Today we're excited to share Jen Malone's excerpt from her novel, Changes in Latitudes as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt! Read on for more about Jen, her novel, and an extra giveaway! And don't forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance to win the Grand Prize!
You can find Scavenger Hunt rules and entry form HERE.
Meet Jen Malone!
Jen Malone writes fun and flirty YA travel romances with HarperCollins and humorous "girl power" MG adventures with Simon & Schuster and Random House. Her previous YA titles include Wanderlost and
Map to the Stars. She once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star's tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her books at www.jenmalonewrites.com.
All Cassie wants is to get some solid ground under her feet following the shock of her parents' divorce. So when she learns of her mom's plans to take Cassie and her brother, Drew, on a four-month sailing trip from Oregon to Mexico, she's stunned. There is absolutely nothing solid about the Pacific Ocean.
Cassie is furious. And nervous. It's been hard enough keeping Drew sheltered from what Cassie knows about her mother's role in breaking their family apart, but living in such close quarters threatens to push her anger past its tipping point. Enter Jonah, a whip-smart deckhand who's as gorgeous as he is flirtatious. Cassie tries to keep him at a distance, but the more time they spend together--wandering San Francisco, riding beachside roller coasters, and exploring the California coastline--the harder it is to fight the attraction.
Cassie wants to let herself go, but her parents' split has left her feeling adrift in a sea of questions she can't even begin to answer. Can she forgive her mom? Will home ever feel the same? Should she take a chance on Jonah? With life's unpredictable tides working against her, Cassie must decide whether to swim against them... or dive right in.
A Note From the Jen:
While I consider Changes in Latitudes to be, at heart, a mother-daughter story, there’s plenty of romance to ship (pardon the boat pun!) that adds banter-y fun to Cassie’s sailing adventure down the west coast of the US. And banter-y romances need memorable meet- cutes, right? In this scene, Cassie encounters Jonah in just about the most embarrassing way possible: Her sailboat caravan has been stuck for nearly a week in a remote cove, waiting out a weather system, so she resorts to washing her delicates in a wooded stream. She’s completely absorbed in a botany sketch, while waiting for her undies to dry in the sun, when...
“So there is such a thing as wood sprites! I thought Shakespeare was taking license with his fiction.”
My arm spasms with shock, jerking a hard line of Verdant Green across my page, and I yank my head up.
A tall guy, close to my age, wearing hiking boots and one of those serious backpacks with the metal frames on the outside, covers his mouth.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you. Did I make you mess up your drawing?”
His eyes trail to the sketchbook dangling in my hands and I follow them, staring at it stupidly.
“I—what?” I’m still reeling from the sudden return to reality, and now my brain starts wrestling with its fight-or-flight response and Stranger Danger thoughts: alone in the woods, miles from people, no cell signal.
The guy shifts his backpack on his hips and half cringes, half smiles. “I guess I should have made more noise when I approached.”
Still processing: apologetic, referenced Shakespeare, not wearing a hockey mask or carting a chain saw. All hopeful signs he’s not a mass murderer. Plus he’s way too attractive to be a serial killer.
“Laundry day, huh?” he asks, his cheerful smile turning up at one corner and his eyes flashing amusement.
My brain finishes assessing the situation, then blares: HOLY CRAP, THIS HOT GUY IS SEEING A TRAIL OF YOUR UNDERWEAR UP AND DOWN THE STREAM!
Additional urgent incoming message from brain: React in some manner, Cassie. Say something, Cassie. Do something, Cassie.
“I—uh—” I yank my toes out of the mud and stand, flailing my arm behind me to grab the bra and thong set off the rock closest to me. I crumple them in my hand. Then I sigh when I spot my bag on the ground, just out of reach, before forcing my eyes back to his, still dancing all along the creek.
“R-right. Laundry d-day,” I stammer. I’m not usually one of those girls who can’t hold her own around members of the opposite sex, but come on. . . .
He puts his arms up in a “surrender” gesture and takes two tentative steps in my direction, smiling all the while. “Permission to approach?”
When he reaches me, he sticks out his hand. “Jonah Abrahmson, apologetic hiker.”
I blink at him once and then reach to shake, but I yank my arm back when I
realize my fingers are still curled around my balled-up underwear. Why is this my life? Earlier today I wanted nothing more than the ground under my feet, but at the moment I’d actually rather be on a boat with a full poop tank and dwindling provisions. Maybe.
My complexion is surely going all luck-o’-the-Irish on me. I have skin that, at the smallest embarrassment, doesn’t delicately blush so much as . . . splotch red like I’ve been hit with a dozen paintballs. I awkwardly transfer both items to my other fist, breathe deeply, and offer a glance to the heavens.
“Cassie McClure, humiliated wood sprite,” I say, shaking his hand firmly. Okay, not so bad, Cass. I’m recovering my senses. He startled me, that’s all. Jonah’s grin grows wider and, seriously, his teeth should be in a toothpaste commercial or something. “No, no. I like that even wood sprites have to wash their underwear every now and again. Makes the whole spritely profession read much less mystical and really more, I don’t know . . . salt of the earth. It’s too bad Shakespeare cut the Wash Day scene from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Just think if he hadn’t. Maybe the guy could have been famous for centuries after his death or something.”
I try to fight the giggle, but here it comes. At least Jonah laughs too.
“So, can I see them?” He gestures with his chin to my hand, and my mouth falls open. His brow comes together in confusion, and after a beat, his eyes widen. Even though he has a deep tan that would hide any sign of a blush, his horrified expression says it’s definitely there.
Embarrassment is in his voice too. “Um, I swear I meant your sketches.”
By: Jen Malone
Release Date: July 25, 2017
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