Good morning fellow donut lovers! Are you ready for more donuts? I’m working on getting the next book in the For the Love of Donuts series ready for National Donut Day 2017, but in the meantime, if you haven’t picked up the first book in the series, now is your chance to get it while it’s on sale! Down from $3.99, Donuts in an Empty Field is on sale for $1.99 for a limited time!
Buy link: myBook.to/Donuts1
Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.
Vanessa Smith hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s wife and son from a burning building. Nessa has always blamed the boy, Ben, for her loss, and her thoughts are consumed with ways to make him as miserable as she is.
Nichole Adams knows Nessa can never heal until she learns to let go of her hatred, but bringing back her best friend is proving more difficult than she could’ve imagined. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge is just the thing to bust her out of her shell.
A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.
“When memories invade the present, the only thing you can do is move forward.” Rachel Barnard
“This story is a bit like the fictionalized version of my high school years and the bond I had with my best friend from 10-12 grade. The setting is inspired by places I knew growing up in Sarasota, FL. I hope to show readers how alive teenagers feel and how emotional they can get, leading to actions they may regret.” – Rachel Barnard
From Chapter 3:
I set the paper back down with a shrug, my enthusiasm dying. Becky and Anja, Nichole’s other friends sit down with us. I turn away so Nichole won’t see my disgruntled look as I resettle on the bench to make room. Anja is more overweight than I am, but it only adds to her beauty. She has the most inviting heart shaped face I’ve ever seen and she carries her weight in womanly curves. It helps that she’s taller than I am so the weight is better distributed. Becky is the powerhouse tanned white girl that nobody wants to piss off. She is so athletic she almost joined the football team, but opted for jiujutsu instead when there was a scheduling conflict. Nichole turns to talk with Becky and I fidget.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” Anja asks me.
I sit on my hands to stop them from moving and shake my head.
“I’m not really hungry,” I lie.
She nods like she understands, but she doesn’t. None of them do. If I start eating right now I might never stop. Another thank you to Dad. If I’m not angry, I’m hungry and I have to be careful with my self-control. Not that I never eat… I just don’t want to eat junk in front of Nichole’s judgmental friends.
Nichole offers me her other slice of pizza.
“No thanks, I’m good,” I say, trying not to lick my lips at the hint of fresh dough scent that lingers in the air.
Becky waves to someone walking up to the table. He steps forward, and suddenly all my attention is on him.
With burn scars bubbling up his neck and cheeks, everybody at the table pays attention to the new guy. He looks down at the table and scuffs a toe in the pavement, his tray of cafeteria food wobbling in his hands. I try to figure out what’s wrong with his left hand and it takes me a moment to realize that he’s missing two fingers. The remaining fingers are misshapen and swollen-looking.
Nichole gets up beside me. “Becky,” she says, her voice trailing off, as she just stands there. She glances beside Becky pointedly and wrinkles her nose slightly, before turning back to Becky.
“This is my younger brother, Ben,” Becky says.
My mind rushes through the memory of That Day and settles on the face of the child Dad held in his arms. It was Ben then and it’s Ben now. I know everything about him and nothing at all. Suddenly, I have no appetite.
Text Copyright © 2016 Rachel Barnard
All Rights Reserved