A Life of Inches
by Douglas Esper
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Ryan Kelly and Woodie Wodyzewski always fight for every inch.
Whether on the baseball diamond, the basketball court, or even the dance floor, these two friends are true competitors.
When Ryan beats Woodie in a bike race because Woodie has the misfortune to be hit by a car, he seems to have won. But the beautiful girl who crashes into their lives is worth far more than any trophy.
Molly De Leon knows all about winning, and nothing will keep her from her goals.
Ryan and Woodie have been vying for Molly since the day they met. How can she possibly choose between them?
Woodie has a complicated family situation and she desperately wants to help him through his misery and confusion. A little on edge with a temper, he’s the bad boy in her life who reminds Molly a lot of her mother, a powerful politician she’s grown up watching bend men and women to her will with a simple smile.
Ryan, on the other hand, is very close to his parents, grounded, and has a good sense of humor. He’s not your typical jock; he’s a safe, reliable pick, and a constant in Molly’s life—that is, until his injuries lead him down a destructive path.
Molly realizes it’s time to make a decision…
But how can she risk losing either one of them when they both own a piece of her heart?
Mogwai: Friend of the Night
Explosions In the Sky: Welcome, Ghosts
Cloudkicker: Sky Guide
Indoria: What I Feel (feat. Chuck Mosley)
Russian Circles: Geneva
Crosses: The Epilogue
If These Trees Could Talk: They Speak With Knives
Tim Barry: Church of Level Track
Boards of Canada: Dayvan Cowboy
Portishead: The Rip
Emeralds: Double Helix
Infinite Number of Sounds: Artificial Light
The Swell Season: Falling Slowly
Pushing with all of my strength, I extend my arms another an inch as I think of Molly, of Woodie, and about pitching a baseball. Another surge of effort, another inch, but the thoughts fueling my workout remain the same. I think of her. I think of him. I think about baseball.
Ho Ban, my team’s trainer, says, “A little faster, now.”
Separating myself from the stench of the padded floor, I push as I kiss Molly. Another push and I strike out Woodie.
I grunt, attempting to ignore the dull ache in my arm growing sharper with each rep, but I don’t allow any sign of self-doubt to show on my face. I’m not going to let anything stand between myself and the Triple-A Championship tonight.
“Ryan, keep your back straight. I don’t want to see you favoring your right side anymore.”Ho, a former baseball star from South Korea, is one of only three people in the organization aware of my shoulder issue from college.
“Embrace the pain, Ryan,” he says. “Embrace the pain and rise above it.”
I think about Molly, and I push faster.
The sweat feels good, the warmth of motion feels good, and, to be honest, even the pain feels good. Woodie, here I come.
Ho says, “Good. Good. That’s better.”
It’s still early in the day, yet I’ve been training for over an hour to prepare for tonight’s big game. Quickening my pace, my arms grow weak and a little shaky.
Ho says, “Ok, that’s enough.”
I ignore him and keep pushing.
Ho claps his hands, the sound echoing around the empty gym. “We get it. You’re capable of a massive amount of very fast push-ups, but you’re not going to win us the game at 7 in the morning.”
Making baseball a career requires a knack for swinging a stick of wood and hitting the ball screaming toward you at high speed, but keeping a routine can prove just as important a skill. The ability to grind it out day after day, night after night, small-town city after small-town city is what separates the successful players from the ones you’ve never heard about.
Tonight, I’ll be facing off against my best friend and oldest rival, Hank “Woodie” Wodyzewski.
I push, and I ache.
About the Author
It was at a very early age when I, Douglas Esper, (your friendly neighborhood author) realized I had a passion for the written word. As a youngster, I couldn’t get enough books to satisfy my desire to read and to this day, I still own many books my parents got for me. In school I gravitated toward reading and writing to the point teachers grew impatient with me for writing stories in class.
The passion and drive to read and write continues to this day and my goal of feeling comfortable in my own writing skin seems within reach. I’ve self-published 2 picture books for kids, Sammy’s Birthday Surprise and The Mystery of the Flying Tomatoes, a few short stories, and my debut novel, A Life of Inches, will be released by Limitless Publishing spring of 2015.
I live in North Ridgeville, Ohio, just west of Cleveland, with my wife, our kids, and that meddlesome dog.
I’m currently falling in love with David Fulmer books, and also enjoying the latest Les Roberts mystery novel. If I’m not reading or writing you can find me watching the Cleveland Browns losing on Sunday, writing music with my band, or observing my kids doing cute, and usually messy, stuff.
Hope this helps you learn a bit about me, but now it’s your turn…introduce yourself!