Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Release Day (Giveaway): FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (Boundless Trilogy #1) by Danielle Ellison (YA)


FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS
The Boundless Trilogy #1
by Danielle Ellison
Release date: October 21st, 2014
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: Paperback, eBook 


SUMMARY

The truth won't always set you free.

Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.

Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.

Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved — and that all of it centered around her.


Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.


All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.



GIVEAWAY

(*Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Danielle Ellison

Danielle Ellison spent of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.


When she’s not writing, Danielle is usually drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. Danielle is also the author of SALT and STORM, a series about a snarky witch without magic. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook / Amazon / B&N 

Cover Reveal: THE DARKNESS WITHIN by Kelly Hashway (YA)


THE DARKNESS WITHIN
by Kelly Hashway
Expected release date: June 2nd, 2015
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult 
Format: Paperback, eBook


SUMMARY

After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives - the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life - things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. 
What could go wrong?

Magic.

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. 
Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever? 



MY THOUGHTS

The cover is handsomely perfect!

Definitely getting the brooding evil magic guy vibe here :) 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Kelly Hashway

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein's Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. 
After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books.

She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. 

When she isn't writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. 

In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. 


Release Day (Excerpt): STONE COLD TOUCH (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA)


We are thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's STONE COLD TOUCH! 

STONE COLD TOUCH is the second full-length novel in Jennifer's The Dark Elements Series, a young adult paranormal romance being published by Harlequin Teen!



The Dark Elements Series #2
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected release date: October 28th, 2014
Published by: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Paperback, eBook


SUMMARY

Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…



PURCHASE LINKS


Excerpt

I’d remained in bed after that, trying to sort through the odd tingling in my chest. There was a slight smile on my lips, because Zayne…well, he’d made my day, but then I’d remember what Roth had said to me the night before and the smile would wash away as if it had never been there.
I probably needed to get used to the whiplash mood swings.
It wasn’t until after dinner that I decided to scrub a day’s worth of gunk off myself.Gingerly, I peeled the bandage off, happy to find that the cut in my arm was healing as expected. I didn’t need to cover it anymore. The arm was still tender, but the Warden blood in me was quickly undoing the damage from the iron.
After changing into fresh pj’s, like a total hermit, I padded over to my desk, where I’d left my cell phone. It had been on silent all day and when I tapped the screen, I wasn’t surprised to see a slew of texts from Stacey.

Where r u?

R u skipping, u ho?

A minute later: Your locker misses u. Guess u sick with the herp?
Oh my God. I laughed out loud, grinning as I thumbed through her texts. Our bio sub is still hot. U r missing this.

Bio is lonely.

My boobs miss u. How weird is that?

That was notably weird and yet not surprising.

If I get my cell taken from me, it’s ur fault.

Holy shit, Layla, where r u?!?

Air punched out of my lungs as I read the next text and the several following them.

U have no idea who just walked into bio!!!

Roth is here!

Holy Canola oil, why aren’t u here to witness this?

Ok. He says he had mono. Srlsy? Do people still get mono? And who in the duck was he kissing? A second later—Duck? I didn’t mean duck. That’s SO not what I meant, autocorrect.

Another text had come in about fifteen minutes after the last one. He asked where u were. I told him u joined a cult. I laughed. He didn’t.

Finally, the last text was to call her if I wasn’t dead.
“What in the Hell?” I tossed my cell onto the bed, mouth hanging open.



Roth vs. Zayne

The choice is yours...


Beginning today you’ll have 3 weeks to visit the series website, www.thedarkelementsseries.com, to take a poll and decide which guy Layla should ultimately choose in the final book in the trilogy, Every Last Breath.
At the end of 3 weeks, we will tally all the votes, and that’s when Jennifer L. Armentrout will start writing Every Last Breath. The guy who gets the most votes is the one Layla will pick.

To prevent early spoilers, we're not going to reveal who won the poll in advance…you’ll have to wait until Every Last Breath goes on sale on July 28th, 2015 to find out whether Zayne or Roth wins Layla in the end. We promise the book will be epic and definitely worth the wait!

Who do you want Layla to end up with? Go to www.thedarkelementsseries.com and vote for your choice! 

