Hey there! I have written a gritty, ripped from the news YA contemporary story called Louder Than Words, published by Swoon Romance on September 16, 2014:
Here's the official blurb:
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.
But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.
That said, the characters are gentle souls that you'll really get to know as you read Ellen's story.
The entire story is told from Ellen's point of view, for better or worse. One of the worse aspects of that is we see the other characters through her filters. But here's a big problem--Ellen's filters are battered and scarred from some rough-handling life has given her.
Take Rex, the object of her affections for most of the book.
He's curious about Ellen almost immediately and is not hesitant about testing the waters. What he doesn't realize is that too many losers have already been there, done that--mostly her drug-addicted mother's boyfriends.
Still our Lothario persists and steals a kiss in the equipment closet, except Ellen's wounds from another stolen kiss are too fresh. Strike One.
Rex retreats and recalibrates, and finds another girl to date. (Gah! Strike Two!)
He's still interested in Ellen though...only they've now entered the...
(Yes, the dreaded "Friend Zone")
...and Ellen must be supportive of her "friend's" dating choice, even if it kills her.
Poor Rex, because the more time he spends with Ellen, the more he sees how all other girls pale in comparison. What he feels for her is stronger than he lets on because by this time, he realizes exactly how skittish she is.
But is it too late for these two to start again? To punch a hole in the wall of the friend zone and crawl out and into each other's arms? Does Ellen have the courage to speak up and tell Rex how she feels? Is Rex confident that he's finally won enough of Ellen's trust to try again and risk that third strike?
Read LOUDER THAN WORDS to find out!
Here's a hint though: There is a happy ending that one reviewer deemed "subtly brilliant"*.
Publisher's Giveaway (ends 10/15):
Win a $10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Louder Than Words (INT)
Author's Giveaway (US only, ends 10/31):
1 ebook copy of LOUDER THAN WORDS and a $10 Amazon gift card. Winner randomly drawn from commenters.
Iris St. Clair is the author of the contemporary young adult novel, LOUDER THAN WORDS, coming September 16th from Swoon Publishing. She believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.