*Nerd Blast* Helix- Mary Ting

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*Click on the banner above to find out more information about this release*

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SYNOPSIS

 

HelixAlliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.

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Praise for HELIX

 

“A stunning sequel! Mary Ting takes us once again into the inventive world of ISAN–one of intrigue and betrayal–but this time, with deadly consequences. A must read!” —Jonas Saul, Bestselling Author of the Sarah Roberts Series

“Captivating from the very beginning, this sci-fi novel explores issues of autonomy and survival in a world where there are few remaining citizens after meteors crashed into Earth… this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action. The fast-paced chapters will engage reluctant readers and fans of postapocalyptic scenarios.” —School Library Journal

“Addictive and impossible to put it down!” —Addison Moore, New York Times Bestselling Author

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BOOK TRAILER

 

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EXCLUSIVE SALE – LIMITED TIME ONLY

FANTASTIC NEWS BOOK NERDS!! We an awesome sale for Mary Ting’s HELIX running from now until 11:59 pm (PST) through April 10th.
GENES Storytellers BOX
Click HERE to purchase and fill out this FORM once it’s completed.
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Giveaway

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 1 Winner will receive the Exclusive GENES Storytellers BOX.

  – 1 Winner will receive a COACH Necklace. 
– 1 Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Ends April 14th
Click on the image below to enter. Good Luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Mary TingMary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

 
PHOTO CREDIT: MICHELLE ENGLAND DELAVARA

WEBSITE: http://www.tangledtalesofting.com/
TWITTER: 
@MaryTing
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4388953.Mary_Ting
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryTing
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/authormaryting

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Thank you, Jean, for allowing us to share information about this amazing release.
For more information about this release and other upcoming releases, click on the button below.
Happy Reading!!

*Nerd Blast* What I Like About Me- Jenna Guillaume

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*Click on the image above to find out more about this release*

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SYNOPSIS

 

You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.

Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.

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Praise for WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME

“Debut author Guillaume’s novel features funny dialogue and fresh takes on body image and personal relationships as well as a plucky heroine who slowly but surely comes into her own…. Perfect for fans of Dumplin’, a hilariously sweet yet complex romance.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Guillaume’s delightful debut deals with teenagers and their self-esteem, as Maisie’s story is relayed through her journal entries. This intimate lens will invest readers in Maisie’s journey to self-acceptance and confidence. A fun story, abounding in humor, romance, and inspiration and filled with multifaceted characters that readers will enjoy.” ―Booklist

“This book draws obvious parallels to Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’, but Maisie and her diverse cast of friends are fresh and distinctive, as is the Australian setting…. A fun, upbeat, and tender coming-of-age story written in an engaging and lively diary format.” ―School Library Journal  

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Giveaway:

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– 5 Winners will receive the WHAT I LIKE ABOUT ME and Book Branded Mirror by Jenna Guillaume.

Click on the image below to enter. Good Luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Jenna Guillaume

Jenna Guillaume was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl’s completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years.
 
PHOTO CONTENT FROM JENNA GUILLAUME

TWITTER: @JennaGuillaume
GOODREADS: 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17231590.Jenna_Guillaume
FACEBOOK: 
https://www.facebook.com/itsjennaguillaume/
INSTAGRAM: 
https://www.instagram.com/jennaguillaume

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Thank you, Jean and Jenna, for allowing us to share information about this new release For more information about this release and other upcoming releases, please click on the button below.

Happy Reading!

 

*Release Blitz* Viral- T. Gephart

Today we are celebrating the release of VIRAL by T. Gephart! This is a contemporary romance, standalone title that you won’t want to miss! You can purchase it on all platforms now.

Check out some teasers for the book below.

Sign up for T. Gephart’s Newsletter for exclusive news about the book. 

Purchase Now

Amazon US  |  Apple  |  Nook  |  Kobo  

Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU

Amazon Universal Link

VIRAL by T. Gephart 

Available Now!

Synopsis:

White Trash Circus will be taking an extended break and won’t be playing any time in the foreseeable future. Please lodge all your complaints to my guitarist—and my ex best friend—who I found inside the girlfriend I’ve had since high school. I will pull the freaking knife from my back and continue—without either of them—when the time is right. With enough hate and anger coursing through my veins to keep me in therapy for life, I’m going to save my cash and let the music heal me. Prepare all your bleeding hearts to be tormented with the most righteous, heavy and cataclysmic tunes to ever come out of me. So there’s that to look forward to. Thank you for all the support over the years, the gigs, the love and most of all memories. Don’t trust anyone and stay metal—Vaughan.

