#SayFeels! with JR and Rae from The Art of Shifting Gears by Chi Yu Rodriguez

Print available in bookstores nationwide. Published by Anvil Publishing
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Rae de los Santos was en route to a perfect adult life. She knew what to major in, she knew what career path she was going to pursue, and she knew who she was going to be with all the way to the realization of her dreams—until her seamless journey made a turn for the unimaginable and skidded to a stop.

All of a sudden she was facing every roadblock possible, and the people she held dear ended up running over her heart.

For a year, she distracted herself with hot lead and burnt rubber, using karting as a lifeline until she was strong enough to face the world that shunned her.

But during Rae’s junior year in college, she was again blindsided by signs that weren’t supposed to be there. Will Rae go full speed ahead? Or will the seduction of the past slow her down?


If you opened this before I said you were supposed to open it, DON’T BE STUBBORN AND OPEN IT AGAIN WHEN I TOLD YOU TO. (Please?)

If you decided not to give me a headache and open this on Valentine’s Day, I am so proud of you!

I’ve probably said this a million times already before I left for the field a week ago, but I’m really sorry for not being there with you on our first Valentine’s Day together. Pretty sure you’ve also told me a million times that Valentine’s Day isn’t a thing and shouldn’t be a thing… and I agree. But firsts should be a thing. And I still feel bad for not being there for this one.

There’s a flash drive inside the envelope. It only has one video inside. This is how I write a love letter to you…


Heart Strings



The sun tip toes on Rae’s cheeks as she sleeps, the dark gray sheet draped over her.



--Rae running away from JR as he chases her around the living room with his camera.

--Rae stealing JR’s camera from him and turning it around so they’re both in the shot.

--Rae studying on the steps of Benitez Hall.

--Rae playing with her school kids during recess, getting paint on her face and running towards JR to brush some on his.

--Rae snoring, plastered on one of the wooden tables by the condominium pool.

--Kyle laughing, leading JR around the corner of one building to find Rae sneaking a secret present for JR inside her bag. Rae is startled and runs away.

--JR and Max playing basketball. Rae turns the camera on herself and holds up the scoreboard. JR is losing.

--A mess in Aunt Gem’s kitchen from Rae and Max trying to make dinner. They all laugh at their misfortune.

--Rae feeding JR some pizza.

--Rae sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for the coffee to finish brewing.

--JR holding Rae’s hand around the stick shift as he drives.


Rae takes off her helmet and runs toward JR after her laps, crashing against him in a sweaty hug.


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