Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blog Tour: Forgiving Trinity- Excerpt

Today The Book Barbies is the tour stop in the Forgiving Trinity by Liz Reinhardt book blog tour hosted by Amanda @Letters Inside Out. Forgiving Trinity is a book I read an absolutely, positively all the way adored by an author I love and support to the death! Check out the other tour stops HERE and enjoy!
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Racquel!! I thought it would be cool to give an excerpt from Ruth’s book [a companion book to Forgiving Trinity featuring Trinity's best friend, Ruth, titled: Catching Ruth!], still in editing! It’s graduation day for Christian, and Trin is not handling it well…but Ruth is there to help and love her! Hope you enjoy!!
             Ruth's POV
 Chapter 1: Graduation Anxieties and Parties
 It’s graduation day at South Effingham High School, and I’m relieved that I’m just watching the processional and not actually graduating.  Even as an observer, graduation feels incredibly overwhelming; I can hardly imagine graduating and then facing all the decisions that come after.  College?  Work?  Peace Corps?  Marriage? Loafing?  I shudder and say a silent prayer of thanks that I still have an entire summer and ten months of school before I have to contemplate graduation.  I’m here because my best friend’s brother (and my sometimes crush), Christian McCabe, is getting his diploma and then heading off to college in the fall.  Someone from a rotary club is droning on and on, and there’s a renegade beach ball making the rounds while the almost-graduates sit in the bleachers and wait to get to the parties.    
I love the warm night air, the electric buzz of the crowd, the sporadic cheers and fog horn blasts.  It’s like bubbling, spitting almost-chaos at a ceremony that the administrators want to be so staid and serious, and the rebel buried deep, deep in me loves that.  Trinity, my best friend, is sitting next to me, the graduation program clutched in her fist.  It’s damp on either side of her hand from sweat, and she’s biting her lip hard to keep from crying.  I made sure that I brought a tube of waterproof mascara when I came over to help her get ready.  Not that she needs mascara at all.  Trin doesn’t make a big deal about her looks, but she’s gorgeous and has these soft, spiky black lashes that they could use for mascara commercials.  She’s too pale because she spends a lot of time inside or walking in the woods, but her pale skin gives her an ethereal, pretty glow.  It also sets off her eyes, so dark blue they’re almost plum colored and it’s completely striking against all her inky hair.  Her boyfriend, Aidan, is definitely appreciative of Trin’s beauty.  When he looks at her, you can just see that he’s totally head over heels.
I’ve had a few boys look at me like that.  Christian is one of them.  But it’s a little complicated with me.  There are a lot of reasons for that, and most of them are reasons I really, really don’t want to dwell on.  I would consider myself a big-time romantic, except that I don’t seem to be able to open up and actually be all that romantic.  I’ve had a lot of good opportunities thrown my way, but I feel…like I have some unresolved stuff.  That’s the understatement of the century.  There was this one night that I would erase if I could, and that I blame because I need to direct my blame somewhere.  It’s funny how one night can make such a huge difference.  And be so misunderstood.  And make you feel so many conflicting things. 
Before I can think too much more, the principal is calling Christian’s name and his whole family plus me and Aidan are on our feet, our hands cupped around our mouths, screaming and hollering and blowing fog horns like crazy.  From the stage, Christian grins and waves in our direction.  Trin loses it and starts crying hard, shoulder-shaking, snot-pouring, yelping sobs that make Aidan’s eyes go wide.  I put an arm around her and lead her away, giving Aidan an ‘I’ve-got-this’ look over my shoulder.  Trin’s mother smiles at me, and her dad looks worried.  When we get behind the bleachers and I shoot a nasty look at some of the puffing smokers and smooching couples and get them to scatter, I pull Trin close and hug her.
“Shh,” I say, running my hand over her smooth hair, rapidly frizzing.  It sticks to my hand a little, damp from the humid air and all the gushing tears.  “Shh, Trin.  You’re gonna make yourself sick, hon.  Take a breath.”
Trin puts her arms around me and leans her head on my shoulder hard.  “I missed so much, Ru.  I messed up so much, and now Christian’s gone!  He’s gone!”  She starts sobbing again.  I can feel hot tears and probably at least a little snot drench my shoulder and the strap of my dress.
“It’s okay, Trinnie,” I say, using that voice my mom always used when I was a kid and sick.  Kind of a sing-songy, sweet voice.  “Christian loves you so much.  And this year has been awesome.  That’s what Christian’s going to remember, not the other stuff.  He’s just going to college.  You’ll be able to visit him, Trin.”  It’s a pretty pithy attempt at smoothing over years of Trin’s crazy using, abusing and neglecting, but I want her to pull herself together so she can enjoy Aidan’s big day.
“But it’s Oberlin!  It’s Ohio!” she wails. 
“So what?” I say, cupping her face in my hands.  “Look at me, Trin.  So what?  You can save your money and fly to see him.  And maybe I’ll be able to come with you sometime!  There might even be snow.  That would be amazing, right?”
Trin blinks, the waterproof mascara totally nailing its job and keeping her from looking like a raccoon.  Which is a good thing, because my best friend is beautiful, but she is definitely an ugly crier.  Already her eyes are bloodshot and red, her nostrils are pink rimmed, her hair is stuck to her cheeks and her skin is splotchy.  I smooth her hair back and look in my purse to see if I can find something to mop her face with.  I find a wet wipe from a seafood place my parents took me to the week before and do what I can.  She looks better.  And smells lemony fresh.
“I love you, Ru,” Trin says, pressing her head on my shoulder as she takes a long, shuddery breath.
I wrap my arms around her and hold tight.  I don’t need to cry right now.  I don’t.  I take a deep breath and anchor myself to the person I’m closest to in the world.  “I love you, Trin.  I really do.  Are you ready to go back?  Aidan will be having a heart attack by now.”
At the mention of her boyfriend’s name, Trin perks up, and we walk back to the bleachers.  Trin’s parents and Aidan all look at us, worry coating their faces.  I know it’s for Trin, but I feel a prickle of panic.  I still get that look from my parents fairly often.  Not that I didn’t give them lots of reasons to worry…but there’s something about seeing that look on other people that makes worry flare up in me, even if I know there’s no real reason. 
I have to sit in the bleachers and mentally tell myself, “Stop.  Calm down.  There’s no reason to worry.  Stop it.  Be calm.” I close my eyes and swallow back the bile that edges up way too easily.  I’m glad that Aidan has his arm around Trin and is kissing her head, so madly in love I’m tempted to be jealous.  I like taking care of her, being her big, bad best friend, but every once in a while that mask slips, and I’m just scared little Ruth Clask, fending off all the world’s crap with my own traitorously weak body.  I don’t want her to see that.  I’m not ready to be that anymore.  Or ever again, actually.
The moment passes, like it always does, and then the music blares and there are hundreds of graduation caps flying into the air like a swooping swarm of sharp edged maroon and silver birds.  We go up to the guard rails and Christian runs across the field to us, then swings himself up to the bleachers, his silver gown billowing behind him.  Trin crushes him in a hug, and I feel a moment of jealousy again.  What’s wrong with me?  This is my best friend.  Why am I feeling all of this negative crap?
I shake it off and smile when Christian finishes hugging and kissing his parents and shaking Aidan’s hand.  He turns to me and opens his arms up, and I give him a real, solid hug.  It’s quick and sweet, and it stirs up memories from months ago when we were kind of flirting and sort of an item.  I love the feel of his hair, as silky dark as Trin’s and longish.  It’s past the collar of his button down shirt, which he’s wearing untucked with a skull tie. 
“Glad you came, Ru,” he says, using Trin’s nickname for me.
“I wouldn’t have missed it,” I say.  His family and Aidan are making very, very quiet conversation, because they’re also eavesdropping.  They haven’t made any secret of the fact that they would love it if Christian and I dated, but all of their wishful thinking doesn’t change one basic reality; dating Christian is too complicated for too many reasons, and so is completely out of the question.
My life is complicated enough without adding a crazy relationship to it.
“You coming over the house after this?” he asks.
“Yeah.  I think I’m spending the night,” I say.
“Cool,” he smiles and my heart thumps around.  I know that I can’t date him, but I’m not made of stone!  Far from it.  A boy like Christian is so perfect; wild hair, blue eyes sweet under their multiple eyebrow piercings, tall, musically talented, a kind brother and son, smart, tons of fun, creative…I could go on and on, but why bother?  The bottom line is that Christian is awesome, and I know that, and I also know that I’m not going to be dating him or anyone anytime soon.  It’s not exactly my choice; it’s more like a side effect of where I am in my life right now.  The romantic in me really wishes something would snap so I could get over it and have my own real romance.  The realist in me knows that the romantic in me is also stupidly optimistic.
At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame.  She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas.

As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)

Trin is lucky, though—luckier than she deserves, she’s sure—and she doesn’t travel this road alone. Her family, her therapist, and her new friends are all pulling for her. And it turns out, some of them have made pretty big mistakes, too.

But before she can embrace her new life completely, Trinity has to be forgiven by the one person who is holding out the hardest: herself. It’s not easy changing everything, especially when you don’t think you deserve a second chance. Trinity might make an even bigger mess of things before she figures that out.

When the smoke clears on her latest disaster, will anyone still be standing there?
Liz Reinhardt Autobio:

I've been interested in writing since I rewrote the ending of *Romeo and Juliet* and killed them all off...every last one! My teacher loved it, and my inner writer came out kicking and screaming.

My writing passion is YA, the more verbal sparring, melodrama, and steaminess the better! In my real life I love my gorgeous daughter who makes me laugh and drives me insane, my awesome husband (who is the inspiration for many of my best bad boys...shh!), all the rest of my crazy family, plus travel, great books, good food someone else cooked, movies, and laughing.

Write me if you want! I'm at I'd love to hear from you and am open to any questions/comments/hilarious Youtube video links. Oh, and check out my blog; Sometimes it's very funny! (Sometimes I'm the only one laughing.)
Find the book: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
Find author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Now for the giveaway! This is a wide tour giveaway, meaning if you entered in another tour spot, you're entered here too, but you get an extra entry for commenting on this post!

Thanks for stopping by!

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