Title: ONE MORE SUMMER
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000
Seventeen-year-old Devyn Babb is shipped back to Florida after her best friend is killed in a hit-and-run. It's the last place she wants to be, but Devyn saw what happened. And she went to the cops. Now all she wants is to keep her dark secret where it belongs. Even from the boy she might love.
After three years away, she slips back into waitressing at the Chatterbox , thinking hiding out will be a breeze in the land of sunshine and old people. Other than shocking her nana’s senior friends with her purple hair and multiple piercings, it is. Until she runs into her childhood nemesis, Tyler Reed. But Tyler’s changed... in more ways than one. He’s still annoying, but there’s something beneath his gorgeous surface that Devyn wants to figure out. And that’s a major problem for Devyn, because the closer she gets to him, the more vulnerable her secret. And her heart.
But the sudden appearance of a Chicago paper spins Devyn’s mind into chaos. The headline shows they’ve finally caught her best friend’s killer: Devyn’s ex-boyfriend. She fears he’ll know she turned him in. When he's released on a technicality, Devyn must make a decision: revisit her past to set the record straight, or betray the memory of her best friend.
When the door opens, I reach up to check that my hair’s in place over my ears. Wouldn't want to send the old folks into cardiac arrest with all my piercings. My hair will be enough of a shock.
“Be right with you. Take a seat anywhere,” I say to the first customer of the day without turning away from my task.
I wipe away the old special—two eggs cooked to order, pancakes, bacon or sausage and a biscuit has been on the board at The Chatterbox since I wrote it three summers ago. The only thing that’s different is the two in 2.99 has an extra loop at the bottom to make it a three. It feels surreal to erase my fourteen-year-old handwriting. But really? That sign has to go. How this place makes any money with a 3.99 special like that is beyond me. I draw up a new special, careful not to smudge any of the words.
“Perfect.” I take a step back and admire my work. Two waffles or pancakes, eggs cooked to order and your choice of bacon or sausage. No biscuit. Price varies depending on the number of eggs. It’s not a big difference, but in a place like this the slightest change will be talk for days. My guess that’s the reason the walls are still the same shade of pale pink with a sage green wall paper border.
“Your hair’s purple,” says the seventysomething-year-old man two booths down from the one I’m using.