LOST REPUTATION by Kimberly Ann Miller {Blog Tour w/ Excerpt, Review + Giveaway} @KimberlyAnnNJ @BridgGapPR @EvernightTeen

 

LOST REPUTATION

 

Kimberly Ann Miller
 
Romance/Contemporary/Suspense/Young Adult
Evernight Teen Publishing/237 pages
 
 
 
Casey Hayes has a secret—she writes the conspiracy theory column for her high school newspaper. As the editor, she thrives on the thrill of uncovering the facts—until she gets tangled up in a scandal.
 
When she exposes a teacher’s shameful secret, threats start, demanding she stop spreading the vicious rumors. Casey blows it off and keeps on writing. Even sexy Victor Cruz, the hot senior with the adorable accent who chases after Casey and tries to protect her, fails to convince her to keep her mouth shut. But things only get worse as she ignores the warnings, and soon, Casey must decide if exposing the truth is more important to her than her life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Buy Links:   Evernight Teen    Amazon    ARe    
 

 

 
Excerpt:
I laughed at the memory as I locked up the newsroom and rushed to my next class. I still had a smile on my face as I plopped down on my seat in the back row of calculus. Victor Cruz, my secret crush, entered the room. My pulse reacted to his presence, but, thank God, no other part of me did that he could see. I didn’t want to be lusting after anyone this year because I was planning on working hard toward my college goals and didn’t need the distraction.
The worst thing was, Charli told me he gave his ex-girlfriend some rash because he cheated on her. I so did not do the sexually transmitted diseases thing, and I definitely had zerorespect for cheaters. Not even for a hunk like him, who obviously screwed around and didn’t care if he got girls sick.
But damn, did this guy make my insides quiver. He was totally hot. His parents moved to New Jersey from Spain during middle school when Vic was scrawny and didn’t speak much English. When senior year started a month ago, no one recognized him because he’d grown ten inches, gained fifty pounds—of muscle—and must have taken some classes in style because, damn, the boy knew how to dress to show off his build.
Loose jeans with a belt, black boots, and a black, long-sleeved tee only made him sexier. And the way he walked? It should’ve been a crime. He had a swagger about him that rivaled any of the good old boys of Hollywood. Watching it made me quiver in places I didn’t know could quiver.
But it wasn’t just his looks that held me captive. He had the values of an old-fashioned guy—holding the door open for girls, helping them with heavy stuff, defending them when guys were too rough or mean.
If it wasn’t for that wild partying side of him … sigh.
As he approached his seat, I couldn’t help but stare at his thighs, mesmerized by the fluid sway they made with each step.
He caught me staring and raised a thick black brow. I diverted my eyes and pretended to be very interested in the junior’s notebook next to me. But I didn’t even know his name. Ugh.
Vic slid into his seat next to me and winked at the girls that were staring at him.
They always stared at him.
I rolled my eyes. But when I felt his eyes on me, I shifted in my seat, fighting the funny tingle in my stomach that came from looking at him.
The other problem was, besides being a distraction, Vic knew how sexy he’d become. He acted so cocky and confident, I wanted to smack the grin off his face and remind him that not long ago, he could have passed for a ten-year-old boy who couldn’t speak English or speak to girls.
But, whatever. He had a harem now, so good for him. And shiny black hair, smooth, bronze skin, and deep brown eyes that … never mind. Didn’t matter anyway.
Kylie sauntered over to him, swaying her hips so hard, I wondered how they didn’t dislocate. She leaned over his back and wrapped her arms around his ample shoulders, pressing her boobs into his back. I’m sure he loved that. “Hey, Vic. Busy this weekend? My parents are out of town, and we can go riding if you want. I’ll pack us a lunch.” She ran her fingernails over his chest as she spoke, clearly enjoying the feel of him.
He pulled her fingers off him and slipped out of her grasp. “Sorry, I’m busy, but thanks for asking.”
She leaned into him again, making sure to press her boobs into his neck. I rolled my eyes so hard, they almost didn’t return to face front. That would suck. What would I tell the nurse? I was looking at my brain instead of in front of me and I needed an eye adjustment?
“Maybe another time, okay?”
Vic nodded once. “Si.”
I pulled out my phone to check messages, done with listening to the vixen and her attempts at charming the hottest guy in school.
“Hey, Casey,” he said in his sexy Spanish accent. He had this way of dragging out the end of my name, making it sound like Kay Seee.
It was both unsettling and adorable, so I just grunted at him. How else could I get anything done with him around?
 
