Boy have I got a treat for you!!! Today I have with us, Manny from THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE by Julie Musil which releases TOMORROW. He's here to tell us a little about the book and even give us a tantalizing sneak peek! And one lucky, random commenter gets an ebook!! So comment and leave us a way to contact you below. One more thing - Julie has generously decided to donate proceeds from the first two days of sales to charity, so let's help support her and others by buying copies of this amazing book tomorrow. Thanks, Julie, for letting Manny come over...
Have you ever done or said something you regretted, and wondered how it affected other people? Have you ever wished you could have a “do over” in life?
I haven’t always done or said the right things, and boy, did I have an impact on the lives of others. Ever heard of Scrooge? Well, what happened to him happened to me. When three ghosts appeared in my room, I did the normal thing: I freaked. But as the past, present, and future unfurled before my eyes, I realized I’d been given a second chance to make things right.
I fell hard for a girl—Abigail—a burn victim whose face is light pink and burled with scars. But she’s beautiful to me. I won’t tell you how our story ends, but I’ll give you a sneak peek at one of our moments together. We’re in a barn, preparing to evacuate her beloved horse.
Living in the country, Manny had passed many ranches where fences bordered the roads. He’d seen horses grazing at these property lines, with cloth shades covering their eyes. He saw one folded on the shelf and carried it to Abby. “What should I do now?”
She took it from him and faced the horse. “It’s okay, girl,” she soothed, deftly covering the mare’s eyes.
Once she’d secured the blindfold, Abby rested her forehead against the animal’s neck. “Georgie named her Isabel because of my mom.”
Manny’s body swayed. He leaned against the stall. “Your mom?”
Her voice muffled against Isabel’s neck. “Yeah, she died in that fire seven years ago.” She kept the tip of her head on the horse, and swiveled her face toward him. “You remember that fire, don’t you?”
Her eyes haunted him and raised so many questions. Did she know it was his fault? Had her dad spilled Manny’s ugly secret? Did she blame him now, and she was messing with his head?
“Yes,” he whispered. “I remember.”
She turned her face back toward the horse. “It was my fault, you know.”
“The fire? Why would you say that?”
“Not the fire, but Mom’s death. She’d still be here if I wasn’t so stubborn.” She chuckled and said, “Why did I just tell you that?”
Manny opened the stall door and stepped inside. Hay crunched under his feet, but the horse didn’t budge. He stroked Isabel’s velvety body and admired the animal’s quiet strength. “You aren’t to blame for any of this, Abby. You’ll drive yourself crazy thinking that way.”
She tilted her head toward him. “Do you ever blame yourself?”
His hand stilled and his head buzzed. “What do you mean?”
She averted her gaze and mumbled, “Forget it.”
Manny’s neck burned. Every nerve in his body tingled. He calculated the distance between this stall and the barn door. He could dash across the floor in thirty seconds flat, push those doors open, and never see this girl again.
That’s all for now—I don’t want to give too much away. I truly hope you’ll read my story, The Boy Who Loved Fire. And if you do, I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her novel The Boy Who Loved Fire is available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.