Sneak Peek Saturday: Something Like Normal

Something Like Normal
By: Trish Doller

Pub date: June 19th, 2012

A powerful debut novel about a young Marine's return home from Afghanistan and the new life and love he finds while fending off the ghosts of war.

When Travis Stephenson returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are on the brink of divorce, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and his car, and nightmares of his best friend getting killed keep him completely spooked. But when he runs into Harper Gray, a girl who despises him for trashing her reputation with a middle school lie, life actually starts looking up. As Travis and Harper see more of each other, he starts falling for her and a way through the family meltdown, the post-traumatic stress, and the possibility of an interesting future begins to emerge.

His sense of humor, sense of his own strength, and incredible sense of honor make Travis an irresistible and eminently lovable hero in this fantastic and timely debut novel.

 Chapter One 

At the end of the concourse I can see a few kids from the high school marching band playing the Marines Hymn and a couple old guys--their blues straining at the waist--acting as an unofficial color guard. Jesus Christ, please tell me my mom didn't hire a band.

Mom's arms are stretched wide, holding a sign painted in cheerleader-bright colors that says Welcome Home, Travis! Tied around her wrist are the strings to a metric shit-ton of helium balloons. It's bad enough I have to come back to Fort Myers. This is worse. I can't pretend this whacked-out welcome wagon is for anyone else. I was the only Marine on the flight.

The sign crackles, crushed between us as my mom flings her arms up around my neck, standing on tiptoe to reach. Balloons drift down and bump softly against the top of my head. There is a year-and-a-half's worth of hugging in this one embrace, and I get the feeling that if it was an option, she'd never let me go again.

"Thank God you're home," she whispers against my chest, her voice breaking with tears. "Thank God you're alive."

I feel like shit. Partly because I don't know what to say, but mostly because I'm alive. "It's good--" The lie sticks in my throat and I have to start again. "It's good to be here..."

Sounds like a wonderfully touching novel with elements that I always enjoy and appreciate such as family dynamics and romantic relationships to name a couple. To read the remainder of the excerpt you may do so here. For more information on author Trish Doller you may access her website and/or blog. :)


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