55. WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT – New Adult Contemporary Romance


Mentor Name: Jennifer Blackwood

Mentee Name: Esher Hogan


Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Word Count: 74,000


After her boyfriend dies, 19-year-old Scarlet leaves Seattle for college in Iowa. Moving on is easier when she meets greaser Dex, but when she learns he’s keeping a secret about his health, Scarlet must decide if she can survive another relationship with a boy living on the edge of death.


Hot as balls.

Summer in Iowa is: Hot. As. Balls. And I don’t even have any, so it isn’t even fair for me to make that comparison. But if I had ’em, they’d be sweaty.

A month in Iowa and I should know by now that wearing a gray t-shirt on humid day like today is an awful idea, my mistake now evidenced by the damp circles taking up residence around my pits. As I trudge across campus, I pause to readjust the folding table under my arm, grimacing in disgust as the wet fabric sticks to my skin. Judging by the looks from the students parting like the Red Sea as I pass them, I may as well be carrying a watermelon into a party of dirty dancers. So I shift the cardboard box and poster board sign in my other arm, channeling my innermost Frances “Baby” Houseman.

The weight of the box shifts, and my arms flail in a futile attempt to catch it before it flops to the ground. Pamphlets smack against the pavement as the card table hammers my bare toes and the fold-up camping chair slung on my shoulder swings around and wallops me in the chest.

Son of a…

Hopping around on one foot, I attempt to scoop the brochures now blowing across the lawn. They float in slow motion, like seeds from a dandelion propelled into the wind, but I’m not making a dent in Mother Nature’s cruel game of fifty-two card pickup.

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