Thursday, July 27, 2017

Promo: The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

D.E. Night unleashes magic and mystery in debut middle grade fantasy novel, The Crowns of Croswald


Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – In D.E. Night’s debut novel, The Crowns of Croswald, magic sparks around every corner in a kingdom ruled by a dark queen. Ivy, a young orphan living in the Kingdom of Croswald discovers that she has powers of her own. She enrolls at the Halls of Ivy, a school where young students learn to master their magical blood and the power that Croswald’s mysterious gems can wield. Unfortunately, Ivy’s schooling – and her life – is threatened by the evil queen and her henchmen. As Ivy tries to unearth her past and save Croswald’s future, a fantastical adventure ensues.

Releasing on July 21, 2017, The Crowns of Croswald is the first book in a series for middle grade readers brimming with whimsy, adventure, and steampunk undertones. Croswald’s gutsy heroine is part Cinderella, part Harry Potter, part Percy Jackson, and all fun.

“We get to watch Ivy not only grow into her own magic but also be the very hero that Croswald needs,” Night says. “I find that sometimes girls don’t know how powerful they are, and how what makes them different can be what makes them destined for greatness. Even if she’s not always sure of herself, Ivy has a sense of adventure, determination, and courage that I hope we can all see in ourselves.”

Night’s debut novel wisks the reader to a land of enchantment, adventure and colorful characters. Reminiscent of fantasy classics, this is a world that readers won’t want to leave.

D.E. Night lives, dreams, and writes in South Florida amid her menagerie––two dogs and two cats––with her husband. “The Crowns of Croswald” is her first book. She draws inspiration from silver-screen storytellers, magical imaginings, and her younger brothers. A day spent in Croswald, or another whimsical world, is her favorite kind of day.



The Crowns of Croswald Book Trailer from D.E. Night on Vimeo.


Author Links


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Interview & Giveaway: Of Jenny and the Aliens by Ryan Gebhart


Of Jenny and the Aliens

by Ryan Gebhart
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sci-Fi
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Synopsis:
When boy meets girl meets alien, the angst of first love gets an extraterrestrial intervention in a tale both outrageously funny and full of heart.

Ten years after Earth sent messages out into deep space, there has beenan answer. Music from a distant planet has reached the world’s radios. Are aliens about to invade? No one knows, and almost-eighteen-year-old Derek doesn’t really care, because at a wild end-of-the-world party, Jennifer Novak invited him to play beer pong, and things, well, progressed from there. Derek isin love. Deeply, hopelessly in love. He wants it all — marriage, kids, growing old on a beach in Costa Rica. For him, Jenny is the One. But Jenny has other plans, which may or may not include Derek. So Derek will try anything towin her —even soliciting advice from an alien who shows upin his hometown. This alien may just be the answer to Derek’s problem, but is Derek prepared to risk starting an interstellar war to get his girl? Just how far ishewilling to travel to discover the mysteries of the universe —and the enigma of love?

What are the three words that best describe you? 
Awkward, anxious, and genuine (or at the very least, I try to be genuine).
What books have most influenced you? 
Pretty much anything by Michael Crichton and Stephen King. The fact that Michael Crichton was able to make the most absurd concept—a theme park with actual dinosaurs—sound like the most realistic and plausible thing, it just blew me away. I was convinced that some day, maybe I could do that too. And Stephen King. He writes with such ease you can tell he wouldn't want to be doing anything else. If I could have as much fun with writing as King does, then I know I've made it. Currently it's a struggle, as I am still learning the essentials of good storytelling.
Favorite quote from your book? “Love is not a shape. There is no love triangle, no love square. Love is a network. It's a form of communication.”
What's more fun to write – the world or the characters? 
Man, this has got to be a fifty-fifty split for me. The characters populate the world, but the world shapes the characters. Writing both has their challenges as well as their joys.
Has a character ever taken over a story you were writing? Or done something that surprised you? 
Yes. I think all of my characters have surprised me to some degree at one point or another. If a character doesn't surprise you as you're writing them, then they're likely not as fleshed out as they need to be to satisfy the reader. I've never met a human that didn't surprise me with their actions at one point or another, no matter how set in their ways they seem. Fictional characters should reflect this. 
What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I'm also a portrait artist. And I play the piano . . . and I pretty much hang out with my pups whenever possible.



