Literary Las Vegas: Laura Pavlov

Cross country state champion Charlotte Ford and her best friend since the age of 5, quarterback Daniel Hollingsworth, are inseparable, but just friends, until Charlotte's date with a jerk pushes Daniel to pursue more.

Though family and friends always knew the relationship was inevitable, challenges remain. Charlotte is expected to run for Stanford and complete her mother's unfulfilled dream of racing in the Olympics. Daniel is destined to follow his brothers', father's and grandfather's lead and play for Notre Dame. Can the young couple pursue their dreams and survive the distance? Find out in Laura Pavlov's debut novel, "Charlotte's Tangled Web." Told in rotating first-person through the eyes of both young lovers, the story follows them though their senior year of high school and on to college.

Pavlov was born and raised in Illinois. She accepted a cross country and track scholarship to the University of Nevada, Reno. She and her husband, Greg, and their children live in Las Vegas. Pavlov teaches kindergarten and coaches high school cross country.

Excerpt from 'Charlotte's Tangled Web'

I spent all of my free time with Daniel, either running together on the weekends, talking on the phone, studying together, or reading Charlotte's Web together. Daniel read it to me all the time because he understood how much that book meant to me. Whenever I was stressed or sad, he would lie on my bed or out back in my hammock and read chapters to me until I smiled. We must have read that book all the way through a couple hundred times over the years.

My day always started with a text from Daniel asking how I had slept, and then I always drove to school with him and drove home with him after practice. He was always the last person whom I talked to before I went to bed. On the eve of my mom's death every year, Daniel would sneak out of his house at midnight, climb the tree outside of my bedroom window, and climb in my room. This started when I was twelve years old and had admitted to him that I always had nightmares on that night, and he came up with this plan to help me. It worked. He would sleep on top of the covers in his clothes, and I would sleep under the covers in my pajamas. He would make me laugh until I fell asleep. He would let me cry if I needed to, and he would hug me when I needed a hug. It would be the most peaceful night of sleep I got all year. He would sneak out early in the morning before anyone in either of our homes had woken up. This was our little secret. Neither of us ever told a soul.


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