Shoulder Pads and Flannel, Deep Secrets and Hope Book 2, Harmony Ink Press, June 2014
Fallen Angel Reviews gives Shoulder Pads and Flannel 5 halos and says, “It was inspiring how the boys and their friends banded together to support each other.”
Top2Bottom Reviews gives Shoulder Pads and Flannel 5 stars and says, “This book follows the two boys through the changes, struggles and passion of being two teenage boys in high school. I LOVED IT!”
High school football star Guillermo Garcia can count himself among the popular kids—for now. Although he secretly dates Evan Granger, who is openly gay and badly bullied for it, Guillermo doesn’t dare let his teammates, classmates, or close-knit family learn about his sexuality.
But Guillermo witnessed an attack on Evan, and now the school bullies plan to out Guillermo in retaliation. In their small town, word spreads rapidly, so Guillermo must make a quick choice—come out now on his own or risk having someone else do it for him.
The next morning, things seemed completely normal. Ernesto didn’t say anything to me before we left for school. I didn’t say anything to him either. We usually got along pretty well, but sometimes things went sour. Eventually we’d sort it out.
Unless he had anything to do with the texts and threats, in which case I’d sort him out in a way he wouldn’t be very happy about.
Evan was at the donut shop with everyone else when I walked in before school. He moved over on the bench seat to make room for me and took a blue phone out of his pocket. “I have a new phone.”
“I see. It matches your boa.” I grinned despite my foul mood. Evan was smiling, and I liked seeing it.
“I should bling this sucker out.” He keyed in a number, and my phone pinged. “There. Now you have the new number. Just make sure no one else finds it out.”
“I’ll guard it with my life.” I took out my phone to read the message he’d sent, but all it said was hi. “I tried calling you last night.”
“We went out to buy my phone.” He stuck it back into his coat pocket.
“The football team’s going to suck this weekend, huh?” Chet, one of the drama guys, said from his seat at the next table. “Missing five players?”
I tensed. Of course I couldn’t even get through coffee without someone bringing up the stupid team. I’d have to hear about it at school, though, so I decided I might as well deal with it now. “We’re going to be fine. We have enough men, and our best players will be on the field because they’re smart enough not to get kicked off.”
“Tyler’s my cousin.” Nathan had his arm around Holly on the other side of the table from Evan and me. They’d gone to Homecoming together, but I hadn’t realized they were together. “He’s an idiot.”
Evan laughed, but he sounded nervous and his body was shaking a little. “Yeah, well, there are a lot of idiots at that school.”
“You and I are cool,” Nathan said quickly. He must have caught the break in Evan’s voice too. “Tyler has no right saying anything to you. But he said it wasn’t his idea. He was just playing along, he said.”
“Playing?” Holly narrowed her eyes. “He knows damn well what happened to Evan. I don’t care if it was his idea or not, you don’t do that to people. He’s an ass, and he’d better keep away from my cousin and me if he knows what’s good for him.”
“Easy.” Nathan hugged her with the one arm he had around her. “Like I said, he’s an idiot. The cops scared him. I don’t think he’ll be so stupid again.”
“He wouldn’t tell them who else had anything to do with it,” I said. “That’s what they told us. So we don’t know who to watch out for or if we have to worry about everyone. Or if he’s lying about it not being all his idea.”
“I’ll see if I can find anything out,” Nathan said. “It isn’t right, okay? I don’t like the way they treat Evan. I don’t care if Tyler’s my cousin, he’s doing stuff he shouldn’t be doing. I think he deserved to get kicked off the team.”
“Except our team’s having the best season ever, and now it’s ruined,” Chet said.
“That isn’t anyone’s fault besides the guys who got kicked off,” I snapped. “You keep in mind, no one forced them to be jackasses. No one made them threaten Evan or hurt him, and no one else better do it. If you know anyone who’s sending messages or whatever, say something now.”
“How would I know?” Chet’s voice squeaked a little. He was afraid of me, which didn’t bother me much. If common decency and common sense didn’t keep people from hassling Evan, maybe fear would.