Eileen will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
When a Muslim high school student is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, her school counselor gets involved to clear her record in this ripped-from-the-headlines novel.
When Lily Simon finds cops in the lobby of the high school where she’s a guidance counselor, she’s not surprised: cops and adolescents go together like sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. But when the cops take Jamila, a Muslim student, into custody for a crime she didn’t commit, Lily’s high school becomes a powder keg.
Police think Jamila is responsible for a hit and run, and since she’s not talking, they have no choice but to keep her as the main suspect. And since the victim—a young soldier recently returned from Afghanistan—is lying unconscious in the hospital, the whole town is taking sides on whether or not Jamila’s arrest is religious persecution. Determined to find the truth, Lily teams up with a reporter to uncover what really happened the night of the hit and run.
Shelby went to her room, pulled the basket of old stuffed animals out of her closet, and dug down under the teddy bears and bunnies and puppy dogs until she found the bottle of vodka. She ran her hand up and down the cool, clear glass already starting to feel how it would calm her, steady her, heal her.
Maybe it didn’t have anything to do with her. Maybe it was all a coincidence. Maybe Miss Perfect Princess Jamila had really done something wrong and had to suffer the consequences like everyone else.
She got a juice glass from the cupboard, poured in a healthy slug of vodka and added orange juice. Then she drained the whole thing in one long gulp. She stashed the bottle of vodka, rinsed her glass and put it in the dishwasher, and started watching the episode of Survivor she’d DVRed. She floated on the couch, feeling warm and soft, like all the hard edges of the day had been somehow sanded off.
“Hey, sweetheart, how was school?” Her mom bustled in the front door, kicked off her shoes, and dumped her purse on the credenza by the front door.
Every day. How was school? Did you have a good day? What did you have for lunch? So many questions and none of them mattered. None of them meant anything.
“Fine.” Shelby didn’t look up from the TV.
“That’s it? Fine?” She stood there, hands on her hips, waiting.
“Yeah, Mom. Fine. That’s it.” Shelby felt her heart kick up a little. It always did that when she lied. She hated it. She pulled the blanket she was under up to her chin.
Her mother came over to the couch and sat down next to her. “You feeling okay, honey?”
Thank God, she’d popped that piece of chewing gum in her mouth five minutes before. No way would her mom smell the booze on her breath over the blast of watermelon and lime. “I’m fine, Mom. Just tired.”
Her mother brushed her forehead with her hand. “You look a little flushed. You sure you’re okay?”
Shelby rolled her eyes. “I’m fine, Mom.” If she only knew how far that was from the truth. Shelby was so far from fine, she wouldn’t be able to find it with a GPS.
Eileen Carr was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Eileen remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne.
Eileen’s alter ego, Eileen Rendahl, is the award-winning author of four Chick Lit novels and the Messenger series.