Author: Evelyn R. Baldwin
Release Date: Feb.23 2013
Genre: New Adult
Ethan Parker gets up every day, surviving the only way he knows how—alone. Orphaned as a child and forced into the child welfare system, he knows better than to depend on anyone but himself. He’s learned trust is a word used all too often, but rarely earned.
Ethan believes that his best chance for maintaining a simple and solitary existence is to live by a simple mantra:
Don’t get involved. Keep things simple. Take care of yourself!
When a young woman moves in next door, Ethan is forced to reevaluate his beliefs. He tries to keep his distance, but his new neighbor’s infectious smile and outlook on life leave him struggling with the decision of living the life he knows, or taking a chance on the unexpected.
As Ethan develops a relationship with his new neighbor, Emily, he realizes nothing is simple and learns that life is about more than just surviving... it’s about living.
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Excerpt from Vacant
My life hasn’t changed much in the past three years. I get up every morning, walk to the grocery store, clock in, work a ten hour shift, clock out, come home, mind my own business, and do it again the next day.
I don’t have friends because they create lots of complications and drama. I spend my time at work smiling at the customers and doing my job. Co-workers ask me out from time to time, but the truth is I don’t have extra money to have a few beers with the guys or take a girl on a date. I’m always careful with my rejection. There’s no sense in hurting anyone’s feelings when it’s not necessary. Plus, it would lead to questions I'm not willing to answer.
I’m sitting alone at my thrift store kitchen table, staring down at a day-old cookie. It’s my twenty-first birthday today. I don’t have any plans, and there are no cards in my mailbox. I’m having dessert for breakfast, a treat to myself, and I’m thankful for what little I have.
It’s sad as hell, but I don’t have any candles so I light a match and jam it in the middle of the damn cookie. I don’t even make a wish before I blow out the tiny flame so it doesn’t burn down and ruin my treat.
No sooner than the flame’s gone out, there’s a knock at my door. I look at my dollar store wall clock and see it’s only nine. I can't imagine who would be at my door this early on a Saturday morning. Most of my neighbors sleep in after a late Friday night.
Even though I’m twenty-one, I tend to think of myself as more mature than most people my age, so when I open the door and see a girl, petite and fragile in appearance, I automatically think she’s young. She may even be my age, maybe younger, but my experience makes me feel like I’m over thirty, so she seems like a girl to me.
She’s standing there smiling as if she doesn’t have a care in the world, obviously not knowing people around here don’t smile. I peer at her through the ripped screen of my front door as the heat and humidity of the day filters in.
“Hey, what’s up? I’m Emily. I just moved in next door.”
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about the authorEvelyn R. Baldwin was born in the Midwest and spent her childhood on a horse ranch. As an only child, Evelyn was often forced to entertain herself with the family's horses as companions, and her imagination the only limitation.
After moving to St. Louis to attend college, she earned a degree in Education. During her Master's program, Evelyn discovered her fascination with behavior and psychology.
Her first professional job experience was as a juvenile counselor, which led her to venture into other human sciences, eventually making a career with Behavior Analysis. While writing is a hobby for Evelyn, she often uses her experiences with human behavior to guide her characters.
She's written short stories since childhood but only recently began exercising her real writing muscles. While she does not consider herself a professional writer in any sense of the word, she continues to polish her craft and hopes for success in her writing ventures, even if they are just as a hobby.