From talented YA author Tara Eglington, comes the follow-up to her page-turning, funny and delicious romp of a debut.
In KISSING GAMES (Wednesday Books; June 5, 2018), Eglington’s delightful leading lady Aurora is off on another adventure, involving even more kissing. Filled with sweet high school love, this novel has all the hijinks and HEAs Eglington’s fans have come to love. For a girl who shares her name with a princess (aka Sleeping Beauty), Aurora Skye’s romantic life seems fathoms away from a fairy tale. Sure, she’s landed her prince charming, Hayden Paris. And she got her wish—one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for. But instead of happily ever after, their second kiss landed Hayden in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as “Lethal Lips.”
When Aurora’s best friend decides to run for class president and offers up Aurora’s matchmaking service as one of her campaign initiatives, the kissing games begin. Aurora has to convince everyone that her program works—but that might be hard to do when it seems like her own love life might be falling apart.
With the long lazy days of summer KISSING GAMES will have young readers in stitches and looking forward to making their own mark on the upcoming school year. An Australian favorite, Eglington will please her state-side fans and make new ones in the process in this charming sequel!
About the Author
TARA EGLINGTON grew up in Byron Bay, Australia. Her hobbies when she’s not writing include watching endless cat videos on YouTube, planning pretend holidays to the Maldives, and day-dreaming about who would play Hayden Paris in a film adaptation of How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, her first novel. She lives in Australia.
For a girl who shares her name with a princess (Aurora from Sleep– ing Beauty), my present circumstances were fathoms away from a fairy tale. My kissing skills had left both parties maimed—one case worthy of the emergency room.
Our first kiss as a couple, and my first-ever kiss, had been a melding of everything I’d heard kisses could be, all the glorious cli- chés in action—weak knees, my heart a field of fluttering butter- flies, life in Technicolor. Worth the wait.
With a start like that, I’d expected the second kiss to be as good.
Or at least not to end in calamity.
Four hours ago I’d had no idea I’d be spending half of my Thurs- day night in the local hospital’s emergency department, watching the on-call physician stitching Hayden Paris’s formerly perfect lower lip.
four hours earlier . . .
“I saw him. I saw Iri.”
He wrapped the torn cloth around my arm, tying it tight. “What are you talking about?”
I pushed his hands from me, crying. “Listen to me! Iri was here! I saw him!”
His hands finally stilled, confusion lighting in his eyes. “I was fighting a man. He was about to . . .” I shuddered,
remembering how close to death I’d come—closer than I’d ever been. “Iri came out of the fog and saved me. He was with the Riki.” I stood, taking his hand and pulling him toward the tree line. “We have to find him!”
Thanks for coming out tonight! Are you ready to rock?”
A couple of people in the audience indicate that yes, they are indeed ready to begin the process of rocking. A few others don’t look up from their cell phones, but I’m confident that they’ll discover their readiness to rock as soon as we start playing. The rest of the eleven or so people in the club haven’t bothered to walk over to the dance floor. Presumably, they’re waiting for the headline act before committing to whether or not they’re mentally and physically prepared to rock.
“We’re Fanged Grapefruit,” I say into the microphone. “This first song is an original called, ‘You Can’t Train a Goldfish to Catch Popcorn in Its Mouth, So Don’t Even Try.’ One, two, three, go!”
He does not look so formidable, I lied to myself, staring at the warped, decaying body before me. I can defeat his will. I will break him. It is a wonder what Mykkie had ever seen in him.
It was not the first time I had deceived myself in this manner. Neither was this the first time I had raised King Vanor from the grave. But if I repeated that mantra enough times, I thought I could finally believe my words.
The dead king refused to look at me, his eyes distant. The royal crypts were built to strike both fear and awe in those who visited, but I had grown accustomed to the stone faces looking down at me with quiet scrutiny from their high precipices. But King Vanor’s continued silence unnerved me every time—more than I cared to admit.
“A wise philosopher once said,” Fox drawled from the shadows, “that doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result is the mark of a fool.”
Compulsively stirring my coffee in Nowhereville, New Jersey, I recognize I’m going to have to do a lot of explaining when Emily gets here. Well, assuming she’s figured out my code and picked the right coffee shop.
I look at my burner cell and check the time. 12:02. Not super late. Especially not for my cousin, who is less governed by rules than I am but still hates being tardy. Tardy is her word, not mine. Although I totally approve, because it feels specific to the situation of meeting with someone. I hate nondescript words.
Praise for The Secrets We Bury
“A gripping novel that will tug on readers’ heartstrings until the very end.”–Booklist
“A sensitive, funny, and sometimes awkwardly romantic story of survival and self-awareness.”— Kirkus
Seventeen-and-a-half year old Dylan Taggart is on the run. His family is trying to put him in a school for psychologically challenged students. Dylan realizes he’s had some anger issues and he’s a complete loner, aside from the friendship of his cousin Emily, who he calls the other pea in his pod. But he knows the Believers Charter School is not the place for him. As the investigators his mother has hired close in on him, he decides the Appalachian Trail, a hike that takes approximately six months––the exact length of time he needs to stay off her radar until his eighteenth birthday––may be the perfect place to hide out until he can legally drop out of school.
Except Dylan needs people more than he’d like to admit. And the biggest surprise is a hiker named Sophie, whom the other hikers call “the ghost.” Dylan finds a bond with Sophie he’s never had before with anyone, and slowly they confide the secrets of what they’re each running from. Trusting someone is scary, but Dylan is about to find out that sometimes love is more important than keeping promises, and some promises are made to be broken.
✦ 1 ✦
I had been chasing the Thomas twins around their house for a half hour, begging them to put on their clothes, when the garage door whined up. Their mother was home.
“Guys, come here,” I shouted as I flung myself onto the carpet. Five seconds later, I had two tiny bare butts bouncing on my belly. “Gotcha.” I sat up, locked my arms around their squirmy bodies, and shifted them onto my lap. I’d just wiggled a pair of Pull-Ups onto both boys when Mrs. Thomas walked in the door.
She hugged them as she smiled at me. “Were my little men good today?”
“Absolutely adorable.” I took the wad of cash she held out and shoved it into my pocket. “Thanks.”
“Brooke?” She squinted at the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. “Can you babysit next Saturday morning? Eight to eleven?”
I float in the Pacific Ocean.
As I straddle my longboard, cool water lapping around me, I watch surfers up and down the coast take on baby waves, four-footers that will carry them a short distance before breaking into froth and foam.
I’m waiting for something better.
The sun beats down on the slip of my neck between my wet suit and hairline. The tender skin burns, but I don’t dare move to massage it. Seagulls circle overhead, squawking over the swilling water. They dive to the surface, then soar back up, carrying scraps of seaweed and tiny fish.
And then I see it—in the distance, coming toward me, coming for me. My gaze flickers over the green-blue water as I watch the wave take shape. It’s not a three-footer or even a four-footer. No, it’s much better. My fingers drum against my thighs, and I lean forward, gnawing my sun-chapped lip.