned out – her entrance into the story line, her connection with the other characters, her motivation, and more. But one day, as I was writing a completely unrelated scene, the characters started talking about an upcoming wedding, and snap! All my plans were thrown out, and the character that I spent so much time and effort developing, just took on a completely different role, which I think in hind sight works so much better than my original plan.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
YES! I am a planner and plotter. I know what’s supposed to happen before I even sit down. But a lot of my events are dialog driven, and as try my best to write the dialog, it just doesn’t work. I can hear the characters telling me, “I would never say that!” or “I would never do that!”. Sometimes they even warn me, “That could NEVER happen!” The characters win every time and the story is so much better for it. Writers must listen to the voices in their head because they’re usually right.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
I cannot find a publisher or literary agent willing to work with me. It’s much harder than I ever imagined. I’m sure there is a critical piece that I am missing when I send out my requests, but I’m not quite sure what that is. I’m hoping that someday, I will make that meaningful connection, but until then, I’ll remain an Indie Author struggling to find my audience.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
I have a list of dystopian writers I would love to work with, such as Bartol, Collins, Oliver, and and Fisher. I wish I had the creative mind to be able to write a dystopian action/adventure. I envy the talented authors who can create an alternative world while developing the characters and lives of the people who would inhabit their universe. Getting a glimpse into their process would be an amazing gift!
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
My childhood dreams actually came true. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve been fortunate to spend my days in a classroom full of young, impressionable minds. I’ve been teaching the art and science of reading and writing to ten and eleven year olds for quite a while now. I love sharing things I’m passionate with others and seeing their passion grow when they find a new favorite author or when they discover their own talents as a writer.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
In 2012, my husband got sick and we needed to travel a few thousand miles from home in order to get him the life-saving surgery he needed. It was just the two of us there, so far from home, while he recovered and improved. First, I began passing the time by reading voraciously. I literally consumed a book a day. Each book that I read had something special about it that made it truly enjoyable. I began to make a list of the qualities, topics, and themes that seemed to run through those favorite reads. I noticed not one single book had all the qualities that I preferred, so I started making notes about what my book might be like, and before long, I had characters with careers, goals, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Putting those ideas onto the page just seemed the natural progression after that.
What music inspires your writing?
I have two go-to inspirations – P!nk and Maroon 5. Their sounds and lyrics really connect with me. My characters feel that musical connection, too. Each book has a playlist that accompanies it. I really think that if you want to know about a person, ask to see their favorite playlist.
What is your favorite breakfast?
Coffee with caramel creamer. It doesn’t matter what’s served with it – oatmeal, toast, yogurt, or fresh fruit, so long as I can have a hot cup of flavorful coffee, I’m happy.
What is your favorite color?
Lately, it’s been orange. The shade that you see on beautiful Gerbera Daisies. It cheers me and makes me happy.
What is your favorite movie?
I cannot pick just one! Apollo 13, A Knight’s Tale, Pitch Perfect, and The Replacements top my list.
What is your dream car?
My dreams aren’t about cars, they’re about vacations. But my dream car would have a remote starter, Sirius Satellite, Bluetooth, GPS, hands-free parallel parking and a sunroof. Can you tell I’m a little bit of a techie? I just bought a brand new Kia Optima which my family nicknamed the Smutmobile. The down payment came from the royalties of my first book.
How can our readers find you?
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/suzanne-sweeney
I appreciate your time today and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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.
Suzanne will be awarding a $25 Visa Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
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