Today we're excited to spotlight Julie Hammerle's novel Artificial Sweethearts. Read on for more about Julie and her book, plus an excerpt and giveaway!
Meet Julie Hammerle!
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.
It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.
So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.
But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.
I am so excited for everyone to read Artificial Sweethearts, which is actually the third full-length manuscript I ever completed. In fact, it’s about six years older than the first book in the North Pole, Minnesota series, Any Boy But You.
Sam Anderson is my ideal book boyfriend. He’s funny, sweet, and easygoing. He’s a big dreamer. He loves his family more than anything, and he has great taste in cakes.
Here’s a quick peek into Sam’s life. He’s just about to throw in the towel on true love and text a girl he’s not super interested in. Then he sees Tinka standing on the balcony next door...
Sam stormed out to the back deck, where he ran his hands along the slick, varnished railing and stared up at the stars in the cloudless sky. If this were a movie, now would be the part where Sam met the gorgeous girl next door. She’d see right through Sam’s physique to his big heart and better-than-average sense of humor.
He glanced over at the Fosters’ house, his new neighbors’ place. It was dark, as usual. Life wasn’t a movie. Life was life. Sam sighed and checked his phone. He opened up his contacts and found the name Harper had entered earlier today—Dottie Gold, heart emoji.
“You texting Dottie?” came a voice from behind him. Sam turned toward Harper, hiding his phone behind his back. His sister was either a wizard or she had X-ray vision. “Nope.”
“You should.” She stood next to him and placed her hands on the deck railing, facing the Fosters’. “You’re going to college soon, Sam. Get some experience before you leave.”
“I have experience.” He did. Ish.
“Kissing a random sophomore during a school play is not ‘experience.’”
She had him there. “I don’t want to start anything now. I’m leaving in a few weeks, and it’ll be hard enough leaving this town and you assholes.” He nudged his sister in the ribs.
“You’ll have no problem leaving Dottie, believe me.” She held out her hand. “Give me your phone.”
He hid it behind his back. “No.” Bringing Dottie into this wouldn’t solve anything.
“Suit yourself, but think about it.” Harper turned to leave, but stopped. “Make sure you’re honest, though, about what you want. Hooking up is ne, great even, as long as everyone’s on
the same page. Don’t give her the wrong idea. I speak from experience.” Harper had run into a similar situation a few months ago with her friend Regina.
Alone again on the deck, Sam flicked on his phone and turned toward his neighbors’ house. He rested his elbows on the railing and stared at the screen. Hi, Dottie, he typed.
And he was stuck. He lifted his eyes to the Fosters’ second door balcony again and was so lost in composing his message to Dottie that he almost didn’t notice the person standing there, a girl, resting her hands on the railing. Her long, blond hair curled around her shoulders, and it seemed like she was doing the same thing Sam had been—breathing, escaping.
The girl peered over at him, and he tentatively raised his hand in greeting. She, the actual girl next door, did the same for one brief second, then scurried into the house and slid the door shut.
Sam stared at the balcony for a moment, waiting for her to reappear. He put his hand to his chest, where his heart hammered against his sternum.
This right here was his problem, always had been. He was too caught up in the movie version of his life. That girl showing up on the balcony was a coincidence, nothing more. There was no deeper meaning. They weren’t destined to be together. There was a very strong likelihood they’d never even speak to each other. Sam couldn’t keep putting his life on hold, waiting for something amazing to happen.
By: Julie Hammerle
Release Date: July 10, 2017
One winner will receive a signed copy of Artificial Sweethearts (US only).