Back to School with Mermaids
It has been fun all month featuring excerpts from YA and MG books with school settings to celebrate everyone going back to school. Here in Nashville all the kids have been in school long enough for Fall Break to already be upon us (which is perfect time to get in some just-for-fun reading, btw). Among the excerpts we’ve had horse stories, ghost stories, a zombie story, and one about Drama Club. If you haven’t seen them, scroll on down and enjoy. For the last excerpt, I’ll pull out a scene from my own book, Cry of the Sea.
Cry of the Sea does feature mermaids, but mostly it is a story about Juniper Sawfeather, a teenage daughter of environmentalists and her finding her own place in the world. There are quite a few scenes in the book that take place at school, and this is one of the earliest ones. Earlier in the morning, Juniper and her father rushed to document damage at a reported oil spill and made a pretty big discovery. Now, hours later, she’s late for school, and after being held up by an unsympathetic vice principal, she is joining her best friend Haley to try to pitch a new club to the student council to get their vote of approval.
The Student Council meets in an office near the cafeteria. Haley stood in the hallway outside the room, cell phone in hand, and started shouting at me as soon as she saw me dodging people with trays of bean burritos and cheesy nachos to get to her.
“Where have you been? Why didn’t you answer your phone? They’re waiting for us!” Then, noting my oversized boy clothes, “And what are you wearing?”
“I know,” I said, breathing hard. “I’ll explain later. You look really cute though.”
And she did. Haley had on this really neat combination of pale green and brown. Khaki pants, green turtleneck, with a chocolate brown knit poncho over it. I really liked it, even though I would never have thought of putting those two colors together because I would look like an Andes mint. She even had her hair down and curled, instead of up in her usual ponytail.
She smiled at the compliment, and before the smile could fade, I grabbed her hand, took in one more big breath and opened the door to the tiny classroom usually reserved for tutoring or small group lessons. The four members of Student Council raised their heads to us as we burst into the room. I could see that each of them was about to say something about how it was too late and lunch was nearly over. However, my momentum was way up and my patience way thin, so I didn’t even wait for the Council to say anything before I started speaking my piece. Once my mouth opened, I kind of couldn’t stop it.
“Hi guys,” I said. “Sorry I’m late, I was at the beach all morning rescuing sea animals hurt by an oil spill. It was slightly more important to me than American History and Chemistry, because, you know, these are living, breathing creatures that are dying. A lot of them were dead already, and it took time to walk through all of that and search for the still-living ones. It had to be done because you never know what you’re going to find. There could be something really important out there that needs help, something that needs to be discovered and saved. The Founding Fathers are dead and can’t help, really. Memorizing what elements make superglue stick is also not going to help.”
Everyone looked very puzzled, including Haley. I didn’t care. I went on.
“Another thing more important to me than colonists and chemicals is getting to live past forty, which won’t happen if the environment collapses on all of us because we aren’t taking care of it. Our oil spills kill animals; our trash is killing ourselves. Now, that may not matter to all of you, but it does me, and Haley, and several other people in this school who would like to be in our Recycling Club.
“What is this club about, you ask?” I went on before anyone actually could ask. “We just want to get some trash cans specifically marked for recycling. We want to gather the recyclables once a week and take them to a recycling center. We will keep an eye out for containers littering our campus that could be recycled, and we will put out information to let the students know how to participate in our club and mission.
“What do I need from you?” I went on again, seeing them itchy to interrupt. “Nothing. I mean, it would be nice if you occasionally put your Aquafina bottles or Red Bull cans in the recyclable bin. That would be cool of you. Otherwise, all we really need is for you to give us the big Okay. Because, really, our club is nothing that interferes with your other plans around this place and is only going to help you and the school in the long run.”
Haley stared at me for a moment in shock. I’m not sure her expression had flipped over to totally upset or angry, although it wasn’t exactly “Way to go, June” either. I hadn’t done the presentation as we had planned. She had handouts and a Power Point document with bullet points. She was supposed to be the one talking—not me. I had skipped all that. After another beat, I turned my attention to the four seniors in front of us to see what would happen next.
The four of them sat in chairs behind one long table. Marlee Gephalt, our school treasurer, wasn’t looking at us. She was busy picking all the raisins out of her salad. Ted Cowley, the group secretary, didn’t have a pen out to record any of this. Don’t think I saw paper either. He did have a phone in his hand though and seemed to be endlessly texting somebody. Gary Donnelly, the vice president, had his feet up on the desk in front of him and was leaning so far back in his chair he had to be seeing only his size eleven Jordans and not our faces.
Then there was Regina Williams, class president and royal B. Her Blonde Highness leaned way forward and rested her chin in her hands like a little schoolgirl, pretending to be amazed and awed by us. She stayed this way for almost a full minute after I had finished speaking as though she hadn’t noticed I stopped.
Finally she asked, “Is that it?”
Haley cleared her throat and answered hesitantly. “No.” Regina’s eyes cut over to my friend like she was an irritating bug. “I mean that we have some charts and… stuff.” Her voice dwindled off as she noticed Regina was no longer looking at her and was focused on me again.
Regina raised her hand like she was addressing a teacher with her question. I nodded uncomfortably, and she asked, “So, do you guys mean that you’re going to be digging in the trash to get the cans out?”
Marlee glanced up from her salad. “Ew!”
Want to know if Juniper and Haley get their club? If Juniper helps the mermaids and the sea creatures caught in the oil spill? Well, all you have to do is click on one of these little links and get yourself a copy. Paperback
Ebook or paperback
Barnes and Noble
Oh, and for you librarians, it's available at OverDrive too.
Back to School with a Paranormal Romance
The Back to School theme is drawing to a close. The last guest author to visit for the month is Sandra Cox, sharing an excerpt from her YA paranormal romance Ghost for Sale. All of the excerpts featured this month have been in school settings, and in this one, the main character is clearly on her way to school. It looks like a fun, romantic ghost story, a nice way to ease into the spookiness of October and Halloween. If you enjoy what you read, scroll on down and find the links to get yourself a copy.
Caitlin King can’t believe that her shopaholic cousin actually bought two ghosts off of eBay. But she can’t ignore the truth when she starts seeing sexy Liam O’Reilly, who’s been dead for over a hundred years. He’s a fascinating specter, and the more time Caitlin spends with him, the closer they become—sending them both spiraling into a star-crossed tailspin. No matter how desperately they long for each other, there’s just no future with a guy who’s already stopped breathing.
