Spotlight: Perfect Harmony by Hope Lavender

Perfect Harmony is a Young Adult Contemporary novel, perfect for a summer read for fans of P.S. I still Love You, The Sun Is Also A Star, My Life Next Door, or I’ll Give You The Sun. Harmony is happy with her parents and her friends. But when her best friend, Violet gets a boyfriend everything starts to change. As Violet gets closer to her boyfriend, she grows apart from Harmony, leaving room playboy Troy to step in. But Harmony only has eyes for quiet geeky Julian, who isn’t exactly making it easy. Not to mention the weight of the secret Harmony is forced to keep.

Available on Amazon

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About the Author

Hope Lavender is a certified bookworm for Young Adult Contemporary, Dystopian, Paranormal, and Romance. Moving from southern California to Washington DC to attend Howard University at the age of 17 was both exciting and scary. After 2 years, Hope dropped out to get married and take care of her new born daughter. Reading was always a love, but it writing became a passion after long days at home with a baby. With nothing to lose, Shaloa focused on finishing her first novel which has come to be “Perfect Harmony”. When Shaloa isn’t reading or writing she is listening to music, cooking, blogging or spending time with her family.

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Excerpt

“Really vi. ”

I said standing in her doorway looking at her.

“You’re not even–”

“Bye Mom” she yelled cutting me off grabbing a little duffle bag and heading to my car. I just followed her quick steps.  Once we were securely closed in my car she let out a big huff.  “I just told her we were going to your house.  Instead of having to explain the movies on a week day.  Which movie.  What time.  ‘There won’t be boys there will there'” she said a perfect imitation of her mom.

“So that’s not what you’re wearing?” “God no!” She said and proceeded to take the rollers out of her light red hair.  Since I was driving I couldn’t quite catch the smooth maneuver she did to get into some skin tight jeans,  a pink cardigan and some jewelry in 5 minutes.  I looked down at my kind of loose jeans red Angels t shirt and flip flops. Maybe I should’ve dressed up more.  I do need a little bit more help being cute than violet does.  I’m a little bit too skinny which really just means I have a flat chest. My eyes and mouth are too big for my face and while all this crazy hair looks decent if I go to a shop its way too hard to manage on a daily basis.

“Oh you look fine. I probably should’ve dressed like you.  Does it look like I’m trying to hard?“ She’d read me perfectly.  I watched her slip on some flats.

“No you look nice.  Besides who am I trying to impress?”  I said as we pulled into a park.  It was Thursday and not so crowded because it was only 5:30. I thought we’d spot him easily, but no luck.

Once we finally made it to the front he came pushing through the theater doors.  I could hear Violets’ audible sigh of relief.  Before I could relax into the background of their date out walks Troy Jameson.  The same Troy who is always flirting with some girl at school, most recently the blond bimbo looking one in math.   I wanted to believe he was here on a date too with a girl who would follow him out of the theater. I looked around the two of them, through the glass door leading inside the theater to the concession stand, but  it was easy to see no one else coming.  I shouldn’t be surprised, he and Gary had been friends immediately, both sharing a love of sports and the constant attention from girls.  I groaned.  Gary hugged Vi.

“What? You aren’t happy to see me?” Troy asked with a wide goofy smile.  And before I could protest his arms were circling me in a bear hug.

“I was told I wasn’t being set up” I threw some ugly looks at Violet.  She didn’t care though.

“Sorry, I had a extra ticket and he wanted to go,” Gary explained apologetically.

“See you’re stuck with me,” Troy said throwing an arm around my shoulder.

“The movie doesn’t actually start till 7 so let’s get food first,” Gary suggested

“Oh yeah there’s a Fat Burger down the street.” Vi suggested.  So off we went but as we walked Violet and Gary kept falling behind.  I heard low murmuring and a lot of giggles which would be fine if Troy wasn’t smiling down at me expectantly. And he did this from his height of 6’4. Very few people rivaled him in height.  One of them being Julian.  But he was so thin nobody expected him to be on the basket ball team.  I wonder what he’s doing tonight.

“So Harmony.  You got a boyfriend? ” I don’t know why I got an unsettling feeling in my stomach.  One might call it butterflies. Troy asking me about boyfriend the exact moment I was thinking about Julian, which annoyed me. He was the last person I wanted to talk to about Julian. He talked to every girl in sight, he would probably laugh at us more shy people.

“No” I snapped for no good reason at all.

“Ok Ok.” he threw both hands up in surrender.  He didn’t say another word to me until we got to Fat Burger.

I was up to order first.  “A large side of fries and a chocolate shake”

“Yeah, order that.  I hate when girls order the burgers with chili and onions.” Troy said at a safe distance behind me. I turned around to glare at him.

“On second thought, make that a side of onion rings with my chocolate shake.” Troy just continued to smile.  After we ate with about 20 minutes till the movie started Gary said

“Oh yeah.  I brought you something but I forgot it in my car.  Walk with me to get it before the movie starts?”

“Alright” Vi said skeptically.  I started to follow but suddenly Troy’s large and warm hand had a tight hold on mine pulling me in the opposite direction.

“Come raid the dollar store with me.”

“Was this some lame attempt for Gary to get Vi alone?” I asked following him reluctantly.

“Well at least make it easy for me.  Come on.”

“He isn’t going to rape her or anything is he?” I asked and Troy just stared at me blank faced. Between the news and Law and Order SVU my mind ran rampant.

“Cause if he did I would personally blame you.”

“Me?” he asked incredulously with his hand over his heart.

“Yes you!  For keeping me away.”

“You should be more worried about yourself” his voice was serious as a heart attack. He finally noticed I stopped following him and looked into my bugged out eyes.  Who makes a joke like that?

“Oh come on Harmony!  You don’t really think I’d hurt you, do you?  You just keep looking at me like I personally killed your cat.” What in the world do you say in response to that?  Had I been acting that way? Truth be told, he’d recently did a friend of mine, Jasmine, sort of wrong. He talked to her, flirted with her, met up with her a party, and made out with her. And when she turned him down for sex he just stopped talking to her. I mean yeah he said hi and what not, but was not interested at all. Clearly that’s all he ever wanted from her. I just can’t like or respect that at all. I was once again resolute in my dislike of Troy Jameson.

“Let’s just say your reputation precedes you.”

“Oh fine! I’ll prove to you I’m a decent human being.” We had made it to the dollar tree by then and bought an armful of snacks. Candy, cookies, chips, sodas. I stuffed as much of it as I could in my purse, luckily I brought the big one with me. Back at the theater Violet wasn’t back, and with the credits almost over, Troy and I just went in and found seats. The theater was packed for this early premiere. And we were lucky to find 2 seats together. I didn’t know where Vi and Gary would sit, but not be by us. The movie was a typical action romance. It was during a particularly lacking sex scene, the kind where they just show the couple parallel in the bed under a cover, that Troy leaned over me to pick up my soda and started take a drink.

“Ugh, back up,” I complained.

“Oh quit fussing.” He ignored me and proceeded to drink my sprite! Then he leaned over again to replace it back to my cup holder.

“Keep it, I know exactly where your mouth has been!”

“What, you don’t want to swap spit with me. You think I have cooties?” he asked, that smile securely in place.

“Sorry, your just not my type” I was happy to set the record straight, cause he had been invading my personal space all evening.

“Good, because the feelings mutual.” He said sweetly and faced the screen again, putting my drink in his cup holder.

 

 

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