\r\n\r\nWelcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at BookShelfery. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story. Are you an author that would like to be featured in Indie Author Excerpts? If so, check out this page and fill out the form.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n[indie-author-excerpt]\r\n\r\nI just stepped off the train this morning, and already by the afternoon I’m a soccer mom. Well, the ‘game’ is track and field, not soccer, and Mom sold the Caravan while I was gone and replaced it with this compact sedan, but it’s basically the same thing. I’m sitting here in the car parked with four vans one way and three vans the other, just another woman here to pick up her kid. Okay, my brother isn’t ‘my kid,’ either. I’m a track and field sister, not a soccer mom. The point is, I’m already counting the days until summer is over. Huh. Never thought I’d say that. At least I didn’t before college, anyway.\r\nI get a glance every few seconds through the space between two bleachers of one scrawny high schooler after the other stumbling across the track, his arms scrunched against his chest, his mouth open in probably stilted breaths. If pressed to admit it, such a sight used to excite me. Now they all seem like little boys. I unscrew the bottle cap on my lemon tea and take a swig with one hand, rifling through my purse with the other. I find what I’m looking for and slip the well-worn copy of Pride and Prejudice onto my lap. I open it one-handed to the page with the most recently bent corner, the book flopping open easily thanks to the wrinkles of the multiple creases peppering the spine. I take another drink, my gaze hitting the corner of my Kindle case sticking out of my purse on the passenger seat. A hundred e-books and counting, and one of my three beat-to-a-pulp favorites are almost always in my hand in those moments between doing something and doing something else. “Now maybe you can get rid of the books taking up all that space in your room.” Mom beamed as she handed me the graduation gift—it was definitely thoughtful of her. Surprisingly thoughtful. Until Mr. Wonderful opened his mouth and revealed it was less about celebrating my interests and more about being practical, as usual. “You can’t bring a bookshelf to a dorm. You’re going to share the space with someone new, and it’s rude to bring a bunch of junk that’ll just take up space.” Cooper always seemed to forget I was rooming with Deana. Still, he had a point. The books stayed behind mostly. Except for the three books practically starting to disintegrate.\r\nThere’s a pounding at my window. I jump, sloshing the open tea bottle all over my lap—all over my book. I scream and am rewarded with muffled laughter. I slam the bottle into the cup holder and am ready to shoot Owen my most ‘you’re moronic’ look and immediately feel my face flush as I come face-to-face with Sinjin through the driver’s side window. I look away quickly, like staring at the steering wheel and ignoring the drops of tea on my lap will make the whole situation disappear. There’s more laughter from the other side of the car and more pounding, too. I just keep staring ahead.\r\n“Open up!”\r\nI snap out of it, flicking the unlock button on my side and crossing my arms as Owen opens the back passenger door and tosses his filthy gym bag onto the back seat. I can’t bring myself to look to see if Sinjin is still standing there, but even so, I feel this presence, like the shivers running down my spine are my own Spidey sense warning me, “He’s here. He’s here. Don’t make a fool of yourself.”\r\nToo late for that.\r\n“Yo, earth to Spoon! Guess you killed her, SJ.” I hate when Owen calls him that. I hate when Owen calls me Spoon. No one else needs to turn every name on the planet into something new.\r\nMy own personal your-ex-boyfriend-okay-you-just-went-to-three-dances-together-and-never-officially-became-an-item-so-is-that-really-an-ex-boyfriend-is-nearby Spidey sense relaxes—and where exactly was that superpower before he pounded on the car window?—and I breathe a sigh of relief. I suddenly remember my wounded (paperback) warrior on my lap and scramble for the Kleenex box on the floor behind the seat, grabbing one tissue after another in painstaking single serve doses, and I look up just in time to see Sinjin bumping his fist against Owen’s shoulder, laughing, smiling that chiseled Greek-god smile that lights up his gorgeous dark skin, and I freeze again.\r\n“Hey, how’s it going, June?” Sinjin runs a hand through his short black hair and speaks to me casually, as if we see each other regularly, even though we haven’t seen each other for months—that little blip over Spring Break while hanging with Margot and Deana hardly counts. His tone gives no indication I’m a laughing stock for falling head over heels at first sight with my best friends’ brother. My best friends’ younger brother. My best friends’ he-was-a-freshman-and-I-was-a-junior-the-first-time-I-saw-him-but-how-was-I-to-know-since-he-just-transferred-in younger brother.\r\nI will my hand to finish pulling the fifth tissue out of the box and add it to the crumpled wad forming in my fist. “Great,” I lie, mumbling.\r\nOwen finds this hilarious. But Owen finds most things to do with me hilarious. I’m so glad to see the last few weeks haven’t changed him. As if somehow when I felt like I’d aged a decade as I was cramming like mad for finals and writing half a dozen papers, the world would have also progressed a dozen years and I could look forward to finding a far more mature brother when I got home for more than the occasional weekend visit. No such luck.\r\nSinjin walks away, and I twist myself back into my seat and dab my book and lap with the tissues. Okay, good. Bye. Take your Greek-god smile and your smooth, silky, gorgeous jet black hair to some other hapless victim.\r\nThe passenger door opens beside me. “I’m sorry about that.” Sinjin pokes his head in. I cringe and do my best to smile. “I didn’t mean to scare you. You just didn’t notice us beside the car. Here, let me—” He scoops my purse up and lays it on the dashboard, climbing onto the seat. His fingers disappear around his side as he reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small washcloth.\r\nI know what my Spidey sense should tell me. An athlete’s hand towel. Probably used for mopping up sweat. About fifteen kinds of oh-my-god-gross. But Sinjin’s hand is on my thigh, dabbing the tea stains as casually as if the liquid had spilled on the floor or on the seat. His palm lingers on my thigh—true, there’s my pant leg and the washcloth between his skin and mine—but dear lord, his hand is on my thigh and I just about meld with the upholstery. He reaches his other hand out. “Let me.”\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n
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