In order to help Liam and his twin sister, Anna, leave their earthly limbo and cross over into the light, Caitlin must find the ghost of Anna’s fiancé. But a malevolent spirit is dead set against Anna moving on. Now Caitlin will have to unravel the mystery surrounding the twins’ past lives in order to keep Liam’s spirit safe—even if it means sacrificing her heart in the process.
The August sun beat down with merciless intensity, the humidity so thick you could cut it with a knife. The family and Patrick stood grouped around Marcy’s Vette and my bug, Pinkie, both cars packed so tightly there was barely room for the drivers.
“Honey, don’t you want us to help you move in?” It was Mom’s swan song. She’d been singing it monotonously ever since I told her I wanted to move in by myself with no parental help. She dabbed at a bead of perspiration on her forehead with a tissue.
“You were there just last week and Parents’ Weekend is coming up in two weeks. I’ll see you then.” I also knew my lines by heart. Aunt Janet and Uncle Leon came over and gave me a brief hug and kiss before they moved to do the same with their daughter.
Mom sighed, tearing up, and hugged me. “Call me the minute you get there.”
"I will. Love you."
“Love you, baby.” She gave me another fierce hug, then stepped back as Dad took her place. He slipped me a slim brown package.
“You got it back already?” I’d spent six weeks writing Liam’s story. I’d locked myself in my study only coming out to eat and sleep. When it was finished, I’d given it to Dad to proof. He’d read it, put his seal of approval on it, and offered to get it printed.
My fingers slid over the hardbound book. “It feels awfully thin for three copies.”
“This one’s yours. I went ahead and sent the other two to Ms. Aileen and Ms. Ethel.”
“Thanks, Dad. And they’re the only copies you had made?”
He crossed his heart. “The only copies. I know how personal this is to you, and I respect that. If you choose to pursue it, you’ve got the makings of a damn fine reporter. And you’ve got the skill.”
“Thanks.” Pleasure flooded my system. Coming from my father, it was no small praise. He drew me to him, held me a moment, kissed my forehead, then let go. “Figure out how to be happy, Caitlin.”
He looked at me, his gaze profoundly sad. I’d always been able to fib to Mom, but Dad saw right through me.
“I’ll try,” I amended.
“Once you’re in school, you’ll be too busy to brood.”
“I don’t brood.”
He lifted his eyebrows.
“Well maybe a little.”
“I better let Patrick say good-bye.” He smiled and stepped back. Patrick had spent a lot of time with me over the summer. He and Dad had hit it off.
I straightened my shoulders. There was something I had to do, and I wasn’t looking forward to it.
Kind of want to know what the secret book Caitlin wrote was about? Find out by picking up a copy of Ghost for Sale at any of these links.
Barnes and Noble
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters, and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened-in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.
Back to School with a Supernatural Curse
All month long we’ve been celebrating teens heading back to school by sharing excerpts from new YA and MG novels that are in school settings. We’ve had ghost stories, zombies, horses, romances and mysteries so far. Something for everyone.
Today, author Shelley Pickens visits with a scene from her paranormal thriller Unhinged, the second book in her Haunting of Secrets series. The cover itself is exciting, but the blurb and excerpt will hook you right in. Looks to be an exciting read, and if you want to learn where you can order your copy, scroll on down.
Being normal isn’t always a good thing, especially if it ends up killing you.
Aimee, the sixteen year old girl who can see your every memory with just one touch, is fresh out of the torture room after risking everything to capture a killer. Despite her instinct to avoid contact with others, she tries her best to find a new normal at school—perhaps even a boyfriend. But for those who are cursed, happiness and normality aren’t easy to obtain. A bizarre illness spreads like wildfire through the school and causes those around Aimee to lose their sanity before falling into a coma. Slowly, all the people she loves succumb to this strange disease.
Alone and terrified, she must use her curse to find a way to save her family and friends. As she delves deeper and deeper into their memories, she realizes David, a delusional person from her childhood, is the bigger threat that could destroy her. Despite the danger that surrounds her, she struggles to solve the puzzle before it’s too late to help those she cares for the most.
But as David moves closer to eliminating her, one puzzle still remains. Will she be able to save herself?
Still absorbed within my memories, I tear my eyes away from Logan and look around the newly renovated cafeteria at our school. Since the old one was bombed five months ago, they have since re-constructed this new cafeteria on the other end of the school. The old site was converted to a memorial for the thirty-seven victims who died there.
If you had told me three months ago that I would be sitting here, in this new cafeteria, talking to a boy—a boy without even the word friend added—I would have laughed and told you that you were out of your mind. Yet, here I sit, with two of the most important people in my life, and I’m content. I never thought that was possible for me, but here I am, living it. And I honestly never want it to end. But cursed people don’t get happy endings. Sadly, the cursed never live long enough to see them.
From the seat across from me, Dejana’s sharp remark brings me out of my daydreams.
“Okay Aim, I’m ready now for sure,” she says as her perfectly polished hand shakes fiercely.
I look up from our almost touching hands and see the one thing I never want to see on my only friend’s face: fear.
“You really don’t have to do this you know. I know you're curious about how my curse works, but you don’t have to experience it to understand it. I can tell you all about how I absorb memories if you’d like. You can paint one of the happier memories for me. It would help me separate the good from all the bad that I witness,” I suggest.
Reprieved, Dejana looks up at me; her eyes no longer clouded with fear. Yet her brown eyes staring back at me mask something else entirely: disappointment? Or perhaps relief?
Dejana opens her mouth to say something, but a loud scream from the other end of the cafeteria interrupts her. We both stand up a bit too quickly, knocking our chairs to floor. We are all still on edge from the bombing. The slightest scream sends us both into a panic. I turn to reach for Logan, but as it turns out, there wasn’t a need. His hand is already reaching for mine. I quickly move to put my glove back on, since I removed it for Dejana’s little experiment, but Logan grabs my hand before I'm able to.
After a lifetime of not being able to touch anyone, it goes against everything I am to have any part of my skin exposed. But for Logan, I would do anything. He told me once after we kissed, that the jolt of electricity that accompanies my touch is addicting.
Great, now I am a drug.
Click on these links to get your copy of Unhinged.
