October 9, 2014

EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Welcome to my stop on the Trust Me, I'm Lying blog tour! 
Today I have an awesome excerpt from the book, and don't forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway!

Trust Me, I'm Lying
by Mary Elizabeth Summer
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 14th 2014


Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
“A sexy love triangle and madcap mystery . . . I loved this book.” —Jennifer Echols, author ofDirty Little Secret

“Buckle up! You’re in for a wild and funny ride. I fell in love with the fresh and snarky voice of 16-year-old con artist Julep Dupree. This book has it all: homework and hit men, prom drama and silencers.” —April Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Girl, Stolen

“Summer creates a standout character in Julep. She lies and cheats with so much confidence and skill that readers will cheer her on, but she also adheres to her own strict moral code. The nature of the crime her father is caught up in, when revealed, just ratchets up the suspense. A memorable debut; here’s hoping for a lot more from Summer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Julep’s investigations and quick escapes keep the high-stakes story entertaining and readers guessing…” – Publisher’s Weekly

HeyJulepGot a sec?” Murphy Donovan—a softbespectacled nerd from my biology classstops me before I get very far.
You happen to have a decent cup of espresso on your person?” I say.
Not on me, no.”
Then if you want to talkyou’ll have towalk me.”
He falls into step like a well-trainedpuppybut he seems to need a littleprodding in the talking department.
“So is this a social call?” I ask.
“No. That isumI’d like to”—he lowershis voice and looks over his shoulder at the students flitting hither and yon aroundus—“hire you.”
“I seeHow can I be of service?”
“I want you to get Bryn Halverson to go tothe fall formal with me,” he all butwhispers.
consider his request as I shift my bag. I could do itEasily, in fact. All it takes is a modified fiddle gameMy brain is alreadyspinning the con, assessing resourcesgauging the markBut I’d like a little more information before I take the job.
The Bryn Halverson?” I say. “Head JV cheerleaderhomecoming courtfailingSpanishthat Bryn Halverson?”
She’s failing Spanish?”
Focus, Murphy.”
“Yes, her,” Murphy answers.
“Do you mind if I ask why?”
He drops his gaze to his hands. “I likeher,” he mumbles.
You and every other straight, red-blooded American male,” I say, more truthful than kind. I don’t need to drag thisout of him. I can do the job without itButhow I approach the job affects him, and understanding his motivations lets me know how far I can go.
“I liked her beforeI’ve liked her sincemiddle schoolwhen she had braces and frizzy hair and was whipping all our buttsat algebra.”
sigh and give him a sympathetic look. I’m going to take the job, of coursebutI’m not thrilled about itNot because I’mopposed to manipulating Brynbutbecause I already know Murphy’s goingto get trampled. And since Murphy’s a tech-club buddy of Sam’s, Sam is notgoing to be pleased if I help Bryn break Murphy’s heart.
Honestly, Murphy, it would be easier ifyou just wanted the social status.”
“So you’ll do it?”
nod reluctantly. “Yes. But you’ll probablyregret it.”
How much?”
Depends on how much you like her.”
“No, I mean—”
I wave him to silence. “I know what youmean,” I saycalculating the fee in myhead. What is the going rate for breakingsomebody’s heartThis is one of thosequestions that make me reconsider myline of work.
Five hundred. Cash. Plus the standardproviso.”
What proviso?”
You owe me a favor.”
What kind of favor?”
The kind where you don’t know what it isuntil I ask it,” I saypausing at the door tothe Ballou. “If it’s any comfortit’s usuallysomething pretty tame, and generally in your area of expertise.”
Murphy mulls over my terms for all of halfsecond before forking over the cash. I’dnever pay that much for a school dance, but then most of the students at St. Aggie’s have money to burnEven worseis the threat of an unspecified favor to be called in at a later date. But I’ve neverhad anyone protest. I guess that’s whatcomes of having unlimited access towhatever you wantwhen you needsomething you can’t getyou’re willing toput everything on the line. Maybe theopportunity to confess your undying loveis worth itI’ve never felt that way aboutanyone, so what do I know?
When should I ask her?” he says.
“A week from tomorrow,” I answer as I open the door. “That gives us time to lay the groundworkbut still gives her a fewdays to buy a dressAssuming shedoesn’t have a closet full already.”
What if she says no?”
You should be more worried about hersaying yes.”
He gives me a confused look.
I’ll take care of it,” I saysteppinginto the warm glow of the Ballou.

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Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, and her evil overlor–er, cat. TRUST ME, I'M LYING, a YA mystery, will be released by Delacorte in Fall 2014.
Win (1) of (2) signed hardbacks of Trust Me, I'm Lying + a "Grift" bag of goodies (US Only)

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