Thursday, May 7, 2015

Blog Tour: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski - Deleted Scene

Welcome to the Jersey Shore! A very fabulous summer lies ahead of you. And if you want to make it perfect you just have to grab a copy of Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's newest book! As part of the Sourcebooks Fire blog tour I'm sharing a deleted scene from the original draft of THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME today. Enjoy!

Will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

For Lucy, the Jersey Shore isn’t just the perfect summer escape, it’s home. As a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in during Memorial Day weekend, crowding her costal town and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Still, she can’t help but crush on charming Connor Malloy. His family spends every summer next door, and she longs for their friendship to turn into something deeper.

Then Superstorm Sandy sweeps up the coast, bringing Lucy and Connor together for a few intense hours. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm, and Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and her broken home. Time may heal all wounds, but with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, Lucy’s summer is sure to be filled with fireworks.

About the Author:

Jennifer Salvato Doktorski is the author of two YA novels and is a freelance nonfiction writer. Her first paid writing gig was at The North Jersey Herald & News, where she wrote obituaries and began her lifelong love of news and coffee. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

Want to buy a copy? Here are some links: Amazon | Apple | BAM  |  B&N  |  Chapters  | Indiebound


The Sumer After You and Me - Deleted Scene

Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: "A few scenes from THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME didn’t make the cut. This is one of them. In the original draft, Connor convinces Lucy that she and Andrew should go on a double-date with him and his girlfriend, Bryn. The two couples drive together to a party “OTB” (Over the bridge) in Toms River, which is the town across the Barnegat Bay from Seaside Park. In this scene, Connor, Bryn, Lucy, and Andrew are returning home from the party in Connor’s father’s car. They’ve just pulled into the driveway that separate’s Connor’s house from Lucy’s."

“Who’s that?” Bryn asks as the car rolls past Liam toward the detached garage in back of the Malloy house. It’s funny how their garage survived the storm but our guest cottage didn’t. The devastation caused by the storm is disturbing on so many levels, but the randomness compounds everyone’s frustrations and feelings of futility.
“My brother,” I say.
“Really? You look nothing alike.”
We’ve heard that one all our lives. If you ask me, he got the better deal in the DNA shuffle. Mom’s blue eyes, Dad’s jet black hair, skin that turns mocha brown. It trumps brown eyes, dirty blond hair that needs heavy doses of sunlight to turn golden, and skin that requires SPF of fifty or above.
“They’re twins,” Andrew says as he opens his car door.
“Really?!” Color Bryn shocked. “I guess they’re not identical,” she says.
Should I bother to tell her boy/girl twins are never identical? It’s another thing that gets so old.
“Boys and girls can’t be identical twins.” Connor sounds annoyed as he opens his door. “They’re always fraternal.”
“That’s what I said.” Bryn says once she’s out of the car. “They look nothing alike.”
I roll my eyes at Andrew and slide across the seat to get out on his side of the car. For some reason, I don’t want to end up standing next to Bryn.
Connor puts out a hand to shake Andrew’s. “Thanks for coming man,” he says.
“Thanks for the ride,” Andrew says. “We should do it again. I may be working at Rafferty’s this summer. You should come hang out.”
No, no, no! There will be no hanging out with Connor and Bryn. It’s already too weird, confusing, unnecessary and… what else? There’s got to be more. Bryn joins us on our side of the car puts her arm around Connor’s waist and snuggles against him. Oh, yeah. Depressing.
“Well, good night!” I say, desperate to wrap things up and walk over to my yard. “Have a safe trip back and enjoy the prom.”
“When’s your prom?” Andrew asks. “Ours is June fourteenth.”
“Bryn’s is the night before,” Connor says.
“A Thursday?”
“Friday is senior cut day,” Bryn explains. “Everyone goes away for a long weekend after prom.”
That’s right. Connor mentioned they’d be here for prom weekend. Maybe Andrew and I should go away. Yeah, right. My parents aren’t letting me go anywhere overnight with a boy. Even if that boy is Andrew.
“Well, see ya,” I say. Making a second attempt to end this night.
“Later,” Andrew says.
When we’re finally in my yard, Andrew walks me with onto the back porch and kisses me goodnight at the kitchen door.
“Coming to the annual Clark Memorial Day par-tay tomorrow?” Andrew asks.
“Please tell me you don’t use the phrase par-tay around anyone but me.”
Andrew pretends to get all serious. “I’m sorry I can’t do that. So are you coming or what?”
“Of course. Right after work. I wouldn’t miss it.”
My parents and Liam usually go too. The Clarks throw quite a bash. I’ve always envied Andrew’s parents fun-loving ways. They seem happiest when they have a house and yard full of people. My parents don’t exactly go out of their way to entertain.
“See you tomorrow,” I say before I close the door.
“Text me when you’re leaving work.”
“I will.”
Yay for work! I’m thrilled that I won’t be around at all tomorrow. Won’t have to see Connor and Bryn getting into his pick-up together and driving off toward the Garden State Parkway.
I lock the backdoor then surreptitiously peek out front to see if Liam’s still on the porch. He isn’t. I lock the front door since Liam didn’t of course. At the landing on the top of the steps, I pause and listen for signs of movement in Liam’s room. Hearing the familiar discordant thrum! I know he just plunked down his acoustic in its stand. Good. He’s in there. Locking my brother out would be bad.
As quickly and quietly as possible, I scamper up to my room. Avoiding Liam feels wrong. So did double-dating with Connor. I wasn’t exactly honest with Andrew about how that came about. So yeah, I get why Liam’s annoyed with me, but I haven’t really forgiven him for sabotaging and severing my connection to Connor back in the fall. My brother has no right to be angry with me, not when he was the one who caused the unsettling turn my love life has taken.
My eyes cut to my bedroom window. Before turning on the light, I cross the room to pull down the shade. Outside Connor is alone in his driveway. He’s leaning against the trunk of his father’s car, looking down at his phone. I watch the top of his head for a few seconds, wondering if he’s going to look up. My vantage point, both the height and the angle, remind me of that day in October. I paused at the top of the grand staircase when I saw Connor near the entranceway studying a framed seascape in muted pastels. I held my breath. Wondering if he’d meant everything he’d just said and trying to picture waking up every morning and finding him there. He must have felt me staring. For once, I wasn’t being sneaky about it and the expression on his face when our eyes locked told me I didn’t have to be, not anymore.
I felt like we covered so much ground that day; that we became an “us”. Look at me now, I think as I stand hidden in the shadows of my room, back where I started. I guess it’s where I belong. I wait one second more for Connor to look up. When he doesn’t, I pull the shade down and go to bed.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Great Pre-Order Campaign + Excerpt: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Any Miranda Kenneally fans here? I know I am a huge fan of her books and will definitely pre-order a copy of her newest book, JESSE'S GIRL, coming July 2015. So have you heard about the huge pre-order campaign Sourcebooks is running? You don't want to miss this! I'm sharing the details below and have a fun excerpt of JESSE'S GIRL for you, too. 

 Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?


Pre-Order Campaign

In celebration of Miranda’s new book, Sourcebooks Fire is offering some really cool stuff for readers, fans, etc.

Everyone who emails will automatically receive an email of the EXCLUSIVE Jesse’s Girl Playlist, and will be invited to attend a LIVE online author event on July 6, the day before Jesse’s Girl goes on-sale!

In addition, if you pre-order the book and send your proof of purchase (and mailing address) to, you’ll not only get the exclusive playlist and event invite, but you’ll also receive a signed/personalized bookplate, a super-cute custom guitar pick, and entered to win a $300 gift card to TicketMaster so you can go to a concert or musical or some other fun event.


Jesse's Girl - Excerpt

As much as I love music, I am generally not a fan of country. I don’t like banjos. I don’t like sappy lyrics about trucks and hauling hay. Dolly Parton is my mortal enemy—my mom plays “Jolene” over and over and over and over, and it makes me want to chop my ears off like van Gogh. Yeah, yeah, I’m from Tennessee, where it’s a crime if you don’t love country, but I like deep, rumbling beats and singing loud and fast and hard. I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in the pasture. Yet here I am at a Jesse Scott concert, getting ready to meet him and to see if he’ll let me shadow him next Friday.

My school requires every senior to “shadow” a professional for a day. It’s their way of helping us figure out what kind of career we want. Like, if you want to be president when you grow up, you might get to shadow the mayor. Want to be a chef? Have fun kneading dough at the Donut Palace. When I said “I want to be a musician,” I figured they’d send me to work in the electronics section at Walmart.

I certainly never expected to shadow the king of country music.

It turns out that Jesse Scott is my principal’s nephew. Jesse won TV’s Wannabe Rocker when he was ten and has gone on to become very successful. In sixth grade, every girl in class—myself included—took the Teen Beat quiz: “Would Jesse Scott Like Your Kissing Style?” (Obviously the answer was yes.) In middle school, I had a Jesse Scott poster on my ceiling. It’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen, because he’s already won three Grammys. When he was younger, his songs were about family, fishing, and playing baseball, but lately they’re about love and making love and all things sexy.

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan anymore, but I would never give up an opportunity to learn from a professional with such a gorgeous, pure voice. I want to learn what it’s like to perform day in and day out. Despite what everyone and their mom says—that I’ll struggle as a musician—all I want is to play guitar in front of a crowd and hear people cheer for me.

I can’t believe I’m backstage at the Grand Ole Opry! I bounce on my toes. Jesus, is that an archtop Super 4, the model Elvis played? I’ve never seen one in real life. It probably cost more than my house. I’m ogling the guitar when Jesse Scott comes out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. He pads across the room to the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of rugged jeans with more holes than Swiss cheese. The lighting is dim, and he doesn’t seem to notice I’m here, which is good, because I’ve moved from ogling the guitar to ogling him.

Who wouldn’t? He was one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and it is a truth universally acknowledged that you should stare at people who’ve made that list. The guy’s gorgeous. Like in the boy-next-door way. His wet, wavy, brown hair curls around his ears and nearly hits his shoulders, and while he doesn’t have a six-pack or anything, his body is fit. I wish he’d look my way so I can see his famous brown eyes. They always remind me of those caramel chews Poppy gives me when I visit. Jesse has some sort of Gaelic symbol tattooed on his left shoulder blade. I want to reach out and trace the design.

God, get ahold of yourself, Maya. Don’t be a horndog. Besides, he’s so not my type. I don’t do pretty boys.