The Running Series
by Suzanne Sweeney
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.
Chapter 2: Made in the Shade
When I step into the living room, I find Evan sitting on the couch with the playbook in his lap, listening to Queen’s Greatest Hits. The music is so loud and his concentration is so deep that he doesn’t even hear me enter. I don’t mind, really. It gives me a chance to appreciate the beautiful man that can still make my heart skip a beat. It’s not his perfection that appeals to me the most, it’s the small imperfections that I’ve come to know and love. The unshaved whiskers on his face that tell me he’s been too busy to shave. The messy, unkempt hair that suggests he hasn’t left the house since his shower. The slightly crooked angle of his nose from being broken one too many times on the football field. The bare feet propped up on the table tapping away, keeping beat with the music. Those are the things about him that I adore.
A smile slowly etches itself on his face, and I know he’s acutely aware of me watching him. When we are in the same room, even after all these months, there is still a tension that fills the air and has a profound effect on both of us. He shuts the book and closes the distance between us in three long strides. He sweeps me up into his arms and kisses me long and hard. When he finally releases me, I can hardly stand straight.
“Wow! What was that for, chief?” I’m not complaining, of course, but I am curious.
“Guess who was at the training center today, Juliette.” His eyes are sparkling with such joy and excitement.
“Um, let’s see. Was it Jeff Probst asking you to be on the next season of Survivor?” I tease.
“No, but that would be pretty cool,” he admits. “Guess again.”
“Gee, I was pretty sure about my first guess. Could it be NASCAR calling to offer you a spot on the circuit this year?”
“No, but again, that sounds great, too. Should I just tell you? Because frankly, you’re not even close.”
I nod and add, “You definitely need to tell me or we could be here all day.”
“Dr. Geiselman drove all the way down to the training center to meet with the team physicians and they all agreed – I can start weight lifting immediately, a whole week early. If everything goes well, that means I might be able to start practicing with the team soon, too.” He can hardly contain his elation.
“Oh, sweetheart, that’s incredible. You worked so hard, I could tell you’re doing so much better than anyone expected.” I wrap my arms around his waist and lay my head on his chest. Evan takes a deep breath, and I can tell a weight has been lifted from his shoulders.
- what inspired you to write the "Running" series?
There is no one thing that inspired me to write. I never imagined I would become a writer. Today, when I was answering a fan letter, I stopped for a moment and asked myself, "How did I get here?"
The answer is simple. Life is a series of events that often times lead you down new and unexpected roads. This part of my life is most definitely an unexpected detour.
Reading has always been a part of my life. Sometimes it's a large part of my life, sometimes not. But the day I got in the car to drive across the country with my husband for open heart surgery, I knew things had to slow down for us. I brought with me my beloved Kindle and settled down with some of my favorite authors while my husband fought for his life. I was a passenger on this tumultuous ride, and what better way to pass the time.
Months later, while he was home recovering, I decided that life is too short and I need to try something new, something unexpected. I took inspiration from some of my favorite authors and wrote the type of novel that I would enjoy reading.
- How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?
Here's what one of my readers has to say about the Running Series books --
It has it all - romance, suspense, great family and friends. Juliette moves back home after graduating college and a bad relationship. Jogging the beach one day with the help of Maddy, her dog, she meets hot Evan McGuire. Evan is a football player - a sport Juliette knows nothing about. The attraction is immediate. Juliette and Evan's story is about finding true love and trusting that love with a few bumps in the road.
- Describe each book in 3 words.
RBTY - Romance, Friendship, Secrets
RHTY - Passion, Trust, Commitment
- What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
My favorite scene to write was the ending of Book 1. I think more than anything else, it was the culmination of countless hours of fear, frustration, and worry. It signified that I had done it - I achieved my goal. I had completed something I never thought possible. The loose ends were all tied up in the plot. If the book was a complete failure and no one bought a single copy, I needn't worry. Evan and Juliette found their Happily Ever After, and I knew I could be satisfied with that.
- Why do you write?
My first career is teacher. I teach reading and writing to ten and eleven year olds. There's nothing more rewarding than helping a child discover a new author or find their own voice when writing. I thought it was time that I pushed myself to discover my own inner talents and strengths and to give a voice to my imagination.
- Do you listen to music while you write?
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.
- Did you always want to be an author?
No, I never could have imagined I would be in this position right now. I don't know any authors. I didn't know the first thing about how to get a book published. But I've never been deterred by fear of the unknown. I look at this like I do so many other obstacles in my life - as a challenge worth undertaking. Now, here I am putting myself out there for inspection, criticism, and hopefully a little praise. It's exciting, exhilarating, and terrifying all at once.
- Does your family read your books?
My books are contemporary romances, and that's not everyone's favorite type of read. My cousins and friends all read the same books that I do, so they are the ones that I share my book with. My husband and other members of the family haven't read my books yet, and likely will not. Truth be told, I write under a pen name, so there is a great number of members of my family who don't even know that I've written romance novels.
- Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
For the first time ever, I recently began to read some of Nicholas Sparks' books. A reviewer compared my book to his, and I must admit, I was more than a bit curious to try to see the comparison. I love how he used the rich textures of North Carolina as the settings in much the same way I painted pictures of my own community. His characters are very relatable and all seem to have flaws, which we can all identify with. I am glad to have discovered this author and plan to read many more of his novels.
- What are you currently working on?
I am 20% done with the third and final installment of the series, "Running Away With You". In this book, I've introduced a new character that may become the subject of a spin off. I've really come to love these characters and I'm not quite ready to say good bye forever.
A few short answer questions:
- Tea or coffee?
Coffee, caramel macchiato to be specific
- Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains?
Seaside! It's where my book is set. LOL
- Sweet or salty?
Both, of course. Chocolate covered pretzels - do I need to say any more?
- Print or ebook?
E-book. I haven't bought a print book in years.
- Movies or TV shows?
Movies, but TV isn't far behind.
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.
Barnes & Noble: