by Laura Johnston
Buh boom, buh boom.
My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night. All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and…
Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…
Praise for Between Now & Never
“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.” ~ Janette Rallison
"This was a lot different than I was expecting and I was honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. The cover led me to believe this would be a cute, love story but it was a suspenseful and gripping read." ~ Review from Goodreads
“Best book I read all year! On the edge of your seat suspense, heartwarming romance, and characters to cheer for—Between Now and Never is one you won’t want to miss.” ~Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga
"I had the privilege to read BETWEEN NOW AND NEVER when it was in manuscript form. I loved loved loved it from page one! Laura Johnson is such a talented author -- really looking forward to reading more of her work!" ~Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
Excerpt —Three Momentous Words
I stare at my reflection, trying to steady my uneven breathing.
Giving up, I dash from the bathroom. Decision made. I’m not turning back now.
I pass the drinking fountain, searching the hallways. I fling aside all thoughts of Cody’s dad and my mom, all fears of Vic and my dad warning me against Cody. I turn down a maze of corridors, searching left and right. And then I see him. Alone. Pacing.
“Cody,” I say.
He turns at the sound of my voice but looks away again.
“Cody, look at me.”
Nothing. He rests one hand on his hip, the other hand digging into his hair. Frustration oozes from his rigid stance.
I start toward him, not about to back down. “What’s wrong?”
At last he turns. “You,” he says, his voice reverberating through the empty hall, bringing me to a stop.
“You and me; this is all wrong. It always has been.”
The words cut deep. Sting. “You don’t mean that,” I say, the hitch in my voice betraying me.
“You’re right,” he says. “What I’m trying to say is I love you.”
His words hit me, melting every last barrier around my heart. He loves me. Three momentous words out in the open.
He runs his fingers through his hair again, messing it up. Suddenly, he looks more rugged than put together. Seductive. It reminds me of when he first came to school, a total mess sitting in that wheelchair. I loved that boy, too. As senseless as it is, I’ve always loved him.
Cody shifts his weight from one leg to the other and gives me a look. “What do you want, Jules?”
Somehow I know this question is monumental, my answer pivotal.
I stare at him and falter. No one has asked me this in weeks, months. I think about all the things I’ve had my heart set on, worked to keep together, strived to accomplish. But looking at Cody now, it’s hard to think of anything else.
What do I want? How do you place your heart out in the open like this?
I want you.
The words tangle up, wedged like a knot in the back of my throat.
Cody brushes a curly lock of hair away from my face, his gaze following the motion. “’Cause all I want right now is to kiss you, and I’m sick of trying to think up more reasons why I shouldn’t.”
My breath catches in the back of my throat, my heart hammering with the need to reach out and give him what he wants—what I want.
Cody draws back, his hand falling to his side. Like he’s about to walk away again.
“Then stop trying,” I say.
Author Laura Johnston
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.
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