Friday, 30 May 2014

Blog Tour: Played (Excerpt)

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Played (Hooked, #2)
Title: Played (Hooked #2)
Author: Liz Fichera
Release Date: May 27th 2014
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.


I breathed easier and looked at him. “I know. Can’t help it. My mom wants me to go.” Total lie. My parents, my dad especially, had stopped being interested in what I did at school ever since I’d started going to Lone Butte High. Not sure why, exactly. But it was better for all of us when they stayed out of my business. Besides, they both worked all the time at the casino on the Rez and Mom was studying for her master’s degree whenever she wasn’t working, so it was probably easier that they didn’t have to worry about me. One less hassle.

“Why don’t you tell her that you don’t want to go? Martin, Vernon and me, we’re gonna drive down to Coolidge. Supposed to be a fair in town or something. Maybe even a rodeo.” His eyebrows wiggled. “Maybe even hot rodeo queens.”

“You wish,” I said.

“A dude can dream. What else I got?”

I laughed. But then I dragged my tongue across my lips, tasting more dust. “Too late for me, anyway,” I said. “Already paid for it.” Another lie.


“Seriously.” What I didn’t share was that Lone Butte High School had paid my registration fee to the Maricopa County High School Leadership Conference. They’d paid the fees for the two sophomores, two juniors and two seniors with the highest GPAs. I happened to be one of the two juniors. Sucks to be the other sixty students who were invited but had to pay out of their own pockets. Now all I had to do was show up to school tomorrow morning and board the bus. It would get me to Monday and put 250 miles of desert between me and the Rez.

“What do you want with some leadership bullshit?” Peter said. “You need someone to tell you what you already know?”

I swallowed. The truth? I really didn’t know. My guidance counselor at school, Mr. Romero, had told me about it. He’d said things like conferences and awards looked good on college applications. He’d said I had to be more of a game player, especially since there was a good chance I was going to graduate early and colleges were already starting to inquire about me. Me. Sam Tracy, the smart kid from the Rez. Unfortunately I stunk at playing games. Just give me something in black-and-white, minus the sugarcoating. Minus the doublespeak.

A part of me knew I couldn’t stay in-state, and I think Mr. Romero would just about blow a gasket if I didn’t apply to college, not when my SATs were among the highest in Arizona. Too bad that looking good on paper was more important than simply being smart enough.

I closed my eyes and tried to ignore Peter, even as he teased me for the rest of the ride about being the biggest nerd on the Rez. It was probably true.

Peter was lucky he was one of my best friends. Otherwise I would have tossed him out of the truck, which was pretty easy to do when you were my size.

I'm an American author living in the American Southwest by way of Chicago. 

Born and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, after college, never expecting to live more than one year among cactus and people who’d never seen snow. I was wrong. It certainly didn't hurt that I met my future husband in Phoenix too. 

Most of my stories are set in the American Southwest because I think the desert is a cool place. Living in Phoenix, I'm surrounded by Native American culture and influences, not to mention intriguing Hohokam petroglyphs and centuries-old canals. There are over 20 tribes in Arizona and I'm lucky to be neighbors to the Gila River and the Salt River Indian Communities. 

When I'm not busy writing my next novel, I like to travel, visit museums, support local theater productions, hike, and pretend that I'm training for a triathlon. I post a lot of photos from my desert and mountain hikes on my Facebook and Twitter pages. In no particular order, I've been chased by javalinas, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and even one curious black bear.