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Friday, November 16, 2018

Exclusive Sneak Peek: The Spite Game by Anna Snoekstra + Giveaway (US/Can)

The Spite Game
Anna Snoekstra
from MIRA // Harlequin

Everyone does bad things when no one is watching

Mercilessly bullied in high school, Ava knows she needs to put the past behind her and move on, but she can’t—not until she’s exacted precise, catastrophic revenge on the people who hurt her the most.

First, she watches Saanvi. Flawlessly chic and working hard at a top architectural firm, Saanvi has it all together on the surface. But everyone does bad things when they think no one is watching and Ava only wants what’s fair—to destroy Saanvi’s life the way her own was destroyed.

Next, she watches Cass. She’s there as Cass tries on wedding dresses, she’s there when Cass picks out a cake, she’s there when Cass betrays her fiancé. She’s the reason Cass’s entire future comes crashing down.

Finally, Ava watches Mel. Mel was always the ringleader and if anyone has to pay, it’s her. But one tiny slipup and Ava realizes the truth: Mel knows she’s being watched, and she’s ready to play Ava’s games to the bitter end.

‘Do you want a glass of water or anything?’ the cop from the front desk asks me.

He’s opened the interview room door wide. Behind him, it’s bright. I can see the bustling station, police in uniform bent over desks or answering phones, detectives in suits walking swiftly with their backs stiff with self-importance. Not like in here, with its dull florescent lights and one small window. When he’d led me through that office, one of the policewomen had looked up from her paperwork. She’d given me what seemed to be a reassuring smile. I’d gaped at her. It took a second to click. She’d clocked my small frame. My thick lashed eyes, my wavy hair. She thought I was a victim. It was almost funny. ‘I’m okay. Do you know how long the detective will be?’

It’s only you I want to talk to.

He shrugs, ‘hard to say. Today has been non-stop.’

Is this a ploy? I don’t understand. Have you sent him in here to sound me out? Or maybe he’s offering me water in the hope of getting my DNA off of the glass? I’ve seen them doing things like that before in cop shows, I thought it was just an overused trope by lazy disenchanted screenwriters. I didn’t realize it was something that really happened.

‘Sure you don’t want anything? I’m sure I could scrounge up a tea-bag from somewhere. There’s coffee too if you’re game, but to be honest, all the clichés you’ve heard about police station coffee are correct. I keep telling them we should get an aeropress.’

I watch him talk. The guy is around thirty, so probably only a year or so older than me. He’s being pleasant enough, but I want him to go. I don’t want to play these games. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I want to talk. I want to explain it all, to make you understand. I’ve been weak before. That time in the changing room with Miranda, I was spineless. Not being liked seemed like the scariest thing in the world.

For once in my life I want to do the right thing.

‘I’m fine,’ I tell the cop, and he shrugs again.

I could still run. I could push past him, say I got mixed up. Made a mistake. That I don’t know anything about Mel. That I have no idea where she is. I could give in to that weakness one last time.

‘Well, thanks for your patience,’ he’s saying now.

All I can do is look past him at the light as he gives me one last lukewarm smile and pulls the door closed. I’m alone again in the gloom.

Twisting in my chair I stare up at the window. The sky is a pale blue. I watch the grey clouds inch across it. Time feels meaningless in here.

I’m in the right place. I’m sure of it. As hard as this is going to be it’s got to be easier than the last few weeks have been. I haven’t been able to eat. I’ve had nightmares every night. My skin is turning grey. I look pinched.

Still, should have said something when I left this morning. That’s my only regret. I’d said I was going to a meeting with the contractors. That it might run late. I didn’t want to lie, I’ve told more lies than truths in the last ten years and I wanted today to be end of all that. But I couldn’t say that I was coming here. If I had, I would have had to explain why. What happened. I only have it in me to tell this story once.


Books à la Mode is giving away
a print copy of The Spite Game—yay!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
Were you ever bullied in high school? If not, did you do the bullying, or did you manage to avoid it completely?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Anna and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I think the last time I was bullied was in middle school, but in high school gossip definitely messed with me a bit. Not direct bullying, but a form of passive social ostracism. Admittedly I recall partaking in some of the gossip as well (which I wish I hadn't) so I suppose it's just the natural order of most high schools.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harlequin MIRA!
Giveaway ends November 30th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada readers only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for the list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!