Today at The Hiding Spot readers are given a sneak peek at Natasha Sinel's upcoming release, The Fix. Don't miss the first stop on the excerpt tour here.
Natasha has also set up a RAINN fundraiser as part of her book launch. Please do donate to this important organization. Even $5.00 can make a difference! Find out more here.
About the Book
One conversation is all it takes to break a world wide open. Seventeen-year-old Macy Lyons has been through something no one should ever have to experience. And she’s dealt with it entirely alone. On the outside, she’s got it pretty good. Her family’s well-off, she’s dating the cute boy next door, she has plenty of friends, and although she long ago wrote her mother off as a superficial gym rat, she’s thankful to have allies in her loving, laid-back dad and her younger brother.
But a conversation with a boy at a party one night shakes Macy out of the carefully maintained complacency that has defined her life so far. The boy is Sebastian Ruiz, a recovering addict who recognizes that Macy is hardened by dark secrets. And as Macy falls for Sebastian, she realizes that, while revealing her secret could ruin her seemingly perfect family, keeping silent might just destroy her.
The Fix follows two good-hearted teenagers coming to terms with the cards they were dealt. It’s also about the fixes we rely on to cope with our most shameful secrets and the hope and fear that come with meeting someone who challenges us to come clean.
“How old’s your sister?”
“Four.” He downed the rest of his beer.
“And you’re okay to take care of her like this?” I held my drink up, indicating the beer, the weed, whatever else they had in there.
“Isn’t that somewhat irresponsible?”
“I can handle my substances,” he said, and then his voice was suddenly gruff, almost angry. “I’m not like them—your friends and your boyfriend. I’m nothing like them. I don’t even know what I’m doing here.”
I felt the heat from his breath on my cheek, slightly cooler than a fire-breathing dragon. He stood up quickly, making the chains on the swing bounce, and went to the edge of the porch. His body was rigid, his fists clenched. He leaned his forearms on the porch railing, looking out onto the street. I wanted to tell him that it was okay. That I knew whatever had made him angry wasn’t directed toward me. That I was angry too. But I wouldn’t even know where to begin. He straightened and gripped the railing with both hands. Then he opened his hands, gripped, opened again. He did this a few times.
“I’m sorry for that—whatever that was,” he said quietly, “I shouldn’t have said that about them. Your friends are cool. I’m the ass.”
“It’s okay. I understand,” I said.
He came back to the swing and sat so close to me that if I moved my knee just a millimeter, we’d be touching. “I think too much,” he said. “I can’t stop. Even getting high. It numbs me, tones things down a little, but not enough.” He put his hands on his head and rubbed the fuzz there. He looked at me, and I tried to read what his eyes were saying. But I found it difficult to concentrate when he was this close to me, when his skin radiated heat toward me. “Why am I telling you this?” He was looking for something from me, like he needed me—me specifically—but I was paralyzed. He kneaded his hands together in his lap and placed them on his knees like he was trying to keep them still. “Do you think too much?” he asked quietly, so quietly I barely heard him.
“I try not to. Thinking makes everything worse.” “Like what?” he said. “What’s so bad?” His eyes made me want to tell him something. I had to stop that from happening.
“Nothing,” I said and looked away.
“Got it,” he said, softly.
“Maybe you’re too smart.” I wanted to get the conversation back onto him. “That’s why you think so much.”
“Oh yes,” he said, his lip curling up on one side. “Way too brilliant for my own good, right? It’s a nice theory, but unfortunately I’m not all that smart. I just study a lot.”
We were both quiet for a few seconds. “Do you remember that summer when we were kids?” he asked abruptly. “When I was at your house with my stepfather?” I nodded. “You told me I had to learn to swim, so I did.” His voice got quiet. “Maybe we could swim sometime.”
Sebastian and me. Bathing suits. My pool. Together. That would never, ever happen. Suddenly, I felt such a deep loss, I had to blink quickly a few times to make it go away.
“I don’t swim anymore,” I said.
“Really? I remember you telling me it was the only thing to do.”
“Well, I guess it’s not.” He looked at me then like he knew me, like no one had looked at me before. Not Chris, not Rebecca, not anyone in my family. It was freaking me out. It was making my heart stutter. It felt good—it felt horrible. I was in a strange, marvelous, frightening dream. I could hear the voices inside the house and the bass of the music, but it was just background.
“Macy, I—” And in the same second he said my name, I heard Rebecca yelling it, “Macy!” and then she was at my side.
“Oh goddammit, I have to talk to you!” she said, slurring her words. No doubt Rebecca was having a Cody crisis. I stared at Sebastian, willing the dream to stay, and yet relieved that I could pull my veil back down.
“Hey,” Rebecca said to Sebastian, and then, giving me a quick, curious look, “sorry, gotta borrow my girl.”
“Gimme a minute,” I said to her. “Hurry!” She went back into the house.
“What were you going to say?” I asked Sebastian, but he wouldn’t meet my eyes.
“Just that I’ve gotta go,” he said. I stared at him. “My sister,” he said. “Remember?” He walked down the steps. I jumped up from the porch swing and leaned over the railing. He was already on the sidewalk, pulling the earbuds out of his pocket.
“Do you want me to drive you there?” I called out to him.
“Isn’t that somewhat irresponsible?” He laughed. “I’ll see ya.” I watched his body disappear down the sidewalk and into the darkness. And then I was alone with this thing—whatever it was—that he’d unleashed, after years of being locked away.
And that was it. No one saw or heard from him. Nothing.
"First shot out of the gate, Sinel bravely addresses tough topics, demonstrating that the weight of secrets can pull us under––and their release can save us from drowning." —Holly Schindler, author of A Blue So Dark and Feral
“A bewitching, beautiful, and brave debut. Readers will marvel at Macy's resilience. Natasha Sinel's writing devastates and uplifts, by turns. An important story of one girl's journey to rewrite the blueprint of her own life by facing the truth inside herself.” —Carrie Mesrobian, award-winning author of Sex & Violence and Perfectly Good White Boy
"In her YA debut, Natasha Sinel paints a riveting picture of a teenager haunted by her past and struggling with her present. Macy's world is richly drawn, heartbreakingly real, and difficult to put down. The Fix shines." —I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above
Enter to win a copy of The Fix here.
About the Author
Natasha Sinel is a writer of young adult fiction. She graduated from Yale University with a BA in English and from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with an MBA. Before beginning her career as an author, she was director of business development at Showtime Networks. Born and raised in Washington, DC, she now lives in northern Westchester, New York, with her husband and three sons.