Ruined by Marian Cheatham
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: Summer 2014
Amazon ♥ B & N
When your life has been ruined by lies, do you seek justice … or revenge?
Blythe Messina spends her senior year focused on her studies and college, and not on her ex, Stratford High’s lacrosse star, DB Whitmore. At least, that’s what Blythe keeps telling herself. But her younger cousin, Bonni, knows otherwise. Same goes for DB, who professes to be over Blythe and their breakup, but his teammates aren’t fooled.
When scandalous photos of Bonni and the lacrosse captain are texted around Stratford, Bonni’s virtuous reputation is ruined. She pleads innocence, but no one believes her. No one, except Blythe and DB, who come together to uncover the truth. But, will they stay together?
Ruined is a modern twist on a classic Shakespearean romance.
I watched through the sliding glass doors as my baby brother disappeared into the depths of Mr. M.’s house with DB. I hoped Jon wasn’t getting sick. The Mai Tais at this party were kind of sweet. Or maybe the sun had gotten to him. No denying it was hot outside, and this deck didn’t have a sheltered awning. Dad used to tell Jon to toughen up, and Jon had, once he’d started playing lacrosse. Wasn’t his fault, he was on the short side. Jon got that from his mother.
She was just a pale wisp of a thing. Maybe that was what Dad had liked about her. She was the polar opposite of my long-legged, big-boned Amazon mom.
Dad. What a player. He had the best of both worlds in women and sons.
A hand clamped down on my shoulder. “Don’t worry about your brother,” Mr. M. said. “Jon’s in capable hands. That DB is a good guy. I only wish my niece could see his better qualities.”
Bonni shook her head. “Blythe’s too hung up on the past. At least she pretends to be. She’s always DB did this and DB did that. Acting annoyed when she’s really in love with him.”
“Same with DB,” said Cory. “He say he hates Blythe, but I know he’s always plotting ways to run into her on the sly.” “Me thinks they doth protest too much,” said Mr. M. “Too bad. Those two seem perfect for each other. If only they could find their way back together.”
“Maybe they just need a push.” A seed of something had taken root in my brain.
“Go on.” Mr. M. smiled at me. “What’re you thinking, Paolo?”
“Maybe we can trick them into admitting how they really feel. What if you and Bonni let it slip that DB wants to work things out? You know, have a conversation when Blythe’s not supposed to be around, but really she is. Let her overhear you talking.”
“We can do that, right, Daddy? We can make Blythe believe DB still cares.”
“Absolutely!” Mr. M. high-fived her.
“And you and I will do the same with DB,” I told Cory. “When we're sure he’s listening, we’ll drop the bomb that Blythe is still into him. Then we stand back and let nature take its course.” I extended my hand. My three co-conspirators piled their hands on top of mine. “We’re all in?”
Bonni, Cory, and Mr. M. nodded.
“Good. Operation Cupid is a go.”
Marian Cheatham was born in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Marian taught special education in Cicero, Illinois for several years before becoming a full-time writer.
Currently, I'm writing a new young adult novel series, Stratford High; contemporary retellings of Shakespeare's plays set in the fictional high school. Ruined, book one in the series, due out spring 2014, is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing. Book two, due out fall 2014, is based on The Merchant of Venice. Book three is due out winter 2015.
On my Facebook author page, I write a weekly post called the Everyday Eastland with facts and stories, both historical and current, about Chicago's greatest loss-of-life disaster. I lecture on the Eastland at schools, libraries, and on Haunted Chicago coach tours. I'm an active member of a Barnes & Noble critique group and I live in a suburb of Chicago with my family and our menagerie of pets.