By: Lauren Barnholdt
Pub date: August 10th, 2010
Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She’s been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon’s dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler’s lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn’t made even half the money she’d hoped.
When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn’t react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.
Soon Shannon’s caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money’s this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?
I will not freak out, I will not freak out, I will not freak out. It is only a dress. A flimsy, totally stretchable piece of fabric. A flimsy, totally stretchable piece of fabric that will not budge over my hips, but still. Totally not a big deal. In fact, I’m sure things like this happen all the time. I’ll just march out of here, head into my new boss Adrienne’s office, and calmly explain to her that the uniform they’ve given me just doesn’t fit.
I mean, I indicated on my application that I’m a size eight. And since they have somehow decided to give me a size two uniform, then really, they should be the ones apologizing to me. Isn’t that some sort of sizeism? (Sizeism = like racism, only against people who aren’t a size two or four.) They’ll probably be so nervous that I’m going to sue them for discrimination that I’ll get some kind of bonus or something. You know, so that I’ll keep my mouth shut.
I start to pull the dress back off, but before I can get out of it, someone knocks on the door to the dressing room in the employee lounge, where I’m huddled with the dress, pulled halfway up my hips and stuck.
“Who’s in there?” a voice demands. A bossy, nasally, very loud voice. My boss, Adrienne...
To read the remainder of chapter one you can do so here. Lauren Barnholdt has three books coming out this year, Watch Me, and One Night That Changes Everything on July 6th as well as Aces Up (the one above) being released August 10th. For more on Lauren and her work visit her official website and her blog.