Blog Tour Excerpt and Mini Review – A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison

 

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Hi Loves! Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison hosted by Harlequin Trade Publishing. Today, I have an Excerpt and my mini review to share with you. I’ll be posting my full review and some of my favorite quotes from the book sometime next week so don’t forget to come back for that!

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Published: January 7, 2002

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Format: Hardcover, 464 pages

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Harlequin – Amazon  – Barnes & Noble 

Google Play – IndieBound – Kobo

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A fantastic enemies to lovers romance about an It girl whose world is upended when a boy from the past moves into her house after tragedy strikes. For fans of Ibi Zoboi’s Pride, Mary H. K. Choi and Samira Ahmed. Wattpad author Whitney D. Grandison’s traditional publishing debut.

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the affluent coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares, and the total feeling of not belonging in the posh suburb. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the mean streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even care how the rest of his life will play out.

In Pacific Hills, image is everything. Something that, as the resident golden girl, Nandy Smith knows all too well. She’s spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in. After learning that her parents are taking in a former childhood friend, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. It’s the start of summer vacation and the last thing Nandy needs is some juvenile delinquent from the ’Wood crashing into her world.

Stuck together in close quarters, Trice and Nandy are in for some long summer nights. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

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love books that can surprise me and make me feel so many different emotions. To be honest, I didn’t really feel like reading something this emotional at the beginning of the year. But, this story and the characters managed to sneak into my heart. I’ve laughed a few times already and even teared up a bit. I also really like the writing and I think the characters are intriguing and relatable. While there are some slow parts and I feel like some of them could have been taken out, I’m still having a good time reading this book. So far, I think it’s a wonderful story and I can’t wait to continue getting to know the characters and see what happens next. 

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1 | TRICE

Getting shot isn’t the worst part. It’s the aftermath that really fucks you up.

Six months ago, on a dark December night, I was lying in a pool of my own blood on the living room floor. Six months later, I was sitting in a car on the way to a new town to start fresh. In some ways, yeah, the wound had healed. In others, it never would. I didn’t care, though. The last thing I’d cared about got me where I was.

“You’ll like it there, Tyson. The Smiths have prepared a new home for you,” Misty from social services was saying as she drove the long stretch of highway toward Pacific Hills. It was only an hour away from where I used to live in Lindenwood, California.

I didn’t respond. Home was a meaningless word to me now.

Misty peeked at me. “Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“I can leave as soon as I turn eighteen, right?” That was all that mattered. Fuck the rest. Five months, aka one hundred and sixty days, to go. On November twelfth, I’d be free.

Misty sighed. “Look, I know what you’re going through—”

“Word? You’ve been shot too and all’at?” I glanced her way. This lady was going home to a millionthreadcount sheetandpillowcase set, resting easy once I was off her hands.

Fuck outta here.

“Well, no, but—”

“Then shut up.” I faced the road ahead, done talking. 

Misty let out a breath, her light tan skin no doubt holding a blush upon her cheeks. “Do you kiss your—” She caught herself, as if realizing where she was about to go. “I—I’m sorry. You just shouldn’t speak that way.”

I felt an ache in my chest, but I let it go.

I didn’t care.

Half a beat later Misty was rambling on about food. “Do you wanna stop and get something to eat, you must be starving.”

“I told you I wasn’t hungry.”

“Oh, well, are you nervous?”

I hadn’t thought about being nervous or the fact that I would never return home again and lead a normal life. Not like I’d ever led one to begin with.

“No.”

“Well, good. Think of it as going to a sleepover at an old friend’s house.”

One thing was true, the Smiths were old friends, but this setup was for the next five months.

“It’s been ten years since I last saw them,” I spoke up. “This ain’t no damn sleepover, and it’s not about to be all kumbaya, neither.”

At least they were black. Moving into the uppity setting of Pacific Hills was sure to be hell, but at least I would be with a black family. Even if I wouldn’t exactly fit in.

I didn’t look the same. I didn’t act the same. I wasn’t the same. And I didn’t care.

“Tyson—”

“It’s Trice.” I had asked her to call me that from jump street. No one called me Tyson.

I didn’t want to think about that. I didn’t want to think about anything. I didn’t care.

“Trice, please, try? I know it’s been rough these past few months, but you have a chance at something fresh. The Smiths are good people, and Pacific Hills is a lovely town. I’m sure soon you’ll be close to your old self.”

