Win a copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas! Details at the end of this post.

Chapter 1

Last night I pleaded with Death, but he turned a bony back to me, pushed Hope into the corridor and shut the door.

We’re waiting, all of us. Mom in the chair next to Dad’s bed, holding his hand as if she can keep him with us as long as she doesn’t let go. Keith asleep on the rollaway a nurse wheeled in earlier. He’s on his side, his long runners’ legs drawn to his chest and his head resting on his arm. Me, scrunched down into a chair at the foot of Dad’s bed. I no longer feel like I have a body. I’m not even tired, just numb. Then Death. He’s backed into the darkest corner.

I twist my Sweet Sixteen bracelet around and around, counting the tiny links. Mom and Dad gave it to me in June before I learned how hospitals smelled at two a.m. or how I preferred nightmares to being awake.

I hate being here.

I hate what’s happening.

I want it over.

I close my eyes and let my head fall back against the vinyl chair.

No. I don’t mean that.

Excerpt copyright © 2010 C. Lee McKenzie

 About the book:

Carlie Edmund has everything: a loving family, good friends, a perfect home and wealth and status; then in her junior year of high school the worst happens. Her dad dies and her mom must sell their home to pay disputed medical bills. Carlie’s life is turned upside down, and she must learn to live in a very different place with very different people.

What people are saying:

“Small but glittering details illuminate the prose, and perfect turns of phrase keep the reader right next to Carlie as she struggles . . . Full of heart and hope . . . a beautiful book.”–L.K. Madigan, 2010 Morris Award winner Flash Burnout

“A beautifully written, meaningful, young adult novel. Carlie Edmund will jump off the page and pull you into a poignant and timely story of loss and ultimate gain.”–Francisco X. Stork, author of Marcelo in the Real World, NY Times Notable Children’s Book of 2009, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009 & 2010 YALSA Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults

“Brimming with loss, hope, and the enduring power of love . . .”–Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of the Sisters

Released: December 2010

About the author:

C. Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets—usually strays that find her rather than the other way around. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can. Her favorite destinations are Turkey and Nicaragua, but because she had family in England, Switzerland, and Spain she goes there frequently as well.

She takes on modern issues that today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. You can visit her at


Lee has been kind enough to contribute a copy of The Princess of Las Pulgas for a giveaway!

Just comment on this post to enter.

For extra entries:

-Be a follower of this site (just click “Join this site”) or a follower on Twitter [+1 entry each].

-Link to this contest on Twitter, Facebook, etc. [+1 entry per each link].

Please list your extra entries in the comments.

The contest is open in the US and Canada, and ends on October 5th at midnight EST.

Good luck and happy reading!