Thank you for joining us in the promotional event for Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith
Publicity. Be sure to check out all the great posts and enter the tour giveaway!
I don’t know what makes me do it. In fact, I don’t know why I am the way I am with Owen. I’ve been careful and timid and obedient my entire life, my only mission to please everyone—please my father, Chen, my mother, my friends, my teachers. Please, please, please, please, please. That’s all I do. And all it’s done for me is land me in Woodstock, away from my friends and the senior year I was expecting to have. I’m not pleasing Owen Harper, too. So I stand with my tray and raise my arm slowly by my side, my eyes zeroed in on his until I’m pointing at him. I close one eye and cock my head slightly to the right, like I’m making sure I have him in my sights—and then I pull the trigger.
“Jesus H Christ, Kensi! What’s wrong with you?” Willow asks. She pulls my arm back down, but I keep my eyes on Owen, staring into his gray-blue eyes—eyes that look like a wolf’s. “What are you doing?”
“I’m starting a war, Willow,” I say, my heart speeding up and my breath growing more ragged as reality catches up with me.
I’m starting a war with a guy who doesn’t lose; a guy who doesn’t play by the rules.
A guy who scares me, and who knows where I sleep at night.
Excerpt TwoI dodge backpacks and elbows through the busy hallway until I see the glass door of the principal’s office swing open, Owen stepping through, his own pink slip crumpled in his hand, his eyes still dark, angry.
“Are you okay?” I ask, walking up to him, my steps coming quicker. He grabs my hand fast, his grip on my fingers tight, almost painful, and pulls me behind him through the thick crowd in the hall until we reach the back door, near the loading zone for the cafeteria. He pushes down hard, forcing the door open, then pulls my arm, leading me around a corner to a line of recycling bins.
“I’m so sorry…” I start, but Owen’s hands find me fast, his fingers wrapping around my shoulders, his force moving me back until I’m flush with the wall, and then his lips crash down on me.
His hands slide from my shoulders to my neck and into my hair, his mouth covering mine as if he needs my air to breathe, and he closes the small distance between us, the warmth and hardness of him pressing into my body, my hands operating on their own instinct, finding his sides and back until I’m clinging to him, grabbing bunches of his black sweatshirt all at once.
Owen’s hand moves to his head while he’s kissing me, and he tosses his hat to the ground to the side of us, and I let my fingers move to his hair, weaving the strands in and out, letting the softness of them curl around me.
This is the best kiss of my life. Every kiss with Owen has been the best kiss of my life. But this one—it’s full of something more. His lips work mine for long seconds, his tongue passing over mine slowly, his teeth dragging over my bottom lip, my top lip, tugging on me and pulling me into him even deeper. I can feel his heartbeat through his shirt, and I let my hands roam over his chest and around his back again, the feel of him exactly as it is every time I dream.
“You’re a virgin, right?” Owen says, his question surprising me, igniting a fire over my face and making me feel sick and fearful and wonderful all at once. His smile is soft, and he’s not making fun of me, but I’m somehow ashamed that I don’t know what to do, that I’m inexperienced.
“I am. I’m sorry,” I say, and he lowers his head with a small laugh. When he lifts to look at me again, he lowers himself, resting the weight of his body on top of mine, the heat of his skin covering me, warming me completely, and all my breasts want is the feeling of his skin against them, no more barriers in between.
“Kens, don’t apologize. It makes you beautiful. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t make any assumptions, to make sure I treat you…right,” he says, his lips kissing me softly, and then gliding down my chin and neck as he raises himself over me again. He pauses when his mouth is right between my breasts, resting his chin on the center clasp of my bra, and he looks up at me, waiting for me to tell him it’s okay to move forward.
