Books

Abi Saunders

WILL THE REAL ABI SAUNDERS PLEASE STAND UP

will be released on May 6th.

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

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In the Blood - Hantz[1]

In the Blood

For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

 

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Excerpt

Chapter One

Pedophile: Noun

An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Scum.

Sleazeball.

Creep.

Loser.

Lowlife.

Asswipe.

Dad.

Chapter Two

Benjamin Franklin. My Dad.

Not that Benjamin Franklin.

That Benjamin Franklin.

Pedophile and murderer.

Freaked out?

Did you even know a bastard like that could lead a regular life?

With a wife and two children. A son and a daughter. No, nor did we. Until it was too late.

Too fucking late.

The numbing shock when he was arrested. The disbelief. The conviction that the police had gotten it wrong. Way wrong. Even in the face of damning evidence, we knew that the truth would come out. That the evidence got switched. That there was a cover up, or something.

Something.

Then the police found locks of hair belonging to each of those dead boys, so well hidden in the little trinket box my dad’s mom gave him on her deathbed.

Then we knew. Really knew.

And that’s when our lives changed.

Forever.

Reviews:

“A dark and deliciously tense story that will make you wonder how alike our parents we can be.” Kelley York, author of Hushed.

“Sara Hantz doesn’t pull any punches shaping this story of one of the toughest, most complicated family situations that a teen could face. Jed’s emotions are raw and real. I ached and raged with him and frantically turned pages to see where he would end up.”  Stephanie Kuehnert, author of Ballards of Suburbia and I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.

“In The Blood is a gut-wrenching look inside the mind of a young man living with a nightmare. Jared has to learn to face life after his father is accused of an unspeakable crime. A ripped-from-the headlines story that illustrates the power of unconditional love.”B. A. Binns, author of PULL and Being God.

Sally's Kindle Cover - hi_res

The Second Virginity of Suzy Green

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The second edition of THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN has been released on Kindle and can be bought through Amazon

Excerpt

Prologue

“Pass the bottle,” I yell. If Lucy finishes it I’ll kill her. And I’m not joking either.

“Make me,” she cries taking a step closer and wav¬ing it under my nose.

“Right that’s it.” I leap up from the bench and lunge at her. But my feet get caught up in one another and suddenly I lose my balance. “Help,” I cry, but too late. Splat. I land in a heap on the ground. I roll over onto my back, stretch my arms and legs out and wave them up and down. “Look. I’m an angel. Weeeeeeeee. I’m an angel and the angel needs a drink. Please Luce. Please. I’m thirsty.” I close my eyes but everything starts to spin so I quickly jerk them open. Standing over me is Lucy.

“Why should I? I bought it.” She takes a drink and skips off holding her arms out like she’s a plane.

“Stole it, you mean.” I giggle at my joke. I’m so funny.

A stream of dribble runs out the corner of my mouth then flows back in. Before I can stop myself I swallow and start to choke. I push myself up until sitting and cough and cough. Eventually Lucy comes over.

“Here,” she says holding out the bottle of vodka.

“Thanks,” I say grabbing it from her. I lift it to my lips but miss and pour it all over me. “Shhit. That’s just typical. Just fucking typical. I can’t do anything right. My life sucks. It’s the suckiest life in the whole world. Sucks, sucks, sucks. That’s me. And that’s my life.”

I drop back down on the ground still clutching the neck of the vodka bottle. My eyes close and I lay motionless until something bubbling in the pit of my stomach forces me upright. “Luce,” I moan. “I don’t feel well.”

“Stick your fingers down your throat. Works for me every time.”

“Okay.” I hold out my hand and Lucy pulls me up. “Take this while I chuck up in the bushes.” I give her the vodka. “And don’t drink it all. Or else.”

My feet point in the direction of the bushes but they’re too heavy to move. Then, without warning, vomit shoots out of my mouth and covers me. And my new sneakers.

“Suzy,” Lucy shouts. “You freak.”

“Lucy. I’ve been sick.” I lean forward and wrap my arms around my middle. “It tastes horrible. And I smell soooooo bad.”

“Well take your clothes off then, and wash them in the fountain.”

“Yes. Yes. That’s such a good idea. You’re so clever. I wish I was clever. Why is everyone I know clever and I’m not. It’s not fair. It’s so not fair.” I yank at my shirt and a button flies off. “Oh, shit. That’s all I need.” A noise distracts me and I look up. “Fuck. Can my life get any worse?”

