Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Last Three Words by Ashley Heckman: Tens List and Excerpt


Top Ten Pieces of Advice to Teen Me

1. Go out with the nerdy boy. Yeah, the one you think everyone will snicker at you for giving the time of day to. You know there's something about him that really intrigues you.

2. Don't be in such a rush to be an adult. There are some pretty damned sweet things about being a teenager. Plus, workin' for a living isn't as glam as it can seem. The drama doesn't get any better.

3. Realize how much you'll miss them once you're flung states away from your family. Hang out. Play a dumb board game. Stay home on a Friday night every so often and enjoy it while it lasts.

4. Take advantage of the opportunities you have to learn. Everything.

5. Find a mentor (and no, I don't mean that hot college guy bartending at your favorite hang-out restraunt).

6. STOP SAYING YOU'RE FAT! You won't know flab until after you've birthed an 8+ pound baby, so STFU.

7. Don't be scared to be alone sometimes. Sit by yourself at lunch and read a book if your friends aren't around. Go see a movie. Walk through a graveyard. Spend some time reconnecting to YOU.

8. It's okay to admit that you don't know everything. People respect someone who is willing to ask genuine, earnest questions in the interest of learning.

9. Take care of your body. Eat well. Work out. You'll thank me later when you're metabolism takes a nosedive and you aren't having to start from square one with that stuff.


10. When it seems like your world is ending, ask yourself if this will matter in a year/five years/ten years. Chances are it won't. Don't wallow in melodrama of your own creation. Do what you can to make the situation better, and accept that you can't fix everything all the time

Title: The Last Three Words

Genre: Young Adult

Release date: November 15th 2013

Publisher: Evernight Teen


Seventeen-year-old Christian Marx never belonged anywhere but with his best friend Maye. Life with her beats the hell out of the dingy apartment he shares with his neglectful mother. Mom may be blood, but Maye and her little sister Rowe are family. Life would be perfect if only Maye loved him the way he loved her.

Last night, she did. Today, she's dead—a tragic accident no one could have predicted.

With Maye gone, it's up to those she left behind to figure out how to move on. Only one person can drag Christian away from the ledge. Only one person can save Maye's little sister from making a huge mistake.

Sometimes the only way to un-break yourself is to fix someone else.



Ashley is a thirty-something perpetual teenager. She (slowly) writes young adult fiction that pulls no punches and rarely conforms to the unspoken rules. Home is upstate South Carolina, where Ashley lives with her daughter, working for a living and striving to better herself and her craft.

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 “Yeah, 387 Greer Highway,” my voice was flat over the sound of sobbing, begging, in the background. “Overdose…barely…bourbon and something prescription, I’m not sure.”

The dispatcher pledged to stay on the line until the ambulance arrived, but I abandoned her first, setting the receiver on the kitchen counter and grabbing the car keys before walking out the front door, unnoticed. What was one more unforgivable act? Besides, I'd done my part. The rest would have to be on the two of them. I stood in the driveway looking back at for a few moments at this place that used to feel like home, and continued on my way to anywhere but here.

I don’t remember the three point turn, or creeping under the canopy of trees that shaded the long gravel drive from the house to the road. Time was lost and instinct took over steering, the gas pedal, and the brake, though I had no need for it. There was no traffic this time of night, when morning hung only a couple of hours over the horizon. I just drove, the lazy speed of the car moving through the dark echoing the numbness I’d succumbed to after struggling against it for so long. It felt almost nice.

I watched, lost in thought, as the darkened houses and pastures passed. I'd considered the existence of fate many times in my life, but only for the past few weeks with any real seriousness. The mistakes made tonight were no accident, no coincidence. Had any of it ever been?

Without realizing, I pulled the car off to the shoulder and into the grass, at that place on Greer Highway that had haunted me for what seemed like a lifetime. It felt like another life, when we’d been happy. I stared out the windshield, willing myself to see something real, something to anchor me in reality, but there was nothing.

I needed to feel it, this road I'd been avoiding in the weeks since. To touch it, know if there was anything left there. It felt like the natural place to make peace with all that had happened, apologize. There had been a purpose to all of it. Maybe she could forgive me. But would I ever forgive myself?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having me :)