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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: What If by Shirley Anne Edwards

Publication Date: September 22nd, 2014

Description:

"A startling unique spin on Peter Pan with mystery and romance, and staying true to yourself." - # 1 NY Times Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

Sixteen-year-old Wendy Wyman is bereft over the death of her best friend, Peter Preiss, whose body has been found at the bottom of the town lake. She blames herself because she allowed him to go back to his family’s lakeside boathouse late at night where they had just made love for the first time. She wonders what she could have done differently to stop Pete from being killed, and thinks back to the beginning of the school year when her whole life changed forever.

Wendy will stop at nothing until she finds out the person responsible for killing Peter, who was bullied by most of the students in their junior class. She is in for even more of a shock when she finds out that not only did Pete keep dark secrets from her, but a few of her close friends are hiding ones as well. This also includes Dylan Mayone, the new popular boy at school, who wants her for his own, and may have had a hand in Pete’s death.

EXCERPT


I glanced over at my alarm clock. 10:50 p.m. Ten minutes until show time.
I lay on my back, watching the glow in the dark star stickers on my ceiling and rubbing my stomach while it cramped. The meatloaf, as always, didn’t sit well. I’d pretended to enjoy eating it so as not to hurt Mom’s feelings. I lied. Parents lied to their children all the time. Why not their offspring? I still hadn't forgiven my parents for fibbing about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. At least I’d kept the Tooth Fairy thing going until I was thirteen.
The whirl of the ceiling fan made me sleepy. I didn’t want Pete coming in while I dozed. I liked it better when we fell asleep together.
I turned on my side with my palm pressed against my stomach and continued rubbing it. Glancing at the window, I waited for him to make an appearance. My window was unlatched and opened halfway for him to climb in without any problem.
There was a scraping noise. Waving, Pete popped up in front of my window. I met him, giving him my hand to help him inside. He hopped down and set his backpack on the floor.
I opened my bedroom door and peeked down the hall. My parents’ bedroom door was closed—a good sign they were sleeping. But I’d noticed the looks they gave each other at dinner, which led me to believe they weren’t going to sleep right away.
I shut my door and turned to see Pete lying on my bed with his arms behind his head. He wore black cotton boxers and a T-shirt with a faded picture of Spiderman on the front.
“I think my parents are having sex.” I sat next to him.
“Duh. It’s pretty much a given parents have sex.”
“I mean like now. They were making gooey faces with one another at dinner.” I lay down.
He cringed, and I covered a smile. “Please, can we not talk about your parents having sex? That’s just—gross.”
I turned on my side, facing him. “Sometimes you can be such a girl.”
He rolled his head toward me. “You want me to tell you about the time I found my parents—”
I covered his mouth. “Let’s not go there.” I tried to get comfortable but couldn’t. My stomach wouldn’t stop bubbling.
Pete linked out fingers together. “What’s wrong?’
“Mom’s meatloaf.” I clutched my stomach and winced in pain.
“Oh.” He knew all too well about Mom’s killer meatloaf. He’d eaten it one too many times himself. “Come here. I’ll make you feel better.”
He moved his big, warm hand under mine. He was the only boy to ever touch me this way—skin to skin.
I yawned, the motion of his palm lulling me to sleep. “I can’t believe tomorrow is our last day of summer vacation.”
“Yeah. I can’t wait.” He sounded less than thrilled.
I rested my other fingers on top of his. “Don’t worry. We’re no longer the low men on the totem pole. Things will be better, you’ll see.”
I couldn’t see his expression in the dark. “I bet Brookeside High can’t wait for monkey boy. I wonder how many bananas I’ll find in my locker the first day.”
I lifted my palm to Pete’s face. He might look like a monkey with his big mouth, squashed, wide nose, and ears too big for his head, but none of that mattered. I found him to be perfect in every way. He was my best friend, and I loved him.
“You have me for backup. If anyone tries to mess with you, I’ll kick their ass.”
“With your humongous boobs as weapons?” he joked.
I flicked his nose with my finger. “Are boobs all you ever think about?”
He nestled me against his side and settled his palm on my stomach again. “I’m a guy. What do expect?”
“At least I know you’re not gay.”
He patted my head then kissed my forehead, and I began to drift off. “You don’t have to worry. I’m not gay.”
“Really, how?” I yawned loudly and closed my eyes.
“I dream of your boobs.”
I chuckled and kissed his collarbone. Soon after, I drifted off to sleep.




