Tag: excerpt

REVIEW, GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

REVIEW, GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

I absolutely loved Only A Breath Apart and I’m so thankful to be on this tour! So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW, GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarryOnly a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
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Synopsis:

They say your destiny is carved in stone. But some destinies are meant to be broken.

The only curse Jesse Lachlin believes in is his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year.

A fortuneteller tells Scarlett she's psychic, but what is real is Scarlett’s father’s controlling attitude and the dark secrets at home. She may be able to escape, but only if she can rely on the one boy who broke her heart.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings, but as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

Review:

Only a Breath Apart was a beautifully, emotional story.  It held my heart in the palm of its hand and I kept finding moments here and there that stole my breath away.  This book was filled with heartfelt characters and friendship, love, forgiveness, bravery and finding oneself was a huge part of this story.  If you’ve never picked up a Katie McGarry book, know that one of my favorite things about her stories are the characters she creates.  They always feel so real, it’s like I could reach into the pages and touch them.  So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  It’s one that will stay with me for a long time to come.

I loved him once—the way a six-year-old loves with abandon. I loved him how I once loved myself. Jesse was freedom when so much of my life meant confinement. He was laughter during dark nights, he was the warrior who scared the monsters under my bed away . . . he was my friend.

Stepping into this story, I was already gutted within those first two chapters.  We jumped back in time and got to see Jesse Lachlan and Scarlett Copeland as children.  While they were both from extremely broken homes, as children they always had each other.  Jesse and Scarlett were not only neighbors, but best friends too.  It hurt to watch them both witness abuse and I could feel their fear pouring off the pages.  I was heartbroken with how hard their lives already were.  But years later, we caught up with them when they were 17.  And while they were both still in a world of pain, they were no longer friends with one another.

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.

From one event, Scarlett bridged the gap between them and set them on a path.  One that was filled with hope, redemption, heartache, friendship and even the possibility of love.  Hold on though, because it was definitely not an easy path.  Not only do they have their own personal struggles, but there was distance between them.  Even with that distance, when Scarlett and Jesse had the tiniest amount of interaction, I was smiling and sighing out loud.  I just wanted them both to find happiness, and I knew they could find it in each other.

Scarlett lifts her head and smiles . . . at me. It’s a gentle smile, and one that causes a spike of excitement in my blood . It’s as if the sun has melted off her outer shell and has revealed the girl I once knew, and a woman I want to get to know.

Scarlett was a girl who made me feel every single emotion she did.  I felt suffocated by the way her father treated her and in other moments her fear consumed me.  Chills ran down my back and the hair stood up on my arm. I found myself terrified for Scarlett and the life she was stuck in.  Thankfully, she started to find her voice and I was so proud of her.  Scarlett was strong, resilient, loving and I kept hoping her life would change.  That every moment could feel like when she was with Jesse.  Because when Scarlett was with Jesse, it felt like she could be breathe.

The breeze plays with the ends of her hair, and I capture that moment. A snapshot of something I want to remember. Scarlett’s back on my land. My friend. My foe. The person who used to push me, compete with me and made me alive. My Tink.

Jesse captured my heart by listening, helping and always caring for Scarlett when she came back into his life.  While I had my guess for why he shut her out his freshman year, I was still upset with him.  That didn’t affect that I loved him with my whole heart and soul. I quickly connected with Jesse, just like Scarlett.  They both struggled and saw more in their lifetime than anyone should.  But Jesse had a family curse and he was fighting to keep what belonged to him.  His land.  As the story unfolded it became evident that if Scarlett and Jesse both wanted what they desperately needed, they’d have to work together.

“Scarlett, there are two times that I can breathe in deeply without wincing in pain, and being with you is one of them. If I could, I’d keep you here forever.”

My third favorite person in this story was Glory Gardner.  She was a distant cousin to Jesse and played such an important role in Scarlett and Jesse’s life.  I don’t want to say what role she played, but Glory fascinated me with her tarot cards and being able to converse with the spirits.  So I kept hoping that she would lead Jesse and Scarlet into happier times.  Because they more than deserved it!