PS. Connor, you left your guitar and rig at my house so I took the liberty of relocating it to my front lawn. I might have dropped it on the way out the door. In your own words, brother, “Sometimes stuff just happens.”

PPS. Our drummer spontaneously combusted and is no longer with us.

WhiteTrashMegaFan- Whoa! Is this real?

VaughanLover4Eva – I love you Vaughan, you were too good for her anyway. I want to have your babies.

HeavyBrad69– So rock and roll!! Can’t wait for the new stuff, it’s going to be metal AF!

Nico – Ummm, Vaughan, what about me?

LicksNStick – LOL awks

White Trash Circus – No one cares about the bass player, Nico.

Amazon US  |  Apple  |  Nook  |  Kobo  

Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU

Amazon Universal Link

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

T Gephart is a USA Today and International bestselling author from Melbourne, Australia.

With an approach to life that is somewhat unconventional, she prefers to fly by the seat of her pants rather than adhere to some rigid roadmap. Her lack of “plan” has resulted in a rather interesting and eclectic resume, which reads more like the fiction she writes than an actual employment history. She’d tell you all about it, but the statute of limitations hasn’t expired yet. But all those crazy twists and turns have led her to a career she loves—writing romantic comedy.

When she isn’t filling pages with sassy and sexy characters with attitude, she’s living her own reality show in the ‘burbs of Melbourne with her American husband, two teenage children, and her fur child—Woodley.

She loves adventure, to laugh, travel, and strives to live her life to the fullest.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign up for T. Gephart’s Newsletter

Website  | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram  |  Bookbub  | Amazon

Join T. Gephart’s Reader Group

 

*Release Blitz* Closer: A Stage Dive Novella- Kylie Scott

We are beyond excited to be sharing this release from Kylie Scott with you today! CLOSER is part of her Stage Dive series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live today! Check out an excerpt and book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now

 

Purchase your copy of CLOSER today!

Amazon US    |    Amazon UK   |   Amazon CA   |   Amazon AU

 

About CLOSER: 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kylie Scott comes a new story in her Stage Dive series…

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

Add CLOSER to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of CLOSER today!

Amazon US    |    Amazon UK   |   Amazon CA   |   Amazon AU

Excerpt: 

I’d had bodyguards before. But only for events like fashion week or a big shoot. Just for a limited amount of time. My contract with Ziggy, however, was open ended, dependent on the heart in the box situation. Once he’d grilled me about what the police were doing (investigating my entire life), my routine (I don’t really have one. It’s consumed by work), and my calendar for the next few days (I’d freed up time to finish unpacking and then back to work on my lingerie line), he drove me to the gym. There was one I used a couple of times in the apartment building, but I generally do better with some active encouragement and guidance.

Guess Ziggy approved of my Land Rover because he gave it another one of those almost-smiles. I, however, continued to receive the full professional cold front face. This was definitely going to take some getting used to.

“Who’s your shadow?” asked Kwana, my awesome trainer.

I paused mid-lunge, my breath coming hard and fast. “My bodyguard, Ziggy. You like him?”

“He’s pretty. Don’t stop, keep moving.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“You don’t usually have one of them around. Have you been getting hassled or something?”

Kwana stood with her arms crossed, all lean muscles beneath brown skin. Since we were in an open area at the end of the main part of the gym, Ziggy waited over by the wall, just out of earshot. He stood with his arms loose at his side, his gaze constantly wandering a circuit from me—around the room, over to the exits, and back again. Always on alert.

“More a precaution than anything,” I said.

No matter how much I liked Kwana, no one outside my inner circle needed to know about the incident. The fewer people who found out about the gross cow heart and knife the better.

There’d been no further news from the police. Though it was never likely they’d track down a suspect and charge that person the next day.

Case closed, hooray!

