Today is the release day for Natalie Whipple's latest book, SIDEKICK. I got to meet Natalie at a writing conference last year, and let me just say that she is so friendly and willing to talk to fans. And she signed my copy of HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW, which I read overnight at the conference! I love the premise of SIDEKICK, and I'm excited to share an excerpt from the book with the readers of Operation Awesome. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads list and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
Russ is a high school football player who feels like he always comes in second to his best friend, Garret. In sports. In school. With girls. Well, he's tired of it, and he gets the rather foolish idea that if he can win the heart of the new girl in town before Garret he can prove he's not just sloppy seconds.
His plan? Use his anime-obsessed sister's group, who has befriended the new girl, to get closer to her. He'd never tell the team, but he's been going to Anime Night for years and might even enjoy it. That would ruin his reputation, just like his secret love for cooking and James Taylor.
But pretending to be something you aren't catches up to you eventually, and Russ can only get away with living two lives for so long. As more than one person reveals they have something to hide, Russ must figure out what and who he really wants in his life. And more than that, he needs the courage to make it happen.
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/
He shrugs. “You hungry?”
“Of course.” Parker’s Drive-In is our place, and I mean that in the manliest way possible. Old Man Parker puts bacon grease in the burger meat, so the whole place smells like a giant slab of pig fat. There’s nothing better in the world than this homage to bacon.
Parker’s is always open, so when we pull up at midnight there are still a couple of people sitting in the bright red booths. When Garret opens the door, the cashier, Buck Parker, smiles wide. He’s the oldest of the four Parker boys. The whole family works there, and most of them are proud of it. I guess I would be too if I’d won awards for Best Drive-in Food. This place is one of the few reasons anyone comes to Clovis. The other two are family and farmers markets.
I’d never tell a soul, but sometimes I wish I could work here, even for one day, just to see how they create their burger masterpieces.
“Awesome catch, Garr!” Buck says. “If you don’t make the news, I’ll be shocked.”
Garret shakes his head, using that oh-I’m-not-so-great smile all the girls fall for. “It was just a lucky catch. Russ did all the legwork.”
I shove my hands in my pockets, trying not to be annoyed at Buck for overlooking me and my eighty-nine yards running tonight. But yards run don’t matter when you aren’t the one with the ball in the end zone. At least Garret acknowledges me. I do appreciate that.
“Way to go, Russ.” Buck glances at me with an overcompensating grin. Praise means nothing when it’s forced, so I can’t bring myself to answer. “What’ll you guys have?”
We both get two bacon burgers with a side of chili fries. Garret gets Coke, but I go for Sprite because Coke tastes maybe one degree better than beer.
We dig in, and I try not to moan over the crunchy bacon goodness. At Parker’s they chop up the bacon and make a full-on patty to go on top of the hamburger. So every single bite is full of bacon, bacon-flavored hamburger, and sharp cheddar. I have no choice but to forgive Buck for overlooking me. I bow to their burger genius.
She is the author of the TRANSPARENT series, HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW, the I'M A NINJA series, FISH OUT OF WATER, and MY LITTLE BRONY (under K.M. Hayes). In addition to that, she is on the writing team for the cRPG Torment: Tides of Numenera that should be out sometime in 2015.
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