I am trilled to submit my entry to The Writers Voice!
Dear Writers Voice coaches,
Home Field is a sweet, adult contemporary romance with a sports and military theme, complete at 75,000 words
One year after her husband was killed in action, Julie Ellis is living back in her hometown of Timber Lake, Wisconsin. Looking for a fresh start, her focus is on raising her young son, while fighting to uncover the truth about John’s death in Afghanistan. So, when she attends a military appreciation banquet, Julie is caught off guard by her attraction to Reagan Harrison – a cocky, charming pro-football linebacker. As she begins to fall for Reagan, there’s one big problem…she’s still in love with her late husband.
Reagan Harrison enjoys a successful profession football career, and all the benefits of being a rich and famous bachelor. When he’s introduced to Julie Ellis, he finds every excuse in the book to spend time with her – along with her cute kid. His self imposed rules… avoiding commitment and never dating single a mother…get tossed out the window. Reagan begins to envision a future with Julie, even though he senses her first loyalty might not be to him.
As their relationship becomes more serious, Julie acknowledges that her feelings for her dead husband may always eclipse her love for Reagan. Because of his pride, Reagan walks away from not only Julie but from her son, the kid he’d grown to think of as his own. Julie’s left with a choice – continue to keep her heart closed off, or remove the lock and fight for a second chance at true love.
This story entwines two timelines: the romance of Julie and Reagan, and the past POV of John in the days leading up to his death, which unite in an emotional end. I believe it would appeal to fans of Nora Robert’s The Next Always and Nicholas Sparks’ Dear John.
First 250 words:
Four hundred and eighty four. That number cycled through Julie’s mind in cadence with her footfalls as she pushed her weary body toward home. Four hundred and eighty four days ago, Julie Ellis had answered the door to two uniformed casualty notification officers. Every day since, she’d spent in a strange limbo, not dead herself, but not truly living either. She’d woken up that morning with a strange desire to go for a run…it was time to see if she could feel again.
Just as she couldn’t imagine taking one more step, she stumbled up to her front door and stepped into the refreshing, cool air of her house. Her body screamed that running today might have been the world’s dumbest idea. But as dumb ideas go, agreeing to attend the banquet tonight with a bunch of pro-football players tipped the scales.
A shiver of exhaustion ran up her body. The late July heat and humidity extracted its revenge on anyone who dared to be outside. That ‘easy’ three mile run had quickly turned into a struggle on her out of shape legs. She felt as wobbly as a newborn calf. Running used to be fun. Now, it served as a punishment. But then again, that was kind of the point.
Her self inflicted misery only went so far though, because today she’d avoided going anywhere near Cottonwood Field. As she wiped sweat off her brow, an image materialized in her mind, of wildflowers mixed with the sweetness of first love. Cottonwood Field would have to wait. That would be a visit for another day, when her heart could handle the memories.