Hi guys, we have Ryan Loveless popping in today with her upcoming YA release Ethan, we have a brilliant guest post from Ryan and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~
Carter Stevenson is looking forward to a fresh start in a new high school on the other side of the country. It’ll give him a chance to escape his reputation for twitching and stuttering. He’ll have the summer to himself in his new home in California, and in the fall, he won’t get involved in any activity that puts his Tourette’s center stage. He won’t stand out as different.
But his new neighbor, Ethan, isn’t just going to change his plans. He’s going to change Carter’s life.
Ethan Hart is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, but it doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm or love for life. As soon as he sees Carter, who moves like the music Ethan sees between the clouds and the grass, he’s determined to become his friend, and then his boyfriend. And even if his parents say their romance can’t get physical, Ethan won’t let it stand in the way of falling in love.
Stepping into the spotlight was the last thing Carter ever wanted, but Ethan, along with a group of friends who like him just the way he is—tics and all—starts to change his mind.
Adapted as a YA edition of the award-winning novel Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless.
Hello everyone. Thank you to MM Good Book Reviews for hosting me today. I’m excited to talk about “Ethan”, which is a YA re-envisioning of “Ethan, Who Loved Carter.” From the moment that book came out, I had parents saying to me, “Hey, I love this book but I really wish you would do a version I could share with my teen.” I thought about it for a long time, wanting to do it, but not sure how.
I knew I wanted to have Ethan and Carter actually be teens and to do the rewrites with that in mind, rather than just remove the sex scenes from the adult version. The trouble was, I didn’t know much about teens and even less about parenting teens. In “Ethan”, I intended for Carter’s parents to come in and be a big part of the story, and Ethan’s reduced age would also affect how they parented him. I spent a long time on the phone with my amazing friend Sheri. She made me feel really comfortable with my plans and had great advice stemming from her life experience.
The ironic thing is that now I have a job in which I’m surrounded by teens all day every day, but I still know I couldn’t have written “Ethan” without Sheri’s help! So here it is, my re-imagining of “Ethan, Who Loved Carter.” What would have happened if they met in high school? I hope you enjoy it!
For school being “out,” the hallway was still semifull. Mostly the kids hanging around didn’t pay attention to me. Until I barked. Then every head swung my way. I dropped my gaze to the white mottled linoleum floor and counted out the tiles to my locker. I’d have to memorize the path all over again at the new school. Here, I knew how to get everywhere without looking at anyone.
“Carter.” A pair of worn black Keds appeared in front of me. I kept walking and purposely bumped into John’s shoulder. He grabbed me. “Dude.”
John was a hugger. There was nothing to do but give in. By the time he let me go, I had his hoodie’s zipper imprinted on my cheek. “What are you doing here? You’re totally ruining your exit, you know.”
“I forgot my homework,” I said.
He grinned. “You came back for it? Teacher’s pet.”
I mock punched him. “Takes one to know one.”
He turned with me and started walking alongside. I watched in my peripheral vision as he squared his shoulders into bodyguard stance. John looked like he played football, but actually he hated sports. His big high school dream was to be president of the AV club. That didn’t stop Coach Bellew from trying to recruit him for the varsity team. John got a lot of shit too, mainly from players on that shitty team, who thought he was holding out on them. Like his not being on the squad was the only reason they kept losing.
“You know Mr. Bellew tried to tell me if I played football, I could get a full scholarship to UT? I told him I got one anyway with my GPA,” John said. “Honestly, dude, why is it so hard to believe that a six-foot-three, two-hundred-pound, seventeen-year-old black dude has no interest in a sport that requires me to squeeze into tight pants and crash into people?” He thumped his chest. “I’m a peaceable man.”
“I know,” I said. We’d reached my locker. He leaned against the one next to it. I spun my combination lock. “So how many acceptance letters did you get this week? You have to decide sometime, you know. These schools won’t wait forever. You’re a senior.”
“You want to come over?” John asked, ignoring my question as usual. Mr. King of the Last Minute. “I got a new gaming system.”
“My mom’s waiting in the car, so I guess I can’t.” My hand flipped out and hit the locker by John’s ear. He didn’t flinch. “Sorry,” I said, and he frowned at me. He didn’t like it when I apologized.
The thing with Tourette’s is, sometimes you feel the tics coming and sometimes you can’t. The ones you can feel are usually pretty big. Sometimes I can channel them into something less noticeable. Like, I turn my head jerking into kicking my foot out. But if you do that too much, basically your body gets mad, and next thing you know, you’re locked in a bathroom stall letting every limb fly until your body wears itself out. Then there’s the little stuff, like the constant blinking. I can’t control that. Most of the time, I don’t even know I’m doing it except for people staring at me.
I finished loading my book bag. “So, I guess we’re moving. Mom and Dad told me when I got home.”
“Serious? Because of this?”
“Dad’s job. We’re going to California.”
“By the ocean?” John asked.
“I’m not sure. Some place called Santa Josephina.”
John looked delighted and smug. “I bet every California town is on the ocean. I mean, it would have to be. It’s a super narrow state.”
“Uh.” For all I knew, he was right.
“When are you leaving?”
“As soon as school’s out.”
“So in two weeks?”
He sighed. “That sucks, man.”
I slammed my locker door. “You know what sucks? Today. Today sucked. It was the cap of four years of suck. I can’t wait to get out of here.”
John looked hurt.
“I don’t mean you.”
“I know. Come on, I’ll walk you out.” He resumed the bodyguard stance, and I started counting tiles again.
Mom wasn’t at the van. I cupped my hands to my forehead and leaned into the window for a closer look, as if she’d decided to hide.
“Was that a tic or a legit swear?” John asked.
I glared at him. “I don’t have copralalia. When I swear, it’s intentional.”
He put his hands up. “Hey, man, I don’t know what your new developments are. You had that whole biting phase, so it never hurts to ask.” He rubbed his shoulder, no doubt remembering my teeth marks.
I grimaced. John had been really understanding that week. “You think she’s in with Mrs. Philips? Oh, man.” I slumped against the minivan. We were down to the last days of school and Mom was in there “taking up for me.” I was so screwed.
“Hey, maybe she’s just talking about the move,” John said.
I gave him a feeble smile and slapped the car window. One, two, three times before my hand flew up and I smacked my own face. Standard tic, but right then it felt appropriate.
Ryan Loveless has been writing since she could read and has always drifted toward M/M because she enjoys the relationship dynamics. Ryan Loveless is a farmer’s daughter. She has a BA in English from a private college in Illinois and a master’s degree in library and information science with an archival certificate from a university in New York. Raised in a conservative family, she was shocked and relieved when her coming out was largely uneventful. She has been writing since she could read and has always drifted toward M/M because she enjoys the relationship dynamics. It’s possible that her first story was about GI Joe. She wishes she still had that story.