Christine previously read Good and gave it 5 STARS! Check out her and Kim’s review here.
We are so happy to be hosting this tour for Summer and hope you will consider reading this talented author. Yes Good, has had some negative press but we truly feel that Summer writes about controversial topics that really make you think and question your beliefs. So if you are looking for the next well written book that will really push the boundaries then look no further than Good. Give it a try…we think you will like it 🙂
Starting today (Friday October 4th), Summer is having “Gift a Friend Friday.” Good will be ON SALE for $.99 TODAY – get yourself a copy and gift a copy to your friend too! Let’s spread the word about this wonderful author!
Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.
But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.
And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.
EXCLUSIVE Excerpt for Better, book 2 in the Too Good Series
Excerpt from Chapter 3 “grown-up”
A knock sounded at the door, and he jumped up.
“Shouldn’t I answer?” Cadence asked.
“No worries,” he replied, opening the door. He scowled, looking the visitor up and down like she was smelly trash he forgot to leave out for the garbage man. “What do you want?” He stood in the doorway barring her entry.
“Get outta my way, Oliver,” Avery said.
“No. Not ‘til you tell me what you want.”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m here to see Cadence,” she replied patiently.
“To talk to her about things that aren’t your business.”
Oliver grunted. “You’ve been really mean to her.”
“She deserved it.”
“No, she didn’t. Get the hell over yourself, Avery. All of this is just as much your fault as it is hers. And I’m not letting you come in here and get my sister all upset, okay? She’s fragile right now.” He drew himself up to his full height—eye-to-eye with his present enemy.
“‘Fragile’? You’re a dork. Get outta my way.” Avery pushed against his chest, but he wouldn’t budge.
“And you’re a cunt,” he replied.
Avery reared back, stunned.
“That’s right. Cunt. A little whiny, bitchy cunt.”
Avery grinned maliciously. “Oooo, look at big bad Oliver. He’s so big and bad calling me a cunt. What? Finally grew a backbone?”
“I’ve always had a backbone, Avery. And I was always there for my sister. Unlike you.”
“Dad gave her a black eye! And you were concerned because your cell phone got taken away!” he roared.
“Watch it, you little shit,” Avery warned.
“Oh, go fuck yourself,” Oliver said. “You’re the most selfish person I know.”
“I’m done with you. Move so I can talk to Cadence.”
“Move the fuck outta my way!” Avery screamed.
Oliver leaned in, his face mere inches from Avery’s.
“If you upset her, I’m not responsible for what I’ll do to you. I don’t hit girls. That’s wrong and totally lame, but you’re a different story. Because I don’t even think you are a girl. You’re not even human. You’re an alien from some dark planet that—”
“Shut up, Oliver,” Avery said, pushing him aside and stomping into the apartment. She spotted Cadence on the couch. “You just sat there listening to that?”
Cadence burst out laughing. “Yep!”
“God, you’re a bitch. Wouldn’t even come to my defense?” Avery asked. “Your brother threatened me. Freaking Mike Tyson over here. You need to do something about that.”
Cadence kept laughing. She couldn’t contain it. Once it started, she yielded to it, let it consume her until it turned infectious. Avery was next followed by Oliver.
They laughed until they cried. They laughed until their stomachs hurt. They laughed until the tension vanished.
“I can’t stand you,” Avery grumbled, looking at Oliver. She sunk into the armchair. “I think you’re a little punk bitch.”
Cadence shrieked with laughter.
“And I think you’re a lazy slut,” Oliver replied. He plopped onto the couch beside his sister and gently beat her back. “Breathe, Cay.”
“I . . . I’m t-trying!” she choked.
“God, I don’t know how you shared a house with him,” Avery groaned.
“I don’t know how she spent most of her senior year hanging out with you,” Oliver shot back.
“I don’t know how—”
“ENOUGH!” Cadence cried over Avery’s voice. She wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. “I don’t know how I can stand either one of you.”
Avery held her breath, waiting.
Cadence glimpsed her then turned to Oliver.
“Yeah yeah. I already know,” he said. He stood up and pulled his car keys from his pocket.
“Enjoying my ride?” Cadence asked.
“Immensely,” he replied.
“You’re an asshole, and I love you,” she said.
She made it a point to tell her brother she loved him whenever she saw him. She regretted not saying those words the night Oliver helped her escape, and she didn’t want to feel any more regret. That’s not to say she always felt like expressing her love to him. He was still a moron, but she knew he loved her fiercely—would do anything for her—and that warranted the words. Each and every time.
“You’re an asshole, and I don’t love you,” Avery said, smiling sweetly at Oliver as he headed for the door.
He shot her the middle finger before walking out.
“Since when did your brother become so crass?” Avery asked once the door was closed.
