Wednesday, June 19, 2013

[Excerpt] Suddenly You

Suddenly You by Cecilia Gray

Series: The Jane Austen Academy #4

Date Published: May 7, 2013

Published By: Gray Life, LLC J

Genre: young-adult, contemporary

Book Synopsis

Fanny doesn't want to be at The Jane Austen Academy. She intends to lay low until graduation when she can try out for the Olympic track team. She doesn't need friends or love. She only needs her running.

But The Academy is in danger. In an effort to save it, Fanny joins forces with the friends she never knew she wanted. Suddenly, Fanny finds herself center stage in the middle of the Academy's biggest love triangle as the lead in the school play...only this track star can't afford to break a leg.

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retellings of Jane Austen classics set at a beachside California boarding school.

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About Celilia Gray

Cecilia Gray lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters”  (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews).

Her latest series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings was named a What’s Hot pick (RT Book Reviews magazine) and is a Best of 2012 pick (Kirkus Reviews) where it was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling mix of action, drama and love.”

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige at or any of the following sites:

Author Links:

Scene 2

An interrogation spotlight might not have been blinding her, but Emma’s keen, emerald-green glare came a close second.

"How did he say it?" Emma demanded. She hovered over Fanny’s chair, a terrier with a bone she had no intention of letting go. The Jane Austen Academy’s own blond inquisition was a sight to behold. Emma barely cleared five feet in her black ankle boots, and her bright yellow cardigan and flared suede skirt seemed more at home in a fashion catalog than at a cross-examination. Still, she terrified Fanny, so much that Fanny forgot the question.

"What was that?" she asked.

"How did he say it?" Emma repeated impatiently.

"Um…with his mouth?" Fanny shrugged. "I don’t know what you mean."

Emma let out a dramatic cry and set the back of her hand to her forehead. "Why am I surrounded by amateurs?"

Coming to Emma for help had seemed like a great idea a few minutes ago. After spending all of Monday night and all of Tuesday morning and afternoon reconstructing her conversation with Tran and breaking it down in a million ways, she knew she needed help. Who better to turn to than Emma, who had her finger on the pulse of every guy’s intentions?

Emma would know whether Tran meant to ask her to prom.

Emma would know whether she’d screwed it up.

It would be worth it, assuming she survived Emma’s questions.

"I know." Emma clapped her hands together. "Let’s do a re-enactment."

Emma stomped across the room and pulled the chair out from beneath her roommate, Ellie, who was doing math homework at her desk. To Ellie’s credit, she just slid to the floor without a grunt of protest and sat cross-legged in her board shorts with her notebook across her lap. She continued working on the calculus equation without missing a beat.

Emma sat in the chair and scooted up next to Fanny. In an impressive imitation of Tran, she slid forward, parted her legs as much as she could in the suede skirt, and slouched.

"Is this about how close you were?" Emma asked.

"Um, a little closer." Close enough that his forearm had touched hers.

Emma squealed and wheeled in. "This close?"

"At first. I asked him not to sit so close."

The blonde fashionista narrowed her eyes. "Why would you say such a stupid thing? You’re messing with me, right? Never mind. Let’s pretend you just told me a dirty lie. How were your bodies positioned? Were you facing each other?"

"He was turned toward me, but I was facing forward."

Emma rolled her head forward and buried her face in her hands with a sob. "You didn’t even bother to face him?"

"Give Fanny a break," Ellie said kindly from the floor. "We aren’t all born with Emma’s Guide to Guys in our head. It’s not even like she’s always had a thing for Tran."

"I didn’t say I had a thing for Tran!"

Emma’s head lolled back up with a deadpan look. "If we’re talking about it, then it’s a thingOtherwise it’s just a waste of time. Now tell me how he said it. Did he say ‘speaking of prom’ so his voice went up at the end? Did it inflect down? What did his eyes say?"

Fanny squeezed her eyes shut with a groan and tried to remember, but all she could remember was the dumb way she’d rattled on afterward. "I don’t know. It’s all a blur and then Lucy dropped by and ruined everything."

"Lucy is a master at that." Emma nodded agreeably.

Ellie, predictably, interrupted them with, "Guys, be nice to Lucy. She’s been through a lot."

"Exactly my point." Emma stood and paced the room, as she preferred to do when making a point. "Lucy quit school to follow her boyfriend across the country to the Academy. Faster than you can say psycho stalker girlfriend, her boyfriend was stolen from her."

"Hey!" Ellie flicked a pencil at Emma’s legs.

"Sorry, sorry, " Emma corrected. "Her boyfriend wasn’t stolen. He fell in love with someone incredibly more awesome and suited to him who happens to be the best roommate in the entire world."

Ellie blew Emma a kiss.

"Which means Lucy, the victim of another woman, should know better than to take up home-wrecking Fanny and Tran."

This time Ellie threw her flip-flop at Emma, who sidestepped—impressive, given the unwieldiness of her boots.

"Tran and I aren’t even together," Fanny said. "I hardly think Lucy counts as a homewrecker. I don’t even know if he’s interested in me."

"Puh-leeze." Emma counted off points on her fingers. "All Tran cares about is video games, electronic engineering, and the cafeteria lunch menu. He doesn’t care about Asians or Americans or Culture or Society. Why else would he join your club except for you?"
Fanny pressed her hands to her warm cheeks. "Do you really think so?"

"I never think." Emma glanced out the window, unconsciously striking a hero’s pose with her fists on her hips. "I only know. We need to set up another situation where he can finish asking you to prom. This time, you will zip your lips until he finishes."

"Who are you going to prom with, Emma?" Fanny asked as she realized she hadn’t heard any rumors about the lucky date.

Lizzie was obviously going with Dante. Why date the most popular boy in school if he wasn’t going to be your arm candy?

Ellie was going with Edward. Why suffer through the most torturous school love triangle if not to be triumphant in the end?

Kat had Henry. They were destined to be the future Pitt and Jolie.

It seemed unreal that Emma, the social butterfly of the Academy, was sans date, just like her. Emma, most likely to walk into the dance with three men on each arm, didn’t even have one name tied to her.

"I haven’t selected the lucky guy yet," Emma said with a sigh as she turned from the window. "I have to pick my dress first. Boys, like accessories, come second. I do wish I knew who I was going to marry. So much easier to plan the wedding that way."

Fanny laughed, but felt an itch of guilt. How could she be having fun and obsessing over prom when she should be focusing on the Academy’s imminent demolition?

"Oooh." Emma’s eyes lit up. "I know how we can solve all our problems."


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