Ryan Gebhart is the author of the middle-grade novel There Will Be Bears, about which Publishers Weekly said in a starred review, “ Fully developed characters, complex and realistic relationships . . . and a spot-on narrative voice . . . make this story stand out. About Of Jenny and the Aliens, the author says, “ This book is about first love and discovering that we're notalone in the universe, and how maybe those two things aren't that different from each other.” Ryan Gebhart lives in Ohio.


His debut young adult Of Jenny and the Aliens, about first love and discovering that we're not alone in the universe, willbe released Spring 2017 with Candlewick Press.













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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener


Amid Stars and Darkness
Chani Lynn Feener
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.
Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.
No pressure or anything.
Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.
Get lost Amid Stars and Darkness, in this YA sci-fi romance from debut author Chani Lynn Feener.

Excerpt
 “Hold on to me,” he ordered against the crown of her head, bringing her up high enough so that she could wrap her arms around his neck. She hesitated and he shook her. “It’s either this or die here, Olena,” he hissed. “They will kill you.”
“Thanks, Captain Obvious.” They were shooting at them, after all. “I’m just not sure what makes you a safer option?”
Before he could respond, another round of gunfire when off, and Delaney’s panic spread. She linked her arms around his neck without further protest, her only thought on getting out of there intact. 
“Put your legs around my waist,” he asserted, and this time she didn’t hesitate. The second he was satisfied that she was secure, he pulled on the metal bar. 
“Activate extraction shield and pull us up, Fawna,” he said, and it took Delaney a second to realize he must have a communicator in his ear. A thin, see-through beam wrapped around them and the man still on the ground. It was green, and from the other side she saw the men shoot at it, bullets bouncing off as it hitting bulletproof glass. 
When they started rising, she yelped and tightened her arms and legs around him. She thought she heard him chuckle, but she couldn’t pull her eyes off the slowly receding ground to check. 
They were high enough now that she could see over the tops of the buildings, and more soldiers dressed in all black were approaching the mouth of the alley. She counted a dozen before stopping, not wanting to waste her time. Another black bar on a long silver string zipped past her head, and she watched it drop to hover over the guy who was firing on their attackers. 
Without looking, he reached up and grabbed on, yanking once before it started pulling him up toward them. He continued to fire his weapon, a gun she’d never seen before, the color of melted silver with a line of bright red lit up on its side. 
“Hurry it up, Fawna,” Ruckus growled. 
This time she did look up, and sucked in a deep breath. The ropes were being drawn into the underside of a large ship she hadn’t been able to make out from the ground. It reminded her a lot of a jet plane, except three times the size and with circular wings instead of sharp-tipped ones. It was black but had somehow been programmed to camouflage with the night sky. Stars winked back at her from its metallic surface as if really there. 
A bottom hatch opened up when they were only a few feet away, metal doors sliding to the sides to expose a deep beige room. The ropes bringing them up were attached to the ceiling of this room, and instead of a crank rolling it, the line merely disappeared within the metal. 
“Oh, shit,” she repeated, vaguely recalling she’d already said that. She was so distracted by the gaping mouth of the alien ship she was headed toward, she didn’t noticed the green force field around them flickering and then disappearing. 
She totally felt the bullet that sliced through the side of her left arm, though. It was a searing sensation, like someone was branding her with a hot knife, and it shot bolts of fire that immediately spiked through her bloodstream. 
She cried out, saw a burst of red stain the white leather of her jacket, and had one last moment of panic before her vision winked out and everything went black. 


Author Bio:
Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is the author of Amid Stars and Darkness and the teen paranormal series the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on Goodreads.com.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blitz & Giveaway: Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser


I am so excited that CHASING EVELINE by Leslie Hauser is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Leslie Hauser, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag courtesy of Leslie and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.



Title: CHASING EVELINE
Author: Leslie Hauser
Pub. Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Pages: 300
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonBarnes& NobleTBDGoodreads


Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.

