Hi guys, we have Kate Sands stopping by to show off her upcoming F/F release As Autumn Leaves, we have a great excerpt so you can check out the book yourself and there’s a fantastic giveaway! So enjoy out the post and click that giveaway link <3 ~Pixie~
As Autumn Leaves
Sixteen-year-old Kayla Caruso, once a well-liked cheerleader, knows that something sets her apart from her classmates. Her reluctance to have sex with a boy she was seeing earned her both the title of “Ice Queen” and the disdain of the other students. Bullied and alone, Kayla finds solace in one of her dwindling group of friends. Althea Ritter is a volleyball star and rumoured to be a lesbian. As Kayla’s interest in Althea grows, so does her confusion. Is she attracted to men or women? Both? Neither? Why does sex even have to matter? Kayla explores her muddled feelings, trying to discover where she fits in, and soon realizes her identity might not be as simple as gay or straight.
“Can I… can I ask you a question?” Kayla asked.
“About the story? I’m not done yet,” Althea said.
“No, no, not about the homework. About you.”
Althea sat straighter, and her face schooled into a blank expression. Kayla didn’t like that look. “If you want.”
“What Darnell said… and at school Hannah told me… something.”
Althea visibly tensed, her fingers rustling the corner of the sheets in front of her. “What about me?”
“About your… preferences.”
Althea’s face turned stone cold. “Maybe you shouldn’t believe everything you hear. I’ve heard stuff about you too.”
Kayla took in a sharp breath, but tried not to let her harsh tone get to her. Clearly on the defensive, Althea went into self-preservation mode. Kayla could sympathize.
“I’m sure you have,” Kayla said, waving it off. “But I wanted to tell you—I mean, not that you need my approval, but if it was true, then it’s okay.”
Althea’s mouth parted in surprise. “Okay?”
“Well, sure,” Kayla said. “I mean, to clarify, I heard—”
“I know what you heard,” Althea said.
Kayla paused. She tapped her fingers on the tabletop. Althea didn’t go forward, so Kayla gently asked, “Is it true?”
Althea’s posture was perfectly fight or flight, like she was ready to take on the whole world by the determined set of her jaw, but the fear in her eyes could make her run a million miles away to escape it all.
She took in a deep breath, but when she exhaled, her shoulders slumped like all the fight had left her, leaving her nervous and unsure. Kayla didn’t want to see anyone like that, let alone her new friend.
“Yes,” Althea said quietly. Her head bowed a little, but she kept a strong gaze on Kayla’s face. “Yes, it’s true. But I don’t tell lots of people. I mean, my close friends know and I think most of the team, but….”
“You keep it on the down low?” Kayla supplied. Althea nodded. “Okay. Cool. I can do that, if it’s what you want.”
“You… you don’t mind?” Althea asked uncertainly.
Kayla shrugged. “No, why should I? You are who you are, right? Cool by me.”
Kayla felt like a hypocrite. Here she was praising someone for admitting who they were, when she couldn’t tell anyone how awful and alone she was being like she was. But Althea? Completely different. She liked girls, and assumingly wanted to be with girls, and Kayla didn’t know who she wanted except that she didn’t want sex. It wasn’t the same, she didn’t think, and she had no clue how to explain it.
She could be supportive, the least she could do given it was all she would’ve wanted for herself. “I won’t tell anyone if you’re not ready to do it. But thanks for telling me.”
Kate Sands grew up in a small rural town on the Canadian Prairies. She developed a love of reading and writing at a young age, becoming completely enamored with the craft of storytelling. It wasn’t until she grew up and left small-town life behind, moving to the Big City, before she truly understood what diversity was and what it could be. She still reads a variety of fiction, but concentrates writing in the LGBTQA+ genre in an effort to add to that diversity. She hopes that these kinds of stories will reach someone, somewhere, in a way she missed out on in her earlier years.