******

“Why, hello there beautiful,” a deep voice rumbled in my ear.
I had an eerie sense of déjà vu, but this definitely wasn’t Pete. I turned to give them a piece of my mind.
Dylan stood there with that dimple-inducing smile of his. “Scared ya?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m so scared.” Again, there was something…off about him. I couldn’t place my finger on it. Yes, he was nice to look at, but I didn’t like the way he acted toward me. Oh, no…what if he thought I was flirting with him?
“What’s the special of the day?” He motioned with his head to the empty tray I held.
“I’m thinking a burger and fries.” I rushed over to the grill, hoping he would get the hint and leave me alone. No such luck.
He followed. “Sounds good to me. I’ll have the same.”
While we waited for our food, he pulled his iPhone out of his jeans pocket and
started typing.
“Who are you texting?” I asked.
He didn’t seem to mind my nosiness. “My brother. He goes to NYU.”
“Wow. That’s an expensive school.” Realizing what had come out of my mouth, I shut it in embarrassment. “Ah, crap. I shouldn’t have said that. My parents did raise me to have manners.”
He let out a booming laugh. I glanced around to see if anyone heard. Eyes were on us, or rather on Dylan, and they were all female.
Even one of the cooks behind the grill snickered and gave us our lunches. She shook her head and took the next order.
I lowered my head to cover my face that must be beat red by now.
“I’m not offended. NYU is crazy expensive. My brother, Derek, is a junior theater major.”
“Really? He wants to be an actor?”
“No, either a director or producer. He’ll have no problem finding an internship or getting a job because of my parents’ connections in the industry.”
“Must be nice,” I said, but this time without the attitude.
When we reached the cash register he stopped me before I could pay. “Here, let me get it.”
“Oh, no. You bought me a drink yesterday. If anyone should pay, it should be me.”
His mouth pinched tight. “You talk about your parents bringing you up right. Well, my dad taught me to pay for a woman. Stop arguing.”
“But this isn’t a date. You don’t have to pay for every girl who stands in line with you in the school cafeteria.”
“I would listen to him, dear. Not many men pay, especially the boys around here,” the woman with a bad blonde dye job behind the register gave her opinion. She smiled at Dylan, also. Did he have most of the females at school under his spell?
“See, you’re outnumbered.” He handed over his money.
“Fine,” I grumbled.
I grabbed some napkins and utensils. He did the same.
“Next time I pay,” I said.
“I guess I have no choice because you look like a woman who shouldn’t be messed with. How about Friday night?”
I almost dropped my tray. “F-Friday?”
“Yeah. You can show me around town and take me out for dinner.”
“Um....” I didn’t know what to say.
“Listen, I need all the friends I can get. You don’t want me to be too pathetic and have me hanging out with my cousin and his girlfriend every weekend.”
We had wandered near the quad, and I spotted Pete. He sat talking to Kyle and didn’t see me at first.
“What about your big barbeque on Saturday? Don’t you have to rest up for that?”
“I think I can handle dinner on Friday and a party on Saturday. Come on, what do you say?”
I stood there, unsure how to respond. I’d never been on a date, even with a guy who said they only wanted to be friends.
“Let me think about it. I might have plans.” I glanced over at Pete. He saw me and waved.
Dylan’s charming smile vanished, and the look he gave Pete made me very uncomfortable. I shivered even in the humidity. Oh, great. He’s going to end up like the other guys in our class who give Pete problems.
“Is he your boyfriend?” He tilted his head in Pete’s direction.
“He’s my best friend,” I responded. “You’re going to hear horrible things about him—”
“Wendy, I don’t go along with everyone else. I’m a leader who makes my own rules. People end up following me.”
Wow. He’s a cocky one. “I don’t know what to say to that.”
He smiled again and leaned down. “Don’t question,” he whispered in my ear. “It’s a fact.”
I stepped back. “I’ll keep that in mind. Anyway, Pete, the guy over there, is my friend I’ve told you about. He’s waiting for me. To sit with him.” I was rambling—a first for me.
“So you say. I guess you’re not eating with us?” Dylan pointed at the table that had about twelve people sitting around it including Toby and Pam.
“I’ll be over before next period starts.”
“Promise?” He gave my shoulder a squeeze.
I shrugged off his hand. What was up with him and his touching? “I don’t make promises.”
He snorted. “Maybe I’ll be your first. I’ll figure out a way to get you to go out with me on Friday.”
“Oh really?”
“Yeah. I want a free dinner.”
My mouth dropped open at his audacity. He snickered and strolled away, whistling as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
I sighed and sat next to Pete.
He didn’t appear happy.






About the author:
I’m a Northeast girl who first found my love for books when I read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. I’m a bit quirky and silly at times, and love anything in entertainment from movies to television and books. I read close to 20 books a month and spend most of the rest writing.

Join me as I start my journey as a young adult writer.

In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”


Cover Reveal organized by Book Monster Promotions

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