I nod slightly, biting my lip and closing my eyes, arching my back, wanting to press into him harder. Owen’s teeth grip the clasp in the center of my bra, and I don’t know if he’s torn it open or managed to unhook it, but I feel the lacey material begin to slide open, releasing the tension over my breasts, but keeping my nipples covered. The sensation of his tongue on the curve of my breast drives the arch in my back deeper, causing the material of my bra to completely fall to the sides. The cool rush of air on my nipples leaves them feeling hungrier somehow, and I look down, my eyes meeting Owen’s, his sexy smile paused right above one of the peaks. I watch as he leans down, his eyes on mine the entire time, his tongue reaching out and taking a taste of my body, the hardness of my nipple responding with shivers across my skin.
Oh. My. God.
Wild Reckless, in Five Words
Hard – This story is very much about making hard choices. Each character, even those who are on the side, is faced with life-altering decisions—be it how to react in the face of a nightmare or how to balance responsibility with the freedom that is supposed to come with being young.
Real – I have this word taped on a Post It to my computer. I have had it there since I sat down with my very first novel. It is something I aim for with every piece I write. I want to create stories that are real, and sometimes that means going places that are ugly, having people do things that are ugly, hurtful and just plain messed up. But that’s real, and I think seeing characters overcome in spite of it—in the face of all that real shit that life throws at you—that can be inspiring.
Dark—This story is my darkest yet, and that very well may be because of one of the other words—real. There are times where Owen and Kensi are both tested with some severe tragedies, but I don’t think the book shows anything that doesn’t play out in real life in towns, in homes and in young hearts around America. I wanted this story to shed light on some very heavy subjects: mental health and a pretty sub-standard system for dealing with it, suicide and addiction. It’s hard to do that honestly and not paint a bleak picture. But there are stars in this dark sky. I made sure of that.
Trust—I was tempted to say love here, but this book is more than love; it’s about trust and the complete loss of this essential belief. Without trust, love dies—it can’t fly. And these characters are on the brink of losing trust in everything until they find each other.
Hopeful—In the end, this story offers hope that even when things are at the very worst, there is light in darkness. There is hope if we choose to see it, and there is love if we decide to take the chance.
Fun Facts about Wild Reckless
- I set this book in Woodstock, Illinois for two enormous reasons. One, my husband is from that neck of the woods, and the way he talks about this town is exactly the feeling this book needed. I’ve been there, soaked it in, loved it and could feel Woodstock in my bones when I wrote. As much as I want the characters to come alive in this story, I hope the town does too. I hope it lives and breathes and evokes every sense in the reader. And the second reason is John Hughes. He filmed here a lot—here and around the area—and that man’s movies pretty much set the foundation for my adolescence.
- Phantom Ant is mentioned once in the book. This is a little inside joke between my husband and I that started with one of those itches you get on your leg or foot, the ones that feel like an ant but are nothing. We call them phantom ants, and the first time we said that, we thought it would be a hell of a band name. In Reckless, the dream is realized.
- The tone of this book, more than any other, was influenced by the music I was listening to at the time. There’s a Spotify playlist for it, and I encourage readers to give it a listen while they read: https://play.spotify.com/user/thegingerscott/playlist/5GRMsCTjJ9fk5Zm5GZWPc4
If you don’t do Spotify, just embrace the band War on Drugs and you’ll get a really good sense of the mood.
- Sometimes I write all day, and sometimes it’s mostly in the afternoons. This book—it happened at night, often late at night. It needed that.
- Kensi plays the xylophone in this story, and so did I in high school. When it comes to band geek lore, I know what I’m talking about 😉
- I love NCAA hoops, as does the hubby. There was a lot of debate over colleges that would fit the Owen Harper style of play in our house.
- In my journalism days, I covered the police beat for a while. I was privy to a lot of drug and gang research and some up-way-too-close-and-personal autopsy experiences. I got to put a lot of that to work in Reckless.
her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone
with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the
best music programs in the world.
tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken
from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an
existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside,
leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one
whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.
that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined
with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any
future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble,
is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it
held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy
who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully
balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good
things…things to admire.
Scott is a writer and journalist from Peoria, Arizona. Scott has been writing and editing for
newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the
stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and
towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that
she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop
flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona
Diamondbacks. Scott is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU
(fork ’em, Devils).