Ready for the world- Spotlight





About The Book Series


Ready For The World - Driver’s Education:

All Brandon Delacruz is asking out of his young life is popularity, riches, and the girl of his dreams. But what he does have are good grades, a ten-speed bicycle, and his two lifelong friends, Josh and Ally, at his side. And together, they’ll navigate their way through the rigors of high school life.

But unlike high school, real life doesn’t come with study guides. Brandon realizes that the girl he’s always dreamed about has been there all along. And as he untangles his feelings for Ally, something tragic happens to her family that changes everything. Now, Brandon will spend the rest of the year balancing his romantic feelings for Ally and his life-long friendship with her while also dealing with tough teachers, classes, and toughest of all, meeting the Filipino parental standards.

Brandon will learn that the world moves pretty fast, whether he’s ready or not.

Ready For The World – Superstar:

He has the girl, the grades, and now, a calling. Brandon Delacruz is going to write the next great novel and he isn’t even sixteen yet. It looks like 1987 is going to be his best year ever.

But his best year quickly turns into his most confusing. Because instead of one special girl in his life, there are two. There’s Ally, his childhood friend, and first love who has turned into the biggest enigma in his life. And then there’s Rachel, a brash and beautiful girl that’s as good a photographer as she is a pool player.

Brandon will learn that life can’t be easily rewritten or edited like a novel. But like mystery novels, things in life aren’t always what they seem. Like comedic books, life is often funny and hilarious. And like the best love stories, life has its share of twists and turns, ups and downs, that are filled with beauty, grace, and sometimes heartbreak.

Purchase Links

Ready For The World: Driver’s Education

Amazon India | AmazonUSA


Ready For The World: Superstar


Amazon India | AmazonUSA



Book Excerpt from Ready For The World: Superstar


The rat-a-tat-tat of my typewriter was as soothing as waves crashing on the beach. Every keystroke meant another letter, word, or sentence on the page. Every whoosh of the rollers meant another layer added to what I called The Leaning Tower of Paper. Hey, its a working title. My ideas flowed so fast I shouldve had a radar gun on me. I was in, what athletes like to call, The Zone.

It was in early January 1987 when I realized that it was my destiny to be a writer. I was good at it, I liked doing it, and when I wasnt writing, I found myself thinking about it. Taking hold of your destiny when youre six months shy of your sixteenth birthday is no easy task. For one thing, you have school five days a week with homework assignments every night. If you play a sport, belong in a club, or play an instrument, then that takes up more of your time. When you finally do get home, your Mom and Dad hand you a long list of chores. Its not like when youre an adult and you have way more time to fulfill your destiny. Its way harder when youre a teenager.

The rain fell like Niagara Falls outside. Jacob worried that at any minute the giant window would shatter and send shards all over his room. The leaves on the giant oak tree in his yard that hadnt fallen in the downpour blew away in the howling wind. His unlucky neighbors caught in the rainstorm scurried for shelter. Their makeshift umbrellas of magazines and newspapers dissolved away in their hands. Jacobs ears perked up as thunder echoed in the distance.

Jacob imagined Lindsays car pulling up to her darkened driveway. He would grab his coat and step outside. Hed hurdle the chain-link fence surrounding his yard. Lindsay would be there waiting for him, flashing that brilliant smile of hers that he knew so well. He imagined walking up to her, standing face to face, with each of them feeling the heat of each others breath…

Of course, that was when my phone rang and I dropped out of The Zone. Normally, I would have pulled the phone out of the wall. But after a quick glance at the clock, I picked up the receiver before the first ring even finished. Right on time,I said.

Howd you know it was me?Ally asked.

Because you are nothing if not punctual.

Am I that predictable?

I prefer to say reliable,I said. It makes you sound more put together.

Ally and I talked on the phone every night at the same time since she left for vacation. Our, I guess Id call it a relationship, had moved along great. Better than great. We werent having those awkward pauses and silences like other people did. We talked like we always did: about the Lakers, about neither of us being ready to go back to school, and about life.

She cleared her throat. Hows the book coming along?

I banged my elbow against the typewriter and the Zkey popped off. Hold on,I said as I grabbed the Super Glue. Im listening, I swear.

