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Monday, 3 September 2012  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
The winners of the copies of 
by Rachel Harris are:
 Jenea Whittington & Marian Krick

Congratulations! Please email me at brendadrakecontests@gmail.com to claim your prize.    

I’m celebrating the release of my good friend and agent sister’s, Rachel Harris, book release by giving away TWO copies of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY! Answer the question at the bottom of this post in the comments and you’re entered to win!

Here’s something about Rachel…

 Rachel Harris

As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels.

As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
When she’s not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate.
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY is her debut novel.  She did have her own fantabulous Sweet Sixteen in high school. Sadly, it wasn’t televised.

Here’s a little something about this fantabulous book…

  My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel  Harris

 September 11, 2012, Entangled Teen

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

BUT that’s not all! Below please find not one but TWO excerpts, each giving you a different taste of what SUPER SWEET is all about. The first occurs when our main girl Cat steps out of the mysterious gypsy tent and discovers that perhaps something’s not quite right in her world…..
I hear their muffled whispers and understand every Italian word. Every witty comment made at my expense.
It’s like my brain is automatically translating.
I bunch the soft fabric of the dress in my hand and then reach up to feel the ribbon in my hair. I lightly skim my fingers over my chin and feel my lack of zit. I take in the costumes of the crowd, the stench of the animals, and the Italian I can now speak and understand. And suddenly it hits me.
Reyna must have pulled some kind of gypsy mojo.
Maybe this is one of those nifty “change your life” magic scenarios like in the movies. I mean, mostly I’m still expecting to blink and be right back in the midst of overpriced, gaudy tourism, but for now, the gypsy-time-warp explanation is infinitely better than thinking I’ve lost my mind. As I decide to go with that option, I feel my frantic tension melt away.
The growing crowd seems to notice my change in demeanor and begins shooting one another amused looks, but I don’t care anymore. A smile stretches across my face. Evidently, I was wrong earlier; Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boo, then she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life.
The long red gown, the braided hair, the Italian merchant’s daughter, the time period. I am in Renaissance Florence.
I stare dumbly at the ground, the words and reality sinking in.
I’m in Renaissance Florence!
AND the second, the “Meet Cute” with Cat and Renaissance hottie Lorenzo. Here’s a (hopefully) swoony glimpse into their first meeting….
Alessandra jerks back like I just suggested she prance around the square naked or something. “No! I believe I understand your meaning, and Lorenzo is certainly not my suitor. He is like a brother to me—the three of us grew up together.”
She resumes walking and I fall in step beside her, understanding there has to be more to the story. And as we near the end of the row I finally ask, “If you’re not into the guy, then what’s the problem?”
At that same moment, a rich, deep chuckle hits my ears. My stomach involuntarily clenches and my gaze sharpens on the back of this mysterious Lorenzo.
Alessandra sighs. “That is the problem.” She places her hand on my arm and solemnly looks me in the eyes. “You must be careful. Lorenzo is beautiful, and it is not uncommon for a girl to walk away from meeting him with a piece of her heart left behind. But he is just eighteen, and not yet ready for marriage.”
I roll my eyes and laugh, then realize she’s serious. “Yeah, I assure you, there’s no danger on my end. I’m not exactly looking for marriage myself.” Because that would be crazy-town.
Alessandra wrinkles her nose as if she doesn’t believe me, but she removes her hand. We close the distance and Cipriano flashes me an open, honest to goodness, lighthearted smile.
 “Lorenzo, this is the cousin I was telling you about.”
Slowly the guy turns and I fall head first into the richest chocolate-brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He blinks and long, luscious lashes feather across his bronzed cheeks. I can feel myself gawking, but I physically can’t drag my eyes away. Lorenzo doesn’t smirk or act all conceited, either. He simply stares back, his eyes casually skimming over me, causing my skin to warm and break out in a whole body tingle.
Time seems to stop, and the sounds of the market mute. Alessandra was right. This boy is beautiful.
And he’s looking at me.
Doesn’t it sound awesome! This got me thinking about my sweet sixteen. My boyfriend at the time, and who I’d been trying to break up with because of his temper, gave me a promise ring. After everyone at my party left, I cried for hours with my mom and sister, feeling awful and wondering how to break up with him after that.
So what Sweet Sixteen stories do you all have? Answer in the comments for a chance to win one of two copies of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY by Rachel Harris, which releases September 11. I’ll draw names on the release day!

