Thursday, August 16, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: How to Breathe Underwater by Vicky Skinner

How to Breathe Underwater
Vicky Skinner
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Kate’s father has been pressuring her to be perfect for her whole life, pushing her to be the best swimmer she can be. But when Kate finds her dad cheating on her mom, Kate’s perfect world comes crashing down, and Kate is forced to leave home and the swim team she’s been a part of her whole life.
Now in a new home, new school, and faced with the prospect of starting over, Kate isn’t so sure that swimming is what she wants anymore. But when she decides to quit, her whole world seems to fall apart. But when Kate gets to know Michael, the cute boy that lives across the hall, she starts to think that starting over might not be so bad. There’s only one problem: Michael has a girlfriend.
As the pressures of love, family, and success press down on her, can Kate keep her head above water?

In Salem, every Sunday morning had been the same: a hard swim at sunup with Dad, Mooney’s CafĂ© for a recovery meal of pancakes and eggs, and a walk along the river in the late-morning sun.
This was our first Sunday in a long time without Dad, and it showed in the bags under my mother’s eyes.
“I’m off to locate the trash chute,” she said, picking up a bag of garbage.
“Why don’t I take it?” I asked, leaving my breakfast behind to take the bag from her.
She gave a little sigh. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
I was still in my pajamas, a T-shirt and Superman boxers, but I grabbed the bag anyway. I’d just made it to the front door when I saw the planner lying open on the entry table. I recognized it immediately. Every season, my father put my meets, practices, and workouts in a planner so I wouldn’t get behind. Pages and pages of swim-related activities. My mother must have found it in a box somewhere. I glanced over my shoulder at her. She was digging through a box in the kitchen, pulling out towels and pot holders. I reached out and snatched the planner off the table before opening the door.
I was standing hopelessly in the hallway with no clue where the trash chute was when the door directly across from me opened and someone joined me in the narrow hallway.
It took me a second to place the boy in front of me as the same boy I’d seen in the parking garage the day before, the one leaning over the woman with the bad lungs. Dark, messy hair that might have been styled to look that way or might have been subject to nervous fingers; dark eyes, the color of which I couldn’t decipher with the length of the hall between us; the sleeves of his shirt bunched up around his elbows.
I wanted to ask him if his mom was okay, or maybe ask him his name, but I saw his eyes go first to my boxers and then to my garbage bag.
“Can you tell me where the trash chute is?”
He pointed to the end of the hall. “Take a left and then a right. Last door on the left.”
I hauled the garbage bag up but paused when he said, “Nice boxers.”
Like an idiot, I said nothing. I just turned in the direction he’d indicated. At the end of the hall, before I rounded the corner, I couldn’t stop myself from glancing over my shoulder for one last glimpse. He stood by the elevator, the button illuminated, and then he glanced over his shoulder, too, his eyes meeting mine across the hallway.
I looked away quickly, turning the corner. I almost forgot I had the planner in my hand when I pulled the door open to toss the trash in. The bag fell from my hand, and I looked down at the planner. It contained my entire life. Everything I was expected to do, everywhere I was expected to be. But now it was just as much trash as the expired food I’d thrown down. A new place meant a new swim schedule.
I pulled open the chute again and tossed the planner in.

Author Bio:
Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.