Excerpt:

They say music is the key to the soul. Or maybe it’s the heart. I can’t remember exactly what my mom said that day she danced into my room with a new record for me to hear. I was only in the fourth grade, but I became a believer. I remember so vividly how the drums rattled deep within my chest and the lyrics I didn’t even understand seemed to whisper secrets meant only for me. The song lingered inside me for days. My mom swooned and told me that’s why music must be shared.
So when I saw the desperate school blog post calling for a volunteer DJ at tonight’s Back to School Dance, I jumped at the chance. The music my friend Matt and I plan to throw into the mix is a giant master key. I just hope it will open the teenage hearts in this musty gym and linger inside them long after the last balloon deflates. This music is important to me.

I nudge Matt, whose face is glued to the computer screen at our DJ table. A vibrating speaker to our left thumps out music, so I yell into his ear, “Is the set list ready?”

He tilts his head toward me. “Geez, Ivy. I just plugged in the flash drive.”

“Okay, sorry.” I step away. He sweeps his blond hair out of his eyes and returns his focus to the computer.

I pace behind him, a nervous left followed by an excited right and back again. The musical brilliance of the greatest guitarist of all time will soon weave through these bodies and drift into every ear. My heart floats up with the blue and yellow balloons hovering like a latex fog.

My hand strums on my thigh while Matt continues to fuss with the computer. Near the gym entrance, Principal Henry stands with Narc 1 and Narc 2, and a wave of yawns travels across them. The newbie freshmen line the walls and cluster in groups. The scene resembles a casting call for an acne medication ad.

The dull atmosphere isn’t helped by the annoyingly synthetic pop noise blasting through the speakers. After I offered our free DJ services to Karen, the Dance Committee Chairperson, she gave us a mix of music tracks to play. She was grateful to have saved some precious dollars for this year’s prom, but 

I’m not sure she trusted two no-name juniors to get the job done. 

However, after listening to thirty minutes of her set list, I’m seriously questioning the cool factor of the popular crowd. Karen’s mix features some of the worst radio music of all time. Every song is a mere echo of the previous one—peppy beats and vacuous lyrics about hook-ups and partying. I can’t even tell if the voices belong to boys, girls, or machines. 

I tap Matt’s shoulder. “Are you almost finished?” I nearly have to scream.

“Yeah. I’m just making sure we have the songs in the right order.” He turns around and leans toward me. “Ivy, you really want to do this?”

I smile at him and hope he doesn’t see all the tiny cracks waiting to splinter. “We’re just sharing some great music. It’ll be fine.”

About Leslie:
I am a YA writer and middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.

When I’m not living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances, torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.

My debut novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.

Website |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads


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Ends on February 9th at Midnight EST!


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Monday, July 10, 2017

Giveaway & Excerpt: Paper Hearts by Ali Novak

Title: Paper Hearts
Series: Heartbreak Chronicles #2
Author: Ali Novak
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
ISBN: 9781492653363

“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just—I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.” 


Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me. 


“My real name is Alec.”


Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college. 


Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec. 


Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…


Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.


Buy Links:



