Renee Ericson and her book AFTER TUESDAY is our spotlight for the day. Woot! Woot! Get this one on your TBR- it will make your heart smile.
Family really is a pain…especially when your father is an addict.
For the last two years, high school senior Ruby has been her own rock and solace. She has learned to depend only on herself and hides her family’s issues by keeping herself somewhat unnoticeable. Despite her isolation, Ruby has intrigued the affections of someone unexpected. Finding herself loving life once again as his persistence sparks a romance awakening a well-protected heart.
While Ruby’s relationship with her father is constantly teetering, her new-found affection continues to blossom into something more than she ever thought possible. Soon, Ruby comes to realize that opening up your heart means being susceptible to love and disappointment.
*YA-M: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language*
Click here to see what Renee was listening to when she wrote After Tuesday…
Special POV (Brent):
It’s Friday afternoon and I’m in the car to pick up my brother, Cohen. I can’t believe my mom bailed out again. Her work schedule has really gotten out of control. I understand that she wants a career, but I know Cohen is going to be upset that she isn’t picking him up like she promised. He’s been gone all week at camp; she really should reschedule the meeting and pick him up like she said she would. But nope, it’s me picking up the slack and now I’m going to have to deal with him whining the whole way home about it. Like this summer hasn’t been bad enough.
There’s nothing like finding out about a month ago that your girlfriend of three years has been cheating you with some guy across town. I guess that will teach me to go away for two weeks again. Sure, she broke it off with me before I found out, but it still doesn’t mean it didn’t suck. We’d been together for as long as I can remember and I thought I knew her. Guess not. I can’t believe she didn’t even have the guts to call it off before she decided to go sucking face with Mr. Football Star.
It’s official; I’m done dating. There’s no reason to even start anything with anyone. My friend, Owen, may have a different take, saying I need to just get out and “see what other fish are in the sea,” but I’m just not interested. What’s the point? I don’t need the hassle.
I’m not really paying attention to where I’m going, but I when I see the sign for Camp White Ash, I turn down the drive and park in the dirt lot. It’s empty, so I look at my watch and notice that I’m really early. Figures. My mind has been all over the place lately, so of course I’m early.
After sitting in the car for fifteen minutes, I decide I might as well head in to wait. There’s a small path and a sign at the edge of the lot that indicates the direction of the lake and lodge. I take my time getting there, kicking a few stones along the way. When I reach the opening to the lake, I don’t see the lodge anywhere in sight, only a large supply shed on the ridge. Shit. Where is the lodge?
I continue to walk up the incline, hoping that maybe the lodge is on the other side. When I’m almost to the top, I see a girl walk out of the building. She has long brown hair, up in a ponytail and is wearing a pair of khaki shorts—short shorts—and a dark green T-shirt. Looks like a camp uniform.
“Excuse me,” I call out to her. “Is this where we pick up the kids?”
I take a few steps closer until I’m about ten yards away. I really shouldn’t be staring at her ass, but those shorts. What the hell?
“No,” she says, while locking up the shed. Her long chocolate hair swings to the side as she tilts her head. Then she begins to turn around.
“Oh. Well, can you tell me where to go?” I ask, stopping in my tracks when her brown eyes stare straight into my green ones.
Jesus. I think my heart literally just stopped. No, I’m not interested. I’m not interested. I’m not interested.
I try to look anywhere other than her, but her eyes just keep pulling me in. Do I know her from somewhere?
“Sure,” she begins to answer my question. “You just need to head farther up the drive, and you’ll find a parking lot where the path ends. From there, you can see the main lodge where families will meet in about an hour.”
Is she blushing? She doesn’t seem to be embarrassed, rather confident. Standing tall, keeping her eyes on me, no weird fidgeting…but what is up with the pink cheeks?
Taking a few steps closer, until we are only about an arms length apart, I can’t help but grin a little when I see the warmth in her cheeks deepen. It’s kind of cute. Stop thinking like that! Not interested.
“Okay, but I might get lost. Do you think you can show me the way? I’d be happy to give you a ride,” I respond without thinking.
What is going on with me? Okay, it’s not like I asked her out. I just asked her for help. No harm in that.
“Oh, I’m sure you can figure it out.” She laughs a little. “Plus, I need to finish a few things here before I head up to the main lodge.”
“I can wait.” Seriously, what is wrong with me? I need to reel it in a bit.
Her eyes narrow slightly, like she’s confused by what I’ve just said. Heck, I’m confused by what’s coming out of my mouth, but I can’t seem to help myself.
“Found three pairs of underwear!” a blonde shouts as she approaches the top of the small incline where we’re standing.
I turn to see it’s Lexi, a girl I know pretty well from school, holding what looks like…underwear?
“Hey, Lexi. Are those for me?” I address her, as I point to the sopping wet undies. Where did she get those?
