Today we're spotlighting Jax & Marbles and Pick-up Stix by Jacqueline Lorraine Conwell! They're both new adult books of love, loss and second chances. Make sure to read the excerpts below for a glimpse into each book. Check out the synopsis of Jax & Marbles:
“Things in life don't always go as planned, especially when it comes to certain life events. That was something Julian and Alexia were learning the hard way. Passing away at a young age was something that had caught Julian off guard. Losing touch with her best friend had left Alexia feeling lonely and confused. Both felt alone in two completely different worlds, not sure if they would ever come across someone they could truly trust and depend on. But then one fateful evening, Julian was given the chance of a lifetime to fill an empty void in someone's life while getting a second chance to live the one he'd lost.”
Excerpt from Jax & Marbles:
“So, I can go back to the world of the living?” I sat under the tree G had found me under earlier that day and rested my back against it.
“Yes. Of course, there are the terms and conditions I described, and if you find they do not suit you, you do not have to go through with this. If I did not think you would be interested or could not handle the task, I would not have approached you with it. Do you think this is something you will want to do? Once everything is in motion and things finalize, there is no turning back until I call you home for the last time. If you need time to think about it, I understand.”
If I go back, I’ll be able to live the way I was meant to, I thought. But I’ll have to live in a completely different state from my old home. I also won’t be able to check on my family and friends anymore. Do I really want to give that up? That was the part of the agreement I wasn’t too keen about.
But then I thought about Alexia. She needed someone, and that wasn’t something I could ignore.
In order for me to be able to go back and stay until it’s time for me to come back here, I’ll have to gain her trust so she’ll accept me as someone she can confide in. Can I really pull that off?
Deep in my heart of hearts, I knew what I had to dothat it was something I could do. It would benefit me. It would benefit Alexia. And if my parents could have seen what I was about to do, I knew they would’ve been so proud.
“I’ll do it.”
Now here's the synopsis for Pick-up Stix:
“Things were going well for Alora-with the exception of her stagnant relationship with Jordan. She was hoping that her usual beach ritual would bring something to fruition and save her from her current situation. But with their junior year of college approaching, her hope was starting to feel like a pipe dream. Little did she know, her beach ritual wasn't in vain ... For what felt like an eternity, James had waited patiently for Alora's toxic relationship to dissipate as he kept a safe distance. He didn't know how much longer he'd be able to stand idly by, when without warning, his patience paid off. Alora's situation took a turn for the better from his perspective, which finally gave him the chance to step in and help Alora start fresh. But soon after James was introduced to her, he realized that swooping in to save the day isn't always as easy as it seems.”
Excerpt from Pick-up Stix:
My blood pressure rose with every insult he was throwing at me. It wasn’t right out there in the open, but he had a way of making me feel inferior without coming right out and saying the harsh words that would shut any conversation down. “You’re so full of yourself, you know that?” I grumbled into the phone. “You said it’s over, so that’s it. It’s over.”
“Finally,” he said curtly. “Have fun with your misfit friends. They’re the only company you have left.”
I took the phone away from my ear and hung up. My hand was shaking from being upset, so I placed the phone on the table instead of back in my purse. I really wanted to chuck it through the window into the inlet, but then I would have had to buy another phone—and pay for the damaged window. I wiped my eyes to try and stop the developing tears from rolling down my face and sat up straight. “The waiter sure is taking a long time to come back to take our orders,” I said as I fought to keep my voice from cracking.
“Alora, who was that?” Alex asked.
I waved my hand to flag down a waiter and one came toward us. He stood patiently at the end of the table and waited for us to order. Alex continued to stare at me the same way she had been when I was on the phone, which was starting to weird me out. I grabbed all three menus off of the table and shoved them at the waiter. “I’ll take a root beer and two dozen raw clams on the half shell. If you could bring an extra bowl of sliced lemons to dress them with, that’d be great. Alex plans on ordering the same, so we’ll need the extra slices.”
The waiter quickly jotted down my order after taking the menus out of my hand. I slipped away from the table to go to the restroom when Jules began to place his order. After walking quickly through the sea of waiters and waitresses, I pushed through the bathroom door. It closed quietly behind me as I covered my mouth to hold in the loud sob that wanted to emit from it. I didn’t know if I was alone in the bathroom, so I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I walked into the handicap stall, gripped the sink, and squeezed my eyes closed as tightly as I possibly could. After taking a moment, I exhaled loudly and opened my eyes. “I can’t believe it’s over because he made the decision. It was supposed to be mine!”
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