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Running Mates

A Novel

336 pages
Bancroft Press

In the quaint yet politically charged town of Edgartown, North Carolina, two worlds are about to collide. Meet Annabelle Morningstar, an impassioned, quirky high school activist raised by her news anchor and surgeon mothers, both champions of progressive ideals. Across town, there's Gabe Delgado, the quintessential all-American boy, molded by his conservative, Cuban senator father. Edgartown is a town literally divided—the Liberal East and the Conservative North coexisting as neighbors but rarely as friends. But what happens when the two sides meet in the least likely of places: a local bookstore?

When employees at Annabelle's favorite literary haven decide to unionize, she finds her path unexpectedly crossing with Gabe's. And then they're tossed together weekly as they get special training help for their beloved cross-country competitions. With their worlds thrown into disarray, the two high schoolers must navigate their complex feelings for each other while wrestling with their polarized upbringings. Can love bloom in the crossfire of political discord?

“Running Mates” is not just a heartwarming coming-of-age tale. It's a deep dive into the complexities of ideological divide, a vivid portrayal of modern youth activism, and a rallying cry for empathy. As Annabelle and Gabe discover the gray areas in a world seemingly divided into black & white and red & blue, they learn that both politics and love require courage, compromise, and a touch of rebellion.

Engaging, timely, funny, and at times poignant, “Running Mates” serves as a mirror to our times, daring us to question, to feel, to laugh, and above all, to love despite our differences.

Author Bio

Emily Locker spent most of fourth grade persuading her friends to reenact scenes from Sweet Valley High. She was raised in Washington, D.C., by two psychotherapists, who often caught her reading well past midnight and who inspired her early interest in the human psyche and relationship dynamics.

Emily moved to New York City after graduating from the University of Rochester to complete a Social Work graduate program at New York University. Her first job was at The World Trade Center Program, where she provided individual and group psychotherapy to first responders.

She recently returned to Washington, D.C., where she lives with her husband and two young sons.

When Emily is not writing or chasing after her "lively" boys, she works as a therapist in private practice.

Running Mates is her first novel.