Running Wide Open (Book 1)
Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the inside of a combustion chamber, and it's landed him at his uncle's trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?
What Cody doesn't expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he's been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he's come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he's ever dared to trust.
Running Wide Open
“Nowak capably depicts a realistic, likable teenager with typical teenager flaws…. An endearing story about a teenager, his mentor, and what a difference true, unselfish love can make.” – Kirkus Reviews
Selected as one of BookBub's "6 Seriously Awesome YA Books Even Adults Can Get Into" for 2014.
“The roar of engines practically explodes off the page in this compelling, heart-thumping debut. Cody Everett is a straight-shooter with attitude, smarts, and whip-cracking wit; he doesn’t pull any punches, and neither does author Lisa Nowak. The collision of Cody and the world of stock car racing makes for a great story, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Running Wide Open is a book not to be missed.”
- Christine Fletcher, author of Tallulah Falls and Ten Cents a Dance
“With characters that are as real as the dialogue is authentic, Running Wide Open is by turns both heartbreaking and hopeful. Readers will race to the finish of this powerful coming-of-age novel.”
- Casey McCormick, author of the popular YA blog, Literary Rambles,
co-founder of WriteOnCon, and creator of the Agent Spotlight series.
Getting Sideways (Book 2)
Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track, but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him.
A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary reputation as a driver. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep his uncle in the dark until he can convince his dad racing’s safe.
Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy.
“I enjoy the steady pace in which Lisa Nowak's characters mature and develop. It's so realistic and true to life. We don't wake up one day and have it all figured out - we stumble and falter and then right ourselves. As Race puts it, ‘It's like learning how to drive. Every once in a while, you'll find yourself getting sideways.’”
~ Leave Mommy Alone Reviews
“The whole novel deals with very realistic relationships. How they are described, and how they are approached are so believable. Nowak makes it so easy for any reader to make a connection to the characters and plot. There is such strong emotion involved. The reader is immediately drawn in, and you find yourself thinking about and worried about the characters when you are away from the book!”
~ So Simply Sarra Reviews
Driven (Book 3)
The last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?
“The first romance is captured beautifully—just the right combination of natural and awkward, of eager and scared.”
~ Bob Martin, writing professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art
“Pure literary joy. I've never given a book higher than 5 stars, but I'm throwing in a plus on this one. I find myself wishing Lisa's characters were real and that I was part of their inner circle.”
~ Leave Mommy Alone Reviews
“I just finished this book and I'm actually at a loss for words. It was fantastic. Trying to explain all the plot lines and the way they touched me seems daunting.... Best YA book I've read this year. Loved it. Five stars.”
~ Book Babe Reviews
“I would highly recommend the Full Throttle series to everyone!!! All three books in the series are fabulous! ... It has by far been my very favorite series of late.”
~ So Simply Sarra Reviews
Redline (Book 4)
Now that Jess DeLand has escaped her alcoholic mother’s grip, all she wants is a chance to be normal. To hang out with her wisecracking-but-intuitive boyfriend Cody, learn as much she can about restoring cars from her mentor Kasey, and fill in as substitute big sister to Rhett when her friend Teri Sue goes off to college. But when her past crashes headlong into her present, all hopes of normal go spinning off into the weeds. Jess’s attempts to spare her friends—and herself—from the things she’d rather keep hidden, threaten to destroy the new life she’s built. Maybe normal is too much to ask for.
"The only thing I can say is WOW! Lisa's best book yet. The raw emotions and conflict is this book make it a winner."
~ Amazon Reviewer
"Great read for young adults and parents. I think it should be on all high school and middle school library shelves."
~ Barnes and Nobel Reviewer