“Hey, Brent. What are you doing here? And, no, these are not for you. Well…” Lexi smirks, and holds them in my direction with her fingertips. “Unless you haven’t grown since you were ten. If that’s the case, then I’m happy to donate these to your wardrobe.”
“Ha! That’s okay. I think I’m all set. I’m here for my brother. He’s been at camp this week.” I notice she’s wearing a uniform identical to the other girl. “I didn’t know you worked here. Is that why I haven’t seen you all summer?”
I look to the brunette, now standing between Lexi and I. The brown-eyed girl hasn’t said anything. I wonder if Lexi knows her?
“Yep. It’s cool. It’s good for college apps and shows I can work well in a group environment or something like that.” Lexi continues. I keep looking to the brunette and can’t help smiling. Damn it, I’m being obvious too. “Brent, you know Ruby, right?”
“Well, I do now,” I say giving my full attention to Ruby. It’s a different sort of name and not one that sounds familiar. I could be wrong, though. “You go to Carver, right? I think I saw you at one of the basketball games last year.”
Lexi blows out an exasperated lip-vibrating breath and then begins to giggle. “She goes to Howard with us. Didn’t you know? She’s a senior too.”
Well, shit. This is embarrassing. I look over every part of Ruby’s face, from her arching brows, petite little nose, and pale pink mouth. I still can’t place her, but the fact that I go to school with her, and didn’t even know is ridiculous. How could I have missed her?
“Um, yeah,” Ruby offers a little shyly, “I moved here from Colorado during our sophomore year. I don’t think we’ve had any classes together.”
“Cool,” I say, trying to cover what an idiot I am for not recognizing someone from my own class. Turning to Lexi to take the attention away from this little awkward moment, I say, “Owen is having some people over tonight. Are you going?”
“He is?” she asks, physically jumping a bit. “Heck yeah, I’m going. I thought he was out of town with his family for the summer.”
“He was, but he came back a couple of weeks ago for summer practice. His family is still gone though. I think they’ll be back in a week.” Even though I have no idea why, I look to Ruby and ask, “Are you going?”
Ruby’s head physically pulls back a bit, like she’s in shock that I’m asking her such a thing. I wonder what that’s about?
“Sure,” she says, but she doesn’t sound ‘sure.’
I look quickly to Lexi, who is gazing over the lake, then pull my focus to Ruby and say, “Great. See you tonight. I’m heading up to the lodge to get my brother. I don’t want to be late.”
I turn away from both of them and head back down the small hill, to the path that leads to my car. Running my hand through my hair, I can’t help but think of Ruby on my short walk. I’m not too happy about how that little ‘meet’ went down…at all. Apparently, seeing a hot girl makes me an idiot. Does she really go to school with us? I need to stop thinking about her. I’m not looking, I’m not looking…but maybe that’s the point. Maybe Owen’s right and I should do the “fun thing” and check out that “sea of fish.” Ruby looks like she could be fun, but I have a feeling a girl like her is more than just someone I want take on a date. I’m not sure I need or really want the hassle of dating right now. Or that I can deal with someone who makes my heart stop when I see them and causes me to say things without thinking.
Why not, though?
Hi Renee!!! Welcome to Flirty and Dirty. Thank you so much for sharing your awesomeness today. So I’ve got a few questions for you. I think they’re relatively painless. *winks*
F and D: You recently announced that your series will cross genres over the three books and therefore cross a significant timeline for the characters age and relationship evolution. I don’t think any one has done this before. So why did you want to do this and why do you think this is important?
R E: I wish I could say that it’s something I wanted to do, like it was premeditated, but that would be false. It wasn’t until After Tuesday was sitting with my editor that I realized there was more story to tell. I was hesitant at first to make the genre and age leap with the series and characters, since it’s not something I’ve seen done before, but the idea would not leave my head. So I wrote the first chapter of Forgotten Yesterday, got some positive feedback from my amazing critique partners in regard to the direction, and knew it was the right move. I think it’s important to show character and relationship growth in a realistic fashion. Human and character development is something that I appreciate as reader, so it feels natural for me to write a series this way.
F and D: You make reference to Michael Jackson in After Tuesday, are you an 80’s pop culture fan?
R E: Not really. I grew up in the 80’s, but I think I’m more of a 90’s pop culture fan. I could watch movies like “Clueless,” “Austin Powers,” “Reality Bites,” and “Wayne’s World,” on a loop, while chewing on a giant strip of bubble tape. However, Michael Jackson’s presence is everywhere, even today and that’s why his name is referenced in the book. They actually teach the “Thriller” dance in my son’s gym class.
F and D: What does it mean to you to be an indie author?
R E: For me, it’s everything as an author. I have been a long time supporter of indie writers (for about three years they have been filling my kindle) and I’m happy to be one of them now, too. When I imagined myself as an author, I always knew the indie route was the way I wanted to go. There is so much freedom in scheduling and ideas. It’s a lot of work and sleepless nights, but I love being indie.
