Cover Reveal


Strict parents make rebellious teens.

Jade Phillips wasn’t what everyone wanted her to be. She was supposed to be an honor roll student, polite, and most of all, well-behaved. Instead she has a juvie rap sheet as long as her arm, a liver that has handled more alcohol than most Irish men, and a partying habit that keeps her hungover on weekdays, and she doesn’t care. She wasn’t going to change for anyone, or so she thought.

Her father is remarrying, and the family dynamic isn’t the only thing he wants to change; he wants Jade to change. His future wife, the senator of Virginia, is running for re-election and she cannot afford to have Jade’s unruly behavior ruin her reputation. That means no more drugs, alcohol, partying, and most of all, no more arrests. 

If Jade is unable to clean up her act, then she will be forced to go and live with her overzealous grandmother in the middle of nowhere. Forcing her to leave her friends, and her life behind.

Now Jade has to make a decision. Will she change for the better or will she suffer the consequences?

After all, no one has ever been hurt by a little bad publicity.


Excerpt

Austin’s sweaty body collapsed next to me. His chest rose and fell as he breathed in heavily. Once he caught his breath, he turned towards me and wrapped his arms around my naked body, pulling me close to him and kissing my collarbone. “Just lay here with me,” he sighed.

A frown tugged at my lips. I didn’t want to lay here in his arms. That would give him the wrong impression. I’ve told him before that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and that when he starts to have feelings for me other just sexual desires then we’ll have to stop hooking up.

“Austin I can’t.”

“Not even just for a few minutes? I don’t have feelings for you I just like to spend some time with a girl after we have sex. Not just have her run out right after.”

“I won’t leave; I’ll just be right down the hallway. I should probably go anyway. Brooke should be waking up soon," I said, coming up with a lame excuse to leave. Brooke wouldn't be up or another four hours, maybe more.

Austin sighed and pulled his arms from around me. He sat up and reached onto the floor, pulling on a baggy pair of basketball shorts and tossing me my bra that was somehow connected to my tank top. He threw me the inside out skinny jeans and flopped back down on his bed. “Get out," his words were cold but I knew that he would get over it. 

I stood up slowly, clutching my clothes in a pile in my arms as I did so. Lying on the ground was my underwear which I grabbed and added to the pile. Without responding to his words, I held my head high in confidence and proceeded towards his door, butt naked. From behind me I heard him say, “You can put your clothes on first you know.”

I shrugged. “I doesn’t really matter. No one’s awake and you want me to get out, so the fastest way for me to get out is to go like this.”

Austin rolled his eyes, “Don’t be so damn stubborn and just put your clothes on Jade.”

“Fine,” I retorted. I dropped my clothes on the ground and pulled on each item wordlessly and as quickly as possible, leaving the pants off. That was a struggle that I wasn’t willing to go through again. “Happy now?”

“I’m always happier when you don’t have clothes on, but yeah, I guess. Now get out.”

“Someone’s on their period,” I mumbled, turning and leaving his room with Brooke’s jeans crumpled up in my arms.

I made my way silently down the hallway until I made it to Brooke’s room. Her clothes were thrown everywhere, leaving the floor a mess and a near impossible thing to navigate through in the dark. I groaned internally, not wanting to wake Brooke up so that she could see my half naked state, but I had no other option considering that there was no way I would be able to make it across her floor again without getting hurt or making noise.

“Rise and shine, sunshine!” I yelled as I flipped the light switch, sending the room into a sudden burst of illumination.

My best friend of eleven years groaned and put the pillow on top of her face to hide her eyes from the light. “You’re a bitch,” she said through the pillow.

“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. What did you say?” I said with a cheery smile as I lifted the pillow from her face.

“I said you’re a bitch!” She screamed as she rolled over, pressing her face into the mattress. She said something else, but her words were muffled and I couldn’t hear her.

“I seriously couldn’t hear what you said that time, Brooky,” I said using her childhood nickname so she would know that I was being sincere.

