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by Jo Noelle
Cassie is going to heaven—if she can get amnesty from hell in the next twenty days. Her assignment is to change the eternal destination of a girl in Albuquerque to earn admittance into heaven.
But when Cassie returns to earth during her three-week, mostly-mortal assignment, her old habits get in the way, (apparently habits don’t die when you do), the partners assigned to help her are anything but helpful, and it turns out the girl she is supposed to help is the only enemy she made on her first day of school.
Oh, I’m so going to hell.
Things aren’t all bad—it helps to have a hot angel on your side. Mmm-Marc. Even though he’s all about heavenly business, Cassie would like to make it personal.
Assignment with benefits.
This young adult novel is a coming of age story with a clean romance, packed with action and suspense.
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If closing my heart were as easy as closing my eyes, I’d never see again. Heaven and earth could pass away and I wouldn’t know, wouldn’t care. Instead, I open my eyes to my face filling the mirror, trying not to really look, but I do. I see my mom’s eyes, so blue they were nearly black in striking contrast to her golden hair. My dad’s sweetheart face shape, though his had a stronger jaw. I only see their faces in mine now, and maybe I’m imagining it, trying not to forget. My hand quivers before I press my finger to my lips and smooth gloss over them. Knowing my eyeliner would smear if I gave in to thinking about my parents, I distract myself to think of something else—the music blasting from the hall, the slight hum from the lights around the mirror, the smell of beer tainting the masses Reece and I burrowed through to get to the upstairs bathroom. Breathing. Think about breathing.
Reece pulls the shirt down over her head, then shakes out her hair, twisting toward me. “What do you think, Cassie?” Like always, she’s changing as soon as we get to the party, having shopped in my closet before school. The flowy blouse has three triangular cutouts along the front and more in the back, definitely putting it in the sexy category, which is why I own it and not Reece. Her mom would have a breakdown if she saw the clothes her daughter really likes to wear—and her mom thinks I’m the bad influence. The royal blue makes Reece’s eye color pop and her face more vibrant—natural beauty the rest of us work hard to fake.
“Amazing, which is what I told you when you talked me into buying it.”
“Trade you for my riding boots.” She’s already sitting on the toilet lid, pulling them off.
“Deal.” I sit on the side of the tub and kick off my ankle boots. “Remember when we had friendship bracelets in seventh grade?”
“Yeah. Now we have friendship boots.” Stepping her heel into the second boot she asks, “Is Hugh coming?”
“Don’t know.” Don’t want to see him since he dumped me today.” My hand drifts to my stomach, but as soon as I notice I pull it away, not sure where to put it. I’m not telling Reece until the morning—why ruin the evening for both of us? My plan is to party tonight and sort it out tomorrow.
Reece steps to my side, looking at my eyes in the mirror. “Why don’t you know?”
“I just don’t. He messed up. Or I blew it. Who cares—we aren’t talking anymore—it’s over.” Thinking if I begin digging through my purse, maybe she’ll drop it, I pull my bag into the sink and rummage around.
“Like you broke up?” Her face looks sad, devastated, as if my breakup with Hugh would be as traumatic as a breakup between her and Korbin. “Maybe you’ll get back together tonight.”
My face makes a grimace before I can stop it. “So not happening. We weren’t all lovey, like some couple I know. I barely liked him.” Reece begins to open her mouth. I imagine she would make some encouraging comment like, “It takes time.”
But before she speaks up, I finish, “It’s too late now.” Hoping that closes the subject, I begin straightening my shirt. I’m not ready to talk about how much of a disaster that relationship has become.
She hugs me and whispers, “It’s never too late for love.”
When I fake a gag reflex, she punches my shoulder.
Author Jo Noelle
Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—
Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.
They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation.
Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.
Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.
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