Lovesick? I’ve been there. Obsessed? Haven’t we all?
Have you ever waited with breathless anticipation for that special someone to notice you? Have you lost your appetite overthinking the possibilities that the person may or may not like you? Have you lingered in the hall with a pounding heartbeat and sweaty palms, trying to catch a glimpse of that certain someone in between classes? Most of us have been consumed by love and longing at some point in our lives. In fact, I go there every day in my writing. I recall those overwhelming emotions from experience, from my imagination, and pour them onto the pages of my young adult romance novels. The impulsive actions of my characters drive me to write about their hopes and dreams, unknowns and fantasies. I create their endless possibilities, their tension, their break-ups and their hook-ups. I write their catastrophic meltdowns, their reunions, the moments when they finally get it together. I write with angst. I write with the teen voice that speaks to me.
I write about girls kissing boys…and a little bit of everything else.
I adore my job because I’m able to relive my teen years through fiction writing. My specialty is first love, the explosion of emotion that comes when a character finds that person they believe is their soul mate. I was blessed to have met mine at seventeen and married him after college. Sharing my life with my high school sweetheart allows me to write from my heart. I’m able to draw on my greatest experiences and spin them into dreamy love stories. However, naturally, as in reality, they’re never without conflict or struggle. Writing satisfies my urge to create and exaggerate. I give readers of all ages an escape to a time of innocence, heartache and bliss—their first kiss and the fluttery butterflies that go with it. I want my characters to become book friends, to make my readers swoon. I write young adult romance for the reader that wants to fall in love for the first time all over again.
STUBBORN is my debut young adult romance. Thank goodness there are boys in the middle of nowhere…because that’s where Avery Ross is headed when she’s sent away in punishment to help her aunt run a boarding house for oil field workers. As soon as Avery disembarks her unsettling train ride from New York to North Dakota, she’s climbing onto an endless, emotional rollercoaster where she encounters her first true love and a whole lot of drama.
With a train ticket, a bad attitude, and an unfortunate scribbling of obscenities across her forehead, seventeen-year-old Avery Ross is tossed out of the frying pan and into the fire when she’s sent from New York to the vast oil field region of North Dakota. When a green-eyed boy with a sultry Texan accent comes to her defense, Avery has no clue that his actions will lead her into a passion-charged summer, full of temptation and loss.
Defiant and relegated to work at her aunt’s boarding house, Avery discovers a connection between her aunt and the striking boy. He and his brothers are seeking revenge for the wrongful death of their sibling, and Avery becomes entangled in their battle over oil rights, loyalty, and love. Avery falls for the brooding, younger brother, Gabriel Halden, against her aunt’s forewarnings and creates more tribulations than any of them could anticipate.
The morning breeze was remarkably pleasant. It was early bright. I didn’t recall leaving the window open, or pulling up the shade. My legs were hanging off the bed because something was taking over the bottom half.
“Finally,” exclaimed Gabe. “I thought you were pretending to be Snow White.”
“Why are you still here?” I asked groggily. “Are you looking to get kicked out of the coop?”
My eyes followed his as he stood up and stretched his hands as high they would go. Then he slapped his toned chest. His shirt was in a ball on the ground. I liked it exactly where it was.
“That was like sleeping in a clothes dryer with a pair of sneakers. You kicked me all night long. And it’s still hot as hell up here.”
I gazed absently as he lifted up the shirt with his toes and kicked it in the air to catch it.
“The ladder’s gone. That’s why I’m still here.”
I sat up tall.
“What?” I nervously ironed my hands over my hair.
“You heard me,” he said and moved his eyes all over me.
“Omigod. You’re going to get kicked out, Gabe! You’re going to have to do some serious butt kissing.”
Meggie would tell my mother I let a boy sleep in my room. That alone would send her into therapy. Maybe getting caught wasn’t so bad.
“Naw,” he told me as he pulled his wrinkled shirt over his middle. “I’m betting one of the guys took it.”
“See if Meggie’s truck’s here. Maybe she went out,” I suggested.
I crouched over my bag on the floor and selected the only clean shirt I had left. Gabe crossed the room in two strides and stooped at the window. I watched him in my side view as my heart began to attack me.
He looked so good standing in my room.
“It’s gone. We’re safe.” He spun around and eyed me. “You gonna change?”
“Turn back around. Don’t peek. I’m serious.”
He turned and placed his hands on the wall, posing for a pat down. My heart had to work so hard around him.
“You done?” he asked immediately. I fumbled as I tried to locate a pair of shorts.
“No!” I faced the other way, peeled off what I was wearing and practically jumped into the new clothes. I guessed he was going to try to sneak a glance so I twirled around and snapped the button on my shorts. Sure enough he was standing there watching.
“You got that right,” he said smirking. “Now I’ve seen almost everything.”
“Omigod. You’re just as bad as Caleb,” I scolded.
A small and secret part of me was rather okay with his watching.
“Caleb’s not your boyfriend,” he said childishly.
My heart vaulted into my throat and stuck.
Did he say boyfriend?
I didn’t have time to analyze. It was urgent I got him out of my room before Meggie returned home. My brain had turned to Jell-O. As I reached for the bolt and fumbled with the lock, Gabe came to stand at my back. I spun around all flustered.
“Your bag, don’t leave it.”
Gabe shot his head back.
“Oh. I thought you might wanna steal some more of my dirty shirts.”
He lifted his hand to my cheek and grazed it with his thumb. Then his hands slid behind my ears and cupped my head.
I drew a shaky breath. He mimicked me. I sighed and he copied.
“What are you doing?” I whispered.
He tightened in for a close-up. A slow grin crept over his face, reaching his eyes and forehead. “Claiming my reward. I waited all night. Actually days. You owe me double now,” he murmured.
Jeanne is offering an ecopy of STUBBORN to one lucky commenter. Do you remember being “in love” as a teen complete with all the drama and passion? Do tell a bit! 🙂 Giveaway ends @12am est 1-26-14. Good luck!
Jeanne Arnold is an author of young adult romance. At a young age she found her creative outlet in art, and for years her fictional characters came to life in drawings and paintings, until they demanded a voice. Now they grace the pages of her stories. Jeanne shares her time with her fictional teenage counterparts and her human family in Central New York. Her young adult romance Stubborn is available now. The Haunt of Thirteen Curves will be released in June.
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