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  • Angels in Pink: Holly's Story
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: Paperback | ISBN: 9780440238676
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  • Angels in Pink: Holly's Story
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307433121
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Angels in Pink: Holly's Story

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Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel


List Price: $6.99


On Sale: December 18, 2007
Pages: 224 | ISBN: 978-0-307-43312-1
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
Angels in Pink: Holly's Story Cover

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Pink Angels and best friends Holly, Raina, and Kathleen have been through a lot over the past year. The summer before their senior year promises to be busy but fun, as Holly and Raina return to their full-time volunteer jobs at the hospital and Kathleen, who needs the money, works at the hospital gift shop. Of course, Raina and Kathleen will be spending as much time as possible with their boyfriends, Hunter and Carson.

Holly is happy for her friends, but she can't help feeling a little left out when hanging out with the two couples. She does finally have a boy interested in her, but the e-mails from her secret admirer, Shy Boy, have recently stopped coming. What has she done wrong? Will she ever meet her mystery guy in person? But Holly's world is forever changed when tragedy strikes close to home. It's not fair that the most loving and giving person she knows is the victim of a random crime. She, Raina, and Kathleen will need each other now more than ever.


"Is there anything more fab than summer vacation?" Raina St. James's question sounded more like a declaration. "No classes, no homework, nothing to look forward to except weeks and weeks of sunshine."

Raina and her friends were spending the day at Carson Kiefer's house, lounging by the pool, under a clear blue sunny sky. Burgers sizzled inside the mammoth grill on the patio, and the aroma mingled with the scents of sunscreen and chlorine.

"I heard the school board wants to have year-round classes," Holly Harrison said. She was sitting on a towel at the side of the pool painting her toenails a flamboyant shade of hot pink.

"Forget it," Carson said. "We need a break." He took a running leap off the diving board and cut like a knife through the water. He swam the length of the pool underwater, coming up beside Kathleen McKensie's float.

She opened one eye. "If you splash me, I'll shoot you."


"I've just covered myself with sunscreen and I don't want it washed off." She lifted her sunglasses to look at him treading water next to her. His brown eyes danced and droplets of water clung to his buttery tanned shoulders. "If I didn't burn to a crisp without it, I wouldn't mind," she said. "But que sera, sera." She resettled the dark glasses on her nose and rested her head again on the cushioned pillow of the float.

He tossed his head and slung beads of water over her body. "Did I get you wet?"

She ignored him.

"Want me to lick the water off?"

Instantly, her face flushed bright red. "Go away."

He laughed. "Maybe you'd taste like coconut."

"Pervert." She wasn't even mildly annoyed. It felt so good to be back with him, to be a part of his life again, she would have tolerated any amount of his teasing. The weeks she'd spent apart from him the past winter after she'd hung up on him over a spat about Stephanie Marlow had seemed like an eternity.

"I'm, like, so disrespected," he announced. He put his elbows on the float, leaned over her and ran his cool, wet tongue across her mouth.

Shivers shot up her spine. "Scram!" she hissed.

He laughed, arched backward like a dolphin and dove under the water.

Raina watched, amused, from the circle of Hunter's arms. They were sitting on a lounge chair together, Raina in front, and Hunter was smoothing lotion on her back. The stroke of his fingers was lulling her into drowsiness. He bent forward and nibbled on her earlobe. "He's right about the coconut taste," he whispered.

"I'll buy you an Almond Joy," she mumbled.

"You taste better."

"I'm flattered." Waves of contentment washed over Raina, mimicking the water lapping against the colorful tiled sides of the pool. Hunter would be home for the entire summer and she'd be with him every minute possible, between his job at the fast-food restaurant and her volunteer work with the Pink Angels program at Tampa's Parker-Sloan Hospital. Every minute.

"What do you hear from Emma?" Hunter asked, leaning back in the chair and pulling Raina against him.

"I talked to Jon-Paul last night. Emma's finally home. She was asleep when I called." Raina closed her eyes, conjuring up the faces of her sister and her husband, a sister she had never known existed until February.

"But she's doing all right?"

"She is now." It had been touch and go as Emma's doctors fought to stave off infections that threatened her new bone marrow, but after a hundred and ten days, she had been sent home to complete her recovery and begin her married life, cancer free.

"And you?" Hunter touched her hip in the area where bone marrow had been extracted to save Emma's life.

"You asked me the same thing yesterday. The answer's the same today. I'm fine. Just a small scar."

"Can I see?" He nuzzled her neck.

"I'm shocked you would ask. I mean with all these people looking on."

He laughed. One thing she could trust about Hunter was that he wouldn't look even if she stripped on the spot. "I'm not a prude."

"Yes you are." She twisted around and kissed him lightly. "That's what makes it work between us. I keep trying to jump your bones and you keep pushing me away."

"This will change when we get married."

Her heart did its usual stutter step. They talked about sex and marriage, but truthfully, huge hurdles lay in front of them. For starters, Hunter wanted to be a minister and had taken early admission to a small Christian college in Indiana the previous winter. She wasn't sure she even believed in God. Only Holly, Hunter's sister, realized the depth of their dilemma. Raina was worried about their having a future when they were such polar opposites in this area. Yet whenever she was with him, all she thought about was how much she loved him and about being with him forever.

"What if I get a better offer?" she asked playfully.

"Then I'll just have to take the guy out."

"That sounds pretty hostile--for a minister."

"Think of Samson. Hey, I'm tough. I'm the guy who got into a fistfight over you, remember?"

How could she forget? Tony Stoddard's bad mouth had almost destroyed her relationship with Hunter. "Don't joke about that, Hunter," she said quietly. "I don't think I'll ever be able to joke about it."

His arms tightened around her. "I was the idiot, not you."

She knew he wanted to make it up to her for the way he'd treated her after Tony's "revelation," but he didn't need to. She loved him and wanted to be with him forever--yet the hurdles remained.

Carson hoisted himself out of the pool. "I'd better turn the burgers." He padded over to the grill, raised the lid and stared down. "Um--I think they're burned."

Holly went over and confirmed his suspicion. "Hopelessly burned."

"Dad's never burn."

"He stands over them full-time," Kathleen called. She had straddled the float and paddled to the shallow end of the water, where she used the steps to exit the pool. She walked over to the grill.

The three of them stared in dismay at the charred remains of their lunch.

"Too bad. I'm starved," Kathleen said.

Carson turned off the grill. "So how does everybody feel about pizza?" The agreement was unanimous, so he picked up his cell phone and hit a single button.

Incredulous, Kathleen asked, "You have the pizza parlor on speed dial?"

Carson grinned. "A guy's got to eat." He slipped his arm around her.

Holly hung back, feeling as left out as she always did. She'd turned sixteen in May and now had her driver's license, not that it did her a whole lot of good. Her parents only allowed her to drive Hunter's beat-up car solo and only if and when he wasn't using it, which wasn't often. Her emancipation wouldn't go into full effect until he returned to college in September--if then. But it wasn't the car issue that bothered her the most. It was the lack of a boyfriend, a guy of her own, a boy who took her out on dates or came with her when she hung out with Raina and Hunter, Kathleen and Carson.

From the Hardcover edition.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - Angels in Pink: Holly's Story

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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