Misty had no clue what she was talking about. My old self? She obviously hadn’t paid attention to my file, or she would’ve been smart enough to leave it at fresh and not bring up my past.

Tyson Trice was dead.

He died on the f loor in the living room that day, and he was never coming back.

When I didn’t respond, Misty let up, probably getting that I didn’t give a shit either way.

I didn’t care.

2 | Nandy

I told myself I didn’t care about the juvenile delinquent my parents were moving into our home. I told myself it was no big deal an excon would be sleeping right next door to me. I told myself that my parents hadn’t made the worst decision in everdom.

It was just an everyday occurrence in the Smith household.

Still, it wasn’t fair.

As I paced around the pool in my backyard and complained to my best friend, Erica Yee, over the phone, I expected her to be on my side and console me.

“This was supposed to be a great summer and they pull this?” I whined.

“You can still have a good summer,” Erica responded. “This doesn’t have to be the end.”

But it was the end. My parents hadn’t gone into detail about the boy’s situation, just that he was in a “rough spot” and would be living with us for now. And that he was from Lindenwood, otherwise known as the ghetto.

I’d never gone there, but I’d heard enough stories to know to be cautious. When my parents watched the news, there was always a segment on some tragedy that had happened in Lindenwood. Some highspeed chase, or little kids killed during a driveby, or a robbery gone wrong among the usual clutter of crime that kept the LPD busy. Lindenwood was notorious for its drugs, thefts, assaults, and murders.

I shivered.

It probably hadn’t been the best idea to stay up lurking on the local news feeds right before the delinquent moved in.

Everything would be ruined.

“It is the end,” I insisted. “I mean, they spent all this time whispering and having these hushed conversations behind closed doors, and they barely revealed last night that he’s from Lindenwood!”

Maybe I was acting childishly, but I felt like a kid with the way my parents had shut me out on the biggest detail of all when it came to the boy coming to stay with us out of nowhere. For two weeks, they’d been scarce on the topic and evaded any and all questions. Now it felt like they’d dropped a bomb on me.

For all I knew, this kid was a total exgangbanger and my parents were intent on opening our home to wayward souls.

Dramatic? Sure.

Precautions? I was definitely taking them.

“Right now, you’re probably pacing around your pool in a Gucci bikini while your happilyinlove parents are inside preparing dinner together. God, Nan, your life is incredibly boring. You could use this delinquent to spice things up.”

Well, it was a Sunday evening, and the sun was beginning to set. My parents always made dinner together on Sundays, because they were both off work and able to do so.

I stopped pacing and glanced down at my white Gucci bikini. “Yee, you try new hobbies to spice things up, not invite excons to move in with you. Look, whatever, let’s just get away for a few hours. The longer I put a halt on this, the better.”

“When is he supposed to show up?”

“Sometime today. I just wanna blow it off. Maybe you, me, and Chad could grab a bite at the club or something.”

My boyfriend’s family had a reserved table at the local country club. Anything would be better than dinner with the delinquent. I wasn’t 100 percent sure he was a criminal, but I wasn’t taking any chances. When it came to Lindenwood, you couldn’t be too sure.

“You in?” I asked.

“If we must.” Erica pretended to sound exasperated. “Call me with the details in twenty, okay?”

“Deal.” I hung up and sighed, tilting my head back toward the darkening sky and questioning what I had done to deserve this.

It was the first week of June, and school had ended last week. I intended to spend this summer before senior year going to beach bonfires and parties with my friends, lounging around, preparing for cotillion, and just staying as far away from home as possible.

With a plan in motion, I went around my pool and stepped into our family room through the patio doors.

“Shit!” I jumped back, dropping my phone and barely registering the sound of its rough slap against the hardwood floor.

My parents were standing in the room with an Asian woman who was dressed in a violetred pantsuit. But it was the boy beside her that startled me. He towered over my father, with broad shoulders and a wide chest, and arms that let me know he worked out, even though he seemed drenched in black with his longsleeved shirt and matching pants. He had deep, dark brown skin with a clean complexion. But what really stood out was his hair. The boy had cornrows braided to the back of his head—well-aged cornrows.

Ugh, he looked so unpolished.

Suddenly I remembered my fallen phone and looked down to discover the screen was cracked. Because things aren’t messed up enough already.

“And you remember our daughter, Nandy.” My mother played it cool, gesturing toward where I’d frozen near the patio doors.

Everyone faced me, looking just as uncomfortable as I felt.

