The Writer's Voice Entry

Genre:  YA Contemporary


Five years after the fire that killed both of their mothers, eighteen year old neighbors Dani, the star clarinetist, and Xavier, the champion wrestler, have only one objective in life: make sure their fathers don’t kill each other. Only, things change considerably for Xavier after he spends one night in handcuffs. In turn, their mutual goal takes a back seat to something much more...unexpected.

Convinced that Dani Parker is exactly what he needs to regain his father’s respect after his drug possession and underage drinking charges are dropped, Xavier does everything he can to persuade this 'nerd girl' to be his pseudo girlfriend. Except, yeah, that’s kind of a problem when Dani wants absolutely nothing to do with Xavier Faulkner: Hispanic playboy extraordinaire.

But when a secretive wrestling–induced eating disorder begins to dig its claws into Xavier, and love starts to blur the lines between fantasy and reality, this unlikely twosome must work together to right more than a reputation. 

Completed at 90,000 words, HIS GAME, HER RULES is Romeo and Juliet meets Perfect Chemistry told in dual points of view between the hero and heroine.

First 250 words:


Our neighbor was possessed. I had no other explanation for his behavior as I stood barefoot before him in my front yard. Mr. Faulkner's cheeks were stained red, his lips curled in an evil snarl. The faint smell of roses lingered on his skin in the open breeze. Patches of dirt, grass, sweat and pink petals were smeared in the crevasse on his hands. Obviously the man had a death wish.

“You stupid son of a—” My dad flew forward from my right, hands outstretched and ready to swing. Panicking, I reached for his shirt, and shoved him behind me, wincing as he stepped on my bare toes.


I sure as heck wished there was a manual for these types of situation. If there was, then it should’ve been called: How to Deal with Your Father When He Goes Crazy on His Arch Enemy.

Mr. Faulkner threw up his hands, taking a step back—a disgusting smirk plastered on his lips. “What? I told you both before that the next time you let you damn dog crap in my lawn I was going to tear those rose bushes out. And according to the dog shit currently stuck to the bottom of my shoe—” He lifted his foot, pointing out the evidence. “—those things had no chance at survival today.”

I sucked in a breath, staring wide eyed at my father’s profile. The super huge vein in his neck pulsed beneath his skin, threatening to burst from anger.