BOOK TRAILER

REVIEW QUOTES FOR KYLIE SCOTT’S NOVELS: 

“Both light-hearted and deeply passionate, this book was pure rocker perfection.” ― Natasha is a Book Junkie

“Yep, this is one of those. My perfect book. Everything at just the right pace, the right time, the right intensity.”  ― Maryse’s Book Blog 

“This was absolutely fantastic, I loved it so much! … The plot was original and unique and the characters lovable.” ― Read More Sleep Less

“This was one wild ride that will have you laughing out loud!” ― Miss Petite Brunette Book Blog

“Packed with adrenaline, suspense and red-hot chemistry, this is certainly one to be devoured in a single sitting.” ― Vilma Iris


 

About KYLIE SCOTT:

Kylie Scott is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

 

Connect With Her: 

Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram |  Goodreads   |  Twitter  |  Bookbub

*Release Blitz + Giveaway* Severance- N.N. Britt

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Today we have the release day blitz of N.N. Britt’s SEVERANCE! Check out the release events and grab your copy today!

Book Information:

Title:  SEVERANCE

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

45037049. sy475 They say first love doesn’t last. Alana’s ends on the night her boyfriend Dakota dies in a deadly shooting at a Portland club.

In an attempt to look for ways to deal with her grief, Alana reaches out to Dakota’s older brother Mikah, who’s struggling with moving on himself.

Both damaged beyond repair, neither Alana or Mikah know how to cope with their loss. What’s worse, they have zero idea how to handle the unexpected feelings they start developing for each other.

Grab Your Copy Today!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

I shove away the damp blanket and prop myself against the headboard, my eyes darting around the dark room, searching for something familiar, searching for something to latch on to, but there’s nothing. Nothing except for the package I’m too scared to touch.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Stay down! Don’t move.
I can’t seem to catch my breath. There’s a scream stuck in my lungs and it desperately wants to come out.
She’s bleeding. Get a paramedic here.
How many fingers do you see? Can you hear me, sweetie?
I pull my legs up to my chest and rock my body, wanting to stop the noise from getting into my head.
Is anyone still inside? I’m looking for my brother.
Sweetie, I need you to let me see your hands.
Up until now, the memories of the aftermath have been only a shapeless blur. I’m not sure why it’s all coming back to me now, at four in the morning. I remember the police arriving and more gunshots. I remember the paramedics taking me outside. I remember sitting in the van while some woman in uniform is trying to talk to me, and I remember watching Mikah moving through the crowd outside the club. There’s blood dripping down his cheek, but I don’t think he’s hurt. I think the blood is mine. He stops one of the officers and asks him questions, and I can tell by how fast his hands move that he’s panicking. There’s a short exchange and then they’re gone.
Now I’m in the hospital, and my parents tell me Dakota was shot to death during the attack. That’s all I get. No details. They don’t tell me how many times he was shot or where he was standing when it happened or if it was an instant death or a slow one where he lay there, terrified, watching the horror around him.
I replay this moment in my head several times, wondering if I should have said or done something differently. Cried maybe. But I didn’t. I just sat there in silence, my hands and my face bleeding. I sat there waiting to wake up, waiting to snap back into my normal life. But it never happened.

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Giveaway:

Click on the image below to enter. Good luck!

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Author Bio:

N.N. Britt is a Los Angeles-based music journalist and photographer whose articles appeared in numerous publications. Her photos have graced t-shirts, billboards, and CD covers. When she is not writing or drinking coffee, she is probably reading or attending a heavy metal show.

Author Links:

Newsletter sign up ⇨ http://bit.ly/readersvip
Website ⇨ http://bit.ly/2Iimx7s
Facebook ⇨ http://bit.ly/2WIESDL
Instagram ⇨ http://bit.ly/2Z4ui7G
Goodreads ⇨ http://bit.ly/3166suh
BookBub ⇨ http://bit.ly/2Weooz1
Twitter ⇨ http://bit.ly/2HVGQsv
Pinterest ⇨ http://bit.ly/3166zpH

*Nerd Blast* The Cold is in Her Bones- Peternelle van Arsdale

The Cold is in Her Bones

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 – 9
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (January 22, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1481488449
ISBN-13: 978-1481488440
SYNOPSIS
 

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa.

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

Suspenseful and vividly imagined, The Cold Is in Her Bones is a novel about the dark, reverberating power of pain, the yearning to be seen and understood, and the fragile optimism of love.

Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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Click on the link above to see more about this blast!