 
 
This young adult mystery kept me on the edge of my seat as the twists and turns unraveled. Well written with exciting characters and the author's writing style sweeps you up into the story line and captivates you in the truths and lies of it all.
 
YABDivas4
 
{I received an eARC when I signed up to host the tour. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are my own.}
 
 
 
About the Author:
Kimberly Ann Miller received Bachelor's degrees from Georgian Court University and Rutgers University and a Master's degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  She is an avid reader and particularly enjoys true crime and young adult novels.  She grew up in New Jersey and currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband and cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel to sunny islands where she snorkels by day and stargazes by night. She always takes her Nook with her.
 
 
 
 
 
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Giveaway:
 

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Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels {Cover Reveal}

 

 

Shadows of the Forest
Emma Michaels
Publication date: November 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Bio:

Emma Michaels is the award winning author of the Society of Feathers series with over 15 publications under her belt. With a love for all things story-telling this bibliophile plans to take over the world one cup of coffee at a time. A rule breaker who isn’t afraid to have uncommon opinions she is an avid lover of mathematics and stand out fiction which transcends both its genre and format whether books, games, movies, or otherwise. A good story is a good story. When she isn’t online she is out dancing in the Washington rain or seeking new adventures.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron {Release Blitz w/Giveaway}

 

 

Pretty Wicked
Kelly Charron
Publication date: September 30th 2016
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

The daughter of a local police detective, fifteen-year-old Ryann has spent most of her life studying how to pull off the most gruesome murders her small Colorado town has ever seen.

But killing is only part of it. Ryann enjoys being the reason the cops are frenzied. The one who makes the neighbors lock their doors and windows on a hot summer’s day. The one everyone fears but no one suspects.

Carving out her own murderous legacy proves harder than she predicted. Mistakes start adding up. And with the police getting closer, and her own father becoming suspicious, Ryann has to prove once and for all that she’s smarter than anyone else—or she’ll pay the ultimate price.

Written in a mature YA voice. Some graphic content.

 

 

 

 

Goodreads / Amazon

READ CHAPTER 1:

Some people are called to certain things in their life. That’s what hunting is for me. An urge. A desire. The closest thing I have to a calling.

My name is Ryann Wilkanson. I’m fifteen years old.

And I’m a killer.

It was hard to pick my first. Call me sentimental, but it had to be just right.

I knew what I wanted. What I needed. Someone worth the risk, the challenge. Somebody who deserved it. Now, I’m not talking about the horrible, abusive assholes you see on TV. I wanted someone who I thought deserved it…

And to be honest, that could’ve been just about anybody.

Some people might think it’s odd to contemplate killing someone, but it was the most natural thing in the world to me. I didn’t dare talk about it—I somehow knew that much—but my thoughts raced with vivid, red-tinted images.

While my fantasies were fun, I had to wait. I still lacked the skill and organization to actually go through with it.

And, as I matured, I realized part of me was still hesitant. A piece of the puzzle was missing. It was as though I was waiting for permission. Something to give me the final push into action.

Funnily enough, I got that that clarity six years ago, when I was nine. My dad thought he was simply giving me a ride to school, but he initiated the defining moment of my life.

I remember it like it was yesterday. He’d just come off nights and wasn’t in the best of moods when my mom asked him to drive me and Bri. I’d raced to the car first, winning shotgun, leaving Brianna to storm behind me. She was a sore loser, and it only made my grin bigger.

We were just a few blocks from the house when Dad started with one of his commentaries on all that was wrong with society.

“Jesus. People like that make me sick.”

We had stopped at a red light, and I spotted a guy standing on the corner with a sign that read Please Help.

At first I felt kind of bad for him, and I didn’t understand why Dad was upset. “At least he’s not dealing drugs,” I suggested.

“Brilliant observation. Maybe we could put that on a T-shirt for him,” Bri said. My father laughed and my stomach dropped. She never wasted an opportunity to make me look stupid.