She slowly sat up, her hair ratty and matted from her full night sleep. It looked like as if a giant tumbleweed had landed directly on top of her head and as she turned to look at me so did the tumbleweed. “I asked why you’re half naked. Austin could walk by at anytime and see you. You know he likes you. Please don’t taunt my brother.” Brooke said with a silent pleading in her eyes.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Austin and I had been hooking up since high school started three years ago. I used to have a crush on him, back when he didn’t have one on me. Now it’s switched, but it would have been mutual if he hadn’t broken my heart freshmen year.

He had started making out with this girl right in front of me after telling me how much of a good time he had with me the night before when I had mistakenly allowed him to take my virginity. Then he had proceeded to make plans to see her later that night and give her a ‘birthday gift’, which I assumed just meant getting naked and having sex.

Of course, he thought nothing of it especially since he was getting laid by some senior slut even though he was only a sophomore. I swear that girl just wanted to get into every attractive guy's pants and with her looks it wasn’t a challenge for her.

It shattered my heart how he was able to use me like that and then move on so quickly without even batting an eyelash. Ever since then he had been just a strict hook up in my eyes, and I didn’t care whether or not he had feelings for me because he hurt me first. I wouldn’t let him hurt me again; he made his choice first and he turned me into what I had become.

“You’re brother has a yearly subscription to Play Boy and has sex on a daily basis. Will it really matter if he sees me without pants on?” I asked mostly to probe and see if I could tell her about Austin and I.

“You’re different though. You aren’t just some random slut. You’re my best friend, and he likes you. It would change the relationship drastically. I mean he already hangs off you like he would do anything to get in your pants. I couldn’t handle it if my best friend and my brother were dating. That'd be sickening.” She feigned gagging noises and stuck out her tongue.

“Why would it be gross?”

Brooke sighed, thinking for a moment before she spoke. Her freshly dyed blonde bangs fell into her blue eyes. “I just can't imagine you two dating, especially not after what he did to you. Why are you asking me all this anyway?” She asked, furrowing her eyebrows curiously.

“Because I’m standing here half naked and if you said you were cool with it, I would be in Austin’s room right about now getting laid,” I suggested. I didn’t like lying to Brooke so instead I tried to find ways around it, normally she took it as a joke and moved on.


“That’s disgusting!” Brooke yelled, throwing her pillow at me.

“It’s the truth! You know I need the attention…”

“You sound like a whore.” Brooke said with a straight face as she finally got out of bed and went to the bathroom, but I knew that she was joking by the smile playing at the corners of her lips.

“Well, Austin could be my pimp.”

“That would mean he gives you to other people dumb ass!” She called over the flush of the toilet. She let out a long drawn out scream sending me running into the bathroom. She was decent and the sink was running, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

“What’s wrong?”

“Why am I up at eight AM on a Saturday!?” Brooke yelled as she pointed at the clock. Its bright red fluorescent numbers lit up saying that it was 8:23am.

“Because you got out of bed,” I answered, simply walking back into the room to see Austin, who was still in only basketball shorts and bare-chested handing me a news paper. I saw remorse in his eyes, whether it was because he had heard Brooke’s and my conversation or whether he realized he had been a big jerk after having sex with me this morning, I wasn’t sure.

“What’s this?” I asked, glancing at the front page to see the only female senator in our area on The cover. Despite a large toothy grin that seemed to be plastered on her face, her eyes were hawk-like, staring at me as if I was her prey. In the picture, her hand was held high, flashing a huge diamond ring on her bony ring finger. She was apparently getting married. I couldn't help but to wonder what poor sap would be desperate enough to marry her. I looked up at Austin, confused as to why he was showing me this.

“Look at who she’s marrying.” Austin instructed, pointing to a section of the article. I read carefully at first, but then my attention span phased out and I skimmed until I saw my dad’s name.