 

Reviews:

Teen’s are people too…Kudos to Sara Hantz, May 8, 2013     im1Rarebird (Jacksonville Florida):  Life is not easy when you are a teenager. Many adults will enjoy reading this book, especially if they have children. It is a reminder to us all how in the moment life is at this age. Suzy had been a bit out of control until the death of her sister. She is hurting and so is her family, deciding that she will not add to her worry and agony she vows to change her behaviour and therefore change her life’s path.
Moving to a new area and a new school seems to be the ticket, but life is not as forgiving as she would like it to be. Suzy learns that the past will come back to haunt you and that you can change but you also have to accept your past. Trying to fit in and be accepted by the “virginity” club she is mortified when the fact that she is no longer a virgin threatens to destroy everything.
This is a story that rings true for so many and it is refreshingly blunt on a subject that most parents would rather believe could never apply to their child. Suzy not only wants to makeover her life, she wants to save her soul. Recommended reading for adults and teens.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars          All I can say is Wow!,April 21, 2013  By LaurenLovesLuxury (Cleveland, OH)

Let me preface this by saying I am not a teen nor do I typically reach for contemporary young adult lit. But I LOVED the title and premise of the story. So I downloaded it and I’m so glad I did. What a sweet and relatable novel about a thoughtful young girl named Suzy Greene. She struggles between a sense of realism beyond her years and her natural teenage desire to belong. Suzy’s heartache over the loss of her “perfect” elder sister leads to an intricate yet charming tale of events while introducing some very endearing characters on the way. I loved the supporting players (especially her friends at her new school) as well as Suzy’s regular musings on her “old life.” I remember back in high school doing whatever I possibly could to fit in, and Suzy’s sweet perspective sheds light on young relationships in a way that sends me back to a more innocent time. This story has an inherent element of sad, but ultimately I’d say that reading it made me happy. Bravo to Sara Hantz for a story well told. I would absolutely read a sequel!

suzy-final-cover.jpg

My debut book THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN was published by Flux and made the New York Public Library ‘Books for the Teen Age’ list.

Upon Further Review

“This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and really made me remember what being a teenager is like. Trying to fit in sometimes means giving up some of the things you love – Suzy finds this out the hard way. All of the characters were so well developed, and one of my favorites was Maddie, the best friend who struggles to believe all that Suzy is going through to impress her “new” crowd of friends. I applaud the author for encouraging teens to just be themselves instead of trying to be something they aren’t.”

Trashionista

BOOK REVIEW – The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz

Reviewed by Luisa Plaja

“I can’t think of a single YA title set in Australia that I haven’t loved, and this book is no exception. Suzy is a sweet character who means well but never quite manages to adopt her new ‘perfection’, or at least not in every way. This means we still get to benefit from her brilliantly irreverent ‘fringes of Goth’ outlook, even as she struggles to be one of the glamorous, rich gang. My favourite moments were when her old voice came through loudly at unexpected moments, and always to great effect.”

“The characters are wonderful, especially Suzy’s friend from home Maddie, who only features on the other end of the phone, but really shows us what the old Suzy was like. I also loved the ex, Ryan. We don’t get to meet him directly until relatively late in the book, but it doesn’t matter because this is an easy, fast read and one of those books where you’re halfway through before you know it, desperately turning the pages to find out what happens next. I was surprised to find that the story doesn’t dwell for long on the sadder aspects of Suzy’s life, but this is something that fits well with Suzy’s character. I should also point out that it’s amazingly clean for a book with ‘virginity’ in the title (er, if that makes any sense).”

“The Second Virginity of Suzy Green has everything – laugh-out-loud humour, exciting cliffhangers, cringey embarrassing incidents, and also some total lump-in-your-throat moments. Plus a lovely cover, featuring two cherries – nice touch!”

Chicklish

REVIEW: The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz

“This is a fabulous feelgood book, full of humour and engrossing twists. The characters are brilliant, especially Suzy and her best friend from home Maddie, and you quickly feel as if you know them. It was great to see Suzy adapting to her new environment. I loved her honesty – her descriptions of her classmates as Stepford students, the way she admitted to being unable to recognise herself and ‘missing the kicks’ even when she was desperately trying (and largely managing) to fit in with the new crowd. There was loads of page-turning intrigue and some sad moments, too.”

Young Adult Book Central – 5 Star

The stuff
A review by Bria

“Suzy Green is many things: fun, crazy, and cool. But one of them is not a virgin. That is not what she tells are new friends at her new school. Suzy Green has moved to a small town in the outback after her sister dies, and her father gets a new job. She tries to by like her sister by getting good grades, doing her homework, and never yelling at her mom (I know impossible!). She even makes a few new friends and a hot guy (named Guy) is actually interested in her. Everything is perfect until Ryan, her ex-boyfriend, shows up. He knows a little secret about her so-called virginity. With the help of some new friends, and some old friends Suzy will finally find her self, and learn that she is perfect the way she is (virgin or not), I loved this book. I read it in one sitting and could not put the book down. I think that flux has a hit with this book. I think Suzy is more like the modern girl. She has flaws and is not perfect. In some books they try to make the main character this perfect sweetheart who does not deserve what is happening to her, but in this book the characters. Reading this book is like hearing your best friend tell you the story of her life. It is fun, sweet, and hilarious. Sara Hantz really knows how to get into the teenage mind and tells us that we are okay just the way we are. Another great addition in teen chick lit and I hope to see more with this author.”

Teen Book Review, November 2007, 4 1/2 Star

“THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN is a funny, engaging, and touching story that readers will surely love. Sara Hantz is great at creating realistic, memorable characters, Suzy of course being the best of them. This novel is a first-person narrative told in Suzy’s great voice, very well done. This is Sara Hantz’s debut novel, and I look forward to reading her future work!”

Teens Read Too, September 2007, 5 star

“With THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, author Sara Hantz has written a moving novel about a girl trying to make over her soul without losing herself in the process.”

KLIATT, September 2007

“The topics addressed here – sexuality, friendship, family relationsships – all add depth to the plot and should provide much fodder for discussion.”

Simone Elkeles, September 2007

“The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is a perfect example of why teens shouldn’t try and be someone they’re not! Suzy learns the hard way that it’s best to be true to yourself.”

You can order online at:

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Excerpt:

Prologue

“Pass the bottle,” I yell. If Lucy finishes it I’ll kill her. And I’m not joking either.

“Make me,” she cries taking a step closer and waving it under my nose.

“Right that’s it.” I leap up from the bench and lunge at her. But my feet get caught up in one another and suddenly I lose my balance. “Help,” I cry, but too late. Splat. I land in a heap on the ground. I roll over onto my back, stretch my arms and legs out and wave them up and down. “Look. I’m an angel. Weeeeeeeee. I’m an angel and the angel needs a drink. Please Luce. Please. I’m thirsty.” I close my eyes but everything starts to spin so I quickly jerk them open. Standing over me is Lucy.

“Why should I? I bought it.” She takes a drink and skips off holding her arms out like she’s a plane.

“Stole it, you mean.” I giggle at my joke. I’m so funny.

A stream of dribble runs out the corner of my mouth then flows back in. Before I can stop myself I swallow and start to choke. I push myself up until sitting and cough and cough. Eventually Lucy comes over.

“Here,” she says holding out the bottle of vodka.

“Thanks,” I say grabbing it from her. I lift it to my lips but miss and pour it all over me. “Shhit. That’s just typical. Just fucking typical. I can’t do anything right. My life sucks. It’s the suckiest life in the whole world. Sucks, sucks, sucks. That’s me. And that’s my life.”

I drop back down on the ground still clutching the neck of the vodka bottle. My eyes close and I lay motionless until something bubbling in the pit of my stomach forces me upright. “Luce,” I moan. “I don’t feel well.”

“Stick your fingers down your throat. Works for me every time.”

“Okay.” I hold out my hand and Lucy pulls me up. “Take this while I chuck up in the bushes.” I give her the vodka. “And don’t drink it all. Or else.”

My feet point in the direction of the bushes but they’re too heavy to move. Then, without warning, vomit shoots out my mouth and covers me. And my new sneakers.

“Suzy,” Lucy shouts. “You freak.”

“Lucy. I’ve been sick.” I lean forward and wrap my arms around my middle. “It tastes horrible. And I smell soooooo bad.”

“Well take your clothes off then, and wash them in the fountain.”

“Yes. Yes. That’s such a good idea. You’re so clever. I wish I was clever. Why is everyone I know clever and I’m not. It’s not fair. It’s so not fair.” I yank at my shirt and a button flies off. “Oh, shit. That’s all I need.” A noise distracts me and I look up. “Fuck. Can my life get any worse?

Chapter 1

“Bye Dad,” I say, opening the car door and swinging my legs round to ease myself out.

New state, new school, new start.

New state, new school, new start.

New state, new school, new start.

It really helped when Maddie (aka best friend and person who knows nearly all my innermost secrets) and I were singing it the other night on the phone, but now it’s doing absolutely nothing to quell the nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I couldn’t sleep a wink last night worrying my butt off about today. What if they all hate me and won’t talk to me? I’ll be a right Larry Loner. Or what if everyone there is really weird? I mean, if the uniform is anything to go by I’m in serious trouble. I glance down at my way-too-long green and grey checked skirt, which no-one at my old school would be seen dead in, and shudder. And having to wear a tie really sucks. It feels like I’m choking.

Maddie would laugh herself senseless if she could see me. Ever since I told her my new school, St Peter’s, is the poshest in the area she’s been teasing me about having to dress like Deirdre our school librarian.

I’m really going to miss Maddie. Dad’s secondment means most of our contact over the next year will be cyber. Why they couldn’t train someone else to do the job I don’t know. It’s not like he’s some sort of nuclear physicist. There must be plenty of structural engineers in Adelaide who would be suitable.

“Have fun. And be good,” Dad says as I close the car door behind me.

I fling my bag over my shoulder, wave in Dad’s direction, and put my best foot forward. I took so long getting ready this morning we were almost late – not good on my first day.

Walking in front of me towards the entrance are three really cool girls. It’s easy to tell; confidence oozes from every pore. Nothing to do with the uniform, as we’re all dressed the same. It’s just the way they stand tall while walking and the way people part to let them through. Maybe if I tuck in behind everyone will think I’m one of them.

Yeah, right.

I push open the entrance door and follow the arrows to the school office. When I get there I knock on the door and wait, while my foot taps nervously on the wooden floor.

No answer.

After a few seconds I knock again.

Still no answer.

Panic sets in, as according to my watch school started exactly two minutes ago. This is so not good.

Just as I lift my hand to knock a third time the door opens and a tiny grey haired woman stares out at me.

“Yes?” She says tersely, peering over the top of her gold rimmed, half-moon shaped glasses.

“I’m Suzy Green. I start today.”

“You’re late,” she says looking pointedly at her watch and frowning.

Old Suzy would have quipped in a flash that if she’d answered the door sooner then being late wouldn’t be an issue. New-start Suzy however-

“Sorry, I lost my way.”

“Well never mind that now. Follow me.” She rushes off with such speed that a trail of dust rises in her wake, and it takes me all my time to keep up as these disgusting black regulation lace-up shoes they force us to wear are killing my feet.

We go along a corridor, up some stairs, along another corridor, and around a corner – by which time I’m so sure I’ll never find my way back I give up even trying to remember the way.

Finally we stop outside a class with 7D on the door. She gives a sharp knock and walks in, with me following close behind.

Omigod!

Everyone stands up. Not only that, they’re all quiet. This is seriously weird.

“You must be Suzanne,” says the teacher standing at the front. She smiles at me. Phew. Thank goodness they’re not all like school-office woman (whoever she might be). “I’m Mrs Richardson, your House Mistress. Take a seat over there,” she points to an empty desk by the window, “and I’ll talk to you at the end of the tutorial.”

I sit down and pull out a pad and pen from my bag, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. I’m sensing all eyes are on me and I can feel my cheeks colouring – hardly the coolest entry. Will someone tell me why I agreed to come to this school? Hypothetical question. It was Mum and Dad’s idea and I wasn’t in a position to say no. And there isn’t a better place to be if I want to stay out of trouble.

The forty minute lesson goes by in a flash and I’m surprised that when the bell rings nobody jumps up and races to the door. Instead they wait for Mrs Richardson to tell them to go. All except me and another girl – who only happens to be one of the cool girls I saw earlier – as we’re asked to stay behind.

“Hi,” says the other girl. “I’m Lori.” There’s something really familiar about her but I can’t quite work out what. Maybe it’s something to do with the preppy blonde highlighted hair tied up in that couldn’t-care-less look, which probably took at least half an hour to perfect. Not that I don’t like it. I’d kill for hair like that, rather than the dark brown mass of curls I inherited from Mum that frizz out at the slightest opportunity.

“Suzy,” I say smiling back at her. My mouth freezes for a second as I worry my smile is too Cheshire-cat-like. First impressions count and I mustn’t stuff up.

“Suzy. You prefer that from Suzanne?” Mrs Richardson asks as she comes over to where we’re standing. I nod my head. “Good. I’ll try to remember. Here’s your timetable.” She hands me a small piece of paper, and I take a quick glance. Oh, no. It’s biology next. I hope there’s nothing to dissect. Last term we dissected a sheep’s head, and all I can remember before coming over faint was someone throwing the eye across the class and it splattering in my face. Gross. “Lori is your allocated buddy,” Mrs Richardson continues, reminding me I’m at St Peter’s now and not Carlton High. “She’ll show you around and take you to all your classes during your first week. Anything you need to know, ask her.”

Omigod. Someone, somewhere is looking out for me. I can’t believe one of the cool girls is my mentor. This is my big chance. I’ve got a week to get her to like me, and maybe I’ll get to hang with the in crowd all the time.

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Amazon