Book Birthday Eve Excerpt!

ASK AGAIN LATER COMES OUT TOMORROW!!!  I can’t even believe it’s finally happening!

I’m so excited, I decided to share a little excerpt with all y’all.

This is your last day to pre-order, but of course, you’ll be able to find this little pinky-purple beauty everywhere books are sold tomorrow!

Linky-loos:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s
Book Depository
Books-a-Million
Indiebound

 

And, onto the excerpt:

In this scene, the main character, Heart (yes, that’s really her name, and yes, she knows it’s weird) has been invited to prom by two people she doesn’t really want to go with.  The trouble is, she can’t figure out how to say no to either of them.  Here, she’s angsting (that’s totally a word) over the decision with her friend Chase, nicknamed Schroeder due to a passing resemblance to the Peanuts character by the same name.

 

“You’re overthinking it. Flip a coin or something. Heads you go with us, tails you still go with us.”

He was joking, obviously, but there was a certain logic to it. My father used to pull a similar trick when we were growing up. If we couldn’t decide between ice cream flavors or something like that, he’d stick two small objects behind his back and make us pick a hand. I can still hear him saying, The penny is chocolate, the nickel is bubble gum. Pick one. The best part was, if you picked one and you got that awful pang of regret, you knew you actually wanted the other kind more. It was simple. Almost elegant.

I’d just make Troy heads and Ryan tails and flip for it. I’d know if I made the right decision as soon as I saw the result, wouldn’t I? I tapped my pen against my notebook, wondering if this was too simplistic.

Still . . . at least I’d know how I felt. And no one would have to know. I could do it right now. It didn’t have to be some huge Super Bowl coin toss, after all. Just a simple flick of my thumb and I could have this whole problem solved.

That’s it. I was doing it. I patted my pockets and came up empty. Shoot.

I leaned over to Schroeder and whispered, “Got a quarter?”

He tilted away from me first, checking his right pocket, then switched to check the left, knocking his head against mine. “Sorry!” he whispered. “You okay?”

I rubbed my temple, tempted to give him a sour look, but stifling the urge since he was doing me a favor. So I smiled and nodded instead. The muffled jingling of coins was unmistakable, and in a moment, he emerged with a few coins.

“No quarters,” he said. “But I can get you a game of skee-ball at Chuck E. Cheese.” He pointed to a gold token in his palm.

I laughed, pressing my fingers to my lips so I wouldn’t be too loud. “Why do you have a token for Chuck E. Cheese?”

He gave me a don’t-be-so-judgmental look. “It was my cousin’s birthday over the weekend.”

I took the token from his cupped hand, noticing how warm his skin was without being sweaty. A rare trait in a boy. “Thanks.”

“They don’t work in the vending machine, trust me,” he said softly, nudging a dime out of the pile with a fingertip.

“This is all I need, thanks. I’ll give it right back.”

He shot me a confused look, which melted the instant he saw me fit the coin against my bent thumb. “You’re not seriously flipping a coin over this,” he hissed.

“Why not?”

“Do you really think fate is going to guide you or something?”

“I don’t believe in fate. This is pure statistics.”

“So, what is it? Chuck E.’s head you come with us, tails you go with one of them?”

“Nope.” I waited until Mr. Lenier turned to write on the board again and flicked my thumb, sending the coin up.

Tokens are lighter than quarters, as it turns out, and the thing flew up in the air almost to the ceiling. I gasped as it clattered once—too loudly—against the edge of the lab desk before falling to points unknown.

Mr. Lenier turned around, looking for the source of the noise, but Schroeder and I kept our best poker faces on and he went back to his radioactive decay.

After a moment of watching Lenier’s back, I whispered, “Where’d it go?” and searched around the bottom of my stool. Schroeder did the same, twisting and tilting, and nearly knocking heads with me a couple more times. Finally, I caught a flash of something gold a few feet away, near the wall. “There.” I pointed.

“You are not seriously doing this,” he hissed.

“Why not?” I asked, leaning out as far as I could without leaving my seat. Damn, I still couldn’t see which side of the coin was up. “It’s as good as any other way of deciding.”

“This isn’t like picking which movie to see. These are human beings.”

“It’s not like they have to know about it. Besides, it’s just a dumb coin toss. It doesn’t actually control my fate.”

He narrowed his eyes. “All right then. What’s it say?”

 

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