Filed: Misc

  • ah, my sweet 16. My mom said I could have a party but I was so afraid that if I invited people they wouldn’t come, and then I’d be the girl that threw a party that no one came to, so I invited a few friends and my boyfriend and everyone I DID invite came…and then asked why there weren’t more people there. So I fessed up and said that I didn’t think anyone else would come and then felt dumb for not asking the rest of my friends. And really bad because my mom had gone all out and made TONS of food and there were only a handful of people there.

    I think we just watched a movie or something. I still feel bad that I didn’t trust my friends to be there for me because the next day, all the friends I HADN’T invited said they would have come if I’d asked and felt bad that I hadn’t asked.

    Yeah…teenage years…good times 😉

  • Sweet sixteen was the ONLY “friends” party I ever had. My five best buds for a pajama party. We were big nerds, so I think the craziest thing we did was play w/ the Ouji board. We might have spent the rest of the night making scary sounds and freaking each other out. Those were the days… 🙂

  • Stephsco says:

    I love the idea of this book, what a cool mix of concepts. My16th birthday was uneventful — no driver’s license, no car — doesn’t it seem like American culture connects these two events too much? I actually don’t remember anything specific about turning 16, but I was one of the youngest in my class so I usually didn’t make a huge deal of it. I imagine I probably just watched movies with my friends 🙂

  • Mmmhh,, my Sweet Sixteen, was preety awesome, i didnt want anything too big, so i went out with my friends on a shopping spree, spent lots of money and treated my friends and myself to some Chinese :D( which is my favorite ) i guess i didnt want anything big, because i’d rather have a big one or as close to big as im comfortable with, on my 18th.. question how did you break up with your boyfriend then? how did he take it? x

  • Sam Cooper says:

    I had a party for my sweet sixteen. My brother got drunk and kissed my best friend and my mum forgot to get me a birthday cake and had to run to the local supermarket to get me one. It was a Tweenies cake :-/

  • Ah, I actually remember my 16th birthday because it was the first birthday I ever celebrated. One of my friends was turning 16 ten days after me and she was having a party so she included me in it and we had a joined party. It was actually nice. We didnt have cake or anything just a bunch of friends over gift exchange and watching movies, but still. It was my first celebration so I enjoyed it to the max! Not everyones typical sweet 16 but it was sweet enough for me! =]

  • I’ve not had one yet..but y’know..I think I might telelvise mine!.. *.*

  • Very cool for Rachel! The book sounds awesome. 🙂

    I didn’t have a Sweet Sixteen party. But I did go out to see a movie with a friend . . . driving solo for the first time. Very awesome. 🙂

  • Briana says:

    My friends surprised me on my sixteenth birthday. We went out to one of my favorite restaurants and had a sleepover after that, though we were all on such a sugar-rush that no one could sleep, and spent the rest of the night watching whatever DVDs there were. 🙂

  • my sweet sixteen was ten years ago! My mom wanted me to have some huge get together, but I wasn’t into the whole ‘social’ scene and only invited a handful of close friends. Unfortunately my mom didn’t get the memo and ended up buying a rather large cake. But it was still a fun night, and I’m glad it ended up being the way it was.

  • Alyssa Susanna says:

    I turned 16 last year. It was pretty quiet. I had almost all of my family living in the US over, some friends, and we barbecued. My birthday is the days after Independence Day (so, my birthday is July 5th), so we usually just combine both holidays. It was lots of fun 🙂

    Thanks for the givaway!!!