Great, I was making my first impression completely inappropriate in a bikini.

Awkwardly, I waved and forced a smile onto my face, showing off the result of two years of braces.

“Nandy, this may be a little bit of a surprise, but you remember Tyson Trice, don’t you?” my father asked, looking between the two of us. 

At first, the name vaguely rang a bell, but then it hit me. Tyson, the boy I’d played with when I was younger. He used to come by in the summers when his grandfather would do lawn work around our subdivision. There’d been a few times during the school year when he’d come by too, but it was mostly a summer thing. Until he stopped coming altogether.

The revelation brought a sense of relief followed quickly by a foreign anger that I couldn’t explain.

That was then; this is now.

Now Tyson Trice had hit a mega growth spurt and stood before me nearly a man, appearing not at all like the seventeen years young that we both were.

“Right.” I nodded my head. “Tyson, hey.”

Tyson didn’t shift focus to my body. He stared straight into my eyes and bore no friendly expression or a tell of what he was thinking. He was far across the room, but I didn’t need to be right up on him to know that he had the angriest eyes I’d ever seen. Dark, soulless abysses stared at me, making me shiver.

Right on, Dad. Thanks for inviting a possible murderer into our home.

“And this is our son, Jordy.” My mother didn’t miss a beat as she went on, downplaying how awkward everything was.

Jordy, my elevenyearold little brother, was sitting against the ottoman, playing a video game on his handheld.

Tyson glanced at Jordy, and I felt protective, seeing curiosity briefly cross his face as he laid eyes on my Thai brother.

Jordy looked up from his game. “Hey.”

Tyson lifted a brow and turned to face my parents in that familiar way most outsiders looked at my family once they realized a black family was raising a Thai son.

Jordy smirked, shaking his head. “They wish they could’ve spawned a kid as goodlooking as me.”

My father chuckled. “We spoke about adopting for years after having Nandy, and right around the time she was eight, we got approved and Jordy came into our lives.”

“He was just two years old,” my mother gushed. “He was so adorable, we fell in love with him instantly.”

I came more into the room, wanting to shield my brother from Tyson. Someone had to think of the kids.

“Nandy, why don’t you go put some clothes on.” It wasn’t a question. My mother was ordering me to cover up and look more presentable for our guests.

“I was actually on my way out to meet up with Erica, we’ve got this—”

“Right now?” she asked. “We’ve got company.”

I glanced at Tyson, hating him again for spoiling my summer. I’d seen him, and I’d spoken to him. What more did she want?

“Yeah, but Erica and I had plans to go to the country club and talk about cotillion.”

My mother pursed her lips. “Nandy—”

“You know what,” my father stepped in, “that’s a great idea. Nandy could take Tyson and the two could get reacquainted, and that’ll give us time to talk to Ms. Tran here.”

My eyes practically shot out of their sockets. There was no way in hell I’d share a car with Tyson.

After thinking it over, my mother seemed to agree. “That is a great idea. We can all sit down together later.”

My jaw hit the ground.

I shook my head. “You know, never mind, suddenly I’m not as hungry as I thought. In fact, I feel sick to my stomach. I think I’ll go lie down.”

By the way my mother narrowed her eyes, I knew she’d be giving me hell later about my behavior. I didn’t care. It wasn’t fair to me to force some scarylooking guy into my hands to be babysat.

With one final look at the newest arrival to the Smith household, I picked up my phone from the floor and made my way up to my room.

Long after Ms. Tran had left and my mother had scolded me in our family office, I sat in my room, maneuvering with a broken phone as I texted my boyfriend. Going on a hunger strike didn’t last long for me. After having refused to go down for dinner, I was starving.

My cell phone chirped as Chad texted me back.

Chad: Outside

Me: Thank God

My parents were probably still up, no doubt discussing either my punishment or how we were going to work Tyson into the family.

With their bedroom being in a different wing of our house, sneaking out was always an easy feat. Still, I made sure to keep extra quiet as I crept out of my room and slipped down the staircase.

Chad was waiting for me out front. He’d been pacing back and forth in front of our walk as he waited, and as I stepped outside I was elated to see him.

“I’m thinking sushi, you in?” I asked as I walked past him, heading for his car.

“Yeah, sure. What’s going on?” Chad asked as he caught up to me and fell into step.

I peered up into his blue eyes. “You don’t want to know.”

Chad ran a hand through his auburn hair, appearing confused but conceding. “Okay, let’s go get some sushi.”

