Ready for the world- Spotlight

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About The Book Series

Ready for the world- Spotlight

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

| AmazonUSA

Ready For The World: Superstar

| 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, it
s 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 wasn
writing, I found myself thinking about it. Taking hold of your destiny when you
re 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. It
s not
like when you
re an
adult and you have way more time to fulfill your destiny. It
s 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 hadn
t 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. Jacob
s 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.
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 other

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.
on time,

Howd you know it was me?Ally asked.

you are nothing if not punctual.

Am I
that predictable?

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 I
d call
it a relationship, had moved along great. Better than great. We weren
t 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
popped off.
I said as I grabbed the Super Glue. Im
listening, I swear.

sound busy,

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

And no, Im not
up for it.

Did you break your leg or something?
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.

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?


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.

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

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

Five oclock.


Flight 1789.

Got it,I underlined the flight info and circled it
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.
winced as I heard the crack in my voice.



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

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


actually said that?
Alyson Paige McCartney actually told you,
Brandon Jo-Jo Delacruz…

Thats not my middle name,I interrupted.

“‘I want
to see you,
’“ he
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, don
t you?
You need to step it up.”

step it up,

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

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

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

He bridged his fingers and held them in front
of his face.
re 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. She
s 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 I
m a seven…

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

If Im a seven, then what are you?

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

Out of
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? I
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

Excuse me?I asked.

Hes right,Robbie

have to be an even better version of yourself,
Josh said. A
version that Ally
s 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 God
s sake,
no Old Spice,
said as he flapped his tie at me.
should come by my store. Our coats are 25% off. With my 20% discount, that
s like 45%!

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

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

the things that matter,
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
t 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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