Who wants a cover reveal and exclusive excerpt and a giveaway? You do? Well, hold onto your bookshelves, because we’ve got all three for Christine Hurley Deriso’s All The Wrong Chords, coming this December!
Scarlett Stiles is desperate for a change of scenery after her older brother, Liam, dies of a drug overdose. But spending the summer with her grandfather wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Luckily, Scarlett finds something to keep her busy — a local rock band looking for a guitarist. Even though playing guitar has been hard since Liam died, Scarlett can’t pass on an opportunity like this, and she can’t take her eyes off the band’s hot lead singer either. Is real happiness just around the corner? Or will she always be haunted by her brother’s death?
“I’ve always considered music the ultimate channel of emotions,” said Deriso. “Our most visceral dreams, fears, sorrows and joys spill from our soul when unleashed by a melody and lyrics. That’s why I’m so psyched about the cover of All The Wrong Chords. Just like the simplest yet most resonant of songs, the cover speaks volumes in barely a whisper. The backdrop, a guitar, symbolizes eighteen-year-old Scarlett Stiles’ lifeline as she processes her brother’s recent death. But just how reliable is this lifeline? After all, the strings are fairly dripping off the page – dripping like tears, like unfinished business, like a last verse waiting to be written. Will the music Scarlett creates when she joins a band – a band fronted by the hottest guy in town – free her soul or drown her in misery? The novel features an original soundtrack so readers can share Scarlett’s journey as she discovers how her song will end.“
All The Wrong Chords releases from Flux on December 12. Take a peek at one of the songs mentioned in the book below and keep scrolling to read an excerpt AND enter a giveaway.
“You don’t need that, do you?”
Grrrrr. Grandpa’s grousing about the air-conditioning again.
“Grandpa, it’s hotter now than when we left the house,” I argue as I back out of my parking space at the grocery store.
“But it’s a five-minute drive,” he says.
“I know, but the doctor said humidity is bad for my acne.”
There. Will that solve the air-conditioning problem once and for all?
Grandpa peers at me, no doubt inspecting me for zits. “Your face looks fine,” he says.
“And don’t we want to keep it that way?”
Silence. guess my reasoning was fool-proof.
I should be enjoying these small victories – it was impossible until recently for anyone other than Grandpa to have the last word – but it makes me sad that his legendary stubbornness was just another casualty of Liam’s death.
“Oh, Grandpa, did you remember to put the milk in the car?” I ask as I pull out of the parking lot. “It was on the bottom of the cart so I might not have—”
Grandpa gasps as I turn toward the back seat to inspect the groceries, and I’m just about to plead with him to stop gasping, which omigod is so incredibly nerve-wracking, when—
I slam on my brakes in response to Grandpa’s bellowing scream as a guy on a bike darts out of our path, veering so sharply that he crashes into asphalt.
I slap my chest with my palm, staring saucer-eyed at the guy I almost hit and wondering if my heart will explode.
“Stop the car, stop the car!” Grandpa orders, and at first, I’m too stunned to process the words. What does he mean, stop the car? My foot’s on the brake; we’re not going anywhere. But then I realize he means to turn off the engine and, oh, I dunno, maybe lend a hand to the guy who’s splatted on the pavement, thanks to me, the person who almost killed him. Oh my god!
My jaw drops. “Grandpa, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so, so—”
“Scarlett, pull over and turn off the ignition,” he says, his voice steady.
I lock eyes with him. “Right,” I say with shaky determination, swallowing the lump in my throat. I pull into the nearest parking space, then fling my door open and run toward the bicyclist. Grandpa is right on my heels, amazingly spry for his age.
“Oh my god I’m so, so sorry!” I’m say as I approach him. “Are you okay?”
The cyclist – a tall, lanky guy around my age wearing cargo shorts and a tee shirt – locks his chocolate-colored, deep-set eyes with mine as he stands up, wiping gravel from his knees.
“I’m fine,” he says, then glances over at his sprawled bicycle.
“Your bike!” I say, rushing to stand it upright as Grandpa and a couple of bystanders help the guy to his feet.
“I promise, I’m fine,” he insists to them. “Just scraped my knees a little.”
As I prop his bike on the kickstand, the guy takes off his helmet and shakes his light brown hair free. Grandpa and the others hover around him, inspecting him for injuries. My whole body is shaking as I rush toward him.
“You’re sure you’re okay?” I ask in a trembling voice.
He waves a hand through the air. “I was hurt worse than this stubbing my toe in the shower this morning.”
Grandpa is rustling through the pockets of his chino slacks. “I want to leave my name and phone number in case you—”
“I know who you are,” the guy responds. “Mr. O’Malley, right? I’m Zach Spencer. My granddad plays tennis with you. I used to watch some of your matches when I was a kid.”
“Yes, yes,” Grandpa says in the same tone of voice he used for the stranger in the bank a few minutes earlier. “Your granddad. . .”
“Harold Carver,” Zach clarifies.
“Harold, yes! How’s he doing?” Grandpa asks. “I stopped playing a couple of years ago. Bad knees. But I need to meet him for coffee one day soon and catch up.”
“He’d love that. He still plays now and then—mostly doubles these days,” Zach says as the passersby discreetly disperse, their curiosity and compassion seemingly overridden by their realization that he’s fine and that a boring conversation is unfolding. My heart is finally slowing its full-on gallop.
“I’ve been meaning to call Harold,” Grandpa says. “How’s your mother?”
Zach presses in his lips. “She’s okay, thanks.”
“Glad to hear it,” Grandpa says. “Yes, I’ve definitely been meaning to catch up with Harold. Now, let us drive you home.”
“No, no,” Zach says. “I’m headed just right down the street.”
“Work?” Grandpa asks. “We can come along and explain to your boss how we held you up. Maybe he’d let us run you home to get cleaned up. . .”
“No, I’m just practicing with my band,” Zach says. “Those guys aren’t particular about how I look. No dress code there.” He smiles shyly, gesturing toward his asphalt-scuffed clothes.
“A band, eh?” Grandpa says, a hot breeze blowing past our cheeks.
Zach nods. “Some guys I went to high school with. We’re all in college now, but we regroup during summers.”
“What do you play?” Grandpa asks.
“Guitar. You should come listen to us sometime; we play on Friday nights at Sheehan’s.” Zach’s chocolatey eyes switch from Grandpa’s to mine, then back again, during the invitation.
“We’d enjoy that,” Grandpa says. “This is my granddaughter, Scarlett. She’s in town for the summer, and I’m sure she’d welcome activities that don’t involve the geriatric set.”
I blush, mostly because this guy now has a name to attach to the crazy person who nearly plowed him down five minutes earlier.
Zach laughs genially. “You’ll both be right at home. My grandparents come a lot . . . they’re kind of our resident groupies.”
“Well, that’ll be just the place to catch up with Harold,” Grandpa says.
“Our first set tonight starts at 7:30,” Zach says. “We’ll be playing on the deck if it doesn’t rain.”
“Well. I’m sure we’ll be seeing you soon,” Grandpa says, extending a hand to Zach. “Again, I can’t tell you how sorry we are for the mishap. But I’m surely glad I got the chance to see you again.”
Zach nods as he shakes Grandpa’s hand.
I wring my hands together. “I’m just so, so. . .” My voice trails off ridiculously.
I’m fine,” Zach tells me. “Hope to see you both at Sheehan’s.”
I wave limply as he hops back on his bike and rides away. I stand there for a minute, blowing out of puffed-up cheeks, then head back to the car.
But Grandpa stops me short.
“Keys,” he says.
I hesitate for just a second, then toss them to him.
No argument here.
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