Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Excerpt: Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Hardcover, 400 pages 
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 
by Harlequin Teen

When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

 Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

 When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.

 But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

 Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.

Excerpt

“I say too much, I push her away and into his arms,” Axle says.
I’m the living proof of this. I got into it with Holiday over this jerk before I was arrested, and the entire situation ex­ploded in my face.
“I keep quiet, it’s like I’m the one auctioning off her soul. No one handed me a playbook on raising a teenager when Holiday’s grandmother signed custody over to me. Holiday didn’t have rules before. In my house, she does. The rest of it I’m playing by ear.”
I glance at my older brother out of the corner of my eye, waiting for him to explain that’s how he felt about me before I was arrested. Except, I wasn’t falling into the wrong per­son’s arms. I was the asshole parents hated.
“But you’re back,” Axle continues, “and you can help keep an eye on her. Moving her in full-time means I can finally set some boundaries. Rules. At least limit her time with him.”
“Think she’ll listen?” I ask. “To the rules?”
“She may not listen when it comes to Jeremy, but she lis­tens to everything else.”
Translation—Holiday’s not me. “Are you laying down rules for me?”
Axle snorts. “Do you need them?”
Probably, but I only lift my fingers as a response.
“How about you don’t screw up again.”
“Got it.” At least I hope I do.
“What’s up, Axle. Drix.” A friend of mine from when I used to play gigs at local clubs offers Axle his hand and me a nod. The two of them exchange how are you’s and fine’s. I alternate between watching the flames of the fire licking up and glancing at them as they talk.
My older brother is now my court-appointed guardian. I did too many stupid things while living with Mom, and Dad’s not reliable. Axle is nine years older than me, has a decent job and inherited all the recessive responsible genes neither Mom nor Dad possessed.
Axle and I favor Dad. Dirty blond hair, dark eyes, and we both used to be hard-core metal boys. I guess we still are when it comes to music, but not so much with style anymore. He has the tats up and down his arms, and earrings in his ears. Earrings and tats were never my thing, and I used to wear my hair to my shoulders where Axle has always kept his shaved close to the scalp.
First thing that happened when I entered juvenile deten­tion was a shaved head. While mine’s not shaved anymore, it is cut close on the sides, has some length on top and naturally sticks up like I styled it on purpose. As Holiday told me when I walked in, I got the good boy cut with the bad boy stride.
Our friend leaves with a fist bump to Axle and a pat on the back to me. Way to go, bro. You survived time on the inside and then time on the outside in a forest.
“It’s weird not hearing you jump into a conversation,” Axle says.
It’s weird not being in the thick of things. Not being the one telling the story, sharing the joke, or the one in the crowd laughing the loudest. I used to be the guy who drank to get drunk, threw a punch, then threw too many punches, and then dealt with the guilt in the morning.
Thanks to one year of group therapy, I’m different now. Seven months of that therapy was while I was living behind bars, then the other three months of therapy was in the wil­derness. Three months of hiking, three months of paddling along forgotten rivers, three months of climbing up and down mountains, three months of being too damned exhausted to remember who I had been before they handed me a backpack that weighed fifty pounds and too damned exhausted to even contemplate if that was a bad or good thing.
As much as I hated parts of who I had become after I went to live with Mom at fifteen, there were parts of me I liked. Don’t mind so much losing the bad, but there’s an uncomfort­able shifting inside me at the thought that I also lost the good.
“How does this play out?” Axle asks. “How do I make this better for you? Easier?”
Axle isn’t talking about the party; he’s talking about living here with him and Holiday. He’s talking about how I readjust to parts of my old life and adjust into the new life the plea bargain has created. He’s talking about the thing we never mention aloud after the night I was arrested.
That we both think someone we know and love is the one who really committed the crime.
We both think it was Holiday working with Dominic or Dominic on his own, but neither of them could have survived being behind bars. I’m tough. I could handle the fallout, and all that mattered to me was that my family believed I was in­nocent. They did, but the police didn’t, and they had a crap load of evidence that pointed in my direction. This is where Axle would say he’s thankful for plea bargains.


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Katie was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life.

She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

She is the author of the Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road series.

Say You’ll Remember Me will be released in 2018. Katie loves to hear from her readers.


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