EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Old Creek Bridge
by Sarah Kettles
The Old Creek Bridge is the debut novel by Sarah Kettles. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.
When Jack Snyder was forced at age ten to deal with the tragic and explosive death of his moonshine-making grandaddy, he didn't. Instead, he became a self-made pariah, keeping only his monstrous temper for company.
Now plagued by shame and a desperate desire to escape his small town, Jack lashes out at everyone. Everyone, that is, but his high school English teacher, his mama, and the adorable Kelly Green. Through a combination of academic success and the support of these three women, Jack pushes aside his emotional volatility and - much to Kelly's chagrin - finds a way to escape: college.
That is, until his daddy gets sick. Jack is forced to surrender his dreams of escape and rely on the most unlikely of helpers, the only other person in town with a reputation as bad as his: his grandaddy's common-law wife. With the town now truly rejecting him, he's left with one choice: confront his hatred of home and the self-loathing that led to it, or spend the rest of his sorry life alone.
Matthew always made fun of me for taking baths, but I didn’t have a choice. We didn’t have no shower, just a bathtub.
Matthew said it was girly, only girly girls took baths, not boys. Partly I didn’t care—I sort of liked baths, ‘cause they was kinda like swimming in your own house—but it also made me mad. It was the same as the boys at school teasing him for having red hair, which made him mad; he couldn’t do nothing about it, so why make fun of him? But he didn’t see it that way, so he called me a sissy.
I dumped half a bottle of Ma’s shampoo into the tub to make bubbles, and I gave myself a beard like Grandaddy’d had, with an empty part in the middle on the chin. Hadn’t had a bubble beard since I was a little kid.
The whole bathroom stank of that floral shampoo by the time I got out, and it had soaked into my skin, so I stank of it too. Like the rose garden out the side of the church, so strong it could make the world spin on a hot day. I stood at the sink and tried to scrub some of the smell off, ‘cause Ma would be upset if she knew I used so much of her stuff—it was expensive and just for her—but it wouldn’t go away. It got stronger and stronger and stronger ‘til I knew I was gonna be sick. I sat down in front of the toilet, my head in pieces, and started sniffling.
Something brushed against the door. Somebody was outside, I knew it.
Praise for the Book
"The author of this story is from the south and she actually does a rare thing. She brings living in a small southern town to life very, very well. That feeling that you can't leave? It happens. The fact that everyone in town knows your business. She also brings to life that feeling of solitude that can happen if you don't fit in with the people of your town, whether like Jack, you want for more out of life. Or like another character in this book, Louise (she was Jack's grandfather's common law wife) that you can just feel excluded and shunned. [...] The story did have that feel of slow southerness about it [...]. It ended up being bittersweet in places and heartrendingly sad in others." ~ Shelby on Goodreads
About the Author
Sarah Kettles is an American married to a Scot and living in Ireland, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin in 2012. She’s been writing since she learned to read and playing with words since long before that. When she’s not working on her next book, she works as a freelance editor and illustrator.
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