I stopped, and snatched the article from his hands to look over it myself. I read, and re-read over the article again and again until I could practically recite it by heart. I couldn’t believe that these words weren’t considered slander. There was no way that my father was getting married only a few months after burying my mother; especially not without telling me first. The article had also stated that Senator Tara Jacobs also had one daughter, who after her father died was her mother's sole custody.

I glanced up at Austin with wide eyes. I felt my bottom lip tremble slightly, something that always happened when I was trying not to cry. Austin immediately understood and wrapped me tightly in his arms as the idea that my dad was trying to replace my mom floated into my mind.


Interview:




Tell us about how you two ended up teaming up to write this book. 

We met in a creative writing class in high school where Taylor told me about an amateur writing website called wattpad. We both realized that we liked each other’s writing style, and thought it would be fun to start write stories together. (Sara)


Have you both always wanted to be writers? 

We have both always had a passion for writing, but we had never actually considered it as a career path until recently. Writing had always been a hobby for us, and eventually that hobby just snowballed into something bigger. Surprisingly, neither of us are majoring in English. Rather, Sara is a biology major, and I am a psychology major. (Taylor)

I actually didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always wanted to work with animals, and writing was just a hobby. (Sara)


What inspired Bad Publicity? 

Bad Publicity started out as us wanting to write a really unique story. Sara came up with a vague idea of what the book should be about, teen rebellion, wild fun, and a lot of mistakes and consequences for the characters, and Taylor was able to go in and make the description to inspire us to write the entire book, and then make it into a series. Together we based the book off of our lives, experiences, and dreams.

What genres do you each like to read? 

Sara: I have always enjoyed reading Thriller/mystery stories the most. I grew up reading horror and paranormal, even some suspense, but it was mostly mysteries. Heather Graham’s novels are my favorite, but the genre itself has always been a favorite.

Taylor: I use to really love reading teen fiction/drama novels, but recently I have been really into mystery/thrillers. I started doing a 2015 reading challenge, and the first book I chose to read was the option “Read a book from an author with the same initials as you”. Therefore, I chose to read a book by Tami Hoag, and I have become a huge fan. I’ve been reading through her novels like wildfire. 


Do you like to write in the same genres? 

We both started off writing the same genres, but as Sara transitioned into writing suspense/thriller, she kind of dragged me into it. We both can write almost any genre, but like most authors we have our preferences. I think that we both can agree that we enjoy writing stories that are thrilling the most. (Taylor)

What is it like co-writing a book? Planning the story together, melding your styles, etc? 

It’s interesting. We have to spend a lot of time making sure that we see everything the same way so that we can avoid any confusion, and then plan the story out so that we can both work in the same direction. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a cohesive story because we are two different people who can see a scene in many different ways. We go about melding our stories together in two different ways. One way that we do this is where Sara will write a skeleton (which is a chapter that has no detail and is basically an outline of that needs to be filled in) and Taylor will go through it to add detail and anything she thinks is missing. Another way that we mix our stories is through what we call a “split chapter” where someone begins it, and the other person finishes it, then starts the next chapter and so on. Bad Publicity itself was written as a split chapter story. We enjoy both of these writing styles because we can practice writing more, overcome writer’s block, and learn from each other as we move forward. It is great having a writing partner, especially one who is your best friend, because we can support each other in our individual works as well as in our co-writes.

Is Bad Publicity a stand alone or part of a series? 

It’s a series. It’s called the Untamed Hearts series for the wild and free feeling we hope to give the readers through out the series. There are two other books to the series, Broken Promises and Brush Strokes. 


Can you tell us about some of your plans for the future, writing wise? Future books, future partnered up projects? 

Together and alone, we have many other novels that we are ready to share with the world. Currently we are trying to move more into the direction of writing thriller/mystery novels that have an element of romance mixed in.


Separately we are working to become well-rounded writers. We will be releasing a few solo books this summer, and working together on the rest of the series over the summer.

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