Woo-Hoo! HarperTeen just posted the first FIVE chapters of FHN here! Happy reading.
My first novel, Forget-Her-Nots, will be published March 2nd of 2010 by Greenwillow Books, a division of HarperCollins!
Here’s the blurb:
When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door,Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn’t so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don’t always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she’s soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.
Here’s an excerpt from a chapter called “Rite of Spring.”
[A "tussie" is Laurel's nickname for a tussie-mussie, a small bouquet that has meaning in the language of flowers.]
Laurel pulled on Kate’s arm as Tara strode ahead. ”Why’d you do that?”
“She was about to go off on you,” Kate whispered. ”I can’t let her spoil the day.”
“But your tussie’s trashed. Here.” Laurel pushed her own gardenia into the empty space. ”That’s better.”
“But that’s your only flower,” Kate protested.
Laurel shrugged. ”I’ll find something.” Something for Justin.
Outside a warm breeze ruffled the flowering trees. Grinning, jostling Willowlawn boys seemed to pour off the buses, but Laurel didn’t see Justin yet. A painted pole with multicolored ribbons streaming down towered over her head and into the cloudless sky. Clad in gauzy white blouses and flowing skirts, senior girls ran by barefoot, laughing and whispering. Their heads were wreathed by pink roses and baby’s breath.
“Here comes another bus,” said Kate.
“Let’s go,” said Tara.
Laurel’s bouquets began to disappear into the crowd, and she was gripped by a sudden panic. I never said my words! ”Kate,Tara, wait up!” she yelled. Whether it was the flowers alone or the rhyming words or both that made the world shimmer with fragrance, Laurel wasn’t going to risk not saying them today.
“I need to see the tussies again.” Pretending to straighten them, Laurel held her hand over Kate’s and sent the thoughts she wouldn’t speak — not around Tara. She pictured Kate flirting with someone tall at her side and then did the same for Tara. The rise of scent was swift and bold.
Kate pumped her shoulders and looked around. ”What the heck was that?”
“What?” said Tara.
“Kinda like a shiver?” Kate looked at Laurel expectantly.
Laurel his a smile behind her tingling hand. ”It’s just a bloomin’ breeze.”
“You are so weird sometime,” Tara said.
FORGET-HER-NOTS, pg. 155-6