For print – Lulu
Barnes & Noble Nook
Shelley Pickens is a Spanish teacher by day and a novelist by night. She's been in love with everything paranormal since she can remember. After years of teaching high school students, she decided to take her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and fantasy. When not teaching or writing, Shelley likes to spend time with her husband and two beautiful children in Atlanta, Ga. Her escape from reality is her love of complex thriller and science fiction TV series like Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow. In her spare time she is an avid watcher of little league baseball.
Back to School with Horses
If you love horse stories, then author Patricia Gilkerson has what you need. She writes a series of them. For the “Back to School” theme this month, she treats us to a school scene from her newest addition to the series, Turn on a Dime. You can get these stories separately or as a collection. Links are below.
Piper and Addie are going to start their sophomore year in senior high school, when their friend, Miss Julie, rents rooms to Cassie and her stepson, Jeff. Cassie’s mare is going to foal soon and Piper has the responsibility of checking on her daily. Piper and Addie disagree about boys, a situation which worsens because of Piper’s initial dislike of Jeff. As she gets to know and accept Jeff, Piper and her best friend defend him to all adults when he is accused of theft. What will happen when Cassie steals, then leaves the country, as her mare goes into labor with no one but the girls and Jeff to help?
When I walked in the door of Serendipity Springs Senior High School, I was ready for my life to change, to turn on a dime, as Miss Julie had put it. But when I walked out that afternoon, I was absolutely sure I could never go back. I would have to transfer to some other school. Here’s what happened: I had taken more time than usual getting ready that morning. It was a big day, even if I downplayed it to my folks. Showered, fresh, and dressed in my new fringed top, I walked up to the plate glass doors at the front of the building and went inside. Kids milled around in the big, open lobby with their eyes on pieces of paper that told them where to go and when. A huge hand-lettered sign greeted me: GO SALAMANDERS! Green salamanders crawled all over it. The Pep Club had been busy already. Besides the big sign were several smaller signs announcing the Homecoming Dance in a month, showing dancing salamanders. Somebody in the Pep Club had a weird sense of humor.
After entering the school, I realized that I couldn’t find my enrollment slip, which every student had to have to get their schedules. I frantically searched my backpack and found nothing, so I turned around to retrace my steps…and was too close to the plate glass. I smashed myself into that door like a bug on a windshield. After I crashed to the floor, my backpack spilled notebooks and pens all over. I was so totally embarrassed I didn’t even look around to see who was there. By all the snickers, there must have been lots of people watching. Thank goodness I didn’t have any personal girl things in there.
“Who WAS that?” asked someone.
“Some new kid, duh!” said someone else.
I collected my notebooks and pens, still not looking up, and found that my wayward enrollment slip had magically appeared in a folder labeled IMPORTANT STUFF. When I finally had everything collected and stood up, I saw Jeff Johnson walking away. Had he seen my display of klutziness?
That was bad enough, but then I went to the tables where they had our schedules laid out. By this time the crowds had disappeared and I was the only one who wasn’t in class. I showed the parent helper my enrollment slip and got my schedule. Realizing my first class had already started, I scurried down the hall and found the room for Spanish 1. I snuck in the door and found a spot in the back of the room. As I eased myself into a desk, I tried to be quiet and subtle. I was congratulating myself on not disrupting class, when the leg of the desk gave way and the whole thing tipped sideways, throwing me and all my stuff on the floor. Snickers again from the surrounding kids. Hopefully, no one knew who I was.
“Are you all right?” asked a deep male voice. I looked up to see possibly the handsomest man I had ever seen in my life. He was tall, with a deep tan, graying hair and a killer grin to go with his twinkling eyes.
“Um, yeah, I’m okay,” I said, collecting all my things for the second time in a half-hour.
“And your name is…?”
“Piper Jones,” I said, so now everyone knew who I was.
“Bueno, Senorita Jones. I am Senor Gonzales, your teacher. Why don’t you sit in this other desk and we will resume our lesson?”
“Okay,” I said, and after I settled myself in the new desk, I didn’t move the rest of class, or even look around. I was afraid to see anyone smirking.
Addie and I texted each other at lunch, quickly, because our lunchtimes were different. We found out we only had one class together-- last period biology. The rest of the day, I only saw her in the hall now and then, so we agreed to meet and compare notes in biology class. Serendipity Springs was a small town, and ours was not that big a high school. But somehow the kids all had to bunch up between classes, and shuffle along like a herd of cows to get anywhere. Especially for lunch. Don’t get me started on the lunchroom.
I wish I could say that nothing else bad happened, but there was also the broken mug incident in math class, and the torn poster incident in English. I told Addie about these disasters when I saw her in biology class and said I was pretty much done with senior high forever. We decided to walk home together and get a Slushy Slosh at the Dairy Dog Drive-In (raspberry for me, cherry for Addie) so that I could recover.
Addie wanted to talk about the Homecoming Dance in a month, but I couldn’t think that far ahead. I was too focused on the way I had screwed up my entire sophomore year in one day.
“I mean it, Adds, I don’t see how I can face any of those people again,” I said.
“And I thought I was the klutzy one,” she said.
“I’m thinking of going somewhere far, far away and trying again.”
When I got home that afternoon, Mom asked me how it went.
“Mom, I have humiliated the whole family for generations to come,” I said, and explained what had happened.
“Oh, honey, have some of the leftover cherry pie from the picnic,” she said. We would be eating picnic leftovers for weeks to come.
Later, Dad called to see how school went and I told him the sad, tragic tale. After he stopped laughing, he said, “Piper, no one will remember any of that after one day. Other stuff will happen.”
“Really?” I said, hoping. “One day?”
“Well, maybe two or three days.”
Where can you get a copy of Turn on a Dime?
Fire and Ice YA Books (publisher)
The Horse Rescuers includes all the stories and is in print and ebook (and is a better deal than getting them separately)
Barnes and Noble
Patricia Gilkerson spent a horse-loving childhood growing up in Kentucky, and finally got her first horse as an adult. She began writing books for children at night after teaching all day. Today Patricia lives on a hobby farm in Minnesota with her husband Jim, and the current count of three horses. Her two children are grown with children and pets of their own, so there are frequently grandchildren and granddogs running around her house. Her hobbies include travel, Irish/Celtic music, scuba diving and reading. Her favorite thing to do is to hang out with family and friends. Learn more at www.patriciagilkerson.com
Back to School with Zombies
All month long I’ve got authors sharing scenes from their YA and MG novels set at school. This one is definitely unique. I mean, what would school be like if a bunch of the student body were slowly turning into zombies? Thank you to C. A. Verstraete for sharing this fun excerpt from Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie. If you are a fan of iZombie and Warm Bodies (like I am), you’ll need to pick this one up. Links are below.