Cadence shrugged. “He’s going through this weird phase right now. He’s mad at my parents for what happened—” She pointed to her eye. “—and frustrated that he still has to live under their roof.”
“He’s really angry with God, too,” Cadence added. “He told me a few weeks ago that he wasn’t sure he still believed in him. I’d take anger any day over indifference.”
Avery rolled her eyes. “Existential crisis at sixteen? Give me a break. He’s a loser.”
“And I love him,” Cadence said softly.
Avery shifted in her seat. “He’s not really a loser. He was there for you when I wasn’t.”
“You saw my eye, Avery,” Cadence whispered. “I’m not trying to make it all about me, but you’re my best friend. You saw my eye.” She looked straight at Avery. “And you walked away.”
Avery’s eyes welled. She looked up at the ceiling in an attempt to force back the tears, but they ran down her temples anyway.
“I don’t know what I’ve done to you, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. Whatever your parents have done, I’m sorry.” Cadence wiped her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” Avery said. “I’m just selfish. I was so pissed at you. I couldn’t see anything but my own problems. And they’re not even a big fucking deal compared to being hit by your dad! Cadence . . .”
She jumped up from the chair and pounced on her friend, hugging Cadence so hard that she heard her bones pop. But she wouldn’t let go. She couldn’t. She had to show Cadence how much she loved her and was sorry for being absent. Even if it hurt.
Cadence cried into Avery’s shoulder, clutching her just as hard, feeling a different kind of freedom from what she had just explained to Oliver. This was good freedom—uplifting and healing. And it lit her up, set her skin on fire in all the places her body touched her friend’s.
Freedom. And forgiveness.
Cadence pulled back and grabbed tissues from the end table. She handed one to Avery, then blew her nose.
“Will you tell me?” she asked, watching Avery rub her eyes. Avery nodded.
“Your dad called my mom the night he confronted you. She and my dad stormed into my room and demanded my cell phone. I told you this already.”
Cadence nodded. “They found Gavin’s number.”
“Yeah.” Avery hung her head. “God, this is so embarrassing!”
Cadence took her friend’s hand.
“My dad called him, and since my name and picture show up on his cell phone, he answered by saying, ‘I was just thinking about you. I need my face between your legs’.”
“Oh my God!” Cadence’s face burned bright red. “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God . . .”
“Yeah, tell me about it,” Avery replied. She pulled her hand from Cadence’s and swept her bangs off her face. “I was mortified. Dad was mortified. I mean, he looked at me like I was filth.” She paused for a second then whispered, “Kinda like how your brother just looked at me.”
Cadence averted her eyes. “How did you know Gavin said that?”
“Because Dad had the phone on speaker.”
Cadence shook her head. “What happened next?”
“Dad didn’t reply. He just hung up and said to me, ‘You’re done’.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“Done dating Gavin.”
“You’re an adult!”
Avery snorted. “Yeah.”
“What does that mean? You are an adult, Avery. You can date whomever you want.”
Avery looked defeated. “No, Cadence.”
“What do you mean, no? I don’t understand why—”
“Stop,” Avery interrupted. “And just listen to me for a second.”
Cadence closed her mouth.
“Do you honestly think Gavin could take care of me? I mean, if I told my parents to go to hell and then ran away? You think he could take care of me?”
“I’m not an idiot. I don’t care that I’m nineteen. I know I can’t take care of myself. I didn’t even have a job until three weeks ago! I don’t make enough money to live on my own, pay for school, pay for a car, pay for—”
“Gavin would help you! You would figure it out together!” Cadence said.
“No. No, we wouldn’t. It was fun being with him because it was dishonest and sneaky, and because he didn’t have to worry about actually having to take care of me. My parents did all that. He just showed me a fun time.”
“But I thought you were head over heels for him,” Cadence said quietly.
Avery thought for a moment. “I . . . I was. But I realized I have to do what’s best for me.”
“And what’s that? Letting your parents control you when—”
“No. Using my parents until I don’t need them anymore,” Avery replied.
“I need their money to go to school. I need them to help me pay my car insurance. That’s fine. I’ll live at home while I go to school. I’ll let them give me a curfew—”
“—I’ll let them dictate who I can see,” Avery continued, ignoring her friend. “And once I don’t need them anymore, I’ll leave.” She drew in her breath long and slow. “And I’ll never speak to them again.”
“Avery,” Cadence breathed.
Avery looked Cadence square in the face. “It’s not ideal, and it makes me rage inside, but I’ll do it. Because I’m not foolish.”
Cadence bristled. “I’m not foolish.”
“I wasn’t implying you were. Your situation is totally different from mine. Your dad hit you. You had no choice. Plus, Mark is older. And not a complete idiot like Gavin. He’ll take care of you and protect you. Gavin would never do that.”
