Hello there! It’s almost Revel Night! In celebration of the fourth anniversary of the release of TBS I thought an excerpt would be appropriate!
Here is the when Stella met Missy Caldwell moment in which Stella learns that life sometimes hands you people who will make your life more interesting.
The Brightest Star: Book One of the Revel Night Saga
There was one little drawback from having a best friend that no one else could see, a tiny inconvenience that Stella had to live with. Everyone thought she was bonkers.
She had hoped that by this, her junior year of high school things would be different than the lower grades, but mostly the insults just became more creative. “Seven-Thirty” was the newest one. It was a reference to the code used by the police to describe mental patients. It went like this: “Hey Stella? What time is it? It’s seven-thirty!” She wondered how they knew that in the first place.
A blob of wet paper landed on her arm, she didn’t need to look to know who threw it. Gross! She wiped the offending spitball off her sleeve with the paper napkin from her lunch tray. Ben Abrams and Richard Cutter high fived each other while Mary Raubenau, and the rest of her rich girl groupies tittered near-by.
“Hey Stella?” Richard called. “What time is it?”
“Time for you to get a better joke, Dickie Cutter,” Stella called back. He hated to be called Dickie, and in combination with his surname it sounded really nasty. She scooped up her leftover lunch and went to throw it away. On her way past, Mary gave her a nasty sneer. Ever her nemesis, Mary’s personality had sadly not improved since their fight on the library steps.
She stomped off to the bathroom to wash her sleeve. It wasn’t always like that though most kids just ignored her. With one exception, and that exception was grimacing into the mirror when Stella walked into the bathroom.
“Ugh! Stell, can you see this hickey?” Missy Caldwell held up her hair light brown hair and pointed to her neck. It looked like she had tried to cover it up with make-up.
Stella peered at it and made a face. “It looks like you’ve been strangled.”
“Oh great!” She rolled her eyes and turned back to the mirror. She took a compact out of her purse and caked more make-up on her neck.
In the beginning theirs had been a relationship based on a mutual need to sneak out and do things their mothers’ would never approve of.
Stella had been sitting on the stairs in front of the library engrossed with the newest Night Frights novel. It was a series of books that followed the adventures of two brothers who hunted demons. She had been reading them to Nox since the series began; he thought they were great. Stella was almost to the climactic end of a chapter when her book was snatched out of her hand.
“Why have you been lying about me?” It was Missy, and she looked pissed.
“I haven’t. Give me that back!” Stella said.
Missy held the book behind her back “Not till you tell me why you told your mom that you were over at my house Saturday night.”
Stella froze. “Uh…what?”
“My mom said that your mom thanked her for letting you stay the night on Saturday,” she said.
Stella’s clever plan had a single but fatal flaw, the assumption that Missy’s mother and her own were the least likely people to cross paths. She would be grounded until she was eighty.
“Apparently you come over all the time and keep me company when my mom is at work,” she raised her eyebrows and waited for Stella’s explanation.
“Uh…well,” Stella began sheepishly, “I just…well I told her that so she wouldn’t uh… know…um.”
Know what? That her best friend a boy who visited her from the Faery realm; that they hung out in condemned houses and lonely alleyways scaring the tar out of unwary victims? Yeah, She would avoid that conversion at all costs, thank you very much!
“Oh jeez, straitlaced Stella is sneaking out!” Missy laughed. “What’s his name?” It must have been written all over Stella’s face, because Missy laughed even harder. “No, better not tell me,” she said.
“What did you say to your mom?” Stella asked, steeling herself for the answer.
“I covered for you.”
“You…why?” Stella gaped at her.
Missy sat beside Stella on the step and leaned back on her elbows. “I figure it’s like this Stell, I covered for you, so now you owe me one.”
“What do you want me to do?” Stella asked warily.
“You cover for me, naturally,” she smiled. “Tit for tat.”
“Okay,” Stella said slowly.
“Great!” She handed over the book. “You keep telling your mom you’re at my house, and I’ll keep telling my mom you’re over teaching me knitting or whatever and we’ll both have a cover story for our illicit rendezvous,” she said, wriggling her brows suggestively.
Stella was dumbfounded. “Really? You won’t tell?”
“I won’t tell if you don’t tell,” she said. “It’ll be sort of a mutually beneficial blackmail arrangement. If I get caught then you do too.”
Missy was in the same grade as Stella but a year older because her mom had held her back a year before kindergarten. The practice was called “redshirting.” Missy was always the oldest in every grade all through school, she was the first to get her boobs and her period and attracted the attention of the older boys. She had unfairly gotten the reputation for being a wild girl but had embraced the title with gusto, dating a boy who was older and going to college parties in Springfield and Bend.
“Agreed,” Stella said.
“Shake on it.” Missy held out her hand.
They shook and then she got up and dusted off the seat of her shorts.
“Just tell me one thing,” Missy asked as she walked away, “is he hot?”
Stella smiled, a huge grin. “Very, very hot!”
Stay tuned for more excerpts from the series all this week! Click below to buy your copy!