Welcome to the release party for Perfectly Ernest by E.J. Wesley! This is a New Adult Contemporary with romantic elements. Perfectly Ernest is now available for sale!
Title: Perfectly Ernest
Author: E.J. Wesley
Release Date: September 2014
Length: 240 pages
Genre: NA, Contemporary
Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
A gripping story of striking out and winning big.
From a distance, Ernie’s life seems perfect—he’s a star college baseball player adored by the student body and coveted by professional teams. Up close, he is a disaster. Since the death of his mother, he’s been trapped by a promise he made and forced to live her dream instead of his own. He reaches his breaking point in the biggest game of his young career and sets off a chain of events that will either define or destroy the rest of his life.
Ernie grudgingly joins a quirky campus counseling group that empowers him to heal himself and right his wrongs. By testing old friendships, forging unlikely new ones, and exploring an exciting romance, he begins to unravel the jumbled knot his tangled inner-psyche has become. But old rivals, mental illness, and the risk of a forbidden relationship soon threaten his progress. Will Ernie’s new direction and friends be his salvation, or confirmation that he is forever doomed by his imperfections?
Perfectly Ernest is a New Adult contemporary novel with romantic elements by author E.J. Wesley. Ernest offers a smart, funny, sweet, sexy, uplifting, and oftentimes poignant perspective of one person’s difficult transition into adulthood. It is a story about overcoming the demons of mental illness and struggling with the profound burden of expectations—both real and imagined. But it’s mostly a tale of friendship, hope, and love.
We made our way to the gia
nt black trashcan, strategically stationed in the middle of the yard. I plucked a soda from a nearby ice chest. Luther eyed the red brew of punch and floating fruit.
“Want some?” I asked.
“I’m not twenty-one.”
I grabbed a cup and fished some out for him. “I’m guessing you aren’t the only one. I’ll make sure you get home.”
He took a sip with a curious but satisfied smile. His nose crinkled.
“Don’t like it?”
“You kidding? It’s amazing! What’s in it?”
“Probably everything Darko had left over from his last party.” I laughed. “Be careful. It sneaks up on you.”
“Roger that.” Luther offered me a mock salute with his cup hand. “You don’t drink?”
“Not much. I tend to spend a lot of miserable time in my own head as it is. Alcohol makes it worse. And Mom said my old man had a thing for cheap whiskey. Made him mean according to her, so I figure why chance it.”
We found Junkyard and Bash watching the girls fight. Judging by the pink mustache Junk had grown, he’d been enjoying the punch, too.
Bash put his arm around my neck. “Just in time for the show, buddy.”
“Why is your shirt unbuttoned? Are those gold chains?” I swiped at Bash’s hairless chest and he ducked away.
“Chicks dig it,” Bash said, adjusting his pants so a healthy amount of boxer short peeked out the top.
“I bet.” I turned to Junk. “What’s the good word?”
“They’ve still got their clothes on.” He punched me on the arm. “This is bullshit.”
“There’s no justice,” I said and smiled. “You remember Luther?”
He hugged Luther, making his eyes bulge as he squeezed. “Welcome to fight night. How do you know my boy?”
“We bumped into each other.” Luther took a nervous sip of punch. “On campus the other day.”
Junk narrowed his eyes. “You met at the shrink?”
I nodded and swallowed an uncomfortable lump in my throat. I had no clue where Junk would take this, seeing as he didn’t think my head needed much straightening to begin with.
“That’s cool,” Junkyard said his tone thoughtful and quiet. He took a drink of his punch.
“You guys got any extra cash?” Bash poked his head between us. “I’m trying to get some bets going.”
Luther shook his head, but I fished a five out of my pocket and handed the money over. Junkyard and Bash disappeared, leaving Luther and me in silence. The girls had finished. Now, four skinny guys were going at it tag team style.
“Your buddy okay with you being in counseling?” Luther asked.
