I am so excited to participate in the sneak peek Jillian Dodd is doing for her upcoming release "love me" book #4 in The Keatyn Chronicles, which is one of my most favorite series. This works sort of like a blog hop. At the end of this post will be a link for you to follow to the next blog, which will have the next portion of the sneak peek. Jillian is also having a great giveaway to go along with the sneak peek, so be sure to enter that below. Thanks for stopping by!
The following is an extended sneak peek of
The Keatyn Chronicles: Book 4by Jillian Dodd
This book series is similar to a television series. There is no recap of what happened earlier.
This book starts the day the last one finished.
If you haven’t read the first three books, you probably won’t know what’s going on.
Click here to read book one: Stalk Me.
Click here to read book two: Kiss Me.
Click here to read book three: Date Me.
When we last saw Keatyn, she was lying in bed and Katie told her to open her eyes. Below are the last few lines from Date Me.
Our entire ceiling is covered with hundreds of little glow-in-the-dark stars.
“They’re beautiful,” I tell Katie. “When did you find time to do that?”
“I didn’t do it. That’s why I asked if you did it.”
“I didn’t do it,” I say again.
“Who do you think did?”
“I have no idea. Unless, it was Annie. Is that why she was so adamant that we come to her room tonight? Is she trying to cheer us up?”
“Could be. But she was with us the whole time.”
My mind drifts to Aiden handing me a little star today in French. Me getting mad at him and tossing it back.
Then tonight. The cake. The peace offering.
Could Aiden have done this?
But that doesn’t make sense.
They were for the dream girl.
But in class he said something about my sisters liking them. About how they reminded me of home. Was he just trying to get rid of them?
"I think it might know,” I whisper to Katie.
I grab my phone from my bedside table and call Aiden.
“Hey, Boots, what's up?” he says, in his smooth delicious voice. “Get it? What’s up?”
“Aiden, did you . . .”
He doesn't let me finish. “The answer to your question is yes. I did put stars all over your ceiling.”
“They’re beautiful. But I don’t understand why you did it.”
“I did it because I think it’s time you finally knew that the stars were always for you. Always. Only. Ever. For you.”
Monday, October 17th
Lie here and swoon.
Tell me, Aiden. Tell me that you fell head over heels in love with me when I kicked a soccer ball at your head. Tell me that when we kiss it feels like I'm kissing your soul. Tell me that your heart beats for me. Tell me that I was made for you.
“I just wanted you to know that you were the person I wanted to ask to Homecoming.”
“But then why did you tell Riley what Whitney did? Why did you help keep Dawson and me together?”
“Because I don’t like to see you hurt. And, honestly, I didn’t think he’d come back right away.”
“I cut my knee.”
“I know you did.”
“I thought they were for someone else.”
“I know that too.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Once Dawson asked you, it was like boom, you were dating, then boom, you were saying I love you. What was I supposed to do at that point? But I think it’s for the best that it worked out this way because I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better. I'm glad were getting to be friends.”
Friends? Friends?! FRIENDS!?
I don't want to be his freaking friend. I don't even like him that much.
Shit. But still.
“It was sweet, Aiden. Whatever your reasons.”
“It's not all sweet. Every night when you go to sleep, I know you’ll see the stars and think about me. Sweet dreams, Boots.”
I end the call and look at my ceiling, remembering how sick I felt when I thought they were for someone else. How perfect it would have been. How he had touched my pinkie. How just his touch causes me to react in a way I've never experienced. How I would have said yes, then rolled to face him, and kissed him.
Maybe I would have even been brave and given that boy some tongue.
I want to lie here and swoon, but . . .
I sit up and flip on my lamp. "Katie?”
"So Aiden did it?"
"Yeah." I tell her about the stars. About all that happened. About how I was wrong. “But there's something else."
"He told me he's glad we're becoming friends."
She frowns. “Friends? He wants to be your friend?”
“I don’t know. Do you think I’ve been friend-zoned?”
“Do you really think he'd put up all these stars for just a friend?”
“Um, I don't know for sure.”
“Turn your light back off. They’re pretty,” she says sleepily.
“Yeah, they are.”
I lie down and wait for them to start glowing again.
