Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Crushing Summer by C.M. Stunich

Title: Crushing Summer
Author: C.M. Stunich
Release Date: November 7, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance

I'm a girl. I met a boy. Why can't it stay that simple?

Here, in this town, summer doesn't just mean tiny bikinis and sunglasses, white toothed grins and lounging at the beach. It means pain. And loss. And false promises.

It means liars pretending to be saints, friends pretending to be enemies, rivals pretending to be lovers.

For me, it means being crushed. The Crush, actually. The one they all want simply because they were told to. It means being surrounded by beautiful faces and gorgeous bodies, sweet words and sizzling kisses.

It means being wanted and despised.

My name is Chloe Summer, and I'm afraid that if I'm not careful, this summer could be my last.

I fell asleep quickly and woke to a burst of sunshine across my face, warning me that sleeping in this summer was not going to be an option.  There were beaches to comb, outdoor movies to see, flea markets to comb for treasure (if I could convince Heidi to come with me).

        And there were suitors to repel.

        A knock at my door snapped me out of my groggy stupor, and I sat up, rubbing at my tired eyes and brushing at a bit of stray sand that was caked on my arm.


        “Chloe, I've already had three boys stop by to see you.  What do you want me to tell them?”

        “How about that I have the black plague?”  I could hear my mom scoffing at the top of the stairs and then the shuffling sound of her slippers moving away from my door.  She'd keep them away.  For now.  But as soon as I hit the shore, things would get worse.  And the first day of The Assignment was always the most insane.  The new kids were trying to prove they knew the rules by obeying them a little too literally, and the older ones were doing their best to pretend they were still interested, even though they hadn't gotten official titles.  I hated to say it, but the only people I'd probably be able to hang out with this summer would be the other Assigned, and maybe Heidi.  If I could pry her away from Justin.  If, if, if.

        I scooted off my bed and hit the shower, throwing a hat over my damp hair and slipping on a blue and white bikini under my yellow tee and jean shorts.  A bit of lip gloss, a dash of silver shadow, and I was done.  Heavy makeup under the hot sun?  No, thank you.  I grabbed my phone out of my bag to check my messages and ended up intercepting a message from Cage.  I debated answering but only for a second.

        “Good morning,” he said, and I smiled.  He sounded … exhausted.  There was no doubt in my mind that he had thoroughly enjoyed the after party I'd skipped out on.  It wasn't that I didn't want to go, not necessarily.  I just … couldn't.  Not without having strangers hanging all over me.

        “Morning,” I replied, trying to sound cheerful.  I was going to make the best of this, try to carry out the plans I'd made yesterday afternoon.  It might take some subterfuge and a couple of good hats, but I could pull it off.

        “I wanted to apologize to you about your new friend and his sister.  I had no idea the girl was terminally ill when Shayla made the announcement.  If I'd known, I would've called it off.  If I thought it would help, I would change the Assignment, but you know how they are,” he said, referencing the faceless mass of Students.  Now that they'd smelt blood, they'd be like sharks.  Poor Julie.  I felt awful, absolutely awful.  I mean, we could tell them that she was sick, but it might not help.  It might make things worse.  Remember that Lord of the Flies reference I mentioned?  If they smelled weakness, they'd be all over it.  “And I'm sorry about Casper.  He ended up fighting with a buddy of mine.  I put my friend straight.  I just wanted you to know that.”

        “Thanks,” I said, feeling a little uneasy for speaking for Casper.  I had no right to thank Cage, not really.  I should call him, I thought, but I didn't think he'd pick up.  I should just bury that little start under the dirt and plant a new seed.  I touched a fingertip to my lip and tried to breathe, remembering the burst of warm heat I'd felt when I'd woken up and found Casper giving me CPR.  Best to forget about that, I warned myself before I got too attached.  “Hey,” I said before I could stop myself.  “What are you up to today?”  I could almost hear Cage cringing on the other end of the line and found myself feeling a little foolish.  Just because I was the Crush didn't mean the King would be automatically interested in me.

        “God, I have this thing with my Dad today, some father and son bonding bull, but if you're free, do you want to get together and do something this evening?”  I smiled.  Cage asked before I could.  Assertive much?  I wasn't sure what to think about that.