His fingers trail up and down my arm and the sensation tickles, causing pleasing goose bumps along my skin. There’s a safety that radiates from his touch. A safety I wish I could take with me wherever I go.

Only a Breath Apart was so easy to devour, even with the story constantly pulling on my heart.  So many times I’d go from smiles, to having my heart in my throat and then to having tears pour down my face.  It was such an emotional book. So when I finished that last page, I was so thankful that I stepped into Jesse and Scarlett’s lives.  Now I can’t wait to devour whatever Katie McGarry writes next!

PS I’d love a look into the future!  If Jesse and Scarlett ever have a novella about where the road takes them, I’d one click that so fast!

Here are a few more of my favorite quotes:

Each time I think it’s impossible for my heart to hurt any more than it already does, it finds another painfully imaginative way to twist. – Scarlett
 Second star on the right. I haven’t been Tink to his Peter Pan for a long time. But watching Jesse head off to the land the two of us conquered in battles that belonged in our heads creates a sense of nostalgia I can’t ignore. I start for the land that calls to Jesse, the land that used to call to me. It’s definitely time for an adventure.
 I hate myself because I wish I could feel. I wish I were normal. I wish I wasn’t me.- Scarlett
 I will always risk everything to save her. She didn’t know it then. She doesn’t know it now. Scarlett once said she was empty. I’ve never been empty. I’ve been loved, and I’ve loved in return, but I don’t do it with many. She was one of the few. Still is. Always will be.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

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Excerpt:

~SCARLETT~

Evangeline fans herself. “That boy is hot.”

Hot isn’t exactly the word I would use for him. Hot somehow feels…lacking. Hot is for some boy in our gym class who has recently grown facial hair. Jess Lachlin is no boy. He has fire-red hair, a sun kissed tan from all the hours working on his land, deep green eyes and a body made to handle rough, rugged days.

I might have been ignoring Jesse for years, but I’ve seen him. Every girl in this school has gone out of her way to drive or walk along one of the country roads to watch Jesse as he works his land. Living across the street, I’ve had a front-row view. His shirt off, drenched in sweat, muscles rippling as he moves, the way he sometimes pauses in his front yard and looks across the road as if he knows I’m watching. A fluttering in my chest and then—

“Would you date him?” Evangeline asks.

“No.” Camila’s answer is swift. “And it’s not like he dates anyone. Except for his friends, the boy is a recluse.”

“Why wouldn’t you?” The kneejerk question surprises even me when it pops out of my mouth. Camila and Evangeline look at me as if those were the first words I’d ever spoken. If I could hide under the circulation desk without making this moment worse, I would.

“Besides the fact he’s cursed and anyone a Lachlin falls in love with drops dead?” Camila walks toward me and Evangeline follows. Camila watches me with more curiosity than I care for, but it’s nice that she’s moving the conversation in my direction. “Jesse’s a train wreck, and he taints anyone in his vicinity. Dating him would be a social, emotional and literal death sentence.”

I’m familiar with the curse, and it’s no truer than Glory and her prophesies. “That sounds melodramatic.”

“It’s not.” Camila has a swear-to-God seriousness to her. “Mom and Dad had Bible study at our house last night, and Pastor Hughes came. Everyone thought I was in the basement, but I went to the kitchen for something to drink, and I heard Pastor Hughes ask everyone what they knew about Jesse.”

Eavesdropping. How Camila.

“Did you know that before Veronica started hanging with Jesse that she was on track to be a concert pianist?” Camila says.

“Seriously?” Evangeline tilts her head in disbelief, and I’ll admit to putting down my cell.

“Seriously. And Leo Wheeling was a star soccer player, predicted to be the first freshman to play varsity for our high school, and then he started hanging out with Jesse.”

Faint middle school memories of hearing Leo’s name over the announcements regarding soccer emerge in my mind.

