Welcome to the blog tour for IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY, a stand-alone young adult contemporary LGBTQ+ romance, by Claire Kann. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Title: IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Author: Claire Kann
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary LGBTQ+ Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
High school finally behind her, Winnie is all set to attend college in the fall. But first she’s spending her summer days working at her granny’s diner and begins spending her midnights with Dallas—the boy she loves to hate and hates that she likes. Winnie lives in Misty Haven, a small town where secrets are impossible to keep—like when Winnie allegedly snaps on Dr. Skinner, which results in everyone feeling compelled to give her weight loss advice for her own good. Because they care that’s she’s “too fat.”
Winnie dreams of someday inheriting the diner—but it’ll go away if they can’t make money, and fast. Winnie has a solution—win a televised cooking competition and make bank. But Granny doesn’t want her to enter—so Winnie has to find a way around her formidable grandmother. Can she come out on top?
After leaving Dallas’s house, I deserved a break.
Admittedly, deserve was a strong word, but I was taking one anyway.
The stoplight turned green, and I made the turn back into Misty Haven. Main Street turned into Main Circle—a giant roundabout with a memorial gazebo erected in Misty Haven’s honor at the center. I drove past the ice-cream shop, Meltdown Scoops, which always had a reserve of praline ripple just for me; the coffee bar, the Traveling Cruz, which supplied Goldeen’s with freshly roasted beans in exchange for advertising space on the diner’s menus; the dance studio, Day and Night, where I made it through six summer-school lessons before breaking my ankle and never going back; the twenty- four-hour grocery and convenience store, Nina’s, where I’d worked the overnight shift after the diner closed for a few weeks last summer with my partner, Kara, to earn money for a new Cuisinart-something that Kara absolutely had to have but her parents refused to buy for her; and the joint post office/town hall/government building across from the gazebo.
Every second, every scene and sidewalk and side alley, every inch held a memory. My heart would always belong here.
At a stop sign, Mrs. Pantoja awkwardly tried to wave as she crossed the street, hands full of leashes for the ten dogs she walked. She’d worked at the local shelter for as long as I had known her. The scene looked a bit like a picture you’d randomly see online.
A digital painting of a lady walking too many dogs on a breezy day in the middle of a quaint town that made you smile and get all warm and fuzzy.
Summer in Misty Haven had that kind of artistic, frozen feel to it. Almost like it could make you believe time didn’t exist and every- thing would be perfect forever. Plentiful trees, flowering bushes, green grass full of picket signs asking people to not walk on it, little kids with scraped knees running around and yelling because they had nothing better to do.
A place where you’d be just as likely to be eaten alive by mosqui- tos, born and bred in the swampy parts of the man-made lake at the west edge of town, as you would be to have a hate-to-love romance with a cutie-with-a-booty who had moved to Misty during the spring and had a supernatural affinity for math and working out, and also adored kids.
I pulled into an empty parking spot in front of Winter Wonderland Books. The door chimed as I entered, but no one greeted me. No one at the front desk meant Kara was on duty and had abandoned her post to go bake something.
“DO LIBRARY RULES APPLY IN THIS PLACE? I HAVE A LOUD SPEAKING VOICE BUT REQUIRE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BOOKS.”
A scream shattered the silence of the bookshop moments before Kara appeared. She ran at a full sprint, arms outstretched as she launched herself straight into my waiting arms.
In the five years I had known Kara, she’d barely changed. She still had the same super curly, auburn-colored hair; face full of the same- colored freckles; and the same olive-toned skin. She always wore the same rectangular deep-purply-red glasses and a shrewd, calculating look on her face at all times. She hadn’t even grown a single inch, still clocking in at an impressive five feet zero, with the same slightly chubby build and penchant for wearing jumpsuits.
And my heart still thumped extra hard against my rib cage every time I saw her. Truth be told, I wasn’t always sequestered away in Goldeen’s. Winter Wonderland Books took third place on the where- to-find-Winnie list. Second place? Kara’s room upstairs.
“You didn’t tell me you were coming over, punk!” She let go,
slapping my arm.
“I like it when you scream for me. Makes me feel special and wanted, and also kind of scared. Keeps me on my toes.”
Kara laughed. “Working?” “Eternally.”
“Figured. How long you got?”
“Not very. Just wanted to see your face.”
“I like it when you make good life choices. Come on.” She didn’t wait, grasping my wrist and leading me forward. “I just finished mak- ing waffles.”
“Scratch or Eggo?”
“Girl, please.” Kara gave me a withering look.
The tiny kitchen with its rounded retro teal refrigerator and oven/ stove combo looked and smelled like the single greatest bakery disas- ter area in the history of explosions. Collateral damage included flour everywhere; a fleet of similar-sized bowls dripping sticky glaze onto the counters; piles of unfrosted cupcakes arranged haphazardly on cooling racks; baking sheets stacked with a multitude of cookies; a seven-layer rainbow cake practically screaming for fondant, pearls, and sprinkles; and icing stuck to the cabinet doors like she had flung it to check its consistency.
I’d actually seen her do that last one once. Kara baking in the kitchen was An Experience™, but she ignored it all, not attempting to explain, apologize, or make excuses for the mess. Instead, she marched to the wooden table in the center of the room, where a red Belgian waffle iron steamed and hissed with urgency, and pulled out a chair for me.
“Why does it smell like brownies? You said waffles.” I sat down. Above the scents of sweetened cream cheese, irrepressible vanilla everything, German chocolate heavy on the coconut, powdered sugar delightfulness, chocolate with that slightly burnt smell that never stopped it from still being delicious, cinnamon, and graham crackers, I caught a whiff of something cooking that didn’t quite make sense.
“It’s the best of both worlds.” Kara grinned with feverish pride as she lifted the lid. “My two-hour-old secret recipe for crisp brownie waffles. Toppings pending, but I’m leaning toward ice cream, whipped cream, and/or fruit to give it that familiar funnel-cake vibe.” She inhaled. “Doesn’t it smell amazing?”
About the Author
Claire Kann is the author of LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE and an award-winning online storyteller. In her other life, she works for a nonprofit that you may have heard of where she daydreams like she’s paid to do it. Find out more by visiting her website: www.clairekann.com (and while you’re there, tell her about your cats. She loves cats. A lot.)
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