Shannon here: Mary Hamilton shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Young Adult novel, plus a chance to win a copy of See No Evil, Book 3 in the Rustic Knoll Bible Series for teens. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: May 23rd, 11:59 pm cental time. Here’s Mary:
Nearly all of Steven’s memories of the last twelve years of camp included Claire. “We’ve been friends a long time even if it’s only for one week a year.”
Claire bumped shoulders with him. “I definitely want a picture of us before we leave.”
A picture would be nice, if only he could see. “Do me a favor? Describe yourself to me.”
“What do you mean?” At least she didn’t laugh.
“I’ve been told you have blonde hair, but I don’t know anything else about what you look like. So tell me.”
“Okay, well, I do have blonde hair and it’s cut pretty short. I’m about five foot three. I’m not telling you how much I weigh.”
Steven laughed. “Do you have freckles?”
“No!” She slapped his arm.
“What color are your eyes?”
“Blue. And my nose kind of tips up on the very end. Looks like a pig’s snout. I seriously think someone bumped God’s elbow when he was weaving my nose.”
Steven laughed again. “Can I touch it?”
“My nose? Yeah, I guess so. Here.” Claire took his hand, singled out his index finger and placed it on the bridge of her nose.
Steven traced its shape, the hard, bony bridge down to the miniscule upturn at the very tip. He slid his thumb and forefinger down the slender sides of her nose to where the nostrils flared.
Claire giggled. “That tickles.” She pulled away. “And this feels really weird, sitting out on the raft with you feeling my nose.”
“It’s how I see. My fingers are my eyes.”
She laid a hand on his knee. “I know, but to me, it still feels weird.”
Steven covered her hand with his. It was small, but not what he’d call delicate. More like sturdy. Strong. She didn’t pull away. “Tell me more. Is your hair soft or coarse?”
“Right now, it’s wet, but when it’s dry, I guess you’d say it’s soft.”
“How short is it? Can I feel?”
Claire guided his hand up to her neck. “It feels longer now because it’s wet. When it dries, it kind of poofs up to about here.” She held his finger at the base of her skull.
Steven drew his hand away. “Claire, can I ask another favor?”
“Would you let me touch your face to know what you look like?”
Claire hesitated. “Why the sudden interest in how I look?”
Steven inhaled. “I can’t take a picture of us. It would be worthless to me. I’d like something, some way to remember you after camp is over.”
“O-ka-ay, I guess. Right here?”
“No. I don’t want to embarrass you.” He grabbed her hand, stood up and pulled her up with him. “I have an idea. Let’s go.”
On the beach, Steven collected his sandals and towel, then reached for Claire’s hand. “Let’s go to the campfire pit. It’s out in the open but no one should be there this time of day.”
Claire’s hand slipped into his and they stopped at one of the large logs that lay in concentric circles around the fire pit. Steven threw one leg over and sat on its smooth surface. No bark remained and the wood had been rubbed smooth from years of campers sitting on it. “Sit like this, facing me.”
Claire straddled the log, and Steven moved close enough to touch his knees to hers. “Okay? You sure you’re all right with this?”
“I guess. I mean, it’s only my face, right?”
“Yeah. Just relax. You don’t have to do anything.” Steven raised his hands to her face, cupping her cheeks in his palms. His thumbs passed lightly across her cheekbones, and her eyelashes fluttered against his thumbs. “You can close your eyes if you want. Relax.”
“Okay.” Claire released a deep breath and closed her eyes.
Steven’s fingers moved up to her hairline above her forehead and worked their way down to her eyebrows, soft and arched. Her eyelids fluttered under his touch, the lashes brushing against his fingers like butterfly wings.
Claire giggled. “This is so awkward.”
“Sorry,” she whispered.
Steven continued exploring her cheekbones and the curve of her cheeks, her dimples, the width of her mouth and the fullness of her lips.
Should he kiss her? His heart pounded. He leaned in, his own lips tingling at the thought.
No. Not yet. First, he’d earn her trust.
His fingers traveled along her jawline and lingered on the angle of her chin. At last, he dropped his hands and rested them on his legs. He swallowed hard. “Thanks for letting me ‘see’ you.”
“You’re welcome.” Claire gave an uncertain chuckle. “It’s weird, but I almost feel like I’ve been kissed.”
About Mary: Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. She decided once was enough.
When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.
About the book – See No Evil:
Steven Miller guards a dark secret.
Dad drilled into Steven that blindness should never be used as an excuse. So when Steven finds an old triathlon medallion among Dad’s belongings, he’s inspired to follow in his footsteps. Maybe it’ll quiet the guilt he’s carried since Dad’s death three years ago.
While Steven continues his triathlon training during his final summer at camp, a serious illness keeps Rustic Knoll’s beloved Nurse Willie from managing her clinic. When Steven teams up with his friend Claire to encourage Willie’s recovery, his feelings for Claire grow beyond friendship.
But his buddy, Dillon, has started down a dangerous path that Steven knows all too well. Can he keep his friend from falling into that sin without exposing his own past?
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1yslU36
Question: Do you remember your first kiss? How old were you and where were you when it happened?
Come back May 13th for Cathy Bryant!