[Blog Tour] The Secret of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer: Excerpt

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Secrets of Lily Graves
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Series: N/A
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary / Mystery
Tour organized by: Pinoy Book Tours
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository 
Add to your library: Goodreads

With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim. 
(via Goodreads)

Excerpt



ONE
“Hey, Lily. Wait!”

Erin Donohue made her way up the steep hill, her long, coppery hair fluttering in the breeze as she wove through the tombstones. I couldn’t imagine what she was doing here in Hillside Cemetery on a bracing Saturday afternoon when everyone else was at the big football game.

She paused by a large marble angel to catch her breath. “What a coincidence, running into you. Then again, I guess this place is your hangout, huh?”

I snapped a twig in half and tossed it into the wheelbarrow. “Something you want, Erin?” I highly doubted she was here to chat. Erin and I hadn’t exchanged a civil word maybe ever.

“Just wondered what you were up to. It’s so weird to see you doing this kind of work in a full-length black gown. Don’t take this wrong, but have you ever considered even trying to act normal?”

I ignored the dig and shook the garbage bag filled with dead foliage, rotting green Styrofoam blocks, and broken pots. My mother routinely volunteered my services to the cemetery commission twice a year, spring and fall. Somehow, Erin must have figured this out.

“Doing some winterizing,” I said. “Want to help?”

Erin recoiled as if I’d asked her to bury a body. “Ew, no.” She rubbed her bare hands and surveyed our surroundings at the far end of the graveyard. “Geez, it’s cold up here. Desolate, too. Not a living soul around.”

I tied the bag and got a new one. “Yup.”

It was late October, almost Halloween, and though it was just after four, the sun was setting. The woods behind us cast dark shadows across the browning grass and the air was turning raw under the gray sky. I had to get going if I wanted to lock the tools in the shed before the caretaker locked up.

Erin was not the type to stop by Hillside Cemetery on a whim. She was more the type to document her super busy life in sparkly pink gel ink on her Blessed Virgin Mary wall calendar, every minute packed with wholesome, youthful activities designed to bring her closer to sainthood. Or Villanova. The two in our town being virtually synonymous.

“Matt came by last night,” she said breezily.

Matt was Matt Houser, Erin’s longtime boyfriend.

“He wanted to talk about us.”

I emptied a container of wilted geraniums into a wheelbarrow. I had no idea why Erin thought a routine visit from Matt was something I would find fascinating. “That’s nice.” I guess.

She tagged along as I tended to the next grave, where a wreath of faded plastic roses covered the brass plaque for a World War II veteran. I bent down to get it and she towered over me, blocking the fading light.

“We broke up.”

My fingers gripped the small wreath and I stood, careful to appear nonchalant as I folded it in two. “Seriously?” Okay. That was a surprise. Matt and Erin were such a thing that they were referred to in one slurred word, Mattnerin. “You have a fight?”

“Not exactly.” She pulled herself onto a small black tombstone and scowled. “We’re taking a break. But I’m sure he’ll come back to me. He can never stay away for long.”

Why was she telling this to me, of all people? Erin and I had never been particularly close. In fact, we’d been quite the opposite.

                        About the Author

Image of Sarah StrohmeyerSarah Strohmeyer is the award-winning, nationally bestselling author of fifteen novels one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became a Lifetime Movie, LYING TO BE PERFECT.

Her first mystery, BUBBLES UNBOUND, won the Agatha Award and THE SLEEPING BEAUTY PROPOSAL was nominated for a prestigious RITA™. Her books have been translated into German, French, Italian, Turkish, Taiwanese and a bunch of others.



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