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jennifer L. Armentrout

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.






Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Tour (Guest Post and Giveaway): DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow (YA)


Kismet Blog Tour Page

The Secret Diamond Sisters #2
by Michelle Madow
Expected release date: October 28th, 2014
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback, eBook



SUMMARY

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow's riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.


GUEST POST

Thank you, Michelle, for stopping by and guest-ing for me today!
I, and I'm sure every Diamond Sister fan, would like to know what the girls top three favorite must-haves are!!!

SAVANNAH
-        The latest iPhone model, so she can stay connected with her friends and fans via texts, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Savannah has her phone on her at all times. After starting her YouTube channel over the summer, she doesn’t have as many fans as she’d dreamed of, but she’s holding on hope for that to change!
-        Pink lip gloss. Savannah’s always tossing tubes of lip gloss into her bags and forgetting to take them out, so she ends up with a bunch of colors to choose from whenever she’s out.
-        Hair extensions—ever since getting extensions after first moving to Vegas, Savannah has continued with them because she loves having thick, long hair. Having them makes her feel like a pop star, which is perfect, since being a pop star is her ultimate dream.

COURTNEY
-        Her Kindle, so whenever she has a spare few minutes, she can get further in the book she’s currently reading.
-        The antique key necklace that her grandma got her for her sixteenth birthday last year. It’s a family heirloom, and she wears it every day since arriving in Las Vegas because she misses her grandma, and wearing it makes her feel closer to her.
-        Flip-flops are the only shoes Courtney wears. She finds any other type of shoe uncomfortable!

PEYTON
-        Earbuds, so she can plug them into her phone and listen to her music whenever she wants. Peyton loves having her music collection with her at all times, and listens to it constantly—sometimes even in class.
-        Her fake ID, so she can get into any bar or club that she wants. Peyton hates being restricted from going places, especially because of her age, so she loves the feeling of freedom the fake ID gives her. 
-        A Swiss Army Knife. Even though her bodyguard—Jackson—is always nearby, Peyton feels more secure having it on her. She likes knowing that she can do something to protect herself if necessary. It also has other things in it that are useful, like scissors and a bottle opener.

MADISON
-        Her favorite must-have fashion item is a black dress. She has tons of varieties on the little black dress in her closet.
-        Face momoisturizer BB cream with minimum SPF of 15. Madison’s aware of how damaging the sun is on skin, and knows that keeping her skin protected every day will help it stay healthy and younger-looking for longer.
-        Like Savannah, Madison also always has the latest version of the iPhone. She loves taking pictures of herself with her friends—or capturing pictures of people doing things they shouldn’t. You never know when a sneaky, well-aimed candid will be useful leverage later …



GIVEAWAY
- Each tour stop is offering a copy of either THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTER 
-or- DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH.
- One Grand Prize Winner will receive the following Harlequin Teen titles:
THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS and DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH by Michelle Madow,
LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid, 
CRASH INTO YOU by Katie McGarry, and 
THE BREAKUP ARTIST by Philip Siegel.
- Please enter via the Rafflecopter form.
- Giveaway open to the U.S. and Canada only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(*Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)



Available now! 
Book 1, THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS by Michelle Madow.


SUMMARY

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon / B&N / BAM / Book Depository



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.
Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.
She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter (@MichelleMadow).
GoodreadsWebsite / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter



DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH Blog Tour Schedule
Hosted by Kismet Book Touring

Monday, October 20th - Bumbles and Fairy Tales - Guest Post 
Wednesday, October 22nd - Harlequin Blog - Guest Post 
Friday, October 24th - DanaSquare - Character Interview 

Monday, October 27th - Bookish - Guest Post 
Wednesday, October 29th - Pretty Little Memoirs - Guest Post 
Friday, October 31st - Eater of Books - Author Interview

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Bash (Excerpt and Giveaway): THE INTERN by Gabrielle Tozer (YA)


Tour Schedule

by Gabrielle Tozer
Release date: October 14th, 2014
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback


SUMMARY

Seventeen-year-old Josie is studying journalism and ends up at Sash magazine to do an internship. Josie has little enthusiasm for fashion and wants to be a serious journalist. But she has little choice. It’s Sash or the local cat fancier’s magazine.