Going back to school with her cousin, Carm, was something Becca Herrera Hayes had been looking forward to – even as a part-zombie. She hoped it would be even a small spot of normalcy in a crazy, now upside-down life. But well, you know how things always turn out…
About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Becca Herrera Hayes finds her life changed when her cousin comes home, and via an accidental scratch, turns her into a part-zombie. Now she has to cope with a weird diet and changes no teen wants to go through. Her big hope is that she’ll find something, anything, to stop a full transformation… before it’s too late.
Not even the sight of several military Jeeps out front and Guardsmen stationed around the school put me as on edge. This was more nerve-wracking than going to school the first day as a freshman. What would my old friends say once I showed up? Who'd be here?
Who would be different, like me?
Once inside, we waited for what started as a pretty boring half-hour in the main office while my aunt met with the principal. To my surprise, I saw quite a few other kids who'd been changed by the virus, actually more than I expected. I shrank back and watched, my uneasiness growing as some of the usual teasing turned meaner. Only a security guard interfering got several of the boys going their separate ways.
Carm and I glanced at each other when one of the men behind the desk turned and glared at us. Another woman's muttering made it clear she wasn't happy either about the changes, namely, kids like me. The bad vibes in the room grew stronger. I'd almost considered acting sick so we could leave when Tia's voice interrupted my observations.
"Okay, girls, you're all set. Here are your schedules. I'll pick you up at two-thirty. Bec, if something isn't going right, or you need to come home, the principal is making allowances. You should tell your teacher and they'll let you go to the office. They told me that, uh, special students are being classified under federal disability guidelines, so you'll get more consideration if anything is wrong. Have a good day, honey. I'll see you both later."
Carm gave me a shove, (I didn't need to ask why), before she unfolded her schedule for us to compare. "We'll be fine, right? Looks like we have several classes together, English and—."
We both noticed the difference in our schedules at the same time—mine had a big red Z on the top. It wasn't until we turned the corner that we noticed something else new: guards at the end of the hall, metal gates behind them cutting off what used to be the art and band rooms. The guards checked schedules, directing most of the students down the other hall.
My cousin drew a lot of admiring glances, which didn't surprise me, but I stared at the floor when a group of guys laughed and threw crude comments my way. Carm glared at them and pulled my arm, urging me to pick up my pace.
As if everything else wasn't bad enough, since my transformation, I'd started walking sometimes in this weird, loping gait, which, every now and then, left me an embarrassing few steps behind everyone else. I'd become the female version of the Wolfman slinking along on his hairy tiptoes.
Carm pulled my arm again. "Cuz, c'mon, hurry up, ignore them. Ignorant pigs. Don't let them bother you."
We found my locker. My back to the hall, I pretended to fiddle with the lock as a couple other guys passed and stared at us. "Carm, this is harder than I thought. I don't know if I can do it."
I zoned in on a spot across the hall as one of the geeky guys who used to sit behind me in chemistry wheeled around and stared, his face a stomach-turning road map of acne and Z scars. Ugh. I tried not to gag. The Z virus had only made things worse for him.
Carm whispered while she fiddled with her locker. "Bec, don't worry. Things'll get better. It won't be bad. Honest."
I shook my head, feeling even worse when I saw Jimmy Churlin stagger down the hall, heading our way. Holy cow, the virus seemed to have done a number on the guys around here. Jimmy made one ugly being, all drool, and even fewer manners than before.
Grimacing, I watched him make a rude comment to one of the girls who sashayed by, hips wiggling in an attention-getting tight skirt. I'd have thought the virus would have toned down some of his less desirable traits. Day by day, I'd noticed most of my deadened senses had returned even though they stayed at more muted levels. Like I could taste food again (sometimes), but it usually didn't taste like it once did (or stay with me) for long.
Sure I had the wandering eye problem and tripped over my own feet, but so far, most of my problems were somewhat tolerable, considering everything. Not so for most male Zs, I saw. Carm and I exchanged horrified glances as we watched the rude, obnoxious way several of them acted, hoping it was a rare occurrence. Hardly.
The main thing on most teenage Z's brains (the little they had left, of course) these days was food, followed by sex, a horrific combination.
The virus amplified the endless eating cycle teenage boys usually had. Even with all the protein drinks, I watched several stagger down the hall slobbering over packages of raw meat when they weren't slobbering over girls. Ugh. I wanted to laugh, and would've, if it wasn't so revolting.
If this book sounds like fun to you, click on one of these links:
All Amazon Countries
Barnes & Noble
C.A. (Christine) Verstraete likes writing and reading scary books and stories. Her latest work includes two different takes on zombies in the Baby Shoes: 100 Stories from 100 Authors anthology, and coming in the Young Adventurers anthology. Stop by her blog, http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com or her website, http://cverstraete.com.
Back to School in a Dystopian World
Today’s guest post is from author Kate O’Leary. She shares a scene from her dystopian novel Twell. All our excerpts this month revolve around school, and I love how in this scene, even in this futuristic world of “pods” instead of “cars”, the teens are having the same kind of feelings about getting freed from taking the bus as kids today. This looks to me like a great choice if you love books like Divergent, Hunger Games, and the Matched series. Links for purchase are below. Please feel free to leave a comment.
If you lived in a world that decided your future, who you would love...what would you fight for?
Twell lives in the new world of Como, and has always neglected her telekinetic gifts, desiring to be ‘normal.’ Her biggest drama in life is having to be genetically partnered with a boy she doesn’t know or love by her next birthday. Unfortunately she loves her best friend, who loves the girl she hates most, and Twell is left frustrated & heartbroken.
When Twell is requested alongside several other teens to develop her skills for the protection of Como, she reluctantly agrees to the training, and finds herself thrown into all sorts of mental and physical challenges.
Handsome, charismatic Jonaz, is gifted with the power of healing. According to Twell he's an infuriating prat who delights in provoking her. But first impressions have always been her downfall.
When Como is attacked, life as Twell knows it is changed forever, with devastating consequences. With no choice but to fight, Twell risks her life to protect those who have survived, coming up against unexpected dangers she could never anticipate. Will she survive, and if so will she be matched to a stranger when the one she is growing to love is destined to another?
