Divine Confidential (The Divine Series #2)

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9781416527190: Divine Confidential (The Divine Series #2)
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Divine is used to getting what she wants....

Thanks to her loving Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Reed, Divine Matthews-Hardison has a place to call home after the Hollywood life she was accustomed to fell apart at the seams. Getting away from the spotlight that nearly destroyed her own parents, Divine has changed for the better -- though there's still enough diva in Divine to keep life in Temple, Georgia, very lively, from mall shopping with her cousin Alyssa and her fashion-challenged aunt, to worshipping at her uncle's church, to dating.

But what if it's too much too soon?

Divine has boys on the brain and she's itching for a social life -- at least as much as is allowed under Uncle Reed's watchful eyes. She knows she's too young for the kind of secretive drama her cousin Chance is going through with his girlfriend, but still.... Turning to the internet, Divine gets a major crush on sixteen-year-old Sean, who sounds and looks like the perfect guy. But she is about to learn a difficult -- and potentially dangerous -- lesson: Things are not always what they appear to be....

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About the Author:

Jacquelin Thomas' books have garnered several awards, including two EMMA awards, the Romance In Color Reviewers Award, Readers Choice Award, and the Atlanta Choice Award in the Religious & Spiritual category. She was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction in the Young Adult category. Jacquelin has published in the romance, inspirational fiction and young adult genres. 

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

I spot Uncle Reed and Aunt Phoebe immediately, they were standing near the street entrance of the baggage claim in Atlanta. I walk over to them saying, "All right, the diva is here. Divine Matthews-Hardison is back."

I remove the strap of my loaded-down Gucci backpack from my shoulder, praying that I'm not left with a bruise because I intend on wearing my new halter top tomorrow that Mom bought me in Martinique. She's finally loosening up enough to let me wear halters. I'm fifteen and starting tenth grade soon. I had to tell her to get a clue -- I'm growing up.

"You won't believe what I had to sit beside on the plane. He was like, so totally gross." Tossing my hair over my shoulders, I huff, "They let anybody buy a first-class ticket these days."

I stiffen, momentarily distracted by my aunt's neon-green shirt and matching pants that don't quite reach her ankles. They're wide-legged pants at that. My aunt stands almost six feet tall and -- glowing in this outfit the way she is -- people can't help but notice her. Here I am looking all fly and she's dressed like... I'm like totally embarrassed.

"Aunt Phoebe, you can't be going around here wearing stuff like this," I fuss. "I can't believe you actually wore this out of the house." Stealing a peek at my uncle, I ask, "Uncle Reed, why'd you let her come with you to Atlanta looking like that? I see we need to do some serious shopping to get you a new wardrobe. And just so you know, Aunt Phoebe, neon colors are out."

"It's good to see you too, Divine," Aunt Phoebe says with a chuckle.

It's then that I realize I've temporarily forgotten my manners. "Oh, I'm sorry!" I wrap my arms around my aunt, giving her a hug. "You know I can't have you looking any kind of way. You have an image to keep, Aunt Phoebe. You're my aunt."

I embrace Uncle Reed next. "Sorry for being rude." I put on a big smile and say, "I'm back..."

A flash of humor crosses his face. "So, how was Martinique, Miss Diva?"

At the mention of the island where I spent the last couple of weeks, a grin spreads across my face. "Oooh, Uncle Reed, I had a great time. Mom and I didn't do anything but hang out on the beaches, eat a bunch of good food and shop."

"Child, I'm so glad you're here," Aunt Phoebe interjects. "Alyssa's been worrying me to death about when you were coming back."

"I told her that it would be a couple of weeks before school started." School starts August fifteenth, approximately ten days from today.

I pick up my Gucci backpack and continue, "I have a couple of suitcases. Mom said I didn't need to bring much more than that. I don't know who she's trying to fool. She carries this much luggage for a overnight trip."

"You still got a lot of clothes in the closet back at the house. A whole closet full. I don't even know if I've ever seen you in the same thing twice."

Running my fingers through my hair, I tell her, "Aunt Phoebe, you know how I am. I'm a trendsetter. Besides, a girl can never have enough clothes."

She cracks up with laughter.

"C'mon, let's get your luggage," Uncle Reed says, his eyes bright with humor.

"Let's get them quick," I say. "Because we need to stop at the first mall we find. Aunt Phoebe definitely needs a new outfit."

"Never you mind, Miss Diva. I'm comfortable in what I got on. Besides, I just came out here to get you. If your plane had come on time, I probably wouldn't have gotten out of the car."

Looping my arm through my aunt's, I say, "Aunt Phoebe, you know I love you so I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but please, never ever wear this outfit again. It's so done."

Fingering her collar, Aunt Phoebe responds, "Oh, I was actually thinking about wearing it to the back-to-school dance. You know I'm going to be one of the chaperones."

Tilting my head back, I peer up at her face to see if I can tell whether she's joking or not. I can't, so I say, "I'm staying home that night."

Laughing, we follow Uncle Reed over to the slowly revolving conveyor belt, laden with a mixture of suitcases and garment bags ranging from super cheap to top of the line. We stand there, our eyes searching for my new Hartmann luggage, a gift from my mom.

Ten minutes later, with suitcases in hand, we make our way to the parking deck to Uncle Reed's car. I keep telling him and Aunt Phoebe that they need to upgrade to a Mercedes S600 sedan. My friend Mimi's dad just got one and it's tight.

As usual, Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Reed think they're down with the people or something by driving that boring black Cadillac. I have to admit it's cooler than the Nissan Quest Aunt Phoebe drives, even though the Nissan has all the tight stuff like DVD screens and a navigational system in it. Vans are just not cool. She should get an SUV.