Once at Sash, Josie comes to grips with the fact that the fashion industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Plus she has to contend with her fellow interns and the editor, Rae, who is in charge and arbitrary - one day Josie’s her hot new favorite, the next, who knows?

Country girl Josie also has to get used to living in the city, and sharing a small flat with her cousin Tim, and his hotter-than-hot roommate James, is an education. Things come to a head at Sash when Josie manages to connect with Billy, a troubled rock star. But a disastrous episode at a nightclub and the fallout on social media causes Josie to wake up and see the real person behind his glamorous front.

Josie starts to wonder if she’ll ever get the journalistic break she longs for.



PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon / Barnes and Noble



EXCERPT

Melons. The girls. Gazongas. I could rattle off every
nickname in the world for my boobs — oops, nearly
forgot jubblies — but it didn’t change the fact they were
small. Embarrassingly small. Think grapes over melons,
fun-size bags over fun bags, shot glasses over jugs.
Which was why I shouldn’t have been surprised when
my boobs were the catalyst for squeals of laughter from
my younger sister, Kat, on the eve before an important
day. A Very Important Day.
‘Geez, put those puppies away,’ Kat smirked from my
bedroom doorway. ‘Some of us haven’t had lunch yet and
I’d hate to lose my appetite.’
I paused from rifling through piles of crumpled clothes
on my bed. ‘What? I don’t know what you —’
‘Just look down,’ said Kat, tossing her jet-black
ponytail. I hated when she did that.
Following her instructions, I looked down and saw
my left nipple peeking out of my bra. ‘Argh!’ I yelped,
yanking at the faded material. ‘Kat, get out! Get out!’

Kat cackled, then plonked onto my bed, squashing the
heaving mass of clothes. Too tired to argue, I sat down
next to her and double-checked that my boob hadn’t
made another escape.
Kat fussed with her thick fringe. ‘So, found something
to wear tomorrow, Jose?’
Broken shoes, stained shirts and fraying dresses burst
from the wardrobe, spilling into an unwearable mess. A
personal stylist would’ve come in handy to tell me why
I shouldn’t tape my sneakers together instead of buying
a new pair, and how to dress like a normal seventeenalmost-
eighteen-year-old.
‘Yep. Well, maybe. Probably. No. I’m screwed. My
sister just saw my boob and I’m screwed.’
Cursing, I lay back on the bed. Kat reapplied her gloss.
It smelled of cherries, reminiscent of summery desserts.
‘Hey Jose?’ she said.
‘Yeah?’
‘I won’t tell anyone I saw your boob.’
‘Thanks.’
‘Well, except Tye,’ Kat added. ‘I tell him everything.
You know, boyfriend rules and all that.’
I sighed. One of those melodramatic I-hate-my-life
sighs, where the air rushed up from the depths of my
stomach and exploded with a raging ‘whoosh’. But if Kat
noticed, she didn’t show it.
‘Hey Jose?’ she said again.

‘Yeah?’
‘You’re going to have to look amazing tomorrow, you
know?’
‘I know.’ I know. I know. I know.
Amaaaazing. Seriously, tomorrow’s important. Mum’s
been yabbering to everyone about it.’
‘Heard you the first time.’
During the past few weeks, Kat had been firing off
tips about the Very Important Day. Wear this, don’t
wear that, do this, don’t do that, say this, don’t say
that. I knew she was trying to help me reduce the risk
of embarrassing myself, but it only made me more
panicked. You see, life loved handing me something
amazing, only to backhand me almost straight after.
It had always been that way. In Year Eight, after my
first kiss, the delectable Pete Jordan vomited from
food poisoning and hadn’t spoken to me since. At Year
Ten presentation night, I was named ‘Most Likely
To Succeed’, only to faceplant the ground as I walked
back to my seat. Some moron recorded my historic fall,
making me an overnight YouTube sensation. I won’t
even go into what happened at my Year Twelve formal,
although it involved a spiked punch bowl, ninety rolls
of toilet paper and a paddock of mud. I don’t know why
I thought the next day — the Very Important Day —
would be any different, but I was counting on a fairygodmother-
shaped miracle.