And keep reminding myself.
They are just stars. Just stars.
They don't mean he loves you. They mean he was going to ask you to Homecoming. As a friend.
My mind goes to the dream girl.
I so wish I was the dream girl.
But I’m not. He said friends. He wants peace and friendship.
He doesn't love you.
It can't happen.
You have to be smart.
But as the stars start to glow across my ceiling, I can’t help but lie here and wish he'd put up a moon.
Tuesday, October 18th
The mark of true love.
My phone vibrates with a text from Grandpa. I can picture him sitting at his desk, overlooking the rose bushes in his back yard.
But wait. Grandpa always emails me. When did he learn to text?
Grandpa: To answer your question about the difference between love and true love, I have a simple answer. True love leaves a mark. Sometimes with a frying pan. LOL
And when did he learn what LOL is?
Me: Grandpa, this is serious! Ask Grandma if you don’t know. And HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW?? You have been married to the same woman for 39 years!!!
Grandpa: True love is a crap shoot. Sometimes you get lucky and hit the jackpot. Sometimes you’re left wallowing drunk and broke.
Me: You are not much help.
But as I’m walking to class, I’m thinking about Grandpa’s message and wondering if true love does leave a mark. Like the way Aiden’s kiss seared my skin that very first time he kissed me. Is that what it was? The mark of true love. Some sort of invisible hickey?
Speaking of hickeys.
Riley’s neck is covered with them.
“What? Did you get in a fight with a vacuum cleaner last night and lose?” I ask him.
He flips his collar up against his neck. “You know what they say, True love leaves a mark.”
“My Grandpa just told me the same thing. That’s so weird you’d say that. But somehow I don’t think that’s what the great philosophers had in mind.”
“Philosophers said that? That’s funny. I always thought it was something my dad made up.” He grins naughtily at me. “You should see my chest. She wrote her name in hickeys.”
I laugh. “I take it you and Ariela are back together? Did you sleep with her?”
“Naw, we’re having too much fun doing other stuff right now. I told you. I actually really like her.”
His words burn in my brain. We’re having too much fun doing other stuff. That’s what I missed with Dawson. I’ve never sucked on his neck long enough to give him even one hickey. Let alone write my name on his chest. I went way too fast with him. And I think because I did, we can’t really start over. I can’t take it back.
I feel like I should make a public service announcement over the loud speaker in school.
Note to all you daters out there:
Enjoy making out for hours.
Enjoy the way his lips feel on yours.
Enjoy embarrassing him with hickeys.
Enjoy holding his hand.
Enjoy the way he says your name when he tells you goodnight.
Enjoy the way you feel when he shows up to walk you to your next class.
Enjoy how he licks hot fudge off your face.
Enjoy staring at the stars with him.
Enjoy feeling crazy in love.
Like you will die if you don’t see him.
Like you will die if you have to stop kissing him.
Enjoy letting him romance you.
Revel in the slow pace.
Let your relationship build.
Then fall in love.
If only I could actually do that myself. I think of Aiden’s sex survey. Since I broke up with Sander, all of my relationships have happened really fast.
My mind flits to my mom saying, You need to love yourself.
Do I love myself?
Of course, I do. I work out. I eat healthy. I try to get enough sleep. I always wear sunblock so I won’t get sun damage or pre-mature wrinkles. I always try to look my best. I maybe didn’t love myself when I was being a bitch to Vanessa, but since I’ve been here at Eastbrooke, I totally love who I am. I’m confident. I’m in lots of activities I love. I’m making friends with a wide variety of people. I’m nice to everyone.
Why wouldn’t I love myself? I’m awesome.
Except . . .
I felt embarrassed when I told Aiden how fast I slept with Cush.
At the time, it felt right. And I’d known Cush and Brooklyn for a long time. It’s not like I’d just met them.
I slept with Dawson fast.
Because I was hurt about B and needed to feel loved? Wanted? Adored?
Or was it just because he was so freaking hot that I couldn’t help myself?
The current state of your neck.
When class is almost over, the phone rings on our teacher’s desk.
He picks it up, listens, then frowns disapprovingly in my direction. “Mr. Johnson and Miss Monroe, your presence is requested in the dean’s office.”
“Do you think we’re in trouble?” I ask Riley as we walk down the hall.
“I can’t think of anything I’ve done to get in trouble.”
“I’m almost positive that the current state of your neck is against the school’s decency policy.”
“Probably, but you didn’t give me them.”
We round the corner and run into Dallas.
“Did you get called to the office too?” Riley asks.
Dallas whispers, “If they saw the video, we’re screwed.”
“What do you mean?” I whisper back.
“I mean, we had our school blazers on. We could get expelled.”
I can’t get expelled. I’m safe here.
Plus, I like it.
The dean meets us at the door and says, “Have a seat in my office.”
We walk in single file and sit in chairs lined up in front of his desk.
“It has come to my attention that the three of you created a video recently.”
Shit. Shit. Shit.
He pulls out three pieces of paper. Pieces of papers with our signatures at the bottom of them and the words Eastbrooke Code of Conduct at the top. “Do you recall signing these at the beginning of the school year?”
We all nod.
“In this document, you all agreed to protect Eastbrooke’s reputation. In the video, Mr. McMahon and Mr. Johnson are wearing pieces of their Eastbrooke uniforms. Combine that with underage drinking, some unbecoming sexual behavior by Miss Monroe, and it all adds up to the three of you possibly being expelled.”
Please let possibly be a way out of this. I can’t let Riley and Dallas get expelled because of me.
“I can explain,” I say. “I’m sorry. I was really upset. Dawson and I broke up and the video wasn’t supposed to be seen by anyone but him.”
“And did the video serve it’s purpose?”
“Well, he was upset by it, if that’s what you mean.”
“Although I disagree with the video’s content, I was impressed by the overall quality of it.”
“Mr. Johnson, did you create this video? Do the editing and such? Can you tell me about the process?”
“Uh, sure,” Riley says. “Basically we did shots of us singing the same song a whole bunch of times in different situations, different settings. Then I pieced it together.”
“Can I assume that none of you want to be expelled?”
We all nod.
“Then here’s what I expect. First, that video will be removed from YouTube before you leave my office. Second, I have a project for you. Eastbrooke understands the power of social media, but our upcoming Prospective Student Weekend does not have the number of participants that we would like. I’d like you to create a video showcasing the school. Give students a reason to come see what we’re all about. Obviously, it needs to be classy and uphold the Eastbrooke tradition, but maybe you can make it a little less stuffy than the informational video we have on the school’s website. Can you shoot the video, have it edited, and ready for my approval by this afternoon?”
Riley nods his head yes, but I’m thinking about something else.
I just realized that uploading the video of me was really dumb. What if Vincent had come across it somehow? Actually, that’s silly. The internet is a huge massive place and since I wasn’t tagged in it with my name, he’d have better odds finding a needle in a haystack. But still, the idea of me being in a video that could lead him straight here scares me.
“Um, do I have to be in the video? Can we recruit some other students?”
“Yes, Keatyn, you do have to be in the video. It’s better than the alternative, correct?”
“Yes, sir,” I gulp. I could mention that Vincent finding me would be much, much worse, but I don’t. I can’t. Riley and Dallas are my friends. I need to start being a good friend back. And a good friend wouldn’t let them get expelled.
“I don’t want you just getting your friends out of class,” he says, as he writes on a piece of paper “But if you need additional students, use this pass.”
Every boy’s fantasy.
Riley removes the slutty video before we leave the dean’s office. As soon as we get out of the building, Dallas says, “Getting expelled would not have been good.”
“No, it wouldn’t have been,” I agree.
Riley grins. “Let’s go get my camera.”
“Any idea what we’re going to film?”
“No. But you’re in drama. Write a script.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
“The purpose of the video is to get students to want to come here. So let’s show them how much fun we have. I think I’m going to include clips of how Dawson asked you to Homecoming. The dean with a letter on his naked chest is a cool thing. And I have a bunch of footage that I shot during Homecoming. Then we just can include a little blurb at the end about the upcoming Greek/PSW weekend.”
“Maybe we need to get some of the Olympian gods to be shirtless.”