I wove expertly through the skyways traffic towards Caran High, while our distant sun struggled slowly into the hazy, white sky. It cast a soft, shimmering glow over the city of Caran, and the morning air felt cool as usual, the sun too far away to bring much warmth.
“Move it, air waster!” I cussed the pod in front of me, which was practically hovering, and making me even later to school. I’d taken too long to decide what to wear, and now my chest was tightening with the mortal fear of missing out on any juicy gossip I’d missed over the break. As I passed the huge audio Billboard on the main air lane, my pod’s speakers automatically transmitted the latest pressing announcement from the Governing Body,
“Are you wasting water? Remember, restrictions are YOUR responsibility. A thoughtful Comian equals a better world for all.”
Oops. It was like that message was designed exclusively for me. I’d totally taken too long in the shower again. I glanced from my right window over the expanse of endless plains skirting the city. As dull as it looked, the appearance of barren lifelessness was actually a trick of nature; cleverly hiding Como’s best secret for survival. Our underground aqueducts were the main reason the first generation decided to inhabit here, after the warming.
The intruding message effectively delivered the dose of guilt their messages always did, followed by an increasingly familiar sensation of resentment that I couldn’t even get away from their constant presence in the privacy of my own pod.
I pressed my foot down hard on the accelerator in annoyance and darted nimbly around the geriatric driver, making sure they copped my inconvenienced glare as I passed. Directly below me, the pale, moon-rock paved streets whipped by, designed for anyone enthusiastic enough to travel by foot, or solar scooter. The rest of us busy or lazy Comians simply preferred the skyways. Particularly me, as my guardian Shay, had just presented me with my first solar-powered pod. No more public airbus to school, which was so not socially acceptable anymore, especially for a final year student. I would have died of embarrassment if I’d had to keep taking that bus.
That was the first reason Shay had given it to me, simply a reward for making it through four years of upper schooling, and managing not to get myself into too much trouble. Solar-night black and sleek, it tapered in a teardrop shape from front to back, for speed. Inside, the fit-out was silver and white, and could carry three friends and me. It was second generation, one owner before me, but I didn’t mind at all. To me it was the most exciting thing I’d ever been given. The second reason was linked to my impending one hundred and eightieth birthday in a year, or ten moons time. This reason was also much, much worse, but I really preferred not to think about that right now.
As I overtook more traffic, pushing the boundaries of Como’s air speed limits, I glanced into my rear-view mirror to scrutinize my appearance. A pale, oval face with challenging aubergine eyes stared sceptically back, her bottom lip slightly fuller than the top, probably due to too many years of sticking it out in a strop. My fringe was brushed to the side, because I could never decide whether to grow it out into the rest of my long and perpetually tangled hair.
“You look okay,” I told my reflection rather grudgingly.
I finally reached Caran High and circled over the pod landing, looking for a good place to land. Just as I found a spot and aimed for it, a bright flash whizzed past me, so close I swerved sharply in fright.
“What on Como!?” I slammed on the brakes and jerked to a stop mid-air, staring in disbelief as a silver pod zipped into the spot I was clearly lining up for. Huffing indignantly, I looked down to see which student here would be so rude. When I recognized him, I narrowed my eyes and hissed with distaste. Jonaz, that arrogant, self -absorbed jerk took my space. Jonaz Maven…so annoyingly good-looking and stereotypically popular, that when every other silly, hormone-addled girl in the school wasn’t carrying on about him, he was probably advertising himself. In fact, he had a posse of brainwashed fans with him right now. Three, perfect looking, wanna-be groupie girls, and some chunky, block-headed guy. They were all laughing at how fabulous they were, totally oblivious to me still seething, mid-air.
“That’s it!” Swiftly I flew down so that I was positioned just behind the sleek, latest-model pod his toffy parents probably bought him, just for school days. Hovering there, I concentrated on glaring at the back of his stupid, perfect head and took my focus to the outcome.
Where can you get your copy of Twell? Click on any of these links.
Barnes and Noble
Fire and Ice (Publisher website)
Kate O'Leary has been writing since she was three, where ponies and princesses were usually the focus. After school she studied Children's Literature, but these days she prefers to write dystopian fantasy for young adults, being continually fascinated with future direction of our world and the concepts of free will and moral vs lawful obligations.
Kate explores these concepts in her first fantasy/science fiction/dystopian book, Twell, the first in the Como Chronicles Series. Twell has been commended by a panel of judges for the frustrated writers awards Australia. She now lives in beautiful north Queensland where the sun is always shining and people are always smiling.
Author Rita Monette shared a little peak at Ghost Dog Island a couple months back, but now (drum roll please) it’s finally been released!!!! This spooky middle grade book is loaded with mystery and perfect for this time of year. Read the school scene provided for our “Back to School” theme and scroll on down to get your copy today. And feel free to leave a comment. My guest authors love that.
"Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth."
Moving is nothing new for ten-year-old Nikki Landry. Her father relocates their raggedy old houseboat several times a year in search of better crabbing spots. However, their latest move has brought her to a mysterious bayou where she feels something is watching her from a nearby island.
Nikki learns of a local legend about something sinister inhabiting those swamps, stealing the souls of dogs...which would explain the strange howling sounds. Papa reassures her there’s nothing on the island but gators and snakes. He should know. He’s spent his whole life trapping and fishing those bayous and swamps…But maybe there’s something Papa doesn’t know.
Nikki and her new friends begin to uncover strange happenings from years ago that may have started the old legend…and town folks aren’t talking. Then her beloved beagle goes missing.
Join Nikki as she seeks to discover the real truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island…before it’s too late.
Excerpt: Nikki Landry lives in 1956. But, starting a new school is hard no matter what year it is. In this scene, Nikki has changed schools with only three weeks left of the school year.
I stepped into the school building while noisy kids pushed past me. My stomach grumbled. The piece of biscuit I ate earlier felt like it was going to come back up. The strong smell of ink from the ditto copier met me at the door of the office. I took a deep breath.
A gray-haired lady watched me as I walked across the room. “Can I help you?”
“Yes ma’am.” I handed her my papers.
“Changing schools this late in the year?”
While the secretary made clicking noises on her typewriter, I glanced around the room. A large calendar on the wall behind the desk showed a picture of a girl scout, smiling in her green uniform. All of the days had a big red X on them through May 9. June 1 was circled, with "school out" written across it. Three weeks of school left. What could I possibly learn in three weeks?
