July, 2014

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ATO- Kelly McClymer

Hi ya lovelies! #ATO Tuesday is here again! We’ve got another interview set up for you, this time from the cool chick author Kelly McClymer! And guess what, she’s talking about her YA book The Salem Witch Tryouts

You’ve got my attention just from the title! And that cover, one word, FAAAABULOUS! Like several of the other ATO’s we also have a giveaway, but this time we’re going a little witchy different, at Kelly’s request! Two lucky people who comment on this blog, or on either mine or Kelly’s Facebook pages will win books! The Salem Witch Tryouts will be available in either paperback or eBook, winner’s choice. And same goes for my book, Legendary

Now enough of me, time for the takeover. Ready….Set….GO!

  • Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

As a reader, I never liked reading a heavy handed message story, so I didn’t set out to write a “message” book. However, part of any good story is making sure the protagonist needs to call upon all her resources to solve her problems by the end of the book. In The Salem Witch Tryouts, Pru is already a positive, ambitious teen, but having to move away from her friends, the boy she likes, and go to remedial magic class challenges her to dig deep and believe in herself when she isn’t on top of the world. I guess that reflects what I believe – that being positive and believing in yourself will (eventually) pay off.

  • Did you see writing as a career? 

I never really saw writing as a career, as much as a creative need. I wrote for my high school newspaper, took creative writing classes in college, and sent off my first short story submission when I was 20. I pictured myself working and writing short stories forever. Fortunately, I have been able to call novelist my career for over a decade now. But, like Pru in The Salem Witch Tryouts, I had to believe in myself for a very long time before I reached that goal.

  • Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I don’t travel much for my books (signings, talks, etc.). For my writing, however, I like to travel to research potential sites for story settings – and I always travel for writing get togethers, courses,  and conferences, of course. I think having been somewhere really helps me get in touch with characters and motivations. Right now I have a trip to the ghost town Bodie, in California, that I’m working into a story.

  • If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can’t ask for more wishes)

Hmmmm. Not easy (especially since in all the genie stories, the genie turns the wish against the wisher, but…)

1. That whatever human impulse leads us to “other” each other would be swamped by whatever human impulse leads us to feel compassion for those who are different.

2. That every human could speak mathematics fluenty.

3. That every human could speak and read two languages fluently.

  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? 

That my endings aren’t as good as they could be (true, and I work on it with every new book…I guess I’m just not very good at saying goodbye).

  • What has been the best compliment?

That my work has unexpected twists and turns that please my readers.

  • Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

I hate washing dishes by hand. I have a dishwasher, but for about 10 years, I didn’t. Washing dishes for a family of five turned my hands into soggy prunes. I don’t like the feel of hand lotion, so it was a double whammy. Thank goodness for dishwashers.

BOOK BLURB:

Prudence Stewart had it all at Beverly Hills High: straight A’s, the imgres-3cutest crush, and a sweet gig as captain of the cheerleading squad. Then poof! Mom and Dad announce they’re moving to Salem, Massachusetts. Turns out, Pru comes from a long line of witches and it’s time for her to learn the craft. Buh-bye, Beverly Hills High — hello, Agatha’s Day School!

But Pru’s not about to trade in her spirit stick for a broomstick! She’s sure she can keep her kewl at her new school — until she discovers it’s all magic, all the time, and she’s failing Witchcraft 101. Worst of all, even the cheerleaders bring a special “spirit” to their routine. As in, triple-back-somersault-with-a-twist kind of spirit.

It’s time for Pru to cast a spell and prove she’s just as enchanting as the next girl — and somehow make cheering tryouts a flying S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

AUTHOR BIO: 

Kelly McClymer started out writing plays for her sister to perform for their parents. She branched out to writing for her high school newspaper, and then began a futile attempt to write science fiction. At last, with her historical romance novels, she achieved the goal of published author. And then, in a leap of faith, she left romance for the Young Adult world of fantasy and witchcraft. She may be secretly working her way back to science fiction, but mum’s the word on that one.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/kellymcclymerbooks

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kellymcclymer

Okay, your turn lovelies! PLEASE leave us your thoughts and comments and you could be one of our two winners! And then come back next week for the next ATO, with another great YA author!

Later lovelies!

<3 always LH

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ATO- DG Driver

#ATO Tuesday!   ATO Tuesday!!   ATO Tuesday!!!

It’s that time again lovelies! Time for another takeover and this week we have another cool interview all lined up! DG Driver is here talking to us about her new book Cry of the Sea, her first YA novel! SCORE. And what a great cover too 🙂

Time for me to shut up and D.G. to have at it! Ready….GO!

  • Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

Cry of the Sea is my first YA novel, but it’s not my first published book. As Donna Getzinger I’ve had several books published, including six non-fiction books published with Morgan Reynolds Publishers. My journey to Cry of the Sea was long, because I originally got the idea and began writing it way back in 1999. It was way too short and had a number of problems. No one was interested in it, and the YA market hadn’t really boomed yet. After a critique session with an editor over the first 10 pages and then a novel revision workshop, both done through SCBWI, I finally learned what I needed to do to make the story work. In 2010 I rewrote the entire novel and nearly doubled it in size and scope. I sent it to a few publishers. I learned about Fire and Ice through a writer’s newsletter, and after looking at their web site and the beautiful covers they do for their books, I sent Cry of the Sea to them. They liked it right away and scheduled it to be released the following year.  

  • Where do you get your ideas?

I get ideas from a variety of places. Usually they’re from something I heard in the news or saw in a documentary on TV. Just a little fragment of something that grows in my head. Cry of the Sea began because it was the 10th anniversary of the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, and that was all over the news. I started wondering what would happen if a mermaid were washed ashore with all the other sea animals. The story slowly came to life after that.

  • Do you ever experience writer’s block?

My writer’s block is more that I get ahead of myself and don’t know how to write the part I’m currently doing. I do very loose outlines, just enough to show me the road I’m on. Sometimes if I know too much ahead of time, I have trouble doing the work to get there. I also have a tendency to have too many ideas at once, and it’s hard to work on one project when a new idea is tickling my brain at the same time.

  • How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I’ve been focusing mostly on my FB, Tumblr and Twitter pages, trying to put something of interest out there every single day. I am always looking for new places to put my name and book cover, and I welcome these blog appearances.  I follow a lot of other writers, both well published and indie published, and I think we all glean ideas from each other. It’s still too early to know if any of that is working or not. I have specifically tried to focus on fans of mermaids. I also have been trying to participate in the #weneeddiversebooks campaign because my leading character is an American Indian.  In addition to online stuff, I do really like going to events and signing books in person and am constantly looking for opportunities to do that.

  • What is the funniest question you’ve ever been asked? And it’s answer.

I once had a middle grade historical novel published about a girl who is a spy during the Civil War titled The Picture Wagon. On the cover was a picture of a real little girl from that era pulled from the Library of Congress. I had not one but many children ask me if that little girl was me. I had to tell them that I was not that old yet.

  • Tell us something you hate doing. Why?

I hate vacuuming. I have bad hands, and vacuuming hurts. My sweet husband does it for me. Writing-wise? I hate losing a night of work because my daughter needs my computer for homework. I solved that problem, however, and just bought her a laptop for her 13th birthday.

BOOK BLURB:

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year.  She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents.  They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student.  Why do her parents have to be so “out there?”

Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill.  As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin.  At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren’t human at all.

They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

Still not convinced? Okay, then check these links out to get in some quick reading!

There are sample chapters of Cry of the Sea at the publisher’s website: http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html

And on my wattpad account:

http://www.wattpad.com/user/DGDriver

D. G. Driver grew up in Southern California only 30 minutes from the beach. As a girl, she used to dream that magic would change her overnight into a beautiful mermaid. Alas, that never happened, but her love of the ocean never diminished. Even though she is landlocked in Tennessee now, she still only needs one whiff of sunscreen to bring her imagination alive. Thanks to the support of her husband and a sweet drawing of a mermaid done by her daughter that was taped on the wall above her desk to keep her motivated to finish, Cry of the Sea is now her first published Young Adult novel. Her short story “The Jamaican Dragon” has also been published this year in the pirate anthology A Tall Ship, A Star, and Plunder. Find D.G. here 

www.facebook.com/donnagdriver

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/d-g-driver

That it for this ATO! Later Lovelies!

<3 always LH

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ATO- Jo Ramsey

Hey lovelies, we’ve got our next ATO (Author Takeover) set for today. 

Jo Ramsey’s done a fun interview for us today and is also offering up a giveaway! 1 PDF copy of her book Shoulder Pads and Flannel. In addition I will also by putting in an eCopy of Legendary!

Let the Takeover begin!

  • Do you work with an outline, or just write? AKA are you a plotter or pantser?

A little bit of both. I usually start with a short brainstorm of who the characters are and where I think the story will go, but then I just start writing and see what happens. Sometimes the characters cooperate with the brainstorm, sometimes not. And it’s fun to find out!

  • Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

The character of Evan Granger in my Deep Secrets and Hope series was inspired by my 18-year-old daughter’s best friend, a boy who used to come to our house and tried on some of my daughter’s clothes and my high heeled shoes. And he wore nail polish from time to time.

  • Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.

I have conversations with my characters while I’m writing, and occasionally get into arguments with them about the plot. I don’t know how unique that is, though.

  • Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always made up stories, as far back as I can remember. Before I learned how to write, I told the stories to my dolls and stuffed animals. In kindergarten, I started writing them down.

  • List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Humorous, intelligent, random, unusual, fun

  • If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)

Send queries to every agent I can find that represents young adult or new adult fiction, until one accepts me.

 

Book Blurb:     

High school football star Guillermo Garcia can count himself among the popular kids—for now. Although he secretly dates Evan Granger, who is openly gay and badly bullied for it, Guillermo doesn’t dare let his teammates, classmates, or close-knit family learn about his sexuality.

But Guillermo witnessed an attack on Evan, and now the school bullies plan to out Guillermo in retaliation. In their small town, word spreads rapidly, so Guillermo must make a quick choice—come out now on his own or risk having someone else do it for him.

Author Bio:

Jo Ramsey is a firm believer that everyone has the power to be a hero in their own lives and the lives of others. Whether someone has been bullied or abused, or insulted, or is just afraid they aren’t strong enough, Jo believes they can do great things if they just find the strength inside them. Her books include characters who do exactly that.

Jo is a former special education teacher who now writes full time and does occasional visits to schools and libraries. She lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, her husband, and three cats, one of whom thinks she’s a paperweight. Find her here: http://www.joramsey.com and https://www.facebook.com/JoRamseyAuthor

So what did you all think? Sounds good to me! Be sure the rafflecopter below for a chance to win Shoulder Pads and Flannel or Legendary!

See ya next week lovelies!

<3 always LH
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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ATO-Gordon Rottman

Hey Lovelies! It’s Tuesday again and that means time for another Author Takeover—AKA my ATO!

Gordon Rottman is here today with a cool author interview so take it away my friend!

  • What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your book to life?

–The individual challenges were not all that difficult, but collectively it was quite an effort to mesh it all together: Present a realistic 15-year old girl’s voice, how would the other three characters, with such different backgrounds of widely different ages and experiences interact, how to show how the environment affected them, to what extent to work in Spanish dialog, how to show their deteriorating physical condition, but at the same time show their bonding in spite of their ethnic differences. That’s just some of the factors I had to consider. Having traveled in Nicaragua it was not difficult to describe the terrain and the rest of the environment. I think it worked out well. My goal was to give the reader the feeling of being on a rainforest river.

  • Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

–One of my favorite writers is Walter Jon Williams of sci-fi fame. His descriptions are so vivid and he creates extremely extreme, but believable worlds. Cormac McCarthy influenced me with his very descriptive visuals of the Old West.

  • If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

–Actually, I’ve already had that opportunity. Tears of the River was first written as a pure survival adventure story. There was no romance element. Taliesin Publishing very much liked the story, but said it needed a romance element, make it happen. Now that was a challenge because there’s a lot more to it than just throwing in longing stars and some smooching. I had three options, make an existing character the romantic interest, add a character as the lover boy, or replace an existing character with a new one as the romantic interest. I went with Door No. 3, yank out one character and add a new one. There’s a domino effect when you do that all through the book. It added about 6,000 words and really made it a better story.

  • Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

–When I was in about 6th grade I read an action adventure book. Unfortunately I don’t recall the title. The story gripped me and when it was over, much to my sadness, I wanted to read more. In my head I put together a sequel. For a long time I didn’t have any confidence in my ability to write fiction, plotting, storyline, dialog, all that. Instead I wrote military history, about 120 books. It was just a few years ago that I dove into fiction. While I had started other novels, including Tears of the River, much to my surprise the first to be published was a Western, The Hardest Ride. I’d never ever thought I’d write a Western, but the story I came up with was better suited as a Western than a contemporary as first envisioned.

  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled?

–I can’t think of anything particularly weird or odd, but research has created its own ripple effect of discovery. A simple example, I once looked up Arbuckle coffee, THE coffee used in the Old West. I discovered each package came with a peppermint stick, which were much sort after by cowboys. There was also a coupon book in the package and these could be redeemed for all sorts of merchandise. One of the most popular items was a wedding ring. 80,000 a year were redeemed for coupons. I worked all that into my story.