At the feeling of being watched, I glanced back at my house. On the second floor, through one of the large bay windows, I caught sight of a silhouetted figure.

It was him.

Creep.

I turned back to Chad and reached out and caught his hand. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.”

This was my summer, and no one was getting in the way of that.

Excerpted from A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison. Copyright © 2020 by Whitney Grandison. Published by Inkyard Press. 

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abouttheauthor

Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

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Thanks for stopping by lovelies! Have a wonderful day!!!

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Blog Tour Review – Throw Like A Girl By Sarah Henning

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Hello Lovelies!!! Welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for Throw Like A Girl by Sarah Henning hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. Today, I’ll be sharing my review and an excerpt from the book.

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Published: January 7, 2020

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Format: Hardcover 368 pages

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AMAZONBARNES & NOBLEBOOK DEPOSITORYITUNESKOBO

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Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

With well-drawn characters and a charming quarterback love interest who’s got brains as well as brawn, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.

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A Delightfully Sweet, Fun, and Adorable YA Sports Romance

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Throw Like A Girl by Sarah Henning is such a fun sports romance that absolutely melted me heart. It’s a sweet, funny, entertaining, and delightful story that kept me glued to the pages.

I didn’t always read sport romance books since I’m personally not that into sports. However, over the past few years, I’ve read so many amazing sport romance stories that I pretty much try to read them whenever I can. While not every single book wins my heart, this one most definitely did and I was hooked from the very beginning.  Even when I couldn’t really follow all the sports lingo, I still found myself interested and wonderfully engaged with the story and fell in love with the characters.

Right of the bat, I had a good feeling about this book and Sarah Henning definitely did not disappoint me. The plot, while not perfect, is fast-paced and exciting. I enjoyed every single moment that made me laugh, hold my breath, swoon, and smile. I also liked the drama, the family dynamics, the friendships and the diveristy in the book. I think the characters are absolutely charming, realistic and likeable. I adore Liv and love her determination and attitude. Grey is such a cutie and I love the chemisty he has with Liz. I totally rooted for them the entire time and swooned through all their heartwarming and adorable scenes. I honestly loved so much from this book and if you enjoy sports, love romance, and crave a little drama and a lot fun, then you definitely need to add this on your TBR.

Delightful, fun, and entertaining, Throw Like A Girl by Sarah Henning is a lovely YA sports romance story that not only made me swoon, but also touched my heart. The characters are interesting and relatable, the plot is engaging and entertaining, and the romance is cute and really sweet. While this isn’t a 5 hearts reads (so so close…), I still enjoyed how everything played out in this book and cannot wait to read whatever Henning writes next.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the author and publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review and for participating in a Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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CHAPTER ONE

In every baseball movie ever, it’s the same.

Bottom of the ninth. Bases loaded. Two out.

The crowd breathless at the batter’s back. The players in the dugout on their feet. The opposing pitcher staring daggers from the mound with steam pouring from flared nostrils.

At the plate: the team’s star, bat pointed toward the wall, challenge clear.

In real life—in softball—it doesn’t exactly work out that way.

It’s close.

But not as if penned by a writer’s hand.

It’s the bottom of the seventh—there aren’t nine innings in high school softball. But the bases are loaded. And there are two out.

The crowd is breathless, the players in the dugout are on their feet, and the opposing pitcher has got the raging-bull thing going on from the mound.

But the team’s star isn’t at the plate.

She’s on it.

Wilted in the dirt after taking a seventy-mile-per-hour fastball to the back. Motionless. Eyes stunned open. All senses on pause, a rolling clap of pain drowning out everything else.

As the crowd holds its collective breath, I search for mine. My lungs don’t seem to be working, and the catcher and umpire both loom over me, outlines blurry with the same fuzzy energy as a 3-D movie left to the naked eye.

I blink a few times. First at the lights. Then at the catcher and ump. And, finally, at the upside-down eagles name scrawled across my chest, willing my rib cage to nudge my lungs into action.

Up. Down. Up. Down. In. Out. In. Out.

The sound comes flooding in as my chest finally rises. The shouts of my teammates, the sweet girls of Windsor Prep, will me up. My coach’s voice—my sister’s voice—above them all.

“Stand, Liv! Stand!”

I make it to my feet, back hot and lungs still warming up.