The woman began flipping through some cards in a box.
I thought about telling her I didn’t feel well and needed to go to the sick room. I was pretty sure I had a fever. I was lost in my daydream when the lady said my name out loud.
“Nicole Elizabeth Landry.”
I nearly dropped my bag. “Most people call me Nikki, ma’am,” I said in the most polite voice I could manage.
She scribbled something on a slip of paper and handed it to me. “Take this to Mr. Brown’s room. Just turn right when you get in the hall.” She motioned with her hand. “Then go to Room Five. It’s on the left.”
I walked out of the office trying to read what she’d written. A loud bell went off above my head. The sound triggered a stampede of kids running past me. I backed into the doorway to get out of their way. After the ruckus died down, I looked both ways, stepped into the hallway, and followed the lady’s directions. My throat tightened. I needed an escape plan in the worst way. I pondered on hiding outside until the bus was ready to leave for the day and then hopping back on it.
By the time I had it all planned out, I found myself standing in front of an open door with the number five above it. A man with gray hair and wearing a brown vest stared back at me. I swallowed my breath. He sat on the edge of a big desk, an open book in his hand, and smiled. I breathed out real slow so no one would hear it.
“Can I help you?” He laid the book on the cluttered desk.
“Yes sir.” I stepped into the classroom and handed him the piece of paper. He smelled like vanilla pipe tobacco. My Grandpa Quebedeaux used to keep a pouch of that in his shirt pocket. I loved snuggling up to him just to get a whiff of it.
I kept my eyes on the tip of my big toe poking through my old shoe. I felt a million eyes drilling holes in my skin.
“Class, welcome Nikki Landry to our school. She has transferred here from Pierre Part.”
“Hey Nikki,” all of the strange kids said at the same time.
Without looking up, I quickly sat down in the seat Mr. Brown pointed to in the front row.
“Push your desk next to Patti’s and share her books until tomorrow when I can get yours,” he said.
I looked to my left and saw the girl from the bus. She had a big old smile on her face. I scooted my chair next to hers. I tried hard to smile back, but my lips felt tighter than one of Mama’s canning jars.
“Hi.” Patti pulled out a large brown book with the corners worn off.
I fidgeted with my pencil and notebook. “I hope I get my own books soon.”
“Oh, that’s okay. I don’t mind sharing.” She looked at my clothes. “If you don’t have any dresses, you can borrow some of mine. We’re about the same size.”
“No thank you.” I rubbed my hand across the front of my baggy overalls. “I have dresses. I don’t like wearing ’em is all.”
“I love your hair. Mine won’t ever grow long enough to braid,” she said.
I fought back a smirk. Her hair did look like a couple of thistle blooms, but she was friendly. And she sure did love to talk. Chatty Patti, I’d call her.
Mr. Brown drew his long gray eyebrows together and glared at us. We stopped talking.
Later on, I was busy trying to figure out an arithmetic problem about a boy named John who bought twelve bags of apples for fifty cents a bag, and wondering how he could carry all that home, when somebody kicked the back of my chair. I turned around to see that rude Tommy Lopez sitting right behind me.
“What do you want?” he asked.
I quickly turned back to face the blackboard. I felt my teeth grind together.
Finally, the bell rang for recess. As I tried to pull my desk aside to sneak out quiet like, I caught my foot on the leg of Patti’s desk.
Blam, clunk, clatter! I landed on the floor, with books, tablets, and pencils. A boy’s muddy boot stood inches from my face. I looked up at him. It was Tommy again. He laughed loudly. Some of the other kids snickered. My skin felt hot as July sunshine.
Why was he picking on me? I wondered lying there on my belly. Was his real name Tommy the Terrible Lopez? If he hated me so much, he’d mor’n likely never answer any questions I had about his trip to Ghost Dog Island and what he saw there. I needed to find another way.
Where can you get a copy of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island?
Mirror World (publisher)
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She loves to write stories set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state.
Her middle grade series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, is based on tales told by her father--who made his living in those bayous--of reasons to stay out of the swamp.
She currently lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee. Besides writing and illustrating, she loves watching the many birds that make their habitat on the Cumberland Plateau.
Back to School with a Ghost
I hope you’re having fun reading the Back to School excerpts posted so far this month. Today I thought I’d sneak in one of my own. It’s hard to choose a scene from my YA novella Passing Notes that is set during school, because most of the scenes are set at school. However, you can read the first two chapter for free at the Fire and Ice YA Books website, so I will choose another scene for you a little later in the book. I hope you enjoy it and want to scroll on down and download a copy today.
Mark has finally gotten the attention of the girl of his dreams. Only, his lame attempts at romance through texts and emails seem to be turning her off. When he gets put in the back of the room in an over-full class at school, he begins to discover old notes giving advice about how to write a great love letter. At first he thinks he’s stumbled on some long-forgotten notes passed in class ages ago, but every time he reads them they seem directed specifically to him. They also appear at the perfect moment each time he needs more advice. It’s like someone is haunting him. How do the notes keep appearing? Who’s writing them? Why?
And if Mark follows the ghostly writer’s advice, will he win Bethany’s love?
Excerpt from Chapter 4:
I got to British Lit early the next day and poked all around the boxes on the desk for more yellow scraps of paper. Nothing turned up. I finally gave up the search when Mrs. Hollstein and some of the students arrived. I’m not sure if I felt disappointed or dejected that I hadn’t heard from the stalker/ghost person. Relieved would have made the most sense. Glad that it really was just a coincidence and not something personal, would have been another way to look at it. Instead, I felt this strange sense of desperation. I think I was really hoping this “person” would help me understand why Bethany continued to ignore me.
I rubbed my eyes and shook some sleep out of my head, then tried to focus on Mrs. Hollstein’s lecture about vocabulary lists being done in good penmanship and not on the computer.
“I don’t want you to cut and paste from some website. Write the definitions legibly and you will learn better. And it wouldn’t hurt to do it in cursive, to make it look like you care.”
I copied the word list off the board. Then, just for laughs, I wrote them all again in cursive like she told us to. Well, as much cursive as I could remember. Flipping the paper over to write on the other side, I discovered it had already been written on. But not by me. By my ghostly companion.
