We’re so pleased to welcome author E.E. Grey to TNA today, on the tour for their latest novel, Tumbled. Enjoy the excerpt, and then be sure to check out the details below on the two ways to win an e-copy of the book.
About the Book
Series: Olympic Passions: Book Two
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Length: 166 Pages
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Blurb: A chance at the Olympics has been everything Auden has always wanted, but now that it’s within his grasp, he finds himself slipping further away. Does he really want to be an Olympic gymnast when there’s so much more to life? To make things worse, he has both a major crush on his friends-with-benefits teammate, Trayce, and free-spirited musician named Shane. With Olympics trials looming on the horizon, Auden has to decide what he really wants and how much he’s willing to give up to get it.
The café we’re in isn’t crowded, especially the outdoor patio where Auden Lancaster sits across from me, picking at a croissant he says he shouldn’t eat. I offered it to him without thinking. Auden is a professional gymnast on a strict diet meant to keep him in tip-top condition for Olympic trials. For a moment, he looks as if he might take a bite, but he pushes it away with a resolve I could never muster.
The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world. More than 4 billion people tune in every four years to watch the world’s best athletes run, swim, and jump their way to a gold medal. The athletes who make the cut are the best of the best; they’ve been training for years for the chance to bring glory to their countries and sport. With so many hopefuls, it’s hard to know who will make it. Auden is one hopeful, at the top of the list to make the Olympic gymnastics team in 2024, only a few months away.
For February, it’s surprisingly warm outside, but as the Elite Gymnastics Center is located in Phoenix, Arizona, Auden must be used to it. He arrived early to our interview, wearing a black leather jacket and a faded tee-shirt. I can just make out a band name—The Killers. I ask who that is and he smiles slightly and says they’re an old band, from the early ‘00s. I’ve never heard of them.
Auden is just what you’d expect from a gymnast—taught muscles, broad shoulders, and a serious edge to his mouth. A light breeze rustles his brown hair as he contemplates his surroundings before we begin. We’re here to discuss his chances in the upcoming trials, but Auden is more interested in talking about music.
“It wasn’t always a big thing,” he says, brushing a little yellow flower off the table. Little yellow flowers are everywhere outside, coming from a large Palo Verde tree nearby. “I just really like going to concerts, seeing new bands, being a part of something no one else is yet.”
When I ask him about trials, the fact that they’re coming up in just a few months, his mouth tightens a little but he smiles.
“It’s been a lot of work.” He crushes a yellow flower in his fingers. “I’m always training, always improving my routine. It’s got to be perfect for trials.”
Trials will determine who makes the Olympic team, proving that all the preparation has been worth it.
“I’ve been at the Center almost five years,” Auden tells me. I wonder what it’s like to be away from your family for so long. At only twenty, Auden feels like he’s been through a lot more than the average twenty year old. “I couldn’t try out for the Olympics last time. I wasn’t quite sixteen yet. It was terrible to miss it by such a short amount of time.”
But now he’s older, more experienced, and coming off a gold medal win at the World Championships in December. He’s also got one of the best coaches in the country—Dorian Stuart, a former Olympian and gold-medalist in the 2008 Olympics. Stuart has boasted several Olympians since he became a coach and came to work at the EGC.
“Coach Stuart is the best coach I could ask for,” Auden says, more enthusiastic than I’ve seen him yet. “He really cares about all his gymnasts. He wants us to do our best. I would never have made it this far without him.”
But Auden isn’t the only gymnast at EGC with a shot at the Olympics. When I ask about Trayce Martel, another gold medalist at the World Championships and Auden’s teammate, Auden hesitates a minute and takes a long sip of water.
“Trayce is a great gymnast,” he says finally, with complete sincerity. “He’s got as good a chance as anyone of making it.”
It’s no secret that the gymnasts at the Center are some of the best in the country. Auden won’t be alone when he goes to trials.
Despite being one of the best gymnasts in the country, Auden never comes across as boastful. He answers my questions about training, his diet—very strict most of the time, though he admits to occasionally sneaking a hamburger and makes me swear not to tell his coach. Polite and sweet, Auden is every girl’s dream.
When I ask the million dollar question—are you seeing anyone?—a barely visible flush creeps across his cheeks.
He flusters through his answer of “no” and any following questions get brushed aside as he tells me that dating and training don’t really go together.
“Coach Stuart is all about focusing on training,” he says. “There’s only a few months left until trials.”
My suspicion is he’s not telling me the truth. Too bad, ladies and gentlemen. Looks like this one is already taken, though he won’t say by whom. I’m heartbroken.
The interview ends when a clunky old car pulls up to the curb and the girl inside, another gymnast by the looks of things, honks the horn expectantly. Could this be the mystery relationship?
“That’s just Anya,” Auden says, as though he can hear my thoughts. “She’s my best friend. She trains at the Center too.”
I need to work on my poker face.
Auden says goodbye with a grace most teenagers don’t have, and I wish him good luck. I’ll look for you in Paris, I say, and he smiles like he’s not quite sure he believes me, but he thanks me anyway and I watch the car slide off into the setting Arizona sun.
A lot of gymnasts will attend trials this spring but only a few will make the team. Auden is currently the top gymnast in the United States, and if his dedication is any indication, we’ll definitely be seeing him in Paris at the 2024 Olympics.
About the Series
Title: Olympic Passions
Book One: Vaulted
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Length: 224 Pages
Release Date: June 26, 2014
Category: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Dorian has been working his whole life to make the Olympic gymnastics team and win that elusive all-around gold medal. Just because he’s the youngest, shortest and not the most socially savvy team member shouldn’t warrant all the teasing—bullying, really—he has to endure, especially from Jules Gardner, the former Olympic bronze medalist and current teammate. He’s had a crush on Jules for years, but Dorian isn’t going to let Jules get in the way of his goals, no matter what. Jules, on the other hand, loves to mess with Dorian’s head. It’s fun, like a cat playing with a mouse. Seducing him is even more entertaining. But Jules’ personal coach, Coach Harper, doesn’t believe in pulling any punches when it comes to Jules winning. When Coach Harper begins pushing Jules past the boundaries of good sportsmanship, Dorian realizes something more sinister is going on. And Dorian is the only one who can rescue Jules’ gymnastic career from utter destruction.
About the Author
E.E. Grey has been writing for over ten years and has completed several novel-length works and over three hundred short stories. When not writing, Grey enjoys traveling, having visited over twenty countries with several still on the list for the future. Grey’s other favorite pastime is baking sugar-filled desserts for friends.