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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Read an #excerpt from Lessons Learned by @SydneyALogan




Cover links to Amazon.com

Lessons Learned

The Appalachian Heart Collection


by Sydney Logan



English teacher Sarah Bray never thought she’d return to Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event at her inner-city school leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. By returning to her roots, an older and wiser Sarah hopes to deal with the demons of her present and confront the ghosts of her past. She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. They quickly become friends—bonding through Lucas’s culture shock and their mutual desire to build new lives. When they open their wounded hearts to each other, their friendship effortlessly evolves into romance. Their love is put to the test when Matt, the quarterback of the football team, shares his deepest secret with Sarah. When the conservative community finds out, Sarah and Lucas—along with the town of Sycamore Falls—are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

Excerpt


Voices roar through the high school cafeteria as students navigate their way to the tables. The cliques are easily spotted: the jocks, the geeks, the beauty queens, the slackers . . .

Where will he sit today?

Despite the fact he’s a handsome and impeccably dressed young man, he fades into the background. Knowing it’s pointless, the girls don’t bother to look his way, and the guys deliberately avoid his eyes.

He grips his tray tightly and heads toward the corner table with the rest of the outcasts. They nod hello, but that’s the end of any real attempt at conversation. It’s an unspoken rule of sorts. This is their refuge—a tiny bit of sanctuary in the hell that is public high school—and they’re content to sit in peace.

He takes a seat, and I can see the exhaustion on his face. It’s not a weariness that comes from too many sleepless nights. This is a bone-tired fatigue no seventeen-year-old kid should ever feel.

He’s giving in.

Giving up.

In my peripheral vision, I see a senior stalk into the cafeteria. He’s tall, with deep brown eyes and jet-black hair that won’t stay in place. He’s good looking, popular, and a little conceited, thanks to his father’s wealth and status.

He has a reputation to uphold.

Rumors to squash.

A score to settle.

He pulls the silver gun out of his jacket pocket. Amid the chaos, no one notices.

I notice.

I try to run, but I’m frozen in place.

I try to scream, but there’s no sound.

The first shot rings out, and suddenly, everyone’s on the cold tile.

Tears, prayers, screams.

Another shot, and for some reason, I’m the only one who can’t move. Who can’t scream. Who can’t do anything but watch as the young man’s body slumps over his tray.

Finally, I find my voice and scream his name.

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