Friday, October 07, 2011


I’m counting down the days until my very first young adult release, DEADLY COOL, hits bookstore shelves on October 11th.  Only 4 days left!  I’m excited, nervous, and then a little more excited again.  :)  And I have a ton of fun release-countdown stuff planned this week, including…

Harper Teen is hosting a Deadly Cool Scandal Search on their Facebook page today.  Search for clues to fill in a mad-libs style puzzle and be entered to win a prize pack of Harper Teen book, including DEADLY COOL.

I’m giving away an advanced reader copy of DEADLY COOL on my Facebook page.  Just comment before Monday, Oct.10th to be entered to win.

I’m visiting a whole crap-ton of blogs during my Deadly Cool Blog Tour and giving away a set of DEADLY COOL trading cards at several stops.  Check my website for a full list stops.

And, just to wet your appetite for more on Oct. 11th, here’s an excerpt from DEADLY COOL:

Chapter One:

There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend's locker: a sweaty jock strap, a D-minus on last week's history test, and an empty condom wrapper.
Lucky me, I'd hit the trifecta. 
I pushed past the near-failing grade and underwear, honing in on the ripped foil packet.  I grasped it between my thumb and forefinger, actually feeling my jaw drop open like some cartoon character as I leaned against the locker for support.
"No way," my best friend, Sam, said as she peered over my shoulder.  "Hartley, is that…?" 
"I think so," I croaked out. 
"Holy effing crap, that sucks!"
I turned to her.  "Effing?"
Sam shrugged.  "What?"
"We're censoring now?"
"Kyle says I have a mouth like a trucker."
"You do have a mouth like a trucker.  It's one of the things I love best about you."
"Kyle says it's not very feminine."
I rolled my eyes toward the ceiling.  "Yeah, I'd be taking femininity tips from a guy who lives in his football jersey."
Sam put her hands on her hips and threw me a pointed look.  "Yeah?  Well, at least my boyfriend's not effing the president of the chastity club."
I looked down at the Trojan wrapper in my hand.  She had a point.
"God, this cannot be happening," I moaned.
Which is exactly what I'd been saying ever since Ashley Stannic texted me during first period English that someone had seen my boyfriend, Josh DuPont, feeling up Courtney Cline after Cross Country practice yesterday.  At first, I'd dismissed it.  Because A) Courtney Cline was the staying-a-virgin queen, putting up "Earn your right to wear white!" posters all over the cafeteria and even urging students to sign an abstinence pledge the first day of school, and B) Josh and I had been dating for, like, ever.  Our relationship had even survived going long distance for two whole months this summer - one while I went to Ohio to visit my grandmother and another when Josh went to football camp in Sacramento.  Each one had felt like an eternity, but once he got home again, we spent the entire week before school started glued to each other's sides, only letting go when one of us had to sleep or pee.  We were solid.  I knew there was no way he would step out on me.  Ashley must have been mistaken.
Only, by second period both Jessica Hanson and Chris Fret were mistaken, too,  texting me to ask if the rumors of Josh hitting second base with Courtney were true.  By lunch, half the school was mistaken, and I was the recipient of sidelong glances and barely concealed snickers over trays of pizza sticks and applesauce.
And I was questioning that solidity.
So, I did what any good girlfriend would do.  I broke into Josh's locker.  Would the more mature thing have been to confront him directly with the rumors?  Possibly.  Would it have been as effective? 
I looked at the shiny gold, foil square in my hand.
No matter how much I may love - scratch that, loved, past tense - Josh, I was no dummy.  Everyone knows the Y chromosome carries with it the instinctive urge to lie under pressure. 
Which, incidentally, was what Josh was going to be under when I found him.  Serious pressure. 
On his larynx.
I balled the wrapper in my fist.  "Where is he?" I demanded of the world at large.  "Where is that cheating piece of -"
But I didn't get any further.  The bell sounded above me, echoing off the halls of Herbert Hoover High.  Immediately conversations around us stopped, lockers slammed shut, and hundreds of shoes squeaked against the over-waxed floors as people scattered to fifth period. 
"Look, maybe there's a good reason for it being there?" Sam offered, shrugging her backpack onto her shoulder. 
"Such as?"  I shoved the wrapper into my plaid bookbag, slammed Josh's locker shut and followed Sam down the hall.
"Well, maybe it's for sex ed class?"
"I don't know about you, but the last time I had sex ed was in eighth grade."
"Good point.  Okay, maybe it's for some science project about, um, reproduction?"
"You're totally grasping."
"Fine.  But maybe it's just one he used with you, and the wrapper got stuck in his backpack or something.  That could happen, right?"
I bit my lip.  No, it couldn't.  Because my dirty little secret that I couldn't even share with my best friend?  Unlike the president of the Chastity Club, I was an actual virgin.
Okay, I hadn't signed any pledge or made any promises to save myself for some hyped up Mr. Right to propose.  It just… well… it hadn't really happened for me yet.  I'd tried.  Once.  During freshman year when it seemed like everyone was doing it, and I thought I was destined to be the only virgin left in the entire Silicon Valley.  I'd been going out with Cole Perkins for a couple months at the time, so when he wanted me to come over to his place one Friday after water polo practice, I agreed. 
His room had smelled like stale pizza, gym socks, and the Glade air freshener his mom used.  He'd docked his iPod and played some horrible list of Christine Aguilara songs that I guess were supposed to put me in the mood but really just made me question what I was doing getting naked with a guy who downloaded Christina Aguilara songs.  Cole swore he'd done this lots of times before, but I'd bet money that was his Y chromosome talking because it had been awkward, kinda painful, and, in the end, he'd squirted all over his bedsheets before we could even really do it. 
After that one experience, I figured I probably wasn't missing out on much after all and gave up on the idea.
Until Josh.  I'd always assumed that I'd do it someday with Josh.  You know, when the timing was right. 
Apparently the timing had been right with Courtney Cline first.
"Look, we'll track him down after school," Sam promised, pausing outside her lit class.  "Don't worry, Hart, I'm sure this is all some big misunderstanding."
She gave my arm a quick squeeze before disappearing into the classroom.  I stared after her, vaguely hearing the tardy bell fill the hallway with its ugly warning.
Right.  Misunderstanding. 
Josh better pray that's all this was.  Otherwise, I was gonna effing kill him. 

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Unknown said...

Congrats on your up and coming new release! It sounds like a wonderful read loved the excerpt. I love reading YA books so I will be watching for this one.

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks, Virginia! I hope you love it!

Brandy said...

I can't wait to read this one! I read the review for it over on Supernatural Snark and that just made me even more eager to read it. *g* Congratulations!

Tori Lennox said...

This is great, Gemma!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a great book! (I was lucky enough to read an ARC...feel jealous of me, readers!) You're gonna love it!

bibliojunkies said...

Congratulations Gemma! Deadly Cool was so much fun - I cannot wait to see what is next for Hartley & Crew! If there is anything else we can do to help promote, just let me know!


Jenn said...

OMG, I love this. But I knew I would. I LOVE your voice, Gemma. Gotta have this book. :)

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