Dad grunted. “Don’t be naïve, Ry. He’s probably scraping enough together to get his fix. People like that are after one thing—and it’s not a job.” He rolled his eyes, disgusted. Not a minute later, while we were still waiting at the light, a kid in a fancy sports car passed us. “See, look at that. Punk probably had it handed to him from Mommy and Daddy. He’s what—seventeen? Probably hasn’t worked a day in his whole goddamn life. Entitled brat. This is the problem with the world. You got two lazy bums on opposite ends of the spectrum, and neither are worth their salt.”

My father didn’t have a whole lot of empathy for anybody, and he certainly didn’t entertain excuses. I had to be the best if I wanted him to love me. “People need to either lead, follow—”

“Or get out of the way,” I finished. He patted me on the head. I knew this rant well and kind of understood my father’s reasoning. The homeless guy couldn’t even be bothered to walk up and down the rows of stopped cars to beg. He just stood there with an empty cup. He really was a waste.

I fought the urge to point out to my dad that I was nothing like those people—and never would be—but I knew he wouldn’t care. He loved me, but nothing I did seemed to impress him, especially since my older sister Brianna, the golden child, had perfected every- thing before I even had a chance to try.

I had to do something really big to make an impression.

I had to be a leader.

In the car, all those years ago, I realized that my desires could turn into something much more. Those entitled, useless people my dad despised were taking our hard-earned money, space, and air. And I was someone with deadly urges who wasn’t afraid to do something about it. Not everyone could say that.

But unfortunately, I would have to wait. I was much too young to execute my plans in the way I wanted.

My thoughts, however, were uninhibited, and I became enamored with the power and control that selecting the right kill could bring. The foreplay was intoxicating. I daydreamed about the countless ways I could do it. About all the places I could sneak up and strike. About the legacy I would leave behind.

For years I researched and studied serial killers— or as I liked to call them, The Greats. Most of The Greats hadn’t started until well into their adulthood. Call me an overachiever, but I wanted more kills in less time. I had all the qualities required: above-average intelligence, inside information (Dad was a cop), and a sweet cherub face.

But I also had something more. Tenacity. I knew what I wanted, and come hell or high water, I was going to get it. By fifteen, the thirst inside me could finally be quenched.

Cue my first planned victim—a snotty little brat who lived only a few streets away from me. Olivia McMann. Ugh. She was exhausting. Spoiled. Whiny. Brianna used to babysit her. I’d be dragged along because my parents usually worked overtime at their respective jobs. I was twelve and old enough to stay home alone, but they insisted. Like I had nothing better to do.

Brianna would be online with her friends or texting her boyfriend, and she’d stick Livy with me. Olivia wouldn’t leave me alone. One night she pestered me for hours on end until I lost it on her. Then she got the quivering lip and teary eyes and went crying to Bri.

Bri’s voice ripped across the room. “Ryann, what did you do now?”

“Nothing! Why do you always assume it was me? Maybe Livy is being a little crybaby over absolutely nothing,” I said, arms crossed tightly across my chest.

The brat came running up behind me. “You’re mean, Ryann. I hate you!”

I swept my hair into a ponytail and turned my back to her.

Death glare in full force, Brianna dug into me. “Why are you being such a pest? Leave Olivia alone already. Go find something to do, and don’t think for one second I’m giving you any of the money.”

She proceeded to get Olivia some licorice. A reward for her evilness. Maybe they were in on it together and shared private laughs while discussing different ways to torture me.

Brianna was seventeen at the time, and she hated me. No matter how hard I tried, she always dismissed me like I was an annoying pain in her ass.
“Not everything is my fault, you know,” I said, determined to stand my ground.

“Well, she’s not the one in my face right now. Go play with her for an hour until her bedtime, and maybe I won’t tell Mom.” Smiling smugly, Bri tilted her head. I wanted to punch her. As soon as we were out of her sight, Olivia stuck her tongue out at me and danced around, joyous in her victory.

“See, I told you I’d get you in trouble. I always get my way. You have to do what I say.” She laughed.

I promised myself I’d never forget.

Back then, I’d imagined choking her or holding one of her mom’s embroidered pillows over her face until her squirming stopped. I knew her parents were well-off. Only the best for their princess. Olivia was the type of kid who tantrumed, tattled, and fake-cried to get what she wanted, no matter the cost to anyone who got in her way.

Olivia was going to turn into the same kind of spoiled, manipulative bitch I’d seen time and again at school.

I knew how to deal with someone like her. After all, I had killed. Once.
 

