Friday, September 26, 2014

Again by Lisa Burstein: Promo Event w/ Excerpt & Giveaway


How far would you go for a second chance?

Eleven years after flunking out of college, Kate has finally hit rock-bottom. Losing her job and boyfriend in one drunken night, she’s determined to fix her life by going back to the moment when she let partying and sex take over. And do things right this time. At twenty-nine, she heads back to freshman year of college, with a catch.

Pretending she's nineteen with a new roommate and full class schedule is easy. When she meets her shy, sexy and seven-years-younger RA, Carter, following her self-imposed sobriety and celibacy rules is proving to be anything but.

A senior enduring years of regret, Carter is more than ready to graduate. He’s anxious to move on from the party his freshman year where he witnessed his frat brothers about to commit a sexual assault. Instead of doing the right thing and stepping in, he looked the other way and left. His guilt has made for a lonely four years.

When he meets the new freshman on his floor, spunky and confident Kate, he wonders if his time as an outcast has finally come to an end.

Kate and Carter’s growing friendship and undeniable attraction make it harder to hide the demons from their respective pasts. But when their secrets are finally revealed, will their chance at starting over together still be there?

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About the Author:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She is the author of Pretty Amy, The Next Forever, Dear Cassie, Sneaking Candy and The Possibility of Us. As well as a contributor to the essay collection, Break These Rules: 35 YA Authors On Speaking Up, Standing Out, and Being Yourself. Again is her self-publishing debut. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats.

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It was light out when I woke up. Kate was breathing next to me. We were both fully clothed. Making out was as far as we had gone. I could tell she longed for more, hell, I did too—my body ached for it. But we’d both stopped this time. The invitation was there if and when we were ready to attend the party.

I’d said no more hiding, but there was still the omission I hadn’t shared. Until I told Kate my secret I didn’t have a right to go any further with her. When and if I finally admitted everything, Kate would have to decide if she still even wanted to know me, let alone you know me.

Besides, even with opportunity pushing us together, I wanted to wait for her. She was worth waiting for.

I sat up and glanced out the window; the snow had stopped. Triple A would be here soon. I’d be able to drive Kate back to the dorm, back into the life we’d been in before last night—before we could lock everything away.

Her eyes opened slowly. “Good morning,” she said, leaning on her arm.

“I have breakfast in bed,” I replied, indicating the box of graham crackers on the floor.

“Leftovers already,” she said with an over-exaggerated frown.

“I could make them into sandwiches, or crumbs, if you’re looking for something a little different.”

“How gourmet,” she said, checking the window. “Did it stop?”

I nodded.

“Does that mean we have to wake up?” She stretched out lazily like a cat. It was so early, even they were still asleep, the dogs too. The only noise I could hear was our breathing, in and out, in and out in the same rhythm, a song our bodies made together in the half-light.

“No,” I replied.

Luckily, it was a weekend and no one would be in till eleven. I kissed her forehead. She smelled like cinnamon from the graham crackers and a little like me from having slept in the crook of my arm all night.

Axe body spray and cinnamon were a lot sexier on a girl than you might think.

“Good,” she said lying back and closing her eyes. Her mouth twitched. “You can keep kissing me though.”

“I can, can I?” I laughed.

“I mean if you’re bored or something.”

“I thought you wanted to go back to sleep.”

“Unless something better wakes me,” she explained.

“Okay, Sleeping Beauty,” I said, kissing first her top lip, then the bottom, running my tongue against the inside of her mouth.

She started fake-snoring, loud, her nose a buzz saw.

I laughed. “Are you claiming my kisses don’t have the power to break a spell?”

“So far,” she said, yawning heavily. “I’m not impressed.”

“That wasn’t how it seemed last night,” I shifted, the bed squeaking below us.

“Last night you plied me with water and graham crackers,” she explained. “I would have done anything you wanted.”

“They do say graham crackers are the new oyster. I mean, I could barely control myself when they came out at snack time as a kid.”

“It’s surprising starting so young didn’t help with your kissing any,” she smirked.

I tickled her and she yelped, which was good because if her outburst didn’t make me stop touching her around her soft, curved abdomen, I wouldn’t be able to control myself from making her yelp about something else.

“Close your eyes again,” I said.

She obliged with a calculating smile.

I tasted her temple, my lips landing quieter than a sigh. I explored along her hairline, my kisses a crown of daisies on her forehead. My mouth grazed her earlobe. I kissed the bridge of her nose, and her breathing quickened beneath me. I kissed each cheek, one side of her neck and the other, my kisses more hungry, insistent, like I was gasping air.

My lips connected with her pulse as I slid down the length of her neck. I sucked on the base of her throat, the skin there as soft as a peach.

I scanned her face, her lips.

Her tongue darted out and she pouted like a flower waiting for my kiss to sting her, to send her reeling.

I would make her wait.

“Still nothing?” I asked.

“Getting warmer.”

“How warm?” I glided my lips back to the nape of her neck.

“Little higher,” she said.

I teased the area below her right jawline.

“Little higher and to the left,” she instructed.

“That’s pretty specific,” I said, my words echoing against her chin.

“Warmer,” she said.

My cheek smoothed against her left jawline.

“Colder, freezing,” she laughed.

I hovered above her lips, not touching them, not touching her, waiting, flooded in her pull, letting her bathe in mine.

She tipped her head back. My lips grazed hers like a rain just starting and then thundered against her with the force of a downpour.

“Hot enough?” I whispered, continuing to inhale her one kiss at a time.

“Bull’s-eye,” she sighed.

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