Despite my relatives' poor taste in cars and clothing, I can hardly contain my excitement over being back with them. It's so obvious that they really need me.

I spent the first part of my summer at home in Pacific Palisades, California, with my mom up until a couple of weeks ago. Mom decided we should do some serious bonding, so we escaped to Martinique, French West Indies, before it was time for me to return to Atlanta.

During the drive from the Atlanta airport to Temple, I reflect back on how upset I was when, in true Hollywood style, Mom was sentenced to a court-ordered rehab program for abusing drugs and alcohol and sent me to Georgia to live with relatives I'd never met.

I was so totally against leaving sunny California for some hick town in the middle of nowhere. I was only fourteen then, but I've matured a lot since turning fifteen.

I still love California but it really doesn't feel much like home anymore. Not like Temple does. Maybe it's because my mom, R & B artist Kara Matthews, is away most of the time; since becoming one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses, she spends more time starring in movies than singing in the recording studio.

Mom still owes Sony one more album. But after that, she plans to focus on acting. We decided that the best place for me right now is with Uncle Reed and Aunt Phoebe. I don't mind because my boo, Madison Hartford, lives in Temple. It was really hard not seeing him over summer break but we were determined to make our relationship work no matter what. We kept in contact via email and phone calls.

Alyssa was looking out for me too. She made sure that Madison didn't get stupid and cheat on me. As far as she knows, he's been a good boy. That's my boo. He's so crazy about me.

I pull out my compact mirror to check my makeup. I can't be caught looking whack. After all, I'm still a celebrity. I touch up my lips with my favorite lip gloss, Dior Addict Euphoric Beige. When I look up, Uncle Reed is pulling into the driveway.

"Oh my gosh!" I exclaim. "The house... it looks so different." Gone was the small, aluminum, matchbox-looking house that used to sit on this land. In its place is a sprawling ranch-style home with red brick covering the front and sides. "Wow. You even have a two-car garage. This is nice."

"We've had a lot of work done to it," Aunt Phoebe tells me. "We have all this land out here. We decided to make the house bigger."

I rush out of the car. "I can't wait to see what it looks like on the inside." I slip out of my jeweled thong sandals to feel the crisp, green grass tickling my bare feet.

It feels so good to be home.

My cousin Alyssa runs out of the house, screaming, "You're back! You're finally back.... Girl, I have so much to tell you."

We hug each other, jump up and down and then hug some more. We're both very excited about starting our sophmore year in high school.

"I told you that I was coming back."

"I thought you might change your mind. Divine, I'm so glad you're back. We have something to show you," Alyssa sings. "I can't wait until you see it."

"You must be talking about my room."

"Yeah. Divine, wait 'til you see it. I just know you're gonna love it."

We rush inside and down the hallway.

"I have my own bedroom! Praise the Lord," I scream. "Yes. Yes." I am beyond thrilled to have my own room and a full-size bed, but I'm ecstatic that Aunt Phoebe didn't decorate my room in that Pepto-Bismol pink she's so crazy about.

"Calm down, Hollywood... I mean, Divine. You act like you've never had nothing before." Alyssa has apparently developed a case of short-term memory. She was acting as hyped up as me not more than two minutes ago.

"You don't know how much this means to me," I tell her. "Don't get me wrong -- it wasn't too bad sharing a room with you." I stop for a moment. "Okay, I'm lying. I hated sharing a room with you. I love you, Alyssa, but I just need my own space."

"Hey, it wasn't no prize for me either having you for a roommate. You kept hogging up all the closet space. Even after Mama got you that armoire."

"Well, now you don't have to worry about it anymore. I have my own room and my own closet. A walk-in closet at that. Yes." I run my fingers along the scalloped edge of my new dresser. "I love it."

"I have a walk-in closet too." Alyssa takes me by the hand, leading me back toward the front of the house. "You'll see my room later. First you need to see Mama and Daddy's room. They have a sitting room now. And a big Jacuzzi."

I glance over at my uncle, who looks like a big teddy bear. "And why do you and Aunt Phoebe need such a big tub?"

"None of your business," he replies smoothly before giving Aunt Phoebe a wink.

"Gross," I mutter. The last thing I want in my mind is an image of my Amazon-looking aunt and uncle being all hugged up or worse, being all lovey-dovey. "You two are way too old to be... you know."

Uncle Reed and Aunt Phoebe laugh, but Alyssa looks about as grossed out as I do.

"The only folks in this house that should be doing anything is us. We're married."

"TMI, Aunt Phoebe. TMI."

"What in the world is TMI?"

"Too much information, Mama," Alyssa explains with a laugh.

Aunt Phoebe can be so lame at times.

Chuckling, I announce, "I think I'll go put away my stuff."

After a quick look at Alyssa's room, she helps me carry my luggage to my new bedroom. I still can't believe it....

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Divine is used to getting what she wants. Thanks to her loving Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Reed, Divine Matthews-Hardison has a place to call home after the Hollywood life she was accustomed to fell apart at the seams. Getting away from the spotlight that nearly destroyed her own parents, Divine has changed for the better -- though there s still enough diva in Divine to keep life in Temple, Georgia, very lively, from mall shopping with her cousin Alyssa and her fashion-challenged aunt, to worshipping at her uncle s church, to dating. But what if it s too much too soon? Divine has boys on the brain and she s itching for a social life -- at least as much as is allowed under Uncle Reed s watchful eyes. She knows she s too young for the kind of secretive drama her cousin Chance is going through with his girlfriend, but still. Turning to the internet, Divine gets a major crush on sixteen-year-old Sean, who sounds and looks like the perfect guy. But she is about to learn a difficult -- and potentially dangerous -- lesson: Things are not always what they appear to be. Seller Inventory # AAS9781416527190

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