Riley grins at me. “You, start writing the script.” Then he turns to Dallas. “And, you, go get Maggie, Ariela, Aiden, Jake, and Logan out of class.”
“If I’m going to appeal to 8th grade boys, I need hot girls. Plus, it’s every boy’s fantasy. A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead. All together, waiting for him at Eastbrooke.”
We get to his room. While he messes with his camera, I grab his laptop out of his backpack, sit at his desk, and pull up Eastbrooke’s website and perspective student video.
Eastbrooke: Honor. Tradition. Excellency.
It goes on about how great Eastbrooke is in a very boring fashion. There are stills of kids in classes. At activities. One of a cheering crowd at a sporting event. Really, it’s pretty bland and impersonal. I can see why kids aren’t signing up for the PSW.
I spin on Riley’s chair. “So what if we start with this shot. The beginning of the other video with the Honor, Tradition, and Excellency, then make it look like we tagged it with graffiti. Like we’ve spray painted a big cougar paw over the top of it.”
“I like it. What do you think for a script?”
“I don’t know that just showing clips of Homecoming and stuff is a good idea. That’s what’s on the other video. Photos of people you don’t know. It’s really impersonal.”
“So, let’s make it personal. Talk about us.”
“Yeah. Let’s take them through a day. Getting coffee and breakfast with our friends. Goofing around in the halls between classes. Dinner. Friends hanging out in your dorm room in your pajamas.” He smirks. “Maybe you could wear your Mission: Impossible lingerie and have a pillow fight.”
“Very funny. But I think the idea of showing us girls hanging out in my dorm is a great idea. I mean, really, the dorm can be like one big slumber party.”
“Exactly. And I’ll get some shots of the guys, chilling in Aiden’s room, playing video games. Texting girls. Stuff like that.”
“That sounds good. And maybe dance practice, soccer practice, play practice. There’s a French club meeting at lunch and lit club after dance. We can recreate whatever we want to.”
“Dean is really cool,” Riley replies. “We’re lucky.”
“Yeah, we are.”
“Okay, so before everyone gets here, I want to start by recording you. Let’s go outside where the lighting is good. Do you know what you want to say?”
“I think so, yes.”
We get situated outside of Hawthorne House. “Riley, you know, one of my favorite things about this school is how pretty it is. So let’s make sure we get shots of the trees and we should get some shots of a pick-up soccer game in the common area.”
“Shirts and skins?”
“Absolutely! So what do you want me to do? Should I stand or sit on the steps?”
“Stand. I love those little thigh-high sock things you wear. Those ribbon ones are my favorite. Sexy.”
Riley holds up the camera and says, “Roll that.”
Which causes me to crack up instead of talking.
“Maybe we can do some bloopers at the end.” He nods at me. “Go.”
I smile for the camera and start talking. “Hi, I’m Keatyn. I was sitting where you are, just a few months ago, watching videos, trying to decide where to go to school. You can learn all about academic excellence and tradition on the other video but, in this video, we want you to experience Eastbrooke.”
He stops recording. “That’s good, I like it.”
“I want to introduce you and Dallas. Tell them how we met. Then we’ll follow all of us on our day.”
Dallas shows up with Maggie, Logan, Jake, Ariela, and Aiden. After Riley and Ariela suck each other’s face off, we fill everyone in on what we want to do. Riley hands Jake the camera.
I speak to the camera. “This is Riley and Dallas. Say hi, boys.”
Dallas says, “Hey, y’all,” in his adorable accent. Riley, hotly, sticks out his tongue at the camera and yells, “What’s up?”
We spend the day filming all over school. Some scenes with just a few of us. Others with classrooms full of students.
After that, everyone but me either goes back to class or to recruit some guys to film the pick-up soccer game.
I glance at the goal and think about Aiden, who even though he has been helping on and off today has been acting weird.
Like sort of standoffish, maybe.
Sometimes he gives me those looks. Like he wants to talk to me or say something, but then he doesn’t.
And I really don’t know what his deal is.
Maybe now he’s embarrassed about the stars?
I sit in the grass and wait for the guys to show up. Aiden just returned with a soccer ball and is bouncing it off his knees over and over again.
