by Vivi Barnes
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 02/03/15
Welcome to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage...
Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at the store, where the only things stranger than the staff are the customers.
Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and adorably geeky—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her pitching position on the softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst job in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?
A select group of SmartMart employees have been invited to participate in a panel interview about their experiences working in the store. Participants include Alexis (Lex), Noah, Bessie, Ruthie, and Roxanne.
Interviewer: Thank you for joining us, panelists. First question: What’s the best thing about working at SmartMart?
Lex: The people I work with—Bessie, Ruthie, Mr. Hanson, and especially Noah Grayson.
Noah: The opportunity to learn management skills. Oh, and definitely Lex. J
Bessie: The energy of the young people who work here. Keeps me active.
Ruthie: I love the cart game and also Lexus. She’s so much fun and she and Noah are so cute together. I like when they sneak to the back of the store and kiss.
Roxanne: Highlight of my year was watching that dumb blond cheerleader-wanna-be Lex clean the toilets.
Lex: I’m sorry, can I add something?
Noah: C’mon Lex—let it go.
Lex: Hey, cleaning the toilets wasn’t the worst part of bathroom duty, considering I was working next to Roxanne.
Interviewer: Okay, moving on. I was going to ask what you didn’t like but I think I’ll skip that one.
Noah: Good call.
Interviewer: So next question: What do you do when you’re not around each other?
Bessie: I try to spend as much time with my grandkids as I can.
Ruthie: I love to go to Disney World with my mom and ride the carousel.
Lex: I’m usually practicing softball. I’ve got to stay on top on my fastball so Coach doesn’t replace me for missing so many practices this summer.
Noah: I work pretty much all the time, but I watch my sister while my mom’s working, too. I don’t mind.
Lex: His sister Belle is so adorable—wish my princess of a sister was as sweet.
Roxanne: More of a princess than you? Shocking.
Interviewer: Ah, okay next one: If you could suggest one item at SmartMart, what would it be?
Roxanne: Lipstick (snickers)
Lex: Tape for Roxanne’s big mouth.
Bessie: Girls! Okay, I would suggest the coffee served at the deli. It’s some of the best around.
Ruthie: I suggest a shopping cart to play the Cart Game. Right, Lex?
Lex: Sure, Ruthie! I like playing the Cart Game with you.
Roxanne: You like playing the shoplifting game.
Lex: I know a game we can play…
Interviewer: Okay, I think we’re getting off the topic…
Roxanne: Blame the cheerleader.
Interviewer: Perhaps we’ll table this panel for another day. Thank you all for being here. You can read about the SmartMart team in PAPER OR PLASTIC, debuting February 3rd from Entangled Teen.
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Vivi Barnes is the author of Olivia Twisted and the upcoming release, Paper or Plastic. She was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. www.vivibarnes.com
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