Tuesday, June 2, 2015

{Tour Stop} CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD by Anne Heltzel—Guest Post + Giveaway

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Charlie, Presumed Dead
by Anne Heltzel


In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.


No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
 Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon • B&N • Kobo • iBooks • IndieBound

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by Anne Heltzel


ANNE'S TOP QUOTES/SCENES FROM
CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD


EXCERPT I

I glance at this girl’s face and all I can see is a slideshow of him and her: kissing her, laughing with her, scooping her up in a big hug, balancing his muscular frame on top of her fragile one. My imagined idea of the two of them together is happier than the reality of him with me ever was.

EXCERPT 2

         I think of Charlie’s eyes as we walk to the corner where Xander’s waiting. “Thanks for giving us a ride,” I remember to tell him, and he nods back. Charlie’s eyes were blue, a pretty blue. Not bright like mine but paler, practically gray. They were always wide and direct but even when I first met him, I had the strange feeling that I couldn’t see beyond them into his soul. And then later, he started talking about how he didn’t believe in the soul’s existence.

It’s occurring to me belatedly that it’s all relevant, all tied up in this terrible nightmare; but then we’re squeezing in behind Xander and speeding off on his BMW motorcycle past the formidable, tow- ering lions that guard Trafalgar Square — how much money does this guy have? He’s only, like, nineteen—and I’m hating, hating, hating Charlie even more than ever, for the awful ways he’s lied to me and because he thought he had me pegged. He was so sure the guy he presented me—the “safe” one who played video games and read philosophy and hung out with fellow nerds — was someone I could love.

EXCERPT 3

         I tell people that I met Charlie at a summer enrichment pro- gram in London. Which is mostly true. But Charlie wasn’t in the Talent Identification Program sponsored by Duke, the one masquerading as a résumé booster that was, for me, just an excuse to jet-set like I always have every summer, thus getting me out of my parents’ hair and freeing them up to go wherever they want: a safari in Botswana, a treehouse village in Provence, et cetera. I love that my parents are in love and want alone time. I do.

What people don’t know about having parents who are madly in love is that it makes it harder to fall in love yourself — the bar’s set way too high. I was never expecting to fall in love with Charlie. I never expected to fall in love with anyone the way my parents are in love. Their love is like the fucking white whale. No one else has it. No one in our world, anyway. But there it was, the night I met Charlie. Maybe we Whitneys are blessed, maybe we’re cursed. No one knows for certain, but it sure feels like a curse right now.

EXCERPT 4

I wasn’t sure, having met Charlie, whether I could ever go back to the way things were, when I was just a suburban girl in Illinois. That’s what happens when you meet someone different, I thought to myself as I stood there, taking in the grandeur of the hotel. Your world opens up just a little. I felt scared then, because I was certain I’d never stop craving that expansion, bit by bit, relationship by relationship, person by person.

EXCERPT 5

         Charlie banned checkers from our relationship shortly after we began dating, when he realized that I’m basically a checkers savant and win every single time. Checkers, however, keeps me calm and focused. On the checkerboard, I feel in control.
        
         “Like a lamb to the slaughter,” I inform him in a serious tone, and he laughs loudly.
        
         “I like that. Well, I’m happy to dig my own grave as long as you’ll lie in it too,” he says. Then he winks, and his whole face lights up with this mix of things: playfulness, secrecy, confidence, charm. When Charlie’s playing nice guy, he’s at his best.

         The problem is, he’s always playing.

         The thought crosses my mind before I can help it, and I react by reaching across the board and squeezing him again, extra tight.
        
         “I love you,” I whisper. I desperately need to hear it back.

            “You sweetheart,” he says instead, and I feel my heart sink. I pull away and look him in the eyes, hoping to catch a glimpse of what he’s thinking. But there it is again: that smile. Charlie being playful.

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ANNE HELTZEL is a Brooklyn-based author and editor of children's books. Anne was born in Ohio, has been a voracious reader since the age of three, and credits her careers in publishing and writing (both lifelong dreams--just ask to see her childhood journal) to a serendipitous coffee shop conversation during her senior year of college. Anne was on a law school track until the aforementioned fateful conversation prompted her to switch gears and move to New York City, where she entered an M.F.A. program. In 2007 she began her first job in publishing. In 2008 she graduated from The New School with a master's degree in Writing for Children. Anne has since lived in India and Paris, and has taught writing and reading workshops in each of her former homes. More recently, she participated as a mentor in NYC's Girls Write Now program. When she is not writing, Anne is furiously (and passionately) editing novels for a Manhattan publishing house. She is represented by Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management. Anne also writes under the pseudonym Anna Collomore.

Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

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Big thanks to Anne Heltzel for sharing some of her favorite excerpts from Charlie, Presumed Dead with us! 
Readers, continue on for giveaway details! ;D



3 winners will receive a finished copy of CHARLIE, PRESUMED DEAD and a Gold Rose Necklace - Antique Gold Pewter Rose Charm on a Delicate 18 Inch Gold Plated Cable Chain.
Photo Below! US Only!
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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