Rivals has now been launched!
It is release week for Rivals, the sequel to Skid
Skid is available for free as an ebook in the kindle store and at other online retailers.
Rivals is available now in paperback and ebook at all good online retailers – but if you wish to buy from Amazon, just click the image you need above and it will link you to the books product page.
Excerpt from Rivals
Six days later
It’s Sunday. First race day of the season. The one day of the racing week where everything I’ve done before means absolutely nothing if I don’t perform. The one day I’m alone. No more appearances. No more team press conferences. No more race events that I have to pretend to enjoy. No more fans wanting this perfect version of Samantha Sutton that I could never be but inside their heads. It’s now my day to be selfish. To do what I want to do.
In my hotel room, I munch on some cheese curls and a banana for breakfast. Nothing heavy, only enough to get me to lunch. But I drink a ton of water because staying hydrated is so important for the race, and it’s smart to start early.
Next I take out the framed picture of me and my dad, the one I always carry when I’m on the road. It was taken years ago when I first started racing karts. I was so shy then. Seriously. Look at that twelve-year-old girl. The way her smile and shoulders droop. The way she sticks her skinny arms close to her body. Even in a tough-looking racing suit she was so unsure of herself and needed a great dad to boost her confidence. Dad has his arm around me, and the pride on his face is priceless. I miss those bushy eyebrows and that large chin.
I like looking at this picture before every race. I want to remind myself who I owe this incredible gift to. And it is a gift. I’m not talking about racing cars. I’m talking about Dad’s gift of confidence in myself. I would never, ever be doing this if Dad didn’t believe in his shy daughter.
The next thing I do as part of my race-day ritual is paint my nails. I grab the silver nail polish and start on my toes first. I know. I’m weird. But ever since I started racing, I would always paint my nails the same color as my race car. So far it’s been a good luck charm.
An hour later, I drive to the Albert Park racing circuit with Paige. I step into the garage and talk with Scott and Maurice about the car.
Manny joins us. He smiles and I melt.
He assures me that his new transmission checks out fine. But all I can think about is that garden in Jerez. I just realized I haven’t talked to Manny at all this week. It’s not like I avoided him. But I needed one of those I’m-pissed-off-now-so-leave-me-alone moments after he told me about Hanna.
I’m still not cool with him talking to his ex-girlfriend, but am I too paranoid? Manny would never do anything to hurt me. Not knowingly, anyway. When Hanna came to see him that night, Manny was kind to her because he’s a kind and gentle person who’s more compassionate than me.
I couldn’t see that at first. Hanna was his first girlfriend, so of course I felt threatened. Manny probably sees Hanna as someone he can help. That’s what so different about the boy. Being around Manny will make me a better person. And I want to be better. I want to be kinder and more compassionate. I would love those great things about Manny to rub off.
I hope he’s not mad at me for basically ignoring him this week.
Manny knows you’re a driver, Samantha. He knows what kind of schedule you have.
I know. I should stop worrying about it. Manny will always be there for me.
“Do you want to be left alone now?” he asks.
Scott and Maurice talk about something else. Our little pre race conference is done. A part of me doesn’t want Manny to leave. But I still need to do my warm-up exercises. And all the drivers will be gathering soon to take a lap around the circuit to see the fans. Then I have to eat lunch and begin to focus on the race.
Reluctantly, I nod.