Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for THE STORIES STARS TELL! I’m so excited because today I have an excerpt of the book to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it and C.L. Walters, PLUS enter for a chance to win an ebook copy!
The Stories Stars Tell by C.L. Walters
Published by Mixed Plate Press on October 13, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Ever felt like the sum total of your choices have fixed your story in the stars?
For Emma Matthews, she feels like all of her choices are rooted in the fear of letting down her parents… God…of never being good enough.
For Tanner James, he’s wearing an identity he has created with his friends and their pact—Bro Code—fixed in sex, alcohol and bad choices.
Both are longing for a new story they look to one another to help them write.
Follow Emma and Tanner as they rewrite stories they thought had already been written into something new. To discover sometimes painful truths about love and identity.
About the ways that love can help us lose ourselves... or find ourselves.
How love can break us… or heal us.
My mind drifted to Emma Matthews (which was strange since we weren’t friends). I’d seen her the day before with her friend, Liam, hanging a poster for some club or function in the hall after school, heads together about something. Under usual circumstances, I wouldn’t have noticed, but in this case, I had because I’d noticed Emma and how cute she was. I had noticed her for a while, but she was out of my league.
Emma wouldn’t be partying like this. She definitely wouldn’t be sitting in Griff’s lap, and if she were, it would piss me off, but I didn’t consider why. She was probably at home, doing something productive, like homework, or a group study session. Perhaps she was doing something fun and wholesome, like a movie with her friends. I wondered if she went to the movies. Though I wasn’t exactly sure why I wondered, because I wasn’t a big movie goer (too boring to sit in one spot for too long).
Why was I even thinking of Emma at all?
It wasn’t like we talked. Sometimes, I thought she might be looking at me in the cafeteria at school or in the hallway as we passed one another. Her pretty eyes always slid away, but they made me curious. What color were they? Was she just glancing at me, or was she looking? I used to think about her. A lot. That started in the eighth grade when she yelled at Cole Butler in science during a lab. She’d been so fiery and funny. The memory still made me smile. We hadn’t had many classes together — one or two, maybe — because she actually tried at school.
I shook my head to get my errant thoughts about Emma out of my mind. Leaving Griff and Wannabe Emma behind, I walked through the living room.
Deb stopped me with a hand on my chest. “Hey, Tanner. Want to dance?” An invitation.
The message was clear: I could have stayed there with her and gotten laid, but it made me tired. Instead I said, “I’m looking for Penelope,” and even as I said it, I was hoping she’d already left.
Deb shrugged, because that was as much as I meant to her. “Upstairs,” she told me and returned to grinding to the music with her group of friends.
I moved through the crush of people toward the stairs, even though I wasn’t sure why I was going through these motions. A different choice seemed an impossibility, though I couldn’t articulate why that was so. Josh and Danny were sitting in a group smoking weed, and they offered me a head nod as I passed. I gave them an eyebrow raise in return and started up the stairs.
Near the top, I almost tripped on someone sitting on the steps. “Whoa.” It was a girl folded over on herself, and because I’m not a complete douchebag, despite what I know has been said about me, I leaned down and asked her, “You okay?”
The girl tipped her head up to look at me, and suddenly, I was looking into the face of…
She smiled, and it lit up her eyes — dark blue with swirls of gray — like stars in a dark sky. “Tanner James.”
“Are you drunk?” I asked. I was too, but not enough to help me forget that Emma was the object of my secret fantasies, along with the fact I’d just been thinking about her. I shook my head to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. There wasn’t anything in our experiences that should have contributed to our paths crossing, and yet, there she was, as if I’d conjured her. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m feeling really good.” She smiled again, and I remembered feeling that smile in my stomach like a lead weight had melted into molten liquid.
“Why are you sitting here on the stairs?”
“You.” She giggled.
That made no sense. First, why would Emma Matthews be at this party? Second, why would she be drunk? And third, why would she say she was waiting for me? I wondered if someone was playing a joke on me and even looked around, but it was just the two of us in the hallway. I slid down the wall and sat next to her. “You’re definitely drunk if you’re waiting for me.”
“Did I say that?”
“Oh. That’s a secret.” She pressed a finger to my lips, and that touch dove all the way from the top of my neck to the base of my spine like I’d been zapped with electricity. “I’m supposed to find Liam.” Then she moved her finger from my lips to hers, her dark blue eyes — flecks of green and aqua too — never leaving my mouth. “Shh.”
My heart pounded in my chest, excited by the form her lips took against her finger. “Damn, Emma. I didn’t know you drank.”
From The Stories Stars Tell. Copyright 2020 C.L. Walters. Reprinted with permission from Mixed Plate Press.
As a kid, CL Walters’, world revolved around two things: stories and make believe. She’s built a real life around those two things: a teacher of stories and a writer of make believe.
With four books now published, she’s looking forward to her fifth release October 13, 2020, a YA Contemporary Romance called The Stories Stars Tell.
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Have you added this amazing book to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!