    Alyssa Susanna

  • “Hold onto sixteen as long as you can!” from Jack & Diane

    Sixteen was a great year for me. My best friend and I did a duo for speech and rocked that year! Fourteen years and four kids (each) later and we’re still best friends. 🙂

  • Aldrea Alien says:

    Sweet sixteen … I think I may’ve been working on that day. Or something. I dunno. I haven’t had a party since I was seven. In fact, I’m so out of the loop in what to do for parties, I think I botched up my daughter’s first one, and she’s six years old.

    Although, I did celebrate my 21st ‘with a bang’ … unfortunately, that was the sound my 4×4 made as it went through a fence and down through the bush into a paddock, with six-month preggers me behind the wheel. The car was totalled.

  • I read your story and I couldn’t help but think of the song IT’S MY PARTY. There was crying and a ring involved in both lol
    In my family we have quincarenas. My grandma said she would do all the cooking when I was five years old.mshe was an amazing cook. She passed away a year later so I didn’t want to have a party. Instead my two best friends took me out to Disneyland which I absolutely love!! We had an awesome time. Love my grams and love my friends.

  • Love this idea. For some reason, I can’t remember a thing about my sweet sixteen, so it must have been uneventful. I’m sure I probably hung out with my friends or something like that. I do,however, remember every detail about the mustang my grandfather bought me a few weeks after my birthday when I got my driver’s license. Now that was memorable!

  • YAY!!! Rachel!!!! CONGRATS!! This looks so great!! I CAN NOT WAIT to read it ;o)

  • Meredith says:

    My mother has a “wonderful” picture of me on my 16th birthday. Wearing a really cute dress…..with 8 hole black Doc Martens w/purple laces. I’ve never been good with fashion. And I think I just totally dated myself. Ouch! On the plus side I was THAT girl, the one who found a new car with a big red bow on it in the driveway. Sure do miss that white Pontiac (do they even make those anymore). Amazing the number of people you can fit into such a small car.

  • Kitty says:

    For some reason, I don’t remember my Sweet 16 very much; probably because there was neither a car or a drivers license involved. I do seem to recollect making a very tasty mocha-chocolate cake, though 😀

  • My parents took me to a fancy dinner for my Sweet 16. Neither of my daughters are that age yet – but soon! :))

  • For my 16th Birthday, I really didn’t celebrate it much. I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter who is now 18 and a medical student. Not a great way to celebrate a 16th birthday, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. She gave a purpose in life that is beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of. Being a mom.

  • In Brazil, girls have a big party for their 15th birthday, not the 16th.
    Mine was great. It went from 9pm to 5am with around 400 guests (yeah, my parents know everyone in town!). And the party only ended because two drunk guys started a fight and my father and my uncles had to break them apart.
    And the fight was because of Carnaval “teams” rivalry, believe it or not 😉

  • My sixteeth was the epitome of sad. My parents were in the midst of going bankfupt, they forgot. I was supposed to get to go to the Sr. graduation party with my BFF who was graduating that that year (my b-day is June 2), my sister was going to take me, but she wrecked the one car we had that afternoon and there went those plans. It pretty much sucked @$$.

    But my seventeenth was the BOM! My now husband told me he loved me for the first time at a surprise party thrown for me by my mom and my friends. We had a shaving cream fight and got kicked out of the community pool afterwards for getting all that cream all over the place. It was fantastic.

    But, alas, I’ve still always wished I’d had the awesome Sweet Sixteen most girls dream of.

