September 1, 2019

Have a Little Faith in Me Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Have a Little Faith in Me
Author: Sonia Hartl 
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance/Religion/Realistic Fiction
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Page Street Kids
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"Saved!" meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that takes a meaningful look at consent and what it means to give it.

When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

Scrambling to save face, CeCe ropes Paul into faking a relationship. But as deceptions stack up, she questions whether her ex is really the nice guy he seemed. And what about her strange new feelings for Paul—is this love, lust, or an illusion born of heartbreak? To figure it out, she’ll have to confront the reasons she chased her ex to camp in the first place, including the truth about the night she lost her virginity.
“Camp Three SixTeen, straight ahead,” Michael said. 
I leaned forward in my seat. A weatherworn wooden sign bearing the camp name hung between two posts on the dirt road. A thick tangle of woods surrounded the open property. Dirt trails wound around the open space dotted with dozens of log cabins on either side of the lake. Sun shimmered off the water, and a huge flotation device I assumed to be the Blob bounced lazily on the waves. A small church sat on top of a hill, and an enormous wooden building stood at the center of camp, with a cluster of smaller ones around it. 
“That’s the big house,” Mandy said, pointing to the structure. “We eat meals there, and have dances and the talent show there too. Daily devotions are in the chapel, of course, and we have bonfires over there.” She pointed toward an open spot by the water with a huge fire pit at the center and plenty of fallen logs for seating. 
“How many kids are there?” I asked. 
“It depends on attendance. The campers run from rising freshmen to seniors, but the younger yearshave more kids. Like, thirty each in the freshman and sophomore years. There are eight of us rising seniors who are all in the leadership program.” 
“Makes sense.” The older kids got, the more likely they were to question their upbringing. Paul was a prime example. 
“Our cabin is up there.” Mandy pointed toward the back of the woods. “The boys’ cabins are on the other side of the lake.” 
“Does that really keep everyone separate?” I asked. 
“No.” Mandy giggled, and it sounded like a tinkling bell. Everything about her was charming. “But we behave ourselves for the most part.” 
“That’s because anyone caught having sex gets thrown out and has to explain it to their parents,” Peter piped up. He’d been so quiet on the way, I’d almost forgotten about him. “It happened last year, and it was pretty embarrassing.” 
“I can only imagine.” I sank lower in my seat. I wondered what the treatment of non-virgins would be in a place like this. Maybe Ethan didn’t count because he was born-again, or whatever. “Keep my panties on. Check. Anything else I should know?” 
“No fighting or drinking or swearing.” Mandy ticked them off on her fingers. “It’s not like any of us engage in that sort of thing, but they have to lay down rules.” 
“Understandable.” I turned around to Paul and smirked. “You going to be okay with the no swearing thing?” 
“I’ll live,” he said, keeping his eyes out the window. 
Michael pulled up to the big house and parked. “Everyone out.” 
We stumbled over each other as we exited the van, our bags forming a small mountain around us. Paul nudged me. “Ready to go home yet?” 
“No. I think I’m going to like it here.” The scent of clean air and pine trees filled my lungs. Everything about this place was beautiful. The setting, the lake, the people. No wonder these kids walked away feeling closer to God. 
“The rest of the seniors should be here already. You’re the last group,” Michael said. 
As I searched for Ethan, all my fresh insecurities surfaced. What would he say when he saw me? Would he be angry I’d invaded his little sanctuary? I’d played the happy scenario over so many times in my mind, it hadn’t occurred to me to think of an alternative. He had to be happy to see me though. Now that I was getting in with all the Jesus stuff, there wouldn’t be anything to stand between us. This would be okay. I’d be okay.
A high-pitched squeal from Mandy made me jump, and that was when I saw him. Ethan. His square frame, only a few inches taller than me, already golden from the sun, a sweep of light hair shading his confused eyes. I squeezed my fists together, practicing the speech I’d prepared for my sudden appearance, reminding myself for the billionth time that I wasn’t sad or desperate. 
Mandy took a flying leap into his arms, planting a series of kisses over his cheeks and mouth. The mouth that had kissed mine only a month ago. And with that, everything inside me shattered.
Sonia Hartl is a YA author who calls Michigan home, even though she’s lived in several different states. Her debut novel, HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME is forthcoming from Page Street Publishing. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s enjoying pub trivia, marathoning Disney movies, or taking a walk outside in the fall. She’s a member of SCBWI and the communications director for Pitch Wars. She has been published in The Writers Post Journal and Boston Literary Magazine. She lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and two daughters.
Win a finished copy of HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME by Sonia Hartl (US Only)
Starts: August 28, 2019
Ends: September 11, 2019

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