“Wanna see if you can score on me?” he asks, finally saying a full sentence to me for the first time today.
“I probably wouldn’t do very well in these heels,” I reply, bending my knee to show him a cute shoe. “But I would like to play you again. Especially since you told me only like ten people have ever scored on you.”
“That was just in games.”
“Fine, then. We’ll consider it a game.”
“How will it work?”
“Hmm. I'll kick a penalty shot. No, I’ll kick twenty of them. If I get eleven of them past you and into the net, I win.”
“And what will you win?”
“Bragging rights are all I need.”
“No, it needs to be bigger than that. Let me think about it, B-Moi.”
“I’m not sleeping with you if you win,” I say immediately, knowing that’s what his B-Moi is suggesting.
“I wouldn't want you to,” he says.
My face drops. He doesn’t want to sleep with me? I look down at the grass and start studying the blades.
Oh, I have so been friend-zoned. He just wanted to get rid of the stupid stars. That’s all it was.
I’m not the one. Not the dream girl.
I see Aiden’s shoes coming toward me and then kneels down next to me. But I refuse to look at him. If I do, I’ll probably start crying.
Oh, I hate him.
“Boots?” he says. I pretend to be really interested in the single blade of grass I just picked. He puts his hand under my chin and pushes it up so I have to look into his sparkling emerald eyes. “When we sleep together, it's not going to be because of a bet.”
And turn away quickly.
When we sleep together?
Is that what he wants? Is that why he wants to be my friend? Does he want to be friends with benefits?
Sorry, Aiden. Been there. Done that. Hacked the shirt with scissors, ripped it to shreds, then burned the effing thing to oblivion.
Fortunately, Riley runs by, flicks my hair, and steals the soccer ball out of Aiden’s hands.
Aiden immediately tears off after him.
While they chase each other around, my mind wonders what sleeping with Aiden would be like.
I’m pretty sure it would be like dropping the hairdryer in the tub while I'm taking a bath.
I’d probably be majorly electrocuted and die.
But I bet it would be worth the risk.
All the guys show up, so Riley goes into director mode. Telling who he wants on what teams, who should take off their shirts, and what to do.
I’m sitting in the grass next to Maggie, thinking about how fitting that his field be included in the video. It was one of the first things I saw when I got here. When I took a deep breath and finally felt safe. And later, how crazy I was to run down the hill, steal the ball from Dawson, and kick it past Aiden’s head. Dawson bringing me here to ask me out. Aiden and I sitting on the bench outside the library, overlooking the field and watching the sunset.
Maggie elbows my side. “So tell me about the stars. What happened? Are you and Aiden gonna get together now? What are you going to do about Dawson? Did you see Jake was teasing me? I think I might like him. Should I like him?”
I smile at her. Maggie is such a beautiful girl. And I adore her fun personality. Her and Jake would be adorable together, but it also seems like there’s something going on with her and Logan. Something about the way that they look at each other.
I grab her hand. “Before I answer all that, I just want to say that I’m so glad we’re friends. Sitting here reminds me of when school started.”
“I remember hearing about the crazyass girl who kicked a soccer ball past Aiden. I never imagined we’d become good friends. But I love you. You’re as crazy as me.” She grabs me and pulls me into a hug.
Riley, who has apparently caught our moment on tape, yells from across the field, “Make out!”
Maggie and I respond in the exact same manner at the exact same time, both flipping him off and then lying back in the grass and giggling.
After getting an appropriate number of shirts vs. skins shots, I take Riley into the dance locker room and then get the girls together to hang out in my dorm room. We change into pajamas and do all the stuff we usually do. Gossip, paint our toenails, talk on social media, do homework, and eat.
Then we do the same thing with the boys. Show a football practice. Riley lifting weights. Dallas running. Then all the guys piled into Aiden’s room, eating and playing video games. Me and Aiden studying in the library. Him slaughtering the French language and me trying to protect it.
After that, Riley, Dallas, and I went back to the dean and told him we were done filming but that Riley would need tonight to edit it.
He told us to have it to him by tomorrow morning at eight. Apparently, the school is going to email it to their prospective student list in hopes to buoy this weekend’s attendance.
About the Author
Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy.
She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.