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January 25 , 2010

The Color of Happiness: A Novel


Faith Lane is the girl who has everything. At least, that's what everyone thinks when they see her rocking a killer dress while laughing with her best friend, Tiffany. But Faith's life is far from flawless. Her peers torment her relentlessly, and her parents expect her to be the epitome of perfection. Criticized and pressured at school and home, Faith retreats into silent acceptance and finds an escape in her passion of dancing. Then she meets Alex - popular, forever with a pass, and concealing a mysterious secret of his own. And through his encouragement, Faith starts believing in her gift for dance and gains courage to stand up for herself. But will she be able to keep her footing when the events of one night consume her with the need to jump off the rocky cliffs near her coastal home? And what has pushed her to the edge of reason? About the Author: K.P Gazelle has been connected with young adults in some way for as long as she can remember. She's obsessed with books, coffee, and big dreams. Excerpt: "CRAP!" I YELPED in pain, rubbing my bruised toes. Attempt number 100: fail. I took a deep breath and pushed myself up again. Closing my eyes, I leapt, tossing my arms and head back and pointing one leg straight in front. I tried arching the other leg behind me to complete the firebird leap. Instead, I came tumbling down onto my bedroom floor and bruised my toes again. Crappity crap crap! I wiped the sweat off my forehead with the back of my hand and rolled my eyes at the dance instructor in the video that I kept replaying on my laptop. She made it seem so easy when it clearly was not. "I hate you, firebird leap!" I yelled at my screen before slamming it shut and pushing it further back on my desk. I flopped backward onto my bed beside the desk, burned out from practicing. "Faith, Tiffany's here!" Mama announced from downstairs. Tiffany had been my best friend since sixth grade. We'd met in gym class during a game of badminton. Being the world's most uncoordinated person, Tiffany sent her racket flying over the net along with the birdie. The impact of the handle hitting my head was blinding, making me dizzy and causing me to fall to the floor within seconds. She had rushed over, apologizing profusely – being the kind of person who wouldn't even hurt an ant – and instead of turning into sworn enemies we became best friends. "Give me ten minutes!" I yelled back, before jumping into the shower and changing into a powder blue sundress. Grabbing my handbag, I jogged downstairs, so ready to finally get out of the house. "Hey, you ready?" Tiffany asked while tying her blonde hair back with a hair tie. She was half Chinese, but you would never have been able to guess that unless you'd looked closely at the monolid of her small, wide-set brown eyes. "You don't even know," I answered under my breath as I made my way to the kitchen, drawn by the smell of cinnamon. Mama was at the island flipping over some French toast. She was already dressed in a beige day dress and nude wedges. She was the poster girl for a 1950's housewife, always cooking or cleaning, but with her dark shoulder length locks and makeup perfectly done. I forked a piece into my mouth, savoring the maple syrup for a moment before kissing her cheek goodbye. "I want a call every thirty minutes, young lady," she reminded me for the millionth time since morning. "Kind of hard when I don't have a cell phone." "Mrs. Lane, Faith needs a cell. She has to be the only sophomore at Liberty High who doesn't have one," Tiffany advocated on my behalf. She'd had a cell phone since eighth grade – which was totally annoying, yet convenient. "Nice try, girls. Now, off you go, out of my kitchen."
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