EXCERPT: 
Before I could overthink it, I pulled off my mask and tucked it on top of my bag where it wouldn’t get crushed. Then I hurried out of the room and thanked the man before surveying the lobby for Aaron. He was standing beside the valet counter, headphones in as he waited for me. His head bobbed to the beat of whatever song was playing, and when he saw me coming toward him, he stiffened.
“What’s wrong?” I asked when I reached him.
“Nothing,” he said, yanking out the earbuds. He stood straighter and nodded at me, but his response was too quick and I didn’t believe him.
“No, really. What’s up?” Reaching up, I self-consciously brushed a strand of my hair away from my eyes.
“It’s just that, well…you took off your mask.”
Oh man, that’s a bad thing?
My cheeks caught fire. Okay, so maybe my bottom teeth could be a little straighter, and I hated the number of freckles I had, but it wasn’t like my face was repulsive or anything. At least, I’d never thought so.
Aaron instantly backtracked, waving his hands in defense. “Crap, I didn’t mean it like that. You have a very lovely face…er…I mean, you’re really pretty.”
“Um, thanks?”
“I’m sorry.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “That came out all wrong. What I meant was… Now that you took off yours, I feel obligated to as well.”
“And you don’t want to?”
“No, it’s not that, but…” He trailed off, shaking his head, and took a big breath. “There’s something I haven’t told you.” He paused. “About myself.”
“Okay?” I said, my voice rising slightly. Did he not want to give me a ride home anymore? If so, I was totally screwed. I’d probably missed the bus, and there was no way Asha was home from picking up Riya yet, which meant I’d have to call my mom and interrupt her date. She would not be happy. “Are you some crazy serial killer?”
I joked, voicing my earlier concern. “Aaron the ax murderer?”
“No,” he said, “but my name isn’t Aaron.”
My entire body tensed. “What?”
Why would he lie about his name?
“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just…I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.” He pulled the wolf away, and somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me. “My real name is Alec.”
Holy. Freaking. Shit.
“Alec,” I repeated. I tried to swallow my shock. “As in Alec Williams.” Son of Sebastian Williams, CEO of Mongo Records—one of the largest labels in the music industry—and bass player for the Heartbreakers.
He stood there blushing, hands clasped behind his back.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around this impossibility, and I thought if I said the truth out loud, then maybe I would actually believe it. Because I hadn’t spent my time at the ball with some random cute guy. No, Alec Williams and his bandmates were some of the most famous guys in the whole flipping universe. Even more famous than Gabe Grant and Violet James.
It wasn’t like I was crazy obsessed with the Heartbreakers like Asha was. Sure, I liked their music. Heck, I’d even bought one oftheir albums, but I’d never been to a Heartbreakers concert, and I didn’t stalk their lives like a crazy fangirl. But the revelation that I’d unknowingly spent the past hour with an actual celebrity was overwhelming. Suddenly, all those embarrassing moments rushed back to me, and I blushed so deeply that my face probably turned the color of my hair.
Alec watched me with a guarded expression as I tried not to freak out. And then I remembered what he’d said only moments ago: he lied because he didn’t want me to think of him any differently.
Right now, I was doing just that.
He’s just a regular guy, I tried to convince myself. Pretend he’s still Aaron.
I flexed my fingers and pasted on a smile, but before I could say anything, a woman in a navy ball gown stepped in front of me. “Alec Williams?” she asked, an uncertain smile on her face. When he nodded, the woman’s shoulders relaxed. “I thought I recognized you. My daughter absolutely loves the Heartbreakers. Your music is the only thing she listens to, and she’d be crushed if I had the opportunity to get an autograph and came home empty-handed. Do you mind signing something for me?”
“Of course not.” Alec grabbed a pen and a piece of paper off the valet desk. “What’s your daughter’s name?”
“Zoey.”
I watched as Alec scribbled a quick message and his name before handing the paper over to the woman.
“Thank you so much,” she said, clutching the signature in her hands. “This will mean the world to her.”
Alec nodded again, and the woman said good night. I wondered if it was always like this for him—having to sign autographs, posing for pictures, putting on a smile everywhere he went. As backward as it sounded, living like that must’ve been lonely, to never have a moment to himself or be just a face in the crowd. I almost felt sorry for him.
When Alec faced me again, his lips were pressed tight, like he expected me to ask for an autograph too. Instead, I smirked.
“Well, I can honestly say I didn’t see that coming.”
A few seconds passed, and a grin split his face. “Because I’m more the serial-killer type?”
“Yup, totally.” We stared at each other with hesitant smiles, and suddenly it was like he was Aaron again, not Alec Williams of certain Heartbreakers fame.
“Mr. Williams?” the valet asked, materializing at Alec’s side. “Your car is ready.”
Alec took the keys. “Thanks,” he said, and my eyes went big when he slipped the man a fifty. He turned to me. “Do you still want me to give you a ride home? There are going to be people out there who will take our picture.”
I gulped. Did I want a bunch of flashing cameras in my face? No, and I suddenly realized this would be a whole lot easier if I’d kept my mask on. But at the same time, I had a feeling the boy standing next to me was worth a few uncomfortable moments in the limelight.
“Yeah,” I said, and my mouth twitched into a smile. “Besides, I probably already missed the bus.”
“I guess you’re stuck with me.” And then he put his hand on the small of my back and guided me out into the night.

No purchase necessary. Open to US Only. Must be 13 years or older to enter. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. Winner will have 48 hours after notification to claim prize after which another winner will be chosen. Not responsible for items lost in the mail. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher not Little Library Muse.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram


The Ghost of You and Me
by Kelly Oram

How do you tell someone who hates you and blames you for the death of his best friend that you miss him?

