Welcome to Swoon Sunday where you get to meet some of our swoon-worthy heroes. Today we have a visit from Daniel Hudson from The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet
Daniel, why don’t you describe yourself to us?
Maybe I should just send you a picture…no? All right, well, it’s kind of weird for a guy to describe himself, but here it goes. Six foot one, 170 pounds, hazel eyes, and golden brown hair. Hey, I’m pretty much every girl’s dream come true! Okay, only kidding about that last part. Wait…are you actually going to print that? God, if my twin sister, Amelia, reads this, she’ll never let me live it down.
What’s your profession?
Right now, I work at my dad’s sporting goods store. It’s nothing glamorous, and it’s just until I go to college in the fall. But, hey, if I didn’t work there, I’d never have met Clover Scott. She needed a camp stove, but she looked and acted like no other customer that ever walked in. The first time I met her, I knew there was something special about her. It’s not easy to describe, but she just…draws people in. I knew I wanted to see her again. Sorry for running on like that. It’s just that Clover is really easy to talk about.
Where do you call home?
Canna Point, Florida, in the good old US of A. It’s a small town on the Gulf Coast, north of Tampa. My mom’s family was part of the town’s founders, something my Gran is very proud of. I’ve lived here my whole life. I should love it, but honestly, I can’t wait to leave in the fall for Georgia Tech. Canna Point holds a lot of good memories, but also some bad ones. Actually, the worst memories of my life are here.
What kind of music do you listen to? (What song are you listening to on your iPod right now?)
My tastes are kind of eclectic. So, right now I’m listening to…Johnny Cash. That’s really old school of me, hey? The man in black.
Do you have a special skill?
Apparently, I am really good at saving Clover. Man, that girl has the biggest tendency to land herself in trouble. Besides that, I am a mean golf player. I know, I know. You probably think it’s a sport for old people, but tell that to players like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Besides, golf is responsible for my athletics scholarship, which is giving me a full ride to Georgia Tech. Oh, and maybe this is not something to brag about, but Ido have the amazing skill of over-analyzing and over-thinking every part of my life, and also looking out for my twin sister, Amelia, who was somehow born without any impulse control whatsoever. Maybe I got all of hers back when we were in the womb together!
What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?
I thought I was already living my dream – leaving Canna Point, studying to be an engineer, playing on a college golf team. But since I met Clover, I’ve been starting to wonder. Maybe I play it too safe. Maybe I overthink things. Maybe since Grace I don’t allow myself to really feel things. So maybe that’s my secret dream – to learn to let go a little. Of course, I also want to know what Clover’s hiding. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that girl went through something messed up in her past. I really wish she’d trust me with the truth.
What’s your biggest regret?
I can’t talk about that. I mean, no offense, but this interview will be read by a lot of people, a lot of strangers, and this regret – it’s not something I like to talk about. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll share it with Clover.
What’s your darkest secret?
Okay, you really have to change topics. This falls into the same category as the last question. Next question, please.
What’s your favourite dessert/food?
Ahh, now you’re talking. Favorite dessert? Anything Clover bakes. Seriously, that girl can bake a mean pie and her cookies are amazing. As for food, it’s pepperoni pizza all the way.
Describe your idea of an ideal date.
Something casual and easy – dinner and a movie, a walk on the beach. The beach is my favorite place in the world.
What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
Surfing, golf, hanging out with my friends and Amelia. Since I met Clover, my new favorite pastime is just watching Clover react to all the things I take for granted. Not sure how an eighteen year old living in America cannot have been to the movies before, but…it’s true.
Boxers or briefs?
Wait, you are serious. You want me to answer this. (Clears throat and face turns red)
God, I seriously hope Amelia does not see this interview. Now, if Clover read it, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad…
Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms (or both)?
Lucky Charms, and I save the marshmallows for last.
Chunky peanut butter or smooth?
Okay, when you asked if I’d do an interview, I never pictured you questioning my peanut butter preference, but hey, if this is what your readers want to know…sure. It’s smooth. Do you also want to know my favorite type of jam? That would be strawberry. Put them together and hey…you have my favorite sandwich.
Anything else you want to know? No.
Well, I’d just like to thank any readers out there for checking out this interview. I never figured I’d be a celebrity like this!
Thank you so much for joining us, Daniel! Now, here’s a super cute excerpt from The Secret to Letting Go for our readers between Daniel and Clover…
Clover bounced in the seat next to me, so excited she literally couldn’t sit still. She looked up at me, her blue eyes hidden behind her 3D glasses. “It’s so big.”
I plucked them off her face, so I could see how wide her eyes had grown. “What—the movie screen or that bag of popcorn you’re holding?”
“Both.” She grinned and scooped another handful of popcorn into her mouth. “This is amazing—the smell, and the taste, and the glasses. We should do this every night.”
I draped my arm across the back of her seat, and she leaned into my shoulder. “If you like it now, just wait until the movie starts.”
She popped back upright, and I groaned. I’d been really comfortable with her tucked under my arm. “How much longer?”
I checked my watch. “Three more minutes.”
Her head bobbed up and down. “And first they show us the other movies that will be coming soon, and then we see the one about the superheroes, right?”
I crossed my legs. “Yup. Previews first and then the main attraction.”
I didn’t bother asking her how she’d never been to a movie theater before, because I knew she’d only dodge my question. She was an eighteen-year-old American who knew nothing about boy wizards with lightning marks on their foreheads or mind-reading vampires that glittered in the sun. But as much as I questioned her, she’d perfected the art of avoidance, redirection, and flat-out refusal.
It was a Catch-22. I loved watching her discover all the things I took for granted, but I hated the constant reminder that she didn’t trust me. Even after I’d told her everything about Grace.
My mind kept coming up with possible explanations for Clover’s lack of experience with the modern world. Some were far-fetched like she was a time traveler or an alien, but deep inside, I knew the truth was something dark and ugly. I also knew her fear of storms and law enforcement came from that same shadowy place. More than anything, I wanted to help her, but it was impossible until she trusted me.
My fingers squeezed her knee. “Here, try this.” I tore open my bag of M&Ms and sprinkled them on top of her popcorn.
She didn’t need any extra encouragement. She tucked into a handful and then moaned. “It’s so good.” A piece of popcorn flew out. She slapped her hand over her mouth until she finished swallowing, and her cheeks turned pink.
I grabbed some, popping the pieces into my mouth one at a time. “You’re welcome, by the way.”
She leaned closer, and her lips settled against mine. Her kiss may have been salty from the popcorn, but it still tasted warm and sweet, like Clover. Her hand curled around my neck, and her popcorn bag crinkled between us. I buried my hand in her soft hair, anchoring her to me.
When she lifted her head, I couldn’t stop grinning. “What was that for?”
“Because you’re amazing, and I feel like doing that pretty much every time I’m
She grabbed my arm and settled it around her, leaning back into my shoulder.
“You’re the one who’s amazing,” I whispered, but I wasn’t sure if she heard because just then the screen lit up, and she gasped.
About The Secret to Letting Go:
One summer can change everything…
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.