Brows pulled together, I shoot my game-day glare at the mound. Kelly Cleary’s red hair clashes horribly with her stupid orange-and-white uniform; her cat-eye liquid liner is so thick it hides the fact that she has actual eyes. And they must not be able to see worth crap, because she just hit a batter with the bases loaded and one down.

Which means that if I can walk over to first base, everyone advances and we score a run to tie it. Not exactly the walk-off grand slam of my dreams, but it’s one way to move out of this round and into the Kansas state championship game.

Or at least get one run from doing that.

Again, another true-life technicality.

Both sides of the crowd are clapping, because that’s just what you do when someone gets hit by a pitch. My parents, brother, and Heather are on their feet. My teammates are a rowdy block of purple, crowding the dugout rail, ribbons and ponytails kissing their cheeks in the breeze, clapping me to first.

“Nice job, O-Rod!” There’s my best friend, Addie, cheering even though she’s about to bat.

My sister, Danielle, has her arms crossed over the eagles scrawled on her chest, the wedding ring Heather gave her two years ago glinting in the stadium lights. She does her stern-coach nod. It’s a look I first saw at age three, when she was twelve and egging me on as I threw her the ball for the millionth time. She was a hell of a player, but she’s always—always—been a coach.

On the other end of the stadium, I spy my boyfriend, Jake. Dreads to his shoulders, he’s dressed out in his orange football jersey, number thirty-two, clapping along with a few teammates in Northland’s section of the crowd. Wearing their jerseys out of season to big games is a tradition, or so he says. But while he looks the part of a good, supportive student athlete from the rival school, I know that even though we’ve only been dating since the Spring Prep Preview photo shoot at the Kansas City Star in February, he’s totally here for me.

Below the Northland section is its dugout where the Tigers’ veteran coach, Trudi Kitterage, observes from the steps. Coach Kitt looks like the burnt-bacon version of a head cheerleader—all hard curves and tan lines. But her talent is real. And her team is good. Too good for Kelly’s mistake. Meaning, if I sawed Kelly in half with my own glare, Coach Kitt’s stare is roasting the pieces of her in a bonfire of why-the-hell-did-you-do-that.

Because in ten of my shuffling steps, we’ll be tied.

Eight more steps. Six. Four. Two.

And then I’m on the bag at first, squeezing in next to Stacey Sanderson. Who, up until a minute ago, was my least favorite player on the Northland team.

She can hit. She can run. And she’s Jake’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend.

From, like, two years ago. Or something. Whatever. I’m not sure—but there’s a history there. And she’s been reminding me of it the whole game. Giving me side-mouthed sass every time I’ve gotten on base. Which, let’s be honest, has been a lot.

This time, I strike first. Shaking my head as I clap home our third-base runner, Rosemary, for the tying score. “One away, Sanderson. All because your girl Cleary can’t hit the broad side of a barn.”

The corners of Stacey’s mouth quirk up but her eyes stay at home, where Addie is settling into her mega-erect stance. The girl can dunk and hit the three, but she’s a praying mantis in cleats. “I’d say she hit the broad side of something, all right.”

I snort and roll my eyes. “Jake loves my curves.”

“Jake also runs headfirst into a pack of bodies for three months a year. Brain cells aren’t his forte, Rodinsky.”

“Whatever, Skeletor.”

Addie dusts Kelly’s curveball, but it falls straight into the catcher’s mitt. Strike one.

Come on, McAndry. Just a base hit. No extra innings. Just a straight seven-inning pass to the championship.

Stacey sniffs. “I have a lot of admirers of my ass, thankyouverymuch.”

I don’t even miss a beat. “They’re just trying to figure out how you sit comfortably on something so flat.”

Addie squares her shoulders and waits for another pitch, looking very bad ass. Kelly is taking forfreakingever, so I start to inch off base and away from Stacey’s fish lips. But then Cleary actually does something right and whips the ball to first. I hit the dirt just in time, fingertips grazing the base before Stacey gets the tag.

Called safe, I stand, not bothering to wipe off the dust streaking across my chest and the Eagles logo.

“Nice skunk streaks, Rodinsky.”

Whatever. I keep watching Addie, willing her to mow down whatever-the-hell pitch Cleary finally comes out with.

“I think they highlight my assets much better than my uniform on its own,” I shoot back.

“I’m not so sure about that”—here comes the pitch, fast and straight, and square in the batter’s box—“better ask your sister.”

Addie’s bat rockets forward and connects, sending the ball straight into the gap between second and third, dropping short of the outfielder at left.