Yes. I was sure now. It had to be some kind of ghost or spirit. That paper hadn’t left my hand since I tore it out of my notebook, and it had been blank on both sides at that point. I was pretty sure of that. I would have noticed several sentences written in cursive, in black ink, wouldn’t I?
It’s stupid, but I actually felt my eyes widen as I took in a long breath through my nose in alarm. I looked around warily, wondering where the ghost might be. Was he nearby, watching me?
Then I read the note.
A true love letter is shared only with your lover. Only she needs to hear what your heart has to say. Hold hands in public, but keep romance discreet. A woman needs to believe that you are hers alone, and that you will share with her what you won’t give to anyone else.
I understood it this time. The penmanship was easier to read, and his fancy vocabulary didn’t test me. He was basically telling me I’d screwed up by writing my apology in a public forum. That only made it worse because now all 382 of her “friends” knew I’d done something stupid toward her.
382 people had probably jammed her phone messages with “I told you so” and “Who is the jerk?” texts. I saw a handful of them last night on the computer. A couple old boyfriends, including Lance, probably made themselves known, too. “Dump the loser and remember what we had.” I really was an idiot. She should dump me.
I put my pen to the paper under that note, curious to see what would happen if I wrote:
What should I do now?
Letter by letter an answer appeared.
I pulled out my phone, intending to sneak online for a second and email her. That would be more private.
But bold, black letters scrawled across the page so dark and thick that I could almost hear the scraping of the invisible marker: NO!
“Okay,” I whispered. “Calm down.” I pocketed the phone.
What then? I wrote.
On paper. A fresh, clean sheet of stationery. A piece of parchment that shows that she is worth something more substantial than scrap paper.
I didn’t have anything like that. All I had was college rule, 3-hole notebook paper. Where was I going to get… I noticed Jill over at her desk, her backpack open and dangling from the back of her seat. Her sketchbook for Advanced Art class stuck out of it.
“Jill?” I whispered loud enough to get her attention. “Can I have a piece of your drawing paper?”
“No,” she whispered back over her shoulder. “It’s expensive.”
“I’ll give you a buck a page.”
“How much do you want?”
I traded my lunch money for five sheets.
I wanted to write something to Bethany right away, but I figured that was not what the ghost wanted me to do. I hardly had enough room to write neatly on this edge of desk I had to work with. To make space for an answer from the ghost, I wrote as small as I could at the bottom of my note:
What should I write?
What you feel! But practice first. Get it right.
Why are you helping me?
The ghost didn’t answer right away, but when he did his response was in neat printing, not the cursive he usually used.
A man in the army needs to be able to write to the woman he leaves at home. It may be all she has left of him if things go wrong.
I wanted to ask more, but I was out of space. I ripped out a new sheet of paper and wrote a couple more questions. He didn’t answer any of them. He was gone.
Download Passing Notes today. It’s only $1.99
(If, by chance, you don’t have an e-reader of any kind, I do have some printed booklet versions. Drop me an email, and we’ll figure something out.)
Back to School with a Dramatic Flair
If you’ve been following me at all, you probably know by now that I am a complete Drama Nerd. I have been in dance and theater from the age of 3 and majored in Theatre Arts in college. So, every single thing about Gail Nall’s new book Exit Stage Left makes me giddy with enthusiasm. I want all young adult readers to get a copy and love on it. Today, Nall shares a little school scene excerpt from her novel for the “Back to School” theme. I hope you enjoy it. Oh, and please feel free to leave a comment and scroll on down for links to get your copy when it's released in just a couple days.
In this funny and sweet digital-original novel perfect for fans of Fame, Casey works to find a new passion after her dreams of becoming a Broadway star are ruined.
Casey Fitzgerald has always been an actress. She's known it was her destiny ever since she snagged the role of "apple" in her kindergarten's production of The Food Pyramid. But when she doesn't get the lead in her performing arts high school's production of The Sound of Music, she begins to question everything. Not getting the lead means no recommendations, and no recommendations means she can kiss good-bye any chance of getting a scholarship to the prestigious New York College of Performing Arts.
“Casey Fitzgerald!” Ms. Sharp’s voice booms across the room. “You look lost in dreamland. Are there ponies? Maybe rainbows and unicorns and violins and not paying attention. So, if it isn’t too much trouble, would you please come back to the dismal real world and join your assigned partner for today’s exercise?”
Partner? I glance at Amanda, who’s got her desk pulled up next to Harrison’s. She shakes her head and points to her right . . . at Trevor. Who is looking at me again. Well, as best he can anyway, with that floppy blond hair hanging in his eyes.
“Greaaaat,” I say under my breath.
Harrison rolls his eyes in typical Harrison style. He has no concept of relationships and sort-of-relationships and how they end and why people who were in sort-of-relationships shouldn’t be doing acting class projects together.
“This century, Casey. Time is a-ticking,” Ms. Sharp says in the semi-deadly voice she usually reserves for the last week of rehearsals.
I scoop up my stuff and slide into the empty seat next to Trevor.
“Rainbows and ponies? More like practicing your Tony acceptance speech. I was in the front row, right?” he says with his usual killer smile.
And this is why I can’t be acting class partners with him. Because it’s completely confusing. That smile and those eyes and I want to push his hair out of his face so badly that I have to sit on my hands. I was so sure back in June that we couldn’t be together. So I called it off and spent the summer learning my audition song and memorizing an entire play (it doesn’t matter what Amanda says—it is too entirely normal to memorize every line of the show you’re auditioning for).
“Don’t you wish,” I mutter. Because I don’t trust my mouth to say anything else. Otherwise, I might find myself spending way too much time with him in the props room. Which kind of happened a lot last year. And the year before.
“So I was thinking—”
“What are we supposed to be doing?” I look past him toward Ms. Sharp, as if that’ll answer my question.
“Uh . . . creating character sketches to use for improv next week.” He leans over the notebook on his desk, hair in his eyes. Again.
He looks up and gives me that smile. He could probably score a toothpaste commercial with it. (But it does not affect me—at all.) “For us. You probably have a list of characters for the whole year.”
I smile back. Stupid traitor face. I’m a professional—I should have complete control over my expressions. “Only for the next two months,” I tell him. It would’ve been more, but Harrison and Kelly threatened to hold an intervention for my weekly method acting. I mean, come on, we go to an arts school. I operate on the assumption that the administration expects us to be a little different.
“Don’t tell me you’re quitting,” he says.
