Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the PLAY ON Blog Tour!
Title: Play On
Author: Michelle Smith
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.
Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek--he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.
As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything--maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.
~ EXCERPT ~
In this scene, Austin discovers that the girl applying for a job at his momma’s flower shop looks just a bit familiar…
The door’s bell jingles again, and my head pops up. Sweet Lord, have mercy.
Jay turns to see the brown-haired girl who’s already got my full attention, but it’s not just any girl—it’s the girl. The girl I nearly knocked down last night. Barbecue-Hatin’ Girl. My clipboard slips from my hands, but I snatch it just before it clatters to the floor. In the daylight, her pale skin is a clear sign that I was right: she’s definitely not from around Lewis Creek. Practically every girl here has her own tanning bed.
She pulls her blue-and-red jacket more tightly around her as her gaze lands on me, and holy mother, it’s an Atlanta Braves zip-up hoodie. So, in review: she’s a gorgeous, pint-sized girl who has the best possible taste in baseball. Did God just say poof and bring one of my dreams to life?
Jay nudges me a little too hard, making me stumble into the card rack. It crashes to the floor, sending cards and balloon packages flying all over the place. Shit. Barbecue-Hatin’ Girl rushes over and crouches down to help just as I kneel. She gathers up the cards, and when those eyes dart up to meet mine, her lips curve into this cute half-smirk, like she knows I’m watching her.
I jump up, straightening my scrunched apron as she stands with her little grin still in place. “If it isn’t Barbecue Guy. You work here?”
I think that’s what she says, but her words aren’t much more than gibberish because, like last night, I can’t stop staring.
She’s seriously going to believe that I am, in fact, a serial killer.
Jay coughs loudly, startling me. He tosses his arm across my shoulders and leans in between the girl and me. “I think my friend’s lost his people skills. I’m Jay.” He pats my chest. “And this dashing fella is Austin ‘Floral Prince of Lewis Creek’ Braxton. Who might you be?”
I shoot him a glare. Floral Prince? He’s getting his tail whooped for that. “Really, bro?”
The girl narrows her eyes as her gaze darts between the two of us. She holds the cards out to me, and I know I should take them. My brain is screaming, Take the stupid cards, you stupid, stupid idiot, but my arms won’t listen. Jay grabs the cards and slaps them against my chest. Thanks, buddy.
~ About the Author ~
Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.
Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.
~ Giveaway ~