I’m so excited to bring you an excerpt from Jennifer Armentrout’s latest release, If There’s No Tomorrow.
Follow along the excerpt tour beginning in August, with long excerpts in consecutive order at each tour stop, followed by a review tour beginning on 9/5, release day!
Now on to the excerpt for Chapter 5 of If There’s No Tomorrow:
Chapter 5 – Beginning
Mom was in the kitchen when I finally made my way downstairs after a shower, my hair still damp at the ends. She was at the dull blue counter, pouring coffee into her thermos. Her shoulder length blonde hair was impressively straight, thanks to a flat iron. The white blouse she wore didn’t have a single wrinkle in it.
“Morning, hun.” She turned, a faint smile curving up her lips. “You’re up early.”
“Couldn’t sleep in.” I’d had one of those annoying mornings when I woke up at four a.m. and thought in detail about everything in the world. Every time I tried to go back to sleep, something else would pop up in my head, from catching the eye of a college scout to what Cody had said Saturday night. If Sebastian didn’t want it, was he really throwing it all away?
“You feeling okay?” she asked
“Yeah, just some insomnia this morning. I have practice later, so figured I’d just get up.” I walked to the small pantry and opened the door, scanning the shelves. “Pop Tarts?”
“Out of them. I’ll pick up some on my lunch break. It’s going to be a cereal day for you.”
I grabbed the box of generic cornflakes and went to the fridge. “I can grab some later.”
“I don’t want you doing that.” She eyed me over the rim of the thermos. “I don’t want you to use the money you make on Pop Tarts. We have money for groceries, hon.”
She gave me a half grin. “Generic Pop Tarts, though.”
“I know we have money for that, but if you don’t like them—”
“Because they’re literally one of the worst things you could put in your mouth,” she cut in and then paused, her gaze glancing to the ceiling. “Well, there are worse things.”
“Ew. Mom!” I moaned.
“Uh-huh.” Mom moved over to the table but didn’t sit.
She was quiet as I shoved a few mouthfuls of cereal in my mouth before looking up at her.
Mom was staring out the small window over the sink, but I knew she wasn’t seeing the backyard. Not that there was much to see. It was just grass and second-hand patio furniture we rarely used anymore.
When Dad had been here, they would sit out there late at night through the summer and straight up to Halloween, staying up and talking. There used to be a fire pit, but it had fallen apart a few years ago, and Mom had kept it another year before throwing it away.
She kept holding on, even long past the point things were rotten out and decayed.
Lori and I used to sit up on the balcony and eavesdrop, but I think they knew we listened, because they only ever talked about boring stuff. Work. Bills. Vacations planned but never taken. Renovations on the dull blue counters in the kitchen that never happened.
Looking back though, I could pin point the month when things began to change. It had been August, and I’d been ten. It was when their conversations out on the patio had turned to hushed whispers that ended with Dad storming inside, slamming the screen door shut behind him and then Mom would chase after him.
Mom was always chasing after Dad.
I liked this Mom better.
Bitter-tasting guilt swallowed me up in one gulp, and I lowered my spoon. It was terrible thinking that, but it was true. This Mom made dinner when she could and asked about school. She joked around and spent the evenings eating ice cream on the couch with me while watching Dance Moms or The Walking Dead. The old Mom was always at dinners with Dad and when she was home, so was he, so she was with him.
The old Mom had been all about Dad, every second of every day.
Now, the grin had faded from her face, and I wondered if she was thinking about Dad, thinking about her life when she wasn’t an insurance agent living paycheck to paycheck, didn’t spend the nights alone.
My spoon clanged off the bowl. “You okay, Mom?”
“What?” She blinked a couple of times. “Yes. Of course. I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
I studied her for a few seconds, unsure if I should believe her. Mom looked okay—looked like she did yesterday and the day before—but there were faint lines around the corners of her mouth and eyes. Her brow creased where it hadn’t before, and her eyes, the same hazel as mine but more green, appeared haunted. “You looked sad.”
“Not sad. Just thinking about things.” Clasping the back of my neck, she bent down and kissed my forehead. “I won’t be home until late tonight, but I will be home for dinner tomorrow. Thinking about making spaghetti.”
“And meatballs?” I asked, hopeful for those homemade balls of grease and goodness.
She pulled back, wiggling her brows. “Only if you do the laundry. There’s a pile of towels that need your love and attention.”
“Done.” I hopped up out of my seat, taking my bowl and spoon to the sink. I rinsed them out and placed them on the counter above the broken dishwasher.. “Anything else you need me to do?”
“Hmmm.” She headed into living room, slinging her purse over her shoulder. “Clean the bathrooms?”
“Now you’re taking advantage of my kind offer.”
Mom grinned back at me. “Just do the towels and you’ll get meatballs.”
I was way too excited about those meatballs.
“And I’ll pick you up low fat Pop Tarts,” she added.
“You do that and I will never speak to you again!”
She laughed as she grabbed her gray blazer from the banister. “You kind of have to talk to me. I’m your mom. You can’t escape me.”
“I will find a way to escape if walk through these doors with low fat Pop Tarts.”
She laughed while opening the front door. “Okay, okay. They’ll be full of all the sugar and fat you can want. See you tonight.”
“Love you.” I moved to close the door, but I leaned against the frame, watching her teeter down the driveway in hells.
Chewing on my lower lip, I shifted my weight, trying to work out the weird unease stirring in the pit of my stomach. Mom said she was fine, but I knew she wasn’t. She may never be because, deep down, even though she was right here, her heart was still chasing after Dad.
About IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (September 5, 2017)
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
For what she let happen.
With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?
Find IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW
About Jennifer Armentrout
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia.
When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories, therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Young Adult Contemporary, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and Romance. She writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J.Lynn.
She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press) the Lux Series (Entangled Teen) and the upcoming YA Don’t Look Back (2014) and untitled YA (Fall 2014) from Disney/Hyperion. She is also published with Harlequin Teen and HarperCollins.
Connect with Jennifer Armentrout
Jennifer Armentrout’s TLC Book Tours Excerpt TOUR STOPS for IF THERE’S NO TOMORROW:
Monday, August 14th: The Best Books Ever
Tuesday, August 15th: Snowdrop Dreams
Wednesday, August 16th: Just Commonly
Monday, August 21st: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, August 22nd: The Literary Llama
Wednesday, August 23rd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, August 24th: Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, August 25th: What is That Book About
Monday, August 28th: Books a la Mode
Tuesday, August 29th: Biblio Junkies
Wednesday, August 30th: Mama Reads
Friday, September 1st: Novel Gossip