Most girls I knew, like Kat, spent their allowances or
pay on make-up, jewellery, fashion, music, phone credit
and magazines.
For me, magazines were a sparkly fantasy filled with
smiling, shiny people who looked too happy all the time.
That didn’t stop me from leafing through Kat’s magazines
when she was out, but instead of checking out the fashion
I was reading the feature stories, scoping out who wrote
them and looking for spelling mistakes.
I’d studied hard at high school for six years because
I was destined to be a news journalist at a newspaper
or radio station. So it had come as a huge shock to
everyone, including me, to discover I would be interning
at a magazine as part of my uni degree’s second semester
And not just any magazine. I’d been signed up to
(translation: pushed into) a one-day-a-week internship
at one of the hottest women’s magazines in the country,
Sash.
When I told Kat my news, she was thirteen per cent
excited for me and eighty-seven per cent envious. In her
world, my inability to use a curling iron meant I didn’t
deserve the intern position. Her warning of ‘Don’t say
anything stupid to the Sash girls and ruin my chances of
working there one day’ hadn’t filled me with confidence.
Unless I underwent the world’s first personality transplant
between here and the city, I knew I’d find a way to put my
high-heeled foot in it.

Kat picked up a ratty floral dress from the top of the
pile and threw it into the bin near my desk.
‘Hey! What are you doing?’ I said. ‘I’ve had that for
ages.’
‘Exactly,’ she shot back, rolling her blue eyes in a flurry
of mascara, eyeliner and eye shadow. ‘Tomorrow you
need to look hot and cool. You can’t wear your crappy
old clothes at a place like that. Now, here’s what I’m
thinking …’
I sighed and tuned out. I couldn’t handle another
one of Kat’s pep talks where she criticised my worn-out
sandals, mismatched socks, lack of bold lipstick, split
ends and under-plucked brows.
‘… so come on, it’s makeover time. We’re getting our
shop on,’ barked Kat, unaware that I’d been ignoring her
rant.
‘I’ll sort it. Trust me.’
Grunting in disbelief, Kat held up a daggy blue skirt
and waved it around. ‘This opportunity is wasted on
you — and your small boobs!’
She threw the skirt back onto the bed and stormed out,
her ponytail whipping behind her. I heard her bedroom
door slam — twice, just in case I missed the first. I held
the skirt up against my lower body and took in the
reflection grimacing back at me. Mousy brown hair,
scruffy but fine. Eyes, green and wide, easily my favourite
feature. Eyebrows, semi-unruly but manageable. Lips,
pouty and pink, no major complaints but occasionally
clownish. Nose, free from any wart-like protrusions so
doing okay. Boobs, small in size — obviously — but
apparently confident enough to jump free of brassiere at a
whim. Everything from the waist down blurred together:
hips, thighs and legs were all … just there.
I gazed at the skirt. Sure, I’d owned it for five years,
and it was a hand-me-down from my weird cousin
Tracey, but it was all I had. I needed another opinion.
‘Mum, can you come here for a sec?’
Moments later, Mum appeared in the doorway,
balancing an overflowing washing basket on one hip
and holding a bag of pegs. Her shaggy brown hair was
pulled into a loose bun at the nape of her neck and held
with a rusty peg. A fresh yellow daisy played peekaboo
from behind her right ear. Mum loved plucking flowers
from the garden and wearing them until they wilted.
Her dress — another bargain from the op shop — had
faded to a musky pink and clung to her body in all the
wrong places. But none of these things detracted from
her pretty features, which glowed without even a hint of
foundation, blush or mascara.
‘Yes, love?’ she asked, readjusting the basket on her
hip.
I held up the skirt. ‘How hideous is this? Would you
say it’s send-me-home-to-change hideous or let-me-staybut-
bitch-about-me-behind-my-back hideous?’
Mum shrugged, then patted me on the shoulder.
‘Josephine Browning, you always look gorgeous.’
‘You have to say that.’
‘Not true. When you were a child you had enormous
ears — reminded me of a baby elephant — and I was the
first person to point them out.’