From the bestselling teen and young adult author of Cinder & Ella comes a new heart-wrenching romance sure to bring all the feels.

The tragic death of Spencer Schott unravels the lives of the two people he loved most—his girlfriend, Bailey, and his best friend, Wes. Secrets and guilt from that fateful night keep both Bailey and Wes from overcoming Spencer’s loss and moving on with their lives.

Now, nearly a year later, both Bailey and Wes are still so broken over what happened that Spencer can’t find peace in the afterlife. In order to put his soul to rest, he’s given one chance to come back and set things right…even if that means setting up his girlfriend with his best friend.

With the emotional resonance of Jellicoe Road and the magical realism of The Lovely Bones, The Ghost of You and Me is a story about overcoming grief, finding redemption for past mistakes, and the healing power of friendship and love. Fans of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Nicholas Sparks are sure to love this haunting new tale from Kelly Oram.

This is a clean young adult romance stand alone novel that reads like contemporary drama romance and has just a touch of magical realism.



 

The Ghost of You and Me Excerpt
I open the door and slam into a solid chest. Strong hands grip my arms to steady me, and they don’t let go. I know the hands are Wes’s without having to look. “Are you okay?” he asks.
At first, I’m comforted by his presence. His smell is familiar, and the heat of his tall, lean body feels like it could thaw my frozen heart. For a split second, I melt against him. His arms come around me as if holding me is as natural to him as breathing. For a second, everything is right in my pathetic world. For a second, I’m alive again.
“Bailey, what’s wrong?” His usually smooth, deep voice is gruff.
My head jerks up at the sound of my name, and reality catches up with me. I scramble out of his embrace, attempting to swallow back my panic. He’s watching me, waiting for an answer. I haven’t spoken to him since the funeral, and I’m not sure I can do it now. It takes me a minute to find my voice, and when I do, I blurt out, “What are you doing here?”
He sucks in a breath through his nose as he steps back, gripping the strap of a bag slung over his shoulder. Seeing the backpack, my jaw drops. “Are you coming back to school?”
The genuine horror in my voice makes him flinch. There’d been a bit of light in his eyes, but it’s gone now. His face closes off. “No, I’m not coming back to school here.”
He adjusts that strap again, then switches the backpack to his other shoulder while glaring at the ground. I’ve offended him. Or maybe he just still hates me. I wouldn’t blame him. I got his best friend killed, after all. I hate me.
Seeing him reminds me of that night all over again. The events replay in my mind with vivid detail. Everything from finding Wes and stopping him from doing something unthinkable, to the kiss, to the fight, and finally the accident and Wes holding me back while paramedics did their best to try and save Spencer’s life.
One look at his face, and I can tell Wes is thinking about the same events. He closes his eyes and takes a breath. When he looks at me again, his expression has smoothed out. “How are you?” he asks. “You know…today.”
I swallow back a lump of emotion. I’m not surprised that Wes knows today is Spencer’s and my anniversary, but his acknowledgement of it feels like a knife in my heart. Why does he care? He hated that Spencer and I were together, and he used to get so cranky on this day every year.
“What’s today?” someone behind me murmurs. “It’s not the anniversary of Spencer’s death. That’s not for a couple weeks.”
A crowd of students have gathered to watch the drama. I don’t know who spoke, but I wish I could make them all disappear. Could people be any more tactless? Why can’t they just mind their own business?
When my eyes start to burn, I turn to leave. I can’t stand here any longer.
Wes puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me. “Bay, wait.”
I freeze. Aside from that night, Wes hasn’t used my nickname since I got together with Spencer and he started hating me for stealing his best friend.
Wes lets me go and rubs a hand over his head. “Sorry. I just—we should really talk.”
“Don’t.” With a quivering voice and stinging eyes, I whisper, “I can’t do this. Not today.” Maybe not ever.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t stare into those knowing eyes for another second. My guilt is bad enough without seeing his sadness and anger.
Wes doesn’t say anything as I leave, doesn’t try to stop me. I head straight for my car and don’t care if I get in trouble for leaving. All that matters is getting far, far away from here. I’m not really running from Wes. I’m running from the past. Running from myself. Those are two things I will never escape, but I run anyway.


Author Kelly Oram Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.







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