Praise for THE COLD IS IN HER BONES

“A dark and enchanting tale about friendship, pain, revenge, and the power of love, The Cold Is in Her Bones is the perfect read for Greek mythology fans and YA readers alike.” ―Bustle

“Fiercely written and beautifully feminist, The Cold is in Her Bones reminds us of the power of loyalty and love in the face of ignorance and fear. I loved this tale of dangerous girls with wild hair and tangled hearts.” ―Lisa Maxwell, New York Timesbestselling author of The Last Magician

“A fresh, eerily compelling tale of betrayal, revenge, and the ties that bind. When van Arsdale paints a world, you can feel the fog against your skin.” ―Elly Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Frostblood Saga  

Giveaway!!!

Exclusive Portrait

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

– I Winner will receive a very Exclusive Watercolor (THE COLD IS IN HER BONES) from Peternelle van Arsdale.

Click on the image below to enter to win! Good Luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

Peternelle van Arsdale     Peternelle van Arsdale grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she attended public school through the eighth grade. After that she attended three high schools in three different towns in four years, was deeply unpopular, and counted the seconds until graduation. She majored in English literature at Bryn Mawr College, and then landed in book publishing, thinking it was a good way to be paid to do what she liked to do anyway (she was only partly wrong). She worked her way up from editorial assistant to executive editor of adult fiction and nonfiction, and eventually struck out on her own as an independent editor.

Her first young adult novel, The Beast Is an Animal, is being developed by Amazon Studios for a feature film produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free and directed by Bert & Bertie. Her essays have been published by LitHub, Hypable.com, and Culturefly, and her short fiction has been published by The Whitefish Review.

Her second novel, The Cold is in Her Bones , will be published in January 2019. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to edit and is at work on her third novel.

PHOTO CREDIT: ELENA SEIBERT 

WEBSITE: http://www.peternellevanarsdale.com/


Thank you Jean Book Nerd for allowing us to be a part of this blast. Click the image above to see more blog tours and upcoming releases.

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*Excerpt Reveal* Only A Breath Apart- Katie McGarry

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophecies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!

     About ONLY A BREATH APART:

 

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Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

 

Excerpt:

SCARLETT

I’m defying my parents by attending a funeral. Reckless and adventurous teenage behavior, I know. Most seventeen-year-olds lie to their parents so they can go on a date with a forbidden boy or attend a party where there will be questionable behavior. Me? I’m outright lying to my dad, and it’s because Jesse Lachlin’s grandmother died.

The entire way here I’ve questioned my sanity, but I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stayed home. Jesse Lachlin used to be my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. We had the type of friendship people strive to have, and then, a few years ago, he cut me so deeply that I still bleed. But ten-year-old me would have never abandoned a hurting Jesse. So today I’m not only honoring the memory of Jesse’s grandmother, but also the memory of our dead friendship.

On my way to the funeral, the high grass of the field swats at my legs, but I don’t mind the sting. I love walking barefoot in grass, I love the smell of the earth and I love that brief feeling of freedom open spaces can provide.

It’s the dog days of August. The type of hot that starts when the sun rises and makes you sweat through your clothes within minutes. While my skin and palms are on fire, the pads of my feet are cool against the dirt. The heat is unwelcome, but the sky is deep blue and the sun is bright, and for that, I can be grateful.

Walking out of the field, I stop short of crossing the one-lane road to slip on the flats that dangle from my fingertips. My mother would be mortified if she knew I was entering a church in a cotton daisy-print sundress. It’s not one of the dresses with stiff fabric and impossible back zippers she would have picked for me at an overpriced department store. It’s the type that’s machine-washable and breathable. The type of dress Jesse’s grandmother would have given her stamp of approval.

I can practically hear my mother heavily sigh and mumble my name, Scarlett, as if it were her personal, private curse word. Mom believes there’s a certain way to dress and behave, and I’m breaking all sorts of her rules today. Watch out, world. I’m officially rebellious.

I smile to myself because I’m the opposite of rebellious. For the last few years, I’ve followed every rule. I’m the teacher’s pet and the girl with straight A’s. I’m the poster child of perfection, and have earned every snarky ice princess comment Jesse’s friends whisper about me in the school hallways because he and I no longer speak.

There are only six cars in the parking lot of the white church, and that makes me frown. I thought more people would have wanted to attend. Jesse’s mud-covered pickup is there, and so is an unnaturally clean black Mercedes that belongs to his uncle. This ought to be interesting. Jesse and his uncle have a mutual hate for each other that runs deeper than any root of any tree.

