May 27, 2018

It’s Here–the Much-Anticipated Release of CIAO by Bethany Lopez!

Folks, if you haven’t read Bethany Lopez’s Stories About Melissa series, you’re really missing out! These contemporary YA books are wonderfully written and feature a group of unforgettable characters. I’m so excited to be a part of Bethany’s launch tour for her latest Melissa story, Ciao!

Let’s learn a little more about the book first. Check out the blurb:

Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months?

Awesome, right? I love that the Stories About Melissa series is written in the style of journal entries. It really helps the reader get into the mindset of the teenage protagonist, I think.

As a way to introduce you to this story, Bethany has very kindly provided an excerpt from Ciao. Since I know that you will want to buy it as soon as you read the excerpt, I’ll mention that Ciao is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Now let’s enjoy the teaser. Then be sure to go and buy the book!



Last Few Days of Summer:
      Last night was AWESOME!!! Jess asked me to stay at her house last night. We only have a few days until school starts, and we wanted to catch up. I asked my parents, and they weren’t too sure, since her mom was working, but they said yes!
      We started out just hanging around in our pajamas and listening to the radio. We were calling in and requesting songs and talking to the DJ; it was pretty fun! We tried texting Jimmy, but then we remembered that he was at his grandparents’ house for a family dinner, so we started texting everyone else.  I didn’t invite Cassie – not because of the thing with her and Jimmy, although that’s still kinda freakin’ me out, but I wanted time to hang with Jess, just like we used to.
      Then, I got a text from Brian, asking if I thought Jess would mind if he gave Giovanni her number. He said Giovanni thought she was really cute and wanted to talk to her. When I told Jess, we started screaming and jumping up and down. Hello… Of course she wanted Giovanni to call her!!! As soon as I told Brian that, Jess’s phone started buzzing. It was Giovanni.
      She answered the phone, giggling again, and walked into her bedroom to talk to him. I texted Brian back and said, “That was fast.”
      He texted back, “I’m right here with Gio. We are hangin. What R U doin?”
      “At Jess’s.”
      “Do you guys want company?”
      “I don’t know, I’ll ask her.”
      I ran over to Jess’s bedroom and poked my head in. “Jess… they want to come over!”
      She had a big smile on her face and nodded at me, before replying to Giovanni, that she wanted to get to know him too.
      “Jess said OK.”
      “Cool, we will be by in 10.”
      OMG… we looked like total slobs! I ran back and motioned getting changed to Jess, and she nodded again. “Okay, Giovanni, I’ll see you in a bit!”
      She hung up and jumped up onto her bed and started jumping up and down. “Oh… My… God! He is coming over!”
      I laughed and said we needed to change… Quick!
      We both put our clothes back on and brushed our hair. We were fumbling to get our makeup on, when we heard the car pull into Jess’s driveway. We both squealed and went out into the living room, to try and look like we hadn’t been waiting for them to get there. We let them knock twice, before we got up to answer the door.
      We opened the door and looked out together, and I have to say, those boys looked gorgeous… Both tall, with dark hair, and big smiles on their faces.
      “Come on in,” Jess invited.
      “Come va, Jess… Eh… How are you?” Giovanni asked, taking her hand and kissing it lightly, as he entered.
      “Great!” Jess replied, and gestured towards the living room. “Have a seat!”
      Brian and I hugged hello, and then we went in and sat on the couch.
      We all hung out in there for a while, talking about the summer and getting ready for school. Then Brian and I went into the kitchen to grab a snack and I heard Jess ask Giovanni if he wanted to go in the backyard and sit on the porch swing.
      Brian and I got some mint chocolate chip ice cream and some bottled water, and sat at Jess’s table.
      Brian cleared his throat, “So, Mis, have you given any thought to what I said that day at the Buddy Walk?”
      Crap… I thought, and then looked into Brian’s sparkling blue eyes. “A little,” I responded, “But, I just don’t know, Brian.  A lot has happened, and we have a really great relationship, I don’t know if I want to complicate things.”
      Brian looked down at his ice cream, and then back up at me. “Yeah, I get it… I just really like you and wish you could give me another chance. I think we could be really good together, and I would love to call you my girl.”
      OMG… Could he be any cuter? I could feel the pleasure rushing through me as his words registered.
      “Look… What if we take it day by day. We don’t have to rush right back into going out, but maybe I could ask you on a date sometime. What do you think?” he asked reaching across the table to hold my hand.
      The warmth of his hand in mine, made me feel light-headed and sort of tingly all over. I looked into his eyes, and I really wanted to say yes, but I couldn’t help but think of Jimmy, and that held me back.
      “Can I think about it?”
      “Sure,” he said with a smile, not letting go of my hand.
      We stayed like that for a while, just talking and laughing about stuff. It was really nice.
      Jess and Giovanni eventually came back in, and Brian and Giovanni said their goodbyes and headed out.
      Once the door shut, I turned to Jess, who looked like she’d been smacked in the face by a crazed Care Bear.
      “We kissed!” Jess screamed at me, grabbing my hands and jumping up and down. “IT WAS AMAZING!!!”
      We jumped and yelled for a few more minutes and then fell to the floor laughing. I lay on my side and looked at her, “Spill.”
      “Okay,” She said, sitting up into the old crisscross applesauce position of comfort. “We went out onto the porch swing and were swinging and talking about…Whatever. Then, he looked deep into my eyes and said, “Avvicinarsi.” Then he leaned in and softly touched his lips to mine. Mis, he didn’t touch me, or pull me closer or anything, just our lips were touching. It was so sexy! We sat there, just kissing and not touching, forever! It… Was… AMAZING!”
      “What does avvicinarsi mean?” I asked.
      “I have no idea! Let’s look it up.”
      She grabbed her mom’s iPad and looked it up. “Come closer… Can you believe it? He is wonderful, Mis. I really like him.”
      I told her how happy I was for her… And I am. Jess deserves to be happy, and Giovanni is totally awesome, but I can’t help but wish for the same thing.
      I know. I know. I could totally be in a relationship right now, but, then I have to make a choice – Brian or Jimmy. And what happens to my relationship with one, if I choose the other?       Ugh… Why does it have to be so complicated?


Buy Ciao now on Amazon or Barnes and Noble!


  1. Raine,

    Thank you so much for participating and for all of your support! I appreciate you!!! :)