Louder Than Words
Release Date: 09/16/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad's dead, her mom is numbing the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends are slowly abandoning her. Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe, shouldn't have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt, shouldn't have sent her running to the girls' bathroom for the final moments of her Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details of her life to herself.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky teen recently transplanted from New York and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she's not letting him get too close, not til she's sure she can trust him. By the time Rex's charming persistence wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the perma-pal shelf and shifted his romantic attentions to her arch-rival. Even worse, the teacher who tried to seduce her is still misbehaving with impunity.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about her teacher and risk retribution, to tell Rex how she feels and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside, the only safe place she knows.
Ten Things I'd Like to Go Back In Time and Tell My Teenaged Self
I'm here to share some insight with you. Believe it or not, you're doing a few things right, more than a few. Most of your choices have held up well over time. Always begin on a positive note, they say, and there you have it.
But let's chat about a few opportunities I missed--you'll miss--notions and attitudes I've reconsidered with some regret.
1. Boys are just as scared of you as you are of them.
Okay maybe they aren't actually scared of you, but they are just as unsure of themselves as girls. They aren't great slobbering beasts bent on ruining every girl they see. Most are happy with a kind word, a compliment, a smile. Don't be stingy with these things.
2. A broken teenaged heart is not fatal.
Like bones, it is most malleable and resilient when young. Give it away more freely than I did, even if it's returned to you a little bruised. Sharing it makes it bigger and stronger. Hiding and protecting it keeps it weak and vulnerable.
3. Take more pictures of people, less of scenery.
Scenery is beautiful, but it's the people pictures you will return to again and again and cherish the most.
4. You are not fat.
I'd kill to be your size again. Even though I'm okay with myself today, how did I ever think I was fat when I was forty pounds lighter? I wasn't. Don't be so hard on yourself. But remember point number three above? Yeah, take a lot of pictures of yourself in those size 3 jeans.
5. Be nicer to your sister.
She gets better with age--trust me on this--but don't give her any more "you were so cruel" stories to whip out and embellish in the later years.
6. Be proud of your work and claim it with a loud, "I wrote this and I think it's good."
You won't always be right, of course, but if you don't believe, why would anyone else? Sign your full name to that poem you'll write for your Senior yearbook, not "Anonymous".
7. Write, write and always write.
Don't wait until you're forty-eight to pick up a pen in earnest. Don't listen to that voice telling you you're a numbers girl and your brain is only wired to crank out algorithms and solve logic puzzles. Stories are logic puzzles and romance is basic math of one plus one. Statistics and probabilities are not absolutes when soaked in dreams.
8. Cut your dad a little more slack.
He won't be with you as long as you'd like, and believe it or not he'll one day be your biggest fan. Seriously.
9. Never worry about being too silly.
The world needs more silliness. Give it up as often as you can and always make 'em smile.
10. Speak Up for those who can't or won't.
Be the voice of the underdog and make your kindness and compassion toward them your statement against bullying. Don't let your silence make you an accomplice.
But of course, you already knew all this because you know everything, right?
P. S. Kristin shot J. R., buy stock in Microsoft and Apple, and Richard Chamberlain's gay, so go ahead and cross him off your bucket list.
Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that's another bio.)
No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.
In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.
Iris believes in the two-year "fish or cut bait" dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.
$10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Louder Than Words (INT)
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