Friday, 16 May 2014

The Art of Lainey Blog Tour - Deleted Scene & Giveaway

Title: The Art of Lainey
 Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with, if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Deleted Scene
Paula: I was sad to have to cut this scene because it takes place at one of my favorite places in the whole world—the St. Louis City Museum. The scene takes place after the Cardinals’ game that Lainey and Micah attend. I ended up cutting the scene because it was adding length to an already long book, and it wasn’t really advancing the plot. Also, as my editor pointed out, the City Museum is a really hard place to describe with words. But still, it’s another fun setting and a chance for Micah and Lainey to get to know each other, so I’m glad to be using it here.

We round the corner and I have to admit, the City Museum is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. High above my head, an old airplane fuselage is mounted on reinforced iron girders. There’s also a castle turret and what looks like a giant birdcage. These items are connected by a network of catwalks, bridges, and tunnels made of wire mesh. Thick safety cables strung from the roof of the building appear to be holding up the entire conglomeration. It’s like a deranged modern art sculpture—that loads of people are climbing on.
“This place is insane,” I say. “How many people have died here?”
Micah shrugs. “None I know of, but you’ll have to sign a waiver to get in.”
Below the tunnels and beams are a neatly manicured courtyard and a pair of ball pits covered in mesh—one filled with toddlers like you’d expect, the other filled with teens and adults. A rather vicious game of dodgeball seems to have broken out among the grownups. I duck out of the way as a rubber ball crashes into the nearby mesh.
I hurry toward the main entrance. “What’s on the inside?”
“Come on, I’ll show you.” Micah holds the door for me.
The lobby has a high ceiling like you sometimes see in train and bus stations. I watch as a man my dad’s age emerges from the bottom of a covered slide that travels from the third floor all the way to the street level. It’s got to be almost a hundred feet long.
Micah shows a cashier his membership card and she loops neon pink armbands around our right wrists. I follow him from the ticket window to an octagonal information desk in the middle of the main floor. A pair of teens shoot down the monster slide holding onto each other.
An older boy in a blue T-shirt blows a whistle. “One on the slide at a time,” he says sternly.
Micah slips his phone, his wallet, and his keys into a manila envelope and writes his name on the outside. He hands it to a girl standing next to a sign that reads: If you don’t want to break it or lose it, you better leave it with me. I give her my purse and then twist in a slow circle—drinking in the bright colors, the crazy structures, the symphony of shouts and laughter.
“It’s like Alice in Wonderland on crack,” I say.
“I know, right?” Micah points back outside. “Feel like climbing? Or are you still too hot?”
It’s a standard 85% humidity day, but in the breeze it feels much cooler than it did in the stadium. I frown down at my sandals. At least they’re not platforms. “You think I can do it is these?”
“Worst-case scenario is one falls off and lands in a ball pit never to be seen again,” Micah says. “But I’m sure you’ve got at least twenty more pairs, right? Live dangerously.”
I do have an awful lot of shoes, and I love climbing on things. “Let’s do this. Lead the way.”
I follow Micah through a metal door and up a set of steps to the base of the giant birdcage, staring at the tunnel-shaped ladder inside of it leading up into the sky. It’s just big enough in diameter for one person. My stomach gets that hummingbird feeling and I feel sweat beading on my upper lip. “I think I might be claustrophobic,” I confess.
“Plenty of space. You’re not that big.” Micah nudges me forward.
“Gee, thanks,” I say.
I make him climb in front of me so he can’t look up my shorts. He finds it hilarious I’d rather the group of middle school boys behind us have that honor. The ladder ends and we have to pull ourselves through a circular opening to get inside the next level of the cage. Micah slides through and then turns to help me.
“I got it.” In one fluid motion I propel myself up through the hole. We’re about twenty feet above the ground as we grab the next ladder and start twirling our way up the middle section of the cage.
At the top of the spiral ladder, there’s an arch-shaped cutout leading to a narrow catwalk with waist-high hand rails. It’s horizontal at first, but then it starts to slope upward. Bars welded on the walking surface provide extra traction at the point where the incline begins to increase. The airplane fuselage is at the end of the catwalk.
Micah ducks into the door of the plane and I follow behind him. We both plunk down on a dirty vinyl seat.
“This is where my mom and dad met,” Micah says suddenly. “My mom used to work here.”
“That’s cool.” Once again, I’m at a loss for words regarding what happened to Micah’s dad. “So you guys come here a lot, huh?”
His eyes darken. “My mom doesn’t come here anymore, but Trinity and I do.” Team Middle School starts to squeeze into the plane with us and Micah is done talking. “Follow me,” he says. He drags me back inside and up what feels like a million flights of stairs.
“Where are we going?” I ask.
“To the mother of all slides.”
By the time we reach the top of the steps, Micah is slightly out of breath. I haven’t even broken a sweat and can’t resist teasing him a bit. “That’s what you get for smoking. You’ve probably got the lungs of a fifty-year old.”
“Whatever, Fake Bake. You’ve probably got the skin of a fifty-year old,” he shoots back.
I stick my tongue out and then turn my back to him. We both wait our turn for the slide. It’s twisty. It’s semi-covered. According to the sign, it’s ten stories long. I’m a little scared, but I’m not about to admit that to Micah. He goes first. I count to ten and then fling myself onto the slick metal. Silver.
It’s hard to explain, the feeling of twisting your way down ten stories. Much more fun while it’s happening then when it’s over. My guts have lodged in my throat by the time I erupt out of the covered bottom into a pit of sand. When I try to stand up, I promptly sink back to my knees.
“Wow,” I say. “Curly slide equals major dizziness.”
Micah helps me back to my feet. He looks at me half-amused, half-concerned. “Are you going to puke?”
“I might.” I lift a hand to my stomach. “I feel like I’m still on the slide.”
He laughs. “Take a break, lightweight.”
We sit on a bench for a while. Nausea or not, I’m thinking it has been a really good day. I might never have found this place if it weren’t for Micah.
So as you can see, the twisty slide is real, even though I may or may not have ever really gone down it, because I get dizzy really easily O_O But there’s also a five-story slide, for lightweights like me. If you’re ever in the vicinity of St. Louis, MO, the City Museum is a must-see. There’s really nothing else in the world quite like it.

I love reading scenes that don't make it in a book. I totally understand why scenes don't make it sometimes too. This scene makes me want to go on an adventure to this beautiful Museum. Though, I'd be lying if I didn't say I wouldn't be scared shitless to go on that slide. Some hot guy may have to push me down. What do y'all think? Thank you Paula for sharing this scene!

About Paula
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she's not writing, she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.
Links: Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads - Pinterest
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