Hi Everyone! My name is Danielle. Besides my three-book Young Adult series Brampton Beach, I have two other New Adult projects also releasing soon. The first is a four book series titled Noir et Bleu. The first book is being released by Entangled Publishing this winter.
Excerpt from book 1 of the Noir et Bleu Series: One PercenterBoth sides of my family and their friends are filing down the aisle of the church. To my left, dark suits, expensive shoes, and conservative dresses. To my right, ripped denim, leather vests, and skanky skirts. A row of twenty uniformed cops are standing in wide stances along the back wall shoulder-to-shoulder with their arms folded across their chests.
My push up bra is creating way too much cleavage for a real church, but the Noir et Bleu club support logo that is silk screened across the chest of my white tank top is a necessary show of respect. If God is sitting somewhere up there in the rafters, he’s probably frowning and shaking his head at my trashy funeral attire. There’s no sign of him. Maybe he’s too scared to be here.
One of my dad’s old helmets is displayed on a chair next to me at the altar. My uncle Ronnie set it there so everyone would be reminded who my father was. My mom is sprawled across the bench in the front row to my right. Her blonde hair is matted, her makeup is smeared across her face, and she’s leaning on Uncle Terry’s leg as if she’s the one who’s dead. It’s pathetic in every sense of the word. The fact that everyone on the left side of the church is witnessing it is causing a tingling barfy feeling to creep up my throat. Too bad closing my eyes doesn’t make it all disappear.
The eulogy I wrote is rolled up in my clenched hand and getting soggy from the sweat. I place the curled paper on my lap and wipe my palms on my cut off jean shorts. It’s too hot in here. Shit. If they don’t get this over with soon I’m going to pass out and end up a worse mess than my mom.
Leland just walked in. Now I can’t breathe. The sun from outside is silhouetting his face, but the tailored suit and the way he’s standing confirm that it’s him. To avoid making eye contact with him, I focus on my auntie Elizabeth who is sitting in the front pew to my left – as far away from my mom as possible. She’s crying into her husband Blaine’s linen handkerchief. He smiles at me and mouths, Are you doing okay?
I force my head to nod and stare up at the ceiling to prevent tears from dripping out.
The minister sneaks out of a small door and slides onto a wooden bench behind me. It makes my hands shake, partly because it means we will be starting the service soon, and partly because if he sits there during my speech, he’ll have to stare at my ass in my short shorts the entire time.
My brother’s boyfriend is sitting in the third row sobbing. His parents and sister are several rows behind him and nobody is comforting him. I catch Auntie Elizabeth’s attention and point to the third row. She leans back and waves him forward to join them. He moves and leans against Elizabeth for a hug.
The door at the back opens and the Gyllenhalls walk in.
Aiden is staring at me. Now my entire body is trembling. I can’t swallow. Without breaking eye contact with me, he walks down the aisle. He’s wearing black jeans, motorcycle boots, and a white dress shirt under a leather vest. His sleeve cuffs are rolled up and the collar button is undone. A new tattoo is visible on his neck. He steps aside to let his dad and uncle file into the pew reserved for them directly behind my mom. Then he continues towards me. The church appears to be spinning around him as he walks. The faces and stained glass windows circle in a blur of colour making it look as if he’s in one of those kaleidoscope spy glasses kids play with. He takes the two steps up onto the red-carpeted altar, slides his left hand over mine, and squeezes it tightly. Feeling his skin on mine makes the spinning stop. My eyes close as he leans down. “Sorry, Ti,” he whispers. His right hand slides up by my neck and his lips graze my cheek.
The tears I’ve been blinking back win the battle and drip over my eyelashes.
I also have a single title New Adult book titled RANK releasing soon.
Excerpt from RANK:Tyson Wright, my brother’s best friend, stole a beer out of the cooler. He had a shiner from knocking the bull’s behind when he got thrown, so he squinted at me with one open eye as he said, “I came over to get you. Cole just took a crazy bet.”
“For how much?”
“Double or nothing on his prize money.”
“God damn it. What’s he planning on doing?”
“Ride Freight Train for eight.”
“Right now. Before it gets dark.”
I hopped off the tailgate and jogged to the chutes cursing Cole under my breath. The grandstand was empty and there were only a few people still lingering around the edge of the arena fence. The bull named Freight Train was already loaded into a chute and Cole was taping his riding glove around his wrist. I shoved his shoulder. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Ron Miller is going to pay me two thousand dollars to ride one bull.”
“You mean you’re going to pay Ron Miller two thousand dollars to get tossed off one bull. I already told Mom you won.”
“I got this. Don’t worry about it.” He put his black mouth guard in then smiled.
“Freight Train is rank. He ain’t never been ridden. He put four guys in the hospital.”
Cole slapped my shoulder. “You worry too much. Besides, I already shook the man’s hand. Let’s go make some money.”
I shook my head and followed him. The only thing harder than getting Cole to do something he didn’t want to do was stopping him from doing something he did want to do. It was usually easier to just let him do whatever he wanted and clean up the pieces afterwards. We both climbed the chute. It was already loaded with a black hairy mass of bovine muscle that was trying to shoulder its way through the metal rails. “Where are the bullfighters?” I asked.
“This is between me and the bull.”
“Jesus, you’re going to get killed.”
Cole eased himself down onto Freight Train’s back. “Just pull my rope.”
“Cole, come on. This is crazy.”
He looked at me and smiled. “You’ll be thanking me later.”
“I doubt it.” I pushed my boot against Freight Train’s shoulder to get him to move over. Then I pulled the rope as tight as I could.
If you want to be personally notified of the release dates, cover reveals, and publisher giveaways for these titles please send your email via the contact form on my website or sign up for the street team below.
Author: D.R. Graham D.R. Graham is the author of Young Adult and New Adult novels. She worked as a social worker with at-risk youth for seven years before becoming a therapist in private practice. The clients she works with are children and teenagers. Her novels deal with issues relevant to young and new adults in love, transition, or crisis. She is also an award winning columnist for the Richmond News. She currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband.
Bonus Giveaway: Everyone who joins the Graham Crackers Street Team during the Young Adult Reader Appreciation Week September 22-26th, 2014 will be entered into a draw to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Check out the books that I will be giving away all this week on Twitter and in the raffle:
a Rafflecopter giveaway