  • Were you good at English in school?

— I was terrible. Back then alternating years were grammar and then literature. I hated grammar. The bit about there’s an exception to every rule, that drove me nuts. I liked literature since we read, but I didn’t like book reports because I couldn’t always divine the author’s hidden meaning. I suspected that some literature critic or professor had come up with his own theory on the author’s meaning and the author most likely had something else in mind, or nothing particular at all. And being forced to read The Scarlet Letter scared me. What I learned about rules in regards to fiction writing, all the workshops, writing books, lectures; all the rules about dialog, storylines, scene setting; well all I can say is, learn the basics and then write and the rules be damned.

Gordon’s also sent us a cool extra: some pencil sketches of Karan on her journey throughout the book!

  

 

 

Tears_of_the_River-Gordon_Rottman-500x800A coming of age self-discovery story of frantic survival, the value of diversity, dependence on one another
Fifteen-year-old Karen Herber is exactly where she wants to be—in the Nicaraguan rainforest with a volunteer medical team. What she had not expected was a hurricane collapsing a bridge to wipe out her
team and a mudslide burying a village. Only a Nicaraguan six-year-old girl and a forty-four-year-old woman with both arms broken survive the mudslide. Then she finds that Jaydon Bonner survived, a privileged, arrogant seventeen-year-old American tenderfoot. Academic and confidence concerns are already dragging Karen down and she was tagged a “weak leader” in Outward Bound School. Her doctor parents are pushing her into a medical career, of which she’s uncertain. Less than fluent in Spanish, but an experienced backpacker, the reluctant leader is challenged by Nature, animals, desperate men and her fellow survivors’ mistrust and cultural differences. Their only path to salvation is a risky boat trip down a rainforest river, 150 miles to the mysterious Mosquito Coast. Karen soon finds her companions’ experiences, so different from her own, invaluable with each deadly encounter forging a closer bond between them.

http://www.amazon.com/Tears-River-Gordon-L-Rottman-ebook/dp/B00KQMTHB0

Lisa's Pics 032

Gordon Rottman lives outside of Houston, Texas, served in the Army for 26 years in a number of “exciting” units, and wrote war games for Green Berets for 11 years. He’s written over 120 military history books, but his interests have turned to adventurous young adult novels—influenced by a bunch of audacious kids, Westerns owing to his experiences on his wife’s family’s ranch in Mexico, and historical fiction focusing on how people really lived and thought—history does not need to be boring. His first Western novel is The Hardest Ride to be followed by more. Tears of the River is his first young adult novel.

And there you go lovelies! It’s been a blast having Gordon Stop by! Be sure to check out his book!

Laters

<3 always LH

 

 

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ATO- Brenda Hiatt

  Hi again lovelies! Today is the second week of my Author Takeover–also know as the ATO Brenda Hiatt is one of the fantastical authors in my writers critique group AND her newest book STARBOUND just released! I have already had a sneak peak, and let me tell you…..WOW!

But you don’t want to hear from me. You want me to let Brenda takeover. Say no more, Brenda the blog is yours!        18374994

Let me just say upfront that I LOVE young adult books! Not only as a reader but as a writer, because after 15+ books for adults (mostly historical romance) I was pretty burned out—and starting a YA series I’d had in the back of my mind TOTALLY rejuvenated my joy in writing! This month I’m excited because I’ve just released Starbound, the third book in my new Starstruck series. To celebrate this momentous event, I’ve decided to offer the first book, Starstruck, for just 99 cents for the whole month of June!       BH-Starcrossed-300x450 To give you an idea of how strongly I identify with my nerdy heroine, Marsha (M to her tiny handful of friends), I thought I’d share a story about my own teen years… Do you remember your first real “crush”? How about your first huge embarrassing moment? Were the two linked in any way? Mine were! I was 13 years old, a freshman in high school, and totally infatuated by the cutest guy in the whole world (to my 13-year-old sensibilities, anyway). I mean, I obsessed about this boy! He had these dreamy blue eyes and wavy blond hair… I was sure the Carpenters’ song “Close To You” was written just about him! I went as stalker as a girl without a driver’s license could go, even convincing my mom to drive past his house once or twice (since he didn’t live within biking distance). When I discovered that he went to the gym to shoot hoops near the end of his lunch period most days, I started sneaking down that hallway every day and peeking through the window in the gym door to watch him play…in a sleeveless shirt! Oh! Be still my newly-awakened heart! I wove so many fantasies about the two of us, fantasies about how he would suddenly realize I was the one he’d been waiting for all his life. How all the other girls would be jealous when they saw us holding hands. How we’d happily start planning our future together. Okay, maybe he didn’t actually know my name yet, but I was sure it was just a matter of time before he woke up to the fact that we were Destined to be Soulmates.        starbound_promo One day after lunch I made my customary stop by the gym to spy on him playing basketball…but he wasn’t there. I stood outside the door, disappointed and undecided. I peaked, then peaked again, hoping he might make an appearance after all. Finally, despondent, I gave up and turned away—only to see him coming down the hall toward me! Someone cool would have just nodded, smiled and walked on her way, pretending she had somewhere much more important to be. Alas, I was not even the teensiest bit cool. Instantly assuming he knew exactly why I was there, I was beyond mortified. So mortified that, instead of trying to pass it off as no big deal, I turned away, pressed my face into the corner and quite literally tried to melt into the wall. Yes, really. He walked past me into the gym without a word and I hurried away, never to spy on him again. He never did learn my name, to the best of my knowledge, and none of those wonderful fantasies ever came true, but to this day I still remember my first crush and the horrible embarrassing incident that pretty much ended it. And sometimes I wonder if he even remembers that weird girl who acted so strangely outside the gym that day. I guess I’ll never know! And maybe that’s just as well…

