About the Book
Title: In Her Eyes
Author: Wesley Banks
Published: March 14th, 2016
Genre: Sport Romance
Content Warning: PG-13
When Ben Wilder is given a second chance he focuses on the one thing he’s always been good at: running. After walking on to the University of Florida Track and Field team he begins to quickly move up the national rankings, paving a path towards the NCAA Championships. Everything is going the way he planned, until the day he bumps into Casey Taylor.
New to Gainesville, and focused on her first year out of medical school, Casey is initially hesitant to let Ben into her life. The truth is she’s worried about letting a guy near the one thing she loves most: her daughter, Emma. After one fun and fateful night Casey can no longer bury her feelings behind these excuses, and takes a chance on a guy she is slowly falling for.
Casey’s relationship with Ben starts to gradually build into a love that she has never felt before. But more importantly, Emma has taken a particular liking to Ben. As they all spend more time together Ben is forced to confront painful memories when he starts to notice something hauntingly familiar about Emma.
A local journalist soon uncovers the secret of Ben’s past their lives begin to converge on a single promise that Ben Wilder has long since made: to never give up…no matter what.
About the Author
Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.
Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he loves so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.
Wesley’s debut novel, “Hope In Every Raindrop,” was released May of 2015.
Describe your relationship with a good book.
Honestly there’s nothing quite like a good book. There are two things that really pull me in: story and setting. If the author nails both of those, then I honestly get sad when I finish the book. I remember reading The Name of the Wind a few years ago and thinking, “Well, I can never read another book, because nothing will ever match that story.”
When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?
I wrote my first story in 4th grade, but it probably wasn’t until college that I really started writing regularly. I’m probably most proud of this book of poetry that I wrote called, Beginnings.
Please describe your work ethic as an author.
I like to think I have a really good balance between regiment and flow. I research and outline my stories ahead of time, but as I get into them the characters end up making decisions on their own that ultimately shape the story.
More specific to work ethic, I typically write six days a week, for about three hours each day.
How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?
I’m fortunate enough to write in the morning and work on my web company in the afternoon. I do tend to drop everything I’m working on when we travel, which is something my wife and I love to do.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote In Her Eyes because I’ve always been inspired by Steve Prefontaine, and wanted to interweave the thrill of running with a love story.
What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?
Even though it doesn’t show through much in In Her Eyes, I draw a lot of inspiration from my dogs, which is evident in my first book, and my current work.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?
That’s a tough question, mainly because I feel like there’s a lot I want to accomplish. I think my general answer is freedom. I’d like my books to do well enough that I have the freedom to write or travel, or both.
Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.
During our trip to Alaska in 2010, I got separated from our ATV group in Denali National Park. We were just leaving the largest natural gravel deposits in the world. I remember because I can still clearly hear the rocks crunch underneath the tires, as the others left.
That’s when I saw him. He wasn’t supposed to be in this area, no animals were. His amber eyes burned into mine, and his tail bounced slightly as his lithe body moved towards mine. I was about fifteen feet from my four-wheeler, but I didn’t move. I couldn’t.
His steps were completely silent as he continued towards me. His light gait carried him to within inches of me, before he finally stopped. Before I knew what I was doing my hands were moving across his deep black fur.
That was the day I pet a wolf in the wild.
Ben was tired, but he was excited when he woke up on Monday morning. It was Casey’s day off and Coach had given the team the week off, minus a team meeting this afternoon, since they had another month until the NCAA Championships.
Emma’s school started at seven forty-five which meant if he got to Casey’s around eight, they could spend the whole day just relaxing.
When he arrived the garage was shut, so he walked up to the front door. Before he could knock, though, the door swung open and Casey jumped on him, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.
“My hero,” she said in a terrible southern accent. Then she started giving him little pecks all over his head and face.
He walked inside with her still wrapped around him and kicked the door shut. Laughing, he said, “Who is this strange girl, and what did you do with Casey?”
She continued on in the southern accent. “You won the race for your beloved and claimed victory.”
Ben sat her on the backside of the couch and looked down at her. “What on earth has gotten into you?”
“You, Sir Runner. Now, take me, take me now.” Casey puckered up her lips playfully and Ben laughed.
Ben leaned in to give her a quick kiss, thinking she might taste or smell like alcohol, because right now that was the only explanation he could come up with. She tasted like…cookies.
He looked around the room and to his right, sitting on the kitchen counter, he found his answer. He let go of Casey and she fell backwards onto the couch.
“Hey!” she said as she hit the couch cushion.
Ben walked over to the kitchen and picked up a small tub of Cookies ’n Cream ice cream and a bag of Fudge Filled Chewy Chips Ahoy. He held up both and looked over at Casey who was half-hiding, half-peering over the top of the couch. “Please tell me you are not eating cookies and ice cream at eight o’clock in the morning.”
Casey jumped over the couch and came running at Ben, a ball of sugar filled energy. She wrapped her arms around his waist, her legs around the back of his calves, and inched her way up his body. When she reached the top she bombarded his neck with kisses. “My hero,” she said. She stopped for a moment and looked at him with the most devious, sensual grin. She leaned in closer until there was almost no space between her lips and his. Then like a cheetah springing on a gazelle, she grabbed the ice cream with her left hand and the cookies with her right, hit the ground and took cover on the couch.
“You have serious problems,” Ben said.
Casey pulled out a cookie and dipped it in the ice cream and held it up for him to see. Then she started humming and dancing the cookie around like she was taunting him.
Ben took two steps, dove across the couch, snatched the cookie from her hand and shoved it in his mouth before she could barely move. She looked at him wide eyed and in complete silence and then jumped on him. They wrestled and tickled each other like five-year-olds, stopping every now and then for a quick cookie break.
This went on for about thirty more minutes and then she crashed on the floor next to him. Her head lay across his chest as he played with her hair until eventually he crashed too.