I wave a hand. “No way. I just have to rein it in a little until Kelly gets over me outing her crush on Ian Grimes when I was doing fortune-telling last week. And of course that brought up Harrison’s old grudge from my cat week freshman year, because he can’t let anything go.”
Trevor laughs. “That was classic.”
Yeah, it was, but then Harrison wouldn’t talk to me for two days. Apparently I scarred his reputation when he tripped over my “tail” and ended up crashing face-first into the freshman lockers. Anyway, just because my friends get embarrassed doesn’t mean I need to choose another route to dramatic success.
And at least Trevor appreciates it. It’s interesting how well we get along when we aren’t together.
Trevor reaches over and tugs my Save the Whales shirt. “This is cute. Are you some kind of activist this week?”
First, there is nothing even remotely cute about this T-shirt. It’s a size too big and is completely shapeless and came from Goodwill. Second, he’s flirting with me. Third, I’m having a hard time not flirting back.
“Vegetarian,” I say to my notebook. “So, characters. I think I’ll test-drive my Hollywood Diva next week.”
“Test-drive?” He laughs. “Case, you don’t even have a license.”
He called me Case. Which makes him laughing about my real, true, 100 percent genuine fear of driving not quite as bad.
I poke him with my pen. He grabs it and folds his fingers around my hand. Just as I’m wondering if a little distraction isn’t a good thing, Gabby slides up the aisle toward Ms. Sharp. And Trevor’s eyes flick over to her.
I pull my hand back and bite my lip to keep from saying anything. He looked at her for only a split second, but it was long enough to remind me of exactly why we can’t be together. I study his profile as he starts to write something, and try to figure out why it is I keep coming back to him. This is how it’s gone between us since my freshman and his sophomore year, when we were both cast as leads in The Music Man. He looks at me with those eyes and flashes that smile, I flirt, he flirts, we get together for a little while, he starts looking around, we fight, I break it off, he goes out with other girls, I start to regret ending things with him, and then he always comes back.
But not this time. This time, I refuse to go past the regretting-it part. I have too much on the line this year to be distracted by Trevor—the one who is so insanely good at distracting me—and all the drama that comes with us.
Sound super fun and cute? Get one today!
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million
Gail Nall lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family and more cats than necessary. She once drove a Zamboni, has camped in the snow in June, and almost got trampled in Paris. Gail is the author of the middle grade novel BREAKING THE ICE and the co-author of YOU'RE INVITED, both from Aladdin/S&S. Her young adult debut, EXIT STAGE LEFT, will be published by EpicReads Impulse/HarperCollins on September 8, 2015. Forthcoming middle grade novels include YOU'RE INVITED TOO (February 16, 2016) and OUT OF TUNE (Fall 2016), both from Aladdin/S&S. You can find her online at gailnall.com and on Twitter as @gailecn.
It’s September, and kids are going back to school. Here in Tennessee, they’ve been back for a month already. And while I know everyone's busy with homework and those assigned books, surely you still want something fun to read on the weekends or on the bus, right? With that in mind and to kick off another school year, I’ve invited a bunch of Middle Grade and Young Adult authors to share excerpts from their novels that take place in a school setting. The plan is to post every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, so keep checking back!
First up is Laura Wolfe. She is sharing a scene from her hot-off-the-presses first novel Trail of Secrets. It's a mystery with horses. Ingredients for awesome YA! Read all about it and scroll on down to find out where you can get your copy. Please leave a comment below. The guest authors and I love that.
Trail of Secrets, by Laura Wolfe
Fire and Ice YA (August 27, 2015)
Spending three weeks of her summer at the elite Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen year-old Brynlei’s life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched. Then she hears the story of a girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. While the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei senses that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows.
Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. To make things worse, someone discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. As Brynlei begins to unravel the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she is faced with an impossible choice. Will she protect a valuable secret? Or save a life?
Laura: “My YA mystery, Trail of Secrets, takes place during the summer, but my main character has a flashback to her first day of school when she met her best friend.”
Brynlei and Rebecca Adler had been best friends since the first day of second grade at Birchwood Elementary. She had often wondered if their teacher, Mrs. Miller, was aware that her seemingly random assignment of seats would result in a lifelong friendship. Sitting at her assigned table, Brynlei’s freshly-trimmed bangs and crisp blue jeans had suddenly felt plain next to Rebecca, with her cascading auburn hair, violet dress, and sparkling silver shoes that matched the glistening buttons on her sleeves. Rebecca lunged for some scissors and paper and began to cut shapes out of construction paper, per Mrs. Miller’s instructions, but Rebecca’s scissors would not cut the paper. She gripped, maneuvered, tugged and turned, but the scissors wouldn’t cut. Brynlei stared at her orange piece of paper, pretending not to notice, until Rebecca turned to her. “My scissors aren’t working.”
She lent Rebecca her scissors, but those didn’t work for Rebecca either. Then Brynlei noticed the scissors in Rebecca’s left hand.
“You need lefties,” Brynlei had said to her.
“Oh, yeah,” Rebecca responded, as if she had completely forgotten that she was left-handed. They had both unleashed an outburst of laughter that nearly caused Brynlei to fall out of her chair. It was only when Mrs. Miller threatened to move their seats that they’d managed to regain their composure.
She and Rebecca had been inseparable ever since. Things were easy with Rebecca. Rebecca could glide through any social situation like a butterfly flittering from flower to flower. When Brynlei froze up in front of people, cotton balls filling her mouth, Rebecca stepped up and shot out one-liners that invariably made people laugh or, at least, back off. Most importantly, Rebecca knew everything about Brynlei.
Where can you get Trail of Secrets?
Barnes and Noble
Fire and Ice Young Adult Books
Laura Wolfe lives in her home state of Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University. Her writing has been published in multiple magazines, including Practical Horseman.
Laura is an accomplished English rider and a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found playing games with her highly-energetic kids, growing vegetables in her garden, or spoiling her rescue dog. She dreams of living in a log cabin on a minimum of one hundred acres, ideally, in a slightly warmer climate.
D. G. Driver
Award-winning author of books for teen and tween readers. Learn more about her and her writing at www.dgdriver.com
Author D. G. Driver's
Write and Rewrite Blog
“There are no bad stories, just ones that haven’t found their right words yet.”
A blog mostly about the process of revision with occasional guest posts, book reviews, and posts related to my books.