You sound busy,she said.

I held the phone with my shoulder and tried not to glue it there. No, no. Tell me about your vacation. Hows the weather? Did you go skiing?

Cold,she said. And no, Im not up for it.

Why? Did you break your leg or something?I laughed. When she was silent on her end, I tossed the glue down. Oh God, did you break your leg or something?

Ally let out a soft chuckle. No, Im packing for home.

Cutting the trip short?

My dad has some things to do here and Vince wanted to get a little more skiing in,she said. Itll just be me.

A drop of sweat fell onto my glasses. So, youre coming home...by yourself?

Uh-huh.

I cleared my throat. Um...when?

Wednesday,she said.

I dug through my hamper for my best dress shirt and saw the giant smear of mustard across the front. I can pick you up at the airport. I mean, if you want.

I couldnt ask you to do that,she said. I can just catch the bus home or take a taxi...

Ally,” I said. Id be happy to help. Dont worry about it.” I scrambled for a blank sheet that I wasnt going to turn into a paper airplane. What time is your flight?

Five oclock.

Airline?

TWA. Flight 1789.

Got it,I underlined the flight info and circled it twice. Why are you coming home so early? I mean, Im happy you are, but I was curious.

It was silent on her end. I want to see you.”

A church choir belted out the Hallelujahchorus in my head. You do?

Yes,she said.

Wow,I said. I strummed my fingers on the typewriter as my mind raced with images of Ally in a slinky red dress. I… I guess Ill see you soon.I winced as I heard the crack in my voice.

Brandon?

Yeah?

The line crackled and hummed. Nothing,she said. Ill see you Wednesday.

See you then,I said. We said our goodbyes and hung up. I felt my heartbeat thumping in my ears. Did I actually hear what I heard?

*****

She actually said that?Josh asked. Alyson Paige McCartney actually told you, Brandon Jo-Jo Delacruz...

Thats not my middle name,I interrupted.

“‘I want to see you,’“ he said. She used those exact words.

Yes,I said as I tried not to have the biggest smile on my face. But in my head, I was bouncing up and down like a pogo stick.

Josh smiled. You realize what this means, dont you? You need to step it up.”

Totally step it up,Robbie said.

I took off my hat and scratched my head. Step up what?

My God, do you brush your hair with a fork?Robbie asked.

I quickly put my hat back on. Is it really that bad?”

He bridged his fingers and held them in front of his face. Brandon, youre a six and a half or a seven on your best day. But Allys tall, gorgeous, athletic, and has that half-Filipino, half-white complexion. Shes like, a ten. You are way, way out of your league here. If you want to be with an angel, you gotta learn how to fly.

Hold on a second, if Im a seven...

Six and a half,he said as he stared at my head. Remind me to give you my hairdressers business card later.”

If Im a seven, then what are you?

Hey! Im not saying that Im perfect! Im like an eight...and a half.

Out of what?I asked. A hundred?

Josh put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed. You know you and Ally are my best friends in the world, right? Im pulling for you two crazy kids. So believe me when I say this: if you want this to be the best night of your life, do not, under any circumstances, be yourself.

Excuse me?I asked.

Hes right,Robbie said.

You have to be an even better version of yourself,Josh said. A version that Allys never seen. You want her to think of you as a man and not the kid from down the block. You gotta look the part, sound the part, and hell, you gotta smell the part!

Get a bottle of Polo Cologne. Or Drakkar. And for Gods sake, no Old Spice,Robbie said as he flapped his tie at me. You should come by my store. Our coats are 25% off. With my 20% discount, thats like 45%!

I see that math tutor you got has done wonders for you,I said.

Look, B,Josh said. Were not asking you to change everything.

Just the things that matter,Robbie said. Your hair, clothes, and personality.

Clearly, their idea of pep talk was tossing a drowning man an anchor. But I guess wearing a sweatshirt with coffee stains doesnt make the best of impressions. Fine,I said. What do you idiots have in mind?


About the Author

Charmeljun Gallardo is a former Radiologist and author. His first book is Ready for the World young adult book series. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Creative Writing degree in 1996. He is a writer, photography enthusiast, sports fan, movie geek, stroke survivor, and an adventurous foodie. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife and son.

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