My body knows it’s supposed to run—it’s been trained to run at the crack of the bat for the past thirteen years—but my mind is reeling. Did she just imply what I think she implied?

Stunned, I stutter-step, weighed down by her voice in my ears. Somehow, I move forward enough to make it to second, giving Addie room at first so Christy can score the walk-off run. But my brain is back at first. Where Stacey is standing, punching her free hand into her glove, pissed that Northland’s state run is now officially over. She’s a senior, so it’s really the end of her road. We’ve won and she’s ended her high school career with a loss.

I should smile. Collapse in relief. Cheer about going to the championship game. But I can’t—not until I respond. I have to say something. I can’t just let her say something like that and then go home like it didn’t happen.

Sanderson is moping at first, so I jog back down the first-to-second line. My teammates are all celebrating at home base with Christy, but there’s no way I can go straight there. I drop in next to Stacey, now walking in the direction of her dugout.

“What did you say?” My voice is clipped.

She doesn’t even look in my direction. “Nothing.”

“No, I think you did. And I think you meant something very specific.”

Stacey’s eyes roll my way. They’re a muddy shade of brown, made worse by the fact that her eyebrows are on the endangered species list. “Doesn’t it bother you? Your sister being paid to check out your teammates?”

“Excuse me?”

She purses her lips and says, slowly, “You heard me. Your sister. Is paid. To check out. Your teammates.”

The knuckles of my right hand smack her straight across the ski jump of her obnoxiously pert nose, and we tumble to the infield dirt. I have her pinned, my butt across her kidneys, knees on either side of her squirming stomach.

“Don’t talk about my sister like that!”

At the taste of infield, she bucks wildly and we both land on our sides. She scrambles on top of me but I get her hard across the nose again. She yelps, blood leaking onto her lips.

“You owe me a new nose!”

Her right hand goes back, fingers pulled into a fist. I see a heavy caking of dirt across her knuckles before she misses my nose and lands a blow square to my right eye.

Tears immediately begin to pool at my lash line. We’re upended again, and I’m on top of her long enough to score one more open palm to her cheekbone before I’m finally yanked away by at least two teammates. Maybe three or four.

I vaguely hear Addie’s voice. “Be cool, O-Rod! Cool! Liv. OLIVE.”

It seems to come almost from the inside of my head rather than outside, where the crowd has gone for a collective gasp.

Her words and hands carry me—I’m tall, but Addie’s taller and stronger, using all her leverage to pull me away. More hands come. More voices, too. Above the din, I hear Danielle, her coach voice turned up to eleven. “Hey, hey, hey! Stop! Stop!”

Three of Stacey’s teammates have a hold on her—two at her shoulders, Kelly Cleary at her waist. The girl’s still swinging, though, blood dripping down her chin and onto the stylized Tigers logo scrawled across her boobs.

Coach Kitt strolls over and calmly fills Sanderson’s line of sight just as I’m wrenched in the opposite direction of Stacey and right into the arms of Danielle, who can’t quit it with the “Hey, stop!”

She hooks one of her arms around my shoulders and hauls me toward the dugout. The move effectively turns both our backs on the celebration happening at home plate, delayed initially when everyone stopped to watch us fight. On Danielle’s word, the assistant coaches run out to get our team set to shake hands with Northland. My good eye tries to look up at her, but all I see is her lips quiver.

When she speaks, it’s at a disappointed whisper—one I hear over the crowd, over my teammates hesitantly going back to celebrating our state championship berth, over the pounding of my heart that’s doing a drum solo for my ears.

“Olive Rodinsky, how could you.”

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tourschedule2

January 7th

January 8th

L.M. Durand – Guest Post
What She Will Read – Review

January 9th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Shelf-Rated – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Bookish Escape – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

January 10th

Portrait of a Book – Review + Favourite Quotes
Evelynreads – Review

January 11th

The Lovely Books – Review
Nomadic Worlds – Review

January 12th

Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
Book Bite Reviews – Review
Frayed Books – Review
Sincerely Karen Jo – Review

January 13th

The Reading Life – Review
Between the Pages – Review
Playita Reads – Review
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abouttheauthor

S.Henning.jpgSarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

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STARTS: 7th January 2020                       ENDS: 21st January 2020

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Thanks for stopping by sweeties! Hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to add this book on your TBR and follow the rest of the tour.

Have a wonderful Sunday loves!!!!

sincerelykjologo