500 Miles To Go by J. Conrad Guest
Romance set against a sports backdrop, 500 Miles To Go is about the importance of, and the risks associated with, the pursuit of dreams. When our dreams cause angst to our loved ones, they often become nightmares.
Gail fell for Alex Król before she learned that he risked his life on dirt tracks during the summer months to the delight of fans who paid to see cars crash—the more spectacular the wreck the taller they stood on their toes and craned their necks to see the carnage. When Alex makes his dream to drive in the Indy 500 come true and he witnesses the deaths of two drivers in his first start, he must ask himself if his quest to win the world’s greatest race is worth not only the physical risk, but also losing the woman he loves.
Review: “A sweet love story gives way to the love affair with speed… First loser becomes disillusioned winner, hindsight waxes philosophical, and a lonely man reminds us, ‘One doesn’t find love… Love is a choice.’” Reviewer: Sheila Deeth-Author of Divide by Zero
Excerpt: “I looked at the phone, silent on the nightstand, and for the first time since she walked out of my life, I thought about calling Gail. Never had I longed so much to hear her voice. ‘Alex Król,’ she’d say into the phone, the way she used to when we were young. I imagined her telling me how glad she was that I’d called, that she’d listened to the race on the radio, had watched it later that night on tape delay, and had celebrated with me. She’d go on to say that she’d followed my entire career, was proud of all that I’d accomplished, maybe even adding that she’d been foolish to worry about my getting hurt. I’d tell her it was okay, that I understood. Then I’d ask her to join me for dinner when I got back to town, and she’d sigh in that way she had, and tell me that she’d love to…”
Alex paused, and Alicia waited patiently for him to continue:
“But so much in life never plays out the way we envision it. My marriage was proof of that.
“I re-imagined the phone call: Gail’s father would answer. He’d congratulate me on winning the 500 – assuming he was aware of it. He’d ask how I was doing, and I’d tell him, ‘Great, I’m doing great.’ Then I’d ask about Gail. He’d tell me that she’d met a young man a year or so after we’d broken up, married him, and that she was now mother to two healthy toddlers, a boy and a girl. Then it would be my turn to congratulate him, for becoming a granddaddy. Maybe, to save face, I’d nonchalantly ask him to say ‘hello’ to Gail for me, give her my best, hoping he wouldn’t, not wanting her to know that I’d asked about her. More than likely, I’d leave it at ‘Congratulations’ and simply say ‘Goodbye.’
Paperback: 306 Pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Message from Author J. Conrad Guest:
“Welcome. If you’re reading these words, you have my thanks for finding me. A critic calls my work, “Gritty, entertaining… real. Romance for the non-romantic.”
Genre? What’s that? My characters face everyday obstacles: love (finding it), loss of love (ouch!), regret (who doesn’t have a few of those?), infidelity (from love to hate to compromise), death (the Grim Reaper recently visited me in a dream to tell me he was coming for me. “Great,” my dream self said. “You bring the whiskey and I’ll provide the cigars”), redemption (that transformation from the anti-hero the reader wants to like into the hero for whom they want to root), and more. I write about relationships between men and woman, and fathers and sons. Yet each character, although flawed and in some cases broken, is in their own way extraordinary. I write mainstream, non-traditional romance (Fabio will never grace the cover of one of my novels), and soft science fiction. I hope you’ll find here something that appeals to your literary appetite.
I was named Joseph Conrad for my dad’s favorite novelist.
As a boy my dream was to become a Major League Baseball player, but my parents had other ideas. They urged me to play it safe, to learn a trade, get a job with an automotive company, and retire in forty years with a gold watch. To me that was a prison sentence. I didn’t want to reach my current age wondering, What if?
I was creative and wanted to leave my mark on the world. How to go about achieving that dream perplexed me for many years, until I sat down to write my first novel. January’s Paradigm was born from a bloodied and bruised heart. What started as therapy for me turned into a passion. My dad often criticized me for not finishing what I started, and I was determined to finish a novel. When Dad read my second draft, after two years of labor, he was pleased.
While I geared up for submitting my child to agents and publishers I struggled for a name. A nom de plume was out of the question. I wanted to use “Conrad” but didn’t wish to be compared to the man who today is considered one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I finally settled on J. Conrad Guest and have never regretted it.
My novels are available in brick and mortar bookstores and at Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.”
Book Marketing Global Network: