Title: Walking AfterGenre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 70,000
Word Count: 70,000
Nineteen-year-old Scarlet upends her life in Seattle to attend college among the cornfields of Iowa on account of a heart.
Scarlet’s senior year of high school veers off course when her boyfriend Cade dies in a car accident, leaving her struggling to define a future that had already been decided by his NFL aspirations. She had already planned to follow Cade to college in the state she’s only seen in the movie Field of Dreams, but after his heart is harvested for a recipient in Iowa, it’s the nudge she needs to follow through without him.
As Scarlet learns Iowa is not all tractors, cornfields, and farmers’ daughters, she flounders without Cade and her heavy-handed best friend. Lest she forget the survivor’s guilt imbedded in her chest like shrapnel. When Scarlet meets playboy Dex, the James Dean lookalike who carpes a little too much diem, they strike up a friendship that leaves her feeling guilty for another reason altogether – the attraction that undermines her memories of Cade.
When Scarlet learns Cade’s heart didn’t survive the transplant, she faces off with her tragic past in order to move forward. But when she learns Dex is keeping a secret regarding his own health, Scarlet is forced to decide if she can survive another relationship with a boy living on the edge of death.
First 250 Words:
Hot as balls.
That expression never made much sense to me. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest meant never having to. But Iowa is another story altogether. Being in Iowa in the summer provides meaning to the saying “hot as balls.” As much meaning as one can assign without having balls with which to make the comparison.
A month as a resident hasn’t taught me everything. I’m just now learning that a gray t-shirt is an awful idea, evidenced by the dark, sweat-stained amoebas taking up residence around my pits. As I trudge across campus, I pause to readjust the table under my arm, grimacing as I press the damp fabric to my skin. I shift the cardboard box and poster board sign in my arms, channeling my innermost Frances “Baby” Houseman a la Dirty Dancing. Judging by the looks from the students parting like the Red Sea as I pass them, I may as well be carrying a watermelon into a party of dirty dancers.
The weight of the box shifts, and my arms flail in a futile attempt to catch it before it flops to the ground. Pamphlets smack against the pavement as the card table hammers the bare toes of my right flip-flopped foot.
Son of a...
I hop around on one foot attempting to scoop the pamphlets now blowing across the lawn. They float in slow motion, seeds from a dandelion propelled into the wind, but I’m not making a dent in Mother Nature’s cruel game of fifty-two card pickup.