Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapter 10 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of You

The television showed celebrations in Australia, Asia and Europe, and the crowds eagerly anticipated the countdown in Times Square. I lay on the sofa, distracted by my more abstract thoughts about the concept of time and its association with this ritual, even the concept of Gregorian calendar years based on Jesus’ birthday, which, according to some, hadn’t even occurred in December. I found it absurd for Jewish and Asian cultures to celebrate a day, which didn’t even exist on their calendars, with fireworks and paper horns.
I hadn’t noticed that the sound of one of those horns wasn’t being tooted on TV, but on the other side of our porch door window. A soft tap on the glass made me turn with surprise to see him.
Everett stood under the porch light, the horn curling and uncurling from his lips, a bottle of champagne in one hand.
I stumbled off the sofa in my rush to let him in. Once again, his chilled skin met mine as I plucked the paper horn from his lips and kissed him.
“Happy New Ear,” he joked.
“Oh, it’s gonna be happy, alright,” I said as I let him in, dragged him to my bedroom, where I peeled off his parka with a bit of the fervor from our first time together. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chapter 2 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of You

Due to his frequent absence at private school, his room looked more like a boy museum, cluttered up by his recent return visit, as if an indigent had snuck into an archive and taken up lodging. Family photos, framed clippings of sports articles with a team photo, and a school pennant, seemed almost cliché. The only modern element was a poster from the Styx album Grand Illusion, which displayed a surreal image of a female face inside the silhouette of a rider on a horse, standing in between some intricate tree trunks.
Everett casually dropped his damp sweatpants on the floor. Helen had castigated him for not immediately changing when we’d entered the house; he’d ignored the command. I prepared myself for, and pretty much expected, another embrace.
Instead, Everett, completely naked, held out his hands like a comedian closing his show in a sort of “Ta da!” moment, then continued getting dressed before I could consider applauding.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chapter 2 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of You

As he finished changing into a sweatshirt with the name and emblem of Pinecrest Academy, I sat on a chair at his desk, secretively looking for some small memento to pilfer.
“We should go into Pittsburgh. I want you to meet my sister, Holly,” Everett said with sudden enthusiasm.
“We could take the train,” I suggested. “I’ve done that a few times. It’s only, like, an hour.”
“So, how about Saturday?” Everett pressed.
“To visit your sister.” “That’s not the point, brainiac.” Everett softly punched my shoulder. “We can be alone together; spend the night. Together.”
As all the concocted plans ran through my head, I failed to notice that I was being casually seduced by my host.
Everett had turned on his stereo, preset with a small stack of LPs. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors began to play. He flopped down on his bed, bounced up once while scooting to one side, patted the other, coaxing me to join him like some newly trained pet.
Glancing down at the damp remnants of melted snow at my pants cuffs, I remembered that he did have a housekeeper, after all, and with an attempted gesture of élan, I plopped myself down beside him.
I didn’t want to force myself on him again. But after a few minutes of the both of us simply staring at the ceiling, our legs and elbows touching, Stevie Nick’s nasal voice warning that ‘players only love you when they’re playing,’ I did.
Leaning up and over, I brought my lips to his, and with equal abruptness, Everett’s face and mine collided. A chuckle, a lip wipe with tongues, and our mouths slurped together like sea anemones.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Chapter 2 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of You

He pushed forward a plate of cookies in the shape of Christmas trees with green glaze and sprinkled decorations.

“Trees, with icing.”

Getting the inside reference to our amorous encounter in the woods, I nearly coughed up hot chocolate. Everett took another cookie, dipped it in his mug and ate heartily, his eyes on mine. “Reid,” he whispered, as if savoring the sound of my name.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Hurt Locker

Top-Ranked Wrestler Suffers Spinal Cord Injury

It's always saddening when the unfortunate events in my fiction are reflected in reality. In this odd combination of events in both my first and fourth novels (PINS and Every Time I Think of You), the top-ranked Class 1A wrestler in North Carolina has been left paralyzed after a freak accident on the mat in a tournament.

In the midst of going for a pin against his opponent, Luke Hampton lost his grip and went head-first into a padded wall.
The sheer force of the collision broke Calloway's C5 and C6 vertebrae. After being rushed rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, it was confirmed that Calloway's injuries had left him paralyzed from the neck down.

The entire Alleghany community has rallied around Hampton following his injuries, holding prayer vigils and setting up a fund to help the family pay for medical costs. As the Associated Press reported, the goal is for the Alleghany High senior to increase his strength before heading to Shepherd Center, a hospital located in Atlanta, Ga., that specializes in spinal cord injuries.
It should be noted that such accidents are rare in wrestling, but they do happen, as well as in other sports, most frequently in team and field sports.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a fundraiser basketball game will be held this Saturday to help the athlete's family.