Cadence nodded. “But you’ll be unhappy at home.”
“I already am unhappy. But I don’t care. I know what I’m doing is smart. I just have to be careful with you. We have to be careful when we see each other.”
Cadence panicked. Avery saw and grabbed her hand.
“You know my parents would flip if they knew I was hanging out with you.”
It was senior year all over again. But instead of Gracie’s parents telling her she couldn’t be friends with Cadence, it was now Avery’s. She felt sick to her stomach.
“I’m not a bad person!” she screamed.
“This is bullshit!”
“Why don’t you just live with us?”
Avery laughed. “You want us to remain friends?”
“Okay then. No.”
Cadence smirked. “But I’ll never see you.”
“Not true at all. They can’t follow me to classes, to work. They’ll be lots of times we can see each other.”
Cadence cried all over again.
“I’ll be okay, Cadence. I swear,” Avery said. She reached in for another hug. This time Cadence squeezed hard until Avery’s bones popped. She needed her to know how much she already missed her.
“Did I really sin against you?” Cadence asked.
Avery pulled back. “Huh?”
“What you said to me in the hallway. All those weeks ago. Did I?”
Avery thought for a moment. “I was out of my mind.”
“No, you weren’t. And I thought a lot about what you said—the difference between a mistake and a sin. Not knowing versus knowing. And you’re right. What happened in the theatre wasn’t a mistake.”
“I don’t ever wanna treat you like that again. You trusted me, and I let you down. I was selfish, too, Avery. I knew better.”
Avery tried for something light. “Well, I think getting punched in the eye absolves you of any wrongdoing.”
Cadence giggled and shook her head. “My freaking dad punched me in the freaking eye!”
“I know, right? Did you press charges?”
Cadence shook her head. “We made a deal.”
“He wouldn’t go to the police about Mark if I didn’t go to the police about him.”
Avery whistled low. “Oh my God. Cadence, that’s, like, hardcore.”
“I know. And I’m the one who struck the deal. Not Mark.”
Avery nodded. “You’re wily, you’re smart, you’re clever. You should be very impressed with yourself.”
Cadence laughed. “Totally.”
They spent the afternoon discussing their class schedules and what days and times they could meet up on campus to hang out. They realized their work schedules would make a routine meet-up impossible. Avery said she’d add Cadence’s number in her cell phone under a different name.
“Wait. They gave you back your cell phone?” Cadence asked.
“No. I bought one along with a plan I’m paying for that they have no idea about.”
They joked about the fake contact and developed an entire life and backstory for her. She would be Avery’s new Christian friend on campus. She’d attend Campus Crusade for Christ with her every Thursday night at 7 P.M. Translation: go to Cadence’s house for pizza.
Mark came home to girlish laughter. He planned to tell Cadence that he was offered the teaching position at Cobb Technical College, but it was suddenly insignificant next to the events unfolding on their couch. An important friendship was being restored. Healing was taking place. Plans for the future were being devised. And he wasn’t a part of those things. It wasn’t the time to sit with the girls and hang out. They needed their time together, so he said a quick “hello,” then disappeared into the bedroom. He stayed there all night, lying in bed with a book, smiling occasionally at the shrieks of laughter, happy for their mending hearts.
About the Author
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them.
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MORE FUN THINGS!!!
Summer also needs our help! She is running a contest for the cover of book 2 titled Better. She would like her fans to help her find Mr. Connolly (the same ethereal look as how Cadence appears on the cover of Good). The contest will start on Day 1 of the blog tour and will run for a couple of weeks and Summer needs our help to promote it on our blogs and get the information out there. The winner of this contest will receive signed paperbacks of both Good and Better and a special thank you on the copyright page of Better for finding the image. I appreciate any help you can give her! Here is the info below – if you could schedule posts to go off on your Facebook pages as reminder leading up to end of the contest that would be AMAZING! Thank you so much!!!!
Find Mark Connelly Book Cover Contest
Fans, I need your help! I cannot find a picture of the perfect Mark Connelly to go on my cover of BETTER. I’ve given up and am handing the matter over to you. Here’ the deal: find me a picture of Mark and you may win a signed copy of both GOOD and BETTER. Oh yeah, and you’ll be acknowledged on the copyright page of BETTER, too!
1. ONE submission per person. Email me THE LINK to your perfect pic at email@example.com (I gotta know where to purchase it)
2. The pic must be a stock photo with a model release (pics on sites like dreamstime.com and shutterstock.com have model releases. They actually say it.).
Contest will run from 9/30 – 10/21. Make sure you get your submissions in before 12 A. M. on 10/21.
He’s out there. I know it. Now someone find him for me!
Note: I reserve the right to cancel this contest at any time if I stumble across the perfect pic. I don’t think that’s gonna happen, though.