        “I'd love to,” I said, trying to think.  If I was with Cage, I could pretty much go anywhere.  Nobody would hit on me when I was hanging out with the King.  It was kind of a rule.  And then it clicked.  “Doesn't the boardwalk open for the season tonight?” I asked.  If I didn't go with Cage, I may as well not go at all because I'd get swarmed with stuffed animals and blue cotton candy.

        “Yeah, they do,” he said with a laugh.  “My brother's working the goldfish game.  You know, where you toss the little plastic balls and try to get them in the bowls?  He was complaining about it this morning.”  I sat down in front of my vanity and wished I had an old fashioned phone, so I could twirl the cord around my finger.  It just seemed kind of appropriate.

        “I thought your brother worked with your parents in their store?” I asked, thinking of the two-story boutique downtown that Cage's family owned.  It wasn't just a clothing store.  It was the clothing store for our little town, and it had made the Lawrence family very, very rich.  There was some shuffling on Cage's end of the phone followed by a husky laugh that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  Cage … I would not have been surprised if he turned out to be some supernatural hottie like a vampire or a werewolf or something.  Oh, maybe a fae!  A hot faery boy, wouldn't that be nice?

        “My brother is an absolute moron.  He got a DUI last week, so he's been banished from the store until it's off his record, however long that takes.”  I imagined Cage smiling at me and shivered a bit.  “And I just realized I never answered your question.  I'd be honored to escort you to the boardwalk.  Pick you up at eight?”

        “Sounds great,” I said and then started to give him my address.

        “Oh, no worries,” he told me, voice smooth as silk.  For an eighteen year old, he had a very deep voice, very masculine sounding.  When I closed my eyes and pushed past my knowledge of what Cage actually looked like, deep into my imagination, I could imagine an older man, not old just older, in a suit.  In my mind's eye, he was sitting in a library with dark wood paneling and hunter green walls, cigar in one hand, glass of cognac in the other.  Yep.  That was my mental image of Cage Lawrence.


"About A Girl" by The Academy Is…

"Summer Hair = Forever Young" by The Academy Is…

"Swing, Swing" by The All-American Rejects

"One More Sad Song" by The All-American Rejects

"Flavor of the Weak" by American Hi-Fi

"Sk8er Boi" by Avril Lavigne

"The Great Escape" by Boys Like Girls

"Just the Girl" by The Click Five

"Catch Your Wave" by The Click Five

"Hot Mess" by Cobra Starship

"Brand New Skin" by Count the Stars

"On the Way Home" by Count the Stars

"The Curse of Curves" by Cute is What We Aim For

"If It Means a Lot to You" by A Day to Remember

"Graveyard Dancing" by Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows

"Note to Self" by From First to Last

"Secrets Don't Make Friends" by From First to Last

"Ride the Wings of Pestilence" by From First to Last

"Hot N Cold" by Katy Perry

"Roar" by Katy Perry

"The Show" by Lenka

"Trouble" by Never Shout Never

"Time After Time" by Quietdrive

"Both Ways" by Quietdrive

"Say You Like Me" by We The Kings

"Skyway Avenue" by We the Kings

"Check Yes, Juliet" by We The Kings


C.M. Stunich was raised under a cover of fog in the area known simply as Eureka, CA. A mysterious place, this strange, arboreal land nursed Caitlin's (yes, that's her name!) desire to write strange fiction novels about wicked monsters, magical trains, and Nemean Lions (Google it!). She currently enjoys drag queens, having too many cats, and tribal bellydance.

Always a fan of the indie scene and 'sticking it to the man,' Ms. Stunich decided to take the road less traveled and forgo the traditional publishing route. You can be assured though that she received several rejections as to ensure her proper place in the world of writers before taking up a friend's offer to start a publishing company. Sarian Royal was born, and Ms. Stunich's books slowly transformed from mere baking chocolate to full blown tortes with hand sculpted fondant flowers.

C.M. is a writer obsessed with delivering the very best and scours her mind on a regular basis to select the most unusual stories for the outside world.

Ms. Stunich can be reached via e-mail or by post and loves to hear from her readers. Ms. Stunich also wrote this biography and has no idea why she decided to refer to herself in the third person.

Come visit me at and follow me on Facebook !

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