Movement to my right and I slowly turn my head. Shivers run down my spine at the sight of Glory Gardner. Even though I’m seventeen and too old for ghost stories, I still can’t shake the ones regarding this woman. Girls would whisper over lunch boxes that Glory was a witch. As I grew older, I understood that witch meant con artist. She claims she can read palms, tarot cards and “sees” spirits from beyond the dead. All for a glorious fee.

She’s a beautiful woman—long dirty blond hair that’s untamed, even in a bun, and she has an eclectic taste in clothing. Today she wears a white peasant shirt and a flowing skirt made of material that shimmers in the sun.

Glory watches me like I watch her, with morbid curiosity. I knew her as a child, back when Jesse and I ran wild in the fields near her home, but we haven’t talked in years.

She stands under the shade of a towering weeping willow. There are lots of those trees around here. Mom says it’s because there is too much water in the ground. I say it’s because the people in this town have cried too many tears. Mom doesn’t like my answer.

I tilt my head toward the church, an unspoken question if Glory will be joining me. She shakes her head no. I’m not shocked. According to rumors, Glory will go up in flames if she enters the house of God. But who knows? Maybe I will, too.

The church is one of those picturesque, historical, one-room school buildings squeezed between a cornfield on one side and a hay field on the other. A huge steeple with a bell attempts to reach the heavens, but like anything created by a human, it falls tragically short.

The foreboding wooden door makes no noise as I open it, and I’m able to slip in without a huge, squeaking announcement. Orange light filters in through the dark stained glass windows, and its struggling beams reveal millions of dancing particles of dust.

On the altar, there’s no casket, but there is an urn. My heart dips—Suzanne is dead. I used to wish she were my grandmother, and many times, she treated me as if I belonged to her. Suzanne was the epitome of love, and the world feels colder now that she’s gone.

Choosing a spot in the back, I drop into a pew, and as I scan the church my stomach churns. How is it possible that this place is so barren?

Besides the Funeral Brigade, or the FB, as I like to refer to them, there aren’t many people here. The FB are the older group of woman who attend every funeral in our small town even if they didn’t know the person. Attending funerals isn’t my idea of fun, but who am I to judge?

The FB sit directly behind the one person the town believes to be the lone sane member of the Lachlin family, probably because he isn’t blood related—Jesse’s uncle.

On the left side of the church is Jesse. Only Jesse. And that causes a painful pang in my chest. Where are his stinking friends? The anarchists in training who follow Jesse wherever he goes? Where is the rest of the town? Yes, Suzanne was polarizing, but still, where is any respect?

Quietly, so I don’t draw attention to myself, I slip from the right set of pews to the left. Someone should be on Jesse’s side, and it’s sad it has to be me.

A door at the front of the church opens, and the pastor walks out from the addition the church build on as a small office ten years ago. I would have thought any pastor assigned to this place would be as ancient as this church. Sort of like an Indiana Jones Knights Templar scenario where he lives forever as long as he stays inside. But no, he’s the youngest pastor from the main, newer church in town. His name is Pastor Hughes, and he’s a thirty-something black man with a fit build who is just cute enough that he should be starring in a movie.

The pastor looks up, and he flinches as if startled. I peek over my shoulder then sigh. Clearly, he’s surprised to see me. Flipping fantastic.

His reaction, and the fact he won’t stop staring, causes every person to turn their heads. Lovely. I’ve had dreams like this where I enter a room and become the center of attention. Only in my dreams it’s at school, it’s my classmates and I’m naked, but still, this is disconcerting.

Eventually, the FB and Jesse’s uncle return their attention to the front, but Jesse doesn’t. He rests his arm on the back of the pew, and it’s hard to ignore that he’s made me his sole focus, but I do my best to act as if I don’t notice.

To help, I concentrate on what my mom taught me as a child—to make sure the skirt of my dress is tucked appropriately so that my thighs don’t show. I then fold my hands in my lap and straighten to a book-on-head posture. I can be the ice princess people claim me to be.

Five pews separate me and Jesse, and it’s not nearly enough. My cheeks burn under his continued inspection. Jesse has done this a handful of times since our freshman year. Glance at me as if I’m someone worth looking at, someone worth laughing with a little too loud and smiling with a little too much. Then he remembers who I am and snaps his gaze to someone else.

But he’s not looking away now.

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      Katie McGarry Bio:

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Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full-length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.