Author Bio:

Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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The Chronicles of Heart & Soul by L.L. Hunter {Cover Reveal}

 
Title: The Chronicles of Heart & Soul
Author: L.L. Hunter 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Expected Release Date: Nov. 9th, 2016
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
 
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
 
 
 
There was once an angel born of fire who was fated to rule the world.
Her existence was planned, her destiny mapped out before she even knew who she was.
 
When Scarlett was a little girl she never dreamed she would one day be the one to rule the entire Nephilim world.
Now as an adult, her nightmares are making up for lost time.
Plagued with visions she doesn’t know what to make of, and a dark secret hidden deep within, she turns to an unlikely ally for guidance.
Afraid for her future child’s life, Scarlett makes a choice that could change everything forever.
After a heartbreaking sacrifice is made,
Scarlett never thought she would ever taste darkness, but this time she can’t escape.
Especially when her son is fated to rule the underworld.
 
In the epic finale to the bestselling Legend of the Archangel series, will the world burn in heavenly fire or be saved by the girl who was fated to rule it all?
 
 
L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens - everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog - http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.
 
Instagram: @llhunter
 
Pre Order Links:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Distant Dreams by Alicia Rades {Cover Revamp}

 
 
Title: Distant Dreams
Author: Alicia Rades
Genre: YA Paranormal
Expected Release Date: Oct. 12, 2016
 
 
 Kai Watson is only 16, but she’s never had a real dream in her life. Each night, she leaves her body, travels to a new location, and adds the sites she sees to her “dream book.” When she witnesses the brutal murder of upperclassman Darla Baxter while astral traveling, Kai is determined to stay out of it. She never saw the murderer’s face, and who would believe her anyway?
 
Now Kai has lost her ability to astral travel, and she’s forced to relive the murder each night in a nightmare. With no word on Darla’s body, Kai decides to take the mystery into her own hands to find closure and get back to her travels. As she searches for answers, she continues to bump into Darla’s brother, Collin. Can she catch the killer and still open her heart to Collin, or will she lose her gift forever?
 
 
 
 
Facebook Release Party:
 
 
Alicia Rades is an award-winning young adult paranormal author with a love for supernatural stories set in the modern world. When she's not plotting out fiction novels, she's running her own professional writing business, plowing her way through her never-ending reading list, or preparing for the backpacking trips she takes every summer. In college, Alicia majored in communications with an emphasis on professional writing. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two cats.
 
Don't miss a thing related to Alicia's books. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/newsletter/
 
Author Links: Website: http://www.aliciaradesauthor.com/
 
 
 
 

One Night by Monica Murphy {Free On All Platforms} @jennw23

 

 

ONE NIGHT is a FREE prequel to my new YA novel JUST FRIENDS, available now! 

There's a party over at Jordan Tuttle's house tonight and everyone is there. Including... 

Olivia: Who's leaving for her dad's house in Oregon tomorrow. So she plans on having the time of her life tonight with her best friends. 

Dustin: Who wishes Livvy could see just how much she means to him. 

Emily: Who's trying her to best to get with someone. Anyone. 

Cannon: Who has an encounter with Em he won't be able to forget. 

Amanda: Who's finally ready to go all the way with her boyfriend. 

Tuttle: Who discovers the girl he's always secretly liked just might like him back. 
 

Corrigan Falls Raiders Series With Author Cate Cameron @YABookShelf @EntangledTeen

 

Crush Flash Sale: Corrigan Falls Raiders Series

Did you know that between Monday, September 26, 2016 and Sunday, October 2, 2016, all of the books on Entangled Teen’s Crush imprint will be on sale for the sweet price of $0.99? For those of you who don’t already know, Crush, one of Entangled’s first teen category romance imprints, is all about engaging, irresistible first-love stories set during the characters’ teen years. Crush specializes in heart-stopping feelings and never-ending drama, ranging from funny to emotional, flirty to dark. Whether set in the halls of a high school, at a beach resort, or studying abroad, and whether it features a girl falling for her brother’s best friend next door, a forbidden summer camp romance, or a nerd pretending to date the star quarterback, our teen category romances will leave you grinning…and in love with your next book crush!