‘Mum!’
‘But I do like that skirt.’
‘Kat reckons I need a new outfit — new dress, heels,
the works. You know, for tomorrow.’
‘Wait, is that my skirt? I thought I’d passed it on to
your cousin Tracey. I should’ve hung onto it if it’s back in
fashion, love.’
I forced a smile. Kat’s outburst about my lack of
options suddenly didn’t seem so hysterical. It was time to
admit defeat to the self-proclaimed fashion queen of the
house, which ranked number two on my Things I Hate
To Do List. (Number one: cross-country running.)
I knocked on Kat’s bedroom door with its Stay Out
sign sticky-taped above the doorknob. Rock music
pounded from within and I imagined her writing in her
diary about her ugly, frumpy, older sister. Either that, or
sneaking out the window to meet up with Tye. I doubted
she was dabbling in the rare option of cleaning her room,
although when it came to Kat I could never be sure.
The door cracked open. ‘Whaddya want?’
‘Um, what were you saying about the shops?’
‘Not another word, I hear your unfashionable cries
for help loud and clear,’ said Kat, scooping up a handbag
from the floor and swinging it over her shoulder. ‘Get
your wallet, Jose, because when we’re done you’re
definitely going to need it.’
I looked like a tarted-up pageant queen. As I stared into
the full-length mirror, all I could see was big green eyes,
big pink mouth, big bold jewellery, big bright patterns
and big high-heeled shoes. Everything was big, right
down to the price tags. I smelled like a perfumery and my
face itched from the foundation and bronzer caking my
skin. Kat beamed, admiring her work. She’d taken me on
a whirlwind tour of the department store, trialling makeup
products at every counter. Before I could stop her, she
called out to a saleswoman who was hovering nearby.
‘She looks amazing, right? Like, amazing,’ Kat said.
‘Oh yeah, amazing,’ gushed the woman, fuelled by the
anticipation of a sale. ‘Hon, you should seriously get that
whole outfit.’
I blushed, reminded of when Mum took me to buy my
first bra in Year Six and invited the shop owner into the
change room to admire my ‘growing buds’. Like Mum,
Kat had the intuition of a dead caterpillar when it came
to sensing my discomfort. I squeezed my wallet a little
tighter as the saleswoman circled me, eyeing me up and
down. She’d detected my fear the moment we’d walked
into the store and I’d cried out, ‘Is that a belt or a skirt?’
Mentally, I double-locked my piggy bank and buried it in
a safe three hundred metres below ground level, complete
with security guards and CCTV cameras.
I snuck another peek in the mirror and cringed at the
loud colours competing for my attention. The dress felt
tight, but Kat was convinced it fitted perfectly. I had to
admit, it was creating curves in places usually hidden by
baggy T-shirts or baby-doll dresses.
To my right, a mannequin wearing the same outfit,
down to the bright yellow peep-toes, was looking rather
fashionable. ‘How do you do it?’ I muttered to her.
‘Okay, I’ll say it: this is the best you’ve ever looked,’
said Kat. ‘Wear this tomorrow and you’ll kill it. That
dress is hot.’
‘Weren’t we aiming for hot and cool?’
Kat rolled her eyes. ‘Let’s not go crazy, Jose. It is you
we’re talking about.’
The saleswoman cleared her throat. ‘So do you want
to pay with cash or credit, hon?’
I ran through my wardrobe options at home one final
time. A montage of outdated playsuits, daggy dresses
and worn shoes danced in my mind, the blue skirt at the
forefront. I had no choice: I was getting the outfit.
‘Cash, thanks.’
I handed over the crumpled notes. There was no
turning back now.




GIVEAWAY
- One finished copy of THE INTERN!

(*Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Gabrielle Tozer

Gabrielle Tozer is a senior features writer who has edited, sub-edited and written for several magazines, newspapers and anthologies throughout the past decade. 
In addition to Gabrielle’s work on Dolly, Cosmopolitan, DisneyGiRL, Mamamia and FamilyFun, she has also written for creative journals such as GOfish and Take It As Red. 

Born and bred in regional New South Wales, Gabrielle now works at Pacific Magazines and lives in the heart of Sydney.