[Promo] Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie


 

Sudden Secrets
C. Lee
McKenzie
YA Romantic Suspense, 62k words
Released Dec. 19, Evernight Teen

 One Secret 
Cleo has
struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the
accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret
and avoid pitying looks.
One Mystery 
Something’s
strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at
night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would
see.
Everyone
says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever
is inside is watching her.
Another Secret 
In one
night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide
her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry.
Then Cleo
happens.

14+ due to adult situations

Excerpt:
It had been a terrible and very long journey from that tragic Christmas to now, and I
couldn
t think about losing another one of us. Wed each done all we could to live without Aziza.
Dad went as far away as possible from where the accident happened. Mom sold
our  house and moved us to a new town. Still, we weren
t over that December day.
Mom buried herself in her work for long hours.
Grandpa  pulled into himself, wearing that glazed look hed adopted before the funeral.
I was almost sure hed wear that look for the rest of his life. He loved Aziza. And what wasnt there to love? Beautiful golden girl, my mom called her, forever poking her four-year-old nose
around the corner daring any of us to chase her. Teasing, begging for attention, which we gave because we couldn
t resist her…
Grandpa loved my sister a lot. I was afraid he loved me very little now. I wasnt so fond of myself, either. I shut out all of my Buena Vista friends and started running alone.
From the window over the kitchen sink I watched Nefertiti as she sat on the step,
preening in a sunny spot around the back of the house. I went out to sit with
her, stroking her fur and surveying the weedy backyard that Mom hadn
t had time to think about. She kept saying she planned to hire a gardener, but there was always something that
derailed that plan. In September, it was the new show at the museum that she
had to set up by October. She was in charge of staging the Egyptian pieces
coming on loan, but she was shorthanded and putting in extra time to make up
for only having two assistants. It was going to be a while before the toilet
and other debris disappeared.
It was all too depressing to look at, so I walked around to the front and for a minute
glanced at the windows of the house across the street. I almost expected to see
someone staring out at me. I couldn
t shake the creeped out feeling I got every time I looked at
that place.
I knelt to check my laces, and then I was racing down the street, hoping to shed old
fears, old thoughts . . . at least for a while. I was at the end of the block,
deciding which way to turn, when I spotted Grandpa. I went in the opposite
direction, so neither one of us had to pretend that everything was all right
since that letter from Dad.
The high school was only four blocks away––one of the reasons, Mom said, she chose this
location. It also had one of the best academic ratings in the valley. Another
reason she told me she zeroed in on our cozy cul-de-sac.
When I reached the school, I stared up at the two-storied building where Id spend my last two years of high school. Then what? Junior college, or a job at K-Mart? I worried that Id bomb
on my SAT
s.  Id bombed on almost everything, hadnt I? My grades, my friends––being a
sister.
I walked up the stone path, leading to the main doors, imagining that first day here, my
stomach balling up with worry just on the edge of dread. That first day was
going to be the worst.
Off to my right, a thick oak sheltered tables with benches, so I jogged across the lawn
and sat on the wooden slats and thought about how it was going to be when
school started. Everything new. Everything different. The stares all newbies
get. Nobody would know who I was or why I was here. They wouldn
t know my mom was famous for her books on Egypt, or that my dad was an archaeologistthe one people called when they dug up important ancient anything in the Middle East. But theyd know something was different about me the minute they heard my name. Cleopatra wasnt on any baby name list theyd ever read. Neither was Aziza, but she was too little for her name to embarrass her. Shed only just learned what it meant. Precious. And she was that. She was. 
A breeze brushed my cheek and I shivered. I thought Id gotten over feeling that chill, but
the healing process wasn
t just slow, it was uneven, too. Sometimes Aziza was only a
whisper inside me, and then her image would spring from around the corner just
like she used to, full of mischief and giggles. Then there would be that moment
when the memory of the chilled air of our old entryway blasted across my face.
Stop it.
I jumped to my feet and jogged to the track behind the high school as fast as I could. I
didn
t have a devil at my back, but I had a tiny ghost that shadowed me when I stayed still for very long.

About the Author:
C. Lee McKenzie is a native
Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa
Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets—usually
strays that find her rather than the other way around. She writes most of the
time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can.
Her favorite destinations are Turkey and Nicaragua, but because she had family
in England, Switzerland, and Spain she goes there when she can. 
She takes on modern issues that
today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on
the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her
second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses
everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. She just published
her first middle grade novel titled Alligators Overhead.


 


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Fiona

I am Fee, a 30 -something SAHM bookworm! I love to read, and will read almost anything and everything. I am not afraid to try new genres of books and my main genre is horror, thriller.

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