AND, as an added bonus, here is a clip from STARSTRUCK!

My best friend Bri was in my Honors English next period. So was Rigel. Bri made a beeline for him—not hard to guess why—but I intercepted her.

“C’mon, let’s sit by the window.”

“But—” Bri looked over her shoulder toward Rigel with intense interest.

“We’ll be further from the teacher there,” I improvised. Without waiting for her reply, I headed to the opposite side of the room and she reluctantly followed me.

As I sat down, I involuntarily glanced Rigel’s way only to find him frowning in my direction. Frantically, I went back over what I’d just said but I was sure I hadn’t used his name. Unless he could read my mind, I was safe.

I risked another peek and was relieved to see he had turned away, and was now talking to Trina and Nicole Adams, another cheerleader. He was still frowning slightly, but it obviously had nothing to do with me.

“So, what do you think of our hot new quarterback?” were Bri’s predictable next words. “He was in Spanish last period but that humongous flirt, Trina, barely let him look at anyone else—just like now.”

It took a surprising amount of effort, but I managed not to look at him again. “Is that all you and Deb can talk about today?”

Bri shrugged, then grinned. “Can you think of anything more interesting?”

I absolutely couldn’t, but I wasn’t going to admit that. “It’s not like any of us have a shot, with Trina all over him.”

“Yeah, well, a girl can dream.” Bri gave me a sly grin and waggled her eyebrows. “You used to be really good at that.”

“Shh!” I glanced around to make sure no one had heard her. I kept my flights of fancy to myself these days, but I did not want anyone reminded of the ridiculous stuff I’d made up back in elementary school.

Other kids might have had imaginary friends, but I’d invented a whole imaginary life. I’d told everyone in second grade that I was really a Martian princess whose parents would one day fly me back to their beautiful palace in the stars. No doubt it was my way of dealing with the fact I was adopted and knew nothing about my birth parents. I’d told other outlandish stories, too, but that one had been my favorite—and I got teased mercilessly for it.

I did wise up enough to stop talking about it by third grade, but the teasing went on for years. “Marsha the Martian” was a nickname I never wanted to hear again. In fact, it was the main reason I tried to make people call me M instead of Marsha. Bri and Deb cooperated, but nobody else did.

“Okay,” Bri said. “But you’ve obviously noticed him if you want me to shut up so bad.”

“Of course I’ve noticed him,” I whispered. “He sat right in front of me in homeroom. But Trina sat in front of him—Squires, Stuart—so he never even saw me. So I don’t see any point in torturing myself over him.”

Bri looked over at him again and I gave into temptation and risked a brief glance. He wasn’t talking to Trina now. He seemed to be slowly scanning the room, like he was looking for something—or someone. I looked away before he could catch me staring.

I purposely got to my next class late enough that everyone, including Rigel, was seated—only to discover the only empty spot left was at the table in front of him. Trying not to panic, I scanned the room hoping another seat might magically appear, but the class was full. Steeling myself against any kind of reaction, I moved to the empty chair as nonchalantly as I could.

“Hey, Marsh,” Will Chesterton said as I sat next to him. He was shorter than me, and nerdy, but not a bad guy. His main fault was thinking he was way cooler than he actually was.