“Then someone said that before Nazareth Kravitz moved here, he had taken the ACT in the seventh grade and received a perfect score. He moved here, met Jesse and the rest is history.”

Nazareth sleeps through most of our classes, that is, when he bothers showing for school.

I nibble on my bottom lip as I’m not sure how much I like the Jesse-is-the-devil enthusiasm. I may share the opinion, but that doesn’t mean anyone else should.

“Of course, then there’s Jesse himself. Drinking, drugs.”

“The fights,” Evangeline pipes in.

“Don’t forget the suspensions—”

“And he’s been arrested!” Evangeline finishes Camila’s statement like the two share a brain. Her eyes sparkle like that precious piece of scandalous gossip was just too good not to spread.

“The boy is a walking disaster,” Camila continues. “Anyone who hangs out with him wants to become a loser. It doesn’t matter he’s going to be a millionaire once he sells his grandmother’s land. Anyone who spends time with Jesse is asking for hurt.”

And death.”

 

Giveaway:

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About Katie McGarry:

Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.

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Tour Schedule:

 

January 21st

@booksniffer7 – Review

 Bickering Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Book Ballistic – Excerpt

 

Book Hoarder Mom – Review

 Brittany and Elizabeth’s Book Boutique – Review & Excerpt

 Celindareyesblog – Excerpt

 Cinta Garcia de la Rosa – Excerpt

 Crystal’s Book World – Excerpt

 Do You Dog-ear? – Review & Excerpt

 Little Shop of Readers – Excerpt

 Novel Addiction – Excerpt

 Resch Reads & Reviews – Review

 Sister Sister Book Blog – Excerpt

 This Jabberwocky Eats Books – Excerpt

 Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review

 

January 22nd

 A Book Lovers Playlist – Excerpt

 Beware Of The Reader – Excerpt

 Beyourselfbebhaltair – Review & Excerpt

 Booknerd1107 – Review

 CeliaMoontown – Review & Excerpt

 Crazy Chaotic Book Babes – Review & Excerpt

 Echoing Books – Excerpt

 GataLeitora – Excerpt

 Its a mun thing – Excerpt

 Mean Girls Luv Books – Excerpt

 Mythical Books – Excerpt

 Read more sleep less – Review

 Stellar Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 The Lovely Teacher Addictions – Excerpt

 The Romance Reviews – Excerpt

 Words Are Life – Review & Excerpt

 

January 23rd

 A Novel Glimpse – Review

 Bewitching bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

 Book Freak – Review

 Books Are My Life – Review & Excerpt

 Bookworm Misfit – Excerpt

 ClaryNathanWill – Excerpt

 Craves the Angst Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 Latteandbook – Review & Excerpt

 Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 Phishbowl’s bookshelf – Review

 Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

 Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Excerpt

 The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

 The Readdicts Book Blog – Excerpt

 Velarisreads – Excerpt

 

January 24th

 A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Excerpt

 Avid Reads – Excerpt

 Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review

 Bookishly Nerdy – Review & Excerpt

 Collector of book boyfriends – Review

 Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

 Kick Back & Review – Excerpt

 Lisa Loves Literature – Excerpt

 Milky Way of Books – Review

 Star-Crossed Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 Sweet Red Reads – Excerpt

 Tale Out Loud – Excerpt

 The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

 The Lovely Books – Excerpt

 The Start of Something New – Review & Excerpt

 

January 25th

 A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

 Abellafairytale – Excerpt

 Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Boundless Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Confessions of a Wordaholic – Review & Excerpt

 Fandomly Bookish – Excerpt

 Girl Plus Books – Review

 I Heart Romance & YA – Review

 Kaidans Seduction – Excerpt

 Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Excerpt

 Tales of dreams and nightmares – Excerpt

 The Book Branch – Excerpt

 The Book Trollop – Review & Excerpt

 VoxLibris – Review & Excerpt

 Witchy Richey’s Booktastic Reviews – Excerpt

 