  • NyX says:

    I love this giveaway and would be so glad to win it!
    For my Sweet Sixteen I didn’t so much just a family get together… I wasn’t and still am not really into the who all eyes on me sort of thing 🙁

  • My well-intentioned parents gave me a car, which was amazing and which I was entirely too young to appreciate. I got into my first accident the following week while trying to take a dip in the road too fast (to make the car bump all over the place). My friend’s dad always did it in his car to make us laugh and I guess I underestimated the advantage of his 20 plus years of driving experience versus my six days. Needless to say, I did have to work two jobs the rest of the year to pay off the $1000 repair bill. And my own kids have that incident to blame when I break it to them that they will be working for any car they get:)
    This sounds like a great read- I’m picturing an Italian version of Prada and Prejudice- bring it on!!

  • e. says:

    I was woken up at 4 am on my sixteenth birthday and told to come outside. I was not happy! Except when I got outside, there was a brand new silver convertible waiting for me! Driving that to school (after I got my license that day) was the best!!!!!!

  • Valia Lind says:

    My sweet sixteen wasn’t all that exciting actually. I got up, went to school, then went to work. I have a tendency to work on my birthdays lol I did get my license soon after. No car tho. Can’t wait to read this book! 😀

  • Anubha says:

    My sweet sixteen was my first friends only party out of my home boundaries… but it was not awesome because my best buddy who has always been there with me was not in town that day… but she compensated it all on my 17th birthday by giving me a nice surprise party in our school classroom… 😀

  • Sarah Ahiers says:

    oh man, this book sounds AWESOME!!! The italian rennaissance is right up my alley!
    I’m a twin, so obviously all my birthdays are shared. For our 16th, my parents rented a 20 person hottub for all our friends to hang out in, in the middle of February in MN. It was awesome

  • My best friend and I have our birthdays seven days apart so we combined our birthdays (we do this about every other year) and came up with the craziest, best thing we could think of that our parents would be able to pay for and would let us do. We went on a two day trail ride on our horses with a couple horse-owning friends. When we got back, we had a sleepover with sixteen girls present. Ahh, good times. I still feel bad for making my parents endure that.

  • alli says:

    I didn’t have a sweet 16. My mom drove me to my first job interview on my 16th birthday. I got the job. That’s all.

  • Stacey Hays says:

    On my sweet sixteen, I spent the day at the DMV taking my driver’s permit test. This also coincidently was the first day of my junior year in high school. After I took my permit test and passed, my mom took me and my twin back to school and I ate lunch with my friends.

  • My sweet sixteen was wonderful. My mom arranged for a few friends to take me to the mall to go shopping. She has the biggest and kindest heart. Before we left she handed me a credit card. My eyes bulged! I bought one collared polo shirt that day. I didn’t want to abuse the privilege and was just happy she trusted me. When I got home, everything looked as normal as could be. I set my bag down and my friends and I went downstairs and was greeted with a basement full of school mates shouting “surprise!” The music began thumping, balloons began flying and I shed tears of joy. I still look at those pictures today. My brother (3 years older than me) had invited some of his baseball and basketball friends, which all of us girls had major crushes on. It was perfect and I’ll never forget that day.

  • Kristin says:

    Sadly I didn’t really have a “sweet 16” party. I pretty much went to school, came home had cake, opened presents and then called it a night. I’m sure I had a birthday party but it was just a typical invite friends over for cake sort of thing. LoL
    Booksniffersanonymous at gmail dot com

  • Robbin says:

    On my sweet sixth birthday, I worked as a salad girl at the Sabre Room. This ultimate dining experience featured a Live Vegas Act, where anything could and did happen. All eyes were on the Vegas Show girls, when I carried out a large tray of salads into the dim lit room. I bumped into a chair, and the corner of my tray attached to a lady’s wig, removing the hairpiece from her head. Mortified, I grabbed her wig covered in salad dressing, but I was too late. She had run to the bathroom. Her husband handed me a one hundred dollar bill and said, “This was the best night I’ve had in a long, long time.” Happy Birthday to me. Poor lady.

  • I haven’t had mine yet but you know..I think I might televise it! 😉

  • Clever Girl says:

    When I turned sixteen I was two weeks into my freshman year of college so all I really remember was tons of homework and three hours a day spent on a bus.