“Hi, Will. Have a good summer?” I tried hard not to be too obsessed by the fact that Rigel was only three feet from my right elbow. There was no way I actually felt a tingling in that elbow! That was just silly.

“Yeah, we went to Indiana Dunes a couple times and spent a week in Saugatuck,” Will said, and I had to focus to remember why he was telling me this. “How about you?”

I could hear Rigel murmuring something to Trina, but I couldn’t make out the words. “What? Oh, um, we were going to go to Florida for a week, but Uncle Louie couldn’t get off work long enough so we just went to the lake for three days instead.”

Rigel’s voice stopped so abruptly, I wondered if Trina had poked him or something.

Will dragged my attention back from behind me by saying, “Hey, I’m glad you’re gonna be sitting here. You can help me out when we get to the space stuff next semester.”

“Oh, yeah, sure, no problem,” I agreed absently.

Behind me, I heard Trina start to say something, then it sounded like Rigel shushed her. I glanced at the teacher, but he wasn’t looking our way. Huh. I wondered what that was about—and how Trina liked being shushed. It was all I could do not to turn around to see her expression.

I was still trying to think of some totally legit reason to look behind me when Mr. Ferguson started calling the roll. None of the other teachers had bothered. They knew everyone by name already, but this was only Mr. Ferguson’s second year at Jewel. I started doodling in my notebook, since I’d be one of the last people called.

As he made his way through the alphabet, sketches of constellations appeared under my pencil, inspired by Will’s reminder and the star charts above the whiteboard.

Mr. Ferguson was almost done with the roll. “Trina Squires?”

“Here,” she responded.

I braced myself for Rigel’s voice.

“Rigel Stuart?”

“Here.”

It was one word. One word and it still went through me like a rush of adrenaline. What in the world was wrong with me? Even Jimmy Franklin had never affected me like this.

“Marsha Truitt? Are you here?” Mr. Ferguson sounded impatient and I realized I’d missed my own name.

“Oh, um here!” I answered, feeling my cheeks burn.

Then I looked down at my doodling and they burned even hotter. Not only had I drawn the constellation Orion, I’d been drawing circles around Orion’s left foot—the star Rigel. I slammed my notebook shut, hoping no one had noticed.

I peeked sideways at Will, but he was watching the teacher, who had finished roll and was writing on the whiteboard. Slightly reassured, I forced myself to do the same.

It was an intense relief when the bell finally rang for lunch. No matter how I tried, I hadn’t been able to ignore my awareness of Rigel behind me. If anything, it had increased as the class wore on. I was out of my seat before the bell stopped, eager to get away from his disturbing influence. But as I reached the door, I felt my feet slowing, like I wanted him to catch up.

Disgusted at my weakness, I sped up, practically jogging to the cafeteria. Not till I’d gone through the lunch line did I glance back and sure enough, there was Rigel. Trina was right behind him, wearing a smug smile, clearly hoping everyone was noticing who she was with.

With a snort aimed as much at myself as at Trina, I went to an empty table near the windows and deliberately sat with my back to the room. I was opening my juice box when Bri slipped into the seat across from me. “Hey! You’re into window seats today, aren’t you?”

I shrugged. “Sunshine is good for my mood.”

“Can I have your banana?” she asked as Deb joined us with her tray.

“Sure. That’s why I got one.” I never ate bananas, as my friends well knew.

“So, how was—” Bri began, when she was interrupted by a hiss from Deb, who was staring over my shoulder.

I nearly turned, but stopped myself. “What?”

“Don’t look now,” Deb whispered, “but Rigel Stuart is headed Right. Toward. Us.” Beside her, Bri nodded, wide-eyed.

“Stop staring!” I held perfectly still, trying to be inconspicuous.

But then it didn’t matter because he was standing right next to me, his nearness zinging through me again like an electrical current. I swallowed once, convulsively, and looked up past his lean, muscled chest to find him regarding me with those amazing greenish eyes in that impossibly perfect face.

“Marsha, isn’t it?” he said.

Unable to form words, I nodded.

“Hi. I’m Rigel Stuart.”

BHheadshot Bio: Brenda Hiatt is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited about her new young adult science fiction STARSTRUCK series as she’s ever been about any of her books. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving, Taekwondo, hiking, traveling, and reading, of course! For the past dozen years, Brenda has collected data on writers’ earnings, which she shares at her website, http://brendahiatt.com And you can mark her books on your TBR list on Goodreads

So are you going over to amazon to get your copies? I recommend it! LOL 🙂

Later lovelies!

<3 always LH

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