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Summer’s End

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Summer’s End
Sixteen-year-old Regan Stone wants nothing more than to escape her gossipy hometown and study marine science. Every choice she makes is deliberate, from her dual credit classes to the out-of-state university she's selected. She has a plan.

When Lane, her best-friend-since-forever, admits his feelings for her, Regan's careful plans begin to unravel. Lane's admission unleashes her own hidden feelings. Now that they've surfaced, she's not sure she can ever let him go. Lane may just be everything she never knew she wanted. But how can Regan choose between following her dreams and taking a chance at love?
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About the Book

Best Book Bit:

Rule Number One: No gossiping.

Gossipers are lowly creatures that dish out half-truths and lies, trying to make themselves feel better about who they are.

Rule Number Two: No back-stabbing.

Back-stabbing could be construed as gossip, but we see it as one of the highest forms of betrayal.

Rule Number Three: No dating within the group.

This prevents hard feelings and broken hearts that just aren’t necessary.

It’s July, the hottest month of the year, the best time to indulge with my friends in the cool water of the quarry swimming hole, and we do so on a regular basis. I don’t have too many friends, on purpose. There are five of us that hang out together, but two are the closest friends I have—Lane Cary and Tobi Bridlow. I’m closer to Lane than anyone. His family and mine have spent every Sunday afternoon together after church for years.

Tobi and I have known each other since kindergarten and have been good friends since junior high. She likes science and her mind is constantly working, like mine. She’s much more impulsive than I am, though, and knows how to make me laugh.

In a little over an hour, the five of us are going for a morning swim at the cliffs. I’m picking up my room when the phone rings. By the third ring, I realize Mom isn’t going to answer.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Cameron got his chores done early.” It’s Tobi. “We’re on our way.”

“Great, see you then.” I hang up, head to the kitchen, and slap together some PB and J sandwiches.

This group of five came about my freshman year when expectations came at us like a tsunami. School, parents, peers—they all have their demands. Lane and I were already best friends. He kind of took me under his wing. The five of us had the same expectations at home; good grades, good behavior, and no mistakes. We made a good fit. Peers, on the other hand, had a totally different set of expectations. There’s not much to do in a small town. We have to make our own fun. If you wanted to be popular or fit in, there were two major requirements: drinking and sex. Somehow Lane managed to fit in everywhere without having to give in.  He’s laid back, a great baseball player, funny, good looking—all the ingredients to make it happen for him.

The five of us being friends isn’t without difficulty. There are three females with hormones and menstrual cycles and two boys with erratic intervals of surging testosterone. Sometimes we girls get grouchy when our uterus sheds it’s lining every month. They guys fly off the handle every once in a while. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, there’s also some beneath the surface flirting between the sexes. Which is why we have a few rules. The five of us together make a fun, parentally acceptable number of friends.

Mom comes in from the garden with her basket full of veggies. “Lane just pulled in.”

“’Good.” I put the sandwiches in the cooler without looking up.

“Regan,” Mom starts in her warning tone as she washes the tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. “I know you’re a good swimmer, but you still need to be careful. And keep the others in line too.” She’s referring mostly to Tobi, who can sometimes be a little crazy.

I nod in agreement. Lane does his usual knock-knock and walks in. “Good morning!”  He has an irresistible smile.

“It’s good to see you, Lane.” Mom adores him. “You look out for my little girl today.”

“Oh, yes ma’am.” Lane addresses adults with “ma’am” and “sir.” Parents love that stuff. He stands near the table with his hands behind his back, grasping his cap he removed when he walked in the door. I like the way his hair curls up where his cap rests in his hair.

“Let’s go. Bye, Mom.” I hand Lane the cooler on my way out.

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