F and D: What is the hardest thing about being an author? What do you love most about it?
R E: I’d have to say the publishing process is the hardest. There a lot of decisions and technical things that need to be addressed along the way and the slightest hiccup can delay your book from going live. It’s a very stressful time and as a newbie, a huge learning process.
As far as what I love most…it’s the moments when I get a message from a reader who says my story touched their soul. Everything is worth that moment.
F and D: How did you come up with Tuesday’s story?
R E: Tuesday’s story started more as a character exploration. I had Ruby’s character in my mind and just wanted to learn more about her. So I started to write and VERY slowly, she began to open up to me. Honestly, I knew nothing about her or her story until I was deep into the writing process. The story came as I bled it onto the pages.
F and D: Is there any advice you would give to aspiring writers?
R E: WRITE! Open that document and write. Write on your phone, on napkins, on pieces of paper, on your hand…wherever. Share! Talk about your story with trusted friends. Give them chapters as you write them and listen to their feedback. Most importantly, write from your heart. Don’t worry about publishing or anything else. Write because you have a story to tell.
F and D: All right this wouldn’t be a flirty and dirty interview if I didn’t ask for one flirty thing about you and one dirty thing about you? *giggling*
R E: I have a sexy lingerie collection and a lot of experience handling balls. I will let you decide which is “flirty” and which is “dirty.” *winks*
Thank you so much for stopping by Flirty and Dirty. It was so much fun to spotlight your fabulous talent. We can’t wait for more of Tuesday and Brent.
Renee Ericson’s AFTER TUESDAY was a refreshing coming of age story. What I love about YA books is that there aren’t gratuitous or frivolous scenes or words to the story. An author must fill the story with heart—making the story somehow connect to the reader if not by a personal connection then by an emotional connection. Renee Ericson does this in After Tuesday. You never left wanting from this book.
I love how she treats Brent and Tuesday’s (Ruby) relationship gently almost coyly in the beginning; just what you see between two 17/18 yr. olds finding true love for the first time. Not lust, not sex, true love. They are shy, get embarrassed, and are really aware of the other person.
What was also really fresh about this book, is although Brent is a gorgeous book boy, it wasn’t his physical appearance that was always at the forefront. This made him much more swoon worthy.
Renee Ericson did a beautiful job of creating characters where you were truly able to focus on the characters and their connection to one another. It wasn’t about one character having more money or one being more broken than the other. Those elements were there but the focus was on Brent and Ruby and how they navigate their feelings for one another and discover each other. Both characters were very well done. Ruby’s home life was not over the top. In fact it is probably more the case in real life than we would like it to be. What was so well executed in this story is the problem in Ruby’s life was not made out to be anyone’s fault or broken to the point that it was ugly and irreparable. It was sad yet hopeful. Ruby wasn’t going to be left to fend for herself. Someone was always trying, including her family and her dad who was the root of the problem. This wasn’t about the main character (Ruby) having to fix the problem but allowing someone (Brent) to help shoulder the burden. All the characters recognized the problem and were going to work together to figure it out.
It was so refreshing that this story wasn’t so angst ridden either. There was enough to grab at your heart but again it let you focus on the characters and the growing affection for one another.
This was a wonderful balance of young love and self- discovery. It was fresh, sweet heart warming. I can’t wait to take the journey with Ruby and Brent. The THESE DAYS series is definitely one to become invested in. Forgotten Yesterday will be released this fall.
Forgotten Days Teaser:
“Do you like me in your shirt?” I ask friskily in his ear.
“I like you out of my shirt even better.”
“Fine.” Sitting up, I grab the hem of the shirt and pull it over my head. “You can have it back. I’ll wear something else.”
I toss the shirt, and it gently lands on his face. I begin to move off of him and the bed.
Grabbing my arm, he pulls me down and to the side. He rolls over on top of me as he moves one hand behind my head while the other grazes its way up the side of my half-naked body. Well, it’s now ninety-percent naked. I have a feeling that this thong only covers ten percent of my body. Okay, maybe it’s only three percent.
“Now, where do you think you’re going?” he asks.
“To get dressed.”
“You were already dressed.”
“Not really. You threw such a fit about wanting your shirt back.”
“No. I said I like you out of my shirt.”
“I can tell.” I hook my legs behind his back, pulling him against me. “I can tell you really like it,” I sass, referring to his hard-on.
“Yes. Thank you for stating the obvious.”
His mouth softly touches mine. With only my panties and his boxers between us, he grinds against me. I have to admit that this isn’t exactly how I expected to start my morning, but I’m not complaining.
For the whole first chapter of Forgotten Days visit Renee Ericson’s blog at…
Here is a trailer for Forgotten Days too…
Giveaway: Enter the rafflecopter to win 1 of 2 Kindle ebook copies of After Tuesday.
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