writing

Excerpts from What Moons Do

With the release of my first Young Adult book nearing its book (and my) birthday, October 5th, I thought it might be fun to share a few short excerpts from the opening chapter to give you a taste of the story and of the main character, Heather.

EXCEPRTS

Why were boys so stupid? Like, seriously? Why couldn’t they see that their literal other halves were sitting only a few chairs away from them? How could they not pick up on the energy of obsession that wafted their way? Probably because the object of my obsession was a boy who barely knew my name, let alone that I was staring at him while pretending to read.

My eyes focused on the back of his head, willing him to turn around and see me. He shifted in his seat and I ducked behind the book. You know what? On second thought, don’t look over here. I’m good at being the observer. Afterall, admiring him from afar was what I did best.

***

August 15, 2016. A date etched in my heart. I was outside, determined to tan my pale white skin into something less unintentionally goth, when I saw the moving van. Someone had bought the Hinckley house. At first, I watched with the general nosiness of a neighbor sizing up the newcomers. I’d procured the best place to watch through my mirrored sunglasses as he carried box after box to and from the house. I noticed how he worked alongside his mom and younger brother (by about two minutes). Yes, he was a twin. Not identical, unfortunately. How epic would it be if two Josh Gavins existed?

While I watched them, I noticed there was no father helping, so I deduced that he had died. (Actually, their dad was stationed overseas that summer, but then later died of a heart attack, so I had sort of predicted the future.) The heat of the morning was of particular note that day. I remember being ready to go in because it was too hot to gawk anymore. However, it was in that serendipitous moment my world flipped upside down. For that was when I saw Josh Gavin take off his shirt.

To be clear, I’d seen guys without their shirts off before, that wasn’t anything shocking, but there was something transcendent about the way he did it. Reaching his hand behind his neck, balling up the fabric and yanking it over his head, and wiping his brow with it before tucking it in his back pocket. Could anyone be more perfect? And no, it had nothing to do with his abs or anything, because honestly, back then, he was a scrawny boy with glasses. But at that moment, when he wiped his brow…I saw the real Josh Gavin. He was a hard worker. He had integrity. He sent the others in to rest and finished the load himself because he was awesome like that. The fact that I loved him even before he got contacts and turned into a Hottie McHotterton had to mean something, right?

***

Trista was brilliantly twisted and could pull a plot out of thin air. She was gifted like that. And in so many other ways. Trista was my exact opposite. She was creative in ways I never could be and so funny. Throw in that she had long, cascading waves of red hair, the kind of boobs that boys noticed, and could make friends with everyone, and you had a literal perfect girl. If I had one shred of the confidence she had, I’d be set for life. That was so not me, though. I was the tiny moon that orbited around her general awesomeness. By contrast, I wasn’t outgoing or creative. I kept to myself for the most part. Even my hair was boring. Brown and basic, no real chest to speak of, and zero friends outside of Trista. Being Trista’s best friend was about as close to being unique as I ever would be. I often wondered why she chose me to be her best friend when she clearly could have been in any social circle she wanted.

We’d been best friends since kindergarten, plus she lived a block away, so we were always together. So, maybe it was loyalty? She said once she liked the challenges I presented. She enjoyed finding ways to get the turtle to come out of the shell.

“So, what are you going to say to him?” Trista whispered as the bell rang.

“I have no idea.” My eyes flicked to Josh as he flung his backpack over his shoulder and punched Ted in the arm playfully. Oh, to be on the receiving end of one of those love taps. I sighed.

“We’ll talk wording options at lunch, scaredy-cat,” Trista said wiggling her eyebrows.

“I’m not a scaredy-cat,” I muttered.

“Sure you are, but that’s why I love ya. Follow me and I’ll tell you my most epic of plans.”

Her ‘most epic of plans’ would be insane, that much I knew, but I followed after her because that’s what moons do.

You can pre-order your copy here: https://books2read.com/WhatMoonsDo

Danielle Bannister, writer and poster of all the excerpts

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