    But I have a story about that first semester and it’s even got an Italian element. One of my professors was Italian, she was teaching Spanish and English was her third language. She was also insane. She spent the quarter yelling at us, calling us stupid Americans and nearly coming to blows with one of her students, a man nearly twice her size.

  • I dreamed of having a giant “sweet 16” party for years, but when my turn came, my parents couldn’t afford a big party. So I used up all of my savings to put together the best party I could manage & invited every single one of my friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the fact that I was friends with several different groups of people… and most of them didn’t like each other! Many of the people I invited wouldn’t come to the party, because they were afraid they’d have to socialize with some of the others on my guest list. Out of the 60 or 70 people I invited, I think 10 actually came – and they all brought their fights with them. I managed to get everyone to pose, with smiles on their faces, for a group photo when we brought out the birthday cake, but for the next hour or so, I wore myself out trying to keep them from killing each other! I sent everyone home early & spent the rest of the night in tears.

  • Marian says:

    I didn’t have a sweet sixteen. I think we just celebrated with my family that year. But I remember at a friend’s party, someone dropped a duck pin bowling ball on her foot. Not exactly an ideal gift! haha

  • Oh god, I remember my “sweet” 16 because it was anything BUT! I had planned a small party with some friends from school…just hanging out, some wacky games like feeding each other choc pudding while blindfolded, iced spoon tied on string down clothing in a relay race..just stupid stuff to make us laugh. We had decided ahead of time we were going to try to swim if at all possible (we had a pool, but my birthday is May 18th), so it was exactly hot yet.

    So, out we all troop to the pool, sticky from cake and pudding, everyone laughing and having a goofy fun time. (Btw…there are boys AND girls here). Just as I am standing on the deck, leaning over getting ready to dive into the pool, one of the boys (his name was Bill…I remember), yells out “Oh my God! Did you get your period?”

    And in fact, yes I had. I had just apparently started to. I was BEYOND mortified. Everyone obviously heard him. There I am at what is supposed to be one of the best, most memorable days of a young girls life, having a male classmate announce I had my period. It was obviously a memorable day for me. Best? Not so much.

  • I’m not sure my sixteenth birthday was “sweet” or anything big and amazing but my family and I drove an hour to go bowling and have pizza. It may not have been what most girls do but it was pretty awesome to me. Spending time with my family made it pretty sweet to me.

  • hmm..well I don’t remember much of my Sweet 16. We just went to a book signing then watched THG (last full show!). Then we have to wait and find a bus for about an hour because it’s midnight then and our home is 2 hours away. And then there’ this guy who we think would want to holdap us in the bus!(that is one scary trip) but fortunately he didn’t do it 🙂

    So Yeah, that is my sweet 16(I have to take back what I said earlier. This is a memorable 16 b-day <3)

    maryanngacayan at yahoo dot com

  • Well what I remembered from my sweet 16 b-day was that my friends and I went to a book signing(Lauren Oliver) then we watched the THG. We left there at midnight and we have to wait for hour to find a bus. Then when I’m home my mom just ask what we ate and did we have fun–w/c by the way is pretty funny and weird bec. when I came home late let say 8pm she always flipped out but that day it was like heaven’s w/ me :D. So Yeah that is my sweet 16!<3

    maryanngacayan at yahoo dot com

  • Kate Fuller says:

    My mom took me to Disneyland for the weekend for my sweet 16.

  • Alys Cohen says:

    The drawing is over, but allow me to share anyway. Having a birthday so close to Christmas is the pits sometimes. It’s even worse when three schools in the area are having their winter couples’ dances (not that long ago it was still common to have couples’ dances and girls’ choice events every year) the same night as your 16th birthday. It’s even where than that when your friends are splitting up to attend different dances with their significant others. I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a boyfriend.

    I organized a party, and just one person showed up. If her parents had approved of dancing, she would have gone to one of the balls too.

    Worst Sweet Sixteen ever.

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