January 26th

 Ali’s Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

 Beauty and Lace – Excerpt

 Blunt Book Blog – Excerpt

 Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

 Bookish Intoxication Writes – Review & Excerpt

 Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

 Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 Family, Books and Food – Excerpt

 Jesssiereads – Excerpt

 Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

 Lovelyreadspublishing – Excerpt

 Madison’s Library – Review & Excerpt

 Rainy Days and Pajamas – Excerpt

 Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

 

January 27th

 3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt

 All Things Dark & Dirty – Excerpt

 As the Book Ends – Excerpt

 Book Bitches Blog – Review

 Books 4 Girls – Review & Excerpt

 Bumbles and Fairy-Tales – Review & Excerpt

 Chasing Faerytales – Review

 Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review

 K&M Sultry Reads – Excerpt

 K’s Korner – Excerpt

 Less Reality More Books – Review & Excerpt

 My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt

 Poetry law and something more – Review & Excerpt

 Roxy’s Reviews – Excerpt

 Two Books in a Shelf – Excerpt

 

January 28th

 Aaly and The Books – Review

 A Book Fanatic Obsession – Review & Excerpt

 BenderDreamerGirl: read.dream.escape – Excerpt

 Book Reader Addicts – Review & Excerpt

 Bookishly Slytherclaw – Review & Excerpt

 Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt

 Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Escape 2 Fiction – Review & Excerpt

 Midnight Book Girl – Excerpt

 PBC – Excerpt

 Rad Babes Read – Review & Excerpt

 The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt

 Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 We Live and Breathe Books – Review & Excerpt

 

January 29th

A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt

 A Lovely Book Affair – Excerpt

 Bangor belle books – Excerpt

 Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

 Books & Tea – Review & Excerpt

 Chapter by Chapter – Review & Excerpt

 Cupcakesandbookshelves – Excerpt

 Desperately Seeking HEA’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

 Echosreviews – Excerpt

 GotToReadThoseBooks – Excerpt

 Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

 Lita’s Book Blog – Excerpt

 Margay Leah Justice – Excerpt

 The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

 The Library of Belle – Excerpt

 

January 30th

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

 Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

 Bookistry_by_Ashleigh – Excerpt

 Buttermybooks – Review

 Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt

 Geeky Reading – Excerpt

 Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 Lo’s Lo-Down on Books – Review & Excerpt

 Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt

 Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Review

 The Butterfly Reads – Excerpt

 The Writing Finch – Excerpt

 YA Bibliophile – Review & Excerpt

 

January 31st

Adventures in Writing – Review

 Becca’s Bookish Life – Review

 BookCrushin – Review & Excerpt

 Here’s to Happy Endings – Excerpt

 Little Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

 Margaux – Excerpt

Ms. Me28 – Excerpt

 Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review

 TBR Book Blog – Excerpt

 The Bookish Introvert – Review & Excerpt

 True Story Book Blog – Excerpt

 

February 1st

 Alotabooks13 – Review & Excerpt

 bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review

 Caitlin’s World – Review & Excerpt

 CJR The Brit – Review

 Court of Binge Reading – Excerpt

 Hedwig Reads – Excerpt

 Literary misfit – Excerpt

 Moonlight Rendezvous – Excerpt

 Readers Retreats – Excerpt

 The Reading Faery – Review

 Total Book Geek – Excerpt

 Twirling Book Princess – Review & Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

 Whoo Gives A Hoot – Excerpt

 YA/NA Book Divas – Excerpt

 

 

 

EXCERPT: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

 

Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry.  The excerpt we’re sharing?!  Oh my gosh, it left me dying for more!  I need to know what happens next, how she got that nickname, what happened to their friendship and so much more!  I can’t wait to read this book!  I hope you have just as much fun reading it as I did! Enjoy!

 

About Only a Breath Apart:

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.

 

Amazon | Book DepositoryKobo | Google Play | B-A-M | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

 

 

Would you dare to defy destiny?Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies 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!

 

 

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.

 

About Katie McGarry:

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.

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