The Hard Count by Ginger Scott ~ Excerpt, Teaser & Giveaway (@TheGingerScott, @wordsmithpublic)

Ginger Scott is one of those authors I need to read! This latest release of hers sounds amazing, and will certainly take my emotions on a roller coaster ride!
The Hard Count
Title: The Hard Count
Author: Ginger Scott
Genre: Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Published: July 15th 2016
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Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.

West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.

I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.

When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.

I bounce on my toes, and I feel my cheeks ache from smiling, but in the middle of it all, I think of Nico. The field is too far for me to hear them, but every now and then I catch a glimpse of their forms running in the dim lights, until the fireworks signal our field goal and the crowd erupts. Nico and his friends don’t even pause—their own game far more important as the ball sails farther than any throw I’ve ever seen leave my brother’s grip, landing easily into the hands of the boy who teased me several minutes ago.
Some game, huh Reagan?” Jimmy says, headphones around his neck as he clears out of the press box area and walks down the bleachers to join the rest of the team and coaching staff in the locker room.
I rarely respond, mostly because I don’t trust him. This is normally the time when I go find my friend Izzy and skim off her nachos and steal half of her drink that she’s tried to hide—though not too well—on the small table right in front of the bleachers. Izzy’s a cheerleader, but she went out of town for the weekend with her grandparents, leaving right after school. I climb down the few steps from the top of the press box and glance out at the crowd, most people making breaks for the restrooms and concession area. My mom is already on her phone, and her friends are all chatting around her. I could sit with these women, who I don’t necessarily like, for twelve minutes, but instead, I find my feet carrying me down the back steps of the bleachers and out into the darkness where boys wearing nothing but muddied jeans and skin are still battling hard.
I walk along the far end, the action currently on the opposite side of the field, and slide to a sitting position on the cool, damp grass that slopes down. I bend my legs and wipe the pieces of cut crass from the backs of my thighs and test my denim shorts to see how wet they are. Satisfied it won’t leave too much of a wet mark, I bring my arms around my knees and balance my camera on top, flipping open the viewfinder and zooming in as tight as I can. At first, I can’t see much—the light too little—but as the action comes closer, my camera takes more in, and when the boys are yards away from me, I can clearly make out their faces.
Nico’s friend—the talkative one—waves at me, but I don’t wave back. I’m not part of the story. I hold my camera on him until I’m forgotten again, and the plays become all that matter. There are only eight of them down there, enough to play a small pickup game, to pass and run, but the longer I watch, the more I realize how very little Nico needs. He moves like Noah. His feet fall back naturally, and he glides out of the reach of his friend who dives at him, shaking off a tackle with no help from pads or a uniform. When his friend comes at him again, he shirks him off once more, twisting and sprinting to the opposite side, giving his receiver enough time to make it to the corner of their makeshift end zone marked with discarded shirts, skateboards, bikes and hats.
I watch through the safety of my camera lens, his arm coming back, his bicep coiling, his arm strong as it rushes forward, sending the ball racing into his receiver’s waiting hands. I don’t even notice I’m standing at first, but when I do, I stay on my feet, watching these eight boys celebrate together in a way that seems so much more important than what happens behind me. Under the lights, where a band plays and thousands cheer, hands get slapped and choreographed routines play out for attention while wealthy people keep tabs for bragging rights at weekend parties. Here, in the dark and forgotten field in a game that doesn’t matter to anyone, something beautiful plays out.
Brotherhood. Honor. Tradition.
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger 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

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. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, 
$10 Amazon gift card
Open International

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