Pink Angels and best friends Holly, Raina, and Kathleen have been through a lot over the past year. The summer before their senior year promises to be busy but fun, as Holly and Raina return to their full-time volunteer jobs at the hospital and Kathleen, who needs the money, works at the hospital gift shop. Of course, Raina and Kathleen will be spending as much time as possible with their boyfriends, Hunter and Carson.Holly is happy for her friends, but she can't help feeling a little left out when hanging out with the two couples. She did finally have a boy interested in her, but the e-mails from her secret admirer, Shy Boy, recently stopped coming. What has she done wrong? Will she ever meet her mystery guy in person? But Holly's world forever changes when tragedy strikes close to home. It's not fair that the most loving and giving person she knows is the victim of a random crime. She, Raina, and Kathleen will need each other now more than ever.From the Hardcover edition.
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April 09, 2007
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Excerpt from Angels in Pink: Holly's Story by Lurlene McDaniel
"Is there anything more fab than summer vacation?" Raina St. James's question sounded more like a declaration. "No classes, no homework, nothing to look forward to except weeks and weeks of sunshine."
Raina and her friends were spending the day at Carson Kiefer's house, lounging by the pool, under a clear blue sunny sky. Burgers sizzled inside the mammoth grill on the patio, and the aroma mingled with the scents of sunscreen and chlorine.
"I heard the school board wants to have year-round classes," Holly Harrison said. She was sitting on a towel at the side of the pool painting her toenails a flamboyant shade of hot pink.
"Forget it," Carson said. "We need a break." He took a running leap off the diving board and cut like a knife through the water. He swam the length of the pool underwater, coming up beside Kathleen McKensie's float.
She opened one eye. "If you splash me, I'll shoot you."
"I've just covered myself with sunscreen and I don't want it washed off." She lifted her sunglasses to look at him treading water next to her. His brown eyes danced and droplets of water clung to his buttery tanned shoulders. "If I didn't burn to a crisp without it, I wouldn't mind," she said. "But que sera, sera." She resettled the dark glasses on her nose and rested her head again on the cushioned pillow of the float.
He tossed his head and slung beads of water over her body. "Did I get you wet?"
She ignored him.
"Want me to lick the water off?"
Instantly, her face flushed bright red. "Go away."
He laughed. "Maybe you'd taste like coconut."
"Pervert." She wasn't even mildly annoyed. It felt so good to be back with him, to be a part of his life again, she would have tolerated any amount of his teasing. The weeks she'd spent apart from him the past winter after she'd hung up on him over a spat about Stephanie Marlow had seemed like an eternity.
"I'm, like, so disrespected," he announced. He put his elbows on the float, leaned over her and ran his cool, wet tongue across her mouth.
Shivers shot up her spine. "Scram!" she hissed.
He laughed, arched backward like a dolphin and dove under the water.
Raina watched, amused, from the circle of Hunter's arms. They were sitting on a lounge chair together, Raina in front, and Hunter was smoothing lotion on her back. The stroke of his fingers was lulling her into drowsiness. He bent forward and nibbled on her earlobe. "He's right about the coconut taste," he whispered.
"I'll buy you an Almond Joy," she mumbled.
"You taste better."
"I'm flattered." Waves of contentment washed over Raina, mimicking the water lapping against the colorful tiled sides of the pool. Hunter would be home for the entire summer and she'd be with him every minute possible, between his job at the fast-food restaurant and her volunteer work with the Pink Angels program at Tampa's Parker-Sloan Hospital. Every minute.
"What do you hear from Emma?" Hunter asked, leaning back in the chair and pulling Raina against him.
"I talked to Jon-Paul last night. Emma's finally home. She was asleep when I called." Raina closed her eyes, conjuring up the faces of her sister and her husband, a sister she had never known existed until February.
"But she's doing all right?"
"She is now." It had been touch and go as Emma's doctors fought to stave off infections that threatened her new bone marrow, but after a hundred and ten days, she had been sent home to complete her recovery and begin her married life, cancer free.
"And you?" Hunter touched her hip in the area where bone marrow had been extracted to save Emma's life.
"You asked me the same thing yesterday. The answer's the same today. I'm fine. Just a small scar."
"Can I see?" He nuzzled her neck.
"I'm shocked you would ask. I mean with all these people looking on."
He laughed. One thing she could trust about Hunter was that he wouldn't look even if she stripped on the spot. "I'm not a prude."
"Yes you are." She twisted around and kissed him lightly. "That's what makes it work between us. I keep trying to jump your bones and you keep pushing me away."