Title: Em & Em
Author: Linda Budzinski
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Swoon RomanceSummary:
The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.
Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper’s editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.
When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends – well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her – and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.
But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is – Em or Em.
Charles scrambled up a steep set of stairs leading to a loft.
Ember hesitated. Was she crazy to follow him up there? After all, she didn’t know him that well. What if under that sweet geek-boy exterior he was no different from Jimmy and Brad and their teammates? She hadn’t seen another soul when they’d pulled in. Perhaps she was a lamb being led to slaughter.
Charles peered over the edge of the loft. “You coming? You’re going to love this.”
“What is it? Can you bring it down?”
“It’s a surprise. And no.” Charles’s forehead creased, and he nodded toward the stairs. “You’re not afraid of heights, are you?”
“No.” Ember took a deep breath and climbed up. She stopped near the top of the staircase and peered around. The loft was empty except for a few scattered piles of hay. Charles sat in the far corner, a huge grin on his face. Her stomach clenched. He’d said he could “cheer her up.” Was this what he had in mind—a literal roll in the hay? Was that how he thought of her?
Ember gripped the railing so hard her palms hurt. It was as though she had a blinking neon sign hanging over her head. “I’m Easy!” She’d thought she could leave the hot tub, the video, and her whole miserable sophomore year behind her, but maybe she couldn’t. Not even halfway across the country. Not even with new hair, a new wardrobe, a new name. Maybe she was and always would be the Girl in the GIF, Emily Slutkowski.
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I'm a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone's ringer when watching "The Bachelor." My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is "Amazing Grace."
I write young adult romance. My novels, both published by Swoon Romance YA, are EM & EM and THE FUNERAL SINGER. I am represented by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc