Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop

This is a blog hop giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

As you may be able to tell, I AM a writer. From November 15th to 25th, I’m doing a giveaway on my blog for five copies of my new YA Fantasy Connection, and only ONE thing is required: Follow me any way YOU choose! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form telling me how you followed and what name/email you used.

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Connection
Aaron and Anna haven’t been friends for almost a year, not after he deserted her when she needed a friend the most. When Aaron approaches Anna for help with his homework, she can’t deny her former best friend or the way he makes her feel. Despite her reluctance to trust him again—not to mention how much their strange telepathic connection freaks her out—she gives in. English homework. How hard could that be?

Soon Anna finds out that nothing with Aaron is easy. Not the way their touch suddenly triggers power outages and lightning storms. Not the feelings he has for her despite her already having a boyfriend—or how she’s falling for him in return. And certainly not the mysterious secret society called Le Garde that wants to recruit them. The new knowledge that they’re not alone in their powers or connection forces them to choose between continuing to live their normal lives or falling deep into the world of Le Garde together—and maybe even in love.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Aaron

I was eight years old when I started speaking fluent French with the new girl at the Boys and Girls club. I’d never said a word of French before that, but no one would have believed me. Now that we were juniors, Anna and I still spoke French, when we spoke at all. But that wasn’t easy to do when we hardly even looked at each other any more.

As I roamed the halls, avoiding teachers who knew I was supposed to be in class, I hoped Anna would hear me out. We weren’t in the same Composition class this year, so our little mind connection wasn’t helping me out. Last year, even after we stopped talking, I knew all about Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway simply by being in the same room as her. Yeah, it didn’t make sense, but I’d gotten used to it after nine years. Mostly.

I needed this connection, though. My grades were slipping, and my parents were complaining.

And okay, I kind of missed her, too.

I just hoped she wasn’t off with her boyfriend somewhere. I didn’t want to see him.

After visiting the vending machines, I found Anna in the library, of course. Her dark hair was pulled into two French braids, and she was whispering with her friends. Kaylie and Sam. I still couldn’t believe how much prettier she was than them, even Sam, who I’d dated for a few months.

I took a deep breath and approached the table. My mind cleared, like a radio breaking free from the static as it found a station. Anna’s presence settled in my mind like that’s where it belonged.

“Hey,” I said.

The conversation stilled, and Sam blushed red. Oh, geez.

“Hi, Aaron,” she said.

I gave her a small smile and looked at Anna. “Can I talk to you for a second?”

Anna looked at me, her expression blank though her mind was full of emotion. She was unsure why I was here, wary of what I wanted, disapproving because she knew I should be in class. All those things that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She shrugged a shoulder and said, “Sure.”

She didn’t make a move to stand up, so I motioned to some nearby bookshelves. “It’s kind of private.”

Sam gave Kaylie a loaded look. Good god, I’d broken up with her four months ago. What was with her?

“Okay,” Anna said with a sigh. She stood up, and we walked a few bookshelves over. She crossed her arms and turned to me. “What is it?”

“I. . .” Maybe it would be easier in French. I slipped into the language easily, taking all the knowledge I had to from Anna. “I need your help with something.”

“What?”

“Well, I have a D in Composition—”

Anna swore, her annoyance flooding over me. “Aaron, I’m not doing your homework for you.”

“I don’t need homework. I just need some help. We don’t even have to talk, you can just sit there.”

“It has the same purpose.”

I knew she’d be difficult, but couldn’t she do me this one favor? “My parents want to kick me out of the band if I haven’t started to ‘show an effort’ by Spring Break. And they want Cs by the end of the year. Bs would be better, of course, but they’re willing to settle.”

Anna hesitated, shifting her weight. “What other classes?”

“US History and Government.” The lamest class of my schedule, even worse than Composition.

“What about Chemistry?”

I shrugged. “I can get it, I just have to do the work.”

She didn’t ask about my math class since I was in Trig. She paused, staring me down. She thought herself kind of superior to me. Like I just wanted a free ride. Like I just wanted to use her. And no, that wasn’t what I thought, I knew she was thinking that. It came with the territory of being us and having the weird mind connection that I already mentioned made no sense.

“Come on, we used to do this all the time in middle school.” I thought of punching her in the shoulder or something, but stopped myself.

“We were friends then.”

“Well, you do it all the time in Band.”

“I do not!”

“Yes, you do.” I put my fingers up to my head and moved them around like spiders. “I can feel you in here trying to figure out your part.”

“Fine,” Anna said. “Composition 3 and US History and Government. That’s it. Only until Spring Break, and then you’ll have to get it together yourself.”

“Spring Break is only two weeks away.”

Anna narrowed her eyes. “Don’t push your luck. We’ll see once Spring Break rolls around.”

I grinned. “I knew you’d come through.”

She was weirded out about that, though I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why. How was it I could pretty much read her mind but she was still the most confusing girl I knew?

We arranged to meet a couple hours a week, and she gave me her new number. She’d had to change it when she and Jordan broke up. I hated thinking about all of that. “Thanks.”

“You owe me,” Anna said, backing away.

“Owe you what?”

Anna shrugged and switched back to English. “We’ll see.” She smiled before she went back to her friends, and my mind went fuzzy again.

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