Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.
Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.
But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.
Cuts are deep.
Scars are left behind.
And revenge beckons.
When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.
Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it’s too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?
Wicked Restless Series, in Five Words
Fate. More than any story I’ve written, this one really centers on fate. Two people who seem destined to meet, not once, but twice. A storyline that’s built around what happens when fate takes you for a journey, life takes a turn, and fate throws things back in your face. Wicked is about how fate changes you, and it asks the question: Can you still come out as you at the end?
Survival. I think we’re all surviving something—maybe it’s our own doubts, our own fears. For Emma and Andrew, it’s circumstances beyond their control and thrown in their paths. They can either fight or let the circumstances swallow them whole.
Trust. Wicked explores what happens when trust is broken. Both MCs are put in positions where trust in each other is tested. Those moments where they each work to rebuild trust and faith for the other were some of my favorite to write.
Butterflies. I know…maybe a strange word. BUT…I really went for the butterflies with this one. Especially in Part I, Andrew and Emma’s teen years. Falling in love when you are young can be the most unbelievable rush. I wanted to bottle that up and pour it into those early pages. I hope readers feel it when they read.
Hope. I was going to make darkness the final word. But it’s not really the darkness that lives in Wicked so much as the hope still there when the darkness comes. I wrote some very hard scenes in this book, and the tone is in many ways similar to Wild Reckless. Sensitive subjects are explored and my main characters are pushed to limits—but their resiliency is only thanks to the hope they somehow find at the bottom.
Wicked Restless, the Story Behind the Story
− There is a certain scene in this book about a drink that is ordered and isn’t right when it’s delivered. There’s a very over-the-top response to this “wrong” drink. A very obnoxious Mets fan I sat close to in Citi Field over the summer directly inspired this scene.
− When Andrew and Emma meet again in college, they attend Northern Tech University in Illinois. This fictional school is a blend of Texas Tech and Northwestern.
− I love having sports aspects in my stories, and I knew I wanted to weave something into Wicked. Given where my characters live, where Andrew grew up, and the fact that he was the baby brother, hockey quickly rose to the top for him. I liked the idea of his brothers teaching him, of him surviving hard knocks on the ice. But I didn’t want him to be a star. It wasn’t right for his character to be the stud. So I made him the scrappy kind of athlete—the aggressive one who lacks finesse, but is just good enough to make the team. I loved writing him that way.
− The square dancing scene when Andrew and Emma first meet is inspired by my own seventh grade nightmare with that unit in PE. Two weeks—only once partnered with the cute boy. Longest. Two. Weeks. Ever!
− The adversity Emma faces was inspired by an NPR story I heard during a drive home many years ago. I locked it away because the story left a mark on me. When I was developing Emma’s character, she felt like the right person to bring this story’s subject to life. Vague, I know—but the reveal is too important to experience with the story. I offer more details in my acknowledgements.
− I named one of my side characters after the super nice guy at my post office who helps me package up giveaway copies to send out. He’s an older gentleman, and let’s just say the character his name was lent to does NOT match the real guyJ
− I researched college hockey schedules and practice routines by chatting with the head of Boston University’s hockey program. He was the bomb!
− In my imagination, the streets around Northern Tech University look a lot like Wrigleyville.
Ginger’s Favorite Quotes from the Wicked Restless
“I don’t know her name, and I’m not sure I’ll like her when she speaks. But I know I’ll never forget her. Her smile, however fast it comes and goes in this moment, coincides with the first full breath I’ve taken in years.”
This is a little inner dialogue Andrew has the first time he lays eyes on Emma. I love it because it isn’t insta-love. But it is insta-whoa. I think that’s what we really go through in high school. We’re too young to really understand what the attraction is we feel to someone, and we don’t know what to call it or how to quantify it. But damn do we feel it.
Her sound fades as her eyes open and her gaze meets mine.
Inches. There are inches in life. Inches that make the difference between a race, that determine your height or pants size, that might mean you make it to the train on time.
I’m living in inches right now, inches and breaths.
“I like you, Emma,” I say. My heartbeat fills my throat; I swallow and feel the heat take over my chest and arms and hands.
She doesn’t answer with words, instead letting her lashes sweep shut while I take in the dusting of freckles along her cheeks. Her lips part with a shallow breath, her bottom one trembling.
“Andrew,” she breathes out my name. It’s a whisper. Like I’m a secret.
Maybe I am.
So this is more of a really short passage, but it’s one of my favorites. I love this little moment that only lasts a handful of seconds. It practically wrote itself. I had the thought of how time passes and how close they were, and the vision of how everything looks when you’re so close to someone, about to kiss someone, but you lack the courage to do it. Inches. Slow eyelash sweeps. Lips parting. If I were filming this, the close-up would be beautiful. I swear.
“Everywhere, Emma. I. Hurt. Everywhere.”
When Andrew says this, it’s really the first glimpse he gives Emma into what’s happened to him—both physically and emotionally. It’s such a simple proclamation, but even saying it hurts him. It’s about him trusting her, but still walking this line where he blames her and can’t align the fact that perhaps he shouldn’t. It’s about more than bruises and cuts. It’s about the stuff she can’t see.
“You have no idea how you bewitch me, Emma Burke,” he says, his teeth dragging his bottom lip, his tongue caught in their snare next. “No idea.”
His eyes wander around my face, and in that instant I see it—Andrew Harper is worshiping me.
Ahhhh, that word. This quote I love simply for the word ‘bewitch.’ I stared at this moment on my screen for a good long while before the right word hit. This is a lot like that first time he saw her, but he’s older, he’s been through a journey, as has she. This moment between them needed to be more than a crush, more than just a boy thinking a girl was cute. It’s that moment on the way to being in love. Bewitched.
I spend most of the time at home alone pacing my room before leaving to pick up Emma, switching out my dark gray T-shirt for a long-sleeved black one and slipping on my gray jeans. I look like Owen when I wear this, and I think there’s a part of me that feels his confidence in my veins when I resemble him.
I love this little moment where a young Andrew is getting ready to take out a girl. He isn’t overt about how much he idolizes his brother, but he does. He admires his older brother so very much. I wanted that to come out in small hints and glimpses. He sees his brother as confident and strong, and he wants to emulate him. Sibling relationships are so vital to many of my stories—but none more than in this story.
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 http://www.littlemisswrite.com.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).
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