Taylor Edwards family might not be that close - everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled, but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor's dad gets some devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again, but as the summer progresses they're more aware than ever that they're battling a ticking clock. And as Taylor tries to deal with the drama at home, she is faced with the fact that the friends she thought she'd left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is still living across the lake and still as mad with Taylor as she was five years ago, and her first boyfriend has moved in next door...but he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. Can one summer be enough time to get a second chance - with family, friends, and love?
Extract From Second Chance Summer!
“Hey,” I said, bending down to pick up a stuffed animal I thought I recognized. “I think that’s mine.” In fact, it was a stuffed animal I knew very well: a small plush penguin, wearing an orange-and-white-striped scarf. It wasn’t the finest stuffed animal ever constructed—I could tell now that the felt was fairly cheap, and the stuffing was threatening to come out in several places. But the night of the carnival when I was twelve, the night I’d gotten my first kiss, the night Henry Crosby had won it for me, I’d thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world.
“I remember that,” Warren said, a look coming into his eyes that I didn’t like one bit. “Wasn’t that the one you got at the carnival?”
My brother had a photographic memory, but usually used it to memorize obscure facts, and not to torment me.
“Yeah,” I muttered, starting to take a step away.
“Wasn’t it the one Henry won for you?” Warren put a special spin on his name. I had a feeling that I was being punished for making fun of Warren’s fear of small, harmless dogs. I glared at my brother. Gelsey was looking between the two of us, interested.
“Henry who?” she asked.
“You know,” Warren said, a small smile starting to take form on his face. “Henry Crosby. He had a little brother, Derek or something. Henry was Taylor’s boyfriend.”
Davy, I silently corrected Warren. I could feel my cheeks get hot, which was ridiculous, and I found myself looking for an escape. If there was a way that I could have walked away from the conversation without it being totally obvious that I was uncomfortable, I would have.
“Oh, yeah,” Gelsey said slowly. “I think I remember him. He was nice to me. And he used to know the names of all the trees.”
“And—” Warren started, but I interrupted him before he could continue, not sure I could take any more.
“Anyway, you should get that cleaned up before Mom gets here,” I said loudly, knowing even as I said it that it was highly unlikely my mother would yell at Gelsey for anything. But I tried to pretend it was true as I left with all the dignity one can muster while holding a stuffed penguin, and went to the kitchen for no reason whatsoever.
Henry Crosby. The name reverberated in my head as I put the penguin on the kitchen counter and opened and shut one of the cabinet doors. He was someone I had consciously tried not to think about too much over the years. He’d become reduced, shortened to a slumber-party anecdote when the inevitable question—Who was your first boyfriend?—would arise. I had the Henry story down perfectly now, so that I barely had to even think about it:
Oh, that was Henry. We’d been friends, up at my summer house. And the summer we were twelve, we started going out. He gave me my first kiss at the summer carnival. . . . This was when everyone would sigh, and if someone asked me what happened, I would just smile and shrug and say something along the lines of “Well, we were twelve, so it became pretty clear there weren’t exactly long-term prospects there.” And everyone would laugh and I would nod and smile, but really I would be turning over what I’d just said. Because it wasn’t that any of those facts had been technically incorrect. But none of them—especially about why it hadn’t worked out—had been the truth. And I would push thoughts of that summer out of my head and rejoin the conversation, relegating what had happened—with Henry, and Lucy, and what I’d done—back to the anecdote that I pretended was all it was.
Warren came into the kitchen a moment later and beelined for a large cardboard box sitting on the counter. “Sorry,” he said after a moment, opening the top. “I was just kidding around.”
I shrugged, as though I couldn’t have cared less. “It’s nothing,” I said. “It’s ancient history.” Which was true. But as soon as we’d crossed the line that separated Lake Phoenix from the rest of the world, Henry had been circling around in my thoughts, even as I’d tried to turn up the volume on my iPod to drown them out. I’d even found myself watching for his house. And I had seen, to my surprise, the house that had been a soft white was now painted a bright blue, and the sign out front that had always read Camp Crosby now read Maryanne’s Happy Hours, decorated with a silhouette of a martini glass—all proof that new owners had taken over. That Henry wasn’t there any longer. I had kept my eyes on the house even as it faded from view, realizing that I might really never see him again, which the presence of Maryanne, whoever she was, seemed to cement. This realization caused a strange mix of feelings—nostalgia coupled with disappointment. But mostly I had felt the cool, heart-pounding sensation of relief that comes when you know you’ve gotten away with something.
Sounds great huh? Big thank you's to Kat at Simon and Schuster for arranging this tour and asking me if I wanted to take part! You can find the banner for the tour in my side bar be sure to stop by the rest of the stops for Giveaways, Guest Posts and more! Second Chance Summer will be available in the UK as of 7th June 2012 you can pre-order your copy here and be sure to follow Morgan Matson on Twitter @morgan_m