Today, we’re spotlighting the short, sweet & swoony YA romances that make up the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series, which is the first series that we’ve published that is all written by one author – Cate Cameron. Each book is, once again, written in dual POV from the perspectives of Karen and Tyler; Claudia and Chris; and Natalie and Toby. Now, without further ado, here are the books that comprise the Corrigan Falls Raiders series:

 
 

Center Ice by Cate Cameron

 

 

The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a realhuman being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.
Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and crazy squirrels. It may cause you to become a fan of hockey—or at least hot hockey players.

Amazon  | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Google Play | Entangled Publishing

 

 

Playing Defense by Cate Cameron

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she’ll never fit in his world.
 
After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?
 
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game…or ten.  

Amazon  | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Google Play | Entangled Publishing

 

Winging It by Cate Cameron
 
 

 

Natalie West and Toby Cooper were best friends growing up, on and off the ice. But when Toby’s hockey career took off, their friendship was left behind. Now Natalie has a crazy plan to land her crush—Toby’s biggest rival—and she needs Toby’s help to pull it off.

When Nat asks Toby to be her fake boyfriend, he can’t say no. Not when it means getting his best friend back. Natalie is all grown up now, and spending time with her—even when it’s just playing hockey together—stirs up a lot of feelings, old and new. Suddenly pretending to be interested in her isn’t hard at all…if only she wanted him and not enemy.

Hockey tore them apart. Can it put them back together?

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, ice-melting kisses, and a swoon-worthy hero. This fake relationship romance will have you wishing for a hockey player of your own…

Amazon  | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Google Play | Entangled Publishing

Love YA hockey romances? Don’t miss Erin Fletcher’s All Laced Up, which releases on October 10, 2016!

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Points of Departure by Emily O'Beirne {Blog Tour w/ Excerpt + Giveaway} @emilyobwrites

 

 

Points of Departure
by Emily O'Beirne
Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBT)
Release Date: June 16th 2016
Ylva Publishing

 

In this young adult novel, to be released June 2016, best friends Kit and Liza have been looking forward to this trip forever.
Five girls, five tickets overseas. It’s exactly what they all need after the final slog of high school. But when Kit’s suddenly forced to drop out, Liza’s left with three girls she barely knows. 
There’s Mai, committed only to partying. There’s Tam, who already has her doubts about leaving her sick father behind. And there’s Olivia, so miserable about screwing up exams she’s not even sure she wants to get out of bed, let alone on a plane. Meanwhile Kit’s stuck working double shifts to pay off a debt, wondering if she’ll ever get it together.
All Liza wants from this trip is to discover a new version of herself. She just hadn’t planned on doing it without Kit by her side. 
And they’re all learning that travel isn’t just about the places you go, but who you’re with at the time. 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Ylva

 

 

YABDEX

Liza finishes sorting her washing, climbs onto the bed, and kicks her legs over Kit’s.

Kit runs her hands along Liza’s sharp, brown shinbones, feeling that familiar bubbling of envy at her friend’s ridiculously great legs. Why can’t she have a body like that, instead of this short, scrawny one?

“You have to help me pack,” Liza says. “Promise?”

“Of course.” Kit pouts. “And you have to promise you won’t have too much fun without me.”

“Highly doubtful.” Liza inspects the ends of her hair, pulling the wiry coils straight.

“And you won’t find a new best friend?”

Liza just looks at her. “I’ll be gone four weeks, Kit. Four weeks. I’m just hoping I can manage a conversation with these girls, let alone to make friends with them.”

“You’ll be fine,” Kit tells her for the thousandth time. “Mai’s fun. Tam’s a sweetheart, even if she seems tough. And Olivia’s awesome.”

Kit frowns as she thinks of Olivia yesterday. Kit’s never seen her friend so miserable. Olivia’s usually so assured and self-sufficient. But she’s so messed up over her exams and Will. Poor thing. She wants to tell Liza to look out for her while they’re away, but Olivia begged Kit not to tell anyone about exams. So instead, she just says, “Hey, Olivia might seem kind of, I don’t know, distant or whatever, but she’s going through some stuff, that’s all. Give her a chance. You’ll like her.”

Liza shrugs, like she’s only half listening, and continues to inspect her split ends.

Kit taps her fingers on Liza’s leg. “Anyway, who knows? Maybe you’ll meet someone on this trip. Have an exotic one-night stand with some Mediterranean hottie.”

“Maybe.” She stares out the window, her eyes closing against the sunlight streaming through the window. “Doubt it.”

Kit watches the pink staining her best friend’s cheeks fade slowly.

Liza’s cheeks were even pinker the night of the end-of-school party, when she dragged Kit out to sit on the kerb, an uncharacteristic bottle clutched in her hand, and told her about this Alika girl.

The fact that her best friend was telling her that she had spent the last couple of months in some fraught, unspoken thing with a girl didn’t surprise her, exactly. But that Liza was finally saying anything to her about it did.

The fact that Liza might be gay had crossed Kit’s mind a couple of times over the years. It would explain why she’s so damn shy around guys. And it would explain why, at eighteen, she’s never had a boyfriend despite some of the incredible talent Kit has spotted at those athletics comps.

But even though she’d thought about it, Kit never said anything—in case it hadn’t actually occurred to Liza yet. And Kit had known that her best friend would tell her if and when she had anything to tell her.

And that turned out to be the night of their final classes. Liza was so drunk and fevered with her need to tell Kit about this mess she had gotten herself in, she skated right past the liking-girls news. Instead, she went straight to the part where she had started some clandestine thing with a girl in her training squad, an impossibly withdrawn, beautiful nineteen-year-old who was apparently barely willing to admit she was a lesbian to herself, let alone to someone else.

Kit kept her arm wrapped tightly around her Liza’s waist as she told Kit about this girl. Liza swiped tears from her eyes, telling her how the only time this girl seemed to acknowledge Liza was when she was jumping her in the car after competitions or climbing into her bed at night at the training institute. Not that Liza didn’t want to be doing that, she said. She just didn’t want it like that. And Kit just held on and let her cry it out. And when the tears were done, Kit wiped the tears from her friends face and told her to dump her.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that they even broached the topic of Liza being gay in general, when Liza admitted how nervous she was about coming out to her parents, and about dropping two big revelations on them at once. But by then her coming out to Kit just didn’t seem like a thing. So why make it one? At that point, the fact that Liza had stopped talking to this girl who kept treating her like crap seemed way more important than workshopping her sexuality. That kind of seemed like a done deal at this point.

“Hey, does Alika know you’re leaving next week?” she asks

Liza shrugs. “Don’t know, don’t care.”

“Good,” Kit tells her, even if she doesn’t one hundred per cent believe her.

She looks over at her friend. She’s gazing out the window, a small frown on her face. Kit hopes Liza does meet someone. Someone who likes her out loud and who makes her feel like the awesome, beautiful person she is. She deserves it. Maybe even needs it a little. She’s the sweetest, most quietly funny and wickedly insightful person Kit has ever met in her life. And she thought that about Liza when they were eight. Now Liza and the rest of the world need to know it.

“I wish you were coming with us,” Liza suddenly moans.

“So do I.” Who wouldn’t choose four weeks of travelling in Europe over four weeks of working double shifts all week to pay off one party? Not even a good party. A party where she found Liam lying in the bath fully dressed with that stupidly hot Rachel perched on the end with her perfect pixie hair and MAC red lips.

Liza shifts across the bed so she’s lying next to Kit. She wraps her hands around Kit’s arm and squeezes it. “You were, like, the social glue.”

“I know,” she says again, resting her head against her friend’s shoulder. Kit’s already keenly aware Liza’s terrified she won’t get along with the others. What she doesn’t know is that everyone feels like that. Her cousin was furious when Kit broke the news. Olivia was even more depressed, and Mai told her outright that she was a stupid, freaking idiot.

She sighs. She will get her shit together this summer. She will. She grabs her friend’s hand and shakes it. “I’m so sorry, Lize,” she says for the zillionth time.

“It’s okay,” Liza says softly.

They lie there in a shaft of muted late afternoon sun. Kit listens to Liza breathe slowly next to her. She’s going to miss her so much.

“I’ll miss you,” Liza whispers, as if she’s heard her thoughts.

Kit snuggles up to her friend and smiles. “I’ll miss you, too.”

 

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Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.
From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.
Living in an apartment, Emily sadly does not possess her dream writing room overlooking an idyllic garden of her creation. Instead, she spends a lot of her time staring over the screen of her laptop and out the window at the somewhat less pretty (but highly entertaining) combined kebab stand/carwash across the road. (from the publisher’s website) 

 

 

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