I truly wasn’t sure what it meant between Junk and me. Alone, I didn’t think he gave a damn one way or the other. But if I ever told him the truth about the game, would he see me going to counseling as an excuse? In his eyes, I could understand how it might look like I’d opted to blame my past troubles for my present problems instead of owning up to my mistake. Hell, that was how I felt half the time, which was why the need to confess to him had been weighing on me so much. Somehow, I had to make him understand that the festering wound I’d been walking around with most of my life had finally gone septic and left me crippled.
The tag team match ended abruptly when one of the competitors accidentally bloodied his opponent’s nose. The onlookers drifted away.Darko hurried onto the matt to make an announcement.
“Ladies and miscreants, gather round for the main event.”
“This should be good,” I whispered to Luther. “Wonder who the idiots are?”
“In this corner,” Darko shouted, “we’ve got The Beast of the South State Wild—and your star catcher. Behold, the Junkyard Dog.”
Junk bounced to center ring, wearing nothing but his boxer-briefs, a pair of blue inflatable boxing gloves, a carpet’s worth of hair on his barrel chest, and a gap-toothed smile. There were catcalls from some girls standing near us—a few from guys as well. Junk gave the latter a crossed-arm FU.
“Who in the hell did they convince to fight him?” I asked, already feeling sorry for the poor bastard. “Please tell me it’s not Bash. Junk can literally bench press two of him.”
I’d wrestled Junk plenty of times, goofing around. It was like fighting a sweaty boulder with a yellow Mohawk.
“I don’t know.” Luther downed the rest of his cocktail in a single gulp. “But if he’s not wearing pants either, I’m going to need another drink.”
Luther wandered away.
Darko scanned the crowd, which was growing exponentially.
“Where is he? There.” He pointed in my general direction. I took a cautious step backward.
“Hawk, get up here and face your doom.”
I held my hands up and smiled. “I don’t think so.”
Junk pointed at me with one arm and flexed his other. “Ernie, get your ass up here or I’ll drag you up by your ball hairs. These people want a show.”
Darko hopped off the ring and jogged over to me.
“That’s right, folks. We’ve got pitcher versus catcher—best friends battling to the bitter end. Place your bets.”
“I’m not doing this, Darko.” I removed his arm from around my shoulders.
Junk and I needed to talk, not fake fight. On top of that, he’d been oddly contemplative.
Something was eating him, and I guessed what it was. He wasn’t convinced I’d simply screwed up. We’d been too good of friends for too long for him not to sense that. Junk was also horrible at articulating anything remotely close to a feeling. Putting the pieces together, I figured this might be his attempt at working through this. Combined with booze and crowd of onlookers, I couldn’t think of a worse way for him to navigate his issues with me.
Bash came up behind me. He leaned in close enough to whisper in my ear. “C’mon, Ernie. People are already placing bets. I know Junk’s going to kick your ass, and you know it. But the freshman don’t. I’m going to clean up. Do it for a friend.”
Darko grinned. “We’re talking an entire semester of my parties funded, Ernie. That’s like getting free admission to an adult’s only theme park.”
I scanned the crowd. There were a lot of eyes staring at me. A lot of them were very pretty female eyes. My chest swelled. Wherever the macho switch inside my body was located, Darko had found and flicked it.
*****About the Author*****
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, there were limits on the amount and types of entertainment at my disposal. Perhaps that’s why I set my imagination free. After collecting degrees in psychology and counseling, life brought me to Missouri, Texas, and Northern California–where I currently read, write, and live. I fill my spare time playing video games, watching movies, planning for the zombie apocalypse, reading graphic novels, and playing with my dogs.
My passion for New Adult literature led me to producing the weekly New Adult Lit Chat on Twitter and contributing to the NA Alley Blog. I’m also the author of Moonsongs, a series of New Adult, urban fantasy novelettes. Find me on Twitter @EJWesley or Facebook and we’ll chat!
Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Here’s what’s in the giveaway:
- 1 New Adult sports books bundle (INT)
- 1 $15 iTunes gift credit (INT)
- 1 signed paperback copy of Perfectly Ernest + Ernest team jersey. (US)
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