By Leila Howland
Published: May 7th, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.
Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.
When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.
But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucketblue.
And now, an excerpt from Nantucket Blue!
"That's it. I'm going in. I have to," Zack said. I watched as he lifted his sweatshirt and T-shirt off his head in one move. He was so lean and strong.
"In your underwear?" I asked.
"Hell no," Zack said and unbuttoned his jeans. I covered my mouth with my hands. He met my gaze and pulled them down, with his boxers, over his hips. There it was! I'd felt it, but I hadn't seen it. "Oh my God," I said, not realizing I was thinking aloud.
"Feast your eyes," He laughed. Then he beat his chest and let out a war cry.
"Zack!" I laughed, intoxicated.
He turned around, faced the ocean. Boy butts are so different, so compact. "Woo hoo!" He whooped, ran into the waves, and dove under. "It's perfect," He said when his head popped up. "You have to come in. It's beautiful."
"I can't," I said, remembering my promise to myself about Jules.
"Your loss," Zack said. "It's amazing in here." It looked amazing. He looked amazing, bobbing up and down in the silvery black water. I thought of Mom's words to Emily Dickinson, What is life, if not for living? I took a deep breath, then stripped off my clothes and ran in, covering myself with my hands until I was in the water. I slipped under a gentle wave, and when I came up, Zack was in front of me. He was smiling but serious, and I felt my cheeks brighten. He took my hands and pulled my close to him.
"Come to me, mermaid," he said.
"La le loo-loo la lee loo." I floated my legs up, dipped my head back, and sang an off-key mermaid song. I felt like the moon itself, all lit up. Then I noticed the little lights around us in the water.
"Oh my god, what is this?" I asked. The water was sparkling, glowing, like fireflies were underwater.
"Phosphorescence," He said, splashing the water to make them glow.
"It's crazy," I said. I ran my hands through the water trying to catch them, then kicked my legs up and floated around on my back. I wasn't made of bones anymore. I was made of starfish and moonlight and phosphorescence. I started laughing for no reason at all.
"What?" Zack asked, treading water, his hands leaving trails of light.
I put my feet back on the sand and laughed again. I'd never felt so full, so bright, so completely alive. "I think," I started, but then ducked back under, finishing the thought underwater so that I'd get to say it, but he wouldn't hear. I think I'm in love.
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About The Author
LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel.