Summertime! Has everyone been enjoying their time off? School’s out and it is time to have fun, right? We’re a head to the beach kind of family and so yeah… tell us, which beach is your favorite? I am partial to gulf-side in Florida, OuterBanks in North Carolina, and northern beaches in California.
Today too, we have an excellent read for you to toss in your beach bag along with the sunblock, water goggles, flippers and snorkel. Soaking up the sun requires a book, right?
Becoming Jinn takes place beachside and the giveaway we’re promoting today courtesy of Lori Goldstein, the author, shows off a whole lot of beach-y scenery. Do you sense a theme here? So stick around after the excerpt for the details.
“Wish Candidate #2”
As I place the silver packet in the fridge, my cell phone starts ringing. It’s Ranger Teddy. I answer and immediately head for the couch. I’ve only worked at the beach for a week, but that’s plenty of time to have learned that I don’t want to be standing for the duration of this call. He tells me a story that starts with taking his dog to the vet and ends with him eating what he hopes wasn’t a bad mussel at the Pearl, but it’s the middle that concerns me.
“Yeah, see you Monday,” I say before hanging up.
My mother, who poked her head in several times during the fifteen minutes I was on the phone, says, “I thought you were off until Tuesday.”
“So did I. The other girl in the rotation can’t come in. Something about a crab. I zoned out, so I’m not sure if it bit her toe or she bit its toe, but either way, she’s in no shape to work.”
So much for having two Zoe-free days. If only I could grant myself a wish and put an end to her constant griping.
That’s it. I pop up to a sitting position.
My research on Zoe is already done. I’ve spent five days with her, which is four days and seven hours longer than I needed to ferret out what she’d wish for. Granting her wish to be a basketball phenom should easily grant mine too.
“Hey, Mom.” My voice drips with sugary innocence. “How about Zoe? I’ve gotten to know her pretty well this week, but not well enough to be invested.” Well, I am invested, but not in a way that’s going to be a problem.
“Hmm.” She’s studying three containers of ice cream, contemplating which to open. Why, I don’t know. She’s going to open all of them by the end of the night. “Why Zoe?”
“Why not? Don’t you always say it’s not fair that young people don’t get chosen by the Afrit very often?”
“So you do listen to me.” She leans against the counter. “What’s in it for you?”
I widen my eyes and point to my chest.
“Drop the act.” She sets aside the pint of Tahitian vanilla.
I slide to the edge of the cushion. “She’s not happy. I want to help her.”
“Why?” She nixes the caramel gelato.
“Because . . . because it’ll complete me.”
“I meant why is she not happy.”
She locks eyes with me. “But now my ‘why’ is for you. Spill.”
“Fine.” I give up. “She’s driving me crazy. She’s obsessed, bouncing that stupid basketball our entire shift. She wants to be as good as her brother. I can help her, right? And is it really so bad if granting her wish also grants one of mine?”
She tears the cellophane off the third container, the mint chocolate chip, our mutual favorite. “Well, it’s not going to cure cancer, is it?”
“Who knows?” I move to the kitchen. “Maybe she’ll get a college scholarship and major in biology.”
Her cherry-red fingernail taps against the container. “Oh, all right. Just tell me what time on Monday.”
What? I don’t need . . . anyone (Nate) seeing my mother babysitting me at work.
“Can’t I do this one myself? I know what Zoe wants.” I conjure my mother a spoon. “How hard can it be?”
She purses her lips. “You really want to do this alone? Because it’s normal to be afraid.”
“I’m not afraid,” I say brusquely, though what I mean is, I’m not going to tell her I’m afraid.
She takes the spoon out of my hand. “I’ll agree—”
“Great.” I head for the doorway.
She plunges the spoon into the ice cream. “I’m not finished.”
My hand braces against the doorjamb.
“I’ll agree, if you promise to study the cantamen.”
I relax. “Okay.”
“If you promise to call me the second something bad happens.”
“Bad?” I whirl around. “Why would something bad happen?”
“Sorry, if something bad happens.”
Why do I feel like she just jinxed me? “I promise.”
She sucks the ice cream off the spoon. “And one more thing.”
I swallow my groan. At this point she may as well come.
“Bring one of your sisters with you.”
Should have seen that one coming. “It doesn’t have to be Yasmin, does it?”
Her eyes smile, though she refuses to let her lips follow. “No, it doesn’t have to be Yasmin.”
I conjure a second spoon and dig in. “Deal.”
How cool would it be to be able to grant wishes?! These genies are not the ones you think you know. There’s no bottle or rubbing the lamp… hah! These ladies will surprise you at the extent of their powers, the rules placed upon them and the price that comes with granting wishes. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?
Azra, the leading lady of Becoming Jinn, and I both have the same sort of cynicism when it comes to things too good to be true.
Click here to enter the SUMMER OF JINN Blog Tour Giveaway! Lori’s giving away two $20 gift cards: one to her local indie Harvard Bookstore and one to B&N! Redeemable in person or online. Open internationally. And she’s also running a special promotion in honor of the summer season. Buy #BecomingJinn by July 30 and receive free bracelet temporary tattoos. More info on Lori’s blog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born into an Italian-Irish family, Lori Goldstein earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before embracing her love of fictional people. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015; Sequel, Spring 2016). When not writing or reading (preferably from a sandy local), Lori can be found chatting books and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
July 2: B&N Teen Blog: My Favorite 2015 Debut Beach Reads
July 6: Fangirlish: Exclusive Chapter Reveal
July 7: Dark Faerie Tales: Q&A, Special Announcement, and Exclusive Giveaway
July 8: Adventures in YA Publishing: A BECOMING JINN Debut Lesson: The Trouble with Measuring Success
July 9: Patchwork Press: Write All Year Pep Talk: Breaking the Rules
July 10: YA Books Central: Exclusive BECOMING JINN excerpt with a signed book giveaway!
July 10: Fangirlish: 2 for 1 Friday
July 13: Comfort Books: Q&A
July 14: Bewitched Bookworms: Azra and Henry’s Favorite Beach Reads
July 15: Freshman Fifteens: The 15ers share their favorite beach reads
July 16: Children’s Book Review: All-Time Favorite Beach Reads
July 17: Katie’s Book Blog: Guest Writing Post