Out of Tune [sample]

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Out of Tune has been released today (3rd July) with Random House UK as the third book in my three-book deal. I wrote Striking A Chord (already uploaded to Wattpad) as a prequel to this, exclusive to Wattpad, which you can also read in addition to this.

The paperback of this book is available now in the UK from bookstores and on Amazon (so those of you not able to get the paperback can get it shipped from Amazon), and the ebook should be available worldwide. Check the external link for my blog page to find where you can get it, if you're struggling to find it.

Hope you enjoy the sample! 


Chapter One


Number thirty-one Maple Drive has been vacant for as long as I’ve lived here.

At least, it was empty, until 6:27a.m. on the Friday morning before school starts. That’s the exact time I’m woken up by the incessant beep-beep-beep of a truck reversing outside. Curiosity gets the better of me, and I drag myself out of bed, pulling the comforter with me, to peek through the drapes. I refrain from yelling out of my window that some of us are trying to sleep, as I try to get a good look at our new neighbors.

The ‘For Sale’ sign in their yard disappeared a week ago, and I’m still eager to know who exactly is moving in next door. I can’t see much of them from here, though: a new-looking blue Ford, and the back of a man’s head as he talks to a guy in a red uniform polo shirt climbing out from the driver’s seat of the moving truck.

I’m tempted to stay longer at the window and see more of them, but when I yawn and realize my eyes are drooping, I crawl back into bed. Mom will make us go over and introduce ourselves soon enough anyway.

It’s Sunday afternoon when we meet the new neighbors.

‘Ashley!’ Mom yells up the stairs.

‘What?’ I shout back, sounding exactly the way I feel – ever the uncooperative, angsty teenager. Much as I want to know who’s moved in next door, I really don’t want to have to go over there with a big, bright, fake smile and welcome them to the neighborhood. To be honest, I’m kind of nervous. What if they’ve got some horrible teenage daughter who looks down her nose at me, even if she’s a year or two younger than me? Or some spoilt, bratty kid I’ll be obligated to babysit? The thought makes me shudder.

You’re being too pessimistic, I tell myself. My mood lifts when I wonder what it would be like if it was someone my age is there next door – a girl, maybe, who’s not horrible and someone I can actually talk to, have something in common with.

I don’t get my hopes up too much, though. Not yet.

I’d much rather just meet them from a distance. Like, from the safety of my bedroom window.

‘We’re going to welcome the neighbors. Come on.’

‘Tell them I’m . . . I’m doing homework!’

‘Ashley Bennett, they will not buy the homework excuse when school hasn’t even started yet!’

‘Then tell them I’m an honors student!’

She laughs at that, before the stern tone returns and she yells, ‘Get your butt down here right now, or –’

‘All right, all right! I’m coming!’

I huff and dog-ear the page I am reading before tossing my book onto my bed. My mom hates when I do that, but I’m always losing the bookmarks she buys me.

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