May 20, 2012
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On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
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“I thought I’d teach you a dance from where I come from,” I tell him. “One that’s much easier than that multi-step mess inside.” I place my left hand on Lorenzo’s shoulder and slip my right one into his. I pause to listen to the music floating over the tinkling voices and bubbling fountain, and begin counting the three-beat tempo. “One, two, three. One, two, three.” I stand still, only my head moving, slowly nodding with my words so he can hear the rhythm. When his head begins subtly bobbing with mine, I show him how to add his feet. He takes a tentative step forward with his left while I step back with my right, then we side step, close, and repeat the steps with our other feet, all while I lightly whisper the beat count. The breeze picks up, blowing my skirt and skimming my veil across the back of my neck. Chills run down my spine, but the warmth coursing through my veins from being in his arms provides a delicious contradiction. Lorenzo continues nervously darting his eyes to our feet, but he is dancing. As he relaxes into the movement, his shoulders rising and falling with the steps, the confidence he always seems to exude creeps back on his face, and he tightens the hold around me. Our faces are kissably close, our lips a hairs breadth away from touching. I stare into the chocolate depths of his eyes and the rest of the ball fades away. The only music guiding our steps is my light whisper and the erratic rhythm of our breathing. Time slows. Lorenzo grins. “I think you got it,” I say breathlessly, running my hand along the soft fabric of his shoulder, feeling the rock-hard muscles underneath. My body curls inward, pressing against his. The proper form for the waltz is a straight spine and shoulders back, but if there was ever a time to break the rules, this is it.As a teen, I threw raging parties that shook my parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, I read and write obsessively, rehash said embarrassing fodder, and dream up characters who become my imaginary friends. When I’m not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find me homeschooling my two beautiful princesses, hanging out with my amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate. MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is my first novel. I did have my own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn’t televised.
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